Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce
Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting – this time from Group C! The best part of posting with a different group is being able to explore blogs I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as I’m not the best at checking when other groups post. I was sent to Adina’s Where is My Spoon which is full of family friendly recipes. Since I only had a few hours to find a recipe I got straight to work to find a recipe that was already vegetarian as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust it. Luckily a recent green onion series led me to a deliciously fantastic pasta – Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce! I had to make a few adjustments as my store did not have any decent looking tomatoes but they did have some great looking mushrooms – so I subbed in a can of diced tomatoes. I also omitted the vegetable stock as I forgot to pick it up (oops).
This sauce was fantastic! It was creamy, tomatoey, and quick – which is key these days. As a bonus, it can easily become gluten free by switching out the pasta. To make things even quicker, I used some Gourmet Garden herb pastes that I had left from Fresh Tasty Valentine. I put this together after working my first post-baby convention and running on fumes. A few other recipes that I flagged for later are her broccoli cauliflower meatballs and her lentil quinoa carrot salad which sounds perfect for summertime.
Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff
In the weeks leading up to little one’s arrival, I tried to prep as much as possible in regards to food so that even if I was functioning on two hours there would still be something edible. With that, about a month before D-day my mom and sister came up from VA for a day of (in my opinion) fun prepping two dozen freezer meals. While a few of them were some old favorites (stuffed shells, enchiladas, and lasagna) that would just need to be popped in the oven, the rest were variations of recipes I had been collecting and tweaking in order to make them freezer AND slow cooker ready. I read soooo many articles about freezer meals, taking notes on what freezes super well (presoaked bagged beans, tomatoes, peppers, etc) and what does not (coconut milk, sour cream, cream cheese) and special items where the other ingredients determined if it would freeze well (tofu is awesome solo or just with veggies but no sauces). Once I had identified what meals I wanted to try I then set out to make the ultimate shopping list while keeping to a very tight under $10 per meal with each meal making 4-6 servings.
Some of these meals, everything is in the bag and it just goes straight in. With others there are things to add day of (extra stock, coconut milk, etc) or a side dish that needs to be prepped. Like today’s dish, Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff. This was one of the first dishes on my list and is a variation of my standard stroganoff just with more “green stuff”.
One of the biggest tips I can give is if you are having people helping you make sure the ingredients are set up in a way that flows. This is something I did not do and it resulted in lots of extra work until I put my Lean Sigma hat on (yes, I’m a dork) and figured out how to eliminate a good chunk of the transportation/motion waste that was happening. To get the meals out of the freezer bag, place in bag in hot water for 5 minutes then use a knife to cut a slit along the side of the bag, then open the top and peel back from the corner (if using a zipper bag cut the side the zipper is one when closed).
Mini Ginger Cheesecakes
Welcome to the last post of TripleSBites – oh what a week this has been! From Brussel Sprouts to Caribbean Rice and Beans to VooDoo Fries, so many incredible recipes thanks to so many incredible products from our sponsors. With that another HUGE thank you to the incredible sponsors from this event, it has been a pleasure working with all your amazing products.
For my final post I knew it needed to be something BIG and something sweet! When it comes to dishes that say I love you to my valentine, there is only one sweet treat that can come close to Creme Brulee: Cheesecake! In place of the standard wedding cake, we had a three tiered Dulce de Leche Cheesecake which is why I knew making my own version was the perfect way to end the challenge. This cheesecake is a twist on the standard and not just in the size department with a bit of ginger to spice things up!
The cute little containers came from Ikea, an awesome find in their “last chance” section! The best part is that they can unfold for those who want to enjoy their treat outside of the wrapping. I topped these mini-treats with fresh berries that I heated up a bit in order to create a bit of a sauce. No need for sugar!
This has been such a fun week, I’m so beyond thankful that I was able to participate in this! These recipes have been sexy, saucy, and spicy – and filled with love. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, and for anyone that hasn’t signed up for the giveaway go and do it NOW!!!!
Mexican Corn Dip
It’s the first Monday of the month which means that once again it’s time for the Secret Recipe Club!!!! I was so excited to see that I had been partnered up with Jessie – aka The Vanderbilt Wife. After all, how can you not like a blog that sponsors so many amazing charities! For the longest time I was planning to make her delicious peach cake, which would have been perfect for my pit fruit entry but I couldn’t move past a certain dish with “magically delicious” in the title. I’m a sucker for a good dip, as evident from past secret recipe club posts, and since I was hosting a day of board gaming I just couldn’t pass up her Corn Dip. The only change I made was to up the spice level since everyone attending enjoys things on the hotter side.
Yes – this recipe is magically delicious and magically quick to put together! While most of it was killed the day of serving there was just enough left to serve on top of some chilaquiles the next evening. The corn dip added the perfect crunch along with a bit of heat which was perfect. I also took advantage of some local “early corn” at the market, instead of the canned corn – and while it’s a pain to cut the kernels off I’m a sucker for local produce. I also tossed in a green pepper for color and extra crunch, which worked perfectly with the corn and tomatoes. I served this dip hot and cold, and both ways was a hit!
Speaking of local produce I’ve now harvested three cherry tomatoes, with another 40+ on the horizon, and one jalapeno. At last check there were 10 (!!!) fairy eggplants growing and fingers crossed will be able to pick some this week! The cold snap we had the other day also brought some life back to my arugula so maybe that’ll give up another harvest? So far so good – just have to hope the weather continues to cooperate. Thanks again for stopping by for another awesome SRC!
I totally blame Becca over at Amuse Your Bouche for today’s post – when I saw her cheesy toast variation the other week I got a total craving. I don’t remember the first time I had cheesy toast but I’m going to guess it was a case of my mom not having enough bread for grilled cheese sandwich and going with an open-faced variation. Also should note as this point that I’m a HUGE fan of open-face sandwiches so thanks mom 🙂 This extends as far as stripping my burgers which is why I tend to load up my cheesy toast with all sorts of goodies. I want the bread to just barely be hanging on so in part it does become a balancing act of figuring out how many toppings a piece can handle. I also used two different spreads (or smears) as I couldn’t decide which one would work best, one being vegan and one being not so vegan. That is of course assuming that vegan bread is being used, something I can assume since I made my own peasant bread using dairy-free stick “butter”.
The more I use Daiya, the more I’m starting to enjoy it in the melted form. The texture still drives me crazy when it’s raw but that all goes away once it melts. I’m also hoping to find some more varieties of cashew cheese as there are occasions where I can’t melt the cheese but would still like to have some, such as cold salads. I’m also sending this open faced cheese sandwich over to 52weeksofcooking for their historic foods challenge since this Depression Era treat has become a comfort classic over the past (almost) 100 years. Also cool to note that the original version was open-faced and it wasn’t until the 60s that the top piece was added. Important to note that the cheese on toast is historically different than an open faced cheese sandwich, something that has been around since the 15th century – the toasting makes all the difference!
In gardening news, I have a good dozen green cherry tomatoes growing and today my first little pepper joined the party. I’ve also got lots of purple flowers on my fairy eggplant but so far no lil eggplants, fingers crossed that will change. I’ve never done a container garden before so I’m looking forward to seeing how it does in comparison to my awesome box garden. I’m also hoping that the guy who bought my place appreciates the awesome box garden and is using it.
I apologize in advance for the brain dump of a post that is to follow, but this is what happens when one decides to see The Hobbit and then go to work the next morning. I keep telling myself that functioning on four hours of sleep is practice for later in life, but the truth of the situation is I am not as young as I use to be and midnight showings are no longer worth the exhaustion that follows. However I’m sure by time the next Hobbit movie comes out, I’ll have forgotten all about this and still go to the midnight showing.
Today’s recipe has nothing to do with The Hobbit and everything to do with one of the few dishes I’ve had to make over and over and over again in an attempt to make it edible. I was in college the first time I attempted to make kugel, using a recipe from a book that will remain nameless because it was just bad. The dish was cloyingly sweet, putting it a far cry from the amazing kugel I had experienced in Poland only a few months prior. I tried tweaking that recipe, and recorded my attempts, but it never came together. I then switched to a recipe I found on AllRecipes.com which had the right level of sweetness but was too dry and more rock-like than pudding-like. With that I decided to combine elements of both recipes while adding/subtracting a few things until I finally came up with the variation that worked best for me.
This recipe still has an element of sweetness to it, without going too far into the “should be a dessert” category. For the rest of my Hanukkah inspired recipes please check out: Spinach Potato Knish, Cream Cheese Bread, and Sweet Potato Latkes.
Update: This post was written just prior to the horrible incident that happened today in CT. My thoughts and prayers, and those of my family, go out to the families and victims of today’s horrible crime. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the senselessness of what happened and can only hope, wish, pray, and dream that something like this never happens again.
Check out my Guest Post over on Secret Recipe Club! I’m sharing my recipe for Cream Cheese Sourdough Bread – an easy (and delicious!) way to incorporate dairy in to any Hanukkah dinner!