Posts tagged ‘easy’

May 24, 2013

Recipe: Ginger Tea In Crockpot

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

Okay, okay so you might be saying “Uhhhh, that ginger looks a lot more like apples than ginger.” And you are right… well, sorta. Technically, I made Apple Ginger Tea but I just threw the apples in because my kids didn’t eat the other half of the Fuji apple I cut for them. It works with or without apple slices!

The main reason I wanted to make my ginger tea in the crockpot was because I kept having to babysit it on the stovetop, I had several boil-overs on accident, and I was losing all of the water because it kept reducing! So, I figured, give it a go in the crock pot! It keeps all the water in there, and I can even leave while it “cooks”. It worked out great! I’m trying to have a cup of ginger tea every day for a month to see if it helps with the inflammation in my hip.

Ginger Tea In The Crockpot

  • 4 cups/1 Liter water, heated to boiling
  • 2 “knobs” of ginger (see the pic below)
  • optional 1/2 Fuji apple, sliced with peels ON
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste

Instructions

  1. While you work, heat water to boiling.
  2. Peel the ginger and then “peel-shred” it into the crock pot. (I just use the vegetable peeler and make thin slices of the ginger to get more bang for my buck.)
  3. Add in the apples if you want and then pour in the boiling water.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Pour through a sieve (or, like me, just ladel it into your teavana tea maker to strain it) and then add in honey and lime juice.

Okay, since I could never figure out in recipes what a “knob” of ginger was supposed to be (is it just part of it or the whole thing?) I decided to take a picture of the ginger I used next to a quarter so that you could see exactly what I used. Use more for a stronger tea if you’d like!

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

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May 9, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Potato Casserole

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Gotta love those recipes that are born from “What am I going to cook for dinner tonight” and “Dang, I need to use up some of that 5 lb bag of potatoes” and “What do I have in the freezer???” And once again, this is a hubby-love recipe… as in hubby loved it. He ate a bit after us but he came and found me in the bathroom while I was bathing our boys and said “Oh my goodness. THIS is really good.”

And then he told me again after his second bowl.

And again after his third.

Yep. Score.

Mexican Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can ROTEL
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken (or Cream of Potato or Celery if you are vegetarian)
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cup colby jack shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 5-6 dashes Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (or similar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Steam the potatoes on the stovetop until “al dente”. (Can I use that term for potatoes?)
  3. Meanwhile, stir the cumin, garlic salt, and pepper sauce in with the beans and mix to combine.
  4. Mix together the corn, cream of chicken, rotel, beans, 1 1/4 cup of cheese.
  5. When the potatoes are ready, mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 dish and cook for 17-20 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

April 30, 2013

Day 476: Smoothie Queen

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Several weeks ago, I was getting ready to go to Sam’s to get our monthly load of cashews, shredded cheese, almond milk, coffee, and diapers. Ya know, the necessities. Well my man walks up to me and hands me a hundy (a $100 bill… his Christmas money, I believe) and tells me to go get a Ninja blender.

I know, right?!?!? How awesome was THAT?

After he watched that documentary, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, we tried multiple times to juice but the clean up is so laborious that we only managed to last a few times. I started thinking that maybe the Ninja would be more along the lines of what would work for us since it is basically a “blend, rinse, go” kind of deal. And I thought that it would be a good birthday present for him (back in February) but alas, I figured that being such an avid musician he would probably prefer the iTrack that he asked for, like, two days before Christmas when I had already bought him all of his gifts. So, my parents got that for him for his birthday instead of a Ninja.

Perfect for him. {Sigh.} for me.

Anyway, I guess I couldn’t stop talking about it so he wanted to get one for me. But since we only have one car he wasn’t able to ever get out and surprise me. Every time he leaves I’m all Where ya going? Why? Cause we need more milk. Are you going to the store and can get some milk? Uhhhhh, sure.

Surprise… ruined. So, he figured it was just easier to let me go and get it and pick out just what I wanted.

So. sweet.
So. smart. (The whole “pick out whatcha want” thing!)

And I started making us smoothies in the morning. Truth be told, I’m not much of a breakfast eater.

Wait. Hold that. I’m a HUGE breakfast eater.

THAT’S the problem.

eggs. bacon. biscuits. pancakes. waffles. gravy. hash browns. parfait. sausage. fruit. cheesy grits. orange juice. sweet rolls. muffins. coffee.

It’s all golden. I love it. Love it ALL.

Not a good situation for a glutton.

So, breakfast is usually something kind of low-key for me… granola. fruit. yogurt. grits if I’m going crazy. oatmeal if I’m desperate.

BUT NOW… I’m the smoothie queen! I love the things! And I would love to post a bunch of recipes for you, but so far this is what all my recipes would be….

Lazy Woman’s Quick and Easy Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients

  • Bag of mixed frozen fruit
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Water or Almond Milk

Instructions

  1. Dump some frozen fruit in a big cereal bowl and defrost just a bit in the microwave for 30-45 seconds on 30% power.
  2. Dump it in the Ninja with a little bit of water or almond milk.
  3. Blend.

It’s just good… tastes like getting a dessert for… BREAKFAST.

But instead it’s ACTUALLY like eating a bowl of fruit for breakfast… a big bowl.

AND since I prefer to put in water or almond milk instead of juice it keeps the calories or sugar or whatever lower (I’m assuming… since I don’t count or track any of that stuff!)

Win. WIN. WIN!

Okay, so I hate to say that I have zero spiritual connection for this one… I dunno, I guess I’ll just throw this one out there for ya as an extra.

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:10

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April 19, 2013

Recipe: Quick & Easy Avocado & Tomato Salad

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One of the things about doing a Daniel Fast (essentially vegan eating) is that it makes you eat healthy real quick. Well, on Wednesday, all I wanted was to slap some peanut butter on a piece of bread and call it lunch, but… well, that’s not Daniel Fasty, so I had to come up with something else. My husband’s grandmother, Nanny, makes this tomato and avocado salad a lot that is delish and she puts something on it that I thought was balsamic vinegar, but after making my (which was also delish) that’s not it. So, once I talk to her and figure it out I’ll add that on here as well!

I know this is easy and half of the world has probably already made this before, but I thought I’d throw it on here because it might be a lunch option you had forgotten about.

Quick & Easy Avocado And Tomato Salad

(Have you noticed that almost all of my recipes say “Quick and Easy” in the title? There’s definitely a theme running through my cooking!)

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup of salad tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut up the avocado into chunks and cut the salad tomatoes in half and sprinkle in the parsley.
  2. Pour the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the mix and stir the salad.
  3. Eat! Really great with iced tea!

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April 12, 2013

Recipe: Easy & Light Tortellini Toss

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I really wanted to call this Found It In My Fridge Tortellini Toss because that was my inspiration… stuff in my fridge. I knew that tonight was cheese tortellini night, but lately the tortellini bake that I make has been too… heavy and greasy. So, I wanted to make something a little bit lighter and this one just sort of… happened!

What I love about it: tastes restauranty and it only took me 15 minutes, start to finish!

Easy & Light Tortellini Toss

  • 1 lb cheese tortellini (I like the tri-color kind from Sam’s)
  • 3 Tbsp butter (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • 1/4 chopped onion (frozen is okay)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 tsp Ana’s Herbs (or other Italian seasoning), to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 orange (yellow, or red) bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 20ish cherry (salad) tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white grape juice
  • 1 tsp parsley OR basil, chopped fine

You could veganize this by using another kind of tortellini and using oil each time instead of butter.

  1. Cook the cheese tortellini according to package directions, drain, and lightly coat with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet and saute the onions and garlic. Add the Ana’s Herbs, and allow to soak up the oil for about a minute or two, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the olive oil and then toss in the bell peppers for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes, wine, and parsley and allow to cook, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes depending upon how firm you want the veggies.
  4. Add the cooked tortellini to the skillet and mix everything together. Serve, and enjoy!

{I wanted to show you this picture of my cut tomatoes because,
yes, there is a Nerf gun partially on my cutting board.
When you have two boys, you just never know when you might get attacked!}

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{Such an easy starter to a light pasta sauce… right here: oil, onions, garlic, and Ana’s Herbs/Italian Seasoning}

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{I knew these were gonna be pretty in the mix!}

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{This is how I finely chop the parsley… with kitchen shears! Very culinary of me, right?}

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{Look how beautiful these are in the pan sauteing!}

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{The final product… even the hubs said it looked “fancy”!}

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February 3, 2013

Recipe: Caribbean Black Beans (Crock Pot & Stove Top Versions)

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We… LOVE this recipe.

My reasons: tasty. easy. a man favorite. simple. fast to prep.
Hubby’s reasons: tasty. tasty. tasty. and ummmm, tasty.

Caribbean Black Beans (Crock Pot & Stove Top Versions)

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained (not rinsed)
  • 1 (8 oz) can unsweetened crushed canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I use frozen)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (if fasting, leave this out… you won’t even notice)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • cooked rice

Instructions For Crock Pot (5 minute prep, 4-6 hours on LOW)

  1. Put all ingredients in crock pot and stir.
  2. Cook on LOW for about 4-6 hours.
  3. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve with hot rice.

Instructions For Stove Top (5 minute prep, 30 minutes)

  1. Combine all ingredients in large soup pot on stove top.
  2. Turn to medium heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  3. Remove the lid, turn to medium-low heat, and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  4. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve with rice.

I got the inspiration for this version from this recipe.

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November 21, 2012

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake

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Easy Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake

I love this meal… and it gets double love because my husband said he loved it too… in fact, he said it twice! And then it gets triple love because it can be made ahead and refrigerated!

I got the original idea from this baked tortellini recipe over at Real Mom Kitchen.

Ingredients
• 16 oz dried penne pasta
• 1 cup frozen broccoli
• 1 cup frozen zucchini
• 1/2 cup whipping cream (not as good but will work: whole milk or half and half)
• 1 Tablespoon of Ana’s Herbs (or other Italian seasoning mix… although if you can find some Ana’s Herbs, get some… they are awesome! Their website has stores where you can find it)
• 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella or colby jack)
• 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1 jar (24oz) of spaghetti sauce (I usually use a basil and garlic kind)
• 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
• 1/2 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Instructions:
1. Get out broccoli and zucchini so they can defrost just enough to separate from each other to be mixed.

2. Cook penne according to instructions until al dente. Drain and stir in a tablespoon of butter to keep from sticking.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine spaghetti sauce, cream, Ana’s Herbs, and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

4. Add in zucchini, broccoli, and penne. Stir until evenly combined.

5. Stir mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, then with bread crumbs. Drizzle remaining butter, melted, over bread crumbs.

6. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes. Then serve!

It’s really easy and I love that I can incorporate frozen veggies without having to remember an hour in advance to get them out to defrost.

I’d love to hear some other variations you think would be good (and easy) in here. I was thinking some pre-chopped mushrooms? What else?

November 13, 2012

Recipe: Enchilada Bean And Chips Crock Pot “Bake”

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This is one of the first recipes that I have ever made-up on my own, so I’ll admit that I had my fingers crossed hoping all day that it would be good! And it wassssssssss!!!

With this one, remember… just because it’s “vegetarian” (if you use two cream of celerys) that doesn’t mean we should super-chow on it. Eat when you’re hungry… until you are satisfied. Then stop. I’d even recommend serving yourself a bowl/plate of it and then immediately putting the rest of it in tupperware and in the fridge. Maybe make yourself a fruit salad to go with it… eat half of the fruit salad ahead of time and then the other half, if you are still hungry, after you finish the enchilada bake. Not trying to be preachy… more so just reminding myself of this for the next time I pull up this recipe to make! It’s always a good reminder for me of how to move away from gluttony!

Enchilada Bean And Chips Crock Pot “Bake”

Ingredients

  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup*
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of celery soup
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 10 oz reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 bag of white corn (or similar) tortilla chips
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (16 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups finely shredded colby jack cheese (or similar)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine: cream of chicken, cream of celery, green chiles, sour cream, hot sauce, and cumin.
  2. Crush a few handfuls of tortilla chips and spread over the bottom of the crock pot.
  3. Grab a handful of the verrrrry cold corn and “sprinkle” it on top of the crushed chips.
  4. Place a layer of black beans and kidney beans.
  5. Spread a layer of the soup mixture.
  6. Over the soup mixture, place a layer of shredded cheese.
  7. Repeat the layers again. (I repeated them twice… it might vary based on the size of your crock pot)
  8. End with a layer of chips.
  9. Cooking options: Low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours (but you run a bit of a risk of your sour cream separating if you do this)

*Here you have the “easy/convenient” version, but you could totally make your own cream of chicken/celery, make your own tortilla chips, use fresh chopped green chiles, fresh corn, and cook your own black beans and kidney beans. Honestly, I hope to be able to do that someday but I’m not much of a cook, I don’t really enjoy cooking as some do, and I’m not good enough of a time manager to do all that with my toddler and preschooler with me!

And a quick shout out to this flavor combo… Frank’s Red Hot Sauce with ground cumin is uh.maz.ing. I use it in our black bean soup (which is double uh.maz.ing.) and now I use it in anything Mexicanish.

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June 4, 2012

Day 146: Candy Corn

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This is another example of when something that I learned, well, almost one-hundred days ago has come back around and I have learned the same lesson… again. Back on day forty-eight, I had a moment where I was choosing between what was good and what was best. And tonight, I had a similar moment.

I’ve been sick, and preparing good food for myself is not at the top of my list when I’m sick. Easy food… that is pretty much my criteria. Well, we didn’t have any leftovers that were on my covenant, and I was hungry and wanting something terrifically easy.

I looked… no, I glanced… through the fridge and didn’t see anything (I don’t think that I really wanted to see anything), and I thought to myself, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich.”

But luckily, a verse that I found in college… and I wrote it on a big poster board and tacked it to the ceiling so that I would look at it when I laid in bed… came to my mind:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I knew that I needed to look back in the fridge.

And sure enough, there was a bunch of leftover grilled corn (which might as well be candy, in my opinion… it’s soooooo good). So, that’s what I ate. And it was good. And I was totally satisfied. And I was completely blessed.

May 21, 2012

Day 132: A Celebration Of Life

So today is my youngest son’s two year old birthday! We had his party last night and listen to the menu I so brilliantly came up with and see what you think I could eat:

hot dogs, chips, cupcakes, ice cream

Yeah, none of it.

I almost feel like a hypocrite changing all my ways and then feeding everyone else the same blech stuff that I am avoiding! But all of that to say, I just didn’t eat any of it. I had grapes, peanuts, a banana, and a glass of tea. I was fine. Which is just so weird and yet cool at the same time to be able to say.

I mean, last year for his one-year birthday party we got the same cupcakes from Sam’s only they had Elmo “rings” on them as toppers instead of Cars 2 toppers like they had this year. And last year over a span of a few days, I ate… ohhhhh, I dunno… about a dozen of them that were left over.

A dozen cupcakes people.

About a month before had been my sister-in-law’s wedding shower and guess what we had there? Oh, yes… cupcakes. And I think that I had eaten about a dozen of them as well. And take a wild guess as to what we had at my older son’s birthday party just a few months later? Oh my gosh… you’re good.

Yep. Cupcakes.

And yep. There were leftovers. (Emphasis on the word: were since I ate all the leftover cupcakes.)

So that’s why I say it is weird to think that for this cupcake birthday, I ate… none… of the birthday food.

And what’s even weirder and even cooler is that it wasn’t difficult for me. There was no battle inside. There was not a sneaking into the bathroom to shove a cupcake down my throat. There was just… a birthday. A celebration of my son’s life.

And silently… all by myself… hidden away in a party room in my soul… I had another celebration. A celebration of my new life.

My new life of freedom.

So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:8

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