April 26, 2011

A Good Dinner

We had an extra yummy dinner yesterday, I just sorta threw it all together but it came out really good. First on the menu was black bean tostadas. I sauteed some chicken breast then added some diced onion, a can of (drained) black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin & garlic salt to taste. I purchased flour tortillas yesterday thinking we'd just roll it all up, but then I saw some tostada shells and decided those might be more fun. When we got home I looked at the nutritional information and was surprised to find that one flour tortilla had the equivalent calories and fat of THREE tostada shells. Isn't that crazy!? So we loaded up our tostada shells with all the fixings and they were a hit.

On the side we had mango salsa. Seriously one of the most delicious things ever. THIS is the basic recipe I use, though I usually double the mango and halve the jalapeno. Mangoes were only 2 for $1 the other day, I wish I had bought more! One batch doesn't last long around here, I could eat the whole dang bowl myself! I'm headed to the store to get more mangoes tomorrow since I still have all the other ingredients.

We're still having fun with our blender. I "like" Blendtec on Facebook so I get new recipes every once in a while. Today I got a recipe for Broccoli White Bean & Cheddar Soup. I'm going to make it tomorrow. My mouth is watering just thinking of it! I'll share the recipe if it turns out.

April 22, 2011

Pizza Dip

One day this past week I asked my son to choose something special he wanted for dinner. He found his old kindergarten cookbook that he gave me for Christmas 2 years ago. He loves to look through it and find recipes that his friends submitted. He chose some Pizza Dip that I figured would be hearty enough to pass as a main course so I made it...sort of...with a few changes :) His friend's recipe called for olives and green peppers, which he doesn't even like. And there was no sauce in the recipe. It was just a creamy dip with a pizza flavor. I decided to make it a saucy and substitute sausage for pepperoni (since the pepperoni was pretty expensive at my market on this day and the sausage was not, and I don't really like pepperoni anyway). So, here is the dip we ended up with. We all liked it so much, I think I'll add it to my party food repertoire.

Pizza Dip
1/2 lb ground sausage
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 small can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 can spaghetti sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Brown the sausage and drain the grease. Place in a bowl and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with crackers or breadsticks.

Maybe not super nutritious, but definitely delicious!

April 13, 2011

Green Stuff

I made a really good green smoothie yesterday. I have tried a few other veggie smoothies that didn't turn out so good. One was a super duper orange one with orange, peaches and carrot. It was beautiful to look at but the carrot stood out way too much. Another one I made with bananas, almond milk and spinach, but I added too much spinach and it tasted like a banana salad. Not good. So, I've discovered that I can't be too generous with these vegetables unless I want to pucker and/or shudder with each sip. But this smoothie turned out just right. The strange thing is, I could totally taste the celery but I kinda liked it! It was a good combination with the apple and overall it was amazingly sweet. My daughter shared it with me and drank it without declaring it "kinda weird" like she had the others.

Here's the recipe and a pic-

1 apple (cored & quartered)

1 banana

1/2 frozen peach

1/2 stalk celery

small handful of fresh spinach

1 cup orange juice

And, I made a delicious soup yesterday and I bet it could be made in any old blender. It was a creamy potato asparagus soup similar to one that was demonstrated last week at the blender party.

1 1/2 cup milk

1/2 sour cream or plain yogurt (I did some of each)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 T flour

2 T melted butter

1 green onion

dash of salt & pepper

I blended this until smooth & frothy, then I added-

2 small baked potatoes, quartered

1/2 bunch asparagus, blanched

I pulsed that maybe half a dozen times until it was chopped into rather small pieces. It came out of my blender warm but I still warmed it up in the microwave more before eating it. I adored this soup. No one else did though :( So, it was dinner for me two nights in a row. I didn't get a pic, but just picture above smoothie, slightly chunkier, in a bowl ;)

And totally not blender or even food related I wanted to mention that I am taking part in a 100 push-up challenge. I figure the more times I mention it, the more likely I'll stick with it. It is a 6 week plan to build strength and stamina as you work your way up to 100 consecutive push-ups! Just in time for summer, I am hoping this will help kick start me back into a regular exercise routine, I've been slacking. I'll be officially starting next Monday and I'm excited about it. Check it out HERE.

April 11, 2011

More adventures in blending

We're really enjoying our new blender, though my son requested a snack the other day and specified that he didn't want anything "liquidy." Me thinks he's getting tired of smoothies. Oh well, we're still having fun with it. Along with a couple more soups, some spaghetti sauce and several more variations of smoothies, I made some dough in it the other day. It came out very nice, though it caused the blender to overheat (!) I guess it's more of a "you better not make me work that hard again without giving me a 20 minute rest" type of warning, according to the manual. Not like it's broken or damaged because it's worked just fine since then. In fact, we gave it a pretty good workout yesterday making peanut butter! That was quite amazing to watch and we got amazing results! It's hard to believe we started out with just this-

and ended up with this- It came out of the blender so smooth and creamy and warm too! A great snack with some carrots.

And the dough I mentioned was the crust for this pizza-

I topped the partially baked crust with a creamy alfredo sauce then some diced rotisserie chicken, chopped marinated artichokes, sliced red onions then some mozzarella & Italian seasoning and it was a seriously good pizza. Btw, this here is my new go to pizza crust. It was perfect!

So, our blender has a "cycle count" that is kind of like an odometer, adding one for each blending session. Ours is up to 33. We'll see how many more we can add this week!

April 03, 2011


I'm beyond excited about this-

It's our new blender! Not just any blender, it's a Blendtec. It blends like you wouldn't believe. It is so powerful it can grind corn kernels into corn meal and cook your soup just by blending at warp speed. It pulverizes spinach and greens so that you can add them to your smoothies and ice cream and you'll never know they're there, other than their lovely green hue.

We just got it yesterday and already we've made some great stuff. Last night we made peach ice cream, YUM! This morning I used it to make blueberry pancakes (yeah, I could've done that with a regular blender but it wouldn't be as fun). Then for lunch today we made potato soup! That was SOOOOO good. I just blended some milk, sour cream, green onion, shredded cheese, a little butter and flour and a baked potato (which I already had the fridge) and it turned into probably the best potato soup I've ever had and the kids agreed. We made salad dressing this afternoon, a tasty raspberry vinaigrette. And tonight, hubby got creative and came up with two fruit smoothies that were really good. A combination of oranges, a lemon, peaches and strawberries. A bit tart but still really good.

I know the excitement will wane but I really do believe this is a tool I will use A LOT. My son and I are going to a "blender party" this week at Sam's Club (where we purchased the blender) and the Blendtec Dude will be doing more demonstrations and handing out more yummy samples. I'll be taking notes for sure. In the meantime, I'm off to the grocery store in the morning to buy all kinds of fresh ingredients for more blending fun. YIPPEE!!