Monday, May 23, 2016

Falafel


There used to be a really good restaurant in my town that made the best falafel. Sadly they closed because despite making great food it was poorly run. So after a while of looking for a great falafel recipe I found this one. And my husband really enjoyed it. For me that means it is really good. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy. But isn't opposed to trying new dishes. So if he likes it then the recipe is good.



INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans - you must start with dry, do NOT substitute canned, they will not work!
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
YOU WILL ALSO NEED
  • Food processor, skillet
DIRECTIONS
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that... but don't overprocess, you don't want it turning into hummus!
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.Note: Some people like to add baking soda to the mix to lighten up the texture inside of the falafel balls. I don’t usually add it, since the falafel is generally pretty fluffy on its own. If you would like to add it, dissolve 2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of water and mix it into the falafel mixture after it has been refrigerated.Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.Note: if the balls won't hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won't hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won't hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix. This should fix any issues you are having.
Before frying my first batch of falafel, I like to fry a test one in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.
Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon.
Let them drain on paper towels. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce. You can also stuff them into a pita.Troubleshooting: If your falafel is too hard/too crunchy on the outside, there are two possible reasons-- 1) you didn't process the mixture enough-- return the chickpea mixture to the processor to make it more paste-like. 2) the chickpeas you used were old. Try buying a fresher batch of dried chickpeas next time.
SESAME FALAFEL VARIATION: After forming the balls or patties, dip them in sesame seeds prior to frying. This will make the falafel coating crunchier and give it a slightly nutty flavor.
HERB FALAFEL VARIATION (GREEN FALAFEL): Add ½ cup additional chopped green parsley, or cilantro, or a mixture of the two prior to blending.
TURMERIC FALAFEL (YELLOW FALAFEL): Add ¾ tsp turmeric to the food processor prior to blending.

EGYPTIAN FALAFEL: 
Use 1 lb. dried peeled fava beans instead of chickpeas; cover them with cold water, soak them for at least 24 hours, then drain and rinse. You can also use a mixture of fava beans and chickpeas if you wish; just make sure the weight of the dried beans adds up to 1 lb.After the beans are soaked and rinsed, add the Classic Falafel ingredients to the processor along with the following ingredients – 1 leek, cleaned, trimmed, and quartered; ¼ cup chopped dill; ¼ cup chopped cilantro; and an additional ¾ tsp cayenne pepper. When mixture is processed to a coarse meal, pour into a bowl. Stir 2 ½ tbsp sesame seeds into the mixture with a fork until it’s evenly dispersed throughout the mixture. Refrigerate and proceed with frying. If mixture seems too “wet” when making the falafel balls, add additional flour by the teaspoonful until the mixture sticks together better. Continue with frying.

HOW TO MAKE A FALAFEL PITA: 
Making a falafel pita is actually really simple. The two main ingredients are pita bread and falafel.
Cut the pita bread in half to form two “pockets.” Each pocket is a serving size. Stuff the pocket with falafel, as well as any add-ons you fancy.Here are some traditional add-ons that can be added to your pita; these are the ingredients most widely available at falafel stands throughout Israel:

Tahini sauce Shredded lettuceDiced or sliced tomatoesIsraeli saladOnionsDill picklesHummusTabouliFrench friesHere are some less traditional add-ons that are also tasty:Sprouts Cucumber slices Roasted peppersRoasted eggplant slicesSunflower seedsFeta cheeseYogurtTzatziki


Servings: 30-34 falafels

Monday, April 25, 2016

Twice Baked Casserole




I was trying to use up ingredients from Easter. We had potatoes and ham and I stumbled on this recipe for Twice Baked Potato Casserole. I've heard of it before but never made one. I actually mashed the potatoes instead of baking them before hand and used ham instead of bacon but it was still amazing. It takes a bit of time but the end result is delicious. 



Twice Baked Potato Casserole
 
Ingredients
10 large russet baking potatoes (about 7 pounds total)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 pound mild Cheddar, grated (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
3 eggs, lightly beaten
 
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes well and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels and prick the potatoes in several places with a fork. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
When the potatoes have cooled, cut each potato in half and, using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop the flesh out of the skins, leaving as little flesh as possible. Place the potato flesh in a large bowl and add 1 stick of the butter, the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, and pepper and mash until chunky-smooth. Add the bacon, cubed white Cheddar, half of the grated Cheddar, the green onions, and eggs and mix thoroughly.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole with the remaining tablespoon of butter and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Place the seasoned potato mixture in the prepared casserole and top with the remaining grated Cheddar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and heated through and the cheese on top is melted and lightly golden. Serve hot.

 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Three layer Greek Dip



I made a three layered version of Skinny Taste's 7 Layer Greek Dip.
Prepackaged of red pepper hummus, black olives(not canned) and feta. Served it with mini sweet peppers. Just a little snack for me and the hubby. So good.

Greek 7 Layer Dip
Skinnytaste.com  Ingredients:

8 ounces hummus, store bought or homemade
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp red onion, minced
1 cup English cucumber (about ½ large), ½-inch dice
1 cup Roma tomato, seeded, ½-inch dice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

In an 8”x8” or 7″ x 11″glass dish, layer the hummus, yogurt mixture, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, feta and olives. Serve with whole grain pita chips or baked corn chips.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pierogi Casserole






I love pierogi and I have made them from scratch. Well minus making my own dough. And despite the outcome being amazing, the process is tedious. So when I found a recipe for a pierogi lasagna
I knew I had to try it. The result is as delicious and less labor involving. You can add bacon and ham to it. Or whatever combination you like.

Pierogi Casserole 

Ingredients

5 red skinned potatoes, peeled(optional) and cubed
1/2 cup milk, cream or half and half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste 1
(8 ounce) container sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain, then combine with the milk and 6 tablespoons of butter, mash and set aside. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter for 5 to 10 minutes. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions and cool under running water. Place 1/2 of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top this with 1/3 of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat this with the remaining potatoes, another 1/3 of the cheese and a layer of noodles. Then arrange onion and garlic over the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and finally top all with the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and chopped fresh chives.
 

Monday, March 07, 2016

Quick Sushi





I love Sushi, but after having food poisoning a couple of years ago I haven't eaten any. 
I decided to try my hand at making some "sushi" again. I haven't made any on my own in several years. My husband was very appreciative of it. Skinny Taste has a great recipe for a sushi stack.

Spicy California Shrimp Stack

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (from 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (about 1 small)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium)
  • 4 teaspoons Furikake (such as Eden Shake or use sesame seeds)
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free)
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce


Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and oil.  When rice is done, add rice vinegar and stir.  Evenly spread rice on a sheet pan to cool.

Cut shrimp into 1-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine cucumber and chives. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.

Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoon of avocado, then ¼ of the shrimp, and 1/3 cup rice.  Carefully turn the cup upside down to turn the stack out onto a plate, lightly tapping the bottom of the cup if necessary.  Sprinkle with Furikake and drizzle with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and sriracha mayonnaise.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2015/10/spicy-california-shrimp-stack.html

Monday, February 29, 2016

This is an easy dinner salad recipe to enjoy during the busy work week. It was easy to assemble and I had the ingredients on hand. I changed it around a bit as you will see below. Next time I think I will ribbon some zucchini and slightly saute to add to this dish. 



Noodle Bowl

2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice Noodles
1 Large Carrot, peeled into noodles
1 Cup Kale, finely chopped
½ Avocado
Black Sesame Seeds

Miso Ginger Glaze

2 Tsp Miso Paste
2 Tsp Maple Syrup
Juice from 1 Lime
1 Tbs Tamari
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
1 Tsp - Sized Chunk Fresh Ginger
½ Tsp Sriracha

Instructions

Noodle Bowl


Cook brown rice noodles according to directions. When done cooking, strain the noodles and set aside for later.
Next, prep the veggies. Make carrot noodles by using a spiralizer, vegetable peeler, or even a cheese grater.
Finely chop 1 cup of kale, and set aside.

Miso Ginger Glaze


To make the glaze, combine all ingredients into a high speed blender and mix until smooth and creamy. If the glaze is too watery, add a little bit of miso and maple syrup to thicken. If the glaze is too thick, add water in small increments to thin.

Assemble


In a large bowl, mix brown rice noodles, carrot noodles, and kale with the glaze, until everything is evenly coated. Serve in bowls with avocado slices, topped with black sesame seeds.
Enjoy!

Notes
Note - the original recipe called for soba noodles, but brown rice noodles are my favorite! However, I bet soba noodles would still be amazing.



http://wellandfull.com/2015/09/brown-rice-carrot-noodles-w-miso-ginger-glaze-from-this-rawsome-vegan-cookbook

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cherry Almond Bars




I was going to a friends house for dinner and I wanted to bring dessert. I knew I had a can of cherry preserves I never got to use. I searched the web for a bit where I found the recipe for Stacy Snacks. I love a dessert recipe with almond in it. It was quick to make and so very good. A winner.
adapted from 

Cherry Almond Bars


1 cup shortening
1 cup Truvia Baking Blend or 2 cups sugar(I used brown sugar)
3 cups flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

Almond Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 15x10 jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray
Combine shortening and Truvia Baking Blend and mix until creamed together
Add flour, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and salt, combine well
Press about ¾ of dough into prepared pan
Spread on cherry pie filling
Dot with remaining dough
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown
Cool about 15 minutes
Drizzle with Almond Glaze, cut into bars to serve

Notes
These bar cookies also freeze well. Wrap in plastic and freeze in airtight container.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Meatball sub casserole



I found a recipe for a meatball hero casserole. There are countless recipes on the internet for it.

I had meatballs I made from scratch using turkey meatballs. But you can purchase premade ones as well. I also used a store brand biscuit. It was so quick and easy to make. Plus delicious. I recommend it for anytime you need a quick meal and don't want to cook. Or for a sports themed party. 

Monday, February 08, 2016

Healthy Zucchini Soft "Taco" Shells

I never planned on not posting for the fall of 2015. I let just life get in the way and I was in a bit of a cooking slump. I was using recipes I had over and over. Nothing new captured my eye. And though I can't promise I will post three times a week, I will try. This recipe is for tortilla shell made out of zucchini. Yes you heard right. And it was so good. I am still testing the recipe out to make it the right texture for me I very much enjoyed the flavors. Especially with fish and shrimp. It is a healthier alternative.



Healthy Zucchini Soft "Taco" Shells

Ingredients
4 cups  zucchini, coarsely grated
1 large egg
1/2 cup (120ml) grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (60ml) bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove as much moisture as you can from the zucchini. Add zucchini to large bowl and mix in remainder of the taco shell ingredients (egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and cumin). Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or oven proof baking mat. Scoop about ¼ cup of mixture and press down on baking pan into a thin circle, about 5” wide. Repeat for remainder of mixture. Bake shells for about 25 minutes, or until the shells look “crisp’ and brown around the edges. We like to bake the shells a little longer for a more charred texture and flavor. Just be careful to not bake too long or else the shells dry out and are hard to peel off. After zucchini soft taco shells are cool, gently peel them off the parchment paper.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Bacon Fest

I went to my first show ever with my best friend. She is a foodie with great taste. And it was for one of my favorite foods, bacon. Bacon Fest!! The amount of vendors was amazing. We tried a large variety of food and bacon goes well with everything. If you have the chance to go to a food festival I highly recommend it. 








Friday, August 28, 2015

Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic



This Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic pizza
is fantastic and pretty much makes itself. It's so flavorful and healthy. 

Sauté the mushrooms, shallots and garlic, add on top naan bread or a store-bought pizza crust and top with ricotta and parmesan and bake. You and your family have an easy weeknight meal!

Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic 

Makes 6-8 Slices of Pizza

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake and baby bella)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ready-made pizza crust (I used a 7 ounce Stonefire Artisan Flatbread)
6 tablespoons part-skim ricotta
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced or snipped with scissors
1-2 handfuls wild or baby arugula
2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic
2-3 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F with a pizza stone on the bottom rack if you have one (you want the pizza stone to heat up with the oven).
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallot begins to soften. Add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are well browned, about 7-10 minutes.
Place pizza crust on top of a pizza peel or wooden cutting board. Top crust with mushroom mixture and spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch border around the outer edges. Dot with ricotta and sprinkle Parmesan and chives over top.
Transfer pizza to the preheated pizza stone (or a baking sheet, if you're using that instead) and bake for 5-6 minutes (8-9 minutes without the pizza stone).
Remove pizza from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Scatter wild arugula over top and drizzle with aged balsamic and olive oil. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH BROCCOLI PUREE






Please don't be scared off by the steps for roasted vegetables with broccoli puree. It was super easy to make and oh so delicious. I only added garlic to the broccoli puree to make it a bit more flavorful. And I love garlic., This makes a great side dish or even a main dish. My meat loving hubby even really liked it.

ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH BROCCOLI PUREE

INGREDIENTS

Broccoli Puree

3 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese {optional - omit if you want dairy free or paleo recipe}

Roasted Vegetables

16 ounces fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
10 asparagus spears, cut into 1” pieces
4 ounces mushroom blend {crimini, shiitake & oyster} sliced thin
4 tablespoons of olive oil. divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Roasted Vegetables:

Preheat oven 400°
Line baking sheets with foil.
In a large bowl combine mushrooms and asparagus plus 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat and pour out onto one end of baking sheet.
In another bowl combine brussels sprouts and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and pour onto opposite side of baking sheet
Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper and give the pan a shake to wiggle your vegetables and settle the salt and pepper.
Roast mushrooms and asparagus for 20 minutes, remove pan and scoop into a large bowl. Return brussels sprouts for an additional 10 minutes until browning, a total of 30 minutes.
Remove and toss in bowl with mushrooms and asparagus.

Broccoli Puree:

Meanwhile in a stock pot bring 1” of water to boil. Add broccoli spears and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add ½ of the broccoli to processor, process till smooth. While running add ¼ cup of olive oil, lemon zest, salt and parmesan cheese {optional}.
Toss remaining broccoli spears with brussels sprout mix and set aside.
When ready to serve spoon broccoli puree into bowl and top with a large serving of roasted vegetable mix. Serve and enjoy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Korean Barbecued Beef





I love Korean BBQ like so much. I can't even tell you. I could eat Korean cuisine every night for diner I would be so happy. I made this Korean dish as it originally calls grilled but I also put it in the crockpot and let it cook on high for 2.5 hours and it was awesome too.  The meat fell apart. Serve it with rice and your stomach is in yummy town. Give this Slower Cooker Korean BBQ a try.

Korean Barbecued Beef

Makes 2 generous servings
For the marinade:
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 green onions, white and light green parts only, minced (reserve ends for garnish)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 pound flank steak, cut into 1/8-inch slices against the grain

For the finished dish:
Neutral cooking oil, such as canola, for grilling
Cooked white rice, to serve (see Recipe Note)

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a mixing bowl and transfer to a sealable plastic bag. Add the beef slices, press any excess air out of the bag, and seal. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight.

Heat a large griddle or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a silicone brush, generously brush oil on the pan and wait until it is sizzling. Working in batches if necessary, sear the meat until deep-brown grill marks form on one side. Flip and continue cooking until caramelized and cooked through, 30 seconds to a minute. Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds and serve with cooked white rice.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Skillet Tater Tot Casserole (No Condensed Soup!)






I made my fair share of Tater Tot Casserole. My husband is a meat and potatoes guy. These days we eat more veggies, less meat and carbs. But if I let us indulge this is a fave. So I was happy to find this Skillet Tater Tot Casserole from Iowa Girl eats. The recipe is very adaptable. So one can make this dish with all veggies, or ground turkey, or you can make the tater tots from cauliflower or another veg. Omit the cheese or a use a vegan cheese. It's all tasty.

Skillet Tater Tot Casserole

serves 4-5

Ingredients

1lb ground beef
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons gluten-free or all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 Tablespoons gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2lb bag tater tots (not extra crispy)

Directions

Preheat oven according to tater tot bag instructions. Brown ground beef in a very large, oven-proof skillet (at least 10" - cast iron works great) seasoning with salt and pepper over medium-high heat. Drain then set aside.
Turn heat down to medium, melt butter in skillet, and then add mushrooms and shallots. Season with salt and pepper then saute until mushrooms start to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute. Sprinkle in flour then whisk to combine and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stream in chicken broth and milk a splash at a time, whisking to avoid lumps. Add tamari/soy sauce, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and smoked paprika, turn heat up slightly to bring mixture to a bubble, then turn heat back down to medium and simmer until just slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat then stir in ground beef and arrange tater tots on top. Place skillet on top of a baking sheet (or place one on the rack below) then bake according to tater tot bag instructions. Let sit and thicken for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Homemade Cheeseburger Helper

For a while when I was newly married, my husband and I really enjoyed Hamburger Helper. It didn't matter if it was the national or store brand. We enjoyed all the varieties of it.  So I was please to find a Homemade Cheeseburger Helper from Iowa Girl Eats. This recipe is so delicious and easy to make. A real find!

Homemade Cheeseburger Helper

Ingredients

1lb lean ground beef
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup hot water
2 cups skim milk
1-1/2 cups dry gluten-free or regular elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet or pot. Drain and return to pan.
Add in cornstarch, seasonings, hot water, skim milk and pasta. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, place a lid on top, and simmer until pasta is al dente, stirring a couple of times.
Turn off the heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.