Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spinach Pancakes

From: Weelicious

I made these pancakes for Piper this week.  She loves them.  I tried to get SJ to eat them, too, by telling her they were Hulk pancakes, but she was having none of it.  I ate a few, too.  :)


  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In a blender, combine the spinach, buttermilk, egg, and oil and blend until smooth. 
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. 
3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. 
4. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat and grease with butter or oil. 
5. Pour about 1 tablespoon of the pancake mixture onto the griddle, making as many pancakes as will fit and cook for 2 minutes. 
6. Flip the pancakes and cook for one minute longer and serve.
*Mixture can also be used in a waffle iron following manufacturers directions.

Monday, March 30, 2015

crockpot turkey chili

I've been refining this for a while now to make it easier and easier, and I think I've finally gotten there... loosely based on this recipe.

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken sausage, or a blend of the two
  • green/red/yellow bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained, plus a chopped fresh tomato or two if you have some to use up
  • some beans, equaling about two cans -- black, kidney, white, pinto, whatever
  •  2 c reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • a bag of frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder and/or a couple adobo chiles with some sauce
  • pepper, cumin, garlic powder
In a large nonstick skillet, cook the turkey, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add all spices.

Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker. Stir in everything else.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, etc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lemony French Lentil Salad

This was another "Clean Eating" recipe that I tried a few weeks ago and really liked.  It wasn't as good after a day or two when all the dressing was absorbed and it kind of lost some of the lemony zing.  It would be better eaten the day it's made, I think.  So, this would be a good dish to take to a pot luck where everything is going to be eaten that day.   Or, just make more dressing and drizzle some more on the next day to revive it.  It was a good lunch, though, and I will make it again.   Oh, and I used the pre-cooked French Lentils (the black ones) from TJ's instead of cooking green lentils, because I always overcook my lentils and end up with mush.


  • 2 cups dry green lentils,
  • 1 can of chickpeas , rinsed, drained
  • 1 bunch of radishes, chopped or sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional, thyme leaves loosely packed, discard stems)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Garlic 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons’ worth)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Put the lentils, salt, garlic and bay leaf in a medium pot in 3 cups water and bring just to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and allow the lentils to simmer for 30- 40 minutes, or until softened all the way through, adding water as they cook if necessary.
  • Cool lentils to room temperature then place in the refrigerator until chilled.
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the lentils, chickpeas, radishes and herbs. Drizzle in the dressing and toss to combine. Serve with avocado, crumbled cheese or fresh greens if you'd like.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

This is one of the recipes that I was given when I signed up for a "Clean Eating Challenge Group" awhile back.  I liked it the first time, so I'm making it again!  The first time I followed the recipe as written.  This time I only had one can of diced tomatoes, so I added one can of crushed tomatoes as well.  I know that it will come out saucier than last time, but the flavor should be about the same.  I'm also starting with frozen chicken thighs this time, so I'm sure it will take longer to cook.  

·         4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
·         2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
·         1 medium onion thinly sliced (Not chopped)
·         4 garlic cloves
·         1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (for gluten-free use White Balsamic Vinegar which doesn't have caramel coloring)
·         1 tbsp. olive oil
·         1 tsp each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
·         1/2 tsp thyme
·         ground black pepper and salt to taste

Pour the olive oil on bottom of slow cooker, add chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast, put sliced onion on top of chicken then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves. Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes.
Cook on high 4 hours, serve over Whole Wheat angel hair pasta OR spaghetti squash. Enjoy!

Friday, March 06, 2015

spinach tortellini soup

This was good, and it relies entirely on pantry staples...

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz frozen artichoke hearts [[I didn't have and substituted an elderly sliced leek]]
64 oz vegetable broth [[I didn't need use this much]]
2 (14 oz) cans cannellini or Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained [[I used homemade ones that I made in the oven, plus a lot of their extra liquid]]
3 cups cheese tortellini (refrigerated or frozen) [[I used one package of TJ's frozen spinach tortellini]]
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup basil pesto
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving, optional


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the artichoke hearts and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, beans, tortellini, and spinach leaves. Cook until tortellini is soft, about 7 minutes.
2. Stir in the basil pesto and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve warm with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Note-you can also use jarred or canned artichoke hearts, just drain before using.

Friday, February 27, 2015

dried beans in the oven

This is possible! And easy and good!

If you're just doing straight beans, no recipe:
  • Preheat the oven to 325. 
  • Put the beans in a large, ovenproof pot. Cover with water and heat on the stove until the water is hot.
  • Take the pot and pop it in the oven for an hour.
  • After an hour, add a little salt and stir. Back into the oven for 20-30 minutes.

And the first recipe in this LA Times story has good suggestions for seasoning and other recipes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

roast chicken

I keep tweaking the way I roast chicken, and I reinvent the wheel every time when I can't remember what oven temperature to use and how long it should bake etc. etc., so I'm writing it down here. (This is the recipe I always look at online but don't follow exactly.)

Oven at 425.

Chop a bunch of veggies -- carrots, onion, potatoes, celery, fennel -- and spread them in a single layer in a 9x13 glass dish. Add in many sprigs of thyme. Toss with salt, pepper, olive oil.

Wash the chicken (ideally about 4 lb.) inside and out. Place it with drumsticks down in the dish. Cut a lemon in half and put it inside the chicken along with more sprigs of thyme. Melt 2 T butter or Earth Balance and pour it over the chicken. More salt and pepper.

Put it in the oven for 55 minutes, then check to make sure top isn't burning. Back in for 25 more minutes and check temp inside. When it's 170, it's done!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

mushroom pasta bake

A variation of Smitten Kitchen's mushroom marsala pasta bake (varied largely because I had some open red wine and not marsala)...

Prep time: 30 minutes, tops
Cook time: 30 minutes, tops

Servings: 4 really generous or 6 slightly more moderate ones [[I doubled and it fit into two medium-sized glass dishes. I froze one.]]

1/2 pound (8 ounces or 225 grams) pasta of you choice, such as a ziti or twisty shape

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

3/4 pounds (340 grams) fresh mushroom, sliced [[when I doubled this, I used two boxes of the sliced mushrooms from TJ's -- one white button and one portobello]]

1 small-to-medium yellow onion, halved and sliced thin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup (60 ml) dry marsala wine [[I used pinot noir]]

3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter

3 tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups (355 ml) stock or broth (chicken, vegetable or mushroom)

1/2 cup (50 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese

4 ounces (115 grams) mozzarella, cut into small cubes

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley [[I omitted]]

bread crumbs for the top [[I added]]

A tip: If we play our cards right here, this can be made entirely in one dish. I used a 4-quart Staub braiser (Happy Hanukah to me!) but any 3-to-4 quart stovetop-to-oven type dish will work.

Cook the pasta: Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.

Heat oven: To 400 degrees.

Make the sauce: Reheat your empty pasta pot over high heat. Add oil and once it is hot, add mushrooms and cook until they’ve begun to brown and glisten, but have not yet released their liquid. Reduce heat to medium-high, add onions, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until it has almost or fully evaporated (depending on your preference). Add butter, stir until melted. Add flour, and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed. Add stock, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/mushroom mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all stock has been added. Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat.

Assemble and bake dish: If you’re cooking in an ovensafe dish, add cooked pasta and stir until combined. (If you’re not cooking in an ovensafe dish, transfer this mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.) Stir in half the parmesan, all of the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the parsley until evenly mixed. Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs, and spritz with olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.