Red Beans and Rice

What’s red about Red Beans and Rice.  In this recipe it’s the red beans, tomato paste and chili powder.  And for a red hot taste, you can add a sizable pinch of crushed red pepper.

Most of the ingredients in this effortless mouthwatering recipe are already in your cupboard and won’t require an extra trip to the supermarket, making it a handy dish to fix on days when you’re extra busy or in a hurry.

Ingredients…

3/4-cup uncooked brown rice

1/2-cup diced onion (fresh or frozen)

1/2-cup diced green bell pepper (fresh or frozen)

3 ounces tomato paste (half a 6-oz. can; freeze the rest for later use)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil)

1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano)

1/2-teaspoon sea salt

hefty pinch of crushed red pepper

15.5 ounce can of red beans (black beans may be substituted)

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions…

1. Bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil over high heat.

2. Stir in the rice, onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, chili powder, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and crushed red pepper.

3. Cover saucepan tightly and reduce heat to lowest setting. Cook for 40 minutes without removing the lid.

4. Stir in beans and black pepper and heat 8-10 minutes.

5. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

With all the herbs and spices, very little salt is needed and sea salt is saltier than regular powdered salt. Fresh basil and oregano may be used in place of the dried.  (Note:  While dried herbs are added at the beginning of the cooking, fresh should be chopped and added at the same time as the beans and black pepper.)

This vegetarian dish is delicious and nutritionally balanced. For those who want their meat fix, cook and season lean ground beef and add it to the beans and rice just before serving.

Red Beans and Rice is only slightly spicy hot. If you appreciate more of a taste kick, add more crushed red pepper and/or chili powder. Serve with plain Greek yogurt and bias-sliced bananas for a complementary, cooling taste.

Source:

  1. Red beans and rice
  2. Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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Recipes Vegetarian Lasagna

As a strict vegetarian with very little time on her hands, I am always on the lookout for quick and easy low-fat vegetarian recipes. I adapted this easy, healthy lasagna recipe from a recipe I found in a coupon booklet. I like it particularly, because it removes the time-consuming step of boiling the lasagna noodles.

You can use any vegetables you like for this recipe. However, I like frozen spinach and raw garlic the best. Other ideas include sliced eggplant, zucchini and summer squash. I have even made it with corn, carrots, peas and green beans in a pinch when I didn’t have my favorite vegetables on hand. The recipe is very flexible, so go ahead and take any liberties you like with the vegetable layer. I also like serving extra non-starchy vegetables with the meal. I’ve also found that the Wal-Mart ricotta cheese is dramatically less expensive than other brands, and is well worth the trip. This recipe makes great left overs. I eat a hot lunch every day because of all the leftover vegetarian lasagna I end up with every Wednesday night.

No-Boil Whole Wheat Vegetarian Lasagna

8 ounces uncooked whole wheat lasagna (Ronzoni Healthy Harvest is a good brand)
1 15 ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 26 ounce jars pasta sauce
1 pound or more fresh or frozen vegetables
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the ricotta cheese with the eggs in a separate bowl. Layer some pasta sauce on the bottom of your pan. I use Wal-Mart brand mushroom and green pepper sauce, since I have found this to be the best value. Then layer half of the noodles (about a quarter of the package of lasagna noodles), then layer with half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Place your vegetables in a layer on top of this, then layer with more pasta sauce. Repeat the layering, placing the next layer of lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, vegetables and pasta sauce. Top with the cup of mozzarella.

Then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for one hour, covered. Then remove the aluminum foil, and bake uncovered for fifteen minutes longer at 350 degrees. Allow the recipe to cool for fifteen minutes before serving.

Source:

  1. Hearty Vegetable Lasagna Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Fresh Vegetable Lasagna Recipe | MyRecipes.com

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Recipes Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of my favorite foods. It is good to take as a covered dish to a dinner party or just for a Sunday meal. The best thing about potato salad it is not hard to make and your family will love it. Here is how it is all put together.

10-12 baking potatoes peeled and diced

1 cup mayo

1 cup sourcream

1/2 cup onion

1/2 cup bel pepper

1/2 cup sweet salad pickles

1/4 cup spicy brown mustard

salt and pepper to taste

6 boiled eggs diced

paprika to garnish top

Cook potatoes until tender (do not over cook) .

Saute onion and peppers in butter for about 3 minutes.

In large mixing bowl add cooked potatoes, mayo, sour cream, onion, peppers, pickles, eggs, salt, pepper, and mustard and mix well. Taste to see if it is seasoned well. If you need to add more salt or pepper do so according to your taste. Pour in a serving dish garnish the top with paprika; chill and serve.

Now you see how simple this recipe is. Anybody can do it. It has been a great family side dish for many years and I hope your family loves it.

Source:

  1. Potato Salad Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. Creamy Potato Salad recipe from Betty Crocker

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Recipes Bread Rolls

Granny’s Rolls

1 package dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
4 cups self-rise flour (I use White Lily)
cup sugar (I use splenda)
cup Smart Balance Oil
1 egg

Mix yeast, water, and flour together in a bowl. Add sugar or splenda, oil, and egg. Put in greased muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

These rolls are awesome tasting! The wonderful thing about them is you do not have to let them rise. So, you can make them for dinner during the week or breakfast on Saturday (which is when I like to make them) and not spend hours in the kitchen kneading and rising bread. I don’t know why they are called Granny’s rolls; I call them Busy Mom’s Rolls!

Source:

  1. French Bread Rolls to Die For Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Recipes: Bread – Rolls, bagels, pretzels – King Arthur Flour

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Recipes Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low fat cooking does not mean you have to be deprived of desserts. The trick to reducing fat in your diet is to think smart and use healthier alternatives to fats. Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe that has very little fat as applesauce is used instead of butter or margarine. The only source will come from the mini-chocolate chips. The dough turns out a little different from traditional Toll House cookie dough, but once cooked, they still taste great!

Chocolate chip cookies, Low Fat Recipe
Yield:
2 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg white
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparation:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sugars, applesauce, vanilla, and egg white in
large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before you try to remove them from the cookie sheet.

If you really want to have a higher fiber cookie, you can use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. They will come out a little crumblier but will have a fuller flavor. You can also substitute carob for the chocolate chips, as carob too is high in fiber. Carob is naturally sweeter than cocoa, however when being processed as a confection, butter fat and milk are added just as they are to cocoa when turned into chocolate. Cocoa (chocolate) has a slight stimulating effect whereas carob does not. One of the advantages of cocoa is the flavonoids -antioxidants – that protect the body against free radical damage. Another is the fact that cocoa promotes production of endorphins, which contain phenylethylamine the body’s “euphoric” drug, which is why chocolate gives us a good feeling.

Either way, these cookies are delicious at about 82 calories each. Whip some up and enjoy!

Source:

  1. The Ultimate Healthy Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | Amy's …
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe | MyRecipes.com

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Recipes Barbecue Sauce

Barbeque sauce is one of the easiest sauces to make and you can easily adjust your liquid ingredients to make the consistency of the sauce just the way you like it whether it be medium or extra thick.

Ingredients

1 – 8 ounce can of tomato sauce 1 – 6 ounce can of tomato paste (use 4 ounces for thinner sauce) 2 Tablespoons of Worchester sauce 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 1 Tablespoon of onion powder 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder 1 Tablespoon of dry mustard 1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper 1 Tablespoon of honey 1 tablespoon of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on low heat until it starts to boil then simmer for 20 minutes. After it cools put the sauce in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator.

This sauce is great for marinading meat, grilling and even as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders.

Source:

  1. Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipes : Food Network
  2. Neely's BBQ Sauce Recipe : Food Network

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Recipes Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

Summer brings out the best of fruits and vegetables, the least of which is blueberries. This powerhouse of antioxidants becomes abundant during late spring and early summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Center indicates that blueberries are at the top in antioxidant benefits along with the acai berry, compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help deactivate damaging “free radicals” that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases. This recipe uses applesauce in place of fat thereby making it a truly fat free muffin. Using whole wheat increases the fiber in your diet, which helps with the elimination process from your innards.

Fat Free Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh washed and de-stemmed blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place paper liners in your muffin tin. In a small bowl mix the bran and milk; set aside for a minimum of ten minutes. In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, egg, sugar, and vanilla. Add the bran mixture and blend well. Using a sifter, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until all dry ingredients are moist. Spoon into the muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Each muffin is 100 calories, 0.7 g fat, 23.1 g carbohydrates, 4.2 g fiber, 3.6 g protein.

These delicious muffins will leave you guilt free when you serve them to your family, friends and guests.

Source:

  1. Best 100 Calorie Blueberry Muffins Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Skinny Blueberry Muffins – Averie Cooks

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Recipe for Chicken Vindaloo

Curry is one of my favorite dishes to cook, although I must admit that my husband can cook a better curry than me now. Here is a recipe we use when cooking Chicken Vindaloo. Depending on what spices we have in the cupboard, we tend to adapt the recipe when necessary. The dish doesn’t take too long to prepare and beautiful aromas fill the kitchen when cooking this meal.

First the marinade.

I teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
Good pinch of ground turmeric
3 cloves of garlic chopped (you can add more or less depending on your own taste)
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 teaspoon of salt (sea salt if possible)
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
Half a cup of malt vinegar
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
300ml/10fl oz of water

Other ingredients

500gm of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
(cubed)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil
1 onion sliced
1 large potato (cubed)
2 Green Thai Chillies
6 Fresh Curry leaves(these are optional but I do find they give a subtle flavour)

Before you start cooking you have to make the marinade. In a large baking dish, any sort will do, put together all the ingredients for the marinade. Stir so they all blend together. Add the cubed chicken and make sure it has been tossed in the marinade so that the pieces are covered. Place in the fridge for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Prepare a wok by heating the oil to medium heat. Fry the onion and curry leaves (or paste and powder). Fry until onions are soft usually for only about a minute. Reduce heat and then add chicken and marinade. Fry for 2 minutes then add the potato. Cover the wok and simmer for about 10 minutes or until potato is cooked and chicken is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the chilies.

This amount serves 4 and it can be served with basmati rice or Nan bread.

You will find that it is quite hot but delicious. Enjoy!

Source:

  1. Vindaloo
  2. Chicken Vindaloo Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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Recipes Grits

What is the absolute best way to cook grits? The answer may surprise you, even if you’ve lived in the South all your life.

The most important tip – never use “instant” grits. The texture will always be too runny or too thick. Quick cooking grits are the way to go. Stone ground if you can find it, but if not, the brand on your supermarket shelf (like Quaker) will do.

To make enough grits for two portions as a side dish, or a generous portion as a main dish, first bring 1 2/3 cups water to a boil. Add a good pinch of salt. When the water has reached a running boil, add 1/3 cup grits. Stir. Turn heat to a low simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The instructions on a typical package will tell you the grits will be cooked in 5-7 minutes, but the longer the grits cook, the creamier the finished product will be.

Be careful not to allow the grits to scorch when they begin to thicken. Once the grits have cooked for 15 minutes, check the texture. It should be nicely thick and creamy, not too dry or too runny. If too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until desired texture is achieved; cook for 1 minutes longer. If too wet, continue cooking until desired texture is achieved.

Once the grits have cooked, stir in 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. At this point, you can also add cooked bacon pieces, cooked diced ham, an ounce or two of grated cheese or other flavorings, or you can eat the grits just the way they are. For a true Southern treat, serve with a fried egg on top.

As a final tip, if you need to make more or less grits, simply remember the following: the proportion of water to grits is always 5 to 1 – five parts water to 1 part grits. With that proportion in mind, you can easily reduce or increase the basic recipe.

Source:

  1. Grits Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. Grits Recipes : Food Network

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Recipe Sauteed Sweetbanana Peppers

This summer was the first time I’ve ever planted banana peppers and needless to say, I was very impressed with their performance in my garden. My plants produced so many of these taste light green peppers, that I started to saute them almost daily. If your a big fan of sweet banana peppers like I am, then you should try the recipe I’ve listed below. It’s quick to put together and it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. In this recipe I prefer to saute the peppers whole.

Ingredients;

Sweet banana peppers

Extra virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large frying pan, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat the oil over medium heat. After the oil is heated add the sweet peppers whole and saute them over medium heat. Half way through the cooking process, add the chopped garlic cloves. After the peppers are soft and able to Peirce easily with a fork, add some salt and pepper to taste and they’re ready to serve. You can use sauteed sweet banana peppers in salads, sandwiches or as a side dish with any main dish.

Source:

  1. Recipe: Sauteed Green Beans with Peppers and Tomatoes – Greatist
  2. Betty's Thin Batter Deep-Fried Sweet Banana Peppers – YouTube

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