Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Crisp

A few weekends ago, when I visited my mother-in-law, not only did she teach me how to make applesauce using a food mill, she also showed me how to make her version of apple crisp. We made it together and it was so amazing. I brought this recipe home and made it for my cousin's wedding rehearsal dinner and for my family in general. Everyone loves this recipe and my mom specifically asked for me to put the recipe here. Now, as mentioned, lately my recipes have been catered to fit her pre-diabetic diet. I will list the original recipe and the substitutions I use for my mom to make it little healthier. Of course, the best way to serve apple crisp is warmly out of the oven with a dollop of vanilla ice cream! Happy fall!

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter (1/2 cup for a healthier dessert)
  • 3/4 cup flour (whole wheat for healthier version)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (don't use quick oats for a healthier version)
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples
  3. Slice the butter into about 1/2 inch slices
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the apples
  5. Cut butter into the other ingredients or just put your hands into the mixture and squeeze the butter into small pellets with the dry ingredients. Eventually the topping will combine well.
  6. Layer the sliced apple pieces on the bottom of an 9x13 pan
  7. Sprinkle the topping over the apples
  8. Place into oven for 45 minutes
  9. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream




Monday, October 8, 2012

Old fashioned applesauce


This is a food mill
This is the season where it's apple everything! Apple crisp, applesauce, apple pie, you name it. A few weeks ago, I went apple picking with my mom and aunt. We bought some cortland, fuji, and MacIntosh apples. It was fun and took quite a while picking 3 half bushels of each! So far, I have made two apple crisps (recipe to come later) and applesauce. I got quite excited because recently my mother-in-law gave me her old food mill. I had never seen anything like it before and when we made applesauce together, I loved the process much better than the other way which includes peeling and coring apples before cooking them. So, this is the process of how to make applesauce using a food mill. The benefit of using a food mill is you get more nutrition out of the apples since you cook the apples with their skins on.
Use about 8-10 apples which yields about 6 cups of applesauce
 Step 1: Take a large pot and fill the bottom with water. Take care to cover just the bottom of the pot with water about 1/4 inch deep. Put the pot over low heat.

Step 2: Meanwhile, quarter 8-10 apples leaving the skins on and the cores inside.
Step 2: quartered apples
 Step 3: Add the quartered apples to the pot and cover. Allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes. The water should be boiling at the bottom. You will notice the water amount increasing from the apples. When the majority of the apple has separated from the skins, you are ready to use your food mill.
This pot of apples is ready to start using the food mill
Step 4: Add the apples to the food mill and place over a bowl to catch the applesauce. Crank the handle clockwise. When it seems the apples are sticking and need to get moved, crank counter clockwise. When the only stuff left in the food mill are apple peels and apple seeds, dump them in the garbage and add more cooked apples to the food mill. Continue this process until all of the cooked apples have been turned into applesauce.

Step 4: apples inside the food mill over a bowl
Collecting the apple peels on top of the blade. You can begin to see the applesauce in the bowl at the bottom.

Completed bowl of applesauce: 8-10 apples yield approximately 6 cups of applesauce

Delicious bowl of applesauce topped with cinnamon
You can add some cinnamon to your tasting. I don't think sugar is necessary with the food mill. Some people tend to add some lemon juice to prevent the applesauce from turning an unappetizing flavor, but I don't do this.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegetarian Jumbalaya

This recipe came to me by way of pinterest, the new, cool way to find recipes! I changed up only a few ingredients to make this a pre-diabetic friendly recipe for my mom. The original comes from this blogger here. I think the recipe was good for my mom because she does not like spicy food. If I were making this for my husband, I would up the chili powder to make it spicier. The picture you are seeing is my mom's beautiful handiwork. She made this recipe all on her own (and for any new cooks out there, that's telling you that you could do it, too!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 okra stalks, cleaned and chopped OR one cup frozen okra
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (might I recommend Full Circle Organic Vegetable broth - it is more expensive than regular broth, but it has significantly less sodium than other vegetable broths - 570 mg for 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (up this if you like spicy!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, pepper, carrot, celery, garlic, and fresh okra and cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large casserole dish. Cover and cook for about 45 -60 minutes, or until all rice is cooked and broth is absorbed.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Split Pea Soup



I told my mom that I really wanted to make her split pea soup because it's really low-fat and healthy for you. She responded with "how do you make split pea soup without a hambone"? Of course, I responded easily, you just don't add the hambone :) In all seriousness, I love split pea soup and I have never had it with the hambone. This recipe is adapted from the New Moosewood Cookbook. I liked it because according to this book, this soup is fat-free and that's key for my mom's diet!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups dry split peas
  • about 7 cups of water (more, as needed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 4-5 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Topping (optional):
  • fresh, ripe tomato, diced
  • freshly minced parsley
Method:

1. Place split peas, water, bay leaf, and salt in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat as much as possible to simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes.

2. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and sweet potato. Partially cover, and leave it to simmer for about 40 minutes with occasional stirring. If necessary, add more water.

3. Add black pepper and vinegar, to taste. Serve topped with diced tomato and minced parsley.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Asian Stir Fried Rice

This meal is a quick and easy dish that never fails on tasting great! The key ingredient to making this taste so good is using full sodium soy sauce. I do not recommend using the reduced sodium flavors, it will ruin the taste of this dish. I always use the Kikkoman  brand flavor when I make this dish. I prefer a type of soy sauce that I am unable to find in America, but Kikkoman is definitely the closest thing to it. I think that in terms of soy sauce flavor, I would discourage you from buying the La Choy soy sauce, I find the flavor to not be the best to cook with. Enjoy the dish!

Ingredients:


  • 3 cups cooked white rice (1 cup uncooked rice, leftover rice works well in this dish, brown rice can be substitued if you are unable to eat white rice)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup peas, cooked
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
Method:
  1. Cook rice according to instructions on package
  2. Boil the carrots and peas until soft
  3. Stir fry the garlic, onions, and ginger in hot oil until cooked
  4. Add the cooked rice, peas, carrots, and soy sauce to the onion mixture and mix well
  5. When the rice is fried a little and all ingredients are warm, make 3-4 holes in the middle of the rice mixture. Add the beaten eggs to the holes
  6. When the eggs begin to cook, stir the egg into the ingredients. Allow mixture to sit and then stir about every 25 seconds to ensure the egg is being cooked throughout the dish
  7. If the eggs are completed cooked, the meal is ready to be served

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