Thursday, September 29, 2011

Multigrain Cheerios Snack Mix

From Eat Better America.

My two-year old helped me make this snack mix, and I swear we ate half of it right after it was done cooling.  It's that yummy.  Plus it's extremely easy to make, which is always a plus!
Prep: 15 min / Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 cups

1 egg white
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups Multigrain Cheerios cereal
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 300F.  Lightly grease cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, beat egg white on high speed until foamy; beat in salt.  Gradually beat in brown sugar until thick and glossy.  Gently stir in cinnamon, cereal, and pecans until completely coated.  Spread as thinly as possible on cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set.  Immediately remove from hot cookie sheet to a cold cookie sheet or large pan.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.  Break into pieces.  Store in airtight container.

- Next time I may either leave the salt out or cut it in half.  It's not that the snack was overly salty--I just try to cut out salt whenever possible.
- Not sure what to do with that leftover egg yolk?  Head over to "The Chewy" and make Alton Brown's delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

From Better Recipes.

Matt has always claimed to dislike spaghetti squash.  Until we tried this recipe.  He liked it enough to say that I should make it again sometime.
Serves 4-6.

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Black pepper

Cut the squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds.  Rub the inside of the squash with olive oil.  Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet.  Bake in 350F oven about 30 minutes or until tender; let cool.

Use a fork to rake out the stringy squash pulp into a large bowl.  Add cheese, nuts, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer squash mixture to a greased baking dish.  Bake for 25-30 minutes more or until heated through.

- There's usually a sticker with cooking directions attached the the squash sold at grocery stores.  I didn't want to wait for it to cook in the oven and cooked it in the microwave (per sticker instructions) instead without the oil.
- I was in a hurry and didn't let my squash cool (I handled it with an oven mitt while I scraped out the inside).  No problems.

Quick Fettuccine Cacciatore

From Kraft Food & Family (Spring 2006).
Prep: 10 min / Cook: 15 min
Serves: 4-6

8 oz fettuccine, uncooked
2 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup sliced green or red bell peppers
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta as directed on package.  Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink.  Add peppers; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in tomatoes, mushrooms, and dressing.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Toss pasta with chicken mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

- I chose to use no-salt added tomatoes and pureed them slightly.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cauliflower "Mac 'n Cheese"

Adapted from People (13 June 2011, page 118).

I'm on a mission to find yummy recipes using vegetables my husband doesn't think he likes.  This recipe was on the back of another recipe given to him by a friend at school.  We agreed that this way of eating cauliflower is delicious (though possibly not super healthful).  My two-year old gobbled it down, as well.
Serves 6 to 8.

8 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss florets in oil on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.  Roast until fork-tender and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Reduce oven to 350F.

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk.  SImmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, 2 to 4 minutes.  Whisk in half-and-half and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and all but 2 Tbs. of the cheese.  Stir over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.

Place cauliflower in an 8x8" glass baking dish or four 10-oz ramekins.  Pour cheese sauce on top.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbs. cheese.  Bake until sauce is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

- My picture is deceiving when it comes to the sauce.  The original recipe indicates that 1 head of cauliflower will give you 8 cups of florets, but the ones at my grocery store only gave me about 4 cups.  By the time I realized that, it was a bit late to halve the sauce.  Oh well.  Still good, just had too much sauce.
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