Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cabbage Roll Casserole

I bought cabbage last weekend with the thought that I can chop it up and add it to a salad.  None of the recipes appealed to me though, for some reason.  Maybe because unless it's in coleslaw, I wasn't all that fond of the taste of raw cabbage.  In any case, I went to, and searched "cabbage."  I decided to try this as I had most of the ingredients.  And it was SUPER EASY.  After cooking the meat, onions, and garlic in my dutch oven, that was it.  I put the rest of the ingredients in and let it bake away.  If you don't have a dutch oven, follow the directions below. 


2 lbs ground beef (or turkey...I mixed mine)
1 C chopped onions
1 (29oz) can tomato sauce (I used a jar of spaghetti sauce)
3 1/2 pounds of chopped cabbage
1 C uncooked white rice (I used a mix of brown and red)
2  cans (14oz) beef broth
salt and pepper to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
2.  In a large skillet, brown beef in oil over medium high heat until redness is gone. Drain off fat 
3.  In a large mixing bowl combine the onion, tomato sauce, cabbage, rice and salt. Add meat and mix all together. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour broth over meat mixture and bake in the preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour. Stir, replace cover and bake for another 30 minutes. 

I did all of this while heating up food for my kids.  And now we will have a yummy meal for the remainder of the week too!  If you don't want rice, my guess is that you can use cooked quinoa to mix in at the end to substitute for the rice. (I did not try putting uncooked quinoa into the recipe).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are yummy.  Growing up in a Chinese family, this root was not in our typical food fare at home.  In fact, the only time it came up (and only when we were in college) was during Thanksgiving meals, when my mother would make yams with some marshmallows to "try" to be traditional.

In any case, with a family of my own, I'm trying out different ways to get my kids to eat different veggies.  I was roasting butternut squash for them recently, and thought to do the same with sweet potatoes.  Yes I know...duh.  But it's not in my repertoire of I-don't-need-to-think-about-how-to-make-Chinese-food-recipes, so that's my excuse.

There are multiple sites out there that will explain the benefits of sweet potatoes up the wazoo.  I'll just summarize them here for you.

1)  A medium sized sweet potato contains more than your daily requirement of vitamin A, nearly a third the vitamin C you need, almost 15 percent of your daily dietary fiber intake and 10 percent of the necessary potassium.

2)  The natural sugars in sweet potatoes are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes that can make you tired and gain weight.

3)  They have anti-inflammatory agents that may help with arthritis, stomach ulcers, emphysema, and your digestive tract.

4)  And most importantly, they are versatile.  You can roast, puree, bake, or steam them.  Put them in stews or in soups. Easy to use and yummy too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Quick and Easy Mini Vegetable Egg Cups

Some times we just need quick and healthy breakfasts that we can chew.  (You know I love my Shakeology!).    These mini egg cups were super easy to make ahead of time and they have spinach to boot. Just pop them in the microwave for 20 seconds and you're good to go.  Yum! 

Nonstick cooking spray
12 large eggs
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 (10oz) bag baby spinach, finely chopped. (I eyeballed my amount)
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely sliced (I opted out of this)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Lightly coat a twelve-cup muffin tin with spray.
3. Place eggs in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
4. Add spinach, bell pepper, and onions; mix well.
5. Evenly pour egg mixture into muffin cups.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread/Muffins

 Have you noticed that a lot of my recipes consist of breakfast foods?  Why do I post so many breakfast-y foods you may ask?   Because our mornings are go-go-go and I want my kids to have as healthy a meal as they can even when we're rushing out the door.   Another go-to in our family is Zucchini bread baked in muffin tins.  Here's the recipe with my tweaks in parentheses.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hr (if in loaf pans). ~30 minutes in regular sized muffin tins. ~20 in mini sized muffin tins
Yields about 18 muffins.
- 3 C all-purpose flour (I made mine with 2 C whole wheat, 1 C white flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsps ground cinnamon (I used 2 tsp)
- 3 eggs
- 1 C vegetable oil (I used 1 C coconut oil, melted)
- 2 1/4 C white sugar (I used almost 2 C)
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 C grated zucchini (about 1 medium and 1 small)
- 1 C chopped walnuts (I opted out as I didn't have any)

1. Grease and flour 2 8x4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (I greased two regular sized muffin tins).
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. If you're making muffins, bake for ~30 minutes or until tested in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes. Remove and completely cool on rack.
If you're baking bread, bake for 40-60 minutes. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.