Healthy Shepherd’s Pie is the Ultimate Comfort Food

WARM, COMFORTING AND LOADED WITH VEGGIES

WARM, COMFORTING AND LOADED WITH VEGGIES

 

THIS RECIPE SERVES 8 - 10

THIS RECIPE SERVES 8 – 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s nothing like meat and potatoes to warm you up inside. This Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a healthier version than the original. With lean meat and veggies, it will warm you up without filling you up. The potatoes can be made the day before to speed-up prep time. Enjoy this nutritious twist on a traditional favorite!

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

2 – 3 lbs. baking potatoes, enough to equal 4 cups mashed
1/2 – 1 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tspn. salt
1/8 tspn. pepper

1 1/4 lb. 90% lean ground beef
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. balsalmic vinaigrette dressing
1 tspn. oregano, dried flakes
1 tspn. basil, dried flakes
1/2 tspn. salt
1/8 tspn. pepper
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite, diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn, cooked

2 Tbsp. flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. water

Spray 9 X 13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350.

Wash and peel potatoes and cut into even pieces, approx. 2-3 in. cubes. Place in large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes or until tender, using a fork to test. Drain water from pot and place pot and potatoes back on low heat and add milk a little at a time, along with cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Beat at medium speed with electric beaters until smooth. Set aside or place in refrigerator if making the rest of the recipe later.

Cook ground beef in large, non-stick skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain fat and set aside ground beef. Wipe drippings from skillet and add olive oil, warming over medium heat. Add carrot, pepper, onion and garlic and saute for 8 minutes. Add ground beef to the vegetables and add dressing, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over med-high and then reduce heat to medium and cover and cook for 25 minutes. While meat mixture is cooking, cook corn (either frozen or canned) and warm-up potatoes. When meat mixture is done, remove from heat and discard bay leaf.

Place flour in small bowl and gradually whisk in water to create a thick, soupy paste. Add to meat mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Spread meat mixture in casserole dish and sprinkle with corn. Spoon potatoes on top and spread to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly around edges, remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.


Slow Cooker Eggplant Stew: Summer’s Bounty in a Crock Pot

DSCF1392
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If you are up to your ears in vegetables from your garden, this ratatouille should do the trick. It’s a hearty vegetable stew, also known as ratatouille, that is delicious by itself or served over whole grain pasta, cous cous, quinoa or rice. I’ve even spooned it on slices of toasted French bread and used it as a pizza topping. Feel free to adjust the recipe to include your favorite vegetables, but don’t forget the chick peas (garbanzo beans) – I love those little guys, don’t you?

CROCK POT RATATOUILLE – EGGPLANT STEW

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
5 cloves minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
3 small Italian eggplants, peeled and chopped
1/8 tspn. pepper
3/4 tspn. salt
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 medium zucchini, seeded and chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tspn. thyme flakes
1 1/2 tspn. basil flakes

Heat oil on med. heat and saute garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add eggplant and season with salt and pepper, cooking 5 more minutes. Turn heat to low and cover, cooking an additional 5 – 8 minutes or until eggplant are tender. Transfer to slow cooker and add peppers, zucchini and chick peas (garbanzo beans).
In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, basil and thyme and mix well. Pour into crock pot and stir all ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours and high for 4 – 5 hours.


Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tomato Sauce with Eggplant

Chunky Eggplant Tomato Sauce

Chunky Eggplant Tomato Sauce

Spring has finally arrived and I just want to be outside to enjoy it. Whether it’s gardening, walking the dog or just sitting and knitting on the porch, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time indoors cooking. That’s where the crock pot comes in handy – it’s not just for hearty, winter-time fare. This eggplant tomato sauce is as warm and delicious as any cold-weather comfort food, but it’s also light and healthy, brimming with vegetables. This is an easy vegetarian dish, perfect for meatless Monday, or any day of the week when you want to let the slow cooker do the work while you are outdoors enjoying a lovely spring day. Enjoy!

What are your favorite eggplant recipes? Click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave a comment.

Eggplant Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) petite diced tomatos, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup mild or medium salsa
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbspn. balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic sliced thin
1 tspn. oregano
1/4 tspn. salt, plus extra for preparing the eggplant
2 cups jar tomato sauce

Prepare the eggplant by sprinkling salt on both sides of each slice and placing it in a colander for 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Set the colander over a plate to catch the liquid. When the time is up, use paper towels to wipe off the salt and absorb any excess moisture from the eggplant slices. Use a knife to cut away the peel from the outer edge of each slice. Then chop the slices into 1/2-inch pieces.

Mix the chopped eggplant, tomatoes with juice, onion, pepper, salsa, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano and salt in the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 7 – 8 hours on low, until vegetables are soft. Do not lift the lid or stir while cooking.

At the end of the cooking time, add your favorite tomato sauce and stir. Replace lid and allow to cook another 5 – 10 minutes until sauce is hot and ready to serve.

Enjoy over cous cous, rice or pasta.


Chicken Lettuce Wraps for Chinese New Year

Lettuce Wraps - Some Assembly Required

Lettuce Wraps – Some Assembly Required

The Chinese New Year is approaching on January 31st and what better time to try a new Asian-inspired recipe? There is a Chinese food restaurant that is a bit of a drive from our house, so it’s a real treat to go there. We always order the chicken lettuce wraps – hot and tasty and wrapped-up nice and neat in cool, crisp, iceberg lettuce. My teenage daughter loves them, so I decided to try and make them at home. I was very excited to find an envelope in the grocery store to help get me started. I did not follow the instructions on the envelope exactly (I rarely do), but using it really gives the meal an authentic Chinese food flavor. I consider this a labor-intensive meal, due to all of the chopping of the chicken and veggies. However, once all the prep work is done, the meal can be cooked in under 20 minutes. Fried rice recipe to follow soon in a separate post (see envelope below).

Envelopes Provide Authentic Flavor

Envelopes Provide Authentic Flavor

To learns more about Sun-Bird seasonings, click here: www.sunbirdseasonings.com

Click on the Recipe Rescue tab (top right) for this recipe – enjoy! Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? **Note: This recipe has been removed to make room for another Recipe Rescue.**
Click on the title of this post and scroll down to comment.


Stuffed Peppers with Couscous and Broccoli

A Healthy and Light Lunch or Dinner

A Healthy and Light Lunch or Dinner


This recipe makes for a satisfying and healthy lunch or dinner. It is written for two people, but can be doubled as needed. This is an easy-to-prepare recipe, especially if you happen to have leftover broccoli and couscous in your refridgerator already. The most time-consuming part is preparing the peppers, but it is worth the effort. The roasted peppers are full of flavor and make the perfect “bowl” for the stuffing. If you are vegan, just omit the cheddar cheese. If not, I have to say that the savory flavor of the cheese marries beautifully with the smokiness of the peppers and broccoli. These stuffed peppers are a perfect healthy lunch or dinner, especially if you are following the Mediterranean Diet or looking for a Meatless Monday recipe that will please the whole family.

Click on the Dinner 911 tab (on the top right) for the recipe and be sure to leave a comment at the end of this post to let us know what you think. Just click on the title of this post and scroll down to comment. **Note: This recipe has been removed to make room for another delicious recipe.

For more information on Near East cous cous, click here.

Enjoy and Happy Meatless Monday!


Chicken Noodle Slurp!

This soup is loaded with egg noodles!

This soup is loaded with egg noodles!

This time of year, I make homemade soup on a weekly basis.  There is something so warm and comforting about a bowl of homemade soup, especially if it is loaded with noodles.  I’ve recently discovered how yummy and satisfying egg noodles are when added to my chicken noodle soup.  Just serve a hearty wedge of bread alongside it and you have a light and healthy lunch or supper to warm you when it’s chilly outside .  The leftover noodles not used in the soup are deliciously silky with some butter and parmesan cheese – another comfort food!  This version of my chicken noodle soup really cooks up quickly if the noodles are already cooked and placed in a container in the fridge with a little olive oil to keep them separated.  It also helps if the carrot and celery sticks are already prepared.  See my earlier post on: Storing Celery and Carrot sticks.

Give this recipe a try by clicking here or on the Dinner 911 tab at the top of this page. Note this recipe has been removed to make room for another Dinner 911 recipe.

What is your favorite soup?  Click on the blog title at the top of the page and scroll down to leave a comment.  Thanks and enjoy!


Satisfying Pasta Fagioli Soup is Loaded with Vegetables

Easy and Delicious Pasta Fagioli Soup

The weather may be getting warmer, but I’m still in “soup-mode”.  Soup is a meal-in-a-bowl and it can warm you on the inside unlike any UVA rays can!  I’m actually good at making soup, which is why I like it so much.  I often make a pot of soup after I’ve thrown one of my recipe disasters into the trash.  My version of pasta fagioli soup is almost vegetarian, except for the chicken broth, which can be substituted with vegetable broth.  Not only does it have my favorite beans, white beans, but it is also chock full of flavorful green beans, carrots, onions, celery and tomatoes.  It’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner, or a healthy beginning to your main course.

Click on the Dinner 911 page at the top to enjoy this recipe – Note: This recipe has been removed to make room for another delicious recipe.

***What’s your favorite soup – let us know!  Also, please let us know if you try this recipe.  Just click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave a comment.***


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