Whoel Grain Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

On those nights that you feel you just don’t have the time or the energy to make a great meal, boxed whole grain macaroni and cheese will speed things up and taste great.

I love mac-n-cheese just as much as the next ten year old does, but as you grow up you come to find out that it isn’t so great for you…most boxed mac and cheeses are loaded with preservatives, coloring, and fake cheese! Who really wants to eat that? That is why I started using organic boxed mac and cheese from my local grocery store.

I have turned macaroni and cheese into a nutrient powerhouse boasting calcium, protein, complex carbs, and veggies full of those wonderful vitamins. Macaroni and cheese is a perfect base to create a one-pot meal.

What you will need:

*boxed organic whole wheat macaroni and cheese

* a small head of cauliflower, chopped

*sriracha

*turkey bacon

*sliced brown mushrooms

*pepper and cumin to taste

Do it:

Take a box of the cheddar and shells. Cook it according to the directions on the back(I use NF milk instead of low fat). Once the water is boiling, throw in the noodles and half a small head of chopped cauliflower.

While the pasta is cooking, cook up some turkey bacon and mushroom in a pan over medium heat. The fat from the turkey bacon will help cook the mushrooms- no oil is needed.

After draining the pasta, add the chopped bacon and mushrooms to the mix. Squirt some sriracha and mustard into the pasta. Add the milk and the cheese sauce…eat it! Serve it with a side salad and some fruit to complete the meal.

* If sriracha is too hot for you use a packet of Fire sauce from Taco Bell. It works great also.

* Another great combination is broccoli, a little bit of oyster sauce and chopped almonds.

Source:

  1. Whole Grain Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – NYT Cooking
  2. Stovetop Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese | Whole Foods Market

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Which is better for you whole Wheat Pasta or Regular Pasta – Regular

I guess in this debate it really is dependent on the terminology. The real question should be processed or natural. Regular pasta when made by a decent brand ie. Barilla is made from ground semolina which is more readily digestible as it is in its pure form before being processed into white flour.

Whole wheat flour however is generally overly processed and lacks the fiber and nutrients of unrefined flours and therefore is not beneficiall to the body. So what you really should be looking for is unrefined whole grains, flax seed, omega infused, rye and multi-grain pastas as opposed to whole wheat which has just become a fancy word for brown white flour.

As for regular pasta as long as it is made from semolina flour, unrefined, it is just as digestible as whole grain pasta. In my family there are two type one diabetics. As part of their daily diet they must have less refined grains because the white starches cause spikes in their blood glucose levels.

However most whole wheat pastas also cause this effect as they too are refined. Semolina pasta and whole grain pastas do not have this effect on their glucose levels and in fact the constant eating of pasta while in Italy caused both family members to have normal blood sugars which they had attributed to the unrefined grains in both the pastas and breads.

Heart healthy starts by being head wise, read labels and look for unrefined and less to unprocessed products to include in your daily consumption.

Source:

  1. Whole-Grain Pasta vs. Regular Pasta | Healthy Eating | SF Gate
  2. Should I Eat Whole-Wheat Pasta? | TIME

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Venison Chili Recipe

Venison Chili is great to fix when its cold outside and it’s incredibly easy too. Maybe you just have a craving for chili. If you’re like us we always have a freezer full of ground venison but we very rarely ever have any hamburger. You can use venison in pretty much any chili recipe. This recipe has been used with both ground venison and with hamburger over the years and it tastes just as good either way, even if you don’t really like venison because it doesn’t really have that wild flavor. If you soak the ground venison in a little water before cooking, it takes the wild flavor completely out of it. But anyway, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 (14.5 ounce) cans of chili beans1 (14.5 ounce) can of pork and beans1 (46 ounce) can of tomato juice1 packet of chili seasoning1 pound of ground venison1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onions
sugar to taste (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large pot, add the ground venison and the minced onions. Cook the venison until browned, as you would with regular hamburger.

2. When the venison is done, add the chill seasoning and mix until the chili seasoning is well blended with the venison.

3. Add the whole can of tomato juice and all three cans of beans.

4. Continue to cook until your chili is hot and add the sugar if desired for extra taste.

It’s as simple as that. I have yet to come across a less time consuming recipe and it’s so simple. I recommend it to anybody, even those who can’t cook. My fiance’ absolutely cannot cook. He messed up macaroni and cheese out of a box one time and even he can cook chili using this recipe without messing it up, and that truly is a huge accomplishment for him.

Source:

  1. Venison Chili Recipe | MyRecipes.com
  2. Top 5 Venison Chili Recipes – Wide Open Spaces

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Vegetarian Rice Salad

This dish is great for vegetarians and meat-eating people alike. It has a soft texture that would go well with chicken.

Ingredients:

1 cup of brown or regular rice (It’s a lot healthier to use brown rice, but it still tastes good.)

8-10 whole fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup brocolli

1/2 cup cauliflower

1 large white onion

Chicken pieces or hearts (Optional)

1) Put some water in a saucepan, and boil. Cut cauliflower and brocolli and put it in the boiling water. Cook for 30 minutes or until it tastes soft, on medium heat.

2) While waiting for the cauliflower and brocolli to cook, take another saucepan and boil water. Put rice in it and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, or until rice feels soft, but not mushy. If it’s mushy, you over-cooked it. Turn off the heat for the rice once it is cooked, but don’t drain the water. Let the rice sit in the water to absorb. Stir the rice occasionally.

3) The rice, cauliflower and brocolli should be almost done at this point. Chop up the mushrooms (take the stems off first) and your onion. Put some cooking spray in a frying pan and cook onions and mushrooms together on medium heat.

Cook until mushrooms look yellow-brown. (Do not add any salt. Mushrooms taste salty enough.)

4) When everything is done, make some brown sauce. I use the St.Hubert’s pack of brown sauce. Put it in a small saucepan, and cook on medium heat until thick. Stir constantly (if you don’t stir there will be thick lumps in it when it’s done, and that never looks yummy).

5) Put cauliflower, brocolli, onions, mushroom and rice together and pour some brown sauce on it. There, done!

(Optional) If you are not satisfied, you can always cook some chicken pieces or chicken hearts and add them to the rice and veggie mixture. That tastes great too. Any other meat may not taste well with this dish.

Source:

  1. Black Bean, Rice, and Veggie Salad Recipe | MyRecipes.com
  2. Vegan Persian Rice Salad – The Big Man's World

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Why Make your own Bread

In this age of instant gratification it is great to be able to take time and create bread of your own making. Just as the slow food movement has gained in popularity, so to has bread making. I am not talking about adding a pre-packaged mix to a breadmaker and turning on the power. This is about getting back to basics.

By making your own bread, you will know exactly what the ingredients are and their health benefits. There will be no preservatives, just a simple mix of flour and water, yeast and salt. The flour needs to have a high gluten content, unless you have coeliac disease in which case you will be aware of the alternatives. To improve the fibre content and nutritional value, you can vary the amounts of whole wheat, spelt or stoneground flour.

Breadmaking is not difficult but it may be worthwhile to attend classes offered by adult education to learn the finer points of the process. Kneading is a skill honed by practice but there can be few more satisfying sights in the kitchen than watching the dough you have mixed slowly rising in the bowl. When it has doubled its bulk, you then have the pleasure of punching it down and moulding it into the desired shape.

It is the effort of creating something unique that is one of the main pleasures of baking your own bread. Despite the popularity of the low carb diets, bread remains one of our diet staples and deservedly so. Made with wholemeal or stoneground flour it provides vital vitamins, fibre and a readily digestible source of energy. Served along side a bowl of homemade vegetable soup you have a complete meal with minnimal effort.

If you can purchase your flour in bulk you will find that making your own bread can be more economical than buying it, especially if you compare like with like. While the basic versions of “white cardboard” can be very inexpensive, they lack the nutritional value of the loaves you can make at home.

Making your own bread can be part of a trend to return to a simpler lifestyle. Instead of being hostage to a consumer society, enjoy some inexpensive activities that require only your time and enthusiasm. Forget the latest gadgets from the glossy kitchen catalogues, mix the ingrredients, put some measured effort into the kneading and then stand back and inhale the wonderful aromas as your creation is baked to perfection.

Source:

  1. Homemade Bread: Cheap, Delicious, Healthy, and Easier Than You …
  2. How much do you save by baking your own bread? (52 ways to …

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The Difference between White and Brown Sugar

The difference between white and brown sugar…

*White sugar:

White or granulated sugar is pure sucrose and it is comes from tropical sugar cane and temperate sugar beets. Sugars used in homes are the refined white sugar. This sugar comes in the forms of free flowing, cubes, granulated, tablet forms, and other different textures. Castor sugar, which is a fine textured sugar and it dissolves instantly and is great for sweeting of cold liquids and other cold drinks. This was an interesting find…brown sugar has more calories than white sugar does and its percentage of phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron, and sodium is high in comparison to what white sugar has in it.

*Brown sugar:

Brown sugar can either be free flowing or sticky. Brown sugar is made when you add syrup to the sugar. When they’re judging the color brown they want they’ll add more syrup than to the original sugar. Brown sugar is soft textured because of the molasses they add to it. It can come in two different colors either dark or light varieties. The lighter brown sugar has a more delicate flavour than the dark which has a more stronger flavor of molasses. When brown sugar is unrefined, it has greater amounts of minerals in it.

*A difference in the taste of baked food:

Taste of baked food is another difference in white versus brown sugar use. There’s a much richer flavor and a more moist texture in baked goods when you use brown sugar. White sugar is used for simple baked food and it is best for sweetening coffee, tea and other cold/hot drinks. Did you know what you can use as a substitute for white sugar, you can use corn syrup or honey to get the same effect. There are several different receipes that you can replace the use of brown sugar by using white sugar instead. It’s recommened when you do this though that if you have any molasses on your shelf to use some of it to make your bakery item more moist and it will also enrich the flavor too.

*Summary:

Brown sugar, you add syrup to the white sugar, and white sugar is made from tropical sugar cane and temperate sugar beets. The syrup is what does the trick to make the color of the sugar either brown or white. A firmly packed cup of brown sugar can be substituted for 1 cup granulated sugar.

Source:

  1. Brown sugar
  2. What's the Difference Between Brown and White Sugar?

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St Patricks Day Recipes

TRY A FUN, GREEN, SAINT PATTY’S DAY FRUIT SMOOTHIE!

Here’s a delicious, healthy fruit smoothie you can whip up in no time using your blender.

PREPARATION
-Put about (1/2) cup of cold water in clean blender container.
-Wash thoroughly, “de-seed” and cut into chunks or slices, the following: (Note: To save time, cut these up right into the blender container).
(1) small apple (type of apple optional)
(1) small pear (type of pear optional)
(1/2) small mango (remove skin)
(1/4) small papaya (remove skin)
(1/2) kiwi fruit (just remove skin-seeds stay!)
-Add-(12) seedless green grapes
-Peel and slice (1) banana
-Add: 1/2 cup-1% milk
-Add: 2-3 drops-mint (spearmint, peppermint) flavoring
OPTIONAL:
(3) baby carrots (sliced)
This mixture should ‘naturally’ yield a “green” smoothie…however, if you prefer a different shade of green, feel free to experiment with “things green”, like celery, spinach, mint leaves, etc. Or, if you want, you can use a few drops of green food coloring.

BLENDING
-The blender container should be at least 3/4 full with the fruit and liquids from above. If it’s not, add more of your choice (fruit or liquid) to bring it to that level. Note that the less liquid you use, the thicker the smoothie, so “tweak accordingly”.
-Start by using one of the slower speeds, to chop up the chunks of fruit.
-As the mixture begins to liquefy, increase the blender speed…ultimately to the highest speed.
-Let run at high speed for at least one minute.

SERVING
-This smoothie may be served “as-is”, or diluted to a thinner consistency with several types of liquid, including water, milk or fruit juice.
-This smoothie may be served at room temperature or chilled.
ENJOY!

Source:

  1. St. Patrick's Day Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. St Patrick's Day Recipes | Food & Wine

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Weight Watchers Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes

Weight Watchers Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes

This is a great recipe that can be prepared in less than fifteen minutes.  It holds only two points per serving for those who are the Weight Watchers Flex Plan program.  It is also a good, tasty, healthy side dish for the entire family.

You’ll need three minutes for prep time and eight minutes to cook the potatoes.  

Ingredients:

1 pound small red potatoes

1/4 cup fat free milk

1 tablespoon light stick butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1.  Scrub potatoes.  Peel if desired.  

2.  Place potatoes in a medium size, microwave-safe bowl.  

3.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  

4.  Microwave at high heat for eight minutes or until potatoes are tender.  

5.  Add milk, butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  

6.  Mash the potatoes to desired consistency with a fork or a potato masher.  

7.  Serve in half cup servings.  

Yields four half-cup servings.  

Nutritional Information:  

Calories per half cup serving: 98

Fat per half cup serving: 1.4 grams

Protein per half cup serving:  2.7 grams

Carbohydrates per half cup serving:  19 grams

Fiber per half cup serving: 2 grams

Cholesterol per half cup serving: 2 mg

Iron per half cup serving: 0.9 mg

Sodium per half cup serving: 182 mg

Calcium per half cup serving: 31 mg

This makes a good side to many meals.  It is something most people do like and most kids love potatoes.  For larger families, you can easily double the recipe to yield eight servings.  

If you have leftovers, refrigerate as soon as possible.  You can store in the refrigerator for one to two days.  

Source:

  1. Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes – Weight Watchers
  2. Roasted Smashed Garlic Potatoes – Emily Bites

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Sage Cheese Potatoes

Sage-Cheese Potatoes

Herbs really bring out the flavor in foods. This dish is great for vegetarians served alone. It is an excellent dish that may be served for lunch or dinner. It goes well served with beef, chicken, or pork. Peparation time is ten minutes. Cooking time is fifteen to twenty minutes. The perfect meal to serve for those rushed evening as it is less time consuming than most meals. It is rather inexpensive to make. It may be easily stored in the fridge and easily reheated in the microwave. It is a very appealing dish that family or guests will enjoy. This recipe will make four healthy servings. Sage cheese potatoes is best when served warm or hot. These potatoes serve well on the side of hamburger dishes. Sage will bring out the flavor of any potato dish. Sage is a herb that is most often used for the flavoring of many meats and vegetable dishes. Sage can often be purchased at most grocery stores in the seasonings or spice sections. Sage is a close relative of the mint family and it is a popular spice that is used for seasoning most Mediterranean dishes. This popular kitchen herb has a really unique peppery flavor. Sage is also used to season many Italian dishes. I hope that this recipe is quite useful in your kitchen as it is in mine. Cooking with herbs is an excellent way to add spice to any meal. Often many herbs that are used to flavor foods is a common tradition of growing them at home in a little herb garden. This saves time and money that you won’t be spending by going to the market place. Sage is one of the spices that may be grown in a herb garden right along with parsley and many others. Fresh herbs are awesome  in that you may pick them fresh from the garden and bring them right to your table.

Ingredients:

Four large potatoes, pared

Two quarts of boiling salt water

One half cup of butter

Two teaspoons of dried sage

One cup of grated Parmesean cheese

One teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:

1. Boil the potatoes for ten minutes and drain well.

2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over low heat and add potatoes and sage.

3. Stir for fifteen minutes until the potatoes are completely cooked. Sprinkle with cheese and black pepper and serve. Enjoy!

Source:

  1. Sage Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe : Sunny Anderson : Food Network
  2. Sage and Cheddar Potato Gratin Recipe | McCormick

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Recipes Fruit Salad

Like so many people, our entire family has always loved fruit salad. The best ones we’ve had, though, are made with fresh fruit rather than the canned variety. It takes a little more effort, but the taste makes it all worthwhile.

The following recipe serves a family of four, despite the quantity it makes, because it seldom lasts longer than a day. People just keep going back for more. The best thing to note is that the listed fruit is as a guideline. You can add fruit not listed, or not use certain fruit if it is a kind that you don’t like or which is unavailable. Think of this as a base recipe.

Ingredients:

3 medium Bartlett pears, cored
4 black plums, pits removed
1 large or 2 small cantaloupe, seeds removed
2 pounds (1 kilo) seedless watermelon
1 pound seedless grapes
12 large strawberries cut in fourths
4 bananas, peeled (they should be very ripe)
2 peaches or nectarines, pitted
1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cored
1 quart whipped cream, whipped (homemade is best, store bought will work)
1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey

Cut the fruit in relatively large pieces (about 1 inch or a half centimeter) and put them into a bowl. Mix thoroughly and add the sugar or honey and the whipped cream, stirring well again.

Serve cold if possible.

This salad is great on hot summer days, and the burst of flavors from the combined fruit makes it even suitable in the winter. In fact, our family loves to have this as part of the Thanksgiving feast (not in quite this quantity). It is easy to adjust to most tastes, and a person can even add set Jell-O, diced up, if they wish to.

It is also a great meal stretcher for when guests drop in, and since almost everyone loves it, it will be welcome by those guests.

Give this fruit salad a try. People will love it so much; they may even forget that it is very good for them, since it is packed with vitamins and minerals.

As a final added tip; this is a great dish to serve during the cold and flu season. The vitamins and minerals all work to help keep a person from falling prey to either kind of virus.

Source:

  1. Fruit Salad Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. Perfect Summer Fruit Salad Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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