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Category Archives: left overs

Thanksgiving

I am so excited right now – I don’t know if it is from the mug of coffee I just finished or because I have found so many amazing recipes for Thanksgiving that I just can’t wait to share! Every year my parents host Thanksgiving. About 8 years ago I asked if I could help cook. This was around the same time I became very interested in nutrition, so my ulterior motive was to turn our traditional WI thanksgiving into a more wholesome, healthful, and nutritious meal.  Thankfully that first successful year has turned into tradition of homemade pies, fresh vegetables, and made-from-scratch cranberry sauce.

Each year I search for new recipes to try. In the last few weeks I have found dozens of fall dishes that I can’t wait to try (but will likely have to with this thing called medical school in my way). Here are some of the favorites I have found so far. As I make them, I will post the recipes with notes about how they were.

Brunch

Sides

Dessert

Breads

Leftovers

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Potato Bake


This recipe received a 10/10 from Jason. I don’t know if I have ever made something he liked so much before…ever. He usually hates scale ratings. I always asked him to rate things on a scale of 1 to 10 and it usually ends with him changing the subject so I forget he never rated what I asked. This time, however, he said “10” instantly. This recipe is super easy and delicious. It is too heavy for me for summer, so I plan to make it again once things cool down here in IL in a few months.

Ingredients
– 4 baked potatoes, cooked and NOT peeled
– 3 TBSP butter
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– salt
– pepper
– 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
– 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, diced
– 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
– 6 oz. marble cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes. Add the butter and milk and whisk with an egg beater on high until highly whipped. Stir in the vegetables and seasonings.
3. Pour mixture into the sprayed dish. Smooth out with a rubber spatula. Top with bread crumbs and cheese.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown.

 
 

Gyro Pasta

A few weeks ago we had a wedding reception for my brother, Joey, who got married in May down in Texas. He is in the army and is stationed in El Paso, TX. The family came up to meet our family and it was a wonderful time. My dad rediscovered gyros a few years ago when he found a gyro shop in downtown Appleton, WI called Gyro Kabob. It is a delicious little restaurant with authentic gyros, greasy fries, and cheap prices. Even my mom, who is a little picky when it comes to what she likes to eat, thinks it is amazing. Needless to say Joey’s wedding reception was the perfect excuse for my parents to introduce the rest of our family and our new Texan relatives to Gyro Kabob.

The gyros were a hit – so popular we ran out of pita bread! This left us with a few bags of gyro meat. Jason and I were lucky enough to bring some back with us. I recently defrosted some of the meat and made this pasta dish with it. Jason has devoured most all of it in the past few days. Since gyro meat is just shaved and seasoned lamb meat, you could use lamb or beef in this recipe.


Ingredients:
– Spaghetti Noodles
– 3 cups shaved gyro meat
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 cups green beans, chunked
– 2 whole carrots, sliced
– Garlic-herb infused oil*
– Feta cheese, crumbled**

Directions
1. Cook the noodles as directed. Make at least 3 servings per package directions.
2. In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the carrots and green beans and cook until the carrots are bright orange.
3. Add the gyro meat and top with about 1/4 cup oil.*** Add the pasta to the skillet, and stir well. Simmer for 3-5 minutes with the lid on. Serve warm with feta cheese.

*I made this a few months ago with dried garlic, basil, and oregano. Just throw the dried herbs in a sealed container of oil and let sit for a few hours before using. If you don’t have this or want to make it, just use regular olive oil and add some garlic, basil, and oregano to the pan.

**Feta cheese usually comes in a chunk or crumbled. While the crumbled appears cheaper at first glance, it is usually twice as expensive when you look at the ounce price. Go for the chunk of feta and crumble it on your own to get more bang for your buck.

***It is not necessary to use this much oil, but I used it in place of sauce. 1/4 cup is 3 TBSP, so together this dish has 1 TBSP oil per serving

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2009 in left overs, Meat, Pasta

 

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit…

the more you eat the more you…” We all know the song from childhood. I was recently told that this is actually a myth. The more you eat, the easier it is for your body to digest, so the less you … 🙂


Jason and I were unsure what to make for dinner the other night. The refrigerator was full of leftovers, all of which we had eaten at least once and while they were tasty, we were in the mood for something different. We settled on Mexican, but were stuck again. Jason also has meat tacos, so when I suggested refried black bean burritos, he was a little hesitant. I told him not to worry, which I often have to do when I am cooking something new. A good friend of mine had called, so I handed the spatula and a few simple instructions over to Jason for cooking the dinner. Needless to say, he was successful. We enjoyed our burritos that night and there was even some for another meal. This made me think about how versatile this mixture really is. With that in mind, I am posting the recipe along with a few meal ideas. 


Refried Bean Mixture
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 1 cup diced green peppers
  • 1 cup diced red peppers
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved (1 cup)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until tender. Add the black beans and cook for one more minute. Turn off the heat and add the cherry tomatoes.


Meal Possibilities

  1. Place 1/2 cup of mixture on the center of a tortilla. Top with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded marble cheddar cheese.
  2. Place 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice on a plate, top with the black bean mixture and shredded cheese.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/4 cup of mixture in a tortilla and roll up. Place the rolled tortilla in the pan and repeat until the pan is full. Cover with green taco sauce and/or salsa. Top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Roll out (or prepare a homemade) pizza crust. Cover the pizza crust with a thin layer of the refried bean mixture. Top with extra onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Cover the pizza with marble cheddar cheese. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. 

If you have any ideas for meals with refried beans, please leave a comment!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2009 in left overs, Vegetarian

 

My Version of Risotto

New posts three days in a row? Yes, I think I am back! The semester came to an end this week. I still have my thesis to work on over break, as well as some recommendations for the work site wellness program I am working on with Head Start. Besides that, I will be working at Ruby Tuesday and (hopefully) cooking and posting up a storm!

Last Thursday the other interns and I got together for lunch. Each person brought a dish to pass, so Whitney and I worked together to make some stir-fry. Whitney made some lemon-grass Chicken, while I sauteed some vegetables and made WAY TOO MUCH rice. I am not quite sure what I was thinking when I made 3 cups of dry rice for 8-10 people. Needless to say there are a lot of left overs. I also had purchased some diced ham last week for Hawaiian pizzas (Jason’s favorite), but we didn’t end up making them. I decided to improvise and make my own Creamy Ham and Pea Risotto. I am not quite sure if this counts as risotto, since I have never made one before, but it appears to have a similar consistency. If anyone is an expert on risotto, I would love to learn more!

Creamy Ham and Pea Risotto

Ingredients
-2 cups of cooked rice
-3/4 cup skim milk
-1/4 cup water (only if more liquid is needed)
-3/4 pound diced ham
-1 cup frozen peas
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp peper
-1 tbsp “Salad Supreme” seasoning

Directions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a large skillet and heat pan on medium-high.
  2. Continuously stir the ingredients. The sauce will begin to boil. When this happens, turn the heat down to medium and continue to stir.
  3. Stir contents until a thick consistency is obtained (about 10 minutes). Turn the heat off and let cool.
 
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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in Grains, ham, left overs