Spaghetti Squash Surprise

Ingredients:2014-04-02 14.42.55

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half
  • 1 leek, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 8-10 fresh Brussels sprouts, steamed and quartered
  • 1/2 tub cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8 oz. container sliced mushrooms
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil, for sauteing leeks

Instructions:

In a 350 degree oven, bake your spaghetti squash flat sides down on a spray oiled cookie sheet for 30 minutes.

In a vegetable steamer cook your Brussels sprouts till tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. I love my Black and Decker Steamer, I can cook anything from tamales, eggs to veggies.

In a heated skillet with some olive oil, saute the leeks till tender, about 5-10 minutes.

Once squash is done, allow to cool slightly so you can handle or use tongs to hold one end while you scrape the meat out with a fork. Scrape into a spray oiled slow cooker.

Add leeks when they are done, add all other ingredients and toss with the spaghetti squash.

Cook on low for 2- 3 hours, then turn to warm if you have that option till needed.

All items are cooked, so we are just mainly heating through and allowing the cheese to melt well. I prepared this the night before and heated the next day before I needed it and my Crock Pot brand slow cooker has a warm setting and I was able to keep warm till I served.

Rutabaga Lasagna

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The Rutabaga.. one of the most unappealing vegetables in the produce department, they are actually a turnip, a Swedish turnip. The closest thing to a rutabaga I’d come to before this recipe was my moms cat named the same.  My challenge was to figure out how to use it and make something amazing with it. I found two amazing ways to cook it, if you have any left over rutabaga after this recipe try my rutabaga and carrots recipe, it’s AWESOME! Enjoy this recipe as well.

Ingredients:

I started by preparing my leeks..this is 1 leek cut in half then sliced thin, I only used 1/2 of it.2014-03-29 15.06.28

Rinse and set leeks aside to drain well. Chop your cilantro and green onions, place in a medium sized bowl then add your leeks and mushrooms, toss together.

Slice your tomatoes in to 1/4 inch thick slices. Rinse and peel your rutabaga and slice in to 1/4 inch slices. Grate you fresh cheese into a bowl.

In an oil sprayed slow cooker place a layer of tomatoes, and sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning on tomatoes at ever tomato layer…2014-03-29 15.21.22Add your carrots and a layer of the leek/mushroom mixture..2014-03-29 15.25.202014-03-29 15.43.32

 

Next add a layer of kale and top the kale with some grated fresh cheese..2014-03-29 15.31.03

Ricotta is a thick cheese, I spread it onto the rutabaga pieces like butter and placed them as a layer..2014-03-29 15.38.07Then I repeated: tomatoes, dry seasonings, carrots, leek mix, kale, fresh cheese, rutabaga w/ ricotta. The last layer will be tomatoes. Don’t be afraid to pack it in because it will reduce significantly.

Cook on low for 5-6 or till rutabagas are tender.  Top with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese and enjoy.

 

Rutabaga and Carrots

Oh, my goodness is this recipe is to die for…

Ingredients:

Instruction:

Wash and peel the rutabaga, then slice and dice into small to medium sized chunks.

Wash and prepare enough carrot to equal the same amount or less than what the rutabaga gives you. Rutabaga vary in size or if you want to do less or more.

Cooking has a couple options, boil, microwave, or bake.

My first attempt was microwave: place the carrot and rutabaga in a glass bowl, sprinkle paprika and garlic powders over, there is not an exact amount just season to taste because the rutabagas vary in sizes.  I had a half a rutabaga left over from another recipe and I used approx. 1 tbsp of each with equal quantity of carrots. I microwaved for about 10 minutes. I started out using my fresh veggie cook button and it did not cook them long enough, so I did an additional 5-7 minutes till they were tender with a fork. Stir around to make sure the seasonings are coating all and serve.

Boiling: place the veggies in a pot and boil on medium heat till tender with a fork, approx. 15-20 minutes.  Drain and add dry seasoning and butter and stir together. Serve. This option may wash away the flavors of your veggies in the water, so I would suggest the bake or microwave option first.

Bake:  Place veggies in a glass dish and coat with dry seasonings, spoon butter over top and place in an oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or till tender with a fork. Stir halfway through to check tenderness and to distribute the butter and move the dry ones on top into the butter. Remove and serve when tender.

Acorn Squash and Sprouts

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Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 8-10 fresh brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 c. diced leeks
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper

Instructions:

Prepare the acorn squash by cutting in half and bake flat side down on a slightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Steam your brussels sprouts while your squash cooks.

In a heated skillet with olive oil drizzled in the bottom, saute the thinly sliced leeks till softened.  Add your brussels sprouts and saute a little longer to coat the sprouts with the oil. Turn heat to low while you scrape the meat out of the squash with a spoon. Spoon into pan in clumps, after adding squash sprinkle the garlic and pepper over top acouple swipes then toss together. Try not to stir together too much, idea is to keep all items together but not mushed together. Cover and keep warm till ready to serve.

 

 

Brisket

This is the way I make smoked brisket without a smoker**, in Texas everyone needs a smoker for this, but when you rent apartments, they frown on people with smokers that are bigger than our apartment or use fire. I had to devise the best way I could to smoke a brisket without the smoke. 2014-04-05 18.23.09

Pre heat your oven to 250 degrees.

In a large roaster pan or in a really large cake pan sprayed with oil on the sides, place your brisket in your pan.  If you cook it with the fatty side down the meatier side will be drier like you can get at the BBQ places, if you cook it fatty side up the meat will be juicier and if cooked long enough will fall apart like a roast and melt in your mouth. The fat juices flow down, so if your put fat side up then the meat will soak in those juices the whole time and soak up more flavor and no basting is required.

Once you have picked your side, pour the whole bottle/s of liquid smoke over the meat and then sprinkle as much of my house seasoning onto it as you like.  If you do not want to use my seasoning, lots of black pepper, some garlic powder, onion powder are all good substitutions, mix and match your flavors.

Cover with aluminium foil and cook for hours, typically 4-6. When you’ve checked it at 4 hours, you could at this point take the foil off and add some BBQ sauce if you would like to the meaty side up and finish cooking a couple more hours.  BBQ sauce will have to be your choice, I have a recipe for this, but that is my only secret the world wide web will never know. Plus, my husband says a good brisket needs no sauce.

**If by chance that you have a smoker available to you, then rub your meat in your seasonings of choice and wrap in foil, omit the liquid smoke.  Place on a heated smoker and cook for hours, typically 4-6 again.  I have also cooked my briskets as I did in the top and then added them to a smoker after they were done, wrapped in foil and let them smoke awhile (a couple hours) and they are more awesome.

Pork Medley

 

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  • 1 lb ground pork
  • Half link of smoked sausage, cut small
  • 1-2 c fresh mushrooms
  • Half cup chopped onion
  • 1 cube Knorr chipotle seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire

In a heated skillet sprayed with oil, cook your ground pork with the chipotle seasoning till almost done.  Meanwhile, slice your sausage, onions and mushrooms and then add them to the pork, stir and cook till all is well blended,pork is completed and the onions and mushrooms are reduced and cooked through.

Serve with other veggies or over some rice or pasta.

Chicken Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 small frozen skinless/boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables(corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 1 container of heavy whipping cream (approx 16 oz)
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 8-10 parsnips
  • paprika start with 1 tbsp add to taste (I use Tone’s Paprika)
  • garlic powder start with 3-4 tsp add to taste(I use Tone’s)

Instructions:

Spray your slow cooker with oil, and cook your chicken on high 5-6 hrs frozen, 4-5 hours thawed.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the squash and parsnips.  Cut the acorn squash in half, remove the seeds and lay cut side down onto a spray oiled flat pan and bake on 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool while you work on the parsnips.

Clean and peal the parsnips, slice into smaller chunks and boil like potatoes till a fork inserts smoothly. Drain them and then with a fork or mixer, stir or beat till smooth in a medium sized bowl.

When squash is cool enough to handle, spoon out the meat, it will mash as you scrape it out with a spoon. Add to the bowl of parsnips and stir together and add the paprika and garlic powder, stirring till well blended. Set aside, this can be refrigerated till needed if the chicken still has a while to cook.

When the chicken is done, cooked till it shreds easily with a wooden spoon, drain off juices, add the frozen veggies, pour the heavy cream over top. Stir together.

Spoon the squash mixture over the top of the chicken.  Continue to slow cook on low for 3 hours, then on warm till ready to serve.

 

Shrimp Medley

  • Half link of smoked sausage,sliced small
  • Sm – Med (approx 40pcs) shrimp cocktail ring/with sauce
  • 1 small bag of frozen vegetables, Normandy blend

In a heated skillet or sauce pan, add the sausage, add the shrimp as you remove the tails, pour in the sauce and saute till vegetables are cooked.

Cook vegetables separately, then add to pan.

Stir and serve.

Slow Cooker Greek Cabbage

 

  • 1 lg head of cabbage, sliced into large pieces
  • 4-6 lg skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 1 container of Feta cheese
  • 1/2 container cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • fresh spinach or Power Greens

Spray a slow cooker crock with oil, place all ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, or till chicken is done.  Stir periodically.

Serve

Greek Cabbage Rolls

 

  • 1 lg head of cabbage**
  • 4-6 lg skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 1 container of Feta cheese
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh spinach or Power Greens

Spray a slow cooker with oil.

Carefully remove the cabbage leaves off, trying not to tear them.  Onto each leaf lay 2-3 strips of chicken, sprinkle some feta cheese, slice in half 2 cherry tomatoes, lay a small bunch of the greens on top and wrap the cabbage around the contents.

Lay fold down in the slow cooker, once filled, slow cook on low for 5-8 hours or till cabbage is soft and chicken is cooked through.

**hot, hot water run over cabbage as you peal or boiling the head till flexible can make taking the leaves off easier.