Cold weather whip up!

Tonight was the last night before the grocery run tomorrow.  I didn't really have a "planned" meal, what was I thinking? So I love opportunities like this for me to be creative and original.  The meal I make when I don't have a plan usually is just hamburger patties with some brown rice and vegetables. Very boring, but serves it's purpose. Today it got really cold this afternoon so I was really feeling like a chili or stew, something warm. Now Luke is not a fan of mixed food, and Eli will take it any way he can get it, he will eat it. I don't cater to my kids eating, but I try to meet their "needs". So I started off making my same old same old. Cooked my brown rice, threw the frozen patties on the skillet and then microwaved my organic frozen veggies (haha). Then I looked in my pantry and saw some diced tomatoes, black beans, and I knew that I could pull together a sort of stew. So, I broke up my patties into chunky ground beef, added some onions. I served the boys their separate food plate (patty meat, veggies, rice) then threw the rest in a pot with the diced tomatoes, black beans, and seasoned with some Tony's.  The outcome was delicious! We served it over tortilla chips and in my husband's words "That hit the spot!" So, there you have it, my own easy chili. I'm in a journaling mood lately so you will have to excuse the long drawn out story format, but for those who want to skip the story and just get to a recipe, I will do that as well.
Bubba's Original hamburger patties (frozen)
1/4 of a huge onion
1 Can petite diced tomatoes (juice included)
1 Can of black beans (juice included)
Bag of frozen mixed vegetables
Short Grain Brown Rice (use whatever kind of rice is easier, I use my rice cooker)
 1-2 cups of water
1 tsp brown rice flour
1 tsp of Tony Chachere 

Start your rice, then start your patties and onions in the skillet on medium to medium high (I add a little salt to taste at this time). Pour your veggies in a pyrex with the lid on and stick in the microwave 2 minutes at a time until warm.  Flip your patties over then cook a little bit until you can easily break them up from the patties, grind them up with a spatula in the smallish chunks. Drain the onion meat mixture. Put aside. Throw your tomatoes and black beans in a good size pot, and a cup or two of water. Bring to a bowl, then throw in the meat, the rice and veggies, and cook at a pretty good boil. Then add your flour and Tony's. Stir continuously while it boils for about 5 minutes, then bring it to a simmer and let it cook for however long you want it to or till you are ready for it. It is basically cooked so you are just getting all the juices and seasoning well mixed. There you go, all done! Last minute Chili, from stuff you probably already have in your freezer and pantry.

Beef & Rice

Been a long long time since I have posted a recipe, guess I got busy in the world of little baby boys. Not that it's slowed down, but I have a little tiny more handle on a schedule lately it seems. So I got this recipe randomly enough from or some random recipe page. It has a mexican flavor so you you can serve it over rice or in tortilla's or both! My hubby calls this carne asada... but that was not the original name...  Ok so here it is:

In a crock pot, throw 2-3 lbs of lean beef stew meat
half a large onion, sliced however you want
envelope of taco mix (give or take, I don't do quite the whole thing so it won't be too spicy)
and a jar of salsa give or take (again use your judgement to gage the spiciness, therefore I don't do quite a whole jar, about 3/4 since I have little ones eating)
That's it! Leave in the crock pot on low for 7-8 hours, then throw it on top of brown rice or in a tortilla.
We do both! The first night we like it on rice, then for leftovers the next day we put it in tortillas.... SO GOOD and so EASY! 

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

So, this is a new recipe for me to try. I was inspired to look for new meals since I am feeding Luke no carbs right now. So here is the first attempt, and I have to say it was AWESOME!!! It is also "Luke approved". He loved it!  I got the idea on the website and changed practically all of it, so it became my own!

1 Medium-Large Spaghetti Squash
1 lb ground beef (or meat of your choice)
1/2 pkg of Broccoli Florrets (or veggie of your choice)
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp dried italion seasoning (McCormick's or                                                                                      whatever you have) 
1 Jar of Marinara of your choice
1 Pkg Mozzarella Cheese (I used rice cheese)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Squash Cooking instructions:
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the squash lengthwise, scrape out gunk.  Put meat face down in a pyrex, and fill about an inch up with water. Poke holes with a fork all over it. Stick it in the oven for about 45 minutes.

While that's cooking, chop your celery and onions. In a large skillet saute your onions, celery, minced garlic, italion seasoning, salt and pepper and ground beef together.  When the beef is almost done, just a little pink, put your vegetable in and cover your pan and cook it on medium for about 15 minutes or till the vegetables are soft.
Take your squash out, scraped out the inside with a fork and it will come out like the above picture. Reduce your oven heat to 350. Spread one half of the squash on the bottom of a well greased pyrex (I used an oval medium sized one).  Salt and pepper the squash to your liking, Then lay half of your meat mixture, half of your jar of marinara, and sprinkle your cheese all over, however much you want, cheesier the better to me! Then repeat all of that except the cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes, then take it out and sprinkle cheese all over the top for another five minutes! THEN you are ready for dinner! This would probably be a great meal to cook in the morning and refrigerate to put in that afternoon for dinner! ENJOY!

Changing Luke's eating habits.....

So, Luke hit the 3's in March and it has already been very shocking the behavior changes that have happened. Since he is bigger I have taken him to some art classes and even tried at home to do some sort of "learning time" at the table. All have been a failure and very discouraging to me. His tension span is non existent! He for some reason can't focus very much at all when anything is put in front of him. He goes somewhere else. So this has all caused me to look at his eating, because I truly believe EVERYTHING can be traced back to what we are putting in our bodies, even hyperactivity or focussing problems.  So, I really don't feed Luke bad either, I don't give him any sugar except on special occasions, and I don't do wheat or dairy. BUT, I do alternatives to the wheat or dairy, so I give him rice bread, rice noodles, and rice cheese! CARBS CARBS CARBS!!!! So, all this to say, wanted to share and be able to vent a little, this is going to be a not so fun experience at first, but I think with in a week or two he should be fine. I am going to take out all of his carbs, only give him meats, vegetables, fruits, and brown rice, no bread or noodles! He hasn't asked for them so far, it's only been a day, but so far he is doing pretty good, I just try to always offer as much veggies/meat as possible.  I think also since Eli is eating only vegetables right now this will be so easy, cause now I can just fix all their stuff together, and Luke has actually been wanting whatever Eli is eating lately! So let's pray this works, and there is a significant focus improvement!!! (Please excuse all the grammatical errors, as I am not an english major, and I am trying to be fast right now while the little ones are sleeping!) 

Tuna Rice Casserole (VERY QUICK!)

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or white rice
2 cans (6 oz.) tuna packed in water, drained
2 cups  frozen mixed vegetables
1 tsp purchased gluten-free mexican or southwest seasoning, McCormick, Spice Islands, or I just used Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning.
2 tsps dried minced onion
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or cheese of choice (about 4 oz.), divided (1  Cup & 1/2 Cup)
2 -8 oz. bottles gluten-free ranch dressing, Litehouse Foods, Newman's Own
1/2 cup crushed gluten-free potato chips, Barbara's baker, Lay's Deli Style
 *I use Rice Cheese for the cheese, and I have also found dairy-free ranch dressing by Organicville! (They have both of these at The Peach Basket, for my local followers!)

     1.  Preheat the oven to 375. Generously grease as 2-quart microwave-safe baking dish.
     2.  In the prepared baking dish, toss the cooked rice, tuna, veggies, seasoning, and onion until combined.  Add 1 cup of the cheese and the ranch dressing and toss until the ingredients are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with the crushed chips and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Microwave on high power while the oven preheats, usually about 5-8 minutes . Transfer the dish to the oven. 
    3.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted.  If you already heated the casserole in the microwave, the baking time will be shorter.
Serve Immediately!

*You will have to excuse the messy picture, we were so hungry we forgot to take a picture first, so I got a really messy shot! Gives you the idea though, right?

What Eli has been eating lately

Many of you know the strange way I feed myself and my children. I nurse my kids for a year exclusively, no food! Yeah I know! Well, it is feeding time for Eli and when you wait as long as I do to start and then add in a big brother eating french fries right next to him, you get a baby who just really doesn't like pureed food, so I am challenged with what to feed my son who just now got his bottom two teeth and is about to turn 1!! I start my kids out with vegetables only, then after a few months fruit, then meats, and last grains, I know kind of backwards of what doctors say...... It has worked fantastic with my first, so I am going to continue.  Anyways, I would love some ideas on how to make very soft finger foods, so far this is what I have come up with and Eli is liking it pretty well.  I am hopeful this might help or encourage those of you in the same stage as me with a baby who wants to eat and a Mom who wants them to eat healthy!!
Tonight I fed Eli steamed broccoli and squash.......... cut into mutilated pieces! =)
Note: It's a good idea just to go ahead and do a bath after this meal!
 This is the squash I used, it is diced into cubes already and is so easy to prepare! I got it from Central Market, very worth any distance to get! 
I just used Central Market organic broccoli also, it is the best of all the broccoli's to me and it's all florets, making it much mushier!

I Heart paper plate dinners!

Many Mom's have those night's where you didn't plan anything for dinner and it's already dinner time.  Most the time I would suppose it is Corn dogs, or hot dogs, something like that for the kiddos right? I very well could be wrong! Maybe it's Spaghetti O's! HAHA! Anyways, this is my "corn dog" meal, only it's not, it's Hamburger Patties minus the buns, with green beans and sweet potato fries! Not really a recipe, kind of weird I know, but just an idea for those who might want to know what to cook last minute and not have to eat unhealthy while doing so! Oh and of course paper plates are a bonus! 

(I used HEB SELECT Frozen Green Beans, not that it matters!)

I slice up some onions with the green beans and saute them together! YUMMY!

Salmon Croquettes

So, I had the in-laws over and fixed these for everyone.  I did one batch in my stainless steel pan (bad mistake) and the other batch in my non-stick pan (better choice).  My mom used to make these when I was little, we really had no idea with the fancy name that it was made out of fish, so I got this recipe from one of my mom's old cookbooks, so old in fact that I want to quote something from it, because I love the time that this signifies.  It is about a recipe for Jo's green beans that she has and she says, "Jo Decker gave me this recipe. It is always a hit with men-who else do you really cook for?"  It made me smile, what a long time ago huh? Times have changed! Anyways, I am going to just put the recipe down like she has it, she writes her recipes really cool.

Drain and mash well........................................1 lb can SALMON
Blend in............................................................1 C. POTATOES, mashed
Add...................................................................1/2 C. Cracker Crumbs (I used Brown Rice Bread crumbs)
                                                                          1 Tsp. SALT
                                                                          1 EGG, beaten
                                                                          1 Tbsp. PARSLEY, chopped (I used dried)
                                                                          1 small onion, cut very fine (I used like barely 1/2 cup)
                                                                          1 Tsp. LEE & PERRIN worchestershire sauce
Mix well and form mixture into croquettes-any
size or shape you prefer-and roll in..................1/2 C. Cracker Crumbs (or Brown Rice Bread Crumbs)
Fry in hot...........................................................Oil (of your choice, I used grape seed, it's best at high temps)

*Bread meat or fish for dinner in the morning. The coating will stay on better after a few hours in the refrigerator.  (I did this and it's true!)

*I doubled the recipe since I had company over.

*Wanted to give credit to where it's due: this is an older cookbook my mom uses called, "Mother Jane's Prescription For Hunger". You can find it on amazon but that is about it and it's almost $200!!! I guess because it is out of print now and you can't find them anywhere, so I will try to share lots of recipe's out of this one!!!

I'm still here! This week......

I have completely abandoned my fellow cookers! I do apologize! I haven't resigned from cooking, just blogging about it has come in last place lately with two babies! It is hard getting on here and blogging everyday, but I will try much harder to keep more recipes coming! I have a great week planned ahead, so get ready, I am also going to post some older recipes from a few weeks ago that I never got around to putting up!!! 
This week coming up: 

Last night-Salmon Croquettes
Tonight-Fried Deer Steaks
Thursday-Tuna Rice Casserole
Friday- Hamburger Patties with Sweet Potato Fries 

Dessert: Carob Chip Cookies, and Carob Blondies! 

Hamburger Parmesan!

 This is just like Chicken parmesan, but with hamburger patties instead. The recipe recommended putting it on hamburger patties, but I chose to keep it italian with some noodles instead! You can use fresh or frozen patties, I had frozen so I just defrosted them for about 5 minutes.

4 Hamburger Patties
1 Jar of Marinara Sauce (I use Prego Tradional 26 oz.)
1 Cup of Rice Flour
2 Eggs
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Organic Butter (Or other butter alternative)
1 Tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1 TBS of Rice Milk
Shredded Rice Mozzerella Cheese
Rice Parmesan Cheese
16 oz pkg of Rice Spaghetti Noodles

Preheat the oven to 400 F, Start boiling your water for your noodles.  Get two small plastic containers to put the flour and egg mixture in.  Beat 2 eggs with a TBS of Milk in one of the containers.  Put the cup of flour in the other container with 1 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper, or you can do with out the pepper.  Heat your olive oil and butter in a skillet on medium to medium high.  Once your skillet is heated up, stick your hamburger patty in the egg mixture, then dip it in your flour mixture and place it in the skillet, do the same for all of the hamburger patties.  By now your water will be boiling and you can stick your noodles in the water according to the pkg directions.  You'll just want to brown your hamburger patties on both sides, not cook them all the way.  Once they are browned on both sides stick them in a greased 9x9 pyrex dish.  Cover the patties with half the marinara, this should just barely cover your hamburger patties, not all the way though.  Cover your patties with parmesan cheese, and then the mozz cheese.  Then pour the rest of the jar of marinara on top of that.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes and serve it over noodles!

Black Bean Chalupas!

I am sure many people have these for one of their meal rotations. I just thought I would post it anyway just in case, and this is to share what I eat everyday and give ideas maybe some people hadn't thought of to cook! So here you go! I usually have meat at every meal since the majority of the family are blood type O's, but this one was a no meat Type A Blood friendly meal. I know some people had asked for some vegetarian dishes, so here you go as well!

Corn Tostadas
Refried Black Beans
Shredded Rice Cheese (flavor of your choice)
Avocado/Tomato Salsa
Chopped Romaine Lettuce

Avocado/Tomato Salsa: This is something my mother in law got me hooked on, it's just diced tomatoes (or halved baby tomatoes) and sliced avocado with bit of lemon juice and garlic salt to taste.... YUM!

*Nice thing about this meal, small clean up, not to mention it's super cheap!