Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday Cravings

I try to be productive on Sundays, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. I managed to do laundry this past Sunday but didn't quite make it to the grocery store and I didn't make any food for the week. I was really in the mood for Kraft Mac and Cheese (or Annie's) but neither myself nor my roommates had any. I could have walked 0.2 miles down to the quick mart but I ended up just making it from scratch. 

I've done mac and cheese in the crock pot before but I did not have the patience for that. Scratch mac is super easy and quick if you don't do the whole bread crumb topping-bake in the oven procedure. This is by no means one of my healthy dishes but everyone deserves to go crazy every once in a while!

Sunday Mac and Cheese

Ingredients (serves 1):
1/2 cup of whatever pasta you have on hand (I had whole wheat shells)
1 Tbl flour
1 Tbl butter
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 cup cheddar (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp)
1/4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino (really makes a huge difference!)
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Boil water and add your pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in deep saute pan, melt the butter. Whisk in your flour until combined and a bit clumpy looking. Add the milk and cook on medium high. When the milk/roux mixture is to your desired thickness, add the cheese and spices. Drain your pasta and add it directly into the sauce. Put it in a bowl and devour. 

Easy, cheesy, and so good. I probably used way more cheese than I should have but I don't regret eating this one bit! I'm not going to list the nutrition facts since I really don't want to know how many calories I ate!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Healthier Take on Sausage and Beans

I'm really not a fan of most sausages do to the fact that they contain fennel or caraway seeds. However, I love turkey sausage, chicken sausage, and the more international types (Polish, Spanish, Portuguese). This recipe oddly came to me when I bought mushrooms at the grocery store yesterday. It's earthy, savory, and will be a great dish to make in the fall (or today, who cares!).

Turkey Kielbasa and Black Beans with Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 Cups mushrooms (I used whole button mushrooms)
1 Package of Hillshire Farm Turkey Kielbasa
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely diced
1 Tbl fresh rosemary, finely diced
2 tsp of dried Thyme
1/3 cup of diced scallions

Heat oven to 450º. Using a wet paper towel, wash the dirt off of your mushrooms. Place them in a plastic bag and add vinegar, oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, a teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and let marinate until the oven is ready (for me that's about 20 minutes). Cook the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes in a shallow container or casserole dish, stirring occasionally. 

Meanwhile, add butter to a medium sized pan and head to medium high. Add your kielbasa (you can chop, dice, puree, or whatever you feel like) and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are 2 shades darker in color. Add the beans, turn the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. You can use a potato masher to mash the beans for a smoother consistency, or you can lightly grind them in a food processor prior to adding them to the pan. 

When the mushrooms are done, quarter them and add them to the sausage and beans. Add additional salt and pepper if you feel that the flavors are lacking. The best part is when you add the liquid from the roasted mushrooms to the bean mixture! After you have served your hungry guests, top each bowl with fresh scallions.

You could serve this over rice or quinoa if you'd like to round out the meal with a carb.

Enjoy :)

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 314 per serving
Total Fat: 15.3g
Cholesterol: 56.9g
Sodium: 1,011mg
Carbohydrates: 23.4g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 6g
Protein: 19.8g

Harvest Turkey Burgers

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and I love to try new ways too cook with it. I've done zucchini cakes, grilled zucchini, and zucchini spaghetti. Yesterday I decided to grate it like I would for my zucchini cakes and add it to some ground turkey for half meat/half veggie burgers! You could also make these into meatballs and they would be equally as delicious.

Harvest Turkey Burgers

Ingredients (makes about 5 burgers):
1/2 lb of extra lean ground turkey
1 medium zucchini, grated with skins and drained of extra moisture
1 10oz can of tomatoes and green chilis, drained
1/2 of a red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 cup of plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 of an avocado or 1 egg (to bind)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (or drizzle olive oil). Form your patties/balls and top with another spritz of cooking spray, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook for 40 minutes if making burgers or 30 minutes for meatballs.

You can eat these on a burger bun, or you could serve over a salad, or some zucchini spaghetti! They taste great with homemade marinara sauce or even barbecue sauce.

Enjoy :)

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 170 per burger
Total Fat: 3.6g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 795mg
Carbohydrates: 19.3g
Fiber: 1.9g
Sugars: 7.7g
Protein: 14.5g