Archive | August 2011

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I found a  great new cookbook from the library called The Vegetarian SlowCooker.  

I tried this new recipe and my whole family ate it. My hubby gave it a score of 7. Which is pretty good for a vegetarian dish.  Because it was so healthy and easy  I would give it at least an 8.5!  I served it with a Thai Coleslaw.

Lentil Sloppy Joes (With my adaptations. I also doubled this and had enough leftovers for lunch the next day!)

1 T butter

1 onion, finely chopped

4 celery stalks, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c organic ketchup

1/4 c water (more if adding uncooked lentils)

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T sucanat or brown sugar

1 T Dijon mustard

2 c cooked brown or green lentils, drained and rinsed (I soaked my lentils for a couple of hours then put about 3 cups of the soaked lentils right into the crockpot.)

In a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 min.  Add garlic, oregano, salt to taste and cook for 1 min.  Stir in ketchup, water, vinegar, sugar, and mustard. Transfer to slow cooker. Add lentils and stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours until hot and bubbly. Add hot pepper sauce if you want. I didn’t. Serve over homemade buns!

Thai Coleslaw

This is from another cookbook I found at the library.  The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook.  I haven’t been as impressed with this one but have only tried 3 recipes from it. This dressing scored big with me. Again with my adaptations.

1/2 a head of cabbage shredded small

2 carrots shredded

1/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 c Sesame Orange Vinaigrette(below)

I think it would be yummy to add mango, peanuts, fresh pineapple or roasted sesame seeds. I didn’t as I was in a hurry and my kitchen was a mess with my husband trying to install a dishwasher, that’s another story.

Sesame Orange Vinaigrette

1/2 c orange juice (freshly squeezed yum)

1/4 c rice vinegar

1/4 c maple syrup

2 T grated ginger(don’t skip this)

3/4 c olive oil

1/4 c toasted sesame oil (I just realized I skipped this and it was still yummy)

1 T sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all together and pour over salad!

 

 

Getting Ready for School Lunch?

More & more schools are being targeted about their unhealthy lunches. I still don’t see progress being made in that area. Our kids need good whole milk not skim and no matter what you say chicken nuggets just aren’t “real” food and fries are not a vegetable!  My kids take sack lunches everyday.

My 7 year old is pickier(not bad but pickier) and likes jelly sandwiches every day with applesauce. My oldest likes leftovers or other things but hates sandwiches. I try to have a pretty good variety of things around for them to pick. I am not a fan of cold lunches so I try to make theirs  as appetizing as possible so it doesn’t get tossed in the trash.  So here are a few ideas and I will add more as my kids come up with them.

We have an excel spread sheet that I typed up with  5 categories then my kids pick one from each category. It reminds them what to eat without staring in the fridge and it reminds me what I need from the store when I ‘m making my list.

Categories:

Main Item: PB & J sandwich, Yogurt, pizza sticks, calzones, boiled egg, PB crackers, lunchable, leftovers, tuna sandwich, cowboy caviar, salad

Vegetable: carrot sticks, celery sticks, jicama, cucumber slices, pickles, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes(cherry), avacado, artichoke, sprouts(sunflower, alfalfa, mung bean, adzuki bean)

Fruit: Grapes, apples, applesauce, pears, fruit leather, raisins, peaches, plums, banana

Grain: muffin, granola bar, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, breadsticks, tortilla (all these are homemade, otherwise you are getting all kinds of nasty extras in there or you are paying an arm and a leg for stuff that still has questionable things)

Protein: trail mix, nuts, cheese, peanut butter(added to celery or apple), pinto beans

I have a stash of extra plastic spoons & forks, plastic bags and paper bags all set up on one shelf  in my pantry.  Next to it is a basket  with snacks like trail mix, nuts, fruit leather, dried fruit and other dry homemade snacks. They can grab them quick to throw in their lunch. This year I’m going to get a rubbermaid and stock it with veggies and fruit already cut and bagged in the fridge so they can grab it quick too.

 

Cowboy Caviar

There is a local store that sells cowboy caviar. I think it’s a silly name but boy is it yummy!  I refuse to pay $6 for about a pint and it has sugar in it. So I made my own.

Cowboy Caviar

Again these measurements are guesses. I don’t measure, I love to throw in. So if you make this and find I should adjust something, leave me a comment.

1 c black beans (all beans are best cooked from dry rather than canned but if that’s all you have it still works.)

1 c corn (frozen or fresh)

1 c Black eyed peas

1 c Pinto Beans

1/2  medium onion chopped

2-3 T fresh cilantro

1 red or green bell pepper chopped small

1-2 avacadoes chopped small

Dressing:

Mix:  1/4 c olive oil

3 T honey

3 T Apple Cider Vinegar

Garlic salt & pepper

Eat this with homemade tortilla chips or jicama wedges! Nice added to taco salad too.

 

Cucumber Salad

I tried a cucumber salad at Whole Foods in SLC in June. It was so good! So I got the ingredients list and made up  my own. So yummy. But take into account I don’t measure well. I try to remember for this blog but I forgot on this one so this is an estimate.

1 cucumber ( I prefer english style since the skins are not so tough) cut in half and sliced

1/4 sweet onion, chopped

1 T cilantro chopped fine

1 T Mirin (find at Azure Standard)

1 T Rice Vinegar

Salt & Pepper