Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Red Beans & Rice.....Slow Cooked in the Crockpot

No fuss cooked red beans and rice, just plop those babies in the crockpot and forget about them for 6 hours, total cook time is 8 hours. No soaking these little stinkers either. How cool is that! I love to cook in the crockpot when there is a chill in the air. Easy, inexpensive and tasty gets me every time. Get your bean fix here!
  • 1 16 oz. bag dry small red beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 3 links Andouille sausage about 6" long, cut into slices
  •       ( I used AMYLU Andoullie chicken sausage )
  • 1 cup dry white or brown rice cooked according to package directions
  • Hot Sauce, I used Cholula, original

I used a small 3 quart crockpot and added the first six ingredients, mix together well. Cover and cook on high for 6  hours ( cooking for a total of 8 hours), then add sausage to cook for the last 2 hours. Cook rice just before serving or use some leftover rice, minute rice or frozen rice if you do not want to cook any. Spoon some rice on your plate and top with the bean mixture with some drops of hot sauce to suit your taste. We also ate it without the rice and it was good that way too. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reuben Grilled the Lighter Way

If you make make a grilled cheese then you can make a Reuben. Ta Da !!! My version is lower in fat and calories, so you can have your Reuben and eat it without the guilt. Make sure you get yourself a good quality rye bread and you will thank yourself with the first crispy bite of the golden brown deliciousness. I just love a good Reuben, but don't like the high calories that come with it. So trick your fat cells into singing with delight with this one.
  • Turkey Pastrami, I used Castle Wood brand
  • New York Style Jewish Rye bread
  • Reduced fat Swiss Cheese, I used Jarlsburg 50% less fat
  • Sauerkraut
  • Walden Farms fat free, calorie free Thousand Island dressing
  • Mt Olive Relish, no sugar added
  • Smart Balance margarine, original
I am giving you directions for one sandwich, but please make as many as you want. You will need 2 nonstick skillets for this sandwich, preheat skillets over medium heat. In a single layer at a time add 4 - 6 slices of pastrami evenly stacking on top of one another, flipping occasionally to heat evenly.

Meanwhile spread margarine over both slices of rye bread but only coating one side of the bread. Heat up about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of  sauerkraut but drain and squeeze out liquid first. Place in bowl and cover with a paper towel and microwave the kraut until heated through.

Place one rye bread slice in the skillet margarine side down, add 1 or 2 cheese slices, hot pastrami on top of the cheese, then top pastrami with sauerkraut, place last slice of rye on top with  margarine side up. Grill both sides until golden brown only flipping once, cooking it just like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Mix together some of the relish with the Thousand Island dressing and spread on the inside of the bread, cut sandwich in half and enjoy. Adding extra relish to the dressing gives it more pizzazz.
                                                                     



Friday, October 3, 2014

Beef Vegetable Soup

I'll tell you that this recipe is one of my family's favorites. Our son went off to college and went on a shopping spree to buy canned soup. I loved his way of thinking to try to get a good quick meal. Mind you the boy only ever had homemade here and thought it would be just as good. Well I received a call from Eric and he said the soup was just awful. I just chuckled and said oh Eric you're used to homemade soup and that canned stuff is horrible. He was spoiled by my cooking and did not even know it at the time.

Chilly Fall days here in Maryland scream for a nice hearty soup. It will fill you up and warm your chilly bones from the inside out. It a big batch of soup so share some with friend or neighbor or freeze some into individual size portions. Think big and eat great! Enjoy!
  • 2 ½ -3 lbs. sirloin or beef round top round steak                  
  • 18 cups or 4 1/2 quarts of water
  • 1/3 cup beef base *
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen Petite Peas
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen Butter Beans or Lima's
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen Sweet White Corn
  • 1 20 oz. bag frozen cut Green Beans
  • 2 cups diced raw potatoes diced w/ skin on
  • 1 cup  chopped fresh cabbage
  • 1 ½ cup diced fresh carrots
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
Preheat grill to high. Sear meat for 3 minutes on each side or you may brown meat in a large skillet inside if you do not have access to a gas grill. Set meat on platter and set aside.

In a large soup pot add beef base, water, & tomato paste. stir together well with a wire whisk making sure you break up base and tomato paste. Heat over medium heat. Then add the peas, butter beans, corn, green beans, potatoes, cabbage, salt , & pepper. Cut meat into bite size pieces and add to the soup pot.  Cover stirring occasionally until soup comes to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for  2-3 hours.

*I buy chicken and beef base at the wholesale food clubs and they make the best broth for soups.