Thursday, June 18, 2009

Overnight Oatmeal

It's not that I haven't been cooking lately...I really have! In fact, I've tried a number of awesome new recipes! Tonight's dinner, for example, was an AMAZING lentils taco recipe. You'd have to try them to believe how good they are! It is definitely going to be part of the Shull standard Mexican fare. I've also made a fabulous roasted garlic and white bean soup (twice--it was a big hit with the hub), tortilla soup, and tortellini soup. All very tasty. I just haven't been taking pics and have been too busy (ok fine, not busy, just not motivated) to post.

But tonight I decided to make another batch of overnight oatmeal, since it was such a hit last week. This recipe made enough for 3 breakfasts! Not wanting to forget which recipe I used (since I looked at several), I decided I'd better post about this one so that I don't have to scour the internet next time I want to make this dish.

2 cups oats
6 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (a generous tsp!)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cherry berry blend dried fruit (or whatever you like, rasins, etc.)
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours (or from whenever you go to bed till whenever you wake up).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Buttermilk Alfredo

Remember that buttermilk that revolutionized my pesto? Well, today was the "best by" date. I am a stickler when it comes to expiration dates, and I also hate throwing things out. Result--kitchen experiments! Today's was a great success!

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups buttermilk
3 tbs cornstarch
pinch italian seasoning
salt & pepper
1 cup parmesean cheese

Like many of my fave recipes are, this was really quick and easy! I mixed the buttermilk, cornstarch, and italian seasoning and simmered it.

Meanwhile, minced garlic and the spinach went into a separate pan. (A third pot was boiling water for noodles--I hate getting so many pots dirty, but that's life). After a few minutes, added the tomatoes (drained) to the spinach.

The buttermilk was bubbling away, so I added the cheese. Stir, stir, stir!

Then I dumped the buttermilk mixture in with the spinach and tomatoes. Gorgeous! Love those colors! By this time, the noodles were done. Mixed those in as well. Done! From start to finish, this took about half an hour, maybe less. Perfect for a Wednesday night meal!

Allen and I both really loved the creaminess of the pasta. And since the buttermilk was low-fat, none of the guilt of eating alfredo! We will definitely be having this again, although next time, I think some garbanzo beans would be a fantastic addition.

The leftover sauce is going to become a white pizza in a few days. Yay leftovers!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mexican Pizza

I made a HUGE pot of black beans yesterday. By huge, I mean, it completely filled my 6-quart crock pot! Most of the beans were portioned into bags and frozen for later, but I kept some out for this week. Then I went searching for something to make with said beans.

I've never had a Mexican pizza, but they sound cute! There seem to be two basic types--those made on regular dough and those made on tortillas. Since we've had pizza and calzones recently, I thought we'd try them out with tortillas.

Since I had both corn and flour tortillas on hand, I made one of each to see which we like better! (It was a tie--the corn tasted more "authentic" but the flour were good too!)

So here's the recipe:

Put 1 tortilla in a pie pan (or baking sheet)
Spread with half a can (each pizza) of refried beans
Top with another tortilla and bake for 10 minutes at 350.

Then, add seasoned black beans to the tortillas. Cover with a third tortilla and bake for 5 min.

Top with salsa and cheese, bake till cheese is melty (about 5 min).

Easy, cheap, and fairly nutritious! My triple-layer pizza was a result of not reading the directions carefully, haha. But since I was pretty much improvising anyway, I figured it was ok! And it turned out just fine. Now we have a new Mexican dish to add to our rotation!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I had planned to make homemade pizza Thursday night. I was so proud of myself for making the dough the night before and letting it proof in the fridge all day. Will and Allison were coming to stay with us (for Tim's wedding), and pizza's a pretty easy meal. Then we found out that more friends were coming! Todd and Rachel, friends from out of town, and James. We were super-happy to have them, but had to redo the menu. We ended up getting pizzas from Sam's and making some hot wings. And I did make a good pan of brownies! (Decreased the sugar by 1/2 cup and added white choc chips, no nuts!!)

So then I had this leftover pizza dough just hanging out in the fridge. Today it fulfilled its doughy mission and became calzones.

I used Pizza Dough III, which is the stickiest dough I've come across! The dough tasted fine, but it wasn't good enough to repeat. Used the same pizza sauce (Exquisite Pizza Sauce) as for the Stuffed Crust Pizza. Love that sauce! I cooked it on the stove for a bit since it was being served as a dipping sauce and not going to bake in the oven.

I filled one calzone with turkey pepperoni and fontina/havarti cheese (leftover from fondue last night), which was far superior to the sausage and cheese one.

These were great after a long day in class. We took the pooch for a walk afterward to burn off some of those calories! Met a nice lady and her bichon, Romeo. So cute!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Buttermilk Pesto

The oregano in my garden is getting out of control. Seriously--taking over the world. Or at least, the little part of the world that is just outside my house. But who wants to waste perfectly good oregano? Not me, certainly! I've heard of people using oregano instead of basil for pesto. Sounds good! I wasn't willing to totally forgo the basil, so I went with 1/2 and 1/2 on the herbs.

Then the most miraculous thing happened. This was my first time using the blender on pesto. I used to make it in the now deceased food processor, which gave up the ghost trying to make a particularly thick cream cheese frosting for a friend's red velvet birthday cake. So I thought I'd check out some forums on Chowhound about making pesto in a blender. I came across this tip: "BTW, I use buttermilk in place of most of the oil. Adds a creaminess and cuts the calories." WOW! I was floored. Absolutely had to try this myself!

1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh oregano
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cloves minced garlic
drizzle of olive oil

Complete success! Finally, guilt-free pesto! Paired with whole wheat pasta, this is a great meal!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chicken Curry

Allen had another tooth pulled today, poor dear! So I'm making one of his favorite dishes, chicken curry. Like most things I make, I do a lot of experimenting with curry! Here's today's mix:

1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic
1 generous tbsp ginger paste (we use it instead of fresh ginger--tons better than the powdered stuff, but no need to fuss with fresh!)
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp reshampati chili powder
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
5 oz tomato paste
2 cups garbanzo beans
2 chicken breasts
1/2 can coconut milk
1 cup yogurt

Curry is simple and delicious! I cooked the onions till translucent, added the garlic and ginger. After a few minutes I stirred in the coconut milk, yogurt, and all the rest. Then, just let it simmer for about 25 minutes! For an added kick at the end, stir in some lemon or lime juice and a bit of cayenne. Served with jasmine rice (which I find I prefer to basmati) cooked with cumin seeds.

My house will smell like curry all week. No picture today, but boy, was it good!