Friday, January 31, 2014

Meatless Fridays : Spinach and Lentil Soup

Spinach is loaded with Vitamin A, K, D, and E . It is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It also strengthens our bones, a cup of fresh spinach contains twice your daily vitamin K needs.

 As for these small ( but wonderful) small lentils, they are very healthy and excellent for our hearts.
 It aids in lowering your cholesterol ( with a consistent , balance healthy diet and exercise of course), a good source of calcium, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Lentils are high in protein and can replace the red meat in your diet without sacrificing all the nutrients. One meatless meal a week is a good baby step for every family to achieve healthy habits.




Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 diced garlic cloves
1 8oz tomato sauce
1 10oz green tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups Chicken broth
5 cups hot water
a bag of fresh spinach
1 cup white rice
1 1/2 cups of green lentils
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot , warm the olive oil. Add the onion first , then the garlic. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.



Stir in the diced tomatoes with green chilies , tomato sauce , broth and hot water. Mix in the spinach. Bring to a boil.


Add the Lentils and white rice and bring to a boil.



Reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes. If you like it to be a little thicker cook for about 20 minutes.

How easy can this healthy meal can be..






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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Homemade Bread Loaves

    Does your family loves a good bread? Mine does. I don't always bake homemade bread , just once in a while and when I do , I ask myself why I don't always do this all the time? No doubt about it , the homemade bread taste is much better and economical too. You feel good knowing that there are " no hard to pronounce ingredients" , you know whats in your bread..you know what you are feeding your family.

    This is an easy recipe for a homemade bread . It involves minimal kneading , so if you don't have a stand mixer, mixing it by hand is just fine! It is a little crunchy on the outside ( If you prefer to bake it that way, we do) , soft and fluffy inside.




Ingredients:

2 packages of active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup low fat milk ( can use evaporated milk)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp salt
6 cups of flour , I use all purpose. You can also use whole wheat or bread flour. You may need more if your dough is sticky.


Directions:

Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into a bowl , sprinkle yeast over it. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Until they are bubbly.



Melt butter . Add in honey and sugar. Stir it and let it cool slightly.


Combine the butter mixture , salt , 2 cups water and yeast in the bowl.


Add in the flour. Adding one cup at a time. You'll know your dough is ready when it is not sticky anymore. You may add 1/2 cup of flour at a time if you need some more flour. Place the dough in a floured surface and knead until all the flour is incorporated. ( If using a stand mixer , use your dough hook ,speed 2)


Place the dough back in the bowl ( or just leave the dough in your mixer's bowl) , Cover it with a clean kitchen towel . Let it sit for 1 hour until it doubles in size.


After an hour , Punch down the dough and let it rise again for 45 minutes.


Separate the dough into 2 equal balls. With floured hands , Shape or press the dough ball into rectangle , tuck the ends under. Place the loaves on greased loaf or bread pans.

Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes, until the dough is on top of the bread pan.

Still with me? I promise you , it is worth it :)


Bake at 350 deg for 25 minutes. or until the breads are golden brown.

Let it cool before slicing. Serve with warm soup or just with butter.


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Meatless Fridays : Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas


I had previously mentioned that I like to serve at least one or two meatless meals in a week. We'd like to eat more healthy, more vegetables, and more real food as much as possible. This Black bean recipe is both healthy and budget friendly. A win-win for every budget-concious family.  They are very easy to make . 

Black beans are rich in fiber , which helps in lowering cholesterol.  The black color of black beans is because of the presence of antioxidant called anthocyanins. It the same powerful flavonoids, that are found in nutritional foods like blueberries, red cabbage, cranberries, and red beets.( Source: Benefits of Black Beans )

Adapted from : Budget Bytes    





Ingredients:

2 cups Homemade Black Beans  ( can use canned black beans)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 chopped garlic clove
2 cups  vegan shredded cheese, if not vegan you can use regular shredded cheese
10 flour tortillas

Directions:

Combine the beans and the corn in a large bowl.


Add the garlic and onion ,


add the taco seasoning ,


and the cheese ,


Stir everything until they are very well mixed .  Spoon the mixed filling to the other half of the tortilla and fold over. Cook it , on both sides until they are crispy and brown. If you see the cheese melting , you should be done cooking it too.



They are so good and tasty!


 Why make your own taco seasoning ?

Because the ingredients to make a batch of taco seasoning , are ingredients that you already have in your pantry. They are very cost effective , much healthier than store bought. And you don't have to worry about the ingredients that you can't even pronounce when buying a store bought packet of taco seasoning.


See here for : Make your own Taco Seasoning   (and other mixes too!)













Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Weiners


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They say that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I say..it's bacon.  This my friends, is  the most delicious guilty pleasure that you can indulge with. not healthy for sure, but one of the yummiest appetizer you can serve.  Try this very easy and REALLY GOOD recipe.
Ingredients:

1 package of little smokies
1 lb bacon
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar


Directions:



Cut your bacon in halves..or thirds..

 Wrap each wieners with bacon. Place them seams down on a greased glass baking dish.

Drizzle with vinegar and brown sugar . Refrigerate for several hours.



After letting it sit in the fridge , bake at 350 deg for 1 hour.


These little yummies were a big hit with hubby. Of course anything wrapped in bacon is a big hit for him I think..









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Shared with:
Saturday Dishes @ Life is Fantasmic

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Old self..here's a colored balloon . Let the dull balloons go.




Have you felt like you were still being judged by your past ? I do sometimes , especially on what seems to be a regular conversation with other people, who would suddenly shift about my past. This has bothered me a lot . I had two conversations , both of them close to my heart. I shared  a great news that my family is planning for this year , when I was reminded of a mistake I made ages ago. That this "plan" is good because I left home early and the way I left home. You see,  I left home early , because I was a naive , impatient and irrational teenager. Teenager . I thought I wanted more in life. I shifted gears..and it was a wrong gear. With that conversation, I realized wow , how could these people who meant so much to me , remember me that way..not with WHO I AM RIGHT NOW. I am a wife , a mom , a sister and a friend. I am a good person.

I confided with hubby , and there were a lot of talks about this. He did shed light , along with prayers ..with my now sad and angered heart. I told him that during those years that I wasn't home , I was never a bad person. I understood my family .. the hurt and but never forced them to accept my decision..it came in time. I didn't turn my back for those who needed my help , I offered myself when service was needed . I was never a disrespectful person.  I told my husband how come people are too quick to forget on how good of a person you are and also too quick to pin point your mistakes in the past. My husband's answer blew me away.. he asked me " if I have forgiven myself". I gave it a thought , I said .." I'm on my way there.."
He said.. " If you have forgiven yourself ..these people who gives you this..shouldn't bother you."

Never a day went by that I wished I did some things differently. I wished I HANDLED some things amicably.. But then.. those bad experiences that I had shaped me to be who I am right now. I am worthy of the good life I have right now, I paid my dues emotionally. Every time , a conversation about my past would be brought up..I always ended up "over explaining " myself . Those days are over now , All people have a past. Mine  has always been an open book. I share with people to inspire .. So old self..here's a colored balloon.. let go of the dull balloons..the dull past.. let it go. You are good in God's eyes. Move forward.. and pray for those who can't let go of their "old self".


I can not seek everybody's forgiveness. If they can not look past those mistakes I had ( everybody's had , no one ever had a perfect past) , You can not then see how God shaped me to be the person ..the wife and the mother I am today. I was already forgiven by my Holy Father. I am not going to walk with a big cloud of guilt over my head . I will be reminded of my past. I can not control other peoples perception and thinking  but I know where I stand in God's heart.


Lots of Love ,




Linking with :

Time Warp Wife  , Serenity Now , Thrive at Home , Whole hearted home , Raising Homemakers ,
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home , A Little R & R

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Taco Bites

I made these easy and so yummy taco bites last Christmas. A budget friendly appetizer if  you will use  homemade staples . Instead of using canned black beans , you can buy a bag of beans and cook it at home. A bag of beans can yield up to 5-6 cups. I am making this again for Superbowl :)





Ingredients:

1 package of wonton wrappers
1 lb of ground turkey
A package of taco seasoning or use  Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 can of black beans or use Homemade
1 -2 cups shredded cheese
cooking spray

As for the toppings you can use : tomato , shredded lettuce , black olives , cilantro , hot sauce , green onions and avocado

I served the toppings buffet style as well..


Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a non stick muffin tin with your cooking spray. Gently press , one wonton wrapper on each of the muffin tin. Heat pan and brown your ground turkey. Drain and put the browned ground turkey back to the pan. Mix in the taco seasoning , adding half a cup of water. Let it cook for a few.

Roughly chop the beans and add it to the seasoned  ground turkey . 

Fill every cup of wonton wrapper with 1 tablespoon of the ground turkey mixture .

Sprinkle cheese on top.



Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese melts or when your wonton cups have golden brown edges.

A lot of yumminess on those bites!


Add your favorite toppings.




Drizzle with a lil bit of  hot sauce...


Delicious! Pin it, share it..save it later. awesome for any occasion.