Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baked Chimichangas

Last night I had no idea what to make for dinner. I always make a weekly menu, but somehow this week got away from me and the menu...yeah it got away from me too. SO, I thought about the things I had around my kitchen, did a few google searches, and came up with this: baked chimichangas! They are yummy! And as usual when I serve something we've never had before, these were met with upturned noses and grimacing faces. That's my favorite part about dinner (not!). As it turned out, everyone loved them and ate them all up. Woohoo!

Baked Chimichangas

1 lb. ground beef

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 can diced green chilis

1/2 cup corn

1 can enchilada sauce

1 tsp. chili powder

3/4 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 (16oz. can) refried beans

8-10 flour tortillas

shredded cheese (about 1 cup)

1 T. butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350. Brown the ground beef in a skillet. When it's about done cooking, add the onion, peppers, and corn, and continue cooking until onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the refried beans, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Cook until heated through, and remove from heat.

Spoon the beef mixture evenly over the tortillas, and top with cheese. Fold in the ends, then roll up tortillas and put seam side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Brush the tortillas with melted butter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and lettuce.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Baked Long Johns

So I saw this recipe in my recent issue of Healthy Cooking magazine, and I was intrigued. Supposedly they are similar to something you can buy at Speedway SuperAmerica gas stations?? Huh? Never heard of it, but they looked amazing and worth a try.

I mixed up the batter, and was surprised to find that they tasted suspiciously like the muffin recipe I frequently use. I couldn't wait to see what they turned into. We decided when they came out of the oven that they are a cross between a muffin and cake. Less sweet than a muffin, more dense than a cake. And really, really good! The original recipe called for chocolate frosting, but we are lemon lovers in these parts so I also whipped up some lemon glaze to drizzle on a few. I liked those the best. To change these up you could add blueberries to the lemon glazed, or mini chocolate chips to the chocolate glazed. Mmmm, mmm.

Baked Long Johns
adapted from Healthy Cooking magazine

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 cup skim milk
1 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla and butter. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon batter into eight 4 1/2x2 1/2x1 1/2 inch loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool.

Chocolate Glaze:
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 T. butter
4 1/2 tsp. skim milk

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter. Stir in the milk until smooth. Dip tops of cakes in the glaze.

Lemon Glaze:
Powdered sugar
lemon juice

Mix 3 parts powdered sugar to 1 part lemon juice, adjusting until you get the desired consistency. Spoon glaze over cakes.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Baked Cinnamon Chips

This is a great snack idea that is quick and easy. Similar to something you might find in a Mexican restaurant, but MUCH healthier. There are only 3 ingredients, and they take about 15 minutes from start to finish. Simple and fun!

Baked Cinnamon Chips

Butter flavored spray
Cinnamon/sugar mixture (1/2 cup sugar to 1 T. of cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350. Lay a tortilla on a cutting board. Spray with butter spray. You could also mist with water, or spread softened butter over the top. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the tortilla. Use a pizza cutter to cut the tortilla into triangles, and lay each one on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes, depending on your oven. You want them to be dry and slightly crisp when you take them out of the oven. They will continue to crisp up as they cool. Lay the baked chips on a cooling rack until cool.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whole Grain Pancake Mix

I recently came across this recipe from my sister-in-law Katherine. She is a wonder woman. As this recipe falls into the 'easy healthy breakfast' category, I knew I had to try it! This mix is easy to whip together and makes wonderful pancakes. The only issue I have is that with a family of seven, I have to double the recipe and it gets used up fast. My family LOVES pancakes, and I love that this mix allows me a few extra minutes in the morning. Yay!

Whole Grain Pancake Mix
by Katherine J.

1 1/2 cup dry milk
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milled flax (optional) (I'll have a post about flax later next week)

Mix together and store in an airtight container. To make pancakes: measure out 1 1/2 cups dry mix and add 1 beaten egg, 1 cup water, and 1 Tbsp. oil. Cook on a buttered skillet.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I think long ago I posted another recipe for minestrone soup. That one used to be my standby recipe, but it's basically a recipe for dressed up canned soup. This recipe is all natural and deeelicious! Since spring seems like it will never come around these parts, we have enjoyed this soup to warm us up on days when warmth is hard to find.

Minestrone Soup
adapted from Food Network magazine

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/3 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces (I left these out and added more carrots)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes (can never find these, so I just smush up another can of diced tomatoes)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 15oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup elbow pasta
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and cook the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the celery and carrot, and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green beans, oregano, and basil, 1/2 tsp. salt and some pepper to taste, and cook 3 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes and chicken broth to the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add the kidney beans and pasta, turn up the heat to a low boil, and cook 10 more minutes or until pasta is done. Top with Parmesan cheese.


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