Archive for February, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes


One of my favorite cookbooks is “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light.  It is a collection of easy-to-make recipes that are both simple and healthy.  One of the features of this book is that it gives you a “game plan” for each recipe, so that you know which order to prepare and cook the meal in so that you maximize your time and cook as efficiently as possible.  This is very helpful on a busy weeknight!

I never used to be a huge fan of sloppy joes, but this recipe changed my opinion and now I love them.  This is the perfect weeknight meal, and it makes excellent leftovers.  The ingredients are simple, and several of them are pantry staples: onion, green bell pepper, garlic, ground beef, tomato paste, chicken broth, a few spices, hamburger buns, and canned corn.  The bell peppers and corn add color, sweetness, and tastiness to the dish.  You will not be disappointed with this recipe!

Recipe from: Cooking Light

Sloppy Joes

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1  teaspoon  canola oil
  • 1  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1  cup  finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½  pounds  lean ground beef
  • 1  (6-ounce) can no salt-added tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (15-ounce) can no salt-added corn, rinsed and drained
  • 6  (1 ½ -ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted (toasting is optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.
  3. Add meat to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.
  4. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and broth. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in corn; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  7. Spoon about 1 cup meat mixture on bottom half of each hamburger bun; cover with top half of each bun.

Serves: 6

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Puff Pastry Pizza

Puff Pastry Pizza with Tomato Sauce


Whenever my fridge gets full of random leftover ingredients, I make a “clean out the fridge” dinner, where I try to use up as many things from my fridge as possible.  Last week I had leftover homemade tomato sauce, 2 artichoke and roasted garlic sausages (Aidell’s brand), a block of parmesan cheese, 2 Roma tomatoes, a carrot, and some asparagus.  So I decided to make pizza with a side of steamed carrots & asparagus.

I had planned on making the pizza dough from scratch, but when I went to grab a packet of yeast out of the freezer, it had expired in 2007, so I threw it out.  I couldn’t find any more packets of yeast in my kitchen, but I did find a package of Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry dough in my freezer.  I pulled it out, looked at the box, and the box said to go to www.puffpastry.com for recipe ideas.  So I went to the website, and apparently there are hundreds of things you can make with frozen puff pastry dough.  I never would have thought to look there for recipes.  I found a recipe for pepperoni pizza and printed it out.

The pizza turned out great – the puff pastry crust was lighter and fluffier than regular pizza.  And it was the perfect way to use up some of the ingredients I had.

Adapted from: www.puffpastry.com

Puff Pastry Pizza

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough (such as Pepperidge Farm)
  • tomato sauce (jarred or homemade… whatever you have)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of your choice: (I used 2 diced, cooked sausage links, 2 sliced tomatoes, some Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning)

Directions

  1. Thaw pastry dough at room temperature for 40 minutes.  Heat oven to 400’ F.
  2. Unfold dough onto lightly floured surface.  Roll into 15”x10” rectangle and place on a baking sheet.  Prick dough thoroughly with a fork.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. – Note: Do not under bake or your pizza will be too doughy.
  3. Spread tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a ½ inch edge.  Top with mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice.  Bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese melts.
  4. Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

Serves: 4

Steamed carrots & asparagus are an easy and healthy side dish

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies


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