Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Catching Up

I've been a little delinquent on this round of recipes, but I finally made the Apple Pot Roast and Chili! It was my first ever pot roast, and I can't figure out why I waited so long - it was delicious! It was tender and flavorful. Like Rachel, I also only used a portion of the apple juice and I used hard cider. It was slightly sweet and apple-flavored, but not overwhelmingly. I think one of my favorite parts was getting to make french dip sandwiches with the leftovers the next night!
I also really liked the chili though I was skeptical of the ranch flavoring at first. I cut the recipe in half (which still easily fed 5 of us) and served it with sharp cheddar cheese, green onions and corn bread. Everyone really enjoyed it. I think next time I will add a few more veggies like a green bell pepper and some corn. I'm looking forward to trying the beer bread in the future!
Thank you Carrie and Serena for some flavorful fall food ideas.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where's the beef?

So yummy!!!! I am sitting in a food induced stupor. Today I finally gave in and made the Apple Pot roast for Katrina and I. I was VERY skeptical of what she would eat since she is somewhat of a vegetarian. I was hoping an apple flavor and "sweet" taste others mentioned would win her over. IT WORKED!!! I didn;t find this to be sweet at all. I certainly had a hint of apple flavor but nothing over-powering at all. We both loved this recipe and will certainly make it again!

Now for what I did differently (cuz y'all know I can't keep any recipe as written)

for starters I used a pork roast (they are smaller, cheaper, and I was a bit afraid of a sweeter beef so opted for pork thinking it goes great with applesauce anyway)

I did cut the apple concentrate/ juice/ water in half since my roast was much smaller
I kept the same amount of garlic, and soup mix although left my cloves whole and shoved into the slits in the meat.

I also make my own onion soup mix and think that made a big difference, it doesn't have much salt and so the flavors are much more pronounced.

This was fabulous!!!! Sorry for doubting you Serena, I should know better by now!!! I owe you an apology this was yummy.

and did I mention... KATRINA HAD 3RDS of the MEAT??????

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chili Soup and Cheesy Bacon Beer Bread

That's right, read that title to the men in your life and watch them swoon.

We love chili in our house, all the time, anytime but especially in the fall. There are so many different ways to make chili that we don't get tired of it. This is our newest find, one we've enjoyed so much that I believe we've ate it 4 times in the last 6 weeks. It's a great recipe to have some friends over with for a casual fall meal. That was how the recipe was introduced to us so that's the way I'm going to publish the recipe, but if your just cooking for your family then just half all the ingredients.

The Bread is what we've been making to go along with this chili but if it looks to overwhelming then just grab a box of Jiffy cornbread and it will still be so good. One great thing about chili is you could tackle the chili in the morning or even the day before and then just do the bread the day your serving the meal.

Happy Eating!

2lbs hamburger
1lb ground pork
3 packets taco seasoning
2 double packets Buttermilk Ranch Mix (Ranch brand packets for dip, 4 single packets total)
1 bulb garlic minced
1 onion chopped
2 bottles beer (dark preferred but any will do)
4 cans of beans (kidney, pinto whatever you like, we do a combo of kidney, pinto and even black)
4 cans tomato stuff (2 diced, 2 sauce, again this is changeable depending on your likes in the tomato department)

• Brown the onions in butter or oil until soft/brown (3-5 minutes)
• Add minced garlic, stir for .5 - 1 minute
• Remove onion and garlic from pan, set aside
• Add meat to pan, brown over med heat
• Add onions & garlic back to pan
• Add taco seasoning, stir to combine
• Deglaze pan with beer, bring to hard simmer, reduce by half
• Add rest of ingredients, low simmer for at least 15 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

Cheesy Bacon Beer Bread

makes one 9-inch load

Brushing butter on top before baking makes a crisp and flavorful crust. You will need about 1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing the top of the bread.

1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups light bodied beer like Budweiser
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

375 degrees rack in middle position. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.

Combine cheese, bacon, flour sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Stir in the beer and melted butter and mix until well combined. Pour into the loaf pan, spreading the batter to the corners, and brush lightly with the extra melted butter.

Bake until deep golden brown and a tooth pick come out clean about 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely and slice as desired (though we never can wait for a complete cooling)

Chicken Strips! Cotton Clan Review

This was a win with everyone in the house. I agree with Eva that the dill sets it apart. I also think I'll use less butter next time as I don't think it needed all of it. I cooked it much longer then suggested to get it a nice crisp outside. We ate this with home made sweet potatoe fries and corn. We also had the most amazing cream braised brussel sprouts because we had fresh ones on hand that needed to be ate recipe is a very yummy way to make brussel sprouts if anyone is interested.

Will do this one again!

Curry Review Cotton Clan

So I LOVED this, it was so easy and so very yummy. I made the sauce in one pan and then in a separate pan cooked my chicken and then separately did my veggies as I'm picky about the cooking time for each. We had carrots, broccoli, edamame and pineapple chunks. I did only use about half the sauce for the amount of food we cooked up, three chicken breasts and all the veggies, it seems it would have been overly drowning in it to use it all. But what's great about that is I think I'll try and freeze the sauce so it's a two for one deal. Now the sad part is though I loved it, Elyse liked it, Kaelyn tolerated it and Jonathan does not like curry. But what's nice is everything could be cooked up separately and then I could add the sauce to half of it and leave the other half to be seasoned in anther way. Thanks Staci!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm forever grateful Uncle Bill...

Oh, and you ,too, Rachel.
I love this recipe! I have made chicken strips before and they were so boring and not worth making again. Or they were just good. BUT, I LOVE the dill in this recipe. I really think that the dill is what sets it apart. Although, if you aren't big on dill (like Staci) I can understand why you may not feel the same way but you could add a different herb. Ok so I will change one thing when I make this again. I will use about half of the melted butter. It made my chicken a little soggy. I slightly burned my bread crumbs (I blended up a mixture of white and whole wheat bread and then toasted them in the oven) and I was a bit worried about it but it didn't end up being a problem at all, you couldn't tell. I could tell that Mark liked them a lot because he didn't use any dip and usually he would use catchup with something like this. Anders liked it, too!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken strips

Katrina and I made these last night for a quick dinner after a long day of work. I loved that the recipe was super fast to make, had many steps that she could help me in the kitchen with and I had everything needed on hand. Ok, well, sort of, I made some substitions. Instead of buttermilk I used 2 Tb sour cream diluted with 1 Tb milk, I used panko crumbs for the bread crumbs and a spritz of olive oil for the melted butter, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. I really liked the crispy coating, and the low fat version of chicken strips. I think next time I may cut back on the dill and add a different blend of seasoning to fit our tastes better but, we both enjoyed them. My favorite part, the leftovers didn't turn soggy and we ate them for lunch today! Thanks for another great recipe!!

PS pot roast review coming soon, can't seem to bring myself to make a roast for just 1.5 people to eat.