Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

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Baked Pork Chops

On Friday, Jeremiah sent me a text saying his mom missed him (aww) and they wanted to come up on Saturday. Jeremiah suggested we have dinner and watch the Royals in game four of the World Series. I said, of course. This is the first time we would be able to host company for dinner. The big question was, “What would we make for dinner?” I knew I had to work until about 4:30PM on Saturday. That meant Jeremiah would have to do the grocery shopping and the bulk of the cooking. We decided to do pork chops – which we already had in the freezer. I suggested that we make fresh green beans and purple potato au gratin to go with it. Jeremiah’s dad is diabetic and Jeremiah is watching his carbs so they seemed like good side dishes.

I suggested we look for a pork chop recipe we could cook in the Crockpot or oven to save us some time. We flipped through my Pinterest and found this new recipe to cook. Dinner turned out great. I hope you enjoy it.

Ultra Crunchy Baked Pork Chops by Sugar & Spice by Celeste Blog
pork chop4 boneless pork chops
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
¼ c. plus 6 T. flour
3 large egg whites
3 T. Dijon mustard
lemon wedges

Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil and place a backing rack on top of it. In a shallow dish, pour ¼ c. flour. In another shallow dish, whisk egg whites and mustard. Then, whisk in 6 T. flour. Then, pour bread crumbs and parmesan cheese into a third shallow dish. Salt and pepper pork chops. Then, use tongs to coat both side of pork chops in flour. Next, coat pork chops in egg mixture. Finally, coat both side of pork chops in bread crumbs. Place pork chop on rack and repeat for three remaining chops. Bake at 425 degrees for 17-25 minutes – until meat temp reaches 150 degrees. Let it rest for five minutes before serving. Squeeze the lemon.

Notes:

  • The original recipe has a recipe has a recipe to make your bread crumbs. I posted what we did because it saved time.
  • We baked it for 25 minutes with the potatoes and it make out just perfect.
  • With the price of eggs, we used egg white substitute instead of wasting part of an egg.
  • We also used honey Dijon mustard.

Hummus

Olympic Men’s Figure Skating Medalist Brian Boitano was on Rachael Ray promoting his cookbook. Who know he loved to cook. A woman in the audience asked what his favorite snack was and he said it he would whip it up for her. Of course, Rachael wasn’t sure if they would have all the ingredients. Sure enough, she did. Here is a quick hummus recipe packed with all the fiber benefits of beans.

HummusGarlicky Whole Bean Artichoke Dip by Brian Boitano
1/3 c. olive oil
1 (15 oz.) can of cannellini beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can of artichoke hearts, drained
Juice of a lemon
2-3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper

Blend and serve. This recipe is good with wheat crackers, pretzel chips, and zucchini.

Notes:

  • I used a smaller jar of artichokes and it turned out fine.
  • I used bottle lemon juice and jarred garlic.

Berry-Burst Yogurt

In September, I took a job as the Volunteer Services Manager at Harvesters – The Community Food Network. The position was the perfect match for me – volunteerism and food. Plus, as a donor and episodic volunteer I knew just how great an organization Harvesters was…or so I thought. I quickly learned that this organization was even better than I realized.

Harvesters is the Kansas City area’s only regional food bank. The difference between a food bank and a pantry is something most people don’t know. Each week, Harvesters processes enough food to feed 66,000 people in our 26 country service area. They work with a network of over 620 food pantries, kitchens, and shelters to get the food to where people live. From some of the rural counties we serve, this might even be a few hours from our Topeka facility. Harvesters operates like a business – quickly processing food orders placed online like Amazon might do. The high level accountability and relationship building with local businesses mean that 97% of the food and funds received go right back out to the people served by our community partners. I’ve worked for a lot of great nonprofits by nobody with that little of overhead expenses.

I, like so many of you may be, was shocked by just how many people are food insecure. One in six people in our country are hungry. That means, probably someone you know has or currently is struggling to eat. And for some reason, many people have this perception that if someone isn’t skinny or displaying a bloated stomach than they aren’t really hunger. In fact, major health issues like obesity and diabetes are often the result of food insecurity. When people are limited on funds, they purchase unhealthy, cheap foods that fill up their bellies. Since 1980, the cost of processed foods has decreased by 40% while the cost of healthy foods like fresh vegetables/fruits and lean meats has increase by 40%. Are you as surprised as I am by this? What is even sadder is that one in three kids born in the year 2000 will develop Type II Diabetes (the kind that is caused by what you eat and limited exercise).

One of the coolest things Harvesters does to help address these issues is that it provides nutrition education. We have a whole team of people who spend their days testing recipes and teaching nutrition classes. These dishes are selected for their healthy qualities, tantalizing taste, cost, and ease in preparation. I have to say, I haven’t tasted a recipe yet that I haven’t liked – and you know veggies aren’t my favorite. In addition to teaching classes for both children and adults, we also share these recipes at our Mobile Food Pantries. Each month, Harvesters distribute a ½ million pounds of fresh produce. Nutritious recipes help people utilize the healthy fruits and vegetables they receive.

Check out this Kids in the Kitchen recipe for a delicious breakfast/dessert favorite.

Berry-Burst YogurtBerry-Burst Yogurt with Granola by Harvesters Nutrition Services
1 c. uncooked oats (quick or old fashioned)
¼ c. honey
¼ c. canola oil
1 lemon, zested (2-3 T. juice, 1 T. zest)
1 (12 oz.) package frozen mixed berries (2 ½ c.)
2 bananas, ripe
¼ to ½ tsp. cinnamon
3 c. vanilla Greek yogurt

Combine oats, honey, and oil. Heat skillet to medium temp and add mixture. Stir frequently for 8-10 minutes until golden brown (but don’t burn). Immediately remove from skillet and cool on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then, break into clumps.

Zest lemon and add with cinnamon to yogurt. In a separate bowl, mash together bananas and berries. Dish up ¼ c. yogurt, ¼ c. fruit, and top with 1/8 c. granola.

Nutritional Information: (Serves 12) 178 calories, 6 g. protein, 27 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, and 22mg sodium.

Notes:

  • Total cost is $8.31 or $.69 per serving
  • I made it with lemon juice and no zest.
  • I microwaved the berries for a few minutes to thaw. Leftover yogurts were refrigerated.
  • Greek yogurt is expensive so I used low fat vanilla yogurt. Greek yogurt is $1.15 per container. Each regular yogurt was $.40 per container. Just note it might change your nutritional information.

Two Ingredient Lemon Bars

Two ingredients lemon barsOne Fourth of July, my Grandma Fletcher mixed together some ingredients to make lemon bars. All the grandchildren loved them but Grandma could never duplicate her “no recipe” concoction. Although taste a little different, they are the closest thing that I have ever tried to that recipe. What’s even better is that this recipe contains only two ingredients. Enjoy!

Lemon Bars from Pinterest
1 box Angel Food Cake
1 can lemon pie filling

Mix together cake and lemon pie filling. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and top with powdered sugar, if desired.

Just a touch

I’ll be honest. I have never really watched The Bachelor. If it has been on in my house it’s most likely because I got busy doing something I am not watching the television. But I do know Jake Pavelka because he also appeared on Dancing with the Stars. I don’t always watch Dancing with the Stars but I watch it if I’m home and nothing else is on. I wasn’t a fan of Jake but I thought his recipe in People magazine looked appealing. Since I am on a health kick right now, I figured I would give this recipe I try. I thought it was a light and refreshing marinade. I served it with Green Giant Steamed Red Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans.

Honey-Lemon Grilled Chicken by Jake Pavelka
Juice and zest of three lemons
1/3 c. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. honey, plus a drizzle
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast (4 breast)
Grilled lemon wedges

Mix marinade and pour into a gallon sized baggie. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (I usually turn it a few times to evenly coat.) Grill basting with marinade til cooked.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and it still made four meals.
  • I did not put any additional lemon or honey on it. I just marinated and basted

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Happy 100th Birthday

Today is the 100th birthday of the Girl Scouts. As a former Girl Scout and a friend of several former employees, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by to share another delicious recipe that uses Girl Scout cookies.

It’s funny because when I think about politics, I think back to being a Girl Scout. In 1988, I was a 5th grader at Wisner Elementary School and a fourth year scout. For Girl Scouts, we decided to help clean-up our community after the election by helping remove political signs. But I also remember our school setting up a mock Presidential election. I recall lots of kids having some very distinct opinions about who they thought should be President. I’m pretty sure those kids were just spewing whatever their parents were saying at home. It’s interesting because I don’t really recall my parents discussing politics.

I know it was the first election I started asking my own family about who they were voting for and why. My dad always went to vote after he closed the station. I’m pretty sure he allowed me to tag along with him to the City Auditorium when he went to vote that year. My Grandma Fletcher told me how women gained the right to vote when her mother was just 10 years old. Grandma Kingston made a point of voting in every election because she knew recognized the importance of this powerful right to have her voice heard. And for many year’s, my Grandma Fletcher served an election poll worker (an opportunity I had to do for my country in 2010).

Like political elections, Girl Scouts opens up the world to all sorts of possibilities for girls. Remember that the next time a Daisy, Brownie, Girl Scout, or Cadets ask you to order cookies.

Lemon Crunch Cheesecakes with Caramel Apple Topping (source – some Girl Scout Council website)

8 Lemonades Girl Scout Cookies (5 crushed and 3 broken into small pieces)
4 tsp. melted butter
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 c. finely chopped apple
1/3 c. caramel flavored topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 6 baking cups in a muffin tin. Combine crushed cookies and butter. Press in bottom of muffin cups. Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla using an electric mixer. Stir in cookie pieces. Spoon batter onto crust. Bake for 20 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove cheesecakes from muffin wrappers. Top each with chopped apple and drizzle with caramel topping. Serve immediately.