Cheddar-Mustard Cheesy Skins

My 9 year old saw this recipe in a magazine and asked me to make it. Making potato skins isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It takes a good amount of time. Dinner was a little delayed.😦 But these tasted great! Husband really liked them, and my 9 year old thought they were okay. Note: pic was taken before I added the green onions on top!

rating: 9

Cheddar-Mustard Cheesy Skins
(Food Network magazine, Oct. 2016)

Ingredients:

4 russet potatoes
salt and pepper
whole grain mustard
chopped dill pickles
sharp cheddar slices
scallions

Directions:

Bake the potatoes; let cool. Cut lengthwise into quarters and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4″ shell. Brush both sides with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet skin-side up and bake at 425 degrees F until crisp, about 10 min. Turn skin-side down. Brush the potato wedges with whole-grain mustard and sprinkle with chopped dill pickles before adding sharp cheddar. Return to the oven until cheese is melted, 5 more minutes. Top with scallions before serving.

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan

You can cook this soup in your slow cooker or on the stove. I chose the stove. I thought this was REALLY good! I’ve eaten leftovers for lunch for two days now, and it’s still good! My kids didn’t care for it.

rating: 9

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan
(http://www.tasteslovely.com/)

time needed: 40 min.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated or finely minced
¼ cup all purpose flour
32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock (I used vegetarian “chicken” stock)
(2) 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes in juice
10 basil leaves (about ¼ cup), chopped
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces (about 2 cups) grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the chopped onions. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Saute the onion about 8 minutes until they turn translucent, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
Sprinkle in the flour, and stir to cook the flour for 1 minute. Will look like a paste. Slowly stir in the chicken stock, whisking the whole time so the flour doesn’t clump. Then add the canned tomatoes, basil and garlic. You can either transfer to a slow cooker and cook over low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours, or cook it on the stove top by bringing it to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 more minutes.
Remove the lid, and either use an immersion blender or stand blender (careful when blending hot liquids in a stand blender!). Blend until the soup is creamy. Then stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Heat soup for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the soup is warm. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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Vegan Crab Cakes

I had such high hopes for this recipe. Everything went great until I tried to fry them. These cakes made the oil splatter like nothing I have ever seen. I guess it was the chickpeas? Seriously, I have oil on my walls 4 feet away. This made such a mess! And then the cakes didn’t want to stay together. The ones pictured are the two best, the rest fell apart. They tasted good, but it was such an ordeal to cook them. Ugh.

rating: 9 (on taste), 4 (to cook)

Vegan Crab Cakes
(http://veganhuggs.com/)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed. Save liquid
2 cans hearts of palm, drained & rinsed
6 tablespoons reserved garbanzo bean liquid
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 cup green onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon kelp or dulce flakes
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or any seafood seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup of breadcrumbs (panko or regular)
1/4 cup of preferred oil, for pan-frying (divided)

Directions:

In a food processor add the garbanzo beans and hearts of palm together. Pulse just a few times to break it up. Don’t pulse too many times or it will turn to mush. It should have a crab-like consistency. You can also do this by manually, just use a fork or your hands to shred everything up. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the reserved liquid (from the beans), the vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, mustard and all the dry seasonings. Combine well.
Now add the bread crumbs, green onion, and hearts of palm and garbanzo bean mixture. Gently fold to combine. Taste for salt or seasoning, add more if needed. Pop the mixture in the freezer for 15 minutes. This helps the mixture stay together a bit better.
Place enough breadcrumbs onto a shallow plate that will coat patties evenly. Take mixture out of freezer. Place about 1/4 of mixture into your hands to form a ball. Then gently flatten to form it into a patty shape. Coat patty in the bread crumbs on each side. Place aside and continue until the mixture is gone.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat (about 2-3 minutes). Add about 2 tablespoons of oil and wait until it gets hot and shimmery before adding the patties. If you place the patty on the pan and you hear it sizzle, it’s ready. Place about 4-5 patties on your pan at one time, but make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan because they won’t cook properly. Pan-fry them about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until light golden brown. Try to only flip each patty once. When done, transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Wipe out pan before the uncooked patties are added. Add fresh oil and continue until all patties are complete.
Serve hot with some vegan tartar sauce and a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

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Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw

I haven’t had Chick-Fil-A slaw in probably 30 years, so I don’t know if this tasted like theirs or not, but it was good! Easy and good.

rating: 9

Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw
(http://www.shugarysweets.com/)
yield: serves 6-8
prep time: 5 minutes, plus 2 hour chill time

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise (I used vegan mayo)
4 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 bags (14 oz each) shredded cole slaw mix

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, and salt until smooth.
Add in shredded cole slaw mix and fold over with spatula until completely coated. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.
Serve and enjoy!

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Lemony White Bean-and-Arugula Salad

This was a great little side dish and comes together in no time! Husband and I really liked this, my 9 year old liked the onions (!), and my 6 year old liked the beans. I don’t eat arugula too much, and I don’t know why because it’s so good!

rating: 9

Lemony White Bean-and-Arugula Salad
(Cooking Light, Oct. 2016)

serves 4
time needed: 8 min.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 cups firmly packed baby arugula

Directions:

Combine oil, rind, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add beans and onion; toss well to coat. Add arugula; toss gently to combine.

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Simple Leek Frittata

Wow, this WAS simple, and it was really good! We all liked this (well, except my 6 year old). You can use this basic recipe and change up the veggies, if you want.

rating: 9

Simple Leek Frittata
(Cooking Light, Oct. 2016)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, trimmed, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine milk, flour, salt, pepper, eggs, and cheese in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium. Add leek to pan; cook until tender and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add egg mixture; stir gently to distribute leek evenly. Cover skillet, and reduce heat to low. Cook until eggs are partially set, about 6 minutes.

Uncover skillet, and bake at 350°F until center is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Loosen frittata from skillet, and slide onto a cutting board. Cut into 8 wedges.

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Crazy Creamy Chickpea Curry

I thought this was really bland. Could that be because I left out the red pepper flakes? My 9 year old liked this, and husband thought it was pretty good, but me? Meh.

rating: 6

Crazy Creamy Chickpea Curry
(All Recipes magazine, Sept./Oct. 2016)

serves 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I omitted)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 large carrot, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
4 cups large cauliflower florets
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt to taste
Cooked basmati rice
Sriracha chile sauce (optional)

Directions:

Melt coconut oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add curry powder, pepper flakes, broth, soy sauce, maple syrup, and tomato paste and stir.
Add potatoes and carrot, cover pot, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer and leave lid ajar. Cook just until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, chickpeas, coconut milk, and cilantro. Stir gently to incorporate. Return to simmer with lid ajar and simmer just until cauliflower is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Fold in peas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and season with salt, if needed. Serve with steamed basmati rice and, for those who’d like more heat, sriracha sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

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