Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chipotle-Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

This is Anna. My mom made this recipe from a "Cooking Light" cookbook and it was so good that we wanted to share it!

Chipotle-Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie


1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 1/4 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into one-inch pieces
1 cup almond milk
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. pepper


2 pounds ground sirloin
cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen green peas,thawed
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons steak sauce(such as A.1.)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400. To prepare topping,remove 1 chile and 2 teaspoons sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Coarsely chop 1 chile. Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Place potatoes,chopped chile, 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, milk, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

To prepare filling, cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned,stirring to crumble. Remove from pan; drain. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add onion,carrot, and garlic; saute 8 minutes or until tender. Return beef to pan;stir in peas and remaining 5 ingredients. Cook 2 minutes.
Spoon beef mixture into a 3-quart casserole; top with sweet potato mixture, spreading evenly. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until thouroughly heated.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Hot Chocolate

Here is the recipe I use. It is from Taste of Home Cookbook and is SO much better than the store-bought mix that you add water to.

Hot Chocolate:

4 T. butter (do not omit--makes it SO good)
1/2 c. sugar (or 2 T. Truvia and a sprinkle of NuNaturals Stevia)
1/2 c. dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt (brings out chocolate flavor)
1/2 c. hot water
8 c. milk

Melt butter in a pot. Add sugar, cocoa, salt and hot water. Bring to a boil. Add milk and vanilla. Heat through and serve with marshmallows if you like (I don't, but my kids do).


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zucchini Enchiladas

This recipe is from my friend, Ginny. I made it for the first time last night and my family raved about it! Zucchini is starting to ripen in abundance so this is great use for it! I doubled the recipe for our family and there were barely any leftovers. Even my pickiest (Truman) ate this!

Zuchinni Enchiladas

2 T. oil
1 onion, diced
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced
1 t. oregano
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies
1 1/2 c. black beans (about 1 can)

Saute onion then add zucchini and oregano. Cook until tender, but not mushy. Remove from heat and stir in the green chilies and black beans. Set aside.


1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1/2 c. heavy cream (no substitutes!!) :)
1/3 c. cilantro (I omitted because we are not fans of cilantro)
1 large garlic clove
1/4 t. salt and pepper

Process sauce until smooth. (I just stirred mine together and added the garlic clove to the zucchini saute)

Spoon zucchini mixture into whole wheat tortillas. Add cheese (I used colby-jack). Roll up and pace seam-side down in a large baking dish. Spoon sauce over. Top with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


In Christ, Laura

Curried Chickpeas

I found this first recipe in a magazine and decided to try it. It was a hit with everyone, even Truman--my pickiest eater!

Curried Chickpeas

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 carrots, chopped small
4 c. fresh cauliflower florets
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. frozen peas
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 c. vegetable broth (I used chicken broth, so I guess it wasn't 100% vegetarian)
2 1/2 t. curry powder
3/4 t. coriander
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/4 c. fresh basil, if desired

Throw all into the crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6. Serve over rice or couscous.

Easy--and so much flavor! This is also a great vegan recipe.

In Christ, Laura

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Greek Chicken

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light cookbook and my whole family loved it! It is not only easy, but it uses only 1 pot. Great flavor!

Greek Chicken

2-3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 T. dried thyme
2 t. pepper
10 garlic cloves, minced
6 c. cubed red potatoes (I left the skins on)
2 c. green beans (I used frozen)
1/2 c. water
2 T. anchovy paste--don't let this scare you. I HATE seafood, but you really can't taste this when it is done. It just gives it great flavor. Don't omit this.
1 (28 oz.) can whole or diced tomatoes
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, I have also used a whole chicken cut-up. I guess you could use chicken breasts, but I think the dark meat is what really gives this dish flavor
feta cheese (I do this to taste)

In a large Dutch oven, saute onion in olive oil. When the onions are soft and translucent, add thyme, pepper and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add potatoes and cook about 8 minutes, until potatoes are browned a bit. Add green beans, water, tomatoes and anchovy paste. Remove from heat and nestle the chicken down into the potato mixture. You can either top this with feta cheese, or do like we do and add feta on our individual plates. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve over rice.

That's it! So easy--I make this in the morning and bake it at dinner time. It has such great flavor and is not only healthy, but economical. It also feeds a large family.


In Christ, Laura

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies--NO Sugar!!

I found this recipe in the cookbook, "Feeding the Whole Family", by Cynthia Lair. It is one of the recipe books that I received for Christmas from Cameron. The best part of the recipe is that it doesn't call for any sugar, but uses real maple syrup instead! I have recently began to use maple syrup as a sweetener in many things, from oatmeal to dressing recipes! It is expensive, but worth it! I figure I can save in other ways, such as using dried beans, making my own chicken broth, canning salsa, jam, and apple sauce, and growing veggies in a garden.

Anyways, the only drawback of this recipe is that it is kind of sticky when you roll them into balls. If you figure out how to solve this problem, please let me know! ;)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

1 1/2 c. whole oats
1 c. freshly ground soft (pastry) whole wheat flour
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 t. vanilla
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1/3 c. chocolate chips

Combine oats, flour and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, syrup and vanilla. Add the butter mixture to the oats. Mix until combined. Add nuts and chips. Roll into 3" balls on a lightly greased baking sheet with wet hands--helped the dough not to stick. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


In Christ, Laura

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Favorite Salad

I have been making this salad weekly because we all love it so much! It is my new favorite!

Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad

1 bag pre-washed spinach
1/2 c. dried cranberries (or cherries)
1/2 c. slivered almonds
3-4 green onions, chopped
5 oz. blue cheese


1 t. salt
1/4 c. champagne vinegar (or use red wine or sherry vinegar)
1 T. Good grainy mustard (I use Maille)
2 T. honey
1 c. olive oil

Whisk salt in the vinegar until dissolved. Add the honey and mustard. Pour into a blender and while the blender is running, gradually add the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified

Homemade Ketchup

Did you know that store-bought ketchup has high fructose corn syrup? You can make your own! I found a recipe online, made a few changes and came up with this:


2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2-2 1/2 c. water
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 c. honey
1 T. real maple syrup
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. allspice
1 t. salt

Mix all in a saucepan and cook on low until desired consistency. You should start with 2 c. of water and add more if needed.

Simple and healthy!

In Christ, Laura

Sweet Potato Fries

What could be easier? A great side-dish!

4-6 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin strips
olive oil
salt & pepper
ketchup for dipping

Place the sliced sweet potatoes on a baking dish. Drizzle on some olive oil--2-4 T. Sprinkle on some coarse salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss the sweet potatoes until coated with oil and salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

That's it!

So good.

In Christ, Laura

Brussel Sprout Salad

I absolutely LOVE brussel sprouts! THIS is my favorite way to eat them. They don't last long in this house--almost all of my children share my love for this delectable tiny vegetable. We fight over the last ones in the serving dish! If you have never made brussel sprouts, try the recipe above--they are not mushy or bitter, dispelling brussel sprout's bad reputation.

I found a recipe for brussel sprout salad recently in a cookbook from the library and I knew I had to try it. With a few modifications, this is the version I am serving for dinner tonight. It is so good! (I sneaked a few bites! Shhhh!) ;)

Brussel Sprout Salad

16 oz. fresh brussel sprouts, rinsed
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds (I used pumpkin seeds and lightly toasted in a dry skillet for a few minutes)

2 T. good grainy mustard (I use Maille)
6 T. lemon juice
2 1/2 T. real maple syrup (my new way to sweeten!)
1 t. coarse salt
4 T. olive oil

Shred brussel sprouts in a food processor, or thinly slice. Add the dried cranberries (or you could use dried cherries or even raisins!) and the toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds. In a bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, lemon juice and maple syrup. Gradually add olive oil until emulsified. Pour over salad and serve!

It's that simple!

In Christ, Laura

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

These are so good, you are just going to have to trust me. If you didn't know they were made with black beans instead of flour you would never know!

Black Bean Brownies

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
a pinch of salt
3 T. extra virgin coconut oil (or oil of your choice, coconut oil is SO healthy!)
1 t. instant coffee
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Blend all in a food processor, except chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 8 by 8 baking dish. Sprinkle on chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

That's it.

Delicious! Seriously

In Christ, Laura

Taco Style Lentils and Rice

This is the easiest lunch or dinner! It is healthy, economical and delicious! Most of the children had their lentils wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. I had mine on a plate, topped with sour cream, cheese and romaine lettuce (trying to cut some carbs). If I were doing this for dinner, I would double the recipe.

Taco Style Lentils and Rice

3/4 c. dry lentils
3/4 c. brown rice
4 c. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (4.5 oz.) can green chilies
2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder

Simmer all in a large pot with lid on for 45-50 minutes. Fill tortillas with lentil rice mixture and top with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, etc.