January 28, 2013

Rosemary Roasted Root Veggies

I love potatoes. But sometimes, you're just in the mood for something with a bit more variety. Still traditional and filling, but a bit different, and super yummy.
Well, this is it!
I love how everything gets turned jewel bright. Such a beautiful side dish!
You'll get rave reviews with it, even my kids will eat it.
I got the recipe originally from my good friend's BLOG. She's amazing.
This is what you'll need... for a giant batch of it.
Last night I had a big family dinner, 11 adults and 8 kids. I made 2 whole chickens in the crockpot... I had to borrow an extra crockpot, and I made this as a side. It was awesome! But this is a lot! So I'm cutting the recipe down to 1/3 of what I made last night, so that it would be appropriately sized for a normal family dinner.
1 red beet, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato (not yam!!!), peeled and chopped
1 russet potato, washed and chopped
1/3 of a butternut squash, peeled seeded and chopped
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
Toss it to coat, and put in a baking pan. For this amount, probably just a cake pan should do it for yah and you can cover it with tinfoil. But for the full amount you see in the pictures... I used my roasting pan. Ha! I haven't used it in forever, because now I always do my chickens in the crockpot... but it has found a use again!
Cover and cook at 400 degrees for 1 hour. I usually stir it around at 40 minutes, just to make sure it's cooking evenly. And quite often I'll cook it for an extra 20 minutes to get the carrots nice and soft enough for my 1 year old to eat on her own... but I find that makes the rest, especially the squash, be really over cooked. My brilliant fix for that is to put the harder veggies at the bottom and the softer on top. So the beets go on bottom, then carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and squash. (Still stir it around to mix it at 40 minutes.)
Look at how pretty!
 More nutrients, more variety, more taste.
The only complaint I ever get is from my husband who misses all the extra butter I put in mashed potatoes. LOL. But he just adds it here and is plenty happy.

January 23, 2013

Cream of Anything Soup Mix

Yeah, so I'm allergic to a lot of things. A LOT of things. And it pretty much sucks. Do you know how hard it is to make a casserole when you can't have canned soup?
And then I found this recipe.
I found it on THIS blog, and I have no idea where it originated.... er... originally.
But it is a life saver for me!
Also I must say, that even without all my food problems, I would still choose this over canned cream soup. First, it's pennies on the dollar compared to the canned stuff. So cheap to make! And it only has a few ingredients, so you know exactly what you're eating... no chemicals and stuff you can't pronounce. But most important to me, is the taste. I mean, being healthy and frugal is great and all, but if it tastes like cardboard then no thanks! But this is so good! Tastes SO MUCH BETTER than the canned soup. For serious.
Try it out.
You won't regret it.
(Also, if you're into emergency preparedness and food storage, this is an AWESOME thing to plan on having. All the ingredients can easily be found in a long term storage package.)
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Mix it together and store in a plastic or glass container.
To make it into soup:
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/3 cup of dry mix
Whisk it together over medium-high heat until it thickens. The key is to use cold water, so that the cornstarch will dissolve all the way before you even turn on the stovetop. Then just keep whisking (to keep the other ingredients from falling to the bottom of the pan and burning), just like you're making gravy. You don't want lumps, so whisk away. The longer/hotter you cook it, the thicker it will get.
Substitute that amount of mix for one 10 3/4oz can of condensed soup in recipes. Or you can eat it straight, just how it is. Delicious! Only, don't thicken it so much if you're just eating it. You don't want goo.
So I just use my own Italian seasoning when making this. But you could also buy the little packets. In fact, you don't officially have to add the spice at all, it just makes it better.
But that's the beauty of this recipe. You can make it however you want it.
Want cream of potato soup? Add potatoes and different spices. Want cheese soup? Add some grated cheese (I love sharp cheddar!) while you're whisking away until it incorporates with the soup. Want a sauce for salisbury steak? Use beef bouillon granules instead of chicken, or just add some worcestershire sauce and smoke flavoring.
Try it out, you won't be sorry...