Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.


Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Ideally one should be able to take any cake or quick bread recipe to make muffins. The banana bread recipe that we love so much by Baker’s Illustrated is not an exception to this rule. However, for our banana muffins we prefer a more delicate […]

Basic Homemade Pasta Dough

We do not eat very much pasta around here. When we do I prefer to make my own. I found a pasta maker years ago for $13.00. It seemed like such a bargain as the Kitchen Aide attachment can run you $150. I do not […]

Quinoa Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers makes for a delectable main dish paired with a side of garlic toast or a light salad. It is one of those feel good meals I would choose over a piece of chocolate any day. Please Do Not let the bell peppers deter you from trying the quinoa stuffing. If bell peppers are not your thing try a bed of arugula, a stuffed zucchini or serve the stuffing by itself like you would a casserole. As for serving sizes Katie suggests one half pepper if you have an accompanying side. Otherwise 1 whole pepper would be considered a serving.

Now, lets talk ingredients. I found a small package of quinoa at the supermarket for $10.99. I ended up purchasing the same amount at the health food store for .99 cents a pound. A huge savings. The poblano pepper is the new hot chili pepper fad right now. I could not find a poblano pepper in the produce section at the market. When I asked the produce manager for a suitable replacement he admitted he had heard of them but did not know what a poblano pepper was. Poblano peppers are used to make chile relleno in the place of pasilla peppers and they are also used in mole. Cook’s Thesaurus suggests using Anaheim or Ancho as a substitute. I tried half of an Anaheim but because I used a Monterey Jack and Cheddar blend cheese instead of pepper jack I could have used the whole pepper. Definitely season well with salt and pepper. You could use broth instead of water to cook the quinoa for more flavor too.

Source: GoodLifeEats
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 (8 ounce) Package mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced very thin
1/2 of a poblano pepper, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups water or broth
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

Heat oil in a large pan with a lid over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and poblano pepper cooking 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Meanwhile bring the quinoa, carrots and water to a boil in a covered sauce pan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.

Add the quinoa to the onion mixture. Toss in the black beans and 1 cup of cheese.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

Quinoa, the Ancient Mother Grain

Ancient in its origins, Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) has been a staple in it’s native lands of Chile, Peru and the colonies in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, for almost 5,000 years. Quinoa translated in the Incan language meas “Mother Grain” and was once considered “the […]

Spinach Linguini with Ham and Broccoli

Several years ago during Christmas time my mom bought a package of lobster stuffed ravioli. We thought it would be interesting to try. I was a bit leery as to how the kids would react to salmon colored stripped pasta knowing their phobia to anything […]

Banana Cookies

banana cookies

There is a never ending conundrum about what to do with old bananas. Banana bread is always a good option. It freezes well and makes nice little gifts. I did consider Frosted Banana Bars because they are oh so heavenly but decided against them because they seemed a little to fussy for a light afternoon snack. In the end the kids and I chose door number 3- Banana Cookies. They are actually called Banana Whoopie Cookies; however, on this occasion we omitted the extra sugary frosting and gobbled down two cookies each instead one.

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed banana (from 1 large ripe banana)
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Combine banana and sour cream in another bowl.

Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed, until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until incorporated. Add banana mixture in 2 additions, alternating with flour mixture.

Drop spoonful of dough on prepared baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Slide parchment, with cookies, onto wire racks. Let cool.

Black Bean and Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

In the past I posted a Southwestern Chicken salad recipe and another recipe for Taco Salad. They are simple recipes with very few ingredients. This recipe for Black Bean Chicken Salad is a step up and showcases a zesty dressing that turns the ordinary into […]

Cilantro Lime Chicken

I found this really great Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe in the Eating Healthy section of Woman’s Day magazine. Normally I glimpse over the section and toss because they rarely have any recipes, that although I might enjoy them, I feel my kids would not eat […]

Grilled Vegetables with Pasta and Sausage

Grilled vegetables with Pasta

Grilled vegetables with pasta is one of my favorite ways to use up vegetables and left over meat. Except in winter when they all go in a pot for soup. This dish is a throw back to my days in college. It is cheap, quick, easy and the variations are endless. Back then I used Top Ramen onions and peppers. On a college budget 10 for $1.00 for Top Ramen was not bad. The grilled vegetables seemed to turn an ordinary plate of noodles into an elegant meal. Throw in some black beans and I had a sustainable meal for all those hiking trips in the mountains.

6 ounces Italian Sausage, chicken, pork, steak or 1 can of black or garbanzo beans,
1 small red onion, sliced
2 zucchini, halved then chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium bell pepper, sliced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 pound pasta of you choice

Boil pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the grease. Add the vegetables. Let cook a few minutes before stirring. Continue sauteing a few minutes longer. The vegetables should be tender but still have a bite to them.

Drain pasta. Dish pasta onto plates or bowls and top with a serving of vegetables.

Serves 4

Meats: chicken, steak, pork chops, bacon, black beans, garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, tofu, ect.
Vegetables: eggplant, squash, tomatoes, peas, asparagus, artichoke hearts, bok choy, broccoli, ect.

Classic Carrot Cake with Variables

Carrots were used in Europe as an inexpensive sweetener in cakes and puddings dating far back as the Middle Ages. It is no surprise baked goods sweetened and flavored with vegetables and fruits remain a favorite commodity. The Classic Carrot Cake arrived in America in […]