Friday, October 24, 2008

SW Sweet Potato Chickpea Delight

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 jar salsa
1 16 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can corn
1 1/2 cups crushed yellow corn tortilla chips
1 medium white onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup cheese, grated (any variety of cheddar will do)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Combine all ingredients; reserve a small handful of cheese. Spread into a shallow casserole dish. Cover with lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil, stir, and top with remaining cheese. Bake another 20 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. (Watch carefully, as the top will get crispy fairly quick, and you may need to stir occasionally to prevent burning.)

If desired, sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro right before serving.

**This recipe came from originally, but I've added and adjusted from the original recipe. I also use lots more cheese than the recipe states.


I used to be intimidated by the idea of making applesauce; until I realized that it is quite possibly the easiest thing in the world to make!! So even though it is super simple I thought I'd share how we do it at our house just in case anyone else is overwhelmed by the thought of it like I was!

1. Peel, core, and chop your apples. I toss them in a bowl of lemon juice and water to keep them from browning until I have enough cut to start a batch. (Some people don't even peel them.)

2. Put just enough water in the bottom of a pot to keep the apples from scorching. Fill it up with apple chunks.

3. Heat through until apples are soft. You can put the soft apples into a blender or processor for a smooth applesauce; we prefer to use a potato masher and leave the sauce a little thick and chunky.

4. Add a little sugar and cinnamon according to your taste preferences; then can it, freeze it or just eat it up! Easy as can be, Enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baked Ziti

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium crooked neck squash
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 can (26oz) spaghetti sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce
3 1/4 cups dry ziti (prepare according to package and keep warm)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Heat oil over med-high; add squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook until squash starts to brown. Add spinach; cook until water evaporates.

Blend in both spaghetti and Alfredo sauces, heat through. Toss with pasta and half of mozzarella cheese.

Pour pasta blend into a greased 9x13 baking dish; top with remaining cheese. Bake about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Easy Veggie Combo

Super simple way to use up some extra veggies from the fridge!

3 cups sliced raw potatoes
3 cups sliced carrots
1 3/4 cups beef broth (I used veggie)
1 medium onion, chopped
In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, carrots and onion. Pour beef broth evenly over top. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 - 6 hours. Mix well before serving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Easiest and Best Bread Ever!

Simple Crusty Bread
(makes 4 loaves)

1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast (regular, not rapid-rise)
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt (I use sea salt)
6 1/2 cups flour (I have used all-purpose and bread, both work fine)

In a large bowl mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water. Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2-5 hours.

Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit sized piece with a knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. **Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes.** (see note) Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it, loosely covered.

Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated knife. Slide onto stone. Pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Note**If not using baking stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased non-stick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, or 1 hour 40 minutes if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for at least 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack** I use a stone, but I don't preheat the stone, I shape and let the dough rest directly on the stone and I still use the steam. I have also baked this on a bar pan or cookie sheet with no preheating and no steam. Most anything you do should work fine. It is seriously, so easy and you can't mess it up.

Note 2** Recently we've been replacing one cup of the flour with 1 cup of rice bran.

Note 3** The refigerated dough should keep for about a week.