If it has a Southwest or Mexican flair, my family will be all over a new recipe, and my new Southwest Confetti Stuffed Peppers (or Salad or Salsa) was no exception. I’m not a huge New Year’s resolution-maker. Especially with cooking and food, I will probably never be an all-or-nothing kind of girl. So, you [...]
If it has a Southwest or Mexican flair, my family will be all over a new recipe, and my new Southwest Confetti Stuffed Peppers (or Salad or Salsa) was no exception. I’m not a huge New Year’s resolution-maker. Especially with cooking and food, I will probably never be an all-or-nothing kind of girl. So, you won’t find me making far-reaching and exacting goals for 2013 like: I will lose 50 lbs or I will eliminate ALL processed food from my family’s diet. What I do aspire to accomplish is to make positive progress toward healthy weight-loss, and to change my family’s palates, so more of the nutrient-dense foods I’ve come to love, will make it onto THEIR own list of favorites. Creamy comfort-food casseroles, cookies and chocolate cake will never be completely eliminated from our diets, but I hope they will take more of a backseat, and assume an occasional treat role, rather than being center stage. All things in moderation is a good way to look at what I’d like to achieve. By integrating lighter, healthier dishes that taste fantastic, into the menus they are used to, the process for my husband and kids will be enjoyed, rather than resisted; and if I do it well, perhaps the subtle changes will go undetected. For this first venture, that’s exactly how it went. I’m really excited! We’ve already eaten this as a main dish, a side dish and as a salsa. Young and old, alike, have loved it and I’m excited that this new creation can be put into our regular meal rotation.
From a budget perspective, this is a meatless dish and so, less expensive than typical meals. Score! From a health perspective it’s intensely nutritious and it’s a powerhouse of textures and flavors that will leave your family wanting more. You could certainly add or subtract other veggies, to fit what you have on hand or want to introduce into your family’s diet. I originally developed the recipe as a way to use some Classico Pear Tomatoes from Heinz, (pick them up at Walmart), that I was trying. I was incredibly excited to pick up the can and see only 4 all-natural ingredients, each of which I could pronounce and recognize – tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, and fresh basil. They are packed fresh, with no preservatives and they were fantastic in this new dish!
As I started working on the recipe, my first idea was to do a rift on a traditional stuffed cabbage roll, lightening it up and doing something unexpected with the flavor. I created the filling, then stuffed and baked the cabbage, only to discover we all scooped out and devoured the filling, but left the outer cabbage leaves on our plates. This was not because we don’t like cabbage. We do. And the filling is chock-full of it. Determined to turn my semi-success into a perfect ten, I changed things up and used the delicious filling to stuff sweet bell peppers, instead. That simple alteration made all the difference and sent this recipe over the top. The stuffed peppers can be baked and served as a main dish, served raw and cold as a salad or side dish, or you can simply set out bowls of the filling on an appetizer buffet, to be enjoyed with tortilla chips. It’s fabulous, each and every way! How can you beat that in a recipe? Versatility, crowd-pleasing delicious flavor; plus healthy, nourishing ingredients??? You can’t. Don’t even try. - lol – Seriously, it’s SO good! I can’t wait for you to try it. Enjoy!
I’m excited at how nutritious this dish is and how much my family enjoyed it. Even without heavy sauces, sour cream or any additions of fat or sugar, Southwest Confetti is a tantalizing burst of delicious flavors and textural variety! Quinoa, black beans and lentils provide some great proteins (Quinoa is the only plant-based, complete protein, I think, containing every amino acid.) and the fiber, antioxidants and vitamins provided from the veggies put Southwest Confetti on a nutrition overload! Shhhh! Don’t tell them! Just bask in the healthy glory and soak up all the applause. Enjoy!
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Classico. #cbias #SocialFabric #CookClassico
I’m always on the lookout for quick-fix breakfast options and ways to prepare tasty meatless meals. I’ve recently been experimenting with incorporating more quinoa (say KEEN – WAH) into our meal plans, so I’m pretty enthusiastic about blending all three goals into this yummy recipe. Switching up or adding even more veggies is going to [...]
I’m always on the lookout for quick-fix breakfast options and ways to prepare tasty meatless meals. I’ve recently been experimenting with incorporating more quinoa (say KEEN – WAH) into our meal plans, so I’m pretty enthusiastic about blending all three goals into this yummy recipe. Switching up or adding even more veggies is going to make this a completely customizable favorite for your family.
Most people think quinoa is a grain, but it is actually the seed of an herbaceous flowering plant, called goosefoot (Chenopodium). Beets and spinach are other common chenopods. Quinoa was a valued staple as far back in history as the Incan Empire. It is protein-rich and nutrient-dense. A 1/4 cup serving of quinoa boasts 58.5% of the DV of manganese, 31.2% of tryptophan, 29.6% of magnesium, 28.1% of phosphorus, 20.7% of fiber, 19.4% of folate and 18% of copper. Quinoa isn’t just high in protein, it is a COMPLETE protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. This delicious, nutty-flavored seed is a powerhouse of nutrition that lends itself to all different types of recipes. I am only just beginning to scratch the surface of all the ways to use it.
IMPORTANT: It is important to thoroughly rinse and drain quinoa before cooking it. The outside of the seeds is covered in saponins, a naturally occurring substance that has a bitter taste. A quick rinse rids the seeds of this outer coating and leaves the yummy seed behind. Please don’t try to cook quinoa without rinsing it. You’ll decide you don’t like it, without ever tasting the real thing and be missing out on a delicious and healthy protein option for your family.
I got the inspiration for this recipe on one of my favorite foodie blogs, Iowa Girl Eats. Kristin created Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups, and as always, her pictures were so deliciously inspiring, I had to get busy. I wanted to try to make a similar sort of breakfast or brunch option, but without meat. Here’s the trick. I still sort of wanted my carnivore family to think it TASTED like meat. I wondered what would happen if I included seasonings that are great for making sausage and then incorporated some healthy veggies, too. If I had had any color of sweet bell pepper in the fridge, I definitely would have added them. I think some grated carrot would be good, as well! As it was, I had a zucchini, some spinach, green onions and some fresh cilantro. I baked these up in muffin tins and this batch would have made 38 minis, but, I only have one mini muffin tin, so I got 24 minis and 7 regular size.
Here’s the cool thing we discovered. Not only do we love how these quinoa frittatas taste, they would be gorgeous used as appetizers and they would be tasty in salads. You could serve them in pitas, or with dip or with sauces. The possibilities are limitless. I would also bake this as filling in stuffed bell peppers. I think it could be formed into patties and served on English muffins or bagels for a breakfast sandwich on the go, too. The texture of the quinoa with the eggs, gives the mouth feel of ground meat, so with the right seasonings, you can really fool your tongue into thinking you may be eating meat! I haven’t tested this theory, yet, but I am also convinced that these little quinoa bites would freeze well, so they would be great candidates for a bulk/freezer cooking session. Enjoy!
I’ve always heard such good things about SILPAT baking mats and have been terribly curious to try one out. I got the opportunity, this week, to test the SILPAT Petite Jelly Roll Mat, which fits a 9 x 13 pan. Now, I understand why people get so excited about SILPAT! What an excellent kitchen tool! [...]
I’ve always heard such good things about SILPAT baking mats and have been terribly curious to try one out. I got the opportunity, this week, to test the SILPAT Petite Jelly Roll Mat, which fits a 9 x 13 pan. Now, I understand why people get so excited about SILPAT! What an excellent kitchen tool! I used mine for two different savory recipes, but it’s obvious to me that these silicone covered mats would be perfect for just about any baking needs – especially cookies. No more messy sprays or baked-on grease on my cookie sheets and pans. Whether you’re roasting vegetables or baking a jelly-roll sheet cake, there’s a SILPAT in the perfect size to fit your project. I’d love to have the entire “ensemble” — one in every size!
SILPAT is the original non-stick baking mat. Since 1965, Demarle has been committed to improving your baking experience by introducing top quality products. SILPAT products never need greasing and replace parchment paper. Using SILPAT products saves time, money and reduces waste in our environment.
SILPAT® products are great for working with sticky materials such as gooey batter, taffy, caramel, doughs and anything your imagination allows. Nothing sticks to SILPAT.
SILPAT® Non-Stick Baking Mats are made of fiberglass and food grade silicone. SILPAT products are completely food safe. Our products are FDA, NSF and Kosher certified.
Not only is the mat easy to use, but it’s also easy to clean! Just warm water and regular dish detergent and it’s ready for my next recipe. I love how food just slides off it, without needing any oils, sprays or grease. I have no doubt that it is going to be a regularly used tool in my kitchen. When you see the first two tasty recipes I made while using it, you’ll want to add at least one to your favorite kitchen tools, too!
I tried out one more tasty and simple recipe when I was doing test-baking with the SILPAT — Sweet Potato Chips! You won’t believe how easy these are or how many chips you can make from just one sweet potato. You have to try this!
You’ll love using SILPAT baking mats in your kitchen! You can visit the SILPAT website to find a retailer, near you, that carries them and be sure to enter our giveaway! You could win a SILPAT Petite Jelly Roll Baking Mat! You must be a resident of the U.S. and 18 or over to enter. It’s super easy. Visit the SILPAT website and look at all the great products they have to offer. Leave a comment on this post letting me know the name of one of their products that you would love to try. Click on DO IT in the Rafflecopter form, below, then ENTER! That’s it! Not only have you entered the drawing, but you’ve opened several additional optional entries, as well. Good luck!
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I received a SILPAT Petite Jelly Roll Baking Mat to test it in my own kitchen and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.
I wanted a fast side dish for a meatloaf supper. Potatoes are definitely my family’s first choice, at such times, with the resounding preference being “mashed with gravy”. I just wasn’t going to invest that kind of time, so I needed something new. No one was more shocked than me, when I created a dish, [...]
I wanted a fast side dish for a meatloaf supper. Potatoes are definitely my family’s first choice, at such times, with the resounding preference being “mashed with gravy”. I just wasn’t going to invest that kind of time, so I needed something new. No one was more shocked than me, when I created a dish, that everyone agrees, is an acceptable substitute for that favored traditional standby! It is comfort food with a twist; and we’ll be making these over and over, (especially when I’m not in the mood to peel potatoes. ) They’re super simple to make.
The hardest time we had, was deciding what to call them. They sort of remind us of nachos, but there wasn’t anything spicy about this dish. The cool thing is that it is so versatile, you could use different toppings and they definitely COULD be more Tex-Mex. The possibilities are endless. Anyway, we decided the name had to be something that combined “potatoes” and “nachos”. We finally landed on Potachos, but Nachatos was a close second. -lol- Here’s the way I made them to accompany our meatloaf supper. I’m sure there will be many variations, in the future!
For color, nutrition and flavor veggies are at their best if they haven’t been cooked to mush before serving them. This recipe is one of those mix it up and use what you have on hand at the moment ones, but the cooking principle would be the same, regardless of what veggies you choose. Normally, [...]
For color, nutrition and flavor veggies are at their best if they haven’t been cooked to mush before serving them. This recipe is one of those mix it up and use what you have on hand at the moment ones, but the cooking principle would be the same, regardless of what veggies you choose. Normally, green onions and garlic would be the first things I pulled out for this dish; and I almost always have both on hand. For this night, though, I had neither. While they would have packed a great flavor punch, the mix of veggies I chose were delicious on their own. Get creative and inventive. Use seasonal vegetables that are at the peak of their nutritional value and least expensive. Use veggies your family loves and then toss in something new, to get them to try it. Not only do vegetables cooked in this quick, high-heat method taste fantastic, they make the plate and everything else on it look beautiful!
Select the vegetables you want to stir fry. I had kale, red cabbage, zucchini, carrots, yellow squash and bell peppers, on hand. The colors were absolutely gorgeous!
Wash and slice your veggies into bite-sized pieces. (If you are using kale, be sure to remove the leaves from the thick center stems, discard the stems and slice or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.) When all the vegetables are chopped, toss them with a little olive oil (maybe 1 or 2 Tablespoons depending on how many vegetables you are using. As you can see I filled my huge 12″ cast iron skillet to overflowing.). Be sure to add some salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook over high heat, stirring to prevent scorching and to allow the vegetables to quickly heat through. The veggies should intensify in color as they heat and be hot through, but tender crisp when they are done. It will only take 3 or 4 minutes, at most. Serve them alongside any main dish to create a beautiful and inviting plate!
Have you ever had one of those days where you are busy, busy, busy – doing, doing, doing; and at the end of it you feel as though not much has gotten done? Have you ever been at the weary end of one of those days and been faced with putting a tasty meal on [...]
Have you ever had one of those days where you are busy, busy, busy – doing, doing, doing; and at the end of it you feel as though not much has gotten done? Have you ever been at the weary end of one of those days and been faced with putting a tasty meal on the table for your family, but not having anything prepared? Fortunately, that isn’t a frequent occurrence around here, but when it does happen, it is definitely unsettling. I have several go-to recipes to get the main dish/meat on the table in a hurry, but I am often challenged to come up with quick side dishes that will satisfy my meat and potatoes guy. Peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes for our crew definitely takes some time and doesn’t really fit with the idea of getting a “quick” meal on the table. Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes are a great option to have in the fridge for those hectic evenings.
These potatoes were creamy, smooth and buttery and ready to put on the table in 6 minutes! That’s speedy and though my sweet (and incredibly intelligent) guy says they’re not quite as good as my homemade , I noticed that he enjoyed seconds. They were a perfect accompaniment to my crispy baked chicken and spaghetti squash.
One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will get to experience the Bob Evans convenience for themselves! They will receive two coupons for a FREE Bob Evans product (up to $5 each). That means the winner can select any two from the Bob Evans line of refrigerated or frozen products at their local grocer - Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, Sausage Egg and Cheese Burritos, Sausage Links, Ground Sausage or Sausage Patties or one of the other fabulous Bob Evans products! It’s as easy as entering the giveaway, below. You just may win a “quick-fix” dinner surprise of your own!
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I received Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes, through BFPR, in order to test the product and write this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
One of my favorite memories of childhood is chopping apples in my grandma’s kitchen surrounded by my mom and all my aunts who were also working on various aspects of a family dinner. It was a big kitchen, but it was always crowded because there were LOTS of us. My dad was one of 11 [...]
One of my favorite memories of childhood is chopping apples in my grandma’s kitchen surrounded by my mom and all my aunts who were also working on various aspects of a family dinner. It was a big kitchen, but it was always crowded because there were LOTS of us. My dad was one of 11 siblings and it was not unusual for the majority of them and their families to be at Grandma’s for Sunday dinner. The women congregated in the kitchen to help with the meal and to visit. Being old enough to be allowed in there was a BIG deal. There were likely four or five different conversations going on at once and everyone was lovingly preparing something for a meal that would be shared with our very large, very hungry family. There would be sounds of laughter, spoons clanking against the sides of pans, knives chopping against the cutting boards and smells — oh, the wonderful smells.
The apples I chopped would be for apple salad. Apple salad didn’t have an exact recipe, because depending on what grandma had in the kitchen, other ingredients, like sliced bananas, raisins or coconut, might be added to this basic recipe. There were parts of it that never really changed, though, and that’s what I’m sharing with you, today — just the basics — simple, pure and full of joyful memories. Moments like those are very likely responsible for my love of cooking and big family dinners. For me, food isn’t just something to eat. It’s something that draws family’s close — in the kitchen and around the table. It’s a memory maker.
Congratulations to #459, Erin. She’s our winner in the Zojirushi Rice Cooker Giveaway!!!! I shared the beginning of my Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker review , last week. I hope you’ll read through it and learn all the features of this extraordinary kitchen tool. Today, I want to share more delicious ideas and [...]
Congratulations to #459, Erin.
She’s our winner in the Zojirushi Rice Cooker Giveaway!!!!
I shared the beginning of my Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker review , last week. I hope you’ll read through it and learn all the features of this extraordinary kitchen tool. Today, I want to share more delicious ideas and recipes with you, plus give you a chance to win one of these fabulous appliances for your own kitchen!
First of all, I have to know — does your whole family wake up at the same time, every morning? Ours definitely does not. We have early risers who pop right up the moment they’re awake, those who are definitely not morning people and the ones in between. Which category do you think I fit into? – lol-
A hot breakfast can be a challenge when everyone is wandering out to the kitchen at different times. Either everyone has to make individual breakfasts or someone is going to be eating it cold. Who would have thought that my Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker would solve this dilemma?!!! I was very excited at the idea of cooking grains with it and while I definitely want to branch out and try some of the ancient grains we hear so much about, now, i.e. quinoa, kamut, amaranth, I went with what I had on hand – rolled oats – and the results were marvelous. It was SIMPLE! I put all the ingredients in the Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker, turned it on and walked away. When the oatmeal was done, the cooker immediately switched to Keep Warm and whenever my blurry-eyed children decided they were ready for breakfast, it was warm and ready.
Rice Cooker Oatmeal
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- water up to the porridge line (approx. 4 cups)
I used the included measuring cup to measure the oats and blueberries into the cooker pan, and then added the spices right on top.
Next, I added water to the PORRIDGE (thick) line. (I do not like soupy oatmeal.)
Place the cooker pan back into the appliance and hit the MENU button until the arrow rotates around to the porridge setting.
Depress the START button and walk away. The rice cooker will alert you when breakfast is done!
My perfectly cooked oatmeal cooked for a little over an hour ( I was able to get in my devotional time and start some laundry!) and then the rice cooker immediately switched over to the Keep Warm cycle, allowing those who were already up to have breakfast right away, while keeping the oatmeal fresh, warm and delicious for those who got up nearly 45 minutes later. Woohoo! No trying to reheat thick, gloppy leftover oatmeal. No matter when they arose, everyone had a hot, delicious breakfast.
I served up this wonderful hot cereal with brown sugar and chopped pecans. It was delish and a marvelous way to start the day!
I won’t take the time to go through the entire recipe, this evening, but I want you to know I also used my rice cooker, tonight to make a family favorite for dinner — Lentil Rice Casserole. I used the GABA Brown Rice setting and my husband has declared that texturally, this version is far superior to our original recipe. I made the whole dish in one pan and didn’t even need to heat up the oven. At suppertime, we enjoyed a delicous, nutritious meal and had the simplest clean-up ever! Win! Win!
Clearly, I’m not finished, yet! I am having so much fun exploring the myriad ways to use this appliance and finding recipes that are perfect to cook in it. And you can find fabulous recipe suggestions on their site. But, for tonight, I want to share something even more exciting! Zojirushi has generously agreed to award a Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker, to one very fortunate Busy-at-Home reader, as the prize in a fabulous giveaway!
You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter. Mandatory entry must be completed for any optional entries to be counted. Deadline for entry is midnight, Sunday March 20, 2011.
Visit the Zojirushi website and pick a recipe you would love to see me demonstrate on the blog. Leave the recipe title in a comment below.
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- Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. Enter to win a fabulous Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker at Busy-at-Home. It’s for SO much more than rice! http://ow.ly/4aAnx Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
- Tweet this giveaway (1x daily) : Enter to win a fabulous Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker @busyathome. It’s for SO much more than rice! http://ow.ly/4aAnx #giveaway #review
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These are two rice cooker cookbooks, I own, that may be great resources for you and your family.….
I received a Zojirushi Umami™ Micom Rice Cooker, in order to test it and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. Zojirushi supplied technical info and specs, but as with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the opinions and views expressed are true and wholly my own.
This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.