Monthly Archives: April 2010

Rosemary Potatoes

These potatoes are not just tasty; they’re frugal and easy too.  I like to serve them with steak, and have the leftovers as hash browns the next morning.

You’ll need:

4-5 large potatoes, unpeeled and diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

3 stalks fresh rosemary or 1T. dried (you can omit the rosemary, for plain potatoes)

1-2 T. olive oil

Microwave potatoes in a large bowl for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.  Mix in rest of ingredients until potatoes are coated.  Bake in a single layer at 450 for 30 minutes or until browned and slightly crispy.

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Filed under Sides

Tina’s Spaghetti

Until I had Tina’s Spaghetti, I had no idea how much difference a homemade sauce could make.   Canned sauce is like the TV dinner version of spaghetti.  Homemade sauce tastes like Grandma (or Cousin Tina) sat pouring love into the pot all day.

The beauty of homemade sauce though, is that it only takes a few minutes to put together, and then it works its magic as it simmers all by itself.  You can spend your day pouring love into other things, then sit down to the deliciousness at dinner.

Here’s how Tina taught me to make Spaghetti.

2 pounds Italian Sausage (can use ground beef too, but the sausage it what gives it that special flavor)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 T. minced garlic

1T. each of tarragon, basil, oregano, and crushed rosemary

2 t. salt or more to taste

1t. pepper

2 bay leaves

2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes (14 oz. each) (you can also just use crushed tomatoes or fire roasted diced tomatoes)

4 cans tomato sauce (14 oz. each)

1 can tomato paste (8 oz.)

Brown meat with onion and garlic.  Add to rest of ingredients.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes-1 hour, or put it in a crock pot on low all day.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve over gluten-free pasta.  Tinkyada is my favorite brand.

This makes a lot of sauce, so I put it in a Ziploc and freeze for another dinner or use it to make another dish like Chicken Parmesan (which you can find here) or pizza.

Thanks, Tina!  Our whole family now loves spaghetti, even the one who has avoided it since childhood.  🙂

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Filed under Dinner

Green Smoothies

Today my kids and I had a snack where we each ate 2 cups collard greens, a cup of mixed greens, 1/3 of a banana, a cup of strawberries, a tablespoon of flax oil, and 1/4 cup blueberries, sweetened with a little Stevia.

Can you imagine eating that many servings of fruits and veggies in one sitting, much less in one day, and getting your kids to love it too?

My kids beg me for this snack every day now.

My secret?

I throw it all in a high-powered blender with some ice, and make it into a Green Smoothie.

This is my new revolution of health – GREEN SMOOTHIES.

I know it sounds and looks weird, but they really are delicious.  And, I can’t think of a better way to incorporate raw greens into our diet.  The nutrition in one glass packs a powerful punch, and the taste is a treat.

First, you really do need a powerful blender, like the Blentec or Vitamix.  The price is worth the investment.  I’ve used mine over 200 times since February 14th to make smoothies, gluten-free flatbread from soaked whole seeds and grains (recipe coming soon), whole grain banana muffins, soups, salsas, dips, ice creams, …the list goes on.  And, the ingredients are all whole foods that are so good for you and so yummy.

This is my Blentec, my new kitchen best friend, filled with collard greens and mixed greens.

When you first introduce the idea of green smoothies, it’s best to start small.  Use mild greens, like spinach, and do half fruit and half veggies.  Add in grapes and blueberries to make purple smoothies at first, use lots of ice, and serve it in a fun glass with a straw.  Don’t let your kids know at first what you put in there.  Slowly shift your ratios to more greens, and begin adding different greens- collard, swiss chard, mustard, romaine, etc..  We like greens, strawberries, blueberries, and a banana as our favorite smoothie.

If you’re interested in learning more, please go to She’s the expert, and she has great ideas and recipes on her website.

I love making this treat for my kids!  Nutrition feels so good!


Filed under Snacks

Chuck Roast 3 Ways

Here’s an easy way to have 3 different meals out of the same piece of meat, and you just have to cook once.  Out of a chuck roast, you will make pot roast, barbeque beef sandwiches, and then beef tostadas.

First, make a pot roast big enough to last over 3 dinners.  The Pioneer Woman gives detailed instructions here. Or, you can follow my not-so-detailed instructions.

Spray a roasting pan with oil.  Lay meat inside.  Salt and pepper the meat all over.  Throw some quartered onions, baby carrots, and garlic cloves to the side of the meat.  Mix a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix with about a cup of water and pour over the meat.  Cook covered at 300-325 for about 4 hours.  Test it, and if it falls apart, it’s ready.  If it seems a little tough, cook it longer.  That’s the pot roast trick – cook it LONGER.

Take the leftover meat and shred and chop very finely.  Store or freeze until you’re ready for your next meal.

For the BBQ sandwiches, mix half the leftover meat with gluten-free barbeque sauce.  Heat and serve on gluten-free hamburger buns (you can find them at Whole Foods) or on gluten-free bread (my preference).  You could also serve over rice.

For the beef tostadas, mix the rest of the beef with taco seasonings like you would for ground meat.  Serve on tostadas, tacos, or corn tortillas.

I love cooking in bulk!  It saves so much time.  And, lest you think that I come up with these ideas because I’m so organized, I’d like to share the truth.  Last week, I made roast on Sunday and had leftovers.  I planned my days so poorly that dinnertime came around and I had no ideas or time to get anything ready.  I peeked into the fridge in desperation and had to do something with the leftovers.  Not once, but twice.  Sometimes, creativity trumps planning.

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Filed under Meal Plans

Kale Chips

Kale Chips are pure, simple, healthful food.  They might sound weird, but the unexpected crispy crunch just melts in your mouth.  A whole plateful provides less than 140 calories (almost all from olive oil) and packs a nutritious punch.

Wash and dry one bunch of kale.  Massage a tablespoon of oil into every leaf, then place on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until leaves are crispy but not browned.  Season with kosher salt and garlic powder.

I eat kale for snack or even for dinner.  My picky eater joined me yesterday and began grabbing the chips off my plate.  If he can try them and like them, I’ll bet you will too.


Filed under Snacks