Kid Friendly, Mother Approved

Having a picky eater always makes dinner a challenge.  To make tonight’s dinner ‘kid friendly’ I took the traditional meatloaf and turned them into ‘mini meatloaves’ and added some ranch smashed potatoes that anyone would love.  Coupled with a ham & cucumber salad, the dinner turned out to be a success!  Oh, and it’s gluten-free too! 🙂  Win-Win!

Mini Meatloaves Mini Meatloaves @2CookinMamas

Yields: 12 mini meatloaves

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 1/2 large while onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Dash of hot sauce, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Spray muffin tin with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

Place ground beef in large mixing bowl.  Add in grated onion, carrot, & garlic and mix.  Add in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and egg.  Mix with hands until blended well.  Portion mixture into muffin pan evenly.

In small bowl, mix together ketchup, honey, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if desired).  Spoon on top of each mini loaf and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Ranch Smashed Potatoesranch smashed potatoes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk of choice
  • 1/2 packet Hidden Valley GF Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • 2 tbsp. dairy free butter substitute
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Scrub potatoes with vegetable brush and cut into 1″ chunks.  Add potatoes to large pot of salted water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender – approximately 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes and return to hot pot.  Smash potatoes with a potato masher and add in milk , ranch mix, and butter.  Continue mashing until all ingredients are mixed well.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cucumber Ham Salad Cucumber Ham Salad @2CookinMamas

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8 oz diced ham
  • 3/4 Greek vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in medium-sized bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 25 minutes.  Stir well prior to serving.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

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Zucchini – Whatever Floats Your Boat!

Margherita Zucchini BoatsI have developed a taste for zucchini lately and have been looking for new ways to fix this nutritious and delicious veggie. Did you know it was a member of the summer squash family and delivers loads of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6 and potassium? It even delivers smaller amounts of Vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and iron and all for only 33 calories for the entire zucchini!

Of course, now that I told you how low in calories this vegetable is, I am going to up the count by adding some delicious cheese but still keep it on the healthy side with the addition of tomatoes and fresh basil. You will find it quite similar to a margherita pizza but with a lot less calories!

Margherita Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, or to taste
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1/4-1/2 lb. sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 2-4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line with aluminum foil.

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and, using a teaspoon, scoop out seeds and just a little extra so that it can hold the other ingredients. Place on prepared cookie sheet. If you need to, cut a little off the bottom of each zucchini half so that it sits flat.

In a small bowl, mix 3 Tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper. Brush over the top of each zucchini. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top of the garlic spread then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Zucchini BoatsRemove from oven and place slices of mozzarella around tomatoes and sprinkle with a little of the chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top and place under broiler until cheese has melted and browned. To serve, top with remaining basil and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

Note: The amount of ingredients you use is up to you and your family’s tastes. I like to use quite a bit of garlic and fresh basil when I prepare this dish and sometimes add some red pepper flakes to the olive oil-garlic mixture for a little extra kick. Enjoy!

Linda's Signature

Got Scallops?

Then today is your day because it’s National Coquilles St. Jacques Day!

Courtesy of the Food Network – here is Rachel Ray’s version of Coquilles St. Jacques:

ad1a02_coquille_saint_jacques_lg

Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 40 min Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
12 medium clams
18 black mussels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 medium shrimp
6 sea scallops
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 lemon
1 quart fumet (fish stock)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup bread crumbs
4 teaspoons parsley, chopped

Directions:
In a frying pan over medium high heat, add butter, shallots and garlic. Sweat the garlic and shallots until they become translucent. Add the clams and mussels and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the frying pan with white wine, cover with a lid and let cook until the mussels and clams start to open. Strain mussels and clams and set aside, reserving the liquid (it will be used to make the veloute).

In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat the pan until it is smoking hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Carefully place the scallops in the pan and sear, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the shrimp to the same pan and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and let it get hot. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are cooked and most of their liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Preheat the broiler.

To make the veloute: In a saute pan melt butter and add flour until both mix evenly together. Let cook for a few minutes on light heat until the mixture resembles pancake batter. Take the pan you used to cook the shrimps and scallops and deglaze it with the liquid you saved from the mussels and clams and squeeze in the lemon. Add the fumet and let reduce. Add the cream and again let reduce over medium heat. Add the butter flour mixture and stir until everything starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Remove the shells of the mussels and clams. Cut the scallops in 4 and remove any shell that is still on the shrimp. Add the mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams to the veloute and stir everything with a spoon. Fill the baking shells or bowls with the seafood veloute and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and parsley. Place under a broiler until the top becomes golden brown. Place the hot dish onto another plate to serve.

Christina signature 3

 

Perfect for Summertime

This fruit cocktail is pretty in pink (sugar) & perfect for summertime.  Made in 20 minutes or less – it’s a great recipe for National Fruit Cocktail Day!

Fruitcocktail2

Total Time: 20 minutes – Serves 4
Ingredients: 
3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
2 oranges, peel removed,cut in segments and diced
2 tablespoons white rum
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
sugar or pink tinted sugar (optional)
red food coloring (optional)
lime slice (optional)
Directions:
  1. Mix the strawberries, pineapple, oranges, rum, the 2 tablespoons sugar and lime peel in a large bowl.
  2. Let stand, tossing occasionally until sugar dissolves. About ten minutes.
  3. Spread about 2 tablespoons of sugar on a plate.
  4. Add one or two drops of red food coloring and blend until tinted.
  5. OR, just spread the pink tinted sugar on a plate.
  6. Dip rim of martini glass in water, then the sugar, to coat the rim.
  7. Spoon in fruit and juice.
  8. Slit a lime slice to garnish the side of the glass.

Resources:  Food.com

Christina signature 3

It’s National Empanada Day!

Empanadas originated in Galicia, Portugal but have become popular throughout Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, The Philippines and North America.  Here in the states, we usually consider empanadas as tapas, but they are often served as main meals stuffed with seafood, pork, or meat & vegetables, and are served hot or cold.  The name, empanada, comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

Here’s a great recipe to try – courtesy of La Tienda & Spain GourmeTour magazine.  Photo courtesy of Simply Recipes.

curry-pork-empanada-bEmpanada

Empanadas are standard fare in most bars and restaurants, served as delicious tapas with a copa de cerveza or as the main meal. This is a wonderful recipe from the north-west of Spain.
Makes 6 servings.

Prep Time: 1 hr.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

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Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5

Ingredients:

1 egg, beaten
3/4 lb of pork loin, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp bittersweet smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup piquillo peppers, sliced
3 onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1 lb yeast pastry or bread dough
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs

Preparation:

Put the sliced pork in a dish with paprika, 1 tbsp of the chopped garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the pork very quickly, removing slices as they are browned. In the same oil, saute the chopped peppers, onions and remaining garlic until softened. Add the prepared tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and the sauce is very thick.

Divide the dough in half. On a floured board, roll out to a thickness of 1/4 – 1/2 inch. Line a cake tin with dough. Spread this with half the prepared sauce. Arrange the slices of pork loin on top and add a layer of piquillo pimentos above that. Slice the boiled eggs and layer above other ingredients. Spoon on the remaining sauce.

Roll out the rest of the dough and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together and trim the excess. Make a hole in the center for a steam vent. Put in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake another 15-20 minutes.

The crust should be golden and crispy. Can be served hot or cool.

Enjoy!  Christina signature 3