Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Photos



I have created a photo album on Facebook with pictures of recipes in my book. I will update the album as I get more photos. 

The book is available at lulu.com, and I am currently running a promotion on Facebook to giveaway one FREE book!

If you would like to purchase the book, the following Lulu discount codes are available. Only the first three codes worked for me. I could not find expiration dates or restrictions for the other coupons. I listed them because others have had success using them. If anyone else gets them to work, please let us know how you did it!

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Ham

Excellent flavors ~ this recipe is a keeper! Makes 2 to 3 servings; depending whether you serve a side salad or side dish, also. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.


Ingredients


1 medium to large sweet potato or yam - I had only 1 small to medium sized yam, and wished it had been a bit larger
1 cup celery, chopped
1½ cups lean ham or turkey ham, chopped - I used about 2 cups of ham in the photos, which was more than needed
1 tablespoon trans-fat-free butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
 teaspoon dry mustard
 to ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup fat-free milk
¾ cup lowfat shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon lowfat grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cost effective alternative to purchasing slivered almonds

Almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. A 16-oz. bag of raw almonds can be purchased for a reasonable price; however, slivered almonds often sell for more than twice as much.


I am determined to find an easy way to sliver almonds myself! So far, the following process is the easiest method I have found. If anyone knows of an easier way, please share with the rest of us.

Blanch the almonds

I heard that blanched almonds slice easier than raw ones because they do not crack, so I decided to give it a try. I found a few different ways to blanch almonds online, and I chose the following method: 

Pour enough water in a saucepan to cover the amount of almonds you want to blanch. Heat to boiling. Add the almonds (I used about 2 to 3 handfuls). Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, strain in colander, and run under (or submerge in) cold water to stop the process.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Giveaway on Facebook!

**UPDATE June 2015
A winner has been chosen, and this drawing has now ended. Watch for future promotions!

I am giving away a FREE book to one lucky follower! The book is about making healthy food choices. It contains information about how to choose products, how to alter recipes, ingredient substitutions, and nearly 150 recipes. You can find more details about the book at lulu.com.



Head over to my Facebook page for details of the book giveaway, and to enter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cream of Celery Soup

I never thought celery soup could be so tasty. I had a bit of celery on hand that needed to be used, so I did an online search for any recipe containing celery. After viewing a few different celery soup recipes, I came up with the following combination, which was delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 



Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons trans-fat-free butter
3¾ cups celery including tops, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
½ cup carrots, chopped
¾ cup onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon trans-fat-free butter
⅔ cup fat-free half-and-half or milk - I used half-and-half
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 to 5 dashes hot sauce - I used Tabasco, my husband's favorite hot sauce! 
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon chives, chopped

Directions
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons butter in a large saucepan on stove. Add chopped celery (not the diced), carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook over low heat until soft. Add bay leaf and chicken broth. Heat to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After vegetables have cooked, scoop most of the cooked vegetables into blender in small batches, and pulse until smooth. I poured the broth and vegetables into a separate bowl, and then used the same saucepan for the next step. I used a soup ladle to scoop the vegetables into the blender, and only added as much of the broth as I needed to be able to blend the mixture. I did not worry about getting all of the vegetables into the blender. If you enlarge the photo above, you can see that some of the carrots were not all blended.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter in saucepan. Sauté remaining diced celery. If mixture becomes too dry, and some of the broth liquid from the cooked vegetables. When celery is soft, add blended vegetables and broth back to the saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, lemon juice, hot sauce, and freshly ground pepper. Stir to heat soup, but do not boil.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh chives before serving. Serve with additional ground pepper, if desired.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Homemade Whole-Grain Baking Mix

I have been unable to find whole-grain baking mix in the store, so I decided to make my own. I had been using whole-grain pancake mix, which works okay if only a small amount is needed. I found, however, that I did not like the taste when I needed more than a couple of tablespoons.


Those of you who have my book, may be familiar with my Cream Soup Powder recipe, and this is a similar idea. I did an online search for ideas, and came up with the following mixture.

Ready for the freezer

Ingredients

1 tablespoon sugar substitute
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups whole-grain flour - I used whole-wheat flour.
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons trans-fat-free butter, frozen and/or nonfat Greek yogurt - I had been using Smart Balance sticks; however, these are no longer available, so I used Earth Balance sticks, as they are made with natural oils and have no trans fat. The fat content is quite high, however, so I have returned to Smart Balance, and now use their buttery spread in place of stick margarine or butter in recipes.

Directions

Combine all of the dry ingredients.