Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cranberry Pear Salad

This delicious Fall salad is what I'm bringing to Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry Pear Salad

Categories: Salads & Dressings, Vegetables

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons onion (can use dehydrated) -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup oil

2 large romaine lettuce (fresh or bagged)
1/2 cup Craisins
1 medium pear -- cubed
1 cup Swiss cheese -- shredded
1 cup cashews
1 medium apple -- cubed

Mix the dressing and chill. Mix the salad together and pour needed amount of dressing over the top.

Source: Good Things Utah
Ratings: 6 - Pretty Good 6

JEN'S NOTES : The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup olive oil, but I just didn't think it needed that much and I prefer safflower oil instead. You probably don't really need a whole cup of Swiss cheese and a whole cup of cashews, I just add things until it looks good.

Amy's Salsa

This salsa is so tasty and so easy we make it all the time. It's become a favorite in our home and for a lot of people we've shared it with. Thanks, Amy!

Amy's Salsa

Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Healthy & Light, Low Iodine Diet, Quick & Easy, Vegetables

28 ounces canned tomatoes
2 each garlic cloves (2 to 4)
1/2 each jalapeno (1/2 to 1 1/2), seeded
3 handfuls fresh cilantro (2 to 3)
1/4 small onion (1/4 to 1/2)
1 teaspoon black pepper -- to taste
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste

Blend all ingredients in the blender until chopped and mixed well. It's best if you refrigerate several hours before eating. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Make sure to use no-salt canned tomatoes and iodine-free salt.

Source: Amy from an internet chat group for adoptive parents
Yield: 4 cups

JEN'S NOTES:  I almost always make this with regular Hunt's Fire Roasted canned tomatoes (NOT the garlic flavor) and it is delicious.  Amy said she adds a little more black pepper, which is good.  Usually I combine what the recipe says (being careful not to get too much jalapeno, onion, and cilantro), mix it up, taste, then add more of anything I think it needs (usually salt, black pepper, garlic, and/or jalapeno), remembering as the flavors develop some will get stronger.  I add jalapeno just until there is just a hint of spice.  Be careful not to overdo the onion or jalapeno because everything gets pulverized and the flavor can get way too strong very quickly.  Also, I've noticed that if I overdo the cilantro it doesn't taste as good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gingerbread Pancakes

The author of these pancakes calls himself a "pancake purist" and his directions are detailed and picky, but the results are some tasty pancakes. Top these pancakes with whipped cream and maple syrup and you have a breakfast fit for the Holidays. During Christmas time I like to make extra and keep them on hand in the freezer.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Recipe By: Yee-Fan Sun
Categories: Breads, Breakfast, Freezer Recipes, Holiday Favorites

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. cooking oil or melted butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt

Combine all the dry ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Combine all the wet ingredients in another bowl; give all that a good stir as well. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just combined. Don't get too zealous with the mixing at this point, as you want to avoid overdeveloping the gluten in the flour, unless tough and rubbery are qualities you like in your pancakes.

At this point, give the baking powder a little time to do its thing (if you look at the batter, you should start to see little bubbles forming). Resist the urge to stir your batter after it's gotten nice and bubbly -- you'll only release all that air, and your pancakes won't end up as airy.

Meanwhile, heat up a smidgen of cooking oil in a skillet or griddle. When a drop of batter immediately starts to come together when it hits the pan, the oil's ready. Use a ladle to spoon some batter into the pan - I generally make the first pancake small, as it's a guinea pig pancake that I use to decide whether the heat needs to be raised or lowered. When the top of the pancake is covered in tiny air holes, flip that baby. If you find that the bottom has burned by the time it reaches that stage, you'll want to turn down the heat to cook up your next batch.

Keep your pancakes toasty by placing them in a warmed oven until you've finished all the cooking and they're ready to be served (alternatively, if formality's not an issue, eat those pancakes as they come out of the pan -- they really do taste best that way). Serve with lemon curd (or maple syrup if your prefer) and fresh blueberries.

JEN'S FREEZER DIRECTIONS: You can make these pancakes ahead of time and freeze them. I freeze them in a labelled gallon freezer bag, separated by wax paper so they don't stick together.
TO SERVE: Thaw or warm up in the microwave or toast in the toaster. These pancakes are delicious when they are a little crispy and toasty, and they make they house wonderful.

Source: http://www.digsmagazine.com/
Internet Address: http://www.digsmagazine.com/nourish/nourish_gingerbreadpancakes.htm
Yield: 9 pancakes

Serving Ideas : Serve with topped with whipped cream and maple syrup.

JEN'S NOTES: These were really good, perfect for Christmas time, but you have to be careful if you use melted butter - it gets solid when it hits the other wet ingredients because they are still cold. So maybe use cooking oil instead, or maybe wait to add the melted butter with the dry ingredients.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Teriyaki Chicken

This barbecued teriyaki chicken is delicious along side the Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed dressing.

Teriyaki Chicken (Grilled)

Serving Sizes: 4
Categories: Chicken, Freezer Recipes, Grilled & Barbecued, Healthy & Light, Low Iodine Diet, Marinades, Seasonings, & Rubs

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons onion -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all ingredients in a non-metal bowl container or Ziploc bag. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from container and grill.

PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a labelled freezer bag. Double-bag and freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw and marinate. Grill.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS: Use an LID-safe soy sauce substitute (see recipe).

Source: Lynelle
Ratings: 7 - Very Good 8
Serving Ideas : Serve with Spinach Salad and Poppy Seed Dressing.

JEN'S NOTES: I usually replace the oil with 1/4 cup of water. I have made this with fresh garlic and fresh ginger before and it was really good. I usually use dried onion flakes. We like to make this for our Chinese food dinner on Conference Sunday (family tradition), and I cut the chicken into chunks and make kabobs out of it with onion, green peppers, mushrooms, and pineapple.

Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Mary, my sister-in-law requested this recipe. She actually wanted the recipe for Poppy Seed Dressing, but the salad that goes with the dressing is so good I wanted to post it, too. I got this recipe years ago from our neighbor, Lynelle, and it is one of my favorite salads to make. We like to have this salad with grilled Teriyaki Chicken, also Lynelle's recipe

Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Servings: 4
Categories: Healthy & Light, Salads & Dressings

1 head red leaf lettuce -- torn
1 bunch spinach -- torn
1 pound bacon -- cooked and drained
OR 1/2 bottle real bacon bits
4 ounces swiss cheese -- grated
3 each mushrooms -- sliced
1/4 small purple onion -- chopped

1 1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix dressing and chill.

Toss lettuce and spinach in a bowl. Toss with remaining ingredients. Just before serving, top with dressing then toss the salad.

Source: Lynelle
Ratings: 7 - Very Good 7
Serving Ideas : Serve with Grilled Teriyaki Chicken.

JEN'S NOTES : I usually throw in some slivered almonds also for the crunch. This recipe makes A LOT of dressing. Usually 1/ 3 to 1/2 of the dressing is sufficient for the amount of salad in the recipe. I also add about 1-2 teaspoon mayonnaise and that keeps the dressing from separating immediately after you shake it up. Usually I dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and water before adding anything else. Also, I usually use dried onions - it's much faster. You can also use romaine or green leaf lettuce if you prefer. I've never used the regular cooked bacon before - I always use bacon bits. To me, a whole pound of regular cooked bacon seems like an awful lot.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Crock Pot Fajitas

I got this recipe from http://www.zonya.com/, my favorite nutrition website. I have used chicken and steak in this recipe, but it's a great recipe because you can use either chicken, beef, or pork and for beans you can use black, pinto, or kidney beans. Scott really likes these fajitas, and they are so easy.

Crock Pot Fajitas

Categories: Beef, Chicken, Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Healthy & Light, Low Iodine Diet, Pork & Ham, Quick & Easy, Vegetables

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork, or beef
1/2 large onion -- sliced
1 medium green bell pepper -- sliced
1 tsp garlic (2 cloves) -- minced
1 tsp ground cumin
15 ounces black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans -- drained and rinsed
1 packet fajita seasoning mix (If you would like to make your own fajita seasoning you can find a recipe at http://www.allrecipes.com/ or http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/recipedetail.asp?sessionid=&login=yes&id=98&page=21)
flour tortillas
ripe tomatoes -- chopped
lettuce -- shredded
light sour cream
low-fat cheddar cheese -- shredded

4 to 8 hours before serving: Trim meat well of fat and cut into 6 portions. Place in slow cooker. Cut vegetables into strips and place in slow cooker. Add to slow cooker and mix well. Cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on LOW 7 to 8 hours.

Just before serving: Remove meat from slow cooker and shred. Return shredded meat to pot and mix well. Warm tortillas in microwave. Use a slotted spoon to remove contents from slow cooker. Assemble fajitas with toppings of your choice.

ADVANCED PREP:  Slice onions and green pepper (or use frozen onions and peppers, then they are already washed and sliced). Prep garlic.
PREPARATION:  Place meat and seasonings in a labelled freezer bag. Place veggies in separate labelled freezer bag. Bag these together in another labelled freezer bag. Make sure to reserve a can of beans in the pantry (or just throw them in with the chicken and freeze). Place tortillas in another labelled freezer bag and freeze with meat, if desired (I usually roll them up and wrap with foil to freeze).
TO SERVE:  Thaw meat (leave veggies in the freezer until you are ready to cook). Prepare as directed above. Probably could cook from frozen if you wanted.

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use gluten and soy free beans, fajita seasoning mix, tortillas, sour cream, and cheese.  You could also use corn tortillas.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use a dairy free fajita seasoning mix.  Omit sour cream and cheese.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS:  Some doctors do not allow green peppers, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Use homemade beans. Make your own fajita seasoning. Use corn tortillas or make your own LID-approved flour tortillas. No sour cream or cheese.

Source: http://www.zonya.com/
Internet Address: http://www.zonya.com/pdf/recipes/Crock_Pot_Fajitas.
Ratings: 7 - Pretty Good 7

NOTES : See http://www.zonya.com/pdf/recipes/Crock_Pot_Fajitas.pdf for the original recipe.
JEN'S NOTES: The first time I made this it was a little salty, so I might dial down the salt a little. Works well to use frozen, already cut up peppers and onions (in the freezer section at the store), make sure to add them frozen (do not thaw) or they will turn to mush. It filled my 3.5-qt slow cooker pretty well and it was kind of difficult to stir. The chicken was still a little frozen and I cooked it for 3.5 hours on Low, stirring once at 3 hours, and it was perfect. Smelled really good as it cooked. Made enough for 2 dinners for us. Scott said many times that it was pretty good, which means he really liked it.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken

This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but I bet thighs and drumsticks would be good as well. Also, beef or pork probably would be good, too.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken

Categories: "Dump" Chicken Recipes, Chicken, Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Low Iodine Diet, Quick & Easy

36 ounces barbecue sauce
14 ounces pineapple chunks
1 medium green bell pepper -- sliced
1 medium onion -- sliced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

In a large bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, pineapple with juice, green bell pepper, onion, and garlic.

Arrange 4 of the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour half of the barbecue sauce over the chicken. Place remaining chicken in slow cooker, and pour remaining sauce over the top.
Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours.

ADVANCED PREP: Prepare barbecue sauce if using homemade. Cut up green pepper and onion (or I like to use frozen, then they're already washed and cut up).
PREPARATION: Place barbecue sauce, pineapple, garlic and chicken in a labelled freezer bag. Place green pepper and onion in a separate labelled freezer bag. Bag these two bags together and freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw chicken and sauce, leaving the vegetables frozen until you are ready to cook. Follow the above cooking directions.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Some doctors don't allow pineapple or green peppers, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Use homemade LID-approved barbecue sauce.

Source: http://www.allrecipes.com/
Internet Address: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Sweet-and-Tangy-Chicken/Detail.aspx

Ratings: 6 - Pretty Good 6

NOTES: Jen's Notes: I used Famous Dave's barbecue sauce, and it was pretty good, but I think it would have been tastier with Tony Roma's barbecue sauce. Halved the recipe and it worked out well in my 3.5-quart slow cooker, only needing to cook the chicken 1 hour on high and 2 1/2 to 3 hours on low.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Soy Sauce Substitute

This recipe was a lifesaver for me when I was following a special diet for medical reasons. It's not so soy-saucy that you want to eat it on everything, but it's good in recipes. It allowed me to make a lot of my normal recipes without having to leave out the distinctive taste of soy sauce. Thank you to whomever came up with this recipe!

Soy Sauce Substitute

2 tablespoons salt -- (1 to 3)
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 dash celery powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups water

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir ingredients together. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS:  Make sure your salt is non-iodized and your molasses is LID approved.

JEN'S NOTES: You could freeze this in 1 tablespoon cubes if you would like, but I find it keeps well in the fridge for a very long time. I just use clean leftover vinegar bottles and double the recipe every time I make it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pineapple Marinated Pork Chops

Scott really likes these pork chops. (He likes anything with pineapple.) And they are so easy.

Pineapple Marinated Pork Chops

Servings: 6
Categories: Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Grilled & Barbecued, Marinades, Seasonings, & Rubs, Pork & Ham, Quick & Easy

6 each pork chops
20 ounces pineapple chunks with juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce


PREPARATION: Season pork chops with salt and pepper (optional- Jen: I think they need a little salt and pepper). Place pork chops in a labelled freezer bag. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops in bag. Seal bag and freeze.

TO SERVE: Thaw and marinate. Cook in Crock Pot on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until done. These pork chops are also great on the grill.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Some doctors say pineapple is not allowed on the diet, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Make sure to use REAL brown sugar, not sugar with molasses added to it. Use an LID-safe soy sauce substitute (see recipe).

Source: southernfood.about.com
Internet Address: http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotporkchops/r/bl119c9.htm

NOTES : JEN'S NOTES: In my 3.5-quart slow cooker I only need to cook these pork chops for 3-4 hours. Sometimes I add a little cornstarch at the end to thicken the sauce a bit. Sometimes I even throw these in the slow cooker when they are still mostly frozen and they are just fine.

Yoshida Chicken Rice Bowls

Technically you could make these rice bowls with any kind of meat and any kind of sauce. Yoshida Original Gourmet sauce is what we usually use because it's so easy. This is another one of those recipes that Scott likes, I think, because he can choose what he wants to top his rice with. Sometimes we do add more toppings such as almonds, pineapple (Scott's favorite), mandarin oranges, green onions, crunchy chow mien noodles, etc.

Yoshida Chicken Rice Bowls

Recipe By: Jen
Categories: Chicken, Freezer Recipes, Pasta, Grains, & Legumes, Quick & Easy, Vegetables

chicken breasts, no skin, no bone
Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sweet & Savory Sauce
frozen stir-fry vegetables
At Serving Time:


PREPARATION: Rinse ice off of chicken if frozen, but do not thaw. Place chicken in a labeled gallon freezer bag. Pour Yoshida sauce over the chicken. Squeeze all of the air out of the freezer bag and seal. Place frozen vegetables and chicken into another labeled freezer bag and lay flat to freeze.

TO SERVE: Remove frozen vegetables from the bag and leave in the freezer while you thaw and marinate the chicken in the fridge for 2-3 days. Preheat oven to 350 degreesF. Pour chicken and sauce into a baking dish and bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 5-10 minutes. Cut up chicken into chunks and return to the baking dish. Meanwhile, cook rice and stir-fry frozen vegetables until done. Serve chicken and vegetables over rice.

(Of course, you don't have to do this as a freezer meal. Just let the chicken marinate overnight in the sauce and serve as directed above.)

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: You could make this recipe LID by using your own homemade sauce (any LID-approved Asian-type sauce would do) and using basmati rice. Try this copycat recipe of Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sweet & Savory Sauce.

Ratings: 6 - Pretty Good 7.
Serving Ideas : This is fun to eat Hawaiian Haystack-style with lots of toppings like sliced almonds, crispy chow mien noodles, green onions, pineapple, mandarin oranges, etc.

NOTES : JEN'S NOTES: You can cook the rice before hand and freeze it with the chicken or cook it at serving time. Whenever I cook rice, I always make extra and freeze it in pint freezer Ziploc bags. You can make rice bowls with just about any kind of chicken and/or sauce. For company once we barbecued chicken seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and served it with 2 different kinds of Asian sauces. Everybody loved it. Make sure to buy the Mr. Yoshida's ORIGINAL GOURMET sauce - the Yoshida Teriyaki sauce is not as good IMO. We usually buy it in big bottles from Costco. You can go to http://www.mryoshidas.com/ for more info and recipes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sassy Chicken Enchilada Dip

Since football season is here and the holidays are just around the corner, I decided to post a few favorite recipes for get togethers. This Chicken Enchilada Dip is ALWAYS a hit at gatherings. It's probably my most requested recipe. The key to this recipe is the chipotle chile powder - it just wouldn't be the same without it.

Sassy Chicken Enchilada Dip

Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Chicken

16 ounces light cream cheese -- softened
10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (like Rotel, mild) -- undrained
4 each green onions -- chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro -- chopped
1 teaspoon garlic clove -- minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (1 to 2 tsp depending on how much heat you want)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup cheddar cheese -- grated, divided
1 pound chicken breast -- cooked and shredded or diced small

With a mixer, combine the light cream cheese, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, green onions, cilantro, garlic, and seasonings in a bowl. Add 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and chicken and stir with a spoon until combined. (Jen: Don't stir too much or the chicken will completely fall apart.) Chill for at least 2 hours.

Serve hot or cold with tortilla chips. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. To heat use the microwave, crock pot, or oven (at 350 degrees for 30 minutes).

Source: http://www.allrecipes.com/
Internet Address: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sassy-Chicken-Enchilada-Dip/Detail.aspx

Ratings: 7 - Very Good 8
Serving Ideas : Serve with tortilla chips.

NOTES : The original recipe calls for 3 chicken breasts, 1 tsp cilantro, 1 Tblsp chili powder instead of chipotle chile powder, and no cheddar cheese.
Jen's Notes: I usually use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe. The chipotle chile powder is what makes this recipe. I use McCormick's chipotle chile powder. It is usually found in the "gourmet" section of spices, and I can usually find it at Smith's.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Here's another great dip for get togethers.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Chicken

2 cans chunk chicken -- (10 ounce) drained
OR 2 cups cooked chicken -- diced
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese -- softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce -- such as Franks® Red Hot® (the stuff for Buffalo wings)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese -- divided
1 bunch celery -- cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
tortilla chips

Mix hot sauce, cream cheese, dressing, and half the cheese in a bowl. Add chicken and mix lightly. To serve, sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and serve cold or heat in the microwave, slow cooker, or in the oven (Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. If oil collects on the top, dab it off using a paper towel.) Serve with tortilla chips.

Description: "This tangy, creamy dip tastes just like buffalo chicken wings. It's best served hot with crackers and Celery sticks. Everyone loves the results!"

Source: www.allrecipes.com
Internet Address: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Buffalo-Chicken-Dip/Detail.aspx

Ratings : 7 - Very Good 7

NOTES: The original recipe calls for chicken flavored crackers, but we always use tortilla chips.
Jen's Notes: Be careful not to stir too much after adding the chicken so it stays chunky. I usually use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe.