Friday, September 28, 2012

Greek Quinoa Salad

Please forgive the poor lighting in these photos - they were taken during a typhoon! I made this yummy, healthy and very filling salad for hubby and I to enjoy during our last typhoon - we've had four in Okinawa this year and let me tell you, it's getting old. But this Greek Quinoa Salad made being stuck indoors listening to the howling wind and watching the torrential rain a whole lot better. I love the traditional Greek flavors in this dish - feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon, and olive oil. I wanted this to be a meal in itself so added in grilled chicken breasts. 
Greek Quinoa Salad
From With Style & Grace
Printable Version
1 1/2 cups quinoa 
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 heaping cup of cucumbers, quartered
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup Kalamata olives (I completely forgot these!)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese
In a medium pot bring water or chicken broth and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover for about 17 minutes. When all the water is absorbed remove and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool. 
In a large bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and onions. 
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to make the dressing. 
Stir the vegetable combination into the quinoa then pour the dressing over everything and stir to combine. Add in feta and stir lightly. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Egg Muffins

I found these little gems on Pinterest (and Kalyn's Kitchen) a while back and decided to make them for our friends who just had a baby so that they could have a quick, healthy breakfast on hand. I love that these are carb free "muffins" as they only contain eggs, cheese, and whatever veggies you like. They keep in the fridge for a week and can even be frozen! My husband ate them as a snack after work one day and all of the sudden mine were gone. These would be great to serve at a brunch or if you are having a crowd for breakfast because they are quick and a different spin on breakfast!
Egg Muffins
From Kalyn's Kitchen
Printable Version
Makes 12 muffins
15 eggs for silicone muffin tins, for metal use 12
1/2 cup milk or half and half
Whatever seasoning you like in your eggs (I always use seasoning salt, garlic salt, ground mustard and pepper)
1 cup grated low fat cheese
3 green onions, diced (optional)
Chopped veggies (I used red pepper but suggest broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes)
Optional: diced Canadian bacon, lean ham, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage
Preheat oven to 374. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In the bottom of each muffin tin layer diced meat (if using), cheese, and green onions. In a large bowl break the eggs and add in milk and seasoning. Whisk to combine. Pour eggs into the muffin tin until it is 3/4 full. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set. 

Muffins will keep for a week in the refrigerator. Can be frozen but for best results than in the refrigerator first, then reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cream of Potato Soup

Here in Okinawa we've had a pretty crazy typhoon season. There have been three pretty large typhoons that swept across our small island in the past couple months and we are very thankful that no one we know sustained any damage from them. For some reason typhoons make me want to cook! I guess it's because we are stuck inside for a couple days while we wait out the storm. During Typhoon Bolaven I woke up wanting comfort food so set about making cream of potato soup. I browsed a couple different recipes before settling on this one from It was an excellent recipe that I tweaked a little and made even better by adding in bacon crumbles! It's a filling, belly warming one pot meal that is perfect for any dreary day!
Cream of Potato Soup
Modified from 
Printable Version 
Makes 6 servings
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half and half (I used fat free half and half)
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used six small potatoes)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven saute onion, carrots and garlic in the butter until soft but not browned. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add broth slowly, stirring as you add. Add milk, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, celery seed, seasoning salt, pepper, parsley, and chicken bouillon.
Allow to simmer and thicken, stirring frequently until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 25 minutes. Serve warm with bacon crumbles and shredded cheese. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Freezer to Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers

After the birth of my daughter my parents came to stay with us for ten days and during that time my Mom and I set about to making several freezer to crock pot meals that I could just throw in the crock pot and use for a quick, easy dinner. This sausage, peppers, and onion recipe was for my husband as it contains ingredients that he loves. It had really great flavor and was excellent over pasta. I loved this recipe because it made six servings so I froze it into two separate batches and we enjoyed it twice. 
Freezer to Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
From Ring Around the Rosies
Makes two freezer bags, about three servings each
Printable Version
6 Italian sausages or chicken sausage
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
 2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Slice peppers and onions into thins slices. Mince the garlic. Split all ingredients into two gallon size freezer bags. Mix, lay flat, and freeze. Write on the bag: Add drizzle of olive oil and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over pasta or fresh french bread with mozzarella cheese.


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