Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Best Italian Pasta Salad

I think this is the best Italian pasta salad.  It is because of the homemade dressing.  I brought this to our church picnic and it was a hit.  -Kristin

1 box rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1 sweet onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
cherry tomatoes, diced
black olives or kalamata olives, sliced
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
crumbled feta cheese
  • Mix all those together in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  • Now mix together the following Italian seasoning mix.  It makes more than you will need for this recipe.  It is great to have on hand though and makes it easier the next time you make this salad!  It is homemade Italian dressing so it can be made with the following directions anytime you need Italian dressing.
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons salt
  • Mix all these ingredients together.
  • Measure out 2 T. of the mix with 1/4 c. vinegar, 2/3 c. olive or canola oil and 2 T. water.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Peanut Broccoli Stir Fry

We recently visited my brother and sister in law, Nathan and Sarah, where they served us this fabulous recipe. Sarah says she could eat it every week. My boys thought it was chicken and still thought it was chicken when I made it at home, so if you've never cooked with tofu this might be a great recipe to start with, unless you don't like chicken! The sauce has a really great flavor and I love that it's just simple vegetables that I usually have in the house. -Sarah

16 oz. pkg firm tofu
1 1/2 cups broth
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. lime juice
1 T. sweet chili sauce
2 T. peanut butter
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. grated ginger
3/4 t. cornstarch
1 T. oil
1 t. sesame oil
4 cups broccoli florets
2 cups sliced carrots
2 T. chopped peanuts
cooked rice for serving
  • Remove tofu from wrapper and place in a dish, place something heavy on top. Do this for at least 45 minutes, draining liquid as it collects in dish. Cube tofu.
  • Combine broth and next 7 ingredients, making a marinade. Add tofu cubes and let set for at least 10 minutes. Remove tofu, reserving liquid.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet (be careful not to use too much oil or the tofu will sizzle and not brown very well). Cook tofu cubes until browned, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Cook broccoli and carrots until tender, add reserved marinade and boil for 2 minutes. Add tofu back to pan and toss all together. Serve over rice, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Wonton Soup

I've been making this fun soup for years. It's great with any Chinese meal and my kids love it. It takes a little while to prepare so make sure you have some time to spare in the kitchen. -Sarah

1/2# ground pork
2 green onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. stir-fry sauce
1/2 t. soy sauce
12-16 wonton wrappers
5 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced bok choy
1 med carrot, peeled and sliced
1/2 t. sesame oil

  • Combine the meat, onions, garlic, stir-fry sauce and soy sauce. Mix well and place about 2 t. onto corner of wonton wrapper. To seal the wontons I dip my finger in water and trace the outer corners of wrapper to help seal it. Fold over in a triangle shape and press along edges. Set  filled wonton's aside.
  • In a stock pot bring chicken broth to a low boil, add bok choy, carrot, and wontons, simmer till wontons are cooked through.
  • I usually adjust the seasoning of the broth by adding soy sauce, more sesame oil or other Asian flavors such at Maggi seasoning. 

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

These remind me a lot of peanut butter honey popcorn. (recipe on the blog) What a great combo, these bars are great too because they don't have a lot of ingredients. -Sarah

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4-1/3 cup honey
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sucanat
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
3 T. melted butter
2 T. milk
  • Stir together peanut butter and honey (may need to microwave to incorporate it well).
  • Mix dry ingredients, then add butter and milk to form crumbs.
  • Set aside 1/2 cup of crumb mixture and press remaining into a greased 8x8 pan.
  • Spread peanut butter and honey mixture over crust and sprinkle with remaining topping.
  • Bake at 325 degrees about 20 minutes.