Thursday, December 16, 2010

Got Leftover Pork Roast? Make Green Chili!

I made Pork Roast with potatoes and onions the other night and for some reason the kids were just not that into it.

Rather than try to get them to eat it in the same form (again), I decided to do something different.

I made Green Chili.

I don't have an actual recipe, but all I did was put the remaining roast(maybe 3 servings worth, if that) in a soup pan (yes, this is the one I use and the same kind mom used when I was growing up, it was also known as the "macaroni and cheese pan") and break it up. I also threw in the odd pieces of potato and onion and the juices from the roast pan.
To the leftover meat/veggies, I added a can of green chilies, some water to rinse out the chili can, a can of drained, rinsed navy beans, some cumin(maybe 1 teaspoon +), a sprinkling of oregano and dried cilantro, and salt.

I let this simmer for a bit and voila! Green Chili!

I added a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream, because everything's better with a dollop of Daisy, right? ;)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Healthier Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

I have been hard pressed the last few years to find a homemade hot cocoa mix that was both yummy AND free of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated creamer, lots of additives and loads of sugar. Oh, and I want to be able to just scoop out mix, pour hot water, stir and drink. I don't want to bother with heating milk on busy school mornings.

I recently stumbled upon this solution and thought I would share it with you.

Healthier Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

You will need:

1 16 oz can of Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa (I used Chocolate Mocha)
1 9.6 oz box of Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

A container in which all of the above will fit. (I used an empty 54 oz. Nutiva Coconut Oil container.)

I find it quite convenient that both the cocoa and the dry milk contain 12 servings. :)
Dump the cocoa and the dry milk into your empty container, put the lid on securely, and hand to a child to shake as they jump on the mini trampoline.

Use a heaping 1/3 cup per mug of hot water(exact measurement would be 1/3 cup plus 4 TBSP).

Now you have a fairly healthy hot cocoa mix--just add hot water!


According to my calculations with the nutrition facts, each serving contains:
Calories from fat: 15
Total fat: 1.5g
  Saturated fat: 1g
  Cholesterol: 5 g
Sodium: 185mg
Total Carbohydrate: 45g
  Dietary Fiber: 2g
  Sugars: 40g
Protein: 10g

I would be willing to bet you could do something similar with dry whole milk or alternative powdered milk mixes but I have not tried that yet and of course, the nutrition facts would be different.

If you want a little bit more of a "creamy" drink, you could add a smidge of half and half. But I'd be willing to bet you probably won't feel the need with this mix.

I think this would be good to give as a gift---simply package up in (decorated?) jars with a nifty handwritten card with instructions.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Homemade Spreadable Butter without Trans-fats

I have been frustrated trying to find a product that is spreadable yet truly trans-fat free. Plus I want a product that is soy-free AND affordable.

Land O Lakes Butter with Olive Oil is a good choice, though fairly expensive in my book.

I have been also able to find Soy-Free Earth Balance. But, it still has a lot of additives I would rather avoid, and it doesn't spread very well out of the fridge.

 Here is a little tip I wanted to share for anyone looking for an alternative. It's great because you get to choose your own butter(organic, raw, regular, etc) and your own oil(I use Bertolli extra virgin olive oil-you may want to use a milder tasting oil).

All I do is get out my Bella Cucina Rocket Blender - 10029 and put in a stick of room temperature butter and 1/2 cup of oil. Blend until combined and creamy, pour into a container with a lid and put in the fridge. Voila! You have spreadable butter right out of the fridge!

Now, off to make grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids...