I missed out on sharing my “Tuesday tidbits”. Oops, what can I say life has been crazy busy. But, before I head down that rabbit trail, let’s just head in to this week’s substitution a “Wednesday Recipe”.
I actually have a few recipe’s to share with some quick helpful ideas I found, which brings us to the second part of the title. Do I think I’m the best cook ever? Hardly, but this was the reply from my daughter (age 4) a couple nights ago when she tried my newest soup/stew creation.
A couple of things to mention about my cooking are that I tend to tweak recipe’s a lot to work for our families needs, and, very often, I’ll just find creative ways to take whatever ingredients we have on hand and out comes “Sarah Surprise #….” Most of the time this turns out pretty well and at the very least I usually come out with a lesson learned.
We’ve been through a few of the usual bumps here and there getting our girls to eat what’s put in front of them. Most parents know that this isn’t always easy. But, mostly they’re pretty open to it now. In our house “Mac and Cheese” is “Veggie Mac and Cheese”, just to give it a name. There are never any actual noodles in it. That’s another thing about my cooking though, there’s almost always a lot of veggies involved whether it’s very obvious or sometimes a little more hidden.
So, Monday night I really wanted something simple but also needed to use up what was on hand in our fridge and a butternut squash that needed to be cooked up and used. And so was birthed “Sarah’s Sweet Barbecue Burger Soup”.
(Sorry this is a little bit of an nontraditional format and I forgot to snap a pic.)
In a good size soup pot, I browned 1 lb turkey burger. I had 93/7 on hand in the freezer (organic even) that I had bought when it was on sale. If you haven’t hear this tip before, or even if you have, let me share with you that buying up meat when it’s about a day before it’s sell by date, and usually a really good buy, and then freezing it for later, is a great way to save some money with your grocery bill.
While the meat was browning I added a good amount of garlic. Because it was 93/7 it wasn’t really necessary to drain it. So I continued to add various seasonings that you would use for a sweet barbecue sauce, except I only put in a 1/4 cup of brown sugar because the rest of the sweetness (and also the big thickening agent) came when I scooped out the baked butternut squash into the mix. I also threw in a few chopped tomatoes, about a cup of garbanzo beans, half a quart sized bag of corn, some Tastefully Simple Onion Onion, and one of my new favorite ingredients to sneak in- yeast flakes (for now you’re just gonna have to trust me, but I encourage you to Google it).
After about an hour simmering on low, served up in a bowl with a slice of American cheese, I had a healthy, easy meal with rave reviews.
Some recipe’s that I’ve tweaked recently:
I changed the process by decreasing the salt by about 2 Tbsp. and adding 2 Tbsp. Stevia during the boiling process. Then after draining I didn’t pat them dry. Instead, I went ahead and added my pumpkin pie spice and a little extra Stevia and mixed well. I didn’t drizzle with oil, but sprayed my cookie sheet with coconut oil spray, spread out the seeds and sprayed the layer with a little more coconut oil on top. After about 25 min in the oven I moved them to a brown paper bag, folded up the top, and put them back in the oven at 350 for about 5-10 min. This helped the crunchy factor so much more.
I’ve also tried this process using Kernel Season’s Milk Chocolate Caramel Seasoning instead of pumpkin pie spice (and no extra Stevia needed). They were so good and the research I’ve seen on pumpkin seeds is really favorable. But, like anything moderation is a really good word.
My variation this morning was I started with 4 bananas, 4 eggs, vanilla, cinnamon all in blender on high. I moved the mixture to my large Pampered Chef Batter Bowl (one of my favorites) and added a pint-sized bag of pureed zucchini, about 2 cups. Then I added 2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick and mixed it all real well. About 5 minutes per side in the skillet and they were done and awesome!