Friday, May 30, 2008

Turkey Pasta Soup

Another quick and easy recipe from Taste of Home.

Tuscan Salmon Pasta

This recipe from Taste of Home is quick and simple. Perfect for a busy weeknight during the summer!

I've also made this with canned salmon. Just toss all the ingredients together in a pan and heat until cooked through.

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Lime Honeydew Sorbet

Ice cream is obviously a no-no on this dairy-free diet The rice ice cream that I've been able to find is made on dairy contaminated equipment. The same goes for commercially made sorbets. So those are all out. That leaves making it myself!

Here's a recipe from Taste of Home that should help cool you down this summer!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Taco Bake

Here's a family-pleasing recipe from Betty Crocker.

In order to make it MSPI-friendly, omit the cheese (You honestly don't miss it. The dish is very flavorful even without it.) and substitute rice milk for the milk. And, as always, double check the ingredients of the other items to make sure the brand you're using is safe!

Also, I added a can of kidney beans to the meat mixture. I'm always looking for ways to increase fiber and stretch our food budget. I figure by adding the beans, I add an extra serving for more leftovers. In the long run, that saves us $5 or more because my husband can take that to work for lunch instead of eating out!

Vanilla Wafer Cookies

My friend Tina passed this recipe on to me. A great substitute for Nilla Wafers!

Vanilla Wafer Cookies

1/2 cup MSPI-friendly margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla

Cream margarine and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture; mix well. Drop by small spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Makes about 3-1/2 dozen.

Tina's notes: Make the spoonfuls very small. The smaller the better. They spread quite a bit during baking, so very small spoonfuls gives approximately the size of the real Nilla Wafers. If you don't cook them long enough, they will be chewy instead of crispy. Still yummy, though!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Taco Salad

Here's a tasty recipe from America's Test Kitchen. The dressing and fresh cilantro are essential!

Taco Salad

2 tbsp. lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. olive oil
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 lb. 90 percent lean ground beef
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 hearts romaine lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 cups corn tortilla chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Combine lime juice, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in small bowl.

Heat remaining teaspoon oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add beef and cook, breaking up clumps with wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic, remaining teaspoon cumin, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and water and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and cover to keep warm.

Toss lettuce, tomatoes, and chips with lime juice dressing in large bowl. Divide salad among individual plates and top each portion with some meat mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro and any additional toppings (avocados, red onion, cheese for non-MSPI eaters).

Serves 4-6.

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Sunday Best Fruit Salad

We had a group of friends over for a cookout yesterday. My friend Laura brought this salad. The recipe comes from

As Laura says, the great thing about this dish is that you can use whatever fruit you have on hand or that is in season. Very yummy!

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Oven Chili Fries

Oven Chili Fries

4 large russet potatoes
4 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. cumin
½ tbsp. chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 475 F. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then cut each half into about six long wedges. Alternatively, cut each potato into thin rounds. A mandoline (a hand-operated device that evenly slices vegetables) also can be used to cut uniform wedges or rounds.

Transfer the cut potatoes to a large zip-lock plastic bag. Add the oil, cumin and chili powder. Seal the bag and shake to evenly coat the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until the fries are crisp. For more even crisping, use a spatula to flip the fries after 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot (and with gobs of ketchup).

Makes four servings.

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Corn, Orzo and Basil Salad

I just purchased some basil plants over the weekend. I can't wait to start adding it to my dishes! This recipe from "The Herbal Kitchen" cookbook is a great way to use it!

You could probably substitute frozen corn for the fresh corn on the cob. It won't be quite as fresh tasting but still yummy!

Corn, Orzo and Basil Salad

1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 ears sweet corn, shucked
8 oz. orzo pasta
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1-1/2 cups torn leaves of sweet basil or lemon basil

Stir onion, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit while you continue with the recipe, allowing the acidic ingredients to mellow the raw bite of the onion.

Use knife to remove kernels of corn off the cob. You should get about 5 cups. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add the orzo and cook 3 minutes. Add corn kernels to pot. Cook until the water boils again, or no more than 3 minutes. Drain in colander immediately and rinse with cold water.

Stir the olive oil into the bowl with the dressed onion. Toss in the pasta, corn, red bell pepper and basil until evenly combined. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. The orzo will absorb the excess vinaigrette.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

BLT Salad

This recipe comes from Cook's Country. Just make sure the ingredients you use are MSPI-friendly versions!

BLT Salad

3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 (1-inch-thick) slices Italian bread
12 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (10-oz.) bag chopped romaine lettuce
Salt and pepper

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Spread 1/4 cup mayonnaise over both sides of bread slices and transfer to baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch croutons.

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Discard drippings.

Whisk remaining mayonnaise and vinegar in large bowl. Add bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and croutons and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lemon Chiffon Pie

I love any dessert that has lemon in it. Actually, I love just about any dessert, but this one looks especially yummy! Perfect for the spring/summer!

Lemon Chiffon Pie

1 teaspoon (1/2 package) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
4 (pasteurized) eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (9-inch) mspi-friendly prepared pie shell
Thin lemon slices or mint leaves for garnish, if desired

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow it to soften. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. With motor running, slowly sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar. Turn the mixer to high and whisk the whites until stiff (about 5 minutes for raw eggs, 10 to 15 minutes for pasteurized).

Meanwhile, in the top of a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar. Heat over boiling water, stirring or whisking gently, until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture. Cool slightly, then carefully fold in the whipped egg whites.

Spoon the filling into the prepared pie crust, mounding in the center, and smooth the top. Chill until set, at least 3 hours. Garnish with lemon slices or mint leaves, if desired.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Espresso Frozen Pops

Now that summer is nearly here, it's time for some yummy cool treats. I use decaf coffee to make this.

Espresso Frozen Pops

2 cups brewed espresso or very strong coffee
1/2 cup MSPI-friendly chocolate syrup (I use Hershey's Lite.)
6 tbsp. of sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. rice milk

In a pitcher, combine all the ingredients. Pour mixture into eight frozen-pop molds. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.

Sauteed Garlic Potatoes

Sauteed Garlic Potatoes

1 lb. red potatoes
1 cup fat free, low-salt chicken broth
½ tbsp. olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes, do not peel, and cut into ½-inch cubes. Heat chicken broth in a nonstick skillet just large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Add potatoes, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Chicken broth will evaporate. Add olive oil and garlic. Toss for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 tart apple, peeled and grated or finely chopped
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or fill with liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in carrots, raisins, pecans, coconut and apple. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin tins, in batches if necessary, and place in the middle of preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly springy to touch. Let cool in tins 5 minutes, then turn onto a rack.

Makes 12-15 muffins.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables

Another recipe from If you can't find Israeli couscous, try using orzo pasta.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables

½ cup diced zucchini
½ cup diced yellow squash
2 cups Israeli couscous (not Moroccan)
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. pure chili pepper powder
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup red bell pepper (¼-inch dice)
½ cup green bell pepper (¼-inch dice)
½ cup yellow bell pepper (¼-inch dice)
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook just until tender but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the water with a sieve, reserving the boiling water. Rinse them under cold water and set them aside.

Add the couscous to the boiling water and cook it until tender (10 minutes or more). Drain the couscous. Rinse it well with cold running water, then drain it well again.

In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and chili pepper powder. Gradually whisk in the oil. Mix in the couscous, reserved vegetables, cilantro, and parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled. This salad can be prepared a day ahead; just reseason with lime juice, salt, and pepper before serving.

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Lemon Angel Hair

Another recipe from This would go great with grilled chicken or shrimp!

Lemon Angel Hair

1 box angel hair pasta
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
Dash of salt
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup blend of chopped fresh basil, parsley and mint
1/4 tsp. of fresh ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, until they are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and pour in olive oil. Add the garlic and stir often, until it softens and becomes fragrant, about 45-60 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the lemon zest and juice. Set pan aside.

When water boils, season with dah of salt and bring to rolling boil. Add pasta and cook according to instructions.

Spoon two tablespoons of the water from the cooking pot into a small bowl and set aside. Drain pasta well and return to pot. Pour the reserved cooking water and the lemon juice mixture over the pasta and toss well. Add tomatoes, herbs and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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Corkscrew and Tomato Salad

Another recipe from If you're pinched for time, use a bottled vinaigrette.

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Sneaky Vegetable Pancakes

This recipe from is a great way to get your kids to eat veggies. Here's a link to the original recipe, and the MSPI-friendly version below. I increased the amount of oil and decreased the amount of liquid to help keep the pancakes moist -- since the rice milk is so low in fat.

Sneaky Vegetable Pancakes

1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. rice milk
1 small yellow squash with skin, finely grated
1 small carrot or 5 baby carrots, finely grated (or sweet potato or peeled zucchini)

Heat a greased skillet to medium hot. Meanwhile, mix the cornmeal, oats, whole wheat and white flours, sugar, salt and baking powder until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and rice milk. Stir in the grated yellow squash and carrot. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon just until mixed. Do not overbeat.

Ladle out the batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto the heated griddle and fry the pancakes until the batter begins to bubble on top. Then flip the pancakes and cook until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with fruit or maple syrup. Makes about 16 4-inch pancakes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Easy Sausage Chowder

This soup recipe from Taste of Home is rather tasty. It needs one key substitute in order to make it MSPI-friendly. Instead of condensed milk, use rice milk that's been mixed with cornstarch. The cornstarch will help thicken the soup. I've gone ahead and listed my version of the recipe but feel free to check out the original.

Easy Sausage Chowder

1 lb. fully cooked smoked sausage, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cups diced potatoes
3 cups water
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can (15-1/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-3/4 oz.) cream-style corn
1 1/2 cups rice milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch

In a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the sausage and onion. Slowly add the potatoes, water, parsley, basil, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Mix together rice milk and cornstarch in small bowl and add to pot. Add remaining ingredients; cook 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through.

Easy Pasta Primavera

Another quick dinner for busy nights. This veggie-packed recipe comes from Swanson Broth. Just serve the Parmesan on the side for those in your family who can have cheese.

For a nice twist, toss in some leftover chicken.

Quick Glazed Pork & Rice Skillet

Here's an easy recipe from Campbell's Kitchens for dinner on a busy night.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cowboy Tacos

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year with this recipe from Pillsbury. Just make sure you use an MSPI-friendly taco seasoning pack -- Old El Paso isn't one of them!