Friday, February 27, 2009

Irish Beef Hand Pies

Not a fan of corned beef? Then plan on making this recipe from Everyday Food for St. Patrick's Day. The best part is that the recipe includes instructions on how to freeze the pies, so you can make them on the weekend when you have more time.

Substitute A-1 for the Worcestershire sauce to make it MSPI-friendly.

When I made these, I didn't have any cabbage on hand, so I used a couple of grated carrots and some diced onion. Turned out great!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fried Rice with Ham

When I was a kid, whenever we had leftover rice, my mom would make "eggy rice" for me. Basically, it's scrambled eggs with rice. I loved it and still do to this day, so this recipe from Everyday Food definitely appeals to me.

The rice wine vinegar seemed like a strange addition to me, but it really adds a lovely sweet tang to the dish. If you don't have the vinegar on hand, the rice is still good without it.

Leave the ham out for a great vegetarian option.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

Hearty Red Beans and Rice

Here's a nice, hearty recipe from the Full Bellies, Happy Kids blog.

I substituted A-1 for the Worcestershire sauce, and because I had only one can of kidney beans on hand, I used a can of black beans, which added to the texture and appearance.

My husband had two servings, which unless we're eating steak, he never does that!

You could easily double the recipe and put half of the beans in the freezer for later use. Also, make a vegetarian version by skipping the bacon and sausage and using oil to saute the veggies and water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

As I've mentioned before, I am not a fan of coconut flakes, but it doesn't mean this blog has to be a coconut-free zone!

MSPI Mama-reader Nell recommended this recipe from Baker's. She made the chocolate-dipped version with MSPI-friendly chocolate and said they tasted just like Mounds candy bars.

Thanks for sharing, Nell!

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

One of the readers of this blog, Nell, recommended this recipe from Hershey's, and it looks fabulous to me! Nell substitutes rice or almond milk for the regular milk with good results. She said the cake is so rich and moist, that frosting really isn't necessary!

If you come across a recipe that you think others would enjoy, please share it by leaving a comment. I would love to post your successes as well!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

My friend Angela has this awesome recipe for pumpkin soup. It is so good and easy, but the thing that makes it so good is half and half. Obviously, something you can't eat on the MSPI diet! No worries! I figured out a way to make it, and it's just as good -- without the dairy!

If you have a lot of people to feed or want leftovers, definitely double the recipe!

Pumpkin Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. ground red pepper
¼ tsp. ground coriander
1 can chicken or vegetable broth
1 15-oz. can solid pack pumpkin
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. curry powder

In a large sauce pan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, spices and salt. Simmer 1 minute. Add broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and milk. Simmer 5 minutes. Pour in batches in blender and blend until creamy. Reheat and serve.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes. For more information about Quick Start, read the introductory post.

Corn in the USA Muffins

Whenever I make chili -- which is often! -- I almost always whip up a batch of corn muffins to eat with it. I have a plain Jane recipe that I usually use, but I came across this recipe in the Feb./March issue of Taste of Home and thought it looked pretty good. It comes from the "Eat, Shrink and Be Merry" cookbook.

I had to make a few substitutions for MSPI, including the use of soured rice milk for buttermilk. To "sour" your rice milk, put 1-1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar in a measuring cup and add enough rice milk to the vinegar to reach a 1/2 cup.

And in case you're wondering: Cream-style corn doesn't have cream in it! It's found in the canned food aisle next to the regular corn.

The muffins come out very dense. Delicious with honey!

Corn in the USA Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can (14.75 oz.) cream-style corn
1/2 cup soured rice milk
1 egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together corn, soured rice milk, egg, oil and diced green chilies. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake. Remove muffins from tin and cool slightly on a wire rack. Best if served warm!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mexican Rice

Who doesn't enjoy a big serving of rice when eating tacos? Or just skip the taco shells and mix the meat right in with the rice for a one pot meal! Adjust the heat of the dish by using a milder or hotter can of tomatoes and green chilies. If it's still too spicy for you, then use a can of plain diced tomatoes.

I've used this recipe before, with excellent results, but I tinkered around with it to make it easier. So here's my version:

Mexican Rice

2 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked medium grain white rice
1 2/3 cups cold water
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Ro*Tel)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped, or 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, or 1/2 tsp. dry cilantro
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed, optional
1 (15-oz.) can corn, drained and rinsed, optional

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add in oil, garlic and rice, stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant. Add in water, tomatoes and dry spices. (If using fresh oregano and cilantro, wait to add those at the end.)

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pan stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Mix in optional corn, beans and fresh herbs. Serve.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

Friday, February 6, 2009

Puff Pastry Cookies

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry is MSPI-friendly, and I love it! Such a great time-saver!

Here's a fun cookie that you can adapt to any holiday, occasion and taste. Use whatever cookie cutter you like, or just cut the dough into 3-inch strips.

The original recipe says to use caramel sauce, but I used jam instead. Use your favorite flavor of jam. I used apricot with great results!

Puff Pastry Cookies

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
3 tbsp. jam
3 tbsp. chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts or pecans

Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Unfold pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14" x 10" rectangle. Cut out shapes or cut into strips. Place on baking sheet. Brush with jam and sprinkle with nuts.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.