Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled Potatoes and Onions

I hate how warm our kitchen gets in the summer when I turn on the oven or stove, so I try to cook as much of our meals as possible on the grill. I love this recipe, because I can cook a hunk o' meat on one side of the grill while cooking these packets on the other. I just throw together a salad, and we have a filling summer meal that keeps the heat outside.

Grilled Potatoes and Onions
Source: MSPI Mama

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 red onion
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary, optional

Heat grill to a medium-high heat, about 400 degrees.

Thinly slice the potatoes and onion and place in a large bowl. Top with oil and seasonings. Toss everything together.

Lay a large square of heavy-duty foil on the counter. Mound half of the potato mixture in the middle of the foil. Bring ends of foil together and fold ends tightly to form a large, flat package. Jiggle packet to help distribute potato mixture evenly. Repeat steps with a second piece of foil.

Adjust grill for indirect heat (i.e. turn off gas burner on one side or push charcoals to one side). Place potato packets on the indirect side of the grill. Grill for 30-45 minutes, flipping package halfway through.

Tip: Open packages carefully! There’s a lot of steam!

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

Mornings are usually pretty hectic, does this cause you to get stuck in a rut with breakfast -- cereal, toast, etc.? That's fine, if you're happy with what you're eating. But what if you aren't and want to try something new? And what if that something new is nearly impossible for you to prepare during a hectic morning? That's where your freezer comes into play. I like to stock my freezer with yummy MSPI-friendly breakfast fare, such as pancakes, waffles, muffins and these Breakfast Burritos.

Of course, you can just whip up these burritos and eat them immediately, but having some of them on hand in your freezer is so nice for those hectic mornings where you want to eat something more substantial than just cereal or toast. So take the time to make a batch of these burritos and enjoy the bounty for many mornings to come.

Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos
Source: Adapted from Once A Month Mom

1/2 lb. turkey or pork breakfast sausage
12 eggs
2 cups MSPI-friendly frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
8 large MSPI-friendly tortillas
salt and pepper, to taste
salsa, for serving

Heat a large skillet, over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray and brown sausage. Once cooked, set the sausage to the side. Place skillet back on burner, re-coat with cooking spray and saute salt-and-pepper-seasoned hash browns until the potatoes are crispy.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove hash browns from skillet. Place skillet back on burner, re-coat with cooking spray and pour eggs into skillet and scramble until nearly set. Add sausage and hash browns to eggs. Toss and cook until set. Adjust seasoning. Spoon egg mixture into flour tortillas and roll up. Secure burritos with a toothpick, if desired.

To freeze, wrap burritos in wax paper or foil and place roll-ups in freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze. To serve, remove wrapping, place burrito in microwave, and heat for about 1-2 minutes or until hot. Top with your favorite salsa.

Tip: You can easily adapt this recipe to your own preferences. You could use bacon, like the original recipe, instead of sausage, or skip the meat all together for a vegetarian version. You could also saute chopped veggies instead of the meat, such as peppers, mushrooms and onions. Spinach would be yummy, too! And if you have members of your family who can eat dairy, you can easily sprinkle cheese inside their burritos. Just make sure you mark them clearly!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homemade Frappuccino

When was the last time you had one of Starbuck's cool, creamy and oh-so-refreshing frappuccinos? If you've been on this diet any amount of time, then obviously, it's been quite a while. I can't even remember the last time I had one. Even when I could have one, the price kept them to a minimum. So what's a gal to do? Make an MSPI-friendly version!

This recipe is the basic ingredients. You easily can adapt it with different mix-ins and flavorings. The one pictured below has MSPI-friendly chocolate syrup added. You can make it caf or decaf, depending on whether you need a little extra pick-me-up in the middle of the day. The combinations are endless!

Homemade Frappuccino
Source: MSPI Mama

2 cups ice cubes
1 cup rice, almond or coconut milk 
1 tsp. instant coffee granules, or more to taste

Place all items in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more rice milk or water, as needed.

Mix-ins or substitutions
flavored milks, such as chocolate or vanilla
MSPI-friendly chocolate syrup
vanilla extract
flavored coffee syrups
2 tbsp. MSPI-friendly pudding mix powder (I saw this idea over at Money Saving Mom.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I have a hard time eating pie. Not that I don't love pie. I do! But I've been spoiled my entire life eating the best pies imaginable, baked by my grandma and my mom. Any other pie just won't do ... including my own. I rarely attempt to make them. (I think it's because the crust scares me.) So unless my mom or grandma has made the pie, I usually pass on eating it.

I've had my grandma on my mind a lot lately. And when I think about Grandma, I think about pies. Grandma passed away a few weeks ago. For those of you who've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that my Grandpa died in December. They had been married for 68 years! They were truly the best of the best. The kind of grandparents you wish everyone could have. Weren't they gorgeous?!

Ever since Grandma's funeral, I've been wanting to make a pie, and when rhubarb (something my Grandpa always had in his garden) came in my CSA bag this week, I figured I better stop making excuses and get to baking. Grandma would have wanted it that way.

This recipe is just plain delicious. For those of you who are as scared of pie crust as I am, the beauty of this recipe is that you only have to do a single crust. You can even use MSPI-friendly store-bought pie dough. (If that isn't possible because you're completely avoiding soy oil and lecithin, you can make pie dough from scratch using  lard instead of shortening. LARD? Don't knock it 'til you try it. Lard makes the best pie dough!) The eggs in the filling make a beautiful creamy custard. No need for ice cream here!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Source: Slightly adapted from Relish magazine

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 eggs, well beaten
3 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 (9-inch) MSPI-friendly pie crust
2 tbsp. turbinado sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine sugar, nutmeg and flour. Stir in oil. Add eggs and beat with a whisk until smooth. Place rhubarb and strawberries in pie crust. Pour egg mixture over top.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top while still warm.

Rhubarb Pie on FoodistaRhubarb Pie