Two for One

Actually, I had hoped to post my long overdue update sooner as I had so many new adventures in the kitchen. Unfortunately, March and April were very busy months with many unexpected surprises,  I titled this update “Two For One’ to include recipes that I worked on during March and April. Warning-This is going to a lengthy update, I suggest you get yourself a cup of tea or a glass of red wine to keep you awake!


So, here I am reluctantly working in my office listening to the unseasonal sound of the wind outside. Reluctant, because during  the last windy night, my neighbor’s tree, one of many that border my property, fell on my house a few yards from where I am sitting with a loud frightening bang and although it was after midnight and pitch black outside, I attempted to survey the damage.  However, when I saw that it landed on the lower roof of my house and I wasn’t in any danger, my thoughts were like Scarlet in “Gone With The Wind”-Twittle dede, I’ll worry about it tomorrow.”

Usually this time of year I have in my garden this carpet of this beautiful shade of blue ground cover and it is a welcoming awakening to Spring.  Unfortunately it is one of my file photos from a few years ago, and the cover hasn’t l popped up as yet as the whether has been a little radical, cold one day warm the next. Not complaining, when I view the horrendous weather reports from around the country.



But to my delight I received the beautiful hydrangea plant and lovely Easter Lilly as Easter  gifts from my wonderful grandsons and their wives and precious little ones, and they are going to make a wonderful addition to my perennial garden.



If you are curious about why I have an American Girl Samantha doll sitting on my late mom’s Victorian chair, I do have a cute story to explain it and when I have space, I might share it.


I have noticed that my members Email Blast list is continuing to grow, so I want to remind all my members that when you click on All Posts at the top of the page in the heading , you can view the archives that feature all the posts and recipes that have appeared on my redesigned site.


Good to know, because to save space, I often will refer to a previous post. Hey, sometimes I do get carried away. Also, the archives can act as a virtual cookbook, if and when you may want to try a recipe. Easy because the archives are updated each time I add a new update, therefore there is no need to copy the recipes. Yes, I have to admit that my updates are rather spontaneous, as I want to spare myself the stress of having a strict schedule. Although it delighted me to see the list grow every month, I find that the format for creating the newletter is now geared toward sales and businesses and as you know my work is not geared to any monatary gain.  Therefore I have decided to just use Facebook, twitter and Instagram to announce my updates.  When I mentioned this to one of my readers, she said "Oh I will miss those jokes you add now and then."  Ok, Ok, I will throw a few in my blog once in awhile.  So if you enjoy reading it and the simple, healthy recipes, tell you friends.




This past week we once again celebrated Earth Day.on April 22 and every year on that date since 1970, when  Senator Nelson Gaylord and Activist John McConnell wanted to raise awareness about protecting our natural world, people around the world listened and each year communities work together to clean up trash at our parks and beaches, plant flowers and trees and just reflect on and enjoy nature.


While on assignment on Earth Day when I was with the paper,  I was interviewing and photographing children from one of our grade schools, when a child approached me and asked for my autograph, surprised I asked “Why do you want my autograph?” he replied “When you become famous, I can sell it.?  Gosh, he probably is married and has children of his own by now and I guess I owe him an apology!


CREATIVE CORNER

In the Creative Corner today is JASON from Virginia. Jason graduated from college  and is working now at the prestigious company that he interned at in his Summer breaks as well as pursuing a masters degree in graduate school and like most young men his age, is now living in an apartment and cooking his own creative meals.  How impressive, he certainly looks like he is doing great in the kitchen. You be the judge after viewing this photo that he shared of his healthy, and I am sure delicious stir fry.



I am so impressed with the makings of a well stocked pantry in the background of the photo and hopefully this posting will entice other young people to check out HealthyCookingForToday.com for some easy delicious healthy recipes. No cardboard, bland tasting, so called healthy food comes out of my kitchen and I am delighted to share the recipes for it in HealthyCookingForToday.com


Creative Corner is a very important aspect of my site, sharing your creations with others. So many of you share your photos on Facebook and Instagram, so why not share them with your friends on HealthyCookingForToday.com . Many times they are picked up on google and Bing. If interesting send a photo of a craft or one of my recipes that you put your own spin on or one of your own recipes and a photo and any information pertaining to it to

May@HealthyCookingForToday.com


In my last update, I shared a recipe for Whole Wheat No Yeast Bread and I mentioned that I was going to experiment and develop different varieties using the basic recipe. I am happy to announce that the cinnamon raisin bread was a hit and I immediately made another and now that has vanished and tomorrow I plan to experiment with other add-ins.  I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I baked 2 loafs of the plain Whole Wheat bread and other than a few slices that I shared, I ate the remaining slices myself. Not all at once of course, but after slicing it and preparing it for the freezer, in the matter of a few days.



OK! To make the cinnamon raisin bread, mix ingredients as you did for the whole wheat bread. Mix the raisins in the batter, to taste.  In a separate bowl mix cinnamon to taste and a small amount of brown sugar to make the cinnamon more compact and reserve. Spray the loaf pans with cooking spray, dust lightly with the flour and add have of the batter to each pan.  Sprinkle some cinnamon mixture over batter, add the remaining batter and sprinkle again with the cinnamon mixture, Insert a thin bladed knife or a skewer into the batter and lightly swirl the batter to incorporate the cinnamon mixture in a swirling pattern.  Proceed as instructed in the original recipe. Oh, I perceive “To Taste” to mean as much as you like! Actually, I was going to try making the bread with white whole wheat flour, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough for the recipe, so I used all whole wheat flour. It was delicious.


In the photo above you will notice that the dish includes bagels and I am sharing that recipe as well, honestly, it is so simple that it will knock your socks off. Now, I am not sure if I am infringing on anyone’s copyright,  but I found the copy of the recipe on a display of bagel toppings at my favorite place to shop, My BGY. Now the flyer mentioned three products and the recipe was free to take. The recipe was for 2 ingredient bagels. Of course I tweaked it just a wee bit, but they are delicious toasted and spread with one of my special fat free cream cheese spreads.


I also will be sharing the recipe for one of my favorite spreads.  By the way, you can use whatever combination of fruit or vegetables and nuts that you like for the spread and tomorrow I am going to work on another variation of the bread and I will share the recipe in my next update.  I love this easy healthy delicious bread recipe so much, I have a feeling that you will be seeing many more delightful variations.




Two Ingredient Bagels


1      cup self rising flour or use the recipe for self rising flour below.


To make 1 cup of self rising flour sift together the following:*

1      cup     flour

1 ½  tsp.        Baking powder

½     tsp.       Salt


*Because I use Whole Wheat flour or White Whole flour, I make my own self rising flour.


To make bagels

1      cup     self rising flour-reg or homemade

1      cup      Fage Total Greek Yogurt

I also like to add a scant ¼ teaspoon of seasoning-example, onion powder to the onion bagel and garlic powder to the garlic bagel and so on.


1                     egg (for egg wash)

                      Bagel sprinkles such as poppyseed, dried onion, dried garlic, sesame  or

                      whatever you desire.

    

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the self rising flour-regular or homemade, any seasonings that you are using and the Fage Total Greek Yogurt in  a bowl and blend until a dough begins to form. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and brush your hands with a bit of flour. Knead and divide into 4 parts.


Roll each section of dough in your hands to form a rope and pinch ends of each dough rope together to form a circle.  This amount will make four medium bagels. I doubled the recipe.and placed the bagels on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.


Beat the egg and brush over the bagels and sprinkle with the toppings. Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes and raise the temperature to 500 degrees and cook for 2 minutes so that the tops can brown. Remember, all stoves are not calibrated the same so watch carefully and remove when they are brown  to your satisfaction.


Cream Cheese Spread

                        

1                       8 ounce package low fat cream cheese

¼    cup          canned crushed pineapple, drained

¼    cup          shredded carrots, or to taste

¼    cup          walnuts

¼    cup          dried fruit, such as raisins and cranberries or chopped peaches or apricots


Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender or a Magic Bullet and blend until ingredients  are the consistency that you prefer. Store in the refrigerator. There are so many delicious combinations that you can make.  Have fun, you family will love the spread on bagels, muffins, and crackers and my favorite on celery.




Today I am sharing some recipes I made in March for St. Patrick's Day and from my

Easter Ham my daughter shared and some recipes using some of the leftovers  from those meals. Creating meals from leftovers is one of my favorite things to do and like my daughter once said “My mom can do amazing things with leftovers.” Actually, I just followed in my mom’s footsteps, because she was a magician when it came to creating delicious dinners with leftovers.


Yes, I know it has been said that today’s society is known as a “Throw Away Society” and perhaps that is true considering that close to ⅓ of the world's food supply is wasted every year with Americans wasting nearly 30 to 40 percent of the United States entire food supply. With that in mind, I stand by my suggestion that I made in my blog a few months back. My idea was to cook 2 or 3 major meals a week and use the leftovers for 2 or 3 more meals during the week. The secret is to be creative with your leftovers, adding something new or omitting an item. Also do not serve the leftovers the next day of the major meal but 2 or 3 days later or freeze them for another time.  However, if not used in 3 days and not frozen, I dispose of them. Not only will this free up some time in the kitchen, but will be kind to your food budget as well.


Like most people regardless if you are Irish or not we cook corned beef and cabbage on St Patrick’s Day. The old world method of cooking this fabulous meal would be to simmer the brisket for hours adding potatoes and cabbage along the way and serve it with Irish Soda Bread. But when I started working when the children were older in order to have dinner at a reasonable hour, I began using my brand new Rival Crock Pot Slow Cooker and I  continue to use that method today. However not in the same crock pot, because I have 5, all sizes and shapes.


I cook the corned beef in the crock pot, but I still will cook the cabbage and potatoes on the stove. Because the cabbage has a tendency to discolor if it isn’t covered with water.  For flavor I simple remove some water from the crock Pot and add it to the water in the pot with the cabbage and potatoes. The corned beef was so tender and the vegetable were cooked to perfection.  I am sharing my method today and if you haven’t tried using the crockpot slow cooker, you may want to try my method.



Crock Pot Corned Beef

                                     

2 ½ to 3         pound corned beef brisket with pickling spice, included with the meat, if not add            

                     The following three ingredients.

¼ tsp.            Pepper

2 tbls.            Vinegar

2 tbls.            Sugar


1 med.           Onion, chopped

1                    carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded


1 clove           garlic, minced


Place corned beef in crock pot. Top with pickling spice or with the pepper, sugar, vinegar mix. Add the onion , carrot and garlic.  Add enough water to cover meat. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours. When tender, remove from crock pot, slice thin and serve with the cabbage and potatoes and Irish Soda Bread.


Bread Machine Irish Soda Bread


1 ⅛ cups        buttermilk

2 tbls.             butter or Smart Balance Margarine

2 tbls.             Sugar

1 tsp.              Salt

½                    baking soda

3 cups             bread flour

2 tsp.               Yeast

¼ cup              raisins


Add all ingredients, except raisins, to bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer. Select sweet or basic cycle and light color settings. When beep sounds after first mixing add raisins.


I did not make the bread machine Irish Soda Bread, because I had made the whole wheat raisin bread.


I am the only one who likes boiled cabbage, so I only used half of the large head that I purchased for my corned beef and cabbage and a few days later I made one of my favorite side dishes, Pineapple Coleslaw using some of the leftover cabbage.


Pineapple Coleslaw


4 cups              cabbage, shredded

½ cup               vinegar

1 large              carrot, shredded

½ cup               raisins, or to taste

1 20 oz.            can of crushed pineapple

½ cup               light mayonnaise

½ cup               plain non-fat greek yogurt

¼ tsp.               white pepper-you may use black pepper

Shred cabbage and carrot into large bowl.  Pour vinegar over the shredded cabbage and carrot and marinate for at least an hour.  Drain off any vinegar and add raisins and pineapple to the bowl.


Mix mayonnaise and yogurt and add the white pepper and any additional seasoning that you prefer. Pour over vegetable and fruit mixture in bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Just want to refresh your memory on what a powerhouse of health benefits cabbage brings to us. Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family that also includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnip greens and kohlrabi. All of these vegetables contain a substance called indoles that act as cancer blocking agents for the free radicals-molecules released as natural by-product of normal cell activity-that bombard our healthy cells and when there is an abundance of free radicals in our system considerable damage to our cells can occur. In simpler words “Eat your cruciferous vegetables.   


I still had some cabbage leftover and my friend had given me a half of a package of no yolk noodles and the first thing that popped into my head was my mom’s Haluski that we always had during lent. I know that if you are not of Slovac descent you probably are not familiar with Haluski which is a simply  cabbage and noodle recipe that is so delicious. I had a little fun with it and combined my Slovac Haluski with my Irish corned beef, dicing the little that was left over. OMG! It was so good I devoured most of it.



8 oz.                package no yolk noodles

2 cups             cabbage, sliced into 2 inch pieces

¼ cup              Smart Balance Margarine, or more if needed

1 small            onion, chopped   

                       Salt and pepper, to taste


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add the noodles, cook until firm. Melt Smart Balance in a large skillet on low heat an add onion and cook until soft. Add cabbage and toss to coat, add additional Smart Balance if needed and cook until cabbage is tender and Smart Balance is golden brown.  Cover skillet and cook until cabbage also gets a golden brown. Remove lid and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes. Add noodles and continue to cook on low until noodles are warm. Mine was delicious with the corned beef, but chopped ham would be great too or bacon, if you so desire. Personally, I try to shy away from processed meats like bacon, hotdogs and many type of sausages. Of course, anything in moderation is not a No No!


Easter Sunday was a very busy day for me having brunch at my oldest daughter and her husbands home with her 3 sons and their families. Yes, my daughter has 3 boys and now she has 5 granddaughters, the oldest who is going to be 7 next month.  I really do not see the boys and the families who live out of town that much, so it was very exciting for me. Then later in the afternoon I went to my younger daughter’s home for a delicious dinner and a visit with her, and her husband and her two children, her teen age son and her daughter who will be going into her senior year in college.  It was a wonderful day.


My daughter sent me home with the ham bone that still contained a good deal of meat. I was delighted because I love making pea shop and barley soup. This time around I will be making barley soup, but unfortunately I have to go to the market and in a few day to purchase the barley, but I had fun using the ham pieces I saved, and I will be sharing the recipes that I made from the leftovers.


Remembering  all the day after Easter breakfasts that were always expected, I had visions of the heavenly layers of hash brown potatoes, and ham, 2 sunny side up eggs, sprinkled with a pinch or two of cheddar cheese on each egg while still hot.  Hey this was a holiday treat, I certainly do not eat this type of breakfast every day.

Hash Brown Potatoes, Ham and Eggs Breakfast


3 lrg.              potatoes

2 tbls              Smart Balance or butter

2 tbls              olive oil

2 tsp.              onion , grated, optional

                      Leftover ham, diced

                      Salt and pepper, to taste


I prefer to use a non-stick pan or a ceramic lined pan, which enables the hash to slide out

Microwave the potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes, only until the are beginning to soften, but still firm.


Cool potatoes, peel and shred, add ham and seasonings. Melt Smart Balance or butter in skillet and place 4 mounds of potatoes and ham mixture in skillet, flatten slightly with spatula and make a round indentation in center of mound, brown well on both sides. Crack an egg in each indentation add a small amount of water to skillet, lower heat, and cover skillet. Cook until a white film appears on yolk, watch closely and cook until desired doneness-actually this is the most difficult part, because it only takes a second to over cook.  Sprinkle cheese over eggs when they are hot, to melt the cheese. This also makes a quick dinner with all the nutritious components, potassium, protein, calcium, and ladies we can’t forget Vitamin A, aka Retinol that works wonders for your skin.


I was able to cut enough ham off the bone that I will be using for my barley soup next week to make a very simple, but tasty ham salad and right in the nick of time, because it wasn’t minute after I put the salad in the refrigerator that my Alexa told me that someone was at my door.

So I checked my Ring and saw that it was my friend that I hadn’t seen for awhile. I welcomed her in and ask if she would like to stay for lunch.  We chatted for awhile, then I excused myself and went in the kitchen to see what else I had to make a decent presentation and this is what I came up with.  Oh, I am safe, because she doesn’t have a computer.




Ham and Sweet Pickle Salad


2 cups             leftover ham, chopped in small pieces

½ cup             sweet pickles, finely chopped

¼ cup             mayonnaise

¼ cup             Greek yogurt

Other seasonings to taste


Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse 2 or 3 times, until combined and spreadable.  I usually would serve the salad in lettuce cups,, on crackers, in a sandwich or as a dip. However for a dip, I add more mayonnaise and yogurt and pulse longer to make it creamy.


Disclaimer-HealthyCookingForToday.com is to supply my readers timely medical information for healthier food choices and recipes and is not attended to give medical advice, which should be obtained from your personal physician.