Monday, May 28, 2012

Broccoli Chicken Salad

This recipe is from 2 sources. 

One this amazing looking broccoli salad I found on Pinterest made by

The other inspiration was my sister's chicken salad recipe my Mom, Aunt and I kept on making Sis make for us. We even made her make it in our hotel room in Hawaii a couple of years back. :-)

Okay in my recipe - mix together in no certain order:

cold cubed cooked chicken breast
broccoli floret (just the tree top part)
red grapes
chopped walnuts
red onions
your choice mayonaisse or greek yogurt or coleslaw sauce
1 tbs splenda sugar replacement 
a teensy bit of cumin

You may notice I did not include any amounts. That is because I was so darn hungry I just winged it by sight. I tried to have more broccoli than anything else and I used only a little bit of mayo. I suggest adding it a tbs at a time until you like the looks of it. I like mine pretty dray as you can see. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Easy Kielbasa Skillet

Easy Kielbasa Skillet
Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 20 minutes            
Yield: 6


14 oz kielbasa, sliced into rounds
1 lb mini red potatoes, sliced into wedges
1 medium onion, cut into half moons
½ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp coconut oil


Precook potatoes in oven or microwave until soft, but not mushy.

Slice kielbasa into small discs and brown in skillet, then remove.

While kielbasa is cooking, slice potatoes into wedges and onion into half moons. 

Add coconut oil and heat, then add potatoes and onions and brown until they are slightly crisp. 

Add kielbasa back to skillet, then pour broth over everything and simmer for 20 minutes

Allow to cool, then portion for freezing.

Nutrition:  305 calories, 23g fat, 631g sodium, 15G carb, 2g fiber, 10g protein

nutrition information estimated at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mini Zucchini Meatloaves

So, I disappeared for awhile, my guess is that no one really noticed.  My sister likes to pretend it matters, though.  My daughter's activity schedule has gotten just a bit out of control and my evenings are no longer my own.  My work filter does not allow for posting on blogger, except during a 1 hour window at lunch, which lately has not been used much for lunch.  All of a sudden, every part of my life has been busier!

This is, of course, exactly what mealpods are perfect for.  Just because I have been super busy, does not mean that I have been eating badly.  I try and keep at least one week, if not two weeks of lunches frozen as mealpods, so I am covered in cases of circumstances that don't allow for my usual Sunday cooking schedule.

So, almost three weeks ago, I made a bunch of mini zucchini meatloaves and I've been enjoying them greatly.

Mini Zucchini Meatloaves
Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 45 minutes             
Yield: 4


16 oz ground beef
1 cup zucchini, grated
¼ cup onion, grated
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped finely
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup feta cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350˚

Shred the zucchini and grate the Parmesan cheese and onion before starting to mix the beef.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl being sure everything is distributed evenly.

Portion into mini loaf pans and cook for 45 minutes. 

Allow to cool, then portion for freezing.

Nutrition: 356 calories, 20g fat, 813g sodium, 5G carb, 2g fiber, 39g protein

nutrition information estimated at

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lunch Roundup #12

This week's lunch Whole Spelt Pretzels, cheese stick,
hard boiled egg, snap peas, pineapple, chocolate 

Daughter # 2 wanted pretzels this week, so I took it as an opportunity to try them with Whole Spelt Flour. Spelt is not gluten-free but has much lower amounts  of it. It works well in some recipes but not so well in others as the lower gluten content changes the composition. 

I used the same pretzel recipe as before and just replaced the whole wheat flour with whole spelt flour. They turned out good, but a bit breadier or puffier than the whole wheat ones - a bit closer to pretzel bread rather than pretzel. I actually made both and the family seemed to like the spelt ones better as the bag emptied first. 

Whole Spelt Pretzels

3 cups whole spelt flour (more if needed)
1 package fast rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup very warm water (125 to 130 degrees F)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
4 tbs baking soda
egg yolk, slightly beaten
coarse salt 

1. In a stand mixer or food processor combine 2 cups flour, package of yeat, and salt. Mix and set aside. 
2. In a medium bowl add warmed water, and oil. 
3. Pour liquid into the flour mixture, plus add the honey. Mix well. 
4. Add remaining flour to turn into a dough - you may need to add more if sticky.
5. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 minutes. 
6. Let sit in a large oiled bowl, covered,  for 10 minutes to rise. 

7. In a large pot or large skillet fill with 3 inches water plus baking soda. Bring to a boil.

8. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake (coil) about 10-12  inches long and wrap into a pretzel shape. Press the ends into the dough. 

9. Plop each pretzel into the boiling soda water for 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place on a well greased cookie sheet. 
10. Combine an egg white with a tbs of water and whip. 
11. Brush pretzels with egg yolk and sprinkle with salt. 
12. Bake at 400 degrees until Dark brown (like a pretzel). 

Make sure you let them cool all the way before storing. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crab and Spinach Egg Muffins

My husband brought me a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook called Dinner in a Dish circa 1965. In it is a recipe that combines a cream sauce with crab, veggies, egg and the spice mace. Mace is like a strong nutmeg. I thought the flavor would go really nicely with the sweet crab and an egg quiche instead of a dripping cream sauce that won't freeze well. 

I just love the cover and the graphics inside. I may have to spend my garage saling this summer looking for old cookbooks.

Crab and Spinach Egg Muffins

1/2 cup millet
1 tbs butter
8 oz fresh spinach cut into small strips. 
1/2 onion diced
4 eggs
1/4 cup light cream (or add 1/4 cup milk)
1 cup milk
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 
1 tsp mace

1. Cook your millet by dropping it in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Turn down the heat to simmer for 30 - 40 mintues or until the water is soaked up by the grain. 

2. In a large pot add butter and melt on medium heat. Add in chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add in spinach and wilt. Set aside. 

3. In a large bowl add 4 eggs, milk, cream, orange juice and mix with an electric mixer. Add in mace, zest, millet, sinach mixture, and chopped up cooked crab meat. 

4. Scoop into a heavily greased muffin pan - the cups almost full. 

5. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vending Machine - Art

Instead of a lunch roundup this week I'll share my new piece of art. If only the grocery stores had healthy foods in the vending machines? the kids would ignore them and the adults would be scrounging for quarters.

8" x 10" Colored Pencil on Board

Monday, May 7, 2012

Zombie 5k Boston 2012

I did not cook any Mealpods this weekend, the freezer was full and I was... being chased by zombies. 

My friend and I ran the Boston area Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K. It had rained the day before so the track was muddier than I think they meant for it to be. The run started with a park ski hill: the runners had to climb up the foggy hill but the Zombies were brought up on the conveyor belt. I guess that is only fair. You can see me in the middle in red and my friend just behind me. 

We don't really have any pictures from the race except for the first foggy one because the whole course was on top of the hill - in a field and then in the woods - and spectators could not watch. Amazingly there were quite a few people with those waterproof headcams on during the race and I found a good video on YouTube. It was so muddy most people came in over an hour for the 5K because you had to shuffle through the slippery mud for a good portion of the race.

Youtube video by stealthbaz

My favorite parts of the race was the field at the beginning where you had to try and sprint past the zombies. When it was too muddy you were more afraid of losing a shoe than a flag. If you are not familiar with the Runforyourlives race, you get a flag belt with 3 flags and you have to run through the 5K obstacle course and past zombies. The zombies try to get your flags and if you make it to the end with at last one flag - you have survived and get bragging rights. I died... so I am officially part of the undead. I did enjoy trying to block my friend's flags after I lost all of mine and stare down the zombies. It didn't last that long though before I couldn't wedge my body between a rather aggressive zombie who ignored my undead self. I must have stunk of decay already and did not smell like food. 

The race is going to be in a bunch of other cities as well. If you would like to do it but are nervous about some of the obstacles I would encourage you to go anyway. You can go around any you would like to and no one really cares. 



After (after a little cleanup)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lunch Roundup #11

This week's lunch: Concha Roll, Grilled Chicken, Snap Peas, Strawberries and Pineapple. 

Okay this might not be the most nutritious lunch. I made Mexican Concha rolls for my art class for Cinco de Mayo so I had to make them for my kids as well. Conchas are a sweet bread roll (like Portuguese bread) but topped with a sugar/flour/butter mixture. When we used to go to Mexico when I was younger, (& lived in Arizona) these rolls were in all the bakeries we went to. The bread is light and fluffy and the topping sugary and crumbly. They are called conchas because the designs bakers put on them resemble seashells. They use a metal stamp to stamp the design into the dough. I of course did not have one of these tools so I ended up using an apple slicer/corer which made more of a sun design on top of the rolls. The crumbly dough should have covered the whole roll, but the recipe I used did not make enough, so I had to skimp on each one. Oh well. 

Here's a tiny history of the conchas rolls also called Pan Dulce. Apparently the tradition of baking sweet breads was kept from the French Conquerors who were the very ones fought in the Battle on May 5th 1862. 

from I followed it exactly, but I would make extra of the topping. I ran out and it is better to have too much than too little. It calls for scalded milk which I had never needed before so I looked it up and you just have to heat up your milk right to the tip of boiling on med/med high heat while stirring constantly. The recipe says to let it cool which I took as just a couple of minutes in the fridge to get the high heat out of it. It was still warm when I used it. The recipe takes 3 hours total but it is not hard: the rolls just need to rise twice. 

I also watched some videos including this one that really showed the texture needed on the cookie topping. It also shows the stamps they use for the designs, but like I said, I used an apple slicer and it worked pretty well! 

I would have like to add some tortillas into their lunch to eat the chicken in, but I felt like the extra large sweet bread roll took up the whole grain percentage (and then some) of the meal. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!