Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
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INGREDIENTS:

approximately 1.5 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (keep the loose leaves)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups milk
1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
cracked black pepper, to taste

OTHER ITEMS: Large skillet, small baking dish (I used an 8″ x 8″ square Pyrex dish), cooking spray.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking dish with cooking spray.

Fill medium stock pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and stir, blanching quickly, about 2 minutes or until they turn bright green. Drain immediately and add to the small baking dish.

In a large skillet, melt the butter, then add the flour and quickly stir with whisk to combine and remove clumps. Turn off heat. Add milk, salt, cheese, mayonnaise, and black pepper. Stir until cheese is melted, turning heat back on low if necessary.

Pour cheese sauce over the Brussels sprouts and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender.

CREDITS:

Original recipe from Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Gratin | WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Risotto

This scrumptious recipe takes time to prepare but it’s totally worth it.

Note that one of the ingredients, creamy cauliflower sauce, is a stand-alone recipe that has many uses on its own. It’s much like Alfredo sauce, but healthier. If you’re looking for shortcuts, store-bought Alfredo sauce would probably make a reasonable (though less healthy and perhaps a little less delicious) substitute.

Finally, while I always prefer my own recipe for basil pesto, if fresh basil isn’t available or you’re just looking for a shortcut, store-bought works well, too.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Risotto

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1.5 cups Arborio rice, rinsed
1
 teaspoon salt
5 cups water
1 cup creamy cauliflower sauce
1/4 cup basil pesto
1.5 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and drained of excess liquid

DIRECTIONS:

Saute the olive oil, onion, and garlic over medium high heat in a large skillet 2-5 minutes. Add the rinsed Arborio rice and saute for another minute. Add salt.

Add 1 cup of water and stir until absorbed. Reduce heat to medium and continue adding the rest of the water 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until all the liquid in the skillet is absorbed. The rice should be soft and fluffy.

Add the creamy cauliflower sauce and the pesto. Stir to combine. Place the shrimp on top of the risotto and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Keep over medium heat until the shrimp are pink, about 5-10 minutes. The edges of the rice may get slightly browned, which can be appealing, but if the heat is to high, the edges will burn.

Add cheese and stir slightly to blend and melt.

CREDITS:

Original recipe from The Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook.

Shrimp & Basil Fettuccine

KieleRecipes.com

Shrimp & Basil Fettuccine

5 oz. fettuccine noodles

Cream Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup cream, warmed

Shrimp and Basil Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-4 large fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/8 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon basil pesto
3 large unpeeled roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place fettuccine in large pot of boiling water and boil until al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Prepare Cream Sauce: Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add flour and stir continuously 2-3 minutes until flour is cooked. Gradually add cream to flour, stirring continuously until well-blended, smooth and slightly thickened. Set aside.

Prepare Shrimp & Basil Sauce: Heat olive oil in large saute pan over low heat. Add shrimp and mushrooms and saute until shrimp are cooked and turn pink. Deglaze pan with white wine. Add garlic, shallots, salt and pepper and simmer 2-3 minutes. Stir in basil pesto and simmer 1 minute.

Add cream sauce, roma tomatoes and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Add prepared fettuccine to sauce and toss to coat pasta. Serve immediately. Makes 3-4 servings.

Brick Oven recipe (courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman).

KieleRecipes.com

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Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 oz pine nuts
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (approx 1½ teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Yield: 1 cup.

CREDITS:

Adapted from the following recipes: (1) http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fresh_basil_pesto/ and (2) http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-garlic-and-basil-pesto/.

Banana Pancakes

This is a quickie recipe with one purpose: to sneak wholesome goodness into my kids’ diets with minimal fuss. Thankfully, they both love it. No syrup required.

Banana Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

1 ripe banana
2 eggs
salt, to taste
3 tablespoons flour
approximately 1/4 cup milk
butter, margarine, or other oil for cooking

DIRECTIONS:

Mash the bananas. Add the eggs and beat together until well-blended. Add the salt to taste (we like salty food and I add 3-4 shakes from our table salt shaker, which is the same amount I would add to the eggs if I were scrambling them alone). Add the flour and mix and stir until well-blended. Add the milk and continue mixing until the batter has a somewhat smooth consistency (apart from the chunks of banana).

Cook on a griddle or in a skillet as you would ordinary pancakes . I prefer using margarine for flavor but ordinary vegetable oil or cooking spray will do.

The yield depends on the size of the banana, but using a 1/3-cup measuring scoop to pour the batter typically results in two medium-sized pancakes.

CREDITS:

I put together this recipe based on my memory of a recipe that my mother used to prepare for my baby sister, who was an incredibly picky eater as a little girl. Just like my older son.

Bacon & Egg Stuffed Avocado

Bacon & Egg Stuffed Avocado

INGREDIENTS:

1 large avocado, halved and pitted
1 small (16-oz) carton liquid egg (you will have a lot left over)
approximately 2 tablespoons real bacon bits

OTHER ITEMS: Cooking spray, small baking dish, two squares of aluminum foil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare the baking dish with cooking spray (this will make cleanup easier if the egg spills). Crumple the squares of aluminum foil gently into two rough nest shapes to hold the avocado halves stable. Place the avocado halves into the foil nests with the faces parallel to the bottom of the dish.

Using a small spoon, scoop out each avocado half until the hole is about the size of an egg. Fill each avocado half with liquid egg then sprinkle generously with bacon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, just until the egg is no longer liquid.

CREDITS: Adapted from http://annanimmity.com/avocado-bacon-and-eggs/.

Bacon & Broccoli Egg Muffins

I love it when a small risk leads to a big reward.

As I was foraging around in my fridge this morning, looking for the ingredients to make Kale & Cheddar Egg Muffins, I noticed the leftover steamed broccoli from last night’s dinner. I love broccoli and I’m always looking for ways to cut down on prep time, so I said, “What the heck, it can’t turn out too badly, right?”

It was a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself. Chopping the steamed broccoli was a lot faster than prepping kale greens and the result was delicious. This variation might just be my new favorite!

Bacon & Broccoli Egg Muffins

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2.5-oz package real bacon bits
  • approximately 2 tablespoons freeze-dried chives (to taste)
  • approximately 1.5 cups broccoli florets, steamed until tender and coarsely chopped
  • approximately 1/2 cup shredded cheese (to taste; I usually use sharp cheddar but I’ve used a variety of cheeses and blends that have all turned out well)
  • 32-oz carton liquid egg whites (I actually prefer whole egg but they were out at the store and the egg white variety turned out well, too)

Other Item(s) Needed: 12-muffin pan, cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare the muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Using a small spoon, divide the bacon bits evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle each cup with chives to taste (I use approximately 1 teaspoon per cup). Fill each muffin cup with kale and sprinkle a large pinch (1.5 to 2 teaspoons) of shredded cheese over the top. Top off with liquid egg, using a small spoon to re-distribute the liquid as necessary for an even fill.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before eating. Serve warm.