Monday, October 23, 2017

Chili & Rice

Chili over Rice
This is positively my favorite way to have Chili! I don't remember how it happened that we first had it this way, but it quickly became a family favorite.

Simply make the Chili, and serve it over a bed of Rice. Accompaniments include Salad, Tortilla Chips or Corn Chips, and Avocado. Raw Chopped Onion may also be added for those who like it. 

Chili 

Saute
optional -1 T oil
1 (12oz) bag 3 pepper & onion blend or 1 chopped onion, 1chopped green peppers
1 tsp fresh garlic
Add
1 (15 oz) can rinsed Kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can rinsed Black beans
1 (15 oz) can rinsed Chickpeas
3 (15oz) cans chopped tomatoes, with juice
2 cups frozen Corn
3 T Taco Seasoning
Optional "heat" - your favorite kind, to your taste
Simmer, covered, 30 min over low heat, stir occasionally OR If desired, all ingredients can be simmered in Crock Pot or Slow Cooker on high for about 3 hours, instead of cooking on the stove top

Bowl of Veggie Chili




Tip for Dining with Omnivores:
This dish is great topped with Mexican Style Finely Shredded Cheese or Mild Cheddar. Sour Cream also goes well. Shredded Chicken would also go well on top.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017

Easy, Soft, No Knead, Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Easiest Ever Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Delicious, Soft, Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls that are Easy, No Knead, Oil Free and Vegan? And take about 10 minutes total hands-on time? Yup : )

These little Rolls are super tasty, and super easy. You'll love them!

This is my own recipe, but I got the method from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - whose work I highly recommend!

(If you'd like to also serve White Dinner Rolls, check out this easy recipe
Easy, No Knead, Soft & Fluffy Dinner Rolls)

Here's the method:

Easy Soft, No Knead Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
 (Makes about 8 rolls)

I prepare a batch this size in an 8 Cup Container.
Be sure to add in this order:

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 1/2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch (you can substitute Cornstarch, if you like)
1/2 Cup Potato Flakes (yes, the kind people make instant Mashed Potatoes with)
1/4 Cup Sugar*
1/2 Tablespoon Yeast
1/2 Tablespoon Salt

Stir well with a spoon till well combined and no floury patches remain.

Dough after stirring



Cover loosely and allow to rise for 2-5 hours on counter.

Dough after initial rise - ready to place in fridge or use.


Place in Fridge till needed, or use right away (ideally, use this within a week)

When you're ready to bake, sprinkle the top of the dough generously with flour.

Divide into 8 pieces and shape into rolls by hand, gently tucking dough into balls (don't squish out all the air - be gentle!)

Shaped Dough, Ready to Rise


Place each roll into an oiled cake pan, or on a baking sheet of your choice. These work great on my perforated, nonstick pizza pan : )

Allow to rise on the counter for 2 hours (no need to cover - this is a very moist dough naturally).

OR cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise overnight in fridge.

Risen Dough, after 2 Hours


Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes, or till golden brown.

Brush with your favorite buttery spread or oil, if desired.

Serve warm.

Whole Wheat Rolls that are Soft & Fluffy Inside


In addition to making great Dinner Rolls, these can be used as a bun for your favorite burger or other sandwich filling.

Mmmmm . . . Tasty Whole Wheat, Easy Dinner Rolls


*Sugar in this recipe has 3 functions - It adds flavor, it makes the rolls more tender, and it aids browning. You CAN adjust the amount up or down according to your preferences, and the main difference you'll notice will be a difference in flavor. But it will also slightly affect tenderness and browning.

If I make these too far ahead of a meal, and they become cold, I simply warm them slightly in the microwave, then lightly toast them (without cutting them) in the toaster oven to restore the fresh-baked taste.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Dijon Skillet Chicken

Dijon Skillet Chicken
Skillet Chicken is my favorite method of making Chicken. Although I'm sure someone else somewhere has had the same idea (it's not earth shattering), it IS my own method. It has some definite advantages:

1) It cooks faster than large pieces
2) It thaws faster
3) It absorbs marinade better
4) The portion sizes are more adjustable.. Especially if you're serving several people, it means that one person isn't forced to take and waste more than they really want, while the person beside them is wishing for more. It also permits child-sized portions.
5) It's easier to tuck into a wrap the next day, or add to a salad or a "bowl"
Dijon Skillet Chicken
6) It's easier to use the leftovers as an additional ingredient for a single meat-eater of an otherwise vegetarian dish. I often have portions of this in the Freezer to add to a meal.
7) It's moist and flavorful. 

This is what I do. I usually buy large, skinless, boneless chicken breasts. The ones at our grocery that normally have the best price are about a pound each! Which means that there aren't many meat eaters who really want to eat a whole one! If smaller ones have a better price, I buy them : )

I slice them crosswise into slices about 1 cm thick.

A large Chicken Breast, sliced 1 cm thick


I drop them into a plastic refrigerator container or zippered freezer bag, and then add my marinade. I usually put 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of Chicken per container. After adding the marinade, if I'm going to use it the same day, I put it in the fridge. Otherwise, I put it in the Freezer (after labeling, and dating the package, of course!)

To use, (if frozen) put in fridge the day before you'll use it, so it can thaw.

Then, remove Chicken from marinade, and cook in a nonstick skillet over medium or medium high heat, until done. I add an extra spoonful or two of the marinade to the skillet, so the flavor cooks in better. It concentrates, then evaporates while cooking, then the meat starts to brown.

Dijon Marinade:
1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Basil
1 Tablespoon Oil
Dash Pepper
1 teaspoon Minced (fresh or jarred) Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Salt


To make this a complete meal for an Omnivore & Vegan or Vegetarian to share, I choose from these accompanying dishes

Bulgur Pilaf ( Pourgouri )
Jambalaya 
Sausage Patties, Vegan
Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
Cauliflower & Capers
Greek Inspired Oven Fries
Green Beans Almondine
Noodles, Savory One Pot Mushroom    
Rosemary Roast Potatoes in the Slow Cooker 
Sauerkraut 
Sweet Potato Fries 
Veggies Vinaigrette 
Better than Coleslaw 
Black-Eyed Pea Salad 
Lentil & Rice Salad
Mediterranean Green Bean & Potato Salad 

Tabouli 
Mix & Match Italian Rice Salad 
Homemade Yeast Bread 

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Marinated Pork Chops

Marinated Pork Chops & Vegetarian Accompaniments
I found this recipe on the  Frugal Family Home Blog. The Author, Shelly, has a great
 8 Meal Freezer Plan for Pork that includes this recipe. This particular recipe appealed to us, so I started making it. It was a huge hit, and became a menu staple in our family.

I finally emailed Shelly and asked her if I could link to it, and she was kind enough to agree : )


Marinated Pork Chops

When I buy Pork Chops, I toss a few into a Freezer container (zippered bag or plastic food container) with some of this marinade. And I put it in the freezer.

Then, the day before serving, I pull it down to the fridge to thaw, and on serving day I simply grill in a nonstick skillet, or on the Electric Indoor Grill.

So Check out Shelly's Blog for a great set of Pork Chop Recipes - Including this one

I like that this is such an easy meat to add to any Vegetarian or Vegan meal : )

Here are some of the dishes that are great to serve at the same meal:

Asian Peanut Noodles
Asian Peanut Rice Bowl
Chinese Restaurant Food
Philippine Style Fried Rice
Pad Thai, Simple Vegan
Chinese Restaurant Green Beans
Sesame Broccoli
Veggies in Indonesian Peanut Sauce
Quinoa and Lime Salad
Spring Rolls, Easy Vegan
Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce, Three Minute 
Sushi
Asian Noodles



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Monday, September 18, 2017

Fractions Rules Memory Song


Fractions Rules Memory Song
Fractions can be complicated to learn, because there are lots of rules for adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and converting from improper to mixed numbers and back. Not to mention converting fractions to decimals!

And, as an educator (whether in the home or in a traditional school)  I'm sure you've experienced that moment when the student gives you the blank look or says, "I have NO idea how to do this!" about a concept they had just "mastered" the week before.

Learning how to work with fractions is one thing.

Remembering it is quite another!

So, to help my Daughter remember all this tricky business, I crafted a little song. I'm hoping your student finds it helpful, too!

At the bottom, I'm putting videos that help demonstrate these methods, in case you or your student need a refresher.

As usual, I avoid technical terms like "divisor" and "dividend" as much as possible - because if your student forgets what a term in the song means, the song is useless and even more memory work is needed!

If your student only has trouble remembering only one or two rules, you can just teach them that part of the song : )

It is to the tune of "Oh My Darling Clementine," which is a public domain song : )






Sing this with your student - or students - every day for a while, and you'll see their fractions skills take off! : )



Fractions song

To add two fractions together
You can simply multiply
Bottom numbers both together
That’s your new bottom number

Next you need to multiply
The left top number with the one
You find, at the right bottom
Write that on the top left

Write your plus sign right next to it
Then you need to multiply
The left bottom number with the number
At the top and right

Write that answer down right after
The plus sign on the top line
Then you add the two top numbers
to make a new top number

To subtract two fractions then
Becomes so easy, all you do
Is use a minus sign, instead of an
Addition sign

Or  find a common multiple
Of all the bottom numbers, then
Multiply both tops & bottoms by the same
Numbers to get

All new top & bottom numbers
Then you can add or subtract
Even if you have 15
Different fractions you’re working with!

If you need to multiply two
Fractions, first you multiply
The top numbers together
That’s your new top number then

You keep going, multiplying
The two bottom numbers next
That becomes your bottom number
It is just so easy

To divide two fractions is fun
You just flip-flop multiply
Then you’ve got your answer and it
Wasn’t even difficult!

Simplifing
fractions isn’t
really difficult at all
Just divide both top and bottom
By the same divisor

To convert improper fractions
Just divide the top number
By the bottom number and the answer
Is the whole number

Then the remainder that’s left
Is your new top number and
The bottom number is
the same as when you started

To make mixed numbers into
improper fractions, Multiply
bottom number and whole number
Then you add the top number

Bottom number once again
remains just the same
as it was when you started
wasn’t that so easy?

To convert fractions To decimals
Write a dot and then zeros
after top number and then 
Divide bottom into top.











Adding & Subtracting Fractions:




Multiplying Fractions:


Dividing Fractions:

 Simplifying or Reducing Fractions:



Converting Improper Fractions into Mixed Numbers:



 Convert Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions OR Vise Versa



Converting a Fraction to a Decimal:
 Rock Style Song:



Monday, August 21, 2017

Quick Vegan Breakfasts - A Week's Worth!

Quick Vegan Breakfasts
Most mornings, for most folks, breakfast isn't a leisurely, sit down affair like in a 1950's family T.V. show. In fact, many days it looks more like a movie of the stock market trading floor on a bad day - stuck in fast forward.

For THOSE mornings, here are some quick breakfast ideas. Some of these you can make the night before. Some are freezer-friendly, so you can make a big batch when it's convenient, and just pull them out as needed. And some are 3-minute microwave recipes. Even better? Most of them can be made from your handy DIY pantry mixes (linked within each recipe) so even making your big batch for the freezer, or your microwave recipe becomes super easy. Best of all? They're ALL pretty tasty! : )

Enjoy!

Oats, Easy, Cool & Creamy Summer


Banana Bars for the fridge or freezer - easy to make (3 ingredients) & GF!

Vegan Pumpkin Mini Muffins (keep a batch in the freezer : )


3 Minute Double Chocolate Muffin for One





Easy Vegan Cinnamon Roll Crescents- Keep handy in freezer


Zucchini Bread Waffles for the Freezer


3 Minute Blueberry Muffin for 1



Veggie Burgers from the Freezer for a Savory Breakfast



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