Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup

I'm realllllly trying to get the girls to eat soup.  Any kind of soup.  We've been at work on this for a year, and they still groan when I serve soup.  The most success I have is with brothy soups, I think because the girls can identify the ingredients better.  I've loved this Mulligatawny Soup for years (I originally got the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, so no claims that it's "authentic"), and the girls will grudgingly pick out some of the carrots and turkey and raisins and rice.  I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and it's darned tasty.  Someday, I hope the girls will agree!

Mulligatawny Soup

4-5 cups chicken broth
2 apples, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
14 oz diced tomatoes
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup brown rice
1 small or medium onion, chopped
1 big handful of raisins
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb ground turkey, cooked

In a large pot, combine all ingredients aside from the ground turkey.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until rice is tender.  Add turkey.  Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sloppy Joe Casserole

I adored Sloppy Joe Casserole when I was growing up - it was a recipe from my grandma, and I thought it was the best thing ever.  I made it all the time when my husband and I were first married, but somehow it fell out of the rotation over time.  I made it for my kids the other night, and Abby devoured her bowl and asked for seconds - a rare event!  Time for this recipe to make a comeback!

The original recipe (which is such a 1950's kind of recipe) calls for a packet of sloppy joe mix, but I season the sauce myself.  This allows me to adjust the spice level for my kids and avoid whatever oddities are lurking in those packets!

Sloppy Joe Casserole

1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
8 oz small pastas (elbows or shells), cooked
16 oz small curd low-fat cottage cheese
1 large can tomato sauce (15 oz, I think?)
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp white vinegar
onion & garlic powder
Optional:  shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Cook the turkey and the onion together.  Toss in a large bowl with the pasta and the cottage cheese.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, mustard, and vinegar.  Add onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to taste (and more worcestershire or mustard - or add some Tabasco to give it kick!).  Don't add any salt - the cottage cheese is pretty salty already.  Pour the sauce over the pasta mix and stir well.

Pour the pasta mix into a 2-qt casserole dish.  (Optional:  top with shredded cheddar cheese)  Bake until heated through, about 25-30 minutes.  This dish can be prepared early in the day and baked at dinner time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flax-Wheat Rolls

It's been a while!  My cooking obsessions over the summer trended to things like learning how to make my own sausage, and my kids were good eaters all summer - they love the simple fare that a summer night calls for.  Now that we're back to school and entering the dark times at the grocery store (as produce in New England is sadder and less kid-friendly), I'm back to working hard for my kids.  Darn!

The other night was soup night, much to the girls' chagrin.  I've been serving soup once a week all year, and they still hate it.  They will now at least take little bites of the components they can recognize.  To compensate, I've been making these rolls to serve on soup nights - something hearty, with ingredients I feel good about.  Plus, these rolls are fantastic with scrambled eggs for breakfast the next morning!

Flax-Wheat Rolls

2/3 cup milk 
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
4 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast (also called instant yeast)

Place all the ingredients in a bread machine pan and program the machine for the dough cycle.

When the dough cycle has ended, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough in half, then roll each half into a cylinder with about a 2-3 inch diameter.  Cut each cylinder into eight pieces (so you have 16 rolls all together).  Shape each piece into a nice roll shape (ignore the shape in the picture - I was trying something different and didn't like how they turned out!)  Cover with a clean towel and let rise for about 40 minutes, until about doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375F.  (Optional:  brush some melted butter over the tops of the rolls.)  Bake the rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve warm - that's the best part!

* * * * * 

I'm going to try to be around a bit more - I've had some other ideas rolling around, and I've made a few kid-friendly dinners that have been big hits lately.  I've tasked myself with taking charge of our family's breakfast this year (i.e., not just having cereal and toast every morning!), and I have some make-ahead waffles that we are all crazy for.