Monday, May 14, 2012

Rosemary Bread

Fantastic with olive oil!

Rosemary Bread

Rainy day = fresh bread, right?  I used this recipe and found it to be delicious!

1 tbsp white sugar
1 c warm water
1 (.25 oz) pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 c bread flour (I used regular, all-purpose flour and it turned out fine)
1 tbsp olive oil (I used olive oil spray)
1 egg, beaten


  1. Dissolve the sugar in warm water in a medium bowl, and mix in the yeast (I always make sure the yeast is between 100-110 degrees).  When the yeast is bubbly, mix in salt, butter, 1 tbsp rosemary, and Italian seasoning.  (This took about 5 minutes).  Mix in 2 c flour.  Gradually add remaining flour to form a workable dough, and knead 10 to 12 minutes.  
  2. Coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil.  Place dough in bowl, cover, and allow to rise 1 hour in a warm location.
  3. Punch down dough, and divide in half.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  (Oops.  We didn't have parchment paper, so I used aluminum foil.  Not really the same at all, but it worked okay).  Lightly grease paper.  Shape dough into 2 round loaves, and place on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with remaining rosemary.  Cover, and allow to rise 1 hour, or until double in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 35 degrees F.
  5. Brush loaves with egg.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.  (20 minutes was perfect for my loaves).
I already had all of the ingredients on hand, so I didn't have to buy anything.  Sorry I can't give a better estimate.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oven Roasted Tilapia with Tomatoes (Asparagus), Pesto and Lemon

It's the end of the week and groceries are running low... I modified this recipe so I could have a tasty dinner without a trip to the grocery store!

1/4 pint cherry tomatoes or 1/4 pint grape tomatoes (We only had 5 grape tomatoes left, so I added a bunch of asparagus we had leftoever from earlier this week).
2 garlic cloves (I only used 1 large clove...)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp pesto sauce
1 lemon (No lemons, so I substituted lemon juice)
4 oz tilapia fillet (You can buy individually wrapped, frozen fillets)
salt and pepper

  1. Gently combine the tomatoes (asparagus), garlic and olive oil with a little salt and pepper if desired and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  2. Juice the lemon and mix SOME of the juice with the pesto (or just use some lemon juice out of a bottle...), adding more if desired or needed keeping the pesto a nice spreadable consistency.  Spread mixture on top of the fish which has been seasoned with a little more salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Cut the juiced lemon in halves again so that you have two pieces of lemon to support each fillet.  Place a fillet on top of two pieces of juiced lemon so that the fish is somewhat sout of any liquid that accumulates, allowing it to roast rather than boil.  (I couldn't do this, so I just placed it on top of the tomato/asparagus combo, slathered pesto/lemon juice mixture on top, and threw it back in the oven).
  4. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the fish along with the tomatoes and garlic and serve with more lemon wedges if desired.
I served it with some toasted pinenut couscous mix we had in the pantry.  Yum!

I really have no idea... all the ingredients were already here, so as far as I'm concerned, it was free!

Sorry there's no picture for this post due to a plating-disaster!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Spinach and Feta-Stuffed Focaccia with Romaine, strawberry and orange salad

This recipe comes from Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook.


1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
2 (6-oz) pkg baby spinach, divided
3/4 c (3-oz) crumbled feta cheese
2/3 c golden raisins
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I just used lemon juice from a bottle)
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (I used dried)
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (I used crushed red pepper.  What can I say?  I was hungry and didn't read the instructions closely)
1 (13.8-oz) can refigerated pizza crust dough (I made my own crust from this website)
Cooking spray
1 tbsp 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tbsp water
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

6 c romaine lettuce (I had leftover herb salad and leftover spinach that I just mixed)
1 c sliced strawberries
1 c drained canned mandarin oranges
3/4 c sliced red onion

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp back pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts.  Add remaining spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in feta and next 6 ingredients.
  3. Place dough on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (Oops, I forgot this step, but it didn't stick too bad); pat dough into a 15x12 inch rectangle.  Spread spinach mixture lengthwise over half of dough, leaving a 1-inch border.  Fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork.  Cut 5 (1-inch) diagonal slits in top of dough (Oops.  Also forgot to do this... but it seems to be okay).
  4. Combine milk and water; brush evenly over dough.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. 
  5. While the focaccia bakes, prepare the salad ingredients and dressing.
Yield: 6 servings

Yellow Onion: $.35
Baby Spinach: $5.98
Feta cheese: $2.79
Raisins: $1.75
Pine nuts: $4.25

Red Onion: $1.11
Strawberries: $3.00
Mandarin oranges: $1.25

I had the rest of the ingredients on hand.  This comes out to a total of $20.48, or $3.41 per serving and I had leftover red onion and strawberries for lunch this week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shepard's Pie

Comfort Food

My friend Jess made this WONDERFUL vegetarian Shepard's Pie a few weeks ago, so I decided to give it a try.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Shepard's Pie

2 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
3 to 4 tsp mild curry powder
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked chickpeas, homemade or from 2 15oz cans (I went the 2 15oz can route...)
1 1/2 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped (I left this out)
1/4 c regular or low-fat sour cream (I used nonfat greek yogurt and it was great!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the sweet potatoes. (I made them in the microwave.  If  you want to see the directions for how to bake them, look at the original recipe here).

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion; season with salt to taste. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened, then add the butter and 3 teaspoons of the curry powder; season with pepper to taste, stirring to combine.

Stir in the chickpeas, 1 1/4 cups of the vegetable broth and the brown sugar; once the mixture has begun to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.  Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding some or all of the remaining teaspoon of curry powder.  

Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of vegetable broth with the cornstarch in a measuring cup.  Add to the chickpea filling: increase the heat to medium-high so the broth comes to a boil.  When the liquid has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.  Transfer to an 8-by-11 inch or similar size or similar size baking dish.  (Obviously, I didn't add the cilantro).

Cut each sweet potato in half length-wise.  Scoop the sweet potato flesh from the skin and transfer to a large bowl; discard the skins.  Add the sour cream and season with salt and pepper to taste; use a masher or large fork to smash the potatoes until the other elements are thoroughly incorporated.  (I probably used a little more like 1/2 a cup yogurt... but it's fat free!)
Drop dollops of the sweet potato mixture on top of the chickpea filling, spreading them with a small spatula to cover the filling completely.  Bake (at 350 degrees) for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling up around the dish.

Serve warm.

Sweet potatoes: $1.56
Onion: $0.87
Chickpeas: $1.78
Broth: $2.99

I had everything else on hand, so it cost me a total of $7.20, or $1.20 per serving.