Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Archive for the ‘“Recipes”’ Category

Sometimes I Cheat

Posted by terrepruitt on October 2, 2019

I would love to not rely on some processed foods. I am always amazed that as much as I love pasta and bread I do not make my own of either. And I hear that both can be really easy. I would love to be able to cook from scratch every night using high quality organic ingredients, but the reality is I don’t. I am thinking we are a lot alike in that we do what we can when we can with what we can. Sometimes – for me – it is just a matter of not having any ideas of what to cook. Sometimes I am just stumped. I can be stumped in the morning when I actually might think to take something out of the freezer. Then when it comes time to make dinner, I don’t have anything defrosted and I am still stumped. I know there are a lot of people who make homemade meals and then freeze them. Now that I think about it, I have done that, but I haven’t done it lately. So sometimes I “cheat”.  I always have something in the freezer I can use as a meal or an addition to the meal. Sometime is it like that old Food Network show Semi-Homemade. I add “something” to “something” that is frozen.

For some people it might seem odd to add something organic to something so processed, but, as I mentioned I do what I can. The other night my hubby brought home some Grassfed ground beef. Oh, that was so awesome because I was having one of those days when I didn’t know what to cook. I still didn’t know what to do with the beef, but at least we had defrosted meat and it was a start!

I decided to cook it up and add it to a frozen lasagna. Sometimes I cook more pasta to supplement the few noodles that are in the lasagna, but I decided not to this time. Here is what I did – working with what I had.

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1/2 of a small onion
olive oil
3/4 of a pound ground beef
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 small/single serving Stouffer’s Lasagna

Heat up the olive oil. Chop the onion. Cook the onion in the oil. Add the ground beef. Cut up the tomatoes. Cook the beef until done. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes to the pan.

While the beef is cooking follow the cooking instructions on the box of lasagna.

When the lasagna is done, cut it in half. Put half on each plate. Divide up the meat and tomatoes onto each plate. Then use a fork and knife to mix the lasagna and meat on each plate.

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Since I don’t cook with tomato sauce often this is a treat for us. It was good. Sometimes you just need easy and good to get a meal on the table.

What do you do to get a meal quickly on the table?

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Shells And Cheese With Beef And Corn

Posted by terrepruitt on September 23, 2019

Shells And Cheese With Beef And Corn

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 of a medium size onion
1 lb hamburger
garlic salt
can of corn

3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 C milk

4 cups shredded/grated cheese

1 Cup Panko bread crumbs

bag of pasta shells*

While chopping the onion let the coconut oil heat up in a large pan. Cook the chopped onion in the oil. After the onion is cooked, break the hamburger up into the pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt.  (continued below)

While the meat is cooking, you can make the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour a little at a time. Keeping all the lumps out and incorporating the flour into the melted butter. – (Don’t forget about the meat cooking!) – Pour in the milk a little at a time stirring constantly and working out the lumps. Add the salt. Add some cheese, stirring and letting it melt as you go. Continue to add about two cups of shredded cheese.

Cook the hamburger until almost done. (If needed drain the grease from the meat.)  Drain the corn and stir it into the meat. Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Since the corn is already cooked it doesn’t necessarily need to cook with the meat because it will cook in the oven.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that boil the water for the pasta. *I didn’t use an entire bag because it had been opened. I think there was about 3/4th of a bag of small shells. Cook the pasta. Drain the pasta.

Butter a 9X13 baking dish. Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Spread a very thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the buttered dish. Then mix the pasta, a little over half of the cheese sauce, and the meat and corn mixture together. Spread half of the new mixture (cheese sauce and meat-corn) into the dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Then spread the remaining mixture on top of the cheese layer. Then top with the rest of the cheese sauce, spreading out evenly.* Then top with the rest of the shredded cheese and the bread crumbs.

Bake about 25 to 30 minutes. If you want the bread crumbs brown broil it for about 5 minutes (or until they are browned).

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*I am sure mixing all the shells, meat-corn, and cheese sauce together and then putting it in the baking dish would work.  I was just trying to make is a little more like sauce ON the shells.  It all seeped down and was yummy.

This is very rich and very filling. And pretty good. My husband loved it. I always seem to like pasta dishes better the next day. It is as if the flavors all meld and seep into the pasta. So I really enjoyed our leftovers that we ate for a few days.

And, sadly, I didn’t make this with plans to post about it, so I only have the one picture of the finished product. But I will be making it again. I had a friend that says she uses cream corn . . . that might be interesting.

I don’t even know why I put corn in it. I was thinking of two separate things to make at points during the day and when I went to cook, they got combined someohow.

How do you make macaroni and cheese? Do you put meat in yours? Vegetables?

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Roasted Parsnips “Fries”

Posted by terrepruitt on August 26, 2019

It will not come as a surprise to many of you that I roasted parsnips. I mean, if you have read any of my recipes you know that I pretty much roast all my veggies. One way I do it is I cut them into strips and call them “fries”. I know, they are not fries as they are not fried, but they are so good and they kinda look like fries, I want to call them that. Sometimes a recipe is something you can use as an idea to make a dish of your own or it is just a guide because you have to figure things out a little bit with your particular oven or even with the specific produce you purchased. Not sure if you have ever thought of making parsnips “fries”, but let me tell you, they are sooooo good roasted. They are odd because they are slightly sweet yet they have a little (teeny-tiny) kick to them.

I have received them in the organic produce box where they were pretty small. And then also when they were larger. The key is to try to cut them to be the same size so they cook evenly. So as with all things they are different sizes so you will probably need to adjust the baking time to suit your desired crispness.

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3 parsnips
olive oil
Season salt

Cut the parsnips into “French fried sized” strips. Spread the “fries” out on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and seasoned salt. Then turn the oven onto 450° F. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, mix up the “fries” and sprinkle with more olive oil and season salt. Then put back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Here is where you will need to decide if they are done or toss them on the pan and put them back in. Some of them may be done and some may not. Sometimes I remove the done ones (of whatever I am cooking) and put the rest back in the oven. You decide.

When they are done, just serve them with whatever dipping sauce you would like. We don’t dip them. We like them as they are.

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Do you like parsnips? How do you cook them?

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Posted in "Recipes", Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Enchilada Chicken

Posted by terrepruitt on August 12, 2019

If you have read my blog or seen any of my tweets within the last month or so you know that I made Taco Pie again. Oh my I love it, and this last time with the flour tortillas, I really loved it. When I make it I cannot find the size of enchilada sauce I need so I end up with a lot of leftover sauce. The time before last, the unused sauce sat in my refrigerator until it went bad because I didn’t know what to do with it. This time I was determined to use it and thought I could use it with chicken like I do with other sauces.

This is just chicken baked in the left over enchilada sauce. It was very good. I can see this dish following Taco Pie every time now.  I will be using up that extra enchilada sauce. YUM.

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Enchilada Chicken

~Four boneless skinless chicken breast
~Taco Seasoning (click for homemade recipe)
~20 ounces (or so) of Enchilada sauce
~about 2-3 cups shredded cheese (I used the 4 Cheese Mexican mix)
~Cilantro

~Rice (optional)

Place the chicken in a baking dish. Sprinkle half of the Taco Seasoning over the chicken. Let it set for an hour or two (in the refrigerator). Then flip over each piece and sprinkle the rest of seasoning over the chicken. Let it set for an hour or two (in the refrigerator).

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Pour the enchilada sauce over the chicken, sprinkle in some chopped cilantro, then top it with the shredded cheese. Bake. I baked this about 50 minutes . . . depending on the size of the chicken breasts . . . bake the chicken until thoroughly cooked.

Then serve over rice . . . or in tortillas, or on its own . . . topping it with chopped cilantro.

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Easy. Yummy. A great way for me to use the left over enchilada sauce.  I know this is just a different take on both Italian Chicken and Chicken Salsa.  Pouring sauces over chicken and baking, it is so easy and so many different types of sauces gives us such a variety of flavors!

What do you think? Don’t you love easy recipes?

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Taco Seasoning

Posted by terrepruitt on August 7, 2019

My husband and I aren’t big taco fans. I mean, we like them, but we don’t make them at home and we don’t order them when we go out. This past February we were in Anaheim staying at a hotel across the street from Disneyland and right outside our motel was a Jimboy’s Tacos – and I did fall in love with that greasy mess. And then once home finding out we didn’t have one close, I did try a few different tacos while I’ve been out, but nothing compares. But regardless of not making tacos, I do find myself wanting taco seasoning.

We eat “taco seasoned” meat with our taco salad. We usually buy the packaged kind, but sometimes we like to try out own. This is what we use when making it ourselves.

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Taco Seasoning

–2 tbsp cumin
–2 tbsp garlic salt
–1 tbsp paprika
–1 tbsp garlic powder
–1 tbsp minced onions
–1 tsp oregano
–sprinkle of pepper

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You may know that I don’t like anything spicy hot so I only use a sprinkle of pepper if any at all.  I don’t put in any chili powder or cayenne pepper.  It is a nice mild mix of spices.

Do you like tacos?  Do you have an occasion to use taco seasoning?

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Bruschetta Orzo

Posted by terrepruitt on July 29, 2019

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDSo this is pretty very much like the Five-Vegetable Pasta I made and I posted about in the post titled Bruschetta Pasta. Basically the only difference is the way I cut and cooked the zucchini and the pasta itself. I used that recipe to make this. I didn’t realize when I decided to make it that it was going to be such a hot day. My original plan was to cook all the vegetables in the oven, but I decided while I was waiting for one batch to cook I might as well cook the mushrooms on the stove.

 

 

 

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—1 medium or large eggplant, cubed (very small)
—4 medium sized tomatoes, cubed
—2 zucchinis, cubed (tiny)
—1 lb of mushrooms, chopped (tiny)
—1/2 of a large onion, chopped (tiny)
—olive oil
—two tablespoons of butter
—garlic powder
—garlic salt
—pepper
—sweet basil
—balsamic vinegar

—1 1/4 cup orzo
—2 1/2 cup water
—2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon

—Parmesan cheese, grated, as desired

Heat the oven to 450°F.

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Put the cubed eggplant on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt. Mix it up, then spread the eggplant evenly over the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven and stir the eggplant adding more garlic salt. Bake for another 15 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven and stir the eggplant adding more garlic salt. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Stirring or tossing if necessary to ensure even roasting.

Put the cubed zucchini on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt. Mix it up, then spread the zucchini evenly over the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven and stir the zucchini adding more garlic salt. Push the zucchini over to one half of the baking sheet to make room for the tomatoes. Put three of the tomatoes on the other half of the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for another 10 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven and stir the zucchini adding more garlic salt. Check on the tomatoes. Toss them gently. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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When you have about 15 to 20 minutes left of cooking for the veggies heat the butter in a pan. Add the orzo to the melted butter. Toast the orzo – just giving it a little color. Then add the water and bouillon to the pan. Stir until the bouillon is incorporated. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer – or even lower. Let all the water evaporate. Stirring every once in a while.

After the orzo and the veggies are all cooked add half of the orzo to a large bowl/dish then half of the eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt (if you even need to), pepper, and basil. Then stir. Then add half of the cooked tomatoes and half of the raw tomatoes. On top of the tomatoes add the rest of the orzo and vegetables. Add more salt (if need be), pepper, and basil. Stir gently.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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So, I have discovered that I love orzo. I cook it in broth and it is amazing on its own. I thought it would make this dish amazing too, but I liked this dish better with linguine. My husband is loving this and I like it too, I just think I like the veggies with the other pasta better.

What about you? Linguine or orzo for this?

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White Sangria

Posted by terrepruitt on July 15, 2019

For some reason around the time of Fourth of July I was craving Sangria, but I didn’t know how to make it. I was craving red sangria, but I also wanted white sangria. I thought that I would make the red for my hubby and me prior to the fourth.  Then make the white for our company on the fourth. I thought it would be ok to have left over red, but not left over white because I was going to use champagne and it would have gone flat by the time we had company.

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3 nectarines
1 small container of raspberries
1 bottle rosé
1 cup white rum
4 cups peach juice
1 bottle of champagne – note only 1 cup goes into the Sangria
lime juice

Cut the nectarines into chunks. In a large pitcher or bowl, combine the nectarines, raspberries, rosé, rum, and peach juice. Stir until mixed. Add a bit of lime juice to taste. Add 1 cup of champagne. Stir again.

You can serve over ice and even top it off with a bit more champagne.

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I am not a fan of peaches, so this – without the champagne topper, was too peachy for me. I think I will opt for a different juice. The original recipe I had seen says to use peach nectar, but the store I went to had a very limited juice selection and no nectar.

This was good . . . with the champagne topper. It was very refreshing. It was pretty much what I was looking for . . . . once I figured out I need to add a bit more champagne.

I think I will keep experimenting.

Do any of you have a good Sangria recipe? Red or white?

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Sangria Or Wine With Fruit And Juice

Posted by terrepruitt on July 8, 2019

A few months ago I unearthed a glass pitcher and it made me want Sangria.  I don’t know how to make Sangria, I believe it is more than just wine with fruit in it.  I did a little research and just got overwhelmed with all the recipes so I let it go and I used the pitcher for flowers.  The flowers died, but the pitcher remained.  I used it to water the plants.  I would often look at the pitcher and then look for a recipe.  There are so many recipes out there.  I didn’t know which one to use.

I finally decided to cobble one together.  I found one that said to cut up the apple and orange put it and some brown sugar in a pitcher and muddle it.  Well I was using a spoon and that was not working so I decided to use something else and my last thought before the pitcher broke was, “I better be careful so I don’t break the pitcher.”  Well, at least that pitcher won’t be taunting me anymore.

I had to throw out that fruit and start over.  This time I didn’t bother muddling.

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1 apple
1 orange
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
1 cup orange juice
1 cup peach juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 bottle of red wine
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Cut the apple into chunks.  Peel the orange, then cut it up.  Put the fruit in a bowl then add the liquid.  Stir.  Then add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved.  Once every thing is mixed put it in a pitcher.  Serve over ice.

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I used a bowl because I was afraid I would break the pitcher.  (That was the THIRD thing I had broken that day.)  I prefer to put ice in each glass so that the ice doesn’t melt into the pitcher.  But you do what works best for you.  I am rather happy with this combination.

As with some things I make I end up adjusting as I continue to make the recipe and that very well might happen with this.

As I was at the store buying the ingredients, I quickly looked up what red wine to use for Sangria and what came up was Pinot Noir or Merlot.  I decided to go with the Merlot.  Then when I got home and did a search I got a different result, but I had already purchased the Merlot so I used it.

I made white Sangria for the Fourth of July.

Do you like Sangria?  Do you make it?  What is your recipe?

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THIS Taco Pie Recipe

Posted by terrepruitt on July 3, 2019

Since having received the Taco Pie recipe from one of my yoga students a little over a year and a half ago, I think I have made it at least four times.  My husband and I have loved it every time.  But, honestly the last time was not my favorite.  I was really tasting the meat and I don’t like the TASTE of meat.  The meat didn’t have enough flavor AND I over cooked it.  Since the assembled “pie” is in the oven for 30 minutes the meat does not (SHOULD not) be thoroughly cooked prior to putting it in the oven.  Overcooked beef is bad, but overcooked turkey, is worse.

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I planned on making taco pie so I made out a grocery list, which I have to do, of course, because I don’t stock enchilada sauce or taco sauce.  I was so looking forward to it.  I was on the phone when I started cooking it so I did it a little differently, when I got off the phone I read the part I did incorrectly and shrugged – too late now.  So I added the sauces, then read the rest of the recipe.  “D’OH!”. I forgot the corn tortillas!!!!!  How did I think I was going to make taco pie?????  Grrrrr!  Clearly I did not read the recipe when making my list.  How did I forget corn tortillas?

Well, good thing I had just bought two packs of flour tortillas!  Flour tortillas it is!  BEST MISTAKE EVER!!!

As I often say on my blog, I use it as my recipe book – although as I re-wrote this recipe I see that I had NOT been using my post of the recipe, I had been using the original print out, and so I thought this new version had a few more differences than the first post, but it is not as many as I thought.  But still, I am re-posting the taco pie recipe with my current changes so I can just reference this one and not even have to go to the other one.  You, Dear Reader, can use whichever one you prefer.

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Taco Pie

1 Tablespoon or coconut oil
1/2 of an onion
(just under) 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons cumin
12 ounces enchilada sauce
1 bottle taco sauce
20 ounces cream of mushroom soup (2 boxes)
6 to 8 (soft taco size) flour tortillas
4 cups grated Mexican Cheese
1 can sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Chop the onion.  Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion to the pan. Cook until it starts to caramelize. Add the meat (crumbling it as you cook it or crumble it into the pan). Sprinkle the meat with garlic salt and cumin as you cook it. You add as much flavor as you want, I learned I want to cover the meat with the cumin (might end up being more than 1 1/2 – 2 Tblsp). DO NOT COOK MEAT ALL THE WAY! (note to self) Cook the meat until it is about half done, maybe a tad more.  Turn off the heat.

Add the enchilada sauce, the taco sauces, and the cream of mushroom soup. Stir until it is all mixed together with the meat.

In a 9X13 baking dish you are going to do layers. First layer is 1/3 of the sauce, the next layer is 3 – 4 tortillas to cover the sauce (I don’t let a lot of tortilla overlap), then sprinkle a light layer of cheese, then 1/3 of the sauce, then 3 – 4 tortillas, then a sprinkle of cheese. Then use the rest of the sauce to cover the tortillas, then cover it with the cheese.  Sprinkle on some sliced olives.  Save some to add for serving.

Bake for 45 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Top with the sliced olives.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 4 – Avgolemono Sauce

Posted by terrepruitt on June 5, 2019

Since my hubby loves Avgolemono Soup, I thought I would make some as sauce for the stuffed grape leaves since I recently experienced my family serving sauce with the dolmathes.  I actually didn’t make the SOUP because I didn’t add chicken or orzo. I would like it thicker as a sauce, but it was very runny. It tasted fine.

I did look at a recipe for this because I didn’t know how to reduce the ingredients to make a small portion. I bet there are several ways to make it.  I used

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Lemon-Egg Sauce / Avgolemono Sauce

2 eggs
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of broth used to cook the stuffed grape leaves
salt
pepper

Mix the eggs using a hand mixer.  Mix for about 5 minutes. Slowly – while still mixing – add the lemon juice. Then even slower – while still mixing – add the broth. The hot broth needs to be added to the eggs very slowly otherwise the eggs will cook. So the eggs get tempered by adding the hot liquid slow. Then add salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce into a pot heat it up to just BEFORE boiling. Turn down the heat and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Place the grape leaves on a plate and spoon some sauce on top of them.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Series:

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 1 – The Idea

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves

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