Oh, joy! I got a new toy for my cooking adventures, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven. Not only does it make Zoe's favorite vegan nuggets extra crispy, it makes my two favorite Paleo snacks, air fryer Brussels sprouts and air fryer sweet potato fries, both healthy and delish.
I like these crinkle cut frozen sweet potatoes for convenience. I think high temps work best for crispy exterior. Preheat the air fryer for a few minutes on 400, then cook 8-9 minutes, turning halfway through. Season to taste.
If you prefer to make air fryer sweet potatoes fries from scratch, the Traveling Foodie has a great post on how to do that here.
Found: Some porcini mushrooms bought in optimism, about to go; apple juice
Risotto may seem like it takes a long time to make, but to me, it's really not, and any time spent making this dish will reap tremendous taste bud rewards, not to mention a fabulous smelling kitchen. I used Tyler Florence's recipe (link HERE) but replaced the wine with apple juice, and used porcini mushrooms instead of the crimini and portobello mushrooms. Result? De-lish!
It's Kids Clothes Week, so family and house will be de-prioritized for seven days. Sorry, sweeties! Fortunately, I have a stash of yummies in the freezer for family dinners. This is one of our favorites, and when I make it fresh, I always freeze half of the meatballs and sauce for another time. This is how they come out of the freezer:
You can find the recipe here.
Instead of pasta, I like to serve these with zucchini noodles. I have a new toy, the Spriralizer.
It produces wonderful noodles from any vegetable.
If you're not a fan of slimy zucchini (who is, I wonder?) try this trick: Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and let sit for an hour or so. It draws a bunch of the water out for a firmer "noodle." See how much water I was extracted by the salt (below)? For you smoothie lovers, don't throw away the zucchini water -- save it as a boost in your breakfast treat.
To cook, simply sauté in a little butter, olive oil, or pesto. Serve with meatballs.
Found: Mixed cherry tomatoes, few pieces of ciabatta bread, bottle of dried lavender I've yet to use
Made: Bruschetta for lunch!
18 cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh or dried basil
Italian dressing (I currently am using a copycat Olive Garden recipe)
Ciabatta or sourdough bread
Shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese
Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a bowl, mix your cherry tomatoes with garlic, oil and a generous amount of salt. (Eyeball it -- I used 2 "glugs" of oil for my 18 toms.) Spread on pan and roast for 2 hours.
In a container that has a strong sealed lid (I used a mason jar), mix your roasted tomato / garlic mix with basil (I used dried, didn't have the fresh on hand) and lavender. Again eyeball it -- the picture below shows my eyeballing. Add Italian dressing, mix well, and let the ingredients get to know one another for several hours -- or overnight is even better.
To make the bruschetta, set your oven to broil. Place bread slices baking sheet and broil until both sides are golden brown (turn once during baking). Top with roasted tomato mix, freshly shredded cheese, and, just to gild the lily, drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Yum-mo!
P.S. Sorry I did not get a picture of the final "presentation" -- I forgot. Blame it on low blood sugar!
Found: 1 egg, leftover cottage cheese, browning banana, leftover sweetener from coffee run
Made: Yummy breakfast muffins
1 large egg
1 cup cottage cheese
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. no-calorie sweetener
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup oatmeal, old-fashioned
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Pour (two-thirds full) into a muffin pan coated with cooking spray or lined with muffin liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 8 muffins.
Friends and family around us are in transitions and distractions of all kinds, some joyful, some scary. This week's kitchen activities will be centered on mass-production of freezer meals that will benefit both our family and those we love.
1 lb. breakfast sausage
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 baby bell peppers, or 1 large
Grated cheese to your taste
4 eggs -- I use 1 cup Egg Beaters
1 c. Bisquick mix -- I use Heart Smart
2 c. milk
Cook sausage with onions and peppers, drain. Put sausage mix in the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Sprinkle cheese over sausage. Mix together eggs, milk and Bisquick. Pour over sausage and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 20-25 minutes, 350 degrees.
To make ahead, follow instructions above up to cooking point. Freeze. Thaw overnight, bake 40 minutes, 350 degrees.
8 c. peeled, chopped apples
4 c. fresh or frozen strawberries
½ c. water
½ c. Stevia or sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until fruit is soft enough to mash with a fork. Remove from heat and cool. Use a blender or a food processor to blend until smooth.
Instructions: Place tofu, stevia and vanilla in a food processor. Process until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and process until mixture is fully blended. Pour into small dessert cups or espresso cups. Chill for at least 2 hours.