Monthly Archives: September 2011

Panko Crumbs? Make Your Own!

More and more recipes call for panko crumbs, the Japanese version of bread crumbs. They are flakier than traditional bread crumbs (although nutritionally worthless), which theoretically makes them absorb less grease. I usually make bread crumbs from whole wheat bread because they contain fiber and more vitamins, but sometimes panko works better in a recipe.

But have you bought panko? It’s expensive, considering it’s just bread crumbs. Make your own! Here’s how:

RECIPE

Panko Crumbs

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices white sandwich bread

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Cut away the crusts from each slice of bread
  3. Tear each slice of the bread into fourths
  4. Add half of the bread to the Vitamix container.
  5. Process on variable speed 5 for 3-5 seconds or until all bread is flaked.
  6. Empty bread crumbs onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  7. Process second half of the bread and add crumbs to the baking tray.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, but watch closely. Don’t let crumbs brown.
  9. Remove tray from oven and allow the crumbs to cool completely.
  10. Store in a sealed container.

2 Comments

Filed under casseroles, cooking, Healthful Eating, panko, Recipes

Minorcan Clam Chowder Revisited

(This is revised from an earlier post. It’s in honor of my late friend Winni Wood, who bought me my Saint Augustine Seafood Cookbook that contained the original recipe. I miss you, friend.)

Soon it will be soup weather again. Here in the Hasty Tasty Meals kitchen I’m making a pot of Minorcan Clam Chowder. If you’re unfamiliar with Minorcan style cuisine, come to Saint Augustine, Florida, where many restaurants offer dishes featuring recipes from the 18th century settlers who originated from the Spanish island of Minorca.

I’ve adapted this recipe for the more modern, Hasty Tasty Meals kitchen. If you can find datil peppers, you should use those instead of the bell pepper. Datil peppers are authentic to Minorcan cuisine. I use canned clams, but if you have fresh clams, all the better!

RECIPE

Minorcan Clam chowder
Ingredients:
1 pint canned clams (do not drain)
1 Tbsp. oil
2 lbs. onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. pepper (I use Redneck Pepper® original)
¼ tsp. salt (optional–I omit because there is salt in the canned clams and juice)
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and minced

Directions:
In the pot of a 6-quart pressure cooker, add oil and sauté onions until soft. Add all other ingredients. Cover and secure lid, bring to pressure, and cook for four minutes. Remove cooker from the burner and allow it to sit 5 minutes. Release pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cool chowder, and store in the refrigerator. Making the chowder ahead of time allows the flavors to season. Warm over medium heat and serve.

Note: Also good with fish instead of clams. For richer chowder, double the amount of clams.

Note that this is lower in saturated fat than New England clam chowder, and spicier than Manhattan clam chowder. Also, if you scrub the potatoes and leave on the peels, you’ll add potassium and fiber. It’s about as figure-friendly a clam chowder as you can get. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Chili and Stew, cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Soups & Stews

Simple BBQ Sauce

I love a good bottled barbecue sauce, but I’m not driving ten miles to the nearest supermarket if I’m out. It’s too easy to make my own! I have several recipes, but this one is the easiest. I make it in a Vitamix, but you can cook it in a saucepan, too.

RECIPE

Simple BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tomato catsup
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic or 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 slice onion
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the Vitamix container. Secure lid.
  2. Start on variable speed 1 then step up gradually to 10. Switch to high speed.
  3. Process for 4 minutes or until steam escapes from the lid.  Sauce thickens as it heats.
  4. Pour sauce over meat of your choice.

Use flavorings such as liquid smoke or hot sauce to customize the sauce to your tastes.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, take time to read the labels of various barbecue sauces. Most have high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient. The only additives in my recipe are in the tomato catsup, and that isn’t a lot. Of course, you could make your own catsup, too. Here’s the recipe:

RECIPE

Tomato Catsup

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. sweetener
  • pinch allspice
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the Vitamix container.
  2. Process on variable speed 4 approximately 1 minute
  3. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight jar or bottle.

Remember when you make your own food, you control the ingredients. Be the master of your kitchen!

2 Comments

Filed under condiments, Healthful Eating

Salsa Reloaded

Salsa has become the #1 favorite condiment in American households, and no wonder! It’s delicious, healthful, and versatile. I get a lot of e-mail about salsa, and there are many varieties.

Homemade salsa is so much better than jarred, even if you use canned tomatoes as I did in an earlier post. It’s easy to make it fresh, especially if you use a Vita-mix. Here’s another salsa recipe:


RECIPE
Ingredients:
4 ripe plum (or Roma) tomatoes, cut in half
½ sweet onion (Vidalia if available), cut in half
1 clove garlic
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded*
 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp. sweetener
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
½  cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the Vita-mix container and pulse on low (setting 3 or 4) just until blended. Use the tamper to push food into the blades. The process takes only a few seconds. Don’t overblend unless you prefer picante sauce instead of chunky salsa.

Refrigerate. Keeps for 4-5 days.

*If you like hot salsa, use the entire jalapeño pepper, seeds and all. For mild salsa, substitute a milder pepper for the jalapeño. Be sure to wear plastic or rubber gloves when removing the seeds and membranes of a jalapeño (or any hot) pepper.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I typically add cilantro but didn’t have any the day I made these photos. Tasted just as good, so I now declare cilantro “Optional.”

©2011 Cheryl Norman

Leave a comment

Filed under Cilantro, Healthful Eating, Recipes, salsa, tomatoes

Guilt-free Ice Cream

I refuse to pay a lot of money for sugar-free fat-free ice cream when I can make my own. If there’s no fat and no sugar, what are you paying for?

Today I made strawberry ice cream (or perhaps I should call it ice milk) my way. It’s so easy with the Vita-mix. Here’s how:

RECIPE

Strawberry Ice Milk

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup skim or 1% milk
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp. Splenda® sweetener

Directions:

  1. Pour milk into the Vita-mix wet ingredients container.
  2. Add Splenda and strawberries.
  3. Turn on low then gradually step up speed to high. Use the tamper to push the strawberries into the Vita-mix blades.
  4. Run Vita-mix just until strawberries dissolve and mixture resembles ice cream.
  5. Serve!

Yield: 2 servings

Variation: Use real cream or half-and-half for richer ice cream 
From RECIPES FOR RECOVERY ©2011 Cheryl Norman

Strawberry Ice Milk

Guilt-free Strawberry "Ice Milk"

Isn’t this a yummy way to satisfy two of your daily fruit servings plus a little dairy? Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under desserts, fruit, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Smoothies