Category Archives: condiments

BBQ Beef & Beans

Here’s an easy, nutritious way to stretch a buck: BBQ Beef and Beans. I modified the recipe I got from my friend Chef Gary. If you take a little help from the grocery store (canned beans, rinsed and drained, and jarred barbecue sauce of your choice), you need only ten minutes to get this into the slow cooker. This is one of my favorites to take to a potluck dinner.

RECIPE

HASTY TASTY BBQ BEEF AND BEANS

I use the stainless steel Gourmet Slo-cooker by Americraft so everything is done in one pot. If you use a crockery slow cooker, you will need a skillet to brown your meat and onions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chuck, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cans beans (your choice of type. I like variety so I mix 4 kinds of beans)
  • 12 ounces prepared barbecue sauce (avoid varieties containing high fructose corn syrup)
  • nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Spray skillet or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Salt and pepper the cubed chuck, add it to the skillet, cover, and brown over low heat.
  2. Open canned beans and drain, rinsing with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Add chopped onion to the browned chuck. Adjust heat to medium. Do not cover. Cook until all liquid has evaporated (about two minutes).
  4. In slow cooker pan or Crock-pot, add meat and onions. Slowly stir in the rinsed beans.
  5. Add barbecue sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over low heat for at least four hours. Use lowest possible setting because all the food is cooked. Your only concern is infusing flavor.
  6. Serve warm.

Yield: 5 pints

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Enjoy either as a side or main dish. Remember, beans are a great source of fiber and nutrition yet without the saturated fat of meat.

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Filed under beans, condiments, cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes

Salsa Time!

I’ve posted in the past about making salsa in my Vitamix. Today I have a special guest who offers a flavorful twist to salsa. As soon as I pick up a fresh bunch of cilantro, I’m making this recipe. I grow my own jalapeño peppers and herbs but fail miserably at keeping cilantro alive. 😦

Today’s recipe is a guest post by Kristin, a writer for PAM and other ConAgra brands. She resides in Chicago, IL and enjoys trying new recipes on the weekends. Her favorite dishes include poached eggs in the morning, throw-whatever-is-in-the-fridge salads for lunch, and vegetable-heavy stir fries for dinner. She’s always on the hunt for unexpected yet delicious food combinations.  Please welcome food blogger Kristin Kruk:

salsaAugust
August is the Sunday of summer. Friends and family are making the most out of their last few weeks of sunshine and blue skies before fall kicks in. When you get an invitation to that last minute summer barbeque, come prepared with a zesty appetizer to surprise everyone’s taste buds. Bring a bowl of grilled tomato salsa with a bag of your favorite tortilla chips as an appetizer to the party.

On a time crunch? Don’t worry about grilling outside. A cast iron pan will do the trick because it gets hot and retains heat.

How to grill inside:

  1. Evenly spray PAM Grilling Spray on the cast iron pan.
  2. Place pan on stove top on medium-high.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low once the pan gets hot.

Now you’re on your way to a quick grilled tomato salsa!

Ingredients:

  • PAM Grilling Spray
  • 1½-2 pounds of tomatoes (try an assortment), sliced in half
  • 1 jalapeño , sliced in half
  • 5 green (or red) onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Optional ingredients: ½ can of black beans or corn kernels 

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix cumin, garlic salt, onions and cilantro. If optional ingredients were used, combine as well. Set aside.
  2. See “How to grill inside” instructions above.
  3. Once the burner is set to medium-low, grill tomato and jalapeño slices.
  4. Rotate so each side is grilled for 3 minutes. When each side is slightly blackened, remove from grill.
  5. Chop tomato and jalapeño slices into cubes. Dump into the medium bowl (Step 1).
  6. Refrigerate until ready for use.

This quick and simple appetizer complements any picnic or outdoor outing at the end of summer. Enjoy!

(Cheryl note: I do all my indoor grilling on a Lodge cast iron grill pan (sprayed with PAM). It’s affordable, retains heat, and leaves nice grill marks on food–just like an outdoor grill but without the mess!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Cilantro, condiments, Healthful Eating, Mexican, Recipes, salsa, tomatoes, Vegetables

Hasty Tasty Mayo

I make my own mayonnaise because I can control its ingredients. It’s easy. Give it a try.
MAYO

RECIPE

Mayonnaise
Ingredients:

¾ cup egg substitute
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 cups safflower or canola oil

Directions:

Add first four ingredients to the Vitamix container. Secure lid but remove plug.
Turn Vitamix to Variable Speed 1, gradually increasing to 10 then high.
Pour the oil in a steady stream through the opening in the lid.
Run Vitamix just until mixture thickens.
Turn off Vitamix, pour the mayonnaise into a quart jar, and put a tight-fitting lid (or canning ring and lid) on the jar. Refrigerate. Keeps up to 4 weeks.

 

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Filed under condiments, eggs, Healthful Eating

HASTY TASTY HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE SPREAD

I love Nutella®, but it has refined sugar, a no-no for me.  So I searched both books and online sources for a homemade version of chocolate hazelnut spread. None suited me, but one came close: Skinny Ms. “Skinny Nutella Spread – The Healthier Version.” I experimented with that recipe but soon went my own way.

This is my version of Hazelnut Chocolate Spread. My recipe uses the Vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you will need both a blender and a food processor. Read all the directions before you try making it. It looks complicated, but it really isn’t. Complicated recipes don’t qualify as “Hasty Tasty” meals. 😉  

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Ingredients

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Makes 2 cups

©2014 Cheryl Norman

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound hazelnuts, roasted and skinned*
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder (I used Special Dark because I prefer bittersweet chocolate)
  • ¼ cup raw honey (select a light, mild tasting honey)
  • 1 packet pure Stevia extract
  • ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk will work)
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher or other pure salt

Directions:

  1. *Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet (Hint: I roast one pound then freeze half for later) and place in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes.
  2. While hazelnuts roast, combine cocoa, honey, almond milk, salt, and stevia in the container of the Vitamix (or your blender). Blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour cocoa mixture into a microwave safe bowl or pitcher and cover with a wet paper towel.
  3. Microwave the cocoa mixture in one minute increments, stirring after each minute, until mixture is hot (This takes about two minutes in a 1000 watt oven).100_1059
  4. *Remove roasted hazelnuts from the oven and allow to cool. Place them on a clean kitchen towel, fold it over onto the hazelnuts, and rub to remove the skins. They should slip off easily.
  5. Take one cup (1/2 pound) of the cooled hazelnuts and place in the container of your Vitamix (or food processor). Turn it on Variable Speed 1, gradually increasing to 10 then High Speed. Process for thirty seconds to one minute or until the nuts become butter (You may need to stop once and use a spatula to scrape the nut mixture from the sides). Note: This step takes about 5 minutes in a food processor.
  6. Carefully pour the heated cocoa mixture into the Vitamix container with the hazelnut butter. Process on Variable Speed 5 for about five seconds or until well blended.
  7. Pour into glass jars

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To be on the safe side, store your spread in the refrigerator. My recipe contains no additives to make it shelf-stable. Once you make this, you can add your own touches. If it’s not sweet enough, try adding additional stevia extract or sweeteners of your choice.

One final word: Don’t make  hazelnut chocolate spread to save money. Homemade is better, but quality ingredients carry a higher price tag. I ordered organic hazelnuts and shopped for local honey. I doubt I saved a penny over Nutella® from the supermarket, but I love having total control over my ingredients. Enjoy!

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Filed under condiments, Healthful Eating, snacks

Hasty Tasty Cranberry Sauce

It’s Thanksgiving week. Here by request is a repeat of my cranberry sauce recipe. It’s easy and so much better than canned, so give it a try. Happy Thanksgiving!

The tart cranberry is delicious and healthful. Unfortunately, the cranberry is overlooked except during the holidays yet is good any time of the year. But don’t open up a can of jellied cranberry sauce–make your own! In less than 30 minutes, you can have homemade cranberry sauce. You can store it in the refrigerator in a mold or in the serving bowl–your choice. Molds are impressive but not necessary. Here’s my Hasty Tasty version:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir occasionally.

Stir occasionally.

Process until smooth.

Process until smooth.

Serve or store in the refrigerator.

Serve or store in the refrigerator.

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • one orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine brown sugar and juice of an orange (reserve zest) in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add cranberries.
  2. Gently heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or until berries burst.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in zest of orange and grated ginger.
  4. Carefully tranfer contents to the Vitamix or a food processor. Cover.*
  5. Beginning with the lowest speed (Vitamix variable speed 1), process cranberries to desired consistency. Just pulse a few times for a chunkier sauce.*
  6. Carefully pour sauce into a mold or a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Overnight is better.

*Processing the sauce is optional. Cranberries taste great either whole sauce or pureed.

Yield: 1 pint cranberry sauce

Variations: add your choice of seasonings in place of the grated ginger, such as cloves, cinnamon, or even jalapeño pepper!

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Hasty Tasty Yogurt

From previous posts you’ve seen that I like making my own food as much as possible to avoid mysterious or harmful additives. I’m a breast cancer survivor who’s especially vigilant about my food. Much as I enjoy yogurt, I don’t enjoy a) paying too much for premium quality or b) consuming nasty additives like carrageenan, which my doctor tells me to avoid. So as with mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, I make my own.

Three Ingredients

Three Ingredients

It’s time-consuming to make yogurt, but I’ve come up with a hasty (or as hasty as possible) and tasty version. It has three ingredients only: 1 quart milk (Skim works if you want less fat), 2 Tbsp. honey, and ½ cup plain yogurt with live cultures (always save 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt as a starter for the next batch). The honey may add calories, but it makes this the best tasting yogurt I’ve had. I eat it plain most of the time, although it’s great with fruit or cereal. Give it a try.

Here’s all you have to do:

    • Combine milk and honey in a 2 quart saucepan and whisk to combine.
    • Heat gently over medium heat to 120°F.
Heat gently to 120°

Heat gently to 120°

    • Remove from heat and allow temperature to drop to 115°F.Important: Use a thermometer. Overheating kills the cultures
    • Temper the yogurt by mixing it with 1 cup of the heated milk.
    • Gently fold yogurt mixture into milk/honey mixture. Pour into a large glass jar or container.
    • Wrap container in an electric heating pad and place in a larger pot. Cover.
Set Heating Pad to Medium.

Set Heating Pad to Medium.

    • Plug in heating pad and set to medium (do not allow yogurt temperature to exceed 115°)
    • Allow yogurt to ferment for 8 hours.
Ferment 6-8 hours.

Ferment 6-8 hours.

    • Cool the yogurt overnight in the refrigerator.
    • Using yogurt strainers or cheesecloth, strain the whey from the yogurt to thicken it. Allow yogurt to strain in the refrigerator for about two hours.
Strain whey from yogurt.

Strain whey from yogurt.

  • Gently spoon thickened yogurt into containers, label, and refrigerate.
  • Avoid stirring the yogurt. Fold added fruit, granola, etc. gently into yogurt before serving.

Yield: 2 pints

Yum!

Yum!

Note: Use within a month (But mine never lasts that long!).

.

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Filed under condiments, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Yogurt

Hasty Tasty Cranberry Sauce

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The tart cranberry is delicious and healthful. Unfortunately, the cranberry is overlooked except during the holidays yet is good any time of the year. But don’t open up a can of jellied cranberry sauce–make your own! In less than 30 minutes, you can have homemade cranberry sauce. You can store it in the refrigerator in a mold or in the serving bowl–your choice. Molds are impressive but not necessary. Here’s my Hasty Tasty version:

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • one orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine brown sugar and juice of an orange (reserve zest) in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add cranberries.
  2. Gently heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or until berries burst.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in zest of orange and grated ginger.
  4. Carefully tranfer contents to the Vitamix or a food processor. Cover.*
  5. Beginning with the lowest speed (Vitamix variable speed 1), process cranberries to desired consistency. Just pulse a few times for a chunkier sauce.*
  6. Carefully pour sauce into a mold or a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Overnight is better.

*Processing the sauce is optional. Cranberries taste great either whole sauce or pureed.

Yield: 1 pint cranberry sauce

Variations: add your choice of seasonings in place of the grated ginger, such as cloves, cinnamon, or even jalapeño pepper!

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Filed under condiments, cooking, fruit, Healthful Eating, Recipes