So breakfast this morning uses up the black bean dip that I made last night. I’ll get that recipe in here too, but I wanted to show off my soft tacos that we had this morning. It was fast and easy to put together and eat – before heading out to shovel more snow.
Scramble eggs, throw a soft tortilla spread with black bean dip (or refried beans if you like) and some swiss cheese (or cheddar or your favorite) onto a cookie sheet with a silicon sheet lining it into the oven. Top with some quick guacamole made with chopped up avocado and minced shallots. Fold it up and eat.Diana
I received a box of Valentine’s Day Candy from Sees to try out. Sees candy has been American made since 1921 founded on Mary Sees basic principle of quality without compromise. This really is a quality chocolate, made without preservatives. The Chocolate is rich, and the fillings sweet and delicious without being cloying. I’ll say it again, it’s quality chocolate.
There are two hundred shops across the US including Columbus, OH , and you can still get Valentines candy delivered to your door by Valentines day with their free two day shipping upgrade available in their online store right now.
Disclosure: I received a box of Sees Candy to sample in order to do the review. There was no monetary compensation for this review and the opinions are my own.Diana
If you are space or seasoning-ally challenged, it’s nice to have a little magic on hand, like the kind Spike Gourmet Natural Seasonings provides. I do have a cabinet full of spice jars and seasonings, however most are not blends, but single spices – which means I have to search and put together my own combinations. That’s okay for me, but my son and husband prefer to have the blends ready for them. They don’t want to search through individual jars, give them a couple of jars, not a handful or more. My son likes all the combinations and while my husband has to avoid a few due to being on a low sodium diet, my son is claiming any and all that my husband is not able to enjoy in our recipes. Spike Gourmet Natural Seasonings is giving away all of the same magic seasonings that they sent to me to try out, 1 jar each of : Original Magic, Salt Free Magic, Hot N’ Spicy Magic, Vegit Magic, 5 Herb Magic, Onion Magic, Garlic Magic, Vege-Sal, Lemon Pepper Magic and Tenderizer Magic.
We’ve been trying out the Magic Seasonings by Spike the last few weeks. My son adds the garlic, the onion powder and the Salt Free Magic along with the 5 Herb Magic to tomato sauce for use with pasta. He also made oven baked fries (in which he was very heavy handed in the spices there but we’re experimenting) using the onion, garlic, salt free magic and the Vegit – a low sodium spice (along with a bunch of black pepper). My husband was out of town so I used the Original Magic Seasoning in a Potato, Sausage and Veggie dish. The spices are good, and though the print on the bottle is really small, I can read that most of the ingredients are natural and good, though I’m a little foggy on hydrolyzed soy protein and these are natural, but not organic. There is a little caking, but that’s because there isn’t an anti-caking agent added and that’s more than fine with me.
Disclosure: I received ten jars of Spike Brand Gourmet Natural Seasonings to try out for this review. I have not received compensation for this review or to hold a giveaway. My opinions are my own.Diana
I told you I was going healthy for the Superbowl. We brought this – Chicken, Chard, Bean and Butternut Squash Soup. We also brought some berries and greek yogurt with honey – plus vegan chocolate avocado cupcakes. We did splurge though because my sister in law made some awesome queso with sausage that was great with chips and they also had some Buffalo Wild Wings. It was a small gathering, but there was plenty of food and even though our favorite team disappointed, we had a good time (well most of us).
I bought my butternut squash last fall at the farmer’s market. We put them into baskets and stored them on shelves in the unheated basement. The food doesn’t freeze down there, but it does get rather nippy downstairs. Last year I tried storing them in a warmer spot, but some of my squash went bad. This year, they are in perfect condition and not even drying out. I’m thrilled that we put up a nice shelving unit to use for winter storage.
Anyway, I also have been trying to work with beans more, but dry beans not canned beans, and so that was the start of this soup. I roasted most of the vegetables in a glass pan in the oven until almost cooked. I also baked the chicken breast rather than fry it up. I wanted the broth to be clear when I served it and not muddied, which is why I did it this way. And to give it a nice bright taste, I grated lemon peel and squeezed lemon juice into it. This soup is one of my best tasting, I recommend it for family dinner, or a gathering of friends, or just the two of you.Diana
When thinking of appetizers, cauliflower and potatoes smashed together make a great combination, while adding a little more nutrition. Your family and friends may figure out that there is something a little different about the potatoes, but only a little different. I went a little further to make it healthy, by cutting down on the sodium. I added a little chevre, some herbs and bread crumbs.
Bread is one of the worst when it comes to sodium, and regular bread crumbs are really bad. In order to still have a breadcrumb that works, I buy my own low sodium bread (there are a couple of gluten-free rice bread brands that work), and then make my own breadcrumbs. Bake the bread on low until it hardens, and then using mini-blender or smoothie maker grind the toasted bread into crumbs.Diana
Jalapeno poppers – done right are not super hot and just have a little bit of a bite. I wanted to create something low sodium for my husband that has that bite because a lot of low sodium foods are flavorless, but this is not. We’re using goat cheese and swiss cheese in the stuffing because they are lower in sodium and in the list of acceptable cheeses to use. The chicken and goat cheese mixture can be prepared a day or so in advance, placed into a zippered plastic bag, and then refrigerated overnight. To pipe, just cut off the corner of the bag you have already filled. We tried the poppers two ways. Whole, they were filled and stood up to bake melting the cheese inside. The cream cheese mixture stays warm inside and falls to the bottom as you eat because it is so soft. The other way was to slice the pepper in half and have a jalapeno boat. You can toast the top better that way, but you are getting more cream cheese and less pepper. We couldn’t decide which we liked better. The boats had quite a bit of cheese, but it covered up the pepper taste more. I guess it depends on how much heat you like.
Don’t forget to scroll down after looking at the recipe for the giveaway information and a list of other great appetizers.Diana
I am working on low sodium appetizers for this season’s Superbowl gathering (that so far we haven’t received an official invitation to). My husband is on a low sodium diet and while I can make something for everyone else, I find that unless I bring those dishes that Mark can eat – he might not get much to munch on. Other people may be in the same boat and I’m sharing what I’ve figured out. You can add sodium to the dishes by adding salt, or soy sauce, or even by changing the cheese. Other cheeses have much more flavor but pack the sodium in. Today, I introduce you to low sodium swiss cheeseburger stuffed mushrooms. My husband wasn’t a fan of mushrooms but I’ve converted him by using fresh crimini mushrooms, perfect for stuffing and accent the beef flavor wonderfully. This is a pretty fast appetizer to make, but make plenty because they quickly disappear.Diana
I like spaghetti squash, it’s one of my favorite vegetables, but I’m not a fan of covering up it’s flavor and texture with spaghetti sauce. To me, it’s not a replacement for spaghetti, it just mimics the texture but it’s so great tasting and yet low carb. When Filippo Berio sent me samples of Olive Oil, I ran to my cold food storage area (aka the unheated basement), and brought up the spaghetti squash. Squash is a great long storing vegetable, so for us right now this dish is very seasonal and from the local farm market.
My son assisted me in cooking this day. I was covering for someone on vacation all week, so I appreciated his help. Funny note: in my directions I told my son to cut the squash in half – which he did – staight across instead of lengthwise. He scooped it out to look like a bowl. Along with the squash, he roasted turip, carrots fennel and onion, all found in our marketbag. When I came home and checked on everything, we recut the squash lengthwise si it cooked more evenly.
After we removed the vegetables from the oven and let cool just enough to handle, we scraped the squash fibers out to look like spahetti, then sliced the other veggies snd tossed. For a little lightness we added fresh parsley and cut up some pea shoots and tossed along with the juice of a lemon.
PS – don’t forget to enter the giveaway… Filippo Berio GiveawayDiana
Last week, in our Food News, we told you about Filippo Berio’s Olive Oil Facebook Contest. Filippo Bero US was looking for the best Olive Oil tips, tricks and suggested usage. This week the voting on the best one is happening (It actually started Monday). The winner gets a trip to Italy to enjoy Cooking classes. I entered, but I didn’t make the top 5, which are presented on their Facebook page.
Filippo Berio US sent me a couple of bottles to try out and to giveaway, both were extra virgin olive oil and the one that makes me really happy is organic. I am a regular user of of olive oil – and make my own dressing because I can easily tailor it to the meal I’ve prepared without having to store 20 bottles on the fridge door. In fact, one day this fall my kids did an oil swap – my son taught his sister to change the oil and my daughter taught her brother to make dressing. One of them didn’t go well and resulted in spillage but not the one in my kitchen. (FYI- we caught it in a tarp no environmental damage done.) Thank goodness making a salad dressing is easier than changing the oil in your car.
Olive oil is great for marinades, dressing, roasting, pestos, hummus, dips – hopefully we’ll get to see all of the tips at the end of the promotion. I’m going to share a recipe tomorrow with spaghetti squash that I made using the Filippo Berio Olive Oil. It worked out well for me in the recipe, and I’ve used it to make a lime dressing for steak salad last week that was delicious.
Filippo Berio is offerring the same duo of Olive Oil to one of our Cookerati readers. We’re going to use Rafflecopter once again to keep track of the entries.
Disclosure: I received a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to review and to giveaway. My opinions are my own and the review is representative of how I feel. I thank Filippo Berio US for doing a giveaway on Cookerati.
01/02/2014 - Happy New Year. I’m trying out a new format to update this page monthly. The next update will be in the first week of February. If you have any news updates send them to me to evaluate before the end of January.
This month brings you…
- A really easy contest by Filippo Berio US with a great big prize – hurry quick though it ends early on January 9th. The contest app is on their Facebook Page. All you have to do is fill out a form share your favorite tip using olive oil and add your own photo.