Thursday, August 25, 2011

BBQ Popcorn

When you have food additive sensitivities, it can be easy to end up with the boring snacks. The chips that everyone finds that don't have any questionable ingredients are usually the plain salt, and while those are okay, I couldn't help but long for snacks with zesty, zippy flavors. Rather than just deal with the boredom, I began to blend my own flavors. I found that I could wow my taste buds, without risking a dangerous reaction. Who says that all-natural has to be boring?

Popcorn is a staple at our house. While butter and salt are great, I had an idea to use a blend similar to a spice rub that I mix for chicken. This same blend is also great on oven-baked potato fries. I was going for the yin and yang of salty and sweet with a touch of heat. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Don't be surprised if you end up licking your fingers.

BBQ popcorn- our latest addiction.

I pop ½ cup of popcorn with 3 Tbsp coconut oil, and use the following amounts to top it; adjust according to how much popcorn you will be popping, and to taste.

2 tsp raw sugar (for a deeper flavor, try brown sugar or maple sugar)
1 tsp lime zest salt (if you don't have any on hand, substitute a finely ground sea salt)
1¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
Ingredients for BBQ spice blend. The large canning
jar contains organic onion powder.
½ tsp onion powder

Pop popcorn and top with melted butter, toss with mixed spices.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baked Creamy Oatmeal

In May I posted a Baked Oatmeal that was based on an Amish recipe. It was a sort of soft oat bar/cookie texture, but I also wanted a creamy oatmeal that I could put in the oven while I cook the rest of a family breakfast. This recipe is the result of my experiments, and just calls for everything to be put in a dish to bake. Dear Hubby likes to take this to work to reheat in the toaster oven, for his ‘instant oatmeal'. If you reheat, just add a touch of milk and cover to keep it from drying out. This serves nicely with bacon and eggs for a hearty meal. Since we eat breakfast at any hour of the day, we have even had this for lunch or dinner. I use apples and peaches regularly, but try other fruits (fresh & dried) for a nice variety, and this is especially handy when you have fruit that is on the verge of going good. When a peach is starting to wrinkle like a prune, chop it (with or without the skin), and toss it into the mix. Apples that are going soft, and no longer offer an enjoyable crunch, will soak up the spices and make for an oatmeal that smacks of apple pie. Switch the sugar for maple syrup or honey. With so many options, which flavor will you try first?

Prepping to make Baked Creamy Oatmeal
1 cup oats
1½ cups milk
1 egg (beaten)
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp coriander seed powder
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
This batch will be peach.
2 Tbsp butter
fruit (1 apple, 2 small peaches, etc. make a nice batch)

Preheat oven to 350°F (app. 175°C*)
Add all ingredients to a small baking dish (one that has a lid, or plan to cover with foil), stir well & place in the preheated oven.
milk and eggs have been added, & once the
cover is on, this is ready for the oven.
After 30 minutes, stir the oatmeal and return it to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Serve warm, pour fresh cream on top for an extra treat.

Peach Spice Oatmeal, just out of the oven. 

*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade Enchiladas

I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade enchiladas. I had a general idea of what I wanted, so I started out by making a batch of my olive oil tortilla shells. Once I had the dough mixed and resting, I started a sauce, and once the tortillas were finished I made a grass-fed beef filling. The house smelled awesome when Hubby walked in the door, and he really enjoyed some of the leftovers for lunch the next day. This recipe has lots of room for personalization, and I know I will be making these again soon. You will need at least eight tortilla shells for an 8x10 casserole dish (depending how much you stuff and how tightly you roll the enchiladas).

Note: While I always liked onions, my husband loves them (he swipes pieces of raw onion from my cutting board as a treat), and he has influenced me greatly. Adjust or omit onions (or any other ingredients) according to your needs.

24 oz tomato sauce
1 small onion (chopped and browned)
1½ tsp ancho chili
1½ tsp paprika (pref. smoked)
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
¾ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp oregano
salt & pepper to taste
water (as needed to keep the sauce from becoming too thick)

Mix and let the sauce simmer while you prep the tortillas and filling.

1½ lbs. ground beef (I heartily recommend grass-fed)
1 small onion chopped and browned
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ancho chili
½ tsp cumin powder
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste

Brown ground beef, adding spices and onions once it has started to cook.

Also needed/suggested:
8 oz minimum cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
At least 8 tortilla shells
Sour cream or plain yogurt on the side for dipping

Preheat oven to 350°F (app. 175°C*)
Ladle a thin layer of sauce into the casserole dish.
Fill & roll the tortilla shells, including a light sprinkle of cheese over the meat filling and tail of the tortilla shell; place in the casserole dish.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on & ladle sauce over the enchiladas.
Bake for 30 minutes.

*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.