August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cilantro-Lime Rice (Cafe Rio knock-off)

I have tried several knock-off recipes, and this is the best so far...but not exactly the same.

1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 can (15 oz.) chicken broth
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, lime zest, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix.

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

1 10-oz package or frozen corn (or in a can)
1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 teas Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teas salt
1/2 teas ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
6 green bell peppers, tops removed and seeded
2 cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Combine all ingredients, except 1/2 cup cheese and green peppers. Stuff peppers with this mixture. Arrange peppers in crockpot. Cover and cook on Low 6-8 hours (high 3-4 hours). Sprinkle with remaining cheese during last 30 minutes of cooking.

This is an easy and extremely tasty recipe. I didn't think the Worcestershire and black pepper were enough seasonings so I added cumin and chili powder. I also used red peppers because they costed less than green peppers. It is so colorful and smells delicious!

Cheese and Brown Rice Casserole

5 cups brown rice, cooked
6 green onions, chopped
2 cup low fat cottage cheese
2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup low fat milk

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour into a lightly oiled casserole dish. Bake in a 375 oven for 15 minutes, stir, and then put in 15 more minutes. Stir again to get the cheese to melt before serving.

Crockpot Chicken & Rice

1 block cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup milk
1 pkg dried Italian dressing
3-4 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours
Can use over rice or noodles, but I prefer it over rice.
Cook rice separately

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rice Krispie Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

This was the first time I've made these and they were SOOOOO yummy! Some of my favorites all rolled into one delectable treat!

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt

2+ cups mini marshmallows

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups crisp rice cereal

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat together. Combine dry ingredients and stir into wet mixture. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top and bake for 3 more minutes. Cool completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave by heating for 30 seconds then stirring, repeated until all the chips are melted. Do not overheat. Mix in cereal and spread on top of marshmallow layer. Refrigerate two hours until firm. Cut into bars to serve.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Here you go, Lydia. The recipe is from Lisa Crossley, and amazingly efficient woman that she is, it doubles as a pancake recipe if you just leave out the cornmeal. She would tell you to use freshly ground hard white wheat flour for all 2 1/2 cups of the flour, but if you don't have that, I recommend using only partly whole wheat.

Corn Bread
1 ½ c. corn meal
1 ½ c. whole wheat
1 c. white flour
1 c. sugar
½ c. oil
2 t. salt
1 Tbl. Baking powder
2 c. milk

Mix until smooth and pour into a greased 9x13; bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Porcupine Meatballs

In the interest of fun things to do with rice . . . I give you the kid friendly, Porcupine Meatballs!

1 pound ground meat

¼ cup uncooked rice (regular, not minute)

1 slightly beaten egg

2 T finely chopped onion (optional)

½ tsp salt

Dash of pepper

¼ cup tomato soup

Mix and shape into about 20 small balls. Put balls in skillet.

Below is one idea for a sauce, but you can use pretty much any sauce. We've done BBQ sauce and sweet and sour sauce . . . use whatever you have or whatever you are in the mood for.


1 cup tomato soup

½ cup water

1 tsp soy sauce

Pour over meatballs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir often. Makes 4-5 servings.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

WAHOO, I found a yummy and healthy whole wheat bread recipe. It does have sugar substitute (Splenda) in it but if you don't like using that in your food you can just put normal sugar into the bread. I think Splenda is a lot sweeter than normal sugar in foods so if you do replace the sugar substitute put a little more than the recipe calls for.

Makes 1 bread loaf

1 1/2 cups water (at room temperature)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar substitute (use more than 2 Tbsp. if you are using real sugar)
3-3 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 tablespoons gluten flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons quick rise yeast

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the water, oil, sugar substitute, whole wheat bread flour, gluten flour, salt, and yeast to form a rough dough. Let the dough stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about an hour, until it has doubled. Preheat the oven to 350 F

Turn the dough onto a board and shape it into an oblong loaf. Coat a bread pan with cooking spray. Place the dough in the pan. Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and turn the bread out onto a cooling rack.

Nutrition per slice: 130 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 220 mg sodium

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

This is a great recipe for pizza crust. I discovered it a while back and it really works well. I have also made it with whole wheat flour and it turns out great- sometimes I wonder why that isn't catching on because I think a whole wheat crust is delicious.

Homemade Pizza Crust
2 teaspoons yeast (not dry active)
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar. Add oil, salt, and flour. Mix and knead. Let rise; roll out. *I usually bake my crust for about 5-6 minutes at 350 before putting all the toppings on- then it isn't all soggy in the middle. Then load up the toppings! Here is a list of what we like:
(I just use spaghetti sauce)
pizza seasoning
sliced olives
sliced ham
sliced and chopped green peppers
green onions, sliced
lots of cheese
...and whatever else suits your fancy!

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 or until crust is turning golden brown (check it occasionally).
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

These tacos taste so fresh and limey! It is a nice change to the usual crunchy beef tacos I make!

1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast meat-cubed
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. dried oregano
10 (6") flour tortillas
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream

1. Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for about until almost cooked. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onions, garlic and oregano. Simmer for a couple more minutes until most of the sauce has been absorbed.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and warm each side of tortillas. (Or just warm them up for about 45 seconds in the microwave.) Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Monday, March 2, 2009


These are so so good. I've used the topping recipe on pizza dough for breadsticks too. It's yummy! And I use leftover topping for dipping after baking.

Mix together:
1 T. yeast
1 1/2 c. hot water (hot to the touch but not burning ~115-120 degrees F)
1 T. sugar

Mix separately:
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3 1/2 c. flour (I use 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white)

When the yeast mixture is frothy (after about 5 minutes), mix the two together and knead for 3 minutes. Cover and let rise for 10 minutes. Spray a cookie sheet (12x18) with cooking spray. Push dough to edges, top with topping and cut into breadstick slices (or make twists or shaped breadsticks then top). Let rise until double.

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Bake on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden on top. Serve warm and enjoy!!!