Monday, November 21, 2011

Banana Cake-Dairy/Soy Free

I usually make banana bread or muffins with ripe bananas but yesterday I wanted to try something different. This recipe uses a boxed cake mix. It probably took me 10 minutes to mix everything together and get it in the oven. The cake is incredibly moist. If you don't have a bundt pan, use a 9x13 pan and reduce the cooking time. If you put a toothpick in the cake and it comes out with a bit of crumb on the toothpick, then the cake is ready!

1 box of vanilla or yellow cake mix
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of butter, softened-Earth Balance Soy Free if doing dairy/soy free
2/3 cup of rice milk or milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup of powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp of rice milk or milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with cooking spray. Put 2/3 cup of milk in a small bowl, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and set aside. In a large bowl, mix cake mix and baking soda. Mash bananas in a small bowl. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, mashed bananas and butter to cake mixture. Mix by hand or with a mixer for 2 min. Pour into greased pan and bake for 38-40 min if using a bundt pan, less for a 9x13 pan. Allow cake to cool on a cooling rack. To make the glaze, mix powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Use a whisk and start by adding a few Tbsp of milk at a time. The glaze should be thinner than a frosting. Drizzle over cake and enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Chili Verde

This was my first attempt at chili verde and it was pretty darn good. The base of this chili is green tomatillo salsa instead of the typical red chili.  I like spicy food and a half jar of medium salsa gives this dish plenty of heat. I always add a beer when making any chili because it gives the chili a great flavor. You can definitely leave that out and add a bit of water instead. I served this with Tostitos Scoops, cheese and sour cream. YUM!

1 1/2 jars of salsa verde
1 can of diced tomatoes- regular or Mexican blend
2lbs of boneless pork roast or shoulder, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 beer, optional
1 cup of frozen or canned corn, optional
salt, pepper, cumin or chili powder for seasoning the pork
oil for cooking

Add a bit of oil to a large pan on medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the cubed pork and cook until all sides are browned, aprox 5-10 min. You may add some spices to the pork as it cooks. I used cajun seasoning because that is what I had but cumin or chili powder would work well. Add browned pork to the crockpot and top with salsa and tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If using the beer and corn, add to crockpot after chili has been cooking for 3 hours. You can leave the meat in cubes or shred it as I did. To shred it, remove the meat, shred with a fork and then add pack to the chili and cook for 30 more min. Serve with cheese, sour cream and Scoops.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Italian Sausage Soup

This is super easy and perfect for fall. The best part is you can play around with the ingredients. Feel free to use whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have, beans or no beans, you get the picture. Taste before adding any salt. The beef broth is pretty salty and you can add some water if necessary.
I made this in the crockpot but you can also cook it in a large pot on the stovetop. Be sure to add the spinach and noodles towards the end of cooking or they will both become very mushy.

1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 clove garlic, minced
3(14 ounce) cans beef broth- 1 regular and 2 low sodium
1 cup of water- if necessary
1(14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 cups of sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
2 cups of green beans, corn, broccoli, or zucchini
2 cups of baby spinach
1 cup of elbow macaroni or other small pasta
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, if necessary
shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

To make in the crockpot- Remove sausage from casing and brown with garlic in a pan. Place sausage in the crockpot with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Give the soup a taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Add noodles 30 min before serving and spinach a few minutes before serving. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

To make on the stovetop- In a stockpot, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots. Taste the soup before adding salt and pepper because the beef broth is quite salty. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in beans and zucchini and turn on low heat. Add noodles 15 min before serving and spinach 5 min before serving. Total cooking time on the stovetop is 45-60 min. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.