Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dr. Pepper Chili

You heard me right...Dr....Pepper...Chili.  This was sooooooooo delicious!
Oh, hello all, by the way!  Sorry for the bit of delay in a new blog.  This past week was my sister's birthday, which ended up turning in my sister's birthday week, so I didn't actually cook very much as we were eating at my parents house or going out.  I'm not complaining but I did severely leave you all hanging and for that, I give my sincerest apologies!  :)
So I actually originally got this recipe from a Twitter post from my husband's company he works for, Camden, which linked to their Pinterest.  I always like recipes that use a unique ingredient or two and I was intrigued!
So, first thing's first: I diced 1 medium red onion (the recipe called for a yellow onion, but I like to use red in chili recipes) and minced 2 cloves of garlic.  The recipe then called to saute the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, however, I was trying to cut down on the calories to stick within my 500 calorie limit so I used some cooking spray to coat the bottom of a Dutch oven and sauteed the onions on garlic until they started to soften.  Once there I added 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt and chili powder, 2 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (which I had previously chopped) and 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce.  I mixed that together and let it cook for about a minute.
After that warmed, I added 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef (the recipe called for lean) and let that cook in the mixture until it was browned and cooked.  Once that was cooked, I added 12 ounces of Dr. Pepper to the mixture and cooked it until the liquid reduced to about half, which took about 10 minutes or so.
After that I added 28 ounces (1 large can) of whole peeled tomatoes that I had coarsely sliced in the can beforehand, 14.5 ounces of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (1 can) and 8 ounces of tomato sauce (1 can).  Once those were mixed well I let that simmer for about 20 minutes.  I noticed the original recipe stated it was to go for about 30 minutes to thicken, however, mine hadn't gotten close and, once I actually added the final ingredient (1 can/15.5 ounces of kidney beans that were drained) that actually helped it to thicken, as well as once I turned the heat off.
Then voila!  Dinner was served!  The original recipe was fairly high in calories when I calculated it so, after trying to minimize things, I was able to get 6 servings out of this meal for only 209 calories per serving!  It was so low I let everyone use some Frito's Scoops! to eat their chili with, as what chili isn't delicious eaten off of a chip of some kind?  :)  The meal was also only $1.40/serving, whoa!!
Here's the (original) recipe, make changes as you see fit!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Dr. Pepper (12 ounces)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
1 can kidney beans (15.5 ounces)

Happy cooking everyone!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sausage Pasta

Howdy friends!  This meal I made the other day and it was very yummy!  I originally got the recipe from allrecipes.com (I seem to use the website a lot!).
First thing's first: I chopped 1 small onion and minced 4 cloves of garlic and set that aside and then I cooked 3/4 pound of pasta in boiling water for about 10 minutes until al dente.  I drained that and set it aside, as well.
In a large skillet I heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cooked 1 pound of Italian sausage until it was no longer pink.  Then I added the onion and garlic and cooked that for about 5 minutes.  Once that was cooked, I added 1 can of chicken broth, 1 teaspoon of basil and 1 can of diced tomatoes with the liquid.  I let it cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid somewhat.  Then I added 10 ounces of frozen, chopped spinach to the mixture, covered it and let it simmer on reduced heat until it cooked the spinach tender.
Once that was heated through, I added the cooked pasta to the mix and voila!  Dinner was served!  The recipe originally called for Parmesan cheese to be on top but I seem to have a hard time finding non-dairy Parmesan cheese so I just omitted it on my dish, but add it to yours and tell me how it was!  This was STILL delicious without it!
The recipe made 6 servings and, with the cheese, was 418 calories.  It was also only $1.14/serving!  Yowza!
Here's the recipe!

3/4 pound pasta (I used Penne)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Happy cooking everyone!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Italian Crescent Casserole

Hello fellow foodie friends and thank you for coming back for another edition of Mama Feta's Meals, woo!  This meal I made a few days ago was very simple and delicious.  I was told, in fact, by my oldest son that I needed to make this meal for every day after that and that each person, next time, should get their own 'pie' haha!  It was really good!
So first thing's first: I preheat my oven to 375 degrees and started to brown 1 pound of ground turkey (recipe called for ground beef but you all know how this family is!).  While the turkey was browning and the oven was preheating, I opened a can of refrigerated crescent rolls and separated the dough into 8 triangles, laying it in a spoke pattern in a pie plate.  The narrow ends of the triangles overlapped the pie plate and the remaining dough inside I pressed to form a crust.
Once that was done I finished cooking the meat and added 1 cup of pasta sauce (I used garlic and herb but I think any flavor you'd like would work), letting it heat to boiling over medium-high heat.
When that finished warming, I added 1 cup of mozzarella cheese (with our youngest having a dairy allergy, we used the Veggie Shreds brand) to the bottom of the prepared crust, and then added the meat/pasta sauce mixture.  Then I brought in the edges of the dough over the meat and topped it all with an additional 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano.
I let that cook for 20 minutes and, once I cut it, voila!  Dinner was served!!
 The meal said it made 6 servings but I actually cut it into 8 so everyone was able to get a second smaller piece.  Apparently that still wasn't enough haha!  The meal was 390 calories and only $1.30/serving (this is all based off of the 6 servings.  Depending on whether your family is as hungry as mine, you may want to make two pies to appease everyone!
Here's the recipe!

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained (or whichever type of meat you prefer!)
1 cup pasta sauce (the recipe called for basil and garlic)
1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (6 ounces) (I used mozzarella Veggie Shreds for our family)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves (I didn't have any basil so I used oregano, it was still good!)

Happy cooking everyone!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cheeseburger Tacos

Oh my goodness, how I love this meal!  I love it so much I made it twice within a week (I know, I'm going against my whole 'different meal for every day' but I don't care!  This meal had two of my favorite things in one dish: cheeseburgers and tacos.
Do you want to hear the best part about this meal, because I'm ready to tell it to you!  It was only 220 calories for two tacos...WHAT?!?  I know, right?!?
This meal was simple, pretty and DELICIOUS!  I found the original recipe in my Pillsbury Savvy Shopper's Cookbook (I love this cookbook!).
So first thing's first: I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and then started to cook the ground turkey.  While that was cooking, I put 12 taco shells on a cookie sheet and lined them each with a slice of American cheese.  I let those shells bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes while I finished up the turkey.
Once the ground turkey was done cooking, about 5-7 minutes, I added 1 cup of some delicious SALSA CON QUESO dip and cooked that until heated through.
While all of that was finishing up, I tore off some lettuce leaves and sliced a tomato.  Putting it together was fun (I tell you, I get a kick out of the smallest things).  I put some of the meat mixture into the taco shell and then topped it with the lettuce leaves, tomato slices and the salsa and voila!  Dinner was served!  The family all have different preferences on what salsa they like, so the image above doesn't show the salsa as I usually let everyone pick their own!  :)
As I said, the meal was so low in calories (220 for two, what?!?), that I was also able to put some black beans on the side.  MMMMMMMMMM.  Also, I seriously feel like I've done my math wrong, however, this meal came out to $0.94/serving!  WHAT?!?  I know, right?  With the beans, it adds up to $1.10/serving.  I CAN'T STAND THIS, IT'S SO AWESOME!  :)
Here's the recipe!

1 box (4.6oz) Taco Shells (12 shells)
12 slices American cheese
1 pound Ground Turkey (the recipe called for Lean Ground Beef but use your preference!)
1 cup Salsa Con Queso
12 Lettuce Leaves
12 Tomato Slices
3/4 Cup Chunky-Style Salsa

Happy cooking everyone!

Fried Saimin (Fried Noodles)

Hello again everyone!  This is one of my favorite, easy go-to meals when I'm blanking on what to make for dinner.  For all of us from Hawaii, we call this fried saimin, but for everyone else going 'what the heck is saimin?' it is basically fried noodles.  Simple yet delicious!  Plus anyone that has read this blog before knows that I love showing the many versatile ways of being able to use ramen noddles.  :)
The hardest part of making this meal is the prep, and I'm being facetious when I say it's the 'hard' part.  This is really a no nonsense meal.
For me, it's easiest to get everything chopped up and cooked first.  I usually like to make this when I have some form of meat leftover from another meal and don't know what else do with it.  The meat in this meal, for example, was a teriyaki chicken we had from a few days prior.
So first thing's first, I diced the chicken, as well as some onions and green onions (I love both types of onions in my fried saimin, it just adds that extra crunch to the meal that I love).  Then I scrambled some eggs, seasoning it only with salt and pepper (you can certainly add your own seasoning, but I find the season packets in the ramen noddles are salty enough as it is to where there really isn't much need to add too much seasoning to the eggs).   I set those aside and then boiled the noodles according to the package and drained the water once I was done.
The frying part is the most fun for me, I have no idea why haha!  I usually spray a saute pan with cooking spray and throw all of the goodies in first (chicken, eggs, onions), and let that cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on your preference for how crunchy you want the onions.  Then I add the noodles, sprinkle one sauce packet on top, along with some pepper and soy sauce, and stir it up to let it cook for about another 1-2 minutes.  If there's more of you that you're cooking for, as there are for me, then once the noodles have cooked for a minute or two is when I add the additional sauce packets, pepper and soy sauce.  I usually eyeball the pepper and soy sauce, but I would say it's not more than 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon added each time.
Then voila!  Dinner is served!
This meal was a little higher in calories due to using the ramen noodles.  Normally I like to use the frozen brand, however, the CVS I usually buy them from had their coolers malfunction and they weren't available!  The dried ramen noodles work in a pinch, they're just a bit more calorie-wise.
This meal was 547 calories/serving and only $1.08/serving!  Seriously, this is why I will always love using ramen noodles :)
Here's the recipe!

Package ramen noodles (however many you need per family member)
White onions (diced and however much you prefer, I use about 1/4-1/3 cup)
Green onions (diced, also about 1/4-1/3 cup)
Scrambled eggs (I usually do 1 per family member)
Meat of your choice

Happy cooking everyone!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chili Casserole

WOW, HELLOOOOOOOOO cooking world!  It has been forEVER since I was last on here, and I apologize to the few people that actually read this blog!  :)  Life happened, as it always does, but I'm insistent that I will start this back up again!  Count on it!
So today's meal that I made was really very easy had I actually READ the recipe (I had a minor issue, read on for more details!).  I originally found this recipe on All Recipes, but had to change a few things based on the family preferences.  Those of you that read this know that this family LOVES its ground turkey!
So, first thing's first: So the first thing I did was chop the onions (1/2 cup), as I had, WRONGLY, assumed that would've been all of the prep involved.  I measured out the macaroni (1/2 pound) and put it into a mixing bowl along with 1 15 ounce can of chili with beans and 1 15 ounce can of sweet corn, which I drained.
At this point I realized I wasn't going to be able to just DUMP the ground turkey (1/2 pound) into the bowl, so I browned it in a skillet.  It was also at this point that I realized my macaroni was supposed to be COOKED prior to mixing.  Oh yeah, so an additional 15 minutes of my cooking time was spent digging through all of the chili/corn mixture nonsense to fish out the dry macaroni to be able to cook it.  Clearly I'm rusty at this from being gone for so long, so bare with me!  :)
Once the ground turkey and macaroni was cooked (and drained!), I added that to the bowl, along with 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (I used red hot, but use your preference), the onions, 1 tablespoon of chili seasoning mix and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese!  Due to my son's dairy allergy, however, we used Veggie Shreds instead of actual mozzarella cheese, which really tastes exactly the same, to me anyway.
Once that was mixed well, I put it into a 9x13 inch baking dish and put it into my oven at  300 degrees for 20 minutes.  After that, voila!  Dinner was served!!!  It was filling and perfectly warm during these cold months!  Also, as my husband said, he loves pasta and beans mixed together and this was really delicious mixed together.
Even with the higher priced Veggie Shreds, it still broke down to only $2.18/serving!  WHAT?!?  I know!  With 6 servings per meal, that's pretty amazing.
Since I'm trying to start this back up, I only took a final picture, but I promise the more I do, the more time I will designate and take more photos!  :)
For some odd reason, using ground turkey and Veggie Shreds instead of the listed items actually raised the caloric value to 360 instead of the 324 calories listed on the recipe.  Obviously, if you choose to change things up that will change your caloric value, as well.

I hope everyone enjoyed my first recipe back, I know the fam did!  Here's the recipe!

1/2 pound macaroni, cooked
1 (15 ounce) can chili with beans
1 (15 ounce) can sweet corn, drained
1/2 pound ground beef (or turkey!), browned and drained
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chili seasoning mix
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Happy cooking everyone!!!