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Old 04-28-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

It's taken me awhile to compile this and would LOVE to have other Mama's input!

Here are some of our go-to's:

Granola Bars:
This is from Alton Brown (Good Eats guy on Food Network). I've changed it up a little by omitting the sugar (sometimes), adding flax seeds, sesame seeds, different nuts, chocolate chips, and even peanut butter. I don't usually use the same dried fruits as he does. We mostly eat raisins. I've never used the almonds, either. I just never seem to have them on hand. I've even used the organic non-hydrogenated shortening in place of butter. Every time they turn out yummy!

*BE SURE TO REALLY PACK IT DOWN INTO THE PAN* Otherwise, you'll just have granola.

Take care, Mama!! And let me know if you have any questions about the recipe..

GRANOLA BARS

8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries


Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.


tabouli

4 roma tomatoes
1 onion (vidalia)
salt
parsley
mint
1/3 - 1/2 cracked bulgar wheat
cucumbers
2 juiced lemons
extra virgin olive oil (as much as 1/2, start w/ 1/4 and add)
let set for 30 mins to soften

romane lettuce hearts for serving


Whole Wheat Bread

This makes 2 loaves of bread. I usually increase the recipe by 1/2 on the days I make the bread and make a pizza crust......it makes for an easy dinner night and yummy pizza.

- 2 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
- 5 cups freshly milled flour
- 2 tsp. salt


Combine water, oil and honey. Add 3 cups of flour, yeast and salt. Mix thoroughly (I use a hand mixer with dough hooks for this part). Add remaining flour and knead until
smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). I'll add the remaining flour in the bowl and mix with hand mixer until it gets thick. Then I'll just flour the countertop and knead
and add flour along the way until the sticky is gone while kneeding.

After kneeding, place in bowl and let rise until double (about 1 hour)

Then shape into loaves and place in oiled loaf pans and let rise again (about another hour)

bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Homemade Crackers

3 1/2 cups of whole grain flour (I used 1 1/2 cups of millet flour, 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter cracker)
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
1 cup of water with two tablespoons vinegar (or you could use buttermilk)

Gently mix together the above ingredients, until combined. I used a fork at first, and then kneaded the dough gently in the bowl until it just came together into a ball. Cover and leave out overnight on the counter. The next morning, flatten your ball out on the counter, using a little white flour, if needed to prevent sticking.

Sprinkle over the top:
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Fold in half and knead gently until salt and baking powder are evenly mixed in (if this intimidates you, you can mix these two ingredients in with the flour the night before. The salt will inhibit some of the soaking process, however. You are now ready to roll it out!

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and lightly flour your surface. I liked to roll out a quarter of the dough at a time, for more control. I rolled them to about 1/8 on an inch to make firmer, crisper crackers to serve with spreads and cheese. For baby, I roll them to about 1/4 of an inch, and this produced a lighter, more crumbly cracker that was very easy for her to eat. Cut into desired size with a sharp knife and gently lay out on a greased baking sheet and prick with a fork.

Bake for about 1o minutes and check. They will be done when they are browning slightly around the edges. Cool on cooling sheets and enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Cup Pumpkin Puree
Cup Butter (1 stick)
Cup Sugar (or honey crystals)
Cup Brown Sugar (or molasses crystals)
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Soft White winter wheat flour
Cup Whole Grain Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Cinnamon
teaspoon Ground Ginger
teaspoon Ground Cloves
teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
2 Cups Chocolate Chips

Cream the butter & sugars. Add pumpkin & combine. Add egg & combine. Add milk & vanilla. Add to dry ingredients. Stir in Chocolate chips.

Chill dough.

Scoop onto parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake 12-15mins. Or until cookies are golden.

BEST WHEN EATED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE!!

1-1/4 C. Whole wheat flour
1/4 C. Oatmeal (I've used quick cooking, oldfashioned & steel cut w/ good results)
1/3 C. Brown Sugar (can be omitted, or substituted w/ honey or regular sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tbl. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground cloves
2 Tbl. Toasted wheat germ
2 Tbl. Toasted flax seeds
1/4 C. Toasted nuts
(I toast these on the same cookie sheet @ 350 until I can smell them)

4 oz melted butter or coconut oil
1 C. Sour cream (can be exchanged for buttermilk or reg. milk with 1 Tbl. vinegar added, or yogurt)
2 eggs
1 Tbl. Vanilla
1/2 C. Shredded carrots (can also use any vegetable puree)

Preheat oven to 400. Lube up muffin tin.

Mix all dry ingredients (first 14 items). Set aside.

Whisk butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla.

Add carrots to wet mixture.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir just until combined.

Pour evenly among twelve count muffin pan. (Actually, spoon the batter- it's pretty thick).

Bake until golden and a toothpick tester comes out clean. About 20 mins.

You can play around w/ this a lot. You can leave out all the spices and add fruit (or chocolate chips ). Also, you can just use 1 1/2 C. AP flour and exclude the whole grains.

I have more recipes, and will add them as I can. Feel completely free to add any of your recipes, too! I would love a really yummy cheese cracker recipe...
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

Hamburger Helper Dupe


1lb ground meat, can be turkey or chicken
onion powder
seasoning of your choice, I like Mrs. Dash table blend

6 tbs all purpose flour
6 tbs butter or other oil

2c. stock, chicken or beef

1lb pasta, bowtie or rotini works well

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

Brown the meat in a deep skillet or dutch oven along with the seasoning. When it is cooked, stir in the butter or oil, then sprinkle the flour all over the meat and stir in til no white bits show. Pour in the stock and stir til thickened. Allow to simmer while you cook the pasta. When the pasta is done, drain it well and mix it into the meat sauce and you are ready to serve.

Cheeseburger Helper Option: instead of stock, use milk. Once the mixture is thickened, add grated cheese of your choice til it tastes "cheesy" enough to please your crowd then continue on with cooking and adding the pasta.

Tortilla Casserole Helper Option: use half beef stock, half tomato sauce. Add in a tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp of cumin and a pressed clove of garlic. If desired, add in some chili powder to taste (we like chipotle powder!). Instead of using pasta, cut corn tortillas into 1" squares and add to the meat sauce, simmer til they are limp and serve with sour cream, salsa, avocado or what ever your crew likes!





Pilaf (to replace rice-a-roni)

1 tsp butter
3/4 c. brown rice
1/4 c. quinoa
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. italian herb blend

any chopped veggies that you have on hand, can be fresh or leftovers

Put the dry quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and run water over it to rinse well. Set it aside to drain, let it rest on a dishtowel to soak up most of the water.

melt the butter in a med. large skillet and add the brown rice. Toast the rice til most of it has a little color and looks less translucent. Pour in the chicken stock and add the seasonings. Cover, turn to low heat and cook for 30 min.

Add the rinsed, drained quinoa and any veggies you are using. Continue cooking, covered, for another 15 min or til the grains are at the doneness you prefer.

I like to toss in a handful of fresh snipped chives right at the end just before serving, it adds just the right touch. You might also try finely chopped basil and halved cherry tomatoes, very good also.

you can sub in any grain you like as you prefer, adjusting liquid amount and cooking time if necessary.



Alfredo Sauce

1 c. cream
1/4 c. finely grated parmesan

Heat the cream and stir in the cheese. Keep the heat low and stir gently frequently til the cheese is all melted. Add more or less cheese to taste. As it cools the sauce will thicken.

This is great as it is, but you can vary your flavors by tossing in seasonings you enjoy - chopped basil & pressed garlic are two good options.


Stuffing Side Dish (no more boxed stuffing!)

save up leftover slices & ends of stale french bread (or any bread you like, really) til you have enough to more or less fill up a 9X13 baking pan

preheat oven to 400F

1-2c. chicken stock
1 carrot, grated
handful or two of mushrooms, sliced
several celery stalks, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tbs real butter


break up or cut up the bread into chunks (kindergartners come in handy for this) and put it into a large mixing bowl.

Toss in the chopped veggies.

Warm the stock and add the butter and garlic. Drizzle the warm stock mixture over the bread cubes and veggies, stirring them around frequently so that all the bread gets moistened with stock. When the cubes are all moist, but not soggy, put the stuffing into the baking pan and bake - I like to take it out and turn it over once the stuffing on the bottom gets golden brown, because I like the crispy parts.

If you like your stuffing moist and not crispy, you could cover it with foil after it has browned to your liking. At any time if the stuffing seems dry you can drizzle on more stock.

Total cooking time usually runs about 30 min.

An alternative way of cooking this is to pile it on top of meat that you are cooking in the crock pot, but make sure you don't use it in recipes that call for cooking with lots of liquid in the crock or you will end up with mush.

Last edited by velcromom; 04-28-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:40 PM   #3
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

we make a version of the Cheesy potato hamburger helper.
You can find all ingredients in the bulk and whole foods section of the Regular grocery stores

Deydrated potato sticks
Deydrated onion
1Lb Ground Turkey
Powder cheese Mix
1c Water
1/4c Milk

First thing I do is Brown the meat with the Onions in a pan then
I while the meat is cooking I Soak the Potatoes in Hot Water for about 15 Minutes then drain
add them to a Pan with the Onions and ground turkey
with 1C water
cook on Low until Potatoes are Tender
Mix the Milk and powdered Cheese spread over top let it set for a bit and your done
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:39 PM   #4
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

These are GREAT!
I'm printing the out for my cookbook now!
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

Better Than Store Bought http://product.half.ebay.com/Better-...35636QQtgZinfo has excellent recipes for things to make from scratch.

I highly recommend the refried beans (we eat this twice a week with a bit less oil), graham crackers, and baking extracts (we have done vanilla, lemon, orange).

My daughter has a lot of severe food allergies and this book was a life saver for me. I was sad that she developed an orange and lemon allergy just when the extracts were about ready to be used. I used potato vodka for the extracts, any large liquor store carries it.

I use a wok to fry up the refried beans as even with my largest fry pan I would have spillage onto the stove top.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

This is exactly what I came looking for. DH and I cleaned our kitchen out last night. Little to no packaged/processed food now so we need healthy replacements. Hope to see more recipes. Thanks for posting!
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

I've done vodka extracts too, but find I get more flavor out of simply freezing the zest & using it directly in my recipes.

Whenever I serve orange slices (nearly every day) I just cut off the white part as if I were filleting a little fish and I put all the zest slices in the freezer in one container. I add four or five slices to the liquid portion of my recipe and puree it in my Magic Bullet (little blender). You only want to use organic fruit for this though, otherwise you are getting pesticides and orange dye #6 in your food.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
I've done vodka extracts too, but find I get more flavor out of simply freezing the zest & using it directly in my recipes.

Whenever I serve orange slices (nearly every day) I just cut off the white part as if I were filleting a little fish and I put all the zest slices in the freezer in one container. I add four or five slices to the liquid portion of my recipe and puree it in my Magic Bullet (little blender). You only want to use organic fruit for this though, otherwise you are getting pesticides and orange dye #6 in your food.

There is orange dye on my oranges!? Why cant they leave food alone! Sorry, for the rant...and thanks for teaching me something today. I wonder if there is dye on my lemons?
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:47 AM   #9
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
I've done vodka extracts too, but find I get more flavor out of simply freezing the zest & using it directly in my recipes.

Whenever I serve orange slices (nearly every day) I just cut off the white part as if I were filleting a little fish and I put all the zest slices in the freezer in one container. I add four or five slices to the liquid portion of my recipe and puree it in my Magic Bullet (little blender). You only want to use organic fruit for this though, otherwise you are getting pesticides and orange dye #6 in your food.
FYI, there is no such thing as Orange Dye #6. Here are the current allowable (by the FDA) food colorings:

FD&C Blue No. 1 – Brilliant Blue FCF, E133 (Blue shade)
FD&C Blue No. 2 – Indigotine, E132 (Dark Blue shade)
FD&C Green No. 3 – Fast Green FCF, E143 (Bluish green shade)
FD&C Red No. 40 – Allura Red AC, E129 (Red shade)
FD&C Red No. 3 – Erythrosine, E127 (Pink shade) [4]
FD&C Yellow No. 5 – Tartrazine, E102 (Yellow shade)
FD&C Yellow No. 6 – Sunset Yellow FCF, E110 (Orange shade)

You probably meant Yellow #6, however, I can't find any documentation about it being used on Oranges (although it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest). Two delisted (not allowed) colorings WERE used on Florida Oranges: FD&C Red No. 32‎ & FD&C Orange No. 2‎.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: Recipes if you're trying to reduce prepackaged foods

They DYE FRUIT?!?!?! Oh, soul... Hey, I wonder why it seems like everyone I know is getting cancer?


Arg....
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