Category Archives: healthy

Kale and Potato Soup

Ten years ago I didn’t know what kale was. And for sure had never eaten it.   Having fresh vegetables delivered weekly has opened up a whole new chapter in my  food life.   If you can you should subscribe to a CSA in your area for more reasons than just eating fresh vegetables that are good for you.  I have been on the receiving end of these great deliveries for four years and I can tell you that I have prepared foods that would have never entered my kitchen.  It has been a wonderful experience.  I love the fact that I am supporting the local farmers in our area, but I am amazed at how much I have learned about produce and how to prepare it.  I am proud to be a part of  farm to table.  Please participate if you can.  You will be rewarded in more ways than you ever imagined.   Now to the recipe. Continue reading

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Filed under healthy, Soup, Soup from scratch

Cajun Gumbo Soup

This is an easy Gumbo.  You can put it together in less than 30 minutes and let it simmer for 3o minutes. It is better the next day.  The flavors have time to develop and the zucchini can thicken the gumbo.  That’s right!  The squash is a substitute for okra which is usually used in most gumbos.  It is hard to find fresh okra in the winter so the zucchini is perfect.  For me this soup ranks right up there with this and also with this.  It  has been a favorite for years while  the other two are new kids on the block.  

Pair this with cooked rice and crunchy buttered toast and you will satisfy any hunger.  

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Filed under Chicken, Gumbo, Italian sausage, Soup, Soup from scratch, Zucchini

Soup – Broccoli Raab soup that is!

 

Participating in a CSA for the last three years has been a great experience for me.  I have always made visits to the local farmer’s market during the summer to enjoy the wonderful heirloom tomatoes  or some fresh butter peas.  I have also frozen my share of fresh corn and white acre peas to savor in the winter.  But traveling to the farmer’s market now entails an hour or more depending on traffic just to get there.  Continue reading

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Filed under healthy, Italian sausage, Local CSA, Recipes, Soup, Soup from scratch

San Francisco Salad

For about six years GI Joe traveled to Savannah once a month for National Guard duty for the Air Force.  Many of those weekends I traveled with him and spent the time on Tybee Island.  One of our favorite restaurants to visit was the Sundae Cafe.  It is a little funny how we found out about this restaurant.  I was buying gas at the local BP station and when I paid I asked the clerk if she knew of some good places to eat.  She said, ” Well the place next door must be good because there is always a crowd there.”  I would never chosen the restaurant unless someone had recommended it.  It is located within a  a strip of four stores.  The local liquor store is on one side and the BP on the other. We became frequent customers because the food is excellent and it is very nice and elegant on the inside.  So you can’t judge a restaurant by the cover!   One of my favorite dishes to order is the spring salad.  I have tried many times to duplicate it, but failed.  Thanks to Anna,  I have found the recipe !!  

Last weekend we had dinner with our long time friends.  It was a fantastic meal!   Anna served this San Francisco Salad that was  extraordinary!  I love the flavors of the feta and the tart cranraisins with the texture of the toasted walnuts.  Together with the  salad dressing adding  the  right amount of sweet and tangy and red onion gives it the little kick.    So thanks to Anna we can all enjoy this scrumptious salad!    

San Franciso Salad

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/cup sugar
  • 1  tablespoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cranraisins
  • 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 bag of mixed greens (or enough for 8 servings)

Melt butter.  Saute walnuts 5 minutes or until golden.  Drain.  Mix sugar and pepper together and roll walnuts in the mixture.  Cool.

Place cheese and nuts over mixed greens and pour dressing over salad.

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup oil

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake until mixed well.  If preferred, dressing  can be  served separately and spooned over each salad.

Recipe can easily be halved for four servings.

 

Enjoy!

The Teacher Cooks

22 Comments

Filed under easy, healthy, quick, Recipes, Salad, salad dressing

Tuna Salad with Pasta

On any given day you’re in a rush, right?  Need a very easy and quick meal that you can make from staples found in your pantry?  There is no excuse to order pizza out.  It is expensive and calorie laden.   Here is the answer – pasta salad.   Most anything added to pasta will make a  good meal.  Another good point about pasta is that most people who can boil water can do pasta.  So in the time that it will take you to boil water plus another 10 minutes dinner can then be served.    

Pasta does not always have to  come with a sauce that takes time to make.     Just a little oil, seasonings, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry,or beans in any combination will work.  You can’t get any easier than that!  Be creative!  If you don’t trust your creativity check out the recipes on the pasta boxes.  I have found most of them  very good.    

Tuna salad with pasta  is a standby in my house. Start with just a tuna salad.  I love this and often have it along side a tossed salad and Italian dressing.  The Athlete prefers a Panini which is very good with Havarti cheese with dill.  Yummy!       

Bring the water to boil and then put in pasta.  Cook according to directions on the box.  Now assemble the tuna.   This is what I use:   

Mayonnaise, Sliced green olives, Pasta shells, dill relish, Tuna, mustard

Tuna Salad with Pasta   

  • 2 cups of uncooked pasta shells ( or pasta of choice)
  • 12 oz. can of Solid White Albacore Tuna- drained
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of dill relish
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon of mayonnaise ( you could need a little more depending on amount of liquid added with pickles and olives) 
  •  2 cups of pasta shells according to directions.  Drain.

   

Mix drained tuna with the remaining ingredients and stir in the  hot pasta.  Enjoy right out of the bowl or wait and serve with crisp greens or a side salad. Serves 4   

Enjoy Cooking,   

The Teacher Cooks

20 Comments

Filed under Cooking, easy, healthy, pasta, quick, Recipes, Salad, Tuna

Chicken Salad

Here is what I cooked up for lunch today!  Very quick and very good!

Yesterday when preparing another chicken dish I had an extra boneless chicken breast.   Being extremely busy with  two  recipes going at once I put the chicken breast in a small saucepan and cooked in water for about 10 minutes.  Cooked, cooled and put in the refrigerator.  Job done!  I  did not want to waste the chicken.  Really I had no plans for it until I was on my way home from work starving!!

I do love chicken salad.  One of my favorites is on the menu at the  Swan House in Buckhead along with their frozen fruit salad.   Anyway cooked chicken is so versatile it can put together in many combinations.  So go for it! It  is a perfect dish for the novice cook.  All cooking required is the chicken.  And really you don’t even have to do that.  Use a rotisserie chicken!  In some stores you can buy them for a cheaper price than you can cook at home.  So don’t be afraid go make an original chicken salad that you and your family can enjoy.

Here is how I put this together:

  • 1 large cooked chicken breast ( Use leftover chicken or turkey) cut into chunks
  • 1/2 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green onion top thinly sliced
  • 10 red grapes halved
  • 8 pecan halves broken into pieces
  • Hellman’s mayonnaise enough to make slightly creamy
  • Paula Deen’s seasoned salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together and serve over salad greens and enjoy every bite!  Serves 1 hungry person.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

8 Comments

Filed under Chicken, chicken salad, Cooking, easy, fruits, grapes, healthy, quick, Recipes

Ziti with Sausage and Broccoli

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Filed under Broccoli, Cooking, easy, healthy, Italian sausage, pasta, quick, Recipes, Southern Living, Tomato, vegetables, Ziti

Grilled Salmon

Salmon on the Big Green Egg

Salmon cooked on a Cedar Plank

Fish is quick to prepare and very healthy.  Some cooks are afraid to prepare this convenience food.  Why ??  It really is simple to make. 

Growing up we had fish every Thursday night.  I mean every Thursday night!  My parents loved fish and seafood.  I grew up in south Georgia in the middle of the state.  It is two to three hours from the ocean.  Fish came into the local fish market every Thursday.  My mother would go after she picked us up from school and pick out the fish we were having.  They would wrap it in newspaper.  Most of the time we would have fried trout with her homemade tartar sauce, homemade hushpuppies and for the life of me  could not tell you what else. 

Today I do not fry fish,  I usually grill , blacken in an iron skillet, or bake.  It is just a lot more healthy and the clean up is so much easier.

One of my favorite ways to prepare salmon is on a cedar plank.  It really is easy and makes for a very elegant meal.

You can pick up cedar planks in many places.  I have found them at supermarkets as well as the local green egg dealer.  Just follow the directions that come with them.  This particular one I  soaked in water for an hour.  I just put it in the sink and covered with water putting a saucepan on top to keep it under the water.

In the meantime I  marinated the  salmon.  Usually I make one, but  I was short on time  and just purchased a prepared one recommended by the gentleman in the seafood section of the grocery.  The salmon marinated for about 45 minutes. 

I then prepare the grill.  I take that back GI Joe is in charge of the grill. Using the Big Green Egg it was preheated  to 325 degrees, placing  the cedar plank on the grate and let it heat for about 8 minutes.  Place the salmon skin side down on plank and cook until it flakes with a fork.  This cooked for about 20 minutes.  Cooking on the cedar plank will lengthen the cooking time because you are using indirect heat.  The fish can be placed directly on the grate of the grill.  Cooking time will be cut in half.  Make sure that the grates are cleaned and well oiled.

Serve it with your favorite sides.  I chose brown rice with asparagus.  It was a great dinner!!

Grilled salmon with rice and asparagus

Grilled salmon

Happy cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Big Green Egg, easy, Grill, healthy, Marinade, Salmon

Szechuan Chicken Iron Chef Contest

DSCN0469

This is what  I cooked yesterday in class.  Today is the test.  Let’s see what’cha got!

Will post results today around 3 PM and voting will begin.  It will end at midnight Nov. 5,2009. Friday morning I will post the winner.  

This should be interesting since there are  not too many ways to plate this dish.  Let’s see who is the most creative and which group prepares the dish correctly .  Good luck and may the best chef win.

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Chicken stir fry, Cooking, easy, healthy, quick, Recipes

Twice Baked Potatoes

Yummy Stuffed Potatoes

These are so good!

I love potatoes anyway you cook them.  They have been a favorite of mine since childhood.   I grew up in a very small town in south Georgia where my grandparents had a big farm.  They had what all farms had back then, chickens, horses, cows, and pigs .  They had a smoke house, a sugar cane mill to make syrup and a well.  They grew everything  peanuts, cotton, corn, watermelons, peas, beans, potatoes, okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, turnips,and the list goes on.  And get this they also had a big underground bomb shelter.  Go figure!!

Every Wednesday after school we would visit my grandparents.  Usually I would take a friend.  Bomb shelters make great playhouses.  Whatever my grandmother had cooked for lunch that day we would have  for an afternoon snack (meal).  She always made potatoes, just plain boiled potatoes.  They were so good.  They were seasoned with lots of love and I am sure butter. Okay, enough about why I love potatoes.

This is a great stuffed potato recipe that I have adapted from my friend Cile.  It is a favorite of ours especially when we are grilling.  It is easy and very flavorful.

I have to get on my soapbox here.  PLEASE don’t wrap up potatoes in foil to bake.   When you do that the pulp is slick, gummy and turns a dark color. It also takes forever because you  are steaming them .  Just wash the potatoes good and put them in a 425 degree oven. Most of them including the great big Idahoes will take an hour or a little more.  I’m telling you they will be so fluffy, billowy, soft and a beautiful pristine white when you pop them open. You’re going to say WOW!

Baked potatoes

Place in 425 degree oven for about an hour or more until soft

While they are still hot cut the top 1/4 off of the top of the potato.  Scoop out the cooked potato. Place in a mixing bowl.

Hot Baked Potatoes

Scoop out baked potatoes and place in bowl

Heat about 1/2 of milk and 1/4 stick of butter just until warm.  By the way this recipe can be doubled.

Warm milk and butter

Heat 1/2 cup milk with 1/4 cup butter until warm

Add milk and butter to the potatoes.  You may have to add more or less milk depending on the size of the potatoes.

Next add 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar, 3 slices of bacon cut into bits, and 2 tops of green onions sliced.  I pulled the cheese and the bacon out of the freezer.

Looking good

add 1/2 cup cheese, 3 slices of bacon bits, and green onions

Yum

Mix

All mixed

Ready to stuff the shells

Put the mixture in the shells and bake for about 20 min. if you can wait that long!

Cile’s Twice Baked Potatoes ( This is the doubled recipe)

  • 8 medium baking potatoes
  • 1 cup milk heated
  • 1/2 cup butter heated with milk
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 6 slices of bacon bits

Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for about 1 hour or until they are soft.  Cut 1/4 of top from potato and scoop pulp into a mixing bowl.  Heat milk and butter until warm.  Add to pototatoes.  Add remaining ingredients. Mix.  Stuff potato mixture into shells.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 min.

Enjoy!

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under baked potatoes, Cooking, easy, Grill, healthy, Recipes, side dish, Stuffed Potatoes, Twiced baked potatoes