EASY YEAST BREAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fast and easy yeast bread recipe.  The mixing and rising time, depending on the heat in your kitchen, is under 90 minutes.  Not only is it an easy recipe, but adding a few extra ingredients (i.e. olives, nuts, seeds) can change the taste without changing the process time.  The one thing I liked the most about this recipe, it was a free for all type recipe.  Throw everything into the bowl and have at it.  This recipe did not call for a “wait for the yeast to bloom”.  That was a big plus for me.  And, there is not a long wait for the several risings.  I started this close to 8 am, and the bread was heading to the oven by ten.  I would not classify it as a quick bread because of the yeast, but it is a rather rapid project to get through.

 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Grated onion
  • Black olives
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 cup warm-hot water
  • 1/4 or less cup olive oil

  •  

DIRECTIONS

  • Put 2 cups and the next 6 ingredients into large bowl and mix well.
  • Pour in hot water and oil and mix until combined — it will be sticky.
  • Add the remaining flour in increments until dough is no longer sticky.
  • Using a wooden spoon mix for about 5 minutes until dough is elastic and smooth.
  • Place dough back into bowl and cover.  Allow dough to rise until double its size — about 1/2 hour.
  • Punch it down (if you are doubling the recipe this is when you will divide the dough).
  • Roll out the dough long enough to fill an oiled loaf pan and leave to rise until dough has reached the rim of the pan.
  • Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.
  • For a softer crust wrap loaf with a towel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTW – this is an easy recipe to double.  Don’t worry, it will not be around long enough to dry out or grow mold. 

 

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Asparagus Bundles

 

I came across this recipe by accident and decided to change it up to delete some of the sodium and gluten.  I also wanted to make it an easy recipe with fewer dishes, pots and pans.  So, if you think you may have seen this recipe before but there is something a little off about it, you are probably right.

I deleted steps to make this an easy recipe even on a hot summer day.  We are also losing the gluten and the butter called for.  My recipe is a one sheet pan and a small bowl dish process.  Ready, set, let’s bake.

 

 

When using maple syrup make sure it is maple syrup and not something used for waffles in one of those strange bottles with ingredients you can barely pronounce.  I am also using a light olive oil because this is a dish requiring high heat.  EVOO is more of a finishing for a dish or salads. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

2 pounds of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed

9 – 12 slices bacon (depending on how many spears you place in each bundle)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salt and pepper to top.

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash and divide the asparagus spears into bundles of nine asparagus per group (more or less depending on your taste) and trim ends. Carefully wrap 1 piece of bacon around each bundle, starting at the bottom of the tips. Place the bundles on a parchment paper lined sheet pan with the end pieces of the bacon facing downward. In a bowl combine the maple syrup, olive oil hot sauce, garlic salt and pepper. 

 

 

 

 

Brush each bundle with the mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer the dish to the oven and cook until the bacon looks fully cooked, about 25 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 300.  Gently flip each bundle and allow to cook for another 10 minutes to assure crispiness on all sides.

 

 

This is a good side dish, main dish, snack or as a starter/appetizer.  It also good hot, ambience or straight from the fridge cold.  You cannot go wrong with this.  If you are not a friend of pork bacon I cannot tell you how this would work with turkey bacon.  If you try this recipe using turkey, please drop me a line to let me know.  This can also be prepared using a NuWave oven.  I have not tried it on the AirFryer. 

 


 

FOCACCIA BREAD OR PIZZA

 





“This is a great recipe for when you don’t want to wait all day for the dough to rise.  You just mix it and allow it to rest for a short period of time and then it’s ready to go!!  This is a soft, chewy crust.  For easy clean up, I recommend using parchment paper on the baking sheet.  Yes, there are three steps to the bread/crust, but it is rather easy to get through.

 

PART 1

  •  2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

PART 2

½ cup EVOO

2 tablespoon of garlic finely minced (or you can use already minced garlic)

 This is where I go crazy.  A heaping tablespoon of garlic for this recipe or more if you really LOVE garlic.

1 teaspoon of dry thyme

1 teaspoon of dry rosemary or parsley.

1 teaspoon of Salt 

PART 3

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Directions

PART 1:

In a large bowl or your standing mixer bowl mix together the sugar, yeast and warm water.  Mix well and allow to stand while you are putting together PART 2.

PART 2:

Mix together the EVOO, garlic, dried herbs.  As mentioned earlier, this is where I really load up, and adjustments can be made according to your taste buds.  If you really like garlic, go for it. And this not a recipe where you have to use dry herbs or the ones listed here.  If you are going to use fresh, use a tablespoon where I am using a teaspoon of dry herbs.  Basil, rosemary, anything as long as it is a green herb and something you like.  Another thing, toss in a pinch of salt.  I love seasoned salts or Himalayan or sea salt.  Cover the mixture tightly and set aside.  It is time to go to PART 3.

PART 3.

Sift together all of the remaining dry ingredients along with the oil.  If you are using a standing mixer add in the flour mix slowly, together with the yeast mixture.  Use the dough hook and mix until it forms a ball.  Once the ball is formed and the dough is easily pulled away from the hook, place dough into a bowl and cover.  Allow to rise for at least an hour.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into the desired shape.  Cover the dough and allow a second rise.  Before placing dough on the sheet, cover the sheet with parchment paper for easy removal and cleanup.  Place one tablespoon of your garlic oil mix on the parchment paper and spread out evenly to cover the entire sheet of parchment paper.  Place dough on a cookie sheet.  Place your dough over the oil mix.  Press the dough into the sheet and dimple the dough using your fingertips and spread an additional 2-3 tablespoons of oil on the top of the dough.  Allow the oil mixture to sink into the dough while it rises for an additional 20 minutes or until the dough is puffy.  Now is a good time for you to prepare your toppings.


 

As you can see I have sliced/shredded my toppings.  I used black olives, several cheeses, onion and salami and pepperoni and a variety of veggies.  I also sprinkled garlic powder and olive oil on top of the toppings.  You can use anything you like.  You can use the dough as focaccia bread or as a pizza crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.  ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Focaccia Bread.

 

Pizza using the same dough.

 

 

GLUTEN FREE TURKEY SAUSAGE MEATBALLS

Years ago I tried this recipe but not the way I made it for NYE.  I decided for 2019 to change up and try to make it lighter.   First I tried to mix the entire recipe in a food processor.  Trust me it was not as easy as it may appear to be.  It is best to mix the cheese, oats and rice in the processor then mix the sausage and seasonings and combine the two mixtures together.  As for the cheese I decided to use a combination of cheeses.  I used cheddar, mozzarella and provolone. You can use the cheese according to your palate.  One cheese or many.  The cooked brown rice adds just the right amount of moisture to the mix.  Also, notice one other thing. There is no added oil.  So this is not only a gluten free but the fat level is a little lower compared to other recipes of this type and it is also baked rather than fried or sautéed and its turkey sausage.

 



 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 old fashion oats
  • 1 lb. bulk turkey sausage
  • ¼ – ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon MSS 
  • 2 teaspoon dried garlic powder

 



 

 

 

 

Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of sheet pans with parchment paper.

Using a food processor mix together the cheese, oats and rice until smooth but not mushy.  Transfer to a large bowl and add in the sausage and seasonings to the mixture, using your hands or wooden spoon, mix well. Shape mixture into balls (36-48).  Place balls on a sided sheet pans and bake.

Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until brown and cooked completely through the center. Remove from pan and serve with your favorite dipping sauce or eat plain. Use this as an appetizer, or as the main dish.  The meatballs are good hot, cold or room temperature.

 

 

 

 


 

Kitchen Crazy Kale Greek Salad with lemon and Olive Oil Dressing


 

 

 

 
With all the scary stories in reference to lettuce I decided to make a salad using a hardier green. Kale has a great personality for this recipe and it also will not wilt like lettuce therefore having a better shelf life in the fridge. Make it for dinner tonight and it will be good up to 2 days in the fridge.


Ingredients:


• 4 cups kale leaves, chopped 
• 1-pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
• 1 cucumber diced
• 1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
• Medium onion thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup crumbled parmigiano reggiano cheese grated


LEMON DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 garlic clove minced (to taste)
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

1. To make the dressing: using the large NutriBullet cup, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
2. To make the salad: Combine all the chopped ingredients in a large bowl, pour dressing over salad and toss. Sprinkle with extra cheese before serving.

 

 

I used parm cheese because I did not have feta at the time and to my surprise it was a good substitute. I also found queso to be another standby for feta in this recipe. Another good substitute in my kitchen it my NutriBullet. Whisking an oily dressing until smooth takes a lot of work (and for some, a lot of muscles). Using the NutriBullet takes less than a minute and the consistency is good. Unlike iceberg and romaine lettuces kale is an amazing touch for a winter salad with wondering variations to last throughout the season. Maybe I will do another kale salad with fruits or as the key dish for the meal.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Kale Greek Salad with Lemon and EVOO Dressing






 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

 

 

 

Happy New Year to all of my followers. I hope you had a good holiday season and are now enjoying the winter weather but are also staying safe and warm. I realize we are half way through January and it has been a long time since my last update. 2018 was a rather difficult time for me and my family and the last quarter was particularly the hardest. But I am working on write-ups and recipes for 2019 and I am planning on making up for lost time. I have tested several things I want to share with you. Some will be healthy. Some will be fun. But I can promise all will be tasty and worth the wait.

So once again Happy New Year.

 

BANG BANG SHRIMP PASTA…GLUTEN FREE

 

 

If you ever been to one of those somewhat fancy restaurants and ordered Bang Bang Shrimps, you are going to love this dish as a main attraction on the dinner table. And for those who are having a problem with wheat, I am making this one gluten free with one easy step. Rice pasta.

I am also removing the mayo and replacing it with plain Greek yogurt. This makes the dish lighter and I like to think healthier. Although it may look like a lot of steps and ingredient this is a rather easy mid-week meal. A lot of the ingredients should be in your freezer or pantry or there should be an easy substitution. For example, some recipes ask for specific brands which throws some people off when it comes to reproducing a recipe. I prefer you use any sweet chili sauce or how about Ketchup or tomato paste with chili powder, or mix cumin and cayenne to taste. And if you do not have Sriracha in your pantry try using hot sauce. There are plenty of hot sauces out there to use (Tapatio, Tabasco and Texas Pete etc.).

Also, this does not have to be a gluten free recipe. Go ahead, use your favorite pasta. Any size or shape and the dish will still be good and you have just made it your very own.

INGREDIENTS:
• 16 ounces rice spaghetti
• 16 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, (optional)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon with MSS

FOR THE SAUCE
• 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed/smashed
• Juice of a lime,
• 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
• Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together yogurt, sweet chili sauce, garlic, lime juice, Sriracha and red pepper flakes; and place in the fridge
3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta to an al dente texture.
4. Place shrimp onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, MSS and gently toss to combine. Place into oven and roast just until pink, approximately 6-8 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from oven and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, mix the shrimps and yogurt mixture. Gently toss into the pasta.
6. Serve immediately.

 

 

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FROZEN BERRIES CRISP

 

 

I am constantly carrying my share of frozen fruits in my freezer. I buy it in the biggest bags the market offers. There are a lot of great dishes to make with frozen fruits, but sometimes a sorbet or smoothie is not what you really, really want. So to make a dish I could serve with sorbet, yogurt or ice cream, and to still give me one of my 5 per day fruit servings, I came up with this treat. Although I used a medley of berries (4 to be exact), this is also a dessert you can swap out with any frozen fruit. And, you will probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry.

Another hint for butter is to freeze it. Stick the butter in the freezer an hour or so before you start.

And, you will also notice I mention grate and chop. I grated half of the butter using a hand held grater, and the second half was chopped for the topping of the crisp.
Although this is a dish for six and will last 3-4 days, I doubt seriously if it will be around that long.

Topping:
• 1 cup old-fashioned oats
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• Dash salt
• 1/3 cup unsalted butter chopped and grated
• Berry Filling:
• 4 cups frozen berries**
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon lime juice

 

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make the topping first by combining the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, grated butter and salt. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands for this part. If using your hands, do not mix for an extended time. The crisp will be a better dish if the butter is not melted but blended/mixed into the oats.

1. Set the topping aside.
2. In another bowl, combine the frozen berries and flour and mix well. Once the berries are covered with the flour, add in the sugar, salt and Lime juice and toss gently to combine.

 

3. Pour berry mixture into an 8×8’’. Top the berry mixture evenly with the oat mixture. Add the chopped butter to the top of the crisp mixture.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until the topping is golden brown and the berries are bubbling around the edges.
5. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool before serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or yogurt, if desired. This is good without the additional topping(s) and can be served hot, room temperature or cold.

 

P.S.  You can use rice flour and any flour of your choice to replace the wheat.

 

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QUICK AND EASY (A summer side)

 

Here is a quick and easy side dish for a warm pre-summer/summer dinner. This is very simple with a few ingredients that you may already have in the home.

4-6 cups of water
1 large cucumber
1 bell pepper (pick a color)
1 small to medium size onion
A pinch of pepper flakes
½ cup of sea salt
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of vinegar
Pickling spice (opt)
A medium size heavy pot

Bring the water to a boil and add in everything except the fresh veggies. Once the mixture comes to a rapid boil and the sugar has melted stir, turn off the heat and allow to cool. Before the mixture become too close to room temperature taste to see if there is a need for seasoning correction. I find sometimes I can be a little heavy handed with the salt. But then again, I am not a salt lover except for Himalayan or sea salt and a little of that goes a long way. If the mixture is still warm enough and addition sugar (or vinegar) is needed it can be stirred in. You may have to return the mixture to the heat. This should not be a problem.

 

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The pickling spice is optional because according to me it is sometimes a lighter side dish without it. In the fall of the year I tend to use more of it. In the spring and summer time I can go either way. If I am using the spice in the warm time of the year I will use less than a teaspoon. This is something you can try and decide for yourself. Another thing I will use is dill. Fresh or dried.

 

Back to the dish. Cut your veggies into bite size pieces. Before cutting your cucumber into bite size score the rind of the tube. This will allow more of the flavor to seep into the veggie and speed up the process. Remember this is a dish that should be ready to serve within a two hours’ time frame. But, if you allow this sit longer it only gets better. I found the next day or two is rather tasty.

This can be served as a side dish; as a relish or toss on a salad or a pasta dish. ENJOY.

Homemade Pita Chips

 

 

I saw something similar to what I made and the first line was, “Warning! These Homemade Pita Chips Are Addictive”, My only thought was, “how hard could it be?” You buy these chips in the store and there are so few in the bag it should be a law against such madness. So to go with my avocado yogurt dip I decided to make chips using whole wheat pita bread. 

 

Although I am using whole wheat pocket-less pita, you can use any type or flavor of pita bread. If you are looking for thin chips either slice the pita into halves or using the pocketed, pull each one apart.  Once you have decided on which bread to use, cut it into wedges depending on the size of chips you want. I cut my rounds into eight pieces.


Ingredients:

• 3-6 pita bread rounds
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½teaspoon MSS
• ½teaspoon Himalayan salt

 

 

Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Watch your oven, these chips may burn easily due to the thickness or thinness of the chips.
Cut each of the pita bread rounds into 8 wedges using a large knife. An easy method for cutting the rounds is to cut in half, then cut each half into half until there are 8 slices, similar to a pizza or cake. Arrange wedges on prepared baking sheet.

 

 

Step 2:
Brush pita wedges with olive oil (EVOO is my preference). In a small bowl, mix together your dry ingredients and sprinkle the mixture lightly over the wedges. If you do not have a kitchen brush, drizzle or spray the chips. I have one of those new pump gadgets used for olive oil rather than using the canned stuff that adds extra ingredients to the oil giving it an awful taste and smell.

 

 

 

Step 3:
Bake for 5-minutes, or until light golden and crisp. Allow chips to cool before serving.


 

 
You may never buy pita chips again. This is such an easy recipe and you know  what’s in your chips.   Also, change your ingredients to cinnamon, sugar and butter and this just went from savory to dessert.

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