2. My Own Creations

Chorizo with Brown Rice and Pinto Beans

  • Chorizo sausage (5 or 6 links)
  • can of pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sofrito
  • 2 cups instant brown rice

Brown the sausage in a dutch oven.  Add the rinsed beans, beef stock, sofrito and water.  Simmer on low for 3-4 hours, covered (with cover slightly ajar).  Uncover, bring to boil, add the rice.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

(Note:  My friend Amy gave me a container of sofrito that she made, so I have no idea what’s in it, except cilantro!  All I know is that it is yummy!  You can probably buy it in a Spanish or South American market.)

Pizza without tomatoes!

My husband isn’t supposed to have tomatoes because he has a mild form of some sort of reflux.  So, I had to come up with a pizza he could eat.  I used the dough recipe from my Weight Watchers cookbook, and created my own topping.  Here it is:

  • Olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced very thin
  • fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • artichoke hearts from a jar (2-4 depending on your taste) sliced small
  • Kalamata olives, sliced
  • grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
  • grated or shredded Italian cheese (I used a bag of shredded Italian blend with mozzarella, asiago, and romano)

After you roll out the dough and form into your circle (or rectangle), brush a small amount of olive oil on the crust.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, rosemary, and garlic slices.  Arrange the artichoke and olives; top with the cheeses.  Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheeses are bubbly and crust is golden brown.

White Beans, Spinach and Sausage

Some place, in one of my cookbooks, I have a recipe for Tuscan Beans and Sausage.  Think I can find it?  Nope.  So here’s trying to make this for the first time without a recipe!

  • 2 turkey sausage links (Italian style, not breakfast links)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked whole leaf spinach
  • 1 can small white beans, such as navy, drained and rinsed
  • small onion, diced small
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar – I used a pear-infused white vinegar, but try different ones!
  • dried or fresh sage
  • dried or fresh basil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the sausage links in a medium skillet, until brown on all sides.  Remove, and cool.

Heat the olive oil in same skillet.  Add the onions and pressed garlic; saute until onions are tender and clear.  Season with the sage and basil to taste, add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the sausage on an angle for a prettier look, and add back into the onions and garlic; toss in the rinsed beans and spinach.  Stir to blend.

Place mixture in an oven proof casserole (I used The Pampered Chef round baker,) and place in oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Remove and serve with a side salad and hearty bread!

Buon appetito!

“Dutch” Style Pancakes 

Recently, I saw a TV program on foods around the world and they showed these scrumptious, puffy, humongous pancakes in the Netherlands.  Afterwards, I couldn’t find the episode, so tried to do it on my own.  I used a crepe recipe and modified it.

  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • (I added about 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2teaspoon baking soda, a pinch of salt)

After mixing the batter, let it sit for a little while.  Heat a large skillet or crepe pan, rubbed with a thin coating of butter.  Pour batter in the pan and swirl to even it out.  Place back on the heat and cook until underside is light brown.  I then put frozen blueberries or fruit on top, and flipped it over once the top is set.

Mind you, this was an experiment and may require tweaking to duplicate, but it will be yummy no matter how it turns out!


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