Monday, December 26, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing says comfort like some homemade chicken noodle soup!  I found this recipe on and adjusted it a tad.
4 Cups cooked Chicken meat (shredded)
1 Cup chopped Celery
1/2 Cup chopped Carrots
1/3 Cup chopped Onions
1/4 Cup Butter
8 ounces Egg Noodles
8-10 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp Dried Marjoram
1/3 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Bay Leaf

In a large stock pot, saute  Celery and Onion in Butter.  Add all other ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I've learned some backdoor ways of getting flavors I miss without the pain of a flare.  This recipe is a great example of that.   While we can't have lemon juice, you can still get that fresh lemon flavor with lemon peel (or even lemon oil).
2 boneless chicken breasts
Lemon Peel
Black Pepper
Kosher Salt

Season Chicken with spices as liberally as you prefer.  I was pretty heavy on Lemon & Parsley... lighter with the salt & pepper.    Grill on stove in olive oil over medium high heat (hint: inside I use a panini pan to get those grilled stripes) about 6 minutes on each side.  I make canned veggies as a side.   Great for when dieting!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pot Roast

I love Pot Roast in the fall, winter, and summer even.   It's so easy to make and fills the house with the best smell all day while it cooks.
Beef Roast (or pork if you prefer)
6-8 large red potatoes, cut into fourths
1 medium bag baby carrots
1 small yellow onion, sliced (I leave out if I'm flaring in the least)
4 cups Chicken Broth
3 garlic cloves (I used minced garlic)

Throw all items in slow cooker and cook on med or high heat 6-8 hours.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

Lucky for us, many Traditional Thanksgiving foods are IC Friendly, woo hoo! I made two of these pies to take to both of the Thanksgivings I attended, yummy!!  I suppose you could buy a pre-made crust as well, but making one from scratch was really easy and gives you extra bragging rights!!  :)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 sticks of butter, chilled and cut into pieces
5 to 8 tablespoons of ice water
(or just buy pre-made crust)

2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  To make the pie crust, put the flour and salt into a food processor and pulse several times.  Put cold butter into the mixture several pieces at a time, pulsing several times for each addition and taking care that the butter remains chilled. The butter should be thoroughly incorporated. Add the first 5 tablespoons of ice water and mix until just moistened. Then  add the remaining tablespoons of water one at a time, mixing thoroughly after eachaddition. Don’t add too much water! Only add as much as needed for the dough to form aball in the mixer and almost clean the sides of the bowl. When it does this, turn the food processor off and remove the dough from the bowl.Form the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Chill a few minutes in the freezer, until cold from still pliable. Remove from freezer and place on a well floured piece of wax paper. Using floured hands and a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Fold the circle in half, then in half again, and place the point in the center of a 9 inch pie pan. Carefully unfold the dough and fit in into the pan. Trim any overhanging pastry, and if desired, press the tines of a fork into the rim of the crust, to create a pattern.

To prepare filling, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla
extract in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in the pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture, and gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes, and then reduce the   temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chicken Penne w/ Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This was so good and made with a frozen batch of Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.   I always like to make extra so I can whip up a yummy meal on days I don't feel like spending alot of time in the kitchen.

2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
Penne Pasta
1/2 Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 egg
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Prepare Red Pepper Sauce ahead of time.   Cook the Penne Pasta as directed on box.  In a small bowl add whisked egg.  In a second bowl combine bread crumbs, garlic, basil, and parsley.   Dip the chicken in the egg bowl, then the bread crumb bowl and grill on stove top in olive oil.  Cook about 6 minutes on each side, medium/high heat.   Heat Red Pepper Sauce.   Pour sauce over cooked pasta, then add chicken on top.

Serves 2

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roasted Potatoes & Chicken

This dish was made for me by my neighbor and friend after I had my baby.   It was so good I had to get the recipe and remake it a couple weeks later.  Easy to make, yummy, and filling... my kind of cooking!!
4 chicken breasts (baked with same spices and chopped or shredded)
Red potatoes (about 10-12)
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese (can substitute if Parmesan bothers you)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 C chicken broth
Salt & Pepper
Italian Seasoning (about a tablespoon each- garlic powder, basil, oregano, parsley)

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Combine and toss all ingredients (but cooked chicken) in a large bowl.  Pour into baking dish and bake for 45 minutes (covered with foil).  Remove foil, add chicken, mix and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.

Serves about 6

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

So yum and delicious especially on a cold day.  One of my favs and great as leftovers!

1 pound beef stew meat
2 C beef broth
2 large potatoes, peel and cubed (I buy frozen and just pour in 2 cups worth)
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 can kidney beans
1 can green beans
1 can corn
1 can peas
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on medium 6-8 hours.   Optional:  Brown meat first in desired seasonings.

Baked Corn

An easy side item when you want to spruce up your vegetables.

2 cans of whole kernel corn
1 can cream style corn
2 eggs
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C butter
black pepper to taste

Mix well and bake in dish for 1 hour at 350.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Breakfast Bread

This was so delicious on a cool fall day.   From a Taste of the Good Life Cookbook

1 2/3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 c margarine, softened
1 1/3 C light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 C canned or homemade pumpkin puree
1/3 C lowfat milk
13 C finely chopped cashews

Generously coat a loaf pan with non-stick spray, then dust with flour.  Combine first eight ingredients and mix together well.  In another bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar, then bea in eggs, pumpkin and milk.  Beat the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing well.  Stir in nuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Let cool for ten minutes before removing and slicing.  (loves freeze well too)

Makes 1 loaf.

Chicken Manicotti with White Sauce

Italian... yum!! However, it photographs terribly...

1/2 box manicotti noodles
2 T olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
6 oz chopped fresh spinach
1 egg
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 mozzarella cheese
1 can organic all natural canned chicken
1 Simple White Sauce

Preheat oven 350.  Cook manicotti per box directions.  Drain and rinse in cool water, set aside.   heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  add garlic, saute 5 minutes.  Add chopped spinach and cook another 5 minutes.   Beat egg in a medium bowl.  Stir in chicken, ricotta cheese, basil, salt, and mozzarella.  Make the Simple White Sauce.   Pour small amount of sauce over the bottom of baking dish.  Fill manicotti with cheese mixture.  Place in dish as filled.  Pour additional sauce evenly over the filled shells.  Cover and bake 30-35 minutes.

Serves 3

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

French Pear Cake

I subscribe to Taste of Home Cooking Magazine and can usually find a couple IC friendly recipes in each issue or can alter a few ingredients that will make some work.  I substituted lemon oil for lemon juice in this one (could probably leave out all together) and used pears instead of apples.  Beware!  If you've never made caramel before it may take some practice.   The first batch I made failed so I watched a video on youtube and tried again... better!! 
1 1/2 Cups sugar
4 tsp lemon juice (I halved and used oil)
3 Cups thinly sliced pears
3 eggs
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 Cup all purpose flour

In a large saucepan, cook sugar without stirring until amber.  Stir in lemon oil and quickly pour into a 10-in springform pan, coating bottom.  Arrange pear slices on caramel in circular overlapping pattern

In a bowl, beat eggs and remaining sugar until blended.  Beat in butter, then cream cheese until smooth.  Stir in flour.  Spread over pears.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes .  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen;  remove sides of opan.  Invert onto a serving plate.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Ice Cream" Graham Sandwiches

I started eating Graham Crackers dipped in milk as a snack and found this IC Friendly recipe on the back of the box... bonus!    Gave it a try and they were delicious!
1 pkg JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 Cup cold Milk
1-1/2 Cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
16 Honey Maid Honey Grahams, broken in half (32 squares)

Beat pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with whisk, 2 min.   Stir in Cool Whip.   Spoon onto 16 graham squares.  Top each with second graham square to make sandwich;  press together gently until secure.  Place in shallow pan; cover.   Freeze 2 hours or until frozen.  Transfer to airtight container.  Store in freezer up to 2 weeks.

Butternut Squash Sauce

Another pasta sauce.   This one has a very out of the usual, but yummy & unique taste.

1 Medium sized Butternut Squash (sometimes I can find Butternut squash already cut and cubed, saves time)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 small Yellow Onion
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Sage
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
Cut Squash into 1 inch cubes.  Chop Onion into small chunks.  Cook onions in oil until clear.  Add Sage, Garlic, and Salt. Add Squash and water.  Cook about 15 minutes until squash is soft.  Transfer to blender and blend.  Add more water if you want thinner.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Simple White Sauce (Garlic & Cream)

I make this sauce all the time for quick pasta meals.  It's the same sauce I use in my Creamy Spinach Pasta.
4 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic (= to 2 fresh cloves garlic)
1/2 pint Whipping Cream (about 1 1/2 Cups)
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
Sprinkle of Parsley if desired, to add color

Melt butter in saucepan and add the flour, mixing until creamy.  Slowly add whipping cream while whisking.   Add Minced Garlic, Salt, and Parsley if desired.  Cook over medium heat continuing to whisk until hot and creamy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crunchy Potato Casserole

I am so proud of this recipe because I made it up all by myself and it was fabulous.  In a daring move, I served it for the first time at a dinner party.   Luckily it was so good, everyone got seconds!!  My measurements may be a little off since I just threw stuff together.  It's pretty easy to eyeball it though.
1/2 bag frozen hash browns (cubed kind)
1 Cream Soup Substitute
1 C cottage cheese
1/2 C mild cheddar cheese (on the maybe list, feel free to leave out)
2 C crushed Corn Flakes
Sprinkle Garlic Salt

Make the cream soup substitute per directions.   Mix potatoes, cream soup, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese in a greased casserole dish.   Cover top with corn flakes and sprinkle with garlic salt.   Bake uncovered at 400 for about 35-40 minutes until Corn Flakes are golden.

Serves 6 large helpings

Angel Food Cake

I was so nervous to make this recipe because the directions called to, "beat until stiff peaks form".   My experience trying that has always not gone over well, but this time it worked out!!   You really do have to blend for a while... maybe 15 minutes or so.    This was so good, it was definitely worth the anxiety! 
Ingredients:10 to 12 egg whites equal to 1 1/2 C
1-1/4 C powdered sugar
1 c cake flour (I substituted all purpose flour which was 1 c minus 2 Tbsp)
1 1/2 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/4  salt
1 c granulated sugar (I added about 1/2 cup extra sugar)

whipped cream

Move oven rack to lowest level.  Heat oven to 350.  After separating eggs, let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  In second bowl, combine powdered sugar and flour.  Sift mixture three or four times.

In large mixing bowl, add cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt to egg whties; beat on high speed.  Add granulated sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.  Add dry ingredients into egg mixture 1/4 cup at a time, folding in by hand after each addition.

Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10 inch angel food cake pan.  Cut through batter with a knife to break up air bubbles.   Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch.  Invert pan to cool to prevent collapse of cake.  (if pan doesn't have its own stand, balance pan on a glass bottle.)  Cool for at least an hour.  Turn cake over; use a large serrated knife to loosen sides of the cake.  Invert again over large plate or serving tray.  Serve with whipped cream and blueberries.

Tarragon Dip

I don't have alot of experience cooking with Tarragon, but it is really good.  It has a very unique flavor that's almost mint-y.... or maybe thyme-y.  I served it with a mixture of triscuits, club crackers, wheat thins, and corn chips.  This one is from A Taste of the Good Life Cookbook.
1 c cottage cheese
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine (I used about a tsp of dried parsley)
2 Tbsp fresh chives, snipped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp coarse-grind black pepper

Blend cottage cheese with parsley, chives and tarragon.  Place on a plate or in a bowl.  Sprinkle with black pepper over top.  Surround with crackers for scoops.

Deviled Eggs

I am a huge deviled egg fan.   These were really good!  Another great one from the Confident Choices Cookbook. 
6 fresh eggs
2 T Basil Buttermilk Salad Dressing (I used more like 3 T)

Put eggs in a large pot and cover with cool water.   Eggs should be able to lie on the bottom of the pot without touching.   Bring the water a rapid boil.  Cover pot and remove from heat, keeping the eggs in the hot water for 10 to 12 minutes.  (cooking and resting time may need to be adjusted depending on the type of pan you use)

Use large slotted spoon to take eggs out of hot water and put in a large dish of ice water.  This will stop the cooking process.   Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.  Peel eggs under cool running tap water.

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks to separate bowl.  Crumble yolks with fork and mix in dressing.  Put heaping teaspoonful of mixture back into each half egg.  Makes 12.  

Buttermilk Basil Salad Dressing

I used this to make IC Friendly Deviled eggs, but I'm sure would be just as delicious on a salad.   From the Confident Choices Cookbook
2 C fresh basil, chopped finely (I used dried basil)
2 green onion
3/4 C buttermilk
3/4 C low-fat cottage cheese
1 t lemon zest
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Combine fresh basil, green onions, buttermilk, and cottage cheese in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add lemon zest, salt, and pepper and whisk together.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cream Cheese Sauce

I'm trying to get pictures of all my sauces separately.   I originally made this over pork, but also love it and tend to make it more often over chicken.

1 Tbsp Butter
8 oz cream cheese (Original or Plain Philadelphia Brand, brick not tub)
1/ 2 Cup Milk
2 Clove Garlic
2 tsp Chives

Melt butter over medium heat.  Cook the garlic in butter about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.   Reduce heat and add cream cheese and milk.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly or sauce will scorch, until smooth and hot.  Stir in chives.   Serve over pork, chicken, or as a dipping sauce.

4 Servings

Chicken & Rice Casserole

I am so excited about this recipe for three reasons:   1) I made it up all by me-self, go me! 2) It is so easy to make and 3) It was stinkin' yummy!!    A new pantry staple, love those!!
2 large cans Valley Fresh 100% Natural White Chicken in Water (could probably use one, but I like lots of chicken)
1 c cooked white rice (cooked in chicken broth instead of water to add flavor)
2 c chicken broth
1 small can sweet peas
1 serving cream soup substitute
1 slice kraft american cheese, tore into pieces (could leave out)

Cook the rice in the chicken broth.  While rice is cooking, make cream soup substitute.  When done combine rice, chicken, peas, soup,cheese, and mix well.  I sprinkled a little extra salt & Pepper on mixture as well.  Cook at 350 for approximately 35 minutes.

Made 3 servings

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Maple Oatmeal Bars

Superb!   From the Confident Choices IC Cookbook.
2/3 c flour
2/3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c chopped almonds
1/4 c softened shortening
1/4 c softened butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 c quick-cooking oats

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt;  combine with chopped almonds and set aside.  Cream together shortening, butter, and sugar.  Blend in maple syrup, vanilla and egg.  Add sifted flour and almond mixture to the batter.  Stir in oatmeal and mix well.

Spread in greased 9x9 inch cake pan.  Bake in an oven heated to 350 for 35 minutes.  Let cool slightly, cutting into squares while still warm.   Makes 12 bars.  

Blueberry Muffins

Did I mention I'm about to have a baby?  Well I am less then 3 weeks away from the big day and wanted to cook some food ahead of time to freeze for some easy meals when I have my hands full.    I read online that muffins freeze well and thought they'd be perfect for easy breakfasts/snacks.   I got this from Bev Laumann's a Taste of the Good Life IC Cookbook.  I also sampled one to make sure they met my taste test.  Result.... yummy-riffic!
2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 c milk
1/3 c canola oil (I used Olive Oil and it worked fine)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin pans, or use paper bake cups.   Mix together the first five ingredients in a bowl, making a crater in the center.  Set aide.   In another bowl, beat egg, then add mil, oil, and vanilla, stirring to blend.  Pour the liquid mixture and blueberries all at once into the center of the dry ingredients.  Stir quickly, just until dry ingredients are moistened.  If over-beaten, muffins will be tough and have a dull crust.   Fill bake cups and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

If you don't use bake cups, remove muffins from pans while cooling to keep crusts from getting soggy and sticky.   You can use frozen blueberries in this recipe, but do not thaw them before adding

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Orange Beef Stir Fry

I was looking for a recipe to use some leftover beef cubes I had and found this in one of my IC Cookbooks, Confident Choices.   The hubs and I loved it.   It is in our top 5 of all home cooked meals of all time...even non-IC meals.   Yes, that good!!!
1 lb boneless beef cubes
1 t olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cups carrots, julienned (I bought baby carrots and sliced them in half lengthwise)
1 1/2 cups Cream Soup Substitute
2 t molasses
1 t orange zest
1 t salt (I used a little under 1 t)
Dash pepper, if tolerated

Cooked White Rice

Ingredients I did not add:
1 medium onion (starting to think I can't handle these)
1/4 cup water (I like my sauces very creamy)

 Heat oil over medium heat in skillet or wok.   Add the beef and garlic;  cook until the beef is starting to brown.  Toss in broccoli, carrots, and onion.  Cook for additional 5 minutes.

Add soup substitute, water, molasses, zest, salt, and pepper and heat to boiling.  Cover, reduce heat to low.  Cook additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Serve over rice.

Serves 4

Cream Soup Subsititue

I got this out of the Confident Choices Cookbook.  You can use this in lieu of canned soups in recipes.  It suggests using it as a base in casserole's, Soups, as a Pizza Sauce, ect.   It was really good.  I would eat it as is with crackers on a winter night. 

2 T Butter
2 T Flour
12 oz can of skim evaporated milk
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder (I use minced garlic, I handle it better)
3/4 T chopped dried chives (or Onion if you can handle)
1/8 t pepper, if tolerated

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour blending with whisk until sooth.  Slowly add milk, whisking constantly constantly until mixture thickens, remove from heat.  Blend in seasonings.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monkey Bread

This dessert was soooo good.  I've had it at Potluck's before, but never made it myself.  Who knew it was SO EASY to make??   I didn't have a bundt cake pan and used the one below instead.  I wouldn't recommend that.   The top cooked well, but the bottom layers were still gooey.  The butter mixture also overflowed into my oven causing a big mess.  I'm sure if I had used the correct pan, that wouldn't have happened. 
3 cans of biscuits (I only used to because of my smaller pan)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 Cup melted Butter

Cut biscuits into four pieces.  Place sugars and cinnamon in a bowl or bag and drop in biscuits and coat them with the mixture, then place in greased bundt cake pan.  Reserve 1/2 Cup of Sugar mixture.   Melt Butter and pour in main Sugar/Cinnamon mixture, mix well.    Pour over biscuit pieces.   Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 Cup Sugar Mixture on top of biscuits.   Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.   Wait 10-15 minutes before taking out of pan.  Serve warm. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stuffed Pork Chops

This is an old family favorite and I was so excited when I realized all the ingredients were IC-Friendly.  That never happens, yipee!!!
6, 1-inch thick Pork Chops (with a pocket cut in them... the butcher can do this for you if you want)
3/4 package of white bread (I use Nature's Own brand)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup melted Butter
1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Salt (careful, could be a trigger for some)
1 Tbsp Parsley Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.   Tear the bread into small pieces.   Add all the seasonings to the bread.   Pour egg and melted butter over bread and mix well.    Stuff the pork chops generously with the stuffing.   Put pork chops in a greased baking dish.   Cook 45 minutes uncovered or until done.  

Served 6. 

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This recipe is all over the internet and plenty of IC-ers use it.  I finally decided to try it and it was really good.   There are a few variations.   I tried this one that adds cream & cheese.   I tasted it before adding the cream and it definitely had more of a red pepper punch without it.   However, as a sauce used for pasta... I think adding the cream and cheese was just perfect!
4 roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, divided
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup organic cream (sub half and half or whole milk as desired)
1/4 cup grated cheese (Parmeson preferred, but if it bothers your bladder, use shredded Mozerella)
3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, saute olive oil and onions over medium heat until softened.  Add the garlic, roasted bell peppers and basil and continue cooking over medium heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  While the pepper mixture is cooking, lightly toast the pine nuts in a skillet for 5 - 7 minutes over medium high heat (stir frequently to prevent burning).  Remove the pine nuts from the heat and set aside to cool.  Place red pepper mixture and the toasted pine nuts in a blender and puree to desired consistency.  Return puree to sauce pan and reheat until it begins to bubble.  Stir in the cream and the cheese cooking until the cheese melts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 5 minutes

How to Roast your own Bell Peppers:
Broil red bell peppers on a sheet pan in the oven.  The bell peppers need to be within 2 inches of the broiler to achieve proper charring.  Broil until the surface of the peppers bubble and then turn black, about 15 minutes.  After the peppers are done roasting, place in a sealed plastic baggie so they can steam, making skin removal easier.  After 5-10 minutes, you should be able to remove the skin from the peppers quite easily.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Golden Oreo Cheesecake

One of my biggest struggles with having IC is going to other peoples houses for dinner.  Not being in control of the food and trying to explain to other people what you can't eat is embarrassing and frustrating.   Many people don't understand or care to consider my limitations.   The IC diet is a lifestyle with one goal... to be pain free!  Luckily I have a wonderful friend, Lori, that recently had a BBQ and made a delicious spread of all IC Friendly food just for me!!   I am so thankful for her.   Not only did I not feel left out for once... I ate a fantastic feast and had tons of fun not having to worry about tomorrow.  This was the cheesecake she made... to die for!  And I got to take home leftovers!
24 Golden Oreo Cookies.  (She used the entire package.   She evenly divided the "extra" Oreos between the three areas where you use them- crust, in cake, and on cake)
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
3 (250g) Packages PHILADELPHIA Brick Cream Cheese, softened (That's roughly 3.5 bricks)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs

Heat oven to 350.  Place 16 of the cookies in a resealable plastic bag.  Flatten bag to remove excess air, then seal bag.  Finely crush cookies by rolling a rolling pin across the bag.  Place in bowl.  Add butter, mix well.  Press firmly onto bottom of  a 9 inch springform pan. 

Beat Cream Cheese, Sugar, Vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium until well blended.  Add egg 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.  Chop or crush remaining 8 cookies.  Gently stir half of the chopped cookies into cream cheese batter.  Pour over prepared crust, sprinkle with remaining chopped cookies. 

Bake 45 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool.  Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.  Cut into 12 pieces.  Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Zucchini Butternut Squash Lasagna

I found this recipe here on another IC Food Blog.  After trying and loving the Butternut Squash Sauce I made a couple weeks ago, this recipe didn't seem as scarey to me.   It was pretty yummy and not that hard to make for a lasagna.  I also made extra sauce and froze to make a quick pasta meal on my lazy cooking days.  Love the butternut squash sauce!!!
1 medium butternut squash
2 medium zucchini sliced in halve lengthwise and chopped into 1/2 cm slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dried sage
2 cups Mozzerella
1 box lasagna noodles
sprinkle rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lasagna noodles per package instructions. 

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.  Place cut side down in a 9x13 pan with one cup of water in it.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes.   The skin should appear browned and puckered away from the flesh.   After it is done baking remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Using a spoon remove the flesh from the skins and puree in the food processor or blender.  (I bought pre-cut cubes and cooked the same way, but for only 30 minutes).

While the squash is cooking slice the zucchini in half and slice into 1/2 cm slices.  In a medium bowl salt them and add the olive oil.  Add one minced clove of garlic.  You can add pepper too if you eat it.   It is important to salt the zucchini early because it will help to get the extra moisture out of the zucchini so that it won't be too we in the lasagna.

Add the cottage cheese, sage, 2 cloves garlic, and salt & pepper to taste to the squash.

Layer as follows:  Lasagna, zucchini, squash, mozzarella.... Lasagna, zucchini, squash, mozzarella... ect until done (I made 5 layers).  Sprinkle rosemary on top.    Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spiced Pears

Simple but yummy.  A true comfort food.    I had it as a side, but would be delicious over some cold vanilla ice cream as a dessert. 
Pears (I used canned for convenience)

Preheat oven to 350.   In a small casserole dish add pears.  Drizzle honey over and pears and sprinkle generously with Cinnamon.   Cook about 20 minutes until hot and juices bubble.  

Pan Fried Chicken w/ Garlic Cream Cheese Sauce

This chicken is very versatile and can be tailored to your taste depending on what spices you use to season the breadcrumbs.  I also dipped this chicken in my leftover garlic cream cheese sauce from last nights dish found here.   
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts, flattened
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Egg
Unseasoned Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Dill
1/2 tsp Lemon Peel
1/2 tsp Thyme

Get 3 bowls.  Fill 1st with flour, 2nd with Egg, 3rd with Breadcrumbs and seasonings.   Dip the chicken in bowl #1, then #2, then #3 making sure fully coated in each.    Heat Olive Oil in pan.  Add the chicken to the pan.  Cook until no longer pink in the middle trying not to turn very many times (in order to make sure the breadcrumbs don't fall off and turn crispy) about 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of the chicken.

Garlic Cream Cheese Sauce:  (I halved the original recipe)
1/2 Tbsp Butter
4 oz cream cheese (Philadelphia Brand, in a brick)
1/ 4 Cup Milk
1 Clove Garlic
1 tsp Chives

Melt butter over medium heat.  Cook the garlic in butter about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.   Reduce heat and add cream cheese and milk.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly or sauce will scorch, until smooth and hot.  Stir in chives.   Serve over chicken or as a dipping sauce. 

Sesame Pork with Garlic and Butter Cream Sauce

I found this recipe on another IC'ers food blog here.   This was really easy to make and the sauce had a really good strong flavor, just how I like it!!   I had some leftover sauce and plan to try it on chicken in the next couple of days.  
2-4 Pork Chops
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds
Cream Cheese Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Set oven to Broil.  Brush oil and sprinkle Salt & Pepper on both sides of pork and place on rock in broiler pan.   Sprinkle half with Sesame Seed.  Broil Pork 4-6 inches from heat for 6 minutes. Flip over and sprinkle with remaining Sesame Seed and broil for 6 more minutes until pork is no longer pink in center.   Serve cream cheese sauce over Pork.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Maple Glazed Carrots

I had some leftover carrots after making my Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta so I tried this recipe as a side with my Creamy Mushroom Chicken.   The hubs and I ate them up... so yummy and a breeze to make!
2 Cup Carrots
1/8 cup Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Butter
Salt to taste

In a skillet, combine ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender and liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 12-15 minutes.  If carrots are tender before liquid has thickened, uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until liquid forms a glaze.

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

I stepped out of my cooking comfort zone again and am rather proud of myself.   I'm normally shy about mushrooms... something about their texture makes me shiver.  But again, with so many limitations decided to give this dish a try...and I'm glad I did.  It was good!  I chopped the mushrooms up really fine so their texture wouldn't be an issue.  From there it was all mind over matter.   Turns out mushrooms add a very unique & yummy taste!!  Although, it doesn't photograph well... sorry.
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 package chopped mushrooms
1/2 White Onion, diced
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Clove Garlic
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 1/2 Tbsp Flour
1/2 Cup Milk
Salt to taste

Coat the chicken in 1 Tbsp Flour.  Sear the chicken in large sauce pan.  Add in the Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic, let fry for a few minutes until onions are soft.   Add in one cup Chicken Stock, Basil, and Thyme.   Let it all cook for about 10 minutes on low/med heat.  Remove chicken to a plate.  Add remaining Flour 1 1/2 Tbsp and whisk (like you would for gravy).   Add in the milk and whisk until smooth.  Put chicken back in and heat through.

Serves 2

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

I love cheesecake and this cheesecake was great, but then add the blueberry topping and it is to die for!!
For Crust-
1 1/4 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Melted Butter

For Filling-  (I halved this b/c I make my cheesecake in a pie dish)
4 (8 ounce packages cream cheese softened)
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Branc Sweetened Condensed Milk (Not Evaporated Milk)
4 Eggs
1/3 cup Flour
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp Lemon Peel

Preheat Oven to 300 Degrees.  Combine Crumbs, Sugar, and Butter; press firmly onto bottom of 8 or 9 inch springform pan (Again, I used a pie dish).   In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth.   Add eggs, flour, vanilla, and lemon peel and mix well.   Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.   Cool and chill.    Add Blueberry Sauce before serving.  Keep refreigerated.

Blueberry Sauce:

1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 Cups Blueberries

In saucepan, combine Sugar, cornstarch, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.  Gradually add water.  Cook & Stir until thickened.  Stir in Blueberries.  Stir until bubbly and Blueberries burst.  Makes about 1 2/3 Cups.

Cheesy Spinach Burgers

Flavorful burgers for hosting an IC-Friendly a cookout!

1lb Ground Beef
1 Cup Fresh Spinach Leaves (minus the stems), chopped
1/2 Cup White (or green, if it's easier for your bladder) Onion, finely sliced
1/2 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs
3 Tbsp Plain Cream Cheese
1/3 Cup Feta Cheese
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
White American Cheese Slices
Hamburger Buns

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stir until a fairly uniformed mixture appears.   Form into 4-5 patties (depending on how big of a burger you want).   Cook burgers on grill or stove top about 10-15 minutes.  Top with American Cheese and Hamburger Buns.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

IC Alternative to PB&J... AB&B

Sigh.  I sure miss my PB&J's and today I just couldn't take it anymore... so I came up with this alternative.  It definitely cured my hankering!!    I buy my Almond Butter & Blueberry Jam online here because I haven't found a friendly Blueberry Jam in my area and don't like the Almond Butter from Wal-Mart.  The one I get is better than peanut butter... yes, I said it... and so much healthier for you anyways.

Nature's Own Thin Siced Bagel, plain (or regular sandwich bread would work)
Zinke Orchards Almond Butter
Blueberry Jam

Toast the bagel.   Spread Almond Butter & Blueberry Jam on top.   Enjoy!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Roasted Potato Medley

Although I fell in love with my Scalloped Potato recipe, I decided to give this one a try because everyone needs at least 2 good potato recipes... probably more.   This one called for Tarragon, which is IC Friendly, and I had never cooked with it before.   It was delicious!!!  We had it as a side to steaks along with green beans.   Was a fulfilling meal all around!
1 Sweet Potato
1 Yukon Gold Potato
Olive Oil
Dried Tarragon
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper (if you can tolerate)

Preheat oven to 425.  Peel and cube potatoes.   Boil potatoes on stove for 3 minutes, drain thoroughly.  Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a large nonstick baking sheet (I placed aluminum foil down first for easier clean up).   Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with tarragon, salt, and pepper.  roast the potatoes until browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bow-Tie Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce

I love pasta and therefore am always on the hunt for new pasta sauces.  I found this when googling Butternut Squash recipes.  I had never tried Butternut Squash and wanted to try something new.   This turned out to be pretty good (the hubs really liked it!).   You can't go into it having any preconceived ideas of what pasta sauce should taste like, because this is very different... but that's part of the fun.... more variety in our limited IC-Diet! I had garlic bread and green beans on the side.   Was a great well-rounded meal!
Bow-Tie Pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
1 Medium sized Butternut Squash
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 small Yellow Onion
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Sage
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter
1/4 tsp Salt

Cook pasta according to package.  Cut Squash into 1 inch cubes.  Chop Onion into small chunks.  Cook onions in oil until clear.  Add Sage, Garlic, and Salt. Add Squash and water.  Cook about 15 minutes until squash is soft.  Transfer to blender and blend.  Add more water if you want thinner. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pear Smothered Pork Chops

This was one of the first recipes I cooked that I loved after being diagnosed with IC and is a pantry staple now.   I had no experience cooking with pork before.  Learning how to cook new meats has really offered me variety in a diet that is so restrictive.   I got this recipe from the cookbook, A Taste of the Good Life by Beverley Laumann.  
 2 center-cut pork loin chops
1/4 tsp ground sage
dash salt and pepper
2 large, firm-ripe pear (original recipe calls for 1, but I like lots of pears so used two)
2 Tbsp. unsulphured molasses
2 Tbsp flour
1 Cup water

In a skillet, brown pork chops in olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.  Remove chops to casserole dish.  Sprinkle sage on chops.  Peel and slice pear, placing slices on top of chops.  Combine flour with small amount of water to make a paste, then add to cup of water (about 2 Tbsp).  Add molasses to water and mix well.  Over low heat, pour liquid into hot skillet, scraping up browned bits of pork chops.  When slightly thickened, pour sauce over chops, cover, and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blueberry & Pear Smoothie

What to do when you're craving a Summer Smoothie, but are so limited by the fruits you can eat?  Make a smoothie with the two fruits you can eat... Blueberries and Pears!  When making this, I wasn't sure if it'd be any good, but turns out it is rather refreshing and yum.   And Blueberries and Pears are full of nutrients that are great for your body!
1 Cup Milk
2 Cups Ice Cubes
1/2 Cup Blueberries ( used fresh)
1/2 Cup Pears (I used canned, all I had)
1 Tbsp Honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.   Makes 2 glasses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Creamy Spinach Pasta

I finally created a spinach pasta and sauce that I liked (been trying a while).  I think the garnish of Feta Cheese really adds that needed extra zing so don't hold back!
3 Servings Linguini (or other pasta of your choice)
2 Cups packed Fresh Spinach
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic (= to 2 fresh cloves garlic)
1/2 pint Whipping Cream (about 1 1/2 Cups)
1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
Feta Cheese to Garnish... about 1/3 Cup depending on how much you want

Cook pasta per instructions on package.   Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour, mixing until creamy.  Slowly add the Whipping Cream, Minced Garlic, and Salt while whisking.  Cook over medium heat continuing to whisk until creamy.   In a separate pan, saute the Spinach in Olive Oil until wilted (just a few minutes).  Add to Sauce before serving and mix well.     Add any additional flour to thicken more if desired (will thicken upon standing too).   Pour Sauce over Pasta and Garnish with Feta Cheese.  I served with Cheesy Garlic Toast

Yields 2 large or 3 regular servings

Cheesy Garlic Toast

An added treat to any main dish!  I have been making homemade garlic bread for a while and only recently thought to add cheese.   Certainly made it taste even better, but also added to the calorie count.   Feel free to keep the cheese off if you're watching your waistline.  
French Bread Loaf (I buy the mini kinds)
Minced Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Cut bread in half lengthwise.   Butter the top of each piece.   Sprinkle Minced Garlic, then Mozzarella, then Parsley.   Bake at 400 for about 5-7 minutes.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Stir-Fry

This is my first attempt at Stir-Fry inspired by the delicious Soy Sauce Substitute I made the other day.   Easy and's going to be a staple for sure!!
Boneless Chicken Strips
1 bag frozen mixed Vegetables
White Rice (as much as you desire)
1 Cup Soy sauce Substitute
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sprinkle Garlic Powder
Sprinkle ground Ginger
2 Tsp Cornstarch

Cook Rice per instructions on packet.  Meanwhile, cook Chicken in skillet with 1 to 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce Substitute, 1 tsp Cornstarch and sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Ginger.   When Chicken is done, remove and set aside.   Cook Vegetables in same skillet adding all but a couple Tablespoons of the Soy Sauce Substitute, 1 tsp Cornstarch, and sprinkle again with Garlic Powder and Ginger.    Cook until Vegetables are hot and sauce is creamy (about 6 minutes).   When Vegetables are almost done, add the chicken again and stir together.    Serve over the White Rice.   I garnish with the remaining Soy Sauce Substitute (cause it's sooo yummy!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Creamy Eggs

I love breakfast and I love eggs.   Shortly before being diagnosed with IC, I had started cooking and loving my scrambled eggs with sour cream.  I was heartbroken when I had to give them up.  This is my alternative that turns out to be just as good and possibly better.   I had these tonight for dinner with pancakes.   Doesn't get better than that!
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Cream Cheese
Sprinkle Salt

Mix eggs and cream cheese in a non-stick skillet.   Cook over medium heat, scrambling continuously until desired consistency.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuna Patties

Yum-yum!  These met the sisters approval and isn't too tuna-y tasting.

1 Can Tuna (Make sure ingredient list is Tuna & Water only)
2 English Muffins (I use Nature's Own, it has no preservatives)
1 Egg
5 Saltine Crackers, crushed
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Dried Parsley
Olive Oil
Sliced White American Cheese

Drain Tuna.  In a bowl add Tuna, Egg, and Crackers.  Sprinkle with Onion, Garlic Powder,  & Parsley (more or less per your taste).   Form into 2 patties.   Grill in Olive Oil on Stove top until golden brown on each side.  While grilling, toast English Muffin.  Add Cheese to patty during last minute of grilling until melted.   Add the patty to the English Muffin.   I eat with Lays Wavy Chips.

Yields 2 patties. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I had some extra spinach and chicken, so I did an ingredients search on Allrecipes and found this gem.  I substituted Cottage Cheese for the Mayo to make it IC Friendly.  I also left out wrapping it in bacon since I haven't tested bacon yet and wasn't feeling brave.  Feel free to add if it's safe for you.

1/2 cup Cottage Cheese (substitute for mayo)
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tsp Minced Onion
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Dash Rosemary 
Dash Salt
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, spinach, feta cheese, garlic, and onion until well blended. Set aside. Carefully butterfly chicken breasts, making sure not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle the chicken with rosemary and salt.  Brown Chicken in olive oil on stove-top first.   Spoon spinach mixture into chicken breasts. Secure with a toothpick. Place in shallow baking dish. Cover. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.

Macaroni and Cheese

I'm not a huge Mac-n-Cheese fan, but my husband sure is.  Since boxed Mac-n-Cheese are out, I make this one from scratch when I want to make him happy.  You can use any IC-Friendly Cheese (like American).  I had a bunch of extra Mozzarella so I used that.   It wasn't as creamy of a cheese, but still tasted really good... and the hubs was very excited.   


1 cup dried elbow macaroni (I used Penne cause that's what I had on hand)
1 teaspoon onion powder(if can tolerate)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese (or any IC Friendly Cheese)
1 Tsp Dried Parsley
2 Pinch Salt

Cook pasta in unsalted water about 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain well.

Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter and stir in onion powder and flour. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add American cheese, stirring until melted.  Add Parsley and Salt. Stir in cooked pasta. Transfer mixture to a 1-quart casserole dish.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 side dish servings.