Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Homemade enchilada sauce

I thought it would be fun to try out to make home-made enchilada sauce. Or maybe it was to impress my mom who came to visit?! And whether it was intended or not, she was impressed. =)

So I went online and got some inspiration on how to make the sauce, see recipe below. For the enchiladas, I modified the recipe for the spinach & black bean enchiladas:  https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/spinach-black-bean-enchiladas/

Ingredients for the enchilada sauce:
1½ cubes veggie bouillon cube (alternatively use 3 cups vegetable broth)
3 cups water
¼ cup salsa
¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
(Notes: I think next time I will try to use my taco seasoning instead of the spices mentioned above. I am hoping it will give the sauce a bit more heat.)

Preparation of the enchilada sauce:
1. In a small bowl, combine the flour and spices (except salt and pepper).
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the salsa and flour spice mixture. Cook 1 minute at medium heat, whisking continuously. Meanwhile, dissolve the veggie bouillon cubes in the 3 cups of water. (It may be best to slightly heat the water, the veggie cubes will dissolve faster.)
3. Whisk in the vegetable broth, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a light boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 8 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Whisk the sauce occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

 

Ingredients for spinach & black bean enchiladas:
1 pound frozen organic spinach, cut and drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
approximately 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (Note: I use a 13 x 9 inch Pyrex glass dish and fill it with enchiladas until the dish is full)
about 1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese

Preparation of spinach & black bean enchiladas:
1. Defrost spinach and remove as much water as possible. (Hint: I like to place the spinach into a medium-sized bowl and use a bowl one size smaller to press the liquid out from the spinach leaves.)
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the casserole dish with vegetable oil spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, black beans, 1 cup of salsa, cumin, and chili powder. Spoon mixture down the middle of one tortilla (approximately 1-2 tablespoons). (Note: If tortillas are slightly warmed, they will not break when being rolled up. I prefer heating them briefly individually in a non-stick pan on both sides.) Roll the tortilla around the filling and place it seam down in the prepared casserole dish. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
3. Lastly, pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Bake, uncovered, at 350 °F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Enjoy. =)

Spinach & black bean enchilada with home-made enchilada sauce

Spinach & black bean enchilada with home-made enchilada sauce


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First try apple pie

While my favorite pie is raspberry pie, Hans loves apple pie. I had been planning to try to bake apple pie for a while now and it seemed only fitting to bake it yesterday. Apparently Utah observes a State holiday called Pie and Beer Day (I mean Pioneer Day).
So we enjoyed a beer from our favorite brewery with dinner (https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/fresh-tomato-and-asparagus-gnocchi/) and I decided to bake my first-ever apple pie.

I had always used a dry pie crust baking mix but was determined to bake the pie from scratch this time. Another requirement, I wanted the pie to be somewhat lower in calories than the traditional recipes. So I spent quite some time online reading several recipes and creating my own.

Once we enjoy the pie later today I will provide more feedback =)
My next try will have doublecrust though, so that the apples cook in their own juice.
YES!!! Definitely making this recipes again but NEXT TIME double-crust. Stay tuned!!!

Ingredients for single pie crust:
1/3 cup olive oil (when making this I was reminded how disappointed I was about the quality of the midrange olive oil, I may just use canola oil next time or more expensive olive oil)
1 1/4 cup organic flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon organic raw sugar, optional (I added sugar to “balance” out the olive oil)

Preparation of pie crust:
1. Make sure that the oil and water is ice-cold. This will make the dough flakier.
2. Add all ingredients together to make a smooth dough. I ended up hand-mixing the dough. Once the dough is done, place it in the refrigerator for one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough on a floured surface and place into greased pie baking dish. Bake for 7-10 minutes to allow pie crust to set for filling.

Pie crust before baking

Pie crust before baking

Meanwhile you can prepare the pie filling.
Ingredients for the pie filling:
3 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons organic flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5-6 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Preparation of pie filling:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown and apples are tender.

Frist try apple pie_small


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Pasta al pomodoro

Trying out different variations of tomato recipes, in preparation for (hopefully) ALL those tomatoes that our garden will soon provide. Last week, we made marinara sauce. Tonight, I tried Pomodoro sauce. The ingredients are similar, however, Pomodoro sauce tends not to be blended.

So here we go.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, not drained (I ended up cutting the tomato piece very fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
approximately 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
approximately 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preparation:
1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Add onion and garlic, approximately 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes plus juice, simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Add lemon juice and spices including herbs and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package direction.
3. Serve sauce over pasta with freshly grated Reggiano cheese. Enjoy.

Pomodoro sauce

Pomodoro sauce

Pasta al pomodoro

Pasta al pomodoro


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Non-dairy banana bread

Found this recipe on my computer…it’s been there for a while and I have never tried it.
We tried it and it made delicious and healthy little banana bread loaves.

Ingredients:
3 very ripe bananas
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups organic all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Preparation:
Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease loaf of pan. (We used a four-mini loaf pan and filled three about 2/3.) Mash bananas and mix with honey, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Blend the two mixtures and spoon into a lightly oiled loaf pan. Bake for 40 min., or until center is set.

Banana bread mini loaves =)

Banana bread mini loaves =)


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Superleckere Vegetarische Lasagne (“Superdelicous veggie lasagna” recipe in German)

Wir lieben Lasagne, aber wer auch nicht?! =)  Es ist einfach zu kochen und es macht auch richtig Spass Lasagne zu kreieren. Zusaetzlich kann man es als Hauptgericht anbieten, wenn Gaeste kommen…oder die uebriggebliebene Lasagne halt spaeter geniessen. Diese uebriggebliebenen Portionen sind ideal als Mittagessen oder man kann sie einfrieren und spaeter geniessen. Je nach der Jahreszeit oder der Vorliebe fuer bestimmte Gemuesesorten kann man die Zutaten anpassen.

Fuer dieses Gericht haben wir gekaufte Pastasosse benutzt. Aber wir haben die Nudeln selbstgemacht.

Zutaten fuer die Lasagne Nudeln
100 g Griessmehl
100 g Allzweck-Mehl
2 Eier, erwaermt zu Zimmertemperatur
gegebenfals Milch, um den Teig zu binden

Zubereitung der Lasagne Nudeln:
1. Vermische das Mehl und die Eier (geht am besten in einer Küchenmaschine), bis der Teig weich und einfach zum Knetten ist. Falls die Eier klein sind or der Teig nicht richtig zusammenkommt, versuche ein bisschen Milch zuzugeben.
2. Wenn der Teig weich und nicht zu klebrig ist (wenn zu klebrig versuche etwas Mehl hinzuzugeben), benutze die Küchenmaschine um den Nudelteig flach zurollen. (Man kann auch ein Nudelholz benutzen, aber es wird länger dauern den Teig gleichförmig und dünn auszurollen). Rolle den Teig in 6 Streifen, so dass Du daraus 2 Lasagneschichten machen kannst.
(Du kannst auch gekaufte Lasagne Nudeln benutzen. Koche diese Nudeln für dieses Rezept laut Anleitung vor.)

Zutaten für das Gemüse:
1-2 Esslöffel Olivenöl
1 Zwiebel, geschnitten
2 Regenbogenmöhren (oder normale orange Möhren), geschnitten
2 Zucchini, in Würfel geschnitten
3 Tomaten, in Würfel geschnitten
1 gelbe Paprika in Würfel geschnitten
½ Esslöffel getrockneter Basilikum
½ Esslöffel getrockneter Oregano
Salz, Pfeffer, rote Pfefferflocken je nach Geschmack

Zubereitung des Gemüses:
1. Erwärme das Öl in einer grossen Pfanne. Gebe die Zwiebel hinzu und erwärme sie für ungefähr 5 Minuten, bis die Zwiebel weich ist. Gebe die Möhren hinzu und erwärme fuer ungefähr 5 Minuten.
2. Gebe die Zucchini, gelben Paprika, Tomaten, und Gewürze hinzu. Koche alles bis das Gemüse weich ist. Sei vorsichtig das Gemüse nicht zu überkochen, da sie noch im Backofen gebacken werden.

Tomatensosse (Wir haben gekaufte Tomatensosse benutzt.)
Geraspelter Käse (Wir haben eine Käsemischung mit 6 verschiedenen Käsesorten benutzt.)

Die Lasagneschichten:
1. Schmiere ein bissen Butter in die Lasagneform (Amerikanische Lasagneform misst 33 x 22 cm). Verteile 2-3 Esslöffel Tomatensosse sehr dünn auf den Boden der Lasagneform. (Das verhindert das Anbacken der Lasagne Nudeln.)
2. Lege drei ungekochte Lasagne Nudeln (siehe oben) auf die Tomatensosse. Verteile die Hälfte des Gemüses gleichmässig auf die Nudeln. Verteile die Hälfte der Tomatensosse gleichmässig auf das Gemüse. Bestreue alles mit Käse. Wiederhole die Nudel-, Gemüse, Tomatensosse- und Käseschichte.
3. Backe die Lasagne im vorgeheizten Backoven (ungefähr 204 Celcius) für ungefähr 30 Minuten. Überprüfe ob die Nudeln fertig sind mit einer Gabel. Geniesse mit frischgebackenem Brot.

Lasagne--auf die Plaetze-fertig-essen!!!

Lasagne–auf die Plaetze-fertig-essen!!!

Lasagne_cut_small

Lasagne Nudel Rezept angepasst von  http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/01/how-to-make-fresh-pasta-homemade-recipe/


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Green curry with sweet potato and carrots

As promised, I would revisit the green curry. Tonight’s kitchen experiment can be called a success. Hans and I absolutely loved how this recipe tasted. We will definitely make this recipe again.

So, earlier today I came up with a list of vegetables I really wanted to be in this curry. The last curry contained sweet potato and eggplant. While I really want to like eggplant, maybe I just need to admit that it is not my favorite. So this recipe was to be eggplant-free. I decided to have sweet potato, rain bow carrots, and peas. Maybe next time I will use the chickpeas and green pepper as well.

Ingredients (4-5 servings):
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 sweet potato, cubed
2 rainbow carrots, sliced
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup water
1/2 cube veggie bouillon cube
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
dash Cayenne pepper

serve with Jasmine rice

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in the wok with medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and curry pasta. Saute 2-3 minutes.
2. Add potato and carrots. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes. Then add the coconut milk, water, and veggie bouillon cube. Cover and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. (Make sure that the carrot slices and potato cubes are soft.)
3. Meanwhile cook Jasmine rice following the cooking directions as provided on the packaging.
$. Lastly add the peas, sea salt, and Cayenne pepper to the curry and heat through, another 5 minutes. Serve over Jasmine rice. Enjoy.

Green curry with sweet potato & carrots served with Jasmine rice

Green curry with sweet potato & carrots served with Jasmin rice

 

 

 

 

Health benefits:
* Carrots and sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene, vitamins C and B, fiber, and iron.
* Peas are rich in vitamin C, thiamine (B1), fiber, folate, phosphorus, and iron.
* Coconut milk is naturally lactose-free.


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Greek yogurt & avocado spread

Here is another easy way to consume proteins…the only downside is that it is superdelicious =)
In addition to the easy preparation, this spread is also very versatile. You can use it instead of mayonnaise (I really dislike mayonnaise) on your sandwich, as spread on your veggie burger, as filling for quesadillas or burritos, or as dip for tortilla chips. I even like it just as spread on fresh bread.

With these endless possibilities, you may wonder how to make it. So here is the recipe.

Ingredients (1 serving):
1/2 avocado
juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
3 ounces Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper

Preparation:
1. Remove the pit from the avocado and mash in a bowl using a fork.
2. Add the lime juice, Greek yogurt, and spices. Mix well. Alternatively to hand mixing, you can also place all ingredients into a food processor.
3. Enjoy.

Greek yogurt & avocado spread ingredients

Greek yogurt & avocado spread ingredients

Greek yogurt & avocado spread

Greek yogurt & avocado spread

Health benefits:
* Greek yogurt is naturally low in fat, but is loaded with proteins. This makes Greek yogurt an ideal food item for vegetarians.
* Avocados are a good source of iron, monounsaturated fats (the healthy fats), vitamins C and E, beta carotenes, potassium, and manganese.
* Limes and lemons are rich in vitamin C.


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Superdelicous veggie lasagna

We love lasagna, but who doesn’t?! =)  It is very easy to make and it is so much fun to make it. Also it makes a full meal if you plan on having dinner guests or without dinner guest you end up with leftovers. These leftovers are ideal delicious lunches or you can freeze the leftovers and enjoy later. Depending on the season or veggie preferences, the ingredients can be adjusted, which is another great benefit of making home-made lasagna.

For this particular recipe, we did not make the tomato sauce from scratch. It was store-bought. However, we did make the lasagna noodles from scratch.

Ingredients for lasagna noodles:
100 g Semolina flour
100 g All-purpose flour
2 eggs, at room temperature
milk if necessary to make the dough

Preparation of lasagna noodles:
1. Add flour and eggs to the KitchenAid and mix until it makes soft pliable dough. If the eggs are small or the dough does not seem to come together, try adding a bit of milk.
2. Once dough is soft but not too sticky (if too sticky, add a tiny bit more flour), run it through the pasta-press attachment. You will likely have to run it through a couple of times until the pasta has the desired thickness. Keep in mind that you do not want the pasta noodles too thin or too thick. Place the pasta noodles to the side. Make 6 noodles (similar in size to the store-bought lasagna noodles), enough to make two layers in the lasagna dish.

Ingredients for the vegetables:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, cubed 3 tomatoes, cubed
1 yellow pepper, cubed
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

Preparation of the vegetables:
1. Heat olive oil in large pan. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add carrots and continue cooking over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes.
2. Add zucchini, yellow pepper, tomatoes and spices. Continue cooking until all vegetables are tender. Be careful to not over cook the vegetables, as they will still be baked with the lasagna. Pasta sauce (we used store-bought pasta sauce, 26 ounce jar) You could use home-made marinara sauce, see the following link for a suggestion: https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/simply-delicious-marinara-sauce/
Shredded cheese (we used shredded 6 cheese Italian blend)

How to assemble the lasagna:
1. Lightly spray lasagna dish (13 x 9 inches, 3 qt) with vegetable cooking spray. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of pasta sauce very thinly on the bottom of the lasagna dish. (This prevents the lasagna noodles from sticking to the lasagna dish.)
2. Layer three uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the pasta sauce. Layer half of the vegetable mixture on top of the lasagna plates and spread evenly. Spread of the pasta sauce on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with cheese. 3. Repeat layering with another three uncooked noodles, pasta sauce, and cheese.
4. Bake lasagna uncovered in preheated oven (400 F) for approximately 30 minutes. Check for doneness of pasta noodles with fork. Enjoy with fresh baked bread =)

Lasagne--ready-set-eat!!!

Lasagna–ready-set-eat!!!

Lasagne_cut_small

Pasta noodle recipe adapted from http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/01/how-to-make-fresh-pasta-homemade-recipe/

Notes:
You can use store-bought lasagna noodles. Make sure to pre-cook them following the box instructions. You may have to increase the baking time a bit. Check with a fork testing for doneness of the pasta.
This dish freezes well. Just cut into portion-sized pieces and freeze in separate containers. When you want “fresh” lasagna, just pull one of the containers out of the freezer the night before and let it defrost in the fridge overnight. Simply heat in microwave and enjoy =)

Health benefits of this recipe * By not adding a ricotta cheese, egg, and parmesan mixture layer, we are able to reduce the amount of calories considerably. * The various vegetables contribute a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.


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Easy marinara sauce

So I was trying out a new recipe ” Pasta Pomodoro”. However, I did not like the consistency of the sauce to accompany the pasta. Traditional Italian “pasta pomodoro” refers to a pasta dish that is prepared with olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and other fresh ingredients. The tomatoes from the can I was using were cut into rather large chunks and I ended up just pureeing the sauce. Therefore, creating another marinara sauce recipe.

I will have to revisit “Pasta Pomodoro” some day and I will be mindful of the size of the tomato pieces.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 can organic tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
fresh oregano leaves to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat the olive in small pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened. (This is when I blended the sauce in the blender and returned it to pan after.) Add basil and oregano leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Pour the sauce over pasta (we used farfalle pasta) and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy =)

Farfalle with marinara sauce

Farfalle with marinara sauce

Healthful notes:
* Homemade marinara sauce has fewer ingredients than most store-bought pasta sauce. It also will likely have fewer calories and will have a lower sodium content.
* You can easily use garden-fresh tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes. Our tomato plants are still fairly small and have not even started flowering yet.


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Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant

I love eating curry but I don’t eat it very often. This is partially due to not eating out very often in Thai restaurants (maybe the Thai restaurants here aren’t so good?!) and not really knowing how to make curry.
Recently, I came across this curry recipe and I figured I had to give it a try.

Hans and I enjoyed the outcome, but I will have to work out some kinks to make this recipe better. Any input is GREATLY appreciated.

Ingredients (4 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil (some extra oil to possibly add later)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 eggplant, quartered and sliced
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coconut milk
1/2 veggie bouillon
1 cup water
(6 kaffir lime leaves, I could not find these and left them out)
1 orange sweet potato, cubed
2 teaspoons raw organic sugar (I would suggest only starting with 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lime juice (I used the juice from one lime)
2 teaspoons lime rind
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add the onion and green curry paste and cook, stirring, over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and potato and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. (Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the kaffir lime leaves.) Simmer until the eggplant and sweet potato are tender.
3. Mix in the sugar, lime juice, and lime rind. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed rice (we used Jasmin rice).

Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant in wok

Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant in wok

Green curry with Jasmin rice

Green curry with Jasmin rice

Notes:
* Make sure that the eggplant is small and skinny. Larger eggplants tend to have lots of seeds inside. I found those seeds a bit distracting in the dish.
* Make sure to get the lime rind before squeezing the juice out of the lime.
* While the taste of this recipe was good, I somehow felt that something was missing.

Recipe adapted from “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” (Murdoch Books)