Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

One of our favorite fast lunch or dinner meals is making grilled cheese sandwiches. The crunchy warm bread and the gooey melted cheese…it’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth.

Bakery bread is amazing but using home-baked bread is even better.

So we used bread slices from the Classic White Bread https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/classic-white-bread/ we baked and made grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ingredients (Makes 2 sandwiches):
4 slices of bread
butter, preferably organic butter
Cheddar cheese, sliced
Gouda, sliced

Note: Choose your favorite cheese. We like using Cheddar and Gouda.

Preparation:
1. Heat griddle.
2. Slightly butter the outside of the bread (This is the side that will go on the griddle. If you have OCD like I do, you want to make sure to not confuse sides, otherwise the bread slices won’t align.)
3. Slice cheese.
4. With griddle warm and on low heat, place one bread slice (buttered side down) on the griddle. Layer the cheese on the bread slice and cover with other bread slice (buttered side up). Repeat for other sandwich.
5. Allow the cheese to melt, while carefully watching that the bread doesn’t burn. Turn the sandwich over to cook other bread slice, until both of the bread slices are golden brown.
6. Enjoy with soup, such as tomato soup or roasted red pepper soup.

Note: Can be made in non-stick pan, if you do not own a griddle.

We forgot to take pictures of the bread with black raspberry jam. Here a picture of grilled cheese.

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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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Your not so ordinary quesadilla

This recipe came originally from a weight-loss recipe that my boss was making. Well…the idea was great…but I ended up modifying the recipe over the years quite a bit…and the recipe has morphed into a vegetable quesadilla that is versatile and explodes with flavor.
This can probably feed two people, I usually eat the whole quesadilla by myself =)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
5-7 grape tomatoes, diced (Note: You may want to discard some of the tomato juice to avoid making the quesadilla soggy)
1/2 (14-ounce) can organic beans (optional) (Note: I have used black beans and kidney beans before, both types work great. Added benefit, in addition to the taste, is adding protein to your meal.)
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
chili powder, to taste
2 large tortillas
shredded cheese (I prefer Mexican cheese)

Preparation
1. Cut the onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Place in a bowl and season with the spices. Add beans, if using. Mix.

Prepared quesadilla filling

Prepared quesadilla filling

2. Place one tortilla on a baking sheet and spread the vegetable mixture over it, leaving the outer 1/3 inch (approximately 13 mm) uncovered.
3. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and cover with the second tortilla.

Quesadilla before baking

Quesadilla before baking

4. Bake in preheated oven (425 F) for about 5-10 minutes, or until cheese inside the quesadilla is melted.

Ready to eat quesadilla

Ready to eat quesadilla

5. Enjoy =)