Friday, January 27, 2012

Real Cooking with What You've Got

I will be the first to admit that, for the first time in my life, I am cooking nearly 100% from scratch.  It has forced me to be creative and I am finally confident enough to NOT use a recipe.  This has been crucial as I am working to use up all of our CSA box each week and I have been very motivated to improve the health of one of my children.  Here are a couple of things I threw together without much thought that turned out to be big hits for this COLD (for us) time of year:

First up...
chicken, veggie and wild rice soup:

Simmer diced onion, garlic, carrots, finely chopped swiss chard, diced cooked chicken and wild rice in chicken stock for an hour or two with some Italian herbs.  YUM.  Healthy, low cost and tasty.  Low carb too.  With veggie stock and added black beans (minus the chicken) it easily becomes a yummy vegan recipe.

Next up...
 tortilla casserole:

Mix up a chopped onion, large can of green chilies, one can of healthy request cream of mushroom soup (or make your own) and about half a soup can's worth of milk.  Grate some cheese- whatever you've got is fine.  Layer cut up organic corn tortillas (I think I used about 8 total of the thick variety) and alternate layers of the soup-milk mixture and then top with cheese and bake at 325 for nearly an hour.  The casserole above is just about to go in.  I had about a cup of leftover cooked chicken which I also threw in for extra protein, but this could easily be strictly vegetarian.  A little more sinful than the recipe above, but a definite comfort food on a cold evening and very low cost.

I hope you enjoy my little cooking capers.  I have a long way to go in my cooking skills (I love baking and that has always been more my thing but I am trying to get sugar out of our lives forever), but I feel like I am getting there!  :)

Another easy and inexpensive treat lately are my Olive Oil Muffins.  I have tweaked the recipe a little by adding a little less oil and 1/3C of splenda baking blend plus putting about 5 frozen blueberries atop each before baking.  This cold weather sure has me in a soup and muffin kind of mood lately.  Enjoy!



  1. Not using a recipe is my usual way of cooking also :-) It works well for me to just use what is on hand and not run to the store (which is 30 minutes away). Both look yummy!

  2. Love this post! I'm trying to go as much from scratch as possible. I'm stealing that soup idea. :)

    1. Hi Carolyn! BTW, I just loved your post about the neighbor's adorable dog! Personally, I would invite that dog in....;)


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