Mediterranean Salad

In medium bowl, mix:
2 medium oranges, peeled and cut into 1" pieces (I used 1 can of drained mandarin slices instead)
2/3 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh spinach (I just used the whole bag)
2 tbsp. halved pitted Kalamata olives or ripe olives
1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, rinsed and drained 

Dressing: combine in tightly covered container, shake well, pour over salad and toss.
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive or veg oil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Optional: add crumbled feta, blue cheese or Gorgonzola

source: Betty Crocker cookbook

Kale and Chickpea Salad

1 bunch kale, stems removed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juiced

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper, to taste

Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated to taste

Put kale, parsley or cilantro olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine the blended mixture with the chickpeas and add salt, pepper and grated cheese to taste and mix well. 

slightly modified from the recipe at Wishful Chef

Almond Flour German Pancake

2 Tbsp Margarine or oil

dry ingredients:
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda 
1 Tbsp Sugar
2/3 cup Almond Flour 

wet ingredients:
1/4 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Almond Milk, Unsweetened
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°F Melt margarine or oil in a 9-inch pie dish in the oven while it preheats. 
In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
In a small-medium bowl, whisk the eggs and mix in the almond milk, and other flavorings. 
Remove the pie plate from the oven and tip the dish to cover the bottom and the bottom corner edge with the oil. 
Quickly pour the liquid into the dry mix and whisk thoroughly but quickly. Immediately pour into the hot greased pie dish and put into the hot oven. 
Bake about 12 minutes or until set in the middle.

What is Build a Menu?
Making a menu each week and trying to keep a budget is really hard for homeschooling families to do. I was spending so much of my time doing this, I knew I needed to look for a better way. Then I found Build a Menu, the brainchild of two sisters Karee and Lisa, who have 11 kids between them. My family has to be the most difficult family out there to feed because we have two that can't have gluten (wheat) or casein (milk products), some picky eaters and my husband is a vegetarian. I just want variety. Making a dinner at our house often means making several dishes, which of course, adds to our grocery bill. I thought that no set program like Build a Menu could fit our diverse and complicated family, but I was wrong.
Build a Menu is a three step process, but each of the steps are so easy, that once you get the hang of it, it only takes a few minutes to go from start to ready to shop. I have never made a menu and shopping list so fast before!

More About Build a Menu at All Things Beautiful

Sam's Hot Fudge Sundae Ice Cream Cake

made for Sam's 17th birthday
1 pkg dark fudge cake mix or your favorite recipe
1/2 gal brick vanilla ice cream
1-2 jars hot fudge sauce
maraschino cherries
whipped cream
chopped pecans or other nut topping

Prepare, bake and cool cake following package directions for basic recipe.
Remove cake from pan, when cool. Split cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on your serving platter. Cut ice cream into even slices and place evenly over bottom of cake layer. Use all of the ice cream. Place top cake layer over ice cream. Cover and freeze.
Fifteen minutes before you want to serve, take the cake out of the freezer to make it easier to slice. Heat hot fudge sauce slightly so that it will come out of the jar, but not enough so that it runs off the cake. Pour hot fudge sauce over cake.Top with whipped cream, cherries and nuts.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Red Peppers and Spinach:

12 oz fettuccine, tortellini or other pasta
2/3 cup skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
salt and crushed black pepper
1 tbs olive oil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (increase to your taste level)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water.
While pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl, thoroughly combine ricotta, lemon juice and rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. (I listed 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper, but don't be shy, this dish is even better with a bit of a kick from the red pepper, so adjust according to your taste level ).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute for 3 minutes.
Add pasta, spinach, ricotta mixture and pasta water to skillet; cook about 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Top with extra salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper if desired.

Crustless Mushroom and Greens Pie

crustless spinach pie 3 (1 of 1)
from Sugar Free Mom

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon oil
10 ounce fresh greens such as kale, spinach or a mixture
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
4 eggs
16 ounces Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook mushrooms until tender.
Add greens to mushrooms and salt, pepper and nutmeg cook until greens are wilted. Grease a 9 inch pie plate then sprinkle Parmesan all around to coat plate.In a bowl whisk eggs then add milk and ricotta cheese and stir well.Stir in mushrooms and greens mixture.Pour into pie dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
Place pie dish on a baking sheet and cook for 50-60 minutes or until set in center and browned around edges.

Ranchero Chicken and Rice

from Del Monte Foods Corporate

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
One 14.5-ounce can Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies, undrained
One 15.25-ounce can Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1 cup chicken broth, preferably with
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice

 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado, sliced

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper, to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, broth, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

Serve topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and avocado, if desired.

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