Breakfast Pick: High Octane Pancakes
This was the thinnest pancake batter I’ve ever used, and I probably made it more so by substituting unsweetened applesauce for the small amount of oil that was supposed to be in it, but once I adjusted the temperature just right on my griddle, it became easy to work with. Let me just say that these were some of the tastiest homemade pancakes I’ve ever made, and they are a real nutritional powerhouse! They were not bitter at all, and they contained a fair amount of wheat germ and whole grain oats. I added even more protein by using nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Delicious! They were surprisingly sweet and only required a small amount of syrup, which for me, was sugar-free by choice. My kids really liked these. I quadrupled this recipe to make 16 pancakes (8 servings) to feed my family of 5 and have some to put up in the freezer for easy weekday breakfasts for my hubby before he leaves for work. Definitely give these a try!
Lunch Pick: Turkey Vegetable Soup
On these cold winter days, I love to warm my belly with a good hot soup at lunchtime. I really enjoyed this hearty soup! It made so much that it fed us for several days, and I even had a little bit left over to put in the freezer for a quick lunch when it’s just me. Even my kids liked this soup, because I used shredded carrots instead of slicing them so that they would disappear (my daughter dislikes cooked carrots). I cut up all of the veggies so small that they were not very noticeable, and that passes her finicky texture test. It was a delicious and filling soup, and I never got tired of it. I served it with a whole wheat roll with light butter and a little bit of shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese on top. Yum! I actually made this in my electric pressure cooker to make it super easy. After I sautéed the meat in the bottom, I added all of the other ingredients at once and set it on “soup” for 10 minutes. Done!
Dinner Pick: Gingered Pepper Steak
This was a downright amazing stir fry dish! My whole family agreed that the sauce was just right. It had just the right amount of ginger and rich, Asian flavor…enough flavor to make serving it over rice a nice balance and not bland at all. My kids really loved this, but so did the adults! The beef was surprisingly tender, and the marinade really kicked it up a notch. I actually didn’t marinate it ahead of time. I really just let the meat set in the bag with the sauce while I was preparing the other parts of the dish, and the meat basically soaked up all of the sauce in a short amount of time so that there wasn’t much of anything to drain off. I used a London Broil and sliced it into thin strips. It was fabulous!
Dessert Pick: Strawberry Custard Tart
This recipe is actually for a Raspberry Custard Tart, but I have one child who doesn’t like raspberries so I adjusted it to use fresh strawberries and strawberry spreadable fruit instead of raspberry. It was so yummy! The homemade almond egg custard layer was so delicious. My teenage son really enjoyed it. In fact, he said it was one of the best desserts he’s ever had. It was a light, refreshing treat. The only thing about it is that it gets soggy from the cut fresh fruit overnight, so it’s definitely best to serve it immediately. If you don’t think you and your guests can finish it at one meal, then you should probably reduce the recipe by half and make a smaller version of it. Also, I used a ceramic fluted quiche/pie plate, and the crust really wanted to stick to it. Next time, I’d probably use a non-stick true pie plate or disposable tin so it would be easy to serve up the slices without breaking the crust. But it really was a tasty treat! It would be so easy to change up the fruit flavor to whatever suits you best…it’s a very versatile recipe!
And while I’m on the topic of cooking, you’ve gotta love the electric pressure cooker! It’s my favorite and most used kitchen appliance, and believe me when I say that I have a lot of small kitchen appliances. I’m sort of a collector, you might say. I just treated myself to a new and bigger pressure cooker for Christmas, and I love it! If you are in the market for one, I highly recommend investing in a Go Wise for the best value. It comes with a stainless steel inner pot, which is essential for easy cleaning and even heating. It also comes with a stainless steel handled steam rack and a handled steamer basket. That’s an awesome accessory I didn’t have before, and I’ve already used it so much! I got the Go Wise 8 qt., and it was only $80. That’s an incredible value for all it came with, and it has a ton of preset buttons for anything you’d want to make (including yogurt!), along with manual adjustments for time and pressure. It’s awesome! I can cook a whole 5 pound bag of potatoes for mashing in 10 minutes and still have room to spare. I really needed the bigger size for my large family, because we like to have leftovers sometimes!
That’s it for now! I hope you enjoy trying some of this week’s delicious recipes from my Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet plan cookbooks. We continue to try new things every day and enjoy delicious comfort foods that are healthy and have a reasonable amount of calories.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas!