Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Relatively Healthy-but-Really Really Good" Cookies

I made these this morning, and they were delicious! The coconut oil (which is my favorite thing in the kitchen...ever!) adds a nice flavor and covers up the healthy taste.

1/2 cup xylitol (or you can use regular white sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (unrefined) coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (rounded) salt
2/3 cup goodies (coconut, dried fruit--apricots are yummy--so are mixed berries!, dark chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Combine the sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix till thoroughly combined.

In a separate smaller bowl, toss together the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt, stirring to evenly distribute the salt and baking powder.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, and then fold in the goodies.

Portion cookie dough, twelve cookies to a sheet. Bake 8-10 Minutes. Cool for a minute or two, then move to a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad

I know there are so many versions of this recipe, but this is one that we made today. Just thought I'd share.

I went a little mellow on the spices and didn't add all the stuff in the dressing.  It was all really, really tasty!

These 3 recipes, my friend Brooke gave me.


6 Lb. Pork - 2 of the pork sirloin roast at costco per recipe
16 oz. salsa
20 oz. Coke
2 c. brown sugar

Place roast in crock pot cook approx. 6-8 hours until meat falls apart. Shred. In a blender mix salsa, coke and brown sugar. Pour over meat and reheat. YUM!


1 pkg. Buttermilk ranch dressing ( prepare as directed on pkg.)
2 tomatillos ( a green tomato with husk)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 garlic clove
juice of one lime
1 jalapeno pepper ( use seeds too if you like it spicy)

Use a blender to blend all ingredients. Refrigerate.

3 c. water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
4 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Butter
3 c. rice

Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in food processor/blender. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients; simmer cover for 30 mins.

These recipes below I found at They have different recipes for the meat, dressing, and rice, as well. Plus, they share ideas for the tin and tortilla for the salad.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

Homemade tortilla chips
These are perfect for Our Version of Cafe Rio Salads (click HERE)... or any salad for that matter. They are so easy and cheap to make. If you buy these at the store, they are like $4! What a rip-off! These taste a lot better than the store ones too. I promise it is worth making your own!

10-12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
Kosher salt

Cut tortillas into strips using a pizza cutter. You can cut 2-3 at a time pretty easily. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place strips into hot oil and fry until they become crispy. When nice and crispy, remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt after each batch.

(photo by

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's your favorite chicken salad?

I feel like chicken salad! What's your favorite?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


This is a recipe that Jimmy wanted to try. He saw it on tv this morning, found it online, emailed it to me, and then made it for dinner. It's not one that I would ever think I'd like because I'm not a huge fan of garlic, but it was tasty. Jimmy said it was "awesome." It was also very quick and easy.

Perhaps it would be twice as good if we had really used all the fresh ingredients, but alas, we used petite diced canned tomatoes drained, dried basil, minced garlic, no pepperoncini (ummmm since we have no idea what that is), and plain ol' parmesan.  I actually thought it could be a good food storage type recipe except for the roasted almonds which we wouldn't exactly have on hand.

We thought sauteed zucchini & chicken would go great with this dish.

Anyhoo... here it is... found at

Servings: 4-6
1/4 cup slivered almonds
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 small pepperoncini (hot peppers in vinegar), stemmed, seeded, and minced (about 1/2 teaspoon) (see note)
Table salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pasta , preferably linguine or spaghetti
1 ounce Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1/2 cup), plus extra for serving

Toast almonds in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.

Process cooled almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, pepperoncini, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil, about 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.

Add pesto and ½ cup Parmesan to cooked pasta, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta cooking water so that pesto coats pasta. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.


1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 pound grilled steak, chopped

Saute onion, green pepper, and fresh mushrooms in olive oil until tender crisp. Remove from heat, stir in steak. Toss with cooked pasta. Add pesto and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add pasta cooking water, if necessary.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baked Tacos from LDS living

I saw this on an LDS living email and thought it might make a quick and easy summer dinner, even if I use dough I make. We'll try it and let you know!

Baked Tacos
A new twist on tacos, try our easy to make Baked Tacos. Bake up a bunch, you'll need them simply delicious.

Servings: 4-6
Skill Level: Beginning
Prep Time: 30 min (not including thaw time)
Bake Time: 25 min

  • Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salsa
  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
Instructions: Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Combine rolls together and roll into an 11x8-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10-15 minutes. Place ground beef in a skillet and cook completely. Drain well. Add taco seasoning and green chilies to meat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove wrap from dough. Place dough in a sprayed 10x7-inch baking pan to cover bottom and at least 1-inch up the sides. Poke several times with a fork to prevent bubbles from forming and bake at 350°F 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Place back in oven and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with salsa, lettuce and tomatoes to serve.