Christmas “Crack” Pretzels

I had bought some wreath shaped pretzels to use for my Rolo Turtles not realizing the Rolos would fall through the wreath. I used one bag of the wreath pretzels for my cinnamon sugar pretzels. Since I had another bag to use up, I found this recipe. Hubby had leftover popcorn oil from an event he hosted in November so this was a perfect way to use the pretzels.

Enjoy these at your Christmas get together or even on New Year’s Eve. Yum!

Oh and the best part of this is there is no baking involved. Sweet!

  • Servings: 16ish
  • Difficulty: extremely easy
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Ingredients

  • 15 to 16 oz. bag of pretzels
  • 6 oz. buttery popcorn oil, canola oil, or melted butter
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dry ranch salad mix (not the dip)
  • 0.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (I used a garlic Parmesan cheese powder.)

Directions

  1. Pour the pretzels into a deep dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil and seasonings.
  3. Pour over the pretzels. Stir until all of the pretzels are combined.
  4. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese. Stir once again until the pretzels are combined.
  5. Continue stirring every 15 minutes or so for 3 hours or until the oil is absorbed by the pretzels.
  6. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipe source

Have a magical day,
Traci

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes – Day 12 of 31

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for the past few days.  I’ve been exhausted and had ZERO writing bug.  Every time I thought about writing, I was like Nah!

So today I’m back with the writing.

On Thursday, I shared with you my favorite meat substitutes.  Today I’m going to share one of the ways I use the meat substitute.

One of our favorite meals is sloppy Joes.  So instead of eating Sloppy Joes with ground beef, I make mine with the meat substitute.


What you need:

  • 1 batch of the meat substitute
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 sm. can of tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 sm. can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • yealow mustard
  • apple cider vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-1 batch of the meat substitute 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil -1/2 bell pepper, finely diced -2 garlic cloves, minced -1 yellow onion, minced -1 sm. can of tomato paste (6 oz) -1 sm. can of tomato sauce (8 oz) -1 Tbsp. yellow mustard -2 tsp. apple cider vinegar -2 tsp. brown sugar -1 & 1/2 tsp. chili powder -salt and pepper to taste


Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, meat substitute, peppers, garlic, and onion. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the peppers and onions are tender.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium low heat. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices. Stir until combined.
  3. Cover. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. While it’s simmering, make sure you stirring it every so often.
  4. Serve on a bun with cheese if desired. Enjoy!

 

Happy vegetarian eating,
Traci

Better than Restaurant Oven Home Fries – Day 7 of 31 (Sheet pan recipe)

While I was sick with my gallstones last year,  I had one food that did not bother my stomach.  Okay, it did bother me if it was greasy but if it was cooked with no oil or grease, I had little to no problems.

Potatoes were my friend during those 4 months.  I would spiralize potatoes and then cook up like hash browns on the stove.

That is until I started to cook the home fries in my oven.  We love a roasted potato in the household so this made things so much easier.

Hubby might debate if these potatoes are better than the ones we get at a local breakfast place called Butter Cafe.  He adores their home fries.


What you need:

  • 2 red potatoes or 4 to 5 baby red potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder or your favorite seasoning

Oven Home Fries

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 red potatoes, cubed, or 4 to 5 baby red potatoes, quartered or even cut into eighths
  • 1/2 to 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 to 1 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. extra olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder or your favorite seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes, bell pepper, and onion on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Pour the extra virgin olive oil over the veggies. Using clean hands or a spatula make sure the veggies are covered with the oil.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning over the veggies.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 425 degrees.
  6. Enjoy!


I enjoy using the onion salt from Trader Joes on my potatoes.

We love to use sriracha ketchup from Red Gold on our fries and roasted potatoes.

This recipe is not only vegetarian but also vegan. Score!

Happy vegetarian eating,
Traci

Sometimes You Need “Beef” Tacos – Day 6 of 31

I’m teaching my students how to write narratives so I’ve been doing a lot of model writing for them.  A good narrative has a hook that gets the reader to want to read your story.  This is a skill that I struggle with when I’m writing my blog posts.

However it is important for a writer to have a hook so you can get the reader wanting to read what you have written.

Just like a writer needs to have a hook, sometimes you need a beef taco.  Since I’m a vegetarian, I don’t have the typical beef taco.

I’ve tried TVP which is textured vegetable protein but it usually turns into a brown soupy mess.  Yuck!  Not appetizing.

Then I tried the Beefless Ground Beef along with their soy chorizo.  It’s just the right texture.

“Beef” tacos get into my belly.


What you need:

  • a third of a package of Trader Joe’s “beefless” ground beef
  • a third of a package of Trader Joe’s soy chorizo
  • a third of a jar of Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce

  • Servings: 2 to 3 tacos
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-1/3rd of a package of Trader Joe’s “beefless” ground beef -1/3rd of a package of Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, make sure you take the casing off -1/3rd of a jar of Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce (You may need a little more.) -tortillas (hard or soft) -Your favorite toppings


Directions

  1. Combine the “beefless” ground beef, soy chorizo, and enchilada sauce in a sauce pan.
  2. Cook on medium heat until heated through. (Add more sauce if you discover it’s not coated enough.)
  3. Enjoy on your a hard shelled or soft shelled tortilla with your favorite toppings.


This recipe is vegan before you add your toppings.

Happy vegetarian eating,
Traci

Greek Pasta Salad (Meal Prep) – Day 3 of 31

In August, I finally got to meet some family members I had never met  before.  They live on the west coast, Oregon, and don’t get to Ohio very often.

My mom’s first cousin, their mother, lives in the Phoenix area.  She comes into town more often than her children.  She was planning to visit the family and decided her children should also come to Ohio.

Since they came into town, one of my mom’s first cousins decided we needed to have a family get together with a potluck dinner.

My aunt flew into town from New York.  That was an adventure in itself. (Needless to say her maybe 4 hour trip took almost 12 hours because of plane delays and missed connections).

Any who, on the same day as the family get together, our church had their annual picnic.  I needed to make something that could be served at both the picnic and the get together.  That’s when I decided to make this Greek pasta salad.  It’s quick and easy to put together.

This recipe can either prepped for the week or eaten as a side dish.  If you decide to prep it for the week, add the dressing right before you eat the pasta salad so it does not get soggy.

The dressing I used for this recipe was the Greek Feta cheese dressing from Trader Joe’s.  However, you can use whatever Greek dressing you desire.


What you’ll need:

  • box of farfelle pasta (bow tie pasta) – Actually, you can use any shape like penne but I just like the shape of the bow ties.
  • Jar of artichokes
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Bell Pepper (orange, red, or yellow)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • Greek dressing

Greek Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 5 to 7
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-16 oz. box of farfelle pasta (Any shape will work like elbow or penne.), cooked and drained -1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil -1/2 jar of artichokes in water, cut into smaller pieces -1/4 c. Kalamata olives, halved and pitted -1 bell pepper, diced -1/4 c. sundried tomatoes, chopped into smaller pieces -1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese -1 jar of Greek dressing


Directions

  1. Cook the pasta. Drain it. Pour 1 Tbsp. olive oil over the pasta so that it does not stick.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients except dressing.
  3. Stir until the ingredients are combined.
  4. If serving right away, pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Stir until everything is coated.
  5. If you are are going to use this as a meal prep, place individual size portions in containers. Pour the dressing over the salad when ready to eat. Keeps for 4 days in the fridge.

Happy vegetarian eating,
Traci

Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt (Meal Prep) – Day 2 of 31

When you buy Greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom, the price ranges from around $0.70 at Aldi’s to almost $2.00.

It’s easy to make your own.  Making your own is also economical.

I purchase my frozen fruit and Greek yogurt at Aldi’s for about $5.  You can make about 6 to 7 fruit on the bottom yogurt cups.

My favorite is the berry blend. I top my yogurt cups with granola when I’m ready to eat the yogurt.


What you need:

  • 16 oz. frozen fruit
  • maple syrup
  • cornstarch
  • water
  • Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, non dairy yogurt (flavored or unflavored)
  • granola
  • Mason jars or small lidded container
  • honey

Fruit Compote

  • Servings: 5 to 7 depending on the size of your containers
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-16 oz. bag of frozen fruit, no need to thaw -2 Tbsp. maple syrup -2 Tbsp. water -1 tsp cornstarch

Directions

  1. Place the fruit in the saucepan.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Stir.
  3. Cook on medium high heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Remove from heat. Allow to cool.

Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Cups

  • Servings: 5 to 7 depending on the size of your containers
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-Fruit Compote -Large container of yogurt -8 oz. Mason jars -honey

Directions

  1. Place 2 to 3 Tbsp. of the fruit compote on the bottom of the Mason jar.
  2. Top with a fourth to a half cup of Greek yogurt.
  3. Squeeze about a Tbsp. of honey over the yogurt.
  4. Place the lid on the yogurt.

Use the yogurt cups within a week. Enjoy with granola.

Happy vegetarian eating,
Traci

Poached Chicken in the Instant Pot (GF, W30, DF)

As I stated in my Menu Planning blog post, I’m part of the launch party for Eat at Home’s newest cookbook.  (For more information about the cookbook, click here.)

Tonight Hubby and the boys are going to have the Memphis BBQ Chicken Tacos before heading to either work or our town’s block party.  The recipe calls for cooked chicken.  I used my Instant Pot to poach the chicken.

Since our area has a heat advisory, it was nice not having to warm up the kitchen in order to poach the chicken.

I used fresh chicken breasts today but you can use frozen chicken breasts instead.

What is needed for this recipe:

    • chicken breast or thighs, fresh or frozen
    • water or chicken broth
    • seasoning:  21 Seasoning Salute, Trader Joe’s seasoning salt, Everything but the bagel seasoning, or salt and pepper

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Poached Chicken

  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts or thights
  • 1 c. water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp. to 1 Tbsp. seasoning (See What is needed for this recipe for ideas)

Directions

  1. Place chicken breasts in Instant Pot.
  2. Sprinkle with seasoning.
  3. Pour water or broth over the chicken.
  4. Manually set the Instant Pot for 10 minutes or 12 minutes.  (10 minutes for fresh, 12 minutes for frozen)
  5. Once cooked, allow the pressure to naturally release.
  6. Shred with forks or use your Kitchen Aid.
  7. Enjoy in your favorite recipe.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Sundried Tomato Garlic Noodles – A pantry meal (Vegetarian)

My aunt came into town and helped me rearrange my pantry. Once I knew what was in my pantry, it was easy to decide what to make for dinner.

I had some Pasta Roni’s Butter and Garlic noodles, sundried tomatoes, black olives, chickpeas, and canned chicken in the pantry. What could I make for dinner?

I cooked up one box of the butter and garlic noodles and added the drained chicken to the noodles.

Once I cooked up the other box of the noodles, I placed half of it in the other bowl. With the other half, I added sundried tomatoes, black olives, and drained chickpeas. YUM! It sort of reminded me of my favorite dish at Piada.

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Sundried Tomato Garlic Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 box of Pasta Roni, Butter and Garlic
  • ¼ c. sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ c. black olives or Kalamata olives
  • ¼ c. drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1 to 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, optional


Directions

  1. Make the Pasta Roni according to the directions on the box.
  2. Once the Pasta Roni is cooked, add the sundried tomatoes, olives, and chickpeas.
  3. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Enjoy!



Happy eating,
Traci