Saturday, January 4, 2014

Merilou's Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (skillet version)

"To suit our RV lifestyle, and my diabetic needs, I adjusted my favorite cabbage rolls recipe from Mable Hoffman's "Crockpot Cookery" into a skillet version - unstuffed.  It takes minutes to fix and is one of our favorites"

1 lb lean ground meat (93/7 turkey)
1 cups brown rice, pre-cooked
1/2 - 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t pepper (I use McCormick's Worcestershire Pepper)
1/2 medium head cabbage, thinly slices (or a bag of coleslaw mix)
Sauce:  (Sauce from "Crockpot Cookery" recipe - doubled)

2 each 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar blend (or 3T brown sugar)
Juice of small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


1) Brown ground meat in skillet. Add chopped onion - sauté until translucent. Add pre-cooked rice, salt, pepper and cabbage to skillet.

2) Mix together sauce ingredients. Pour over cabbage & meat, mixing in carefully.

4) Cover skillet and cook until cabbage is tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Serves 4


Thursday, December 5, 2013

GreenTomato Enchilada Sauce

"I found this recipe in an issue of The Oregonian newspaper's Food Day.  Right before the Autumn rains hit, I would pick every last green tomato from our garden and use them to make batches of the enchilada sauce for my freezer.  Not a tomato went to waste!  I'm posting the original recipe as printed by The Oregonian, but my changes are reflected below.  See Notes."

Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

Try making extra of this sauce and freezing it in 3-cup portions.

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 7-ounce can whole green chiles, drained and chopped
1 pound green tomatoes, or tomatillos, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vegetable broth (or 1 vegetarian bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more.  Stir in the green chilies, green tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, broth and water.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture becomes sauce, about 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor, add the cilantro and puree until smooth.


I cut up the tomatoes and onions into about 1 inch chunks and roasted them, along with the whole cloves of garlic, in the oven at 350 degrees until softened and slightly browned on the tips.  I then scraped it all into my food processer, adding the other ingredients, with water to thin as necessary.  I omitted the vegetable broth completely.  I would season with salt to taste, along with the other seasonings, and I omitted cilantro (not a fan).

I poured the finished product into Quart-sized freezer Ziploc bags, removing as much air as possible.  Freeze flat for good space usage.

Barbequed "Pork" - using turkey tenderloins!

"This recipe was shared with me several years ago by my husband's younger sister.  It's been a favorite ever since!"

Barbecued "Pork"

4 lbs turkey tenderloins
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons sherry (or wine - Lambruisco)
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
4 Tablespoon honey
6 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 bottle (1 oz) red food coloring

Combine ingredients & pour over meat.  Marinade over night, turning back and forth to coat.

Remove from marinade and bake in 325 degree preheated oven for 1 hour in roasting pan.

Slice diagonally, like Asian Barbecued Pork.  Dip in cranberry mustard, or red sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Salmon Loaf with Dill Sauce

"This recipe is truly a favorite "pantry meal".  I have adjusted a Taste of Home Recipe for Mini Salmon Loaf to suit our needs, and doubled it to support my cook once, eat twice rule. I always keep Costco's Kirkland canned salmon on hand. I make the dill sauce seasoning mix ahead and just mix a couple Tablespoons of it into some mayo and sour cream as we need the dip. It doubles as a great vegetable dip!"

Salmon Loaf with Dill Sauce
(Serves 4)

1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 cans (7 oz) salmon, drained (bones & skin removed, if necessary)
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
2 Tablespoons almond milk (or regular milk)
2 cups soft bread crumbs (I use 2 Fiber One English muffins, chopped up in my food chopper - low carbs!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Sauté' the vegetables in canola oil in a non-stick pan on the stove.  Cool slightly.  Then, mix the vegetables and remaining ingredients together lightly.  Lightly spread into a small baking dish (8"x6" rectangle, or a 8" loaf pan) sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Don't pack it down into the pan!  Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Serve with dill sauce.

Notes:  The fresh bread crumbs are key!  Use whole wheat, or some other good bread if you like.  Run them through your food processor, or food chopper, or even tear up finely with your fingers.  I often soften the vegetables in the microwave, with a smaller amount of oil.   I use ingredients to lower the carbs, to support my diabetes, but you don't have to.  Leftovers heat up quickly in the microwave.

Dill Sauce Mix:

2 teaspoons celery salt
2 Tablespoons minced onion
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
2 Tablespoons dill weed

Mix these dry ingredients and store in an air tight container until ready to use.  I usually double it when I mix up more.

Mix two Tablespoons of the above mix with 1/4 cup mayo and 3/4 cup sour cream and refrigerate until ready to use.  I usually thin it down a bit with cold water to make it to the consistency I enjoy.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shrimp, Zucchini, Corn, Tomato and Onion Skillet

I tried this recipe recently, inspired by the Pioneer Woman's recipe for Summer Stir-fry.  Steve and I love a summer vegetable recipe taught us by my sister-in-law, Judy - a medley of zucchini, onion and corn, sautéed in a little butter.  The original Summer Stir-fry recipe didn't include onion, and called for more fats that we typically use.  This is my variation - again a hit with the hubby!  Steve deciding he enjoys shrimp has changed my life for the better!


1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound easy-peel  raw shrimp, peeled with tails removed
1 medium onion, diced
2 whole small zucchini (1-1 1/2" diameter), sliced in 1/4" slices
1 can whole kernel corn, drained well (or use fresh or frozen)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
salt and pepper to taste


Sauté onion in butter and olive oil until translucent.  Add garlic and shrimp.  Cook shrimp until just pink.  Remove shrimp from the pan to a plate, leaving juices in pan.

Add zucchini to pan, cooking until just tender.  Add corn and grape tomatoes.  Heat through.  Add shrimp and any juices collected back to pan with vegetables.  Saute' for a minute to heat up the shrimp, adding salt/pepper to taste.

Serve with garlic toast, or brown rice medley.

Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Grilled Vegetables in Cream Sauce

I made my own version of Pioneer Woman's "Pasta a la Betsy". I lightened up the carbs by using Dreamfields Pasta, lightened up the fat a bit, and added some vegetables I had left over from a grilled dinner. It turned out very yummy. Even my husband, who claims not to be a big fan of shrimp, went back for a second serving  Note:  Did you know that fats have no carbs?  I use cream and butter sparingly, but it's allowed!

¾ pound Dreamfields Penne Pasta
1 pound frozen easy-peel raw Shrimp
Previously grilled vegetables, asparagus, zucchini & onions, diced into 1/2” pieces
1 Tablespoon olive Oil
1 Tablespoon butter
½ large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine (I used a chardonnay)
1 can, 8-oz, tomato Sauce
3/4 cup heavy cream (or use part or all evaporated milk)
Fresh parsley, to taste
Pesto – jarred – about 2 Tablespoons, or to taste
salt/pepper to taste


Cook the penne pasta in salted water until al dente.

Peel, devein, remove tails and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of large, or extra large shrimp.

Heat about 1 Tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes until just opaque and pink.  Do not overcook them.  Remove shrimp from juices, and let cool on a plate while preparing the rest of the sauce.

Finely dice onion and mince garlic (if not using prepared garlic).

In juices from shrimp, add remaining onion and garlic, sautéing until tender. Add wine, stirring occasionally. Add pesto, stirring into sauce. Add cream. Turn heat down to low and let simmer a few minutes, stirring to combine.

Chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces and add to sauce, along with diced vegetables and chopped parsley. Add cooked pasta and mix together, coating pasta with sauce.

Serve with a green salad, or broccoli.



Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

"Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, this recipe has become the most convenient, healthy breakfast for me on an almost daily basis.  I have a patty on a Fiber One Multigrain English Muffin for breakfast most every morning.  It's my own sausage muffin sandwich.  Add an egg if you like!  I originally found a version of this recipe online as a copycat Jimmy Dean-style sausage and over time have made my own adjustments.  If having more fat is what you like, use whatever higher fat meat you'd like."   ---Merilou

20 oz package of 93/7 Ground Turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients well.  Divide into 10 portions for 2 oz patties.  Shape and pat until about 1/4" thick.  Fry in dry non-stick fry pan, over low heat to cook through.

Note:  I slightly under cook the patties, cool, then wrap well to freeze.  I cook each individual patty wrapped in paper towel for approximately 1 minute, judging doneness by the amount of steam coming from the patty.  Don't overcook!