3 Amazing, One-Pan Dinners to make with the kids

These 3 dishes are all made using one pot/pan for easy cleanup. The recipes are complicated so the kids can help make dinner <3 Fun for All!

One-Pot Tacos

Zucchini may seem like an unusual choice for a taco mixture, but it is a mild green vegetable that pairs great with corn and cheese. Zucchini is also a cinch to chop, making it a good vegetable to use to teach kids knife skills.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large green zucchini squash diced
  • 8 ounces frozen corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheese we used a “Mexican” blend but use your favorite cheese
  • Soft tortillas or hard corn taco shells for serving if desired
  • Sour cream diced tomato, avocado chunks, additional shredded cheese for topping (if desired)

Instructions

  • Measure and prep ingredients as indicated above. Younger kids can measure and add the seasonings and cheese, while older kids can chop the zucchini.
  • In large nonstick pan, heat oil on medium for about a minute.
  • Add onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onion is translucent, using a spatula or heat-proof spoon to move the mixture around the pan to prevent browning. Crowd cooked onion in one side of the pan, off the heat, to make room for next step.
  • Add ground beef, salt and chili powder, breaking up and cooking beef until lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Stir in tomato sauce until beef is evenly coated. Move onions back into mixture and toss carefully until all ingredients are combined.
  • Stir in diced zucchini and frozen corn and cook 3-4 minutes until zucchini is tender (but not mushy). Turn heat to low.
  • Fold in shredded cheese and combine until cheese is melted.
  • Serve in soft tortillas, taco shells, or bowls. Top individual tacos/bowls with sour cream, diced tomato, avocado chunks, and more shredded cheese if desired.

One-Pan Garlic-Butter Salmon with Veggies

We LOVE one-sheet-pan dinners like this. The kids love making it!
Our formula is one protein plus, one starchy root vegetable plus one other veggie.
The key is to choose ingredients that cook in about the same time (15-25 minutes at 400 degrees is typical).
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, one dish meal
Servings: 4
Calories: 320kcal

Equipment

  • oven

Ingredients

  • 4 center-cut deboned salmon portions (they should be about 2 inches by 5 inches)
  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 pound baby white or fingerling potatoes halved or quartered
  • 8 ounces fresh thin asparagus
  • 1 medium red bell pepper cut into slices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • If green beans still have stringy ends, younger kids can snap them off with their hands or small scissors. Older kids can halve potatoes.
  • Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or (Tin foil).
  • Place potatoes on pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Kids will enjoy doing this with clean hands.)
  • Move potatoes into a single layer on one side of pan, covering 1/3 of the pan.
    Toss green beans with the other tablespoon of oil and move them to opposite side of pan, leaving the middle 1/3 of pan, open.
  • Put melted butter, brown sugar, garlic, and lemon juice in small bowl or cup. Whisk until all ingredients are mixed.
  • Place salmon portions in the center part of the pan. Carefully pour or brush butter mixture on top of the salmon.
  • Sprinkle salt evenly over fish and vegetables.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, checking around 16 minutes for doneness.

One-Pot Teriyaki Chicken & Rice

Dicing protein and vegetable pieces into uniformly small pieces goes a long way in making them more fun kids. Plus the flavor is out of this world!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food, high protein, one dish meal
Servings: 6
Calories: 354kcal

Equipment

  • stove top

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked chicken cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce more to taste, if desired
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups water more if needed
  • 1/3 cup carrots peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup broccoli florets small
  • 1/3 cup green onions light green parts only, sliced horizontally into thin discs, divided in half
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Younger kids can measure out liquid ingredients, rice, and frozen peas. Older kids are better suited to peeling and dicing carrots and slicing green onions.
  • In large nonstick pan, heat oil on medium for about a minute.
  • Add diced chicken, half of the green onions, and two tablespoons teriyaki sauce and cook for about five minutes, moving chicken around pan to prevent sticking. Cook until chicken is white on outside.
  • Add rice, water, and carrots.
  • Reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add broccoli and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Taste rice to ensure it is cooked and seasoned enough. If rice is not yet tender, cook for additional 2 minute intervals until it is. Add extra water in 2 tablespoon increments, if rice dries out before it is fully cooked.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Fluff cooked mixture with fork or slotted spoon. Serve in bowls, topped with extra teriyaki sauce and rest of green onions to taste.

Mediterranean Chicken Stuffed Zucchini

Mediterranean Chicken Stuffed Zucchini

These Stuffed Zucchini Boats are easy to make and only need a little bit of time to cook. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Comfort
Keyword: comfort food, diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, high protein, low carb, low sodium
Servings: 6
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Grandma Antionette

Equipment

  • Stove top, oven, broiler

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini halved lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt more or less to taste
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly ground black pepper more or less to taste
  • 1 can chickpeas approximately 15oz
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cucumber

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Score zucchini and scoop out insides into a bowl. Place in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until mostly tender. Remove from the oven and turn broiler to high.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add scooped zucchini and cook until light golden, about 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken and chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, and oregano and cook stirring occasionally until the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Spoon chicken mixture into the zucchini then top with feta cheese. Bake until zucchini is just tender and cheese is melted, roughly about 10 minutes more.
  • Squeeze lemon over zucchini boats, garnish with cucumber and dill, and serve warm.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving  
Calories 280
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.3g 16%
Saturated Fat 4.2g 21%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 546mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 22.7g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5.1g 18%
Total Sugars 3.6g  
Protein 21.2g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 158mg 12%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 555mg 12%

Grandma Antoinette’s Sassy Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Garlic Pesto

Grandma Antoinette’s Sassy Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Garlic Pesto

These easy Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers are made with homemade basil pesto right from our garden, don’t worry I have your recipe for that too. These are so healthy and totally delicious, you’ll want to make them all summer long!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dairy free, garlic, Gluten Free, grill, heart healthy, high protein, low calorie, low carb, low fat, shrimp
Servings: 8
Calories: 93kcal
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Equipment

  • Grill

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. medium or large frozen shrimp deveined, thawed
  • 3 medium lemons thinly sliced
  • 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water 20 minutes
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pesto *see the recipe for homemade pesto in the notes below

Instructions

  • Preheat grill to medium-high.
  • Skewer shrimp and lemon slice.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill, turning occasionally, until shrimp is opaque and lemons slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Brush with pesto and serve. Serve over Zucchini noodle or spaghetti squash for a low carb, healthy meal.

Notes

PESTO RECIPE
1.5 cups packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Directions
Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add parsley if desired

Grandma Antionette’s Springtime Slowcooker Minestrone

Meatless Mondays

Grandma Antionette’s Springtime Slowcooker Minestrone

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 30 mins
Total Time6 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, heart healthy, low fat, nut free, one dish meal, slowcooker
Servings: 6
Author: Grandma Antionette

Equipment

  • Slowcooker

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small sweet onions diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15 ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces ditalini pasta uncooked
  • 12 thin asparagus spears stems removed and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 6oz bag fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese plus more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.
  • About 12-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus , spinach, peas and pasta.
  • Cook on low for another 15 minutes then stir in grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve immediately with additional cheese on top!

The Amazing Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a delicious spice and has been used as an ingredient dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts are removed. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder. So what makes cinnamon so healthy?

Cinnamon is high in cinnamaldehyde

Cinnamon is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde, which is believed to be responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants

Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Cinnamon has been shown to even outrank “superfoods” such as garlic and oregano.

Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties

Inflammation helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage. However, inflammation can become a problem when it’s chronic and directed against your body’s own tissues. Studies show that cinnamon has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which may help lower your risk of disease.

Cinnamon may decrease your risk for heart disease

Cinnamon may improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, and has shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels. Also, cinnamon has been shown to possibly reduce blood pressure.

Cinnamon can improve sensitivity to insulin

Serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes are often linked to insulin resistence. Cinnamon can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, helping this important hormone do its job by increasing insulin sensitivity.

Cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect

Cinnamon is well known for its blood-sugar-lowering properties. Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms, including decreasing the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after a meal.

Cinnamon may have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most common types. Two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cinnamon helps fight bacterial and fungal infections

Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active components of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection. Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella.

Roasted Garlic Soup

Well, I’m sure you weren’t expecting to be home on a Wednesday but here you are. How about a nice Roasted Garlic soup recipe that will help boost your immune system & your mood! Keep everyone healthy & happy with this tasty soup!

Roasted Garlic Soup

Five entire bulbs of garlic roasted to perfection and incorporated in a creamy soup. You can stop at the puree stage, and refrigerate for up to one day before adding the cream and lemon juice.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic, Gluten Free, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Grandma Antionette

Ingredients

  • 5 bulbs garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 4 leeks chopped
  • 2 medium onion chopped
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or Gluten free to make it GF
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
  • cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives Optional

Instructions

  • Cut off top 1/4 inch of each garlic head. Place in a small, shallow baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Press individual garlic cloves between thumb and finger to release. Chop garlic.
  • Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks, and onion; saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in hot broth and sherry and oregano. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  • Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor.
  • Return soup to saucepan, and add cream. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with chives.

Meatless Monday – Crockpot Eggplant Parmesan

Crockpot Eggplant Parmesan

This scrumptious Slow Cooker Eggplant Parmesan will have everyone thinking you spent all day in the kitchen. Set it, forget it then enjoy it!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 25 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: Comfort, Italian
Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, high protein, low carb, low fat, nut free, one dish meal, slowcooker, vegetarian
Servings: 12
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Grandma Antionette

Equipment

  • Crockpot, Slow-cooker

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs You can use Gluten Free bread crumbs to make the recipe GF.
  • 5 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese sliced or shredded
  • fresh basil for topping

Instructions

  • Peel eggplant and cut into 1/3 inch rounds. Layer in a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then pat dry.
  • Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl. Dip eggplant in egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs.
  • Layer 1/3 of the slices in the slow cooker. Top with 1 cup sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers two more times. Cook on low for eight hours.
  • When serving, top with fresh basil leaves.

Notes

Nutrition
Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1380mg | Potassium: 678mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 9.1mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 1.7mg
 

Crockpot Fajitas

Fajitas

We have a little recipe to put a smile on your face – Crockpot Fajitas! You can go meatless or meat them up with anything you like. The base stays the same, just add the protein of your choice set it, forget it and eat!

Hot delish fajitas will be awaiting your return!

Crockpot Fajitas

This Crockpot fajita recipe is super easy and can include whatever protein you like. Some prefer meatless with mushrooms, some like fish beef or chicken. The base recipe is the same but you can make this recipe yours.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 10 mins
Total Time6 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: crockpot, fajitas, low calorie, slowcooker, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 bell peppers ideally 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green cored and sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Protein options:

  • 2 lb chicken breast cut into strips
  • 2 cup portobello mushrooms sliced and peeled with the stems removed
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans

Instructions

  • Pour half of the canned tomatoes into the bottom of a slow cooker and spread into an even layer. Top with half of the peppers and half of the onions. Sprinkle garlic in. Top with your choice of protein.
  • In a bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. Evenly sprinkle the seasoning over protein. Top with remaining half of the tomatoes, then layer in remaining peppers and onions.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH heat about 2 1/2 – 3 hours or low heat 4 – 6 hours.
  • In a small bowl whisk together lime juice and honey and add to slow cooker along with the protein and season with additional salt to taste if desired (I sometimes like to add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro too here but this is optional). Gently toss. Serve warm in warmed tortillas optional toppings.

Notes

Optional Toppings
Cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole or sliced avocados, shredded Mexican cheese (optional)

Instant Pot Chicken Marsala

Instant Pot Chicken Marsala

Incredibly juicy chicken cutlets cooked in mushroom and Marsala wine sauce. This flavorful dish comes together in your pressure cooker in less than 30 minutes! Fast & Fabulous!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken, comfort food, high protein, Instant Pot, instapot
Servings: 4
Calories: 329kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

The Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 oz. white or baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Make sure that your stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot. Press “saute” setting and wait 2 minutes.
  • Add oil and butter to your Instant Pot and let it melt.
  • Cut each chicken breast lengthwise, to make two cutlets. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
  • Brown each chicken cutlet on each side. Remove onto a plate.
  • Add more butter to the Instant Pot. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Press “cancel/off” button. Add chicken stock and wine to vegetables. Stir well.
  • Place chicken in the sauce. Close the lid, set valve to “sealing” positions (the newer IP models do it on their own).
  • Make sure the IP is set to cook at HIGH pressure. Set timer to 7 minutes.
  • The IP will beep and it will start coming to pressure. That can take about 5 minutes.
  • Once the timer is done, press “cancel/off” button and let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally.
  • Once the pressure pin drops, carefully open the lid away from your face.
  • Remove the chicken and set on a plate.
  • Mix cornstarch with water, heavy cream and add to the sauce in the pot. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.
  • Serve chicken with sauce over mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, rice or noodles.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot yields a perfectly cooked squash—not mushy, but tender and holding its shape. Spaghetti squash is also a perfect base for so many sauces or just a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese as a side dish. At the market, look for squash that are about 3 lbs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, Instant Pot, instapot, low carb, low fat, one dish meal, soy free, spaghetti squash, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 109kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 3 lb spaghetti squash halved
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.
  • Pour 1 cup water in the Instant Pot. Place a wire metal steam rack in pot. Arrange cut halves of squash on top of the steam rack. Put minced garlic on the inside center of the halved spaghetti squash.
  • Cover Instant Pot, and fasten the lid. Lock and seal the steam valve.
  • Set to HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  • Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully release pressure by turning valve to VENT.
  • Remove lid, and, using tongs, drain accumulated liquid from squash halves. Using a fork, scrape out flesh into spaghetti-like strands in a bowl (should have 4 to 6 cups)
  • Add olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to squash and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup—A quick and easy way to make a classic French onion soup recipe in a power pressure cooker. Delicious every time!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: Chicken, Instant Pot, instapot
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 347kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 Large yellow onions — or Spanish onions halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 cloves garlic — minced about 2 teaspoons
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine — such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 cartons Beef Bone Broth 8.25-ounce cartons
  • 4 cups Beef Stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 12 slices small baguette — cut about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 lb sliced provolone Gruyère cheese — white cheddar fontina, and gouda, are also delicious

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot (or similar electric pressure cooker) to sauté. Add the butter and let melt. Once melted, add the onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, until onions slightly soften and start to release liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons water. Cover and seal the Instant Pot, then set to cook on HIGH pressure (manual setting) for 20 minutes. Release pressure to vent immediately.
  • Remove the lid, then turn the Instant Pot back to sauté. Cook for 5 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates, then add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits that have collected on the bottom of the pot. Let simmer for 10 minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf.
  • Add the bone broth and stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the soup thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • For the bread topping: When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyère. Broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, watching constantly towards the end so that the bread does not burn. Ladle the soup into bowls, then float the bread on top. Enjoy! Alternatively, if you have ovenproof bowls, you can ladle the soup into them first, top with each with a baguette slice and cheese, then arrange the bowls on a baking sheet and place the sheet under the boiler, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Meatless Monday – Crockpot Black Bean Soup

Crockpot Black Bean Soup

This Crockpot Black Bean Soup recipe is super easy to make, packed with protein, and it's super delicious! It also just so happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Woo Hooo
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Soup
Cuisine: Comfort, Mexican
Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, heart healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (yellow) chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers cored and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz cans)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Additional Garnish (Optional)

    Instructions

    • Combine all main ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker, and stir to combine.
    • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until all of the vegetables are cooked and tender.
    • Remove the bay leaf.
    • Serve the soup warm, garnished with your desired toppings. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

    Additional Options

    • use a blender or food processor to puree the soup completely (thick and smooth)
    • use a blender or food processor to puree about half of the soup (thick and smooth but still has texture)

    Week 10 – Crockpot Apple Cider

    Crockpot Apple Cider From Scratch

    Today’s recipe for homemade slow cooker apple cider might seem like a lot of work but it's super easy. It’s made 100% from scratch and has been one of my favorite entertaining recipes over the past few years. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time6 hrs
    Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: apple cider, apples, crockpot, slow cooker
    Servings: 10 Cups
    Calories: 125kcal

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 8 gala apples quartered or any apples you have on hand Remove the core
    • 1 orange sliced leave the rind on
    • 4 sticks cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
    • 10 cups water
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar

    Instructions

    • Place your quartered apples into a slow cooker.
    • Add in cinnamon sticks, orange, whole cloves, and allspice in there and pour in the 10 cups of water.
    • Cook on high for 3 hours.
    • After 3 hours, mash the apples with a potato masher.
    • Add in brown sugar and cook an additional 1-3 hours on low.
    • Using a cheesecloth, strain the solids from the liquids.
    • Discard solids and store liquids in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for later use.
    • Enjoy!

    This Not That Thursday – Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    If the group you're feeding on Thanksgiving Day has someone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or following a low-carb special diet, this is the stuffing recipe you’ll need to make the day perfect!
    Skip the carb-filled stuffing and have extra turkey 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
    Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, stuffing
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 90kcal

    Equipment

    • large skillet

    Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 2 meduim onion chopped
    • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
    • 2 stalks celery chopped or thinly sliced
    • 1 medium head cauliflower chopped
    • 1 cup 8-oz. package baby bella mushrooms chopped
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt add more to your tase
    • 1 tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
    • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage or 1 tsp. ground sage
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
    • Add cauliflower and mushrooms and then season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
    • Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.
    • Serve hot and enjoy!

    Week 9 – Crockpot 4 Cheese Spinach Artichoke dip

    Crockpot Four-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip

    If you’re looking for a great holiday appetizer, this serves a ton of people and is super yummy! 
    I love the combination of these two simple vegetables into a creamy dip. The recipe I’m sharing today is leagues above the recipes I’ve made in the past, taking spinach and artichokes from simple to extraordinary thanks to the addition of the 4 cheese blend. You are welcome!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
    Total Time3 hrs
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: artichoke, comfort food, crockpot, slow cooker, slowcooker, spinach
    Servings: 16

    Equipment

    • Crockpot

    Ingredients

    • 1 jar 12 ounces roasted sweet red peppers
    • 1 jar 6-1/2 ounces marinated quartered artichoke hearts
    • 1 bag 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cubed
    • 6 ounces cream cheese softened and cubed
    • 1 ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled
    • 1 ⅓ cup provolone cheese shredded
    • 1/3 cup fresh basil minced
    • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 3 cloves garlic minced

    Instructions

    • Drain peppers, reserving 1 tablespoon liquid; chop peppers.
    • Drain artichokes, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid; coarsely chop artichokes.
    • In a 3-qt. slow cooker combine spinach, cheeses, basil, onion, mayonnaise, garlic, artichoke hearts, and peppers.
    • Stir in reserved pepper and artichoke liquids. Cook, covered, on high 2 hours.
    • Stir dip; cook, covered, until cheese is melted, 30-60 minutes longer.
    • Stir before serving; serve with crackers.

    Week 8 – Crockpot Maple Pork Ribs

    Crock Pot Maple Pork Ribs

    Skip the same old boring barbecue sauce and opt for a maple dijon syrup glaze to slick up these pork ribs. These tender ribs are slow-cooked in a luscious maple-mustard sauce.
    Easy peasy and finger lickin good!!!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time5 hrs
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: crockpot, maple, ribs, slow cooker, slowcooker
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 428kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crock Pot

    Ingredients

    • 2 pound boneless country-style pork ribs trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
    • 4 teaspoons canola oil
    • 2 medium onion sliced and separated into rings
    • 4 cups maple syrup
    • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard or spicy brown if you prefer

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet, brown ribs in oil on all sides; drain.
    • Place ribs and onion in a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker.
    • Combine syrup and mustard; pour over ribs.
    • Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 5-6 hours.

    Week 7 – Crockpot Chicken and Vegetables

    Crockpot Chicken with Vegetables

    Even a beginner cook could make this crockpot chicken and have it turn out perfectly. This recipe could not be easier. A few minutes of prep and you’ll come home to a deliciously cooked chicken with veggies on the side.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time7 hrs
    Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Chicken, comfort food, crockpot, Gluten Free, one dish meal, slowcooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 329kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crockpot, Slow-cooker

    Ingredients

    • 3 Medium Carrots peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 Ribs Celery and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 Medium Onions halve 1 and slice the other
    • 8 Small Red Potatoes quartered
    • 1 Teaspoon Salt divided
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper divided
    • 1 Medium Lemon halved
    • 6 Cloves Garlic (I leave them whole since my kids don’t eat them)
    • 1 3/4 Lb broiler/fryer chicken
    • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary crushed
    • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
    • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
    • 2 Teaspoons Paprika

    Instructions

    • Place carrots, celery, 3 cloves of garlic, sliced onions, and potatoes in a 6-qt. slow cooker; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
    • Place lemon halves, onion halves and 3 garlic cloves in the chicken cavity.
    • Tuck wings under the chicken and tie drumsticks together. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the slow-cooker, breast side up.
    • Mix together rosemary, lemon juice, oil, paprika and remaining salt in small bowl; rub all over the chicken.
    • Cook, covered, on low until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads at least 170° and vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours.
    • Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables.

    Week 6 – Crockpot Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

    Week 6 – Crockpot Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

    Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

    Nothing says “comfort food” like the aroma of a warm roast wafting through your home. These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are a perfectly satisfying and easy dinner option for this rainy Halloween night. The contrast of the crusty French bread and the tender, juicy meat brings this sandwich to the next level.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time6 hrs
    Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, french dip, high protein, slow cooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 397kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 1 3 lb Boneless beef chuck roast Trimmed
    • 1 Can 10-1/2 ounces condensed French onion soup, undiluted
    • 1 Can 10-1/2 ounces condensed beef consomme, undiluted
    • 1 Can 10-1/2 ounces condensed beef broth, undiluted
    • 8 to 10 French or Italian rolls split

    Instructions

    • Halve roast and place in a 3-qt. slow cooker.
    • Combine the soup, consomme, broth, and bouillon; pour over roast.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
    • Remove meat and shred with 2 forks.
    • Serve on rolls.
    • Skim fat from cooking juices; serve juices on the side for dipping.

    This, Not That, Thursday – DIY Indoor Herb Garden

    Good afternoon lovely people. 

    We have something special for you today! Our “This, Not That, Thursday” is about indoor herb gardens. An indoor herb garden is a great way to have fresh herbs all year long and in almost any climate. Plus if you grow them from organic non-GMO seeds, you’ll know you’ve got the best of the best for your family.

    Savor the flavor of your favorite herbs and add a bright bit of green to your kitchen when you bring your herb garden inside. If you have a sunny windowsill with at least four hours of sunshine a day, you have everything you need for a flourishing garden full of herbs such as mint, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

    There’s no benefit to growing herbs you aren’t going to use. Start with the ones you use often. If you’re still not sure which to grow, here are some ideas:

    Rosemary – This herb is spicy and warm and great paired with beef, lamb, or chicken. Rosemary is also helpful for keeping rodents and mosquitoes away.

    Thyme – Thyme is most often used as a spice in culinary uses and its aromatic and rich flavor is perfect for soups, stews, and marinades.

    Oregano – Oregano is often used in Greek and Italian food (especially tomato dishes).

    Mint – Mint is a tasty herb that adds some freshness to any dish (especially lamb!).

    Basil – Most well known as the main ingredient in pesto, basil is a delicious and mild herb.

    Sage – Sage is a great herb to add to pork or turkey sausage and combines well with any other herb on this list.

    You can start your herb garden from seeds, or to get a quick start, you can purchase established herb plants from your local garden center or grocery store. When you purchase established plants you won’t have to wait long until the plants are mature enough for harvesting fresh herbs when you need them.

    -Dr. P
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    Week 5 – Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

    Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE our slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work. Set it & forget it!

    Set it, forget it, then serve it up hot!

    Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

    Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE this slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time7 hrs
    Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: Chicken, crockpot, Gluten Free, high protein, low calorie, slowcooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 207kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 2 Medium Yellow onions thinly sliced
    • 1 3/4 Lbs broiler/fryer chicken cut up and skin removed
    • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can 8 ounces tomato sauce
    • 1 can 4 ounces mushroom stems and pieces, drained, or 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1/3 cup white wine or water

    Options

    • Serve with Pasta or Gluten Free Pasta for a GF version.

    Instructions

    • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the chicken, seasonings, tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and wine.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve chicken with sauce over your pasta choice.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 serving (calculated without pasta): 207 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 787mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 vegetable.

    Week 4 – Heavenly Crockpot Potato Soup

    Slow Cooker Heavenly Potato Soup

    Grandma Antoinette's Potato Soup loaded with chunks of tender, hearty potatoes and made with a rich and creamy soup base. This soup is a family favorite and for good reason – it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious! Top it with cheese and bacon and no one will be able to resist.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs 30 mins
    0 mins
    Total Time9 hrs
    Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, low calorie, one dish meal, slowcooker
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 179kcal
    Author: Grandma Antionette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    Main Ingredients

    • 8 Cups Diced Russet potatoes
    • 48 Ounces Chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
    • 1 10oz Can Condensed Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted or Cream of Celery soup for vegetarian version
    • 1/2 Cup Chopped yellow onion
    • 1 Large Carrot diced
    • 1 Stalk Celery diced
    • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
    • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
    • 1 8oz Package of cream cheese – Cubed

    OPTIONAL

    • ½ Lb Sliced bacon cooked and crumbled (Omit for vegetarian version)
    • Minced chives
    • Shredded Cheddar cheese

    Instructions

    • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine all the main ingredients EXCEPT the Cream Cheese.
      Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or until potatoes are tender.
    • Add cream cheese; stir until blended. Serve immediately & enjoy.
    • Garnish with bacon, cheese & chives if desired.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 cup (calculated without bacon): 179 calories,
    9g fat (5g saturated fat),
    25mg cholesterol,
    787mg sodium,
    21g carbohydrate
    (2g sugars, 2g fiber),
    4g protein.

    Week 3 – Crockpot Rosemary Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

    Crockpot Rosemary Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

    This is one of my weekend favorites. 2-3 hrs in the slow cooker and before you know it, a superbly delicious, soul-warming meal. I use this when I have leftover chicken handy, usually grilled chicken or leftover rotisserie minus the skin. Skip the chicken and rosemary and you've got yourself a wonderful vegetarian mushroom risotto! Either way, enjoy 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
    Total Time3 hrs
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Comfort, Italian
    Keyword: crockpot, one dish meal, risotto, slowcooker
    Servings: 8
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crockpot

    Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups precooked chicken skinless
    • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms about 8 oz
    • 1/3 cup chopped onion
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 3/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon Rosemary or a few fresh sprigs
    • Asiago or parmesan cheese shreds optional
    • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves optional

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet saute mushrooms, onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat . Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned and liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.
    • Add in rice, stirring to coat for 2 minutes.
    • Dump the rice mixture to a 4-quart crockpot. Stir in broth, chicken, wine, and pepper.
    • Cover and cook – low-heat setting about 2 hours and 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
    • Top with cheese and/or parsley. Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Cooking times may vary a little depending on slow cooker brands. Some run  hotter than others. For this recipe, I used Crock-Pot.

    Week 2 – Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

    In honor of Rosh Hashanah, this week’s Crockpot recipe is a flavorful pot roast for a delightful family dinner. (Brisket can be used if you prefer).

    The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid or sauce, and cook a long time over low heat. You’ll need to have this on for about 7-8 hours but it will be worth it!
    L’shana tova umetukah

    Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

    The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid, and cook a long time over low heat.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs
    Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Jewish
    Keyword: Gluten Free, nut free
    Servings: 8

    Equipment

    • Crockpot

    Ingredients

    • 3 pound pot roast
    • 2 large onions
    • 6 large carrots cut thin
    • 5 stalks celery chopped
    • 8 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
    • 6 Tbsp of cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 3/4 cup beef stock
    • 3/4 cup red wine
    • A handful of fresh cut herbs – parsley and tarragon

    Instructions

    • Heat up a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle all sides of your pot roast with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Add pot roast to the sauté pan and brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). When pot roast is browned, add to crockpot.
    • In same skillet, add a touch more oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 5-10 minutes, cooking the vegetables just a touch.
    • Meanwhile in a measuring cup add wine, stock, brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar. Whisk and set aside.
    • When vegetables are done add cranberries and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine mixture and add herbs, bring to a boil.
    • Carefully pour vegetables and sauce over pot roast, cook high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
    • When done, take out the meat, let it cool for 5 minutes or until it’s easy to handle, cut, plate and spoon some vegetables over with a touch of gravy.

    Notes

    Side note: This pot roast can be cooked a day in advance; let the meat and vegetables cool in the crockpot in their juices, and then cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered on high, about 30 minutes.

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – Using Apple Peels & Cores

    Apples! Did someone say apples? This week “This, Not That Thursday” is all about saving those apple peels and cores.

    Every fall we take at least one trip to an apple orchard near us. They have family-friendly activities, wonderful local canned goods for sale, and of course, apples. So many apples! Plain apples, apples to make applesauce, pies, crisps and the “mother” of them all… Apple Cider Vinegar

    When making any of the above you will probably peel & core some of those apples but did you know you can use the peels and the cores to make apple cider vinegar? This way you have virtually no waste! WINNER!

    It is also totally possible to make apple cider vinegar from the whole apple so don’t worry if you don’t have leftover peels and cores from anything.

    There are several more elaborate ways to make apple cider vinegar at home, but today I’m gonna show you how to make it from apple scraps. I especially like this method since it allows me to use the apples for other stuff while still making a valuable product from the “waste”.

    HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time5 d
    Total Time5 d 10 mins
    Course: Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat, low sodium, nut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • One quart jar
    • One canning lid ring OR a rubber band
    • Coffee filter OR paper towel

    Ingredients

    • 5-6 Large apples Apple peels & cores any browning/discolored flesh from organic apples
    • 2-2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar I like Turbinado raw sugar
    • 2-2 1/2 cups water boiled and allowed to cool

    Instructions

    • Cover the bottom of your jar with apple scraps, filling no more than 3/4 full. The apples need room to expand and stay submerged.
    • Add 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar and 2 cups of filtered water to the jar. The apples should be completely submerged. Mold can grow on any portions of apples that are not covered and ruin your batch of vinegar. If your scraps float to the top of the jar add a smaller jar on top to keep them submerged.
    • 3.Stir the apples, sugar, and water and cover with a coffee filter. Secure with a canning band, or a rubber band.
    • Allow apples to sit in a warm, dark place for 2 weeks. Above the refrigerator or on the top shelf of a cupboard are great places. Just don’t forget you put it there!
    • After 2 weeks, you might notice some fizz or bubbles. That’s good news! Strain out the apple pieces and compost. Cover the apple cider vinegar again with a coffee filter and canning band. Allow continuing to sit at room temperature for another 2-4 weeks.
    • The vinegar may become cloudy or a SCOBY could form on the top, both of which are normal. Taste test the vinegar once a week until it’s to your liking. You can stop the fermentation process by replacing the coffee filter with a canning lid and storing it in the refrigerator.
    • Use your homemade vinegar just like you would store-bought vinegar– for cooking, cleaning and everything in between

    Notes

    Tip: You don’t HAVE to use a quart-sized jar, but it’s what I readily have available. Feel free to use whatever size jar you have on hand. If you use a different size jar, the ratio is 1 Tbsp sugar per 1 cup water.
    NOTE: About preserving and pickling with homemade vinegar: It’s generally recommended that you do NOT use homemade vinegar for any sort of preservation. In order to ensure the safety of your home canned products, you need a vinegar with an acetic acid level of 5%. Since most of us don’t have a way to check the levels of our homemade vinegar, it’s best just to skip using it for canning or preserving– better safe than sorry!
    NOTE: You want the peels to be from apples that have been scrubbed very, very well. Organic apples are preferred, but simply buy the best you can afford and wash them very well. Secondly, it’s okay to use brown or bruised apples. However, it is NOT okay to use moldy or rotten apples.


    Week 1 – Crockpot Apple crisp

    Crockpot Apple Crisp

    This Crockpot Apple Crisp is a perfect way to use some of the apples you got while apple picking out east! This super easy dessert is bursting with juicy apples, brown sugar, and a buttery oat crumble topping, just like grandma used to make.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
    Total Time4 hrs
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: soy free
    Servings: 8 People
    Calories: 366kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crockpot

    Ingredients

    The Apple Mixture:

    • 8 Granny Smith apples (Or what you have on hand) peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
    • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    The Crisp Topping:

    • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
    • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

    Instructions

    Apple mixture:

    • Place sliced apples in the slow cooker. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir. (Be sure to use a non-metal spoon so as not to scratch your slow cooker insert.) Let sit while you prepare the crisp topping.

    Crisp Topping:

    • Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the oat mixture until the mixture starts to clump together.
    • Back to the apple mixture, stir one more time and then spread apples out into an even layer. Now, sprinkle on the crisp topping evenly.
    • Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 3-3½ hours, until apples, are soft. Turn off heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before serving (keeping the lid on).
      We serve it with vanilla ice cream, but you can use any flavor you like. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: ⅛ recipe
    Calories: 366kcal
    Fat: 13g
    Saturated fat: 7g
    Carbohydrates: 64g
    Sugar: 42g
    Sodium: 158mg
    Fiber: 7g
    Protein: 4g
    Cholesterol: 31mg
     

    -Dr. P
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    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    "This is a creamy variation of a family classic. The Cream cheese addition takes it to the next level. Serve over hot, cooked egg noodles to complete this easy peasy dinner ."
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: high protein, nut free, soy free
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 376kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound cubed beef stew meat
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 4 ounces cream cheese

    Instructions

    • In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.
    • Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours.
    • Stir in cream cheese just before serving.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    Per Serving: 376 calories;
    27.3 g fat;
    9.5 g carbohydrates;
    22 g protein;
    97 mg cholesterol;
    711 mg sodium

    This, Not That, Thursday – Beeswax Wraps

    On this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday,” we want to discuss beeswax wraps. Last week we touched on DIY reusable snack bags to move away from disposable plastic, so this week we’re focusing on plastic cling wrap.

    If you’re like me, there’s probably no love lost between you and plastic. Most food-related plastics – including cling wrap and so-called “BPA-free” containers – “can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen”* 

    Fortunately, there are so many amazing alternatives available like leakproof glass containers and silicone stretchable lids that stretch to fit a variety of container sizes, and of course beeswax wraps!

    When you pack your own lunch every day (maybe your kids’ too), it might feel like you’re always adding cling wrap to your grocery list… enter beeswax wraps. The pliable covers fold up around foods and cover bowls of leftovers. They rinse clean with cold water and mild soap (hot water would melt the wax!) and you can reuse them time and time again.

    These bee-autiful storage solutions sell for about $18 for a pack of three on Amazon, but if you’re feeling crafty, they’re super easy to DIY. Either way, you’ll easily recoup the cost by buying fewer sandwich bags and plastic wrap. If you use three plastic bags per day and a box of 150 costs about $10, you’re already spending more than $70 per year on something most people just throw away after one use.

    These beeswax food wraps are not hard to make, but they do take a little bit of time, so plan ahead for that. This recipe makes four wraps, but it’s easy to double the recipe if you want to make more.

    Cut the muslin cloth to whatever size works best for you, or even different sizes if you wish. You can use pinking shears if you want to make the edges fancy. I personally love the look it gives. The pine resin is probably the hardest ingredient to come by, but I was able to find a good source on Amazon. Beeswax pastilles are probably the easiest form of beeswax to use here, or you can do what I did and grate some off a block of beeswax.

    INGREDIENTS

    • ¼  cup beeswax
    • 2 tablespoons pine resin
    • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
    • 4 squares of 100% cotton muslin fabric (I used 12″ squares)

    EQUIPMENT

    • small saucepan
    • glass pyrex measuring cup
    • parchment paper
    • baking sheet
    • 1″ wide paintbrush
    • clothes drying rack
    1. Melt the pine resin in a double boiler (I use a glass pyrex measuring cup in a pot of boiling water) over medium heat. 
    2. It takes a while for the resin to fully melt, but once it does add the beeswax. Stir using a wooden or bamboo stick until the resin and wax are completely melted together. 
    3. Then slowly drizzle in the jojoba oil. Turn the heat to low to keep it all melted. 
    4. Preheat the oven to 225°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one square of muslin on the parchment and use the paintbrush to brush it all over with the beeswax mixture. 
    5. Place the baking sheet in the oven just long enough to fully melt the beeswax. It should only take a couple of minutes. Take it out of the oven and spread the beeswax around again with the paintbrush, so that the whole muslin cloth is coated evenly. 
    6. Then take another square of muslin and lay it on top of the first square to blot up the extra wax. Flip the two squares over so that the blotting square is now on the bottom. 
    7. Return the baking sheet to the oven briefly, just long enough to liquefy the wax. 
    8. Remove from the oven, and hang the first piece of beeswax coated muslin on a clothes drying rack to dry. 
    9. Use the paintbrush to spread the wax on the blotting square, which is now your working square, and repeat the whole process again.

    Once they are all dry, they are ready to use! They work perfectly for covering bowls, just as you would use plastic wrap. The beeswax can be warmed in the hands and will conform to the bowl and stick to the rim. The pine resin gives it some stickiness as well.

    FYI: Beeswax wraps aren’t air-tight and won’t keep highly perishable items (like raw meat) fresh. We recommend using them to cover foods you’ll eat within a couple of hours or the next day, like a sandwich, bowl of pasta, or piece of fruit. For longer-lasting leftovers or smellier items like cheese, you’re probably better off sealing them up in reusable glass containers. With that in mind, here’s how you can make your own beeswax wraps <3 

    *Concluded a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives(source 1, source 2)

    Grandma Antionette’s Dutch Oven Pot Roast

    Grandma Antionette’s Dutch Oven Pot Roast

    It’s getting a bit cooler here today and that makes me crave comfort foods. One of my favorite comfort meals of all time is my Grandmother’s pot roast. I remember sitting at her table with my siblings and cousins, inhaling plate after plate. One bite could make your whole week. Fork tender and juicy right from her dutch oven, this Grandma Anionette classic is a meal in one pan and perfect for your next Sunday supper.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
    Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free, nut free, soy free
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 500kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Dutch Oven

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
    • 2 medium onions sliced
    • 2- pound chuck roast
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 cups beef broth
    • 4 large russet potatoes peeled and sliced into 1-inch wedges
    • 4 large carrots peeled and sliced into ½ -inch thick pieces
    • 2 celery stalks sliced into ½ -inch thick pieces
    • 1-2 cloves of garlic
    • ½ cup red wine

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 375.
    • Put your dutch oven on the stove and heat it over high heat 5 to 6 minutes to sear the meat. Add the oil and season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Add it to the pan. It should sizzle immediately.
    • Reduce the heat to medium-high, and let the meat sear on one side 5 minutes, then flip. Add the onions, and garlic then cook 5 minutes more. Deglaze the pot by adding wine.
    • Add the beef broth to the pot–it should come about halfway up the side of the meat.
    • Cover and bake 2 hours, then check the liquid in the pot. Add a cup or so of extra water if needed.
    • Reduce the heat to 300 and bake an additional hour, and then add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Bake covered 1 hour longer or until the meat is tender and the potatoes and carrots are soft.

    This, Not That, Thursday – White Rice Alternatives

    On this week’s installment of This, Not That, Thursday, we bring you 7 healthier alternatives to white rice.

    White rice is a cheap and easy starch many people choose to cook with, but there are healthier alternatives to white rice out there. Use these alternatives to amp up the nutrients in your meal.

    1. Red Or White Quinoa

    Quinoa contains the second most protein of any grain and has all of the essential amino acids. It is also naturally gluten-free and high in fiber.

    2. Cauliflower Rice

    Cauliflower rice is a great, low carb alternative to rice. It is also gluten-free and one serving contains a day worth of Vitamin C.

    3. Broccoli Rice 

    Broccoli rice is another great gluten-free low carb alternative full of fiber, plant-based protein, and iron.

    4. Barley

    Although not as popular as some of the other grains, barley provides a good serving of fiber and many other important minerals such as selenium.

    5. Farro

    Farro is an easy to digest grain that is full of protein and iron.

    6. Sweet Potato Rice

    Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber and also gluten-free.

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – 5 uses for used coffee grounds

    Something that never felt right to me was throwing away used coffee grounds. Many people wake up in the morning looking forward to their cup of coffee and then habitually toss the grounds into the trash without a second thought.

    As it turns out, there are many wonderful things you can do with these spent coffee grounds. Before you throw out those grounds after brewing up your morning beverage, give one of these ideas a try.

    1. Coffee grounds are wonderful at exfoliating your hair. 

    To exfoliate hair, use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup used coffee grounds, depending on hair length. In the shower, wet hair thoroughly. Massage grounds through hair focusing on the scalp. It helps to part the hair and work in sections. Once you have covered the whole scalp, thoroughly wet the hair again. Don’t try to rinse the grounds out as it won’t work. Use your shampoo to work up a nice lather. Then you can rinse it all out. A second shampooing may be necessary. Finish with your normal conditioner or apple cider vinegar rinse.

    2. Soil aeration and nitrogen boost for houseplants. 

    Adding coffee grounds to your houseplants helps the pH balance (toward acidity) as well as increasing nitrogen and aerating the soil. Tomatoes love acidic soil!

    3. Neutralize refrigerator odors. 

    Placing them in the refrigerator acts as a natural deodorizer. The only thing you need to watch for is mold if you use damp grounds. Replace immediately with fresher grounds if it turns into a science experiment.

    4. Weigh Down Ashes for Fireplace Clean-up:

    If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, those old coffee grounds will become your best friend. When it is time to clean out the ashes, cover them with a layer of wet coffee grounds to moisten and weigh them down. This will greatly reduce the amount of ash that will float up and coat your living room when you scoop them out.

    5. Pest Repellent

    Snail, slug, and cat repellent. In the garden, just mound up a barrier of used grounds around the plants which slugs and cats are attracted to. It will help keep them at bay.

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – How to start a compost pile

    For this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” we’re discussing “how to start a compost pile.”

    The EPA estimates that 22 percent of solid waste that enters the landfill is food.

    Composting is a perfect way to divert a lot of that organic matter away from the landfill. While it’s still important to cut down on food waste by eating leftovers and using up produce before it goes bad, no one is perfect. So, composting the kitchen waste that can’t be saved is a great way to reduce food waste.

    How to start a compost pile

    Starting a compost pile requires a few simple steps: creating the compost heap, adding organic materials, and watering and turning the compost as necessary. 

    Creating your compost heap 

    Location – One of the most important factors for starting a compost pile is its location. Choose an open, level area with good drainage. You do not want your compost to sit in standing water. An area with partial sun or shade is also ideal. Too much sun can dry the pile out, while too much shade can keep it overly wet. Finally, choose a site that is easy for you to get to and avoid areas near dogs or other meat-eating animals. 

    Size – The recommended size for a compost pile is generally no smaller than 3 feet high and wide and no larger than 5 feet. Anything smaller may not heat up efficiently and anything larger may hold too much water and become difficult to turn. It is recommended to start your pile on the bare ground rather than on asphalt or concrete. This impedes aeration and inhibits microbes. Placing a pallet underneath the pile is fine, however, if you prefer. 

    Adding organic materials 

    Many organic materials can be composted, but there are some items that you should keep out of your compost pile. 

    These include: 

    • Meat
    • Dairy
    • Fat
    • oil products 
    • Carnivorous pet feces (e.g. dog, cat) 
    • Diseased plants, or weeds that have seeded Human waste Charcoal or coal ash (wood ash is ok though) 

    The key materials for composting are nitrogen/greens and carbon/browns. When starting a compost pile, the recommended practice is to layer or alternate these greens and browns, the same way as you would for making lasagna. 

    Your bulkier organic materials do best in the first ground layer, so start with a layer of browns, such as twigs (less than ½ inch in diameter) or straw, about 4 to 6 inches. 

    Next, add in some green materials, such as kitchen waste and grass clippings, again about 4 to 6 inches thick. Additionally, animal manure and fertilizers serve as activators that accelerate the heating of your pile and provide a nitrogen source for beneficial microbes. 

    Continue to add layers of nitrogen and carbon materials until you reach the top or run out. Lightly water each layer as it is added, firming it down but do not compact. 

    Watering and turning the compost 

    Your compost pile should be moist, but not soggy. Most of your water will come from rain, as well as the moisture in green materials, but you may need to water the pile yourself on occasion. If the pile gets too wet, you can turn it more frequently to dry it or add more brown materials to soak up excess moisture. Once you turn the pile the first time, these materials will get mixed together and compost more efficiently. Keeping the compost pile turned on a frequent basis will help with aeration and speed up decomposition. Using these simple instructions for composting, you will be well on your way to creating the ideal compost for your garden. 

    -Dr. P
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    Insta Pot Beefy Gyros

    These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?

    Beef Gyros with the Insta Pot

    These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: low carb, soy free
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 395kcal

    Equipment

    • Insta Pot

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs beef roast thinly sliced *I've also used loin flap meat and it's so easy to slice and cook
    • 4 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 tbsp parsley dried
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth
    • 1 red onion thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 4 tbsp oil olive, coconut, avocado, etc
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar optional
    • 1 tsp olive oil optional

    Toppings

    • Pitas or Naan bread
    • carrots sliced
    • onions sliced
    • grape tomatoes quartered
    • cucumbers sliced
    • Lettuce
    • Feta or goat cheese optional, use container to measure

    Tzatziki Sauce:

    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup cucumber peeled seeded, and chopped finely
    • 1 clove garlic minced
    • 1 tsp salt and pepper
    • 2 tbsp fresh dill

    Instructions

    • Turn Instant Pot on saute and let the pot warn up. When it’s warm, add oil to the bottom of the pot and let it get hot.
    • Add meat, seasoning, garlic, and onion to Instant Pot. Sear and let onions soften for 3-5 minutes.
    • Pour lemon juice and broth over the meat. Give the meat a quick stir, then lock lid into place. Turn the steam valve to sealing. Using the Meat/Stew preset, cook the gyro meat for 9 minutes.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 3 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the quick release method.
    • While the gyro meat is cooking mix together the Tzatziki sauce and slice your vegetable toppings. For added flavor, drizzle apple cider vinegar and olive oil over vegetables.

    Notes

    Note: To make your gyro, layer the lettuce at the bottom of the pita or naan bread. Then add your meat, toppings, and sauce. This will keep the pita
    or naan from getting soggy.
    Nutrition
    Calories: 395 cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2.5% | Vitamin C: 5% | Calcium: 6.9% | Iron: 18.1%

    -Dr. P

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    Summertime Grecian Flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”

    Summertime Grecian flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 282kcal

    Ingredients

    • 5 Plum (Romtomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1 pinch Italian seasoning
    • 24 kalamata olives pitted and chopped
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 1/4 cup capers
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 6 leaves fresh basil chopped
    • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese freshly grated is best
    • 1 pound flounder fillets
    • 6 leaves fresh basil torn

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove to a medium bowl of ice water; drain. Remove and discard skins from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
    • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until tomatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in olives, wine, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
    • Place flounder in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over the fillets and top with remaining basil leaves.
    • Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

    This, Not That, Thursday – Sugary Drink Alternatives

    Hi everyone! 
    For this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” we are looking at healthy alternatives to sugary drinks. Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking sugary drinks on your waistline and your teeth. It may have far more health risks than many of us may realize. Drinking sugary drinks can cause a decline in kidney function, an increase in your risk of diabetes, and can cause vascular issues. Sugary drinks also deplete your mineral levels and leave you dehydrated. Sugary drinks are also linked to dementia and cancer.

    These are just a few of the negative health effects of sugary drinks. Help to cut the cola with these healthy and delicious sugary drink alternatives.

    Tea – iced or hot-
    With all the different ways to enjoy it hot or cold, tea is likely one of the best sugary drink substitutes on this list. Tea has an extensive variety of flavor profiles and caffeine levels. There’s a tea out there for everyone! Perfect for any season or time of day, tea is a versatile sugary drink substitute and easy way to enjoy flavored beverages with little to no calories. Herbal tea can be used to help you unwind, boost your immune system, or reduce pain or soreness.

    Freshly-squeezed lemonade-
    A classic summertime pick-me-up, fresh lemonade—maybe with a dash of cane sugar or agave nectar for a hint of sweetness—has enough citrusy flavor to help wash away those memories of your sugary drink guzzling days.

    Sparkling water-
    After decades of public health initiatives, consumers are leaving sugary drinks behind for its sleeker, healthier counterpart: flavored sparkling water. Nowadays, sparkling water makers are everywhere, from homes to offices, hotels to restaurants. Rather than buying bottles and cans, avid sparkling water drinkers often invest in carbonated water dispensers to mitigate the environmental impact of buying cases of fizzy water. Now that’s some savvy sipping!

    Kombucha-
    Kombucha is a recent health trend that shows no signs of fizzling out. While its poignant flavor is not for everyone, Kombucha typically contains little to no sugar and is a potential source of probiotics, which are known to promote gut health. It contains antioxidants and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Sparkling water with a splash of juice-
    Perfect for brunch, sparkling water with a splash of pineapple, orange, cranberry, or mango juice is a great non-alcoholic, low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks or mimosas at brunch.

    Fruit and herb infusions-
    Infusions are a great way to use up any extra fruit and herbs in your fridge before they spoil. Simply chop whatever fruit and herbs you have, throw them in a pitcher or reusable water bottle, and you’ll be sipping on some fruity goodness in just a few hours. If you enjoy fruit flavors but don’t want the sugar rush of juice, infusions are the way to go!

    Coconut water-
    Like Kombucha, Coconut water is a health fad and popular healthy substitute for sugary drinks that’s been on the scene for a few years now. Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is a natural source of potassium and electrolytes, making it the perfect tropical alternative to plain water.

    Mineral water-
    Mineral water contains zero calories and has the added nutritional benefit of minerals such as calcium, magnesium sulfate, and sodium sulfate. Mineral water is an everyday sugary drink substitute that’s sold at most grocery stores and online. It can help to lower blood pressure, regulate blood circulation, strengthen bones, and promote digestive health.

    -Dr. P
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    Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

    Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

    In this salad, we combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries, peaches and added prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced and flavor-packed dish. Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Salad, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 233kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil julienned
    • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves julienned
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • 8 cups fresh arugula
    • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese pearls drained
    • 2 medium peaches sliced
    • 2 cups fresh blueberries
    • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto julienned

    Instructions

    • In a small bowl, whisk the first 9 ingredients. Add tomatoes; let stand while preparing salad.
    • In a large bowl, combine arugula, mozzarella, peach slices, blueberries, and prosciutto. Pour tomato mixture over top; toss to coat. Garnish with additional mint leaves. Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 233 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 486mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.

    My word, today is just perfect. Too perfect in fact, to be inside slaving in front of the stove for dinner tonight. In just 20 minutes this delightfully fresh dish is on the table without the need of an oven heating up the whole house. 
    Let Grandma Antoinette help you with dinner <3

    -Dr. P
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    Grandma Antoinette’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

    Grandma Antoinette’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

    “This recipe has been our family favorite. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.”
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time10 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: soy free
    Servings: 4
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 18-24 male zucchini flowers (with stems)
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • vegetable oil for frying
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

    • Clean flowers and dry with a paper towel.
    • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk eggs, milk, and olive oil together in a separate bowl; stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth.
    • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
    • Dip flowers in the batter and fry in the hot oil until golden and crispy, 2 to 5 minutes, working in batches as needed. Transfer fried flowers to a paper towel-lined plate; sprinkle salt over each.

    Snazzy Quick Roasted Chicken

    Snazzy Quick Roast Chicken

    Ingredients
    1 h 30 m
    229 cals
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Total Time1 hr 30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Keyword: low carb, low fat
    Servings: 8 People
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 1 3 pound whole chicken
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
    • Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out under cold running water and remove all fat. Pat dry with paper towels.
    • Put chicken into a small baking pan. Rub with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika and cayenne pepper together and sprinkle over chicken.
    • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and continue roasting to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 40 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

    Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

    Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

    In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccoli, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, soy free, vegetarian
    Servings: 2 people
    Calories: 194kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 1 2 - 3lb Spaghetti Squash
    • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive oil
    • 1 Bunch Broccoli ( or Broccolini) Chopped
    • 4 Cloves Garlic
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
    • 2 Tablespoons Water
    • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese (part-skim)
    • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 3/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

    Instructions

    • Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.
    • Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)
    • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccolini, garlic and red pepper (if using); cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring, until the broccolini is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.
    • Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells in a broiler-safe baking pan or on a baking sheet. Stir ¾ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the squash mixture. Divide it between the shells; top with the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
    • Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
    • Easy cleanup: To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you bake.

    Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew

    Chicken & Sweet Potato stew

    This skillet recipe is a colorful and healthy main dish that can be on the table in just over an hour. The subtle, sweet-spicy flavor is a nice surprise.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time55 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low carb, low fat, soy free
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 small red onion chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves cut into cubes
    • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
    • ½ pound white button mushrooms thinly sliced
    • 1 cup fresh spinach
    • 1 pinch crushed red pepper or more to taste
    • 1 pinch paprika or more to taste
    • 1 pinch sea salt or more to taste
    • 3/4 cup chicken broth

    Instructions

    • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
    • Stir chicken, sweet potatoes, spinach, crushed red pepper, paprika, and sea salt with the onion and garlic in the saucepan. Pour as much chicken broth into the saucepan to make the mixture as soup-like or stew-like as you’d like it.
    • Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

    Summertime Shrimp Salad

    Summertime Shrimp Salad

    “Use an array of colorful veggies to make this healthy shrimp salad pop. Cooking the shrimp with fresh herbs and garlic infuses them with flavor without coming off too strong for a light dinner salad that’s perfect for summer entertaining.”
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Salad
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 290kcal

    Ingredients

    • pounds raw shrimp 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 4 cloves garlic crushed
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 1 medium cucumber diced
    • 3 large heirloom tomatoes chopped
    • ½ cup chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Toss shrimp with oil, thyme and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
    • Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl (discard thyme and garlic). Add lemon juice and stir to coat. Gently stir in cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Arrange the shrimp and vegetables in a serving bowl. Serve drizzled with any dressing left in the bowl and garnish with more basil, if desired.