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Sassy's Southern Kitchen

Low Sodium Recipes: Sweet and Spicy Rice Bowls

Sweet and Spicy Rice Bowls is a recipe that evolved as I went. Let me tell you how it happened. There I was, faced with yet another challenge to create a rice meal that my brothers would actually eat….(we interrupt your regularly scheduled story-time for a backstory on why The Chef’s brothers do not like rice)….Friar Tyst, The Health Inspector, and La Critico (especially La Critico), do not always enjoy eating rice dinners. For that I am partially to blame, as many times in the past I have struggled to incorporate flavor into rice dishes while at the same time keeping them low-sodium for El Gastronomo’s health needs. So, usually I dread making rice because I know that they will probably not like it. So there ya go, the backstory. Any-who….I was faced with the challenge of meeting three separate requests: that the rice would not contain beans (Friar Tyst), that the rice would actually be good (La Critico,) and that the rice dish would be completely different than anything I had made before (Queenbee & The Health Inspector). This meant that I could not include beans or tomato products, or include ingredients that I have used in the past. Impossible you say? Yes, it was, until….I decided to put aside all apprehension and go wild, to begin combining random ingredients and hope for the best. Crazy, right? No way it could work, right? Wrong! Okay, most of the time this would be the wrong approach, but in this case, it worked beautifully….and I thought I would share it with you, my beloved audience.:) Let’s cook!

The Ingredients: 2 cups brown rice, 1 cup cooking water, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 8 cloves fresh garlic, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. tomato paste (optional)1 can whole kernel corn, 1 can diced green chilies, 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, 6-8 eggs, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. oregano (optional), vegetable oil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel four of the garlic cloves. Add the the four whole garlic cloves, tomato paste (if using), and the rice to the boiling water. Cook the rice for about fifteen minutes or until three-fourths of the way done. Drain the cooked rice, reserving one cup of the cooking water. Mince the remaining garlic cloves and saute them over low heat in a large skillet with the butter for two minutes. Add the rice, milk, cooking water, corn, green chilies, and spices. Place a lid on or invert a baking sheet upside-down on top of your skillet. Let the rice mixture simmer over low heat for ten minutes. Meanwhile, fry the eggs and grate the cheese. When the time is up, stir the rice well, then generously sprinkle the cheese over the top and decorate your masterpiece with the fried eggs. Let the cheese melt while you set the table, or just eat straight from the pan!:)

Let’s see what the popular opinion is on this recipe!

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, what do you think about this rice dish?” Friar Tyst: “Well it’s actually good I guess, and there’s actually no beans in it…for once.” The Chef: “I knew you would have trouble telling me how you really felt, but I’m glad you like it! (sarcasm alert).”

The Chef: “El Gastronomo, your thoughts?” El Gastronomo: “It’s really good, I especially like the fried eggs.”

The Chef: “La Critico, you are perhaps the most critical opinion here when it comes to rice, what do you think?” La Critico: “It’s better than your other rice dishes, the green chilies really give it a good flavor, in the future you could consider making it even spicier though. In the past I haven’t enjoyed rice because it was so plain, but this one is much better.” The Chef: “Would you eat it again?” La Critico: “Well I guess so.” The Chef: “…(does victory dance)…”

Isn’t it gorgeous?:)

My Mama’s Banana Bread

Hello Everyone! As a belated tribute to my amazing mom, I am re-posting an original recipe by Queenbee whose ingredients we recently altered to ensure maximum goodness levels. Thank you Queenbee for teaching me everything I know! I hope that all of you enjoy this quick bread as much as we have over the years!:)

Homemade bread of any kind is a comfort food in my book, but when somebody makes homemade bread that is healthy, AND tastes good….well….more power to them. Today I am introducing the most important member of our cooking team, the person who taught me how to cook. Queenbee. She is the one that laid the foundation that I have built upon, Queenbee is my inspiration in life. When I ruin recipes, she fixes them. She is always there for me exactly when I need her most. Banana Bread is one of the first things she taught me how to make. (She still makes it better than I do). I remember stirring the ingredients in a mixing bowl while she added them and tasting the sweet batter before she put the flour in…did I say that out loud? I could share with you many memories of all the things she has taught me how to cook and bake, but this one is enough for today.

The Ingredients (UPDATED!): 2 overripe bananas, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, 2 cups white whole wheat flour, 1 egg, 1 1/4 cups vanilla almond milk (more if needed), 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. cinnamon.

Begin preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Place the bananas into a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a potato masher until fully pureed. Now add the sugar(s), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula until well combined. Add the oil and the egg, stir until just combined. Alternate adding the flour and milk until none remains. Spray a regular sized loaf pan generously with cooking spray, pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top with your rubber spatula. Bake the banana bread for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Butter the bread and serve while warm.:)

Mother’s Day Breakfast: Skinny Cinnamon Roll Waffles

The title says it all. Are you looking for a really naughtily delicious breakfast to serve your mother this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. These Skinny Cinnamon Roll Waffles are delicious all on their own…or when paired with extra naughty toppings. This recipe is low-calorie and user-friendly, but….you could beef it up a bit with fresh fruit, extra butter, real icing, extra butter….You get the idea. I can’t seem to think of anything else to say about these, that bit about extra butter got me really distracted. In the words of Amy from the movie Little Women, “Isn’t butter divinity?” Now that we have reflected on the superior qualities of butter, onto the recipe!

Cinnamon Waffles: 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp. melted butter, 1 egg white, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. sea salt.

Turn on your waffle iron. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until fully combined. Add the melted butter, egg yolk, and milk. Mix until fully combined. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped egg white into the batter until mostly combined. Cook your waffles according to the settings on your waffle iron (i.e. light, medium, dark). Makes two large, round waffles.

Brown Sugar Glaze: 2 tsp. dark brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp. butter.

Melt the ingredients together for 30 seconds in your microwave. Whisk together until fully combined. Drizzle the glaze over your cooked waffles.

Icing Glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. fat free evaporated milk.

Whisk these two ingredients together until fully combined. Drizzle the glaze over your cooked waffles.

Delicious food with a simple, rustic beauty….ignore my feet.:)

Chef’s Choice: Strawberry Market Salad with 3 ingredient Strawberry Vinaigrette

Ever since we planted a garden this spring we have been eagerly waiting for it to produce vegetables for us. The first fruits of our labor starting coming in this week; fresh lettuce! Now that we have fresh lettuce growing in our garden, it is impossible for me to resist creating different types of salads for my family to enjoy. This fresh Strawberry Market Salad is irresistibly delicious, and different from any market salad you have ever had before! Let me tell you how it all went down. El Gastronomo has long desired for me to create a market salad, as this is his favorite kind. Recently we went strawberry picking and there were a few berries leftover from our haul, so….I decided to use them for something healthy, and original. I started throwing things together, and let me tell you, it was a day where everything went right. I love those days. Now that I am coming to the end of this semester, and looking hopefully towards a summer free from the burden of college classes, my creativity is back in full swing. Hello culinary creativity, I’ve missed you so. But enough about me! Onto the recipe!

Market Salad: 1 cup chopped Romaine lettuce, 4 large, fresh strawberries, 1/2 Gala apple.

Finely dice the apple half and the strawberries, toss these ingredients with the chopped lettuce.

Strawberry Vinaigrette: 1 tsp. strawberry jam, 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. honey.

Whisk these three ingredients together vigorously until fully combined. Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over the salad.

Simply beautiful:)

Total Calories: 147 to 200 calories for one salad with one recipe of vinaigrette. 

Mother’s Day: Easy Cinnamon & Sugar Pastry Roses

What better way to celebrate your wonderful mom than to make her a special breakfast that she can enjoy in the comfort of her bed? These Easy Cinnamon & Sugar Pastry Roses are just the thing to bring a smile to your mother’s face this Mother’s Day. All you need are four simple ingredients, and a little imagination….:) Seriously, this is one of those easy treats that you could enjoy at any time of the year, not just on holidays. I myself use this recipe as a substitute for cinnamon rolls when I don’t feel like making the homemade kind. They’re that good! This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled as needed!;) Now, enough talk, onto the recipe. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, Queenbee, and La Critico.

The Chef: “Queenbee, I was thinking about adding these to your Mother’s Day breakfast, what do you think?” Queenbee: “That’s a great idea! These are really good!” 

The Chef: “La Critico, do these little delicacies compare in any way to your beloved canned cinnamon rolls?” La Critico: “These actually do taste like those.” The Chef: “I’m so glad you like them.” 

Four Amazing Ingredients: 1 tube refrigerated crescent roll dough, 2-3 tbsp. melted butter, 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin pan generously with cooking spray. Unroll your crescent roll dough and separate the triangles from each other. On a flat surface, toss together the cinnamon and sugar. Brush melted butter liberally on both sides of the dough triangle and roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Repeat as needed. Starting at the skinny side of the triangle, tightly roll the dough inward and to the right, creating a rose bud shape. Place each “rose bud” into the muffin pan. If you wish, you may exaggerate the “rose petals” a bit by pulling them outwards after the shaped roll has been placed into the muffin pan.

Onto the oven! Bake the rolls for ten to fifteen minutes. While the rolls bake, feel free to whip up a simple glaze to really send these little delicacies over the top!

One Beautiful Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 tbsp. evaporated milk (or any kind of milk).

Whisk the sugar and milk together until they form a smooth, pourable paste. Place a piping bag or a Ziploc bag into a glass, folding the edges of the bag over the sides of the glass, and fill it with the glaze. Remove the finished rolls from the oven , snip off the tip of the bag, and use it to ice the rolls.

They’re, so, beautiful….:)

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Chef’s Choice: Skinny Grilled Cheese Salad

Queenbee and I have recently fallen in love with a salad that I created not to long ago. It’s kind of a Caesar salad/grilled cheese sandwich mashup, designated to become great from the moment it all came together. I have never seen a salad like it, and I probably never will. That’s what makes it so good, there’s nothing like it! As if you needed any more encouragement, it is one of the few low-calorie salads with a creamy dressing. Yes, I said a creamy dressing. Be not afraid, you know you’re tired of that loathsome vinaigrette.;) This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, Queenbee, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Queenbee, how do you like this salad?” Queenbee: “This is really good, better than a restaurant!” The Chef: “That is high praise indeed.”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, I made that salad Queenbee likes so much, want to try it?” Friar Tyst: “…chewing….swallowing….Now that’s a salad!” The Chef: “Friar Tyst, as you obviously have a problem telling us how you really feel (sarcasm warning), could you put your opinion in terms that we can understand?” Friar Tyst: “Most salads taste like a wet burp, but not this one.” The Chef: “…laughing…”

The Ingredients: 1 cup chopped Romaine lettuce, 1/2 slice whole grain bread, 1 1/2 tsp. butter, 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1-2 tbsp. Great Value light thousand island dressing, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, black pepper, sea salt, and onion powder.

Preheat your oven to Broil. Melt the butter in your microwave and tear the bread into quarter-sized pieces. Toss the torn bread, melted butter, and spices together. Broil the croutons for four to six minutes or until crispy. Meanwhile, toss the chopped lettuce and cheese together in a small bowl or on a plate. When the croutons are done, remove them from the oven and immediately toss them with the other salad ingredients, this will make the cheese melty and delicious. Top your salad with dressing and enjoy!

Total Calories: One salad with 2 tablespoons of light thousand island dressing: 288-300 calories. 

Light, fresh, and delicious!

 

Recipes for College Students: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Quesadilla

Hello fellow college students, bloggers, and random people on the Internet in search of the perfect breakfast, it’s your local source of delicious here to bring the ultimate satisfaction. That is, unless you don’t like bananas, or peanut butter, or butter, or chocolate chips. But who doesn’t like chocolate chips? No one. Good, I’m glad we answered that question. Now you have had your daily dose of sarcastic humor by yours truly (who else), onto the recipe! I’m sure we’ve all seen the many Pins on Pinterest featuring the infamous Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Quesadilla, as it has certainly made the rounds over the years. So here’s the thing, I finally decided to try it, and, let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious! Now, the Pinterest one is fine…but….I decided to bring this little delicacy to maximum goodness levels. Want to know how? Just follow the recipe below, you can’t go wrong.:) Well, actually, you could technically go wrong, if you think about it. But we’re not going to think about that! Because positivity is always best! Anyway, how can we fail with only five ingredients?:)

There are two ways you can cook this bad boy, in a grill, or in a pan on the stove top. I will be including both methods below.

The Ingredients: 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1 tbsp. all natural crunchy or creamy peanut butter, 1/2 banana, 1-2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter or cooking spray.

Spread half of your tortilla with the peanut butter. Slice the banana and arrange the slices atop the peanut butter. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly atop the banana slices, making sure to keep all of the ingredients on one side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over to make it a quesadilla.

Grill It: Spray the inside of your grill (preferably the indoor, electric kind) with cooking spray. Place your prepared quesadilla into the grill and close the lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes. The grill should toast it evenly on both sides.

Fry It: In a small pan over medium heat, melt half of your butter. Add the prepared quesadilla, toast it evenly on one side. Add the remaining butter and toast the quesadilla on the other side. Turn off the heat, serve while warm, and enjoy!

Melty peanut butter + Melty chocolate chips=AMAZING

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter everybody! I hope that all of you have been having a great day celebrating Jesus’ resurrection with your friends and family! Isn’t it encouraging to be reminded of the hope we have because of what Jesus did on the cross? Jesus gave it all so that we could be forgiven, He sacrificed Himself so that we could have eternal life and freedom from sin. But that’s not the end of the story! On Easter morning Jesus rose from the grave and became victorious over sin and death, He gave us a reason to rejoice, a reason to hope. Psalm one-hundred and three verse one says: “Praise the Lord O my soul, all my inmost being, praise His holy name!” I find hope, joy, strength, peace, and salvation….in Christ alone. As you celebrate this holiday with family and friends, making memories that will last a lifetime, don’t miss Jesus.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Recently I stumbled upon just about the best chocolate chip cookie recipe you’ll ever find. It’s soft, chewy, crunchy, and covered in ice cream. What could be better than that? I know the skillet cookie craze is pretty much over for the rest of the world, but not for me! So, if you’re looking for danger, adventure, and an epic cheat day, look no further than this delicious recipe. My family and I have been known to enjoy it on more than one occasion…..:) This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, Queenbee, El Gastronomo, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Queenbee, your lifelong skillet cookie desires are about to be fulfilled. Tell us what you think.” Queenbee: “Mmmm..these are REALLY GOOD.” You’ll definitely be making these again.” 

The Chef: “El Gastronomo, your thoughts?” El Gastronomo: “The vanilla ice cream is really good with these.” The Chef: “It is, isn’t it?”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, how do you like these little goodnesses?” Friar Tyst: “Well they’re pretty good I guess.” The Chef: “Mm-hmph.”

The Ingredients: 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup white whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup quick oats, 2/3 cup organic granulated sugar, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 1/2 sticks softened butter, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer fitted with the beater attachments, cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until fully combined. Slowly incorporate the dry and the wet together until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand. Grease a large skillet. Form the cookie dough into a large ball. Press the ball of dough into a flat disc that covers the bottom of the skillet. Bake for about fifteen minutes. Serve warm with vanilla or chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup.

So…good…🙄


 

 

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