admin / May 2, 2014

Friday Round-Up-Substitute Pie Crust

Just a quick Friday round-up.

First up, congrats to Cheryl who won the China Study All Star Collection cookbook.

Lots of strawberries are already in the produce department. I can’t wait to see how my own strawberry plants (and the blueberry plants) do this year. Last year was the first time I planted them so I don’t know if I’ll have enough to make any jam or pies. I’ll probably use them just for snacking.

Speaking of snacking ,one of my favorites is homemade hummus on cucumber slices. It’s filling and keeps the hunger pains away until mealtime. Plus, with cucumbers soon to be in abundance and chickpeas always on sale, it’s a budget priced treat.

By the end of the summer I’ll take a guess that most of us will have more zucchini than we know what to do with, so this year I’ve planned ahead. This week I came up with a substitute for pie crust for things like quiches. It’s low cost and can save you lots of calories too.

I used one green and one yellow zucchini. I shredded them over a sieve and then sprinkled on some salt. I let them sit for about 15 minutes and then squeezed them to get all the water from them.

Next put them on some paper towels and blot them dry with more paper towels.
Add them to a bowl, add some pepper and one well beaten egg and mix well.

Spray a quiche pan or baking dish with non-stick spray and then put the zucchini into the pan. Using the back of a spoon form it into a pie crust.

Bake this at 375 for about 20 minutes or until it’s set and golden brown.

I used mine for the base of a cheese soufflé. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into meals…especially for children. If you want a deeper crust just use more zucchini.

And finally, I found two money saving articles of interest-

MR900439512Sometimes things we already own are the best for saving the pennies-
http://news.yahoo.com/save-money-items-already-own-131900777.html

If you’re like me and wouldn’t think of traveling without your best buddy, check out this article-
https://www.yahoo.com/travel/what-it-costs-to-take-your-fur-baby-on-vacation-83869253948.html

Happy savings.

admin / February 24, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Spicy Chickpea and Vegetable Stew

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When it’s cold outside I long for dishes that have a little kick to them. I always have a couple of cans of chickpeas sitting in the pantry, zucchini was on sale so I thought about combining the two to make a spicy stew which could be served over couscous. This is what I came up with. It’s vegan and you can just about use whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. The addition of chopped green olives adds a nice salty contrast to the heat of this dish.

1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, washed and diced
1 large onion, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
Pinch of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes…more if you’re brave!
¼ cup chopped green olives stuffed with pimentos… more for garnishing
Salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 12 ounce package of plain couscous
Some olive oil for drizzling over the couscous

In a large saucepan and over medium high heat, heat the oil and then add the onion.

Cook for about three minutes or until it starts to soften and caramelize.

Add the zucchini, a good sprinkling of salt, and cook for a few minutes.

Slowly add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes and stir so the onion and zucchini get well coated. Cook for about five minutes.

Slowly add both the tomato sauce and tomatoes and stir so everything is mixed well.

Add the beans and chopped olives and bring the mixture to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for about ten minutes or until the mixture has reduced down about an inch.

Meanwhile cook the couscous and keep warm.

Serve the couscous on a large platter and drizzle with olive oil.

Pour the stew over the top and garnish with more chopped olives.

Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

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