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a balanced plate with room for dessert


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Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac | doughseedough.net

Chili is one of my favorite winter comfort foods. We just got out of a mega deep-freeze up here in Wisconsin (“feels like -35°F” is something I would be OK with never seeing and feeling again) and this spicy turkey chili mac hit the spot. I made this on one of the nights that Mike and I were apart, so having to wash only one pot was a huge bonus. Doing dishes is the least exciting part of cooking.

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac | doughseedough.net

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac

1 1/4 pound 93% lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes*
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup dried whole wheat elbow macaroni or pasta of choice
1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
optional toppings: shredded cheese, fat free Greek yogurt or sour cream, jalapenos

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook turkey, onion and garlic until meat is browned and cooked through and onion is tender.
  2. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta, jalapenos, chili powder, and cumin. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and allow mixture to simmer. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until macaroni is soft, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Top with optional toppings before serving.

*I used a pint of quartered tomatoes I canned over the summer.

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Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes

Cranberries are one of my favorite parts about winter. So many cranberries, so little time. These cheesecakes were the perfect way to showcase a bit of the tart fruit. Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes | doughseedough.net I think these mini cheesecakes are my new go-to party dessert. They’re super quick and easy and they are the perfect amount of pretty. These baby cheesecakes won’t crack and won’t brown before they’re cooked through. They’re pretty much impossible to mess up. So, if you’re looking for an easy, stress-free dessert, your search is over! These mini cranberry swirl cheesecakes are the dessert for you. Enjoy! Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes | doughseedough.net Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes makes 3 dozen for the cranberry swirl: 1/2 cup cranberries 1/8 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 cup water for the crust: 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 whole graham cracker sheets) 3 tablespoons butter for the filling: 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a mini cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cranberry sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, lemon zest, and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare the crust: In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir together until well combined. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each liner. Press down to pack into a crust; I found a shot glass worked really well for this step. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Prepare the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed or until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. To assemble the cheescakes: Fill each liner 3/4 of the way with cheesecake filling. Carefully place 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of cranberry sauce on top of the cheescake filling. Swirl the cranberry sauce using a toothpick to create a marbled effect.
  6. Bake cheesecakes in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheesecake is set.
  7. Allow cheesecakes to cool in pan on a wire rack. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

adapted from The Baker Chick, originally from Martha Stewart


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Bourbon Fudge Brownies

Asking me to pick between these bourbon fudge brownies and the espresso bourbon brownies I made a few months ago is like asking me to choose between Sour Patch Kids or Sour Skittles. It’s pretty much impossible for me to pick. They’re both delicious. If you have people who aren’t huge coffee fans but still enjoy a nice hint of bourbon, these are the perfect brownie.

Mike likes to eat these with a little glass of bourbon on the side. I love these best when they’re straight from the oven. I mean, seriously, does anyone actually wait for stuff to cool before eating? I’m pretty sure I spend most of my life with a burnt tongue and/or roof of my mouth. I should probably work on my self control.

Bourbon Brownies | doughseedough.net

Bourbon Fudge Brownies

1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweeetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Bring bourbon to boil in a small saucepan. Remove pan from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and whisk until combined and lump-free.
  4. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add vanilla and eggs and beat to combine.
  5. Add bourbon and flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
  6. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light


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Easy Pepper Steak with Mushrooms

I’m spending more time than ever just cooking for one. The weekdays Mike and I spend together are rare, and when we do get the chance to enjoy each other’s company during the week,  the last thing I want to do is spend hours cooking. My cooking style has evolved. I’m focusing more on super quick and easy dishes now more often than not. I don’t see this changing in the near future, either. I’ll be going back to school for my master’s in January (!!!) which means even less time in the kitchen.

For this recipe swap I was assigned Angie’s blog, My Chicago Kitchen. I looked through a bunch of her recipes before settling on this pepper steak dish. Quick and easy? Check. Delicious? Check!

Easy Pepper Steak with Mushrooms | doughseedough.net

Easy Pepper Steak with Mushrooms

slightly adapted from My Chicago Kitchen originally from Elly Says Opa

1 pound flank steak, cut against the grain into thin strips
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms,  sliced
salt & pepper, to taste
cooked brown rice,  for serving

  1. In a shallow bowl, marinate the flank steak in 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce for 15 minutes. Season with a touch of ground white pepper.
  2. While the beef is marinating, make the sauce. Mix the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce with cornstarch. Add beef broth and whisk until corn starch is dissolved. Mix in red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onions are tender-crisp. Increase heat and add beef and cook until no longer pink in the center. Add peppers and mushrooms to the pan and cook until peppers are tender-crisp.
  4. Pour in the sauce and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a simmer; it will thicken as it warms. Serve hot over brown rice.


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Kale & Apple Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

The last outdoor farmers’ market is this Saturday in Madison. The last Wednesday market was yesterday and my heart broke a little. What am I going to do on my Wednesday lunches now? I can’t believe it’s November. I can’t believe it’s already snowed. I’m looking forward to visiting the indoor market for the first time this winter. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Madison for 5+ years and have never been to the indoor farmers’ market.

I have one thing that I’m looking forward to buying – kale. Lots and lots of kale. Sometimes I forget that good food doesn’t need to be time-consuming. It doesn’t need to be complicated. This kale & apple salad is the perfect example of that.

Kale & Apple Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | doughseedough.net

Kale & Apple Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 red onion, cut into a small dice
2 bunches kale (about 1 pound)
2 medium honey crisp apples

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper until well combined. Drizzle in oil while whisking continuously. Stir in onion and set dressing aside.
  2. Remove fibrous stem from kale discard.  Slice leaves crosswise into 1/4-inch thick ribbons and place in bowl with dressing.
  3. Slice apples into matchstick pieces and add to bowl. Toss to combine. Allow salad to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Salad can be prepared up to one day ahead of time; toss again before serving.

 

recipe slightly adapted from Chow

 

 


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Pumpkin Pie Granola

This pumpkin pie granola is a million times better than actual pumpkin pie. It packs all the delicious flavors of pumpkin pie without that baby food texture. Carrie over at Carrie’s Sweet Life hosted this month’s What’s Baking challenge and the theme was pumpkin or squash.

This granola recipe is crazy easy and since the pumpkin craze is in full swing, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make this in your kitchen already. I skipped out on using added fats in this recipe and instead used pumpkin to bind everything together to make a delicious, crunchy, slightly healthier granola.

Pumpkin Pie Granola | doughseedough.net

 

Pumpkin Pie Granola

5 cups old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅔ cup pepitas
⅔ cup pecans
⅔ cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the wet mixture into the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated. Stir in pepitas and pecans.
  4. Place granola onto prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Remove and sprinkle cranberries on top and stir in. Let granola cool complete; it will crisp as it cools.
  5. Store granola in an air-tight container.


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SNAP Challenge 2014 Day 7 (+ a pasta recipe)

SNAP Challenge Day 7 | doughseedough.net

It’s done. Mike and I have finished the SNAP Challenge. We both agreed that this year was harder than last. We couldn’t figure out why at first – we had plenty of food (leftovers, even), but everything just seemed more difficult. We think it was partially due to the fact that we had to complete most of the SNAP Challenge apart. I also didn’t plan for enough snack foods throughout the week.

There are definitely things I’m looking forward to now that the Challenge is over – farmers’ market produce, sparkling water, breakfast sandwiches, ice cream… I actually even miss rice. Mike told me he’s craving chocolate and plans to eat chocolate everything for a day. I can’t control what he eats from 2 hours away, so we’ll see what happens 🙂

Doing this Challenge will never equate to what those who live on SNAP experience day-to-day, but this Challenge is always a great reminder of how much I have to be thankful for in life, and why I am never ever “too busy” to take time to volunteer. It reminds me to not judge people and the food choices they make. As a dietitian, my heart crumbles a little every time patrons at the food pantry choose 6 Slim Jim sticks over 4 cans of tuna. As a human, I now understand why they would make that choice.

Today we ate:

Breakfast: oatmeal with egg (me), oatmeal with agave (Mike)
Snack: apples
Lunch: pasta with zucchini and tomatoes in lemon-yogurt sauce
Snack: celery and carrots with Greek yogurt dip
Dinner: pasta with zucchini and tomatoes in lemon-yogurt sauce (me); chicken taco soup, corn on the cob (Mike)
Snack: peanut butter toast with banana (Mike)
Drinks: peppermint tea, water with lemon

Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes in Lemon-Yogurt Sauce | doughseedough.net

Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes in a Lemon-Yogurt Sauce

13.25 ounce package whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
olive oil spray
4 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, Parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted. Stir in tomatoes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer zucchini mixture into large bowl of yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta and gently toss until well combined. Add the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to thin the sauce. Serve immediately.

recipe slightly adapted from Ezra Pound Cake