Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beef & Broccoli

I forgot to take a picture of our meal at the table
 so this is our leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I apologize for my absence blogging!! The Vossen Kitchen has been undergoing subtle changes since the first of the year and all of a sudden I realized we eat a lot differently than we used to. We have been trying to eat more "real" food and less processed foods. All the while, we have been adding more and more organic foods to our grocery cart and try to stay away from artificial colors and white, refined sugar and flour.

For example some staples that have changed for us:
Pure maple sugar and honey for most sweeteners)
Whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour (although for some recipes I use part whole wheat, part all-purpose)
Homemade whole wheat bread
Grass fed, pasture raised meats
Organic dairy products
Lots of fruits and vegetables

I know these changes we have made in our diet do cost more but what I realized is that I am saving so much money by NOT buying all of the processed foods I used to get on a regular basis. For example I used to go down the cereal isle and get a couple different boxes of cereal every week. I no longer go down that isle and stick to eggs, homemade whole wheat pancakes & waffles, plain yogurt with homemade berry sauce, whole wheat toast, etc. which are much better for us and they cost a fraction of what boxed cereals do.

You know I love Asian food and beef and broccoli is one of my favorites. I LOVE this garlic-gingery-soy sauce. This was the first time making this meal and Ryan said I need to put this into the rotation of favorite meals. Hope you enjoy!

Beef & Broccoli

3 Tbls soy sauce
3 Tbls liquid aminos
4 Tbls rice wine vinegar
2 Tbls honey
2 tsp organic yellow miso paste
2 tsp cornstarch 

1 Tbls canola oil
1 1/2 Tbls fresh minced ginger root
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb grass fed round or chuck steak, cut into thin strips
1 c organic snow peas
1 c frozen or fresh organic broccoli florets (I buy frozen organic broccoli in bulk from Costco)

In a small bowl combine: soy sauce, liquid aminos, rice wine vinegar, honey, miso & cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high heat and add oil, ginger & garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add beef and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add snow peas and broccoli and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture and simmer for an additional 2 minutes until sauce thickens a little.

Serve over organic brown rice.
(I buy my brown rice from Trader Joe's in the frozen section - we love it!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spaghetti Pie

I had an open jar of marinara sauce, pepperoni and cooked ground beef in my refrigerator the other night. This spaghetti or pizza pie came to mind and I was able to whip up dinner in under 20 minutes. (I did it early in the day and then refrigerated it so it was ready to pop in the oven in the evening-bonus!) It's part spaghetti, part pizza and makes one easy hot dish that your family should love. : )


Spaghetti Pie

2 c tomato-basil marinara sauce
3/4 lb cooked ground beef
1/2 c pepperoni slices
1 c mozzarella or provolone cheese
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 c uncooked pasta (spaghetti would be best but I only had whole wheat wide noodle on hand)

Boil water in a medium sized stock pot.  Add salt and cook pasta to al dente, according to instructions (approximately 6-8 minutes, depending on the pasta you are using). Drain pasta and put back into the pan. Add marinara, ground beef, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Spray a pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and fill with pasta mixture. Top with mozzarella or provolone cheese and pepperoni slices.

Cook at 375 for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Toasted Sandwich

This is really less of a recipe and more of an idea. About once a month we do our own version of Quiznos by toasting our sandwiches and creating a quick and delicious meal. The key to a great toasted sandwich is to start with great bread. I found these wheat mini-loafs at supertarget but I often use a large ciabatta loaf and slice it into 4 servings. The possibilities are endless for this meal. Use my suggestions as a guide but get creative!

Good quality bread - sliced in half

Place bread cut side up on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil or spread with pesto.

Top each piece with desired deli meat and top with sliced cheese.

(I used Apple Gate's organic turkey and ham. We topped one half of the bread with Havarti cheese and the other half with shredded cheddar.)

Place under the broiler for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Place pickles, tomato, spinach, onions, lettuce, etc. (whatever toppings you like!) inside your sandwich and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Caprese Pasta

This pasta dish is a no brainer. I looked in my fridge and saw I had fresh basil next to a ball of fresh mozzarella. And what do you know? Sitting on my countertop was a container of cherry tomatoes that I didn't even have a plan for (they were buy one get one free this week at the grocery store)! And so this caprese pasta dish was born. I also added spinach since I'm always trying to get more greens in. I made this as a sidedish, but it ended up being the main event since we all gobbled it up happlily. I love roasting the cherry tomatoes until they are literally bursting with flavor. You could add cooked Italian sausage to this and it would be a perfect meal.

Caprese Pasta

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

2 c mafalda pasta (or your favorite pasta)
2-3 Tbls fresh basil, chopped
1 c baby spinach
1 c whole milk mozzarella, cut in chunks
1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400. On a half sheet pan, arrange cherry tomatoes and drizzle with two Tbls of olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst.

Meanwhile, boil water for pasta. Add salt and pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta and place back in the sauce pan. Add basil, spinach, mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted cherry tomatoes. Heat through and serve.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chicken Marinade

This is my sister Stacy's favorite marinade and it is now my favorite too. These are ingredients that I always have on hand and I love the fact that you can marinade the meat for only an hour and still have great results. With grilling season just around the corner, this is the perfect marinade to spice up your grilled chicken. Pictured is our grilled chicken: one plain and one topped with Havarti cheese.





Easy Chicken Marinade

1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 c yellow mustard
1-2 tsp garlic, minced
3/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp pepper
In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine all ingredients. Add chicken or pork and marinade for 1-4 hours. Grill and enjoy!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

White Leek Soup

I guess I should really call this recipe Potato-Leek-Pear Soup but it seemed too lengthy. To help "sell" this soup to my toddler I called it: pear soup. Call it what you like, this recipe is so unique, so easy, and so delicious. I know it is a bit "out there" but we tried is last week and ate every last spoonful. Yes, my family ate soup with leeks and enjoyed them! I got this recipe from reading the book "French Kids Eat Everything" (if you have kids you should read it). I guess most babies in France eat leek soup as one of their first foods, and here I was, 29 and not sure if I had ever tried a leek. I will certainly be making this recipe again and I will now be on a mission to try cooking in other ways with leeks.

White Leek Soup

1 c. potatoes, peeled and diced small
2 c. leeks, washed and sliced white part only (about 6 leeks)
1 1/2 c water
2 pears, cored, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. honey or pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Dash of nutmeg (optional)

In a sauce pan, add potatoes, leeks and water and simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the chopped pear and simmer an additional 2-3 minutes. Drain but reserve the liquid! Add honey/syrup to vegetables and blend. Add reserved liquid to the vegetables a little at a time until you get the consistency you like. I used about 1/2 of the remaining water and my consistency was close to apple sauce. Add in salt and nutmeg.

Optional: Serve with a little tab of butter on top.

Key Lime Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. For that reason I only bake cheesecake when I am with my extended family so I am not able to eat the whole thing by myself. This weekend I made this key lime version and it was so easy and so delicious. I love the top layer of glaze that gives it that key lime pie feel. Make this cheesecake for your family...or yourself. : )

Key Lime Cheesecake


1 pkg graham crackers, crushed
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 sugar

In a medium bowl combine crushed graham crackers, butter and sugar. Press mixture into a pie pan. Set aside.


2 pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp grated lime zest
2 Tbls fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

In a large bowl or stand mixer beat cream cheese, sugar, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla until smooth. Add in eggs and mix until just combined. Pour cream cheese batter into unbaked graham crust.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool for 1 hour before topping with glaze.

Glaze Topping

1/4 c sugar
3/4 Tbls cornstarch
1/4 c water
2 Tbls lime juice
In a small sauce pan whisk all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil and stir for 3 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes and then pour over baked cheesecake. Refrigerate 3 + hours.