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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Cooking For the Week

On Sundays I do my weekly cooking in between blogging, and various other things. I am preparing items that will make my lunch week easier.

Today I am starting out making apple/cranberry whole wheat muffins, baked veggie egg rolls, salmon patties, and tuna salad for the week. Muffins and fruit are a good breakfast as is muffins and soft boiled eggs. Egg rolls are an addition to some meals and my mid morning snack at work. We have breakfast at 6:30am and my lunch isn't until 1:00 so I am hungry by 10:30. Salmon patties can be lunch also. And good old tuna salad is great with celery sticks as a spoon or crackers.

Before I get cooking I always fill up the sink with hot soapy dish water. This way I wash as I go. Since I don't have a large kitchen or counter, for that matter, I use the same bowl for all my tasks.

Apple/Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins

Since we are on Weight Watchers I changed my muffin recipe just a bit. Instead of  2 cups of white flour I use one cup white flour and one cup whole wheat flour. I also substitute the 1/2 C oil for unsweetened applesauce. I had two extra gala apples and make a simple sauce adding cinnamon.

(cook small peeled apples pieces in a tablespoon of water and a few shakes of cinnamon. Cook on medium heat until soft.)

Muffin Mixture plus re hydrated cranberry's

Ready for the oven


Baked Egg Rolls with Sweet-Sour-Spicy Sauce

This is my second attempt at Egg Rolls. I think I have it now.
I was looking for a mid morning snack at work that had very little calories and was low on Weight Watcher points.
I found this recipe online and adjusted it to my taste.

Cut up 4 green onions. If the stalks are to big cut it length wise. I tried grating ginger but it doesn't work very well so I cut it up in small pieces. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons of FRESH ginger.

                                        Saute both in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 3 minutes.
 
Grate two large chunks of carrot. The top skinny part doesn't grate well so I ate them for snack.

I added a 10 oz bag of shredded cabbage, carrots, 1 tablespoon Mango Habanero Hot Sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Cook until cabblage is soften. LET COOL. Make sure all the liquid has been cooked out.


A moist towel over the plastic that is over the phyllo dough
Add caption
The next part has to be fairly quick. I used phyllo dough for my egg rolls. You need to keep the phyllo dough moist while you are rolling the egg rolls. I took 2 sheets off, put the plastic back over the dough and put a moist towel over the plastic, NEVER ON THE DOUGH. 
I then sprayed the top of both sheets with olive oil. Just a quick spray.


Next you fold in half so it looks like this and spray with olive oil again. Not much oil. Turn it around so you can roll it up like a burrito.


Place a large spoonful of your mixture on the lower part. I get a bit carried away, but I would rather fill up with veggies than phyllo dough.


                  Roll the dough around the mixture and tuck it under the mixture so it's secure.


Fold ends over and continue to roll making sure the sides stay in so the filling will not
come out.


Spray a pan with olive oil and then spray the top of each egg roll and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. A conventional sheet pan won't fit in my oven so I use a glass pie pan.


I had enough to make 8 egg rolls. I had a little bit of apple sauce left over from the muffins, but not enough to make a roll so I added some fig jelly spread and wrapped it up just like the egg roll. Hubby was happy.
Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes or until they are brown on top. You might have to flip them over to get the bottom side brown.



       Okay the final product and only 3 Weight Watcher Points. To top it off they are delicious.
As far as hubby is concerned the dipping sauce the the ultimate. He puts it on various meats and even on the salmon patties.

Egg Roll Spicy-Sweet-Hot Sauce

Combine: 3/4 C sugar, 1/3 C ketchup, and 2/3 C water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add:         1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoon Mango Habenaro Hot sauce (more if you want more heat) 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger chopped in small pieces. Combine and cook 3 minutes.
Combine: 3 tablespoons corn starch and 1/2 C water. Disolve and add to mixture.
Cook until it thickens and 5 minutes more.
Set aside and cool.

You will be hooked on this stuff. It's easy to make and is good on almost everything.

Salmon Patties

There are two different kinds of salmon at Costco. This has no PINK DYE. Why would you put pink dye in a fish product. I don't know, but we chose the salmon without dye.


Combine: 3 cans of salmon, 4 green onions chopped, 2 stalks of celery sliced up (cut celery length wise a couple times so the pieces are smaller), 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon grill seasonings, 1 tablespoon Habeno Sauce, and about 1/2 C bread crumbs.  I use Trader Joe's Organic Bread Crumbs with out any additional seasonings.
At this point you can add more or less heat if you want. We have been adding more heat to our diets during fall alergies.


                         Yum...yep they are going to be good for lunches...adding that spicy sauce.

Actually I love to cook. I would rather spend a couple hours cooking the weeks meal than cook each night.
I make a menu each week before I go grocery shopping and make my list from that. I include what we will need for two lunches-to-go and what we will need for breakfast.

Because we  have limited time after work I have resorted to buying 3 dinners from Trader Joe's prepared meals in the frig or freezer section. I also buy something I can put in the crock pot one night that is good for two days. Now that equals 5 working days. I just add a veggie or salad with each meal, which is easy.For the weekends we have something easy we can put on the BBQ.


I hope you will make one of these recipes. If you need more info on frugal grocery shopping see my other page. 



 
 


 

 









Saturday, September 27, 2014

Seasonal Allergies

When we lived in northern Nevada my husband's allergies were pretty bad in the fall.  As a child he had asthma. Eventually he grew out of that. Now as an adult his seasonal allergy are awful. I believe they are linked. See this article about Allergies and Asthma.

Normally we would just take over the counter allergy medication each season. This didn't work well and eventually his allergy would lead to bronchitis. Now we want to get rid of these meds and try a more natural way of dealing with seasonal allergies.

About four months ago my husband started taking LOCAL RAW honey. Eating local honey would, hopefully, build his immune system by ingesting local pollen from the bees. We found a local beekeeper, 10 minutes away, and bought several pint jars. NOW fall allergies are in full bloom. He is also adding
Allergena Texas Trees Homeopathic allergen drops to his daily regime. And now, on day number seven, his allergies are much better. Allergena has drops for every state in the USA.

Chronic over breathing is responsible for the hypersensitive state of the immune system. By breathing slowly and opening your nose with your fingers allowing air in your nose alleviates congestion.


Also eating spicy food helps. Hubby has been using Mango Habanero Hot Sauce on his food which clears up congestion temporarily. I will be cooking with spicy food this fall.

So, to recap, build your immune system up if yours is weak, take immune building supplements, local raw honey daily, and Allergena.  Get rid of over the counter synthetic medications.

Extra: squeezing half a lemon in hot water before breakfast and before bed helps with the phlegm associated with allergies. Add 1000mg of chewable vitamin C. This also helps your immune system.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September - Honey Month

Honey has so many benefits. We use it for cooking and hubby takes a teaspoon full morning and evening. He has a poor immune system and the fall allergins are just around the corner. He also takes echinesia and grape seed extract to boost his immune system.

I used to just buy plain honey in the stores, then I bought raw honey in the stores. Still there is nothing better than LOCAL RAW HONEY.

We found a local bee keeper who keeps his bees about 10 minutes from our home. He said he only harvests the honey once a year in June. Apparently, he lost a hive harvesting the honey before winter. A lesson learned. Bees need honey to eat through the winter months when there are not as many sources of food out there. This man also said that store bought, processed, raw honey isn't as good as his. The store processed honey filters out to much of the pollen needed to make honey a benefit for those who have allergies. Of course we got greedy and bought 4 pint jars @ $10 a jar. I would rather buy good food than pay for good doctors. You can even see the pollen on the top of the honey. NEVER PUT HONEY IN THE MICROWAVE. Heat it by setting it in warm water.

I use honey in my homemade granola bars and baking. I do use the store bought raw honey for my recipes so we can keep the good stuff for hubby.

I remember my mother buying honey in the comb. I can't remember if it was local but it was good. It's amazing how we once used all these natural cures so many years ago and have simply just forgotten all their goodness.

We have gone back to basics to continue the lessons learned decades ago. If we have a cold coming on we squeeze REAL lemon juice in a cup of warm water (NO SUGAR OR ALCOHOL). I also take 1000-2000 mg vitamin C. I prefer a chewable tab.. (Clues for a cold coming on are the tightness of your shoulders and being tired) Get plenty of rest and liquids. Green Tea is a benefit also.

Could you make specific honey based on what activates your allergies? Good question. Heck if rag weed is an issue put the honey bees near those flowers. This is just an example. Check out
The Walden Effect
 
You have seen this on the side of the roads. Hubby's alergies are on a 12 hour clock. He takes his spoonfull at 6am before breakfast and before dinner. It seems to work. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Weight Watcher Tuna Steak

Tuna Steak ( 2 servs)

8 ounces Albacore Tuna Steak ($8.89 lb from Trader Joes)

Coat each side with a bit of olive oil and grill seasoning.
I used the George Forman grill cooking it on both sides at once. Total time cooking was  15 minutes at the most.
I had a few olives left over and an avocado that needed help.

4 oz Tuna Steak, 1/2 C peas, 7 olives, 1/2 avocado = 9 points VERY filling when eaten slowly.

Eating secrets: eat slowly, chew more and don't drink while eating. Your stomach enzymes will appreciate you.

Dessert: I added a glass of red wine (5 points) and 1 sq 73% chocolate square (1 point).

I MAKE room for my wine every evening. If I have enough points I substitute the chocolate for a WW chocolate toffee bar (3 points).

Simple Tuna Stead Dinner

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WW BROCOLLI TURKEY STIR FRY

2 Servings


Heat 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large frying pan or chicken fryer on medium heat.
Add:
1 sliced onion
1 C brocolli cut up
1 large minced garlic clove
1 Tablespoon grated ginger (1tsp dry)
½ sliced bell pepper
½ C sliced mushrooms
Cook 5 minutes (if it gets to dry add a bit of water)
Add more veggies if you want

Remove from pan, set aside.

Add 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
Brown 6 ounces turkey breast sliced
Add:
1C chicken broth
1 tablespoons lite salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon horseradish

1 teaspoon brown sugar
(ketchup and horseradish add some zip to this recipe. You could add sriracha also.
Cook on low heat until turkey is tender.

Take two tablespoons of liquid out and add 1/2 tablespoon corn starch to it. Add to pan. This will thicken the mixture

Add veggie mix, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds.
Total WW points per serving is 7 points and a very filling meal.

Serve over whole wheat noodles if you want. We had a fruit salad.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My recipes will be a bit different

As of Saturday, September 6, 2014, I have joined Weight Watchers Online. I played around with the tools on their sight and will revise my old recipes to adapt to Weight Watchers Points. My hubby is joining me. Actually Weight Watchers is a good way to eat for most everyone. PORTION CONTROL is important with meat and fat.

On Weight Watchers all your veggies and fruit have NO points. I am allowed 33 points based on a calculations they design.

Today we shopped at Trader Joe's, as usual. It is easy in the fruit and vegetable department. Pick items you like to keep on hand for munchies and for salads. Each meal will include a salad. We chose Trader Joe's Organic Red Wine & Olive Oil Vinaigrette this week. Two tablespoons is a serving and is equal to 4 points.
 
Preparing a salad has changed. Now that we are using less dressing it's easier if you put the salad in a bowl and put the dressing over it and toss it. Then put it on a separate smaller plate. You can add cherry tomatoes and some vegetables over the salad if you want. If you want to add a bit of cheese choose low-fat or a small amount of Parmesan Cheese. Adding fresh herbs can perk your salad up also.
We always put cucumbers, red onions (grilled if we have time), mushrooms, and tomatoes on our salads. Occasionally we add feta cheese if our main meal is low in points.

 Sooooo we are rethinking our breakfast meals. No longer can I have two waffles and bacon. Instead this morning we each had 1 egg/canadian bacon/whole wheat english muffin/and fruit. Total of 6 points. You can also add veggies to the scrambled egg. Hubby likes mushrooms and onions.

I will also have a blog on Weight Watchers site. I want to educate readers on how to eat and live as chemical free as possible.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Basics Part 1


This blog post is for my friend at work who is just starting to learn to cook.
There are three basic sauces you need to learn to make about anything.

White Sauce:2 servings

2 Tablespoons butter (BUTTER not fake anything)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup liquid
Salt and Pepper to taste
For a basic sauce here is how you start. You can add whatever veggies, meat, spices, and pasta to this basic sauce and create what you want.

Melt the butter over medium heat; add vegetables at this point (onions, mushrooms or whatever you want).
Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds CONTINUALLY. Then add liquid and salt/pepper. For cream sauce use milk. Cook until thick. Add more liquid to thin out sauce.
Macaroni and Cheese: Add cheese after it thickens. Then add pasta and any veggie you want such as peas.

Chicken casserole:  Add chicken broth instead of milk and spices with pasta and chicken.

Tuna Noodle: Add tuna and chicken broth seasonings then noodles.
For all of these casseroles you bake them covered in tin foil @ 375 degrees until you see the bottom bubbling, about 40 minutes. Take the foil off and bake until you get a golden top.

You can just make this cream sauce and add garlic, pasta, parmesan cheese, and some peas for a good side dish.

Or Mac and Cheese

The object is to just use this sauce and add things you like. Maybe some Cajun spices and shrimp or shrimp and garlic. This is just a base for any good invention.