Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pasta with Chickpeas









Pasta with chickpeas is an old Italian recipe (Pasta e Ceci). It's well balanced to keep you full, plus it's tomato-y and texture-y and very comforting. 

2 tsp dried thyme (or 4 stems fresh)
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 stem fresh)
1 TBSP oil (olive or vegetable)
1 TBSP butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cubes vegetable (or Not Chick'n brand) bullion
6 C water
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or kidney or northern beans
2 C diced tomatoes (or one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
3/4 C small pasta
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat oil and butter in a stock pot and saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add everything else and simmer until pasta is tender (15 minutes). Serves 4 -6

About $1.30 per serving

Friday, May 20, 2011

Heather's Orange Ginger Surprise


"God doesn't make orange juice, God makes oranges." - Jesse Jackson

I've got a confession to make.  I'm an orange girl.  Give me an orange, navel or otherwise, and I can be happy for a very long time.  Once when I was just a squirt, I polished off 8 oranges (YES, You read it right, E-I-G-H-T) in one afternoon.  That evening I was sicker than a golden retriever who had been eating socks.  Dear ole' daddy leaned over me and said, "Joanie, just how many oranges did you eat today?"  When I had to admit to polishing off eight, he did not know whether to laugh, yell, or cry.  Yeah, next day I got up and was looking for orange juice for breakfast.  You just can't go wrong with oranges.


So I was looking for a recipe, semi-healthy naturally, to serve with the cake at my son's recent graduation party.  I came across an interesting little recipe on oranges with cream cheese and thought, I can do better and more affordable.  So here it is:  Heather's Orange Ginger Surprise.  I named it after my sister-in-law who allowed her pagan Martha Stewart to shine through and help me create this little gem by adding the surprise ingredient at the end.  Next to oranges, the one other thing you can't go wrong with is chocolate!  Enjoy!


Orange, ginger, chocolate are winning combinations in this delicious, healthy dessert.

Ingredients:
Candied Orange Peel** (optional)
8 ounces low fat, spreadable cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oranges, peeled and separated into segments
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup





If choosing to use candied orange peel, please follow directions from Food Network site. Making candied orange peel will take approximately 6 hours to complete. Slice candied orange peel into thin, small strips no larger than the length of the orange segments. One strip of candied orange peel will be needed per orange segment. An alternative,would be to thinly slice noncandied orange peel as inedible garnish.



Drizzle one teaspoon chocolate syrup over serving platter. Arrange orange slices in decorative pattern onto serving platter over drizzled chocolate .

In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar, ground ginger, and vanilla extract.
Spoon cream cheese mixture into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip one corner of the bag with scissors. Squeeze one dollop of cream cheese mixture onto each orange segment. If using candied orange strips for garnish, place one strip on top of cream cheese dollop. Drizzle chocolate syrup one teaspoon at a time over the cream cheese dolloped orange slices.

Serve and enjoy!


Cost: $0.95 per serving
Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes