R and I went to a library surplus book sale yesterday and got 41 books for $21! It was so exciting. Of course, I got cookbooks. Seven of them to be exact.
R told me we won’t be buying books again for a LONG time, and I believe him. That makes me a little sad, but it will give me time to work through my massive, massive collection.
The fun thing about starting this blog is it has forced me to be creative with the meals I feed my family, more resourceful, and try new things.
As a side note: frying vegetables does not ensure that a 2-year-old will eat them.
The cookbooks I used were Heathy Kids, a library surplus sale find. Also, one of my favorites, The Great American Cookbook, I have cooked several recipes from it and most have turned out fantastic.
Today I made fajitas on homemade flour tortillas with zucchini fritters. I served them with a 1/1 ratio of lite sour cream and lite ranch with a pinch of cayenne, and Walmart’s fresh salsa and a little cilantro.
from Healthy Kids
juice of 2 large limes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Spike (I had no idea what this was, so I used Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle)
1/2 tsp chili powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or soy chicken breasts
4 large whole wheat flour tortillas (this is where I deviated and made my own)
In a small mixing bowl combine juice, oil, and spices. Mix until blended. Put chicken in a large bowl, pour lime mixture over chicken and turn to coat. Marinate in fridge at least 1 hour.
Preheat broiler to high. Remove chicken from the bowl and broil until browned, 5-7 minutes. Turn and cook on other side 5-7 minutes.
Warm tortillas in a 400 degree oven. Cut chicken into strips. Serve chicken over tortillas and garnish with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Wrap and serve.
Difficulty: 2 Marinate chicken and broil. Easy. I did have to leave the chicken in the oven another 10 minutes, but the result was moist and perfect in the end.
Taste: 4 The chicken smelled good and tasted even better. I worried that a skinless chicken breast would get all rubbery, but the oil from the marinade protected it. R loved it, and J wouldn’t even try it.
Clean-up: 1 I lined a baking dish with foil and placed a rack covered in cooking spray inside it, so all I had to do was wash the rack.
Overall: It was good and something I would make again, this time using store-bought flour tortillas for the boys and gluten-free flour tortillas or white corn tortillas for myself. This time I used leaf lettuce to wrap it. Way messy.
What I’d do differently: I might ad a little garlic when cooking this dish next time, I missed that flavor a little.
The reheat factor: R took it to work and said it reheats well.
Mary Beth’s Zucchini Fritters
from Health Kids
2 medium zucchinis
1 medium onion
2 cage-free eggs
3/4-1 cup unflavored bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Grate Zucchinis and onion into large bowl (I used a food processor) stir in eggs and bread crumbs, add enough milk to make the batter the consistency of lumpy oatmeal. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet and drop zucchini mixture by the tablespoon into oil. Fry on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels.
Difficulty: 3 The directions were simple, but I definitely had to cook them longer than 1 minute per side. Medium high heat was much too hot and I ended up scorching the outside of some without fully cooking the inside.
Taste: I did not eat this because I used Panko and I cannot eat gluten. I didn’t have time to crush up some cornflakes. R ate them, so that says something. J wouldn’t touch them.
Clean-up: 3 I used several dishes to make this dish, but fortunately all were dishwasher sage except my pan.
Overall: It isn’t a dish I would make again. I have to find another sneaky way to feed my men veggies.
What I’d do differently: I would definitely use less milk next time, my batter was soggy.
The reheat factor: R said it was just fine reheated.
from the Great American Cookbook
makes 12 tortillas
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 TBS shortening or white vegetable fat, diced
about 1/2 cup hot water
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Add shortening and rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured counter and kneed until smooth. Divide dough into 12 balls (I then placed them on a parchment covered baking sheet) and cover with a clean dish towel for 15 minutes. Roll out each ball into a 7-inch circle one at a time, keeping remaining dough balls covered. Stack rolled out dough between sheets of parchment. Heat a grill pan or a large heavy skillet (I used an electric griddle) over medium high heat, and cook each tortilla about 1-2 minutes, until it is browned and puffed up a little.
Difficulty: 3 It is so much easier to make flour tortillas than I had originally thought. The only difficulties I had were that the batter was too dry, I should have added more hot water. I also do not own a rolling pin, so the tortillas were a little uneven and some broke around the edges.
Taste: I did not partake of these tortillas, but R said they were really tasty. They were not soft tortillas like I thought they would be. They were crispy on the outsides. Not a bad quality, just different. These babies do not fold, nor do they wrap.
Clean-up: 2 Wiping an electric griddle is so easy it should be a crime, and the mixing bowl is happily sitting clean in the dishwasher right now.
Overall: I think if I were to take a little more time making the dough perfect and using a rolling pin these would be awesome. I would LOVE to try them again, but, I wonder if perhaps going to the grocery store and picking out some whole wheat tortillas would be easier. These are almost not worth the time.
What I’d do differently: If there is a next time, I will be sure to add enough water to the dough.
The reheat factor: R said he reheated them with the lid on the plastic ware so the condensation would soften them a bit. Appearently it worked!
Here I said I’d back off with all the recipes, and I’ve gone and done another three! Oh, well.