Healthy foods, casseroles and cakes

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We are trying to finish up our softball season, and have been delayed with delays from the much-needed rain. I am not complaining as it has given us several evenings at home. In going through a stack of papers on the desk, I found recipes that are overdue to be passed on to you. So here are those recipes for you to enjoy.

A longtime dear friend of mine, Cheryl Mothes, eats healthier than anyone I know. I wish her willpower and healthy eating habits would rub off on me. She is a vegetarian and eats only good-for-you things, which my husband just does not understand. This recipe is an example of that. These muffins not only have ingredients that lower blood sugar, fight cancer and heart disease and help you live longer, they are delicious and can be made a different way every week. I hope you enjoy them. Yes, I have eaten them and they are good; but, of course, I would like a little pat of butter on mine.

Delicious Power Muffins

3/4 cup oat bran

1/2 cup soy flour

1/2 cup flax seed

1/2 cup wheat bran

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 orange, quartered

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg

2 teaspoons cinnamon (or Chinese five spice, or any of your favorite spices)

3/4 cup golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots or currants

3/4 cup walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or pecans

Combine the oat bran, soy flour, flax seed, wheat bran and baking powder in a large bowl. Next, combine the orange, brown sugar, buttermilk, canola oil, applesauce and egg substitute in a blender and blend well. Add to dry ingredients. Stir in raisins, nuts, etc. to taste. Bake 18 minutes in a 375 degree oven in a lightly sprayed muffin pan. Makes 1 dozen.

Our friends Bob and Clara Mae Tucker in McClure, Ill., hold the most magnificent picnic and fireworks display over Fourth of July weekend. The food is fabulous, but the fireworks rival almost any town fireworks show I have ever seen. This year the most requested recipe was the macaroni and cheese casserole. Their daughters Sandy and Michelle sent me the recipe to share with you.

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni

1/2 cup margarine

1 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded

2 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups milk

1/2 cup buttermilk, optional

Paprika

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain. Allow margarine to melt over macaroni before sprinkling on most of the grated cheese. Stir well. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then add sugar and stir again. In a bowl, beat two eggs; add milk, mix well and pour into macaroni mixture. If desired, add buttermilk and stir. Pour mixture into a sprayed casserole dish and sprinkle with rest of cheese and a sprinkling of paprika. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

The Tucker girls added that they do not use the buttermilk or paprika and that they thought 1 1/2 hours baking time was too long. They baked it about 1 hour in a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Cordy Voepel sent several recipes to me to try and to pass along to you. I know Cordy has had a great reputation in cooking and these recipes will sure make nice additions to anyone's recipe files.

Caramel Fudge Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix

1 package caramels, unwrapped

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour 2 cups batter into a prepared 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. In a saucepan over low heat, melt caramels and butter; remove from heat, add condensed milk. Mix well. Spread mixture over cake. Spread remaining cake batter over caramel mixture. Top with nuts, and bake 25 minutes or until cake springs back.

Reuben Spread

8 ounces corned beef

15 ounces sauerkraut, drained and chopped

6 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

6 ounces Swiss cheese

Combine all ingredients. Store refrigerated. Keeps well.

Italian Pork Sausage Dinner

1 pound pork sausage, bulk

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 green pepper, cut into strips

1 can tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon oregano

1 medium zucchini, cut into thin slices

1 cup scroodle noodles

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown sausage and drain. Add onion, green pepper and garlic. Stir in tomatoes, salt, oregano, pepper, zucchini and tomato sauce. Add uncooked scroodles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Top with cheese. Serves 6.

German Cheese Soup

1 small onion, diced

3 ribs celery, thinly sliced

3 carrots, thinly sliced

3 small red potatoes, cubed

2 cans chicken broth

Several slices ham, cubed

1 pint half-and-half

1/2 large block of Velveeta

Cornstarch

In a large pot, just cover the vegetables with cold water. Simmer until tender. Add 2 cans chicken broth, several slices ham, cubed and 1 pint of half-and-half. Combine. Bring up heat and add 1/2 of a large block of Velveeta, cubed. Stir as this is where cheese may stick to bottom of pan. Dissolve 2 tablespoons or more corn starch in water or broth. Bring soup to a boil, add for thickening, stirring vigorously. Season as desired. When you reach the consistency you want, lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.

You may add cup up broccoli or cauliflower in the beginning with the other vegetables This recipes can be frozen, so you may wish to make a large batch and freeze in smaller containers for later use.

Once again I am out of room, so I will leave you with wishes for a great week and as always, happy cooking.

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