just a little preface...
This blog consist of meals that are practically all purchased with the help of my footstamp budget, I work full time, but as a single mom with two children at home I am classified as "poverty level". I thank God everyday that my children get good homecooked meals, because there are so many kids in the USA that go hungry every day. I just wanted to add this so if you think you cannot purchase good food and create good meals on a tight budget I hope my blog makes you think of food in a different way. noturtypicalgma

the only thing i ask in sharing these recipes with you, is that you must really love the person you serve them to....cooking is how i show my love to the special people in my life.....

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Albondigas or as I know it Meatball Soup

Albondigas or Meatball soup is a soup my Mother used to make often, it is inexpensive and filling. My Dad loved soup of all kinds but for some reason this was a soup we ate more than others. I think it is because we always had the ingredients on hand. My Mother used to make hers with hamburger, I make mine now with ground turkey meat. This is my Mothers basic recipe, and the way I prepare it, it is also a clean eating recipe. Serve it with warm flour tortillas or whole wheat or corn tortillas for clean eaters, and garnishes like finely shredded cabbage or sliced radishes, lemon wedges, and your favorite hot sauce like Tapatio or Cholula or Tabasco... I remember my Dad sitting and eating soup on a hot summer day and just sweating as he enjoyed every bite. So this recipe is dedicated to my Mom and Dad, Ruby and Robert.

Moms Albondigas Recipe
1&1/2 lbs of ground turkey ( you can use hamburger)
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/4 of large onion chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1/3 c. of uncooked white rice
2tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1tsp. crushed dried parsley
1/4 tsp. of cumin powder
1tbsp. of olive oil

2tbsp. of olive oil 1 for sauteeing veggies, 1 for browning meatballs if using turkey meat
1&1/2 c. baby carrots cut in half
2 c. or about 6-8 small white potatoes quartered
3 stalks or 1 c. of celery cut into 1 inch pieces

1 14 oz. can vegetable, or chicken or beef broth
6-8 c. of water or broth
1   8 oz. can of tomato sauce
seasoning like No Salt Seasoning or Mrs. Dash to taste
salt to taste

If you use a broth for all of your soup it will have a much richer taste and you can adjust your seasonings especially the salt content accordingly. My mom never used broth she always just used water. Good old water is good enough for me! Please note the amount of liquid I add is about 6-8 cups in the video I say 5-6, I ended up adding a little more.

Video Recipe


Saturday, June 25, 2011

My First Central California Food Revolution Visionary; Whole Foods and Revive Cafe

I have not posted in a bit and well no excuses other than I have been posting on my other blog "True Confessions of  A Welfare Mother"  http://noturtypicalgma.blogspot.com/  but that is not to say that I have not been cooking or eating, hah to the contrary. I have also been admining my facebook page Central California Food Revolution and as of now we have 25 likes but I would love a lot more! One of my likes is Kyal Cali Organics http://www.facebook.com/kyalhamilton  pageowner Kyals family owns and operates Whole Farms and Revive Cafe, which is located in Fresno Californa. Though I have not personally been there I am planning a little trip there next weekend, I am excited about something they are doing.

Whole Farms and Revive Cafe, their raw vegan cafe are offering food stamp/SNAP and Electronic Benefit Transfer cardholder recipients the chance to purchase 15 dollars worth of produce or food for 10 dollars! Through a special grant from Roots of Change http://rootsofchange.org/  they are able to to offer this for a limited time. Basically until the funds are exhausted. I think this is an awesome way to encourage people to check them out. Not limiting themselves to a certain type of consumer, but rather realizing that all consumers whatever their financial situation have the right to consume high quality food! That is why I am choosing them as my Central California Food Revolution Visionary. Something they just inspired me to do!

I cannot wait to visit them and  come blog about them some more to show you what these Food Revolutionaries are doing! Plus I get to try a raw chocolate smoothie! What more could a girl ask for?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

I love eggplant, love it, love it, love it, it is such an underappreciated veggie! I make parmigiana and what I call an eggplant patty or fritter, my Grandma Katies recipe, post that one later. The parmigiana is my recipe one that I just worked on over the years. Now my kids love it to and so does my grandson who is going to be three. He has a great palate already..Hope you enjoy this recipe!

1 med to large eggplant
1c. flour
1c. italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4c. parmesan cheese grated
2tsp. paprika
1tsp. garlic powder
1tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano 
1/4tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp basil
crush dried herbs between fingers to release flavor

1 egg
1c. milk
mix them together!
3-4 mozzarella string cheese sticks/or 6 slices if you want extra cheesiness

4tbsp of olive oil
1 to coat pan(s)
3 to brush on eggplant medallions

Video Recipe

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Steak Taco Salad

We love a good taco salad in our house usually we use hamburger, but we want to get away from the processed hamburger that you find in your grocery store. So tonight I made a chuck steak taco salad. We had homemade guacamole, cotija cheese, romaine lettuce, tomatos, and a spicy garlicky aji sauce. We of course had tortilla chips, you can make your own in the oven but this particular brand is not high in fat.
This is a fun dinner, the kids build their own and more than not they put everything on it maybe sans tomato, but then she adds salsa..go figure. This is a great weekend wind down, you can grill the steaks of your choice on the barbecue, and lay out all of the fixins, be adventurous and try different cheeses besides that taco blend. Make a salsa or sauce you would not normally try.Use romaine lettuce to up the vitamins, fresh guacamole is simple and easy to make, and vine ripe tomatos will be at their peak soon. So get ready for taco salad nite!

4 chuck steaks/steaks of your choice
grilled or pan cooked
2cups of romaine lettuce chopped
1 large vine ripe tomato diced
lime cut into wedges
cheese of your choice/we used a Mexican cotija
Salsa of your choice/we made an Aji sauce
baked tortilla chips/chips with no transfats

Aji Sauce
2 jalapenos deveined and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup of cilantro leaves
5-6 green onions/scallions
1tbsp vinegar
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homemade Bread So Easy A Kid Could Make It...

Its no secret I love bread...recently we started making it again. I used to make it when the kids were little, now I make it because I like the satisfaction of knowing there are less than a gazillion ingredients in it. I call storebrand whitebread air bread, have you ever looked at it its all full of air holes... The recipe is not my own but from justpeace.org. It is simple and easy so easy I had Mak my daughter make it in the video. Hope you get in the kitchen and make some bread soon!

6-7 c. of flour
1c. of warm water
2 tbsp of instant yeast
3tbsp sugar or honey
3-4tbsp of oil
1c. of milk or water

The steps are as easy as 1-2-3-4

1. Put 1 cup of warm water plus 1tbsp of sugar or honey in large mixing bowl add 2tbsp of instant yeast. Let sit for five minutes.

2. Add 3c. of flour, 1c. milk or water, salt, 2tbsp of honey or sugar and 3-4tbsp of oil. Stir fifty times clockwise and fifty times counter clockwise.

3. Add another 3-4c. flour and mix until ball forms, turn dough out onto floured surface and let it sit for ten minutes then knead for five to ten minutes.

4. Let rise in a greased bowl for about an hour, it will double in size. Punch down dough, knead five more minutes divide into two equal parts and place in loaf pans or free form rolls or loafs and place on pan sprinkled with cornmeal.  This is where I let my bread rise for 10-15 minutes...... Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 15 if smaller rolls. Let cool thoroughly.

oops seems I forgot there is a last step enjoy them!

The sandwich we built, we got rained out of going to the drive in...
turkey and roastbeef mustard, no mayo, lettuce, onion, tomato and jalapeno with baked Lays....
Here is  the video recipe

Join The Food Revolution!!!

Tonight Jamie Olivers Food Revolution will air and I just joined the community on facebook and requested to start a page for the Central Valley. It was approved and we are up and running. I want to encourage people from all over central Cali to join the movement. Childhood obesity is on the rise and so are diseases like diabetes and hypertension, especially in younger people every day. As a person who has struggled with my weight and also loooooves food it is my duty to get involved! The Food Revolution wants to create change... change in the food that our children eat at school, giving healthier options to them. Getting involved with school districts across the nation to get real food back into the cafeteria. Teaching kids and their families where their food comes from and teaching them how to prepare good healthy meals.These are all tools necessary to give our children a healthier future, one they deserve. Please join the Revolution in your community, to find your local community page or to request to start one go to this link http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/activists   and to join the Central California Food Revolution go to this link http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Central-California-Food-Revolution/179852995402251
Watch the show and then decide if you want to become an integral part of the Food Revolution. Heres a look at whats in store...

If after seeing this promo you are not moved to join then I don't know what else will make you. Be inspired, be motivated to create change, be a part of giving todays kids and their families a healthier future.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chile Rellenos, Moms Recipe

I have never met a gringo that does not like Mexican food and I say that with love... Of all of the recipes that I have ever made, my Moms Chile Relleno pronounced roll your rrrr (rey-yay-no) recipe has by far been the one Mexican recipe I have prepared the most for my Caucasian friends, and they have loved them. I remember these were often prepared during the Lenten season and  they were only prepared a handful of times in a year. I know why. They are time consuming, but if you break it down into steps you can do them pretty quickly. If you prepare the fresh chili's and char or roast them ahead of time, clean and stuff them half the work is done. I recommend Pasilla, Anaheim are slender and less forgiving when filling also they tend to be hotter to me. We always ate Anaheim, when I got older someone introduced me to Pasilla and I have been making them that way ever since. They are also larger and are usually a generous serving.

Relleno's are prepared in a variety of ways, some with meat, we always had ours made with Monterrey Jack cheese. My mom never served hers with a sauce until I figured out a recipe for one that mirrored "The Mexican Kitchen" sauce that they served on theirs, a favorite hometown restaurant that is long gone and sorely missed by many! Its a simple sauce made with salsa and broth and thickened with cornstarch. It is equally good on Huevos Rancheros. You can thank my daughter Kassi for this post because she is the one who asked me to make them today! Hope you enjoy these recipes!


6 pasilla peppers
1/2 lb jack cheese cut into 1/4in thick sticks
1&1/2 cup flour
4-6 eggs seperated
1tsp salt
oil for frying

Salsa Sauce
1cup jar salsa
1 small tomato diced
1 jalapeno seeded and deveined and diced
1/3 cup sliced onion
3tbsp easy blender salsa
1&1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
1/2 c.  cold water with 2tbsp cornstarch mixed in

*Just a note this should serve six idividuals when served with beans and rice, if not 3 ravenous individuals! I give you fair warning!

You first need to prepare your chilis by charring and roasting them, I do mine on a stove top in a cast iron pan or comal.

The next video will show you how to stuff and prepare the egg batter and fry the rellenos.
I say cheddar cheese note that I am using only Monterrey Jack cheese! Also included are my kid friendly chililess  "relleno" cheese sticks.

Finally the sauce which is optional but I love it! Plus you can use it on Huevos Rancheros!
*note that I revised the amount of cornstarch to 2 tbsp this amount yields a saucier sauce....