The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Fettuccine “Light” Bolognese October 30, 2008

Filed under: Italian,Pasta — xigumdrops @ 8:03 am
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Who doesn’t love a rich bolognese sauce?  I found this light version of the recipe in my Ellie Krieger recipe book and was excited to try it.  It has the essence of a bolognese sauce without all of the fat.  Love it!I also used chopped steak instead of ground beef which added texture and flavor.  Change are in green.

Source:  Ellie Krieger The Food You Crave


3/4 box (12 oz) whole-wheat fettuccine (didn’t have any on-hand and substituted regular)

1 tbs. olive oil

1 small onion finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

8 oz white mushrooms, finely chopped (omitted; I don’t like mushrooms!)

3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbs.)

1 pound lean or extra-lean ground beef (1 pound chopped steak used for stir-fry)

2 tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried

2 14.5 oz cans no-salt added diced tomatoes, with their juices

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk or regular whole milk (1/3 cup evaporated milk)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1.  Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions.  (Do right before the sauce is ready).

2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook until the water they release is evaporated, another 5 or 7 minutes, stirring a few times.  Add the garlic, ground beef, and thyme and cook until the meat is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and broth and cook until the sauce is thickened, about another 5 minutes.  (I cooked the sauce for an additional 30 minutes to blend the flavors and allow the meat to get tender).  Stir in the milk and cook for 1 minute more.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Serve pasta and sauce with Parmesan cheese.


Oatmeal Apple Pear Crisp October 27, 2008

Filed under: Apples,Dessert,Pears — xigumdrops @ 8:15 pm
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Another fruit crisp/bar?  I realize that most of my desserts involve fruit and some type of oat.  Maybe I should branch out?  At least I used Ramekins to spice it up a bit. In any event, it was very easy to make and really good.  Some of the butter could definitely be cut out.  My changes are in green.


2 cups cooking apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 large)  (cubed not sliced-  to keep some texture to the fruit when cooked)

2 cups pears, peeled and sliced (about 3 large)  (peeled and cubed)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 Tbs. brown sugar (dark)

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1-2 Tbs. lemon juice

3/4 cup water (1/2 cup – I used juicy apples (Fuji) so I reduced the water)


1 cup oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 brown sugar (light)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine melted


1.  While peeling the apples and pears, keep them in the lemon juice so they don’t brown.  Place fruit (including cranberries) in a grease shallow 9-inch square baking dish.  I used 6 Ramekins.  (They were 6 huge servings; I would have used 8 but only had 6 available)

2.  Sprinkle 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and water (combine with apples)

3.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl; add melted butter, mixing until crumbly.  Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of the apples/pears.  I pressed it into the apples a bit.

4.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender.  

5.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Breakfast tacos

Filed under: Bacon,Breakfast,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 7:58 pm
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The habanero lime salsa makes these breakfast tacos extra special.  

4 tortillas (see my recommendation

4 pieces turkey bacon

5 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tbs. Cheddar/Monterrey jack mix

4 tbs. Habanero/Lime salsa (see my recommendation

Cook bacon over medium heat until cooked through but not crispy.  Remove from heat and when cooled slightly slice cross-wise into pieces.  Scramble eggs until well-done and then add salt and pepper to taste.  Combine bacon slices and keep warm.  Working with one tortilla at a time, add tortilla to medium pan and add 1/4 egg/bacon mixture.  Sprinkle with 1 tbs. cheese and 1 tbs. salsa.  Fold tortilla into thirds and press flat with back of spatula.  Enjoy!


Product Recommendation: Tortillas

Filed under: Product Recommendation — xigumdrops @ 7:56 pm
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Way better than the normal go-to tortilla brand.  I found them at Safeway (Randall’s, Tom Thumb, etc.).


Product Recommendation: Habanero Lime Salsa

Filed under: Product Recommendation,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 7:54 pm
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I find this brand at Safeway (Randall’s, Tom Thumb, etc.) but Trader Joe’s has a great version too. Love this stuff on breakfast tacos!  Also would be great to add to avocados for a quick guacamole.


Confetti Chili October 22, 2008

Filed under: Ground meat,Soup,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 8:23 am
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I loved this chile for a vege-filled version of the comfort food. My changes are in green.

Source: Ellie Krieger The Food you Crave

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (1/2 cup) (omitted)
1 celery stalk, diced (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander (omitted)
1 pound lean or extra-lean ground beef (ground turkey)
1 28 ounce can no-salt added crushed tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups water
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 2 teaspoons of the sauce (2 chiles)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed

1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1.  Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot (and celery), cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, and oregano (and cayenne, chipotle powder, and celery seed) and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes.

2.  Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer, until the chili is nicely thickened.  Stir in the corn and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Platinum Chef Challenge #10!! Lentils, Lemon, Goat Cheese, Spinach, Vinegar October 19, 2008

I’m so happy to have won the Platinum Chef Challenge #9!  Lisa from Lime in Coconut was so sweet to host the challenge.  We’ve made it to the 10th round and hopefully we will have a bigger turnout this time!  I’ve posted a 3-week deadline so get your kitchens ready. Please pass the challenge on to your friends and fellow bloggers.  Keeping with the momentum from PCC9, I’ll send a prize to the winner!!


Here is a review of the rules (from the challenge’s creative leader, Cara of Cara’s Cravings ):


“Platinum Chef Challenge started as an activity on a cooking message board to encourage members to create a meal out of 5 selected ingredients. You might think they go together, and you might not. You might have used them before, or maybe not. Maybe you will have a recipe in mind, and maybe you will create a new one. Most likely, you’ll put on your creative (chef’s) hat and whip out something new and exciting.  To play, just create a meal using the five given ingredients and blog about it. Please link back to this post, and feel free to include the event logo in your blog. The meal can consist of 1 or 2 dishes – so you can use all the ingredients in one recipe, or make two. Example: main dish + side, appetizer + main dish, main dish + dessert, etc. But, if more than one dish is created, each dish must use at least two of the ingredients (and, any ingredient may be repeated and used in both dishes if desired). You can add whatever other ingredients you like.”


To participate, please post your dishes on your blog (linking back to this post), and send an email to by midnight (PST) on Sunday, November 9th (extended to November 24th), with the following information:




Name of your dish(es) and your blog

Pictures you want in the Round-up

Link to the PCC10 post in your blog

(If you don’t have a blog, send recipes and photos in your email and I will include you in the PCC Round-up that way!)


Here are your five challenge ingredients:

Lentils (any variety you want)


Goat cheese


Vinegar (any variety:  balsamic, apple cider, red wine, etc)


Good luck and happy cooking!