SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E8): It’s The Great Trader Joe’s Campout, Charlie Brown

This week, we get real rugged with our ode to camping! Full of tin foil dinners, meat granola bars, improvising barware, “postmatesing” liquor and lighting things on fire. Plus grammar and vocabulary lessons (non-camping related). Check out the full episode here!

 


Ingredients featured in this week’s episode:

 

In preparation of camping this summer, Amanda tried out her camp cooking skills in the Fearless Flying Kitchen. Although, she doesn’t really ever go camping and thinks you can just throw packets of foil into the open fire (that’s how it works, right?)

We combine sweet and savory with these delicious peach and hatch green Chile foil packets. When we don’t have camping on the brain, we’ll make these again, but without the tin foil (since cooking with aluminum –> ingesting aluminum in your food –> not the best way to prepare meals on the daily) and instead bake in a pyrex dish. When peaches aren’t in season, you could even use canned or frozen (thawed) peaches.

Chile Cheese Rice and Sausage Foil Packets.png

Chile-Cheese Rice & Sausage Foil Packets

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • One bag of microwavable brown rice
  • One can of diced green chiles
  • 2 Tbsp Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • One Peach, diced
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder 1 tsp
  • 1 package smoked, apple chardonnay sausage, sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Combine bag of brown rice with can of chiles and microwave for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, dice peach and add to rice and chiles after being microwaved. Add to that mozzarella, salt, pepper, Greek yogurt, and garlic salt.
  3. Get your sheets of foil ready. Add a portion of the rice mixture and top with a couple slices of sausage. Divide all the ingredients evenly between 5 or 6 tin foil sheets. Wrap up and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. OR you could just toss it in a camp fire (we’re assuming this will work?)
  4. If you want to use a pyrex dish, we recommend mixing the sausages in with the rice mixture and placing in an 8X12 glass baking dish and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.


Smores Vodka Cocktail

Smores Vodka Cocktail

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • One ounce coffee syrup
  • 1 small scoop vanilla ice cream*
  • Two ounces of vodka**
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Half and Half
  • Ice for shaking
  • Glass Rimming: Chocolate syrup and crushed graham crackers, marshmallows

Directions

  1. Add ingredients to a shaker (or two zoo cups) and cover and shake until combined.
  2. Get a fire source and toast your marshmallow
  3. Get two smaller plates or bowls. Add chocolate syrup to one and crushed graham crackers to the other.  Grab a glass and place the rim in the chocolate syrup, then the graham crackers. Strain cocktail into glass. Top with roasted marshmallow.

*You really don’t need this. It is what we did, must most of it stayed with the ice when we strained it. If you really want this to be like dessert, you can put a little vanilla ice cream in your glass after rimming and before straining  into it. Or save some fat and calories and leave it out. You won’t miss it.

** We just had a regular vodka, but a flavored vodka would be delicious here too! Try a whipped cream or marshmallow flavor and let us know how it goes in the comments.

 

SWASHBUCKLED! S2E2: New York! New York! (+ Giveaway!)

We have our first special guest of the season, a Mate from New York City! Plus, he is a vegetarian and expects the food to be #slammin‘. Will Amanda and Marie be able to come together and make some delicious food?

Watch the episode here:


Ingredients featured this week include:

 

First, let’s start off with our GIVEAWAY!

Trader Joe's Mystery Packs

Mystery Pack of Regional Bags

Every Christmas, my mom and I would always buy each other the mystery packs of regional bags that Trader Joe’s sells. You can usually only get the regional bags from that specific area of the country, but the mystery bag packs have three random regional bags. It is always so much fun to get different bags and see what represents other cities.

Little did I know, that all along, my mom was just gaming for the New York City bag, ands always so disappointed when she never got one in the bags. Our friend, and Mate all the way from New York City, brought us some regional bags, making us able to use our last mystery pack for a giveaway!

We will be GIVING AWAY this mystery pack of regional bags as well as some of our favorite non-perishable swag from Trader Joe’s.

To enter the giveaway you need to do the following three steps:

  1. Make sure you are SUBSCRIBED to our channel on YouTube
  2. COMMENT on any BLOG POST on The Fearless Flying Kitchen blog (must be dated 5/21/18 or later).
  3. Subscribe to our NEWSLETTER (CLIKC HERE to do that)

For extra bonus entries:

  1. Find the mystery pack giveaway post on FACEBOOK – like that, share it with your friends, tag your friends, and comment. You get a point for each interaction!  (you must be following Fearless Flying Kitchen on Facebook to count)
  2. Find the mystery pack giveaway post on INSTAGRAM – like that, comment on it, and tag your friends. You get a point for each interaction! (you must be following Fearless Flying Kitchen on instagram to count)
  3. Like and comment on any of the Swashbuckled videos on YouTube and get an extra point for each interaction!

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at midnight PST. Winner will be announced on the episode of Swashbuckled on Monday, June 11.


OK, now back to the food!

We had a #slammin’ time in the kitchen with Kris from New York. The only stipulation was that the food had to be vegetarian, and that Marie would be helping. Since the fridge was stocked for only lasagna, that’s what happened. Amanda made a delicious stovetop, easy lasagna. The combination of crème fraîche and ricotta was a little piece of heaven, and should be done with all lasagna from here on out. We also saved a little extra and topped our endives with it…also great. The sauce of Piquillo Pepper and Quinoa Spread with Whole Crushed Tomatoes was also a huge win. Great flavor and texture. You could just use your favorite jar of sauce if you truly want to make it a one pot meal…but this combo is definitely worth washing that second dish.

The only thing that was off was the mochi rice nugget topping. We all decided that just makes a great snack.  But all in all, this was a great, quick, meal that you can get super creative with. It is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a little hands off time (but still need a meal on the table in less than an hour).

Lazy Lasagna

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, zoodled
  • 1 Bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Jar Piquillo pepper and Quinoa Spread
  • 1 Large Can (28oz) Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/2 package Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 package Crème Fraîche
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 5 lasagna noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Mochi Rice Nuggets (Optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F. Prepare all vegetables (zoodle, slice and dice). Note, if you don’t have a zoodler, you can always just dice zucchini.
  2. In a large skillet (that can go in the oven), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red bell peppers and cook about 3 minutes, then add zucchini. Cook both for about 5 more minutes, then add mushrooms and cook until they have softened.
  3. Meanwhile, combine Piquillo Pepper and Quinoa Spread with one large can of whole peeled tomatoes. Crush whole peeled tomatoes in your hand as you are adding it to the pot. Heat over medium heat to a simmer. Add salt as needed (try it first, and add if it needs it according to your taste buds).
  4. Spread the cooked vegetables evenly around the large skillet. Top with broken up pieces of lasagna noodles. Cover noodles completely with sauce. Cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  5. While the noodles and sauce cook, combine Ricotta Cheese, Crème Fraîche, parsley and parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside.
  6. After 20 minutes, remove cover and stir noodles. If they have softened, then top with Ricotta/Crème Fraîche mixture (little blobs all over). Top with even more mozzarella cheese, and place in the oven to help melt and brown cheese. Can put in the broiler on low for a little while too. Once brown, remove from oven and enjoy! If you can’t put your skillet in the oven, you could just cover with the lid again and let the cheese melt that way. It will get melty but not necessarily start to brown.

Note – In this episode we decimated half a bag of Mochi Rice Nuggets in the vitamix (or food processor, if you have one), and added it to the top of the lasagna along with the mozzarella and broiled it on low. We don’t recommend this step, but instead, just eat the mochi rice nuggets as a separate snack. However, if you did want to recreate what we did, this is it. 


We, yet again, followed a recipe on the back of a product, and the result was #slammin’! There are always great ideas and suggestions on the back of the package. Marie begrudgingly proved that she can be somewhat useful in the kitchen!

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Baked Belgian Endive with Walnuts, Parmesan & Romano Cheese

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Trader Joe’s…Literaly on the back of the endive package

Ingredients

  • 6 Belgian Endives, trimmed & halved lengthwise
  • 1/8 cup Clarified Butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese Blend
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss endives with butter, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer in an 8X8 shallow baking dish.
  2. Cover with foil and bake on the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Mix walnuts and cheese together and set aside.
  3. Remove endive from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese mixture. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is golden.

Hanging out with Kris from New York

Hanging out in the Fearless Flying Kitchen with Kris from New York!

Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad

Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad from The Fearless Flying Kitchen This past weekend, I went up to the mountains with my mom (who is a vegetarian) and my daughter (who regularly survives on bread and cheese alone) to attend my dear friend’s 10 year wedding vow renewal ceremony. I volunteered to pack a lunch to make sure we had everything we needed for the all-day-affair. What to make that would keep in a cooler for hours and satisfy both of their needs? Thus, the Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad recipe was born! Good news was that it lasted hours without wilting, was full of vegetables, and provided the little one with enough carbohydrates to keep her going. Bad news is that I didn’t make enough to get a second helping.

Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Spinach Tortellini
  • 1/2 Bag of Organic Spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 Bag of Organic Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Tuscan Italian Dressing

Directions: Fill a large pot with about 4 quarts of water. Bring to boil over high heat. Add frozen broccoli. in 2 minutes, add Spinach Tortellini and cook until done, about 5 minutes (the package says 2-3 minutes, but because you will be adding something frozen just prior, it will decrease the temperature, thus needing more time). Prior to removing from the heat, add red bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, (to rehydrate them) for just a few seconds, then remove from heat and strain well, and rise with cold water.  In a separate bowl, combine spinach, mozzarella and the strained pasta/veggie mixture with 1/2 cup Tuscan Italian dressing. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Spinach, Mushroom & Beef Lasagna

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna

Growing up, lasagna was this elusive meal only consumed by cats that sounded like Bill Murray. For some reason, we never ate it at my house. Perhaps it is the lack of Italian ancestors in my family tree? I am not sure.

Any who, fast forward about 20 years, my best friend invites me to her dad’s lasagna party. Every year, her very Italian (and awesome) father cooks multiple pans of delicious lasagna and opens his home to about a hundred of their closest family and friends. This was one of the best parties ever, not only because the wine flowed as fast as the videos of Father Guido Sarducci, but the lasagna was incredible. Now, long story short, at this point in my life, I had eaten my fair share of lasagna, but I still hadn’t ever made it. So, when the time came, I asked my friend to give me some pointers, and what does she do? She straight up gives me a link to re-create her fathers lasagna. Score! So, for the past few years, this has been a stand-by recipe. Only recently have I started to alter it to make it more of “my own.”

I did a couple of tweaks to make it a healthier choice, such as swapping regular ricotta for non-fat, decreasing the amount of meat, and using more veggies. And I am willing to bet that as soon as TJ’s starts to carry whole wheat lasagna noodles, that will be another swap!

Spinach and Mushroom Beef Lasagna

 

lasagna ready for oven Fearless Flying Kitchen

Ready for the oven!

Ingredients:

  • Lasagna Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Ricotta Cheese Mixture (see recipe below)
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (12) lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Fresh if possible)
  • 1 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Make sauce (see below)
  2. Make ricotta mixture (see below)
  3. Butter 13×9 dish
  4. Assemble: noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/3 sauce, Parmesan and a little more mozzarella (but not too much)
  5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. Let sit a few minutes prior to serving.

Lasagna Sauce

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna from The Fearless Flying KitchenIngredients

  • 1 lb 96/4 ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bag mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach
  • 1 jar Tomato Basil pasta sauce

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, start to brown ground beef. Once it starts to release its juices, add diced onions and cook until meat is starting to brown and onions are starting to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to soften. Add pasta sauce and put to simmer on a low heat for about a half an hour. Towards the end, add spinach until just wilted and remove from heat.

Ricotta Cheese Mixture

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna from The Fearless Flying KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 container non- fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined.

Suggested pairings: 

A nice Chianti

sautéed zucchini sprinkled with parmesan cheese

A light salad with balsamic glaze, meyer lemon olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

Background: I have been wanting to post a recipe for Stuffed Peppers for a long time on here. Only catch…I really didn’t have one that was just right. I would look up recipes online and they just wouldn’t be what I wanted. Some turned out  like meatloaf inside a pepper while others lacked flavor or didn’t have an ideal texture. One time I attempted to make stuffed peppers, the bell pepper was still very crunchy, so the next time I boiled the peppers before stuffing and baking, and that just removed some of the flavor.  I am happy to report that I finally figured it out (all by myself I might add!) and might have come up with the combination for the perfect stuffed pepper. Have you had any of these problems while making stuffed peppers in the past? Am I the only one?? Let me know in the comments below. 

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers with a simple side salad.***

Often, especially in January, I will ask my husband what he wants for dinner and his response is always “Something Healthy.” The first thing that pops into my mind is this delicious Veggie Quinoa Bowl that I make. Second is always Stuffed Peppers (and if you were curious what number three is, that would be my Lentil and Veggie Soup). The one thing that all of these dishes have in common is they are chock-full of vegetables.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 8.03.53 AMI always have some 96% ground beef on hand. I prefer to use this over other ground meat options. Higher % fat ground beef just is too fatty and needs to be drained before proceeding. And, yes, if you were wondering, this equates to me using a lower fat meat because I am lazy. I also sometimes feel that ground turkey ends up being too dry, and I usually don’t use meat substitute unless I am cooking for a vegetarian (but even then, I usually would just use beans or lentils). The 96% Lean Ground Beef also has a long shelf life because of how it is packaged, and so you can have it hanging out in your fridge for a while. If you don’t use it quickly it also freezes really well (just de-thaw in the fridge the night before you want to cook with it). I will use this for Stuffed Peppers, Meat Loaf, Pasta Sauce, Spanish Zucchini, and Mushroom Burgers.

IMG_0121Pasta Sauce is also another item always on hand in my kitchen. I usually like to make my own pasta sauce from scratch using canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and oregano (and SALT). Mostly just keep it simple, but when I want to impress, I’ll follow this Buzzfeed Recipe for the Best Tomato Sauce, Which is pretty dang good. But it is time consuming, so in a pinch, it is always good to have a simple jar of tomato sauce on hand. You can also quickly turn it into pizza sauce when you add a half jar of tomato paste to it. I recently learned a trick from my mother-in-law, which is to sautée onion and brown ground beef in a pan and then just add some Tomato Basil Tomato Sauce form a jar, and it will taste very home-made and is very quick and easy.

My favorite thing about making Stuffed Peppers is it is a completely standalone dish. You don’t need much else to go along with it aside from a salad and maybe a breadstick if you want (which…My favorite comes in the bread section of Trader Joe’s, or you could make some using their Pizza Dough, like this recipe from Stick Baby and the Snail). It also isn’t too terribly labor intensive, and you can easily forget it once it goes in the oven.

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

  • Four Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 Jar of Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
  • 1 lb 96% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Zucchini, Diced
  • 1 Bag of Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Organic Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, Basil and Garlic Powder to taste
  • Mozzarella Cheese (fresh or shredded)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in skillet, once cooked through and brown, add diced zucchini and mushrooms. Break the mushrooms up into smaller pieces (you can either cut them even more before you add them, or just break them up in the pan while they cook).
  3. Once vegetables start to look tender, add about a half cup of marinara sauce and mix well. Just make sure everything is covered, so add a little bit more if you need to. Let that cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add breadcrumbs and mix well. The texture of the mixture should stick together and be very clumpy. Add additional breadcrumbs until this texture is achieved.
  5. Meanwhile, while all of that has been cooking, add about half the jar of pasta sauce to a large pyrex dish (9X12 or large enough to hold all of your peppers) and spread evenly. Prepare the peppers by slicking them in half long ways and removing the stem and seeds. Place them skin-side-down in the pasta sauce.
  6. Add a little bit of mozzarella cheese to the inside of each bell pepper half (if you want to elevate this dish, use fresh mozzarella on the inside. I had some on hand and it was delicious). Then fill the peppers with the meat and veggie mixture. Should be enough to fill all of the bell pepper halves, feel free to push the meat-veggie mix down if it is overflowing. Top bell peppers with more mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake for ~35-40 minutes at 375. Serve with a nice little salad and breadsticks or rice.