Signature Recipes: A NOMB Collection

I don’t know about y’all, but all of us here at the New Orleans Moms Blog realized that we all have recipes that we are consistently asked for. I’m sure you know what I mean – that recipe that you are asked to make for every holiday gathering, baby shower, or football party. I think even those of us who do not like cooking have one of these recipes! It seems like having one of these fail safe recipes is part of our jobs as mothers!

Our contributors are always looking to each other for quick dinner ideas and recipes so we thought we would share our “signature” recipes with y’all! We figure it’s our duty, as fellow moms, to pass along our tried and true recipes! After all, we live in a region where food is pretty important!

Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms 

Ashley told us that when she makes these stuffed mushrooms for parties, they are devoured within a matter of minutes. Mushrooms and cheese? Well of course they are devoured! Sign me up! Here she shares this delicious appetizer which would be great for a shower or even a football party.

Ingredients

12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.


Cornmeal Pizza Dough

Our breastfeeding and natural parenting contributor, Courtney, offered up this tasty and useful pizza crust recipe that is a staple in her household. Her tip is to double the recipe to have extra slices for leftovers! From start to finish, this will get a healthy (and fun!) meal on the table for your family in 20 minutes!

Ingredients

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup white + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F. Place yellow cornmeal, flour, baking powder and  salt in a bowl and mix. Make a well in the center and add water and olive oil. Combine by gradually incorporating the flour into the olive oil and water, adding a little extra water if necessary. (Alternatively, combine the mixture in a food processor.) Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, 2-4 minutes. Roll to 1/4-1/2 in. thick. Grease a pizza baking sheet and transfer the dough. Load up with sauce, veggies and cheese (we prefer pesto to tomato sauce). Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Greek Pasta Salad

If you are a big fan of recipes that are quick to throw together and gain flavor overnight, then Linzy’s recipe is a “must” in your collection. Her pasta salad recipe is great for parties OR as a light and healthy main meal when paired with some French bread. My favorite thing about this recipe, other than the fact that it has Louisiana shrimp in it, is that it is perfect to prepare the night before, and it’s all ready to go for when you’re going to be late from work, ball practice or dance class. Linzy even says she prefers it better the next day, as the flavor is THAT much better!

Ingredients

1 10oz pkg of bowtie pasta, cooked
½ cup olive oil
3  ½ tablespoon mayonnaise
3 ½ tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
3 tablespoon Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
1 small can of black olives
1 green onion sliced thinly
1 ½ lbs of boiled shrimp, cooked

Directions: Mix all together and serve with salad and French bread as a meal or as a side dish. Let it sit refrigerated overnight for even more flavor!

Crawfish Corn Soup

With hopes that the weather will cool off soon, contributor Janie decided to share her delicious recipe for Crawfish Corn Soup, which will be sure to please many across our region when the mercury finally drops!

Ingredients
1 pound crawfish tails
1/2 stick butter
2 toes garlic
1 onion chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
2 cans cream style corn
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 tablespoon crab boil
2 1/2 cups half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
On medium heat, saute onions, green onions, and garlic in butter for about 15 minutes.  Add crawfish tails and crab boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add cream of potato soup, cream corn, and whole kernel corn.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add 2 1/2 cups half and half and continue cooking for 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


Eggplant Spaghetti

Our education contributor, Amber, created this recipe with all sorts of tips and tricks to make the most out of some of her trusty pantry and refrigerator staples. The best part is that Amber created this recipe from inspiration from her own mom, who made something similar for her when she was young. Not only is this recipe economical, healthy, and freezer-friendly, but you can save time by adding pre-chopped frozen veggies instead of fresh, and it pairs well with Parmesan cheese as well as a nice Caesar salad to round out the meal! Amber also suggests trying out other veggies in the sauce to give it more oomph and to try variations- like broccoli, green beans, spinach, celery and carrots.


Ingredients (Makes 4-6 Servings)

1/4 cup Canola Oil
2 tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 package Mushrooms (white, steak, portabella)
1 medium Onion
1 large Bell Pepper
1 large Eggplant
Salt (sea salt or regular) – to taste
Italian Seasoning – to taste
Garlic Powder – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Your Favorite 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
Your favorite spaghetti noodles

Directions: Rinse all vegetables before cooking. Put ¼ cup canola oil in a medium/large sized pot. Heat on medium fire while chopping vegetables. Chop eggplant up into small cubes (with or without the peeling. I keep the peeling. It’s where most of the nutrients are!)  Add to pot.   Stir until mixed with with oil. Cover. Finely chop onion. Add to pot, stir, and recover. Finely slice bell pepper into long slices, then chop in half.  Put in pot and stir. Add garlic, stir, and recover. Continue cooking for 10 -15 minutes until vegetables are softened.  While cooking, stir often and add salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper.  If vegetables look like they are starting to scorch before they are cooked enough, add an ounce or two of water to help moisten vegetables while they finish cooking. After vegetables cook down, add spaghetti sauce, stir, and re-cover. Simmer on low 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While sauce is simmering, boil and strain spaghetti noodles.  Enjoy!!

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

This next delicious recipe comes from our contributor, Jennifer, who says it is one of her all time favorites. A classic chicken recipe that is sure to please, the leftovers are great for another meal later on in the week. Jennifer’s favorite is to turn the leftovers into a Greek Lemon & Rice soup where you add cooked rice, chicken broth, dried parsley and 2 beaten eggs to a small portion of the soup to make it a super delicious and comforting meal.

Ingredients

1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette or boule)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

Pasta Roll-ups with Turkey and Spinach

Our health and fitness contributor, Sarah, shared this awesome recipe that is perfect for any mom on the go who is always trying to sneak in extra veggies and healthy protein into every meal. A great tip from Sarah is to make this recipe in bulk and freeze or save for a quick weeknight dinner!

Ingredients

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey breast
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
1 tsp salt
8 sheets dried high-protein or whole-wheat lasagna
1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 15-oz container nonfat ricotta cheese
1 egg
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese


Directions:
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Turn heat to medium-high and add ground turkey, breaking it up with a spatula until meat shows no sign of pink. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg, then add tomatoes and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring and breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse and allow to cool in a colander. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Squeeze all remaining moisture from thawed spinach and place in large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, egg and a 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese to bowl. Stir until combined. Spread 1 cup of cooked tomato sauce into bottom of a 9 x 10-inch casserole dish. Lay a cooked lasagna noodle flat in front of you. Use your fingers to spread 1/8 of ricotta mixture across the noodle and roll it up. Place the rolled pasta seam side down, into the casserole dish. Repeat with remaining noodles. Spread remaining tomato sauce over roll-ups, then top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes or until the rollups are browned and bubbly.

Seasoned Red Potatoes

Co-Founder Elizabeth has this great recipe that was passed down to her from her dad, a recipe that she always thought was SO HARD but it turned out to be super easy. Frequently requested of her by her SIL and noted as her “famous red potatoes” this recipe is great to go with any meal and it is a cinch to prepare!

Ingredients

2 pounds baby red potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespon Italian seasoning
1 teaspon garlic powder
1 teaspoon rosemary
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions: In a microwaveable bowl, clean and cut potatoes into quarters, add butter. Combine Italian seasoning, garlic powder, rosemary and salt and pepper. Combine all ingredients, and microwave for 7 minutes. Stir and microwave for another 7 minutes. If needed, add more seasoning and microwave until potatoes are cooked through.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Lastly, to round out this collection, I am including the side dish recipe that is requested every holiday season. This recipe has become a staple and favorite in our house for a quick, easy, and healthful side OR meal just by the addition of pasta and Parmesan or Romano cheese. It includes probably the most misunderstood vegetable, Brussels sprouts. One day, on a whim, I decided to give Brussels sprouts a try after disliking them greatly for many years and I created this recipe. Also, this recipe works with cabbage or green beans too; after all, bacon makes everything better. You can even turn this recipe into a main meal just with a few additions. Otherwise, these sprouts are a great side dish to turkey, grilled steak, chicken or pork. They are a favorite in my family and have turned even the most staunch sprout-haters (like my dad) into Brussels sprout lovers.

Ingredients

1-2 pounds  fresh Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved (if you want more veggies, go for it, y’all!)
3-4 slices of bacon, cut into lardons (small pieces)
(OR a bag of REAL Bacon Recipe Pieces-my secret to saving time!)
Approximate 1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, and creole seasoning to taste (Tony’s, Zatarain’s, whatever you choose)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is heating, in a large saute pan, heat olive oil and bacon over medium heat. (If you are using bacon pieces, still do this step!) Let the bacon render its fat and then remove bacon and drain. Add cleaned sprouts, being sure to coat them with the bacon drippings. Season with salt, pepper, and creole seasoning to your personal tastes. Put saute pan in oven. (Be sure it’s oven safe, if not- transfer to a rimmed sheet pan or baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray) Roast sprouts in oven for about 15-20 minutes until tender and the edges are nice and browned. Serve hot. Vegetarian? Leave out the bacon and toss the sprouts with an extra tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and bake as directed. Want to make this into a meal? Add cooked whole wheat pasta and Parmesan cheese to make it a main dish.

So tell us New Orleans Moms, do you have a signature recipe? If so, what is it?  We would love it if you shared YOUR recipes with all of us!

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