Episode 177 Pantry Cooking

 I am in the middle of a really busy season in my personal life and I am relying on my pantry to help me get dinner on the table fast.

Pantry cooking is using ingredients that you keep on hand to make meals. For me this includes my pantry, freezer and refrigerator staples.

4 Tips for Pantry Cooking

Tip 1: Have a well-stocked pantry and freezer. 

In episode 99 I talked about deep dive grocery shopping. For me, this is the key to keeping a well-stocked pantry and freezer. I like to do a deep dive shopping trip about once a quarter. I use the checklist in the Holiday Planning Guide to plan my shopping trip. 

Different seasons have different pantry staples in my home. In the summer I have Make Ahead Hamburger Patties and hamburger buns in the freezer. I always have canned salmon and canned tuna in the pantry. My friends, Betsy and Kate, talked about topping salmon patties with hollandaise sauce in their podcast. It is a great example of how pantry cooking can still be delicious. 

Tip 2: Create a list of pantry staples. 

If you are making a meal at least twice a month, then the ingredients to make that meal should be on your list of pantry staples. Keep the ingredients in your home so you can easily make your go-to dinners.

Tip 3: Add fresh ingredients to make pantry dinners delicious.

To make pantry dinners delicious you need to add something fresh. My favorite fresh ingredients to keep on hand include:

lemons

herbs (parsley or cilantro in the winter and whatever I grow in a pot in the summer)

green onions

cheese (parmesan is a great choice)

avocados (I love getting pre-made single servings of guacamole that last for weeks in the refrigerator.)

cherry tomatoes (These last a really long time at room temp.)

Tip 4: Create a list of “base ingredients” to make lots of different meals. 

In episode 146 I talk about base ingredients. When you have go-to ingredients and flavors you can make dozens of different meals. Look for new recipes that use your base ingredients. 

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active teens. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. Check out her YouTube Channel or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

3 Ingredient Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

Shows the texture of the shredded buffalo chicken.

This year I have really been liking all things “Buffalo” flavor. I know I’m late to the game, but better late than never friends.

This recipe is about as easy as it comes. Chicken, salt, and hot sauce cook in the instant pot on high pressure for 7 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release. Shred the chicken with two forks and put on top of buns or your favorite salad greens. Done!

What kind of chicken is best for 3 Ingredient Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken?

I really like to use boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders because they are small enough to shred easily.

If you are using whole chicken breasts, I recommend cutting them into 4 pieces so they cook evenly and shred easily. If you stack whole chicken breasts in the instant pot, they sometimes do not cook evenly. I recommend spreading them out as evenly as possible in the instant pot to prevent uneven cooking.

You could use frozen chicken breasts and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure with a quick release.

How long does it take to cook chicken breast tenders in the instant pot?

1-2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders take 7 minutes on high pressure. I like to natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure.

Shows the texture of 3 ingredient Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken.

3 Ingredient Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This is as easy as it gets! Chicken, hot sauce, and a little salt go into the instant pot on high pressure for 7 minutes!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breast tenders evenly in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Sprinkle sea salt over the chicken.
  3. Add the hot sauce.
  4. Put the lid on the instant pot and cook on high manual pressure for 7 minutes.
  5. Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure.
  6. Remove the lid and use two forks to shred the chicken.
  7. Serve on buns or on your favorite salad.

Notes

You can use whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Just cut them into four pieces before adding to the instant pot.

You can use frozen chicken breasts, just increase the cooking time to 20 minutes with a quick release.

This recipe freezes really well. Add the cooled chicken with any juices from the pot to a zip bag and freeze up to two months.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 36g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

No Cook Pizza Sauce

Shows texture of No Cook Pizza Sauce

No Cook Pizza Sauce is so quick and easy to make with pantry ingredients. I like it because it tastes great and is fuss-free.

What is in No Cook Pizza Sauce?

Tomato Sauce

Tomato Paste

Coarse Sea Salt

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Hot Pepper Flakes

Pinch of Sugar

Dried Oregano

How do you make No Cook Pizza Sauce?

You mix the tomato sauce and tomato paste with the herbs, spices, salt and pinch of sugar. It is ready to put on your favorite pizza dough. I like Make Ahead Pizza Dough.

Why do you need sugar in No Cook Pizza Sauce?

The tiny pinch of sugar helps tame the acidity of the canned tomato sauce and tomato paste. 

How do you store No Cook Pizza Sauce?

It will store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or you can freeze it for up to two months.

How many pizzas can you make with one batch of No Cook Pizza Sauce?

I like a fair amount of sauce on my pizza and find that one recipe generously covers three 12-inch pizzas.

Shows the texture of no cook pizza sauce

No Cook Pizza Sauce

Yield: 12 ounces
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Fast and easy pizza sauce made from pantry ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 8 ounce can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 6 ounce can Tomato Paste
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Hot Pepper Flakes

Instructions

  1. Empty the tomato sauce and tomato paste into a medium bowl.
  2. Add the oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, sugar, and hot pepper flakes.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Use on your favorite pizza crust.

Notes

This makes enough to generously cover three 12 inch pizzas or 1 sheet pan pizza.

It can be made ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week and in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

 

 

 

Episode 127 How To Be More Efficient In The Kitchen

Podcast about kitchen efficiency

Most of us want to spend the least amount of time possible in the kitchen. There are a few tips and hacks that can help you be more efficient in the kitchen.

It is best to implement these ideas in small bits. Try to change one or two things at a time.

 

Plan Your Meals

It is important to plan your meals. When you enter the kitchen without knowing what you are going to make, you will be slower and less efficient. I like to plan weekly using the free Feed Your Family Tonight Weekly Meal Planning Sheet. You can also get the Feed Your Family Tonight Meal Planning Notebook to have a year’s worth of meal planning sheets all in one place.

 

Read the Recipe

When you read the recipe think about how you will execute the different parts of the recipe. Are there steps you can combine to be more efficient? Are there breaks in the hands-on work for you to do a little bit of cleanup?

Do the steps in the best order.

Cut the veggies before you cut meat to avoid washing the knife and cutting board more than once.

Start things that take more time first like cooking rice or boiling water.

Consider Task Stacking

This is a concept I learned from Lisa Woodruff. You cannot multi-task, but you can let machines work while you do other tasks.

Run the dishwasher

Start the rice in an instant pot or rice cooker.

Roast Veggies in the oven while cooking other parts of the meal on the stove.

 

What Can You Do Today to Be Successful Tomorrow?

Clean and chop extra veggies for tomorrow’s dinner.

Blanch veggies for another day after you blanch veggies for tonight’s dinner.

Salt or marinade meat for the next day.

Do a little lunch prep while your cutting board is out.

 

Use the Right Tools for Maximum Efficiency

Get good knives and have them sharpened regularly. Sharp knives will make you much more efficient in the kitchen.

If you have a tool out for a recipe, consider using it for more prep. For example, if you are using the food processor to shred carrots, use it to cut more carrots for your salad or slice other veggies. If you have the blender out for a recipe, use it to make a salad dressing or marinade for the next day.

Get a Garlic Press and Citrus Squeezer. These two tools save me tons of time every week.

 

Keep Essential Equipment and Ingredients Organized and Close to the Prep Area

If you can’t find your favorite spatula with your eyes closed, you need to find a better place. You should have your most-used tools and ingredients at your fingertips.

 

Organize your spices in “sweet” and “savory.” Keep ingredients for baking like cinnamon, baking powder, and vanilla in one bin and ingredients for cooking like garlic powder and oregano in another bin.

 

Start with A Clean Kitchen

It isn’t always possible to have a totally clean kitchen, but it is much easier to cook when you have an empty sink and clean countertops when you start to cook.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

How to serve Mongolian Beef

What is Mongolian Beef?

Mongolian Beef is a favorite of American Chinese restaurants. It features beef in a rich sauce. It is usually served over rice and sometimes has vegetables but is usually garnished with green onions. 

What kind of beef is in Mongolian Beef?

It usually uses flank steak, but I have found the instant pot version does well with thinly sliced rump roast or london broil which are less expensive and easier to find.

What do you serve with Mongolian Beef?

Mongolian Beef is usually served over rice, but I prefer to serve it over rice noodles. You could also serve it over cauliflower rice.

Why do you put orange zest in Mongolian Beef?

Years ago I had Mongolian Beef at a restaurant and it had a slight orange flavor. I really liked the way the orange flavor enhanced the dish and decided to add it to my recipe? If you are not a fan of orange flavor or do not have an orange, you can omit it in the recipe. 

Can I make this without and Instant Pot?

This recipe was tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot. You could make it in another pressure cooker.

Why do you use an Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot uses pressure to quickly cook and tenderize the beef. Without the pressure it would take much longer to have tender Mongolian Beef. 

How to serve Mongolian Beef

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
What kind of beef is in Mongolian Beef?

It usually uses flank steak, but I have found the instant pot version does well with thinly sliced rump roast or london broil which are less expensive and easier to find.

What do you serve with Mongolian Beef?

Mongolian Beef is usually served over rice, but I prefer to serve it over rice noodles. You could also serve it over cauliflower rice.

Why do you put orange zest in Mongolian Beef?

Years ago I had Mongolian Beef at a restaurant and it had a slight orange flavor. I really liked the way the orange flavor enhanced the dish and decided to add it to my recipe? If you are not a fan of orange flavor or do not have an orange, you can omit it in the recipe. 

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Beef sliced into thin strips. (I use rump roast or London Broil.)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Orange zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablepoons Corn Starch
  • 3 Tablespoons Water
  • 4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

Set the Instant Pot to Sauté.

Place part of the thinly sliced beef in the Instant Pot and brown on both sides.

You can remove that beef and continue to brown in batches, or brown part of the beef in a large skillet over high heat. (See notes and video.)

Pour the water into the skillet (if using) and scrape up any browned bits. Add the browned beef and water to the beef in the Instant Pot and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the instant pot. (See note.)

Add the soy sauce, orange zest, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar and stir to combine.

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set to "Manual" for 16 minutes.

After cooking 16 minutes is complete, release the pressure.

Once pressure is released and lid unlocks, carefully open the lid.

Mix the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the instant pot and stir well. The sauce should thicken,

Serve over rice or rice noodles and top with green onions.

Notes

You can cook the meat in batches in the Instant Pot on Sauté. Once both sides of the meat are browned, remove from the Instant Pot and add the next batch of unbrowned meat. Continue until all the meat is browned on both sides.

I prefer to use the instant pot and a skillet. It is much faster. I like to brown some of the meat in the instant pot and the remainder of the meat in a large skillet on high heat. It usually takes 2 batches in the skillet.

Once all the meat is browned, I add it to the instant pot and deglaze the skillet with water. I add the water from the skillet to the Instant Pot and deglaze the bottom of the instant pot too.

I like the flavor of the orange zest in this dish. If you do not prefer orange or do not have one you can omit the orange zest.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 655mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 32g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

Simple Baked Fish

How to serve Simple Baked Fish

What kind of fish can you use in this recipe?

I like to use white fish like, cod, tilapia, halibut, or flounder.

Can you use frozen fish?

In Kansas, most fish is previously frozen. I find frozen fish works really well in this recipe.

How do you thaw frozen fish?

I find it is best to place the frozen fish in a container in the refrigerator. The container will catch any drips or liquid as the fish thaws. This usually takes 24-48 hours. You can quickly thaw the fish by placing it in a bowl of cool water. You want to change the water every 30 minutes. It will take 1-2 hours to thaw one pound of individually wrapped pieces of fish.

How do you serve Simple Baked Fish?

I like to serve it with a simple vegetable like this recipe for frozen veggies you want to eat. It goes really well with Romesco Sauce.

What temperature do you bake fish?

I find that 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit works well. You may need to bake a little more or less depending on the size and thickness of the fish. Be careful not to overbake the fish or it will get dry. 

Why do you top baked fish with lemon slices?

I find that the lemon adds a little flavor and a little acid that helps brighten up the simple baked fish. 

Shows Texture and Serving of Simple Baked Fish

Simple Baked Fish

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

This simple dinner takes minutes to make. In Kansas, I use frozen fish and top it with salt, pepper, and lemon slices.

The lemon slices add some flavor and acid to complement the fish.

It is really great topped with Cheater Romesco Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound white fish (cod, tilapia, halibut, and flounder all work well.) Cut into individual portions.
  • 1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-2 Lemons sliced thinly
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Place the fish on the sprayed parchment paper and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place lemon slices over the pieces of fish.
  5. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes. If your fish is thin it will take closer to 10 minutes. If you have a thick piece of fish, it will take closer to 12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and serve.
  7. I like to serve it with Cheater Romesco Sacue.
  8. This shows how to serve romesco sauce with baked fish.

Notes

To thaw frozen fish, place the fish in a container in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. You can also thaw it in a bowl of cool water, changing the water every 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 530mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

 

 

 

Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Sometimes you need a simple dinner made with frozen chicken breasts. When I don’t have thawed chicken, I often make this Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice.

Why do you use brown rice?

You want to use brown rice because it takes much longer to cook than white rice. If you used white rice, it would be overcooked by the time the chicken breasts are cooked.

What kinds of brown rice?

I have used several different kinds of brown rice including long grain, short grain, brown basmati, and brown jasmine rice. They all work well, but my favorite is short grain brown rice because I like the slightly creamy and chewy texture you get.

Why do you use frozen chicken breasts?

I like to use frozen chicken breasts because they take longer than fresh chicken breasts to cook and they don’t get overcooked in the instant pot.

How do you freeze chicken breasts?

I like to take the breasts out of the package and put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I separate them slightly so they freeze as individual breasts. I place the sheet in the freezer overnight and the next day I take the solid individual frozen chicken breasts and put them in a zip bag for longer storage. 

It is nice to have individual breasts because I can pull out the amount I need for a recipe without thawing a large clump of chicken.

Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes

This is a great dinner for busy nights. Everything goes into the Instant Pot and is ready to serve 35-45 minutes later.

It uses frozen chicken breasts which makes it great for days when you forgot to thaw the meat.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Brown Rice (See Note)
  • 1 Pound Frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3 1/2 Cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth

Instructions

Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool water for one minute to remove excess starch.

Place rinsed rice in the bottom of the instant pot.

Place the frozen chicken breasts on top of the rice in the instant pot.

Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of coarse sea salt over the chicken breasts in the instant pot.

Pour the chicken broth into the instant pot.

Check the sealing ring, place the lid on the instant pot.

Cook on manual setting for 22 minutes.

Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes. (You can let it totally release naturally if you wish.)

After 10 minutes, you can manually release the pressure.

Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-size chunks. Mix with the rice, and serve.

Notes

I tested this recipe using a 6 quart instant pot. If you are using a different size you may need to adjust the amount of broth.

I have also tested it in the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker.

You can use any type of brown rice you prefer. I have used long grain, short grain, basmati, and jasmine. They all work well, but you do not want to use white rice. It will be overcooked following the recipe.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1438mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 28g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

 

Meatball Subs

Meatball subs are super easy to make. Hoagie buns are toasted under the broiler and topped with meatballs, sauce, and cheese and broiled again until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

I like to use my homemade Italian Meatballs, but you can use frozen meatballs too. 

Shortcuts

You can use frozen meatballs rather than homemade. I like to use olive oil cooking spray rather than brushing olive oil on the hoagies to toast them. This recipe calls for jarred marinara sauce. 

What can go wrong?

Always be careful when using the broiler. Food can get burnt quickly. I like to have the rack in the upper middle position and watch the food carefully as it broils.

Meatball Subs

Meatball Subs

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Meatball subs are fast and easy. Hoagie Buns are toasted and topped with meatballs, sauce, and cheese and broiled until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Ingredients

  • 1 24 oz Jar Marinara Sauce
  • 20 Meatballs (see note)
  • 4 Hoagie Buns (see note)
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Cup (4 oz) Shredded Mozzarella

Instructions

    Set the oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat oven to broil.
    In a large saucepan, heat meatballs and sauce.
    Open four hoagie buns on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray the top with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic salt.
    Toast the buns under the broiler. This will take 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully as they burn easily.
    Remove from oven, top each hoagie bun with 5 meatballs and a tablespoon or two of extra sauce. Top the meatballs and sauce with 1/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella.
    Return the subs to the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. This will take 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully.
    Remove from oven and serve.

Notes

You can use my recipe for homemade Italian Meatballs or you can use store-bought frozen meatballs.

It is important to heat the meatballs all the way before topping the buns. They will not heat up much in the oven.

You can substitute 6 inch slices of French bread for the hoagie buns. Just slice down the center before spraying with olive oil.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 844Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 2635mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 10gSugar: 18gProtein: 34g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

 

 

Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing (Viniagrette)

It is January and that means many of us are ready to eat more vegetables. Salads are a great way to eat more veggies and homemade salad dressings are inexpensive and easy to make. Plus you can have better control over the ingredients. Traditional vinaigrettes use a ratio of two parts oil to one part acid. I like to have a 1:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. I find that I don’t miss the extra oil and the dressing still tastes delicious. 

I like to make this dressing in a 2 cup mason jar. It gives enough space to shake and mix well.

The Dijon mustard is important in the recipe because it helps the dressing emulsify. The dressing will separate as it sits, but the little bit of mustard slows down the process. 

Serve this dressing over your favorite salad greens or drizzle a little over roasted veggies

Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing (Viniagrette)

Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing (Viniagrette)

Yield: 2/3 Cup
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

This simple salad dressing comes together in minutes and is a great topping for any salad or even roasted veggies.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

    In a 2 Cup mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix all ingredients.
    Place the lid on the jar and shake well and serve.
    Refrigerate unused dressing and shake well before using again. The oil may solidify in the refrigerator. (See Note.)

    Notes

    The Dijon mustard is important for helping the dressing emulsify. It will separate as it sits. You can refrigerate this dressing up to three weeks. The oil may solidify in the refrigerator. If it does solidify, just let the salad dressing sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or run hot water over the jar for a couple of minutes.

     

     

     

    Olive Tapenade

    For New Year’s Eve, our family likes to play games and eat appetizers. One of my favorites is Olive Tapenade. It is super simple to make and you can use it as a spread on bruschetta, on crackers, or even as a dip for veggies.

    It only has a few simple ingredients and comes together in minutes. It is important to pick olives with lots of flavor and to have at least two different kinds of olives. You want to make sure the olives are pitted before adding them to the food processor.

    I like to toast slices of baguette sprayed with a little olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled with a bit of garlic powder. I spread the toasted bread with tapenade and sprinkle on a little mozzarella cheese and bake until the cheese is starting to brown, then top with fresh tomatoes and a little parsley. 

    Olive Tapenade

    Olive Tapenade

    Yield: 2 Cups
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Olive Tapenade is a spread of ground olives, olive oil, and a little salt. You can serve it on bruschetta, with crackers, or even as a dip for veggies.

    Ingredients

    Tapenade

    • 4 Cups drained olives of at least 2-3 varieties (see note)
    • 3/4 teaspoon Coars Sea Salt
    • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

    Bruschetta

    • 1 Baguette cut in 1/2 inch rounds
    • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
    • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1/3 Cup shredded mozarella
    • 1/2 Cup Chopped Tomatoes (I like grape or cherry tomatoes)
    • 1/4 Cup chopped parsley

    Instructions

      Tapenade
      In a food processor, combine the olives and coarse sea salt for 5-10 seconds.
      Scrape down the sides of the processor and add the olive oil.
      Process for another 3-5 seconds until the tapenade is the consistency you prefer. I usually like mine pretty smooth.
      Serve.
      Bruschetta
      Preheat oven to Broil.
      Place baguette rounds on a cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic powder.
      Broil for 1-2 minutes until brown and toasted. Watch carefully as you broil.
      Remove from oven and spread the toasted bread with tapenade. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and return to oven. Broil another 1-2 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Top with chopped tomatoes and fresh parsley. Serve.

    Notes

    It is important to have at least one of the types of olives with a strong flavor. I like to use a combination of pimento stuffed Spanish olives, Kalamata olives, and ripe black olives. Be sure to drain the olives and make sure there are no pits before adding to the food processor.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

    Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

    Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.