Cheese sauce without the Velveeta


VelveetaThis might not be foreign to some, but it is very foreign around these parts.  Velveeta is used for everything around here – cheese sauce, cheese dip, cheese burgers, cheese soup – if it has cheese in it, they put Velveeta in it.  One of my fiancee’s favorite dishes Steameris steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, polska kielbasa all covered in Velveeta cheese sauce.  Well, as a matter of fact, Velveeta is kind of expensive.  Even the fake Velveeta is kind of expensive, and I really wanted to eat this dish (and I got a cool new steamer for Christmas, and I wanted to try it out). So, I found a way to use the shredded cheese I have in my fridge to make a cheese sauce.  The fiancee decided it isn’t as good as Velveeta cheese sauce, but it will do.

Cheese sauce2

Cheese Sauce without Velveeta

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese (I used fiesta blend)

1. Melt the butter on low.  Don’t turn it up high, because that’s when cheese starts to burn (not melt).
2. Once the butter is COMPLETELY melted, add in 1/4 cup of milk.  Turn to medium heat, and bring to a boil.
3. Once the mixture has begun to boil, turn back down to low and slowly add in the cheese.  Stir constantly, until there are no longer clumps.

Serve on top of whatever your little heart desires. 🙂

Sorry the picture might make your mouth water because it looks so delicious, and I didn’t exactly explain how to make that dish.  But, cheese sauce just doesn’t look very exciting in a pan.  The dish is really easy, just some steamed vegetables, polska kielbasa cooked in some boiling water, and mashed potatoes.

Pacific Stir Fry


When my dad first approached me with this recipe (thanks to Wal-mart’s Family Cookbook), I thought he was completely ridiculous.  I’m not quite the fruit person (some reason I can’t handle the acid) and I couldn’t imagine FRUIT for dinner, but once he made it…I couldn’t get enough of it.  This recipe is sweet and delicious!  I hope all of you give this a try without judging it first!

Pacific Island Stir Fry

Ingredients

1 can (8 oz.) pineapple chunks
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin orange sections
½ cup of water
1/3 tropical passion fruit juice concentrate (found in frozen section)
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 lb. polska kielbasa
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

  1.  Cook the rice as directed.
  2. Drain pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges and reserve ½ cup of the liquid.  Stir the fruit liquid, water, tropical passion (allow to defrost), and corn starch and set aside.
  3. Heat up oil in a pan and add in vegetables.  Cook until tender.  Then add in the polska kielbasa.
  4. Add in ½ the juice mixture and allow to boil.  Lower the heat.
  5. Add in the rest of the juice mixture and the orange sections (if you’d prefer your oranges to stay whole then don’t add them until the last step).
  6. Allow to simmer for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
  7. Add in the pineapple.
  8. Cook on top of cooked rice.

 

Greek yogurt!


I was in the grocery store last week and I saw Greek yogurt.  All of these recipes that I had pushed aside because of that ingredient all came back to me, and I bought it.  Now, when I got home, I realized that I didn’t have too many things that I could pair with the Greek yogurt, but I did find one recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients for.  This baked Greek Yogurt pasta is super delicious (and I’ve been kind of stuck on a pasta kick lately, if you can’t tell).

Baked Greek Yogurt Pasta

Ingredients

– 2 cups of your favorite pasta
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 tablespoon EVOO
– 2 chicken tenderloins, bite size pieces
– polska kielbasa
– 1/2 can of sweet corn
– zest of 1 lemon
– juice of 1 lemon
– 5 oz (3/4 cup) of Greek yogurt
– shredded cheese
– seasoned breadcrumbs
– 1/2 tomato, small chunks

1.  Cook the pasta as directed and heat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Add the EVOO and butter into a skillet.  Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Then add in the chicken, and cook until no longer pink in the middle.
3.  Now add in the lemon zest and the juice of the lemon.  Add in the corn, Greek yogurt, and polska kielbasa.  Take off heat.

4.  Add the noodles into a 9 x 9 baking dish and sprinkle some cheese on top of the noodles.  Then add in the yogurt mixture on top of that.  Top with some more cheese and sprinkle with seasoned breadcrumbs.

5.  Cook covered for 15 minutes and then add on the tomatoes.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.

6.  Serve with cheese on top of each dish.

Edamame


Edamame – literally translated to the “twig bean.”  These twig beans are soy beans picked before they are ripen and they are delicious!  When buying the ones that are in the pods, you must squeeze the beans out before eating them but it makes for a fun way to eat!  For this dish, I wish I had the ones that were pod-less so I didn’t have to go through and pop them all out but it was kind of fun!  I like to make Edamame with steak and they are great in pasta as well.

I was reading my latest Food Network magazine and one of the tips that it gave was mix up your pasta once and a while and boil some vegetables in the water with your noodles.  I thought this was a great idea and decided to try it with the Edamame.  This dish ended up super yummy, and was cooked super fast.  I ended up making this dish for just me, but it could easily be made for more.

Edamame Noodles

Ingredients

Serves: 1 (could easily be made into a larger dish)

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat penne noodles
  • polska kielbasa, sliced lengthwise and the in halves
  • 1/4 cup of onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of edamame pod less (these pictures show ones with pods)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (I used a mix)
  • crushed red pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Directions

1.  Boil water and add in the noodles and edamame.  Turn the heat down or the water will begin to fizzle up because of the edamame.

2.  Add butter to a pan and allow to melt, add onions and saute.  Then add the polska kielbasa.  Season with the crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning.  Add the cheese.  Right before serving add in the tomatoes.

3.  Drain noodles and edamame (the edamame should be perfectly cooked by the time your noodles are done) and if you purchased the ones in the pod, at this time use your hands and squeeze the beans out of the pod.

4.  Serve noodles and edamame with the mixture of onion, cheese, polska kielbasa and tomatoes.

Pasta & Velveeta


After a not-so-successful day of preparing for finals and a successful job interview, I did not feel like cooking anything extravagant.  Especially because there was no one here to enjoy the meal with me.  I can’t even believe the words “I did not feel like cooking” came out of my mouth, but they did.  I did, in fact, feel like blogging though, so I just had to make something.  Tonight I kind of went through our cabinets and refrigerator and made a pasta dish with the leftover Velveeta from the Chicken Enchiladas last night.

Pasta & Velveeta

1 cup penne noodles
1/4 lb. of Polska Kielbasa, cut lengthwise and then into small pieces
1 yellow pepper (or any other color you choose), chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 lb. of Velveeta
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cook pasta as directed on box.
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil to a pan and allow to heat up.  Once heated up, add the minced garlic.  Stir it around for 30 seconds and then add in the yellow pepper and onion.  Season with crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Allow vegetables to cook until the onion is tender and no longer has a bite to it.  Then add in the polska kielbasa.  Lower the heat.
  4. Once the pasta is done, drain it and use the pan that it was cooked in to make the cheese sauce.  Add the butter, Velveeta, and milk.  Then cook over medium-high heat, constantly stirring.  Once the cheese is completely melted, add to the vegetable mixture.
  5. Then add the noodles with the cheese and vegetables, and then turn heat off.  Once heat is off, add in the tomatoes.  This dish is much better if you keep the tomatoes not-cooked.

——What is your go-to dish when you don’t feel like cooking?——
I’m beginning to feel like there is no one out there!  So give me some feedback if you are reading this!  Even if you didn’t like what you read.  Just let me know someone is there. 🙂