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Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Red Lentil Soup LRWC

Red Lentil Soup

By: Gigi Howe

This soup is delicious, honest!  I’ve had this recipe for years and have made it numerous times.  You add lemon, which gives the soup a great flavor but doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.  The recipe calls for water; you could use chicken broth or vegetable broth if you prefer.  I’ve always used just the water and tastes great to me.

 

Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

– 1 large onion, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 5 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth)
– 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 lemon rinds
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– salt and pepper to taste
– lemon slices (optional)

Directions:

1. In a 3 – 4 quart pot, heat oil and add onions.  Saute for about 3-4 mins.  Add garlic and cumin and cook until the onion is golden (about 5-6 more mins).

2.  Pour in water, then add in the lentils, bay leaf and lemon rinds.  Cover and simmer for 30 – 45 mins. until lentils are soft.

3.  Discard bay leaf (you can discard the lemon rind if you would like, some people like to eat it, others don’t) and add lemon juice.  Stir well and serve with a slice of lemon if desired.

Enjoy!!

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Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta Recipe

Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta

Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta

By: Gigi Howe

If you are a fan of Swiss chard, like I am, here’s a recipe for you to try.  You really could substitute another leafy green vegetable, such as kale, escarole or spinach or even do a combination of different greens.  This recipe is easy to prepare and what doesn’t taste good with pasta and Parmesan cheese?! ;)  If you’d like, you can also add a can of cannellini beans to the mix.

 

Swiss Chard With Creamy Pasta

Ingredients:

– 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. Swiss chard
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 small onion chopped
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup sour cream, plain yogurt or ricotta
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– 8 oz. pasta cooked
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Wash and cut Swiss chard into small pieces.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan.  Add chard, onions and garlic.  Cook for 5 – 10 mins. or until desired tenderness.

3.  Add milk, sour cream, yogurt or ricotta and parmesan cheese.  Stir until combined and cook for 1 min.  Pour over cooked pasta, mix well and serve.

Options:  Add a can of white cannellini beans to the recipe.   Use different leafy greens – kale, escarole, spinach instead, or inaddition to the chard.

Serves 4.

Enjoy!!

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Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

By: Gigi Howe

Today is National Pi Day, that’s “Pi”, not “Pie”.  Pi is the symbol that shows the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which is approximately 3.1415926… and so on!  Pi Day is always on March 14. But what is neat about today’s date “3/14/15″ is that the digits are in order with the first 5 numbers of Pi.  Most years only the first 3 digits are associated with the date.   So we have the bonus of the 2015 for this year.  And an added bonus.. how about a recipe for Pie??  ;)

I’m sharing a recipe for Key Lime Pie today.  Its one of my favorites.  Has a little tang to it.  You can use key limes, if you can find them but regular limes work just fine.  You’ll be making a meringue topping for this pie.  Its delicious!  I’ve tried several recipes for the pie, but this one is my favorite.  Personally, I prefer a graham cracker crust with this pie, but you can use a regular pastry crust if you prefer.  You can add a few drops of green food coloring to the filling of the pie if you would like to make your pie to look greener.  I don’t do that, still tastes great with its natural color.

 

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients:

– 9 inch pie crust – graham cracker or pastry
– 3 eggs (allow to stand at room temperature for 30 mins)
– 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
– 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon finely grated key lime peel or 1 1/2 teaspoons of regular lime peel
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/3 cup lime juice
– several drops of green food coloring if desired
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
– 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
– 6 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2.  Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue.  In medium mixing bowl beat egg yolks and gradually stir in condensed milk and lime peel.  Add water, lime juice and food coloring, if using.  Mix well.

3.  Pour the filling into the pie shell.  Bake for 30 mins.

4. Meanwhile prepare the meringue.  In a large mixing bowl combine egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar.  Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar.  Beat on high speed for approximately 4 mins. more until mixture forms stiff peaks.

5. Remove pie from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 400.  Spread meringue over the hot filling, making sure to spread meringue to the edges.

6. Bake for 15 mins.  Cool for 1 hour on wire rack.  Chill in refrigerator for 3-5 hours before serving.

Enjoy!!

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Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts recipe

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

By: Gigi Howe

When I was looking through one of my recipe boxes for a recipe to post today, I picked this one.  This recipe has the subtitle:  Brussels Sprouts for People Who Think They Hate Brussels Sprouts.  I have to admit, I used to be a hater.  I hated them as a kid and figured that would never change.  I always thought they were “cute” but still hated them.  But a few months back, I decided it was time to give them another try and much to my shock and surprise, I like them.. a lot!!   At first I just sauteed them with some other vegetables.  I figured that would be “safe” and mask their flavor somewhat.  They I dared to prepare them by themselves.  So they have moved from the “I will never eat those nasty things again” list to “A” list.  :)

Anyway, if you are already a fan or if you want to give them a chance, here’s a nice recipe to try.

 

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

– Brussels Sprouts – about 1 lb.
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 – 5 cloves garlic (depending on how much you love garlic)
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
– 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or to taste
– 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated if possible)

Directions:

1.  Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored outer leaves.  If the sprouts are more than an inch in diameter, cut them in quarters lengthwise.  If the sprouts are smaller, cut them in half.

2.  Boil 2 quarts of water, add salt and sprouts.  Boil uncovered for about 5 mins.  You want to keep the sprouts on the crunchy side.  Drain sprouts, discard cooking water and dry the pot.

3.  Heat olive oil in the pot, add garlic and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 1 min.  Add sprouts and nutmeg.  Saute for 1 more minute.  Add the Parmesan cheese and toss with the sprouts until the cheese slightly melts.

Enjoy!!

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Old Fashioned Pound Cake Recipe

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

By: Gigi Howe

When Cindy told me that today is National Pound Cake Day, I immediately thought of this recipe.  I can’t tell you how old this recipe is, but for some reason when I was a kid, I used to make it.. a lot.  I think I was about 9 or 10 at the time and a few people actually paid me to make them a cake.  Maybe they were being kind, but I think its really the recipe.  This recipe is a little complicated but this will probably be the best pound cake you’ve ever tasted (and remember, I did made when I was a kid so it can’t be all that difficult).

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Ingredients:

– 8 eggs (at room temperature – let stand for 1 hour before using), separated
– 2 1/4 cups sifted flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 1/4 cups sugar
– 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Directions:

1.  Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.  Preheat oven to 325.

2.  Sift together flour, baking soda and 1 1/4 cups of sugar.

3.  In large bowl blend butter with flour mixture.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat in egg yolks one at at time, just until yolks are blended.

4.  In another large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add salt, then gradually add 1 cup of sugar and cream of tartar.  Continue beating until soft peaks form.

5. Gently fold egg whites into the flour mixture, then turn into prepared bundt pan.  Using a spatula, gently cut through the cake batter 1 or 2 times.

6. Bake cake 1 1/2 hours, or until cake tester comes out clean.  Do not open the oven door during the first hour of cooking.

7.  Once the tester comes out clean, turn off the oven and let the cake stay in the oven for 15 more mins.  Then remove to a wire cake rake and let cook for 15 mins.

8.  Remove cake from the pan and let cool on rack.

 

Enjoy!!

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Banana Cream Pie Recipes

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

By: Gigi Howe

In honor of today being Banana Cream Pie Day, guess what we have here!  Yes, a Banana Cream Pie recipe.  Actually, I have two recipes for you.  One is a recipe if you want to make your Banana Cream Pie from scratch, the other is recipe is made with pudding and goes together pretty quickly.  I can’t say which is tastier, I will let you be the judge!

Banana Cream Pie from Scratch

Ingredients:

– 1 prepared, baked pie shell – 9 inch
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup cornstarch or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 3 cups milk
– 4 egg yolks
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 3 bananas (about 2 1/2 cups sliced)
– 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

Directions:

1.  In medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch or flour.  Stir in milk and mix well.  Cook and stir over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.  Cook and stir for 2 mins more.  Remove from heat.

2.  Slightly beat egg yolks with a fork.  Gradually stir in about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks.  Pour the egg yolk mixture into the rest of the hot filling in the saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir for 2 more mins.  Remove from heat.

3.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Set aside.

4.  Arrange the sliced bananas over the bottom of the pie shell.  Pour warm filling over bananas.  Chill in refrigerator for 4-6 hours before serving.

5. To serve – in a small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form and spread over filing.

 

If you want to make something that is a little quicker, here is…

Easy Banana Cream Pie

– 1 prepared, baked pie shell – 8 inch
– 1 3 or 3 1/4 oz. package of regular vanilla pudding
– 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
– 2 bananas – sliced 1/2 inch thick
– whipped cream or cool whip

Directions:

1. Prepare pudding mix as label directs.  Stir in butter or margarine and extract.  Cover pudding surface with waxed papper and refrigerate for 30 mins.

2.  Meanwhile, slice bananas and arrange in baked pie shell.

3.  With whisk beat pudding mixture until smooth.  Pour over bananas.  Refrigerate until cool.  Top with whipped cream and garnish with more banana slices dipped in lemon juice.

 

Enjoy!!

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Creamy Carrot Soup Recipe

Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup

By: Gigi Howe

I’m so excited that I found this recipe.  Its been missing since I moved over a year ago and decided that I would make another effort to find it and I did!  This soup is delicious.   If I could guarantee that you’d love recipe, I would do that.  :)

This recipe is easy to put together,  you puree the cooked soup and its done.  I’ve had this recipe for quite a few years, in fact it was my mother’s recipe.  She used to make it and I have followed the tradition.. and thank goodness I found the recipe!  Coincidentally, I was emailed another carrot soup recipe this morning.  I checked out that recipe, but I have to say that it doesn’t sound as good as mine ;)

 Creamy Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
– 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
– 1/4 cup uncooked rice (not minute rice)
– 1 teaspoon curry powder
– 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
– 10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
– Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Cook onions and ginger in oil over low heat for 10 mins.

2.  Add rice and curry powder, mix well.  Add carrots and broth.  Bring to boil and let simmer for 30 mins or until carrots are tender.  Let soup cool slightly.

3.  Puree soup in blender or food processor and return to pot to reheat.

Makes approximately 10 servings.

Enjoy!!

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Seafood Alfredo Recipe

Seafood Alfredo

Seafood Alfredo

By: Gigi Howe

This is an easy recipe to make.. tastes good too.  And what I like about recipes like this one, you can change it to your liking.  The original recipe calls for fish but it tastes just as yummy with chicken or shrimp.  You can also do a seafood combo which is great.  You can even add some extra vegetables or olives if you’d like.

 Seafood Alfredo Recipe

Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
– 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz), undrained
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1 lb. fish fillets – tilapia, swai, pollock or flounder (fresh or frozen), cut into 2 inch pieces
– linguine or fettuccine
– Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, until tender.

2.  Stir in soup, tomatoes and milk.  Heat to boil.  Add fish and reduce heat.  Cover and cook for 10 mins or until fish flakes.

3.  Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with grated cheese

Chicken breast can substituted for fish. If you are using chicken, cook for approximately 20-25 mins until chicken is cooked.

Enjoy!!

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Upside Down German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Upside Down German Chocolate Cake

Upside Down German Chocolate Cake

By: Gigi Howe

Want to make something special for Valentine’s Day?  Try this recipe for an Upside Down German Chocolate Cake.  German Chocolate Cakes have always been my favorite kind of cake.  But if you have ever made one, you’ll know its a little tricky and complicated to make one, especially from scratch.  This recipe that I am sharing today, is easy to make!  It doesn’t have layers like the traditional cake, but just as tasty!

I’ve seen a few other upside down German chocolate cake recipes but this one is a little different because you melt the cream cheese and butter on the stove and then add the powdered sugar.

Give it a try, its easy to make and I have never met anyone who doesn’t like this recipe.

Ingredients:

– 1 cup of coconut
– 1 cup of chopped pecans
– 1 German chocolate cake mix
– 16 oz of powdered sugar
– 8 oz cream cheese
– 1 stick of butter

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350. Mix pecans and coconut in a bowl. Spread into greased 13×9 cake pan.

2.  In a sauce pan, melt cream cheese and butter. Once melted, whisk in powdered sugar, blend well.

3.  Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Once cake is mixed, pour over coconut/pecan mixture in cake pan.

4. Spread/pour or swirl cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar mixture on top of the cake batter.

5. Bake for 40 – 50, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool and serve.  You can flip over the pieces so that the coconut and pecans are on top.

Enjoy!!

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Zucchini Tomato Stew Recipe

Zucchini Tomato Stew

Zucchini Tomato Stew

By: Gigi Howe

I made this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago.  I really didn’t know what to expect from it but we liked it a lot.  It was quick to prepare and tasted great.  I can’t ask for much more.. well yeah, for someone else to do the cooking..  kidding… maybe.  ;)

This recipe calls for Italian sausage, I used turkey sausage.  While browning, I crumbled some of the sausage but left some in little slices/chunks.  I shredded the zucchini and by the time the stew was ready to serve there was no visible trace of any zucchini;  I love hiding those vegetables!  The recipe says you can use fresh tomatoes and tomato juice or use canned diced tomatoes.  I did a little bit of both.  I had some tomatoes from my garden which I had frozen, so I used them, along with some tomato juice that we had canned, then threw in a small can of diced tomatoes.

Anyway, this was good and warmed us up on a cold night.  I hope you like it also.

Ingredients:

– 1 lb Italian pork or turkey sausage
– 2 small zucchini, sliced or shredded
– 1 /12 cups sliced celery
– 8 medium tomatoes (about 4 cups) *
– 1 1/2 cups of tomato juice *
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 3 cups frozen corn
– 2 medium bell peppers chopped
– 1/4 cup cornstarch
– 1/4 cup water
– parsley for garnish
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Brown sausage, crumble some, leave some in chunks or slices.  Drain.

2.  Return sausage to pot and add celery, cook for 5 mins.  Add tomatoes, tomato juice (if using), garlic and seasonings, bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 mins.

3.  Add chopped peppers and corn.   Simmer for 20 mins.

4. Combine cornstarch and water.  Stir into stew.  Cook until mixture thickens.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.  Nice served with crusty Italian or French bread.

* you can substitute two 28 oz. cans of diced undrained tomatoes instead of the fresh tomatoes and juice.

Yield: 6 servings

Enjoy!!

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