Dry Ranch Dressing Mix

I fully intended to cook a meal when I got home from work tonight. I had all my spices lined up on the counter, my adaption and the cookbook it was adapted from were right next to the spices, ready for reference.

What I didn’t expect when I got home is being so tired  all I wanted to do is go to bed. Instead of making Rogan Josh like I planned, I made a big bowl of buttered popcorn sprinkled with the dry ranch seasoning  I made earlier in the week.

When mixed with mayonnaise the seasoning blend makes an awesome ranch dressing.   Without the mayonnaise the ranch seasoning blend doesn’t taste much like ranch dressing but still makes an awesome seasoing blend for other things, like popcorn.  I will be experimenting with ranch seasoing blend in some of my other recipes that call for it see how they turn out.  I will post them here if they do.

Dry Ranch Dressing Mix

adapted from Perrys Plates Whole 30 Recipes Instagram takeover

2 TBS dried parsley

1 1/2 TBS  dried chives

1 TBS  dried dillweed

1 1/2 TBS dry mustard

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried minced onion

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Mix well.  Store in an airtight container in a cool place.   To make ranch dressing: combine 1 cup mayo and 1 to 2 TBS ranch dressing mix.  Thin with milk untill desired consistency is reached.  

Pressure Cooker Squash

A few weeks ago, I was at Natural Grocers whereI was totally seduced by a display of squash.  I bought an acorn squash, a spaghetti squash and a red kuri squash.  Once again, impulsively buying something I don’t usually buy because it was so pretty and now having to find something to do with it.  Oops.

The reason I usually don’t buy squash is because I am scared to death of loosing a finger or two trying to cut it half to bake in the oven.  On my way home, I was thinking about how I was going to cook the squash and what I was going to do with the cooked squash when I remembered an Instagram story where a lady cooked a whole pie pumpkin in her pressure cooker.  Is there anything my pressure cooker can’t do?

I popped my spaghetti squash into the pressure cooker, locked the lid and let it go.  I opened the pressure cooker to a perfectly cooked spaghetti squash.  It was easy to cut in half and gently scoop out the seeds.  Once I scooped the flesh out and seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and butter.  I had a very tasty side dish for my dinner in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven and I still have all my fingers.

Note:  The squash from Natural Grocers are organic and are on small side.  If you buy conventionally grown squash from the market you may have to add more time due to their large size.

1 small squash

1 cup water

In a 6 quart pressure cooker  liner, add 1 cup water.  Add the steamer insert and place the squash.  Lock the lid and set on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Release the pressure naturally.   Open the lid and let the squash cool until you can handle the squash with out burning the fingures you saved not having to cut the squash in half.  Once cooled cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds then scoop out the flesh.  Season with salt, pepper and butter and eat or use in another recipe.

Tuna Salad, 2 Ways

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Apparently,  I had a harder day at work then I thought.  I went to Taco Bell for a snack after work and the cashier gave me a senior discount.  I am 47.  Its a good thing I am not sensitive about my age.

Fortunately,  the rest of my week has gone much better than that.  Graduation season is over so my Saturdays in the bakery should get much less stressful.  This weekend I made some decisions, some big, some not so big, but now that they are made, I am feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.I worked all of Sunday and most of Monday and got a rough draft of my Whole30  project almost completely done.  I haven’t worked that hard on pulling together a project since I was in college.  Now all I’ll have to do over the next two months is polish it and add recipes to the file as I find stuff that I like.

I know I said I was going to be gone until the end of the month  but you know I just can’t quit you for long.  So here I am with a post with some yummy tuna salad recipes for these hot, muggy, I gotta eat but I don’t want to heat up the house kinda days.  I serve them with sliced vegetables.

Harvest Tuna Salad

Adapted from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Week Nights Cookbook

1 5 oz can tuna, packed in water

2 TBS dried cranberries

2 TBS pecans, chopped

1 stalk celery,  thinly sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1-2 TBS mayo

Drain the tuna.  In a small bowl, combine the tuna, cranberries, pecans, celery,  and scallions.   Add mustard and mayonnaise.  Stir well.  Serve on a bed of greens and sliced vegetables.

Curry Tuna Salad

1 5 oz can tuna, packed in water

1/2 apple, diced

2 TBS raisins

2 TBS sliced almonds

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp lime juice

1 -1 1/2 TBS mayo

Drain the tuna.  In a small bowl, combine the tuna, apple, raisins. almonds, celery, scallions, curry powder, and lime juice.  Add the mayonnaise.  Stir well.

Melissa’s Best Ever Stir Fry Sauce And A Break

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Hey Guys,   I have really been struggling with my blog since I finshed my Whole30.  Part of the reason is I haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate the changes I am making in my diet into my blog while remaining true to the original intent  of my blog.  The other part is I am spreading myself pretty thin lately.  I work a fulltime job as a cashier/cake decorator and a part time job that pays very well but eats up almost all of my weekends.  Most of my freetime durning the week is spent working on a project for a couple of my friends who want to do a Whole30 but who have never cooked much.  I am spending a lot of time putting together resources and quick and easy Whole30 compliant recipes for them and teaching them how cook the basics.  As I told my friend, Audrey a while back, something as got to give and it’s better it is your blog rather than your sanity.  For the rest of June and probably  some of July, I am going to take a little  break from blogging and focus on some of my other projects. I’ll be back in a few weeks and ready to blog like crazy.

Before I go, I want to leave you with one last recipe.  Just before I finished my Whole30, I found Melissa Joulwan’s blog, Well Fed, and her cookbooks, Well Fed, Well Fed 2 and Well Fed Weeknights.  I totally fell in love with them.   Melissa as a nice variety of recipes inspired by food from all over the world.  All her books include  the recipes for the sauces and spice blends used in her book.  I love being able to make spice blends because nothing is more frustrating to me, then finding a recipe I really want to try only to find  it needs a spice blend I don’t have and don’t have easy acess to.   The best part of Melissa’s cookbooks is that a lot of her recipes have variations so you can find a  recipe  for what you have on hand.

This stir fry sauce is one of my favorite recipes of Melissa’s. In addition to a using it as a wonderful stir fry sauce you could use it as an awesome dressing for a salad.

[Melissa’s Best  Ever Stir Fry Sauce” difficulty = “Easy”]

recipe from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Cookbook

1/2 tsp rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 TBS fresh orange juice

3 TBS coconut aminos ( sub tamari or light soy sauce)

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic,  and 5 spice powder.  Mix  into a smooth paste.  Add the orange juice and stir well.   Add the coconut aminos and stir well again. Use as a sauce for about up to 8 ounces of meat and 4 cups of vegetables.  [/recipe]

Everything Bagel Spice

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I would like to introduce you to the newest member of my flock, his name is Jonas. He is a little blueish grey parakeet. He came to live with me last Monday.  It is always fun to get to know a new animal but it has been a long time since I got a new bird and an even longer time since I got such a young bird.  I had forgotten how much work the little ones are.

Slowly, Jonas is revealing his personality to me.  I have already learned Jonas is pretty fearless.  When I took him out of the box he came home in, he immediately jumped on the big cage and introduced himself to everyone.  Instead of needing a few days in a separate cage to get used to eveyone else, Jonas just climbed inside the big cage and took over a perch. Jonas  is  starting to let me pick him up and hold him without having to chase him around the cage.  I should be able to start finger training him and training him to stay where I put him soon.

 

Everything Bagel Spice

1 TBS dried onion flakes

1 TBS sesame seeds

2 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

pinch black pepper

pinch red pepper

Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, gently grind the spice mixture.  You just want to break up the onion flakes a bit not grind it into powder.  Use it  anywhere you need a bit of spice.