Almost Homemade – Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs

For a super quick and easy batch of deviled eggs, purchase precooked and peeled hardboiled eggs, which can normally be found at your local grocery store.  Then you need only cut them in half and moved forward making the filling.

The filling for basic deviled eggs is nothing more than egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard and sweet pickle relish.

These deviled eggs make a nice side for a supper or finger food.

Ingredients

  • 6 precooked and peeled hardboiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Garnish: paprika
  • Get Ingredients

Directions

  • Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks.
  • Mash yolks with mayonnaise.
  • Add relish, mustard, salt, and pepper; stir well.
  • Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites.
  • Garnish, if desired.

 How Almost Homemade Can Make Your Thanksgiving Meal Healthy, Fast And Easy

Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner Table
Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Benefits Of Almost Homemade Cooking:

Checks food wastage:

  • Almost homemade checks food spoilage and wastage as you incorporate items that are either too small for use or to be preserved into your dishes with no stress.

Higher nutritional value:

  • Almost homemade can be combined with prepackaged dishes in such a way that you either add or substitute the ingredients in order to beef up the nutritional value of some dishes while reducing the calories and fat levels.
  • Again, a particular ingredient in a prepackaged recipe that a family member is allergic to can be avoided by substituting it with other items from your stock. This can go a long way to checking food allergies and sensitization.
  • Many ingredients in products are chemicals which are detrimental to our bodies. In almost homemade, you can use natural ingredients that enhance color, taste For instance, pure vanilla, not artificial; real eggs not egg substitutes, butter not lard or margarine can be used.
  • You also have a chance of staying away from products that have been genetically altered to increase the size and some other factors by opting for organically grown items for your combinations.
  • In almost homemade, you to some extent put a check on not only the ingredients used in preparing the dish but also on how much of it you consume.

Makes for variety:

  • Fresh vegetables can be added to prepackaged dishes to create variations on a dish.

More servings from the same quantity:

  • You can have more servings from the same quantity of stock if you augment the prepackaged store-bought item with stocks like meat, fruit, and vegetables.

Brings the family together:

  • Almost homemade creates an opportunity for the family to spend time together. This has the advantage of not only letting the children learn about food preparation as they help either by reading the recipe aloud or by mixing some ingredients for use in the meal preparation.
  • More so, as they cook and eat meals together as a family, parents get the chance to groom the children on both healthy eating habits and good table manners.

 Money-saving:

  • With just a few selected items from the store, you can combine some fresh ingredients from your stock thereby spending less than you would have if everything were to be bought from the store.

Portion-control:

In almost homemade, you can regulate your food portions unlike in restaurants and fast food joints where you are usually tempted to eat almost everything that you are served.

Relieves stress:

  • Almost homemade can be both pleasurable and relaxing as both cooking and cleaning involve exercise and every form of exercise reduces one’s dopamine level as well as other mood-enhancing hormones.

Enhances creativity:

  • Almost homemade gives you the chance to be imaginative, creative and artistic. As you look forward to great recipes, you will try out ingredients that you have probably never used before.
  • You may also attempt making something that is usually in one form in a different form altogether.

How To Make Prepackaged Recipes Healthier

A good prepackaged recipe should have ‘real food’ ingredients. In other words, it should have carbohydrates, proteins, and fats which combine not only to keep you fuller for longer periods but also give better blood sugar control and a broader spectrum of nutrition. This implies that it should be low in sugar, low in salts, trans-fat free while tasting great.

The saturated fat content should be 3grams or less to make for a healthy heart.

The sodium content should be in the range of 500-600mg ie 2300mg daily for healthy people. For someone who eats four meals daily, that is 575mg per meal.

Basically, a healthy prepackaged recipe should be one that you can recreate in your own kitchen.

Armed with these facts, you need to look for recognizable natural ingredients in your store-bought  prepackaged recipe and follow these tips as you substitute or exclude certain ingredients altogether while giving your meals a taste and nutrition boost:

The Traditional Recipe for Roasted Turkey Dish

Turkey is a naturally lean source of protein. To make the traditional recipe for roasted turkey dish healthier, you should:

  • Remove any excess skin to reduce fat further.
  • Cut the salt content in half.
  • Add more of the flavored herbs: rosemary, oregano, and parsley.

The Traditional Recipe for Mashed Potato Dish

Mashed potatoes are naturally calorie-dense, particularly in carbohydrates. To make this dish healthier:

  • Substitute potato with cauliflower as you’ll be eating enough of starch in the course of the Thanksgiving day. This substitution really cuts down on carbohydrate and calories.
  • Substitute whole for skim milk and exclude butter so as to reduce total fat. This not only cuts down on the fats but specifically the saturated fats. It cuts 27 calories, and with the exclusion of cheese, cuts an additional 26 calories.
  • Substitute butter with trans-fat free margarine so as to decrease saturated fat, as butter is a tasty killer in the recipe due to its high-fat

Cooking Tip: For creamy mashed potato fans who love the texture, without the added regular cheese fats, Laughing Cow Cheese is recommended.

The Traditional Recipe for Stuffing

Due to the very high carbohydrate content of Stuffing:

  • Substitute the white bread with 100 percent whole wheat bread so as to increase fiber.
  • Substitute butter with olive oil, vegetable oil, or unsalted butter (my personal choice).
  • Add fruit such as diced apple, diced prunes, golden raisins.
  • Add additional diced fresh celery

Cooking Tip: A tablespoon of butter is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

A List Of Thanksgiving Day Almost Homemade Recipe Ideas

Related References

Almost Homemade – Party Meatballs

Almost Homemade - Party Meatballs
Party Meatballs

This party meatball recipe has been in our ‘ Bluebook’ of family favorite recipes for years. We used to use it exclusively as a Christmas side dish.  However, recently it has become a party favorite. This combination of meat and sweet works amazingly well. It’s like having meat with sweet barbecue sauce without the grilling. As I remember, my wife initially collected this recipe, because she thought the combination of using chili sauce and grape jelly was refreshing.

Most recently, we served it on the 4th of July, and it was a hit.  I am putting it out here now because friends at the party were asking for the recipe. 

Ingredients

  • 3 -5 lbs frozen pre-cooked small (plain or Italian) meatballs
  • 32 ounces grape jelly
  • 24 ounces chili sauce

Directions

  • In a large pot combine the grape jelly and chili sauce
  • Bring the sauce to a study simmer
  • Add in the meatballs and
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes (uncovered or with a vented lid), occasionally stirring,  until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are well coated

Notes

  • We prefer plain meatballs, but we have used Italian meatballs, and they work fine, as well.
  • We use Heinz Chili Sauce
  • I use a 6-quart pot with a vented lid (to control the platter) to heat the sauce and meatballs
  • We transfer the meatballs and sauce to a preheated slow cooker, for transportation to the party and use the slow cooker to keep them warm and ready to eat during the party.

Substitutions

  • 3 -5 lbs Little Smokies sausages or cut smoked sausage be used, if you don’t want meatballs

Related References

Almost Homemade – Golden Bread

Almost Homemade Golden Yeast Bread from Bread Machine, pumpkin, sweet potato, winter squash
Almost Homemade Golden Yeast Bread from Bread Machine

This is a really handy way to use up a small quantity of leftover pumpkin, winter squash, or sweet potato.  As it happens, this approach also increases the fiber and nutrition of the standard white bread recipe a smidgen.

In this example of almost homemade bread, I start with a standard white bread mix for a bread machine, but you could use something else, like Hawaiian bread mix, and it should work fine.

The idea here is to use up some leftover vegetables/fruit in a way which others will eat it, definitely, not attempting to duplicate the taste or texture of the classic pumpkin or sweet potato quick bread.   You certainly can intentionally cook a small pumpkin, winter squash, and/or sweet potato and use this approach, as well.

This recipe intentionally named to obfuscate the fact that you are using pumpkin and/or sweet potato.  Otherwise, you inevitably get the ‘I like the other style of pumpkin bread’ statement.  Actually, the finished loaf just tastes like bread, not pumpkin.

To use this approach, simply, adds some unseasoned and unsweetened, cooked, mashed, pumpkin and/or sweet potato (steamed or baked is fine) according to you loaf size;  no additional seasoning is required.

Pumpkin and/or Sweet Potato Quantity by Loaf Size

 

1 Pound Loaf

1 ½ pound Loaf

2 Pound Loaf

Pumpkin and/or Sweet Potato

1/3 cup2/3 cup¾ cup

You may make other substitutions and/or other ingredients as well if you are careful.  As a matter of fact, the picture above has seeds added for a bit of crunch.

Load Your Bread Machine

  • Generally, this is done adding the liquids first, followed by the dry ingredients, and yeast last. Following this order keeps the yeast separate from the liquid ingredients until the kneading cycle begins. However, you may check your owner’s manual and use the order recommended specifically for your machine.

Bread Machine Cook Cycle

  • Set your bread machine for a for the appropriate loaf size, crust darkness, white bread setting, and start the baking process. The basic or white bread cycle, typically, takes 3 to 4 hours and intended for use with many simple bread recipes.

Related Reference

Carrot Soup Recipe

In this day and age, one can find a myriad of recipes online. However, over time many of these recipes have become overly complex and have large ingredient lists. So, here is a quick and easy carrot soup, which makes an excellent meal starter and has the advantage of being an easy weekday recipe.

Not only is it a simple recipe, but has the advantages of:

  • Flexible preparation of the carrots, which can be made with Microwaved, steamed, or boiled carrots
  • Fast preparation, needing only 15 to 30 minutes to prepare, depending upon your carrot cooking method
  • Being able to be made ahead and reheated on low with a modicum of supervision or reheated in the microwave to save time
  • Permitting multi-tasking, because it can be prepared while you cook other dishes
  • Safe storage in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days before reheating
  • this makes an excellent lunch item if you have a microwave available

Carrot Soup Ingredient list

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of carrots
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid (milk or broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of bouillon or base (vegetable or chicken ) — Optional
  • 1 tablespoon butter  — Optional
  • Salt — Optional

Carrot Soup Preparation Directions

  • Cook carrot until tender
  • let carrots cool
  • Blend Carrots and Liquid
  • pour into a saucepan
  • Add bouillon and butter
  • Bring to a slow simmer on a medium-low heat
  • Taste and salt to taste, if desired.

Tips

  • Safety Tip: Do not put the carrots in the blender hot
  • Food Safety Tip: If fixed ahead, refrigerate, and do not store more than 4 days before reheating and serving
  • Food Safety Tip: if reheating, heat thoroughly to a light simmer, before serving
  • if you boiled the carrots, you can use the water the carrots were boiled as broth.
  • For cream of carrot soup, using whole milk provides the most nutrition, but skim milk will work
  • If using broth, vegetable or chicken broth usually works best and low sodium broths work just fine.

Related References

Almost Homemade – Cream of Asparagus Soup

Almost Homemade Asparagus Soup recipe
Almost Homemade Asparagus Soup

This is a quick, easy, way to make a cream of asparagus soup taste and feel more home.  Great for those weeknights when you need something on the table quick, which is both tasty and nutritious.  This approach has the advantage of being super easy.  While I have made this soup from my pantry stocks, if you happen to have an equivalent amount of fresh or frozen, steamed, asparagus available, it works just as well.  This soup makes an excellent meal starter or a nice side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet (approximately 2 ounces) of your favorite cream of asparagus soup mix
  • 1, 15 ounce can of asparagus or about 2 cups of fresh steamed asparagus
  • 15 ounces of milk. (Note: I use whole milk for the nutrition)
  • 15 ounces of your favorite chicken broth (Note: I use unsalted because most soup mixes already contain a lot of salt)

Directions

  • Open and drain canned asparagus — keep can ( I use the can as a measuring cup to save on dishes to wash)
  • Put asparagus in the blender
  • Fill asparagus can with milk and add to blender
  • Fill asparagus can with chicken broth and add to blender
  • Add asparagus soup mix to blender
  • Pulse blend, until contents are moderately smooth and no large chunks remain
  • Pour into a saucepan (Note: I use a 2.5-quart saucepan)
  • Heat on low to medium-low, until hot. Let simmer for about 5 minutes; no strong boiling required.
  • Serve hot.

Related Reference

Almost Homemade – Cream of Celery Soup

This almost home soup is one, which I have prepared from time to time over the years. This approach is a quick and easy way to dress up an ordinary can of cream of celery soup.

Cooking Process

  • In a tablespoon of butter or your favorite cooking oil saute onion and celery (see measures below), over medium heat, until they are tender and the onions are translucent :
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of diced sweet onion or shallots, according to taste
    • 4 to 6, diced, celery sticks
  • Add condensed cream of celery soup
  • Replace can of water to be added to whole milk
  • To increase the volume of soup, I usually, add a second can of milk (Optional)
  • Add 1 teaspoon of whole celery seeds  (optional)
  • Simmer until ingredients have combined, then either serve or refrigerate for later use.

Notes

  • We frequently prepare this on Sunday and reheat it in the microwave during the week as a quick and easy dinner starter.