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COOK OF THE WEEK - AMANDA DANZL

Amanda Danzl (left) is pictured with her parents, Tami and Jim.

This week’s cook is a relative newcomer to the Humboldt area. Amanda Danzl, the daughter of Jim and Tami Danzl, is a native of Manhattan, IL. She moved to Humboldt in October of 2012 and is a registered dietician at Humboldt County Memorial Hospital. A graduate of Vitebo University, La Crosse, WI, Amanda enjoys knitting, biking, spending time outside, and reading as well as cooking. She has no preferred menus, but enjoys cooking and eating a variety of foods.

Easy Beef and Bean Burritos
from Leanne Ely
1/3 pound extra lean ground
beef
1/3 cup quick oats
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
10 ounce package chopped
frozen spinach- defrosted and
drained
2/3 cup chunky salsa
16 ounce can black beans,
drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Colby cheese, shredded
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
(4) 12 inch tortillas
Combine the raw ground beef and oats. In a medium skillet, brown the beef and oat mixture over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink; stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, pour off drippings and blot with paper towels. Add beef mixture back to skillet.
Add spices, spinach, salsa, beans, salt, and pepper to beef mixture. Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and cilantro. Serve over tortilla and fold. Serves 4.

Spicy Thai Noodles
1 box linguine or angel hair
pasta
1/2 tablespoon pepper flakes
1/2 cup sesame oil
6 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons soy sauce
Chopped green onions, cilantro,
peanuts, and toasted sesame
seeds to garnish
Boil noodles according to package directions and drain. Heat oil and crush red pepper flakes over medium heat in a small pan until fragrant. Strain out pepper and reserve oil.
Add pepper oil back to skillet and whisk in honey and soy sauce. Toss mixture with noodles.
Can be served warm or refrigerate overnight to serve cold. Add onions, cilantro, peanuts, and toasted sesame seeds to each individual serving.
Can add cooked chicken or shrimp to include protein.

Quinoa Salad
1-1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups low sodium vegetable
broth
1 large red onion, finely
chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored,
deseeded, and chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and
chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stems
removed, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
6 red leaf lettuce leaves
In a colander, rinse the quinoa thoroughly and drain. In a medium size saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, stir in the quinoa, and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, onion, red bell pepper, cucumber and basil.
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, vinegar, orange rind, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and toss well. Arrange each serving on the lettuce and garnish with pine nuts. Serves 6.
Here’s a tip:
Quinoa cooks up to 3 or 4 times its size, so plan accordingly with your pan size!
Here’s a trick:
Rinse, rinse, and then rinse again. This is how you remove the bitterness of quinoa before you cook it. Once cooked, the delicious nutty flavor emerges.

Southwest Stuffed Peppers
Filling:
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 can of black beans, rinsed and
drained
1 can of sweet corn, rinsed and
drained
1 large diced tomato
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of chopped onion
3 tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 tablespoon of cumin
1-2 tablespoons cilantro
Salt to taste
Peppers:
3 red bell peppers cut in half
lengthwise
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon
shredded reduced-fat cheddar
cheese
1 tablespoon chopped green
onions
In a large skillet brown the turkey and season with salt. When the turkey is starting to brown, add taco seasoning, onion and garlic. When turkey is cooked through add your black beans, corn, cilantro, diced tomatoes, and cumin. Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes until most of the liquid is gone.
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.
Place peppers, cut side up in an oven-proof dish. (I used a 9x13). Fill each pepper with 1/2 cup turkey mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water on the bottom of the dish. Cover tight with foil. Bake 45 minutes, or until the peppers become soft.
Remove foil, top each with cheese and bake uncovered an additional 5 minutes. Top with green onions and serve with reduced-fat sour cream if desired.

Avocado Chicken Salad
2 cups chicken, cooked and
shredded
1 avocado
Mayonnaise (just a little)
2-3 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro
Lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. May be served as a sandwich or with crackers.

Avocado Appetizer
Base:
8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream
cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
Spread on dinner plate (or spread over 2 plates, thinner layer but feeds more) and cover tightly. Refrigerate 2 hours.
Topping:
Layer on top (all to taste):
Chopped green onion
Chopped lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Grated cheese
Serve with Doritos or corn chips to dip with.

Eggplant Meatballs
Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin
olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 cup breadcrumbs, divided
1 cup Parmgiano Reggiano
cheese, divided
3 eggs, divided
5-6 sprigs thyme
4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Handful of flat leaf parsley,
chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small ball fresh mozzarella,
diced into small cubes
1 cup olive oil for light fry
marinara sauce
Cut eggplant lengthwise, rub cut sides with olive oil, place on baking sheet cut sides down and roast in 400 degree oven for approx. 30 min. (until tender).
When cooled scoop insides out of flesh and puree in food processor. Transfer to mixing bowl.
Combine eggplant, onion, garlic, 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmgiano Reggiano cheese, 1 egg, all the herbs and salt and pepper. Add extra breadcrumbs if too wet.
You can roll them into balls now or refrigerate for 30 minutes then roll; makes them easier to handle.
Roll into slightly flattened balls, place a piece of fresh mozzarella in center and enclose with mixture.
Set up a breading station: flour in one dish, 2 eggs beaten in another dish, remaining breadcrumbs and Parmgiano Reggiano cheese in another dish.
Coat each eggplant ball by dipping into the dishes in order (flour, eggs, breadcrumbs).
Fry in oil approximately 2 minutes turning over once.
When we are trying to eat a little healthier, I bake them at 375 degrees for 12 minutes on each side. Serve with marinara sauce.

Baked Oatmeal
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking
oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dried, fresh, or frozen
fruit
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg in a separate bowl. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8 inch greased baking dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done. Serve warm.
Great to make on the weekend and heat up in the microwave during the week for breakfast. Serves 5, 2/3 cup servings.

The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.