Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup

When you're sick, nothing but chicken noodle soup will do! I even braved Costco on a Saturday when I realized I was out of chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • optional: chopped mushrooms and/or 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 1/2 t dried parsley (or fresh if you have it!)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • a dash of oregano
  • 4 oz noodles of your choice-egg noodles are traditional


What to do:

  1. Salt some water in a small pot and throw the chicken breasts in to simmer. 
  2. While they're simmering, chop all those veggies!
  3. Put a drizzle of oil into a deep pot or dutch oven and put in the onions. After a couple minutes, add the carrots, celery, and garlic.
  4. While those simmer, remove the chicken out of the water  to cool. Then pour chicken water through a mesh strainer and add the water to the pot, with some "better than boullion" or boullion cubes. That gave me about 2 cups of liquid, so I added 2 more cups from a box. 
  5. Dice chicken and add to pot.
  6. Add mushrooms and peppers if using, thyme, parsley, pepper, and oregano. Don't add salt until you taste it, because the stock contains salt and may be enough for you. 
  7. If you want to let it all simmer for awhile, feel free. Check your pasta directions, put in the pot, and cover with broth if needed. I added 2 more cups of stock to the original 4 cups. Simmer according to package directions, probably 10-15 minutes, and remove from heat. Taste and add salt/pepper if desired, and serve!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hot Spiced Cider

Today is a snow day! I always have one or two things cooking when the weather turns cold. This one doubles as an air freshener for your whole house. Whenever I search my blog to see if I've posted a recipe I want to make again, I know it's a winner!

Hot Spiced Cider-Ingredients

  • 2 quarts apple cider (I actually bought apple juice because it had lower sugar)
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • cinnamon candy-red hots were unavailable so I got cinnamon jolly ranchers and put in about 8
  • 12 whole cloves 
What to do:
Put it all into a medium to large size pot. If you have cheesecloth you can certainly use that, I just throw everything in and fish it out with a slotted spoon when I'm done! Let it sit on the stove on low all day, or sip/serve to the kids when they come in. You can certainly add water, as some recipes recommend (up to a quart), but I like it the way it is.

If I were an adult, trapped with a bunch of small people home from school and acting all crazy and cooped up, I might possibly splash in some Fireball for myself. Just saying. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Turkey Bean Green Chili “Enchilada" Casserole

Turkey Green Chili "Enchilada" Casserole

Inspired by http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2014/01/green-chile-chicken-mock-enchilada-casserole.html  I first got the idea to use green chilis instead of tortillas from Kalyn’s Kitchen…it’s healthier, easier to skip all the rolling, plus those tortillas get so soggy in leftovers. I’m sick to death of shredded chicken, so I changed it up, but check out her recipe if that sounds good. It kind of took a long time and made a fair amount of dirty dishes, so plan accordingly. I’m in love with the result!

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans mild or medium green chili enchilada sauce
1 package (1.25 lb.) ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1 can of beans of your choice, drained (optional)
27-Ounce Can of whole green chilies,
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 small can sliced olives (optional)
Cilantro

Instructions:
  1. Pour the cans of green chili sauce into a small saucepan and simmer on low so it reduces, stirring occasionally. This takes some time so start it first.
  2. Brown ground turkey in a large pan in a little bit of non-stick spray or oil. Drain, then add onions. After a few minutes, add garlic and cumin. After a few more minutes, add drained beans and turn off the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and drain the green chilis. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Take half of the green chilis, open up, and use fingers to slide off the seeds and extra water, and make a layer in the bottom of your pan. Top with half of the turkey/bean mixture.
  4. Add sour cream and cream cheese to the reduced green chili sauce. Mine stayed a little lumpy, but I didn’t stress out since it got baked anyway-it wasn’t noticeable!
  5. Put half of the sauce on top of the turkey, as well as half of the cheese and olives, if using.
  6. Layer the other half of the green chilis, turkey mix, sauce, cheese, and olives on each other. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered at 375. Feel free to turn on the broiler for the last couple minutes for a nice brown topping! Let sit for a few minutes before cutting. 
  7. Top with cilantro and serve.

This will serve 6-8. I didn’t even miss the tortillas!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Quickie Weeknight Wonton Soup

It's Monday night. I was hungry. I threw some things together without a recipe or prior research, and I like how it turned out! I'm recording it here for the next time I'm struck with a similar whim. This is an easy recipe to play with, use what you
have on hand! I think the only necessities are some sort of broth and the wontons; I was determined to use what I had on hand and not run to the grocery store!

Serves 2-3
Ingredients

  • 3 C broth of your choice
  • 1/2 cooked chicken breast (between 1/2-1 C) shredded, omit or sub with tofu if vegetarian
  • 1 t minced garlic or about 3 cloves, minced
  • a dash of seasoning salt
  • 3 large mushrooms, sliced thinly, 1/4 bell pepper, chopped into small pieces, other vegetables that would work are peas and bok choy
  • a dash of soy sauce
  • a dash of red wine or rice wine vinegar
  • rice or ramen noodles, if desired
  • about 8 frozen wontons (mine are tiny and only take 1-2 minutes to cook-check your bag for instructions)
  • green onions or dried scallions


To Do:
This is super easy but it helps to read cooking instructions for noodles, if you use them, and wontons. I added all ingredients before the noodles in order and heated to a simmer. My noodles needed 5 minutes and my wontons 1-2--so I added the noodles and set a timer for 3 minutes, then added the wontons and scallions, and set a timer for 2 minutes-that's it! Done!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Veggie-stuffed Acorn Squash


I didn't plan on publishing this one when I started making it, so I only took a couple of photos, and they were with my phone. My bad. Usually recipes need some tweaking before becoming blog-worthy, but I thought this one was a winner!

I LOVE acorn squash, and tis the season! I wanted a recipe I had all the ingredients for-after reading through dozens I decided to make my own!

Serves 4
What you need:
2 acorn squash
olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced thinly
about 1.5 cups of cut up asparagus OR broccoli florets (including stems), or a combo of both.
chopped celery (optional-I didn't have any-but would add nice flavor)
4 garlic cloves, smashed
about 1/3 C walnuts
a splash of broth
a splash of white or red wine vinegar
cheese

What to do:
  • Cut squash in half, brush or spray with oil, and put cut-side down on aluminum foil in the oven for 40 minutes on 400 degrees (or until soft)
  • While squash is cooking, sauté onion and carrot in oil until soft, about 5 minutes
  • Add broccoli stem
  • Add 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Add about 8 asparagus spears and ½ head broccoli, chopped small, a little broth and wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, and saute a few minutes more, then add walnuts
  • Stuff squash with filling, cover in cheese, bake at 350 for about 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
  • Eat with a spoon. I eat as a main dish.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Peppers Stuffed with Beef and Quinoa

I can't believe I don't have a recipe for stuffed bell peppers on here! I guess I always make them up as I go, depending on what I have on hand. Here is a basic recipe to start from-as always, be creative and add what you like!

Serves 5

What you need/Ingredients:

  • 5 bell peppers
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb/1/2 kilo ground meat
  • 1/2 C uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 T cumin, or more to taste
  • 1/2 T chili powder, or more to taste
  • grated cheese
  • optional add-ons: mushrooms and almost any veggie go great! If you have more veggies you can use half the meat. Add them in at the same time as the onions.
What to do/Instructions:
  • Cook quinoa according to instructions-usually it's 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. Don't forget to rinse it first!!
  • Wash and cut peppers. If you can find the shape that stands up, go for it! Peppers here aren't quite shaped right for that so I cut them in half. Arrange in a baking dish. Not all of mine fit, I had to use a second, smaller pan. If you arrange them snugly, they'll stay where you put them better. Same thing if you cook standing up. 
  • Preheat oven to 375. If you like really well-cooked peppers, you can throw them in, without stuffing, for a few minutes. I personally like to just cook them in the toppings and have them a little crunchier.
  • Start browning the meat. Drain off fat when meat is about half cooked, and add onions, cumin, and chili powder. Cook meat through.
  • Add tomatoes. When quinoa is cooked, gently stir it into the meat mixture as well. 
  • Stuff the mixture into the peppers.

  • *Oven disclaimer* I have a South American oven (no top burners) on gas, using Celcius. Your oven is probably different so just keep an eye on it! Cook the peppers for about 20 minutes, then add cheese and cook a few minutes more. Everything in them is cooked so it really just depends on how well you want your peppers done.

  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Easiest Green Chili Chicken, 5 ways

This isn't the most photogenic food. But dang, is it ever delicious-and SO easy! It's actually so easy I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "recipe" but I love love love it. I especially love that it's so versatile, you don't feel like you're eating the exact same thing every time. I live alone and cook for myself, so often by the time I get done with days of leftovers, I am *really* tired of them!

What you need (ingredients)

  • chicken breasts
  • jar of green chili-505 is a good brand. I have to settle for this green salsa, but I like green chili better! Buy whatever you like, from mild to spicy
  • green chilis (canned or dehydrated)
  • optional, depending on variation (see below): tortillas, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips, and/or eggs. The sky is the limit!
You can make this to feed any size of crowd. When I first had this camping, we had two giant crockpots full. I have a smaller crockpot, and only cook for myself so I used 4 chicken breasts, one small jar of salsa, and 1/2 cup dehydratred chilis, plus about 1/3 cup of water. 

*Crockpot tip* Your food will cook best if your crock is at least 2/3 full.

What to do (instructions)
Cook on high for about 3 hours or low for 6. If your chicken is frozen, cooking on high for 4-5 or low for 8-10 hours should suffice. When it's done, shred the chicken with forks or just cut into smaller pieces.


Here's the rundown of some different ways to eat this tasty dish.

#1 Out of a bowl, with a spoon
Top with some sour cream and cilantro and gobble this up as a stew.

#2 On top of tortilla chips, nacho style
-nuff said.

#3 Scrambled up with eggs for breakfast or dinner
One of my favorite post-workout dinners when I'm so hungry I'm ready to gnaw off my arm.


#4 In a taco or burrito (with or without eggs)
Also delicious topped with cilantro and sour cream. Because really, what isn't??

#5 Use it to smother something else
I had leftovers of this when camping and used it to smother these breakfast burritos. It was to die for!