Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Well Plated has been a recent source of favorite recipes for me, and this is another keeper! The dressing alone is fantastic! Paired with the simple chicken marinade and all the other salad toppers - I loved this easy dinner. I made a few small changes that are reflected below. See the original recipe along with beautiful photos here.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Bell pepper nachos! My family was skeptical when they heard what was for dinner, but the pretty colors and yummy taste won them over.
4 bell peppers, any color you like
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 green onions, both green and white parts, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 cup sliced black olives (black beans would well if you're not a fan of olives)
1 cup salsa
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1-tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the green onion and garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Than add the shredded chicken and chili powder. Toss until all ingredients are well coated with chili powder and chicken is warm. Remove from heat and add the salsa, sliced olives, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the bell peppers into 2-inch pieces and remove seeds. Press each piece open so the peppers are as flat as possible. Arrange close together in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Spoon the chicken mixture evenly over pepper chunks. Top with cheese.
Bake nachos for 10-15 minutes (I only did 10 minutes so the peppers would still be a little crunchy). Turn the broiler on high and broil for a couple minutes to give the cheese a good, crispy melt (if you like that sort of thing). Then remove from oven and top with chopped cilantro (or not). Serve immediately.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
I've made this soup several times, and each time I look for the recipe on this little blog and am surprised to find that I haven't posted it. It's a delicious soup! Most recently, I made four batches for a soup swap, and then another batch to share at a ladies retreat. I've used my slow cooker, but have also made it on the stove cutting back on the time it simmers. I know there are plenty of tomato cheese soup recipes floating around out there. This is the one my family loves!
Monday, March 28, 2016
I follow Simple Green Smoothies on Instagram and have loved trying some of their recipes. We drink a lot of smoothies around here. I usually just throw a bunch of stuff into my Vitamix and turn it on, but every now and then it's good to grab a new combination idea or twist. This smoothie is a combination of a few different recipes from the SGS feed and it's our current family favorite for lunch. My measurements are approximations because that's how I roll when it comes to making smoothies, but it'd be hard for you to mess up this tasty nutrient-packed ingredient combination. Try it!
1/2 to 1 cup coconut milk
1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup water, depending on how thick you like your smoothie
1 cup packed fresh spinach
1/2 ripe avocado
1 to 2 cups pineapple (I've only ever used frozen - I like my smoothies thick!)
1 or 2 very ripe bananas
handful of ice cubes
I also toss in a handful of frozen mango and/or small orange if I have any.
Blend well and enjoy!
Monday, February 8, 2016
Happy Chinese New Year!
Food is a fantastic way to celebrate any special holiday, right?! So we are making sure not to miss the opportunity to celebrate the Year of the Monkey with some yummy Chinese food in my house this evening. My oldest gingersnaps helped me make dumplings (which happen to be the food I miss the most from living in China) as part of our study of Ancient China last week. But we planned ahead and made a double batch, knowing that we wanted to have enough for tonight's dinner also. I buy the packaged won-ton wrappers from the store and go from there. Maybe one day we'll try to make our own wrappers as well!
1 pound bok choy leaves or white chinese cabbage
1 pound ground pork
1 Tbsp finely chopped scallions
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp salt
1 tsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine
2 tsp sesame oil
Blanch or steam the bok choy until soft (it doesn't take long!). Drain well, squeezing any extra liquid from the leaves, and then chop finely. Mix the bok choy with the pork, scallions, ginger, salt, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. An older Chinese woman taught me to use clean hands for this step to make sure everything is mixed really well.
Place about 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each plain wrapper. Dip your finger in water and lightly wet the edge of the wrapper. This will help the dumpling seal together. Pinch the edges firmly so that the dumpling is tightly sealed. You could easily find images or a tutorial video online of how to accomplish this step well.
Fill a large pot half-way with salted water. Bring to boil. Add the dumplings and one cup of cold water. As the water returns to a boil, gently scrape the bottom to ensure that the dumplings are not sticking. As the water begins to boil again, the dumplings will float to the surface. When the water is boiling, add one cup of cold water. Do this step two more times, adding one cup of cold water to the pot each time the water boils. The older Chinese woman who taught me to make dumplings gave me these "highly scientific" instructions, which have always worked for me!
After you have brought the pot of water to boil four times, your dumplings should be ready to enjoy! Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and serve with dipping sauce.
red chili oil
finely minced garlic
fine chopped scallions
Saturday, February 6, 2016
I was given a spiralizer for Christmas, and it's been so fun trying out different kinds of vegetable noodles! This was my first time making zucchini noodles (which I discovered are often called zoodles?!). The meal was super easy to put together, and the sauce tasted great. But I ended up making rice to serve with everything because the sauce was pretty runny and the zoodles weren't substantive enough to soak up the extra juice. And because we don't have to voice gluten. So all in all, it was a yummy and simple meal, made better with a scoop of steamy rice.
recipe found here
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 medium bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cup sliced red onions
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 medium zucchini, cut into noodles
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
I've saved my favorite meal from the menu swap to share with you last. This, right here, is some real deal sophisticated ramen soup. Jessie said this was her favorite meal from 2015, and I immediately understood why after my first bite. The broth is full of fantastic flavor. Add in some unique toppings (curried miso roasted squash?!) and good 'ol ramen noodles, and you have yourself a bowl of goodness that you'll slurp to the very last drop. Take the extra ten minutes to caramelize and crisp the pork. It's totally worth it.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Such an easy and yummy winner dinner! The sauce is so rich. I might try adding a little brown sugar to the sauce next time just for fun.
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
3 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1. Place the chicken breast strips, bell pepper and onion into a slow cooker. Pour in the chicken broth and 1/4 cup of soy sauce, then season with cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to blend, then cover and cook on Low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
2. Remove 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker, and mix this with the cornstarch, peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and lime juice. This should blend into a fairly thick sauce. Stir the sauce back into the slow cooker, and place the lid on the pot.
3. Cook on High for 30 minutes. Garnish with green onions, cilantro and peanuts before serving.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
I chuckled when I saw this soup on Jessie's menu for us, knowing I had put a similar potato soup on her menu! After trying both in a matter of two weeks, I don't think I could choose a favorite. Both are equally creamy, filling, simple, and delicious!
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large (already) BAKED potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix
well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil.
Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
This salad, another great recipe from Mel's Kitchen, could easily have been my favorite meal from our menu swap week (if it weren't for the Asian noodle soup that is coming up . . . YUM!). There wasn't a single bite left in the bowl when my family of five walked away from the table. Next time I would try brown sugar or maple syrup instead of white sugar for the nuts.