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Friday, January 31, 2014

Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

Or make this to keep you warm!

You can also use any kind of vegetables you want, this is what I had and it worked for me.

Here's what you're gonna need:

6 C Vegi Broth
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
1/2 C Carrots minced
2 stalks Celery minced
1/2 t Cayenne
few cranks of the pepper mill
1 T Garlic Pepper ~ if you don't have this, just use Garlic Powder
1  Can of your favorite Beans ~ I'd go Great Northern
1/2 Red Pepper chopped
1/2 Green Pepper chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 medium Onion chopped
1/2 Zucchini chopped ~ or use whole and skip yellow squash
1/2 Yellow Squash chopped
1/4 lb of fresh Green Beans snapped into bite size pieces
Handful of Asparagus, snap off the tops and use those only. Use the stalks for a stir fry
1-2 t Olive Oil
1/2 to 1 t Red Pepper Flakes
2 - 2 1/2 C cooked Wild Rice or Brown Rice would work too.
Couple handfuls of fresh spinach and/or Kale chopped

And, this is how you'll use it all

6 C Vegi Broth
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
1/2 C Carrots minced
2 stalks Celery minced
1/2 t Cayenne
few cranks of the pepper mill
1 T Garlic Pepper ~ if you don't have this, just use Garlic Powder
1 Can Beans

Get this all on the stove and simmer at a medium heat for about 30 minutes.

1/2 Zucchini chopped
1/2 Yellow Squash chopped
1/2 Red Pepper chopped
1/2 Green Pepper chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 medium Onion chopped
1/4 lb of fresh Green Beans snapped into bite size pieces
Handful of Asparagus, snap off the tops and use those only. Use the stalks for a stir fry
Toss with a slight drizzle of Olive Oil, maybe a couple teaspoons. Throw into cake pan, sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes and roast for 10-12 minutes at 450.

Dump into soup pot.

Add 2-2 1/2 C cooked Wild Rice or Brown Rice would work too.

Cook for another 10 minutes just to blend the flavors. Add a couple handfuls of chopped fresh spinach and/or Kale, give it a stir and serve.
Makes 6 bowls.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wild Rice Hot Dish

Since you have wild rice now, try this one too!

What you'll need:

1 C "uncooked" Wild Rice = 3 C cooked
3 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 C Red Pepper diced
1 C Celery chopped
1/2 C Onion minced
8 oz sliced Fresh Mushrooms
1 Can Cream of Chicken soup~I used reduced fat
1/2 C Chicken Broth
1 lb Jimmy Dean Sausage ~ I used a generic pork sausage
1/2 lb Bacon diced
1 t Poultry Seasoning

Cook rice according to package directions but instead of using plain water, throw in a few Chicken Bouillon cubes. It makes the rice taste much better in my opinion. In all honesty you could probably make this with brown rice but the wild rice gives it that extra something of yummy!

Fry the sausage and remove from the pan. Add chopped bacon (I cut mine with my kitchen shears) to the pan and fry. And, no you can't cook it together because the bacon gets lost and doesn't cook right. Yes, I tried it and it was messy fixing my "time saving" trick.

When bacon's getting close to done, throw in the pepper, celery, mushrooms and onion together and cook until softened.

Mix everything together (from top of the recipe ingredients to the bottom). Put in a oven safe pot and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Enjoy!

Fry your sausage (don't look at the bacon. That needs to cook by itself). I added a little fresh cracked pepper just because I was feeling sassy;)
Adding in the vegetables
Add the mushrooms

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cream of Wild Rice Soup

Here you go, warm yourself up with a yummy in your tummy bowl of soup.

Wild Rice Soup
6 T Butter
1 T minced Onions
2-3 T minced Carrots
1/2 C Flour
3 C Chicken Broth
2 C Wild Rice cooked
2 C chopped cooked Chicken
1/2 t Salt
2 C Half and Half
Pepper to taste

Melt butter in soup kettle; saute onions and carrots for a couple of minutes. Blend in flour and stir in broth. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for a minute and stir in rice, salt and chicken. Simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in half and half. Heat to serving temp and serve.

How to cook Wild Rice
Follow your package directions but instead of using water, use chicken broth. Makes the rice much more flavorful. The directions I used needed about 15 more minutes of cooking time, so taste your rice to make sure it's not too crunchy.
MINCE the carrots into tiny little pieces. I think this was about 6 baby carrots.
Never one to follow directions completely (I didn't melt butter first)..I put the butter, onions and carrots in the pot and cooked it for a couple of minutes.
When the carrots and onions are softened, add the flour and give it a whisk. This is what it looks like.
Add your chicken broth and whisk around so that the flour isn't clumpy. You want this to be smooth and creamy. Add your 1/2 and 1/2 and bring to a boil.
I wanted chicken in mine and had some in the freezer so I chopped that up and threw it in.
Add your rice and give it a stir. Heat to serving temp. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I used white pepper because I think it's a bit more mellow.
Warm yourself up with a tasty bowl!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I kind of threw this together with leftover crockpot chicken and I liked the finished product. I would NOT however put this in the freezer because of the avocado. And, I took this photo before I added the shredded pepper jack cheese and tortilla chips which of course made it even more YUMMY!

So, what you're going to need:
10 C Chicken Broth or 10 C water and 10 bouillon cubes
2 C shredded Salsa Chicken or crockpot chicken or rotisserie chicken
1 Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 Jalapeno minced without seeds ~ mine was about the size of my pinky
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 C Frozen Corn
1/2 C Refried beans ~ optional
1/2 t Cumin
Juice of 2 limes
1 bunch Cilantro minced
2 Avocados chopped
Put broth, chicken, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, pinto beans and corn in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in refried beans. This will thicken soup just a bit and give it good flavor. Sprinkle in cumin. Add lime juice, cilantro and avocados. Stir and turn off heat. Break up some tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl, ladle on soup and top with a pinch of pepper jack cheese, you could also add your chips now instead of pre-ladle too.
This would also be pretty easy to make vegetarian. Simply add another can of beans instead of chicken and use vegetable broth. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chicken Sesame Noodles

Took about 15 minutes and both kids LOVED it.

1 1/2 Skinless Chicken Breasts chopped
1 Carrot diced
1/2 small Onion diced
2 Cloves Garlic minced
2 T Garlic Butter
3-4 t Sesame Oil
4-5 t Soy Sauce
8 oz Thin Spaghetti cooked

Start your water to boil, either salt or throw in a couple of chicken bouillon cubes. When water is boiling, break your pasta in half, throw in a cook. Thin spaghetti cooks relatively fast and that's why it's a favorite around here. Drain pasta. Chop up your carrots, onion and garlic and saute with 1 T garlic butter (see below) for about 4 minutes. Throw in your chicken, 1 T garlic butter and some salt and pepper, taste to make sure you have it seasoned to your liking. Cook until chicken is done, about 4 minutes. Add your pasta. Drizzle 3 t of Sesame Oil and 4 t of soy sauce over pasta. Give it a toss. Taste, if you can't taste the sesame, add another teaspoon. If you need a bit more salt, add another teaspoon of soy sauce. Toss again and serve.

If it was just for me, I would have added some chopped spinach or cooked asparagus with the pasta or some sesame seeds but it wasn't so..plain and easy it was tonight.

GARLIC BUTTER...I had made some for another recipe which I'll share later but basically, just take a stick of softened butter and add 1 t of garlic powder. Mix it up, give it a little taste, if you want a more garlic taste, add a bit more.
I bought some real carrots! You know the kind with the green tops, the kind you have to *gasp" peel;) I haven't done that in forever but they taste so much better and I was feeling crazy so "real" carrots are on the menu tonight. If you don't have "real" carrots, as I typically don't..just use a handful of baby carrots and give them a good dice. If you're using the "real" thing, peel, slice in half and then slice down the middle again and start chopping.
This is what it should look like. You want them to cook relatively quick unless you want some crunch in your meal so the smaller the better. Also, if they are small, they stick to the noodles and the kids can't pick around them as easily;)
Throw the carrots, diced onion and garlic in the pan with 1 T garlic butter. If you use something other than the garlic butter (I don't know why you would because butter is the BEST but if you're trying to be healthy...I get it, make sure you add a bit of garlic powder to the vegetables.
I only had 1 1/2 chicken breasts thawed, you could easily use a whole package of chicken breast to make this more substantial but my kids don't eat much meat when it's mixed into something.
Cook your chicken with another tablespoon of butter and season to taste with salt and pepper, you don't need to adjust the amount of butter if you use more chicken, we just want to give it a bit of the butter flavor.
Add your pasta, sesame oil and soy sauce. Toss it about and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
Here is the Sesame Oil I bought in the Asian aisle at the grocery store. It really makes a HUGE difference in taste. Add sparingly because it has a BIG flavor.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Asian Chicken Soup

I really like the Asian Beef soup that I make but wanted to see how it tasted with chicken. I had made a crockpot chicken and had leftovers so I thought I'd give it a go. The results were YUMMY!

1 lb of cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces or shredded
2 48 oz cartons chicken broth
2 T Olive Oil
2 t crushed Red Pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic minced
2 inches of ginger root, peeled and minced
1 med head (1 1/2 lbs?) of bok choy lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
1 t Sea salt and Pepper or to taste
1/2 lb thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta broken into thirds
1 bunch Scallions chopped
5 oz Fresh Spinach chopped

Wash bok choy, cut off end and discard. Chop the rest. Peel and mince garlic cloves. Peel and mince ginger. Chop off the hairy end of the scallion and discard. Chop scallions into small pieces. Rough chop spinach. Put 2 T Olive Oil into soup pot. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Saute for a minute. Add bok choy , sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute another minute. Add chicken (I use meat from roasted chicken) and chicken broth, give a stir. Bring to a boil. Add spinach, scallions and pasta. Give a stir and cook for 6-8 minutes until pasta is cooked. Serve.

If you have questions about the step by step, check out the beef version here.

If you want to crockpot a chicken, check here. You don't need to prep this the night before as the directions read. It tastes very similar if you season and cook:)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Schezuan Salmon

Let's eat something healthy and yummy!!

What you'll need:

Chunk of Salmon ~ I think this was almost 2 lbs
Season Salt and Pepper
about 1/3 bottle Schezuan Sauce~I don't have a favorite brand
Zucchini and Banana Squash
Handful of Spinach
Wheat Spaghetti Noodles~or regular ones work fine.
Soy Sauce

Season your salmon with season salt and pepper. Chop your squash and onions. Prepare your noodles.

Taste your Schezuan sauce, if you think it's too spicy you can "lighten" the spice by adding some soy sauce and a bit of honey. 2 parts schezuan, 1 part soy and about a tablespoon of honey.

I did this salmon on my grill pan and although it was successful, it made my house pretty smoky. If you want to do it this way, put fish skin side down, tent with foil and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. What I would recommend is heating your oven to 400 degrees, spraying a piece of foil and wrapping/tenting the salmon (kind of making a packet) and baking for about 12 minutes. Either way, check you Salmon with a fork and it should easily flake away, you know it's done if it flakes. Brush with schezuan sauce and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

While your fish is cooking. Saute your zucchini and onions. You can put a tiny bit of olive oil to help the party get started if you want, but it's really not necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in your spinach and noodles, few shakes of soy sauce and couple tablespoons of schezuan sauce. Toss around to heat through and serve.

Season your salmon
Slice your zucchini
Saute your onions and zucchini
Add your spinach
Put your salmon, skin side down on a hot grill pan and tent with some foil to speed the cooking process
Toss your noodles, soy sauce and sauce in
if you aren't sure it's done. Stab it with a fork, it should pull apart really easy.
Top with sauce
Put it all together and serve...YUM