Showing posts with label Main Course. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Main Course. Show all posts

Sneaky Veggie Mac and Cheese

So many recipes are shared on Facebook, and most of the time I just scroll past. This recipe shared  by Buzzfeed managed to catch my eye around "back to school" time. A balanced meal I could make in the morning and the kids would quickly gobble up? That's exactly what we need on busy weeknights! I didn't love the recipe quite as written, but loved the concept. Combining it with the seasoning from my mom's macaroni & cheese recipe, it has turned into something nutritious and delicious that has been a hit at our house!

1 454g package of macaroni
1 C chopped carrots
2 C chopped squash (I use this frozen kind)
2-3 C chopped cauliflower (I use this frozen kind)
1/2 C water
2 C milk
2 C shredded old cheddar cheese
1 tsp dry onion flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tblsp prepared mustard
2 Tblsp +/- parmesan cheese

Prepare macaroni al dente and set aside.

Place vegetables and water in a pot over medium heat. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Do not drain. Add milk. Puree using an immersion blender. (Alternatively, add to a blender and process until smooth). Stir in cheese and seasoning until cheese is melted.

Add macaroni to sauce and stir to coat. Place into baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350' for 30 minutes.

I've tried varying the the vegetable quantity, but these are the measurements that have been most successful. I've learned from experience that too many carrots really changes the texture of the sauce! You can add your own seasoning to the sauce to make it more like your usual family recipe. A pinch of nutmeg, a couple dashes of hot sauce...whatever floats your boat! My kids like this as is. I add a little salt and pepper to my dish, or some corn salsa if its in the fridge!

Spicy Beef & Cucumber Wraps

My husband works a night shift one week each month. It's kind of a downer when he isn't here for dinner/homework/sports/baths/bedtime, but it is nice to have the morning together each day. Another bonus is that we often sit down and have a "real" lunch together. Not a sandwich on the fly, not a piece of fruit and a slice of cheese eaten on the run...but a real lunch. 

I didn't plan to make this for our lunch today, but I picked up ground beef and cucumber on sale so I wanted to put them both to use. I pinned this Korean Beef recipe from Six Sisters a while back, but I felt like the sugar needed to be cut back. I paired it with a cucumber salad that was mostly made by squinting in the fridge: The edamame was leftover from the kids last night, the jalapeno was the last one in the jar, and these were our last two carrots. Feel free to improvise on the salad based on what you have on hand! I served this on romaine to make lettuce wraps, but it would be great served as a taco on a soft tortilla or a crisp taco shell.

1 Tblsp sesame oil
1 Lbs ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tblsp brown sugar
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp (+/-) crushed red pepper
1 cucumber, quartered and chopped
1/2 C - 3/4 C shredded carrot (2 small)
1/2 C steamed edamame
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped fine
2 T rice vinegar
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef with garlic and salt in sesame oil. Drain fat, if necessary. Add remaining ingredients, and cook on low for 3-5 minutes to blend flavours.

In a small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Whisk to combine. Toss with cucumber, carrot, edamame, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve cucumber mixture over beef on a large piece of lettuce, a tortilla, or a taco shell.


Thai Vegetable Pizza

This is another great way to avoid waste and serve leftovers renewed! Using some of the leftover spicy peanut sauce from the pork satays I posted yesterday, this Thai Vegetable Pizza comes together in a snap. If you don't have leftover peanut sauce, a store-bought version would be fine...or whip up a new batch and find more places to use it! (Like these Thai-style Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes)

The sauce is stretched, thickened, and given added flavour with the addition of sweet potato. Thai Chicken Pizza is everywhere now, but there are so many vegetables that taste great with peanut why not let them take centre stage?

1/3 C peanut sauce
1/3 C mashed sweet potato
1/8 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Pinch of salt
My favourite thin crust pizza dough (or a quick alternative could a store-bought pizza shell or pita bread)
Chopped red/green/yellow peppers
Chopped green onion (whites and greens separated)
Bean sprouts
Grated carrots

Combine peanut sauce, sweet potato, currry, cumin and salt. Stir to combine. Spread over your pizza crust. Top with peppers, whites of green onion, bean sprouts, and grated carrot. Bake accordingly: about 10 minutes at 500` for my favourite thin crust pizza, or 375` for 10-15 minutes for pre-baked shells. Garnish with greens of green onions before serving.

Chicken Pot Pasta

 I've told you before about how my wee ones love Chicken Pie. They gobble it up, and I couldn't be happier to have a healthy meal that's a hit with everyone. Isaac is my picky-eater who frequently requests things like "plain chicken", "no sauce on mine", and "leave off the spicy." Chicken Pie fits the bill as plain enough for him, and tasty enough for the rest of us. (Can I just use all this "plain talk" as an opportunity to ask people to cease using the expression "Plain Jane?" I think my dislike for it is self-explanatory.)

I didn't feel like making pie crust the other day - actually, to be honest, I didn't feel like washing the food processor, which I use to make my pie crust. (Am I the only one that makes decisions based on laziness like this?!) I remembered seeing a recipe for all the flavours of Chicken Pie in a pasta, so I thought I'd create something similar. My version is below, which was inspired and adapted from this recipe

1 Tblsp olive oil
2 ribs celery, stalks and leaves, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 T flour
2 T butter
2 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination)
4 C cooked pasta (about 1/2 Lb)
1 C cooked chopped chicken
2 C leftover or frozen vegetables
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened. Add garlic and lower heat to medium, continuing to stir regularly until very fragrant and very soft. Set aside.

Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. (Go ahead and use the same pot that cooked the onion/celery mixture...less dishes to wash!) Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly. Gradually whisk stock to combine. Bring to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine cooked pasta, cooked chicken, onion mixture, and vegetables. Add sauce and stir to coat. Place in a 2-quart casserole dish with a lid. Cover and bake at 350' for about 20-25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Turkey and Balsamic Onion Flatbread

This is it! We have reached the end of our Thanksgiving turkey! Can I get a "yippee" for not wasting any of our leftover Thanksgiving feast? My motto is "waste not, want not" and I love when that works out deliciously, as it has this week.

My husband LOVED this flatbread. Amazing things happen to vegetables when they are roasted, and onions are no exception. Combine those naturally released flavours with balsamic vinegar and molasses, and you can't beat it. 

2 yellow onions, sliced thinly
2 C chopped turkey
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1 T oil
1 T molasses (our local Crosby's, of course!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 C sharp white cheddar, grated

In a large bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, oil, molasses, and salt & pepper. Stir to combine, then toss with onions until well coated. Spread in a single-layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast at 375` for about 15 minutes, or until onions are very soft. Remove from onion. Return all onions and sauce to the bowl. I find it easiest to do this by picking up the foil and almost pouring it all back into the bowl. Add turkey and stir to coat well. Spread onion and turkey mixture over flatbread (or tortilla, pita, pizza dough, etc) on a baking sheet, and top with cheese. Return to 375` oven for about 10 minutes.

(The previously posted recipes using Thanksgiving leftovers were  Stuffing Frittata Curry Vegetable Soup Thai Turkey SaladTurkey, Bacon, Avocado Tortilla Roll-Ups, and Sweet Potato Biscuits For other ideas about using leftovers any time, view all my recipes categorized under " Leftovers Renewed .") 

Thai Turkey Salad

Because turkey is often reserved for big dinners, it's easy to feel like that's the only way to serve it. I find that the simplest way to think about using turkey is to pretend you are planning with chicken. Do you ever put chicken in lasagna? If so, try turkey in its place. Do you ever make chicken quesedillas? Put chicken in risotto? Add chicken to your pizza? If so, give turkey a try!  Do you ever make chicken salad sandwiches? If so, then you can use turkey in its place...And you know what? I don't even like chicken salad sandwiches, but I love this variation using turkey along with some Thai-inspired ingredients!

2 C chopped cooked turkey breast
2 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 rib of celery, diced
1/4 C (+/-) red pepper, diced
2 T peanuts (or sunflower seeds, if you want it peanut-free)
1/4 C sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp curry
Pinch of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine turkey, vegetables, and peanuts or sunflower seeds in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Once combine, stir into the turkey mixture to coat.

Think outside the bread box: Instead of using traditional sandwich bread, try this on a crusty roll, served with crackers, or wrapped in a tortilla or Boston lettuce.

(The previously posted recipes using Thanksgiving leftovers were Stuffing Frittata, and Curry Vegetable Soup. For other ideas about using leftovers any time, view all my recipes categorized under "Leftovers Renewed.") 

Chicken Fajita Pizza

Chicken fajitas are a regular weeknight meal in our house. We recently had some leftover fajita mixture in the fridge on a night that I was going out and making pizzas to leave for my husband and kids. Chicken fajita leftovers can easily be renewed into a delicious pizza using a simple crust and topped with a little cheese. If you are a dork like me, you can shape the crust into a heart. (Using my favourite thin crust recipe, of course.) 
Just another easy way to use leftovers!

Slowcooker Whole Chicken

Sometimes I make a big meal on a weeknight, and feel really thankful to be a stay-at-home mom with the time to do that. But guess what? With a little planning, anyone can have a "Sunday Supper" on any night of the week. Use your slowcooker to cook a whole chicken while you are at work, and then quickly prepare some vegetables when you get home.

When whole chickens are on sale, it can be a really easy and inexpensive way to make several meals. Start with a chicken dinner, then have chicken sandwiches for lunch, make chicken pie for dinner, and have chicken nachos for a Friday night snack. All those servings from one $8 chicken!

3-4 Lbs whole chicken
1 yellow onion, sliced into thick rings
1 tsp coarse salt 
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika

Lay thick slices of onion on the bottom of the slow cooker. This keeps the chicken elevated just a bit so fat and juices can drain. 

Rinse chicken, and pat dry with paper towel. Lay chicken breast side up on top of sliced onions. Combine spices, and rub onto chicken. 

Cover slowcooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 2 1/2-3 hours. Internal temperature should reach 180`. Remove from slowcooker with two large serving spoons and place on cutting board. Allow to rest at least 5-10 minutes before carving.

While the bird is resting, prepare whatever vegetables your family would like on the side. Mashed potatoes, boiled carrots, and steamed broccoli are go-to veggies for pleasing my kids.

Chicken Pie (when you didn't have a chicken dinner)

In my mind, the best thing about having a chicken dinner (or turkey dinner) is making meals from the leftovers: Hot chicken sandwiches, chicken soup, chicken nachos, chicken pie! Chicken pie is one thing that my pickiest eater will gobble up every time...but don't have the time or the inclination to make a chicken dinner each week. As a result, I think I've perfected the "chicken pie without a chicken dinner".

While this isn't a true "make it in the morning" meal (because I haven't had great results letting the filled pie sit in the refrigerator all day), you can certainly make it ahead and freeze...or make the filling in the morning, and the crust just before baking, or (gasp!) use a store-bought pie crust. Whatever works for you!

Chicken Pie Filling

2 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp flour
1 C chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped fine (about 1 C) 
3 C mixed frozen vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, etc)

Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot over low heat. Stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock until smooth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and stir in frozen vegetables and chopped chicken to coat.

2-Crust Pie (from this Betty Crocker cookbook)

2/3 C + 2 Tblsp shortening
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
4 Tblsp cold water

Put shortening, flour, and salt in to food processor. Pulse until mixture is crumbly. Turn food processor on low and pour all the water in at once while it is running. Stop the food processor when the dough leaves the sides of the bowl, but before the dough forms a ball.

Shape the dough in to two balls with your hands. On a well floured surface, roll one ball into a circle (about 1-2 inches larger than the upside-down pie plate). Place dough in pie plate and press well against the bottom and sides of the plate. Fill the crust (recipe above). Roll remaining ball into approximately the same sized circle, and top the pie. Fold the top crust edge around the edge of the bottom crust and flute to seal. Using sharp knife, slit the top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 425` for about 35 minutes, until crust is golden. If edges are browning too much (often the case after about 20 minutes), wrap long thin strips of foil around the pie's edges.

(Just noticing there's a wierd smudge on the camera lense. Ooops!)

Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

A friend recommended this recipe from a Michael Smith cookbook she has been using weekly. We love all of the ingredients, but didn't have a recipe "in the rotation" that uses them all together. We both enjoyed this and it was a very filling meatless meal, though I'd add quite a bit more spice next time. I also didn't notice any added flavor from the orange juice, so I might use water or broth next time to eliminate that sugar (and it would bring down the cost of the recipe, which you know I love).

1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
about 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp curry paste  (I'd increase this big time!)
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can chickpeas , drained & rinsed
1 can coconut milk
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup any nut butter (I used soy nut butter)
1 cup frozen green peas
3 cups baby spinach  (more or less)
a bunch chopped cilantro

Saute onion and garlic in a little oil over medium heat until they’re lightly browned (5 minutes). Add grated ginger and curry paste, and cook for another few minutes until fragrant. Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, orange juice and peanut butter. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and continue simmering until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the peas, spinach and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve over rice.


Leftovers Renewed: Sweet Potato Chimichangas

I've posted the recipe for Sweet Potato Enchilada Bake, and I've posted the recipe for Baked Chimichangas. I combined the two recipes recently, and turned our leftover enchilada bake into these chimichangas with great results! (That being said though, wouldn't anything be good baked in a crunchy tortilla?)

Vegetable Enchiladas

I've had this recipe on my 'to try' list for a little while. Reviewers suggested that it was a bit mild, so I added a little garlic and hot sauce to turn the flavour up a notch. We both loved this meal! It's super healthy, quick and simple to put together, and easy on the pocketbook. I think I'll be adding this to our "regular rotation."

2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin, divided
1 tsp garlic, divided
1/4 C flour
1/4 C tomato paste
2 C vegetable broth
3/4 C water
1/4 tsp Mexican hot sauce
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed/drained
6 C fresh spinach, chopped/steamed/squeezed dry
1 1/3 C frozen corn, thawed
6 green onions, sliced and divided
16 whole-wheat tortillas (6-inch)

On medium heat, combine together oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic, flour, and tomato paste. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in hot sauce, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cheese, beans, spinach, corn, whites of green onions, 1 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp garlic. Lightly grease 2 8-inch baking dishes.Warm tortillas slightly in microwave to make more pliable. Spoon 1/3 C bean mixture onto centre of each tortilla, fold sides over filling, and place seam side down on greased baking dish. Once all enchiladas are assembled, spoon sauce over the top and spread to coat as evenly as possible. Bake uncovered at 400` for 20 minutes. Garnish with greens of green onion, and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

The original recipe gives directions for freezing prior to cooking, if you are interested. We just had oodles of leftovers this time (which is lovely for our lunches), but next time I'll experiment with freezing half.

Thai Shrimp Soup

I only changed a few minor things from the original recipe to make this soup. The flavours were light and really fresh-tasting, and it was extremely fast to make. We found it a little light to be our entire meal though - next time we'd have spring rolls or something on the side, or it would make a really great appetizer.

1 tsp oil
2 red peppers, very thinly sliced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
 4 C chicken stock
2 C water
340g uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tsp ginger, minced
4 tsp lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 C Italian style rice, cooked
1/2 C bean sprouts
1/2 C cilantro

In a large pot, heat oil over high heat. Add red peppers and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and water, and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in ginger, lime juice, and sesame oil. Remove from heat. Divide rice, bean sprouts, and cilantro among bowls (intended to serve 4). Top with soup & serve.

Lentil Tacos

Yet another recipe that falls into my three beloved categories: healthy, cheap, and yummy! These lentil tacos were suggested by a friend and we enjoyed them tonight. They were also a hit with one of two toddlers - hitting two for two at dinner is rare at our house!

1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp oil
1 C dried lentils, rinsed
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 1/2 C chicken stock
1 C salsa
12 tortillas or taco shells
Your favourite taco toppings (we had tomatoes, green pepper, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and sour cream)

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in lentils, hot sauce, cumin, and oregano. Cook for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly, and stir in salsa. Top tortilla or taco shell with approximately 1/4 C of lentil mixture and your choice of toppings.

We used whole wheat soft tortillas. They were delicious, but quite messy as they got a little soggy with the lentil mixture.  Hard taco shells would probably work great with this recipe, but I don't like tortilla it will continue to be for us (with a fork for the last few messy bites)!

Seafood Lasagna

My Dad's birthday is Christmas Eve, which often makes it hard to plan a special meal with all the other preparations that need to take place that day. This year, we decided to have a selection of lasagnas along with salad and bread, so that everything could be made ahead of time or at the very last minute. It worked out great! I took on the seafood lasagna, and was really pleased with this recipe. It seemed rich and decadent, but it was easy to make.

1/3  C all-purpose flour
3  C milk
1  Tblsp  butter
1  Tblsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4  tsp  salt
1/4  tsp black pepper
2  C grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/8  tsp nutmeg
2  C  thinly sliced onion
6  garlic cloves, minced
1/3  C cream cheese
1/2  C  cream
1/2  C  fresh parsley, chopped and divided
1 Lb  medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1 Lb  scallops, coarsely chopped
3  eggs
1 2/3 C ricotta cheese
Oven-ready lasagna noodles

In a pot over medium heat, gradually mix milk into flour, stirring constantly until smooth. Cook for 1 minute before stirring in butter, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and stir in 1 1/4 C Parmesan cheese and the nutmeg. Set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions in a little cooking spray/olive oil for about 4 minutes until softening. Add garlic and saute for an additional 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in half-and-half, 1/4 cup parsley, shrimp, and scallops. Mix eggs and ricotta separately, and then stir into seafood/onion mixture.

Spoon 1 cup cheese sauce (1st mixture) into bottom of a 13 x 9 pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange noodles over sauce and top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat layers with noodles, remaining half of ricotta mixture, and additional noodles. Pour remaining cheese sauce over noodles and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan. Bake at 350` for 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture until it was cut and about to be served. The photo may not look super appetizing, but it was delicious - and so were the leftovers!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake

Melissa reads my blog and claims she needs cooking lessons. This is the first recipe she has ever shared with me, and now I know that she doesn't need any help in the kitchen. We loved this! I made a few minor variations, and had great results.
(Kenyon: I'd bet money that Steve will want to add this to the rotation)

1 large sweet potato, sliced into disks and boiled until slightly softened
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded (alternately, brown 1lb ground turkey with onions & garlic)
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped

"Hungry Janey's Inauthentic Enchilada Sauce" (see below)
1/2 C (or a little more/less) cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C (or a little more/less) sour cream
1 green onion, chopped

"Hungry Janey's Inauthentic Enchilada Sauce"
1 C tomato sauce
1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
1/ 4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic
pinch of salt

Stir all ingredients to combine.

Saute onion and garlic (and turkey to brown, if using). Stir peppers, beans, chicken (if using) and enchilada sauce. Heat through. Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer in a 9X13 pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake @ 375' for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions, and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.

Risotto Balls

My kids love rice, but they are pretty messy when it comes to eating it. After seeing risotto balls mentioned on a few blogs and in a few cooking magazines, I figured I'd give it a shot! Not wanting to pan fry them (as was often suggested), I followed the same general idea as my tuna balls. The kids loved them, and I am excited to make my own risotto with lots of sneaky vegetables for next time.

2 C of leftover risotto (I used this, which makes exactly 2 cups)
3/4 C dried bread crumbs

Roll chilled risotto into balls. Roll in dried bread crumbs and flatten slightly. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350' for about 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Allow to cool on wire racks.

Butternut Squash Flatbread

I spotted this recipe in Real Simple magazine a couple of months ago. I was flipping through magazine while sitting in the salon getting ready for a beautiful wedding (want see some of Melissa and Toby's amazing photos?). I forgot all about this recipe until I saw butternut squash for $0.39/Lb, and it flashed into my mind. A quick google search and I was ready to make it. I altered it slightly my omitting the pine nuts from the original recipe and adding mushrooms.

We really enjoyed it as a unique savoury alternative to having bruschetta or the like as a side dish. (I don't have a photo because it was too dark to take a decent one last night, and Josh took the leftovers to work before I got a chance to take a shot this morning.)

12-inch pizza crust (I used this recipe)
1lb butternut squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 white mushrooms, sliced
1 Tblsp fresh thyme leaves
2 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Grated cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, toss the squash, onion, mushrooms, thyme, oil, salt, and pepper. Scatter over the stretched dough and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 425` for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

(Photo from Real Simple. Just imagine some mushrooms on there!)

Butter Chicken

I saved this recipe from a magazine a while back, but decided to try it today because I had an open can of evaporated milk that I wanted to use. We both really enjoyed it, and it was really simple to prepare.

2 Tblsp oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast tenders (or 2 full breasts)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tblsp ginger, finely chopped
2 Tblsp butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 C tomato sauce
1 C evaporated milk
1/4 C plain yogurt

In a pot over medium heat, cook chicken in 1 Tblsp oil until lightly browned. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add remaining 1 Tblsp oil to pot. Sauté onion, garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant. Stir in butter, lemon juice and spices. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, cooking for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in milk and yogurt. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add reserved chicken to sauce and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through.

We enjoyed it over rice.

Slowcooker Jamaican Pumpkin Soup

I bookmarked this recipe a few weeks ago, and have been itching to try it. A few alterations to the original recipe for the sake of what I had in the house, and dinner was made. The syrup was a last minute addition as I found the soup a bit bitter. The syrup balanced it out nicely!

2 1/2 C fresh pumpkin, peeled and chopped
4 C vegetable stock
1 C water
1 onion. chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 Tblsp white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 C maple syrup
Cream for serving, approx 1 Tblsp per bowl (Optional: leave it out and have a great Vegan soup!)

Combine all ingredients except maple syrup into slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Puree with immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Stir in maple syrup. Add cream into each bowl when serving.