Showing posts with label Make it in the Morning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Make it in the Morning. 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!

Quick Ratatouille with Brie

I came across two similar recipes on Pinterest (here and here), and used them as inspiration for a new side dish. We absolutely loved much so that I made it twice in a week! Traditional ratatouille is stewed, slow cooked, and layered, while this dish is quick and painless to throw together. It certainly isn't a true ratatouille, but what would you call it?

The quantity listed below worked well in a pie plate, as pictured. The second time I made this, I was out of  brie and wanted to make a larger amount. I doubled everything and made it in a 9X13 dish, topping it with a little bit of shaved red onion before adding the Parmesan, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Both combinations were delicious! This is a simple and versatile way to prepare your vegetables, and a great Make It In The Morning option too.

1/2 zucchini, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick
2 plum tomatoes, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick
1/2 sweet potato, sliced slightly thinner than other vegetables
Brie, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick
2 Tblsp (+/-) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 Tblsp olive oil (+/-)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Place sliced vegetables and brie in pie plate, alternating and overlapping as you go. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake at  375` for about 25 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.

Gluten-Free Pork Satays with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have posted a recipe for Spicy Peanut Sauce before. I had previously only served it with chicken, but thought I would try it with pork satays (because, you know me, pork was on sale). I changed the orignal recipe slightly to omit soy sauce because I needed to make it gluten-free for a friend. I also opted to use some of the sauce as a marinade, and the remainder for dipping. The results were great!

The peanut sauce recipe is slightly adapted from a fantastic cookbook and party-planning resource, Do It For Less Parties by Denise Vivaldo.

3/4 C Unsalted Peanuts
1 Tblsp white sugar
2 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp (+/-) red curry paste
1 1/2 C coconut milk
1/2 tsp lime juice
5 boneless sirloin porkchops (approximately 3 Lbs)

Place peanuts and sugar in food processor or blender and process until finely chopped/ground. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the curry paste and coconut milk. Stir in the ground peanut mixture.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and then remove from the heat.

Slice porkchops into thin (approx 1/2-3/4 inch) strips. Stir with one third to one half of the peanut sauce - whatever it takes to coat the pork. Chill and marinate for 2 hours. (Alternatively, this could be done the day before and left to marinate overnight)

Thread pork on skewers (if serving as a meal) or large toothpicks (if serving as an appetizer). Lay in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat boiler, and place rack in the second position from the top. Broil for about 4 minutes per side (Or until juices run clear, or until internal temperature reaches 160`).  Alternatively, these could be cooked on the BBQ.

Serve with remaining peanut sauce for dipping, adding lime juice just 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.

Bean Sprout Salad

I was intrigued when I came across this recipe on Pinterest, because it was a side dish that could easily be served hot or cold. Serve cold as a side salad with dinner, and enjoy the leftovers reheated for lunch the next day (at least that's what I did!). The recipe below is adapted for the original recipe for Sukjul Namul, as seen on MM's Kitchen Bites

1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
A few grates fresh garlic
1/2 Lb bean sprouts
Handful red peppers, thinly sliced
Handful snow peas, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tblsp (+/-) sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Boil a large pot of water. Add bean sprouts and blanch for 20-30 seconds. Plunge into ice cold water to stop them from cooking any further. Drain. Add red peppers, snow peas, and green onions. Stir to combine. Whisk all dressing ingredients together, and toss with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when serving, if desired.

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.

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

When I see Degenhardt's sausage on sale, I can't resist them. The Degenhardt family makes the most delicious sausages I have ever tasted, and the do it right here in New Brunswick (though you can purchase them across Canada and the US).  They contain no fillers, no gluten, and no MSG, and they are Celiac certified. 

We love a variety of their sausages, but the chorizo sausage is a real treat. When I arrived at the store to see an in-store special on both chorizo sausage and green peppers, I knew stuffed peppers should make their way into our meal plan. After a bit of searching online, I couldn't find a recipe that seemed like what I wanted. I improvised and came up with this recipe, which used a variety of leftover odds and ends in the fridge. I love when leftovers don't feel like leftovers! These were fresh, flavourful, and just a little spicy. I'll definitely be repeating them!

4 green peppers
1/4 diced onion
1 Lb chorizo sausage
3/4 C canned tomatoes
1 C cooked brown rice
1 1/2 ears of corn, corn removed from cob (approximately 3/4 C, if using frozen corn)
3-4 Tblsp white cheddar

Cut tops off green pepper, and remove all seeds. Place in an oven-safe dish, and set aside.

Saute the onion in a little olive oil until softened. Remove sausage from casing, and add to the pan. Brown and crumble until cooked through. Add tomatoes, rice, and corn. Stir to combine.

Fill each pepper with sausage mixture, and top with a little cheese. Add a little water to the baking dish, just a little more than what's needed to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover loosely with foil, and bake at 425` for 15-20 minutes.

*I'm not being compensated for any endorsements or reviews in this post.*

Honey Sriracha Chicken

This recipe from Simply Reem was intended for bone-in chicken to be baked in the oven. I used the recipe to marinate and grill boneless chicken breast and the results were great: moist, tender chicken with a sweet and spicy glaze. We enjoyed it with a green salad and corn on the cob, but it would also be great served with Asian Coleslaw.

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tblsp sriracha 
3 Tblsp honey
3 Tblsp soy sauce
2 Tblsp vinegar
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tblsp vegetable oil
1/2 salt
1/2 black pepper

Place all ingredients, except chicken, in a ziplock bag or a container with a tight-fitting lid. Mix to combine. Add chicken, and turn to coat. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat BBQ on high for 10 minutes. Reduce to medium, and place chicken on the grill. Cook for approximately 10 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Thai-Style Twice Baked Potatoes

Joanna from Lofty Pines shared this recipe with me, and I drooled a little when I read it. Such a quick recipe with so many of my favourite flavours together! I'm no good at doing what I'm told (at least when it comes to recipes), so these stuffed sweet potatoes are a variation from the original, but they were divine. So filling and full of flavour! You could use them as a side dish....but we just pigged out and made them our whole meal!

3 sweet potatoes
1/4 C peanuts
1/4 C peanut butter
3/4 C coconut milk
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tblsp sriracha
2 Tblsp honey
2 Tblsp soy sauce
2 Tblsp rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, whites and greens separated
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped fine
1 carrot, grated
1 1/2 C baby spinach, chopped

Wash sweet potatoes, and pierce all over to allow steam to escape. Place on a microwave safe plate, and heat on high for 7 minutes. Flip the potatoes over, and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Allow to cool until easy to handle. (Alternatively, you can bake the potatoes for about 1 hour at 400`...but who has time for that when you are starving?) Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the majority of the flesh, leaving enough for the potato to hold its shape. Mash, and set aside.

Combine peanuts, peanut butter, coconut milk, sesame oil, sriracha, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Process until smooth.

Saute whites of green onions and red pepper until softened. Stir in cilantro, and cook until fragrant. Add carrots and spinach, and stir to combine. Cook until spinach wilts. 

Combine mashed sweet potato with sauteed vegetable mixture. Add 1/2 C of peanut sauce, and stir until well mixed. Refill each potato skin with this mixture. Place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400` for 10-15. Garnish with the greens of the green onions and more peanut sauce before serving.

Topped with some green onions...

And drizzled with a little (okay, a lot of) peanut sauce. 
If you really wanted some kick, you could put some sriracha on top too.

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!)

Slowcooker Beef and Broccoli

When I was meal planning last week, I asked if anyone had tried the slowcooker beef and broccoli recipe that was being shared all over Facebook. While the original source wasn't cited, a quick google search lead me to this recipe. "Just a Pinch" seems like an interesting recipe sharing site, so I'll have to look around and see what other yummy things I can find there!

The original recipe called for a boneless beef chuck roast. This is a prime example of something that can be really frustrating when trying a new recipe (particularly one with beef): nothing at my local grocery store is labelled "boneless beef chuck roast". There are quite a few different names for the same cuts of meat. I've found  this list to be a great source for identifying different names for various cuts of meat, and finding potential substitutes using other cuts. Since the original recipe called for chuck (which is a shoulder portion), you can go right to the chuck section of that site to find some suggestions. I wanted something that was economical and that came in a smaller portion at my grocery store, and I settled on a cross rib quick roast.

I tweaked the recipe ever-so-slightly, because it was just asking for some ginger and I thought 1/2 cup was way too much soy sauce. I drastically cut back the cooking time when I checked on it at the halfway point, and it was fully cooked. If the original recipe tells you to slice the beef into thin strips, how on earth do they expect it to cook for 8 hours? After 4 hours on low, the beef was practically falling apart when I touched it with a fork. Perhaps the faster cooking time was a result of using a different cut of meat, but I really don't feel like the difference in tenderness would result in an extra 4 hours of cook time. All said and done, we liked this recipe...but we didn't absolutely love it. I think I just really prefer the texture of both the beef and the broccoli when stirfried. I like beef in a stirfry to have the texture of steak, and this is obviously roast beef. My husband, Josh, liked it a lot more than I did (I think because I'm not a big beef-eater anyway), so I may save this recipe for nights when I am leaving him dinner on my way out. If you are a roast beef fan, I bet you'll really enjoy this recipe. The sauce is very flavourful without being spicy.

1 Lb (+/-) cross rib quick roast beef 
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
3 Cups (+/-) broccoli florets
(Serve with rice. I rarely make anything other than Rooster Brand Scented Rice. Love that stuff!)

Slice beef in to thin strips and place in slowcooker. Combine broth, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Pour over beef and stir. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove 2 Tblsp sauce and combine with 2 Tblsp cornstarch. Stir until smooth, then return to the slowcooker. Stir to combine with the remainder of the sauce. Add broccoli and stir to coat. Replace cover, adjust temperature to high, and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Rainbow Chicken

When I found this recipe via Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. I love finding new meals that I can prepare in the morning (when I have energy and some spare time), and then just throw in the oven at dinner time (when I'm low on patience and the kids need my attention). You could also put this together the night before, and just bake it when you get home from work. The kids found it a little spicy, but we really enjoyed it. It's one of those recipes that can really be made with whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Next time, I think I'd leave out the white potatoes and serve it with rice (which would please the kids), and I'd add some red or orange pepper and a zucchini. I think I'll try that combination next week!

Spice Rub
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 potato, chopped bite-sized
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped bite-sized
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 chicken breast, cut in to bite-sized chunks
1 lemon, sliced thinly

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the spice rub mix to combine. Add all the vegetables and chicken pieces, and stir to coat. Once things are evenly coated, empty bowl in to a greased 9X13 pan. Top with lemon of slices, and cover with foil. Bake at 425` for about 40 minutes.

I'm thinking about a doing a series on  "Make it in the Morning" meals. Let me know if that's something you'd be interested in seeing!

Update: I made this again with the changes I mentioned above. Omitting potatoes and adding red pepper, orange pepper, zucchini, and red onions definitely did a lot to make this dish live up to the name "rainbow"... and it tasted great! We enjoyed it over rice.

Chickpea Salad

Sometimes, when I have a few ingredients on hand that I want to use, I just put the list in to Google and see what comes up. A few weeks ago, I tried this salad as a result of one of those searches...and have made it at least three times since. It's so fresh tasting and filling! Two of my three wee ones like it too.

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tblsp red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tblsp olive oil
1 Tblsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, and chill several hours before serving.

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.

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.

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.

Slowcooker Chicken Tangine

I copied this recipe from Good Housekeeping magazine eons ago, but I just got around to trying it. (I've got quite a stockpile of "to try" recipes. I'll never catch up!) I omitted the chickpeas from the original recipe, because I thought that there was already plenty of protein from the chicken and fibre from the, I put more squash than called for and didn't think I could fit it all in my crockpot!

I would have preferred it to be more spicy (a reoccurring theme of this pregnancy, it would appear), but my husband loved it.

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup raisins
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Combine squash, tomatoes, onion, garlic, broth, and raisins in slow cooker. Combine coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and ground black pepper to make a rub for the chicken. Rub spice mixture all over chicken thighs and place chicken on top of vegetable mixture. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.

We enjoyed it over rice.

Slowcooker Red Curry Chicken with Squash

I saved this recipe a long time ago and now that our CSA has been rich with squash, I decided to give it a try. I made a few alterations from Cara's recipe to use what I had in the house.

1 onion, chopped
1/2 bag of frozen red & green peppers (about 1 cup)
1/2 sweet mama squash, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp red curry paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 400ml can coconut milk + water to yield 2 cups liquid
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in slowcooker. Cover and set to low for 8 hours. Stir cornstarch and allow to cook for an additional 20 minutes, or however long it takes to make the rice. Serve over rice. (We love Rooster Brand Scented Rice!)

This was delicious, though not as spicy as we would normally choose. Perhaps my substitution of additional coconut milk in lieu of chicken stock tamed it down. (But I hated to have 1/2 a can of coconut milk and 2/3 carton of chicken stock leftover!) Next time, I'll stick to Cara's recipe, use stock, and see what happens.

Slowcooker Chicken Chili

I came across this recipe for Chicken Taco Soup for the slowcooker ages ago an added it to my "to try in 2010" list. I've fallen off the wagon of selecting at least one new recipe off this list each week, so I got back in the saddle with this today. The above recipe turned into the inspiration for what I'll now call my Chicken Chili. It was a hit!

1 bottle of beer
2 green peppers, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can green chilies, undrained
Kernels cut from 3 cobs of corn
My spice mixture (see below) or a ready-made taco seasoning
2 chicken breasts

Combine the beer and all the vegetables in the slowcooker, and stir in the spices. Set the chicken breasts on top, and cook on low for approximately 6 hours. Shred chicken with 2 forks, stir to incorporate, and let cook for another hour or so. Serve with a little cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Janey's "Do people actually buy expensive sodium-ridden taco seasoning?" Spice Mix:
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper