Saturday, October 24, 2015

Butternut squash soup

2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbsp butter
1 rib celery diced
1 small onion diced
2 carrots diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 cups broth (chicken, beef or veg)
2 cups water
Sage, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, S&P
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk or cream

Roast squash cut side down at 375 for 45 minutes
Remove and allow to cool to touch
While squash is cooling, melt butter in large pot. Sauté celery, onion, and carrots 10 minutes until they start to soften. Add potatoes and continue stirring and sautéing. Add some salt and pepper, scooped flesh from squash, a little thyme and sage and liquids.
Bring to simmer and cook 45 minutes or until potatoes and squash are broken down. Purée or blend to smooth and return to low heat. Stir in 1/3-1/2 cup milk or cream, warm thru and serve.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baked Quinoa & Cheese (like Mac & Cheese)

Adapted from this recipe  It's a little time-intensive but most of that is waiting for it to cook on the stove or in the oven.
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • a handful of fresh chives, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato, or red/green pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt (Lawry's)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water (or stock)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling- NOTE: (You may find you need more cheese, BUT I use this amount to still keep the dish 'lighter' yet very flavorful.)
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions (you get the picture)
  1. Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add carrots and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa, chives and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque.  (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
  2. Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt. Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more, (depends and also what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese (if you feel you need more cheese, add here.) Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. (Will seem a little "soupy", do not worry, it will all mold together.)
  4. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs, add now.You can also sprinkle a bit more cheese on now if you prefer for topping. Bake 25-35 mins, (or until browned around edges.)   In my PC Stone it took close to 35 minutes.

Baked Italian Tilapia

Why did I not try this sooner? It's so simple and delicious - not "fishy" at all!

6 small tilapia fillets
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 350.  In a 13x9 baking dish, put a little bit of the juice from the tomatoes in the bottom, lay fillets down in a single layer.  Combine Italian seasoning with diced tomatoes and pour over fish. Bake 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Artichoke, Garbanzo & Tomato stew

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Duck Stew

4 duck breasts, skinless/boneless
3 Tbsp Worchesterchire sauce
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cans beef broth
1 can petite diced tomato
2 packages frozen stew veggies (or fresh stew veggies - carrots, onions, celery, potatoes)
1 package pre-cooked sausage, cut into slices
2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked beans.

Cut duck breasts into 1/2 inch cubes and combine with next 4 ingredients in a ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.

In a skillet over med-high heat, dump bag of duck breasts and sauce and brown duck pieces. While duck is cooking, combine veggies, diced tomatoes (with juice), sausage, and 1 can of broth in slow-cooker. Add duck after it's browned. Put skillet back on the stove, add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes to wake up the flavors. Add the other can of beef broth to the tomato paste, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan, and stir to combine. Pour over all other ingredients in slow-cooker.

Cook on high for 30 minutes then reduce to low for at least 5 hours (the longer it goes, the more tender the duck gets!) Stir in the navy beans 30 minutes before serving.

Note: To cook dried navy beans, allow for at least 3 hours to prep. Then follow these instructions.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken and Lentils

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 lb. lentils (rinsed and sorted)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large or 1 small onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp tomato paste
6-8 cups chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce/soup (I had roasted red pepper/tomato soup on hand)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a 12" skillet with high sides, saute' onion until soft. Add carrots and garlic and saute' 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to wake up flavors for a minute. Add 6 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Add lentils, reduce heat to simmering. Simmer until lentils are tender (refer to package for approximate time - my package said 15-20 but it took closer to 40), adding more broth if needed. The end result should be thick with little liquid. Once lentils are soft, stir in soup/sauce and chicken and cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt to taste.

Notes: This made a TON - will have enough for 6 or 7 leftover containers - great for freezing lunch meals! Victoria ate her whole bowl - amazing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mini Meatloaves

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c. quick oats
1 egg
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. shredded cheese (any kind)
a few dashes of worchestershire sauce
2/3 c. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. mustard

Preheat oven to 350, spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Combine oats, egg, milk, cheese, salt and worchestershire sauce in a large bowl. Add in meat and just mix until combined. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. Spread a layer over each meatloaf.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until internal temp reaches 160.

Delish - easy and Victoria loved it! Served with mashed potatoes and a veg.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fall-off-the-bone Ribs!

My first attempt at ribs was no small challenge. I went to Jack's to get some ribs to fill my craving. I came home with almost 20 lbs (you know, it's cheaper to buy in bulk!) After some research and consulting with my dad, here's the method I chose:

After trimming, I cut the ribs to fit into the roasting pan (Next time, cut into serving size pieces). I put some water in the bottom of the pan, added a few bay leaves, an onion, quartered, and 2 ribs of celery. Then I covered tightly with foil, and braised for 3 hours at 350 degrees, then dropped to 300 for another hour. (Next time I'll put some rub on the ribs before braising) I checked them at 4 hours and they were falling off the bone. To the point that Rod had to put foil on the grill so they didn't all fall through! I put some PC Barbecue Rub on them.

Then Rod threw them on the grill with some Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbecue Sauce.

YUM is all I have to say. Falling apart, finger-licking good ribs. Not bad with baked potatoes and Rod's special grilled corn :)

I do have to say that 20 lbs of ribs was a little much for 3 adults and V though... maybe next time I should only cook 1 slab instead of 3, as this is what was left after we devoured a ton!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quick Mediterranean Salad

1 c. couscous, uncooked
1 can chickpeas
4 roma tomatoes
1 seedless cucumber
vinegar and oil, salt and pepper

Cook 1 c. couscous according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, dice four Roma tomatoes and a seedless cucumber.

Drain 1 can of chickpeas, combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together 1T. olive oil and 2T. balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour over salad. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a cooler salad.

YUM! So simple but so good. Maybe could use some parsley for that pop of color, but really not necessary.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sausage and Lentils

Course: main meals
P+ Value: 5
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy


1/3 pound(s) dry lentils
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium vidalia onion(s), diced
3 medium carrot(s), chopped
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, in liquid, not drained
3 serving(s) Eckrich Angus sausage, cut into pieces


Rinse and sort lentils. Boil lentils in water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

To the same pot, add olive oil and sautee onion and carrots until onion is translucent. Add salt to taste.

Add lentils, enough water just to cover, then add tomatoes. Simmer over med-low heat 10-15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add sausage the last 5 minutes, just to heat through.