Monday, August 29, 2011

Vegetable Soup Remix

Let me set the scene for you.

We have a garden. It is...small. But it is ours, and we love it. We get tons of tomatoes from our garden. But our squash plants are not very productive (yet...I'm an eternal optimist). So sitting on my kitchen counter I had 1 little butternut squash and 1 lonely yellow squash.

Yesterday I went to church with the normal suspects in my purse, and thanks to my sweet friend Lauren, I came home with a purse full of okra and these cute little orange peppers.

Okra? I've never cooked okra in my life. And now my purse was full of it.

Add all that to the half-bag of baby carrots that really needed to be eaten, sitting in my fridge, and the bundle of kale that I got on sale at the market, and what do you get?

Vegetable Soup Remix.

And I'll be honest, it was awesome. And just what this little baby inside of me was craving.

I heated some olive oil in a pot and added the veggies as I chopped. Sliced carrots, then chopped butternut and yellow squash, sliced okra, chopped peppers, minced garlic. Then I double-checked in my freezer and lo and behold, there was a bag of frozen green beans only about a third of the way full. Let's throw those in too. Top that with some course ground salt and pepper, chili powder, can of diced tomatoes, and frozen homemade chicken stock; chop or tear kale into pieces and add to the pot; throw in a can of drained chickpeas; bring to a boil, and simmer while you go running with the Coach and the Little...and you come home to a glorious feast of randomness that makes you want seconds.

And thirds.


Walnut Granola

This is super good. I made enough for us to eat for breakfast all week, but not enough to snack on in between. So when the Coach is home I have to stand in the kitchen guarding the bowl with a wooden spoon. Try telling him that cereal is only for breakfast.

Heat oven to 275. In a large bowl, mix 4 1/2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup untoasted wheat germ, and 1 cup oat bran. Set aside.

On the stovetop, heat 1 cup real maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 Tablespoons canola oil, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (depending on taste). When the mixture just starts to bubble, remove from heat and mix together with dry ingredients. Place in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put in 275 oven for 20 minutes; stir and put back in oven for 10 more minutes. Then add 1 cup finely chopped walnuts and return to oven for 10 minutes. Take out of oven, turn up heat to 350, and then finish by baking until browned to your liking (it takes about 10 more minutes for me.) Allow to cook completely and then store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brushetta Chicken Casserole

This is a dish that takes about 7 minutes of prep time and tastes amazing. It's a great one for a busy weeknight, yet it tastes so good that I'm pretty sure the next time I take a meal to someone, this will be it.

This recipe comes straight from a Kraft "Food and Family" magazine.

Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl, mix 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained), 1 6oz package of chicken stuffing mix, 1/2 cup water, and 2 cloves garlic, minced. In a baking dish, place a pound or more of boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces. Top with mozzarella cheese and basil (the recipe calls for 1 tsp dried basil but I used fresh basil out of my garden), then top with the stuffing/tomato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is done. I served it with a simple mushroom rice pilaf (saute mushrooms in butter, add rice and stir for a few minutes, add water and chicken bullion, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until done) and steamed broccoli.

Oh, it's so good. Please make it. And enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicken Brunswick Stew

I'm BACK!!!!

It has been entirely too long since I have put recipes up consistently...but there is a reason...a very good one...a very tiny one who is growing inside of me as we speak! Yes, we are having another Little in about 6 months! And the first trimester has not been my friend! But thankfully I am coming out of tastes good again...and that means I'm back in the kitchen!!!

Needless to say, I have no idea where this blog is going in the next few months. Wherever the cravings take me, I suppose. And tonight it is...Brunswick stew!

Start with a lot of cooked, shredded chicken. You could boil a whole chicken, or as I did, several split chicken breasts (which go on sale every few weeks down to 98 cents per pound...maybe even lower in other places!) However you go about it, cook and finely shred your chicken, and in a large pot add to the chicken...

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can creamed corn
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup bbq sauce
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon hot sauce
Salt, pepper, and celery salt to taste

Add enough chicken broth (you can use the water that the chicken cooked in as well) to make the stew as thick or thin as you want it. I probably added a little less than 2 cups. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, or as long as you want (Just don't forget to stir every once in a while!)

So good. It was Little's first Brunswick stew experience, and she ate two bowls.