Tag Archive | dinner

Summer Mediterranean Salad

My mother likes to bake.  She is a very left-brained person by nature.  She is a bookkeeper, a quilter, and when she feels like it, a baker.  It drives her crazy when she asks me how I made something for dinner because when it comes to measurements I wing it or eyeball it.  Cooking isn’t a science like baking.  It is an art. I always say that a recipe is like a blank canvas.  It gives you the foundation you need to create your masterpiece.  While not many of my recipes I would consider masterpieces, I do enjoy creating them, and I do enjoy eating them, so I’ve at least got that going for me!

A couple weeks ago I grabbed a recipe off the internet, Prevention.com to be exact.  It was a light and healthy salad I was looking forward to making.  Except I kept getting side tracked by friends, and fun, and work.  By the time I finally got around to making it, I had received an email with a similar salad recipe from Whole Foods.  But it was just different enough that I thought, damn, I could blend these two together and make a REALLY good salad that eats like a hearty meal.

It turned out delicious, and even better the next day when the flavors all had a chance to really meld together.  And with our recent hot weather it made for a perfect dinner on a warm night.

Remember- objects may be closer than they appear in miorror- all measurements are just approximate to be used as a guide.

Summer Mediterranean Saladmed salad

1/2 box whole wheat orzo
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 cucumber – quartered and sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes – halved
1 red bell pepper – chopped and roasted
1/2 small red onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 tbsp parsley – chopped
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
Crumbled Feta
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook orzo in boiling water according to directions (al dente). While cooking, drain and rinse garbanzo beans and place in large bowl.  Add all other ingredients, toss, and let set for 10 minutes.  Drain and rinse orzo in cold water, twice.  Drain and add to bowl.  Toss together and serve!

Note: If you are gluten-free, omit the pasta.  If you are going dairy free or vegan, omit the feta.  This is such a yummy recipe in many forms, find one that is best fit for you!

Chile Verde Stew

I don’t like pork.  Especially bacon. ((I know it’s so uncool to not like bacon, but alas, I was never cool.)) I’ll eat the occasional bratwurst with a beer, meat on a pizza, or add Italian sausage in my family recipe pasta sauce, but I don’t do pork loin, pork chops, breakfast sausage, etc.   So when I found a great Chile Verde recipe, I subbed the pork with beef stew meat, and this delicious meal was created.  It is one of my favorites to freeze and have as ‘frozen meal’ lunch with out all the preservatives and crap found in commercially made frozen meals.   I also don’t like cooked carrots is why I only chop them into thirds, so I can pull them out and throw away (in the compost bin) when stew is done.  Just use for the sweet flavor they add.

Chile Verde Stew
 
1.5-2 lbs stew meat
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drain
2 7oz cans diced green chiles
6 red potatoes, quartered skin on
3 carrots peeled and cut into thirds
½ onion, chopped
5 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp green hot sauce
1 cup frozen roasted corn
Place meat on bottom of slow cooker. Mix all other ingredients and pour over top. Cook on low 6-7 hours.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

So I am realizing that part of my problem with posting the recipes that I’ve been trying is that I don’t take pictures of the food all of the time.  Also when I was taking pictures, those pictures are either on my old phone or camera and I need to upload them to the computer…  I’ll get on it, but until then here is another one of my New Recipe Of The Week (may refer to it as NROTW from now on I think):
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Soup:
3 cups chicken broth
2 tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 mini chiplote bullion cube, crumbled
2 cans (28oz total) diced tomatoes
½ can diced jalapeno peppers
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ bag frozen roasted corn
1 can tomato paste
2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
Toppings:
Cotija cheese
Mexican Blend shredded cheese
Chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips, crumbled
Mix all soup ingredients in slow cooker, except chicken breasts.  Place chicken in mixture, covering completely. Cook on low 6 hours. Remove chicken from cooker, shred, place back in slow cooker for 30-60 minutes. Serve in bowls with toppings.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

As a meat eater, I am becoming more and more enamored by vegetarian dishes. To the point where I think I might actually make the conscious decision to stop making meat and/or dairy a priority. Mostly because it can be expensive! Secondly because it can be unhealthy. I am not making any promises, I have enough goals I am focusing on for this year. But I will admit there is a level of curiosity.

In my weekly quest to try a new recipe a lot of them have been vegetarian, by accident really. Here is my delicious find of a vegetarian chili.  Easy to throw together before heading to work during the week!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp steak sauce
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
1 mini chipotle cube bullion
2  15oz cans no salt added black beans
1  15oz can no salt added kidney beans
1 15oz can no salt added pinto beans
2  14.5oz cans diced tomatoes

Optional Toppings

Naturally Yours sour cream
Shredded Cheese
Cilantro
Crushed Tortilla Chips

Rinse and drain all beans.  Combine with all other ingredients except toppings.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  Enjoy with toppings of your choice!


Inspired by a recipe at myrecipes.com

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Broccoli and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Sundays around here can be a really big deal.  We have an amazing farmer’s market downtown every Sunday, all year ’round.  We actually have a farmer’s market nearly every day of the week spring-fall in one area of town or another.  We are so fortunate to live in a fairy tale land that knows not of outdoor grilling and farmer’s market “seasons”.

So when my friend and I made a date to go to the market and breakfast this past Sunday, I grabbed my canvas bags and hit the ground running!  He turned me onto this bakery there that makes pretzel croissants.  One word: amazing.

I had previously purchased a crown of broccoli at the local store, and since it is now asparagus season (hands down my favorite veg) I scooped up a fresh bunch at the farmer’s market, with intentions to roast it with my dinners for the week. Except when I went to make a broccoli stir-fry recipe I’d been wanting to try, I realized it called for two pounds of broccoli!  That I didn’t have!  What was a girl to do?!  So I put my noggin to work and realized I had almost two pounds of broccoli AND asparagus…

And now, I share with you, my latest mouth-gasm:

Broccoli & Asparagus Stir-Fry
3/4 lb fresh broccoli
3/4 lb fresh asparagus
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
olive oil

Cut florets off broccoli stalks. Cut larger florets into bite sized pieces.  Snap ends off of asparagus spears. Cut spears into 1 inch pieces.  (Dispose of broccoli and asparagus stalks).

Combine cornstarch, sugar, salt, broth and soy sauce, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

Heat wok over medium heat, lightly coating with olive oil.  Sauté minced garlic for about 1 minute.  Add veggies, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  Cover and cook additional 2 minutes.  Add sauce, stirring constantly for about 3 more minutes until veggies are tender and sauce thickens.

Serve over cooked rice, egg noodles, or quinoa.  Add chicken or beef if you wish, but I had this dish over brown rice, and it holds its own.


Inspired by a recipe I had found years ago on food.com

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