Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Winger Chili

We had our ward Halloween party last weekend. Boy Howdy, there was a LOT of chili. I looked for a crockpot with a familiar name on it. See, I don't love chili. But I did love THIS chili, made by my neighbor Steph. It warmed my soul. I have no picture, sorry dudes. Use the Turkey Sausage, that's what made this chili outstanding!

Winger Chili

3 cans tomatoes, pureed

3 cans tomato sauce

1lb ground beef, browned (or turkey sausage)

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2-1 tsp basil

1/2-1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 medium onion, diced

3-4 Tbs chili powder

Cook in crockpot, or on stove until hot (about 30 minutes after boiling).

The turkey sausage recipe below is what we use entirely in place of ground beef. It's really yummy!

Homemade Turkey Sausage

3 lbs. lean ground turkey

2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon crushed fennel

5 dashes crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon basil

1 or 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon crushed rosemary

1 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Start browning sausage, add spices, and cook until turkey is done. We love to use this in place of pork sausage. Can use in stuffing, on pizza, in spaghetti, in eggs, etc.

Creamy Orzo Pasta

I got ten free bricks of cream cheese. That's a big deal in Utah because cream cheese here is TWO DOLLARS (almost) a loaf. Gag me. Anyways I pleaded for recipes from friends and family and Janssen pointed me to this creamy orzo pasta recipe and we loved it!

  • Creamy Orzo with Chicken, Mushrooms and Red Peppers
  • from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
  • *Note: this pasta is best served immediately as it tends to get less creamy as it sits at room temperature – so serve warm right as it finishes cooking! (Incidentally, it heated up just fine the next day in the microwave on low power.)
  • *Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 average-sized chicken breasts (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds), cut into chunks
    2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
    8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 pound orzo pasta
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
    1 cup reserved pasta water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (ladling it into a small bowl is my method) and then drain the orzo and set aside.
  • While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (if you forgot to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature, no worries! Pop it in the microwave for one minute on 40% power) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

Lemon and Garlic Chicken Marinade

I got this marinade recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It's really awesome. I love it. You can use it with so many recipes and it is so stinkin easy.

  • Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (I usually cut really thick chicken breasts down to thin them out and make the pieces a little smaller so they absorb the marinade better)

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Serve with sides of your choice or cut into bite sized pieces and add to desired recipe (I’ll be sharing a few with you soon). Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight

Seriously. Eat it plain. Use in the Broccoli and Bowtie Pasta recipe I just posted. Use in the Chicken Gyro recipe. Use it however you want, it's gooooood.

Broccoli and Bowties (REPOST)

I posted this recipe two years ago and thought it could use a repost a) because I took such an amazing picture of it ( *cough * *cough* *choke*) but mostly b) it's one of my absolute favorite meals of all time.

My neighbor made this for me when I was dying of morning sickness with Ivy. It's perfectly light, has a wonderful flavor and is easy to prepare. You should make some! The pinenuts, while a splurge, really make the meal you just need a teeny tiny package, so splurge away and thank me later!

Broccoli and Bow Ties
Recipe from : Awesome neighbor Cheryl

Kosher Salt (or regular if you don't have Kosher)
8 C broccoli florets ( I always just use however the heck much I want/have)
1 lb farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2T unsalted butter
2T Olive Oil
1 t minced garlic
1 lemon, zested (I used to skip this, but don't, it really adds lots of flavor)
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1T freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more....mmmm)
1/4 C toasted pignolis (pine nuts)
Freshly Grated Parmesan

Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 1 t salt, the pepper and the lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese and serve!

To toast pignolis place them in a dray saute pan over medium low heat and cook, tossing often until they start to turn brown. Don't walk away, don't think you will remember to check on them in twenty seconds. Stand there and stir them. To quote Janssen, "unless you like the salty taste of tears in your pasta"(well, she said soup), seriously though nothing ruins this meal faster than burning your pinenuts that you spent FIVE dollars on. Just don't walk away.

Anyway, I love this meal, and the good news is, if you need to beef it up for your dinner group or family function or meat loving husband, I have an awesome chicken marinade for you. Just cook up some of that marinaded chicken and toss it with this pasta and you are set!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Thanks Janssen for recommending this great recipe from It's So Tasty Too. We left out the leeks because WHAT are they anyways? Other than that I followed the recipe and loved it, especially with the lime sour cream. Yum! We served with cornbread and an awesome salad that Katie brought and that I will try to obtain the recipe for ASAP!

The other good news about this soup is that I actually did the whole "soak beans overnight" business. I was so darn proud. And in the interest of my arteries I drained about half of the bacon drippings (because dang I had a LOT of bacon drippings), still tasted wonderful!

1 (16 oz.) package dried black beans (about 2 1/2 cups) or 5 cans (15 oz.) black beans
1 lb. bacon, chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped leeks
6 cups canned chicken broth
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chili, minced, seeds removed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used sherry)
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream:
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place beans in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand overnight. Drain and rinse well. Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until done, about 8 minutes. Do not drain drippings. Add beans, chicken broth, tomato, cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeno, sherry or vinegar and cumin. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer soup until beans are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

(If you use canned beans, which is perfectly fine!, then just simmer for an hour.)

If you have an immersion blender, process until slightly chunky puree forms. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If you don't have an immersion blender, for Heaven's sake, go out and treat yourself to one - they are amazing! In the meantime, working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and process until slightly chunky and pureed.) Ladle soup into bowls. Place dollop of sour cream mixture atop soup.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Balsamic Chicken

I feel duty bound to share this recipe. It was amazingly good. I used chicken I canned a few months ago and fusilli pasta. It was perfect. Although, I think the recipe could support more veggies so next time I'll reduce the pasta a bit and maybe throw in some chopped up cauliflower or asparagus or something.

Balsamic Chicken with Fresh Cheese

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes

We're on a pancake kick around here lately. They're easy, filling, and lend themselves well to our whole foods rules.

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes
(adapted from here)

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk*
1 egg white
1 whole egg
1 T oil
1 T honey
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup lowfat or skim milk**

Dry Ingredients:
Very scant 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat from King Arthur)
2 T wheat germ
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine the oats and buttermilk. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to soften the oats. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

Add the remaining wet ingredients to the oats and milk. Stir in the dry ingredients. Drop by 1/4 cup-fulls on to a greased griddle. Flip when undersides are golden brown (the tops didn't really bubble much for me, so keep an eye on them). Enjoy!

*If you don't have buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar in a measuring cup then add enough milk to make one cup. Let sit for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of half milk and half plain yogurt.
**I ended up adding substantially more milk. 1/3 cup makes for really THICK pancakes that were having trouble cooking all the way through. I probably added another half cup.