Friday, March 17, 2017

Pesto

This week we bought some red lentil pasta and we decided that since it is red we would eat it with pesto instead of red sauce.  Disappointingly, the red lentil pasta turned tan after cooking.  The pesto was great though! I wanted to use it with everything! We even planned to marinate chicken but the chicken spoiled.  This recipe makes 3 Cups of thick pesto but we still have a lot left because I watered it down for pasta sauce and a little goes a long way. It's even good as a dip!

Pesto is super simple to make and a great way to eat your greens! Not a big hit with our toddler but what else is new?

Ingredients
1/4 C basil
1 bunch spinach, washed, stems removed
1 bunch green kale, washed, stems removed and blanched 30 seconds
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 C raw cashews
2T olive oil or water
Salt

Directions
1. Put everything in a food processor and blend it. Add more oil or water to get the desired consistency.
2. Refrigerate until ready to eat

To use as pasta sauce: heat desired amount in a small pot over medium heat and add pasta water or regular water to make into sauce, stir

To use as a marinade: mix with a little oil and rub all over chicken. Put chicken in a ziplock in the fridge until ready to cook.

To use in eggs: add pesto to scrambled eggs just as you stir it into the pan. Green Eggs and Ham!

Let me know how else you use your pesto!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shepard'a Pie

Sometimes it's hard to decide what to do with ground beef. Today was one of those days so I made Shepard' pie. The toddler didn't eat it for unknown reasons but the rest of the family loved it. This recipe is so customizable to your tastes and what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. I was proud to have all the ingredients at home!!

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef or turkey
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 T butter
Milk or broth up to 1 cup
Salt & pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C carrots, chopped
1/3 c frozen peas
1/3 c frozen corn
1/2 c broth
1 T worstescheir sauce
2 t olive oil

Directions
1. Boil water in a medium pot, add potatoes and cook simmering until soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and return to pot.
2. Mash the potatoes with a masher or immersion blender. Add butter and then milk in 1/4 c increments until desired texture. Season with sale and pepper. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and carrots and cook until onion is soft. Add beef, garlic and cook until meat is browned. Add broth and worstecheir. Cook 5 minutes on medium.
4. Add peas and corn and cook 5 more minutes. Liberally season with salt and pepper
5. Preheat oven to 400
6. In a 2 qt oven proof container or an 8x8 dish, add meat mix and layer potato on top.
7. Cook 30 minutes until potatoes are browned.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Zuppa Toscano

It was cold and rainy today and I thought it was the perfect day for soup! This recipe comes together quickly relying on the flavors of the sausage to make the soup. Maybe a bit too much spice for kids - we served ours a mild sausage instead.

Adapted from the kitchn where the measurements seemed off

Ingredients 
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
1lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1t olive oil
1 lb russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4" half moons
1 bunch curly kale, ripped into bite sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves Garlic, crushed
Salt
Pepper 
1/2 C heavy cream

Directions
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium then add sausage and brown. Break up large chunks.
2. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. 
3. Add chicken broth, potatoes and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20min until potatoes start to fall apart
4. Add kale and cream and cook until kale is bright green and wilted
5. Serve warm with warm bread

Friday, January 13, 2017

Chicken Tortilla Soup (No Beans)

There is a Mexican restaurant by us and it has delicious Chicken tortilla spup.  I looked for recipes like it but all the recipes have beans and no potatoes. This recipe has the right flavor profile but also no potatoes. It is delicious!  Very quick to make and can be adapted for the slow cooker! Plus it is a one-pot meal!

Ingredients
1lb chicken breasts or thighs, cut into small chunks
32ox chicken broth
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb carrots cut into rounds
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1 jalepeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2T tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder
Salt
Olive oil
1/2 bunch cilantro

For Serving:
Lime wedges
Shredded cheese
Tortilla chips
Avocado
Cilantro


Directions
1. In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil and then sauté pepper, onion, carrot and garlic until onion is soft.
2. Add spices and stir on the bottom of the pot vigorously for 30 seconds
3. Add all other ingredients except cilantro
4. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for at least 20min or until chicken pieces are cooked through but longer is fine
5. Add cilantro just before serving
6. Top with desired toppings



Spaghetti & Quick Meat Sauce

We used part of a can of crushed tomatoes for pizza sauce and then scrambled around to find other recipes for the rest of the can. I decided on spaghetti and meat sauce. I even had ground beef in the freezer! (We never use what we have in the freezer).  This meat sauce is really quick to come together and pretty tasty too.  You can make this in that 20 minute period where you realize you have nothing for dinner while the pasta is boiling!

Ingredients
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 carrots, shredded (I shredded mine on a cheese grater because I didn't want big chunks of carrots in the sauce)
1 onion, chopped
2T olive oil
3/4lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt
pepper

1 box long pasta of your choice
parmesan cheese for serving

1. Prepare pasta according to instructions
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add garlic, onion and carrots and cook until soft
4. Add beef and brown breaking up with a spoon
5. Add salt, pepper and tomatoes
6. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer at least 10 minutes or until ready to serve
7. Serve sauce on pasta with parmesan on top

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cross Rib Roast

This Christmas season, I came across a cut of beef called cross rib roast. It was on sale and very red in color so I bought one. Amazing! It cut like butter and could almost be compared to the very expensive Beef Tenderloin in texture and flavor. The next day, I went to the store and bought another. Then we sliced the leftovers thinly for French dip sandwiches. Now I have made this roast four time and will keep it up as long as I find it in the store!

Ingredients
Celery salt
Garlic powder
Salt
Pepper
One onion, sliced in thick rounds*
Cross rib roast

Directions
Preheat oven to 450
1. Season roast all over with celery salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Place roast on top of onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet
3. Insert oven-safe thermometer if you have one and set to 125
4. Roast 15 min then reduce heat to 350 and roast until internal temperature reaches 125.  A two pound roast takes about 1 1/2 hours.
5. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before slicing

*I use an onion to mimic a roasting pan to hold the meat up from the tray. You could instead use a roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet with built in tray. The onions are pretty good after though..

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pork Roast with Pears and Shallots

I saw a recipe for pork chops with pears the other day and knew I had to try it - but I had just had pork chops the week before! So I decided to revise the recipe with similar flavors for a pork roast.  I thought this dish was delicious and warming and pretty filling. Joey thought the savory twist to pears was a bit strange but we still both had seconds. The pork was just perfect, juicy and flavorful and the pears were a fun twist on the usual apples. I also didn't add cinnamon or anything so it was all the natural savory flavors.

This was so quick and easy! I recommend it for your family!

Ingredients:
1 2 1/2lb center cut pork loin roast
1 T vegetable oil
3 shallots, quartered
1 C apple cider or juice
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
3 T chopped sage
3 pears (quartered but not until right before you add them)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a dutch oven or pot with higher sides, heat vegetable oil.  Salt & Pepper pork roast all over.
3. Brown pork roast on all sides 2-3 minutes each
4. Add cider, garlic, sage and shallots. Nest the shallots around the pork in the liquid and put some of the flavors on top of the roast
5. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the pork roast if you have one
6. Roast the pork for 20 minutes
7. Quarter and core the pears and add nested around the pork. Flip over the roast or baste with the juices.
8. Roast another 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 145 degrees internally. Let the pork rest 5 minutes before slicing thinly
9. Serve pork with juices and pears