Friday, December 26, 2014

Chicken Bacon Onion Pepper Goodness

Cooking is like science. You can't be afraid to try to do something that no one has ever done before and you shouldn't necessarily let yourself be constrained by dogma. My favorite way to cook is to take flavors I like and try to find ways to make them go together. Here's one that has become a hit with my kids.

2 chicken breasts
6 slabs of cooked bacon
1/2 an onion
1 Red Bell pepper
Pickled Jalapeno or cherry peppers (as many or as few as you like)
2 Clementines
1/2 cup orange ginger marinade
Cooked macaroni (as much as feeds your family)

Dice raw chicken breasts into 1" cubes, add to hot pan, season liberally with McCormick's Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning, cook until there is no pink in the middle.
While chicken is cooking, slice half an onion and dice a Red Bell pepper.
Get macaroni cooking (10 minutes = al dente).
Once chicken is done, add onion slices and Red Bell pepper to the pan.
Add the juice of both clementines to the pan, stir, and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup jalapeno or cherry pepper pickling juice to the pan. If you don't like it hot, add less or forgo this step altogether (you'll be missing out if you do).
Add diced jalapenos to taste
Cut cooked bacon into 1/2" pieces and add to mixture last (to avoid over cooking the bacon and making it too soggy).
Drain macaroni, add orange ginger marinade and mix to coat.
Finally, add chicken/veggie mixture to macaroni and stir together.
You may find that you want more sweet (add more marinade) or more salt (add more bacon).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Curry Pork with Apple

I tried this for Easter dinner with the missionaries.  I told them that if they didn't like it they should just tell me that they did anyway. 
The original recipe comes from the Mayo Clinic's dietician website but I changed it a bit.  For example the original calls for pork tenderloin but pork chops were on sale so I used them instead.

6 chops
Enough curry powder to coat the chops (about 3 tbls)
2 medium yellow onions (diced)
2 tart apples
4 cups apple cider
2 TBLS corn starch
3 TBLS extra virgin olive oil

Coat the chops with curry and rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Add 2 TBLS olive oil to a pan over medium high heat and cook the chops for about 10 minutes, turning once.
Remove chops from pan and let rest.
Add 1 TBLS olive oil to a pan over medium high heat and saute onions until transluscent.
Add 3 cups of apple cider to the pan with the sauted onions and bring to a simmer.  Allow cider to reduce by about half.
Skin and dice apples while cider is reducing.
Add apples and remaining cider, bring back up to a simmer.
Add corn starch to thicken.  Once the sauce is thickened a bit, add the pork chops back in for 5 minutes and serve.

I love the bite of the curry and the sweetness of the apples together.  The one thing I would probably do next time is to add some salt.  Also, using a tenderloin instead of a chop would probably be an improvement.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Light Lemon Spaghetti with Spinach

Light Lemon Spaghetti with Spinach

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 6-9 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon or so)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse briefly with cool water and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are boiling, in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, careful not to let the garlic burn.
  3. Toss in the chopped spinach and pour in the chicken broth. Simmer the mixture 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Toss in the cooked noodles, using tongs or two forks to lift the noodles up and over to distribute the spinach mixture.
  4. Add the lemon zest and juice. Toss the noodle mixture and heat through, 1-2 more minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

1 loaf French Bread
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Tear French bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly place in the pan.  IN a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour evenly over bread.  Cover pan with saran wrap and store in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight (I've never done this part and it still tastes fantastic)

Streussel topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into pieces

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture using a fork or your hands.  Combine until the mixture resembles sand with a few pea sized chunks.  Cover and store mixture in the refrigerator.  When ready to back the French toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove French toast from refrigerator and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top.  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the French toast is set and golden brown.  Serve warm with syrup, if desired.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Healthy Avocado Chicken Salad

I made this tonight for my lunch tomorrow and it is really tasty!  
original recipe came from here

Serves: 4-6
2 cups shredded chicken
1 avocado
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp fresh cilantro
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes to let all those yummy flavors blend together.

Serve on your favorite bread, crackers, pita pocket or on a bed of lettuce.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

There is nothing fancy about this recipe.  The recipe calls for canned chicken and canned carrots.  I made the recipe as it is written because I was in a hurry.  We really enjoyed it, Eli especially.  But I think next time I make it if I've got time I'll use fresh carrots and cook up some chicken breasts.  
 Recipe from: Wellfee Family Blog
Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup (in less than 30 minutes!)

1/2 of medium onion, chopped
1 bag of egg noodles (you can use either medium or wide)
2 cans of cooked chunk chicken breast (you don't have to use canned chicken here)

1 can of sliced carrots, strained
Chicken Bouillon cubes
Parsley Flakes

Easy steps to homestyle, tasty goodness:
1) In a large soup pot, saute onion in olive oil until translucent.
2) Fill pot 2/3 full with hot water and add bouillon cubes (I usually use 3 or 4)- you could also use canned chicken broth.
3) Bring to a rolling boil and add bag of egg noodles.
4) Boil until noodles are tender (approx. 12-15 minutes), and stir occasionally.
5) Add carrots and chicken and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 more minutes. (I usually do a quick taste test here and add more seasoning if it needs it.)
6) Sprinkle parsley flakes on top and serve!!!

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Southwestern Black Bean Salad (originally found here)
  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 9 oz frozen (or canned) corn, thawed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red or white onion, diced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Mexican chili powder, a few pinches

Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix with lime juice and olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Add avocado before serving.