Sunday, January 15, 2017

Chicken and White Bean Veggie Soup

This soup is comfort in a bowl. 
Just do it.

Chicken and White Bean Veggie Soup

1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 deli-roasted whole chicken, deboned/shredded
1 can small white beans, rinsed

1 Tbsp soup seasoning mix
1 Tbsp all-purpose seasoning, salt-free
1 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste

6 cups veggie broth

In a dutch oven saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent.

Add chicken, beans, and seasonings, then the broth. Give it a good stir and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for about an hour or so.

Loved this with slices of a sourdough baguette.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

DIY "Salad Dressing"

aka "Miracle Whip"
Always on the hunt for better quality food to offset processed, here is a great do it yourself copy-cat recipe for my favorite - Miracle Whip salad dressing. My version has a bit of an olive taste, since I used EVOO, but you can use canola or veggie oil for a more authentic taste without the high fructose corn syrup and excess perservatives. (This is a doubled recipe...cut in half for about a cup of dressing.)

DIY "Salad Dressing"

2 egg yokes
10 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar, if you prefer)
1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp lemon juice (squeezed or bottled)
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp all-purpose salt-free seasoning (such as Spike)
8 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp paprika

Put all ingredients except oil in blender or Vitamix - mix on low speed until thoroughly mixed. While blender is still on low speed, drizzle in oil. The mix will get quite thick...exactly what you want!

Place in lidded mason jar and store in fridge for 7 - 10 weeks.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Best Beef Stew...Ever!

Have you ever been interested in Le Creuset cookware? To be honest, I never have - mostly due to the price. However, on a bit of an impulse, and with the excuse of wanting a special pan for our soup-days, we splurged on a black model that was on the clearance rack at our local premium outlet mall. All I can say is that I should have been more interested a lot earlier!

I love, love, love this pan! No, is a fantastic pan. It is made in France, which is truly not the impressive part. It is heavy cast iron with a beautiful enamel inside and out. And, it is that magical combination that makes it great, requiring less heat than other pans. I have used it on the stove-top and in the oven with wonderful results, One of the first meals I prepared in it was a beef stew - I passed up the crock pot for this beauty, and it was easily the BEST beef stew I have ever tasted. The clean up is super-easy, too...just soak for 10-15 minutes and after a few swishes, it looks like new. I am completely amazed!

Now, for the recipe:

Best Beef Stew...Ever!

2 lbs eye of round beef roast, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 red pepper, diced
3 red potatoes, diced (I didn't peel them, but you can)
1 med sweet onion, small dice
2 cups fresh carrots, small dice
1 14 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
1 12 oz. bottle of Samuel Adams light ale (I chose Octoberfest)
2 tsp veggie bullion paste
5 T tomato paste
2 T all-purpose salt-free seasoning (like Spike)
1/2 tsp garlic herb seasoning (I used Perfect-Pinch)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Everything goes in a 4+ quart casserole and mixed together well.
Bake covered at 425* for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through cooking time

I served this alongside farro, but you could use egg noodles, any style pasta, or rice. Or is so very good you don't really need anything else. Definitely comfort food - ideal for winter storm watching.

More of this cookware is on my wishlist!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chuck's Breakfast Muffies want to make these. Why? Because they are fantastic for breakfast! And, the best part? They are wheat-free!

Chuck's Breakfast Muffies

Mix together in a bowl:

1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

Then mix in:

3/4 cup applesauce

Then mix in:

1-1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Then mix in:

3 cups oats quick oats
2 tsp baking soda

Let this mixture sit 20-30 minutes.

While you are waiting, preheat oven to 350*, place muffin/cupcake papers in muffin pan(s).

After the 30 minutes are up, fill muffin papers with 1/4 cup of the mixture/batter.

Top with your favorites: we like raisins and nuts. [You could also mix these into the batter, if desired.]

Bake for 30 minutes.

These muffins freeze well, and are delish warmed in the nuke a bit. :-)

Roasted Honey Mustard Chicken & Veggies

This was a wonderful fall meal, however, it tasted so good, it could be great anytime of year. Also, you can make this a vegetarian meal easily by omitting the chicken and perhaps adding a salad on the side.

Roasted Honey Mustard 
Chicken & Veggies

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 head of broccoli, broken into pieces
1 head of cauliflower, broken into pieces
baby carrots (optional)
6 smallish red potatoes
1/2 cup dijon or country dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp white vinegar
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425*

Parboil potatoes in boiling salt water until just tender, but not too soft. Remove from water and set aside to cool a bit.

To prepare chicken, slice chicken breasts 'across the grain' to make thinner chicken breast pieces. Heat a skillet with olive oil and the all-purpose seasoning of your choice; sear chicken pieces briefly on each side. [Chicken does not need to be cooked all the way through.] Remove from pan and set aside to cool a bit. When it is cool enough to handle, cut into smaller pieces.

In a 9x13 baking casserole or jellyroll pan, spread chicken pieces evenly. Add broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to the pan. Cut red potatoes into quarters, and add to pan, as well. Your pan should be pretty full!

In a separate bowl, stir together thoroughly mustard, honey, and vinegar. Drizzle over chicken and veggies. Sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired, or you can stir a bit into your mustard mix.

Place in oven for 20-25 minutes.