Thursday, January 26, 2012

Curry Chickpea Stew and Coconut Rice

This is directly inspired from one of our favorite restaurants in the Atlanta area: Brick Store Pub in Decatur. I couldn't believe one of us was actually brave enough to order a veggie based meal, but it turned out to be a total winner. Hearty enough to satisfy even on the coldest of nights. Serve with coconut rice.

1 pkg dried chick peas, soaked for 12 hours
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flake
3/4 C. chopped carrots
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2" chunks
3 cloves chopped garlic
3/4 coconut milk
1/2 C. almond butter (or peanut butter)

1. Add pre-soaked chick peas, chicken broth, curry powder, red pepper, and garlic to crock pot. Set on low for 10-12 hours.
2. With 4-5 hours left to cook, add carrots and sweet potatoes.
3. When all chick peas and veggies are tender, add almond butter and coconut milk, and let simmer/meld for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Seriously - this is not my typical meal, but its worth a try. Also, I should mention that it is really easy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lasagna and Brownies

Tonight we took the opportunity to remember a special friend of ours by eating his favorite meal in his honor. Nothing about this meal is super creative, but it is meaningful to me, and delicious! I had every intention of making my own pasta for the lasagna, but time did not permit, so I used flat sheets of dry pasta.

What are some of your sentimental recipes?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Okay, this isn't super innovative, but we've really gotten in the habit of trying to eat a little healthier on the weekends. One of our current favorites is this homemade maple & brown sugar oatmeal.

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1.5 cup old fashion oats

  • 2.5 cups boiling water

  • 1/4 cup lowfat milk

  • 1/4 c sugar free maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans

  • Instructions:
    1. Bring water and salt to a boil, then add oats.
    2. Cook per manufacturer's instructions.
    3. Remove from heat. Add butter, milk, sugar, and syrup and stir. Let sit 5 minutes to cool before serving. Top with pecans. Enjoy!

    This served both us us with a little left over. Yum!

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Turkey Lettuce Wraps

    Per my husband's request, I am trying to find some tasty ways to eat dinner without breaking the caloric bank. Today's experiment involved ground turkey, which I am ashamed to say I had never used until about 2 hours ago. However, this turned out to be successful and easy. The only downside is that I don't always have these ingredients at hand, so I really do have to plan ahead when I want to make this next time. This recipe fed the two of us, with plenty of leftovers, so adjust accordingly.

    1 lb ground turkey
    2-3 cloves minced garlic
    1 Tbsp ground ginger root
    2 tsp. Sriracha (or more if you're not a chicken like me)
    1/4 c. Hoisin sauce
    2-3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (adjust for your preference)
    1/4 c. sliced almonds (or chopped peanuts)
    2 Tbsp. sesame oil
    6-8 leaves of Bibb lettuce (allow 3-4 per person)
    sesame seeds for garnish

    1. Preheat oil in pan on medium high heat. Brown turkey in skillet, taking care to break it up as small as possible. Add garlic and ginger, then toss to combine.
    2. Once browned, add sriracha, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce, and lower the heat to medium low. Toss mixture until thoroughly combined. Add almonds and toss. Remove from heat. (Note: if you like your mixture a little more "saucy," just add more hoisin and soy sauce.)
    3. Pluck/harvest lettuce leaves from bundle, and remove as much of the watery stem as you like. After turkey mixture has cooled for 5 or so minutes, scoop a large spoonful into the lettuce leaves and enjoy.
    Note: I think next time I make this, I am going to add carrots and squash, and use peanuts instead of almonds. I feel like this is an easily adaptable recipe for whatever you have laying around.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    French Dip Sammich

    We had company coming over this afternoon to watch the Falcons playoff game, so we were looking for something quick and easy to make for lunch. This was a real crowd pleaser, amonst a group that likes messy sandwiches. Offset with a salad, it was a meal that didn't make us feel too guilty afterwards. It's really easy to make, and I kind of cheated, but it was worth it. I'll leave the meat cooking part of this for a later date when I have a kitchen outfitted with a meat slicer.

    1 lb. good quality roast beef, sliced thin to your preference (I used Boar's Head brand that I got from the grocery store)
    3 cups beef broth (or just a box that you can find in the grocery store)
    1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp butter
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
    1 tsp granulated garlic'
    2 tsp corn starch + 1/4 c beef broth, mixed well
    1 loaf french bread (or your preference)
    4 slices of provolone cheese

    1. Preheat oven to 350, cut loaf of bread in half and put cut sides up on a baking sheet. Preheat skillet over medium low heat with butter and olive oil. Add sliced onions and salt. Cook until onions are translucent and soft - about 12 minutes.
    2. Add beef broth, with the exception of that mixed with the cornstarch. Add pepper and granulated garlic. Simmer on medium low for 15-20 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture, bring back to simmer and stir until sauce thickens just a little. During this time, put bread in the oven for 5 minutes to toast slightly before serving.
    3. Remove skillet from heat. Piece loaf of bread back together, and slice into serving sizes. (My loaf served 4.) Place the desired amount of beef into the skillet to warm beef. With tongs, remove serving sizes of beef from the skillet, let drip a bit, and add to bread. Add a slice of cheese on each sandwich.
    4. After all sandwiches have been assembled, pour remaining sauce in skillet into individual serving size ramekins or bowls. Dip sandwich into sauce and enjoy!
    Again, this amount served 4, so adjust amount of ingredients accordingly for your party size. This reheats pretty well, too! I recommend serving with side salad above, and large amounts of napkins.

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Chicken Cutlets & Spinach

    To accompany my black eyed peas and cornbread for New Year's Day, I made some sauteed chicken and spinach to round out the meal. It was pretty good, even for spinach. :)

    4 chicken cutlets
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp granulated garlic
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 lb baby spinach
    1 clove minced garlic
    1/4 c white wine
    1/2 c chicken stock
    2 tsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp chicken stock (mixture)

    1. Preheat pan on medium heat with olive oil. Season chicken cutlets on both sides with the salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Cook chicken 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. (Will depend on thickness of cutlets.)
    2. Add minced garlic to pan, and cook for 30-45 seconds. Add white wine, and chicken stock, and bring back to a simmer. Add spinach and cover for 3-4 minutes, or until wilted. Remove spinach from pan and plate with chicken.
    3. Add corn starch mixture to pan and bring to simmer, stirring until thickened. Drizzle over chicken and spinach and enjoy!
    This is certainly not my most creative dinner, but it was delicious and it did make the spinach edible.

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    The Best Cornbread

    Nothing goes better with cold weather food than cornbread. I am a fan of all variations of cornbread, but today's batch was just plain - to accompany my "not gross" black eyed peas, chicken, and spinach. If you cook it just right, it's moist like a savory cake. I am planning to experiment with adding different things to this basic recipe. So yum!

    1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
    3/4 c. cornmeal (I use white, but you can use yellow, or any other)
    1/4 c. sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 c. lowfat milk (I used 2%)
    1/4 c. vegetable oil
    1 egg, beaten
    1/2 c. frozen corn kernals (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9" square pan.
    2. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil, and egg until moistened. Stir in frozen corn kernals.
    3. Pour into pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
    Note: this recipe makes (8) servings of the size I'm showing. You can probably squeeze (9) out of the pan if you cut it carefully. :)

    New Year's Black Eyed Peas

    Let me start by saying I am generally NOT a fan of black eyed peas. My parents have made them all of my life and I have all but flat out refused to eat them until today. It's time I put on my big girl bib and try them out. After the clock struck 12 last night, I threw all of this in the crock pot, and it was ready by lunch time today. Surprisingly, they were not terrible. Who knew? I'm liking the world of dried beans/peas so far. Next up to try is curried chick peas with stewed tomatoes and butternut squash. I'll let you know how that goes. Hopefully I can make those photos look less gross than these. :)

    1 pkg dried black eyed peas
    2 tsp salt
    1 box (or 2.5 cans) of chicken broth, low sodium
    4 pieces of bacon, sliced
    1 vidalia onion, chopped
    2 cloves minced garlic

    1. Bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Pour in dried peas, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain peas.
    2. Add bacon, salt, onion, garlic, and peas to crock pot. Cover with chicken broth.
    3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until peas are tender.
    As a note, these were pretty good with some hot sauce as well. Enjoy!