Thursday, September 09, 2010

Santa Fe Chicken

Here's a quick and easy dump recipe. This stuff is delicious either scooped out on chips or rolled up in a tortilla.

Santa Fe Chicken

1 bag frozen chicken breasts (2-3 lbs)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can corn (drained)
1 cup salsa (I don't recommend black bean and corn, well, because there's already black beans and corn!)

Dump everything in the crock pot. Crock it until the chicken all falls apart (all day on low or all afternoon on high). You can add 4 ounces of cream cheese for the last 1/2 hour or so if you want a creamier stuff!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Crock Pot Beef Stew in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Tonight, I made a dinner that, I have to admit, was absolutely fantastic.  I wish my stomach were bigger so I could hold more; that's how good it was.  Jamie loved it, too.  It was crock pot-ized beef stew.  The beef was so tender it practically melted in my mouth.  The vegetables had the perfect amount of "done-ness" and there was just enough spice to put a little bite in the taste, but not knock your taste buds off.  I used what ingredients I had on hand and just added what looked to be the right amount.  Sorry, no exact measurements in this recipe.  I tend to ignore measurements and judge amounts by sight.

1 lb. stew meat, cut up into cubes
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4-5 medium red potatoes, quartered
1/2 a small-sized bag of baby carrots
1 family-size can of cream of mushroom soup
Chicken broth (it's what I had; beef broth would have added a more beefy flavor)
Dried Fennel seed
Dried crushed Rosemary
Garlic powder (or cloves)
Onion powder
Black pepper
White wine (red wine would have added a more robust flavor, but I only had white)
Cooking spray or approx. 1 TBSP olive oil

In spray coated or oiled medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the stew meat.  Generously coat the meat in black pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary.  If you elect to use garlic cloves instead, you would add diced garlic cloves to the raw meat.  Stir in pan to coat well.  Keep stirring and tossing the meat until it is well browned.

Once meat is browned well, add about two cups of wine.  Stir and allow to simmer for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.  Add approximately 2 cups of broth.  Lower heat to medium-low, stir well.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Pour meat and any scrapings from the bottom of the pan into crock pot.

Dump onions, carrots and potatoes on top of meat.  Pour can of cream of mushroom soup over the top.  Add more broth or water to thin out the soup.  Dump in some fennel seeds - probably about the equivalent of 1 TBSP.  Add lid to crock pot and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.  After 5 hours have passed, use a dipper to pull out a few of the vegetables to check for doneness.  In my case, the food was about perfect after the whole seven hours had passed.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.  I have a feeling I'll be making this a lot this winter when the temperatures get chilly again!

*Note that there's no added salt in this recipe.  Between the wine, the broth and the cream of mushroom soup, I figured there was already more than enough sodium in this recipe.

**If you've an allergy to mushrooms, cream of celery soup would work, too.  It's hard to find a "family sized" can of cream of celery, so you may have to use two small cans, instead.  I imagine this would also taste good with chicken breasts and cream of chicken soup, as well.  I'll be doing lots of experimenting with slow cooker recipes as grad school continues, so I'll be sure to let you know!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Easy Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is easy and yummy. You can use canned or fresh veggies, whatever you happen to have. Here's how I made it.

1 lb. rotini garden twirls
1 whole green (or red, or yellow) bell pepper (you can use more if you like)
1/2 chopped vidalia or yellow onion
1 - 2 cans diced tomatoes, or fresh
1 bottle of the Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette sold at Sam's Club (don't remember the brand)
Grated parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook the pasta, drain and rinse with cold water. Add to large bowl with lid. Chop and dice bell pepper(s), tomatoes and onions, add to pasta. Pour in vidalia onion dressing and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Jamie and I loved this as a side dish. It also went over well at a church potluck dinner. If you want to stretch this to be a one-dish lunch, you can hard boil and dice some eggs to add to it or diced chicken breast or ham chunks. We had it both ways. This will be a regular dish during the hot summer months at my house!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Update on Yearly Menu and Giveaway!

Having my menus planned out is saving me a lot of grief (and money). True, I don't always follow exactly what the menu plan says; I often switch days around based on what I feel like eating. But knowing what I have available to fix and having a plan in mind for several different meals has been lifesaving. We eaten junk/fast food a lot less since I made my plan, and I've even lost a couple of pounds! Woot!

Also, just wanted to let you know you need to jump over to my blog because I'm hosting a giveaway of a 6 qt pre-seasoned, cast iron dutch oven. I can just imagine all the yummy things you can make in it. Go check it out now!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Carrot Fry

Carrot Fry*
by my mother-in-law

4 green chilis, halved
1/2 an onion, sliced (we use red)
7 curry leaves

Heat some oil and add these first three ingredients, and stir until the onion starts to brown a bit.

Add about 6 shredded carrots, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add a little dry, unsweetened coconut, stir it in and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes.

*It's called a "fry" becuase it doesn't have a sauce. If it has a sauce, it's called a "curry."