Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ginger Citrus Roast Chicken

What can I say about this refreshing roasted chicken dish?? I love it so so so so much. So super juicy, light and flavorful and easy and inexpensive to make. I can't remember where I acquired it. But here you go.

(Ingredient picture MIA. Weird.)

What you need:

5 T. oil or butter, melted
3 lemons or 4 limes
2 oranges
3 T. grated fresh ginger
salt and pepper
1 whole chicken (about 4-5 pounds)

How you make it:

Preheat oven to 425 F. Grate the zest of 1 orange and lemon and then quarter them. Pat the chicken dry and place in roasting pan. Mix 1 T. grated ginger with the citrus zest. Rub the mixture in the chicken cavity with some added salt and pepper if wanted. (Remember to pull out the weird chicken parts they throw in the cavity. Ew, I hate those.)  Add the quartered lemon and orange inside.
Juice the remaining lemons and orange and add to the remaining 2 T. ginger and also the oil/butter. Brush the mixture over the chicken.
Cook in oven for 15 min., breast side up.
Baste the chicken and reduce heat to 375 F and continue cooking for 30 min.
Turn the chicken over on its breast and baste again and cook for another 30 min.
Verify that's it's done by checking for the juices to run clear when you cut into the thickest part of the breast. Or with a meat thermometer that it's reached 170 F.
Remove from oven and let the chicken rest for 15 min.

Great over a bed of spinach!! With some sort of potato dish on the side. :) There you have it. It's my go-to whole chicken recipe. Bam. Delicious.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy As Anything Homemade BBQ

Whoa. I'll be updating this pic the next time I make it. It's so dark down there in the crockpot, I guess. I hope this isn't too unappetizing!

Now this is a recipe for BBQ meat and the sauce. We've used it for pork or beef in the crockpot. I personally like pork a little better, but it's so so so yummy either way. You have to plan ahead a little bit as you'll see if you read on. But it's so low-maintenance once you get it going, it's worth planning ahead for. Oh, how I hate that I ended that sentence in a preposition! But I'm leaving it since that's how I would have said it, if I were talking.

The meat's in the crockpot already here and the onion is chopped. I forgot to take a pic the night before.

What you need:

These amounts make a a lot. You could use a 2.5 pound piece of meat and half the sauce recipe. But I'd just make the whole amount of sauce and freeze half for another time, if it were me.

5 pounds of pork or beef roast (I used some pork "Country-Style Ribs" 'cause it was on sale, so just had to pull out some bones after it cooked and before the sauce.)

1 C. chopped onion

1/3 C. oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 C. sugar

3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 C. ketchup

1 C. water

1/2 C. lemon juice

2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

1 tsp. liquid smoke

How you make it:

The night before, cut roast into halves or quarters to fit it all in a crock pot. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce to low and continue cooking throughout the night.

In the morning, remove meat from pot and discard juices. Remove unwanted fat (and bones if using country style ribs, like I did).
Break meat into somewhat smaller chunks, but DO NOT SHRED.
Return meat to crock pot and pour in about 3 C. of barbeque sauce. (*See below for sauce making instructions)
Cover with lid and cook on low for the rest of the day.

Before serving, add remaining barbeque sauce, if meat is too dry. Stir thoroughly.

To make the sauce: (makes about 4.5 C.)
Sauté onions in the oil until golden. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
For a thicker sauce, reduce or omit the water.

Everyone has different ways they like to eat this sort of thing. On a bun, for a sandwich, or just as a main dish with sides. We had it as a main dish with roasted potatoes and a veggie I can't remember. Probably green beans or peas or a salad. Oh wait, maybe it was broccoli. Three kids have killed all my brain power. Oh well, I'm not sure what it was! Clearly, I was focused on the yummy BBQ meat and not the sides.
This is so great for a busy fall day when there's not time in the evening to be in the kitchen cooking. That, I like.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Whole Enchilada (Chicken Enchiladas)

Massive tragedy, indeed.

The second time. Stayed in tact, thank goodness!

If you wanna know where the phrase "the whole enchilada" originated, I *think* it was from this incident in my kitchen just the other night. No? Well, it seemed appropriate, anyway. Important note: when deciding between the life of your 18-month-old toddler and the pan of lovingly prepared cheesy, chicken-y heaven, you must sacrifice the pan. It's that simple. (translation: the little one was fastly approaching in his zombie-like toddler walk/run toward the open, hot oven as I was pulling out the pan. As I looked over, juggling the pan in one hand, trying to close the oven with the other and shooting my leg up in the air towards him as a blocking device, down the pan went. And so it goes.) I thought it was still worth blogging, since I know I'm not the only one who's been there. Having put effort into something that just gets instantly destroyed before you get to reap the rewards. That devestation can apply to more than just dinner-making, though. All sorts of life events can seem like that. But I digress....

Anyway, wanna make it?? Here's how. (It really is delicious. After I got over the heartbreak from this attempt, we had a re-do about a week later. So we eventually got to partake.)

This pic shows plain greek yogurt and milk in place of the half and half or evaporated milk.

What you need:

2 T. onion, chopped
1/4 C. butter or olive oil
2 fresh tomatoes, diced (I cheated and used a can, drained.)
2 C. chicken, cooked, diced
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles (I omitted, since Mr. Wonderful doesn't like them. Oh, how accomodating, I am.)
1 pint half and half (can use canned evaporated milk instead, which I did on the re-do)
4 tsp. chicken bouillon (I used Organic Better Than Bouillon)
1 lb. shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, whatever kind you like.)

How you make it:

Dissolve bouillon in half and half for about 30 min.

Sauté onion and tomato in butter or oil, until tender. Mix in chicken and salt and pepper to taste. (I tend to think everything is too salty, so I only add pepper here. Depending on what chicken and bouillon you're using, it might be enough salt as is, but it's subjective.)

Soften tortillas by placing a stack of six or so on a med/hot skillet. Press down on the stack till the bottom one is warm and pliable. You don't want them to break and crack open when you fill and roll them. I just take the bottom one each time to fill. Then I start another stack of six and so on.
Put 2 T. of chicken mixture in center of tortillas and roll. Put rolled tortillas in greased 9 X 13 pan.

Sprinkle green chiles (optional) and cheese over the top. Pour cream mixture over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min. or until top is golden and bubbly.

You might think it's weird that there's no traditional enchilada sauce in this. I don't know what to tell ya. It's just how I grew up with it. I suppose if you must have it, you could use less cream and add in some canned enchilada sauce.

We had this with a green salad, peas and sliced watermelon and cantelope on the side. Of course, this was the re-do night. On "the whole enchilada"-on-the-floor-night....I got mad and pouted. I think the kids and hubby fended for themselves with hot dogs or something. I, actually, (at the insistence of Mr. Wonderful) went out to a Mexican restaurant when the tots were in bed and ordered enchiladas and fresh chips and salsa! And ate it all by myself!! If that's what it takes to get a quiet meal all to myself, I might throw the pan on the floor more often!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Grocery List for Last Week's Menu

YAY!! For a new menu, FINALLY!!! I have to say, I really liked this variety for the week. Nice mix of things. Nothing too similar or repetitive. Happy shopping!

Shopping List for Menu:

1-2 links (or up to half a pound if bulk sausage) Italian sausage
1 C. diced cooked chicken
3 eggs
1.5 pounds of steak
1 pound tail-on peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/2-1 pound ground beef
ricotta cheese
shredded parmesan cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
3 onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2 cups frozen broccoli florets, or fresh broccoli
green pepper
Chinese (napa) cabbage
red bell pepper
sugar snap peas
broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach (Or any veggie combo you want for the lasagna)
20-ounce can of pineapple slices (or fresh pineapple)
1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
jar of pasta/marinara sauce
8 oz. uncooked fettuccine
uncooked rice sticks (aka, Asian rice noodles)
box of lasagna noodles or any other noodles you like
dried basil
dried oregano
soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free)
3 - 3.5 C. chicken broth
1 (8 oz.) bottle of clam juice
brown sugar
chili garlic sauce or crushed red pepper
fresh cilantro leaves

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hawaiian Teriyaki Beef Kebabs

A few weeks ago, our oldest son was begging to make this, as it came from his very own kids' cookbook by Paula Deen. But I'm confused about how a Paula Deen recipe could be lacking a stick of butter.

What you need:

1.5 pounds of steak
3/4 C. soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free, so that's what I use.)
1 tsp. of minced ginger (Mr. Wonderful is sensitive to ginger, so he mentioned he would have liked it with half that amount.)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (that's about 1 clove)
1.5 tsp. brown sugar
20-ounce can of pineapple slices (or fresh pineapple is my preference, but we had a can handy.)
1/2 C. water

How you make it:

Cut steak into 1/4 inch strips, cutting away fat and gristle.

Mix together the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and 1/2 C. water. Put it in a plastic bag along with the steak. Refrigerate overnight.

Soak the skewers in a pan of water about 30 min prior to grilling.

Thread the meat on the skewers and grill along with the pineapple on high or broil in the oven . Turn the meat and pineapple about halfway through cooking, about 5 minutes each side. (The pineapple might take longer, so you can start them 5 or 10 min before the meat.)

This was delicious over brown rice served with a salad! Way to go, Paula Deen. No butter. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Technical Difficulties

UPDATE!! SO sorry for the complete neglect since the spring of this awesome blog! ;) I hope readers have been able to use the existing recipes to manage their own dinner menus in their home. I got up and running for weekly menus when school started and my hard drive crashed. I'm still working on it. Until then, I can't really blog without pictures. And my laptop has my pics. I'll see about getting new pictures, but until then, please enjoy the existing recipes. I think there's still lots to choose from and not get bored or in a rut. Stay tuned! I WILL get this sorted out and we'll be cooking together soon!
Tonight is a repeat, if you care to revisit it or need an idea:

Yours Truly,
The Mom Who Doesn't Love to Cook But Does it Anyway (Marissa)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grocery List for Last Week's Menu

Shopping List for Menu:

(Yes, we have these almost every week!)

1 pound pork chops
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
7 ounces chorizo sausage
cooked ham, 1 C. diced
1-1.5 pounds mild italian sausage

garlic salt
curry powder
crushed red pepper flakes

dijon mustard
lemon juice
chicken broth, 7 cups
red wine vinegar

onion, 4
carrots, 2 large
sweet potatoes, 3 large
garlic, 4 cloves
potatoes, 2
diced tomatoes, 1-2 cans
zucchini, 3

sour cream
eggs, 5
cheddar cheese

bowtie or any short noodle (I use TJ's brown rice fusilli for GF.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup

Oh my, with the sour cream all swirled in, this was beyond yummy.
 Baseball season is upon us. Heaven help me. Which means, traditional dinner-time has gone out the window. After a nail-biting TWO HOUR game of little league bball (yes, that was indeed sarcasm) it's all about the crock pot. Once again, I turn to my favorite slow-cooker blog for help. And I found this recipe and had some chorizo sausage I needed to use.

What you need:

7 cups chicken broth
7 ounces chorizo sausage, sliced (pork, beef, turkey, veggie; your choice)
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped (or a handful of baby carrots)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 tablespoons sour cream (optional for serving)
salt (optional to taste)

How you make it:

Put the broth and chorizo in the crock pot. Add in the carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, curry powder and red pepper flakes. (If you're worried about spice/heat, omit the red pepper flakes and just have them at the table for those to add to their individual servings.) Also, don't worry about how you chop the veggies since it's all going to be blended in the end.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Use an immersible hand-held stick blender to blend completely. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

I kinda think some sliced avocado would be nice to add in with the sour cream for serving as well. I think I'll do that next time. Also, I didn't add salt to it before cooking because I wasn't sure how salty the sausage would already be. I felt it needed some salt in the end, so we just added what we needed to our servings.

Now, if we can just hold it together through the end of this month, baseball season will be over and we can move on with our lives...and back to normal dinner time together at the table.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Grocery List for Last Week's Menu

Shopping List for Menu:

1 beef roast, 2-4 pounds, depending # of people
cooked ham, enough for 1-2 C. diced
salmon fillets, 1-2 pounds
8-10 chicken legs
bacon, 2 slices, or bacon bits
uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, 1 ½ - 2 pounds

3½ cups dried green split peas
potatoes, 4
broccoli, 1-2 crowns
onion, 4
celery, 6-8
carrots, enough for 1 C.
lime, 1-2
lemon, 2
shallot, 1
garlic, 6 cloves, might as well get a whole bulb

fresh chives or 2 tsp. dried chives
marjoram, dried crushed
ginger root, large piece (or jarred crushed is fine)
bay leaves, 3
cayenne pepper

butter, 2 T.
soy sauce (La Choy or other wheat-free kind if avoiding gluten)
white vinegar
balsamic vinegar

red wine vinegar
Dijon mustard
olive oil
tomato sauce
flour (gluten-free flour used here)
beef bouillon, optional
maple syrup


Sunday Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

Confession: Didn't make it on a Sunday. I believe it was Thursday. It was cold and dreary, and it just felt like a comfort food kinda day. I love the perfectly seared edges and the fall-apart-goodness. It never turns out dry or bland. It may just be the kids' favorite too. And that's always a good thing. Zero complaining is refreshing, n'est pas?

What you need:

1 beef roast, this one was 2.5 pounds (top or bottom round, chuck, whatever)
1 small onion, peeled and sliced into rings
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 C. flour (gluten-free flour used here)
1 T. beef bouillon, optional

How you make it:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously salt and pepper roast. Heat 3 T. oil in roaster over medium high heat on a stovetop. Carefully add roast and brown on both sides (3-5 minutes each side). Remove from burner.

Arrange carrots and potatoes around roast. Lay onion rings over the top of the roast. Add enough water to almost cover the veggies. Cover with lid of roasting pan or with tin foil, tightly.

Roast in oven for 2-3 hours. I aim for at least 2.5 hours. (The longer cooking time will make it more tender. And know your oven. Oven temps are not always accurate. If your roast cooks too quickly or is overcooked, your oven may be too hot. Next time try lowering the temp setting by 25 degrees.)

Remove meat and veggies to heat-proof dish, cover with foil or lid and keep warm in 250 degree oven, while making gravy with the remaining juice.

GRAVY: In small bowl, whisk together 1 C. water and 1/4 C. flour. Pour into meat juice and whisk together, season with salt and pepper. The beef bouillon can be added to deepen the color and flavor of the gravy. (I don't always add that, as I like it more thin/clear, as pictured. So, I also maybe use only 1/8 C. flour instead of 1/4 C. But it's however you like it.) Cook quickly over medium high heat, until gravy bubbles and thickens.

Feel free to enjoy on a weekday, like I did too! Oh, it makes the house smell so yummy. And pot roast, as you can see, is totally not difficult or complicated at all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marinatin' Some Shrimp

Feeling like some shrimp? We were, so we ate some! It happened to be our last baby's 1st birthday, and he was only into the side dishes, which was great! More shrimp for the rest of us! (Aren't there some rules about how young you can serve shellfish to kids, anyway? I dunno, but either way, he didn't get any. Too bad. But he stuffed his face with carrot cake later. And the pictures for that are pretty much the cutest thing on the planet.) Wow, what a side-track.

Yes, I didn't notice till I got done marinating these that I had pulled out and used the frozen cooked shrimp instead of the frozen uncooked. So, it still worked. Basically just warmed them up on the broiler rather than actually cooking them. Still delish!

What you need:

1 ½ - 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ C. tomato sauce
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/3 C. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. basil, dried/crushed or 2 T. fresh chopped
½ - 1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

How you make it:

Wisk together all the ingredients except for the shrimp in a bowl. Add in the shrimp and stir to coat. Cover and marinate in frig for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Stirring once.
Thread shrimp onto skewers. Discard marinade. Grill or broil for 2-3 minutes per side. (Make sure you brush your grill plates or broiler pan before with a little oil so they don't stick.)

You can see in the picture, our side dishes this time, in case you were interested, were baked potatoes and tomato avocado salad.

Voila. Bon appetit! (For some reason, my 4 year-old has taken to busting out this french phrase right after the blessing on the food and before we eat. I think it has something to do with an episode of Blue's Clues.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Three B's: Broccoli with Bacon Balsamic Sauce

This picture doesn't capture the gloss of the dressing, therefore it looks kinda dry, but it really wasn't. I promise.

When you've got a moment while waiting for your dinner to finish cooking, this is a really nice extra addition to the regular old steamed broccoli side dish. And let's face it, most nights I DO NOT have an extra minute to whip up something fancy for the broccoli while waiting for dinner to cook. I'm most definitely gonna take those minutes to fold a load of laundry or give the baby a bath or yell at the two older kids to stop trying to kill each get the picture. Luck had it that the boys were busy terrorizing the neighbor kids on the other side of the fence outside and the baby was most-cooperatively napping. :)

What you need:

2 slices of bacon, diced (I cheated and used bacon bits)
1 small shallot, minced
1 ½ T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 T. olive oil
1 to 1 ¼ lb. steamed broccoli or any other vegetable

How you make it:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a dish lined with paper towels, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Add the shallot to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 T. of the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to dissolve the browned bits stuck to the pan bottom. Off the heat, stir in the remaining ½ T. vinegar, the lemon juice, and the mustard. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and some fresh ground pepper to taste.
Drizzle sauce over the steamed veggies and sprinkle with the cooked bacon bits.

Since I used already cooked bacon bits this time, I just heated up some oil in the pan, started sautéing the bacon bits and the shallots together, and went from there, adding the vinegar and so on, without removing the bacon. Hope that makes sense. Sometimes you gotta improvise. And you could most certainly make this sauce ahead of time and just reheat if needed.

This is a great vinaigrette sauce for any steamed vegetable. Potatoes, cauliflower, carrots...whatever. Of course, it's got bacon in it. As, Jim Gaffigan says, "Bacon is the fairy dust of the food world". And he would be 100% correct in that statement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Split Pea and Ham Soup (or Green Soup for the kids)

You gotta call it green soup for the kids. Somtimes I add meaningless extra adjectives to it too, like "Amazing green soup" or something like that, just for good measure. Those darn picky kids....anyway, I can understand why "split pea" doesn't exactly sound like something that makes them race to the table. But I love this soup so much. It's also great for gluten-free cooking, because there's no added thickeners to worry about. Peas are a natural starch. The ingredients are simple and easy. As is how you make it, however you do need to allow time for the peas to soak. Read on and I'll explain.

What you need:
3½ cups dried green split peas
1½ cups sliced onion
1 cup celery, chopped a bit
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1 cup diced carrots
1-2 cups diced ham

How you make it:

In large stock pot or Dutch oven, cover peas with 2 quarts cold water; bring to a boil and simmer gently 2 minutes; remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour.

Add onion, celery, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and marjoram.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer (don’t boil) 1½ hours.  Stir occasionally.  If water has evaporated, you may need to add more water as the soup continues to cook.

Let mixture cool a bit, then purée using a blender.  Be careful, it will be somewhat hot!

Return mixture to pot, add meat and carrots.  Cook slowly, covered, 30 minutes or so – until carrots are tender.

Serves 6-8.

Note: Since you're puréeing the whole thing in the end, you don't need to worry about chopping the celery and onion too uniformly or very small. Any sort of chunks will do.

Serve with bread and fruit salad, if desired.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Grocery List for Last Week's Menu

Shopping List for Menu:

1/2-1 pound tail-on peeled and deveined medium shrimp
Frozen hamburger patties, or fresh ground beef/sirloin
1 pound pork chops
1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 lb. ground beef

chicken broth, check ingredients for gluten-free
clam juice, 8 oz. bottle
lemon juice
dijon mustard
tomato sauce, 8 oz. can
chili garlic sauce or crushed red pepper
olive oil
canola oil

red bell pepper
yellow onion, 2
sugar snap peas
mushrooms, 1 package
tomatoes, 2 medium or 1 package grape or cherry tomatoes
avocado, 3
lemons, 1-2
spinach leaves

garlic salt
chili powder

Feta cheese

Hamburger buns
Taco shells
rice sticks (aka, Asian rice noodles)

Your crowd's fave taco toppings (cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, etc.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tomato Avocado Salad

Totally busted. Me. That's right. By the Mom Who Loves to Cook and Mr. Wonderful; both. The first, when she found out I had been totally short-cutting and just tossing this in store-bought italian dressing; and the latter, when I served this (the real way, as seen below) for dinner, and he couldn't believe how good it was and that I had been cheating by using lame-o italian dressing the other times. Now, all is well. I hope I have redeemed myself. And, I am sorry to all I may have offended in the family by not sticking to the best (and easy, so what was my problem??) recipe. Here you go. Make it, and be ready for your tastebuds to jump out of your mouth in jubilation.   

What you need:

2 large avocados
2 medium size, ripe tomatoes, diced or a large handful or two of grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1-2 T. fresh lemon juice
2-3 T. canola or olive oil
garlic salt
fresh ground pepper, (it really is better with fresh ground, but I'm saddened to say, I've never splurged and bought a basic pepper grinder. Wow, that is truly sad.)

How you make it:

Peel and slice or dice avocado. Dice tomato. Toss with lemon juice and oil. Sprinkle to taste with garlic salt and pepper. Generously with both.

The end.
And let the record show that I regret my past salad faux-pas and vow to stick to what's best.

*Make it a meal: I think this would make a tasty meal by adding in some cooked, chilled, diced chicken, and cooked, chilled pasta noodles like bow-tie or fusilli. Oh, also some jarred artichoke hearts. Oh yeah.
My mother, the aforementioned, Mom Who Loves to Cook, loves it just as is, with a whole grain baguette from Panera. I admit, the former eater-of-gluten in me agrees.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shrimp Noodle Soup (Spicy Shrimp Noodle Bowl, Cooking Light Magazine)

Brand new recipe here. Tried it for the first time tonight. And we were all in heaven! I can't believe how easy and quick it was. Even our oldest, who's only 8, had a second and third bowl of it. This is definitely going to be a new family favorite. It is considered spicy, but only as much as you use of the red chili flakes or chili sauce. Yes, it's another steal from Cooking Light magazine. They never disappoint. While it's not exactly the most inexpensive dish, (with the shrimp coming to about 8 bucks a pound, on sale) we all concurred that there was more than enough shrimp, and it could easily be made with ½ pound shrimp instead and still be plenty to go around. Of course, the gluten-free part of me loved that it wasn't a recipe specifically made to be GF, but was since it's made with traditional Asian rice noodles.
What you need: Don't be alarmed with all my little "notes" in italics. It really is fast and easy; I'm just wordy.

1 pound tail-on peeled and deveined medium shrimp (but like I said, could easily get away with half that.) It didn't specify raw or cooked. I went with the cooked.
1½ C. water
1 C. lower-sodium chicken broth, read labels for gluten-free
1 (8 oz.) bottle of clam juice ("CLAM JUICE??" you say? I admit, I'd never heard of, used, let alone PURCHASED such a thing. But apparently it is a must in these sort of dishes, and I am a believer now. This soup is amazing. I found the jar of this stuff in the aisle with the canned tuna. Up on a top shelf. It was cheap. $1.85)
2 (¼-inch-thick) slices of peeled ginger (ginger root is found in the produce aisle near the garlic, usually, I think.)
1 tsp. olive oil
¾ C. red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
¼ C. yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced (I used a press)
1/2 C. sugar snap peas (I couldn't find any bags of frozen sugar snap peas only; they seemed to only carry them in a "stir-fry" mix of them with carrots, onion, and mushrooms. I thought that sounded just wonderful for this soup, so I used that. It didn't disappoint to use those added veggies. YUM! So it was about a cup of total veggies.)
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (Warning! If you or those you are serving might be sensitive to heat/spice, I would HIGHLY recommend using half this amount. I used 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, and I admit, the broth still had quite a kick. I'm not sure I would have liked it as much with any more heat.)
¼ tsp. salt
3 ounces uncooked rice sticks (aka, Asian rice noodles, again, easy to find and cheap, found on the bottom shelf in the Asian food aisle.)
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, not pictured with ingredients, but we did use.

How you make it:

Remove shrimp tails; set shrimp aside. Combine shrimp tails, water, broth, clam juice, and ginger in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Strain broth mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. 

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, yellow onion, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add reserved broth; bring to a simmer. Add shrimp, peas, chili garlic sauce (or crushed red pepper), salt, and noodles; cook 5 minutes or until noodles are done. 

Top each serving with cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Served with a green salad. The recipe noted a cucumber/radish salad recipe to go with this, which sounded awesome. I couldn't find a link, but I'll put it below. I like radishes, but seem to never have them or think to buy them. Guess that should go in our new garden this year...

Cucumber Salad: 
Combine 4 tsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. dark sesame oil, ¼ tsp. black pepper, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Add 2 C. thinly sliced cucumber, ½ C. thinly sliced radishes, and 3 T. thinly sliced green onions; toss well to combine. 4 servings.

Grocery List for Last Week's Menu

1 new recipe and 3 repeats (we had a leftover night, a waffle night, and a date night for the other 3)

Shopping List for Menu:

eggs, 5-8

turkey or chicken legs (or any other pieces like thighs or breasts)
boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 2
cooked ham
3 bacon slices or bacon bits

potatoes, 6-12
green pepper
onion, 2
tomato (optional for fajitas)
green onions

poultry seasoning
chili powder
garlic salt
olive oil

low sodium chicken broth
3 T. flour (GF all-purpose or rice flour for gluten-free)

sour cream, reduced-fat
shredded cheddar cheese

tortillas, corn or flour. (corn of course, for gluten-free)
taco sauce and/or sour cream, (optional for fajitas)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loaded Potato Soup

Now that I look at this again, I'm thinking, this might be my best "food photography" attempt yet!
I was reminded of a potato soup recipe I had from Cooking Light magazine, that I wanted to try because it was olive oil-based instead of butter. I wasn't sure how you make a creamy soup without producing the traditional base of a butter and flour roux. But you can. It's easy. And lower cal. And deliciously satisfying. Kids loved it. Without the "weird green things" of course. I would never try and "torture" them with such flavor enhanced goodness...
This shows doubled ingredients. Recipe as written below serves 4. We needed extra.
What you need:
4 red or any kind of potatoes
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 C. onions, chopped
1 ¼ C. low sodium chicken broth
3 T. flour (GF all-purpose or rice flour for gluten-free)
2 C. milk*, divided (recipe calls for 1%, which I used)
1/4 C. sour cream, reduced-fat
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 bacon slices, halved (I had bacon bits that I used instead)
1/3 C. shredded cheddar cheese
4 tsp. green onions, sliced thinly
*you can use rice milk or unsweetened almond/coconut milk as well.

How you make it:

If you don't use leftover baked potatoes: Wash and scrub potatoes. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on high 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.

While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan or large stock pot over medium high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 C. milk. Add to pan with 1 ½ C. milk. Bring to boil, stirring often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt and pepper.

If you aren't using pre-cooked bacon bits: Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on high for 4 min. Crumble bacon. 

Discard potato skins. (I like some skins in the soup, so I kept half of them on.)
Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon. 
4 servings at about 1 ¼ C. each.

Served with a green salad. And some crusty french bread would be wonderful too. But this woman wasn't that ambitious to bake up some gluten-free bread of her own this time. Truth be told, the starchiness of the potatoes was enough for me. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grocery List for Last Week's Menu

There were only 3 new recipe posts this past week, so the menu has 2 repeats.

Shopping List for Menu:

1/4 pound ground beef per person, (or individual frozen hamburger patties, 1 per person)
3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
canned chicken breast, for salad, if don't want to cook fresh chicken.
1-2 links Italian sausage, casing removed (or up to half a pound bulk sausage)

broccoli, enough for 3 C.
onion, 2
potatoes, 4
green beans, enough for 2 C.
cauliflower, 1 bunch
romaine lettuce
grape tomatoes
mushrooms, 6-8
yellow bell pepper
green bell pepper
green onions

Garlic salt
Seasoned salt
Chili powder

Olive oil
soy sauce (again, La Choy brand is gluten-free)
lemon juice
canola oil
Lighthouse Organic Caesar dressing, or any dressing you prefer, homemade dressing recipe here

Aluminum foil

canned or frozen/fresh corn
diced tomatoes, 16 oz. can
tomato paste, 6 oz. can 
black beans
marinara sauce, optional for baked parm chicken

tortilla chips
seasoned bread crumbs, 1/3 C (For gluten-free, I just toasted two pieces of Trader Joe's Brown Rice bread, and pulsed to crumb in the food processor.)
8 oz. uncooked fettucine, or desired pasta. (Here used brown rice penne, for gluten-free)

eggs, 2
shredded mexican blend cheese
shredded parmesan cheese, 1/4 C
shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 C., optional for baked parm chicken