Wednesday, February 20, 2013

White & Green Chicken Chili

This is something that Jason loves, and I don't make it often enough for him. I didn't have quite enough of the chicken I made earlier this week leftover so I threw in a couple chicken breasts too. Throw them in whole (they can even be frozen) and shred the meat right before serving.  I even made homemade chicken stock!

White & Green Chicken Chili
Serves 4-6

2 lbs boneless chicken
2 green bell peppers, chopped
8oz diced green chilis
1 large onion, chopped
32oz chicken broth
3 cans Great Northern beans
16 oz frozen corn
1 1/4 tsp cumin
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt & pepper
Shredded cheese and tortilla chips for serving

1. Drain and rinse two cans of beans and add to crock pot. Drain and rinse the remaining can then place in a blender with 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Add puréed beans and remaining ingredients into the crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  Top with shredded cheese and/or crumbled tortilla chips, serve and enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Stock

One of the reasons I decided to make the whole chicken in the crock pot the other day was because Jason has been asking for White & Green Chicken Chili so I figured I could use any leftover chicken for that recipe.  I then had an 'a-ha' moment.....the Chili calls for chicken broth.....why not just make chicken broth out of the excess skin, liquid and bones from the whole chicken!?  Genius Sara, just genius!

Homemade Chicken Broth

Excess skin, bones and cooking liquid from one chicken
4 cups water
Any root veggies available (onions, celery, carrots)

1. Combine all ingredients into a crockpot. Allow to cook on low for at least 8 hours - I let mine cook overnight.
2. Using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, strain the broth into a large bowl. Bring the broth to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until a solid layer of fat is at the top.  Remove the fat and either use right away or store in the freezer. Easy peasy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Portabella Wellington

When I decided to make Beef Wellington for Jason for Christmas Eve dinner, I needed a vegetarian alternative for myself.  Portabella mushroom worked perfectly!  It was absolutely delicious.  Serve it with my Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce.

Portabella Wellington
Makes 4 Wellingtons

4 large portabella mushroom caps, stems removed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg
Kosher salt

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until almost smoking.  Generously season each mushroom cap with the salt and pepper.  Sear the mushrooms for about a minute on each side.  Set aside and allow to cool.

2.  Place the puff pastry on a floured surface and cut into 4 equal portions.  Spread 1 tsp of the Dijon over each mushroom.  Carefully wrap the pastry around the caps, making sure that they are  completely sealed.   In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a tbsp of water.  Brush the egg wash on top of the pastry and sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Place wellingtons on a parchment lined baking sheet.

3.  Bake Wellingtons for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Beef Wellington

Last year, Jason and I decided that we would spend every Christmas Eve at home and I would make a nice meal, something that we don't normally have.  This past Christmas I decided to try Beef Wellington.  I have always been afraid to try to make it - it has always intimidated me (have you ever seen Hell's Kitchen?  They mess it up every single season.  Every.Single.Time!), but I decided to give it a go and, surprisingly, it really isn't that difficult.  We decided to have a nice, romantic dinner at home for Valentine's Day this year and Jason requested this again.  I even make a vegetarian version for myself with a Portabella mushroom.  You'll definitely want to serve this with my Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce!

Beef Wellington
Makes 4 individual Wellingtons
4 6oz Filet Mignon
4 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 sheet puff pastry
4 slices prosciutto
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg
Kosher Salt

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until almost smoking.  Generously season each filet with the salt and pepper.  Sear the filets for about a minute on each side.  Set aside and allow to cool.

2.  Place the puff pastry on a floured surface and cut into 4 equal portions.  Once the filets have cooled spread 1 tsp of the Dijon over each filet.  Wrap one piece of prosciutto around each filet and place in the center of a puff pastry square.  Carefully wrap the pastry around the filet, making sure that it is completely sealed.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a tbsp of water.  Brush the egg wash on top of the pastry and sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Place wellingtons on a parchment lined baking sheet.

3.  Bake Wellingtons for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before eating.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Red Wine & Mushroom Sauce

I serve this when I make Beef or Portabella Wellingtons.  It has a great flavor....Jason isn't too keen on mushrooms but loves this sauce.  In fact, I have this sauce to thank for him starting to warm up to mushrooms more.  It has a great consistency - a little thicker than a sauce, but thinner than a gravy.  It also goes great over mashed potatoes!

Red Wine & Mushroom Sauce
Serves 4

8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup veggie stock
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup fresh parsley

1.  Heat oil and butter in a medium sauté pan. Add mushrooms and shallots and cook until mushrooms are soft and just beginning to brown. Add in wine and simmer for two minutes.  Add in the stock and simmer for about five minutes, until the sauce begins to reduce.
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water to make a slurry. Slowly add the slurry, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring back to a simmer and let the sauce cook for 5-10 more minutes until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley just before serving. Enjoy!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I wanted to make something for all of Redmond's little friends for Valentine's Day, something other than cookies or candy.  I bought a silicone heart-shaped muffin tin last year and really wanted to do something with that.  Two things that we always have in our house are bananas and chocolate chips.  So, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins it is!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes approximately 2 dozen muffins

1 tbsp milled flax seed
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 400 and either grease or line a muffin pan.  In a small bowl whisk together the milled flax seed and water and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and 1 tsp cinnamon.  In a large bowl whisk 3/4 cup brown sugar, oil, egg and reserved flax seed and water mixture.  Once combined whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.
2.  Whisk in half the flour mixture, half the buttermilk and repeat.  Once that is all incorporated, stir in mashed bananas and chocolate chips. 
3.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 way full.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to rid of any air bubbles.  Combine the flax seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp brown sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle some of the mixture on top of the muffins. 
4.  Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info: Cals: 142, Protein: 2g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 118mg, Carbs: 23g, Fat: 5g

Caprese Quinoa

While making our dinner menu for the week, Jason requested my Eggplant Parmesan Sticks.  We needed something to have with them and I decided I'd do something with quinoa for some protein.  We love my Caprese Pasta, so I decided to change it up just a bit and make it with quinoa!  This is the full recipe, but I cut it in half tonight.

Caprese Quinoa
Serves 6



1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1.  Heat oven to 425.  Cook quinoa as directed on the package. Combine the tomatoes, garlic cloves, dried basil, olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.  Place in a casserole dish and roast in the oven until the tomatoes begin to burst, about 20 minutes. 
2.  Remove the roasted garlic cloves from the peel and add into the quinoa.  Mix until the garlic has been evenly distributed.  Gently stir in the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.  Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Info:  Cals: 200, Protein: 8g, Fiber: 3g, Sodium: 66mg, Carbs: 24g, Fat: 8g

Monday, February 11, 2013

I love new kitchen gadgets.

Seriously, it's embarrassing how excited I get. Just got this pretty little thing over the weekend. Making Leek and Potato Chowder for dinner!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Red Curry Lentils

This was my first time making curry.  I've always steered clear of curries because they call for coconut milk.  I love coconut.  Jason, on the other hand, has no other food that he detests more.  So, I thought with him being gone for the evening I would give it a try.   This came together pretty quickly and was super easy.  And, best of all, doesn't taste at all like coconut so I'll be making it for Jason in the future.

Red Curry Lentils (original recipe here)
Serves 4

1 1/2 cup lentils, picked through and rinsed
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp red chili paste
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar
Cayenne pepper (optional)
16 oz no salt added tomato sauce
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
Rice for serving

1. Cook the lentils as directed on their package. Drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until the onion begins to soften. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add in the chili paste through cayenne pepper. Cook for another minute or two making sure the onion, garlic and ginger are evenly coated.

2. Stir in the tomato sauce and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add in the reserved lentils. Coat the lentils with the curry sauce and cover. Allow to simmer for at least five minutes, but can sit on a low simmer for up to 30 minutes. Serve over rice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!                                      

 Nutrition Info Per Serving:  Cal: 225, Protein: 12g, Fiber: 16g, Sodium: 235mg, Carbs: 44g, Fat: 6g