Category: Easily Adapts to Vegetarian


Tuesday night is girls’ wine club, and I always try to make something that everyone, even my grandsons, will like.  The local market had frozen plantains on a BOGO sale, so my menu inspiration started there!  The chicken was cooked in the crock pot all day.  When I got home,  I shredded the chicken, I put the rice in the rice cooker, and heated up the black beans.  It’s more appealing to the eye if you serve each component up separately, but with our gang, I put it all back in the crock pot on warm so it stays ready to eat until everyone is ready to eat.  I put the plantains in the oven late, after the other food was ready, so not the best planning I’ve ever done!

Chicken, yellow rice, black beans and plantains

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 pouch Frontera fajita sauce

6 c. cooked yellow rice

2 cans black beans

2 pouches frozen plantains

Olive oil to cook the plantains

Cook thighs in fajita sauce in crock pot on low 8-9 hours.

Cook rice in rice cooker and meanwhile heat up black beans in a saucepan.

Cut up or shred the chicken and add in the rice and beans, and keep warm in crock pot.

You can either make the plantains while the rice is cooking, or after you’ve put everything in the crock pot.  I bought frozen, like I said, that was on sale.

Toss frozen plantains with oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.   Bake at 400 F until plantains are golden and crispy.  It took 25 – 30 minutes.

Plantains

 

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Today is my oldest son, Austin’s 30th birthday.  We will be celebrating all day, starting with quiche and berries!

 

I made four different quiches – three vegetarian and one with chicken apple sausage.

I set up an assembly line and made them all at once.  The following is the basic recipe for one quiche.

1 pie crust

5 eggs

1/4 large sweet onion

1/2 c. carrot matchsticks

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt or salt mix

1/2 tsp. herbs of choice (I used rosemary and thyme)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 c. sour cream (I used tofutti for my son, Donovan, who can’t have dairy)

1/4 c. milk (I used almond unsweetened)

1/4 c. cream cheese (again, I used tofutti)

1/2 package veggie shredds or shredded cheese of choice

1 package frozen vegetable of choice, cooked and drained – I used broccoli rabe, broccoli, and asparagus.

8 oz. cooked meat instead of or in addition to veggies – optional – I used apple chicken breakfast sausage.

Cook onion and carrot in olive oil, seasoned with salt and herbs, until softened and slightly browned.  If you’re making more than one, cook enough for all of them and save the pan for cooking the meat separately if you’re trying to keep any of them meat free!  Meanwhile:

Get pie crust ready.  I used 2 refrigerated and 2 frozen, since I only have two pie plates!Crust immaculate

Set out bowl to place cooked, drained veggies in.  Top with onion/carrot mixture, sour cream, cream cheese, shredded cheese, 5 eggs (per quiche) and blend.

Pour blended fillings into pie crusts.

Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until knife in center comes out clean.

Many quiche recipes call for baking the crust first.  Totally not necessary!  These were a huge hit!

 

 

 

 

Okay, I confess, I didn’t set out to make a deconstructed rice bowl.  If I’d thought of that, I would have hard-boiled some eggs and served it in a bowl.  Next time!  And there will be a next time.  This dinner was yummy.

Sausage, Brown Rice, Roasted Veggies, and Salad

6 Cups cooked brown rice.  I always use a rice cooker and season with a salt blend and a spoon of duck fat (purchased at my local market).

1 Medium onion, chopped roughly.

2 lb. smoked sausage (I used smoked turkey sausage)  Lots of possibilities here!

1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick and tossed with olive oil and salt or other seasoning blend.   I used Italian, but rosemary and thyme would be good.

2 ob. baby portobello mushrooms, cut in half, and tossed with olive oil and salt or other seasoning blend.  I used onion salt and a pepper blend.

1 can beans of choice, drained and rinsed.  I used cannellini beans.

This meal is so versatile, you can season and imitate different international cuisines.  Use garam marsala, or five spice, curry, or coriander with lime zest, etc.  You get the idea.  Take it whatever flavor direction you want.

I served this with Banh Mi veggies I always keep on hand, and it was a huge hit.  I also put together a salad kit.

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/chicken-and-biscuits-banh-mi-fusion/

 

First cut up the veggies and toss with oil and seasonings.  Tasting it raw is the only what to make sure it’s not underseasoned.

Put rice in rice cooker next, as it will take longer than the rest of the foods.

Heat olive oil in skillet and cook onions over low 5-10 minutes, while you cut the sausage into semicircles.

Once the onion is softened, put sausage in on top of it and put on a lid.  It will take about the same amount of time as the rice for this to caramelize nicely.

Put the squash and mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

When the rice is nearly done, and just a little liquid remains in the bottom, unplug and stir in beans.  Place lid back on to keep warm while squash and mushrooms finishes.

I really wish I’d thought of the rice bowl angle earlier.  A nice egg on top would have been the bomb!

Leftover roasted potatoes are the star of this quiche. The bacon and onions don’t hurt either!

 

2 Immaculate pie crusts

1/2 pound bacon

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 to 4 cups leftover roasted potatoes cut into small cubes

10 eggs

One package mozzarella shirts vegan cheese

One half cup tofutti sour cream

Cook onion and bacon until bacon is crispy. Place in pie crust in pie pans sprayed with coconut oil. Combine remaining ingredients and pour into pie shells. Bake at 320F for 45 minutes.

 

 

When I make boneless, skinless chicken in the crock pot, I always make too much.  I’ve been experimenting with fun ways to use up the leftovers, such as the burritos, egg rolls, empanadas, and now this super easy pot pie.

Chicken Pot Pie

4 C. shredded chicken

2 packages frozen mixed vegetables

1 package Simply Potatoes Steakhouse Seasoned Potatoes

1 c. baking mix (such as Bisquick or anything intended to make pancakes, biscuits, etc.)

3/4 c. cashew milk

Rinse the frozen veggies in a colander until defrosted.  Toss with potatoes.  Stir in chicken.  Mine had enough sauce, since crock pot meats are so wet, so I didn’t have to add anything.  If yours is dry or in need of liquid, you can use a homemade gravy by making a roux of butter and flour, and adding chicken broth to it and thickening it.  You can also use one of those handy pouches of sauce they sell nowadays or a canned soup.  These are just a little higher in sodium than we are comfortable eating on a regular basis, but can certainly make life easier in a pinch.

Pour chicken and veggie mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish (such as my Bobby Flay lasagna pan – to which I must bid adieu – a fine crack appeared and I’m not taking any chances!)  Mix baking mix and cashew milk.  If you want to spruce this up, you can add shredded cheese and an egg.  Spread evenly over the chicken and veggies.  Don’t worry about holes, because as you can see, the chicken bubbled up through in some places.

Bake at 375 until a toothpick through the thickest part of the crust comes out clean, and then turn off the oven and leave it in there 5 more minutes to help eliminate doughy parts.

 

 

I bought wrappers in a hurry yesterday, intending to make potstickers when I got home, without realizing I had grabbed egg roll wrappers instead of won ton wrappers.  I googled to see if I could make potstickers out of the egg roll wrappers.  Conflicting information as to how well it would work to use egg roll wrappers to make potstickers made me decide to make egg rolls instead.  I had already made the filling mixture for potstickers, so the filling is more meat and less veggies than I would have used if I’d planned egg rolls from the start.

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1 package Nasoya egg roll wrappers

2 lb. ground turkey

1 large sweet onion, chopped finely

1 package chop salad

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. salt

1tsp. five spice mix

Cook onion in oil until softened.

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Sprinkle with salt and five spice.  Add in chop salad.  Cook over low heat until softened.

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Place veggies in colander lined with paper towels to drain off excess moisture.

At this point, I added the veggies to the meat and stirred in the ginger and soy sauce for the potsticker filling and refrigerated it.  Then I realized I was going to make egg rolls instead, so I cooked the meat mixture and broke it up and cooked the turkey through.  I drained the meat and refrigerated it to cool enough to make the egg rolls.

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I used my mini ice cream scoop and put two scoops on each wrap.  I followed the instructions on the package of how to fold it.  Point down, place filling on center.  Place bottom point up over the filling, then fold in the sides, and roll.  I placed them on a baking sheet brushed with oil.

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Spray top of the egg rolls with cooking spray or brush with oil.   Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden.

These were great!  Not as much work as potstickers either.  Daniel said they were like potsticker egg rolls.  Makes sense.

These would be a good way to use up leftovers.  The wraps are flaky and crispy.  I have another package and can’t wait to try another variation!

 

I try to make a breakfast/brunch every Sunday.  A busy schedule led to frozen breakfast sandwiches on BOGO.  Today, I felt inspired to use the pie crusts that had sitting in the fridge for too long, and the diced ham I bought on BOGO for the corn chowder, which ended up having the leftover chicken or turkey or whatever in it instead.  I bought berries intending to make a berry salad.  There’s some endive from our salad the other night.  Lots of Banh Mi style veggies still.  Setting everything out and letting everyone visit the table like a salad bar/buffet was great!  It looked kind of nice, too.

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The quiche were asparagus ham or spinach ham.  Both used tofutti cream cheese substitute and vegan mozzarella shreds, for a healthier take.

2 pie shells (I like to buy Immaculate brand, but any will do).  These will be baked before filling at 375 for 10 minutes, or as directed on the packaging.  Pierce them with a fork to prevent lifting and cracking.  Turn oven down to 320 when you take the crusts out.  The quiche cook at a lower temperature.

Filling:

8 eggs

1 container tofutti cream cheese substitute

4 Tbsp. butter

1 package mozzarella shred vegan cheese

2 (8 oz) packages diced ham, drained and dried

1 can spinach, well drained (ideally overnight)

1 can cut asparagus, drained

  1.  Place drained asparagus in one bowl and the spinach in another.
  2. Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in ham and cook and caramelize a little  to richen the flavor.
  3. In the meantime, you can crack four eggs over each bowl of vegetables.

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  1. Stir in cream cheese and melt over low heat, stirring regularly.
  2. Spread half of the cream cheese ham mixture into each baked pie crust.
  3. Whisk eggs and veggies.  Add in mozzarella shreds and pour over ham mixture.

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  1. Bake at 320 for about 45 minutes.   They never seem completely set because of the cream cheese, but they are done when they don’t jiggle.

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As you can see, I’m still on the Asian food kick!  I had some leftover pulled pork from the Banh Mi meal, and decided it could use a Korean BBQ sauce and be recreated into an, as it turned out, quite delicious casserole!

Korean BBQ take 3

3-4 C. pulled pork (chicken and ground meats would work well for this too)

3-4 C. cooked rice (I used a wild and brown mix that was – oh yeah – leftover)

1 can Cannelloni beans (always in my pantry, but any beans such as garbanzo or black beans would work too!)

2 C. assorted vegetables (I used celery, carrots, and onions, that I softened in a little oil, butter, and garlic and had in the fridge ready to use.  They also freeze well.)

1/4 C. Korean BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought) – a mix of soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile.

1 C. shredded cheese (I used mac and cheese mix for one dish and Daiya shreds for the other, since I have a son who can’t have dairy.

Combine pork, rice, beans, vegetables, and Korean BBQ sauce.  Place in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Top with cheese or shreds.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until cheese is golden, meanwhile roasting any vegetables you want to have on the side!

We used “Pickled” cucumbers, onions and carrots as a topping – also from the Banh Mi meal.  (Mostly cucumbers, since my kids and grandkids attached the onions and carrots first!)

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Roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts on the side were prepared by my cousin, who came over with my 90 year old uncle for dinner.

 

I am crazy about Asian food.  Last night we had Korean Barbecue Chicken and a Rice Melange.  It was delish!

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3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in Korean BBQ sauce

Sauce:

1 C. soy sauce

3/4 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. each ginger and sesame oil

1 Tbsp. each water and corn starch (in a slurry to thicken)

Bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add slurry and turn down to low.  Slowly simmer till it thickens.  Pour over chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  (I have bought a bottled Korean BBQ Sauce (Kalbi Bulgogi) from a company called Ajumma Republic and it is really good).  You can marinade the chicken overnight or even freeze it in the sauce for future use.  Once defrosted, bake for 35-40 minutes.  Chop into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears, stir around in sauce, and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Rice Melange:

1 box Near East rosemary garlic brown rice and quinoa (I have found that one packet of seasoning from these boxed rice mixes goes a long way, so no additional seasoning was added to the rice)

1 c. Lundberg Wild Blend Rice

1 c. brown rice

3 c. broth (I used unsalted chicken)

2 1/2 c. water

3 Tbsp. butter

Place in rice cooker.  The rice cooker knows its done when it runs out of liquid, so unplug and remove from heat as soon as the rice cooker clicks over to warm.  Add into the cooked veggies to serve.

Veggies for Rice Melange:

Heat oil of choice in large pot with a little butter.

Saute veggies of choice over low heat.  I used what I had on hand:

1 bag riced cauliflower

1 carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow squash, diced finely.

1 can Cannelloni beans, low sodium

1 tsp. seasoning blend of choice.  I used an Asian inspired one to stay on theme.

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After about 25-30 minutes over low heat, add in one can of beans.  I added Cannelloni because they are our favorite and I always have them on hand.  This way, anyone wanting to stay vegetarian (if you use veggie broth instead of chicken) can eat the rice melange.

 

My cousin and her father were coming over for dinner tonight, and she wanted to contribute some frozen shrimp, butternut squash, and sugar snap peas, so I trolled all my favorite sources for recipes and came up with a recipe for Ginataang Sitaw Kalabasa, a Filipino stew that called for green beans instead of the sugar snap peas.  Since it contains no nightshades, it was perfect! I had some boneless skinless chicken thighs on hand, so I adapted the recipe.  It was a huge success!

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1 lb. frozen shrimp, thawed

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into strips

1 large butternut squash, roasted

1 package sugar snap peas

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. oil (I used a sunflower avocado blend)

1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

2 Tbsp. eel sauce (or fish sauce)

1 Tbsp. red chili paste (okay, this is not nightshade free, but I grabbed the wrong jar! I meant to get curry paste)

1 C. chicken broth

1/2 C. chopped carrots

1/2 C. sliced celery

Saute onions, celery and carrots in oil.  Add in ginger, garlic, and chili paste, and stir a few minutes until fragrant.

Add in chicken.  Brown.

Stir in coconut milk, eel sauce, and chicken broth.  Simmer to reduce.  Add in sugar snap peas and cover until they are crisp tender.  Stir in shrimp and cook a few minutes until pink.

Thicken with bread crumbs, if necessary.  Gently fold in butternut squash, and heat through.

Serve over rice.  I used quinoa, brown rice, pineapple, and coconut with thai curry broth in the rice cooker.

The flavors of this dish were amazing.  Loved it!

 

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