Category: Semi-Homemade Ingredient


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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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.

 

 

I had some Pearl couscous and was inspired to mix it with some broccoli slaw I had on hand.  The result was so yummy and so easy, I will definitely serve it again!

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Just cook the Pearl couscous according to directions, let it cool and then mix it with the broccoli slaw. Yummm.

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.

 

 

Super easy and addictive!

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Butter bottom and sides of a 4 at. Crock pot.

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Pour 2 cans pie filling into crockpot  and spread evenly.

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Combine 1 box cake mix and one stick of butter melted. I used butter pecan cake mix. Yum!

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Spread over pie filling and cook on low 2 hours.  Top with vanilla yogurt!

 

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Filling:

2 lb. chicken feta spinach sausage, cooked and crumbled

1 large onion, caramelized

1/2 c. spinach (I used longevity spinach from Daniel’s garden)

Olive oil to caramelize onions and cook spinach

1 c. vegan mozzarella shreds

1/4 C. chopped kalamata olives

1 can drained garbanzo beans.

3/4 c. tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. tandoori seasoning

1 tsp. seasoned salt

Caramelize onions and wilt spinach with olive oil and seasonings.

Pulse sausage, olives, garbanzo beans, and sauce in food processor until well combined.

Blend with cooked onions and spinach and place on defrosted empanada dough.

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Seal with water, press edge with fork and place on baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil.

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Brush with beaten egg and bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until golden.

I intended to use Greek dressing, but had none, so I substituted the tomato sauce.  Yummy.

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’m always on the lookout for sauces to try that are somewhat healthy.  I marinated boneless skinless chicken  thighs in Sharwood’s Thai Green Curry Sauce.  We loved it!!

Bake at 350F for 40-45minutes.  Perfect timing to make brown and wild rice in the rice cooker.

 

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I originally intended to serve the veggie “meat”balls I made the day Jeannine was over with coconut curry sauce.  Unfortunately (or as it turns out fortunately) I mistook a pouch of lemongrass basil sauce by Saffron Road for a coconut curry sauce by Imagine.  It was delicious!  I had some orzo on hand and a kale and brussel spouts chop salad, and so I cooked a veggie and orzo risotto type thing inspired by a recipe I saw Chef Jean-Pierre prepare with barley the night Lein, Molly, and I went to his cooking school dinner show.  This one’s a keeper.   Proof that good ingredients and an open mind can lead to phenomenal results!

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I baked the veggie “meat”ball mixture I made for 400 F for 20 minutes.  I used an ice cream scoop to make them all the same size.  When I rolled them, I put olive oil in my hands, so they were coated in a thin coating of olive oil.

Veggie Burgers

They came out nice and golden.

I put a thin layer of the lemongrass basil sauce in a 13 x 9 baking dish and placed the “meat”balls in it.  I spooned the rest of the sauce over them, and baked them at 350F.

Meanwhile, I cooked a Taylor Farms kale chop salad mix that had brussel sprouts in it over low heat, and boiled the orzo with ginger, garlic, and salt in the water.   I seasoned the veggies with 2 tsp. garam masala.  and when the orzo was done and the veggies were softened, I added 2 Tbsp. butter, a splash of red wine, and tossed in the orzo and a can of cannelini beans and heated it through and let it thicken a little.  I didn’t measure anything, but tasted as I went along.

This was far and away everyone’s favorite vegetarian meal to date!

 

 

 

I bought some fresh Mahi Mahi yesterday and brought it home and marinated it in Gourmet Warehouse Key Lime marinade, to which I added some lime zest and balsamic glaze.  I only used about half the bottle.  The other half is marinating some boneless chicken breasts for another night.  The sauteed Swiss chard, carrot, with Cannelini and Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice mixed with brown and wild rice were the perfect accompaniments.

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Put the fish in the marinade as soon as you bring it home.  Start the rice about 40 minutes before you want to eat.

For the rice:

1 box Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice

1 C. brown rice

1/2 C. wild rice mixture

5 C. Water

2 Tbsp. butter

Place ingredients in rice cooker and cook.

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For the fish:

1 – 1 1/2 lb. Mahi Mahi filet, skin removed

1/2 bottle Gourmet Warehouse Key Lime marinade

Drizzle balsamic glaze

Marinade fish at least 30 minutes.    Bake at  350F for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness.  So ideally, this gets put in the oven about 15 minutes in to the rice cooking.

Gourmet Whse Key Lime

As soon as you put the fish in, start your veggies.

For the sauteed veggies:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 pouch frozen Swiss Chard (I used Cascadian Farms brand)

1 pouch frozen multicolor carrots (I used Cascadian Farms brand)

1 can low sodium Cannelini beans, drained

Saute frozen carrots over low to medium low heat, till thawed and beginning to cook, about 10 minutes.  Add in chard and cook another 5 minutes  Add in beans and stir.  Heat through about 5 minutes.

 

 

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