Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

The weather here has been so cold and gloomy. I wanted to make a hearty warm soup and I haven’t had wild rice in awhile. The texture of it is something I’ve always really enjoyed – and to mix it in a nice creamy soup was exactly what I needed.

ricesoup2Ingredients:
1 lb  cooked chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
1 1/4 cups wild rice
32 ounces chicken broth
2 large carrots, sliced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 5oz cans evaporated milk
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

ricesoup3In a large pot over medium high heat add the vegetables and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and allow the vegetables to soften a bit. Add the broth and rice and cook for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally. Place the chicken in a medium skillet with the paprika and salt. Cook until no longer pink and add into the pot when ready.

Mix together the evaporated milk and cornstarch. Add it into the pot along with the fresh ground pepper and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup is going to be quite thick, feel free to add a bit of water or more stock if you prefer it to be less. Serves 8+. Enjoy!

Carrot, Quinoa, and Bean Sprout Bowl

Quinoa Carrot and Bean Sprout BowlI made this lovely vegetarian meal for dinner the other night. I had some leftover quinoa that needed to get used up, and I’d been hungry for carrots. I used fresh ginger, garlic and a bit of soy and rice wine vinegar to give it some flavor.

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Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

carrotbowl2In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minuets then add the carrots and ginger. Stirring occasionally cook until the carrots are tender, 7-10 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the soy, rice wine vinegar, and turmeric. Add the quinoa to the skillet, allowing it to warm. Add the sauce and the bean sprouts and mix well, cooking another 2-3 minutes, to warm the sprouts but keep them crisp. Serve hot, serves 2. Enjoy!

 

Banana, Pear and Cardamom Smoothie

Banana Pear and Cardamom SmoothieI’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately and haven’t been very hungry. This is a smoothie I put together in times like these – it gives me nutrients without upsetting my stomach.

banacardsmoothies2Ingredients:
1 ripe medium banana
1 medium pear
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3-4 ice cubes, optional

Remove the peel from the banana and cut into large pieces. Core the pear and slice it into large pieces. Place all the fruit into the blender with the yogurt and cardamom then blend till smooth. Add a couple of ice cubes before blending if you’d like it colder. Makes one larger smoothie, or two smaller ones.

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Chorizo and Onion Dip

Chorizo and Onion Dip with CheeseI brought this to a potluck recently and it was a huge hit! It’s got a nice bit of heat from the chorizo, with the creaminess of the cheese. It was great for scooping with tortilla chips and I had several people asking me for the recipe.

chorizodip3Ingredients:
8 ounces chorizo sausage
1 medium white onion, diced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
salt, to taste

chorizodip2In a small skillet  over medium heat melt the butter and add the onions. Cook for about 15 minutes until they become caramelized and soft. Remove any castings from the chorizo and chop it up. In another small pan over medium heat, cook it for about 10 minutes and allow it to brown a bit.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Stir in half of the mozzarella cheese, the onions,half the green onions and chorizo. Add a bit of salt. Top off with the other half of the mozzarella cheese and green onions. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes -until the cheese is staring to brown and bubble.  Serve hot with choice of side for dipping. Enjoy!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Cabbage Roll CasseroleI love cabbage rolls but they can be really time consuming for me to make. When I’m wanting to have them for dinner and I’m low on time I make it as a casserole instead so I can have the flavors I want without all the work. I also add sauerkraut to the casserole for an added kick.

cabbagecasserole2Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 white medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce (make sure gluten free)
1 tablespoon paprika
14 oz tomato sauce
14 oz diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked rice
1 small head of green cabbage, chopped
2 cups sauerkraut
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

cabbagecasserole4Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat with the onion and garlic. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until it’s fully browned.

Add the worcestershire sauce and paprika and blend well. Then add in the tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Mix well then cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the rice.

In another large skillet over medium high heat, add the cabbage and sauerkraut. Cook together for 5 minutes, just enough to soften to the cabbage a bit.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large 9×13 pan spread half the cabbage and kraut mixture. Then add a layer of the beef and rice. Do 1 more layer of the cabbage and another of the beef and rice. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the tin foil, add the cheese and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.

cabbagecasserole3Serves 6-8. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Pickled Onions

Quinoa Salad with Pickled OnionsThis salad can be enjoyed both warm or cold. It’s full of fresh vegetables with a light dressing, and is bursting with color. Great for a light lunch or a side dish at dinner time, and doesn’t take long to prepare.

quinoapickedonions4
Ingredients:
salad greens of choice
2 cups prepared quinoa to package directions
1 cucumber seeded and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lime juiced
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cilantro, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
pickled onions
quinoapickledonionsCook quinoa to package directions. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes and cilantro. Mix together the lime juice, zest, olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir the dressing into the salad. Place 1/2 cup of mixed greens on a plate, top with another 1/2 cup of the quinoa salad. Top off with pickled onions. Serves 4. Enjoy!

 

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red OnionThese pickled onions are fantastic. They go great on sandwiches, tacos, and salads. I’m preparing this batch for a salad I’ll be making tomorrow. Their crispy texture and taste will add great flavor to anything you add them to.

Ingredients:
1 large red onion, sliced
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons mirin
6 allspice berries
2 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 cups boiling water

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Bring 3-4 cups to a boil. Place a colander in the sink and place the sliced onions inside. Once the water is boiling pour it over the onions. Allow the water to completely drain.

pickledonion2

In a large jar, combine the rice wine vinegar, mirin, allspice berries, and garlic. Place the onions inside and tightly cover with a lid.  Allow them to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, however overnight is best. Stores for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

pickledonion3

 

Eggplant Marinara with Goat’s Cheese

Eggplant Marinara with Goat's Cheese

I haven’t had eggplant in awhile and was craving it and goat’s cheese, so I combined them together and added some fresh red bell pepper to make a great Italian dinner. The eggplant was firm, the sauce was delicious with hints of basil and garlic, and the goat’s cheese added this wonderful creaminess to the sauce.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 ounces goat’s cheese
1.5 cups tomato sauce
1 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-5 tablespoons parmesan cheese

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Preheat the broiler on the oven to high and lightly cover each side of the eggplant pieces with oil and a bit of salt. Place the pan in the oven, for 3 minutes – then flip the eggplant and cook for another 3 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl mix together the tomato sauce, garlic, and basil. Crumble up the goat’s cheese and carefully stir in in with the diced red pepper. Take about half of the mixture and cover the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Place half the eggplant slices down, cover them with the sauce mixture. Place another eggplant piece on top of that and cover with the remaining sauce. Top off with some parmesan cheese and place into the oven for 12 minutes.  Serves 2-3.  Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

sweet potato shepherd's pieShepherd’s pie is a family favorite here. It’s full of vegetables and doesn’t take long for me to put together. It also makes fantastic leftovers – so I don’t have to worry about lunch the next day.

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pound ground beef
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
14 oz tomato sauce
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper, to tastespsheperdpie2

Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and place in a pot of water over high heat with a pinch of salt. Allow to cook 10-15, until softened. Drain the water, add the milk and cinnamon and mash until smooth.

In a large skillet add the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until the beef is no longer pink. Add in the tomato sauce and vegetables and allow the vegetables to cook for 5 minutes.

Place the beef and vegetable mixture in a 9″ pan, add a bit of salt and pepper to the top. Scoop and spread the sweet potatoes over the top, then place in the oven for 35 minutes. Feeds 4-6. Enjoy!

Can easily be made vegetarian by subbing in more veggies for the meat.

 

 

Red Coconut Chicken Curry

Red Chicken CurryComfort food. It’s warm, full of vegetables and coconut milk. It’s got great taste, however it’s mild. I also love the way it fills up the kitchen with this wonderful aroma. It also only took about 30 minutes in total to prepare – which is good because the smell was making me hungry! redcurry3Ingredients:
1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
2 baby bok choy, shredded
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cups light coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
rice or gluten free grain of choice

* I used Thai Kitchen brand Red Curry Paste. It’s gluten/dairy free and vegan

redcurry2In a large skillet over medium heat melt the coconut oil. Then add the chicken and ginger. When the chicken is nearly done cooking, add the red curry paste. Next add in the coconut milk and the vegetables. Cook over medium heat allowing it to come to a slow boil stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat, add in the lime and salt and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve with gluten free grains of choice. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!