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Monday, March 10, 2014

Recipe Review from 3/3/14

We are finally climbing out of negative temperatures and beginning to warm up, thaw out and - dare I say it - move toward spring?  We can only hope this is the case... 

While enjoying the sun and warmth, meals continue to be warm and hearty.  Still lots of comfort-type foods that can be made in about 30 minutes or the slow cooker.  Without further ado,  here was last week's meal plan:

Fri - Chicken with Mushrooms, Cranberries and Rice (slow cooker dish)
Sat - (L) grilled cheese and soup  (S) Leftover anchovy pasta (from previous week)
Sun - (L) leftover chicken (S) Venison Meatball Subs
Mon (Yoga)  leftovers
Tues - Mexican Chorizo Hash modified
Wed  (L) Out with friend TESS!!  (S) Slow cooked Chicken Rogan Josh
Thurs - (Yoga) Leftovers
Fri - leftovers

Lunches - Butternut squash soup, fruit, nuts, crackers, luna bars. 

Chicken with Mushrooms, Cranberries and Rice (Great American Slow Cooker Cook Book gluten free
Initial mixed results that were entirely my fault.  I discovered the "Low" setting (1 out of 5 on my slowcooker) is too low.  The rice hadn't cooked one iota by the time I got home.  I tossed everything into a stockpot and boiled the heck out of it.   Small concerns about food poisoning...

Nobody got sick! I really liked this dish.  It was reminiscent of  a Go-To-Church Chicken that I grew up with, but much easier and perhaps a bit more flavorful?  Creamy rice with a hint of sweetness from the cranberrys and earthiness from the mushrooms.  I think this would have been even better cooked correctly rather than boiled, but that will be for next time. 

1 1/4 lb chicken (I used breasts and thighs), cubed
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 14oz can chicken broth
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Combine in a slow cooker, cook on low 5 hours (high about 3 or until rice is done). 

Turkey Meatball Hoagies  (Ckng Lght, Mar 2014)
This is moderately quick to assemble, and could be made easier by skipping the '"meatball" bit and just making a variation on Sloppy Joes.

One substitution - I used Italian venison sausage.  I did make the meatballs and my main complain is with the bread - a more specific quantity would have been appreciated because I think I ended up with too much crumbs.  In addition, the bread should be pulsed in a food processor because it was just too big even with finger crumbling to dissolve in the milk.   Actually, you could probably skip the bread in the meatballs completely.

Meatball assembly and cooking aside, this was a very tasty dish.  One could up the heat a bit by adding some crushed red pepper (for those adult tastebuds).  Whoops!  I see now I forgot the balsamic vinegar! Oh well.  I'd make these again - this made enough for two dinners for two adults.  
  • 4 (2 1/2-ounce) hoagie rolls with sesame seeds, split
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    photo from
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces ground turkey breast 
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion 
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 3/4 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Place torn bread in a large bowl. Add milk, stirring with a fork until smooth. Add oregano, salt, turkey, and egg white to bread mixture, stirring just until combined. Working with damp hands, shape turkey mixture into 12 meatballs.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in marinara, basil, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until meatballs are done.
  4. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet; broil 1 minute or until toasted. Top bottom half of each roll with 3 meatballs, about 1/3 cup sauce, and top half of roll. Sprinkle evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Mexican Chorizo Hash  (Ckng Lght March, 2014)  gluten free
The Husband made this dish. for us for dinner  His main comment was the potatoes wouldn't brown and, after a while, were sticking to the bottom of the pan despite it being well oiled.  I have noticed this before with "hash browns" or similar - no matter what I do, they stick.  But, the point of this dish was to use those potatoes up and mission was accomplished. 

This was tasty and would be good for breakfast or dinner - I added just a touch of siracha sauce to mine to up the spice.  I would make this again.

  • 2 ounces raw Mexican chorizo
  • 1 cup prechopped onion 
    photo from
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes)  [I used OreIda diced frozen potatoes - which I should have thawed slightly ahead of time]
  • 4 large eggs (we used two eggs)
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, bell peppers, salt, and black pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach; stir until spinach wilts. Remove sausage mixture from pan. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add potatoes; cook 8 minutes or until bottom is crisp. Stir in sausage mixture. Make 4 egg-size spaces in pan with a spoon. Crack 1 egg into each space. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until egg yolks are slightly set.

Butternut Squash Soup (Great American Slow Cooker Cook Bookvegetarian, gluten free
I've tried three dishes out of this cookbook now and I've been happy with all.  This was a very bright flavored dish, the taste reminiscent of summer or fall with the sweetness of the carrots and squash.  It won points with me for being a "chop, plop, and walk" recipe - chop the veggies, plop them in the slow cooker, and walk away.  A quick spin with the immersion blender and it was ready for lunches for the week.  This made enough for 4 lunches for two of us - didn't quite get us to Friday. 

3 cups butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cubed  (I used 1-3lb squash)
1/4 lb carrots,chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika (was supposed to be sweet, but I was out)
2 tbsp lemon juice (I used a splash of white wine vinegar) 
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on low about 8 hours, high about 4-5.  Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.  Allow to re-heat if serving immediately. 

1 comment:

Dee said...

Hope spring really is on the way for you.

I think we are heading that way ourselves. We have some cooler weather at the end of this week, but I bet after that it will warm up quickly.


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