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Monday, April 21, 2014

Recipe Review from 4/14/2014

I started the week off with a batch of homemade bread (Whole Grain Wheat from The New Complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton).  I last made this recipe 4/9/2005.  This uses bulger, wheat bran, whole wheat flour, honey, molasses, sesame and sunflower seeds for a truly nutty flavor.  I timed the bread to finish the same time as the Smokey Lentil Soup - talk about a fabulous lunch on a blustery overcast day!

The week ended with my annual trip to Bloomington and Minicon!  More on that in a separate post.  

Le Schedule/Menu:
Sun  (L) Smokey Lentil and Bacon Soup  (S) Chicken Jumbalaya
Mon (Yoga) leftover chicken
Tues - leftover chicken
Wed (Bullseye canceled due to SNOWSTORM)  grilled cheese and tomato soup 
Thurs (Yoga)  VIP pizza (local pizza chain - take and bake)
Fri - Sun (MINICON!) 

Smokey Lentil and Bacon Soup  (Great American Slow Cooker Bookgluten free
This was fabulous.  Thick and stew-like, hearty lentils touched lightly with bacon and smoked paprika.  I'm really loving smoked paprika and need to order more from Penzey's.  When I served this for supper, I poached a couple of eggs to serve on top - soooo good!  I don't know what more to say about this dish other than fantastic and I wish I had made a slightly larger pot.  This fed two of us for four meals (one supper, three lunches) . 

 For a 4 qt slow cooker
12 oz slab bacon (I used 2/3 pgk of thick cut bacon slices)
2 small onions, chopped
photo copyright of SciFi with a Dash of Paprika
2/3 cup carrots, chopped
6 cups (1 1/2 qts) slow sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups brown lentils (I used 2 cups)
2/3 cup drained, no-salt canned diced tomaotes
1 1/2 tbsp no-salt tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp mild smoked paprika
3/4 tsp black pepper

1) Fry the bacon bits in a large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp, stirring occasionally (between 6-10 minutes).  Use a slotted spoon to transfer bits to slow cooker.   I baked my bacon slices in a 350* oven about 30-45 minutes until crisp.   I set bacon aside and drained off 2 tbsp drippings into a 12" skillet.  Remainder of drippings I poured off into my bacon grease container for use at a later date.  Baking bacon makes the best drippings for saving.  

2) [Heat bacon fat over medium-high heat.]  Add onions and carrots to the bacon fat in the skillet; cook stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, between 3-5 minutes.  [At this point, I added the tomato sauce and paprika, sauteing until warm and fragrant.]  Scrap contents into the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.

3) Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 7 or until lentils are tender.

**Recipe suggested serving with a poached egg:  poach eggs in warm water until yolks are barely set.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggs to soup bowls.  This was really good!


Chicken Jambalaya  (Great American Slow Cooker Book)   gluten free 
Another winner!  Your choice of sausage will dictate how spicy the dish is, and can further be adjusted with a bit of hot sauce. This turns out very stew-y and thick. 

This will need at least one stirring, if not two, to make sure the all the rice is incorporated into the liquids and to minimize sticking to the “hot” side of the pot.  This turned out perfectly spicy for adult taste buds.  If there are little taste buds in the house, perhaps use polish or kielbasa OR, if there are Hot Heads present, serve with extra hot sauce on the side.   I’m not a green pepper fan so I subbed edmamae (needed to use it up anyway) or perhaps add some frozen, chopped, okra about 30 minutes before serving.  


for a 4-5 qt slow cooker
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
8 oz Andouille Sausage (or similar), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups no-salt added canned diced tomatoes
1 small (3/4 cup) onion, diced
3/4 cup green pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped (I used edmamae)
3/4 cup long-grained white rice
1/2 cup celery (I didn't have any)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (or similar hot sauce)
2 bay leaves

1) Combine everything in the slow cooker.  Stir.
2) Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the rice is tender and the stew has thickened a bit.  Discard the bay leaves before serving.

1 comment:

Dee said...

The lentil soup looks really tasty, but really, is there anything better than grilled cheese and tomato soup on a blustery day!

It's a favorite around here!!! Of course, ANYTHING with cheese is a favorite. LOL