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Monday, April 14, 2014

Recipe Review from 4/7/2014

Not much to say about this past week - it's spring in northern Minnesota, or as I like to call it "the Season of Mud" so outside activities are a bit restricted at the moment.  We did check out the Duluth Home Show with the thought of talking to some contractors about a possible kitchen remodel.  We were there about 3 1/2 hours, didn't get to everything, but I did come away with three names.  If they don't call me this week, I will start calling start after Easter.

Dogs are revealing in the warmer temps, returning birds, and emerging squirrels and chipmunks. Several critter holes have been now been excavated.  I'm not enjoying the early season doggie baths. 

Only two new recipes for this week.  I had hoped to grill the brats outside, but didn't have an opportunity to clean the grill, so the start of grill season will have to wait a bit. 

Le Schedule/menu:
Sat - Home Show/Jazz at Toga/dinner out with parents
Sun - Chicken and Chickpea Stew for lunches
Mon (yoga) leftovers 
Tues (defuzz) - Brats and side  
Wed (am yoga/D shoots) - leftover chicken
Thurs (yoga) - leftover brats
Fri -out

Lunches - Minestrone Soup

Chicken and Chickpea Stew (Great American Slow Cooker Bookgluten free
Delicious! Delicious! Delectible!  Chicken was fall apart tender, the spices reminiscent of maybe Morocco or Spain, and perfect served over some brown rice.

 I used a 4qt slow cooker.

1 14 oz can no-salt added canned diced tomatoes (I used petite diced)
1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 sm onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh oregano
t tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
3 lbs bone-in skinless chicken thighs (I used 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless)

1) Stir the tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, parsley, paprika, cloves, cinnamon, saffron, and pepper in the slow cooker.
2) Mix the oregano, olive oil, garlic, and salt in a small bowl; smear this paste over the chicken thighs.  Set them into the slow cooker so their partly submerged.
3) Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender.  

 Root Vegetable Minestrone  (Ckng Lght, March 2014)  gluten free and vegetarian optional**
This was outstanding!  Super easy to assemble, fantastic taste.  We both loved how thick and stew-like this turned out - nothing like your 'classic' minestrone soup which is very brothy.  This was thick and saucy which really highlighted the sweetness of the vegetables.  I'm not certain it necessarily supposed to be so thick, but that's how mine turned out and I loved it.   I almost made this twice - but decided to hold off for another week or two.
  • 5 center-cut bacon slices, chopped (I skipped the bacon and just sauted the veggies in some rendered bacon fat I had saved)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped peeled butternut squash
    photo from
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsnip  (I used a turnip)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 2/3 cups (1 can) unsalted chicken stock 
  • 1/4 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 3/4 cup 1 14.5 oz can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add butternut squash and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) to drippings in pan; sauté 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in uncooked pasta; cook 10 minutes. Stir in cannellini beans, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until vegetables and pasta are tender. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls; top evenly with bacon.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Both recipes sound really good.

This is my week to get back into cooking. Steve and I have been very off-track with our healthy eating plan. It starts TODAY!!!!!

I'll be looking to your blog for inspiration. YOu've listed some great recipes over time and I love how you make your notations about what worked and changes you made.

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