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Monday, October 13, 2014

Recipe Review from 10/6/2014

A busy week work-wise for both the Husband and myself and fortunately meals were quick, or ala slow cooker.  Yup.  That time of year where my favorite kitchen implement comes into play!  Starting to return to soups and stews for lunches with the temperatures staying on the cool side.

Then add in a trip to Brainerd to spend some time with The Folks and my youngest Sister's family.  Got to play with the 2yro nephew and let the 3 mo niece spit up on me.  No commentary on the auntie - she spits up on everyone equally.  Weather was a fantastic 60* with a cool wind.  There was pool time, walks in the afternoon sun, good meals, and a quick round of Apples to Apples.  Hard to fit in game time with little kiddos. 

The Meal Plan for last week:
Sun - (L) Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi  (S) leftover Barley Butternut Risotto (last weeks review)
Mon (yoga)  leftover Gnocchi
Tues (sub yoga)  Slow Cooked Chickpeas and Potatoes
Wed (AM yoga) leftovers
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri - Sun  Brainerd! 

Lunches - Slow Cooked Minestrone Soup, crackers, fruit, nut cup, luna bar and yogurt.

Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi (Ckng Lght Oct 2014)
This was ready to eat in 25 minutes.  Seriously.  It came together that fast.  I used closer to 10oz bulk Italian venison sausage (skip the whole 'casings' bit and just buy what you need bulk).  I omitted the basil because the Husband said the last package in the store looked bleh.  I used some dried oregano instead.  And there is no such thing as whole wheat gnocchi in my world so regular it is.

This was good.  Hearty, comforting, flavorful, fast...what more can I say?  Recommended. 
photo by
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (16-ounce) package prepared whole-wheat gnocchi
  • 4 ounces mild bulk Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato 
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil   Omitted because option in store didn't look good. 
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl. Add gnocchi; cook 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Place gnocchi in a large bowl. Add sausage to pan; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to gnocchi. Add tomato and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add gnocchi mixture and stock to pan; sprinkle with cheese. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Sprinkle with basil.

Slow Cooker Indian-Spiced Chickpeas and Potatoes  (OhMyVeggies Blog via Pinterest)  vegetarian, gluten free
Slow cooker recipes just don't get simpler than this.  Chop, saute, plop, walk away, eat later.  This turned out fantastic.  Seasonings were perfect, loved the potato and chickpea combo.  The Husband and I agreed that some chicken thighs would have been a very tasty addition, but the dish was just as good vegetarian.  

photo from

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 lime
  • Small bunch fresh cilantro
  • 3-quart or larger slow cooker
  1. Drizzle the olive oil into a large saute pan over medium heat and swirl to coat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, garam masala, ground ginger, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Stir until combined. Pour into the slow cooker, then stir in the chickpeas and potatoes.
  2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing over the top.

Slow Cooked Minestrone Soup (Slow Cooker Revolution by America's Test Kitchen, modifiedvegetarian**, gluten free

A very simple dish to pull together - saute onions, garlic and spices, combine with veggies and liquid, cook.  Toward the end add the noodles, zucchini and Swiss chard.  Cook a bit more.  Eat!

1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced (I added)
1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup dried beans, quick soaked/pre-soaked with your method of choice
4 qts chicken stock (**or vegetable stock)
1 (15oz can) tomato sauce
1 cup ditali or other small tubular pasta
8 oz swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
1/2 cup sliced basil (I omitted)
fresh grated parmesan cheese

1) Prep beans using method of choice.   Can be done day before. 

2) Saute onion, garlic (and celery), until softened.  Add to slow cooker.
3) Combine broth, beans, carrots, and tomato sauce in slow cooker.  Cook 4-6 hrs on low, 8-10 on high.
4) Last 30 minutes or hour, add swiss chard, zucchini and pasta (and basil if using).  Cook until pasta is tender.
5) Serve with grated parmesan cheese. 

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