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Monday, November 24, 2014

Recipe Review from 11/17/2014

I am SO thankful I don't live in Buffalo, NY!  So thankful, in fact, I'm not even going to complain about our 3* temps, which I will describe merely as "crisp".   I can more readily cope with "crisp" than I can with 9 feet of snow. 

Unfortunately, no pictures this week.  Brain-farted capturing, well, everything.  Par for the course, if my head weren't attached I'd probably forget it too. 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (AM Yoga)  (L) soup    (S) Fish Packets
Mon (Yoga)  Leftover fish
Tues - Leftover fish
Wed - (AM Yoga)  Slow cooked baked ziti Out
Thurs (Yoga) Pizza  Grilled Cheese and Soup
Fri - slow cooked baked ziti
Sat - Out with friend in Wisc.

Lunches - Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Soup, nut cups, yogurt, granola, luna bars

Cumin-Laced Chickpea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers (Vegetarian Slow Cooker)  vegetarian, gluten free
I really liked this soup.  This is a brothy dish full of nutty chickpeas, sweet carrots, and smoky red peppers.  Incredibly easy to assemble - a quick saute for the veggies, then everything but the peppers goes into the slow cooker.  Peppers are roasted and peeled before adding toward the end of cooking. 

This was great with crackers for lunch, and grilled cheese for supper.  A lovely rustic bread, some cheese of choice, and sliced apples or pears along side would make for a lovely Sunday lunch.

2 (14oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces  (I used three carrots)
1 lg onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 qt (4 cups) vegetable broth
2 roasted red peppers **see #2 below
1 to 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
optional  1-2 tbsp parsley

1) Preheat medium sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute onions and carrots until onions are softened.  Place chickpeas, carrots and onions, cumin and broth into slow cooker.   Cook on low 6 hours, high on 4.

2) Pre-heat broiler.  Place cored and flattened red peppers on baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.  Broil until skin is mostly blackened.  Remove.  Place in ZipLoc bag for 15 minutes.  Remove skins and cut into bite sized pieces.  Place in slow cooker, stir in lemon juice and allow to heat.  Serve. 

 Slow Cooked Ziti with Sausage and Peppers (modified Slow Cooker Revolution, by ATK)  gluten free option
With chili temps hanging over the region, I was in the mood for some hearty suppers of a pasta variety.  I had originally intended to make this on a weekend, but plans ended up getting shuffled due to the fish packets.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem - but with a pasta dish in the slow cooker I now had a timing issue.  Pasta dishes only need three to four hours in the slow cooker, which doesn't work very well on a weekday.  The Husband came to the rescue and was able to hang around the house to take it off the heat.   We threw this together in under 30 minutes before I had to dash out the door.

This turned out pretty good.  My only complaint being it was a bit on the bland side and could have used a dash of red pepper flakes to up the spice content.  And perhaps to use a different brand of "spicy" Italian sausage next time because I think the only spice in the sausage was pepper.   This starts out saucy, but by the time it comes out of the cooker it is nicely thickened as the noodles have absorbed a goodly portion of the liquid.  A great balance of noodles, peppers and sausage.  This served two of us for three meals. 

canola or olive oil for sauteing
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed (I bought bulk sausage w/o casings)
2 onions, minced
1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2" pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 half and half
8 oz ziti (I used penne)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce  (I forgot this...oops!)
hot water as needed
1 cup (4oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Line slow cooker with aluminum foil collar and coat with vegetable spray (this is to help even cooking and prevent sticking).  Brown sausage, breaking up large pieces, about 5 minutes.  Add onions, bell peppers, garlic, and oregano and cook until onion is slightly softened.

Stir in tomatoes and heavy cream, scraping up any browned bits and simmer slightly.  Stir in ziti, salt and pepper.

Place in slow cooker, spread tomato sauce over the top.  Cover and cook until pasta is tender, about three hours on high.  [DO NOT OVERCOOK.  Your noodles will be a gummy, unappetizing mess.] 

Remove foil collar. Gently sitr pasta, adding hot water as needed to loosen sauce consistency.  Sprinkle with mozzarella, cover and let stand until melted.  Serve. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like perfect "soup" weather at your house.

You have inspired me. Starting tomorrow I have taken on a challenge to cook EVERY weeknight. The money we save will be used for our weekends at the beach.

Tomorrow night is beef barley soup. It's supposed to be a miserably rainy night.

"SOUP" weather! ;-)

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