Search This Blog

Monday, April 25, 2016

Recipe Review from 4/18/2016

Not much in the way of news from last week.   It was nice outside, then not nice.  Bit of yard work.  Bit of house work.  Chickens continue to do chicken things.  By this time next week I should have a baby chick update.

Until then, the Meal Plan:

Sun (L) Leftovers  (S)  Shrimp LoMein
Mon (Yoga/Block)  leftover lomein
Tues (Yoga)  Pea, Bacon and bowtie pasta
Wed - Hawaiian Fried Rice
Thurs (Yoga/St. Cloud)  leftovers
Friday - leftovers
Sat (L) leftovers

Lunches - Husband = sandwiches
                Me = butternut squash soup with apple/pecan relish

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Pecan Relish (Source unknown...)  vegetarian, gluten free
This was the winning soup at our "SOUP"-er Bowl cook-off back in February.  

This is a loosey goosey kind of soup recipe.  You can make your own chicken stock, or used store bought.  You can make this on the stove top or in the slow cooker.  I opted for the slow cooker so I could get outside and work in the yard.  To say this can be very hands off would be an understatement.

DON'T skip the relish!   This is what really pulls everything together.  Do use a tart sweet apple.

Also noted - this would be better when all the ingredients are in season.  There was a definite difference between my soup flavor and the original, and I'll chalk that up to older squash.   Ditto for the apple.

Apple-Pecan Relish:
·         Equal parts toasted, crushed pecans and chopped apples with peels left on
·         Cinnamon and lightly salted to taste
·         Pure maple syrup to taste

Butternut Squash Soup:
·         Sauté about 2-3 tablespoons butter and 1 medium onion in pot
·         Cube a medium 2-3 pound butternut squash and add to pot
·         4-5 cups chicken broth or stock 
·         1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
·         ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper

Sauté about 2-3 tablespoons butter and 1 medium onion in pot 

Bring all soup ingredients to boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the squash is soft enough to blend.   Combine all ingredients except relish and cream cheese in a slow cooker.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4 hours, or until squash is soft enough to blend.  

Then add 1 8oz package of cream cheese. Let it melt in the soup then either use a blender or immersion blender to make into creamy consistency. 

You can also add some maple syrup to the soup at this time.

Ready to serve, just spoon the relish on top.

Shrimp Lo Mein  (Ckng Lght, May 2016)  gluten free option
This comes together very quickly, so make sure you have everything mise en place.

Overall, tasty, fresh, and a bit on the bland side.  I did serve with siracha sauce for a little added heat.   You could also add some red pepper flakes for some background zing!.   Or, conversely, omit if serving to little or sensitive tastebuds. 

1/2 lb multi-grain spaghetti
1 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
photo from
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 black pepper
2 tsp canola oil
2 cups small broccoli florets
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 lb peeled and deveined extra-large shrimp
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp rice vinegar

1) Cook pasta according to package directions; omitting salt and fat, and removing from heat 2 minutes earlier than recommended for al dente texture.  Drain.

2) Combine chicken stock, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, sugar, and black pepper, stirring well.

3) Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat.  Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add broccoli, carrot and red bell pepper, saute 5 minutes or until veggies soften.   Add 1/4 cup stock mixture; saute 2 minutes.  Add shrimp, garlic, ginger, and 1/4 cup stock mixture; saute 3 minutes or until shrimp are about done.

4)  Add pasta and remaining stock mixture.  Cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in vinegar.

Mini Bow Ties with Bacon and Peas  (Ckng Lght, May 2016)  gluten free option
Another fairly fast turnover between prep and table.  I did have a couple alterations to simplify and well, flavor boost.

1) Seriously?  Three slices for a dish that serves four?  Not enough bacon.  I up'd the bacon to 6 slices for a more flavorful dish.  Do drain out the extra bacon fat though, reserving about a tablespooon to cook the onion in. 

2)  Buy an onion and chop it yourself.  Cheaper, fresher, less bacteria.

3)  This was a no-brainer and I'm surprised Ckng Lght didn't do it, especially since they advocate for pre-chopped onion.  Skip chopping your own carrot and buy a package of frozen peas and carrots.  Use two cups instead of just one for peas.   You won't regret this. 

8 ounces uncooked mini farfalle (bow tie pasta)
3 center-cut bacon slices, chopped (I used 6 slices of thick cut)
photo from
1/2 cup prechopped onion
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 cups frozen green peas and carrot mix
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I used 1 tsp dried)
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid; set aside.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon.  [Remove all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat]. 

3. Add onion and carrot to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes. [Add dried thyme here if using.] Add stock; bring to a boil. Add peas [and carrots]; cook 2 minutes.

4. Remove pan from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid, bacon, thyme, salt, pepper, and cream cheese. Add pasta to pan; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Popular Posts