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Monday, November 21, 2016

Recipe Review from 11/14/2016

Ooo.  Winter came and smacked us upside the head on Friday - no gentle transition from 60* to snow here.  Full out rain/freezing rain/sleet/snow progression that shut down half the county by 1p in the afternoon with ice and snow covered roads and periodic white out conditions from 40 mph winds.  Jingle bells... 

Alas!  I just realized I made a new Scottish Soda Bread recipe and I neglected to post it.  I'll try to make sure its on next weeks review. 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L)  sausage, crackers, fruit  during football  (S)  One Pot Jambalaya
Mon (Yoga)  leftover jambalaya
Tues - Black Bean burgers
Wed (Husband lunch Soup Day)  leftover burgers
Thurs (yoga)   leftover soup
Fri (yoga) leftover soup
Sat (Nebagamon) 

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup  (Ckng Lght, Oct 2016)  gluten free
The interesting thing about this dish, is there are no noodles or dumplings in it which is perfect for our gluten free peeps.

No much in the way of changes - I cooked the bacon in the over and just used a bit of rendered bacon fat to cook the chicken and veggies in.  I did forget to add the bacon to the dish later.  Oh well.  I also substituted turnips for potatoes because I was out of potatoes, and Swiss Chard for the spinach.

The chicken turns out melting tender; I didn't have to pull the chicken out to de-bone it, just grab the bone, give a little shake and the meat falls right off.  Recommended for it's simplicity.

photo from
4 center-cut bacon slices, diced
1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skinned 2 teaspoons salt-free garlic-and-herb seasoning blend 
2 cups thinly sliced leek (from 2 large leeks)
1 cup sliced carrot (from 2 large carrots)
1 cup sliced celery (from 2 large stalks)
4 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 thyme sprigs
12 ounces baby potatoes
2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach (I used Swiss Chard)

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Set bacon aside.

Sprinkle chicken with seasoning blend. Add chicken to bacon drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes, browning on all sides. Transfer chicken using a slotted spoon to a 6-quart electric slow cooker, reserving any drippings in pan. Add leek, carrot, and celery to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add leek mixture, bacon, remaining 3 cups stock, salt, pepper, and thyme sprigs to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours. Add potatoes; cover and cook on LOW for 2 more hours or until potatoes are tender.

Remove chicken from slow cooker with a slotted spoon; discard thyme sprigs. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces; discard bones. Return chicken to slow cooker; add spinach, stirring until spinach wilt.

One Pan Jambalaya  (Ckng Lght, Oct 2016)  gluten free
Just a couple of notations on this dish - I have access to andoullie sausage in kielbasa type links, so I used 1- 6oz link and sliced it into medallions.   I have NO idea what this pre-cooked brown rice that Cooking Light insists on recommended, and I can safely say, it's NOT the boil in a bag mix.  However, that's what I used (Uncle Bens, brown rice, 2 - 2 cup pkgs boil in a bag rice).  I did have to add something between 1/4 and 2/3 cup of extra liquid beyond what was called for.   I do recommend letting the whole dish sit, covered for about 10 minutes to let the rice really absorb any remaining liquid if using the above.

This was fairly quick  - more than the 20 minutes they called for, however.  Maybe 30-40 minutes between start and table?  I did have time to do the dishes before serving, which is always a plus.  I found this to be pleasantly flavorful, a hint of zing (will depend on your Cajun seasoning), and filling.  We did add hot sauce/siracha at serving.  Recommended. 

Photo from

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 (8-oz.) package frozen chopped onion and green bell pepper, thawed
3 ounces andouille sausage, finely chopped  (I used 6 oz so I wouldn't have a partial link floating around)
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 (10-oz.) cans unsalted diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning (I used Penzey's)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 (8.8-oz.) pouches precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
4 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Hot sauce (optional)

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion mixture and sausage; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Strain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Add strained tomato mixture, 1/4 cup reserved tomato liquid, Cajun seasoning, salt, and rice to pan, scraping pan with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat; sprinkle with green onions. Divide rice mixture evenly among 4 bowls. Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat; sprinkle with green onions. Divide rice mixture evenly among 4 bowls. Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired

20 Minute Black Bean Burgers (Ckng Lght, Oct 2016)  vegetarian
These were darn tasty!  I can't speak to them being 20 minutes because I was also prepping the sweet potato fries to accompany them.  The Husband was also prepping a soup for Soup Day at work so there was a lot going on in one tiny space. 

My notes: I toasted the bread in the oven while it preheated for the fries (400*).  Assembly as written, formed into patties, and put on the same baking sheet as the fries (fries tossed with olive oil and salt, placed on an aluminum covered jelly roll pan, I sprayed the end of the pan with oil before putting the burgers on).  Fries and patties finished baking together.   Maybe 15-20 minutes?   I tossed a slice of cheddar cheese on right before pulling everything out. and served open faced on a sourdough English muffin.  Recommended! 

1 (1-oz.) slice whole-grain bread, toasted and torn into pieces
Photo from
1/4 cup grated onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons olive oil 
  1. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 5 times. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Combine onion, garlic, juice, cumin, salt, rind, and beans in processor; pulse 4 to 5 times. Add bean mixture, walnuts, hot sauce, and egg to crumbs; stir well. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 3/4-inch-thick patty.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

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