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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pasta, Chickpea, and Chicken Soup with Pesto

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Adding a spoonful of homemade pesto and a pinch of parmesan cheese to a bowl of this soup before eating elevates the flavors so much, you find yourself going back for a second bowl. :) 

Ingredients:

- 8 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 1 cup chopped carrots 
- 6 cups chicken broth or homemade bone broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup orecchiette pasta
- 2 cups shredded or chopped chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken
- 1, 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and carrots and let sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth, salt and pepper. Let simmer about 10 minutes until leeks and carrots are tender. 

Bring broth to a boil and add orecchiette. Stir occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in chicken and chickpeas, and cook until pasta is tender and chicken and chickpeas are heated through. Remove from heat. 

Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, almonds, basil, parsley, and remaining 7 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Serve soup topped with a spoonful of fresh pesto and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here

"The fall season brings beautiful leaves, cozy sweaters, 
and hot flavorful soups." - Me

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Salmon

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Spinach and artichoke dip? Yes please!!! This incredible pan-seared stuffed salmon is so quick and easy to make, not to mention, completely mouthwatering!

Ingredients:

- 2, 6 ounce wild-caught salmon
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Spinach and artichoke dip (you can find many recipes to make this homemade, or if you're in a time crunch, buy it already prepared.)
- 1 Tbs butter

In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each salmon. With a sharp knife, cut a slit on the side of each salmon to create a pocket. Fill pocket with two tablespoons of spinach and artichoke dip. Place salmon in the skillet, skin side down, and let it sear for about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn over and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Let cook another 2 minutes (or until salmon done to your liking). Remove salmon to a plate and enjoy with a few side dishes! The sides in this picture are mashed yellow cauliflower and sautéed asparagus. For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Remember, you only live once. Take care of your body so your 
journey will be a long one." - Anonymous

Friday, July 13, 2018

Basil Hummus

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Thanks to our daughter for this delicious basil hummus recipe, my husband and I have our dinner for tonight! Addicting and healthy.... just what I love! 

Ingredients:

- 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 1, 8 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh basil 
- 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while the processor still running. Enjoy!!! 

If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"A garden is not a garden without fresh herbs!" - Anonymous 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

White BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Move over regular grilled cheese, there's a new sandwich in town, and it comes with the tastiest homemade white BBQ sauce that will have your palate dancing for joy! 

Ingredients:

- 1 Tbs butter
- 2 slices bread (I used 12-Grain bread)
- 2 slices gouda cheese
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup pulled cooked chicken (I tore up a rotisserie chicken. Mmmm!)
- 1 to 2 Tbs white BBQ sauce (see recipe below)

White BBQ Sauce: (refrigerate leftovers for future sandwiches!)

- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs onions, diced
- 1 Tbs jalapeños, diced
- 2 Tbs water
- 1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
Combine.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place one slice in the skillet, buttered side down. Top with cheese, chicken, and one to two tablespoons of the white BBQ sauce. Place the other slice of buttered bread on top, butter facing up. Grill until golden brown on both sides. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"The best things in life have sauce on them." - Anonymous

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Chicken, Shrimp, and Rice Stew

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This flavorful stew boasts both rich hearty flavors yet tastes light and fresh all at the same time. Using basmati rice that has been broken into very small pieces by a food processor, it becomes a thickening agent for this dish, turning soup into a creamy stew in minutes.

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 of a large onion, chopped small
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup bok choy, chopped
- 3/4 cup bok choy leaves, chopped
- 2 cups frozen  peas
- 1 lb. medium to large cooked shrimp, (cut in half)
- 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped small
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice, optional

Place chicken in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and drizzle with fish sauce. Set aside.

In a mini food processor, spice grinder, or coffee grinder, add basmati rice. Process until the rice is broken into very tiny pieces. Set aside.

Heat a large stock pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until fragrant and the onions and garlic begin to brown (about 2 minutes). Add the chicken. Stir until chicken is browned and almost done, with a touch of pink still left in the middle of each piece. (Continuing to cook the soup will finish cooking the chicken). Add rice and water, stirring often, so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking until rice is tender and liquid has thickened. Stir in bok choy, bok choy leaves, and peas. Cook until the chopped bok choy are tender. Add shrimp, cilantro, scallions, and lime juice. Cook until heated through. Enjoy! 

If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you've got 
to have a what-the-hell attitude." - Julia Child

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lenten Appetizer and Entrée Recipes

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No-stress delicious Lenten appetizer and meal recipes for you 
to enjoy and share!












































Mini Quiche(minus the bacon)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Chicken and Sausage Penne Jambalaya

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I'm not sure if I could come up with that many adjectives to describe how amazingly delicious this easy skillet dinner tastes.

Ingredients:

- 6 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 links Italian sausage, cut into small pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 Tbs garlic, minced
- 1, 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 8 to 10 oz. penne pasta, uncooked
- 1 Tbs hot sauce, optional
- 2 green onions, chopped 
- fresh cilantro

TIP - I used chicken from a rotisserie chicken I had as well as fully cooked sausage. This cut the cooking time down to a minimum. I added it to the skillet after I sautéed the onions and garlic.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken and sausage. When it starts to brown, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, penne pasta, and hot sauce. Stir well. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until penne pasta is al dente (not too soft). Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serve and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here

"Freely adding and tasting ingredients in your dishes is
 how you grow your palate." - Anonymous 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

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Zuppa toscana is a broad-based term meaning "soup in the style of Tuscany".  This is a copycat recipe similar to the recipe used at the Olive Garden restaurant. Made with Italian sausage, potatoes, heavy cream, kale, and other savory ingredients, it's just one of those soup recipes that you'll hold onto so you can make again and again.

Ingredients:

- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 5 medium/large russet potatoes, diced into about 1/4-inch thick pieces
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 4 to 6 cups chopped fresh kale, stems removed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, for garnish, optional

Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. When it reads "hot", add olive oil. Add sausage and brown it for about 5 minutes, stirring and chopping up the sausage the whole time. Add the diced onion, garlic, and oregano. Combine and stir occasionally for about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the chicken broth to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom for any sausage pieces that might be stuck to it. Add the potatoes and the remaining 4 cups of chicken broth. Close the lid, cancel Sauté mode and set to Manual (High Pressure) for 5 minutes. After cooking cycle ends, allow a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release. After 10 minutes, manually release the steam (using a towel to cover vent). Once steam is released, open lid and add kale. Stir well. Cover and let cook through and soften for about 3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and sprinkle in salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"Vivere una vita bella. (Live a beautiful life.)" - Anonymous


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Brown-Butter Lobster Bisque

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I found an amazing recipe for lobster bisque! However, the recipe called for about six more ingredients and two more steps for the cooking process. I knew I could make the recipe a lot simpler; so no matter what your cooking level is, anyone could make and enjoy this amazing, creamy, bisque! 

Ingredients:

- 3 fresh lobster tails
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup parsnip, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. creole seasoning, optional (for a little kick)
- 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 32 oz. seafood stock
- 1 cup cooked rice or quinoa
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- cilantro and/or chives for a garnish

In a large dutch oven, boil enough water to cover lobster tails. Add salt, and once water comes to a boil, submerse lobster tails and let cook for around 6 minutes. Remove and place the lobster tails directly in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, remove the lobster meat, chop into bite-sized pieces, and set aside. 

Spill water out of the dutch oven and add the butter. Cook butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it has melted and turned a rich golden-brown color. Add onions, garlic, parsnip, and celery. Turning heat to medium-high, cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender. Add creole, Old Bay, white wine, and bay leaf. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add seafood stock and rice. Stir until heated through. Remove bay leaf. In batches, transfer soup to a blender. Remove center piece from lid so steam can escape. Using a towel to cover the lid, blend soup mixture until smooth. Repeat until all soup is blended. Pour blended soup back into the dutch oven and add heavy cream. Cook until heated through. Ladle soup in shallow bowls and add lobster meat. Garnish with cilantro or chives and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here

"A Sunday well spent brings a week of content." - Anonymous 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

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No need for takeout when you have an Instant Pot. With an Instant Pot, your meal is done and ready to enjoy before delivery of any takeout food could reach your home. This honey sesame chicken is very flavorful, so easy to make, and tastes like it came from one of your favorite restaurants. 

Ingredients:

- 4 large (about 2 lbs) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 3 Tbs water
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped small
- Cooked rice and steamed broccoli, for serving, if desired
- Chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Select Sauté to preheat the Instant Pot. Add oil, onions, garlic, and chicken to the pot. Sauté about 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes. Lock lid in place and select High Pressure with 3 minutes cook time.

When cook time ends, turn off the Instant Pot. Use a quick release to vent steam. After valve drops, carefully remove lid. Stir in sesame oil and honey. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the Instant Pot and select Sauté/Simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in scallions and serve over rice with steamed broccoli, if desired. Garnish with fresh scallions, if desired, and sesame seeds. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Your best teacher is your last mistake." - Anonymous

Creamy Caribbean Sweet Potato Soup

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There's nothing like a hot bowl of soup on those cold winter days where you just can't seem to get warm. You'll want to dive in to this sumptuous creamy bowl of heaven and not come out until every last drop of soup is devoured! This sweet potato soup with a coconut cream lime drizzle makes you forget about the cold by keeping you warm and happy. Grab a spoon!

Ingredients:

- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped shallots
- 2 Tbs finely chopped lemongrass or lemongrass paste
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- 5 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 12 cups chopped sweet potatoes (about 6 or 7 large potatoes)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional
- 1, 15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 Tbs lime juice (from 2 limes), divided
- toasted sliced almonds
- fresh cilantro

Heal oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots, lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened. Add broth, sweet potatoes, salt, turmeric, pepper, and red pepper. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook until potatoes are tender.

Skim 1/4 cup thickened coconut cream from top of coconut milk. Add two tablespoons of lime juice and whisk. Set aside. Whisk together remaining coconut milk with remaining one tablespoon lime juice. Stir into soup.

When potatoes are tender, place soup (in batches) into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape). Secure lid, and cover opening with a towel. Puree each batch until smooth. Pour into bowls and drizzle with reserved coconut mixture. Top with almonds and cilantro. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"During these cold winter months, we all need 
a little Vitamin Sea." - Me