Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Cream of Mushroom Soup: What To Do When a Good Mushroom Goes Bad

If you're like me, you have a busy fridge. You know, leftover spaghetti, some baked ham for brekkie, maybe a roasted squash or two kicking around. Maybe you even have a bunch of mushrooms kicking around that you overbought for a recent kid's birthday party because you forgot that kids DON'T LIKE MUSHROOMS, MOM. So. They're not bad mushrooms, per se, just slightly neglected and maybe they slipped your mind and need to be acknowledged RIGHT NOW. This is a great soup for that! You can use them all up and they will stop staring at you with their slightly browning rounded edges every time you open up the crisper. Somebody help, I've gone too far into the analogy!!

 
Anyway! Easy fast soup using kitchen staples! Somewhat healthier even! It is snowing like a mofo here and a day in the kitchen is just what the foodie ordered.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

GardenFresh Tomato Sauce!

My neighbour has gifted me with several pounds of fresh tomatoes from her garden, so I'm going to make a boatload of fresh tomato sauce! Woot! Plus! It was National Vegetarian Day! Done!


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Jamaican Style Red Beans and Rice

I found this delicious-sounding Red Beans and Rice dish from Emeril Lagasse and decided it must be done. With some minor alterations. Okay, a LOT of alterations. But the deal remains the same; you'll need a good two and a half hours to make this, so get onnit early!



You will need:

8 oz dried kidney beans ( about 1 1/4 cups)
6 garlic cloves, chopped big. ly
3 cups cold water
946 ml chicken stock, unsalted and fat free (sounds DELISH, right??)
1 cup light coconut milk
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon butter
2 tsp salt
4-6 Thai chiles, or 1 giant Scotch Bonnet pepper (I don't even know what that is)
1/2 tsp ground all spice (about 10 seeds)
2 cups uncooked brown rice
8 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2)


Prep! You can do most of it while the beans start, so rinse them and throw in the pot with the garlic, water and chicken stock. Bring them to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Now do the rest!



Strip the thyme off the sprigs; save those stalks for your stock, yo! I lurrrrvvvvvee fresh thyme, I just wanna lick my fingers after.


Chop your onion, halve your chiles, cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces and um, open your canned coconut milk. After cutting the chicken, you may as well cover it and put it back in the fridge. You don't need it for awhile.


After the 30 minutes, add in the thyme and coconut milk, cover and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour.


So then it looks..thusly


Now dump in the onion, chiles, salt, butter, all spice and some pepper, stir and cover for three minutes.


Dump in rice! Stir well, bring to a boil, stir again, cover, let cook for five minutes then stir and cover again. Whew! Got all that? Awesome! High fives all around, go take a break, let that cook for 25.


Until it looks thusly. Ish


Now add in the chicken, stir well AGAIN, cover and let cook for 10 more minutes.


Now set it aside and don't look at it for 10 minutes. Eyes up here, soldier!


Give it ANOTHER good stir (we're gonna have wrestler forearms soon!), portion between 6 people at 359 calories per, that's not bad, right?? We could have a salad and a wee eensy bit of dressing and we'd be in around that 400 calorie range, woo hoo!


Enjoy!


I like walks on the beach, days that end in Y and sunsets and rainbows...



Sunday, 16 August 2015

Torty Bites: Fall Appetizers

Now, I love Tortiere more than just aboot anything, I've already blogged one recipe for it; but I have found that sometimes the pastry can be a little...heavy. Not MINE, of course, but in general, it's a hearty dish with potato and lotsa meat, and yeah, I thought maybe if I broke it up into smaller pieces and used some delish phyllo pastry it might make a fun bite. I also used the pork / extra lean beef blend that I liked so much in that recipe above, but mixed it up somewhat.



These are a great appy idea for a fall party; prep 'em and bake 'em just as people are walking up. Then stuff in your face, because MY BOB these are delicious!! No sharesies for the Torty Bites! Jk, this makes 36, you'd better. I think I am liking small bites and mini quiches so much these days because you can have a taste of something without committing to eating an entire serving of anything. Check it oot!

You will need:



I medium red potato, peeled (sigh) and chopped
1/2 lb medium ground pork
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine(ly)
1 celery stalk, minced
3 garlic cloves (or less, not everyone is married)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pepper. Lots of pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Bitta nutmeg
1/2 cup beef stock
3 sheets phyllo pastry


Prep!! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, take your phyllo pastry out of the freezer. About three hours ago. Awesome! But for reals, you will need to let the pastry thaw for about three hours, so take it out, and then two hours later start preheating your oven.

Peel and chop your potato, dump in a small pot full of water and bring to a boil. Get that sucker going right away while you do the rest of your prep, like...chop your onion and celery finely and mince your garlic.


Heat a large saucepan (not non-stick: sticky) over medium-ish heat and add the meat mixture; season lightly with salt and pepper. That sounds disgusting. But totally isn't! After a couple of minutes, when it's breakable-upable with a flat-ended wooden spoon, add the onion and celery.


After about 5 minutes, when the meat is mostly cooked through and the onions are translucent and the celery is...green, add in the garlic and cook for one more minute.


Keep breaking up the meat into smaller and smaller chunks, we don't want any meatballs in these here bites. Add in the thyme, sage, salt, pepper, ground cloves, bitta nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce and stir to coat.

Looks...exactly the same. But smells different! Honest!

Check your potato, if cooked through, drain and dump into the pot. Add in the beef stalk and squish the potato while swirling around the sauce until there are no big chunks of potato or liquid left. Then taste and adjust seasoning as required. How about pepper? There's always room for pepper. And nutmeg.

 


Set aside to cool slightly and work on your phyllo dough. You should be aware, if you aren't already, that phyllo dough is as tasty as it is a pain in the behind to work with. You have to be very careful not to tear it, and any freezer burn at all will make the sheets cling to each other like Bachelor contestants at a mixer with Regulars.

You want to lay out three sheets and spray each of them individually with oil. Normally, you would use butter to brush the sheets with, but I'm not looking to use all my dang calories in one place, y'all. Mama needs her SmartPop. Anyway, I like to lay them out on a cutting board, spray and flip, then fold in half and cut into 6 pieces. Cut along the back spine and voila! You have 36 pieces to use.




Push the oiled sheets gently into the holes of a well sprayed mini muffin tin, leaving bunches on the outside.


Fill each well with meat mixture; I like to use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, but a spoon would just as well. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, until the edges of the pastry are just browed.



Leave in the tray for 2 minutes to cool, then pop out onto a wire rack and enjoy! They're best hot, so serve immediately or just get them in your face. There is no judgement here, only lub. They come to 22 calories each, so that's not even bad at all!


Closer...

All up in it's grill!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Broccoli MiniQuiches

This crustless mini quiche recipe is a new one I saw on MyFitnessPal; I switched it up somewhat, added this, changed this out, but kept the broccoli. These are yummy high protein breakfast (or not - fly in the face of convention: DO YOU!!)  bites at a super low 29 calories each, check it oot!



You will need:

2 1/2 c broccoli florets (measure in a glass measuring cup. Trust me, I lub you!)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 c red onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced finely
Salt, pepper
4 eggs
1 c egg whites
30g (1 oz) low-fat old cheddar cheese (go for old, older is always wiser. and tastier)



Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and prep!

Chop your onion, mince your garlic, grate your cheese and de-floret the broccoli should you not have bought them in conveniently floretted 8 pound Costco-size bags. Put in a glass measuring cup. Spray a mini-muffin tin well with oil. Then spray it again. And some more. Right around the edges. There you go. Oil that mofo like it's your birthday present.

Add some water to the broccoli, about an inch or so, and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Does anyone ever microwave on medium? I'm curious. Those settings seem superfluous to me: I don't cook in a microwave because I want to gently raise the temperature, I WANNA EAT NOW. But I digress.



Meanwhile, melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan and add the onions over med-low heat. Cook, gently stirring, for 3 minutes. Add in the garlic, saute for one more minute. Just until you can smell it!



Drain the smoking hot broccoli carefully and add to the pan for one more minute.



Dump all this in a bowl and smush the broccoli with a fork. Ish. It doesn't have to be perfect. Stir in the salt and pepper to taste; divide between the 24 mini muffin cups. That you oiled. You oiled, right? Good!




In a pourable vessel, like a big measuring cup, whisk the eggs and egg whites together and then pour evenly into the muffin cups on top of the broccoli. Top with the cheese.



Bake for 15-20 minutes, leave in the pan for 5 minutes after and then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Look at em!!

No, I mean, REALLY look at them!

Sooooo close

Wee thought they were the prettiest cupcakes EVAH. Disappointment, thy name is Wee
 Enjoy!


Friday, 1 May 2015

Morrocan Chicken and Lentil Stew with Peppers

I found this great recipe in Chatelaine magazine called Moroccan Lentil Stew; I liked it so much I cooked it a bunch of times in a really short period of time, fancy dinners, lunches and then I started thinking...I bet it would be magic with chicken in it. Ooh, and peppers! Yeah! Peppers! And then this is what happened:



You will need:

2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasteses
1 large onion
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Madras curry paste
1 c lentils, dried
3 cups water
796-ml can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper



Frist, prep!! Chop up your pepper and onion, mince your garlic and slice your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Rinse your lentils, open up your can of tomatoes




Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a large heavy pot / pan dealie (Smurf-bum lid optional),




add in chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes. Ish.



 Remove the chicken from the pan and add in the remaining teaspoon of oil. Cook the onions and peppers for 3-4 minutes, until almost softened and then add in the garlic and cook for just one more minute. Just until you can smell it! Don't you burn that garlic! I'm such a garlic nerd nagger.



Stir in the curry paste, lentils and water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.


Return the chicken to the pan, pour in the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes, stirring here and there, with the lid off


As t thickens, it will go from this


To this. Ish


This works out to 6 big protein-rich servings at 223 calories per, according to MyFitnessPal, you could serve it on it's own, or over rice, either way, es delish.



Enjoy!