Monthly Archives: February 2011

Spicy Lentil Soup

I got this recipe from my MIL and she got it from a friend of hers. It is spicy and full of all kinds of yummy ingredients. It was perfect for the rainy and chilly night we are having tonight.

1/3 C water
1 onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 stalk, celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
6 cups vegetable broth
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 cup canned red lentils
1 cup frozen chopped hash brown potatoes
2 tablespoons chopped canned green chilies
2 tsp chile power
½ teaspoon ground oregano
½ cup uncooked whole wheat spaghetti, broken in 1 inch pieces
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Place the water in a large pot with the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, potatoes, green chilies, chili powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the spaghetti and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

We had this with cornbread.

Did I change anything? I added some frozen meatballs. Since I added the meatballs I also added some more broth, green chiles and chili powder. I also only used about 1/2 the onion. I forgot to add the cilantro…and I even had some!

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked it. Hubby loved the meatballs I added to it and so did the boys.

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Spicy, Stew/Soup, Vegetarian

Simple Salmon Fillets

These are very easy, quick and good for you, too.

2 (6-ounce) coho salmon fillets, 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inches thick, pin bones removed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Set a 10-inch nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Brush each fillet with the oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper.

Place the fillets in the pan flesh side down. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn each fillet over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Transfer the fillets to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

We had this with roasted broccoli and a baguette.

Did I change anything? I had to cook it quite a but longer than the recipe suggests. Maybe my salmon was thicker?

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it…we are the only salmon eaters in our house.

from FoodNetwork

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Fish, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Roasted Lemon Garlic Broccoli

I had no doubts that our youngest child would go running for the hills when he saw broccoli on his plate, but it was still good and he still ate it.

2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter.

Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy finish.

We had this with salmon and a baguette.

Did I change anything? I drizzled a little extra olive oil over the broccoli after I put it on the baking sheet, but before I put it in the oven

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked it. The kids ate it, but broccoli is definitely not their favorite. Our youngest told me he would give me all of his allowance for the next 40 million years if I never made broccoli again.

from allrecipes

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter Cookies

Hubby is always asking if I could please make him some cookies…he loves cookies, especially chocolate, (No, there isn’t any chocolate in these.) and my oldest was having a friend over to play after school, so I thought I would make these for a snack. The boys loved them and there were leftovers for the hubby…and me.

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup natural peanut butter (creamy)
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup carrot puree (I used baby food)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, maple syrup, carrot puree, canola oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined.

Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture. Turn the batter over with a spatula about 7 times. Do not overmix! There will be dry spots. Stir in raisins.

While the batter is resting, spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets 1 inch apart. Fill a small bowl with water and, using a fork, press down on the dough, making a crisscross on each cookie. Wet the fork each time.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool before packing in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Did I change anything? I left out the raisins…my boys can be finicky about raisins. Of course when I told them that I had left them out my oldest said I should have put them in. That’s what I get for trying. 🙂

What did the family think? Everyone loved them. They are super peanut buttery and perfect with a cold glass of milk.

from Jessica Seinfeld

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian

Spaghetti Frittata

My kids like spaghetti and they like eggs, so I thought I would give this a try.

1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage (optional)
1 14-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes, lightly drained
Smidge of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt)
6 eggs, beaten
Leftover pasta–about 6 ounces worth (I didn’t have any leftover so I just made some.)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil, if you have it

Preheat broiler and make sure you are using an oven-proof skillet.

Heat butter or oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds (never brown garlic). Add the Italian sausage and cook until done.

Add tomatoes with about half their juice, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Simmer for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down some and juice is reduced.

Add pasta and stir to coat. Give it a minute or two to heat through, then reduce heat to low and pour beaten eggs over. Quickly stir things around so you have a somewhat even distribution of egg and pasta.

Sprinkle with parmesan and chopped basil, then just let it heat slowly so the eggs can cook without scorching.

When the eggs have mostly set, stick the whole thing under the broiler to finish cooking.

Cut into wedges and serve!

We had this with a salad.

Did I change anything? The recipe called for just regular diced tomatoes, but I used the Italian-style ones for more zip. I also added the Italian sausage.

What did the family think? Thumbs up from everyone! I love it when that happens. 🙂


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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Lent, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Jessica Seinfeld’s Rice Pilaf

Our oldest has finally started eating rice, so I thought I would try this recipe out to have with the teriyaki chicken I was making.

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup cauliflower puree ( SO EASY…see recipe below)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth

In a saucepan, saute the garlic for about one minute. Add the uncooked rice and toss to coat.

Add the cauliflower puree and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook with the lid tightly in place, about 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Do not stir!

Let the rice stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Did I change anything? I had to add more water as the rice cooked because all of the chicken broth was boiling away, but the rice wasn’t done yet. I was also wondering if I could make it with the brown rice that Minute Rice makes to speed the process up a little bit. I might try that next time.

What did the family think? Everyone in our house who likes rice thought this rice was very good.

Cauliflower Puree
Boil a bag of frozen cauliflower per the directions on the package, but cook it longer than it says because you want the cauliflower to be super soft. Put cooked cauliflower in a food processor or a blender. Blend until pureed…you may need to add a little water to it. Voila!

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Vegetarian

Jessica Seinfeld’s Teriyaki Chicken

Everyone LOVED this dish! The sauce was their favorite part…they wanted more!


3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup carrot puree (I used baby food)
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup 100% orange juice
1 clove garlic, cut in half
2 green onions, cut in thirds
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced (no need to peel)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cook until the mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the garlic, onions, and ginger.

Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the pepper and paprika. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, until both sides are golden.

Off the heat, carefully pour in the teriyaki sauce. Slide the skillet into the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Did I change anything? I didn’t, but the next time I make this I am going to make twice as much sauce. I made this with rice and I think it would have been tasty if there would have been a little more sauce to not only go on the chicken, but to also to mix in with the rice.

What did the family think? Thumbs up from everyone. 🙂

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It

Gnocchi with Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes and Basil

Heavens to Betsy this is SOOOO good, so simple and SOOOO easy!

5 italian sausages
1 lb. gnocchi (found in the pasta aisle of most grocery stores)
Several large spoonfuls sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Olive oil
Salt, a pinch or two
Pepper, a pinch or two
2 T Parmesan

Cook sausages in olive oil over medium heat until done (or purchase the pre-cooked variety and brown them in a skillet.)

Meanwhile, heat a pan of water to boiling, add gnocchi and let simmer for five minutes. Drain. Set aside.

Slice sausages and add to gnocchi. Add sundried tomatoes, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and parmesan.

Did I change anything? The only thing I did differently is that I served this with pasta sauce for certain members of my family that refuse to eat pasta without it. I ate it as written.

What did the family think? Love, love and more love! This is so good and everyone really liked it.

from half-assed kitchen

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Chili

It’s definitely still the time of year for warm and cozy comfort foods…

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
2 chopped celery stalks
2 (14.5 oz) cans olive oil and garlic diced tomatoes (or some other “flavor” if you can’t find those)
2 (15 oz) cans pinto or kidney beans, undrained
1 onion, diced (or 1 tablespoon dried, minced onion flakes)
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

Pour enchilada sauce and canned tomatoes into the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Add beans, celery, onion and spices. Stir to combine. Place chicken on top.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until flavors have combined. Shred chicken and stir back into slow cooker.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Did I change anything? I didn’t use as much onion, maybe half as much as the recipe called for and I left out the celery.

What did the family think? Hubby and I LOVED this! The boys aren’t huge enchilada fans, but they will pick out the chicken and eat that.

from A Year of Slow Cooking


Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Mexican, Spicy, Stew/Soup, Super Easy to Make

Black Beans with Lime and Cilantro

A quick little side dish that takes about three minutes to make.

1 can black beans
Juice of one lime
1 green, red or yellow pepper, diced
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
Pinch or two of salt

Rinse and drain beans. Put in microwaveable bowl and heat in microwave for about two minutes.

Combine all ingredients. Stir and serve.

We had this tonight with fish tacos and Spanish rice with a side of avocado.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it. The boys aren’t big bean eaters.

from half-assed kitchen

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Mexican, Salad, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian