Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup for the Crock Pot

1 (46 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I use rotisserie from the deli)
2 anaheim chilies, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
3-4 large tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (I use the chipotle flavor)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper (optional)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, pulled from stem
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Throw everything except the garnishes in your crock pot and let it cook on high for 5-6 hours.
Dress with garnishes and give it a squeeze of lime (a must:-) and you're good to go!
*If you are not using a crock pot, saute the garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil before adding the remaining ingredients.Simmer for at least an hour so that the flavors mix together.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Roasted New Potato Salad

A fresh twist on an old favorite. This potato salad is flavorful and satisfying. It is a little labor intensive, but worth it.

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes (about 9 or 10) cut in half
5 Tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 cup chopped parsely
2 plum tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425. Put potatoes in roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the Olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until tender. Let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

While potatoes roast, bring 1 quart salted water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add green beans and boil 1 to 2 minutes, no longer. Drain and rinse in cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, vinegar and 3 Tablespoons Olive oil. Add onion, parsley, tomatoes, and green beans.

Add potatoes to the bowl and then add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Tomato Salad

This is incredible with fresh tomatoes from the garden or the farmers market. Just be aware that it gets VERY juicy if it sits overnight.

5 tomatoes, Chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme, Dried
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon basil, Dried
1/4 teaspoon pepper, Freshly Ground
6 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, Diced

Gently combine the tomatoes and onions.
Combine the remaining ingredients, mix well, and pour over tomatoes. Stir gently, let chill one hour before serving.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

This quick fresh salad screams summer to me. I love taking this on picnics and potlucks.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/4 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

In a bowl combine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper whisk in oil. Add remaining ingredients toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for about an hour stir occasionally.

Spinich Salad w/ Candied Cashews

The cashews give the salad a nice sweet crunch. You can make your cashews ahead, and store them in an airtight container until needed to save some time at dinner.

For the Cashews
1/2 cup cashews (roasted is ok)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 pinch salt (if your cashews are not salted)

Preheat oven to 300F (you can prepare your cashews several days ahead).
In a small saucepan, mix together cashews, sugar, and water over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Cook and stir for about 15 minutes, or until mixture crystallizes.
Spread the cashews onto parchment paper on a baking sheet (season with salt now if needed).
Bake 15 minutes, then stir mixture.
Bake 15 minutes more, then cool cashews before storing in an airtight container (until needed).

For the Salad
8 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup chopped baby portabella mushrooms (crimini)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, dried cherries or raisins
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place spinach into salad bowl.
Top with hard cooked eggs, mushrooms, dried fruit, and candied cashews.
Juice the lemon.
Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and sugar, adjusting sugar to taste.
Slowly add olive oil and whisk until dressing emulsifies.
Serve dressing over salad as desired.

Easy Avacado and Tomato Salad

This is a very simple, delicious way to get your omega-3s!

2 avocados, ripe
2 tomatoes, vine-ripened
1 lime, juice of, bottled lime juice is also fine
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper

Cut the tomatoes into large chunks, approximately 3/4" cubed.
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Cut the avocado flesh into chunks around the same size as the tomato chunks; this can either be done by removing the avocado from the skin and chopping it or it can be done by cutting the avocado while still in the skin and turning the skin inside out.
Add olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste.

Latin Slaw

A slaw with a different taste from the normal mayo-based slaws. Great in the summer or when preparing a latin themed dinner. Preparation does not include refrigeration time of an hour or so.

1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
4 lemons, juice of
1 dash salt
1 large cabbage, shredded
1 cup chopped tomatoes

Place the cilantro, red pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor, and process until cilantro and pepper are finely chopped.
In a large bowl, gently toss the cilantro mixture, cabbage, and tomatoes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Creamy Italian Crockpot Chicken

1- FAMILY SIZE CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP (or 3 regular cans)


(I have also added cooked chicken at the end of heating - if you are doing cooked chicken, just heat soup mixture through till thick soup consistency and to make sure flavors are melded)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Delight!

Layers of snow-white whipped cream and spiced pumpkin mousse create a festive dessert for the holiday season. Top with chocolate curls for an elegant presentation.

5 large egg yolks
1 cup(s) sugar
31/2 cup(s) heavy cream
15 ounce(s) canned pumpkin
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
2 tablespoon(s) dark rum(optional)
1 teaspoon(s) powdered gelatin
3 ounce(s) shaved dark chocolate
1.Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water and set aside.
2.Whisk the yolks, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 3/4 cup cream together in a medium saucepan. Heat while stirring continuously with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon over medium-low heat, until thickened and the mixture coats the spatula -- about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set over the ice bath. Stir to cool.
3.Add pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt to the egg mixture. Stir 1 tablespoon rum and 1 teaspoon gelatin together in a small bowl. Heat the remaining tablespoon rum, and stir in to the gelatin mixture until dissolved. Gently whisk into the pumpkin mixture. Beat 1/2 cup cream to stiff peaks, and fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour into a shallow dish, cover and chill until cold and thick enough to fall from a spoon in heavy dollops -- about 8 hours or up to overnight.
4.Beat the remaining cream and sugar to stiff peaks. Alternately layer the pumpkin mousse and whipped cream in a glass serving dish. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings between top two layers. Serve chilled.

Lentil Stew

I haven't tried this yet, but think it sounds pretty good.


1 pkg. lentils
1/2 med. onion, cut up
2 1/2 - 3 c. cut up potatoes, pared
1 1/2 - 2 c. cut up carrots, pared
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. basil
3 (10 oz.) cans Italian stewed tomatoes
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tbsp. Italian salad dressing

Soak lentils in cold water overnight. Rinse off. Put lentils in large stock pot. Add onion, potatoes, carrots, garlic cloves, parsley, basil, stewed tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and salad dressing. Cover with water to 2" from top. Cook over medium low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Serve with grated cheese on top of each bowl. (Stew should have a lot of liquid. If cooked down, add water for consistency.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chicken Lo Mein

It looks complicated, but it's not. True restaurant quality.

You can add bean sprouts if you want, which is good I think. I would eliminate water chesnuts and use bamboo shoots. It's less salty than others I've tried.

2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules (or 2 cubes)
2 cups boiling water
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into long,thin slices
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 green onion, chopped
1/2 can water chestnut, chopped
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup frozen green pea, thawed and drained
1 carrot, shredded
8 ounces thin spaghetti, cooked and drained

Dissolve broth granules in boiling water in small saucepan.
Pour 1/2 cup broth mixture into large skillet.
Let remaining liquid in saucepan cool.
Bring mixture in skillet to boiling.
Add chicken and simmer 5 minutes, until no longer pink in center.
Remove chicken with slotted spoon to platter.
Pour off liquid from skillet.
Stir wine, soy, and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth.
Stir into remaining cooled broth in saucepan.
Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and ginger; cook 30 seconds, stirring.
Add all veggies; cook, stirring 2-3 minutes until veggies are crisp-tender.
Add chicken and pasta; toss 2 minutes until heated through.
Stir cornstarch mixture in saucepan; add to skillet.
Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, until slightly thickened.
Top with additional sliced green onion if desired.