Chicken Stew


Today is my birthday and I am celebrating it the best way I know how, playing in the kitchen coming up with a new recipe.  This is an upgrade to your basic chicken soup, the addition of the tomato puree gives the dish a deeper flavor.  Hope you like it.

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Ingredients:

1 stock celery, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

¼ Anaheim pepper, chopped

1/3 jalapeno pepper, chopped

½ yellow onion, chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped

5 carrots, sliced (I leave the skin on)

5 white potatoes, chopped (cook for 1 minute in the microwave to soften)

5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tbsp. ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. garlic, chopped

1 qt. chicken broth

1 can chopped tomatoes (puree in a food processor)

2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Cook the chicken in a skillet with 2 tbsp. of olive oil, season with salt, pepper, cumin and ginger. Cook until juices run clear.  Remove to a cutting board to rest.  Chop the chicken into bite size pieces after it has rested.  In a stock pot over medium heat add 2 tbsp. of olive oil and heat.  Add the celery, red pepper, Anaheim pepper, jalapeno pepper, and yellow onion.  Season the stew with pepper, salt, cumin and ginger.  Stir until the onions soften.  Add the carrots continuing to stir often.  Add the chopped garlic, potatoes and stock.  Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Re-season as needed and to your taste.  After simmering for 20 minutes add the zucchini, chick peas and pureed tomatoes.  Stir and simmer for another 10 minutes.  At the end add the chicken and serve topped with cilantro.

Chicken Stir Fry


Chicken Stir Fry

Cooking with a wok is a wonderful way to prepare food.  The one thing you have to remember is to cut and chop everything in advance because once you start cooking you will not have time to cut and chop due to the speed of cooking with a wok.  So do your cutting and chopping in advance and go for it.  The other item to get prepared is the sauce you will use.  Experiment with many ingredients to find your favorite sauce for your stir fry.  I have included my favorite for you to try.  If you do not have a wok you can use a large, deep skillet.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp.  Coconut oil

½         Yellow onion, chopped

2          Carrots, sliced thin

½         Red pepper, sliced thin

1          Zucchini, sliced thin

1          Yellow squash, sliced thin

10        Green beans, chopped

4          Brown mushrooms, sliced

½ lb.    Egg noodles

2          Chicken breast, skinless and boneless, sliced thin

½         Chili, chopped (I like Serrano)

2          Green onions, chopped

 

The sauce:

5 tbsp.  Soy sauce, less sodium

1 tsp.    Sesame seed oil

1 tbsp.  Deli mustard

¼ tsp.   Red Curry paste

1 tsp.    Cumin

½ tsp.   Ginger

½ tsp.   5 Spice Powder

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

 

Directions:

Cook the egg noodles in a large pot of salted water.

Heat 1Tbsp. coconut oil in a wok at medium high heat.  Add the onions and carrots, stir fry until the onions begin to soften.  Add the red pepper and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add the green beans and stir fry for one minute.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash and stir fry for 30 seconds, season with salt and pepper.  Remove the vegetables to a serving bowl.

Add 1 tbsp. coconut oil to the hot wok and add the chicken.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Stir fry the chicken until the chicken shows no pink flesh.  Add the chili and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add the sauce and stir fry until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the cooked egg noodles and toss in the sauce and chicken.  Return the vegetables to the wok and combine with the chicken and sauce.  Add the mushrooms and green onions and serve.

Serves 4

Jerk Roasted Vegetables with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Caramelized Plantains by cook to love


Jerk Roasted Vegetables with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Caramelized Plantains by cook to love

The jerk seasoning on the vegetables smelted so good just making it.  I couldn’t wait to see how the vegetables taste.  The wait was worth it, they were just jumping with island flavors.

The rice and black beans was also loaded with great flavors.  I just love garlic, onions and cilantro.

Now for the plantains, I am the only one in the house who likes them.  This is strange because I would rather die than eat a banana.  I know they taste different, but come on they look alike.  We also had to go and pick up some agave nectar, not something we have ever used.  Well the combination was great and I enjoyed the plantains but surprise, surprise, so did my wife.  Now I am experimenting with the agave nectar, recipes to follow.

Chicken Stir Fry with Tahini Sauce


Chicken Stir Fry with Tahini Sauce

This is a different twist on the sauce for your typical stir fry using a little tahini to thicken and flavor the sauce.  As with any stir fry this is a chance to clean out the refrigerator and that is just what I did.  For this version I did add some leftover chicken sausage as well.  Feel free to add everything you need to clean out and for sure try this sauce, it was delicious.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

½ Yellow onion, sliced

½ Red pepper, sliced

½ Jalapeno, seeded and sliced

Green beans

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Yellow squash, chopped

1 tsp. Five spice powder

Salt and pepper

1 lb. Chicken tenders, cut in ½ inch pieces

Soy sauce

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. Tahini

Directions:

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet.  Add the onion, red pepper, and jalapeno and cook until the peppers begin to soften.  Add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the zucchini and squash and cook for about 2 minutes.  Season with five spice, salt and pepper.  Remove to a serving bowl.

Add olive oil and heat.  Add the chicken and cook until cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove to the serving bowl.

Pour soy sauce in the hot pan and scrape the bottom.  Use as much soy as you like.  Add the Worcestershire and the tahini.  Stir until it looks like peanut butter.  If it gets too thick add a little more soy.  Add everything back to the pan or wok and combine.  Serve

Swiss chard and Beets


Swiss chard and Beets

 

I took a look at my garden this morning and decided to combine the two ingredients that are ready to be picked in the same dish.  What is great about having your own garden is being able to trust the food you prepare.  You know exactly how it has been treated.

Ingredients:

1 bunch Swiss chard

3 small beets

1 tbsp. coconut oil

Pinch of pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Walnuts, handful, chopped

Directions:

Wrap the beets in foil and roast them  in a 350 oven until they are tender.  Let the beets cool then peel and chop the beets into bite size pieces.

In a skillet over medium heat melt the coconut oil then add the red pepper flakes and stir.  Add the Swiss chard and cook, turning often until the chard starts to wilt.  Add the beets and cook for about one minute.  Add walnuts and serve.

Lentils, Something New?


Lentils, Something New?

Where have I been for 54 years, I mean 49 years (the age I decided to stop aging), yesterday was the first time I have ever cooked lentils.  Sure, I have has lentils in soup and probably some other dish I wasn’t aware of.  I have never intentionally cooked lentils to make them part of a recipe.

Well I have made a new discovery, lentils.  Why didn’t anyone tell me they were so easy to make and tasted so great.  Lentils are also good for you.

If you haven’t guessed I really liked the lentils so brace yourself, you will be seeing them in more of my recipes.

Ingredients:

1 cup dried lentils (I used green)

2 cups chicken stock

3 peppers your choice cut in strips

Olive oil

Butter

Cilantro

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Place the lentils and stock in a sauce pan on high heat bringing to a boil for about 4-5 minutes.  Turn heat to a simmer and cooked covered until the lentils are the soft texture you like.  Mine took about 15 minutes to cook.

In a skillet over medium heat add the oil and butter.  Add the peppers and saute until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.

To serve place the lentils in the middle of the plate and top with the peppers and cilantro.  I do not season the lentils; I like the earthy flavor and the seasoning from the peppers.  If you want to season your lentils, do so after cooking.  If you season the lentils while cooking they can become hard.

Crock Pot Beef Stew


Crock Pot Beef Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put this stew into the crock pot this morning at 630 AM before I left for work.  Little did I know that during the day while this lovely concoction was cooking, making my whole house smell fantastic, I would start to get a sore throat on my way to a cold.

What better cure for a cold then a warm bowl of wonderful beef stew when you get home, I couldn’t have plan it any better.

I never peel my carrots I just make sure they are cleaned really well.  Cut the vegetables in large chunks and get ready to enjoy the aroma when you arrive home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 lb. Stew beef

1 Rutabaga, peeled and chopped

1 Turnip, peeled and chopped

1 Parsnip, peeled and chopped

4 Carrots, unpeeled and chopped

4 White potatoes, unpeeled and quartered

Beef stock

Steak seasoning, I use Montreal Seasoning

Cilantro

Pinch of Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Place all ingredients except the cilantro and cheese in the crock pot for six hours on low.  If the broth is too thin crush some of the root veggies to help thicken the broth.  Serve with some crusty bread.

Purple Mash


Purple Mash

I like making roasted potatoes using both white and purple potatoes and the presentation they make are great.  So I was thinking, why not make a purple mashed potatoes?  So I decided to give it a try, I combined 6 small white potatoes with 4 purple potatoes and made mashed potatoes just as you would normally made them.  The results were less purple than I was hoping for and when I make this again I think I will use a ratio of 6 purple to 4 white potatoes.  My creation came out lighter blue/grey.  They may not look pretty but they sure did taste good.  There is nothing wrong with experimenting.  Happy creating.

Ingredients:

White potatoes, peeled and halved

Purple potatoes, peeled and halved

Pepper

Butter

¾ cup of milk

Directions:

Boil the potatoes until they are tender.  Drain the potatoes into a colander and return the potatoes to the pan.  Put the pan back on the stove on very low heat for a couple of minutes to evaporate any left over water.  Add the butter and mash to the consistency you like.  Add milk, pepper and stir.  Top with butter.

Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash


Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash

This is a very simply dish to prepare and it goes well with so many other ingredients.  I like to cut the squash in half down the middle then again across.  This gives you a large piece to cook.  The large piece is less likely to get overcooked.  I don’t like mushy squash.

Ingredients:

2 Zucchini

2 Yellow Squash

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Cilantro, chopped

Directions:

In a large skillet heat the olive oil until it is hot over a medium heat.  Place the squash cut side down and don’t turn until they begin to brown.  Turn and season with salt and pepper, remove to a serving dish and top with chopped cilantro.

Portabella Mushroom Avocado


Portabella Mushroom Avocado

My inspiration for this dish came from Where Frugality and Food Collide with Delicious Consequences and the Portobella Pizza’s recipe

I thought tonight I would combine a couple of my recipes into one new one.  I took my vegetable galore and avocado chicken recipe and used these to come up with a new dish, mushroom avocado.

This is a vegetarian delight using portabella mushrooms, avocado and vegetable galore.  You get the meatiness of the mushroom combined with the creaminess of the avocado for a delightful treat.

Ingredients:

2 portabella mushrooms

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Vegetable Galore

Avocado, slices

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Remove the stems and the gills from the portabella mushrooms.  Brush both sides with olive oil.  Place top side down on a baking sheet.  Season the portabella with salt and pepper.  Fill the center of the portabella with the vegetable galore.  Place 3 or 4 slices of avocado on top.  Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake in a 350 oven until the cheese melts and starts to brown.  Dust with a little Parmesan cheese and serve.