Monday, January 27, 2014

Healthy Turkey Chili.

I love chili. A while back I posted my standard chili recipe. I love that chili. But I just might love this one even more. It's made with ground turkey (protein with less fat!) and adds zucchini (color, crunch, healthy vegetable!).  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • ½ small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • small zucchinis, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Brown turkey with celery, onion, and garlic in the bottom of a Dutch oven, breaking it up with a spoon until it is mostly cooked through.  Add beans and tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in zucchini, chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mix in fresh parsley and cook five minutes longer. Serve with fruit and bread for a complete meal.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Clover Meadow Gluten-Free Bakery.

This morning I woke up to a special treat: gluten-free cinnamon coffee cake and banana bread, made by my friend Abby, owner of Clover Meadow (Gluten-Free) Bakery.  I'm not on a gluten-free diet;  I am one of the lucky ones who can tolerate just about anything. My husband is lactose-intolerant, however, and since Abby's mixes can all be made dairy-free, I was interested to to try some Clover Meadow products.  When Abby offered, I happily accepted. And am I glad I did! Abby's baking mixes are nothing short of amazing.  The cinnamon coffee cake is moist and flavorful; the banana bread is rich and with a texture just as I would expect from a gluten-ful variety.  Everyone in my family raved about both and if I hadn't told them, would have never guessed these were gluten-free products.  Abby doesn't yet have a website - the rules are very strict about how and where she can sell her mixes - but she will. In the meantime, you can get more information by emailing Abby at You'll be glad you did!

Made from Clover Meadow Bakery Mixes:
Gluten Free Banana Bread and Coffee Cake

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Corn Caprese Salad.

Sometimes simple, fresh ingredients are paired in a recipe so precisely there is no way to improve on it.  And sometimes, I just toss some ingredients in a bowl and I get lucky. You can think of this one either way.

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks
  • corn kernels from one cob of corn
  • 2-4 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in bowl, serve, and enjoy! Simple. Perfect. And maybe a little lucky.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Easy Lasagna.

I drove home tonight, thinking about what I had in the pantry and freezer, knowing that I had no interest in stopping at the grocery store as the temperatures plunged to single digits.  The following recipe for easy lasagna is what resulted - and I must say that it turned out quite well - and if the four servings that my oldest ate were any indication, there was agreement around the table that this is a recipe worth keeping.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 6 fresh, uncooked lasagna noodles (large enough that two cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook ground beef with basil, parsley, and garlic until no pink remains.  Stir in tomato sauce and tomatoes.  Cook for 5 minutes over low heat.  Spread 1/2 the jar of spaghetti sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan.  Place two noodles over sauce.  Spread half the meat/tomato mixture on the noodles.  Sprinkle 3/4 cup of cheese over meat. Cover with two more noodles.  Spread the remaining meat mixture over noodles, and sprinkle another 3/4 cup of cheese. Place last two noodles on top of meat, cover with remaining spaghetti sauce, and sprinkle last 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This turned out to be a little fussier than I would typically like for a weeknight dinner, but with a little extra time in the kitchen, I would definitely make this again - and it received rave reviews at my table!

  • ¼ cup wild rice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 10 pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 10 -12 sun dried tomato halves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 clementine or Satsuma orange, peeled, sectioned, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼ inch thickness
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Bring 2 cups water, salt, and rice to boil in saucepan.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 40 minutes or until rice is cooked and tender.  Drain and cool.  Mix olives, tomato, parsley, orange, and lemon juice together in small bowl.  Add cooled rice and toss to mix.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pound chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, until each breast is about ¼ inch thick.  Place ¼ cup of rice mixture on each breast. Roll chicken around rice, tucking in ends and securing with toothpicks.

Heat oil in heavy skillet.  Cook chicken until browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer browned chicken to baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and rice is hot.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Citrus Pulled Beef Appetizer.

I have experimented with a variety of pulled beef recipes, with most of them prepared in the crock pot.  For this recipe, I wanted to make a smaller quantity for an appetizer, so decided to roast a smaller piece of meat in the oven.  Our family's usual favorite is Tangy Pulled Beef, which has a little zing with pepperocini added as the meat finishes cooking.  For this dish, I wanted something a little fruity and after seeing a Whole Foods recipe for a cranberry pulled beef, decided to see what I could create.  I reached for a can of cranberry sauce and used ingredients I had on hand to make this dish - and it's a keeper.

  • 1 – 1.5 pound beef roast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 or 2 clementine or Satsuma oranges (or one small can mandarin oranges, drained)
  • crusty bread

Generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over roast. Heat oil in dutch oven, and brown roast on all sides. Transfer meat to an oven-proof baking dish that has a lid.  Add cranberry sauce and orange juice to browning pan.  Stir while the mixture comes to a boil.  Remove sauce from heat and pour over roast.  Cover baking dish with foil and then the lid, for a tight seal.  Bake at 350 degrees for 2-2.5 hours, until meat can be easily shredded with a fork.  Peel and separate oranges into segments.  Cut segments in thirds, and gently toss into meat. Serve on bread, either open-faced or as bite-sized sandwiches.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Simple Shrimp & Crab Cioppino.

This is my simple version of the Italian-American seafood stew, Cioppino.  Cioppino originated in the late 1800s in the San Francisco Bay area, created by Italian and Portuguese immigrants.  Typical recipes call for fish; any combination of fish or shellfish can be added to this recipe, which calls only for our family favorites, shrimp and crab.  Total prep and cooking time is under an hour, which makes it reasonable for a weeknight menu. 

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups white wine
  • I small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, & tails removed (thawed)
  • 2 - 6 ounce cans lump crab meat
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil or Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until onion and pepper are softened.  Add tomatoes (with juice), broth, wine, tomato paste, thyme, and parsley.  Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, add shrimp and crab.  Cook 5 minutes, just until shrimp are cooked.  Stir in basil or parsley and serve.  Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! Serve with fresh baguette slices.