Friday, April 29, 2016

russian cucumber and tomato salad

My daughter took this salad to school today for her class's international feast after having studied Russia.  This salad is wonderful and we actually took some back to school for her teacher who loved it.  Very simple salad and very yummy.

russian cucumber and tomato salad (Natasha's Kitchen)
4-6 medium Roma tomatoes (2 pounds)
4-5 small cucumbers or 1 English cucumber (1 pound)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
3/4 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper to taste
2 tablespoons green onion, sliced

Slice tomatoes and cucumbers and place them in a large bowl.  Thinly slice onion and add them to the salad bowl.  Add sliced green onion.  In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon  salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Just before serving, drizzle your salad with dressing and add more slat to taste if desired.  Don't add the dressing early or the tomatoes will be too juicy.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

store bought favorite: lemon, mustard and dill sauce

I picked up this bottle of lemon, mustard & dill sauce at Market of Choice (around $5) after I read the many things I could do with it on the back of the bottle.  I decided to throw this salad together and it was GREAT!  Even my kids ate it- it always surprises me when they eat spinach.  Not sure why.  I need to stop being so surprised.

grilled chicken & spinach salad with lemon, mustard and dill dressing
1/2 bottle lemon, mustard and dill sauce by dulcet
cooked whole wheat pasta
fresh spinach
2 cups grilled chicken, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons capers

Toss in a bowl.  Enjoy! This sauce is also good broiled over asparagus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

bow-tie chinese chicken salad

I tried this salad at a baby shower over the weekend and it was soooo good that I wanted to make it at home as soon as possible.  It was perfect that I had leftover teriyaki chicken in the fridge.  I was certain that two of my daughters wouldn't eat it but I was sooooo WRONG!  They enjoyed it too.  This recipe is a keeper and repeater.

bow-tie chinese chicken salad (Melissa C.)
2/3 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (I used fresh) 

1 bag baby spinach
12 ounce bag bow-tie pasta, cooked (I couldn't find bow-tie in whole wheat)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I omitted)
3-4 cooked chicken breasts (boil 20-30 min and shred with fork when cooled)
3 green onions, chopped

Make dressing in blender.
Marinate chicken in dressing for 1-2 hours or more in fridge.
Mix ingredients together a half hour before serving.

Note:  This makes A LOT of dressing.  I may need to cut it in half next time

Friday, April 8, 2016

peeps s'mores

Yesterday I went to Winco and bought the last of their peeps (.33 cents per box!) because our family gets a kick out of making s'mores with them.  I won't bother with the recipe- you know how how make them!  There's a chocolate mousse peep that's pretty fun to use too.
And just so you can see how cute our real little bunny is at four months old...thank goodness he's so cute because I really am not a pet person.  What we don't do for our kids!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

slow cooker pumpkin chicken curry

I decided that I enjoy leftovers more when meals are cooked slow-cooker style (just tastes better, and I love leftovers) so I adapted a recipe I found in Parents Magazine for a crock pot.  It was delicious!  And once again, easy.  My husband enjoyed his curry plain but I poured on the garlic chili sauce because I love it super spicy.  Two of my kids poured on the garlic chili sauce too. 

slow cooker pumpkin chicken curry (adapted from Parents Magazine, October 2015)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
1 onion (I carmelized mine)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix the puree, milk, onion, garlic, ginger, curry, salt and pepper in the slow cooker.  Add the chicken and stir to combine.  Put the lid on and cook on low for at least 6 hours.  Serve over brown basmati rice.  Pour on the garlic chili sauce if you like spice!

Note:  I meant to add spinach leaves at the end but forgot!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches

I had to text my sister who lives in South Carolina and tell her I was trying this recipe for the first time.  My house smelled divine for hours while it cooked all day.  I love this alternative to the typical pulled pork that I make.  I really enjoyed the hint of sweetness and mustard flavor.  Since I stay away from sugar I refrained from pouring some BBQ sauce over the top but that's what my family will do, for sure!  This made a great afternoon snack and I'll have another for dinner. And maybe one for dessert. ;)

slow cooker carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches (adapted from For the Love of Cooking
 4 pound boneless pork roast

2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used 2 tablespoons Splenda)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 large sweet yellow onion, cut into large chunks (I used a red onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar (I used Splenda)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

toasted whole wheat buns
shredded lettuce or prepared coleslaw
bbq sauce

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray.  Combine the brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, pepper and ground mustard together in a small dish.  Mix well until combined; rub evenly over the meat.
Place the pork into the slow cooker.  Add the onion chunks and garlic.
In a bowl mix the ingredients for the sauce.  Pour over the pork in the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 6-8 hours.  Shred the pork.
Make a sandwich on whole wheat buns and top with shredded lettuce or prepared coleslaw and barbecue sauce.

Monday, March 28, 2016

chicken green chili enchilada soup

This is super easy to make and super tasty!  Perfect for a night like tonight when we need to come home and eat dinner immediately because we'll all be starving.  Fortunately I just had a bowl of it before we start running around.  I'm serving this soup with some fresh jalapeno bagels with chive & onion cream cheese (from the bakery)- my family's new very favorite thing. 

chicken green chili enchilada soup (adapted from Taste and Tell)
 3 frozen chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 (29 ounce) can Las Palmas enchilada sauce
2 cans (4 ounces each) green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 cup cooked rice, optional
optional for serving: shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro

Spray the inside of your crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.  Place 3 frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot.  Add the onion, garlic, water, enchilada sauce, green chiles, chili powder, cumin and rice.  Cook on high for 6 hours.  Add the cream cheese and swirl around to make it nice and smooth.  Take the chicken out to shred it then put it back into the soup.  Enjoy!

Note: Next time I make the soup I think I'll add a can of petite diced tomatoes.