Monday, September 18, 2017

really easy and delicious vegetarian chili

It's unlike me to post vegetarian main dishes and now I've posted two in a row!  My oldest wants to eat less meat so I'm trying some new recipes.   This looked easy and had great reviews so we gave it a try.  My family loved it!  Two family members ate theirs before the rest of us got home.  When I asked if they had pulled out the shredded cheese, cilantro and sour cream they said it didn't need it!  This is good stuff.  And SOOO easy.

really easy and delicious vegetarian chili (adapted from
1 onion, diced (I used 1/2 red onion and 1/2 white)
1 (28 ounce) can pureed tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
2 can great northern beans, drained
2 cans chili beans with spices, undrained
2 cans kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or 2 packets)
1 packet ranch dressing mix (I found one without MSG, it was store brand)

toppings: shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced green onions, sour cream (all optional)

In a big pot saute the onions for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes, beans and spices.  Bring to a boil and cook until thoroughly heated.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

slow cooker indian-spiced lentils

First of all this dish is outstanding!  Second, it was exciting because I don't recall ever buying red lentils so I got to try something new.  My kids looked at it and were unsure but ate it up. Then asked for more!  My husband said it tastes a lot like what we'd get at Evergreen, our favorite Indian restaurant downtown.  I was excited to try this recipe because my teenager wants to eat less meat.  Not only is this recipe full of lentils but also an enormous bag of spinach!  This recipe is very healthy with lots of protein and iron and other good stuff I'm sure.  A big thank you to my friend Mandy for passing this recipe along!

slow cooker indian-spiced lentils (my friend Mandy found it at Our Best Bites, slightly adapted)
2 cups red lentils
10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
handful of chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
serve over cilantro lime rice- it was delicious!

Combine all ingredients except for the lime juice and cilantro in the pot of a slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.  Before serving add the lime juice and cilantro.

cilantro lime rice

This is my new favorite rice.  I discovered how versatile it is when I used it for Mexican bowls one night,  Thai chicken another night and last night withIndian-spiced red lentils (a recipe you have to try!).  It complements so many dishes really well.

cilantro lime rice
2 cups brown basmati rice
5 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken broth granules
big handful of cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Put rice, water and chicken broth granules in a rice cooker.  Turn on and allow to cook.  When it's done cooking add cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper.  Stir well to combine.  That's all!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

instant pot thai chicken

This was really tasty.  I liked that the flavors were mild.  I paired it with some cilantro lime rice that was leftover from a different night and it went together perfectly.  I wasn't sure if my kids would like the peanut sauce but they did!  They ate the chicken and dipped naan bread (from Trader Joes) in the extra sauce.

instant pot thai chicken (Pressure Cooking Today)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (I used a bag of thawed chicken thigh strips which was 2.7 pounds from Tyson)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I need to use more next time!)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, optional
green onions or cilantro chopped for garnish, optional

Select Saute and add 1 tablespoon oil to the instant pot.  When oil is hot brown the chicken in small batches.  Set the browned chicken onto a platter.
When all the chicken is browned, add chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, cilantro, lime juice, red pepper and ginger.  Stir to combine.
Add the browned chicken to the pot with any juices that have collected on the platter.  Turn off Saute.  Cover pot and lock lid in place. 
Select Poultry and 10 minutes cook time.  After 10 minutes turn off pressure cooker and use quick release method.  Remove chicken thighs from the pot leaving the sauce.
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water.  Add cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pot stirring constantly.  Select Saute and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  After sauce thickens, add thighs and coat with the sauce (if you want a sweeter sauce, add some sugar).  Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and/or green onions.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

quick and easy fish stew

This soup is delicious!!!  It was so quick to make.  Makes me want to take a trip to the coast.

quick and easy fish stew (adapted from Simply Recipes)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons tomato paste
6.5 ounce can chopped clams with juice
2 cups chicken broth
2 pounds fish fillets (use a firm fish- I used cod), cut into 2" pieces
pinch of oregano
dash of Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Add parsley and stir 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and tomato paste and gently cook for 10 minutes.  Add clams with juice, broth and fish.  Bring to a simmer until the fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart.  Add seasoning.  Serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

instant pot meaty italian pasta dinner

All of my kids liked this one and it was easy in the Instant Pot.  I liked the flavor that the balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce gave this recipe.  It was great.

instant pot meaty italian pasta dinner (homemade food junkie)
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground sausage (I used spicy chicken sausage)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted peppers, chopped
12 ounces uncooked pasta
20 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 1/2 cups water
6 ounce can tomato paste
15 ounces tomato sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

Select the saute function.  After it heats add the oil.  Add the meat and break it up and cook until completely browned.  Add the garlic and peppers and stir.  Add the uncooked pasta.  Add the liquids and the tomatoes.  Stir all together.  Secure the pressure cooker lid.  Select manual for 6 minutes and seal the vent.
When cooking is done turn the instant pot off and use quick release.
Stir in the mozzarella cheese.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

instant pot ginger garlic drumsticks

I love how my new Instant Pot is inspiring me to try new recipes again.  Cooking and eating was becoming a blah experience.  I enjoy having something new to look forward to toward the end of the day.  Everyone enjoyed the chicken.  The meat is always so tender from the Instant Pot and full of flavor.  What will I try next?

instant pot ginger garlic drumsticks (Living Sweet Moments) 
12 chicken drumsticks, skin on 
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey 
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
2 garlic clove minced1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced

In the instant pot, mix the sauce ingredients: water, soy, honey, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and onion until combine.
Add chicken drumsticks and push them down so they are submerged in the sauce as much as possible.
Cook on high for 10 minutes.
Let the drumsticks cool for 5 minutes before releasing the steam.
Release the steam.
Remove the drumsticks and place on a cookie sheet with a lip lined with foil.
Push the saute button so the sauce boils and starts reducing.  Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water and stir into the sauce to thicken.
Pour sauce over the drumsticks and place sliced onion over the top.  Broil for 2 minutes on each side.

Note:  I doubled the sauce ingredients.  I'm glad I did because my family enjoyed the extra sauce on sticky rice.