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Sesame Noodles with Chicken

16 May

(We do this without chicken, so I have categorized as vegetarian)

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 scallions (white and green parts), sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions
Game Plan: Make the sauce while the noodles cook.

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat. When the pasta water boils, salt it generously, add the spaghetti or noodles, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Put the spaghetti in a large bowl and toss with the sesame oil.

To make the Peanut Sauce: In a blender drop in the garlic and ginger while the motor is running. When the chopping is complete, stop the machine and add the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and red pepper. Process until smooth, then–with the blender running–slowly pour in the water.

To serve, toss the spaghetti with the Peanut Sauce, then top with the cucumber, chicken, scallions, and peanuts.

Cook’s Note: Toasted sesame oil delivers richness and intensity to our sesame sauce with just a drizzle. Maintain its punch by storing it in your refrigerator.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/sesame-noodles-with-chicken-recipe/index.html

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Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

8 May

We tried this recipe a couple of nights ago and really liked it!  The chicken didn’t seem to do a whole lot for the recipe, so we’re going to try increasing the sweet potato amount up by 1 or 2 cups next time.

Ingredients

•    2 tbsp olive oil
•    1 cup onion, diced
•    1 tbsp garlic, minced
•    1 tbsp chili powder
•    1 tsp cumin, ground
•    1 tsp salt
•    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
•    1/2 cup carrots, diced
•    1/2 cup celery, diced
•    1/4 cup red bell peppers, diced
•    2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
•    4 cups chicken broth
•    2 cups chicken, chopped
•    14 1/2 oz canned tomatoes with juice
•    1/2 cup creamy organic peanut butter
•    1 tbsp dry roasted peanuts, chopped
•    1 tsp cilantro, minced

Preparation
1.    Slice up chicken and place in a heated saute pan. Leave it slightly undercooked so it doesn’t overcook once added the soup.

2.    In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, and seasonings in olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is slightly softened.

3.    After 5 minutes, add carrots, celery, bell pepper, and sweet potato. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

4.    Stir in chicken, broth, tomatoes, and peanut butter.

5.    Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes (or until potatoes are tender).

6.    Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7.    Garnish soup with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

*Taken from: http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/recipes/peanut-and-sweet-potato-soup.html

Minestrone Soup

5 May

This is the copy cat recipe for Olive Garden’s minestrone soup.  Very good, healthy, and freezes well!  The vegetable ingredients are definitely variable, so I find myself adding more of some things and less of others depending on what we like.

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 45
Number of Servings: 8

Ingredients
•    2tablespoons olive oil
•    1/2 cup minced white onions (about 1 small onion)
•    1/4 cup chopped zucchini
•    1/4 cup frozen cut italian green beans
•    1/4 cup minced celery (about 1/2 stalk)
•    2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
•    4 cups vegetable broth
•    1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans , drained
•    1 (15 ounce) can small white beans or great northern beans , drained
•    1 /2 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
•    1/2 cup carrots , julienned or shredded
•    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
•    1 teaspoons dried oregano
•    1 teaspoons salt
•    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
•    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•    1 1/2 cups hot water
•    3 cups fresh baby spinach
•    1/3 cup small shell pasta

Directions

  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.
Number of Servings: 8

*Taken from: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=246310

Black Bean Burgers

5 May

Another one of my favorites!  It definitely tastes best if you make homemade hamburger buns ahead of time.

  • 2 cups well-cooked white, black or red beans, or chickpeas or lentils, or 1 14-ounce can, drained
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or the spice mix of your choice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Bean-cooking liquid, stock or other liquid (wine, cream, milk, water or ketchup) if necessary
  • Extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.

1. Combine all ingredients except liquid and oil in food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed. If necessary, add a little liquid for a mixture that is moist but not wet. Let mixture rest for a few minutes.

2. With wet hands, shape into patties and let rest again for a few minutes. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Film bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with oil and turn heat to medium. When hot, add patties. Cook undisturbed until browned, about 5 minutes; turn carefully with spatula and cook 3 or 4 minutes until firm and browned.

3. Serve on buns with mustard, ketchup, chutney or other toppings.

Yield: 4 servings.

*Taken from: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/15/dining/153mrex.html?_r=1

Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas

5 May

These sound really gross, but the combination is apple, sauerkraut, and cheddar is pretty great!

2 main-dish or 4 appetizer servings

Ingredients
•    1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed
•    1/2 cup water
•    2 9-to-10-inch (burrito-size) flour tortillas
•    1 1/3 cups grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
•    1 small Granny Smith or other tart, juicy apple, peeled and very thinly sliced, peeled and very thinly sliced

Preparation
1.    Put sauerkraut and water in a medium nonreactive skillet. Gently heat just until the liquid has evaporated but not so much that the sauerkraut begins to stick to the pan. Remove from the heat.

2.    Gradually heat a large cast-iron over medium heat. Put one tortilla in the pan and immediately sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over half of it. Quickly arrange about half the apple slices over the cheese, then top with half the sauerkraut, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with another 1/3 cup cheese.

3.    Fold the tortilla over the filled half and press gently on it with a spatula to seal. Heat the quesadilla until the bottom is golden, about 2 minutes, then carefully flip and lightly brown the other side. Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and cut it into halves or quarters. Prepare the second one in the same fashion. Variation: If you like, a little chopped ham tastes wonderful layered in with the other ingredients.

Taken from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/apple_sauerkraut_cheddar_quesadillas.html

Dilly Bean Potato Soup

19 Jan

Another potato soup!  This had great flavor, but isn’t as good the next day, so we’d recommend cutting it in half or even a quarter.

Serving: 12 or more

1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
6 carrots (shredded)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
In large soup pot saute in 2 tablespoons oil.

12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
9 large potatoes (diced)
salt to taste
Add and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.  Mash some of the potatoes in the broth mixture for creamier texture.

8-9 cups Great Northern beans
2 tablespoons dried dill weed
Add to soup.

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teasp pepper
Combine and stir into soup.  Cook and stir until thickened.

(We also add about 1 cup of cheddar cheese)
*Taken from Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

19 Jan

This is a big favorite of ours!  And we always have tons leftover, so cutting the batch in half helps.

3 cups sweet potatos (peeled and diced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
Saute in large frypan in 1 tablespoon oil just until tender.  Add water or apple juice as needed to prevent sticking.

2 cups cooked black beans
1 teasp ground cumin
3/4 teasp ground cinnamon
1/2 teasp salt
Add and cook until heated through.

8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)

Garnish with sour cream and fresh cilantro.