Thai Peanut Soup

This weekend my husband was craving the peanut sauce served with many Thai dishes. He suggested we make spring rolls with peanut sauce for dinner, but I wasn’t in a spring roll kinda mood (poor guy, he tries!). Instead of making something with peanut sauce, I decided to try my hand at Thai Peanut Soup! I used this recipe as inspiration, and was quite pleased with the results!

Thai Peanut Soup IngredientsIngredients

  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, pressed
  • 2 Gypsy Peppers, diced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 3 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Fresh Cilantro (chopped for garnish)
  • Unsalted, dry roasted Peanuts (chopped for garnish)

Step One: In a large pot, cook the onions, peppers and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

Onions Peppers Garlic

Step Two: Add all other ingredients (except cilantro and chopped peanuts), and stir to combine. Simmer until cooked through, stirring regularly (5 – 8 minutes).

Thai Peanut Soup Cooking

Step Three: Remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with the cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Thai Peanut Soup

This recipe makes about 6 servings, but don’t count on any leftovers! The creamy consistency and intricate flavor of this soup made it impossible to have just one bowl! With a relatively simple ingredient list – and only about 12 minutes of cook time – this recipe is sure to become a staple in our house… I especially can’t wait to make this again on a chilly Fall evening!

Happy Cooking!
~ Megan

 

Farm to Table Friday: Eggplant, Tomato, Zucchini, Potato

From Bailey
Chicken Eggplant Sorrentino

For many years I worked at an Italian restaurant, and one of my favorite dishes was Chicken Sorrentino, This delicious dish comes to mind anytime I have an eggplant in the house. It’s very easy to make and very tasty!

IMG_1485

Ingredients
These amounts are for four chicken breasts, feel free to increase or decrease as needed

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce (I like to use homemade, but pre-made works in  a bind)
  • 1 cup fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups Panko or other Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning

Start by slicing the eggplant longways into long slices. You’ll want them less then 1/2 inch thick, you’ll need one slice for each of the chicken breasts.  Put the eggs in a bowl and whip them up, put the breadcrumbs with a couple of dashes of the salt, pepper and Italian spices on a plate and mix it up. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg then coat generously with the breadcrumbs. Put each breaded eggplant slice on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven. Bake them about 10 minutes, then flip and bake about 10 minutes more. The breadcrumbs should brown.

IMG_1478 IMG_1479

While the eggplant is baking dice up 1/2 green pepper and a small onion as well as about 5 cloves of garlic. Coat the bottom of a large deep pan with olive oil and heat it up, add the garlic then the peppers and onions and saute. Add most of the sauce and get it all simmering. Then add the chicken breasts and put a lid on the pan to cook the chicken through. After the tops of the chicken breasts appear white, flip them and let them cook to 165 degrees internal temperature.

IMG_1480 IMG_1482 IMG_1483

When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven. When the chicken is done put two pieces of prosciutto on top of each breast. Then layer a slice of eggplant on top of that. Then put some of the mozzarella cheese on top and finally cover it with a bit of the sauce. Put the lid back on the pan and cook until the cheese melts. When the cheese melts they are ready to serve and enjoy!

From Megan
Cheesy Veggie Bake

We got quite a few different kinds of veggies this week, so I was looking for a good way to incorporate as many as I could. Then I remembered that I had seen this recipe on Pinterest, and decided I had to try it! It was super easy to make, and very yummy!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 medium Zucchini $0.71
  • 1 medium Yellow Squash $0.85
  • 1 medium Potato $0.91
  • 1 medium Tomato $1.65
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan)

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice the onion and set aside. Thinly slice the other veggies.

Sliced Veggies

Step Two: Sauté the onion and minced garlic in olive oil until softened (about five minutes).

Step Three: Spray the inside of an 8×8 square baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and oregano.

Veggies in Pan Stacked Veggies

Step Three: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.

Veggies with Cheese Cheesey Veggie Bake

Farm to Table: Cantaloupe, Tomatoes, Basil

Complete Plate

Whenever I see cantaloupe I think of my favorite appetizer: prosciutto and melon! That’s so simple to make though, so I thought about making it into a salad with a little more to it. It turned out great!

Ingredients:

To make the salad:

10 oz. arugula (I used 1/2 arugula and 1/2 arugula blend to add variety)

1 medium cantaloupe

8 – 10 slices of prosciutto

about a cup of slivered almonds
To make the dressing:

1/4 cup champagne vinegar (if you can’t find champagne, use white wine)

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (use what you have, I had sage, rosemary and mint)

1. Put the slivered almonds into a pan on the stove and toast them. Toss them frequently to get them to brown on each side. When they are done set them to the side and use the same pan to crisp up some prosciutto. Put a little olive oil in the pan, then add about 1/2 of the prosciutto that has been diced up. Saute it in the pan until it gets crispy. This adds a variety of textures to the salad.

 toasting almonds toasted almonds cooked prosciutto   diced prosciutto

2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the oil. Mix them together with a small whisk. slowly whisk in the oil to get the mixture to emulsify. Whisk very quickly. Set the dressing aside as you prepare the salad.

 dressing ingredients mixed dressingDiced Cantaloupe

3. Take the cantaloupe and cut it into small-medium size pieces. Use a melon baller if you have one.

4. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuces, (now cooled) almonds, the diced cold prosciutto, the diced crispy prosciutto and the melon. Toss the dressing on the salad and serve! It’s a great salty, sweet combination.

 Untossed Salads Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad

For the Main Course we had an assortment of Gluten Free pizzas. We started with a crust from Bob’s Red Mill.

Pizza # 1 – Margherita

To start we brushed the crust with olive oil. We topped it with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil.  It’s a classic for a reason!

Crusts Uncooked Margherita Pizza Margherita Pizza

Pizza #2 – Grilled Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza

To begin we took potatoes, yellow squash, and carrots, sliced them and put them on the grill. Once they were grilled on both sides we brushed the crust with olive oil then laid a single layer of prosciutto on the crust. We then layer the veggies in a rotation on top of the crust. We tossed a few tomatoes on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese then baked both crusts in the oven. They came out lovely and delicious!

grilling veggies Uncooked Veggie Pizza Veggie Pizza

Chicken Fettuccine Fauxfredo

A few years ago, my dairy-loving husband developed a lactose intolerance (poor guy), and we’ve since tried to limit the amount of dairy in our diet. Not long ago, he mentioned to me how much he missed being able to eat alfredo, which prompted me to hunt for a good dairy-free alfredo recipe. Using this recipe for inspiration, I set out on an adventure to make some “fauxfredo”!

Fauxfredo IngredientsChicken Fettuccini Fauxfredo

  • 1 package of fettuccini
  • 1 lb. of diced chicken breast
  • 1 can of Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast (we had a hard time finding this in a store, so we ordered it online)
  • 1 tbsp. minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried Basil
  • 2 tbsp. torn fresh Basil
  • Salt (I used course, kosher salt) and fresh ground Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

Step One: Prepare pasta according to package directions. While your pasta is cooking, begin to prepare your chicken. Pour some olive oil in a large pan or skillet and heat until shimmering. Add your chicken and your fresh basil, season with some salt and pepper, and cook on medium high heat.

Chicken Cooking

Step Two: Put the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, dried basil, and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Blend (I used an immersion blender) until well mixed. My sauce stayed pretty liquid-y at this point, so I poured it over the chicken (which was done at this point), added a tbsp. or cornstarch dissolved in a tbsp. of warm water, and stirred over low heat until heated through and creamy.

Fauxfredo Sauce

Step Three: Strain your pasta and pour into a serving bowl. Pour your chicken and sauce over the pasta, toss to coat, and enjoy!

Chicken Fettuccini Fauxfredo

While this didn’t taste *exactly* like alfredo, it was pretty stinking close! Best of all? It not only got the “husband seal of approval” for satisfying his alfredo craving, but it’s much healthier than regular alfredo! Win/Win! Do you have any favorite dairy-free recipes?

Happy Cooking!
~ Megan

Farm to Table Friday: Tomatoes, Corn, Peppers

Tacos and CornAs soon as we saw corn, tomatoes, and green peppers on our CSA list, we were inspired to head south of the border for this week’s Farm to Table dinner! This meal ended up being perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. On the menu this week:

Carnitas Tacos
Fire Roasted Salsa
Sauteed Corn & Pepper Salad

From Bailey
Carnitas Tacos & Fire Roasted Salsa

To start we made Carnitas Tacos. This slow cooked pork is one my favorite items to order at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of going slow and making this on a smoker, I have a great recipe to make carnitas in a crock-pot.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder

This is very easy to assemble. Combine all the dried spices, pat them all over the pork shoulder. Put the shoulder in your crock pot, cover it with the chicken broth and drop in the bay leaves. I usually do this at night, then stick it in the fridge. Before I leave for work the next morning I pop it onto low and when I get home in the evening the meat is ready to go. I take it out of the crock pot and shred the meat with tongs or a fork.

IMG_1374 IMG_1376 IMG_1380

Fire Roasted Salsa

  • About 2 lbs. assorted Tomatoes (preferably small or medium)
  • About 1 lb. assorted Peppers (I use the small sweet peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced or minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Special Materials: A food processor or blender

Step One: Clean the peppers and tomatoes, then put them on a preheated grill. Turn them every few minutes to get a good char on each side.

Tomatoes and Peppers Veggies on the Grill Roasted Veggies

Step Two:  When the peppers and tomatoes are roasted, put them in a food processor bowl, You will easily be able to pull apart the peppers to remove the stems and seeds. Add the chopped onion, juice of the lime, the cilantro, garlic, and as much jalapeno as you want to control the spice level. Fire up the food processor and work the ingredients until you get a salsa consistency.

Salsa on the Stove

Step Three:  Move the salsa from the food processor to a pot and heat it on the stove to meld the flavors, serve warm.

**If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or just chop everything by hand. You will end up with a chunkier salsa, but it will still taste delicious!

We used gluten free, corn soft-shell  tacos for the Carnitas Tacos, and topped out tacos with the Fire Roasted Salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime juice. Delicious!!

From Megan
Sautéed Corn and Pepper Salad

Since we had already made corn on the cob, I wanted to try something new that could also incorporate the green pepper. I came up with this Mexican-inspired sautéed corn and pepper salad. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor. I liked it so much, I ended up making it again to bring to a cookout later in the week!

Corn IngredientsSautéed Corn & Pepper Salad

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One: Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. I found it easiest to hold the ear of corn in a large bowl while I cut it, so the kernels did not fly everywhere.

Step Two: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the corn, green pepper, and red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, stir once, and remove from heat.

Saute Corn

Step Three: Pour the corn, pepper, and onion into a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Mixing Corn

Baked Lemon Dill Tilapia

Tilapia is a wonderfully versatile fish – the flavor is mild enough that the taste can be drastically altered depending on how it is prepared.  Usually when I cook tilapia, I like to make it on the stove… but when the days get hot and humid, standing over a hot stove is the LAST thing I want to do! So today I thought I would share a light, easy recipe for baked tilapia! The dill and lemon flavors are fresh and crisp, making this dish perfect for warm weather dining. And best of all? This dish can be prepared in under 25 minutes!

Baked Lemon Dill Tilapia

  • Fresh Tilapia Fillets
  • 1/2 stick of Butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup chopped Dill
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the tilapia fillets in a glass baking dish.

Tilapia in Pan
Step Two
Juice one lemon, and set the juice aside. Cut the other lemon into thin slices.

Sliced Lemons

Step Three
Season the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the fillets with the cubes of butter.

Seasoned Tilapia

Step Four
Pour the reserved lemon juice over the tilapia, then coat with the chopped dill.

Tilapia with Butter and Dill
Step Five
Arrange the lemon slices over the fillets and bake for 12 – 15 minutes (until the fish is opaque all the way through).

Lemons on Herbed Tilapia
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare tilapia?
Happy Cooking!
~Megan

Chicken and Pasta in Chardonnay Tomato Sauce

Have you ever been in the mood for pasta, but the thought of red sauce just seemed too heavy? Sure, you could use a different sauce, but then you’d miss out on that yummy tomato flavor. Never fear – I have the solution to your pasta dilemma!

When I’m looking for a lighter take on traditional tomato-based pasta sauces, I like to make a Chardonnay Tomato sauce to serve with chicken and pasta! This dish still has the richness of the tomato flavor, without the weight of a traditional red sauce. The wine adds a freshness that makes this dish perfect for warm weather!

Chardonnay Tomato Pasta with Chicken

  • 1.5 lbs of cubed Chicken BreastIngredients
  • 1.5 cups of quartered Campari Tomatoes (or whole grape tomatoes)
  • Minced Shallots (to taste)
  • Minced Garlic (to taste)
  • 187mL of Chardonnay
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Concentrated Chicken Stock
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pasta

Step One: Add olive oil, shallots, and garlic to a pan. Heat until fragrant, then add the chicken. While you are doing this, begin boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta of your choice.

Garlic and Shallots

Step Two: Add the wine to the chicken, and cook until the wine reduces by half.Chicken and Wine

Step Three: Add the tomatoes and the condensed chicken stock (I used two stock packets), and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the stock has dissolved and the tomatoes are mostly disintegrated. Your sauce should have a deep pink color.

Tomatos and Chicken Chicken Stock Gel White WIne Tomato Chicken

Step Four: Remove the tomato/chicken/wine mixture from heat and set aside. Strain your pasta and place in a bowl. Pour the tomato/chicken/wine mixture over the pasta and stir to coat.

    White Wine Tomato Pasta

Step Five: ENJOY!

For a different take on this, use whole grape tomatoes instead of quartered Campari tomatoes – the sauce will be lighter, with the chardonnay and chicken really taking the spotlight. The tomatoes will hold more of their shape for satisfying bite-sized pops of flavor.

Happy Cooking!
~Megan

Coconut Curry Chicken

We’ve instituted a new tradition at our house – slow cooker Saturdays! Since we are usually gone for longer than the time required for a standard crockpot recipe during the week, Saturdays seemed like the perfect day to try out some new crockpot recipes!

Up first? Coconut Curry Chicken! I used this recipe as inspiration, and was quite pleased with the results.

Coconut Curry ChickenCoconut Curry Chicken 2

  • 2 lb boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 5 Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can Tomato Paste
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp crushed Red Pepper Flakes

– Cut the chicken into cubes and put in the crockpot (I recommend using a crockpot liner for easier cleanup).

– Combine EVERYTHING ELSE in a food processor or blender until smooth, then mix with the chicken.

– Cook on low for about 7 hours, and voila! You’re done!

This recipe is super easy – perfect to throw together on a Saturday morning! As an added bonus, your house will smell amazing while this is cooking! I served my coconut curry chicken with rice and naan, and will definitely be making this again in the near future!

Happy Cooking,
Megan

Tortellini with Kielbasa and Edamame

I don’t know about all of you, but I am a BIG fan of quick & easy weeknight dinners… especially if they are healthy… and even more so if they don’t taste like a quick & easy dinner (no offense, EasyMac!).

I like to have some basic recipes that I can improvise and change depending on what ingredients I have around. One of my favorites is Tortellini with Kielbasa and Edamame! I use this recipe as a base, and I like that I can use any kind of sausage, swap the tortellini out for gnocchi, switch up the pepper, or add another veggie. The only ingredient I really need to make this dish is edamame… prompting my husband to dub this dish “Edamame Surprise!”

Photo 2013-05-17 11.18.12 AMThis time I used the following ingredients:

– One package of refrigerated Tortellini (tri-colored!)
– One Kielbasa
– One bag of frozen, shelled Edamame
– One Orange Pepper
– Olive Oil
– Minced Garlic (I usually prefer fresh, but prepared works in a pinch!)
– Italian Dressing

Start by boiling salted water for the tortellini. While you are waiting for the water to boil, heat olive oil and minced garlic in a pan. Use as much garlic as you want – I’m a garlic-loving gal, so I use a heaping tablespoon, but I won’t judge if you’re more of the scant teaspoon type.

As the oil and garlic is heating, cut the sausage into buttons and add to the pan. Next, cut up the pepper and add that to the pan. Cook all until the sausage is browned and the pepper is softened.

Photo 2013-05-17 11.18.32 AM Photo 2013-05-17 11.18.52 AM Photo 2013-05-17 11.19.13 AM

By the time you add the peppers to the pan, your water should be boiling. Add the tortellini and cook until almost tender, then add the frozen edamame. Bring the water back to a boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and drain.

Photo 2013-05-17 11.19.58 AMRemove the sausage and the peppers from heat and mix wit the drained edamame and tortellini. Add some Italian dressing, toss to coat, and there you have it! An easy weeknight dinner in under 15 minutes!

I hope you enjoy this dish – I’d love to hear how you adapt recipes for quick & easy dinners!

Happy Cooking,
Megan