A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Peas and Carrot Soup April 9, 2011

Filed under: eat your vegetables,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 7:49 am
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This recipe came from a recent Rachel Ray magazine…Mike picked it out and I must admit, I was skeptical! BUT…not only is it very simple to make, but it is amazingly delicious! Who knew!? We liked it so much I’ve made it like three times since! It tastes a bit like pot pie filling but without the meat. It could easily be made vegetarian by swapping out the chicken stock for vegetable stock. The dumplings give it enough body to make it a meal.

 

Peas and Carrot Soup

2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
3 tablespoons butter
3 carrots—peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 fresh bay leaf
2 rounded tablespoons flour
One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock (I used Chicken)
1 rounded tablespoon dijon mustard
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon, dill or parsley
One 8-ounce box biscuit mix (about 2 cups), such as Jiffy Buttermilk Biscuit Mix, batter prepared according to package directions (I used low fat biscquick)

Method:

Heat a couple of tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Add the butter to melt, then add the carrots, celery and onion; season with salt, pepper and the bay leaf. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots soften, 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables and stir for a minute, then whisk in the chicken (or vegetable) stock until thickened. Stir in the mustard and peas. For a thinner soup, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups water with the stock.

Add the chopped fresh herbs to the biscuit batter and combine. When the soup is bubbling, form the batter into small dumplings using 2 spoons, then drop onto the surface of the soup. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook the dumplings, gently stirring, until just firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the soup and dumplings to shallow bowls; discard the bay leaf.

 

Vegetable Lo Mein* November 2, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta — frappqueen @ 1:01 pm
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This recipe had a decent amount of chopping and prep, but if you have a lovely helper (such as my dear husband), it goes by pretty quick! This is actually from an episode of Giada at Home or whatever her new show is called, in which she makes Chinese food for her family instead of Italian! crazy! I have to say, its really really good, you don’t miss the meat at all, and the sauce is so good I could have just had a bowl of that! Give it a try when you have a little extra time to make dinner!

Giada’s Vegetable Lo Mein

8 ounces Chinese long beans or green beans, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces to yield about 2 cups
2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into matchstick-size pieces (ahem, bought the pre-prepped bag!)
*8 ounces fresh or dried chow mein noodles (Giada is crazy, she means LO MEIN NOODLES, chow mein noodles are not spagetti-like)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 large shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup hoisin sauce**
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
*Can be found at specialty Asian markets though I got mine at Stop and Shop!

Method:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and carrots and cook for 1 minute. Drain and put in a bowl of iced water until cool, about 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

Return the water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the noodles, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until the noodles are lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, beans, carrots, and water chestnuts and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until slightly reduced and thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the green onions to stir and serve with crispy Chinese noodles if you have them!

*Note: Giada actually calls this recipe Vegetable Chow Mein. But uh, Chow Mein doesn’t involve noodles. Its more like vegetables and sauce, that’s it. The only noodles that resemble what she wants are Lo Mein, so that’s what I call it! Maybe its different in actual Asian locations, but in America, its definitely not Chow Mein!

 

Fresh roasted tomato Sauce September 13, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta — frappqueen @ 6:44 pm
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This is a nice one when you have lots of tomatoes from your thriving garden and want to eliminate them in an easy and tasty way. Or, if you are like me and kill any plant you lay your hands on, you can just buy some nice grape or cherry tomatoes from the store and make it anyway!

Fresh Roasted Tomato Sauce

about a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (or more if you have a crowd- a pint made enough for two plus leftovers)

salt and pepper

olive oil (like 3 tbsp)

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

fresh parmesan cheese for grating over the top

fresh basil, torn (about 2 tbsp)

Method:

Preheat oven to 450. While it is heating, make spagetti or whatever pasta makes you happy on the stovetop. When it is cooked, save about a cup of the pasta water when you drain it. Don’t be like me and dump it all out and THEN remember the pasta water. That stuff isn’t coming back!!

Spread tomatoes out on a baking dish that has sides…those glass ones are nice. Drizzle with the olive oil, and add salt and pepper rather liberally. Swish tray around to coat evenly. Bake the tomatoes in the oven until they start to shrivel and burst open. This will take around 10 minutes, or a little more.

After straining the pasta (and  saving that water!) Combine the pasta with the tomatoes and any drippings into a bowl (you can add a little bit of pasta water to the pan to collect more drippings if you feel you are missing out during the initial pour). Add in an extra tbsp or two of olive oil, plus the vinegar, basil and half of the cooking water. Toss and coat the pasta, making a very light sauce. If it is too dry, add the remaining pasta water. Sprinkle with cheese and toss again. Add some salt and pepper if it needs it.

Serve with extra cheese, because you can never have enough of that…and also some garlic bread. It makes it extra perfect in my opinion. Enjoy!

 

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder September 9, 2010

Filed under: one dish,soup and stew — frappqueen @ 8:35 pm
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I made this soup on a VERY hot day. That was a very dumb idea. Sure, it was tasty, and sure it wasn’t too hard to make. But uh, eating SOUP when it is about 100 degrees in your house is not fun. It makes you sweatier and then it makes you want to pass out because you are 7 1/2 months pregnant and so hot you feel like you might die! Whoops! So, it might be good to make this NOW when it is lovely and fall-like and more like 65 in the evenings. Just a thought. You can totally still get yellow squash at your local place of produce, and if not, I bet butternut squash would be delightful in it’s place!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder (from Cooking Light, August 2010)

2  slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4  cup  sliced green onions, divided
1/4  cup  chopped celery
1  pound  yellow summer squash, chopped
1  pound  frozen white and yellow baby corn kernels, thawed and divided
2 1/4  cups  1% low-fat milk, divided
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Method:

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Add 1/2 cup onions, celery, and squash to drippings in pan; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside. Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth (I used my handy dandy Magic Bullet, it is my best friend!).  Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to blender; process just until combined. Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon bacon, 1 tablespoon remaining onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Please eat in air conditioning, or else avoid during a heat wave. Enjoy!

 

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette August 31, 2010

Filed under: side dishes — frappqueen @ 7:43 am
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This one is reallyl good, and it is made with orzo, which is kind of like tiny pasta in the shape of rice. It is super delicious! Mike and I liked it because it was really easy to make and had a nice greek kind of pasta salad feel. It’s excellent on a hot summer day, or as a side to maybe a nice marinated chicken or lamb dish.

I ate half of it before I realized I hadn’t photographed it yet, whoops!

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette*

1 c. uncooked orzo (rice shaped pasta)

2 c. bagged prewashed baby spinach, chopped

1/2 c. chopped, drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes, halved

3 tbsp chopped red onion (I used half an onion)

3 tbsp chopped pitted kalamata olives (I think I cheated and used a can of olive rings)

1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained

1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled and divided

Method:

Cook the orzo according to the package directions, drain. Rinse with cold water. Combine with the spinach and next five ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Drain artichokes, but RESERVE the marinade. Coarsely chop the artichokes and add them, as well as the marinade and 1/2 c. of the feta cheese to the orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Top with remaining feta cheese.

*from Cooking Light

Note: If you HATE artichokes, you might get a similar result if you just mix a bit of greek salad dressing into the orzo mixture. Artichokes are good though, and their marinade is awesome! Give em a try!

 

Zucchini Bread! July 29, 2010

Filed under: baking,breads,eat your vegetables — frappqueen @ 8:16 am
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Man, who knew blogging could be so difficult?! I had taken a few pictures with my awful point and shoot camera last week, and when, in my sleepy pregnant haze, I went to insert the memory card into my computer, I MISSED and put it in the cd spot instead! It has been trapped there for the past week, but finally, with the help of tiny tweezers and a screwdriver, my husband has rescued the memory card! yay!

Now you can see my delicious recipe for zucchini bread. It is really easy to make, particularly if you have a food processor with a shredding blade. It is also super delicious and filling. Yum!

This recipe actually comes from good ol’ Paula Deen on the foodnetwork.com website. It has great restraint for Paula, I don’t think it has any butter in it, though there is definitely some oil!

Zucchini Bread

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini**
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

**to grate the zucchini, you can totally break your back and fingers and use one of those hand held grater things, but I always scrub my knuckles on them. I just chop my zucchini up into like 4 wedges, add the grating attachment to my food processor, and plop the zucchini in there! Done in seconds!

 

Panzanella and Sausage Salad July 10, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,meat — frappqueen @ 6:43 am
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Here is a great one from my Rachel Ray magazine! I LOVE all forms of Panzanella salad, which is basically italian bread salad. It usually has toasted hunks of bread, a yummy dressing, tomatoes, peppers and other summertime veggies. This one adds sausage to it, making it a really hardy meal but still great to make on a sweltering summer day!

Panzanella and Sausage Salad

Four 3/4-inch-thick slices italian bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
4 italian sausage links(about 1 pound)

*I added one yellow pepper, chopped up, as I LOVE peppers in my panzanella salad!

Method:

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Brush the bread slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and garlic; season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Meanwhile, arrange the bread on the grill and toast on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and top with half of the cheese; cover and grill for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into cubes and add to the tomato mixture. Stir in the basil.

Pierce the sausages with a fork, arrange on the grill, cover and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Thickly slice the sausages and add to the bread salad. Divide among 4 plates and top with the remaining cheese.