Black Beans & Rice with Sausage

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Ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2-3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 t paprika
cilantro, to taste
3 cooked black beans
1lb cooked sausage of your choice

Directions
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

Cut sausage into approx. quarter inch discs, saute in pan until heated through.

To rice, add the spices, black beans, and sausage. Mix and serve.

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Pasta with Garlic Shrimp & Broccoli

This one from AllRecipes was a winner with the entire family tonight. It felt extravagant—and sure, it’s not great to eat heavy cream and butter every night—but it came together easily and tasted delicious. Winning!

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package angel hair pasta
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Melt 1.5 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and cream; simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Mix in pesto, parsley, 3 cloves minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, place broccoli in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Saute shrimp, remaining 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.
  5. In a large bowl, toss pasta, shrimp and broccoli; pour sauce over and serve.

    **I used frozen shrimp with tails on, first thawing them in cool water and setting them aside. I used frozen broccoli, cooking it most of the way in the microwave and then tossed it the butter and garlic to heat up by sauteeing. After a minute or two I added the shrimp and heated it altogether. Easy.

 

Spiced Beef Patties with Couscous

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My daughter picked out this recipe from a library magazine. My intention was to have her make it, however she was putting away laundry so I went ahead alone. The beauty of a kid-picked recipe was that the weight of new-recipe-trying was completely off my shoulders—hoorah! As it turns out, this recipe is simple and DELICIOUS. A total win, and perhaps one of the best flavors of burgers my husband has eaten. 

2 carrots, finely grated
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 T chopped dried apricots or golden raisins
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 C couscous (10 oz)
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/4 C finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 t hot paprika
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground cinnamon

1. Combine 2 C water, half of grated carrots, 2 T olive oil, dried apricots, 1/4 t salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add couscous; cover and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to serve.

2. Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, half the cilantro, 1 t paprika and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Combine the ground beef, scallions, cumin, cinnamon, 1 t salt, remaining grated carrot, and 1 t paprika in a large bowl. Mix with hands until just combined. Form into four 3/4 inch thick oval patties.

4. Heat the remaining 1 T olive oil in large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add the patties and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in remaining cilantro. Serve the patties with the couscous and yogurt sauce.

Roasted Salmon Pasta with Tzatziki

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I pulled out this recipe from an online whole food kitchen class I took a few years ago. I knew it would be a bit of a stretch for my family, and sure enough, each of the kids said “ew” to the description. I did almost lose my nerve partway through, but I am so glad I persevered (not that it was a particularly hard recipe, just that I almost convinced myself I’d be eating it on my own for the next fourteen meals). I needn’t have worried. We ate every single bite, and I think Ian and Clara would have eaten even more had it been available.

Notes for next time: Jason said I could have doubled the salmon (and I agree). I was too lazy to make a gluten-free pasta option for myself, so I just gluten-ed it up with the rest of the family. Also, I didn’t get a picture of the tzatziki, but it was really good as well. The recipe notes say that traditional tzatziki uses mint as the fresh herb but that the dill pairs nicely with the salmon. I agree, but I might experiment with mint or even cilantro.

Also, the original recipe calls this “pasta salad.” I left out the “salad” because it was not at all salad-like in my opinion. The salmon and asparagus had cooled, and the tomatoes were room temperature, but I made the pasta last and tossed it while the pasta was hot, so overall the dish was warmer than room temp but not steaming by a long shot. The tzatziki was cool, and all those temperatures worked well together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6-ounce) cooked filet salmon, cooled and chopped into bite-sized pieces (I prepared it just like the salmon in this recipe); next time I would double this
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, sautéed and cooled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (remove the woody tips and add to a medium-hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper; sauté just a few minutes until bright green)
  • 1 package tricolor veggie pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions:

  1. Toss salmon, tomatoes, asparagus, and pasta in a large bowl (or, um, large skillet if you don’t have a large enough bowl)

For the tzatziki

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded (and roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup plain greek-style yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (or 3 teaspoons dried dill)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon salt)

Combine all the tzatziki ingredients in a food processor or blender and process on low until well blended.

Serve on the side to be spooned over pasta.

Apple Cider Braised Chicken and Fall Veggies

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I found and saved this recipe on Facebook a few weeks ago. Finding again and then cooking from a recipe on FB? I don’t even know. So I’m putting it here on NMB, and I can have it for always.

This smelled amazing and hit all the right notes. You know a recipe is a keeper when the kids ask for more vegetables and then even after two helpings go pick at the pan for their favorites (garlic! celery!).

This didn’t cook in the time the original recipe said it would (maybe I had too many vegetables?), so I’m going to post it here just like I made it. It’s a little fussy with moving from one pot to two, but not overly so, I don’t think.

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch squares
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped into 1-inch squares (next time I’ll probably double the potatoes–they were a favorite)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup apple cider or spiced apple cider (I used plain apple juice because that’s what I had)
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled (I’ll use more next time, another favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Start by chopping and peeling all the veggies and setting them aside. This doesn’t actually have to be done first, but I bet you’ll be happier getting it out of the way.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Next, heat coconut oil in a large dutch oven or oven safe pot with lid. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Add garlic and chicken to the oil and let chicken cook on each side for about 3 minutes at medium/high heat. Remove and add 1/4 cup cider to the pan to deglaze. Using something soft like a spatula, stir to remove any stuck bits from the pan. After a minute or so, add chicken back in, then cover with veggies and sage, a sprinkle of salt, 1 cup of cider, and cover. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  5. Now at this point, my chicken wasn’t nearly done, so I moved the drumsticks to a 9×13 glass pan and put the chicken and the veggies (now separated) back into the oven for about 15 minutes. If your chicken is done with the initial bake, great. Proceed to step 6.
  6. Scoop out all the chicken and veggies. There should be some of the cider and fat left in the pot. If its thick, you can use is straight up as gravy. If it’s still too thin, add some of the vegetables back in to the liquid and use an immersion blender to thicken into a gravy to serve atop chicken and veggies.
  7. Plate chicken with veggies, add a drizzle of cider gravy, and enjoy.

Crispy Chicken with White Wine Pan Sauce

Taken from Good Housekeeping magazine and served to friends tonight, this dish is a winner. That pan sauce…yum!

2 t olive oil
2.5lb chicken thighs
3/4 t salt, divided
2 medium shallots, chopped
2/3 C white wine
1/4 t dried rosemary
3 T sour cream
1/2 C chicken broth
chives

In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil on medium high. Season chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, skin sides down, 6-8 minutes or until browned. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet, skin sides up. Bake in 450 F oven 15 minutes or until cooked through.

To same skillet on medium, add shallots. Cook 2 minutes. Add white wine and rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits. Whisk in sour cream and chicken broth. Serve chicken with sauce, garnish with snipped chives.

Roast Chicken with Potatoes “By the Wall”

I found this recipe as a newlywed back in St. Louis and looked it up today to use as a mercy meal. This time around I approximated on all ingredients, pouring them into 1- and 2-gallon freezer bags to coat the potatoes and chicken. I purchased a tray of eight thighs, another of 12 (ish?) drumsticks, and used 5 lb of golden potatoes. It gave me 2-9×13 pans and 1-8×8 pan for a total of three meals. Score! And it was delicious to boot.

Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 2 1/4 pounds white-skinned potatoes, peeled, each cut into 6 long wedges
    • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I omitted this entirely)

Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush inside of large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano in bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, salt, and pepper. Arrange chicken in single layer in center of prepared pan. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Drizzle chicken with lemon juice and any remaining oil mixture from bowl of potatoes.
    2. Roast chicken and potatoes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 1 hour 10 minutes.