Monthly Archives: February, 2013

What Wilfords’ Are Eating 2/18-2/22

Another week, another menu! I did some planning ahead of time because the boys took great naps on Friday!  So, I added in our plan for Sunday as well this week.  Have a great week!

 

Sunday: Turkey Meatloaf, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Homemade Garlic Fries*

Monday: Crispy Pesto Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Ham

Tuesday: Thai Chicken Wraps *

Wednesday: Cheese Tortellini with Meatballs*

Thursday: Leftovers (or Honey Ginger Glazed Pork Tenderloin)

Friday: Going out for pizza with some friends

 

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Raw Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

We needed a salad to go with our dinner. I didn’t have lettuce but had a bunch of kale. I had never made a fresh salad with raw kale before, assuming it would be too bitter or tough to eat in a salad. But, I was completely wrong! This has to be one of the BEST salads we have had to date!

After reading a bunch of different blogs, I learned that there are a few keys to a good kale salad. One, make sure the stems are completely removed. Apparently they are much of the reason for the bitterness that kale can have. Two, after you have washed and dried the kale, sprinkle the kale with a small amount of salt (a tsp. or less) and massage it into the kale. The kale will start to become a bit more fragrant and turn darker as the salt starts to work itself into the kale. This makes it more tender. Third, toss your salad with the dressing 15-30 minutes before you plan to eat. It won’t wilt like typical lettuce will but instead will further the process of making the kale tender.

Like I said, this was probably one of the best salads we have had recently! I didn’t measure the toppings I put on it. I basically grabbed several things we already had in the cupboard to make it tasty. So yummy! And, we plan to repeat it again on Saturday for our date night!

Raw Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Raw Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Dressing recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by, Deb Perelman

1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped to bite sized pieces
mixed sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds (I bought the roasted and salted kind)
dried cherries
parmesan cheese

Dressing:
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. smooth Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Baked Angel Hair Pasta With Tomato Artichoke Sauce

This meal was sort of a different take on a baked spaghetti.  It turned out pretty good though my boys only wanted the sausage and nothing to do with the noodles.  You can’t win them all!  I used a great all natural mild Italian chicken sausage that I found at Costco for the recipe. The sauce was delicious and easy to make as well.  I think it is one that I will just try putting in front of the boys again sometime to try to get them to eat it.

Side note – I didn’t originally plan to puree the sauce for this recipe. However, after simmering it, it seemed a bit too chunky for what I was hoping it would be.  Because of that, I realized after the fact that that this would be an easy recipe to add some additional hidden veggies into.  You could easily add some carrots, spinach, or cauliflower into the sauce as you cook it. Since you are pureeing it, no one would be the wiser!

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Baked Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Artichoke Sauce

6 links all natural chicken mild Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
3 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 – 6 oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
salt/pepper to taste
1 lb. whole wheat angle hair pasta
1/2 c. fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces

Instructions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, parsley, and garlic. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables become tender. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, artichokes, and basil. Stir and season with salt/pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place sauce in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth consistency.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Cook pasta until al dente, no more than 3 minutes. Drain and toss with pasta sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a casserole dish, place sausages and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot/cooked through. Remove from the oven. Set sausages aside. Place pasta into pan and top with sausage. Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until it begins to get just a bit crispy on top.

Add cheese to top and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

Food for Thought: This recipe would easily work as a freezer meal.  I would cook the meal through layering it all into the casserole dish.  Then, allow it to cool, cover it, and freeze.  Simply pop in the oven and bake until hot.

Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup smelled so good throughout the house that I could have just smelled it and been happy!  Fortunately, the taste was as good as the smell.  It was hearty and tasty with a sweet and savory combination that I really enjoyed!  I served it with some flat bread and some oranges on the side.  Yum!

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Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, January/February 2012

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 generous tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 c. cubed peeled butternut squash
1/2 c. shelled edamame
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 qt. chicken broth
1/2 c. uncooked Isreali couscous
1 tsp. salt
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
zest of one orange

Instructions:

Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add oil. Saute onion until tender (about 4-6 minutes). Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously for about 1 minute. Add the squash, edamame, and tomato paste. Continue cooking for another minute, stirring continuously. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add couscous and zucchini and simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until squash and couscous are tender. Remove from heat. Add in basil and orange zest. Serve immediately.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

What Wilfords’ Are Eating 2/11-2/15

I’m feeling like trying all new recipes this week and even doing a little Valentine’s Day inspiration for our meal on Thursday. Should be fun!

Monday: Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup*

Tuesday: Baked Angel Hair Pasta with Sausage and Tomato Artichoke Sauce*

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Heart-Shaped Mini-Calzones and Mini-Muffin Cookies*

Friday: Sweet Potato Chili Mac and Kale Gratin *

Saturday: The husband and I plan to do a date dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day after the boys go to bed. This is where we make something really simple for the kids and then have a relaxing dinner for the two of us after toddler bedtime without interruptions!  It’s a great way to have a date without going out or having to get babysitters. We plan to grill up some nice steaks, twice baked potatoes, and some green veggie (broccoli or green beans) to go with it. I am still thinking on dessert. I will post anything interesting that comes from that meal. But, I highly recommend this “date” night for parents of young kids! It really has been great for our marriage, giving us a chance to really reconnect while in the thick of the busy-ness of life with little ones!

Whole Wheat Waffles

Whole Wheat Waffles

Well, Geek Squad has our computer for the next 5-10 days so if my posts are fewer than normal and looking less than stellar it is because I am doing them all solely from my iPhone! Hopefully our PC is repaired sooner than later and I can get back to normal again.

In the meantime, here is a delicious recipe for whole wheat waffles that we made this weekend adapted from a recipe I found on http://www.100daysofrealfood.com.  They were soooooo good! We had them with bananas and maple syrup. Yum!

Whole Wheat Waffles

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

4 eggs

2 1/2 c. Buttermilk

1/2 c. Coconut oil

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together in another bowl. Combine wet and dry and stir well to combine. Preheat waffle maker. Follow the instructions for your maker as to how long to cook and how much batter to use. For our waffle maker it took about one cup of batter per batch. If you have extra waffles, allow to cool on a cooling rack before freezing.

One Dish Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

“Jumbie-Fridays” was a tradition for my sister and brother-in-law after I shared this recipe with them several years ago.  They loved it so much they made it on a weekly basis and often made it for company as well.  I actually forgot about the recipe for a long time until they recently moved in with us for a short while and made it one night.  I had forgotten how good it is!

The original recipe came from one of those little cookbooks in the checkout lane at the grocery store.  I took the original recipe and switched it up a bit.  I don’t like using condensed soups and this recipe called for condensed French Onion Soup.  It also called for instant white rice, another ingredient I have chosen to stay away from.  I prefer to use brown rice.  So, with that in mind, I needed to adjust the recipe in a few different ways.  I also added some additional veggies and flavoring to make it to our family’s tastes.

I know that what I made is not a traditional Jambalaya. But, what I like about this recipe is that it combines your vegetable, protein, and whole grains all in one delicious dish. It’s an easy dish to add, remove, and substitute depending on your personal preferences as well.

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One Dish Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut up
1 pkg. spicy Italian sausage links (I used a natural chicken sausage I found at Target, but also have found several at Trader Joe’s and Costco as well that have all natural ingredients that we like.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c. organic French onion soup (I used Pacific Organic French Onion Soup)
1-2 Tbsp. corn starch??
1/3 c. black bean salsa
1 c. uncooked brown rice (basmati or jasmine)
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. chopped carrots
pinch cayenne
salt/pepper to taste

Instructions:
In skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink in middle. Add garlic and Italian sausage and cook for another 2-3 minutes until sausage is hot through. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40-45 minutes until rice is tender. Keep an eye on it as it cooks to make sure it doesn’t get too dry. Add additional French onion soup if more moisture is needed.

Husband Rating: 8 out of 10

Food for Thought: Another thing you could consider adding to this recipe could be some shrimp.  The recipe originally calls for it but it is not something we have around the house often so I just left it out.  But, when I do have it around, it is usually the fully cooked kind so we simply thaw it and toss it in about 15 before serving to make sure they are hot.

Lentils and Carrots with Chicken and Swiss Chard

This meal could have been a total disaster… in fact I thought it was.  When my husband called to say he was en route, I told him we might be taking leftovers from last night out if I couldn’t come up with the right combination of flavors to save this meal. But, it all came together in the end! Forgive me though if I don’t give completely precise measurements for everything I added to the meal.  It was one of those times I just started grabbing items from the cupboard and fridge to make the flavors work.  And, fortunately it worked!!!

IMG_0458

 

Lentils and Carrots with Chicken and Swiss Chard

Recipe adapted from http://www.thenourishinghome.com

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
pepper/garlic powder
1 1/2 bunches swiss chard
2 c. carrots chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 c. lentils, soaked and cooked (see below)
3 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
salt/pepper
1-3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 – 1 tsp. agave nectar

Instructions:

Wash Swiss chard and separate leaves from stems.  Rough chop the leaves and slice the stems.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil to medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with garlic powder and pepper and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Remove chicken from heat and set aside.

In the same pan, add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and heat to medium-high heat.  Add garlic, carrots, onion, swiss chard stems, cumin,and coriander.  Saute for 4-5 minutes until vegetables begin to turn tender.

Add swiss chard leaves, cover, and cook until leaves wilt.  Add water as needed, to maintain moisture.

Once leaves have wilted, add lentils and return chicken to pan.  Flavor with salt and pepper, lemon juice, and agave nectar to your preferences.

Serve immediately.

Husband Rating: 8 out of 10

Food for Thought: Soaking lentils is easy to do.  Simply place lentils in a large pot and fill with water until it is about 3 inches above the lentils.  Cover and let sit overnight.  The next day, drain lentils and rinse.  Return to pot and add water until water is about 2 inches above lentils.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until desired tenderness.  Drain. Extra prepared lentils can be frozen in smaller batches until needed for future recipes.

What Wilfords’ Are Eating 2/4-2/8

What are we eating this week?  Good question…  Here’s what I have come up with for the week!

Monday: Pork Carnitas Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa (from www.100daysofrealfood.com)

Tuesday: Lentil Soup*

Wednesday: Quesadillas – made with leftovers from Monday and/or with black beans, cheese, and tomatoes

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya* (I was supposed to have made this a few weeks ago but never did so will get around to it this week!)

Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola Quiche

Yummmmm!  This was a great addition to the baby shower menu – a great non-meat option for a quiche that was full of flavor and filling without feeling too heavy.  I really liked it and will definitely use this recipe again.  It was also super easy to make and yet seemed fancier or more involved that it actually was! As with the other quiche I made for the baby shower, this was completely eaten before I could take a photo. I guess that means we just get to make it again!  🙂

Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola Quiche

Recipe adapted from http://www.marthastewart.com

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
salt/pepper to taste
2 oz. Gorgonzola
1 prepared pie crust

Instructions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until onions caramelize (turn golden brown). Remove from heat and set aside.

Place pie crust in prepared pie pan (I lightly greased my pie pan).

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, and salt/pepper. Crumble the gorgonzola into the egg mixture. Gently stir in the caramelized onions. Pour into pie crust.

Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

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