Chipotle Cauliflower Hot Wings

courtesy of Simple Seasonal

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OK, you guys, this may be the best snack…..EVER!!! And really easy! Just look at those lovely cauliflowers swimming in the spicy chipotle sauce. That’s Hot!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Cut up cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and then blanch them – boil the cauliflower and then ice water bath. Transfer to paper towels to dry.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup water, and oil. Toss the cauliflower in the flour mixture and toss to coat. Place cauliflower onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the batter begins to turn golden brown.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, make the chipotle sauce.
  5. In a small sauce pan, over medium-high heat, bring all ingredients except the apple cider vinegar to a simmer. Simmer for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat and add apple cider vinegar.
  7. Once the cauliflower is finished baking, keep it on the parchment paper baking sheet, coat with the chipotle sauce and then place cauliflower back in the over and bake for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.

Lunches this week -Chickpea Stew

Adapted from The First Mess20160131_133901-1.jpg

What can I say about this stew? How about “get in my belly”. There are a ton of spices melded in with onions and chickpeas, and then enveloped in a creamy coconut sauce. Heaven, I say, heaven. I have to admit, I had a spoonful or five of this while cooking, it’s a wonder I have any left for my lunches. Let’s take a closer look at this luscious, velvety goodness.20160131_134307-1.jpg

Did I mention how good this is? Did I mention there are spices…20160131_131030-1.jpg

And so, here are the ingredients. Drum roll, please!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a deep cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions to the pan. Saute 5-6 minutes or until translucent and soft.
  3. Add all the spices – cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, oregano, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Stir to coat onions completely.
  4. Add tomato paste to skillet. Stir to mix with onions, spices and oil.
  5. Add garlic and chickpeas. Stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes, stir.
  7. Add the coconut milk to the pan and season the stew with salt and pepper.
  8. Bring the stew to a boil, and lower the heat and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Remove stew from heat, and stir in spinach. Let set for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

 

Philly Cheesesteak Stew

slightly adapted from The Cozy Apron20160124_153512-1.jpg

So, if you haven’t noticed on this blog, we really like our Philly Cheesesteak. We’ve done Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers, straight up Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, and now I present to you Philly Cheesesteak stew. And boy, this is an awesome stew. 20160124_153616-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of sliced roast beef, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided use
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 10 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups beef stock, heated
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine roast beef, a couple of pinches of salt, cracked pepper, plus the onion powder, and toss to coat.
  2. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of flour in bowl, and toss to coat.
  3. In a large pot, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Once hot, place roast beef in pot. Heat for about 3 minutes. Place cooked meat on a plate and put aside.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pot and add sliced onions, sliced green pepper, a pinch of salt and cracked pepper. Cook about 6 minutes until onions and peppers are soft, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  6. Add mushrooms, and continue sauteing with onions for another 6 minutes, continuously stirring.
  7. Add dried thyme and garlic, stir to incorporate.
  8. Once the garlic is aromatic, sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp of flour over the onion/mushrooms, stir well to combine.
  9. Slowly add the hot beef stock, stirring to avoid any little flour lumps from forming.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer gently for about 10 minutes uncovered until sauce thickens.
  11. Add roast beef and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  12. Ladle into oven-safe bowls, place one slice of provolone over the top and broil in over until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
  13. Serve with crusty french bread.

Pie-Style Spanakopita

20160110_170847-1.jpgcourtesy of Skinny Mom

This is one of those dishes that I have loved since I was in college. I went to an International Festival in Muncie, IN of all places and fell in love with the Greek cuisine. I really like Baklava, but the Spanakopita Triangles (little phyllo dough pillows stuffed with feta, spinach, onions) just stole my heart and my palate.

Later, when I moved to MN, I stumbled across the Spanakopita casserole, which was basically the same ingredients, except easier to make. I didn’t have to spend hours perfecting rolling everything into tiny triangles, instead the time from prep to my mouth was considerably decreased. That makes a happy Megan!

And then I came across this recipe, promising less calories and fats of the original recipe, with less prep time as well. Booyah!

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. fresh spinach (or frozen)
  • 5 scallions (white end of the green onion), minced
  • 2 green onion stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat-free feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, snipped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large frying pan, add half of the spinach and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Add the remaining spinach and stir occasionally for another 5 minutes.
  4. Spray a 9 inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, feta, dill, egg, scallions, green onions, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
  6. Add spinach to mixture, and mix together well.
  7. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo in prepared pie pan and allow it to extend over the rim. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
  8. Repeat with 4 more sheets of phyllo, placing corners at different angles and lightly coating each sheet with cooking spray.
  9. Press down the dough to form the shape of the pan.
  10. Spread spinach mixture over the dough in the pan.
  11. Carefully layer the remaining sheets of dough as previously done on top of the spinach mixture.
  12. Roll excess dough around rim of pie pan, creating a pie crust.
  13. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  14. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This chicken wild rice soup is chock full of chicken, onions, wild rice and is warm and filling. 20160108_180731-1.jpg

Courtesy of My Recipes

I love a thick, flavorful, and warm soup. It warms me to the core. And living in the upper-Midwest warmth is a hot (pun intended) commodity!

Just look at that luscious, velvety goodness!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking wild rice
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups peeled and cubed baking potato
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 10 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cooked,skinless, boneless chicken breast roughly shredded
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. Heat large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  3. Add onion and garlic, saute 3 minutes.
  4. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes or until potato is tender.
  6. Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk.
  7. Add the milk mixture to potato mixture; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
  9. Stir in rice, chicken, pepper, and salt.

Lunches this week – Kale, Mushroom and White Bean Stew

Kale, Mushroom and White Bean Stew

Slightly adapted from Love and Lemons

This weekend has been one of the coldest in MN all winter. We have been at sub-zero temperatures for the last 4 days. Last night the temperature dipped to -18 with a wind-chill of -30. It’s just Brrrrr outside with a capital B! A great time to hunker down and spend the day cooking. 🙂

This week I’m all about the kale. And, what’s not to love? It’s a beautiful vegetable, it’s good for you, it’s got a great texture, and it’s so versatile. Pairing it with mushrooms, onions, carrots, and beans….all I can say is “YUM”20160117_150552-1.jpg

This stew was really easy to make. The hardest part was chopping the vegetables. Oh, and by the way, the aroma that wafted through the kitchen while I cooked literally had my mouth watering – true story. 20160117_153925-1.jpg20160117_155828-1.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-5 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 can cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or white wine (I used apple juice since I didn’t have any wine)
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary, minced
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  • freshly shredded Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, carrots, mushroom, and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have released their water (3-5 minutes).
  4. Add apple juice/wine. Cook for about one minute.
  5. Add balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, beans and broth. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add kale and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Top with basil and cheese.

Mushroom and Chickpea Stew

Mushroom and Chickpea Stew (Vegetarian)

20160110_171123-1.jpg

slightly adapted from Love and Lemons

I guess I should admit this, I have an addiction. A chickpea addition. I love chickpeas. Chickpea salad, chickpea stew, chickpea burgers, everything and anything chickpea. So, when I came across this recipe, I just had to make it.

It serves 4-6, so it’s perfect for leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until tender.
  2. Add mushrooms, stir and let them set for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic and soy sauce. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are browned and tender.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the chopped sweet potatoes, zucchini, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Let cook for a few more minutes (about 3 minutes).
  6. Add vegetable broth, water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil.
  7. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are softened.
  8. Add kale and continue to cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until you are ready to eat.

Red Lentil Curry with Spinach over Wheat Berry – lunches this week

Slightly adapted from Naturally Ella

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So, this past weekend, it turned very cold here in MN. We’re talking sub-zero kind of cold. Naturally, I was looking for a recipe to make for my lunches that would warm me up.

Enter Red Lentil Curry with Spinach. I just want to say…WHOA!  OK, you guys, this is one of the simplest and quickest recipes I’ve come across in a long time. AND, one of the most flavorful recipes I’ve had in a long time.

I have to admit, I didn’t try any while I was cooking it up – at 8pm on Saturday night – so I truly didn’t know how good it was until I ate it for lunch today…I like to live life on the edge. I figured I bring enough food to graze all day, if I had to forego the main course, I wouldn’t starve. And, I indeed didn’t starve…I cried that I only had the small portion. I was wanting more. So, now…

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I am really looking forward to lunch tomorrow, just kidding, but not really!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

Instructions

  1. In a high-sided skillet,over medium-high heat, mix coconut milk, water and red curry paste. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add red lentils. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and add spinach. Stir the spinach until it is wilted and mixed thoroughly.
  4. Serve over 1/4 cup of prepared wheat berries.

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Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole

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Slightly adapted from Teaspoon of Spice

Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut? You keep making the same thing, the same day every week? For us,  we have Sunday steak. This meal usually consists of a steak, my husband grills, and either a salad for me or Brussels sprouts.  He usually has a baked potato! We live life on the wild side!

So,  when I placed this casserole on the table instead of our regulars, dinner got a little exciting. Okay,  maybe it wasn’t exciting for my husband (he’s more the “this food in front of me is sustenance.  If it tastes good,  then bonus for me” kind of guy). But,  for me,  I was venturing on a bold new adventure in Sunday night dinner. Boldly standing tall and proclaiming “We shall have variety in our food”. And then we dined!

There are a few reasons I really like this recipe:

  • Lower calories  – 195 per serving (6 servings total)
  • Easy to make – literally took me about 40 minutes from start to table.
  • Cheesy,  cheesy, cheesy

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold or other yellow potato
  • 3 cloves of garlic,  sliced
  • 3 oz fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Peel and quarter potatoes.  (Can leave skin on, if desired)
  2. Place potatoes and garlic in large stock pot, and then cover with cold water.
  3. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook potatoes until they are tender,  about 10 – 15 minutes.  Drain all but 1/4 cup of water from potatoes.
  4. Return potatoes to the pot,  setting the reserved liquids off to the side for later use.
  5. To potatoes,  add cream cheese,  yogurt,  and half of the cheddar cheese. Using a potato masher,  mash potatoes to the consistency desired.
  6. When mashed,  stir in salt,pepper, and about 3 to 4 Tbsp of the reserved potato water.
  7. Turn potatoes out into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Gently and evenly spread potatoes in dish.
  8. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  9. While potatoes are baking,  mix Panko and remaining cheese until well combined.
  10. Remove potatoes from oven and heat broiler to high setting.
  11. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of potatoes and broil for 3 to 5 minutes (taking care not to let them burn).
  12. Top with chives.

Zucchini Spaghetti with Lentil Marinara – lunches this week

20160103_104558-1.jpgSlightly adapted from Lemons And Basil

First off – my father-in-law gave me this cool julienne peeler for Christmas.20160103_104813-1.jpg I just used it for the first time today…and I have to say, I’m ready to julienine everything in sight! Potatoes,  butternut squash, apples…the possibilities are endless.

Now, where did that dog and cat go? 😉

I love how it slices perfect zucchini noodles! 20160103_102315-1.jpg

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 large zucchini, julienned or spiralized
  • 1/2 dried lentils, rinsed and sorted,  then cooked to package directions

For the sauce

  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup  tomato paste
  • 1/4 medium red onion,  finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves,  minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp  oregano
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  1. Cook lentils according to package.
  2. While lentils cook,  put all ingredients for sauce in food processor,  blend on high for 25-30 seconds or until thick sauce forms.
  3. Add sauce to small pan and cook over medium heat to bring to a boil,  reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Once lentils are cooked,  add to marinara sauce. Take off heat and set aside.
  5. In a large skillet over medium-low heat,  add zucchini and cook until soft and pasta-like (about 5 minutes).
  6. Evenly divide zucchini and top with marinara sauce.
  7. Enjoy!