What’s On Your Menu?

 

 

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Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup w/ scallions and bacon

Majority of the time, Sunday’s are dedicated to food shopping, meal prepping and getting ready for the week. Yesterday was no exception.

What usually happens is, I go through the store circulars, store coupons and manufacturer coupons and plan our meals based on the deals of the week. I’m on a budget! “Look babe! Turkey is 99 cents per pound. Are you good with turkey this week?” “Yea, anything is good,” says my husband.

Yesterday was not one of those days…

$178.00 later: 2 lbs ground turkey, chicken breast, fresh salmon, shrimp, fruits, cauliflower, sweet potato, mozzarella cheese, eggs, almonds, strawberries, apples etc…. And my small list became this ginormous list and I was overwhelmed by the cost but the food was already scanned and bagged and the next thing I know, I am home prepping 1,000 things I had not planned on.

I stumbled upon Peas & Crayons Slow Cooker Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Soup recipe and had to give it a try. If any parents are reading this and have trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies, this is a good one. The sweet potato overpowers the cauliflower taste.

This recipe also gave me an excuse to purchase an immersion blender  and I am in love. It is way better than a handheld mixer that you use for baking… I dread using those things because most of the food ends up on the walls.

Yields: 16 cups (8oz) and freezes well!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Sweet Potato (Approx 2 large potatoes)- peeled and cubed
  • 2 pounds fresh head of cauliflower- roughly chopped
  • Original recipe calls for 1 quart veggie broth, I used chicken broth for extra flavor
  • 1 large onion-diced
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled. I minced my garlic
  • 4 stalks scallion- chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme- I did not have this so I used oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you really like a kick)
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste- My hubby said it was enough salt. I had to add more to my soup
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2oz. cream cheese

Directions:

  • Put everything into your crock pot except for milk and cream cheese. Set on high for 4-5 hours or until veggies are fork tender (took mine 4 hours)
  • Once tender, turn slow cooker off, add milk and cream cheese and blend using an immersion blender.
  • I topped our soups off with crumbled bacon, scallions and shredded cheese.

Stay tuned for a Caprese meatball recipe. So good!

XOXO,

Rachel

 

 

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Crock pot comfort soup

I love stews, soups, and meat and potatoes… Guess that’s the Russian in me, huh?

It’s almost October and while the days are still warm the nights are getting cooler. I love fall weather, fall outfits, decorations, tea and coffee… Call me a Basic Bitch but I don’t care!

The crock pot gets used here and there throughout the warmer months but it really takes real estate on the kitchen table during the colder months. I am a huge fan of soup. I could eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s filling, easy to make, low cal/low carb and comforting. I made a huge batch Sunday night and having it for lunch every day this week.

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I got a little over zealous with the black pepper yesterday

1.5cup per serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions-diced
  • 2 large celery stalks-diced
  • 2 large carrots-diced *In our house, the more carrots the better. Especially because our dog loves boiled carrots. Most of the time, I empty a small bag of baby carrots in the soup and scoop a bunch out for Mr.Marty Party Pants
  • 4 slices cooked bacon diced (do not get rid of bacon drippings)…If you prefer sausage, I bet some crumbled sausage would be good
  • 1 TSP Salt and pepper (or more to taste)
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used College Inn)
  • 1 LB boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into itty bitty pieces
  • 2 Cups fresh spinach
  • *Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  • Cook bacon
  • While bacon is cooking, chop up onions, carrots and celery
  • Chop up chicken and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
  • Remove bacon from pan and cook chicken in drippings (add oil or butter if needed) until chicken is browned
  • Remove chicken and saute veggies for about 5-10 min then add one cup of the chicken broth and cook for another 5 minutes, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits
  • Add chicken, veggies, bacon and remaining broth to crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours
  • After 3 hours, add spinach and stir till wilted

The end!

XOXO,

Rachel

Make ahead Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A few things before we get started on this DELICIOUS recipe.

  • This is a make ahead recipe. YAY! Do it on Sunday and it should last a minimum of 4 meals. So, you either got dinner covered Monday through Thursday or your lunches covered… However you decide to split this meal up, you end up with some free time on your hands 🙂
  • Healthy- you get protein/grains from quinoa and brown rice, protein from chicken, you get veggies and cheese and poblano peppers and tomatoes. EEEEE!!!! So good.
  • This recipe was adapted from the Cooking Light April 2016 issue. They called it King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole. My husband and I both agreed that it tasted more like a stew.
  • Final point- the pictures do it no justice. Stews always look like a mish mosh of stuff. But stews are usually so delicious. So here ya go!
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Stew/Casserole cheese laying situation happening here
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Crispy quinoa and brown rice final layer
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Final layer of cheese

1.5 cups per serving about 4 servings in this dish

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of rotisserie chicken chopped/shredded or homemade shredded chicken
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 5 tbls EVOO
  • 3 poblano peppers chopped and seeded
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsl minced garlic
  • 2 tbls all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1- 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1- 4 ounce can of mild chopped green chiles
  • 3.5 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8inch square baking dish
  • Optional: chopped scallions on top

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix 1 tbls EVOO with cooked quinoa and spread across baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min (this step is really optional… it just gives a crispiness to the quinoa). We also used a quinoa/brown rice blend because that’s all we had on hand and it came out delicious… so if you don’t have quinoa, think about substituting it with brown rice.
  • Heat a dutch oven with olive oil, add poblano peppers, onion and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir flour, cumin, chili powder. Then add stock, tomatoes, and green chiles. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in chicken.
  • Pour half the mixture at the bottom of the dish, top with half quinoa/brown rice and add 2 ounces of cheese. Repeat layers once more.
  • Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes

I seriously wanted to eat the entire thing in one sitting. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.

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Cheesy Cauliflower!

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I have these moments where I need to clear out. Get rid of everything! I don’t like things… I’m pretty sure in one of my most recent posts I touched upon my hatred of chachkas. So this post is dedicated to shopping in your own kitchen.

It’s unclear why we have bags and bags of frozen cauliflower but I was determined to use it this week. Clear out the fridge/freezer and spend less on food shopping… Yes, please!

Disclaimer– this recipe is addictive. In my opinion, it tastes like a really healthy version of macaroni and cheese. If you’ve always been open to sharing your plate with others, this will change everything. You will become selfish and overprotective of your food. This will bring out a different side of you.

My husband hates cauliflower… I was tempted to make him try this last night to change his mind. But beast mode came out and I kept this to myself. More cauliflower for me….More faux mac and cheese for me.

My only regret is that since it was a test recipe, I made very little of it. I will only have enough for 3 days worth of lunches but I want it for lunch forever and ever and ever.

Low Carb Chicken Cauliflower Casserole adapted from here

Recipe yields 3 cups. I recommend doubling up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower (I used ShopRite steam in bag)
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (I bought rotisserie and shredded it)
  • ¼ cup salsa verde (I used Herdez)
  • Pinch of salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Although, if you like a kick, maybe some pepperjack cheese!
  • *Optional: Chopped scallions (which I used) and chopped red/green peppers
  • *Optional: Red pepper flakes (which I used)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Microwave cauliflower as per directions on bag
  • Place cauliflower into an ovenproof dish (Pyrex is my fave)
  • Add the cream cheese, microwave for another 20- 30 seconds
  • Mix cream cheese and cauliflower together
  • Add chicken, salsa verde,seasonings, shredded cheese and the optional ingredients
  • Mix everything together and cook for 20-30 min. I like mine more crispy and crunchy so I cooked it closer to 30 minutes.

Let me know what you think and if you added any other ingredients.

 

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Low Carb V-Day Dessert Alert!

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“Scale, scale on the floor, who’s the fittest of them all?” Obviously you and me because we decided not to give into temptation and eat all those delicious heart shaped candies.

This won’t be a long post because I need to make this cheesecake and let it cool before the season premier of “The Walking Dead” tonight!

Few things before we begin:

*I’ve only made this in mini meatloaf pans and it’s yielded enough for two pans. I am sure this can be done in a cake pan and a cupcake pan but I haven’t tried them yet.

*Great make-ahead dessert/treat. They freeze very well.

*I’ve kept them in the fridge, stored in ziplock bags and they held up for five days. I am not sure about any longer.

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Recipe

1- 8oz package of cream cheese

1 egg

8 Splenda packets

1 tbls vanilla extract

1 tbls Torani sugar free chocolate macadamia nut syrup (If you do not have this, I suggest using a teaspoon of vanilla extract)

*Optional: cocoa powder or crushed nuts, or fruit like blue berries, or crushed bakers chocolate

*Optional: Top it off with some fresh fruit and whipcream

I used chopped walnuts and lined the pan with the walnuts to make a “crust”

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix all ingredients together

Grease your pan (I used PAM)

If you are lining your dish with crushed walnuts, do that first and pour batter on top. If not, pour batter into dish

Bake for approx 40-45 min or until cake looks golden brown

Please make sure to refrigerate before eating. It tastes much better chilled. Last time I made them, I put them in the freezer to cool off because we were impatient and wanted them ASAP. So remember to refrigerate or freeze prior to eating.

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