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    This is a recipe that I created by adapting the Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe on the first page of this thread. I was looking for a way to make another option with full flavors for days when we go meatless. So I basically used the same recipe, only using beans and quinoa in place of the chicken. It makes a bit thicker, heartier soup, and we dont even add the extras when serving this version at home, just to keep it as a healthier option. It doesn't really need them since it's such a nice flavorful soup already. That said, the original option is fairly healthy too, and the extras just make it all more yummy.

    Mexican Bean Soup


    --1 can each black beans, kidney beans, red beans (or any combination you'd like)
    --1 can (15 ounce) whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
    --1 can (10 ounce) enchilada sauce (I use hot La Victoria sauce because I find a lot of them--like old el paso--are just sweet and I dont like that.. Just know if you use mild, the rest of the ingredients swallows it up and it doesnt add much flavor. There's so much other stuff the hot adds a bite without being too hot. You could use medium or whatever you like.
    --1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water or chicken broth
    --1 medium onion, chopped (can use onion powder)
    --1 can (4 ounce) diced green chiles
    --2 cloves minced garlic (can use garlic powder)
    --2 cups water
    --1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth (low sodium)
    --1 teaspoon cumin
    --1 teaspoon chili powder
    --1 teaspoon salt (I use half)
    --1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    --1 bay leaf
    1 package (10-12 ounce) frozen corn --I've been having trouble finding 10 oz packages of frozen corn. If you have a bit more or a bit less, it is still fine..doesnt need to be exact. I've been using 12 oz bags.

    I also like to add a can of drained and rinsed black or red beans. It's good with or without.

    1. Rinse quinoa well (This is important, because quinoa can have a bitter coating that tastes bad if not rinsed off). Bring one cup chicken broth or water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook for about 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed. You could buy a package of precooked quinoa in the freezer section of the grocery and use some or all of that. I've used more quinoa, so it just depends on what you like...adjust to suit your taste.

    2. Drain and rinse beans.

    3. Place ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours.

    Dont forget to take out the bay leaf and toss it. Or you can leave it in and whoever gets lucky enough to have it in their bowl can do dishes.


    If you like, you can sprinkle with shredded cheddar and baked tortilla strips, or broken tortilla chips, and a dollup of sour cream if desired. You could also throw on some diced avocado.


    I should add that if you add anything to this recipe, it will not fit into a 3 1/2 qt slow cooker..lol. If your cooker's bigger there wont be a problem, but this recipe just fits into my cooker. Any more and it would overflow.

    **If you dont have a slow cooker, this is really easy to make on the stovetop as well. Just bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer it for a couple of hours so the flavors meld.
    Last edited by Emily; 23-11-2014, 23:34.
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      Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

      Ingredients:

      --1 1/2 cups water
      --1/2 cups brown sugar
      --1 cup sugar
      --2 tsp ground cinnamon
      --1/2 tsp ground ginger
      --1/4 tsp ground cloves
      --1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
      --1/4 cup pumpkin puree
      --1 tsp vanilla extract

      Directions:

      1. In a medium saucepan, add water, both sugars, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
      2. Heat on medium until sugars dissolve. This takes about 5 minutes.
      3. Turn down to medium low, and add pumpkin. Simmer about 10 more minutes. Do not boil.
      4. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat.
      5. Strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. You can also use a tea towel, just make sure it's really thin, or the syrup will drip really slowly through.
      6. Store in airtight container like a mason jar. This will keep in the fridge for a month.

      Remember, this is a simple syrup. It will be thinner than syrups like corn syrup or maple syrup.

      If you hate waste, the solids left when you strain the syrup is great stirred into some oats.

      This syrup can be used to make pumpkin spiced lattes, stirred into coffee, stirred into oats, or any other creative things that seem like they'd be tasty to you
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        That sounds lovely.
        Faith believes BEFORE it sees and sometimes believes CONTRARY to what it sees.
        - P. Lundell

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          green- yellow salad

          2 handful fresh spinach
          1/4 iceberg lettuce (cut in small stripes)
          1 chicory (small half rings)
          1 apple (cubed)
          1 orange (cubed)

          clean, cut mix in a bowl

          1/2 cup mixed seeds- roast & put on top when still hot

          dressing:
          1 tea spoon honey
          2 tb Balsamico
          3 tb olive oil
          1 tb lemon juice
          pepper, salt, (Italian seasoning)
          mix & add some water

          toss over salad and mix
          -> serve
          Last edited by Nane; 05-12-2014, 20:56.
          nane
          Raise your words not your voice, it's rain that grows flowers not thunder. ~Rumi


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            orange-yellow salad

            5 carrots
            1 apple
            1/4 cup raisins
            1 tea spoon sugar
            1 tea spoon lemon juice

            grate carrots and apple into a bowl and mix with raisins sugar and lemon juice
            nane
            Raise your words not your voice, it's rain that grows flowers not thunder. ~Rumi


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              I love good salads. They look nice Nane.
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                Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecan-Orange Topping

                Ingredients:
                1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 decent-sized potatoes)
                2 large shallots, thinly sliced
                3 TB. olive oil
                1 tsp. kosher style flake salt
                1/4 tsp. pepper
                1 TB. brown sugar
                1 TB. Aleppo pepper (if you donít like heat, ancho would work, and itís milder. The aleppo isn't very hot but it does have a bite. I actually used a little less of the aleppo but I like the heat)

                Topping:

                1/4 Cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
                2 tsp. freshly grated orange peel (or 1 scant tsp. minced orange peel, rehydrated in 2 tsp. water)
                2 TB. chopped fresh parsley
                1/2 tsp. WHOLE CORIANDER, toasted and ground (can use ground coriander)
                1/2 TB. light brown sugar
                1/2 tsp. kosher style flake salt

                Directions
                Preheat oven to 400į.

                Place the sweet potatoes and shallots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the SALT, PEPPER, brown sugar and ALEPPO. (Or I actually add the potatoes, shallots, salt, pepper, brown sugar, aleppo, and oil into a ziploc bag and toss to coat and then put it on the sheet tray--I line the pan with parchment for easier cleanup) Gently stir to evenly coat the sweet potatoes. Bake at 400į until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes.

                While the sweet potatoes cook, prepare the topping by roasting the pecans and whole coriander seed, then crushing the seeds and combining with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. (I toasted the pecans in a dry pan on the stove top and then when toasted tossed them with the rest of the topping ingredients. I used ground coriander, so didnít toast it since it was already ground. Also, while you can use dried orange peel, it's absolutely worth it to use fresh.)

                When the potatoes are ready, place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the topping. Serve immediately.
                Last edited by Emily; 27-12-2014, 20:27.
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                  That sounds very exotic, Emily. Like the complex flavors would be a neat blend together. I don't think I've used coriander anywhere except in Indian fare. Sweet and hot...
                  Catie

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                    I actually found this recipe in my Penzeys spices catalogue, and decided to give it a try. It's a really beautiful blend of sweet/spicy/savory that I enjoy. We paired it with our holiday ham and it was great. Coriander is one of those spices that I never used a lot before. But over the last couple of years I've had several recipes that use it...it's even included in my regular spiced apple cider recipe. But I love it. It's especially good with things that have a little sweetness, like the sweet potatoes. I have a pork/pear/quinoa recipe that has it and it goes lovely with that as well.
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                      It's neat to hear how you came to try out the recipe.

                      Mmmm. Pork and pears! Those flavors sound like they'd meld well together.
                      Catie

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                        I"m always on the lookout for new recipes...One of my favorite places to find them is Taste of Home magazine.

                        That pork and pear recipe is in this thread somewhere Catie. It's really yummy
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                          I love that there are always photos of the dishes in Taste of Home.

                          Good to know about that recipe--thanks!
                          Catie

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                            I love that too! I like to see them before I make them! lol
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                              Spinach- pasta- gratin

                              For 2 people:

                              ca 350 gram pasta boiled in salty water

                              sauce:
                              1 small onion
                              2 gloves garlic
                              2 cups frozen spinach
                              1/2 creme fresh
                              pepper, salt, lemon juice, milk as needed

                              glaze onion, garlic in a little bit of oil, then add spinach
                              when spinach defrosted add creme fresh and eventually some milk to make a smooth sauce
                              season with pepper, salt and lemon juice according to taste

                              Mix noodles with spinach sauce in a casserole dish.
                              Add grated cheese on top

                              Bake at 350F (180C) for ca 10 min
                              nane
                              Raise your words not your voice, it's rain that grows flowers not thunder. ~Rumi


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                                That looks yummy!
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