Category Archives: Eat – Briefly

Eat, Briefly – MAM SkinnyTaste Stuffed Peppers

Can’t take credit for this recipe AT ALL – but for Make Ahead Monday (MAM) this week I assembled some of these tasty looking Stuffed Peppers from SkinnyTaste on Sunday during one of poor sicky kiddo Jr.’s nap time. (I used brown rice and omitted the tomato sauce, because I didn’t have any.)

Then I just popped them in the oven on Monday night. VERY TASTY!  I  made enough of the filling for what she would have used in two 1/2 pepper servings in her recipe, but spread it into 4 halves and served us each two (more bell pepper means more vitamin-y goodness and filling veggie fiber, right?)  That being said, The Hub scooped the filling out of his second half and didn’t eat the pepper, and I ended up having it and most of my entire second half for lunch this week – so they are more filling than I thought they looked!

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Eat, Briefly – Spicy flank steak with crispy polenta and burst grape tomatoes

Uh, yum.

I really wish this pic was better – I was using a different camera and it is no bueno. (Because my usual pics are such art – snort gafaw chuckle.)

But people this was GOOOOOOOD.

I tossed a piece of flank steak into a marinade of lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne on Sunday, so it was all ready to use and full of flavor.

The Hub is illin’ and on an all-Grilled-Cheese-and-Soup diet for the moment, so I decided to go with tomatoes only instead of the bell peppers I had planned, and I put the rest of the marinated steak into the freezer to use when he is feeling better.

I preheated this assmbly in the oven and cooked the whole deal on one tray:

The polenta was just the pre-ccoked tube – near the rice and noodle stuff or the Italian foods in the grocery – I just sliced some rounds:

I sprinkled it with just a bit of parmasan cheese and popped the whole kit-n-kiboodle under the broiler for 15 minutes on high – turning the steak and polenta cakes half way through. (since my piece of flank steak was small and I like my meat pink, I pulled it out early and let it rest while everything else finished.)

I cut the steak up in pieces instead of strips because I am now feeding a 9 month old who LOVES HIM SOME FOOD and doesn’t like to wait while mommy cuts bites for herself…. and tries to grab the knife anyway, so…

Other fun facts – did you know that if you leave out the olives, you can make a big ol’ dirty martini for just under 300 calories?  Niiiiiiice.  (Note the ice cube – I was totally nursing my ‘tini while cooking , and it got less-than-chilled.  007 would NOT be impressed.)

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Eat, Briefly – Big Salad

When you want to feel good about your dietary choices, nothing beats a Big Salad (if you wonder why it gets capitalized, you were probably not a Seinfeld fan.)

My Sunday Dinner Big Salad had grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, mixed field greens, carrots, gala apples, red cabbage, grape tomatoes, green peppers, and Newman’s own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Mmmmmm.

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Eat, (sort of) Briefly – Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Just looking at the name of this recipe, you would think it would be the same as saying “Keri soup” right? What is not to love?

I got this one from Parents Magazine – and the picture is from there as well, just so we are giving credit where credit is due.

Here is their version of the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 14 1/2 ounce can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed nacho cheese soup
  • 1 10 ounce package frozen whole kernel corn (2 cups)
  • Shredded Mexican-style or cheddar cheese

Make It

1.In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, undrained tomatoes, soup, and corn.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Makes: 6 servings

*Now, OF COURSE Keri did some things differently. First I omitted the can of tomatoes, because that would have been WAYYYYY too Tomato-y for The Hub.

Secondly, I actually didn’t cook mine in the crock pot this time around – I browned up the chicken in the bottom of a big pot, then added the soup, the corn, and 3/4 a soup can of milk to make up for the liquid lost from not adding the tomatoes, and let the whole thing cook through on the stove for 10 minutes or so. Then I served it up with shredded cheddar and tortilla chips.

And that may have been where I went wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, this was tasty. The Hub really dug it (but he ate a LOT of chips with it, kind of using it more as nacho cheese than a soup.) But even he said it could have been a bit thicker, and I am wondering if something about cooking the corn in the soup in the slow cooker for hours might allow starch to be released from the kernels that might thicken the chowder a bit more.

I will try this one again, for sure – but I guess I will follow the cooking instructions and see what the consistency is when cooked that way. (Geez, that’s no fun, now, is it?) 😉

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Eat, Briefly – barely worth a post

So last night was Spaghetti and Meatballs – and nothing fancy about it.  Canned pasta sauce doctored with some extra “Italian seasoning”, Meatballs courtesy of the giant bag I bought at IKEA (love you, IKEA meatballs,) and frozen garlic bread.

But it was plentiful and so tasty – you can’t go wrong with a classic for a quick, hot, hearty dinner.

Thus endeth freezer/pantry week, as Fridays are traditionally pizza night.  (mmm, Pizza.)

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Eat, Briefly – Ompah!

Last night we had these Greek wraps made with cubed pork (using what we have from the freezer, remember?)

The mixture got stuffed in pita bread instead of wrapped – and any variation of this is always a hit at the Tree House.

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Eat, Briefly – When in doubt – Tex Mex

Freezer/Pantry week continues!

Woops – no slightly grainy pic to accompany this, but it is self-explanatory anyhoo.

3 words for you Bow-Re-Tow.

(Ok, just one, but the way I feel about it makes me think it deserves at least 3.)

Burrito.

You can’t go wrong with using up leftovers as filling for a delicious burrito.  Last night for us it was some cooked diced pot roast, half a can of black beans, and a tablespoon of adobo paste – all from the freezer – mixed well, piled into tortillas and covered in enchilada sauce (also from the freezer) and cheddar.

And people, you may want to sit down because I then did something shocking.  I microwaved each one on an individual plate.  Say what you will, but piping hot Tex-Mexi goodness was on the table in 3 minutes, and we both basically licked those plates clean.

Oh Bow-Re-Tow, what can’t you do?

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Eat, Briefly – The Colo-ra-do treat?

Freezer/Pantry week continues!

I confess – I keep a stash of Pasta-Roni/Rice-a-Roni in my cabinet, something I can mindlessly add some meat and/or veggies to and have a meal.

And I have to say that I was glad to have it tonight – since babies don’t seem to get the memo about the whole “Fall Back” Standard Time thing, and Coop has been waking up ready to go at 4:30 a.m. – Keri is kinda wonky.  Long story short, it is not a great night to be getting culinarily ambitious (what, that’s a word, I am sure of it!).

So I defrosted some raw cubed chicken breast and sautéed with some garlic salt and herbs de Provence before adding it to a prepared box of White Cheddar Pasta-Roni. Mine also got a chopped homegrown tomato (thank you boss for sharing your bounty,) and dinner was done and eaten.

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Eat, Briefly – Freezer/Pantry week

Every-so-often I have to skip shopping, etc, for the week and tell myself I am going to JUST make things based on what is in the freezer/pantry cabinet.  I think of it as “rotating the inventory” – making sure that things don’t get scary old in there.

So here it is – I will post what we had the night before each day.  Probably no real recipes with these, since they tend to be improvised, but I will clue you in as to what I did.

Last night:

Inside-out shepherd’s pie:

I had some left over  (uncooked) pot roast, so I cubed it, browned it, and then added 3 cups water, a bay leaf, garlic salt, pepper, and thyme to taste, and let it simmer for about an hour, until the meat was tender.  Then I added in a cup of baby carrots chopped in half (they were blanched and frozen,) and let those defrost in the broth.  I turned up the heat and added a slurry of 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water to the boiling pot and stirred to help it thicken before removing it from the heat.

I ladled the mixture over some defrosted and heated mashed potatoes from the freezer in big bowls and tah-dahhhh – deconstructed shepherd’s pie!

 

 

 

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Eat (sort of) Briefly…. Musings on salad

Heat = Salad!

It hasn’t just been hot around here lately, it has been what  I would call STUPID hot. CRAZY hot with humidity levels that us Colorado natives are just not equipped to cope with.

It leaves me asking things like “why won’t my towel get dry?”  and “WHY do I suddenly always feel just a bit sticky?”

I would be an epic failure as a Southern Belle. (Except for the swooning – in this heat, “Ah de-cl-aire,”  I could swoon on command.)

This means that the idea of turning on the oven or even the stove in The Tree House horrifies me to my very core.

This, in short, means it is salad season.  Goodness knows you don’t need a recipe for salad – your mama didn’t raise no fool, but with my picky eater husband I have to get creative about ingredients to keep us from getting stuck in the “romaine with carrots and chicken” rut that we could easily fall into.

In my quest to mix it up, I have found that different nuts,dried and fresh fruits, lesser used varieties of cheese, crispy bacon, corn, beans, tortilla or pita pieces,  cold noodles, diced deli meats, and SMALL amounts of less familiar veggies ( can’toverwhelm the poor guy,) can make everything old new again.

Also helpful – different dressings.  Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory;  sometimes creamy (plain yogurt makes a great base,) sometimes a nice light vinaigrette; sometimes even a little spicy, or maybe a little sneaky (hello spinach pesto sneaking some extra health into my strictly “ iceburg and romaine only” guy.)

The unexpected is what allows me to keep salads front and center on the weekly menus without complaint, so if there is a dish we enjoy in its traditional form, I ask myself “how can I make that a salad?”

Top with an appropriately seasoned pre-cooked protein from my freezer stash, and dinner is served, sans sweating it out in front of the stove.

The delicious example in the picture from a recent dinner included the usual iceberg/romaine/carrot shred bagged salad I usually start out with, along with some mixed baby greens on my plate only (The Hub refers to those as “weeds”,) and also raspberries, dried cranberries, roasted peppers, slivered almonds, reduced fat feta cheese with a store-bought raspberry walnut dressing drizzled down over it.  For some protein I added some cubed grilled chicken that I tossed in a little OJ.

Ahhhhh. So fresh and cool it’s almost like turning the a/c up a notch.

Almost.

 

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