Mushroom Stroganoff

We’ve been trying something new in the kitchen lately – adding some vegetarian dishes to the dinner rotation. And the craziest part of this menu modification is that it was my husband’s idea [gasp!]. The meat eater of all meat eaters actually suggested that we add some vegetarian meals to the line up (thank you Netflix and the documentary Cowspiracy).  While I love meat, I like to mix it up and so I saw this as an opportunity to try out some new recipes. Yay!

So let me introduce you to Mushroom Stroganoff. This dish is ahh-mazing. I’ve always been a stroganoff fan, but mine had always had beef. I thought it was the beef that contributed most of the flavor, but I was wrong. This dish is full of flavor and hearty as well. My kiddos loved it too – Brogan actually said it was one of his favorite dinners ever! I’ll take it! Hope you enjoy!

Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff

1 tbsp butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 ozs white mushrooms, sliced
8 ozs baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp flour (I used gluten free)
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (if you want to be 100% vegetarian, use soy sauce)
2 tbsp whole grain mustard (I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 lb pasta (would prob be best with egg noodles, but I used gluten free penne), boiled according to package

1.) In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and sauté onion and garlic until translucent (about 5 mins).
2.) Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté until mushrooms are soft and browned (about 8 mins). Stir in tomato paste and cook a few minutes longer, continually stirring.
3.) Add flour and stir, scrapping the bottom of the pan as you do. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine to deglaze. Continue stirring and scrapping the bottom. Once wine is mostly evaporated, add vegetable broth, Worcestershire (or soy) sauce, mustard and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
4.) Remove sauce from heat and stir in sour cream. Stir in cooked pasta and serve!

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Adapted from the Cookie Writer’s Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegetarian)

Simple Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken

This dish is so. stinking. good. I’ve been making it for almost a year and am ashamed that it’s taken me this long to write about it. When we learned early last year that my middle son’s allergies would be keeping dairy, egg and gluten off the menu, I started trying more Asian recipes because they were typically conducive to our restrictive diet. This one was by far the best. The base of this recipe is the noodles (without the chicken). I’ve made it in the past topped with roasted shrimp and grilled chicken, but it would also be awesome as a vegetarian meal too. Tonight was my first attempt at this style of chicken and I loved it. Side note: I’m picky about chicken. I like grilled, I like roasted, I like boiled and shred… but I don’t like to cut up raw chicken and cook it because it typically gets too chewy. So I’ve long been perplexed about how the chicken at Asian restaurants is so tender. So I plopped some random phrase into Pinterest about how to get unchewy chicken for Asian recipes and wouldn’t you know there’s a technique: you “velvet” chicken. It’s really a thing. Well I tried it and it worked as advertised – delicious tender chicken pieces that went perfect with these noodles. So here you have it, my current favorite dinner for the fam (which, by the way, they all LOVE!) – hope you enjoy!

Simple Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Simple Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken

1 lb gluten free spaghetti noodles, cooked according to instructions
1/3 cup gluten free soy sauce
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter – or more to taste (if you have creamy, just add chopped peanuts)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp sesame seeds

1) While the pasta water is heating, add all ingredients (except pasta) in a small bowl (I used a 2 cup measuring cup). Stir well until ingredients are fully incorporated.
2) Pour over hot pasta. Add chicken (or other protein such as shrimp) – see below. Stir well until pasta is completely coated with the sauce.

“Velvet” Chicken
1 1/3 lbs chicken breast, cut into thin slices
2 tbsp canola oil (divided)
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp salt

1)  Whisk in 1 tbsp oil, cornstarch, vinegar, egg white and salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken and coat well. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
2) Place 1 to 2 inches of water in a sauté pan and heat on high to boil. Once rapidly boiling, place the chicken pieces one at a time. Once the pan returns to boil, boil the chicken for 1 more minute. Remove with a slotted spoon. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

This recipe makes enough for my family of 5 with a little leftover. We love edamame with this dish too!

Velvet chicken

Velvet Chicken

Soy Peanut Sauce

Soy Peanut Sauce

Simple Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking’s SIMPLE ASIAN SOY-PEANUT NOODLES and How to Velvet Chicken

 

The Perfect One-Pot Pasta Side Dish

I’m always on the hunt for a good easy homemade substitution for the foods I used to love. And when I come across a really great alternative, I’m super excited to share. This recipe takes the place of the box pasta that I’d make once or twice a week (Pasta Roni, Lipton’s Noodles or Knorr’s Pasta Sides). While you can’t make this for less than $2, it is a one-pot side in less than 15 minutes, and I assure you the flavor will blow the others away. Plus, it’s free of all the preservatives and MSG that make the box options a no-go for me these days. I found this recipe on Pinterest and stayed pretty true to it. I’ve tried this with fresh basil, fresh parsley and dried dill… and dried dill is by far my favorite (although the other herbs were good too). This has turned into a top request in my house, and it has made it’s way on the weekly dinner menu for the last four weeks. Hope you enjoy!

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Dill

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb angel hair pasta
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried dill

1.) In a large pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
2.) Add pasta to the boiling stock, reduce heat to medium-low and cook according to package (prob 3-5 minutes). Once pasta is done, add half and half, parmesan cheese and dill and remove from heat. Stir well to combine and serve hot.

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Creamy Garlic Pasta with Dill

 

Adapted from Catz in the Kitchen’s Creamy Garlic Pasta

 

White Chicken Chili

White chicken chili… yum, yum, yum! I’ve been making this chili for a couple of years and it continues to be a crowd pleaser. It’s a pretty simple recipe with no cream soups – just chicken stock and cream cheese to make it creamy.

I made this yesterday because the cold and wet day had me craving something warm – it did the trick! And as I sit here eating the leftovers for lunch, I’m again warm and cozy and enjoying this yummy chili.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups shredded chicken (2-3 chicken breasts, boiled or about half a rotisserie or boiled chicken)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
4 14.5-oz cans of white beans, drained (I use a combo of Great Northern, Navy and Cannellini)
4 to 5 cups chicken stock (depends on how much broth you like)
1 4-oz can green chilies
4 ozs cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:
Fresh cilantro
Fritos
Sour cream

1.) Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add shredded chicken, cumin and chili powder and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
2.) Add chicken stock, beans and green chilies. Stir.
3.) Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
4.) Soften cream cheese by microwaving it for 30 seconds. Add a few spoonfuls of the broth and stir with a fork until creamy. Repeat by adding more broth and stirring a few more times until cream cheese has turned to a sauce. Add to chili and stir well to fully incorporate. Salt and pepper to taste.
5.) Serve topped with cilantro, Fritos and sour cream.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin and chocolate – the perfect combination.  I made these muffins for breakfast this morning and between the smell of these fabulous things baking in the oven and fresh brewed coffee, my house smelled like a pumpkin spice latte. Yum.  This is the perfect muffin to kick off the fall with – moist and sweet with the perfect amount of both pumpkin and chocolate, a totally decadent treat.  Happy fall y’all!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 14.5-oz can pumpkin
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans.
2.) Combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
3.) Whisk together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves until smooth.
4.) Slowly whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
5.) Fill each muffin liner almost full of batter. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.  Yields almost 24 muffins (I like to fill the cups extra full so they rise above the paper, therefore, I only got 22 muffins out of the batter).

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Adapted from The Blissful Table’s Pumpkin Muffins

Lentil Soup

It’s a rainy Saturday in Georgia – a perfect day for soup.  I found this recipe on a blog I follow, Aly GarlicHands,  and it looked so great I had to try it.  Plus I have lentils in my pantry that have been begging to be cooked – so all the conditions were right to make a big pot of soup, and boy was that a great idea!

I had to make a couple of modifications based on what I had on hand. You see, the only thing worse than attempting the grocery store with two little ones by yourself is doing so in the rain. As I like to say, it is what it is.  I had to reduce the amount of lentils, tomatoes and broth (so I added some more carrots and celery), I used chicken stock instead of vegetable, and I had to forgo the fresh parsley.  And so I did the best with what I had, and it still turned out delicious! This is a very easy soup to make, and it doesn’t have to cook all day.  Just a little over 30 minutes and voila! Hope you enjoy!

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Lentil Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, cut lengthwise and chopped in 1/2 inch sections
5 carrots, cut lengthwise (quartered in the thickest part) and chopped into 1/2 sections
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups dried green lentils (or use black or brown)
2 boxes chicken stock (8 cups)
1/2 cup dry elbow pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese for topping

1.) In a soup hot, heat olive oil over high heat, add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then add thyme and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until veggies begin to become tender.
2.) Add can of tomatoes (with juice) and cook for a few minutes; stir in lentils.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
3.) Add dry pasta and simmer for 7 more minutes.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with parmesan cheese on top.

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Adapted from Aly GarlicHand’s Lentil Soup.

Simple Sausage Marinara

This dish is a simple 30-minute homemade marinara that is a go-to for a weeknight meal.  Both of my boys love Italian sausage, so I’ve been using it in place of beef in a lot of my Italian dishes.  I used Publix’s Greenwise Italian Chicken Sausage and it was really good.  This dinner was a success –  I didn’t have to spend the whole evening in the kitchen and the boys cleaned their plates. The leftovers were great too.

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Simple Sausage Marinara

1 lb Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomato
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1.) Brown the sausage in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until onions and mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.
2.) Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add parsley and simmer for 5 minutes longer.  Serve over pasta and top with parmesan cheese.

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