Monday, October 26, 2015

Greek Chicken Soup - Avgolemono

Second version of soup - we're going to get Carlene back on her feet!!!

Chicken Soup, Take Two (Avgolemono)

boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
48 oz chicken broth
pinch thyme
small knob (1/2") of fresh ginger - peeled, cut into extremely small dice

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

8 ounces uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta), cooked separately

Dump the first set of ingredients into your pressure cooker and process for 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken and cut into small pieces

Add the parsley, lemon juice and rind to the soup and stir

Cook the orzo separately and add it to the bowls at serving

(Store leftover pasta separately from the rbroth as the pasta will continue to absorb the broth.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Best Ever Slow Cooked Chicken

I normally don't go for pre-packaged mixes and soups because of the sodium, but there are times where I need REALLY simple.  This is one of the best recipes for "insanely easy"!  (And you can always cut some of the sodium by dropping in large chunks of potato and fishing them out at the end.)

Best Ever Slow Cooked Chicken

1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 pkg Italian style salad dressing* (or you can use all Italian and skip the ranch)
1/2 pkg dry ranch style dressing*
2 T butter
1/2 c white wine
1 8 oz container cream cheese and chive (or just plain cream cheese)
4 chicken breasts

6 hours on low in slow cooker.  After 4 hours, give it a stir.

Can it get any easier?

This week's recipe detective is Jaye-MI

*To make your own Italian Salad Dressing Mix:

2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder
2 T white sugar
1/4 c oregano
1 t ground pepper
1/4 t thyme
1 T dried basil
1 T dried parsley
1 t salt
1 t red pepper flakes

Mix above in jar.

To make salad dressing combine 2 T mix with 1/4 c vinegar and 1/2 c olive oil.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mushroom Barley Soup, 2 ways

Fall - soup in my house!!  Which one to make?????  Depends on what I will be doing in the morning at home, and when I arrive at CZA!!!!  Either way, both recipes are good!  Enjoy!

Mushroom Barley Soup for Stove

(From Epicurious Magazine)

Ingredients:1/2 stick butter
1 pound mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
8 cups canned vegetable or beef broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed

Melt butter in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and barley.

Sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes.

Add flour to pot and stir 5 minutes.

Gradually mix in broth.

Bring soup to boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until barley is tender and soup is beginning to thicken, about 40 minutes.

Mix in parsley and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mushroom Barley Soup for Pressure Cooker

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
about 1 cup - 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼- inch dice, or sliced 1/4" thin 
3 cloves garlic, smashed 
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced - you can use an egg slicer to speed this up
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (or a good 1/4 t, dried)
1/3 cup sherry 
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 bay leaf 
5-6 cups chicken broth (or beef)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (about 5 sprigs)

Place the butter into the cooking pot of the Pressure Cooker. 

Select sauté - when butter begins to sizzle, stir the chopped onions into the pot and sauté for about a minute or 2, until onions start getting soft. 

Stir in the carrots and sauté vegetables for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly golden. 

Stir in garlic, sliced mushrooms, salt, and thyme. Sauté until mushrooms release most of their moisture and the garlic becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes. 

Add sherry to the pot and cook until liquid is evaporated. 

Add barley, bay leaf and 5 c chicken broth to the pot. 

Lock lid into place. Select High Pressure. Set timer to 10 minutes. 

Use the Natural Release Method to release all pressure. 

Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in pepper.  Add more broth if mixture is too thick for your taste.

Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in chopped parsley. 

For an extra kick, stir in 2 additional tablespoons of sherry.

This week's recipe detective is Julie S, with an assist from Dawn:


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa

For the next few weeks, I am going to have to rely on the slow cooker for Monday night dinners while I puppy sit (Yeah, I know! Poor me!!!!)  I'm currently enjoying being on a quinoa and farro kick.  Good ol' pasta and rice were getting boring - it's fun to try out "new" grains that are thousands of years old!!!  You can crank the heat up or down on this one by the number of peppers you use, or if you don't like spicy food, leave them out entirely.  I'm going to leave them out at the farm and serve them on the side for people to stir in if they want them.  

***Remember - when handling hot peppers - wear disposable gloves, especially when handling the seeds and the inside ribs of the peppers.  Do NOT touch your face while handling those peppers, especially around your eyes - believe me, you only do it once and you'll understand.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa

from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

1 pound ground chicken
1 1/2 cups uncooked  quinoa, rinsed*
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 can (15-ounce) diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (depending o the heat level you want)
1 cup water
1 can (10-ounces) enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook the ground chicken in a skillet until no longer pink and place in slow cooker.

Add everything except the last 3 ingredients and stir to combine. 

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or until the liquid is all absorbed into the mixture.

Remove the lid and stir. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. 

Stir in the half the cheese and sprinkle the other half on top. 

Replace the lid and let the cheese melt. Top with the chopped green onions and cilantro.

*Quinoa seeds sometimes have a coating of bitter-tasting chemicals called saponins, that make the seeds not tasty to birds and other seed-eaters. Put the seeds in a mesh strainer and rinse the seeds throughly, just in case.  video - Rinsing Quinoa

And for today's lesson in nutrition, class:

  • originated in the Andean region of PeruBoliviaEcuador and Colombia
  • was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago
  • is a "pseudocereal" similar to buckwheat and amaranth
  • nutrient composition is favorable compared with common cereals
  • contains essential amino acids like lysine and acceptable quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron

This week's recipe detectives:

Kim Johnson-OK  

with an assist from

Blue Penguin and Jody from MD

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

I was going to bring down a pot of chili and some cornbread for my Friday night special this week. But my ankle is throbbing tonight and I need something I can throw together FAST, so:

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

1 (12 ounce) box penne or spiral pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1-1/2 cups cream or half and half
1 cup chicken broth
½ package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
½ cup parmesan, shredded
2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded - I'm grabbing pre-cooked
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled - again, pre-cooked!!
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and drain. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper, if desired. Add the flour and stir in with the butter.  Let is bubble for a minute, stirring.

Whisk in the cream and chicken broth and continue stirring until thickened. 

Stir in half a package of the ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix. 

Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.

Place pasta in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Top with chicken, bacon, and peas. 

Pour sauce over the top. 

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

File this under : 
"I'm Not Lazy but When my Ankle Hurts and I Can't Stand in One Place for Long, Make This"

From Flavor Mosaic