Category Archives: Healthy

Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Tomorrow is the big day but I’m already looking forward to the day after. And the day after that. That’s right. Thanksgiving leftovers. I can’t help myself when it comes to leftover turkey anything. Soup, sandwich, casserole, omelet, you name it! I’ve always been a sucker for the Chicken Wild Rice Soup from Panera (or as they call it here in STL, St. Louis Bread Co.) This recipe combines the juicy leftovers (dark meat too!) along with a creamy texture and savory rice to make for the perfect soothing post Thanksgiving Day meal. And if you’re like me and get sick every year around this time, it helps with that as well.

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Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup
Serves 6-8

1 C wild rice
2 C water
2-3 C leftover turkey
5 C chicken stock (turkey or vegetable work too)
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 large celery stalks, chopped
1 C mushrooms (any kind), chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP flour
2 C milk

In a medium saucepan, add rice and water. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. The rice will not be fully done. Add rice and any remaining water to chicken stock mixture in large stock pot.

In large stock pot, add chicken stock, turkey, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Bring pot to a simmer and add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Keep at low simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until mixture bubbles. Slowly whisk in milk. Whisk continuously until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add to large stock pot. Mix together and stir occasionally at a low heat until soup is thickened.

Ladle and enjoy!

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When reheating leftovers, you may want to add a little extra milk to the mixture before reheating. The rice tends to pull in the liquid when saved.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
stef

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Filed under Cook, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Thanksgiving

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops

My heart gets happy this time of year when I start to switch over to my fall meal menu. This doesn’t have to mean all stews and chili (we can save some of that for winter, people) but the incorporation of some great fall produce. This Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chop recipe is a go-to in my house in the cooler months. It incorporates sweet potatoes, apples, onions and sauerkraut for a deliciously hearty yet healthy fall meal. Just a little peeling and cutting in the morning will give you an earthy evening dinner.

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Fall Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Serves 4-6
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced into rounds
4 large apples, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1-2 lbs boneless pork chops
1 2 lb bag sauerkraut, drained
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

In slow cooker, layer sweet potatoes on bottom, followed by apples and onions. Place pork chops on top. Lay sauerkraut over the top. Pour apple cider vinegar. Mix all spices together in a both and sprinkle over the top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

So simple. So delicious. So fall!
stef

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Filed under Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy, Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal, Uncategorized

Summer Veggie Salad with Wheat Berries

Between my garden and my CSA box, I can barely keep up with the veggies that are making their way to my countertop. Yet I wait all year for this stuff and can’t bear to let it go to waste or give too much of it away. So I’ve lately been making “cram as much as you can together” type salads to use up the veggies when they’re fresh and taste the best. This is one of those such salads. It’s crunchy, savory, a little sweet, a little nutty and basically tastes like summer should.

This is also one of those recipes that almost doesn’t classify as a recipe because you could easily tweak it to fit the veggies that are overwhelming your counter. Peppers? Sure. Cucumbers? They work too. No wheat berries? So what. While the combo outlined here is rock solid, the options are many.

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Summer Veggie Salad with Wheat Berries
2 cobs of corn, kernels shaved off (or 1 1/2 C corn)
1 medium zucchini, cubed
10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 oz feta, crumbled
1/2 C wheat berries, cooked
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
salt to taste

Cook wheat berries according to package instructions or cook 1/2 C wheat berries in 1 1/2 C water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until wheat berries are tender yet toothsome. Drain wheat berries and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Chop zucchini and add to bowl. Shave corn kernels off the cobs. Place in a small bowl with a splash or two of water. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes to steam cook. Drain and let cool to room temperature. Add to zucchini and wheat berries. Add in halved tomatoes, chopped basil and crumbled feta. Stir gently to mix.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and mustard. Pour over salad and gently toss to coat. Season with salt to taste and toss once more.

market-salad
katie

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Filed under Garden, Healthy, Sides

Chipolte Peach Salsa

Chipolte Peach Salsa

Salsa is this great nation’s number one condiment. I’m a dedicated contributor to keeping that statistic alive. I’ve dabbled in many a fresh salsa recipe but never took the plunge to make the cooked and jarred type. Thanks to the lovely folks at Washington State Stone Fruit Growers, I was able to create this sweet and smokey Chipolte Peach Salsa that has been getting rave reviews across the area.

washington peaches

I want to make a special note that making this salsa is not hard! I’ve always thought this to be a daunting task, but it was pretty painless. This salsa can be jarred and kept for a long time or refrigerated and kept for 3-4 weeks. To get all the tips on canning and preserving, visit www.sweetpreservation.com.

Chipolte Peach Salsa
Makes approx. 10 cups
12 fresh, ripe peaches
8 large tomatoes
2 green peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP chipolte powder
1 TBSP salt

To peel the peaches and tomatoes, start with a large stock pot of boiling water. Place tomatoes in the water for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin starts to split. Immediately place tomatoes in ice bath to cool. Once cool to touch, the skins will slide right off. Cut into large chunks.

Using the same pot of water, do the same with the peaches. These will likely only need about 1 minute until the skin starts to peel away. Place in ice water bath, peel and cut into chunks.

In a large stock pot, add tomatoes, peaches, green pepper, onion, garlic and apple cider vinegar. Heat on medium-high heat and stir. Add paprika, chipolte powder and salt. Stir and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion blend, blend ingredients together to your preferred texture. (I like it a little chunky). Spoon into jars and following preserving instructions.

Chipolte Peach Salsa recipe

This salsa is great as the standard chip dip or taco topper, but it is also a delicious sauce for a sweet, savory and spicy dinner. I’ve used it in the crock pot for pulled pork, pork loin and beef roast. Just pour a few cups over the top of your meat and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Happy canning!

stef

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Filed under Cook, Healthy, Sides

Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa

Greetings from St. Louis! And no, I am not blogging while on vacation. The rumors are true. I apologize for the lack of posts the past couple of months, but my family and I have been busy packing up and shipping down south to the St. Louis area. My husband is taking on a one-year stint down here, so we are another stop on our ‘tour of the midwest’ marriage. We aren’t sure where life will lead us after this but we are ready to explore all things from the heartland and enjoy some warmer temps while we are at it. I’m not ready to give up my cheese and sausage just yet, but am excited to explore the culinary nuances down here on the Mississippi. While I plan to bring you some local delicacies – toasted ravioli anyone? – today I am focusing on corn.

We are actually living on the Southern Illinois side of St. Louis. While we are still in a heavily populated area, it is the most “rural” place this city girl/suburbanite has ever lived. Many of you small town, farm folks would probably laugh at me if you saw what I was talking about. In any case, today, instead if BBQ Pork Steaks or Gooey Butter Cake, I am bringing you a recipe with fresh corn. Why? Because this is what my backyard looks like.

Corn Field Backyard

No, I didn’t pick this corn from the field, but did buy it local and it is delicious. Taking the time to cut a little corn off the cob is well worth the few extra minutes. This Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa is a great topper for tacos, fish or chicken or is great for dipping or just eating by the spoonful. And with this handy little tip for cutting the corn, life has never been easier.

Cutting Corn on bundt pan

Simply place the ear of corn at the top of a bundt pan and slide downward. The kernels will fall into the pan below, instead of exploding all over your counter!

 

Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa

Roasted Corn off the Cob Salsa
Makes approx. 2 Cups

3 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut off
1/3 C chopped green pepper
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 C chopped avocado
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil. Add corn. Spread evenly, sprinkle with cumin and roast for 8-10 minutes, until corn is a nice golden color. Remove from heat and place in bowl. Mix with green pepper, scallions, avocado and add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Corn Salsa

 

I hope you enjoy and I look forward to bringing you some fresh, new recipes and ideas!

It’s Summer Soiree over at the Food Network! Check out these other great fresh summer corn recipes from friends around the web:

The Lemon Bowl: Corn on the Cob with Lemon Basil
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Honey-Basil Butter
The Heritage Cook: Mexican Elote Corn Casserole (Gluten-Free)
The Cultural Dish: New England Seafood Boil
Dishing With Divya: Corn on the Cob with Roasted Garlic Herb Butter
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Corn with Tomato Basil “Butter” (Vegan)
Devour: 4 Cobs, 4 Ways
Daily*Dishin: Quick Thyme Corn Cobbettes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Corn
Red or Green: Grilled Corn on the Cob
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Buttery Corn on the Cob
Weelicious: Cheesy Corn on the Cob
Domesticate Me: Charred Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Cheese (aka Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Swing Eats: Corn Pasta with Fresh Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Chives
Taste With The Eyes: Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze and Wasabi Goat Butter
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Corn and Lemon Thyme Ice Cream + Homemade Creamed Corn
FN Dish: Off-the-Chart Corn on the Cob Recipes

stef

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Filed under Appetizers, Budget Friendly, Cook, Healthy, Main Dish, Quick & Easy, Sides

Korean Style Bear Tacos

So I admit that we’ve been pretty bad slackers about posting new recipes lately. I suppose that’s just what happens when you combine summer with jobs, more babies, interstate moves, potty training, the list goes on. But fear not, we’re still alive and cooking (even if we’ve got some standby recipes on repeat) and experimenting with some new things when we can.

This recipe is my most recent experiment with bear meat. Of course, most people don’t have bear hanging out in the fridge and that’s totally fine – beef, pork shoulder or other wild game would work great as well. This one is inspired by this delicious “globally-inspired” taco place by my house and adapted from this recipe. It’s a nice little way to mix up your ho-hum taco night without too much extra effort.

korean-bear

Korean Style Tacos
For the Roast
2-3 lb bear (or beef) roast
1/2 C soy sauce
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 granny smith apple, julienned
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger
1/2 C honey
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
black pepper
3-5 C water

Place roast in a glass baking pan.  Scatter apples and green onions on and around roast in pan. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, oil, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper, then whisk well to combine.  Pour marinade over meat and vegetables. Marinate overnight.

In the morning, transfer roast and marinade to a slow cooker. Add water one cup at a time until the roast is 1/2 to 3/4 covered with liquid. Slow cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once meat is tender and falling apart, remove roast from slow cooker and gently shred with two forks.

For the Tacos
small taco size tortillas, warmed
1 C cabbage, shredded or chopped to coleslaw-like sized pieces
1/2-1 granny smith apple, julienned
3/4 C matchstick or julienned carrots
4-5 radishes, julienned
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch kosher salt

1-2 tsp sriracha, to taste
1/2 C mayo

Prepare cabbage, apple, carrots and radishes and combine in a medium bowl. Add cilantro and toss to combine. Whisk together lime juice, oil, cumin and salt and pour over slaw mixture. Toss again to combine. Slaw don’t need to be exact – make your slaw to taste and for the appropriate amount of people you’ll be serving. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together sriracha sauce and mayo, adding sriracha until you reach your preferred heat level.

Assemble tacos by spreading sriracha mayo on each tortilla and topping with meat and slaw. Drizzle with additional sriracha if desired.

korean-bear-tacos

katie

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Filed under Healthy, Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal

Healthy Mini Muffins for Kids (or Anyone!)

Back in the fall when I was looking for more ways to use up the overload of squash from my CSA, I started baking with it. Using an old recipe of my mom’s for Pumpkin Apple Streusel muffins as a base, I thought I would swap the pumpkin for squash. But why stop there? So I started subbing ingredients to see how I could sneak in more veggies and make the muffins healthier. Some carrots here, some flax seeds there, some raisins for even more texture.

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Every time I made them my 2 1/2 year old, who can be hit-or-miss on squash and carrots, gobbled them up. This weekend, he told me he wanted to make muffins so I took on the final frontier – reducing the amount of refined sugar. In my first attempt at messing with a staple baking ingredient, I cut the original amount of sugar in half and replaced the other cup with unsweetened applesauce and added an extra 1/2 C of flour to balance out the extra moisture.

Results? Success. The texture was exactly the same as the original version and although the muffins themselves are less sweet, I actually prefer it that way. Plus, it still passed the toddler test of requesting seconds.
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Fruit & Veggie Packed Mini Muffins
makes 4 1/2 dozen mini muffins
2 eggs
1 C sugar
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C applesauce (unsweetened/no sugar added kind)
1 C steamed and pureed winter squash (butternut or acorn work well)
3 C flour
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 C shredded carrots
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and shredded
2/3 C raisins

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, beat together oil, eggs and pureed squash until combined. Beat in sugar and applesauce. Beat in pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt and flax seeds. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well for even texture. Fold in carrots, apples and raisins.

Lightly spray mini muffin baking tin with cooking spray. Spoon batter into baking tin so that each cup is 3/4 or slightly more full of batter. Bake for 12 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.

mini-muffins
katie

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Filed under Breakfast, Healthy, Kid Friendly