Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

This is a yummy side dish or a meatless main meal, would also be a lovely side for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

1 package orzo pasta cooked and drained

I cup chopped eggplant

I cup chopped and peeled acorn or butternut squash

1/2 cup carrots chopped

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers, I used yellow and red

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 c chopped onion

2T olive oil

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Toss all chopped vegetables with 1 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and put into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.

Add vegetables to a large bowl and add in cooked and drained pasta, 1 T olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Serve.

*Use what you have on hand this is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, be creative.

Chorizo and Kale Soup

 

Chorizo and Kale Soup

1 slice bacon

1 package of chorizo sausage cut into bite sized rounds

1 cup chopped carrots

2 cups diced potatoes

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 T smoked paprika

6 c chicken stock

4 cups washed and chopped kale

Add chorizo and bacon to a large pot, sauté until bacon is crisp, add Potatoes, onions, carrots and potatoes, cook over med high heat until onions are soft.

 

Add paprika and chicken stock,  bring to a simmer cook for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, add kale and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve.

Kale, Potato, and Pork Soup

Hearty, Yummy, and Easy. This is a perfect weeknight meal for fall or anytime of the year. The vinegar added at the end adds a nice flavor and brightness to the soup.

Kale, Potato, and Pork Soup

1 yellow or white onion chopped

2 large potatoes cut into bite sized chunks ( I left the skin on)

3 T olive oil

1- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork  (substitute any ground meat that you have on hand)

3 cloves garlic chopped

1/4 t  black pepper

1/4 t red pepper flakes (add more if you like it spicy)

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 T Italian Seasoning

32 oz chicken broth

1 T balsamic vinegar

In a large heavy pot, add olive oil and heat over med high heat. Add potatoes and onion and cook for about 3 minutes, add ground meat, garlic, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until Meat is no longer pink. Add carrots, Italian Seasoning and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve.

Smoked Turkey and Split Pea Soup

 

Despite it’s unfortunate color, split pea soup is a family favorite. I like to change it up a little sometimes, this time with the addition of fresh corn and a smoked turkey leg instead of a ham hock or bacon. Everyone loved it, this one is a keeper. The turkey leg had more flavor and meat than the tradition ham hock, and it was actually less expensive.

Smoked Turkey and Split Pea Soup

1 smoked turkey drumstick  found by the ham hocks and ham steaks at my meat counter)

1 cup of sliced carrots

1 cup chopped onion

1 c chopped celery

1 c fresh corn removed from the cob (about 1 ear)

1 lb dried split green peas, washed and picked through for debris

2 garlic cloves

32 0z chicken broth

1/4 chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika

1 -1 1/2 c water

Prep all ingredients.

 

add all ingredients except water to a large crock pot

 

Cover and cook for about 3 hrs on high or 5 hours on low. Peas should lose their texture and soup should be thick. Remove turkey leg and pick meat off bones and add back to the soup. Check soup for any bones that may have come off the leg during cooking and remove. Add water if needed to reach desired consistancy. Stir and heat through.

Chicken and Lemon Dumplings : A Visit to my Grandma’s Recipe Box

I am the unofficial family historian. I am the holder of all of the old photos and mementos. I have each and every one in safe keeping. Its a  job I enjoy, sometimes on a lazy or dreary day I will pull out and old album or keepsake and it always brings a smile to my face. I am lucky enough to be the keeper of my Grandmother’s recipe box. I have it right next to my own in my kitchen, I don’t often go through it, but I like just having it there. I would not describe her as a lover of food or cooking, but I am. So I am glad that I can look into it and try to see what she was thinking in the way she wrote or edited her recipes. Some were too spicy, some too expensive, so she would redo them and make them her own. I found this in her recipe box and decided to give it a try, and of course I did a little editing too, after all I do take after my grandmother.

Chicken and Lemon Dumplings

1lb boneless skinless chicken breast

2 T veg oil

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 c  chopped carrot

1/2 c chopped celery

1 1/2 t chicken seasoning

1/8 t pepper

2 t chopped fresh dill

1/2 c cold water

3 T flour

For Dumplings

1 c flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

3/4 t salt

3/4 c milk

1 t lemon juice

1/4 t lemon zest

1 t chopped fresh dill

Heat Oil in a large pot add chicken, onion, carrots, celery and chicken seasoning, saute until slightly browned. add stock, pepper and dill, simmer 5 minutes. whisk flour into cold water and add to pot. Continue to simmer.

For dumplings, combine all ingredients in a bowl, drop tablespoons of mixture into stew.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more .

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

We all have seen and love  food in miniature, pizzas, sandwiches, sliders, everybody likes a little single serving of their favorite food. I was making chicken pot pie for dinner and decided to try to shrink them, just for the cute factor. I kind of had a plan, use my regular pot pie filling, refrigerated biscuit dough and a muffin tin, but I had never done it before so I made sure I also had a back up plan incase things went wrong, as they do a lot in my house. The incredible thing is that they actually worked, cooked through and were as cute as a button, the bad news is that unless you are carb loading or only want cute the bread to filling ratio is off. Easy enough to fix by spooning extra filling over the top at the end, kind of like a popover. Or skip the cute part and just spoon filling over baked biscuits, country style, which was my back up plan and equally as delicious.

Chicken and Vegetable Filling

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

2 T oil

1 zucchini chopped

2 potatoes chopped

1 c chopped carrots

1 c chopped leeks

1 clove garlic minced

2 tsp seasoning salt

1/8 c sherry

1 3/4 c chicken stock

1/4 c flour

2/3 c milk

In a large pan heat oil and saute chicken and potatoes about 5 minutes, add leeks, garlic and carrots continues to cook over med heat until chicken is cooked through and potatoes have started to soften.sprinkle with flour and cook one minute,

Add sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom. Add chicken stock and zucchini and seasoning salt and stir, bring to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk and stir, heat through, turn heat to low.

To make Mini Pot Pies,pre heat oven to 350. Use a non stick muffin tin and separate your refrigerated biscuit dough in half. I used Grands.

Place on half into each tin and spoon in filling

Place the other half of the biscuit over the top and press to seal (doesn’t have to be perfect, sort of seals itself while cooking).

Use a sharp knife and cut a 1 inch slit into the top of the dough of each pie. Cook according to biscuit directions.

Voila, cute on a plate.

Option 2, cook biscuits according to package direction, split in half and spoon chicken pies filling over top.

Asian Slaw with Cantaloupe and Mint

I love the unexpected surprise and the pop of sweetness of fruit in salads. This was a refreshing and satisfying accompaniment to our Chili Lime Glazed Salmon. Double the recipe for potlucks or large crowds.

1/2 bag cole slaw mix (red, and green shredded cabbage and carrots)

1T chopped fresh mint

1/2 of a cantaloupe ,seeds removed, and cut into bite sized chunks

1T fresh lime juice

3T Asian Vinaigrette ( I used a store-bought one for this recipe)

Mix together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and serve.