Potato Soup

One day, I came home from work to this soup simmering on the stove, a fully vacuumed house, and a very smug husband.  The soup was delicious, the vacuuming is “his job” anyway, and I’ve got to love that guy 😉  Since I do most of the cooking, it’s always nice to have an unexpected night off… and it’s even better when I get good food out of it!

Potato Soup

From Kathy Richardson’s recipe

potato soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb bacon
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 4 c diced potatoes
  • approximately 3 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • flour (gluten free if necessary)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook the bacon, then the onion in the same pan
  • Boil the potatoes in water until soft, about 15-20 minutes
  • Drain the potatoes & return to the large pot; add bacon & onions
  • Mix 2 eggs with enough flour to make dumplings (basically lumps of dough at this point); add them to the potatoes
  • Add milk gradually, until the potatoes are just covered.  It may take more or less than 3 cups
  • Add salt & pepper to taste, or Alpine Touch seasoning, and let the soup cook over low to medium heat until the dumplings are done, about 15 minutes
  • Top with shredded cheese and bacon bits before serving, if desired

Shepherd’s Pie

My mom has made shepherd’s pie for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, I liked the melty cheese.  As an adult, I like how easy & cheap it is to make. The last time I made it, I used leftover mashed potatoes, but you could also speed up the preparation by using instant potatoes if you wanted. I added more veggies to my mom’s recipe & made it gluten free, so know that this recipe is easy to customize.

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Shellie McMaster’s recipe

Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can green beans
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 c mashed potatoes
  • optional: sliced or shredded Cheddar

Directions:

  • Mix together hamburger, ketchup, egg, corn & beans.  Bake in a pie plate at 350, for about 30 minutes, or until the burger is browned
  • While the meat is cooking, make the mashed potatoes
  • Remove the meat from the oven & drain off any juices.  Spoon potatoes onto meat.  If desired, cover with cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for about 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and/or potatoes are warm

Baked Omelette

I was a little surprised at how well this omelette turn out- I guess I had set my expectations pretty low.  It was fluffy, not mushy, and flavorful.  The nutmeg was a nice touch- it added a hint of a “roasted” flavor.  Even better, it would take about 5 minutes to prepare.  Mine took longer, because I bough a ham steak, diced, and cooked it, rather than buying pre-diced ham (mostly because of the price difference).

Baked Omelette

Adapted from Against All Grain

baked omelette

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs
  • 1 c shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 3/4 c almond milk (or cow’s milk if you’d like)
  • 1 c diced ham
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Directions:

  • Grease a baking dish (I used a 7 x 11 pan)
  • Whisk eggs with milk, then add cheese, ham, salt & nutmeg. Stir well
  • Pour into prepared baking dish & bake for 35 minutes at 350.  The omelette should be puffed up & set in the center.

Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Well, I’m back.  Obviously, I’ve taken time off, from blogging & from trying out new recipes.  My health isn’t the greatest, although it had been improving, so I’ve been kind of distracted. I had a Crohn’s flare up & surgery on my deviated septum, plus my normal  dose of not feeling good.  But- I have been cooking some. And resting a lot.  I definitely don’t feel great, but I think having something to focus on will help.  So blogging, cooking and photography will be priorities, even if I have to force it.

Anyways, I thought my first recipe of 2013 should be comfort food.  After the holidays, it’s hard to put a lot of effort into meal planning & preparation, so here’s my solution: a whole chicken roasted in a crockpot.  At my local Albertson’s grocery store, a whole chicken is usually $1.09/lb.  That means this main dish is fairly cheap, easy to prepare, AND super tasty.  I recently served it to 4 adults for dinner, with enough leftovers for 2 lunches.

Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Slightly adapted from Budget Savvy Diva

crockpot roasted chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • If your chicken comes with “extra” pieces in the abdominal cavity, make sure to remove them first
  • Mix all the spices together in a bowl; rub spice mixture onto the chicken
  • Cook chicken on high for 4-5 hours.  Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.  The chicken will make its own juices & fall off the bone when done.

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Although the ingredient list is really long, this meal came together pretty quickly.  Yeah, you have to be home, because the veggies are added partway through, but it’s definitely worth the hassle!  I added the veggies, but if you just want chicken head over to the original recipe.

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Adapted from Six Sisters’

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb chicken breast or thighs, diced
  • 1/4 c flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • 4 tb rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tb ketcup
  • 2 tb brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 c broccoli florets
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 3/4 c cashews

Directions:

  • Combine chicken, flour & pepper in a gallon size baggie.  Shake to coat chicken with flour.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; brown chicken, about 3 minutes per side. Place chicken in crockpot
  • Combine soy sauce, water, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger & pepper flakes in a small bowl.  Dump 1/2 the sauce mixture over chicken in slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 1 1/2 hours
  • Add veggies & remaining sauce to crockpot & stir to combine everything; cook on high for another 1- 1 1/2 hours
  • Add cashews & stir, then serve over rice

Cauliflower, Leek & Potato Soup

Even after eating this soup, I still can’t tell you what a leek tastes like.  It looks like a giant green onion… and that’s all I know.  But this soup is good- it pretty much tastes like creamy potato soup.  And it would be a good way to get veggies into kids, or even adults who don’t like cauliflower 😉

Cauliflower, Leek & Potato Soup

Adapted from Clean Eating magazine, October 2012 issue

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c thinly sliced leeks (the white & light green parts, not the leaf-ish parts)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato, diced
  • 3 1/4 c chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 slices bacon

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-low. Cook leeks, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes
  • Add garlic & cook for another minute, stirring frequently
  • Add potato, cauliflower, broth, water, salt & pepper. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover & simmer for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower & potatoes are soft.
  • While that simmers, cook the bacon in a small skillet.  Remove from pan & allow to cool before crumbling
  • Blend the soup mixture, with an immersion blender or by running batches through a regular blender.  Stir in bacon bits & serve
  • Optional: top with shredded cheddar cheese

Broccoli Beef

Here’s a super tasty broccoli recipe for you- the sauce is perfect for the broccoli & the beef.  It’s not really difficult, but it looks & tastes impressive 🙂 I modified the sauce, because the original called for oyster sauce.  My rule is to never buy a new ingredient, unless I’ll use it at least twice.

I’ll definitely be making this recipe again- Cody also approved & has already requested a repeat.

Broccoli Beef

Adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients:

  • 3 tb low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak (I used mule deer back-straps & it turned out fine)
  • 1 tb rice wine vinegar
  • 5 tb low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tb light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 c rice

Directions:

  • Cut the steak into 2 inch wide strips, 1/2 inch thick.  Combine with soy sauce in a medium bowl; cover & place in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes
  • Cook rice according to package directions (or, boil 2 cups of water.  Add 2 cups of rice & remove from heat.  Cover & allow to sit for 5 minutes)
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl: vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch
  • In another bowl combine garlic, ginger & 1 tsp olive oil
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat; add marinated beef to pan.  Brown steak pieces, then remove from pan
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in the same pan.  Add broccoli & water.  Cover pan & cook on medium heat until broccoli is steamed tender-crisp, about 2 minutes
  • Push the broccoli to the side.  Add the ginger-garlic to the pan & cook for about 30 seconds, smashing with a spoon. Stir into the broccoli
  • Add beef back to the skillet & combine with broccoli.  Whisk the sauce again & add to the skillet
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens (about 1-2 minutes).  Serve over rice