Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fiesta Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

We're experiencing a lovely Indian Summer, and the first day of Autumn just came and went. 

My pepper plants are exploding though, and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful poblanos that my plants produced. Some were even turning a beautiful red!

One of my favorite ways to prepare these are stuffed, not in the traditional sense of beef and rice, but kicked up with a little heat and spice, since the peppers themselves are really mild in heat, but high in flavor. 

These actually came together easily...I had leftover cooked chicken and rice. What could be easier?

These babies are loaded with sautéed onions, chicken, rice, salsa and cheese. They're baked covered until heated through and then topped with more cheese. 

Sooo good, my mouth is watering!

Here's the recipe. Come travel down this Fiesta road to taste this goodness!

4-6 poblano peppers
1 small onion, halved, one half chopped and one half minced
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

14 oz. can tomatoes, or 2-3 medium fresh
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 garlic clove
1/2 onion that is chopped
1/2 cup water

1. Place peppers on an open flame and char all over, or preheat broiler and place on a pan and broil 7-8 minutes, let cool and peel off skins. Cut a slit in one side and gently remove seeds and membranes trying to keep peppers intact. 
2. In a blender or food processor, place all the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a small pot and heat gently to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside. 
3. Meanwhile, in a sauce pot, heat 1 tsp oil and saute minced onions for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add in chicken, chili powder and salt and heat through. Place into a large bowl, add in rice and toss. 
3. Add in salsa and 1/4 cup of the Sauce, toss to combine and then toss in 1 cup of cheese. 
4. Spray a baking dish with non stick spray and pour in half of the cooked sauce to coat the bottom.
5. Gently and generously fill each pepper with chicken filling and place in the baking dish. Continue until all the peppers are filled. Pour the remaing sauce over each pepper.
6. Cover with foil and heat for 25-30 minutes in a 350F oven. Remove foil, sprinkle peppers with remaining cheese and place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. 
7. Let cool 5-7 minutes before serving. 


 This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared onThe Country Cook  and http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/ and Foodie Friends Friday

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Garden Barley Stew


It's becoming more apparent that Summer is waning and Fall is arriving. Don't get me wrong, that sigh was one of contentment, not contentiousness. 

I love this time of year.

Cool nights, beautiful days, our garden is thoroughly confused though. Because it's still pumping out the veggies and in celebration of this I made this delicious, chock full of vegetable, stew. 

You won't miss the meat in this, and for you hardcore carnivores, by all means add some if you absolutely have too. One taste though, and you know this beauty hits all the comfort notes. 

It's hearty (psst...even tho it's meatless!), filling and oh so good!

Add in anything and everything you have on hand. This version used fresh tomatoes, peppers, onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, potato, garlic, green beans and black beans. If I had more vegetables, I would have thrown them in also. That's what's so nice about this soup, it's changeable.

Add kale, beets, turnips, eggplant, mushrooms....

Don't have barley? Use rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, lentils, even whole oats!

See, it's an open book. 

And a delicious one at that.

2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, rough chop
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
4 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, halved and chopped
1 small potato, small cubes
1 can cut green beans, drained 
1 can beans, (black, kidney, pinto or white)-rinsed and drained
1 sprig thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 cup barley or other grain


In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add in tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes. 
Add in onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes soften and break down, about 8-10 minutes more. Use a stick blender or potato masher to blend tomatoes into a sauce.
Add in chicken broth and all the vegetables except zucchini. Bring to a low boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and cover slightly and cook until carrots and potato are tender, another 20 minutes. 
Add in zucchini, green beans, beans and barley. Stir to combine and cook on low until grain is softened and vegetables are tender, not mushy. Another 12-15 minutes for quick barley. 
Remove thyme sprig if used and taste for seasoning. 
We love to sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving!


 This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/and Foodie Friends Friday

Monday, September 8, 2014

Easy Turkey & Bean Enchiladas

The last days of warm weather are winding down and I've been giving my oven the eye more than not.

I am still trying to adapt to only having to prepare meals for 2-3. I had a really hard time taking my 3rd baby to college. I thought that nonsense was supposed to get easier the more you did it...nope. It certainly wasn't. 

But the 4th baby left at home, is into sports and when she is home, she is ravenous. She will wolf down almost anything (except meatloaf?!), and especially loves South of the Border foods.

I love making these enchiladas, I use lean ground turkey breast, but sub your favorite lean protein. 

I should have known they make a lot-you can always freeze half and have an easy meal ready to pop into the oven or microwave. These pictured were made and refrigerated for 3 days, then reheated-I actually think they're better!

We like to top them with sour cream, salsa (homemade!), and guacamole. They're so good, cheesy and plump, I can only eat one, the hubs barely finished 2. 

They're actually pretty low cal for mexican food, very little cheese, lean meat, canned pinto beans and prepared enchilada sauce!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pesto Tortelloni Salad

I made this the other day, for a friend that recently had surgery, along with a pasta Frittata. I wanted her to have a fresh, easy meal and since she only had the use of one hand serving this would be a snap!

Both dishes I made her were pasta based...I must equate pasta with comfort?

Anyway...most people think Tortellini-which is what I thought I was buying. But when I pulled the bag out of my pantry, lo and behold it's Tortellini's big brother-Tortelloni!

I love these, they're big and plump and cheesy and well...comforting. 

Tossed with a super simple pesto-amazingly SIMPLE, and roasted red peppers, sooo good. I almost hated to give it away, and the youngest unit almost cried when she learned it wasn't staying. 

Even if you've never made pesto, this will make a believer out of you! I don't know why I never thought of using a ready made dressing as the base for a pesto? How easy and actually really delicious. You're really making pesto, just subbing a ready made vinaigrette for the olive oil. It is delicious on rice salads, lettuce salads even poultry prior to grilling!

1-8 oz. package Tortelloni or tortellini, cooked per instructions and set aside
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
2 green onions sliced
1/4 cup bottled zest Italian dressing-your favorite brand
10-12 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese-grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Prepare pasta per directions, drain, rinse in cool water and drain again. 
2. Place in a large bowl with red peppers and green onions
3. In a food processor or blender place basil, galic, salt and pepper, chop and with blade running drizzle in dressing using slightly more to make it a dressing consistency.
4. Pour over all and toss to combine.
5. Refrigerate to chill and serve. 


This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and Buns In My Oven and Daily Dish

I was featured!     

Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple Elote Dip

Our youngest child recently spent a week in Arizona with her best friend and her mom. They stayed with relatives and visited the Grand Canyon, a spa, Arizona State and more. 

One of the places she raved about was Elote Cafe in Sedona. (I know-she's her mothers girl-raving about food!) she just could not get over how delicious the corn dip, that they are famous for, was.

So I decided to surprise her one day and try to make it. It just so happened my parents gave me a big bag filled with corn also! Sweet, fresh Iowa corn-the best!

This dip is generally served warm with the seasoning and cilantro sprinkled on top. I upped the easy quotient by incorporating it all together and serving it without warming it up (it's hot and humid now).

It disappeared in my house. I'm certain the same thing will happen in your home heated or not. 

I threw in a minced red jalapeño which gave it the heat we love, but feel free to leave it out, it's delicious and creamy and full on corn and you'll want to make this again and again. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Picadillo Stuffed Summer Squash

It seems like the summer has flown by, maybe that's because we didn't really have that much of one?

It's taken until almost August before our garden really started to produce anything other than radishes and peas. 

Now I can't give the cucumbers and squash away fast enough let alone eat or cook with them. But I found a new fave way to eat squash and this dish freezes beautifully so you could have a taste of summer on a rainy, dreary day like today.

I combined two of our favorite dishes and it worked so well, we all loved the flavors and it really was easy. We love Picadillo, a Spanish dish that is hearty and so full of flavors, stuffed into tender, fresh, sweet, zucchini and summer squash right from our garden. 

Baked and then covered in obey, gooey cheesy goodness, I bet even the most picky eaters would love this dish!

We normally eat Picadillo over couscous, rice or mashed potatoes but I love the additional benefits of eating this delicious summer vegetable. 

You'll probably have leftover filling, don't throw it away! Picadillo is delicious over a baked potato, in a frittata or omelet, even in a quesadilla! You can find my recipe for Picadillo here.

1 lb. ground beef, turkey or pork
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
3 cloves garlic grated or minced
1 14 oz can whole or diced tomatoes-crushed with their juice
1 4 oz can tomato sauce-reserving half
1/4 cup green olives-chopped
1/4 cup olive brine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Oregano
Pinch Cinnamon
1/2 cup frozen peas(optional-but so nice) 
4-6 medium summer squash or zucchini-halved and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the middle to create boats, save 1cup of the pulp removed.
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large pot, brown and crumble meat. 
Add in the onion, celery, green pepper and the pulp (chopped) and stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. 
Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add in the tomatoes and 2oz. of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Soy Sauce, Olives, brine, Oregano and Cinnamon. Stir to combine, cover and lower heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Lastly stir in the peas, if using.
Check seasoning, add in 1 tsp of pepper, I doubt you'll need salt. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a large casserole dish with non stick spray. Add 1 oz. of water to the reserved tomato sauce and pour in the bottom of the dish. 
Place the "boats" in the dish. Use 1 tsp of olive oil and brush each "boat"; season with salt, pepper, Set aside.
Scoop picadillo into zucchini boats, packing it in and distributing evenly (store extra if you have any). Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese, then bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.


This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and Buns In My Oven and Daily Dish