Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Soup 2

It’s finally getting chilly around here. Soup is my favorite “go to” meal when the weather gets colder. This soup is really decadent since it’s creamy and full of vegetables.  Don’t be deceived by my picture, there is wild rice in this soup. For my strictly vegetarian friends, substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. And for my friends who want an even heartier soup, feel free to add diced, cooked chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken (OPTIONAL)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, oil and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes in butter until vegetables are almost tender. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth and undrained rice.
  3. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat; stir in the cream, rosemary and poultry seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste. If adding in chicken, do so the last 5 minutes to warm through.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup 1

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Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice

cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-platedI love a one pot dish. Less mess, less to clean. So keep it simple and stop there I tell myself. But alas, I always have to go an extra step. Why not make an avocado cilantro dressing to garnish this chicken with? You could make a double batch of the dressing and save the extra for your salads. If you are going to give yourself extra things to clean, might as well make it worth your while. Plus you have half an avocado left to use. Just saying….

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, reserve a teaspoon for garnish
  • juice of 2 limes

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Be sure to use a covered skillet for this recipe. Melt butter over medium high heat. Once butter is melted, add chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add rice and garlic to skillet and stir for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add chicken stock, cilantro and lime juice. Stir until combined. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-1
  4. Place chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover skillet with lid and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 25 minutes until chicken and rice is fully cooked and liquid is absorbed. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-2
  5. While the chicken breasts and rice are cooking, prepare your dressing.
  6. Add all dressing ingredients to your food processor or blender. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-3
  7. Pulse until smooth. Add more water or lime juice if needed. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-4
  8. When chicken and rice are ready, drizzle dressing over chicken and sprinkle with reserved cilantro. Dress with sliced limes for more flair.

cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-pot

One Pot Chicken and Rice

Tex Mex Chicken and RiceChicken and rice are my  favorite “go to” ingredients. There are so many ways to  prepare the two. For this recipe we are taking the fabulous bold flavors of the Southwest and going Tex Mex style. This is my kind of comfort food wrapped up in one colorful, piping hot bowl of deliciousness. And for my vegetarian friends out there, just skip the chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast, pounded thin and cut into small chunks
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 24 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can (14 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Morton & Bassett Mexican Blend seasoning (cumin, garlic, onion, paprika, pepper and thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add chicken pieces and cook each side for 2 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic to skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes until onions and bell pepper are softened.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, broth, corn, and black beans into skillet.
  5. Next add Mexican blend seasoning, cayenne pepper and brown sugar.
  6. Bring to a simmer and then add rice.
  7. Stir, cover with a lid and turn down heat to medium low.
  8. Cook for about 15 to 18 minutes until rice is cooked and most of liquid is absorbed.
  9. Add chicken and stir.
  10. Sprinkle with cheese and cover skillet with lid for 3 to 5 minutes for cheese to melt.
  11. Serve garnished with green onions or cilantro pieces.

Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Skillet

 

Chicken Fried Rice

Fried Rice Plated 2Growing up, my dad always told me never order fried rice at Chinese restaurants since it’s basically leftover ingredients. He said if you want to eat leftovers, then stay home and make your own fried rice. I always have a good laugh to myself because now that my dad is in his 80’s he always orders fried rice over steamed rice at Chinese restaurants if given a choice.

There is some truth in what he said though. It is better to use day old rice rather than fresh steamed rice for this dish. Even though it is just my son and I at home now, out of years of habit, I still make enough rice for three of us. So I always have leftover rice to use. And if I do have leftover chicken, beef or pork I will add it into my fried rice. But you can always just add more vegetables and leave out the meat to make regular fried rice. Also, feel free to change up to any vegetable combination you like. I just used what I had on hand.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced (I used red onion, but any type works fine.)
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, cut into thirds
  • 2 cups cooked rice, cold
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup (yes, you read that right.)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 green onions, sliced for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, beat egg with water. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add egg and leave flat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and scramble or cut into shreds.
  2. Heat oil in same skillet; add onion and other vegetables and saute until soft.
  3. Then add rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, ketchup, pepper and chicken.
  4. Stir fry together for 5 minutes or until rice and chicken are heated through. Add eggs and combine.
  5. Garnish with diced green onions and serve immediately.

Fried Rice Pan

Southwestern Style Rice

SW Rice platedOne day, I’m going to make my own tamales. But for tonight, I needed to make a side dish to go with the tamales I bought. Originally I was going to make a basic Mexican rice. But I decided to amp it up a little and add some beans and corn. I guess this would then make this more of a Southwestern style rice. This recipe makes a full skillet of rice. So a good 8-10 servings. If you need less, you may want to half the ingredients.  Or save the extra and add shredded chicken to it for a chicken and rice dish to eat the next day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon tumeric
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

SW Rice 1

Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.

SW Rice 2

Reduce heat to low and add garlic and rice. Stir constantly to make sure the rice does not burn. Cook for 3 minutes.

 

Add diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Stir to combine.

SW Rice 5

Add black beans and corn.

SW Rice 6

Add chicken broth.

SW Rice 7

Then add cumin, chili powder, salt and tumeric.

SW Rice 9

Stir to combine. Increase heat back to medium high and bring to a boil.

SW Rice 10

Reduce heat back to low.  Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is done.

SW Rice 11

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

SW Rice pan