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.
- 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)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, oil and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Salt and pepper to taste. If adding in chicken, do so the last 5 minutes to warm through.
Tired of the same old beef stew recipe? Then change it up by making Japanese curry beef instead. It’s basically a beef stew with a curry kick. I stuck with the medium hot S&B Golden Curry brand. If I had brought home the “hot” level one, my son would have protested. Japanese curry roux is not all that spicy compared to the Indian curry powders I have used in my chicken curry. For my vegetarian friends like Sue T., skip the beef and just add more potatoes, carrots and onions to make a hearty vegetable curry. Serve with a side of rice and your tummy will be thanking you.
- 1 pound beef (cut for stew)
- 2 white or yellow onions
- 2 carrots
- 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 box curry roux (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- Cut vegetables into bite size pieces. (About the same size as your beef stew meat.)
- Heat oil and brown meat in a Dutch Oven or large lidded pot over high heat. Take meat out when the sides of the beef are seared, but not cooked through.
- In the same pot, lower heat to medium high and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes, then the beef.
- Add water to the pot. After the water boils, skim the fat and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 45-50 minutes until the meat becomes tender.
- Now add the curry roux blocks into the pot. Stir well so the pieces of the roux dissolves.
- Once the roux has dissolved, stir in apricot jam, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and optional curry powder.
- Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice.
This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
It’s asparagus season here in California. I find myself buying asparagus every shopping trip now. But instead of making my usual grilled asparagus as a side dish, I wanted to add it into the main dish. If you love making quick dinners like I do then you are going to love this. Also, this recipe only requires a few ingredients which makes this even simpler. I have another variation of this dish ( Asparagus Beef ) where you make your own sauce, however this one is using a premade black bean garlic sauce which cuts the time in half and does the work for you. This serves 2-4 depending on your portions.
- 12 ounce sirloin or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking, separated into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 pound of asparagus, sliced into thirds
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce (found at local grocery stores in your international aisle or Asian markets)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (this offsets the sharpness of the black bean sauce)
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- Add beef strips to a bowl. Then add cornstarch, grated garlic and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat up wok or skillet on high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat wok or skillet.
- Quickly spread the beef slices around the pan in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the pan hot enough. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.
- Keep the wok/skillet on high heat and add one tablespoon oil.
- Add in asparagus and onions.
- Stir for about 10 seconds and cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover. Add the beef back to the pan.
- Add the black bean and garlic sauce paste, sugar and beef stock. Stir to mix well.
- Let beef and vegetables continue to cook with the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus is cooked tender.
- Plate with jasmine rice and serve immediately.
If you took a quick glance at my most recent posts, you might think I’m all about sweets and chicken. While I’m not going to confirm or deny that may be true, I do make other recipes as well. You might even say somewhat healthy ones every once in a while too. So for my vegetarian friends out there, I have not forsaken you. (Yes, I’m looking at you Sue T.!)
This soup recipe can be altered to whichever vegetables you have or that are in season. It is called vegetable soup afterall. I used what I had on hand. The flavor of the soup was reminiscent of a chicken tortilla soup without the chicken or tortillas. And be forewarned, this recipe makes a lot of servings (6-8) for you to share on a cold winter’s day.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 bell peppers, diced (I used 1/2 each of an orange, red and yellow bell peppers)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups diced roma tomatoes
- 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen or 1 can of corn)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can (4 ounce) diced green chile peppers
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1-2 zucchinis, sliced
- avocado slices
- lime wedges or lime juice
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- shredded cheese
- tortilla chips
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
- Add bell peppers, carrots and onions to pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.
- Add in minced garlic, cumin and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add in tomatoes, corn, black beans, diced green chiles and vegetable stock.
- Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add in zucchini.
- Re-cover and simmer for another 10 more minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
- Serve immediately with optional toppings.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! This recipe is like a mash up of my Mexican Casserole and a tamale pie recipe I’ve tried in the past. And for my fellow home cooks who like quick recipes, the 35 minutes baking time is the longest you have to wait. I love shortcuts, so if you do not have all the required spices in your cupboards you can also use a packet of taco seasoning. Since there is only two of us at home to eat this, I used half the meat and only one box of the Jiffy cornbread mix and an 8×8 baking pan. Otherwise I used the same amount of all the other ingredients. For my vegetarian friends, omit the ground beef and add pinto beans.
- 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend; separated into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can black beans (15 ounce)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (10 ounce) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
- 1 1/2 cup chunky salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Meanwhile in a large bowl, prepare Jiffy cornbread mix by combining mix, eggs and milk. Stir well then add 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend. Set aside. (If you like some extra spice, add a small can of diced green chilies to the cornbread mixture.)
- In a skillet add olive oil and cook ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain any grease. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are tender.
- Add remaining ingredients to the meat mixture in skillet. Mix well and remove from heat.
- In a 9X13 baking pan, add meat and vegetable mixture. Top with 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese.
- Add prepared cornbread mixture on top of cheese layer. Be sure to spread out evenly.
- Bake in oven for 33-35 minutes or until cornbread turns golden. Enjoy with your favorite beverage.
I know. Egg salad. Not much of a recipe. But I always like to put a little “extra love” into my recipes. So this is not just plain old chopped eggs and mayonnaise. It is MY version of an egg salad sandwich. And there is no mustard in this recipe. Why? Well, because I just don’t like mustard. But feel free to substitute it for the caesar salad dressing if you prefer. This will be posting around Easter. So maybe you have some extra hard boiled eggs you need to use?
- 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 spear kosher dill pickle, diced (one quarter of a whole kosher dill pickle)
- 1-2 tablespoons red onions, diced
- 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon caesar salad dressing
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 15 minutes.
- While eggs are cooking, dice celery, pickle, onion and romaine lettuce. Add to a bowl.
- After eggs have sat in the saucepan for 15 minutes, remove the eggs from the hot water. Let eggs cool. Then peel and chop eggs.
- Add your chopped eggs into the bowl with prepared vegetables.
- Then add mayonnaise, caesar salad dressing, salt, pepper and paprika.
- Stir to combine. You may serve now or place bowl (covered) in your refrigerator to chill before eating.
- Use your favorite type of bread to make the sandwich and serve with fruit on the side. Enjoy!
- Makes 4-6 sandwiches depending how much you like to stuff them. 🙂