Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Korean Beef Bowl


This dish came highly recommended by my friend Jenn, and Darin threw this meal together earlier this week. It was easy and super tasty! I love easy Asian-inspired dishes, and this fit the bill exactly. All the ingredients are straight forward, we had them on hand, and it came together quickly. We both loved this dish!

Next time, we both thought we'd like to try using 93% lean ground turkey- we're looking forward to adding this to our meal rotation again soon.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (we use Kadoya brand)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef (or try ground turkey)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced + extra to garnish on top
  • Cooked rice, for serving (we used Nishiki brown rice in our rice cooker- took 1.5 hours though!)


Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ground ginger.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat. 
  4. Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately over rice; garnish with extra thinly sliced green onions.

Source: As seen on Damn Delicious, who adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Baked Chicken Taquitos


I had this entree prepped to make during the work week, but with Darin getting sick mid-week and me being exhausted and worn out this week (keeping my fingers crossed that I wasn't getting what Darin had), we ended up ordering out a few times this week.

Luckily, Darin is getting healthier, and I was tired of eating high in fat and sodium foods, so I ended up making this tonight and it was a hit. Darin loved it, I loved that it was relatively healthy and easy to make. It is especially easy since the meat was already prepped and cooked (I like to make a large batch in the slow cooker and freeze for meals like this.)

On another note, I love guacamole but don't always want to make it since I'm usually left to eat it all by myself since Darin doesn't care for it. In comes these single-serving guacamole by Wholle Guacamole. They are just the perfect size for dipping for a meal.



Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (we used reduced-fat)
  • 1/4 cup green salsa
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (we used bottled lime juice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, sliced finely (white and green parts to equal about 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I cook large batches of chicken in my crockpot with a little chicken broth and salt, shred it and freeze it for meals like this)
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese (use pepperjack if you like a little heat) (we used 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar + 1/2 cup Monterey-Jack cheese
  • Tortillas (we used 10 flour tortillas)
  • Kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Oil mister (optional)
  • Dipping "sauces"- Ranch dressing, guacamole, sour cream, and/or salsa


Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. 
  3. Add chicken and cheese and combine well. You can prepare this step ahead of time (which I did – I made it the morning of). Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
  4. Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don’t crack while rolling. 
  5. Place 2 Tbsp of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. (A few of mine wanted to rebel and come unrolled so I stuck a toothpick through them to keep them right and tight.) (I initially used 3 Tbsp per tortilla, and the chicken mixture ended up oozing out of the shells.)
  6. Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. 
  7. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.
  8. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. 

Source: As seen on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, adapted from Our Best Bites

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cottage Ham with Green Beans & Potatoes


This was a meal made by my dear friend Mackenzie, and it was delicious! I had never heard of cottage ham before she made this meal, but we loved it so much, I ended up making it the same week.

Cottage ham is a boneless shoulder butt, and is located near the chopped ham and ham steaks in the refrigerated section (near sausages, bacon, and hot dogs at my local Kroger). Mackenzie bought 2 cottage hams, and we all agreed that the brand called "Rose" (red wrapping/packaging) was the better tasting ham.


This is a meal that is quick to assemble but will take an hour of cooking time. The longer the cottage ham cooks, the more flavor it will impart. It was delicious, and we were able to get 2 dinners out of this meal.

Update (Dec 2014)- I had all afternoon today so I sliced the cottage ham and simmered everything for 4.5 hours covered, and then uncovered it for 1 hour and added the potatoes. Make sure the water is covering the ham. If it evaporates too much, just add more water. It is a very forgiving dish. Fantastic!

Add just enough water to cover the vegetables

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large (or 2 medium onions), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cottage ham (roughly 2-3 lbs)
  • (3) 14.5-oz cans green beans (we used  cans b/c we love green beans!), undrained
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • Water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a 4-5 qt Dutch oven on medium heat. Place the chopped onions into the Dutch oven, and saute for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, and saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the cottage ham, green beans and potatoes, and then add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Cover the Dutch oven, and allow it come to a boil (should take 10-15 minutes.)
  4. Once it starts boiling, uncover, turn the heat down to medium-low, and allow it to simmer for at least 1 hour (I did it for 2 hours). Check on the pot every so often, making sure the water hasn't completely evaporated. Add a little more water if water is getting low. (You don't want it to saute the vegetables/ham mixture.)
  5. Once cooked, season with salt and pepper.
Yield: 4 servings

Source: Adapted from Homestead Chronicles



Portugese-Style Fish Stew


We recently purchased this digital steamer, and have been using the heck out of it.

Hard boiled eggs? Check!
Steamed veggies? Check!
Steamed fish? Check!

I love that I can literally set it and forget it. Once the timer goes off, it'll just keep warm. So much better than using the oven! Not to mention, steaming fish and veggies is super easy, efficient, and healthy.

When we want to let the steamer rest for a bit, we opt to make this fish stew. Although the word "stew" is usually synonymous with long hours of cooking, this dish can be prepare on a weeknight, and is still healthy and full of flavor. You start out by sauteeing the veggies until soft, then add in the liquids and fish, cover, and voila- done! Healthy, easy, and quick are exactly what I love about this recipe.


Ingredients:
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped (roughly the same size as the chopped onions)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb white, flaky fish (we use tilapia), cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • Crusty bread (optional)

Directions:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bay leaves and paprika and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the onion and bell peppers to the saucepan, and saute the vegetables until soft (5-10 minutes).
  3. Once softened, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, crushed red pepper, 1/2 of the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the water and reduce the heat to medium low.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then nestle the pieces among the vegetables in the saucepan. Cover and simmer until the dish is just cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  7. Top the stew with the remaining cilantro, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Adapted from Food Network

Cherry Apple Baked Oatmeal


Darin has been loving his oatmeal in the mornings. Whole grains are a great way to start the day as they are low in fat and high in fiber and good carbohydrates. We make a large batch on Saturdays and then package them into individual plastic containers, so they are portable and easy to pack into his lunches every day.

This is a nice variation to his usual oatmeal + PB as the Craisins and grated apple add some sweetness to the oats. Make sure to grate your apple- if you dice/chop it, the apple won't get soft enough and it'll remain too crunchy for this baked dish.

Grated apple, Craisins, and almond extract gives this oatmeal a nice sweetness to it

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking oats)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherry or cranberries (we used Craisins)
  • 1 Tbsp light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds (we omitted this)
  • Topping options: Vanilla yogurt, sliced almonds, additional dried fruit

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a square baking dish (8x8) with cooking spray.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients (oats through almond extract) in a large bowl, and mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds.
  4. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes (ours was done at 45 minutes), and serve with toppings.

Source: (can't find it anymore, but it was on the internet...)
 
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