Rice Salad with Fennel, Orange and Chickpeas

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This recipe is straight from the website Forks Over Knives.  We watched the DVD a few weeks ago and it was very influential.  We’re trying some new things, cooking a little differently and have taken out a few things from our diets.  I won’t go into all of that here, since you’re just here for the food, not a lecture.

What I can tell you is that this recipe is really good!  The kids liked it and even though I was convinced, until my first bite, that it was going to be a FAIL, it wasn’t!  I thought the vinegar would be far too strong and overpower the rest of the dish, but it didn’t.  It lent a nice flavor to all the rice and the red pepper added just enough of a kick.  I’d never had fennel before so I was also nervous about that but, again, it was really very good.  We had this as our main dish and it was more than enough for the five of us with 3 lunches the next few days.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 2 oranges, zested, peeled, and segmented (zest and segments reserved)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water and drain. Add it to a pot with 3 cups of cold water. Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  2. While the rice cooks, combine the chickpeas, fennel, orange zest and segments, white wine vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, and parsley in a large bowl and mix well. When the rice is finished, add the rice to the bowl and mix well.

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Triple Berry Kale Salad

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This salad found at How Sweet is filling, crispy, savory and a perfect way to start a new year!  It made enough for 4 adults with two smaller lunch portions the next day.

Ingredients

    • 2 heads of curly kale, leaves removed from stem and torn
    • 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted and sliced
    • 1 cup fresh blueberries
    • 1 cup fresh blackberries
    • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
    • 2 avocados, chopped
    • 2/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Combine all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Directions for Salad

  1. Place kale in a large bowl, and add about 1/4 cup of the strawberry vinaigrette. Massage and rub dressing into kale with your hands, then let the kale sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add in salt, pepper, cherries, berries & almonds.  Mix until kale is coated with the dressing then add avocado and gently toss.

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Pork Egg Rolls

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I’ve never made egg rolls before and after I found these on All Recipes, they sat on my menu for a few weeks, and I kept putting off making them because I knew they’d take a little extra prep and I dreaded frying in hot oil.  It’s a perfect meal to ask the kids or your significant other to help with though!  I asked my husband to take care of mixing the vegetables while I prepped the Sesame Noodles and browned the pork.  Then he assembled the rolls while I fried them and it all came together in the end.  I used a pan screen to keep the oil splatter down to a minimum but even without it, there was very little clean up.

The kids were ecstatic to have homemade egg rolls and they turned out better than I’d hoped.  I like showing them that you can make this kind of food at home and you don’t have to go out to get it!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 24 oz. peanut oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 ounces shredded carrots
  • 1 lb. package of egg roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds(optional)

Directions

  1. Season pork with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside.
  2. In another large skillet heat oil on medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.
  3. Lay out one egg roll wrapper with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.
  4. Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

Fresh Strawberry Watermelon And Red Grape Fruit Salad With Honey Lime Dressing

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I made this ridiculously-named salad several months ago and just never took the time to post it.  It’ll be nice to have on hand next for Valentines day or a warm spring day!  The description of the recipe on Group Recipes literally made me laugh out loud when it suggested that it be served at your next yacht party!  If you have a yacht then, by all means, this would be the salad to serve.  It only makes sense.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  • 1 bag seedless red grapes
  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized pieces or use a melon baller

For Honey Lime Dressing

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Fresh lime juice, enough to thin out honey to proper consistency to dress fruit
  • about 10 fresh mint leaves, finely julienned

Directions

  1. Combine all the chopped fruit in large bowl.
  2. Pour honey into medium mixing bowl. Add lime juice, whisking into honey, until the honey loosens up enough. Toss in the mint.
  3. Pour dressing over the fruit and lightly toss. Garnish with a few mint sprigs.

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Wet Burritos

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Like many recipes lately, I saw these on Pinterest.  They’re originally posted at Blog Chef and are ridiculously easy to pull together, make for an easy next-day meal and best of all, the kids liked them.  Melty cheese, fresh ingredients on top and soft tortillas make for a great weekday meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4.5 ounce can diced green chili peppers
  • 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 15 oz. can chili without beans
  • 10.75 oz. can condensed tomato soup
  • 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 12 inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook ground beef while chopping up with a spatula or spoon. Cook while chopping until browned. Add onion and cook until translucent. Drain the grease and season with garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in green chilies and refried beans. Mix until well blended. Turn off heat and keep warm.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine chili, tomato soup, and enchilada sauce. Cook until heated through and bubbling. Keep warm.
  3. Place a warmed tortilla onto a platter, and spoon about a ½ cup of the ground beef mixture onto the center of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla over the filling. Spoon a generous amount of the chili/enchilada sauce over the top of the burrito and sprinkle cheese over the top of the sauce. Microwave for 30 seconds or until the cheese has melted. Top with lettuce, tomato, and green onions.

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Crock Pot Pumpkin Coffeecake Oatmeal

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I know steel cut oats are the way to go, health wise, but I don’t buy them.  They’re more expensive for a smaller container and we love our oatmeal.  We eat too much of it to justify buying the steel cut.  Don’t hate.

When I found this recipe on Healthy Slow Cooking I was bummed that it specifically called for steel cut, and a quick Google search confirmed that they are the ideal choice.  I knew I couldn’t leave this to cook in the crock pot all night but with my morning running schedule, it worked out perfectly to use regular oats (not the quick-cook).  Since I’m up a solid hour before my daughters, this gives me time to get everything in the crock pot and it has time to cook while they shower.  An hour and a half later, we have oatmeal!

I used one, plus one half serving-size amount of oatmeal from the side of the can.  I changed the amount of water because, I’m assuming, the elevation here in Texas always leaves my oatmeal runny so I decreased the liquid by quite a bit.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups water or milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • brown sugar to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste
  • chopped pecans or almonds (optional)

Directions

  1. Put oats, water (or milk), pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla in the crockpot and cook on high for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  2. Stir in extra milk to make it the consistency that you like.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar, nutmeg and nuts on top!

Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili

 

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A friend of mine is recovering from major surgery and I promised to bring a meal over to her the other night.  The universe, however, had different plans and I was stuck in appointments for the better portion of the afternoon and into the evening.  Competing with traffic is always an issue and I knew I wouldn’t get home in time to prepare the meal.  I called home and my nearly-fourteen-year-old daughter came to the rescue!  I gave her a few basic instruction to get her started on the recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café, told her to read the instructions carefully and crossed my fingers.

Huge success!  It came out as well as I’d hoped.  Flavorful, hearty and a LOT of leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 16 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup medium barley (not quick cooking)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • dash cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

Garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, tortilla chips

Directions

  1. In a large pot (about 6-quarts), combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, barley, water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and cayenne (if using). Stir well.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and add the chicken. Stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the chili for 40 minutes, until the barley is tender and chewy and the chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Stir occasionally, while it simmers to prevent sticking and to make sure it stays at a steady simmer.
  5. After 40 minutes, add the beans and corn. Stir to combine and simmer for five more minutes. Serve the chili with optional garnishes, if desired.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

 

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There really isn’t much to be said about this recipe except YUM! It’s a quick pull-together meal that was ready in under 20 minutes.  Kevin, at Closet Cooking, always manages to amaze with his variety of recipes and this was no exception.  The dressing that’s suggested is creamy and satisfying and even the kids requested more of it drizzled over their greens.  I loved it because we’ve become a no-salad-dressing family, using lemon or lime juice instead, but with this list of ingredients, I didn’t feel guilty about indulging!
Ingredients
  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups lettuce, sliced or torn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz. real bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, torn
  • 1/4 cup avocado dressing (below)
Directions
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 4-6 minutes
  2. Let the chicken cool, then slice.
  3. Assemble salad and enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Puree everything in a blender until smooth. Store in fridge and finish within a few days.

Breakfast Quinoa with Strawberries and Bananas

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The Parsley Thief offered up this tasty twist on quinoa and I l.o.v.e.d it!  Not only does it offer a carb-loaded breakfast, perfect before a long run, but it’s a welcome change from the usual granola.  It’s chewy and tender with a hint of sweet from the honey, has a light crunch from the berries and the smooth texture from the bananas is such a tempting combination for an early morning feast of champions!

Any kind of fruit would be tasty in this, depending on your mood (I’m a huge mood-eater!); blackberries, blueberries, apricots, apples etc.  Obviously you can substitute regular milk for any other variety that you prefer and if you want some extra protein, add some chopped almonds or pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh berries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

Directions

  1. Bring the milk and quinoa to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the quinoa is tender, and most of the milk has been absorbed {about 15 minutes}.
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in the honey and cinnamon. Serve topped with fruit.

Serves 1-2 {depending on your appetite}

Adapted from Whole Living Magazine, September 2011