Thursday, October 30, 2014

Corn and Mushroom Succotash

I've made a lot of corn and black bean salads (which I liked every single one), but this one has a twist:  mushrooms.  It really changes the flavor profile making it bit more savory.  I generally make a corn and black bean salad with a Mexican flare (adding red peppers and smoked paprika and/or cumin.  This was a nice change and went very well with that deliciously simple salmon I posted a few days ago.

CORN and MUSHROOM SUCCOTASH (4-6 servings)

4 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
6 oz fresh sliced portabelllo or button mushroom
4 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, coarsley chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 can reduced-sodium black beans (15-16 oz can), rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp black pepper
Juice of 1 lime (1 Tbsp)
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

Preheat large saute pan on medium-high 1-2 minutes.  Melt butter in pan, then add corn and stir 2-3 minutes or until slightly browned.

Stir in mushrooms, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms soften.

Reduce heat to low.  Stir in tomatoes, beans, pepper, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook 1-2 minutes or until hot.  Remove pan from heat.  Squeeze lime for juice (1 Tbsp) over mixture, then stir in pepper sauce and cilantro or parsley.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pineapple Cashew Shrimp

Hi Friends!  I got out of the cooking mood for a few days.....Indian Summer has hit us and while I was initially in a soup frenzy, I ran into a brick wall.  Hopefully we're at the end of the warmth and heading into cooler temps and, be still my heart, stunning autumn colors. 

But until then (fingers crossed, just a few days) I'm back to one of my new favorite shrimp entrees.  And, again, easy, easy, easy with just a handful of ingredients.

I served this over jasmine rice and eggrolls.


2 Tbsp canola oil
1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained, liquid reserved
3 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce
2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced, grated, or microplaned
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup cashews
1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 green onions sliced, both green and white parts
sesame seeds or black sesame seeds, optional

Blend pineapple juice, cornstarch, and soy (or tamari) sauce and set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium/medium-high heat and add oil.  Let oil heat.

Add shrimp and garlic and saute 1 minute, stirring.

Add cashews and water chestnuts and stir.  Cover and cook 2-3 minutes.

Add pineapple and sauce and stir.  Cover and cook 2-3 minutes (depending on size of shrimp).  Serve immediately garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if using.

Recipe Source:  Ninja Cooking Easier, Healthier, and Better cookbook (2014), p. 166

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Smoky Bacon Salmon

This is, hands-down, the quickest, easiest, fewest ingredients salmon dish you can find.  And it is absolutely delicious.

This is another Publix recipe.  These people should win a prize for their fantastic ideas for quick and delicious dinner ideas.

The recipe calls for using you choice of these two seasonings.  I had the Mesquite on hand, but had never heard of the Molasses Bacon flavor so I picked it up and used one on each salmon fillet.  Now simply tasting them on their own, the Molasses Bacon has a bit of a sweet/salty flavor with just a tad bit of heat.  The Mesquite flavor is very close (to me) to the Molasses Bacon.  And when they were added to the separate salmon fillets, the flavor was so close, I would be hard-pressed to differentiate the two.

I don't know if I got exceptionally fresh fish or cooked these at just the right temperature and time, but this was the best salmon I've had in a long time.  You won't go wrong with either choice of seasoning.


4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz each), skin removed
4 tsp Molasses Bacon (or Mesquite) seasoning
1 Tbsp canola oil
4 tsp unsalted butter, optional

Preheat large saute pan on medium-high head 2-3 minutes.  Rub seasoning onto both sides of salmon.

Place oil in pan, then add salmon; cook 2-3 minutes each side or until fish is 145F, or opaque and flakes easily (a rule of thumb I use for cooking any fish on the stove or grill is 10 minutes per inch at thickest part of the fillet).  Remove salmon from pan; top each with 1 tsp butter (optional).  Serve.

Recipe Source:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Espresso Mint Cookies

This is a re-post but it is also the only time of year you can pick up these seasonal kisses.  I'm don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I do enjoy these cookies.  These kisses start showing up sometime around the end of October/the first of November and usually stick around until about Christmas.  I wasn't able to find them last year at my local grocery stores, but I did find them at Walgreen's and Wal-Mart.  The great all by themselves, but they really make a great cookie.  And the kisses freeze well, too.  I usually buy about a dozen bags so I can make a batch a month and they keep just fine. 

So start keeping an eye and and try these delicious seasonal cookies.

ESPRESSO MINT COOKIES (makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
1 3/4 cup AP flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and swept
1 Tbsp instant espresso granules (usually found in the coffee aisle next to instant coffee, but I had to go to my local Earthfare store to find it this year.....also available on-line)
1 (8 oz) bag Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses, coarsely chopped (I cut off the tip and then quarter the base)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Cream the butter and sugar.  This will take a few minutes.

Beat in the egg and the vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture.  Fold in the chopped kisses.

Drop by heaping Tbsp (.75 oz/20 gms) onto the lined cookie sheets.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges but still looking a bit soft in the middle.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hot Slaw

There is a story to this recipe.  If you do or do not know, I'm a huge fan of coleslaw.....any coleslaw, even yukky grocery store deli coleslaw.  Put it in front of me and I'll eat it.  But when you get a good one (and if you, too, are a slaw aficionado), you so appreciate it.

There's a little market I go to and one day when I was in, the woman working was eating lunch.   Something smelled good and I asked what was for lunch.  She had picked up a sandwich and brought some "Hot Slaw" a friend of her's had made.  I asked "What is hot slaw?  Is it hot by temp or by spice?"  It's spice.....specifically jalapenos.  She didn't have the recipe and I asked if she could get and "Bless Her Heart," she did.

She told me she had also had hot slaw at a local BBQ joint (Couch's on Old Lee Hwy in Chattanooga) and really likes it also.  Before she gave me the recipe, I went by Couch's and picked up a container of theirs.  It was more of a condiment (has the consistency of prepared horseradish), but they wouldn't tell me what the "heat" was (jalapenos? cayenne?) and that only two people would be in the kitchen when they made it (BIG secret recipe).  I bought some and, indeed, it is good, but not as an edible side dish.  It's more of a condiment to put on a pulled-pork sandwich or hot dog.  I really liked the other better as it's one you can (adjusting the heat to your tolerance) eat as a side dish.

So, if you like a bite to your coleslaw or want a really good addition to your sandwich, hamburger, hot dog, etc., give this a shot.  I think this must be a regional recipe as I have never seen it anywhere else.  And I mean really regional as in Chattanooga, TN, because I've had plenty of BBQ in these parts and have never seen this anywhere else.

Now, a few notes about the ingredients.  I'll post the original recipe as it was given to me.  The head of cabbage I got was a smaller one so I ended up using 1 cup of mayo (1/2 cup regular and and a 1/2 cup of reduced-fat) and the full 1/2 cup of mustard.  Her recipe calls for using a 16 oz jar of  pickled jalapenos (and she sometimes uses 24 ounces), but my grocer just carried 12 oz jars and for me, that was plenty!  As a condiment, I would use the 12 oz, but if I want it as a side dish, I'd cut that down to maybe 6 oz and just a tablespoon or two of the juice.  So depending on how you want to use it, you may want to adjust the ingredients, especially the jalapenos.

HOT SLAW (makes about 8 cups slaw using a small head of cabbage)

1 head of cabbage
1 (16 oz) jar of sliced, hot, pickled jalapeno peppers, drained, but reserve 1/4 cup juice
1/2 of a small onion (optional, not!)
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayo
1/4 to 1/2 cup mustard
3-4 Tbsp salt, or to taste
2 Tbsp black pepper (optional, again, not!), or to taste

Cut up the cabbage and put in a food processor using the blade, not the shredder.  Chop into small pieces using the pulse button.  This may take two or three times to get it all chopped.  Put the cabbage into a big bowl until all the cabbage is chopped.  Add S&P to taste.

Drain the jalapenos, saving a 1/4 cup of the juice.  Add the peppers, onions, and juice to the processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Mix the mayo in the cabbage a little at a time until it starts to come together.   Mix in the mustard just until the slaw turns yellow color, then mix in the peppers and onion.  You may have to add a little more mayo or mustard depending on your taste. 

This will keep at least 2 weeks, the peppers and juice help it last longer.

(Sometimes Donna uses a jar and a half of peppers)

Recipe Source:  From the Kitchen of Donna Brown, Chattanooga, Tennnessee (thank you, Donna!)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Creamy Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup

I know that just about everytime I post a soup recipe, I say that "this is one of my absolute favorites."  So I think I'm going to have to start categorizing.  For example "Mushroom Soup." 

This is not one of my favorites, it is by far my most favorite mushroom soup.  I discovered this recipe last year and have to sit on my hands every summer waiting for fall because, well, this is definitely an exceptional autumn soup.  The simple step of roasting the mushroom and then adding the creamy brie send this over the top.  Not to mention, it's easy to make.  You can roast the mushrooms ahead of time.  The original recipe states to cube the brie and fish out the rinds later, but I cut the rind off before addding it to the soup.

Do be careful, though.  If you lust after this soup like I do, you can make yourself sick.  I had to stop and put it away yesterday.  If for no other reason, so I would have some leftover for today.


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, quartered
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp AP flour
1/2 cup white wine (or broth)
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
4 oz brie, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup milk or cream
S&P to taste

Toss the mushrooms in the oil, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven until they start to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes, mixing them up once in the middle.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the onions and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan.

Add the broth and mushrooms, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the milk and brie, let the brie melt, fish out the rinds and season with S&P to taste before pureeing to the desired consistency and enjoy!

Recipe Source:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Scallops

Looking for just about the quickest and easiest mid-week dinner ever?  Not to mention, really, really good?  Here ya go.

I thought I had scallops in the freezer but I didn't.  Also, since I'm here by myself, I halved the recipe.  So I left out the scallops and used a 12-oz bag of frozen, then thawed, shell-on shrimp (saving the shells, of course, for making shrimp stock later down the road).  Outside of that, I followed the recipe as stated.  I was unsure how the sweet and sour sauce would work, but it came out great.

The only prep work I had to do was to shell the shrimp, mince the ginger, and chop the scallions.  This dish was ready in about 10 minutes.

SWEET and SOUR SHRIMP and SCALLOPS (6 servings)

1 lb scallops
12 oz fresh shrimp (31-35 or 40-51s), peeled and deveined
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 packs shrimp-flavored Ramen noodles, partially broken
1 (20 oz) bag frozen Asian stir-fry vegetable mix
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 cups water
1 cup sweet and sour sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh scallions

Season the scallops and shrimp with black pepper.  Pour the oil into a wok or large skillet set over high heat.  Add the scallops and cook for 3 minutes, constantly tossing.  Add the shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove the scallops and shrimp and place them into a small bowl.  Set aside.

Add the broken noodles, noodle seasoning packages, frozen vegetables, garlic powder, ginger, and water to the wok or skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes, or until the noodles and vegetables are tender.

Add the sweet and sour sauce and the shrimp and scallops back into the wok.  Toss until everything is evenly coated with the sauce.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Top with scallions and serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Philly Cheesesteak Dip

Sorry for the absence of late.  I've been busy with "Gone Girl."  Have you read it?  You can't put it down!  I can hardly wait to see the movie.  I can absolutely see Ben Affleck as Nick.  More turns and twists than I can remember.  I met a woman the other day who read it in one day....she simply couldn't put it down.  Great rainy day read.

However, I did find time the other day to make another game-day appetizer.  I am posting the recipe as I found it, however, it was a tad too cheesy for my taste.  I think I'd leave out the Cheez Whiz and add a tad more cream cheese to make it creamier.  Also, this entire recipe would make a ton, so i cut the recipe in half.

Serve it with crostini or with tortilla chips during a good football game.


3 Tbsp EVOO
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2# cheesesteak meat (ribeye or top round, recommended), frozen, and chopped into 1" pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1# cream cheese, cut into 2" chunks (I used reduced-fat)
1 (15 oz) jar Cheez Whiz dip
1# Velveeta, cut into 1" chunks
baguettes, cut into 1/4" pieces, brushed with EVOO and baked at 325F for 15-20 minutes or tortilla chips, for serving

Pour the oil into a preheated large skillet.  Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Add the meat, S&P, Worcestershire sauce and cook, covered, stirring a couple of times for 8-10 minutes until meat is cooked through.

Add the cream cheese, Cheez Whiz, and Velveeta.  Cook stirring constantly, until melted, combined, and warmed.  Keep dip on a warm serving or put into a crockpot on the "warm" setting.  Serve with crostini or tortilla chips.

Recipe Source:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

OU-texas WEEKEND 2014

Well, it's that time of year again: OU-texas football weekend!  So I got our flags out (notice OU is ON TOP).  This was also the weekend 17 years ago I left my home in Oklahoma to move to Texas just before I married my sweetheart (what a girl won't do for love).

After losing to TCU last weekend, it would be pretty embarrassing to lose to the longhorns this weekend. So GO SOONERS!!!!

(P. S.  Bevo is sterile)

Update:  Poopers gives the Sooners a boost!

A squeaker, but after Coach Stoops called me and warned me against watching (thereby jinxing) the game, I did as I was told and the SOONERS prevailed!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pumpkin Sage Baked Ziti

Years ago I swore off of whole-wheat pasta.  I had tried it again and again (even worked in an Italian restaurant and tried it everyday for a few weeks) but it just tasted like spoiled pasta.  I do loves me pasta and really gave it the old college try, but it simply didn't work for me.

And then, just last week, I ran across this recipe.  Since I had some leftover sage from that wonderful sage popcorn I posted a few days ago, I decided I'd give this healthier pasta version one more try.  To me, whole wheat pasta has to have a hearty sauce to go with it and this creamy pumpkin-based sauce is just the ticket.  It is very filling and a meal in itself, although a green salad really balances it out.


3 Tbsp + 2 tsp EVOO, divided
2 large shallots, diced
1/4 cup AP flour
2 1/2 cups milk (1%, 2% or whole)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced sage leaves, divided
pinch of nutmeg
S&P to taste
8 oz whole wheat penne, cooked al dente
3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F and spray a square baking dish with an oil mister or cooking spray.

Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and give it a good stir.  Cook, continuing to stir often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Grab a whisk and slowly pour the milk into the skillet, whisking it into the flour mixture.  Once the milk is incorporated and the sauce is smooth, add the pumpkin to the skillet and whisk that in.  Let the sauce cook on medium heat until it's thickened, about 5 minutes, continuing to whisk often.

Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of the sage leaves and a pinch of nutmeg.  Season to taste with S&P, then fold in the penne.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the shredded cheese.  Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes covered, then uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.  If you want a browned top, broil for a few minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

While the casserole is baking, make the crispy sage topping.  Heat the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the remaining sage to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 3 minutes.  Keep a close eye on the sage because it will go from crispy to burnt very quickly.  When the sage is done, transfer to a paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil.  Sprinkle the crispy sage onto the baked ziti before serving.

Recipe Source:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chicken & Dumplings

I don't know about you, but when it comes to comfort foods (especially now that we are into the autumn season) Chicken & Dumplings top my list.

Now I have made more different recipes (never to be disappointed) than I can count.  And I won't keep trying.  But if you're looking for a quick, delicious, pillow-like dumplings, this is about as good as you'll do.  And quick and easy.  Great for a cool, damp evening.

CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS (4-6 servings)

1 rotisserie chicken, pulled or shredded
2 quarts chicken stock
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage added to dumplings, if desired

In a large stockpot, add stock, onion, carrots, and celery.  Cover with lid on cook on medium-high for 15-20 minutes.

Add chicken, cover, and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, use a fork to stir together the Bisquick, milk, S&P, and parsley (and other herbs if using), and let rest 10 minutes.

Lower heat.  Using two spoons, drop biscuits one at a time (about 1 tsp each) into the simmering liquid, cover, and cook 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:  Ninja Cooking System: Cooking Easier, Healthier, and Better (2014), p. 105

Monday, October 6, 2014

Brown Butter and Crispy Sage Popcorn

We are definitely into the cool evenings perfect for jigsaw puzzles. movie-watching and popcorn.  I remember the good-old-days when we popped our corn on the stove but with the advent of microwaves, it seems like a lost art.  When I ran across this recipe, I was anxious go back to old-fashioned popcorn popping.

Well, not completely old-fashioned.  I used an air popper.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was perfect.  Big, fluffy popped kernels.  But the brown butter and sage sends this over the top.

So if you've got some fresh sage looking for a home and you're a popcorn fan with a good movie lined up, I hope you'll give this a try.  And if you have trouble finding non-microwavable popcorn, look in the bulk section of whole foods stores (you can find big jars of it in most markets, but it's a bit pricey and if you just want to try fresh popping once or twice, you can buy just the amount you need).

BROWN BUTTER and CRISPY SAGE POPCORN (makes about 10 cups)

3-4 Tbsp grapeseed, EVOO, or coconut oil (only if popping on the stove versus using an air popper)
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tbsp butter
heaping 1/4 cup chopped sage leaves (10-12 large leaves)

If using an air popper, pop kernels into a large bowl.

If popping on the stove, heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat.  If your pot is wider, you may need to add another Tbsp of oil to prevent burning.  The kernels shouldn't be swimming in oil, but they should have a comfortable cushion of oil.

Add a few popcorn kernels to the oil and then place a lid on top and wait for a kernel to pop.  Add remaining kernels then place lid back on top and shake/slide pot over the burner every so often to prevent burning.  Continue shaking/sliding every so often until popping slows and then remove from heat and let remaining kernels pop.  Pour popcorn into a large bowl.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  When butter starts to foam add chopped sage leaves then swirl the skillet until butter turns golden brown, 1-2 minutes.  Drizzle over popcorn then toss with a spatula to evenly coat.  Season with salt to taste then serve.

Recipe Source: (September 12, 2014 post.  See post for step-by-step photos)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Oh, I feel so entrenched in this lovely season of fall.  Complete autumn weather, football weather, sweater weather.  Bright skies, cool breeze, temps in the 60s!  Doesn't that just scream college football?!!!

And soup.  And roasted root vegetables.  I found this recipe last month and have been sitting on hot coals just waiting for the right day to make it.  I've made several carrot soups before, which are the best, but had never made one with roasted sweet potatoes.  Jim's not a fan of this particular root, so I made this just for myself.  And what a lovely introduction of the true essence of autumn.

A note:  This recipe doesn't call to peel the potatoes and since I have a Vitamix (or if you have a Blendtec), I wouldn't bother as these puree the mix the the max.  However, if you have a traditional blender, you might think about peeling the potatoes, even though the recipe doesn't call for it.  You may or may not end of with bits of peel in the soup.  Also, the original recipe calls to garnish with sour cream and homemade croutons, although I did also try it with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) which was a nice variation.


3-4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) scrubbed and sliced
2-3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2-3 Tbsp EVOO
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp paprika
1 cup half-and-half
hot sauce
sour cream, for garnish
homemade croutons, for garnish
pepitas, for garnish

Place sweet potatoes, carrots, and garlic on a sheet try.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with S&P, toss to coat.

Roast vegetables in oven approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and fork-tender.

Place roasted vegetables in a blender along with chicken stock, paprika, adding a dash or two of hot sauce (depending on the capacity of your blender, you may need to do this in several batches).

Blend unti very smooth.  You can also use an immersion blender or food processor, whatever you have.

Pour into a medium stock pot and place on medium-low heat setting.

Add half-and-half as soup warms.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with addition of hot sauce, sour cream, and croutons or pepitas.

Recipe Source:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Vegan Pasta Salad

We have a Seventh Day Adventist University (Southern Adventist University) just a few miles from us.  They have a wonderful vegetarian market and whenever I'm there, I always pick up a small container of their macaroni salad.  It's quite simple and I had tried to replicate it more than once but never could come close.

So this last time I took a closer look at the ingredient list on the salad.  And there is was: vegennaise, not mayonnaise.  And also some ranch dressing mix stirred into that.  So I picked up a jar and viola!  It made all of the difference in the world.  It's not as thick and creamy as traditional mayonnaise but still gives a nice spread.

The amounts are certainly adjustable.  I think when my herbs come back next year, some fresh dill would be a nice addition.  Simply mix everything together and add more or less of what you like.

VEGAN PASTA SALAD (makes about 3 1/2 cups)

4 oz small tube pasta (elbows, mini penne), cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained and patted dry
2 Tbsp diced green peppers
2 Tbsp diced red peppers
1/4 finely minced celery
1/4 cup vegan nayonaise sandwich spread (I bought Nasoya brand)
2 tsp dried ranch dressing mix
S&P to taste

Mix cooked pasta and vegetables together.  Mix mayo and dressing mix until well-blended.  Add to pasta mixture.  Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from the ingredients list from Macaroni Salad, The Village Market, Collegedale, TN

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chicken Tikki Masala

Years ago, Jim and I use to eat in Indian restaurants quite a bit.  There are not many of note around here so it's been years since we've been.  I use to make Tikki Masala every once in a while, but, again, it's been years since I've made it.

If you're wanting to venture into Indian cooking, this is probably the easiest recipe I ever made.  It's a creamy tomato sauce and this one includes peas.  I served it over rice (traditional) and with that grilled cauliflower (see 9-26-14 post).  Since there were just the two of us, I cut the recipe in half and there was still some leftover (P.S. It freezes beautifully.)


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 tsp minced garlic
one 1 1/2" piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 cans (14.5 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 bag (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed
3 cups cooked basmati or jasmine rice

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and shallot and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes.  Stir in the spices and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits.

Transfers the sauce to a blender and puree.  Return sauce to the pan, stir in the cream, season with S&P and bring to a boil.  Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the peas, simmer 5 minutes.

Divide the rice among bowls and top with the chicken and sauce.

Recipe Source:  EveryDay with Rachel Ray magazine, October 2014, p. 94