Archive for March, 2011

March 26, 2011

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Leek Stew

Jamie Oliver is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. Jamie’s Food Revolution is one of the greatest ideas to come to America. There is no question in my mind that our country needs to eat better and I love that Jamie has brought his ideas and influence to the US. It’s a harsh reality, and at the same time I think so many people are just unaware of the reality of our country’s Industrial Food Industry (yes if you read my blog you hear this from me often). Jamie’s Food Revolution is just very inspiring to me. Knowledge is power, and I definitely want to educate everyone I can.

Here is a great, healthy weeknight recipe.

(recipe by Jamie Oliver via Food and Wine Mag)

2 chicken breasts
2 medium sized leeks, green parts only
8oz package of mushrooms, thinly sliced
All-purpose flour for dusting
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Clean the leeks: thinly slice the leeks and place them in a bowl. Fill the bowl with water and stir leeks around to release the dirt and allow it to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Using a slotted spoon remove the leeks to the skillet.

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Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, add leeks and cook over moderate heat until leeks are softened, about 7 minutes.

Add mushrooms, cover and cook until tender, 4 minutes. Remove mushrooms and leeks to a plate.

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Season chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour, shaking off the excess. Heat remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.

Add the chicken stock and thyme and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the pan with the vegetables.

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Simmer the stock until reduced by half. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and simmer until heated through.

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Mix sour cream and Dijon mustard together, then stir the mixture into the stew. Remove the stew from heat and add salt and pepper. Serve over rice, or on it’s own.

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So easy and so good. I love Jamie Oliver he is such an awesome chef, great views on food and eating and his recipes are easy, fantastic and fresh! I will be posting his Sizzling Beef with scallions and black bean sauce recipe (as seen on Food Revolution).

March 24, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

This month was my daughter’s birthday. For her birthday we had a party at Chuck E. Cheese. All the bad things that come to mind, set aside, this was a fun birthday party. The kids had fun, the food was subpar, but the host guided every moment, moving the party along, with very minimal effort on my part . I had no clean up, all kids left with prizes from their ticket winnings and my daughter felt like she was a V.I.P. The attention the hosts pay to your party is worth the cost of this party. I will tell you I cannot throw a kids birthday party at my own house for the price of Chuck E. Cheese and include everything they do, with no clean up and a personal host. My suggestion, definitely do not go there expecting anything even mediocre from their food, bring your own cake and tell the adults to eat before they come. Kids will eat the pizza without complaint or care and really they are there for the games and the cake! All-in-all I was pleased with our experience and am likely to hold another Chuck E. party. My daughter really liked the ticket blaster (as seen on TV), she had a blast.

On with the food. We made cupcakes twice this month for my daughters 5th  birthday (I am blown away that my baby is now 5 – a school age kid – not a toddler, not a preschooler – but a kid!). For school we made marble cupcakes with vanilla frosting. For her party we made vanilla confetti cupcakes with marshmallow flowers.

Marble Cupcakes

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Real easy use my vanilla bean cupcake recipe and frosting excluding the vanilla bean (just use extract the delicate bean will be overpowered by the chocolate so save your money on expensive beans) remove 1 cup of cake batter and stir in 1/8 cup of cocoa powder. Fill each cupcake liner with vanilla batter. Dollop a few teaspoonfulls of chocolate batter into the vanilla batter. Using a toothpick swirl the batters together. Do everything else the same in the vanilla bean recipe.

I just frosted the cakes with vanilla buttercream (in the vanilla bean cupcake recipe) and let my daughter sprinkle on the decorations. Everyone loved them. We walked into school and you would have thought we had mini-paparazzi following us!

Confetti Cupcakes

Again, use the vanilla bean cupcake recipe and frosting (minus the vanilla bean, just use vanilla extract) and stir in some decorative sprinkles – those long skinny, waxy sprinkles work great!

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Bake the cupcakes the same as in the vanilla bean recipe.

Now for the decorating. I used the vanilla buttercream frosting (see vanilla bean recipe, minus the vanilla bean again) and dropped a few drops of red gel food coloring in to make it pink.

On wax paper lay out small piles of different colored decorating sugars. Take a marshmallow – hold it horizontally and cut it into thirds, maybe even in quarters if you want thinner petals. This creates an oval shaped petal, you can press the marshmallows between your hands to flatten them a little and stretch them to make longer petals (I didn’t figure this out until after). Press the cut side into the sugar and set aside.

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Frost the cupcakes with the pink frosting. Set 4-5 marshmallow petals in the frosting on top of the cakes and use a jellybean for the center.

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Hope you enjoy these!

March 16, 2011

Who Owns Organic (Big Brands)

 

 

 

This is a great chart to show you the sources of “Organic” products you see in grocery stores – see why buying local is SO much better? I am going to join the Great Basin Community Co-op in Reno I’m excited and my first CSA basket in a few weeks…this will be a much greener and healthier year for us! I’m excited!

March 13, 2011

Asian Beef Bowl

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I have been meaning to post this easy Asian recipe for weeks. Then today Miss Katie asked me for a stir fry type recipe that is easy, so it was the perfect time for me to finally get to this recipe.

For the life of me I cannot remember where this recipe came from or even where to begin to remember. I have used it enough from memory and changed it enough to call it my own, so there you go!

My daughter will eat this and it is pretty darn healthy – not too many bad things in it. You can change a lot of the regular ingredients out for healthier versions too, so I will note those for you as I go.

2 Pkgs ramen noodles (or 1/2 box whole wheat pasta, broken in half)

2 tsp cooking oil + 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (or more to taste – or use chili oil)

12 oz steak, thinly sliced (or 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast)

½ tsp fresh or ground ginger (1/4 tsp if using ground)

1 T. minced garlic

1 cup beef broth

4 Tbsp of soy sauce (use reduced sodium)

1 tsp sesame oil (optional this is one of my additions the dish comes out good without even)

2+ cups of Spinach

1 cup julienne carrots (matchstick)

3 scallions

¼ cup cilantro

Heat water until boiling, add ramen for 2 minutes, drain and set aside. (Or cook your whole wheat pasta to be just a bit undercooked).

Place oil and cayenne pepper in pan until hot, add garlic and stir 1 min. Add ginger and stir. Add steak and 2 T soy sauce and sautee’ until browned well. Add broth remaining 2T soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add carrots, spinach, and scallions until tender and wilted. Add noodles and cilantro and let noodles soak up some of the liquid. Garnish with raw green onion

(I also used broccoli and just boil the broccoli until tender in the ramen water then add it with the carrots to cook further. I also add more soy sauce and garlic to taste. Mushrooms are good too!)

I think this is a great dish you have a little of everything – Veggies, whole grains (if you use whole wheat pasta), and lean protein!

Lemme know what you think!

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March 12, 2011

The Return March 13-19

So sorry for neglecting my blog lately. Moving and being sick and having a sick kid have all worn me out. Definitely made it difficult for me to post or have the energy to post after a full day of work too! I am working on getting back into my regular schedule and get my pantry stocked again! The past three weeks have been crazy –living out of boxes before and then after the move. It all makes me feel out of whack! I NEED my routine!

This week I really want to make it easy! Using my crock pot to it’s full potential!

Sunday

Roasted Chicken mushrooms potatoes and carrots (testing out the new oven – it’s a bit small and I’m worried about fitting a Turkey in it this Thanksgiving)

Monday

Slow Cooker Ribs with shallot green beans and white rice

Tuesday

Easy Broccoli Chicken Pasta

Wednesday

Left Overs

Thursday

Corned Beef and Cabbage (ST. PATRICK’S DAY!)

Friday

Homemade Chicken tenders, Mac ‘n Cheese, roasted cauliflower

Saturday

Pork Tenderloin with balsamic reduction sauce, greek salad

Hope you all enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day week!