Friday, January 20, 2017

Slow Cooker Corn and Ham Chowder

I just love dishes like this where you just dump everything in the slow cooker, let it do its magic, then simply enjoy a delicious meal. This is a great soup for a cold winter day.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
- 1 onion, finely chopped
-1 cup frozen shredded hash browns
-2 1/2 cups milk (no lower than 2%)
-1 (14.5 oz) can cream style corn
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
-12 oz frozen corn
-8 oz chopped ham
-2 tsp dried parsley flakes
-2 Tbs salted butter, cut into small chunks
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
To garnish:
-chives
-bacon bits
Directions:
Place all soup ingredients into your slow cooker.  Give it a good stir.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with chives and bacon bits.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quick Three Cheese Tortellini and Veggies Salad

I just love quick and easy meals like this on a busy night.  Yes, a slow cooker meal or casserole would do, but I like fresh cooking and crunchy veggies every so often, so this is actually perfect for that.  The whole thing comes together in about 15 minutes and is such a treat to the palate with a burst of fresh veggies and the cheesiness of the tortellini. Great dish!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 head broccoli
-1 red bell pepper
-1/2  cup pimiento stuffed green olives
-1 (19 oz) package three cheese tortellini
-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While the water gets boiling, chop the head of broccoli into florets and place in a big salad bowl.  Also, cut the bell pepper into small strips and half the olives.  Place all with the broccoli.
Once the water is boiling, quickly cook the tortellini according to the package directions.  Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool.  Drain well and add to the salad bowl.
Add the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Give it a really good stir.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Beef and Veggies Soup

We love this soup because it's hearty, packed with veggies, and it tastes amazing!  It's absolutely perfect for these cold, winter days.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-1 green bell pepper, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 (14.5 oz each) cans diced tomatoes, NOT drained
-3 1/2 cups beef broth
-2 cups water
-1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
-1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
-12 oz frozen corn
-2 tsp salt
-2 tsp pepper
-1 Tbs dried basil leaves
-1/2 lb elbow macaroni pasta
-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
Directions:
In a large saucepan, cook the beef, onion, and bell pepper, until meat is no longer pink.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, broth, water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and basil.  Give it a good stir and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a little more Parmesan.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pan Seared Chicken with Green Olives

This is a very simple and easy way to prepare a nice chicken dinner.  I love green olives stuffed with pimientos.  They add that nice extra flavor to any dish. In this one, they are the perfect addition to the chicken.  I served ours with mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp dried rosemary
-1 cup green olives stuffed with pimientos, halved
-1/2 cup chicken broth
Directions:
Heat oil in large skillet.
While that's heating, score chicken on the skin side.  Season evenly on both sides with the pepper, salt and crushed rosemary.  Add to the hot skillet and quickly sear on both sides until beautiful and golden brown.
Add the olives and broth.  Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve on top of mashed potatoes or polenta.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sweet Potato-Beef Stew (Biggest Loser)

I love watching the Biggest Loser while working out on the treadmill.  Besides the drama, it's quite an inspirational show and it keeps me motivated. I looked up some of their recipes and stumbled on this one.  It looked awesome and I had to give it a try.  Let me tell you, it instantly became one of our family favorites!  The flavors are absolutely amazing and everything is super tender and it melts in your mouth.  The sweet potatoes mixed with the mushrooms, onion and carrots are to die for, and the beef is cooked for a long time so that it becomes super tender.  Yum! Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs flour
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-2 lbs top round steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-8 oz white mushrooms, quartered
-1 onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-3 1/2 cups beef broth
-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
-2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
Directions:
Place flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag.  Mix well.  Add the stake cubes and shake to coat evenly.  Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the beef cubes and cook until nice and browned (it will only be browned, not cooked through).
Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Add the broth and carrots.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Finally, add the sweet potatoes, give it a good stir, cover and simmer for 45 more minutes.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Biggest Loser recipe.

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