Chicken with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce over Herbed Rice

This is a family favorite. I like to use boneless skinless thighs because we like dark meat. You can use breasts or chicken on the bone. Just be sure to adjust cooking times for meat on the bone. This is also a pretty budget friendly meal. It’s great served with a crisp green salad. I make it in about 30 minutes.

Start the rice:
2 C basmati rice
1/2 C slivered almonds
2 TB Summer savory
2 TB tarragon
4 C stock or water (if using water, add salt after rice is cooked to develop the flavor)

In a hot pan, toast the almonds. Stir and heat for 3 minutes until the nuts release a nice aroma. Add rice. Toast 2 minutes more. Add herbs and liquid. Stir well. Cover and reduce to low. Simmer until rice is cooked through.

For the Chicken and Sauce:

1 lb chicken pieces, rinsed and dried
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 oz goat cheese
olive oil

Seasoned Flour:
1/2 C brown rice flour
2 tsp black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt

Heat a little oil in a large saute pan on medium high. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and saute until a nice brown crust is on both sides. About 12 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Add onions, 2 TB olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions to translucent. Add mushrooms. Cook 4 minutes more. Add any leftover seasoned flour. Stir to make a roux. Add water to make a sauce, about 3/4 C. I don’t use stock here because the flavor of the seasoned flour is very intense. Then stir in the 2 oz goat cheese. Stir until smooth.

Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken and cream sauce over rice.

Sweet Potato Tostadas

Sweet potatoes are pretty much my favorite root. I like making savory dishes with them to help deconstruct the marshmallow casserole culture. I also like serving creamy foods over crunchy foods, which means we eat a lot of tostadas of different sorts. And they are pretty and fun to eat.

For the base:
You can either buy fried tostada shells or make your own from corn tortillas. I brushed a few soft corn tortillas with oil and baked them until crispy. You can brush them with flavor infused oil, like garlic oil or chili oil or use regular vegetable oil and sprinkle with cumin and chili powder. Bake at 375 F for about 10 minutes. ** Put them on parchment paper to prevent sticking and keep char off the tortilla and your pan.

For the sweet potatoes:
1 potato makes 3 tostadas. I bake all of mine when I pick them up from the CSA and keep them in the fridge to use throughout the week.

Mash the peeled sweet potatoes with taco seasoning. Heat through.

 

Pick some fun toppings:

salsa verde, crumbled queso blanco or white cheddar, avocado cubes, chorizo chunks, chopped cilantro, olives

Try it with a poached egg as a brunch tostada!

Green Curry Lentil Crepes with Yogurt Sauce

This is a fun entree or party food. The crepes are dryer and more sturdy than french crepes and can stand up to being a finger food.

For the Crepes:
1 C brown rice flour
1 C tapioca flour
4 eggs
1/2 C rice milk
plenty of pepper
1 tsp salt

Mix these in a blender. Scrape the sides of the blender pitcher and blend again to remove lumps and fully incorporate all the flour.

Heat crepe pan or skillet to medium high. Oil the skillet with a high temperature friendly oil like sesame, grape seed, or coconut oil. Pour about 1/3 C batter onto pan and rotate quickly to make a thin layer of batter over crepe pan. Flip when the crepe looks dry. If your crepes are thin enough, you do not need to cook them on both sides.

For the Curry Lentil Filling:
2 Cups cooked lentils, drained and rinse
2 TB green curry powder or paste
2 handfuls baby spinach

In a food processor, blend the lentils with the curry seasoning. Green curry is a blend of chili powder, green chili, ginger, garlic, cumin, lemongrass, and salt. You can make your own or buy a mix. There are many good green curry blends made from organic and fair trade spices.

Heat seasoned lentil mash over medium heat, stirring frequently. When it is heated through, remove from heat and stir in spinach. The spinach will wilt into the lentil mash. It may be easier to add the spinach in batches rather than all at once.

For the Yogurt Sauce:
I really cheated on this one. I just blended 1/3 C plain yogurt with a few squirts sriracha. You can use chili powder and salt to season your yogurt if you ran out of sriracha. But you should probably just go get more sriracha.

To Assemble:
Fill crepes with 3 TB lentil and spinach curry mix. Roll tight. Either cut into finger-food length and serve with yogurt on the side as a dipping sauce OR leave the crepes long and drizzle yogurt sauce over them for an entree presentation.

Nacho Greens and Pigeon Peas

In the South, we eat Collard Greens on January 1st to bring us wealth in the new year. I would prefer tacos. So I made collard greens into tacos. You can put it atop nacho chips, in taco shells, over Spanish rice, as pepper stuffing, rolled into a burrito or enchilada, and so much more.

1 bunch collard greens, washed very well
12 oz cook and drained pigeon peas (canned are easy to find in the Hispanic foods or Caribbean foods section of your market)
12 oz green chile and tomatillio salsa
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chile powder
3+ cloves minced garlic

I make green chile and tomatillo salsa with peppers from my garden. You can buy a prepared salsa verde or make a quick one by combining 1 cup each chopped green chiles, white onions, and tomatillos with 3 TB white vinegar, juice of 1 lime, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the nacho greens:
After collards are well washed, roll and chiffonade cut them so they are as thin as possible. Cut to the bottom of the leaf. The stalks are not used in this dish. Save them for a veggie pie or crudite. I give my collard stems to the dogs.

Place greens in a large skillet or wok with vinegar and citrus juice. Heat pan on medium. Put lid over the greens to help them wilt. They will cook down considerably.

Add salsa and seasonings. Stir fry to coat greens. Add pigeon peas and turn heat to low. Cover and let heat through 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

I like this served with avocado cubes and Jalepeno Tabasco sauce.

Herbed Mushroom and Potato Kebabs

If you can fight the pollen, get outside and cook! Veggies are more fun on a skewer. Try this simple side dish with your grass fed steaks.

1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, cleaned, halved, and parbolied
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
1/4 Cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Parboil the potatoes to soften, about 7 minutes. They won’t grill very well unless they are mostly cooked. A knife should just go into them, not cause them to crumble apart. Drain them well and let cool.

Toss mushrooms, potatoes, herbs, oil, salt, and pepper to coat well. Skewer on either metal kebab skewers or soaked wooden skewers. Grill 3 minutes on each side until tasty grill marks form. Handle carefully with tongs.

Place skewers on a HOT grill for quick cooking to prevent dryness

Cooks Tip on Skewers: Soak wooden skewers 20+ minutes in cold water before adding food to them. This will reduce the chance they will catch on fire. However, they will still probably char significantly if you have flare-ups. Burning skewers tend to allow food to all through the grill. Not delicious.

Wild Mayan Nacho Sauce

This is a fabulous cheese-free nacho recipe that all cheese lovers will appreciate. Take some super yum baked sweet potato and turn it into “cheese” sauce. Here’s how!

I made a huge tray of Nachos!

1 baked sweet potato, skin removed
1 Cup nutritional yeast
2/3 Cup filtered water
hot sauce to taste

Whisk together over medium heat until smooth. Let come to a soft bubble. Pour hot nacho sauce over any Latin delight.

My fav combo is seasoned black beans, tomatillo salsa, Wild Mayan Sauce, and chopped avocado– pictured above. This is also a great topping for bake enchiladas, toastadas, or to use as a “cheese” dip. It goes so well with black beans and looks beautiful.

Celery Apple Salad with Raw Almond “Mayo”

One of the benefits of writing about food vs. reading about food: you get to eat the dish while writing about it rather than salivating over someone’s far away food pics in a fit of hunger. This is SO GOOD!

Dice into equal pieces

1 small stalk celery- about 3 Cups
3-4 pink lady apples – about 3 Cups

Toss with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt, and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.

Raw Almond “Mayo”

In your food processor, combine:

2-3 TB dried tarragon
1/2 Cup raw almonds
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup raw apple cider vinegar

Pulse until creamy. Toss with apples and celery. Can be chilled over night.

Smoked almonds add a delicious zing if you prefer.

Split Lentil Crepes with Dijon Sauce

There are tons of ways to make crepes without using regular flour. Beans, legumes, and peas make a great protein source and bind crepes together splendidly. Add grilled chicken and asparagus for a perfect high-protein, high-fiber meal.

For the crepes:

1 1/2 Cups split lentils (any color will do, I like red lentils)
1 1/2 Cups filtered water
5 eggs
1/2 Cup rice flour
3 TB herbs (tarragon or herbs de provence are delicious with the mustard sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 TB black pepper

Soak lentils in water in your blender for about 30 minutes. Add eggs, flour, and herbs. Blend until smooth.

Heat crepe pan with olive oil or butter. Swirl batter through pan to thinly coat. Cook 3 minutes then flip and cook for 2 minutes. This batter will make about 12 crepes.

Crepes can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated. Reheat in the oven covered.

Dijon Sauce

2 TB rice flour
2 TB olive oil
2/3 Cup water

4 TB Dijon mustard
3 TB red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon

Make a roux with the oil and flour. Add liquids and mustard. Whisk rapidly. Serve immediately.

Our Favorite Curry

This curry is so easy. The coconut milk is creamy and delicious. It keeps the chicken moist without letting the veggies lose their crunch. This meal is ready in minutes.

1 lb chicken thighs
8 oz mushrooms
8 oz carrots
4 oz sliced water chestnuts
3+ cloves garlic, minced
1 large avocado, cubed
14 oz coconut milk
1 TB sesame oil
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
cayenne to taste

Cut chicken and veggies into bite sized pieces. Heat wok on medium high. Add EVERYTHING but avocado pieces. Cook and stir occasionally, gently for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Stir in avocado before serving. Serve over rice.

Bread Pudding with Turkish Apricots

This is a great way to savor every last piece of that expensive gluten-free bread. If you eat gluten, this recipe accommodates regular bread cubes interchangeably. Dried fruit is a great addition to bread pudding. The chewy texture of the apricots compliments the soft pudding very well.

A budget friendly tip on breads: save you scrap heels and stale bread pieces in a gallon size freezer bag. These pieces can be used for on-the-spot crumbs, crouton cubes, or puddings like this!

5 cups bread cubes
1 1/2 Cups milk
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 Cups sugar divided
2 tsp nutmeg
4 oz chopped Turkish Apricots

Mix milk, egg yolks, 1/2 the sugar, nutmeg, and apricots in a large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add bread cubes and stir to coat evenly. Gluten-free bread will absorb the “custard” very quickly.

Whip egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold meringue into soaked bread cubes.

Transfer mixture into a buttered souffle dish. Bake in a water bath at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

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