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.


Kale, Mushroom & Swiss Pie

This smells the whole house up delicious! Serve with a soup or salad for a very filling meal.

For the filling:
Reserve 1 1/2 Cups shredded swiss or guerrier cheese

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, washed well and chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 TB olive oil
1 TB crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste (I use about 1 TB)

Put everything together in a saute pan on medium, except the cheese. Stir to coat veggies in oil and seasonings. Let wilt. Stir occasionally. Cook until onions are completely translucent. Cook off excess liquid.

3 C brown rice flour
1/3 C olive oil
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
splash rice milk

Mix all dough ingredients together very well. If your eggs are very large or have very large yolks, they may be moist enough to pull dough together without milk. Dough should be soft but hold a ball.

1. Press dough into pie plate or casserole dish.
2. Sprinkle 1/2 C cheese onto crust
3. Spread 1/2 vegetable mixture over cheese
4. Sprinkle 1/2 C cheese over veggies
5. Spread the remaining veggies over cheese layer
6. Top with remaining 1/2 C cheese

Bake 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden and puffed up.

Warm Black Eyed Pea Salad

I used fresh black eyed peas for this recipe and cooked them very gently. You can sprout fresh peas and toss them in the salad raw or warm them.

Heat a large saute pan on medium heat with
1/2 C olive oil
2 carrots, diced
1 small spanish onion, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
12 oz fresh black eyed peas
2 tsp salt

Saute until onions are translucent and peas are tender, stirring often.

Add in
1 C sweet corn kernels
1 TB black pepper
3+ cloves garlic

Saute 5 minutes, until garlic and corn are crisp tender. Remove from heat.

Add in
Zest and juice from 2 limes
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

Toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice, salad greens, with crackers, or with toast points.

Easy Beefy BBQ Sandwiches

This is so easy. Why not get a little help at the deli counter for a 10 minute meal the whole family will enjoy?

1 lb deli roast beef, sliced thin

12 oz canned tomatoes with chilies (hopefully you have some you canned this fall)

4 TB BBQ sauce, use your family’s favorite

queso fresco, sliced thin

sliced avocado

gluten free rolls or Cuban rolls depending on your diet

Slice roast beef into long skinny strips. Heat with BBQ sauce and canned tomatoes until bubbly and sauce thickens. Pile sandwich roll with BBQed beef, avocado, and cheese. Wonderful served with a crisp fruit salad!

Greek Chops with Fennel and Onions

Pork is a very budget friendly protein source. Here in the south, we’re full-up on hog farms and some of them are sustainable traditional farms where the animals play in the dirt. Check out your farmer’s market for the freshest selection of responsibly farmed white meat.

Sprinkled with Feta

1 lb thin sliced pork chops
1 small yellow onion
1 head fennel
2-3 TB evoo
2 TB greek seasoning (recipe follows)

Sprinkle chops with greek seasoning. Slice veggies into thin strips. Heat evoo over medium high. Brown chops on first side. Turn over. Add veggies to top of saute pan. Brown for 1 minute. Stir rapidly to saute in veggies. Cook for about 3 more minutes until chops are cooked through.

Excellent along side hummus, greek rice salad, pitas, or with yogurt sauce.

Greek Seasoning

1 part: oregano, thyme, onion, garlic, marjoram, paprika
1/2 part: lavender, mint, cumin, black pepper
1/4 part: salt (optional)

Store in mason jar or other air tight container. Spices should be rotated quarterly.

Published in: on January 1, 2010 at 8:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Saffron Quinoa

Quinoa is an easy and healthy grain from South America. It cooks very similar to rice and makes a healthy alternative. It contains many of the amino acids your body needs to build and repair. It is a great grain for vegetarians! Serve this up with your next Latin inspired meal or as the base for your favorite taco filling. This is a basic recipe that lends itself to a variety of additions and variations.

Quinoa with Refried Beans

2 Cups Quinoa
4 Cups herb broth or veggie stock
2 tsp saffron
3 TB tomato paste

In a large stock pot, dry toast the quinoa over medium high heat, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. You’ll hear the grains begin to pop. Whisk in broth, tomato paste, and saffron until fully incorporated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until quinoa is tender.

Dress it up with these great stir-in ideas:

*Garlic sauteed sweet corn kernels, seasoned canned tomatoes, onions, and diced green chiles

*Fresh green peas, parmesan cheese, and then topped with southwestern grilled salmon

*Crisp tender broccoli, marinated mushrooms, and cheddar

*Browned ground turkey and taco seasoning then fill a pablano chile and bake!

Skillet Lasagna

Ditch the Hamburger Helper and eat REAL food. It’s okay to cheat and use a jar of organic marinara since there are so many yummy ones on the market now. This is a quick meal that’s perfect for hungry families.

1 Cup diced red onion
1 lb ground beef
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 TB Italian seasoning (salt free)
13 oz can spinach drained OR frozen spinach
1 jar marinara sauce (26 oz)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 Cup mozzarella cheese

1 lb cork screw or penne pasta cooked al dente and drained (Tinkyada makes a fab, firm gluten-free pasta)


In your largest skillet or chef’s pan, brown ground beef and drain. Add onion, mushrooms, and dry seasoning. Saute until onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and marinara. Heat to bubbling, about 7 minutes, to let flavors combine. Toss in pasta and mozzarella until fully incorporated. Simmer 3 more minutes to season pasta. Topp with paremsan and serve.

Great with a green salad or a fresh fruit dessert.

Sub mushrooms or veggie crumble for a hearty vegetarian meal!

Turkey Chowder

I’m on a mission to keep your family from saying “Turkey again! Ewww!” so you can eat up all your food, waste less, be greener, and impress them with your versatility and kitchen prowess.

Soup base:
1 Turkey carcass, meat trimmed
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic left whole

Cover carcass ¾ of the way with water (about 8 cups). Boil this (right in the roasting pan if you’ve got a nice one) covered until liquid is cloudy and carcass is falling apart, about 1 hour. Remove carcass, bay leaves, and garlic cloves. Separate out 4 cups of soup base for future deliciousness. It freezes well. Little floating bits of meat should stay in the pot. You can also make this in your crock pot. Allow soup based to simmer for about 2 hours.

Add to the pot:
2 cups left over corn
2 cups left over white potatoes (au gratin, mashed, hash browns, or how ever your family prepared them)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup left over carrots
¼ cup diced onion
2 cups left over turkey, shredded
1 TB Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.

Depending on the thickness you prefer, you may need to add back more of the soup base.
Bring to a boil then simmer 20 minutes or until celery is tender. Awesome served with cheddar croutons.

Slice left over rolls or bread into ½ inch rounds. Top with shredded cheddar and bake at 375 degrees while the soup is simmering. Croutons are ready when cheese is bubbly, bread is crispy brown.

Turkey and Green Beans in Cranberry Plum Sauce

If you still have leftovers, I bet you’re asking yourself, “Why did we make such a huge turkey?” Because you were waiting for this awesome recipe!

1 cup shredded turkey
2 cups left over green beans (not from a can)
1 can sliced water chestnuts
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 TBSP peanut or sesame oil
jarred plum sauce or you can make your own (recipe follows)
Steamed rice

Stir fry turkey, almonds, and veggies in oil for 5-6 minutes until everything is heated through. Pour over desired amount of plum sauce and toss. 6-8 oz is usually ideal depending on your pallet for sauciness. Serve over steamed rice.

Cranberry Plum Sauce

1 cup canned plums, liquid drained
½ cup left over cranberry sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 tsp grated ginger

This whips up nicely in a food processor. Can be made ahead and refrigerated.

EASY Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean soup is really perfect. Here is a recipe that gives you all the flavor right out of your pantry and is easy for students and moms who don’t have time to cook. This is a great dish made from stuff you most likely have on hand right now. It can be made in the slow cooker or stove top. And it’s frugal!


1 lb dried black beans, soaked (for a quick version used canned, see note)
1 red onion diced
3+ cloves of garlic
2 TB butter or vegan butter substitute
1 TB oregano
1 TB cumin
1 TB paprika
1-2 cubes herb bouillon (or tomato, chicken, or other flavor you have on hand)
8 oz salsa

In an large stock pot, saute onions, garlic, and butter with dry spices until onions sweat and soften. Add beans, broth cubes, and salsa. Yes, use that half jar of salsa in your fridge because you ran out of chips. Now add water just below covering the beans. You should have about 15 beans not submerged. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until beans are soft.

Crock pot method: Saute onions, garlic, butter, and dry spices on over medium heat. Transfer to your crock when they sweat and soften. Add remaining ingredients. Cover with water by 1/2 inch. Set crock to low for 6-8 hours.

* Cooks tip * Sauteing dry seasonings in fat with the veggies will help pull out the flavor. This can give you a “slow simmered” taste even in quickly prepared foods.

Quick version: Substitute 6 cups drained and rinsed black beans for dried beans. Add water to 1/2 inch below the beans. Simmer for 20 minutes covered then serve.

Toppings include cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, avocado chunks, salsa, olives, or crushed tortilla chips!

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