Weeknight Dinners

Basic Bean & Ham Soup

Last week we had a lovely ham at my Mom’s house in Milwaukee for Easter Sunday. We came home with lots of leftovers.  We decided to make a simple weeknight ham and bean soup. It was ready in 20 minutes. Very easy and most of the stuff you’ll probably already have in your fridge. If you don’t have ham, add extra beans. But the ham flavor actually really makes this soup. You don’t need to add any extra salt because the ham does it all.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • pepper
  • 2 cans of great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. I used a 4 qt Food Network Ceramic pot over medium high heat and swirled the olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes
  4. Add the celery and carrot, saute for about 5-8 minutes until tender
  5. add your vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer over low for 20 minutes. Add your beans and ham at this point as well.
  6. Serve with small spinach salad.
  7. Enjoy! Yield is 4.

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Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Chipotle Chicken Bowls

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The end of the school year is quickly approaching and I feel like my organizational skills are in a downward spiral. Food menu planning is sporadic at best, our calendars are jammed full of activities, get-togethers, parties, volunteer activities, the list goes on. All fun stuff, just a lot all at once.

This week my body has been mad at me for having so much going on – and I could tell. I’ve had a dull headache for two days that turned into a full blown migraine late last night that kept me awake until 3am.  I haven’t been eating right, I’ve been working out too hard, too fast, and not re-fueling enough with the RIGHT FOOD.

There are no short cuts in life.

Today I took 6 hours to do nothing. Not a single thing. I couldn’t. If you’ve ever had a migraine you know how debilitating they are. Light sensitivity, nausea and throbbing neck and head kept me down for the count. Luckily, I have a very loving son with wonderful bedside manner helping me, and offering me little snacks and snuggles all day long. He is wonderful.

So this week, to get back on track, I made this amazing little meal that’s a total Chipotle knock-off. I found it from another blogger, Damn Delicious, and tweaked a bit to fit my family. Hope you love it too – we had 4 clean plates, and I’m pretty proud of that!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tbsp for sauce
  • 1 pound boneless/skinless organic chicken, cubed small
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25-ounces) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo or 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 4 scallions to garnish each plate
  • Black olives (kids love em)

Chipotle Cream Sauce (for the grown-ups, it has a kick!)

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions

  1. To make the chipotle cream sauce, blend together Greek yogurt, chipotle pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper, drizzle of olive oil, and lime juice; set aside. (I used my nutribullet or smoothie blender to get a nice puree)
  2. In a non-stick sauce pan, make the rice according to the directions on the package. I like jasmine rice, so I needed to account for the 15 minutes it takes to simmer.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan with high sides. Add chicken cubes and chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder and paprika; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Cook until chicken has browned, about 5 minutes. If starting to stick, add a 1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock.
  5. Divide rice into plates and top with seasoned chicken, beans, corn and tomatoes. Drizzle with chipotle cream sauce, if desired.

Yield: 5

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Going Green Wraps

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I live in wild college town, super hippy and very liberal, Madison, WI, and now I’m a tree hugger.

It’s true. City girl turned into granola-hipster + Birkenstock lover.

Most of the time, when I’m cooking especially, I pretend I’m in SoCal feeling the warm sun beaming down, smelling fresh, ocean breezes, and eating uber healthy like it’s affordable and around every corner.

Truth. Most of our produce here in the mid-west is very expensive and it’s hard to keep up with which grocery store’s produce is the best each week and cost friendly. In addition, our local restaurants are mostly pubs that serve big burgers (nothing wrong with a burger now and then!) cheese curds, and other very German-type, heavy ‘sconnie food!

It’s just not my thing.

Every time we dine out and eat a huge, greasy meal, I feel horrible. So naturally, when I came across this recipe, I was stoked.

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Here’s what we did tonight. Super fast, healthy and everyone loved it. Plus you can make extra and use them for lunch boxes the next day. This is the most unfancy meal I’ve made for dinner in a long time, but it was very satisfying and took 5 minutes to roll up. I have to say, the Boars Head  thinly sliced turkey MADE this meal. If we did not have this fantastic meat, it would NOT have been the same.

Going Green Wraps

Ingredients

  • vegetable green wraps
  • bibb lettuce or spinach
  • thinly sliced cheese
  • 1 tsp ranch dressing
  • 1 lb boars head peppered turkey breast
  • red grapes
  • baby cucumbers

Directions

  1. Layer the ranch dressing, cheese, bibb lettuce, and turkey on the green wrap.
  2. Roll up tightly
  3. Cut into individual rounds
  4. Serve with grapes and cucumbers
  5. Enjoy!

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