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.

20180406_180935.jpgHam & Bean Soup 

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.

20180406_183320.jpg

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Weeknight Dinners

Weeknight Lasagna

After eating the same boring flavor profile, aka, Thanksgiving leftovers, we are switching it up to Italian. Lasagna to be exact. I’ve got two kids in front of me right now fighting over a box, yes, a box. Why am I driving myself nuts over Christmas toys when apparently a box is the cats meow?! I’ll just skip right to the recipe since I need to referee…..

Campbell’s 30 Minute Weeknight Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese – Kraft is safe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound organic, lean ground beef
  • 1 jar (45 ounces) Prego® Traditional Italian Sauce or two jars (24 ounces each) Prego® Three Cheese Italian Sauce
  • 12 cooked lasagna noodles, drained – Barilla is safe
  • 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 3 cups)

Directions:

  1. Stir the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and eggs in a medium bowl and set it aside.  Season the beef as desired.  In a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the beef until it’s well browned, stirring often to break up the meat. Pour off any fat. Stir the sauce in the saucepan.
  2. Spoon 2 cups beef mixture into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Top with 4 lasagna noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture and half the mozzarella. Repeat the layers. Top with the remaining 4 lasagna noodles, remaining beef mixture and the remaining Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake at 400°F. for 30 minutes or until the lasagna is hot. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

We’re serving with a side salad and garlic bread.  FOr other quick weeknight dinners, don’t forget you can search my blog, just type in what you’re looking for on the right search column.

Have a great week!

Weeknight Dinners

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

This blog post is dedicated to my Mother-in-Law, Sue, who passed away while we were at a conference this past weekend in Denver. She inspired my husband to cook, who inspired me to cook because our daughter has life-threatening food allergies. We love her so much and her presence is missed dearly.  Through her many  delicious recipes, we will keep her memory alive. May she rest in peace.

This week has been full of emotion for us. High highs and very low lows. The highs came from the exciting travel and conference my hubs and I attended together, FaBlogCon, in Denver, CO. We love Denver so  much. We had some fun date nights with his best friend + family, enjoyed some couple time, ate some great food (full of nuts) and met some new friends along the way. We both learned so much from FaBlogCon and we will definitely attend in the future. My hubs did the science/medicine track while I did the arts/blogger track. It worked out great.

This is the first meal I have made in over a week. I had other things that I wanted to blog about upon returning from FaBlogCon, but that’s life, and things happen. Slow cooker Indian Butter Chicken just sounded comforting and nut free.

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces naan bread
  • 1 red onion (I used yellow, oops)
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 green chile
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated
  • 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • sprinkle kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15oz tomato sauce*
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Crumble 1/2 piece naan into bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Add the red onion, potatoes, chile, cilantro stems. Arrange chicken over the veg.
  3. Sprinkle garam masala over chicken.
  4. Add salt, pepper and dot with butter, add cinnamon stick
  5. Pour the tomato sauce over the top, cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
  6. Uncover and switch to warm setting or turn off completely
  7. Gently stir in the heavy cream
  8. Break chicken into large chunks
  9. Let stand 10 minutes
  10. Stir in the cilantro

You can eat this with just the naan, or make a small serving of rice to go along with it.

*Tomato Sauce: this recipe is super special since I used 15oz of our homemade canned tomatoes from last summer. Our method of preserving tomatoes has been passed down for many generations in my husbands family. And while it’s not my favorite thing to do at the end of summer (OK, I’m good for one day, then I hate canning)

 I cried today when I opened this 2016 tomato jar because it’s the last time we canned with my mother-in-law. She literally helped make tonight’s meal, and so it is even more special because of it.  Grateful for this memory and skill.  I added about a tbsp of tomato paste to thicken up my tomato. If you want to buy this in the store, you can – it’s in the canned good aisle. Tomato sauce. Pretty easy.

👇 Don’t forget to SCRUB those potatoes. This scrubber is nice since it wears like a ring and makes scrubbing a lot easier. Good stocking stuffer.

Cheers to Thursday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of love and laughter.

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Perfect Pilaf

Rice is one of my favorite things to make. Now that I know how to make it. I used to suck at making rice. Then I tried a different brand and method, and it clicked for me. We don’t use instant rice – because I can’t make that kind. I always mess it up! We use jasmine rice. Typically, I buy it in bulk since we go through so much. The brand is Rice Select and we use both the Orzo and Jasmati Rice. They come in nice plastic, resealable containers. The kids use the containers for projects when they are finally empty. Good stuff. So here’s what we made tonight to go with our grilled chicken and grilled asparagus.
Perfect Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup jasmati rice
  • 1/4 cup of orzo
  • 2-3 swirls of evoo
  • 1 non-stick sauce pan with cover
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 and 3/4 cups chicken stock, reduced sodium

Directions:

  1. with your sauce pan over med/hi heat, swirl and coat the bottom of your non-stick pot.
  2. Add the jasmati and orzo
  3. stir on high heat until fragrant + slightly browning
  4. turn the heat to medium and add the liquid
  5. stir
  6. add the onion, garlic, thyme and salt and pepper
  7. bring to a boil
  8. reduce until the water is just under the rice
  9. this should look like the rice is bubbling, about 4-5 minutes of boil and stir
  10. reduce to low and cover with lid tight
  11. set timer for 15 minutes and DO NOT TOUCH
  12. fluff and serve
  13. yield 6

 

Quick Fixes:

*if your rice looks crunchy or stuck to the bottom, add more liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, and let sit for a few more minutes with the lid on, and the burner on low. Max 5 min. Check on it, stir and taste.

*if your rice looks watery, it did not reduce enough in the beginning. This is OK. Just cover tight and cook on low for 5 more minutes. continue to check on the rice until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Happy Sunday Night!