Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Thought I would experiment with my new slow cooker.  I purchased a 3 quart recently and hadn’t used it yet.  I really wanted the 3 quart after much thought.  The stores try to trick you into larger ones but this size just seemed ideal for the two of us.

Now on to the soup; it didn’t come out quite how I was hoping but it was still very tasty.  I used some tiny star pasta and against most of the advise I read online I added it from the start.  Well, it kind of disintegrated so I suppose that wasn’t the right approach.  I would have added some meat but I didn’t have any in the house so that would have made a difference too I am sure.  I’ll post it as I made it and will make it again soon with some alterations.

  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 cup potatoes
  • 1/2 cup lima beans
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • I added 1/4 cup mini star pasta but it fell apart so maybe skip this step!
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Prep veggies and cut to desired size; you can even use a mix of frozen vegetables if you prefer. Add to crock pot along with remaining ingredients.  Cook over low heat for 6 – 8 hours.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Lemon Buttered Green Beans

I bought a little package of fresh green beans at the store today and thought I’d pair them with a little lemon.  I rather liked the results; it was really simple to do and a refreshing change.

  • 8 o.z. fresh green beans
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon

Melt butter over medium to medium high heat add green beans season with salt and pepper and toss together.  Cover and cook for about 7 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile zest the lemon. Once green beans are desired tenderness remove from heat and season with lemon zest and juice from half of the lemon.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Just a quick post today for the Brussels Sprouts I made today.  Loved the broiled effect; wish they would have gotten a bit more toasted but there was quite a bit of moisture so next time maybe I will let drain well before seasoning and broiling.  Still very tasty!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Trim ends from brussels sprouts and remove any loose or discolored leaves.  Bring small pot of water to a boil.  Add brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove and submerge in cool water until cool enough to handle.

Cut brussels sprouts in half and place in small bowl.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Spread onto oiled baking sheet cut side up and broil for 6 – 8 minutes about 2 – 3 inches from heat.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Roasted Cauliflower ~ Take 2

I’ve posted roasted cauliflower before, but I tried a new cooking technique today that was a bit quicker and left the cauliflower crisper and moister.  I thought I’d share today’s dish just incase you’d like to experiment.  Adjust the seasoning as you like; I don’t think I mentioned in the last post either but parmesan cheese is a delicious addition too.

Roasted Cauliflower ~ Take 2

  • 1 head cauliflower cut apart into florets
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne ~ if desired

Place cauliflower in bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil; I would estimate I used less than a tablespoon.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne.  Toss and pour onto foil lined pan.  Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 4 minutes. Shake pan or stir about and move to an upper shelf of the oven (I used the  second rack position from the top).  Turn oven to broil and continue cooking about 4 more minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Peas and Mushrooms

I was trying to decide what veggie to fix for dinner tonight and I remembered a Portobello mushroom I had picked up a couple of days ago.  I asked Charles how peas and mushrooms sounded and he went into story mode.  Telling me tales of his grandma fixing peas and mushrooms for special dinners.  Sometimes it was pearl onions instead of mushrooms, but the mushrooms were always his favorite.  She usually used canned mushrooms as far as he could recall; canned mushrooms will work perfectly too just omit the first step of cooking the mushrooms and add everything at the same time.

Peas and Mushrooms

  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 12 o.z. frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup water

Melt butter in skillet and add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.

Cook for about 5 minutes or until desired tenderness. Add peas, garlic, and water.  Cover and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Quick and Easy Chicken and Noodle Casserole

Just a quick post tonight.  I made an easy chicken and noodle casserole for Charles’ dinner before I left for work so this is a nice make ahead recipe.  Substitute the veggies with what you have on hand.  My choice today was a frozen mexican vegetable blend; broccoli, cauliflower, corn, and red peppers but a nice mixed vegetable or california blend will work well too.

Quick and Easy Chicken and Noodle Casserole

  • 6 o.z. dry noodles
  • 2 chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 12 o.z. frozen vegetable mix
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • paprika

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Dice chicken breast and season with salt and pepper; at a little crushed red pepper if you like a bit of heat.  Heat non-stick skillet over medium high and add seasoned chicken.  Sprinkle with thyme and cook for about 6 – 7 minutes until cooked through.

Add chicken stock and bring to simmer.  Combine corn starch and cold water.  Stir into simmering broth until thickened.  Add veggies, cooked and drained noodles, and cheddar cheese.

Stir well and pour into buttered 2 quart casserole.  If desired top with additional cheese and sprinkle with paprika.  Refrigerate if making ahead.  Bake cold casserole for about an hour at 350 degrees.  If baking directly after making reduce cooking time to 35 – 45 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Corn with Black Beans and Jalapeno

I really enjoy good corn.  I’ve yet to find a frozen corn that is consistently good so we froze some of own earlier this season.  I had some open black beans and thought the combination would be delicious.  You can adjust the quantities as desired and use your favorite type of corn.  A nice change from the usual plain corn side dish.

Corn with Black Beans and Jalapeno

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in skillet add corn, beans and jalapeno. Cook time will depend on whether corn is frozen or canned. Frozen corn over medium heat will take about 10 minutes to fully thaw and heat through.  Canned corn will likely take about half the time.    Once hot check for flavor and add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Eggplant Parmesan

I found a couple of eggplant at the farmers market today and couldn’t wait to make some eggplant parmesan.  I went with a fried then baked style dish.  I only used one of the eggplant and it made just enough for the two of us.  I could have eaten more of course, but I think this was ample enough to fill us up without over filling us.

Homemade Eggplant Parmesan

  • 1 small eggplant
  • salt
  • oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne if desired
  • spaghetti sauce
  • italian cheese blend or mozzarella and parmesan

Begin by peeling eggplant; slice and sprinkle with salt ~ this will help keep it from darkening and will pull out some of the excess moisture from inside the slices.

Heat oil in large skillet.  Meanwhile combine parmesan, flour, garlic, and cayenne.  Place each slice in parmesan mixture.  You may wish to rinse the eggplant first to remove excess salt.  Pat each side to help parmesan stick; fry in hot oil for about 2 minutes each side.

Remove from skillet to paper towels to help eliminate excess oil.

Pour about 1/8 cup spaghetti sauce each into 2 buttered mini casseroles.

Place fried eggplant slices on top; add another 1/8 – 1/4 cup of sauce to each.  Sprinkle each with desired amount of cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Fresh Green Beans with Mushrooms

Just a quick post today about the green beans I made last night with our meatloaf.  I’d bought these at the farmers market a couple of days earlier and didn’t have a chance to cook them right away.  I decided to do a bit of a sauté / steam method.  Very tasty; still very crisp and the full flavor of fresh green beans.  As a kid I didn’t like that taste but I do so enjoy it now.  The mushrooms were the perfect complement.

Fresh Green Beans with Mushrooms

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 large quart basket of fresh from the garden green beans
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom
  • salt, pepper, and granulated garlic

Wash and trim green beans.  In medium skillet melt butter and add mushroom cut into large chunks.  Add green beans and cover; cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic if desired; stir and cover; cook an additional 5 minutes or until desired tenderness.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Grilled Zucchini Boats with Goat Cheese

I had a couple of little zucchini and was dying to try them with goat cheese.  This was oh so delicious; I went very simple with the ingredients and process. Not that this wasn’t amazingly delicious but my wheels are turning for the next grilled zucchini boat recipe.

Grilled Zucchini Boats with Goat Cheese

  • 2 small zucchini
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 o.z. goat cheese

Cut zucchini in half and scoop out seeds leaving about 1/4 inch shell.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.

Divide goat cheese between shells.

Over medium high heat indirect heat cook for about 7 minutes until shells have started to soften and char a bit if desired. I like my zucchini to have a bit of crisp so cook to your liking being careful not to char the shells more than desired; move away from heat as needed.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly