leftovers

Inspiration

One of the things that I liked about doing Sunbasket for a few weeks, besides getting to try new things we wouldn’t normally try, is it inspired us to try some recipes on our own–like we used to do. When we first started dating, we’d get together on the weekends and try new recipes (our favorite cookbook was one of Martha Stewart’s) and we’d try new recipes each week. We’d open a bottle of wine and spend several hours in the kitchen cooking, talking, having fun.

That has obviously changed. Sadly, the leisurely cooking evenings kind of disappeared, especially when we had Logan. Quick dinners were a must. We definitely got into a rut with the same five or six meals and it got boring. So Sunbasket was a nice change.

In the spirit of that, we tried some fun recipes that were really good.

The first was one of the Sunbasket recipes in one of the books we got in our deliveries. It was slightly hard to follow the recipe because there weren’t measurements, but we were able to “wing it” and kind of guess on the amounts of stuff. And it was SO DELICIOUS! It might be one of my favorite meals we’ve had in a long time,

Salmon with Dijon sauce, quinoa, and green beans

The above is the recipe we worked off. Michael cooked the salmon and green beans and I made the dijon sauce (it was so so good!!). I subbed out wild rice instead of the quinoa because it was quick and easy.

Topped everything with the sauce, capers and chopped parsley.  Everything was so delicious. I am still thinking about that meal and the sauce was amazing. Like, want-to-lick-the-plate amazing. We will most definitely be making a variation of this recipe again soon!

The next recipe was kind of a “throw everything in the pot” kind of meal, but it turned out great. We had leftover chicken from when Michael smoked it, plus I had to use up the chicken broth and coconut milk from the previous recipe. So…coconut chicken curry soup!

I didn’t follow a recipe so I’ll just give a rough idea of what I did. What’s nice about this soup is that can add whatever veggies or meat you have on hand. Tofu would be great. Broccoli, spinach or kale would be good, too.

Saute in toasted sesame oil:

Diced onion

Diced Shallots

Cubed Sweet Potatoes

Chopped Carrots

Green Beans

Minced Garlic

Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup water and bring to a boil then reduce heat

Add a can of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)

Add turmeric, curry powder, pepper and powdered ginger

Add 1 spoonful of Ground fresh chili paste

Dash of fish sauce

Let simmer for as long as you want

When you’re ready to eat the soup, squeeze some fresh lime juice in it and top with cilantro. 

The soup turned out great. I was really happy with it. It was savory, sweet and spicy–all my favorite things! And, I had the soup for lunch the next day and it was EVEN BETTER!

Finally, the last new recipe we tried was this one from The Kitchn:

Skillet Chipotle Chilaquiles with Eggs

The flavors in this dish were really tasty. We both loved the smokiness of the chipotle peppers and sauce.

We will most definitely make this dish again! The only flaw was our fault, the eggs were overdone so they weren’t runny and that kind of makes the dish.

 

Topped with cojita cheese, avocado chunks, diced red and white onions, cilantro and a little bit of lime juice. So so good! Another winner!

Peppers and Puppy Dog Tails

I’m so glad this recipe turned out. I’d had a rough week and was feeling rather “fragile” when I was making this dinner and had it ended up in the garbage I feel like there would have been tears, just one more thing to go wrong. To be perfectly honest, these most recent weeks at work have been a challenge. There hasn’t been a single day where I wasn’t tempted to just walk out; but I am responsible and no matter how bad it gets I won’t leave until I find something else. I am aggressively looking and applying to other things. It’s time for a change.

But back to dinner. Thank the Goddess this dinner was delicious.

Turkey and Feta Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 pepper

Calories per serving: About 639

From: http://www.eatliverun.com/turkey-and-feta-stuffed-peppers/

Ingredients

  • 4 large green bell peppers, tops sliced off and seeds removed
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, small diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, small diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet on the stove. Once hot, add the onion and celery, and saute for 5 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic and continue sauteing for another minute.
  3. Turn the heat to high. Add the tomato paste to the skillet and mash the onions, celery and garlic together with the paste. Cook for three minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Add the ground turkey and brown with the veggies. This should take about six minutes.
  5. Then, add the diced tomatoes, salt, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until sauce reduces and isn’t as runny. Remove pan from heat and stir in the feta cheese.
  6. Place the green bell peppers on a tin foil-lined sheet tray. Fill each pepper with turkey and feta mixture. Once all peppers have been filled, cover peppers with a large piece of tin foil and seal.
  7. Bake peppers for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=37551

You know what else helped my mood? The “skinny” Pina Colada I made for myself while it was cooking! For around 150 calories, I was able to enjoy a pina colada that was truly awesome and hit the spot. I suppose I was craving some island beverage; sadly, I didn’t have any umbrellas to put in my drink.

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It’s hard to screw up stuffed peppers. I’ve tried about half a dozen different kinds of stuffed pepper recipes (Stuffed PeppersSouthwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash) and they were all good in their own way. My absolute favorite was definitely the Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash I made. Not exactly a stuffed pepper but stuffed nonetheless. I LOVED the flavors of the wild rice and the crunch of the nuts.

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And this is the part of the post where I tell you how I changed the recipe. 🙂 First, I used red and yellow peppers because they are my favorites. Second, I added some of the Costco Organic Non-Salt Seasoning, dried rosemary and extra red pepper flakes. I’m glad I did, it turned out great! It smelled so good while it was simmering on the stove. Michael commented that we just eat that instead of stuffing the peppers with it. But no, we were having peppers. I love peppers.

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I used my cupcake tin to cook the peppers in because they kept trying to fall over in all my other dishes. It worked great!

I baked the peppers at 350 for about 20 minutes or so. I could have left them in another 10 minutes I think because my pepper was still a bit “crunchy.” But it wasn’t bad. I loved this recipe. It was so tasty and it felt healthy, not like a gut bomb of food.

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The verdict from Michael was that it was a winner. We’ll definitely be eating this again in the near future. I loved the flavors–there was a sweetness to it, that I suppose is from the tomatoes and tomato paste, and there was also a nice bite of spice. I added more red pepper flakes than the recipe called for and I was glad I did. It balanced out the sweetness nicely. And of course, the cheese was perfect. 🙂

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One thing I did notice was that the stuffing part was a tad runny. I had cooked it in the skillet for the required time to reduce the liquid but there was still a lot left. I’m not sure if maybe I needed to add more paste or what. The next day I ate the leftover stuffing mixture for lunch after the gym. It was even better the next day. I measured out a serving of whole wheat pasta and added the turkey mixture then topped it with some feta.

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After lunch, Michael and I went to the Pixie Project for an afternoon of dog walking. It was such a gorgeous day. I’d been expecting rain but it was sunny and warm. The skies were perfectly blue and everything was in bloom. It would be impossible to be in a bad mood with weather like this.

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The first dog we took out was Dublin. He was a high energy dog. Michael walked him because I think Dublin would have been dragging me down the street.

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He was a while and yellow colored dog, maybe some kind of lab pit bull mix? He had a little pit bull in his face and he was STRONG. He was also a jumper and a runner. Hahaha! Look at how excited Dublin is!

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We took him around the Convention Center and let him run around in the grassy area but then he seemed to have some tummy troubles so we took him back to the shelter. I guess they got him recently, so there probably isn’t a profile for Dublin yet on their website. But most of the dogs I post pictures of are waiting for adoption–if anyone in the Portland area is interested.

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The next dog we took out was Jasmine. She was a cocker spaniel mix of some sort. She was such a sweetheart! She knew “sit” but would only sit when Michael told her to. And of course she’d get a treat if she sat. She was really well-behaved (especially compared to the very active Dublin) but she was also active in her own way. She wanted to be the leader and as volunteer dog walkers we’re not supposed to try and train or “correct behavior” but if it were my dog, I’d probably train it not to pull the leash.

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Jasmine was really sweet and super soft. She also loved her reflection in windows. She would stop and stare at herself, I suppose wondering who the other dog was. Too funny.

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Jasmine and I had a grand old time walking in the sunshine. As always, I was kinda sad to drop the dogs back off at the shelter and go. If I could I’d probably spend all day there playing with puppies. I mean how awesome does that sounds? Also, The Pixie Project has cats, too. As we were leaving I gazed into the window at all the sleepy kitties sunny themselves in the window. Adorable. When I got home, Fat Kitty was sniffing all over me. Yep, that’s dog you smell baby! Sorry…. 🙂

QUESTION: What’s your favorite “stuffed” recipe?