Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken-Bean Soup & Other Good Things

Life is going back to "normal" -- if you know what "normal" is, please let me know. Here are a few recipes from the last week or so.

Shrimp with Farfalle and Spinach:
Serves 2

1 small onion, sliced or diced
20+ pieces of shrimp, or about 1/2 a pound, frozen
2 cups whole wheat farfalle or your favorite pasta
2+ cups spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a saute pan. Cook onion in oil until transparent, 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, garlic, & oregano & cover, cooking until the shrimp is just pink & firm, about 4-5 minutes more.

Shred the spinach, bunching it together in large handfuls. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add pasta & spinach to shrimp in pan and stir to combine, adding reserved water to reach preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

Whole wheat buttermilk pancakes:
Mmmm. Pancakes.
Serves 2

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3+ cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
dash vanilla

Whisk together dry ingredients & wet ingredients separately. Slowly combine with a fork until just mixed, don't worry about any lumps. Set aside the batter while your skillet or griddle heat over medium.

When your skillet is hot, test the batter -- add more milk (regular or buttermilk) to reach your desired consistency. Pour large spoonfuls, about 1/3 cup or so, onto your skillet & do your pancake thing. Mom always used a tortilla warmer to keep prepared pancakes warm while the others cooked & it works marvelously.

If you don't have buttermilk, you can always use a buttermilk powder & water per the directions on the container or make buttermilk with regular milk & a good squeeze of lemon juice. These pancakes are great layered with Greek yogurt for extra protein with strawberries or whatever fresh fruit you like. And sausage. This all makes for a great Sunday breakfast.

Chicken-Bean Soup:
Today was an excellent day for soup -- not to mention I've been dreaming of fall & football for weeks now. This soup can even be made in one pot, even better!
Serves 2 with great lunch leftovers or 4

1 1/2 pound chicken thighs
2 small yellow onions, sliced
1 cup black beans, dried, rinsed & cooked
1 cup red kidney beans or navy beans, dried, rinsed & cooked
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
freshly ground pepper

In a large stock pan, heat about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook onions with salt until transparent, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken thighs, cumin, & oregano & cook until the chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan & set aside.

Add beans & corn to onions. Roughly slice or dice the chicken, removing any fat, & add back to pan with any juices. Bring soup to a boil & stir with wooden spoon to break down beans into stock. Crank on some freshly ground pepper. Add water 1/4 cup at at time to reach a soupier consistency if desired. Serve hot with saltines or a crusty bread.

If cooking dried beans isn't your thing, just use a can or two for each cup -- the more the merrier -- draining & rinsing them before adding to the soup.

Dessert?! Yes, I made dessert! If you are on any sort of a diet, stop reading now. I make the hubby eat most things like this.
Popcorn balls make me think of fall & I must really be dreaming. Look at all the chocolate in the corner there!
6 cups plain popcorn, popped (about 1/4 cup kernels)
large handful Hershey's kisses
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup pretzel sticks, broken into smaller pieces
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 bag mini marshmallows

Melt the butter over medium-low heat & add marshmallows, stirring until melted. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a medium-large bowl. When the mallows are melted, pour over popcorn mixture and stir to combine. Give the mallows a few moments to cool, but working quickly once you can handle the mixture, use your hands to form the mixture into balls. Set out on parchment paper to cool & enjoy!

A few tips on this quick sweet -- don't use a metal bowl, the heat transfer will melt your fingerprints & squirt a little spray cooking oil on your hands to keep the mixture from sticking. You can use any ingredients you like: almonds, pecans, M&Ms, mini Reese's, anything that sounds delicious to you.


1 comment:

  1. Normal means you don't have 1,000 things to go to at night - you just get to go home! I guess it's not normal, it's just nice.