Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sweet and sour chicken

This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson's recipe of the same name in her Nigella Kitchen cookbook. While many of the ingredients are similar, I did change it up quite a bit for what I had on hand to use.

When I hear "sweet and sour chicken" it conjures up a picture in my head of deep fried chicken chunks served with a neon orange sauce from many a Chinese restaurant. I think that this recipe is a healthier choice, plus it's really easy to make and tastes great. While there is a bit of salt and sugar in the sauce, I'm willing to bet that it's better than the neon orange sauce that you would get if you brought home some take-out food instead. Feel free to add more/different vegetables in this recipe. Snow peas, baby corn, water chestnuts (as suggested by Nigella), and carrots all come to my mind as good choices. This meal will serve about four people. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spaghetti with fennel, artichokes, arugula, and olives

I was looking for a vegetarian pasta dinner that didn't have a very heavy sauce. This pasta was inspired by a recipe in Clean Food. It is a simple and flavorful pasta dish that can be easily made for a quick weeknight dinner. I love, love traditional spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs and I also love alfredo sauce, but sometimes I just want something a bit different. Pasta is so versatile and can be enjoyed without heavy sauces. This dish combines lemon, salty olives, and fresh vegetables. The flavors of the ingredients are strong and pair perfectly with pasta. Serve this pasta dish topped with a sprinkling of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and some toasted garlic bread. This dish will serve about 4 people. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Roasted chicken with baby potatoes and tomatoes

I made this recipe after reading it in one of my favorite cookbooks, Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home (and we were eating it while watching his Food Revolution). This meal was simple, yet full of flavors and comfort. It's definitely one of those recipes that you can easily adjust for more or less people. I made the below recipe and it was just enough for my husband and I, but we are generally big eaters... I've become a big fan of chicken thighs lately. They really do stay moist and tender, plus they are much more affordable (especially if you, like me, buy your chicken free-range and organic). Normally, I would not buy tomatoes at this time if year, but we have a local hydroponic farm that grows good-tasting baby tomatoes and I found a nice pint at the store. Give this recipe a try and don't be afraid to change up the amounts to feed the number of people you have. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Brazilian shrimp stew


I got this recipe from my Gourmet Today cookbook. I was looking for something different to try and found this recipe for Brazilian shrimp stew. I don't know how authentically Brazilian it really is, but that is what it was called. The stew looked (and tasted) similar to a curry to me, but without as many spices. This dish was really easy to cook up and was really good. It was a bit on the spicy-hot side - not too spicy for us, but if you like your food on the milder side, I may recommend cutting down the amount of cayenne pepper. This dish will make enough to serve about four people. Below is my slightly modified version of the recipe. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Maple oatmeal streusel muffins

I've got another maple recipe to share before maple season is over. I know that I make a crazy amount of muffins, but as I've said before, I like to have a (fairly) healthy homemade muffin or granola for us to have as a quick breakfast or mid-morning snack during the week. These muffins are full of maple flavor with a hint of warm cinnamon goodness. The streusel is optional, but it adds extra crunch and texture to the muffins that I think is well worth the extra few minutes it takes to throw together. This recipe will make 12 muffins. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chipotle-maple glazed pork with roasted squash and kale


It's still maple season and we have a new gallon jug full of local maple syrup. We also have a few winter squash around that need to be used up and some pork from T-Meadow farms. I made this dish with a lot of items I had around that I needed to use up. It came together nicely. The squash and kale "salad" can be changed up to include any sort of winter squash (or even sweet potatoes). The kale could be switched out for any greens and the same with the walnuts -- pecans or almonds could also work just fine.

I loved this simple sweet and spicy glaze for the pork. The combination of the sweet maple syrup with the chipotles in adobo was really good! The kale and squash are full of healthy ingredients and colors. This recipe will serve two, but you can easily cook up extra pork and extra vegetables to feed more people.