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Category Archives: Veggies

Greek Marinated Chicken Kabobs & Grilled Apples

A couple of weeks ago my husband made the trek, or should I say flight, from South Florida to California so that he could be a there for his brother Matt and his new bride Cassie’s big day. Regretfully, the children and I couldn’t make it to California. The sheer thought of traveling across the country with the two toddlers makes my brain hurt, for such a short trip anyways. Hopefully we will make it out there in a few years. So, we made the best of the “wishing we were there situation, “and the absence of Rick, as he is rarely away. We shopped a little but mostly we spent our time hanging out at home. The NFL pre-season kicked off the night he departed, so we watched plenty of football, ate ample amounts of hummus and veggies, and watched more football while we swam in the pool. [TV by the pool is stellar, at least during football season :)] Anyhow. The bottom line is we had a weekend of Mother-Kiddo bonding time. However, I must admit that I was guilty of a little jealousy each time I spoke with Rick. There wasn’t a single conversation that we had that he didn’t tell me about something  ~ Wonderful ~ he had eaten that day, even a chicken dish, and he isn’t a fan of chicken. Now, this is the same man who usually cannot tell you what he had for dinner the night before, he eats for survival purposes alone. So, to hear him go on about the scrumptious food, made my foodie brain kick into overdrive. I was going to come up with something great tasting, healthy and different from my usual rotation of chicken dinners. I am not being boastful, but I did it! This Greek inspired marinade is delicious and would work well on anything chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, vegetables, you could even use it as a spread or dipping sauce for bread (or pitas).

I decided to use the marinade on chicken, make it into kabobs, and put them outside on the grill where we spent the evening dining “Al Fresco”. Everything we ate that night was cooked on the grill, even the desert of grilled cinnamon apples. I apologize for the lack of a single picture of the finished “Grilled Apple” dish. My four little one’s had them devoured within 2 minutes, literally, even eating my portion! In other words they were spectacular, they didn’t even wait for the vanilla ice cream that I had intended to serve with them.

Congratulations on the ‘I Do” Cassie and Matt! The kids and I wish we could have been there.

Now on with the recipe:

Greek Marinated Chicken Kabobs:

 This recipe is enough for two-three pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.

– 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

– zest from one lemon (two if you like more zing)

– 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

– 4-5 cloves of garlic minced

– 2 Tablespoons dried oregano

– 2 Tablespoons dried parsley

– 1 Tablespoons dried rosemary

– 1 Tablespoon dried thyme

–  Coarse Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

– 2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ cubes

– 2 zucchini squash sliced into 1″ thick slices

– 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1″ squares

– 1 large sweet onion, halved and each half cut into thirds, try to keep sections intact this makes the assembly of the kabobs easier.

Directions:

– Place all ingredients, except the chicken and vegetables, into a gallon size ziptop bag. Seal the bag and then shake it around to mix it all together.

– Add the chicken to the marinade. Allow to soak up the flavors for 6-24 hours (in the refrigerator)

– Assemble the kabobs, alternating chicken and vegetables. If using bamboo skewers remember to soak in water for 30 minutes.

– Place skewers on hot (375 degrees or so) grill for about 7-8 minutes per side. Turning twice, for a total of 14-16 minutes or until done. If you have excess marinade brush onto kabobs while on the grill.

Grilled Apples

– Cut desired numbered of apples in half and remove core and seeds.

– Brush cut side of apple with melted butter.

– Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top of melted butter.

– Place on hot grill, skin side down, close lid and allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

 

White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Hello, hello! I am thrilled to be back on the blog-scene once again. It has been such a long time since I have had a single spare moment to devote to Rachel’s Vittles. Change is in the air (or kitchen) though. As difficult as it is for me, I will be delegating some of my responsibilities to others 🙂 so that I can spend a bit more time doing what I love, which is cooking and sharing about it here.

I truly hope that each and every one of you had a remarkable and memorable Christmas and start to this New Year! I am very much looking forward to the many new adventures and memories 2012 will bring my way. I thought it might be fun to reflect back and share with you what has been going on in my crazy-busy life.

My youngest child and only son, Richard (aka Bubba) is quite the busy body these days. He has not only mastered walking, but running as well and is quickly moving on to climbing. His appetite is tremendous, I still haven’t figured out how the little guy eats so much but, I am fairly certain he has inherited my love of food. He is the happiest little baby I know, and he seems to have his Daddy’s patience. The good Lord must have known he would need it in this home full of girls!

Gracie… where do I even begin. I have come to the conclusion that this little girl must be solar-powered. She doesn’t eat very much at all and sleep is something she rarely does for any decent amount of time. So, being that we live here in the Sunshine State she must run on the sun! lol. Our little girl has become quite a character at the ripe young age of 2. She is loving, hilarious, theatrical, silly, sarcastic, very particular, determined and so abundantly full of energy. We never have a shortage of entertainment around here. She is so much fun to be around and brings a constant smile to my face. She loves, Loves, LOVES her brother & sisters, and during this past year she has added horses to the list of who she loves. It is amazing to me that my tiny 24 pound girl doesn’t hesitate for a second before climbing on the back of a horse and riding off. In December she rode all by herself, not even with a lead rope, for the first time! She is the cutest little cowgirl.

Emily is doing phenomenal in school this year. I am so impressed with her accomplishments during her sixth grade year. She is playing the violin, and doing an amazing job at it. I love to hear her play! I look forward to listening to her make music with those strings for many, many years to come! Her 4-H project this year is a hog, which she named Pigsie (like Pixie) and she also has two miniature goats. Emily has taken her love for horses to a new level this past year. She is now a member of the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) and is barrel racing every chance she gets. It is hard to believe that she will be 12 years old this month…time flies! I am so blessed to have her as a daughter!

Bailey, my oldest baby 🙂 will be 15 years old this upcoming Tuesday! I just cannot believe that so many years have passed since I became a Mommy for the first time! She has become a remarkable young lady who has so much going for her. She jumped on the 4-H wagon this year, and cannot wait to jump back off! Nepolian is the name of her swine, and fair time can’t get here quickly enough. Bailey is also a new member of the NBHA this year and is spending as much time on the horses as she can. She loves the horses and with her hardcore competitive spirit I know she will go far. New and exciting times are in store for her this year as she will be driving and getting her first job!

As you might can see my children keep me a bit busy, but I love every single moment of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I have days that I feel like I am going crazy (my husband thinks I am crazy), which I think is normal with two babies and two teenage girls!

Again, I am happy to be returning to my blog and I am looking forward to a year full of delicious vittles!

White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. can baby artichokes hearts quartered drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped broccoli thawed and drained
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles, boiled according to directions on box
  • 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper (I usually add more, to tatse)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups of water
  • 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes chopped

Directions:

  • Beat egg well, add in the ricotta and parsley until combined and set aside
  • In a skillet over medium heat melt butter, whisk in the flour to make a roux, do not allow the butter to burn. Continue cooking and whisking about 2 minutes, add the water, cream and milk, whisk until all of the flour/butter mixture has dissolved into the cream cook over low heat (don’t boil) until it has thickened.  Add the parmesan or romano cheese, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the artichokes, broccoli and spinach in a bowl and toss to combine.
  • To begin building lasagna. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. Start with a layer of noodles first, top with 1/3 of the cooked chicken, 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, 1/4 of the mozzarella, and then ladle on 1/4 of the sauce. Repeat this process two more times ending with noodles. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so.
  • Allow the lasagna to sit on the counter, uncovered for 5-10 minutes. This lets the dish set so that you can cut and serve it, with minimal sliding 🙂
  • Garnish with chopped tomatoes just before serving.
 

Zuppa Toscana

I have missed you all! I hope that your Thanksgiving Day was spectacular, filled with delicious food, cherished moments with loved ones and football of course!

Sadly, it seems like it has been a lifetime since I have posted anything. I truly enjoy this website, it means a lot to me. However, this past month has been incredibly busy for several different reasons and despite my efforts to find the time to blog, it hasn’t happened. I had so many wonderful recipes I was excited to share for Thanksgiving 😦 which I will saved for next year…

Zuppa Toscana, is an Italian soup (which happens to be a favorite of my girls & myself) that is full of sausage, sweet onions, potatoes, and the star of the bowl, kale. This soup does have cream added to it, but it is not a heavy soup, the base is made with chicken stock with a small amount of cream added at the end. I usually would have used milk, as I commonly don’t keep heavy cream on hand, but I had some leftover from turkey day therefore I added on the richness and the calories!

I would also like to add that I have a long way to go with my photography skills, and I try my best, but I find it almost impossible to take a good (or even decent) picture of soup. Over the past six months I have probably snapped 200 shots of different soups, and not one has been even okay. But, I really wanted to jump back into my blog and this soup was what was on the menu. If any of you have any tricks or suggestions, I would love to hear it! Thanks.

Zuppa Toscana

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage (hot sausage would be great as well)
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 12-16 ounces of chopped kale
  • 3 cans of all natural chicken broth 14.5 oz each
  • 1/2 pound bacon cook and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of heavy cream or milk
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions

  • Add vegetable oil to a hot Dutch oven or heavy pot (med-high heat) brown and crumble sausage  remove from pot
  • Dice onions and potatoes add to sausage drippings cook 10-12 minutes
  • Add garlic to potatoes and onions
  • Pour chicken stock and water into pot bring to a boil and then reduce heat
  • Add salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, parsley, bacon & sausage
  • Check the tenderness of your potatoes, when tender add cream and kale cook until thoroughly heated and slightly wilted
  • Once the cream is added do not boil, the cream will separate
  • Serve with parmesan cheese as a garnish
 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Appetizers, Cheese, Chicken, Pork, Soups, Veggies

 

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Tomato Cobbler

Tomato Cobbler

I cannot pinpoint the exact reason it took me so long to make this savory tomato cobbler. Learn from my mistake, do not wait to make this. The biscuits are full of cheesy, hearty goodness with a crispy top and melt-in-your-mouth body. The Gruyère is the perfect accompaniment to the juicy little tomatoes (which are oh so delicious!), the caramalized onions, the garlic & rosemary all work in harmony. * The only change I made to the recipe was swapping the rosemary for thyme and only because I didn’t have thyme, and you just can’t skip on the herbs.*  I also want to point out that it calls for 3 pounds of tomatoes, not 3 cups! I misread the ingredients the first go-round. One pint of grape tomatoes weighs 10 ounces, so you will need approximately 5 pints. I know it seems like a lot of tomatoes, but it makes a massive amount of delicious food.

I love tomatoes, they are a staple in our home. It’s safe to say we eat tomatoes everyday. I cannot think of a recipe, that has cooked tomatoes in it, that is better! This one takes the cake (or should I say cobbler), it is my new favorite side!  I am anxious to make this for our Thanksgiving Day dinner. Actually, I should probably make two because I know most of us will be making a trip for seconds. This savory cobbler will undoubtedly impress your family or guests at the dinner table. It is definitely worth the time it takes to prepare it. I found that my cooking time was significantly less, by about 25 minutes. I would keep an eye on it after about the 40 minute mark. * Note to self, check the accuracy of the temp in my oven*  This dish would also be a hit at any office party or your next “bring a dish” gathering, as it reheats well. Thanks to Annie, of Annie’s-Eats  who posted this scrumptious recipe last month! I would love to hear from you, let me know what you think!

tomaot cobbler

Ingredients
For the filling
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium yellow
onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme
3 lbs. cherry or grape tomatoes
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. coarse salt
Pinch of black pepper

For the biscuit topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1½ cups heavy cream

Directions
To prepare the filling, combine the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions
and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked down and caramelized, about 20-25
minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes
more.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  In a large bowl, combine the onion mixture, tomatoes, flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
To make the biscuit topping, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a
medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the
mixture is crumbly and small clumps form. I used my hands, since I don’t have a pastry blender and the knife trick doesn’t work for me. Mix in the cheese.  Stir in the cream
with a fork until a sticky dough forms and the dry ingredients are
incorporated.

Transfer the tomato mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Using a large ice cream scoop or a ¼-cup measure, drop clumps of the biscuit dough evenly over the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle the top with
additional grated cheese.  Bake until the tomatoes are bubbling and the biscuits
are golden, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Source: Annie’s Eats via Martha Stewart Living July 2011 via Pink Parsley Catering

 

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Butternut Squash Muffins

I am continuing to enjoy the all of the flavors that define Fall. As I have mentioned before, I love squash! While I was at my local produce stand this weekend I couldn’t resist the butternut squash, they looked wonderful. This means that we will be having it in several meals this week.

One of the things I like most about butternut squash is that is a great in both savory and sweet  dishes. I decided to go with a sweet treat first 🙂 Today’s recipe is a muffin that is delicious and not overloaded with sugar. I used applesauce and some mashed banana to add some sweetness in place of just using sugar. Also, in trying to keep this treat on the healthier side I used half whole wheat flour and half white flour, if you don’t like the taste of whole wheat flour or don’t have any on hand you may use all white flour. The brown sugar and cinnamon topping is optional, but I highly recommend you do not skip it. It’s the icing on the cake! I will tell you this is the first time I have made these muffins and they were great! The only thing I will change in the future is to add some walnuts to the batter, I love the taste and the crunch that the nuts add to most quick bread and muffins.

Moving on, if you are planning on making more than one meal during the week that call’s for cooked & mashed or puree’ squash, I would cook it all at the same time. Put the squash to be used at a later time in the refrigerator. It save time and energy.

Ingredients

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash (directions at the bottom of page)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Optional Topping (not optional)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

Mix together banana, applesauce, squash, eggs, sugar and oil, until well blended.

In a separate bowl mix salt, soda, powder, cinnamon, and flours.

Add dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until batter forms.

Pour into greased or lined muffin pans.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle onto muffins.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes!

This recipe makes about 24 regular size muffins.

* Directions for cooking the squash – Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Brush cut sides with melted butter. Place squash cut side down on pan. Bake about 45 minutes or until squash is tender.

Peel the skin off and put the ‘meat’ of the squash in a bowl and mash.

 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork & Citrus Slaw Sandwich’s

As I was looking through my previous posts I realized that I must be on some sort of pasta or chicken kick. I do love both pasta and chicken, but we eat so much more. So I must share with you some of the things we eat on a regular basis. Pulled pork is a staple here at our home. When I discovered how easy is was to throw in the slow cooker and how scrumptious the results were, it became a regular on our menu. I might have made this too many times last year. It was the main course at all of the birthday party’s in which I was the hostess. This pork is easily prepared, cooked and pulled ahead of time, the slaw is just as easy. Therefore, this is a great dish to prepare when you are expecting a crowd or contributing to a potluck.

For some of you the idea of putting cole slaw on your Bar-B-Que sandwich is nothing short of absurd. Let me enlighten you, I can recall the first time I saw this odd combination on a menu (many, many moons ago). I ordered the pork, sans the slaw. There was NO WAY I wanted to ruin my lunch that way. It was several years later before I actually tried cole slaw on my pork sandwich, and that was all she wrote. I was hooked, and to this day if I am eating a pulled pork sandwich you had better believe there is slaw of some sort on it. There is something wonderful about the  crunch, creaminess, and sweetness that the slaw adds, and how it  pairs up with the spicy bar-b-que (if you like the heat) sauce and meatiness of the sandwich. This is one of my all-time top 5 sandwiches.

On a totally different note. It has been brought to my attention that I need to include serving sizes, in my recipes. I will make a huge attempt to include as much information as I can. Again, the whole measuring thing is anything but my thing. But, I will try 🙂 Also, I always try to make my recipes so that you can easily double or divide the amounts. If the cooking/baking time requires adjustment, I will add that as well. I know that some of you are cooking for 1 or 2 and some are cooking for 6-8, so I am trying to accommodate everyone!

Below are the instructions on the meat and slaw. Once everything is prepared. Pile the pork onto a fresh bun, top the meat with your favorite sauce, mine is Stubbs’s Spicy, and then finish with the slaw! Good vittles!

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Serves 8-10

  • 7 lbs. Boston Butt bone-in (I get two 3 to 3 1/2 lbs. pieces of meat)
  • 2 Tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or Everglades Seasoning
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 split buns

Directions

  • Rub seasoning into meat
  • Place meat into slow-cooker, the side with the most fat should face up.
  • Add water, cover and cook on high for about 5 hours.
  • Move meat into a large pan. Remove bone and large pieces of fat. I don’t shred the meat because I prefer the large chunks of meat. If you like use two forks or a pair of tongs and pull meat apart.

Citrus Slaw

  •  1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 celery seed
  • generous 1/2 cup of light canola mayo
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • 16 oz. shredded coleslaw mix (with red cabbage & carrots)
  • 3/4 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon juice from mandarin oranges

Directions

  •  In a large sealable container, whisk together all ingredients except slaw mix and oranges.
  •  Add cabbage mix, toss well.
  •  Gently fold in oranges.
  •  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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Chicken & Broccoli Linguine

 

This is the perfect meal for those evenings when you are pressed
for time but still want to serve a healthy and tasty dinner.                                                                            This dish comes together quickly and easily, not to mention it makes a great next day, left-over lunch!

You could easily swap out the chicken for beef, pork, tofu or shrimp, or make a combination with
what is appeals to you. Snap peas, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms,
etc… could take place or add to the broccoli. You get the idea, make this dish
yours. You know what your family will eat.
This is also a great way to use up left over meats & vegetables from previous meals. I attempt to use up everything I buy. When I toss out food that should have been eaten I feel like I am throwing away money, which is never good.

This recipe makes an enormous amount of food. It would easily feed 6 adults. I am guessing that if you cut it in half you could serve 2 adults and 2 children. But, then you wouldn’t have enough for lunch the next day!

I would love to hear what you make of this easy dinner idea!
Leave it in the comments for this recipe so everyone can enjoy your creation 🙂

Chicken Broccoli Linguine

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. linguine (whole wheat is best) cooked according to directions
  • 3 to 4 cups of cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces (boneless & skinless)
  • 2) 12 oz. bags of frozen broccoli
  • ¾ cup diced sweet or yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2) 14.5 cans Italian style tomatoes (do not drain)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

Boil pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over med high
heat, add butter, onions, and garlic sauté about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to
medium.

Add chicken, broccoli, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and red
pepper flakes. Cover and cook until the broccoli is heated through, stirring
often.  Add the milk and cheese, stir and
allow to just come to a boil. Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl add the drained pasta, and then the
chicken and veggies. Toss so that everything is evenly combined.  Walla. Done!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Chicken, Pasta, Veggies

 

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