Friday, November 27, 2015

Parmesan and Chive Cous Cous

Alert:  Do not waste your money on buying flavored, boxed cous cous!  It is so simple to make flavorful cous cous without buying the boxed versions.  Rather, with a few simple things from you pantry and fridge, you can have an easy, super flavorful side dish with less sodium and preservatives!  Typically, most stores carry cous cous in the bulk area (you know the area - the one where you measure out your own ingredients . ..candy, grains, dried fruits etc).  It is so much less spendy buying it from this area.  You will save yourself a few bucks by going this route.  No lie.  And this side dish?  Guaranteed to be loved by everyone in your family.

Parmesan and Chive Cous Cous
Serves 4

1 Cup Cous Cous
1 and 1/2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Chives
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

In medium sized pot, add the chicken broth.  Heat until boiling.  Once boiling, remove the heat and add the cous cous, butter, chives and Parmesan cheese.  Cover the pot and let stand 6-10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork before serving.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago  . . .I learned that food can burn in the crockpot - especially if it is high in sugar.  And this is why you do not simply dump chicken into your crockpot and pour bbq sauce on it . . .it will char on the sides.  Of course, if you like scrubbing your crockpot - go for it!  Personally, I do not enjoy that task.  But I do love a good BBQ Chicken Sandwich - which is why I am sharing this recipe with you today.  With a few normal yet unlikely ingredients, this version of bbq chicken does not burn - but is full of yummy flavor.  Enjoy!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 6-8

1 Bottle BBQ Sauce
2 Pounds of Chicken Breasts (boneless)
1/2 Cup Italian Salad Dressing
1/4 Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Onion Buns of Your Choice
Cheese (optional)
Red Onion (optional)

In your crockpot, add the BBQ Sauce, Italian Salad Dressing, Brown Sugar and Worcestershire Sauce.  Stir to combine.  Next, add in the chicken breasts.  Turn them over to coat with the sauce.  Cover and cook on low approx. 6 hours.  Once cooked, they should be very tender and easy to shred.  To serve, pile meat on your favorite type of bun and if you like cheese - I recommend smoked cheddar.  Top with thinly sliced red onion if you wish.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Crockpot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

If you love cabbage rolls, here is an easy way to get all those great flavors in the crockpot . . .without having to roll them up!  Please note, you can make this recipe with ground turkey or ground beef - both are very tasty.

Crockpot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Serves 6+

1 and 1/2 LBS Ground Turkey or Ground Beef
3/4 Cup Rice 
2 LBS Cabbage (1 medium-sized head)
1 (14.5) oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Large Onion
4 Cloves of Garlic
3 Teaspoons Nature's Seasoning (or use 1/2 salt, 1/2 pepper)
2 Tablespoons Parsley
1 Tablespoon Marjoram
1 (14.5 oz) Can of Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Step 1:  Clean and dice the onion.  Add to a large bowl.  Also to the bowl, add the meat, uncooked rice, Nature's Seasoning, parsley, and marjoram.   Mince the garlic and add that to the bowl as well. Mix well.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the tomatoes, lemon juice and broth.  Stir and set aside.

Step 3:  Wash the cabbage.  Peel the outer leaves off and discard.  Remove the core and discard.  Cut the cabbage into thin slices.  Set aside.

Step 4:  Assembly.  Spray your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray (or use a crockpot liner).  Place 1/2 the meat mixture in the crockpot and spread out (doesn't need to be perfect).  Place 1/2 the cabbage on top of the meat layer.  Pour about 1/2 the tomato mixture over the cabbage.  Now, repeat these steps.  Place the last of the meat on top of the cabbage layer.  Distribute the best you can.  Add the remaining cabbage and then pour the remaining tomato mixture over the cabbage.  

Step 5:  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until meat is cooked through and cabbage is wilted.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mexi-Corn and Black Beans

I grew up not eating corn.  I can't say I never had it - after all, I did eat school hot lunch and they occasionally served corn.  However, I was raised in a family that didn't believe corn was a vegetable.  We were taught that it is a grain.  Specifically, a grain that is grown on the farm and then later fed to the animals. Therefore, you would never find corn being served at any dinner my parents served (even the holidays).  Fast forward a few decades to today . . .I still coincide with those beliefs.  But everyone once in a while I do have to give in and serve corn.  And when I do - it's usually this recipe.  The sweetness of the corn and meatiness of the beans are laced with taco seasoning that combines the flavors into a fantastic flavorful side dish.  Serve it up today!

Mexi-Corn and Black Beans
Serves 4-6

1 (14.5 oz) Can of Corn with Sweet Peppers
1 (14.5 oz) Can of Black Beans
1 Teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Butter

Open and drain the can of corn and empty into a large bowl.  Open, drain, and rinse the can of black beans (that sludge the coats the beans just totally grosses me out!).  Add the drained/rinsed beans to corn.  Add the taco seasoning to the corn/beans.  Add the butter.  Microwave the entire bowl of corny/black bean goodness until heated thoroughly (2-3 minutes, depending on your m'wave).  Remove from the microwave, stir again to distribute the melted butter and make sure everything is hot.  Serve and enjoy.