Thursday, November 20, 2008

California Salad...

I thought I better through something green and raw in the mix, in case we are getting tired of soups and stews!! This is a classic and works well with big groups- like showers, parties, or potlucks!

2 Heads of Romaine
2 avocados
1 cup candies pecans
1/2 cup cranberries
2 green apples or bosh pairs
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 cans mandarin oranges
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 
1/3 chicken breast per person

Dressing: 2 options
1. Store Bought: Marston's Dressing
2. Refreshing Dressing:
     6 TBSP olive oil
     6 TBSP red wine
     2 TBSP lemon juice (fresh is best)
     1/2 tsp. salt
     1/4 tsp. pepper
     1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
     honey to taste
Pretty self explainatory... Wash the chicken, cube it, add some olive oil to a pan, brown it, season it with S&P. Cut and wash the lettuce, chop the onions, apples/pairs, slice the avocados, throw in the cranberries, pecans, blue cheese (if desired), and mandarin oranges! Toss it all together with the dressing right before you serve it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Crock Pot)

The little saying, "Crock pots: Cooks all day while the cooks away" is enough to put a smile on anyone's tired face. How wonderful is it to come home to a yummy meal that YOU did not spend time preparing- instead- you dumped things in a pot, turned it on, and magically, when you came home, it was calling your name.... check out this simple recipe....

4 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bones
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
* 2 serrano chilies, minced (optional)
1 49 oz. carton chicken broth
1/4 cup lime juice

Options for toppings:
tortilla chips
shredded cheese

Real simple: put the washed chicken breasts in the crock pot with the diced tomatoes (don't drain them, use the juice), onion, garlic, cumin, chilies, and broth. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. Remove the chicken, shred it, add it back to the crock pot, add your lime juice- let it sit for a few minutes. Then place your tortilla chips (if desired) in the bottom of your bowls, ladle soup on top, add any other toppings you desire!

Minestrone Soup...

This is right up there in the top favorites of mine!! It has a truck load of yummy vegetables, great flavor, and is perfect for a cold winters day. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you, this soup is well worth it!  Thanks to Jennifer Stewart for sharing it with me!

2 TBSP expeller pressed coconut oil
3/4 cup onion
1/2 cup leeks
1 cup carrots
1/3 head green cabbage
1 cup celery
2 cloves garlic
2 qts. chicken broth
1 small jar spagetti sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups potatoes (diced)
3/4 cup peas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup small pasta
1 cup parmesan cheese

OK, here we go. First you are going to saute over low-med. heat your "purple highlighted ingredients"- your oil, onion, leak, carrots, cabbage, celery, and garlic (assuming they have all been washed and chopped!).  Saute those for 5-7 minutes or so. Next add your chicken broth and spaghetti sauce. Bring that to a boil for 10 minutes. Add your salt, pepper, and potatoes next and cook for 10 minutes. Then you will add the "pink highlighted ingredients" from above- your peas, tomatoes, beans, parsley, pasta, and parmesan. Cook that until it's tender on medium heat. *Let your noodles be your guide, when they are ready, your soup is ready! ** One more side note, I used a can of white & a can of red kidney beans to beef it up even more, de-licious!

Serve with: warm french bread, crackers, or nothing at all!