Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mexican Red Lentil Soup with Chicken

I have to give a big shout out to Kayln from Kaylyn's Kitchen
for this wonderful recipe. When I read through the recipe
it sounded so perfect as fall approaches and the
weather starts to cool down a little in the evenings.

I made a few changes to her orginal recipe.

Mexican Red Lentil Soup with Chicken

1 chicken breast
1 tbs chili oil
1 cup dry red lentils
1 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsnips
1 T minced garlic (or less, but I like a lot of garlic)
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chile powder
1 can fire roasted tomatoes (chopped or diced)
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 -1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (Kalyn used tabasco sauce to add heat)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 - 1 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado
1/2 cup queso fresco

Put red lentils in a small pot with 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover. Let lentils sit in the hot water 30 minutes.

While the lentils cook you have time to cut the vegetables. Finely chop the garlic and onion. Chop the red pepper and parsnips. Heat olive oil in soup pot, add vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes, just long enough that vegetables are starting to soften. Add ground turmeric, ground cumin, and chile powder, stir, and cook 1-2 minutes more. Cook the chicken breast in chili oil or Mexican spices. Slice the chicken into small pieces.

Add diced roasted tomatoes, rest of broth, pieces of chicken and cayenne pepper. Add the partially cooked lentils to the soup pan. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. Taste the soup. Check the texture of the lentils to determine if the soup needs to cook any longer. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

While soup cooks the rest of the way finely chop 1/2 - 1 cup fresh cilantro. Squeeze limes to get 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. When the lentils are as soft as you would like, stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice and cook for just a few more minutes. Peel and chop one avocado.

Serve with a little more cilantro, avocado and some queso fresco.

This was a very flavorful soup!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fried Eggplant

If I had a deep fryer I would be dangerous.
I can think of so many things I would fry.
Fried apple fritters, fried dough, fried
snickers bars.... the list goes on and on.

Without the fryer I have to resort
to pulling out a big frying pan
and peanut oil to fry food and this
does not happen very often.

I fried eggplant as a side dish the
other night.

I made up the recipe for the batter
and it turned out pretty good.

Batter for the Eggplant:

fresh sage, chopped
fresh oregano, chopped
parmesan cheese, finely grated
pinch of salt and pepper

So from there it was pretty simple.
I cubed the eggplant. I dipped
the eggplant in an egg / buttermilk
mixture. Then into the batter.
I dropped the battered eggplant into
the pan with hot peanut oil.

The final product ~ little bites of goodness.

Fried Eggplant:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chinese Stir-Fry

Ok, I am branching out here by trying to make
a Chinese Stir-Fry. I would not normally choose
a recipe like this but when I read through
the ingredients I realized I liked everything
in the dish so why not give it a try.

There is a market/ grocery store near our
house that carries a good variety of
ethnic food so I was sure that I could
get the Chinese Noodles there.

Chinese Stir-Fry
8 oz of Chinese Egg Noodles
2 pork chops
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced asparagus
5 cloves of garlic, diced
4-5 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs of lime juice
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. ketchup
1 tbs. chile paste
2 eggs
2 cups fresh spinach, washed and cut

Follow the directions on the package to cook
the Chinese Egg Noodles. Drain the noodles
and set aside.

Fry two eggs in a small pan. Once they are
cooked set them on a cutting board and
cut them into slices.

Add vegetable oil to a pan and heat on medium heat.
Saute the garlic for a few minutes. Add the pork
chops and cook for about 2-3 minutes each side
depending on the thickness. Don't overcook b/c you
will add the pork in to the mixture at the end
and it will cook a little more. Take the pork
chops out and set aside for a minute. Add the
asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the
mushrooms and green onions cooking for 3 more
minutes.(While the vegetables are cooking
slice the pork into thin slices).
Combine the soy sauce,
brown sugar, lime juice, sesame
oil, ketchup, chile paste. Bring to a boil,
stirring well.

Lower the heat. Add noodles to the pan and toss.
Add spinach and stir for a minute. Add
the pork and eggs. Stir well and then serve.

Chinese Stir-Fry

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vegetable Noodle Soup

This soup should be called Everything or Anything Soup
because it really can work with any vegetables you have
in your refrigerator.

I came home late tonight, looked in the frig and this
is what I came up with.

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Sauté a diced onion is a large pan using a little
vegetable oil for about 5-7 minutes.
Add carrots and parsnips and sauté
for a few minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms
and white beans. Stir and cook about 2 more minutes.
Add a small can of diced tomatoes, a tablespoon or so
of tomato paste and 2-3 cups chicken broth.
Stir well mixing all the ingredients.
Then I added dried oregano, thyme, sage and a little
bit of chilli powder. I also added a pinch of salt
and pepper. I let the soup cook on low for about 30 minutes.
Then I added small shell pasta and cooked the soup
for about 7 more minutes.

I served the soup with a little parmesan cheese.

Yum! This soup is full of good stuff!