Lemon-herb Chicken

 

Ingredients:

1/4 c. olive oil

3 T. minced garlic

1/3 c. white wine

1 T. lemon zest

2 T. lemon juice

1 lemon, cut in 8 pieces

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper to taste (maybe 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)

4 chicken breasts

 

Directions:

In a saucepan, heat oil and add garlic.  Take off the heat before the garlic turns brown (about 1 minute).  Add wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Pour sauce into a 9×13 pan and then coat chicken breasts with a little olive oil and put them in the dish.  Add a little more salt and pepper on top and then spread lemon wedges throughout pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.  Wait 10 minutes to eat.  This keeps the chicken moister if you wait to cut into it.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-chicken-breasts-recipe.html

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Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

Even my husband, who doesn’t really care for avocados, was helping me lick the bowl after this one.  We served it over a southwest salad.

 

Ingredients:

2 small avocados

2 T. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise so it would be egg free)

1 c. cilantro, washed

2 green onions, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lime (about 1 T.)

3 T. milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk)

4 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp white vinegar

 

Directions:

Scoop out the avocados and save the pits for storing in the dressing. Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container with the avocado pits in the dressing to help keep it fresh.  Could also be used as a dip.

 

Inspired by:

http://www.food.com/recipe/creamy-cilantro-avocado-dressing-449407

Raspberry Cordial

The other night we had an Anne of Green Gables party complete with raspberry cordial.  Truth be told, raspberry cordial takes too long to make, so this is actually raspberry lemonade masquerading as raspberry cordial.  But you know what?  No one cared.  It was quite good and very quick to make.  I also like that I could use the raspberry  pulp instead of throwing it out as so many recipes suggested.  That may be all well and good if you picked raspberries from the wild and have plenty to spare, but these were purchased for a price at a grocery store, so I didn’t want to throw out the pulp.   So here you have it: quick and easy “raspberry cordial”.

Ingredients:

12 oz. raspberries (I used fresh, but you could use frozen ones that you’ve defrosted)

1 1/2 c. lemon juice (I used 2 limes in there because that’s what I had)

1 1/3 c. sugar

4 c. water

 

Directions:

Crush raspberries in a bowl with a spoon.  Stir in the sugar and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.  Then, blend the raspberries in a blender until smooth (the seeds probably won’t blend and that’s good.  Strain them out later.)  Stir in the lemon juice and water.  Strain out the seeds.  Chill for 3-4 hours and serve- preferably while watching Anne of Green Gables :-).

 

Original recipe:

http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/raspberry-lemonade-4

Grilled Lamb Chops

This was my first time ever cooking any type of lamb.  This was a chance to use fresh herbs from my garden, but you could use dried herbs as well.  I ended up making 8 large lamb chops which was way too much for us.  However, if you are feeding several people and want some leftovers, it should work.  Otherwise, feel free to just add half of everything.  Also, this recipe is naturally gluten free and such, so no changes required!

 

Ingredients:

4 garlic cloved, minced

2 T. fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh thyme and 3/4 tsp dried thyme

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tsp coarse sea salt

4 T. extra-virgin olive oil

8 large lamb shoulder chops

 

Directions:

Put olive oil and all spices in a blender and blend until all are minced.  Rub onto each lamb chop and marinate the lamb chops in the fridge for one hour.  I put them in a plastic container with a lid and any extra oil mixture.  When you take lamb chops out after an hour, start the grill and allow the lamb chops to sit out for 20 minutes.  Toss them on a really hot grill and cook until the outsides are done- about 2-3 minutes on the first side and 3-3.5 minutes on the second side.  Our lamb chops were really large, so we did it just one or two minutes longer per side.  We served them pretty rare but you can cook them longer if you want.  Just don’t overcook them!

 

Original recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/grilled-lamb-chops-recipe.html

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Chicken Salad

This is one of my go-to’s for camping, picnics, etc.  It is so simple and versatile.  It’s hard to find a sandwich bread on a store shelf that is gluten, dairy, and egg free and that won’t crumble apart around your sandwich and baking bread takes awhile, so this is my normal solution.  If you are really in a hurry, you can use canned chicken.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked and shredded chicken.

~1/4 c. regular or vegan mayonnaise (Vegannaise and EarthBalance have vegan mayos and I think there are more brands out now)

1/4 c. craisins

salt and pepper to taste

dash of onion powder

1-2 tsp celery seed

Optional:  add-ins such as chopped celery, onion, green onion, etc.

 

Directions:

Shred chicken.  Add mayonnaise until it is the moistness you like in your chicken salad. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as onion powder and celery seed if desired. Add in mix-ins such as craisins, celery, etc.  May be eaten with crackers, inside half an avocado, on a sandwich, or just by itself.

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Blueberry Banana Smoothie

I bought a lot of bananas for a campout.  They didn’t travel very well and were desperately in need of being eaten when I arrived home.  I have been brainstorming ways to use them up and this is one of them.  Blueberries and bananas.  What could be better?! (Don’t answer that 🙂

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 very ripe bananas

1/4 c. frozen blueberries (I think a 1/2 cup might be better)

1/2 c. coconut milk from a carton

1/4 c. crushed ice

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Drink immediately.

 

Notes:

This was very good, but a little heavy on the banana.  I think the additional blueberries will balance out the banana taste.  We are going to experiment some more and let you know.

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Simple Peanut Butter Banana Frozen No-Bakes

The name is longer than the ingredient list.

One of my friends told me about these.  It is her husband’s dessert that he makes.  She didn’t, however, give me the exact recipe, so this is my experiment.  It is very simple and oh so good!  I think I am going to try it as popsicles sometime and I’ll let you know if they turn out.  This is a good, cheap, and healthy snack for kids too.

 

Ingredients:

1 large, very ripe banana, mashed

2 T. peanut butter

 

Directions:

Mash banana.  Add peanut butter and stir well.  Place onto wax paper and freeze for at least an hour.  I froze mine overnight.

 

Notes:

I tried adding additional ingredients, but it actually made them less tasty.  The only down side is that your fingers get kind of messy as the heat from them melts the “cookie” which is why I want to try them as popsicles.

 

Homegrown Garden Salad

This is the first year I’ve ever had a real garden.  My parents had them while we were growing up and I helped some, but I wasn’t responsible for it.  We have just started harvesting things from our garden.  It is so exciting!  Some of the sugar snaps are ready and we were able to harvest a few leaves of rainbow swiss chard as well as some basil.  The rest of the ingredients were from the store.  You can mix and match with whatever you have in your garden or your store, but here’s some ideas for starters!

Ingredients:

1 handful of spinach

1 handful of chopped leaf lettuce

1 leaf of yellow stem swiss chard

1 leaf of red stem swiss chard

1 orange pepper, chopped

tops of green onions, chopped

2-3 sugar snap peas

Handful of broccoli, chopped

Small handful of basil (I used sweet basil, ajaka, and red leaf)

Optional: Mild white cheddar cheese (obviously not dairy free)

Dressing of your choice (we used Ken Martin’s Sweet Vidalia Onion)

Optional: Add in baked chicken

 

Directions:

Harvest whatever you can from your garden that would go in a salad.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Top with dressing of your choice and cheese if you can eat it.  Enjoy!

Hamburgers

I love hamburgers.  There is just something about chargrilled meat that reminds me of summers around a picnic table.  There are many complicated hamburger recipes out there, but personally I like when it is just beef.  That’s all.  It’s so ridiculously simple.  You can spice it up with your toppings.  You can always add more to your meat, but if you want a really simple recipe, this is it.

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

Directions:

Shape meat into round patties.  You can do 4-6 patties with this amount of meat.  Put a small dent in the middle with your thumb.  This helps the center to cook evenly.

Turn on your grill (I used gas).  Get the temperature up to 450 degrees (higher temperature seals in juices and makes a juicy burger).  Place the burgers on the grill being careful not to get licked by the flames if it flares.  Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes or until the edges are browning and the center no longer looks bright red (should still be a little pink).  Flip burgers over carefully.  There will be a lot of juice on top so it may flare up.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Check one of the larger burgers to make sure it is cooked inside.  Serve on a bun or in a lettuce wrap.  Add whatever toppings you desire.  I enjoy pickles, ketchup, bacon, lettuce and tomato.  Guacamole or avocado adds a nice touch.

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Green Bean Casserole

My sister introduced this to me.  It is starting to become a staple of our holiday dinners.  I can’t exactly say it’s good for you, but it’s yummy nonetheless.  The original name is Sweet and Sour Green Beans, but we have started calling it Green Bean Casserole.

Layer in 9×13 casserole dish in this order:

2 large cans of French cut green beans, drained

1 large can of sliced mushrooms (optional)

1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled (save the grease)

1 large onion, sliced thin

1 large can Rotel (original)

 

Mix and bring to a boil, stirring constantly:

12 T sugar

12 T. red wine vinegar

all of the bacon grease from frying the bacon earlier (about 12 T.)

Pour boiled sauce over the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (or until bubbling and onions are done).

Notes:

Can be baked anywhere 300-450 degrees for up to 60 minutes, so you can cook it in the oven with other parts of the holiday meal.  We usually leave out the mushrooms and sometimes add an extra onion.  We never measure the bacon grease and just add it all.  If you don’t eat pork, turkey bacon may work. You may have to add a little extra grease if your turkey bacon isn’t very greasy.  Hope you enjoy this casserole as much as we do!

Recipe is compliments of Alberta Denham.