Tag Archives: Garlic

Harvest Vegetable Quinoa Soup

19 Mar

Harvest quinoa soup-001Harvest soup in March?  March is known for madness, so why not?  Add cooked cubed chicken–or not.  Quinoa is a complete protein so makes this tasty dish a complete meal without meat.  And it’s gluten free. This soup fits the bill for just about everyone!

Ingredients

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced baby carrots
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups torn kale
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for topping

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add celery, carrots, and onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for ten minutes, or until tender.  Add the kale and garlic plus more salt and pepper and saute for three minutes.
  2. Add 7 cups of broth, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and quinoa.  Lower heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.
  3. Add in chicken, if desired, and heat through.  Turn off heat and stir in parmesan.  If necessary, add more salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe inspired by Iowa Girl Eats.

Photo by me, mylittlefoodspot.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Sage Cream

10 Oct

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Sage Cream b

This was a great pairing.  I plan to prepare and serve this garlic sage cream with other roasted vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 T flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Halve spaghetti squash and place cut side down on buttered baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.  Cool to the point of being able to handle, remove and discard seeds then shred pulp gently with a fork so that strands resemble spaghetti noodles.  Place in a warmed serving bowl.

Mix flour into cold cream until smooth and, while squash is baking, heat with garlic and sage over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Pour sauce over squash, salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly.  Top with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Sage Cream

Recipe inspired by food.com, photo by me, MyLittleFoodSpot.com

 

 

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Sweet Sausage, Peppers and Onion

10 Oct

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Sweet Sausage, Peppers and Onion-001

This was fantastic!  I love using bratwurst in my pasta dishes in place of ground beef.  It bursts with flavor and adds sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 4 to 5 bratwurst, casings removed
  • 2 bell peppers, your choice of colors, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Halve spaghetti squash and place cut side down on buttered baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.  Cool to the point of being able to handle, remove and discard seeds then shred pulp gently with a fork so that strands resemble spaghetti noodles.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

While squash bakes, cook and crumble bratwurst in a skillet over medium heat.  Add peppers, onion and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are crisp tender.

Add squash, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to skillet and heat through.  Remove from heat and drain excess liquid.  Mix in 3/4 cup Parmesan and transfer to a greased 9×13 or oval 2 quart casserole dish.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, topping with remaining Parmesan for the last five minutes of baking time.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Sweet Sausage, Peppers and Onion b

Recipe and photo by me MyLittleFoodSpot.com

Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

22 Mar

Roast sweet potatoes02This is my new version of sweet potato fries.  The rounds roast more evenly and get a nice crispy crust on the bottom.  Mmmm. Good.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Roast sweet potatoes01

Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13×9-inch baking dish and sprinkle a tad bit more salt over them.  Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with thyme sprigs.

Recipe inspired by epicurious.com
Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Roasted Broccoli

26 Feb

roasted broccoli02The best broccoli you will ever eat.  The secret is to roast it at a high heat so that it essentially caramelizes.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Soooo good.

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. broccoli flowerets

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Place vegetables in a Ziploc bag.  Mix oil and garlic in a dish; pour over vegetables and shake until well-coated.

roasted broccoli

Spread in a single layer on pan and roast for 20-25 minutes.

Recipe and photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Spicy Cheesy Refried Beans

26 Feb

spicy cheesy refried beans01  These are dressed up refried beans.  They pair well with any Mexican or Tex-Mex entree and can be made mild, using regular refried beans.  I serve them alongside chicken fajitas.

Ingredients

  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (16 oz.) can spicy fat-free refried beans
  • 1 (4 oz.) package cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until onion becomes translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Cook and stir refried beans into onion mixture until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir cream cheese into bean mixture. Spread mixture into a pie plate; top with Cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

spicy cheesy refried beans02

spicy cheesy refried beans03

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Chicken Fajitas

26 Feb

chicken fajitas I remember, growing up, that chicken fajitas were a big deal.  Not only were they a welcome break from the Hamburger Helper lasagna, meatloaf, and grilled chicken (all of which I love, by the way), but when mom made chicken fajitas, we felt like royalty.  Now that I’m (sort of) all grown up, I enjoy this sizzling entree at restaurants from time to time, but every once in a while you gotta MAKE something that just says, “WOW!  We are special.”

Serve with spicy cheesy refried beans and a garden salad.

Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • Salt
    • 2 T canola, safflower, peanut or grapeseed oil (a high smoke point oil)
    • 1 large onion, sliced lengthwise (root to tip) into 1/4-inch strips
    • 3 bell peppers of various colors, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

Marinade

    • 2 T lime juice
    • 3 T olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Extras

    • 8-12 flour tortillas
    • Taco sauce
    • Sliced avocado
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
    • Thinly sliced iceberg lettuce dressed lightly with salt and cider vinegar

Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag.  Add the chicken, shake well to cover, and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.  This can be prepared in advance and marinated in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours, but allow to sit at room temperature for an hour before cooking.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off excess marinade.  Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt.

Heat a large cast iron frying pan on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and, once the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the chicken breast pieces.  Work in batches, if necessary.  Allow the chicken to sear for 2-3 minutes then turn the pieces over and allow the second side to sear for another 2-3 minutes.

Stack seared chicken on a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to retain heat and finish cooking as you saute the peppers and onions.

Add another tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and, once the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the onions and peppers to the pan.  Using a metal spatula scrape up the leftover browned bits from the chicken and stir to coat the onions and peppers with the oil and brown bits.  Evenly spread the onions and peppers in the pan.  Leave them to sear undisturbed for 2 minutes, allowing them to blacken a bit.  Stir and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

chicken fajitas02

If chicken is not quite cooked through, place it back in the pan for a minute or two.  Slice the chicken against the grain into strips and serve at once with the peppers and onions, some warm tortillas, and your favorite toppings.  I opt for diced tomatoes or a good pico de gallo, guacamole and shredded cheese.

Recipe inspired by simplyrecipes.com

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Spicy Sausage Sauce

23 Feb
spicy sausage sauce01I’ve made this one a number of times.  An easy and tasty twist on the classic spaghetti sauce.  For some reason though, we generally eat it over hot, cooked rice.  Pasta.  Rice.  You choose.  It’s great either way.  And if you prefer your food heat-less, use sweet Italian sausage and nix the jalapenos.
Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage links, removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced or finely diced
  • 1 cup lightly packed, torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, pureed with their juices
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until done, breaking them up into chunks with a wooden spoon.  Remove the sausages from the saucepan and drain them on paper towels. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the saucepan. Add the sliced garlic and chiles and cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the basil and cook for 15 seconds, then add the tomato puree. Simmer the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Return the sausages to the saucepan and heat through.  Serve over your favorite pasta or hot, cooked rice.

Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s recipe

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Skillet Chicken Ole

17 Jan

skillet chicken ole 2I broke out my favorite cookbook recently, Southern Living’s Easy Weeknight Favorites.  We tried some new recipes and relived some old favorites.  This one is a definite tried and true treasure.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 oz. can green chiles, undrained
  • 10 oz. frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 1/4 oz. can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • Hot cooked rice
Cook chicken, garlic, and onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.  Add tomatoes, green chiles, corn, olives, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Uncover and simmer 10 more minutes.
skillet chicken ole 1
Sprinkle with cheese and serve over rice.
Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Orzo

10 Dec
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 4
I buy huge tubs of spinach at Sam’s and can never get through it fresh before it starts to get oh so slimy.  I’m always looking for ways, other than a basic sautee, to serve it, and found a winner here.  But don’t take my word for it.    IMG_8693-001
IMG_8695-001
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 4 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed well & chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to package directions.  In a large skillet over med-high heat, cook garlic, onion & thyme in oil for about a minute.
Add mushrooms, cook about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to brown& their juices begin to run.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo
Sprinkle with flour& stir about one minute, then slowly begin to add the milk, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the spinach, basil, salt& pepper& cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 2
Serve sauce over pasta & grate fresh parmesan cheese over individual servings.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 3
Recipe inspired by Moody on food.com
Photos by me, My Little Food Spot