Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Here’s another super simple crock-pot recipe.¬† ūüôā

I made¬†this soup¬†on a day that¬†I was home from work¬†so that¬†I could¬†watch it carefully. ¬†I was a little afraid that¬†the rice would get¬†overcooked.¬† Well,¬†time got away from me {big surprise!}¬†and after 7 hours on low the rice was a little mushy, but not bad.¬† Maybe my crock-pot runs¬†hot?¬† But next time, I’ll probably only let it go for 5 hours on low. ¬† Also¬†I will say, that I almost skipped the roux/milk step to make the soup creamy.¬† I think it would have been just fine as just a broth-based soup.¬† So I’ll¬†keep that in mind next time – one recipe, two versions.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


4 cups (one 32 oz carton) low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

2 large boneless, skinless breasts {I used 4 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs}

1 box of Rice-A-Roni long grain and wile rice

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup diced or shredded carrots

1 cup diced celery

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

2 cups half and half {I used skim milk}


Combine broth, water, ground black pepper, carrots, celery, chicken, and rice (with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker.  Cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 4 hours (or until chicken is cooked through, veggies are tender, and rice is cooked).  Remove the chicken and shred it, then add back into slow cooker.  In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour slowly to form a roux.  Whisk in cream or milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Stir milk mixture into slow cooker and let it cook for about 15 more minutes.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper seasoning if needed.


Moroccan Chicken Stew

This meal was a step away from my comfort zone but I’m glad I went for it.¬† We loved it so much, it will be added to our regular rotation.¬† I’ve never made a specific Moroccan meal before and have only used curry powder a handful of times, but somehow I knew this would be good.¬† It has a great warm, spicy flavor.¬† Probably too spicy for some people but perfect for us!

I made a few adaptations, mainly substituting chicken breast tenderloins¬†in place of¬†the bone-in chicken thighs but that’s what I had on hand.¬† It cooked faster using the tenderloins as well.¬† I also added fresh basil and omitted the raisins but will use them next time.

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Source:¬† adapted from Campbell’s Kitchen {clipped from a magazine}

serves 4-5 large portions


2 Tbsp olive oil

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs {I used 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins}

1 large red onion, sliced

1 large bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces¬†{I used some red and orange bell pepper}

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 can condensed tomato soup {I added a little water to rinse the can}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup silvered almonds {I used sliced almonds}

fresh basil – about 1 tablespoon, chopped


Heat oil in a deep saucepan or dutch oven.  Add chicken {in batches} and brown on all sides; remove to a plate.

Add onions, pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp.  Add cinnamon and curry and stir for one minute.  Stir in soup {and water} and heat to a boil.  Return chicken to pan.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until chicken in cooked through. Stir in chickpeas and raisins.  Then stir in the almonds and basil.

Serve over couscous or brown rice.


Cashew Chicken

I was surprised how easy this meal was to make.  It has kind of a long ingredient list, but it was really simple once I got going.  Tim and I both loved it and he ate all the leftovers!

Cashew Chicken

Source:  pg 152 Ladies Home Journal , Sept 10


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

3 tbsp dry sherry

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes

5 tsp cornstarch, divided

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp canola oil

1/2 cup unsalted cashews {toasted if you want}

2 scallions, sliced {for serving}


In a bowl combine sliced chicken, sherry, ginger, garlic, and 2 tsp cornstarch.  Chill in the fridge 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, in another bowl combine broth, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 3 tsp cornstarch; set aside.

Saute half the chicken in a large nonstick skillet with 1 tsp oil until cooked through.  Transfer chicken to a plate.  Repeat with the remaining chicken and oil.

Return all chicken to skillet.  Stir in broth mixture and bring to a simmer; cook until sauce thickens, about 1 or 2 minutes.  Stir in cashews.

Serve over hot rice with scallions on top.


Buttery Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp

Yum!  I forgot how much I love anything chili-lime flavored.  It is intense and so delicious.

Buttery Chili Lime Grilled Shrimp

Source:¬† adapted from Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious Sept/Oct 2009

Ingredients (use more or less depending on how many shrimp you’re using):

3-4 Tbsp butter, melted

juice of one lime

1 tsp chili powder

1 heaping tsp minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

pinch of salt and pepper

1/2 to 1 pound uncooked shrimp (I used medium sized), peeled and deveined


In a small bowl combine everything except the shrimp.  Set aside about half of the butter mixture for serving.

Thread shrimp onto skewers (my favorite!), brush with butter sauce, and grill over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn opaque pink.  Baste occasionally with butter mixture.  Remove skewers from the grill and serve over hot rice with the reserved butter.

Garnish with additional lime wedges if desired.


Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

This was a terrific meal from just the other night.¬† Unfortunately, I was very disorganized while preparing and cooking it.¬† It took me twice as long to prep as it should have and I didn’t have a few of the ingredients, but I made do with what I could.


Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

Source:¬† Pink Parsley (I couldn’t add a link…something about invalid URL??? I’ll try again later.)

  • 4 skinless white fish fillets (6 to 8 oz each), 1-inch thick {I used Tilapia and they were about 1/2″ thick}
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest – I omitted
  • 2 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups corn kernels – I shamefully used a can of creamed corn
  • 1/2 red onion, minced – I used a white onion
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro – I omitted

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat to 450 degrees.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Using a fork, mix together the butter, 1 teaspoon chipotle, orange zest, half the garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a medium bowl until well-combined.  Spread butter mixture over the fish.

Combine the beans, corn, onion, scallions, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, orange juice, remaining chipotle, remaining garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.

Lay four 14-inch lengths of foil on the counter and divide the bean mixture evenly over the lower half of each piece of foil.  Top with fish, and fold the foil over the fish, folding the edges to seal.

Arrange the packets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.  Carefully open the packets and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Serve over rice.

Red Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

Here’s the other recipe that calls for dried beans that I mentioned below.¬† I really should have cut this recipe in half because it serves 8!¬† We’ll be eating it for awhile, so much so that we’ll be sick of it and I’ll probably never make it again.¬† But oh well, it was good.¬†¬† Again – very hearty and intensely flavorful.

Red Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

Source:  Relish Magazine


  • 1¬† pound dried red kidney beans
  • 1¬† tablespoon olive oil
  • 1¬† pound turkey kielbasa, cut into ¬ľ-inch thick rounds
  • 1¬† cup chopped onion
  • 2¬† celery ribs, chopped
  • 2¬† cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2¬† cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2¬† tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2¬† teaspoons hot sauce
  • 3/4¬† teaspoon salt
  • 4¬† cups hot cooked white rice


  1. Rinse beans. Place beans in a large bowl or Dutch oven. Cover with water by several inches. Let soak for 8 hours.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa and cook until browned on both sides. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook until onion is tender. Drain beans and add to pan. Add chicken broth and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add parsley, hot sauce and salt.
  3. Cook beans until tender, 1 ¬Ĺ to 1 ¬ĺ hours. Add more water if needed. Serve over hot rice.

Mongolian Beef

I don’t remember if I have mentioned this before?¬† We buy 1/2 a cow once a year, so we have a ton of beef in our freezer.¬† Therefore, I’m always looking for recipes to use the cuts of beef that are plentiful.¬† Of course grilling steaks and ground beef are easy to use, but the numerous packages of roasts, stew meat, cubed steak, short ribs, brisket, and on and on kind of stump me.¬† One cut that is not included in our freezer beef is flank steak, which this recipe calls for, so I substituted beef stew meat which worked quite well.¬† It was maybe a little on the tougher side than flank steak would have been, but carefully trimming the connective tissue helped.

This meal had great flavor, pretty intense smells too.¬†¬† Tim pointed out that the whole house smelled like soy sauce, but I didn’t mind.¬† ūüôā¬† I’ll definitely make this meal again, since it was very quick to prepare.¬† Actually I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today!

Mongolian Beef

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Prepared rice

1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise {I used stew beef that I trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces}
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar (measured, not packed)
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large green onion, sliced thinly {I used chives}

Pat steak slices dry and add to a bowl with corn starch. Toss to ensure all pieces are just coated. Shake off excess corn starch using a strainer.

Heat 1-1/2 tsp oil in a large wok or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Turn the heat to high and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Pour the sauce back into the wok and cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Add the green onions (a pinch reserved for garnish), stir, and remove from heat. Plate, top with remaining onions, and serve over rice.

Porcupine Meatballs

I had meatballs on the menu for the other night, but was tired of the BBQ meatballs that I usually make, so I went with these porcupine meatballs.  They are made with uncooked rice that puffs during the baking time, making them look like the spikes of a porcupines.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1/3 cup milk {maybe less}

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 jar {approx 26 oz} spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water

Combine the ground beef, rice, Parmesan, and seasonings together in a large bowl.  Slowly add the milk, adding just enough to bring the mixture together.  Form into golf ball sized meatballs and place in a casserole dish that has a lid.  Pour on the spaghetti sauce and water.  Cover with the lid and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes about 18 meatballs.

Stuffed Peppers

I had stuffed peppers on my mind after seeing a post from Chloe the other day, so when I had a few leftovers in the fridge suitable for filling the peppers I gave them a try.¬† I’m not really going to list specific measurements for everything because I was just using what I had in the fridge.¬† I also ended up with a little extra filling, but it was tasty eaten plain.¬† The sun-dried tomatoes added a nice chewy texture and a subtly sweet flavor {similar to raisins} to the dish and the chickpeas remained a little crunchy, so overall the balance of textures was really nice.

Stuffed Peppers

Inspired by:  Valuable, but Small Life


1 red bell pepper

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup cooked rice

1/4 cup leftover ground beef cooked with onions and jalapenos and seasoned with taco seasoning

1/2 of a can of chickpeas, coarsely mashed {could substitute black beans}

sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1-2 Tbsp tomato paste

chicken broth or water

Parmesan cheese

Wash peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the stems, seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers cut-side down in a microwave safe dish. Add half an inch of water, cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes, or just until softened. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly mash chickpeas with a fork or pastry blender, leaving some whole.  Reconstitute the sun-dried tomatoes if necessary, or drain if they have been packed in oil, and chop.

Warm up the rice and beef, in a saucepan and then add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, mashed chickpeas, and tomato paste.  Stir everything together and add some broth, a little at a time, to bind it together.  Just cook until everything is heated through.

Divide the filling among the steamed pepper halves.  Sprinkle each pepper with the Parmesan.

Place on a baking sheet or broiler pan and broil for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Enjoy with a dash of hot sauce!

Almond Rice Pilaf

This was a nice alternative to plain white rice that I served up with some shrimp.  I wish I would have browned the onions and almonds a little more, but it was still good.

Almond Rice Pilaf

Source:  taste of home


3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup silvered almonds

1 Tbsp butter

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups uncooked instant rice


Brown the onions and almonds in butter in a medium saucepan.  Add the broth and bring it to a boil.  Stir in the uncooked rice.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5-10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork before serving.

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