Homestyle Sun-dried Tomato and Herb Hummus – ★★★★★

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We love hummus and find our homestyle recipe to be better then the store bought stuff. This recipe isn’t exactly creamy because it is hand mixed, and that is one of the things we love most about it. Every bite is different with chunks of tomato, chickpea and garlic. I’m seriously about to go break some out of the fridge just talking about it. It’s that good! We like to make it not only for ourselves but as an appetizer for when we have friends/family over. Definitely a crowd pleaser! Perry always gives five stars and here is why:

“This hummus is unique in that it’s not what you would expect hummus to be.. I was used to what Kelsey calls “liquid hummus” from the store before she introduced me to this recipe. I’m hooked and am now appalled by store bought hummus. I like this recipe because it is thick, hearty and versatile. Each batch never tastes the same because Kelsey likes to experiment with herbs. That being said we’ve never had a bad batch. We usually eat this hummus with triscuits making it a delicious protein/fiber snack.” 

Serves: a ton         Calories: 30 calories/ tbsp      Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15oz) cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 medium jar of sliced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  •  4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain beans. 
  2. In a microwave safe bowl heat chickpeas for approximately 1-1.5 minutes
  3. Mash chickpeas with something like a meat mallet or potato masher. They will be hot so please be careful
  4. Once it’s cooled a bit add 1/2 of the jar of tomatoes and oil (you can use more if it suits your taste but at least use half of the jar), garlic and spices.
  5. Mix it all together and serve with a drizzling more of the tomato olive oil overtop. 
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo and recipe are originals. Feel free to use recipe on your own blog but please link it back to my blog for credit. 

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Ry-Thai Baked Chicken and Peanut Sauce – ★★★★★

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Last week I attempted to make Thai chicken wings but being who I am I bought the absolute wrong kind of chicken for the recipe. Anyone else out there try to make chicken wings with chicken drumsticks? No? Only me? Thought so… Needless to say I had a TON of peanut sauce left over from my attempted chicken wings. My neighbor Ryan suggested that I make some homemade chicken nuggets to dunk in the peanut sauce. I was completely sold on the idea and now I have this recipe to give you guys 🙂 I have a few breaded chicken recipes on here so I used my previous knowledge to craft this recipe. Don’t feel like you are bound to this exact recipe though. Play with the spices and see if you can make something even better! I know that when I make this again it won’t be exactly true to the recipe because I like to try different spices. Naturally this was a hit. Perry even went so far as to say he liked the chicken by itself also. This is huge coming from a guy who doesn’t usually like chicken. He gave full stars and here is why:

“Kelsey’s peanut sauce is a favorite of mine. I could eat spoonfuls of it that is how much I like it. Even if the chicken sucked this recipe would have gotten five stars for the peanut sauce alone. Luckily though the chicken was just as good as the peanut sauce on its own. It was really crunchy and the breading had a lot of flavor. I’m not sure what spices she used but I could definitely taste paprika and it was an awesome smoky addition. Full stars!”

Serves: 5          Calories: 223/2 pieces of chicken + 50 calories/1 tbsp peanut sauce    Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • If you like it spicy add some siracha 

Ingredients for Chicken:

  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
  • cooking spray
  • 1.5 cups panko crumbs
  • 1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tbsp paprika (I used sweet hungarian)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • pinch of red chili flakes (if you like heat)
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray
  3. Mix together panko and spices in a large bowl
  4. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl
  5. Clean and trim chicken
  6. One piece at a time, dip in egg then roll in panko mixture and set on baking sheet 
  7. Complete until all the chicken is coated and bake for 15 minutes
  8. While baking the chicken put all peanut sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
  9. Serve chicken hot with peanut sauce and enjoy!
  10. ***You will have a TON of peanut sauce left over so freeze it for later use or cook up some Chicken Satay 

*Photo and recipe are originals belonging to me. Feel free to post recipe on your own blog but please link to my blog for credit.

Baked Beef Taquitos – ★★★★★

ImagePerry always has strong cravings for Mexican food, but I don’t necessarily like how heavy Mexican food can feel in your stomach. I attribute that heavy feeling to how much deep frying is involved in the cooking process. When I do attempt to satisfy my husband’s cravings I make sure it’s a “make over” recipe that calls for baking rather then frying. This taquito recipe is a what I like to call a jackpot dinner. They are delicious, filling, easy to make, and not completely bad for you. I used a spicy chipotle salsa to kick up the heat and a creamy homemade guacamole to cool it down (guac recipe here). Perry gave five stars and this is why:

When I saw that Kelsey was making these with flour tortillas I didn’t think it was going to come out nearly as good as they were. They honestly looked like skinny burritos and I was a little put off. However, my opinion quickly changed when I took my first bite. The tortilla looks big but after it’s been in the oven it comes out crunchy and less fluffy looking. Kelsey made some quacamole to go with it and the combination of flavors was awesome. I would love to try this with shredded beef also.  I want Kels to make a back stock of these and keep them in the freezer to feed my Mexican food cravings. Full stars for flavor, spice, and crunchy tortillas.”

    Serves: 5+       Calories: 236 / Taquito       Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup salsa, plus more salsa, for dipping (we used chipotle and it had great flavor/heat)
  • 2.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 (7 1/4 inch) flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese or 3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • Optional: sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400°.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook them for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the beef and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break it up while it cooks, until it is no longer red, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the salsa, the chili powder, and the salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the tortillas on a plate and cover them with damp paper towels. Microwave them until warm and pliable, about 45 seconds.
  6. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of the beef mixture, spreading it to an inch from the edges. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the beef.
  7. Tightly roll the tortillas and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet with the seam sides down.
  8. Spritz the taquitos lightly with cooking spray, then bake them until the filling is heated through and the tortillas are lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes.
  9. Serve them hot with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole
  10. Enjoy!

*Original recipe belongs to http://www.food.com

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Cheesecake Factory Chipotle Pasta – ★★★★✩

ImageI’m always looking for new pasta recipes because it is so easy during the week to cook up some whole wheat pasta and a quick sauce. This recipe is just that. It is extremely easy and delicious to boot. The creamy sauce is rich but complimented nicely with crunchy veggies. The first night we had this it earned five stars because it was so flavorful but Perry knocked one star off the following day and this is why:

This recipe was really good fresh from the pot the night we ate it. The sauce was creamy, the pasta was cooked perfectly and the veggies added not only color to the dish but lots of flavor. My disappointment came the following day when I popped my tupperware in the microwave at work and the sauce totally separated to the bottom of my bowl. The leftovers are not as good via microwave. It wasn’t terrible but I much rather this leftover when Kelsey can reheat if on the stove and add the tortilla chips on top. That is my only complaint that I cannot take leftovers of this one to work because it is not the same. 

Serves: 8      Calories: 470       Time: 

Ingredients:

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, rinsed ribbed and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, rinsed ribbed and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta (we used penne)
  • 3 tbsp adobo sauce ( OPTIONAL: chop up and add a chipotle pepper or two to add additional heat)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • tortilla chips to top 

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to its package directions.
  2. Combine lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside
  3. Chop veggies and garlic
  4. Over medium high heat, heat a skillet and add butter and canola oil. 
  5. Add peppers, onion and lemon/honey mixture. Cook for approximately 5 minutes (until onions become clear) stirring as not to burn the honey. 
  6. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. 
  7. Add frozen peas, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Cook until peas are heated through approximately 5 minutes
  8. Let simmer for a few minutes so sauce will thicken and add adobo sauce and optional chopped chipotle  
  9. If you are making homemade tortilla chips now would be the time to do it. 
  10. Dish your pasta and top with tortilla chips. We also sprinkled chipotle pepper powder on top. Can you tell we like it hot 🙂
  11. Enjoy!
  12. TIP : When reheating do it stovetop to protect the sauce from separating. Heat over medium flame and stir constantly. There is cheese in this recipe so it will burn if you do not keep a constant stir. 

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adopted from http://mrsschwartzkitchen.blogspot.com/

 

Hearty Beef and Barley Stew – ★★★★★

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I made this when Perry had been diving in the cold winter waters of the Pacific. I had never had barley, and because I grew up on chicken I never had a taste for beef either. This stew really opened my eyes to new flavors and we all absolutely loved it. It had a fantastic creamy broth and there were so many veggies I felt pretty guiltless eating it.Perry gave this 5 stars and here is why:

For years now I’ve been hinting to Kelsey that Beef and Barley Stew was my childhood favorite. I never mentioned that it was Campbell’s soup so she thought she was up against my mom’s home cooking. Needless to say this recipe was better then any bowl of Campbell’s I’ve had during my adolescence. It was loaded with hearty potatoes, peas, carrots and, my favorite, barley. It was just what I needed when I had spent the evening diving. Five stars for completely mastering my childhood favorite.”

Serves: 10             Calories: 309           Time (including prep): 2 hours 

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1.5 pounds stew beef
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup pearled barley
  • 1 (1lb.) bag of large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons flour blended with 2 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

  1. I find it much easier to have veggies prepped first. Wether you do it the night before or chop and slice before you start your stew you’ll be thankful that you aren’t trying to stir the pot and chop an onion all at the same time. So do yourself a favor and prep your veggies/meats
  2. Cook bacon until crisp. Do not drain grease.
  3.  In a large bowl combine flour, salt and pepper. Add beef pieces to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Add the bacon (including the bacon grease) to the beef mixture.
  5. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add oil, celery, onion, and meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and onion is transparent.
  6. Add beef broth and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium low heat for 45 minutes.
  7. After simmering add barley and carrots. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  8. After simmering add potatoes and repeat simmering process for an additional 25 minutes.
  9. Add frozen veggies and cook for an additional 10 minutes
  10. Dish and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe belongs to southernfood.about.com

Moroccan Chicken Kebobs – ★★★★★

ImagePerry is sitting here as I write trying to explain to me that his 10 minutes of involvement with this recipe made it a five star recipe. While I’ll never admit it to him he may be right I’ll secretly tell you all since he never reads the description. Cooking these babies to perfection is key. Perry nailed it with his 5 minutes per side on our dinky little grille. How did I survive before him 🙂 The chicken is fantastic with the perfect balance of savory and sweet. The veggies were perfectly salted and had the best tender/crisp texture. Even my picky three-year-old grabbed a skewer or two and went to town. Perry gave these five stars and here is why:

“These tasty morsels were cooked to perfection by me deeming them worthy of five stars. For the sake of my marriage I guess I better give Kelsey some credit by saying she did an exceptional job marinating the chicken and vegetable with exotic and authentic african spices. (can you tell he is fishing for brownie points?)”

Calories: 50/kebob       Serves: 15 kebobs       Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice OR ground cloves
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red onion, sliced into squared 
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before 

Directions

  1. in a mixing bowl combine all the herbs and seasonings
  2. Rinse and cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes and put them into the bowl. Toss chicken cubes with herbs and spices to coat. Set aside
  3. In a separate bowl toss onions and peppers with oil, sat and pepper. 
  4. Put together the kebobs by alternating chicken, onion and peppers 
  5. Heat grill to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes on each side. 
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me

**Original recipe found at http://www.spoonful.com