Soups/Salads

Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew

I flew home from Chicago on Friday and turned around and left for another work trip on Sunday. Over the last four weeks, I’ve been home for one and that week was spent hardly eating, let alone cooking (thanks to some food poisoning). Even though I was only home for barely two days this weekend, I was eager to cook. But when I’m heading away again, there doesn’t seem a point to make something that will sit in the fridge and go bad before I get back home. So I decided to make this Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew so I store it in the freezer where it will be waiting for me when I get back home.

Chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, and onion are mixed with broth and flavored with cumin and red pepper flake before half the mixture is blended and added back into the pot to help thicken the stew. To finish it off, chicken is simmered in the stew giving it another layer of flavor and heartiness. Cilantro and lemon zest, which are added when it’s time to serve, provide one last fresh punch to this stew. Now that the temperatures are starting to cool down a little tiny bit, I’m excited to keep my pot out and make soup, stew, and chili all fall long.

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In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.

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Stir in the garlic, cumin and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, chickpeas and tomatoes.

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In a blender, puree 2 cups of the mixture. Stir the puree into the stew, season and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

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Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; season. Serve with cilantro and lemon zest.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Zucchini and Corn Chili

Sure, maybe the end of summer isn’t exactly the best time to be making chili. But when the main ingredients are zucchini and corn, why not make it in the summer when the produce is at it’s best? For someone like me who travels a lot for work, things like soups, stews and chilis are great to make in advance and store in the freezer so that when you come back from a road trip, a great meal cane be heated up in no time. This Zucchini and Corn Chili came together quickly, freezes beautifully, and is packed with healthy flavor.

Zucchini, corn and onion are cooked with chili powder and cumin before being mixed with canned tomatoes, black beans, vegetable stock, and poblano peppers. The peppers give this chili just enough of a kick while the spices provide that perfect chili flavor. The zucchini, corn and black beans make a great hearty combination in this vegetarian chili. When I’m gone for a week and tired from traveling, knowing that my refrigerator is empty, I’ll be happy to have this chili waiting in the freezer so I can relax and wait another day to do grocery shopping.

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Char the poblano peppers either over an open flame on a gas burner or under the broiler. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice the chiles.

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Cut the corn off the cobs. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high and add the oil. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

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Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir until the spices are toasted, about 2 minutes. S

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eason with salt and pepper, then stir in half the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the remaining beans with a fork; stir into the vegetables (this will help thicken the chili).

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Add the stock, tomatoes, honey and peppers. Cover and simmer until the flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve with your choice of toppings.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta

I was traveling for work last week and had a lot going on which meant hardly any exercise and lots of bad eating. I actually don’t mind traveling for work but at the same time, I love being in a normal routine at home of making good food and hitting the gym. The one morning I actually made it to the gym? It was packed with every machine taken. I did some exercises in my room instead but that didn’t really do me much good for the rest of the week. So this week, I’m back on track. (I feel like I’m always saying that.) Salad…and more salad. Luckily, I came home to the latest Cooking Light magazine in my mailbox which had this Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta. It seemed meant to be.

Chicken breasts are marinated briefly in simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being grilled. Strawberries, arugula, and red onion are mixed with a little more oil and vinegar before being topped with the chicken and tangy feta cheese. This salad is simple and a little bit perfect. Strawberries and balsamic already pair so well together but added with the marinated chicken and spicy arugula, it just makes this salad so hearty and flavorful. I’ve been craving strawberries lately so this was a great way to enjoy them before they are perfectly in season. Salads can be good like that.

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Combine 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut into slices.

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Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add strawberries; toss to coat.

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Add arugula and onion to strawberry mixture; toss gently to combine.

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Sprinkle feta over salad. Divide salad among 4 plates; top evenly with sliced chicken.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Regular balsamic vinegar

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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