September 1st, 2017

Creamy Chayote Soup

Creamy Chayote Soup

Chayote soup is a favorite of mine. It’s healthy yet super creamy in flavor. The great part is, there’s no cream, just a little butter.

You need a good blender for this recipe. I use my Vitamix, which works very well. The soup comes out nice and smooth. An immersion blender might work well enough for this recipe too.

Many chayote soup recipes say to peel the chayote. I don’t. It’s not necessary. You won’t notice the peel in the flavor. Many people have a reaction to raw chayote while peeling it, causing irritation to the skin. If you peel yours, wear gloves!

Start out by chopping the chayote into 1 inch chunks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter, then add onions, garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute until onion is clear. Add the chayote and cilantro. Add salt and pepper for taste. Saute for about five minutes.

saute chayote

Add broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chayote is tender.

cooked chayote

Blender time! I scoop the chayote out of the liquid with a slotted spoon or bamboo skimmer, and put it into the blender first, then pour the remaining liquid in. This feels much easier than trying to control the whole thing while pouring hot liquid. No worries about the chunks getting out of control if you do it this way.

chayote soup in blender

You do not need to use all of the liquid in the blender. All you need is enough liquid to make it blend. Blend until smooth.

chayote soup

If you want to bring this recipe up a level for meat lovers, add in some cooked bacon. Bacon does something nice for the flavor. It’s not necessary, but it is good! Add it in when you start cooking the chayote.

It’s easy to make this soup vegan if you prefer. Just use oil in place of butter, and vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

This is a very filling soup. A bowl of it can almost be a meal by itself.

chayote soup
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Creamy Chayote Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • jalapeno optional
  • 2 chayote squash cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • bacon optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and red pepper. Include jalapeno if desired. Saute until onion is tender. 

  2. Add the squash, cilantro, salt and pepper (and bacon if desired), and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

  3. Add broth and simmer for 20 minutes or until chayote is tender.

  4. Use a slotted spoon to removed chayote from broth, and place in blender. Pour enough broth into blender to combine ingredients. Blend into a puree.

  5. Pour into bowls to serve. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

Use olive oil to replace butter, and vegetable broth to replace chicken broth to make recipe vegan.

August 18th, 2017

Turmeric Chicken

turmeric chicken recipe

Turmeric chicken is a very popular meal in our house. My youngest, who swears up and down that she hates all spicy food, calls turmeric chicken one of her favorite meals. Admittedly, I don’t put a lot of the red chilies in there, but the flavor is there. I’m not going to point that out to her.

That my picky youngest likes this goes well with my husband’s theory on kids and yellow foods. He says kids just like yellow foods. He counts carrots as yellow. Unless you’re buying yellow carrots, they’re usually orange when I look at them. But it’s not worth the argument. Too minor.

I like making turmeric chicken when I don’t want to spend a lot of time on dinner. Chopping the onion and the chicken can take a while, but it’s not that bad. Start cooking the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the chicken.

chicken in pan

Then you throw the turmeric and other spices. Stir to coat the chicken completely with turmeric. Cook until the chicken is lightly cooked on the outside, but not cooked through.

Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

This goes very well with rice. The leftover water in the pan goes well with rice. I usually simmer the water down a little to evaporate the excess water before adding to rice.

Be warned that turmeric stains. Get too much on your hands, and it’s hard to get all of it off. It can also be difficult to scrub off your countertops, floor, sink… trust my experience on that one. If any turmeric gets spilled, clean it up promptly. Try hard to keep it off your clothes.

turmeric chicken on plate

I served this one with rice, tomatoes and bell peppers. The mess off to the side is a pile of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts. I found the bottles at my local 99 Only store, and they are soooo good! I bought probably too many bottles (over a dozen!) but at a dollar per, I figured it was reasonable. The hard part is not going through them too fast, because I want to figure out some recipes with them. They’re good on their own, though.

Turmeric Chicken Recipe
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Turmeric Chicken


Ingredients

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • crushed red chilies to taste
  • 3 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Turn stove burner to medium. Heat oil in large frying pan and fry onion, garlic, and red chilies until onion turns clear.
  2. Add chicken, turmeric, salt, and pepper and stir to coat chicken thoroughly with turmeric. Cook until golden all over.
  3. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Turn the stove to low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Uncover and continue to simmer to evaporate excess liquid.
  5. Serve with rice.

August 8th, 2017

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
additional oil for frying

  1. Oil a frying pan (nonstick pans are very helpful).
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
  3. In another bowl, scramble the egg, then add the milk and the 2 tablespoons of oil.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, well enough to eliminate dry spots but no more.
  5. Heat the frying pan to medium temperature.
  6. Pour a pancake, about 4 inches in diameter using about a 1/4 cup of batter.
  7. The pancake will bubble. When the bubbling settles down and the edges are slightly dry, flip the pancake.
  8. When the pancake looks done, remove it and start another one.

These are slightly healthier than pancakes made with white flour, as they have more fiber. Be creative and don’t limit yourself to just maple syrup – how about a fruit topping, depending on the season? Of course, you could just put the fruit on the side and still have a very good breakfast, but combining them can be fun too.

August 8th, 2017

Pineapple Barbeque Chicken

2 cups barbeque sauce
1 15 oz can pineapple chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 chopped bell pepper

Combine barbeque sauce and juice from pineapple chunks in a bowl.

Place chicken in slow cooker. Pour sauce over it.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, adding pineapple and bell pepper late in the cooking.

Editor’s Note:

I always recommend adding fruits and vegetables late in the cooking with a slow cooker if you like them a little crunchy. Add them early on and they tend to lack flavor.

August 8th, 2017

Pesto Breaded Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 tbsp pesto
1/2 cup bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Coat chicken with pesto then cover with bread crumbs.
  3. Place in baking pan and bake uncovered until chicken is no longer pink, about 35-45 minutes.

August 8th, 2017

Mediterranean Chicken Un-salad

2 tsp lemon pepper
1/3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 pounds uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in four 4 oz pieces
4 medium scallions, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, (juice of 1 lemon)
1/8 tsp curry powder
3 Tbsp fat free Italian salad dressing
1/2 cups avocado, peeled and diced
3 small plum tomatoes, diced
7 medium olives, jumbo pitted,chopped

Preheat oven to 400F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine seasoning and flour in a large mixing bowl. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray, then dip and coat each breast with flour mixture. Place chicken in prepared dish and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine scallions, lemon juice, curry powder, dressing, avocado, tomatoes and olives.

Divide chicken breasts between four plates and top with avocado salsa.

August 8th, 2017

Italian Chicken and Potatoes

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian salad dressing
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup grated parmesan
8 potatoes; peeled, cut into wedges

Directions

  1. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle with half Italian dressing, spices, and the grated cheese.
  3. Put potatoes over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

August 8th, 2017

Honey Rosemary Chicken

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
6 skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Mix honey, vinegar, rosemary, and oil.
  2. Place chicken in resealable plastic bag. Pour in mixture. Seal and turn the bag over to coat the chicken. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Place chicken in 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for about one hour, basting occasionally with marinade.

August 8th, 2017

French Potato and Chicken Salad

1 pound uncooked red potatoes, small, scrubbed
1 spray cooking spray
2 pounds uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
3/4 pounds green snap beans
2 medium celery, stalks, thinly sliced
4 oz grapes, green, seedless, halved (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp fresh tarragon, leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup olive oil

Place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water over high heat; cook until tender when pierced with a fork – about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove potatoes from water and set aside but maintain waters boil.

Meanwhile, coat broiler rack with cooking spray; preheat broiler. Broil chicken five inches from heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through – about 10 minutes; set aside

Add green beans to boiling water and blanch until tenderly crisp – about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; using a colander drain over sink.

Slice cooled chicken into bite-size chunks and place in a large serving bowl. Slice potatoes into 1-inch chunks and cut green beans into 1-inch pieces; gently toss with chicken. Add celery and grapes.

To prepare the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, broth and mustard; whisk in tarragon, salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil in a slow stream, whisking all the while, until dressing turns creamy, about 1 minute. Toss salad with dressing, taking care not to break up potatoes. If desired, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

August 8th, 2017

Easy Chicken Fajitas

8 medium tortillas, flour, fat-free, regular or whole wheat
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound(s) marinated chicken breast strips*
1 pound(s) frozen mixed vegetables, fajita-style
1/2 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup(s) salsa

Preheat oven to 300F.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add marinated chicken and saute until cooked through, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving plate, cover with foil and transfer to oven to keep warm.

In same skillet over medium-high heat, saute frozen vegetables until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Serve chicken and vegetables with warm tortillas, sour cream and salsa.

* You can purchase chicken already marinated with fajita seasoning or use the quick and easy recipe below.

Easy fajita chicken

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs into strips. In a large mixing bowl, pour 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning, 2 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. black pepper.

Coat chicken strips in sauce until completely covered; place in plastic storage baggie; pour leftover sauce in baggie and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.