These Green Curry Fish Packets are such an easy, mess-free summer meal! Get ready to impress your dinner guests with this one. They’ll never guess how easy it was to make.
This flavor-forward dish is a makeover of one of my husband’s childhood favorites. I replaced the can of cream of mushroom soup and mayonnaise with a creamy homemade sauce instead, and – my whole family agrees – the outcome does not disappoint!
Guest post from Amy Taylor: I have had a fairly contentious relationship with food for much of my life. As a child I was overweight and ate a lot of standard American junk food. As a teenager, I would often hear, “You have such a pretty face” which only left me wondering what was so bad about the rest of me.
If you’re in the mood for some inexpensive, hearty comfort food this winter, then here is your answer! This red beans and rice recipe takes a little time to simmer on the stove, but it’s so worth it in the end. Just a few dollars worth of dried beans and brown rice can go a long way, and while you are taking the time to cook a batch, why not double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a rainy day? You’ll thank yourself later. :)
I may be late to the party, but I am just now discovering how incredibly convenient frozen vegetables are. My default has always been fresh veggies, but, according to Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food, “Freezing does not significantly diminish the nutritional value of produce” [like canning does] because the crops are picked and frozen at the peak of freshness. So in some cases – if you are comparing, let’s say, fresh blueberries flown in from another continent to local organic blueberries that you froze yourself at the height of the season – the frozen berries could possibly even be the better (i.e. more nutritious and certainly less-traveled) option out of those two choices.
So in an effort to save time I decided to try out a bag of frozen, pre-cut, mixed veggies to make a super quick and easy weeknight dinner. And let me tell you what – not having to wash, peel, and chop (and even select at the store) all the different fresh veggies in this meal was definitely a time saver – without sacrificing too much in the way of taste. When there are a lot of flavors going on, like this fried rice recipe, I find it harder to detect the difference between fresh and frozen. I will continue buying fresh veggies for simpler meals and side dishes, but it’s nice to know that frozen is a decent option when you are in a pinch!
My husband’s family is from New Orleans so they get all the credit for introducing me to the unique and flavorful cuisine of The Big Easy. From jambalaya to crawfish etouffee to seafood gumbo…many new dishes have been added to my list of “favorites” since my first visit to New Orleans almost 15 years ago. And even though beignets are basically deep-fried white flour treats, they certainly make my list of favorites as well. :) Today I want to share a family recipe that came from my husband’s Aunt Vicki. It was introduced to us as a “seafood gumbo,” but what I’ve learned over the years is that this dish can easily be an “anything gumbo” instead. What that means is don’t go out and buy a bunch of new ingredients to make gumbo…instead try to use some of what you already have on hand. If you don’t have shrimp and crab well then throw in some leftover Thanksgiving turkey (if you still have some in the freezer like us). And if you don’t like bell peppers then just add more celery instead. My favorite dishes are the ones that are flexible so use this recipe as a guide and don’t be afraid to get creative. As long as you start with the suggested roux (butter and whole-wheat flour) it’s pretty hard to mess up.
My great-grandparents were born in Italy so for as long as I can remember risotto has been a staple dish in our family. When my dad is the one cooking, which is the norm in my family, we have risotto at almost every gathering including holiday dinners. I even remember my dad making the Italian flag with his risotto one year by mixing tomato paste with a third of the batch and parsley with another third. I don’t remember who was at this particular dinner, how old I was, or what holiday we were even celebrating, but oh how I remember the Italian flag risotto. :) Clearly I was destined to somehow have food be a big part of my life. But enough nostalgia for now… What I am really here to say is that I was slightly devastated when I first thought whole-grain risotto was impossible. You see, when we made the switch to “real food” I looked everywhere for brown Arborio rice to no avail. I even went almost a year without eating risotto (yikes!) until one day I saw a post from Deliciously Organic explaining that you can actually make risotto with just regular brown rice…it doesn’t have to be Arborio or anything special! You know how something can suddenly seem so simple when the information is presented to you like that. Plus this is such a great recipe to have in your dinner rotation because (similar to stir-fry) you can mix in almost anything you have on hand from veggies to seafood to meat in order to make it into a complete meal. And if you have some homemade chicken stock available for this recipe, too…then yum!!
Making your own sushi at home is actually not as hard as one would think, and it can make for a very fun evening with friends or family…both young and old. My picky 3-year-old wouldn’t even think about touching a piece of sushi until the first time she saw us making it at home (with brown rice of course). We had allowed our older daughter to be up on a chair at the counter with her own cutting board, bamboo mat, chopsticks, and fun little soy sauce dish (she already knew she liked vegetable sushi). Of course her little sister wanted to do the same, but we told her she couldn’t “make” any sushi unless she ate it. And what do you know…once our child (who barely even eats veggies in the first place) gave it a fair chance she actually liked it. I didn’t know if I should have been more shocked that she ate the sushi or the vegetables! She does love to “dip” her food so I am guessing the soy sauce aspect had something to do with it. I do want to make sure I share that (especially if this is your first time making sushi) it can take some time to get the hang of it, and it also requires a lot of chopping. It can also make a little bit of a mess particularly if kids are involved. So we definitely like to reserve this event for a special occasion or weekend activity, but think it is worth the effort for such a fun and unique experience. Awhile ago I mentioned that I thought a child’s “first impression” of a food was important and making sushi at home turned out to be the perfect way to introduce it to my picky 3-year-old. She will […]
This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can switch things up depending on what ingredients you have on hand. For example, you can use any type of sausage or bacon, but I still think the dish would be tasty even if you left the meat out all together. If you don’t have any shrimp you could throw in some other type of seafood instead. If you don’t like oysters (I fall in this department!) then not to worry. This is the type of dish where you can be creative and make substitutions as you see fit…and best of all enjoy the end result (and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!). When I recently made this dish I did not use sausage (we used bacon instead) and I did not add any of the extra black pepper or hot sauce. There is already a little red pepper in the Creole seasoning so that was the only source of heat in our dish. And to my surprise both of my girls ate (small amounts) of it when it was served. Point being – at least they didn’t hate it! When I first added the spices I took a bite and immediately thought it would be too spicy for them, but after the rice and liquids got cooking it really made the dish more palatable for those younger taste buds. So give it shot with your children before offering up a separate kid meal!
It’s no secret that I recently started perusing our local farmer’s market. These outings have left me with a variety of nutritious, tasty vegetables…that I often times have no idea what to do with! Which is exactly why I am so excited about this stir-fry recipe. I was able to use 5 of the items that I found at the farmers’ market in this one recipe – that is definitely a record! Plus, if you make the sauce yourself and serve it with brown rice, you end up with a delicious, healthy meal.
The key to making this dish “real food” is ensuring that the corn tortillas you use are 100% whole-grain. Reading food labels can be confusing as it is, but trying to figure out what products are truly 100% whole-grain is especially hard. Very few food labels say “whole corn” as the main ingredient so you either have to keep looking or make the tortillas yourself (with Masa Harina and a tortilla press). I’ve searched grocery stores high & low and was able to find one brand of corn tortillas that proudly states they are made with “whole corn.” They are located in the freezer section of Earth Fare next to the other frozen breads products and they are called: Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas. Chicken Enchiladas Course: Main Course Cuisine: Mexican Adapted from Rachael Ray on foodnetwork.com. Eat one casserole and freeze the other! Print Ingredients 12 corn tortillas 1 whole chicken rotisserie, or boiled 1 cup brown rice cooked 1 cup frozen corn 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon chili powder plus extra 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 teaspoon cumin ground 3 cups tomato sauce with no salt added if you can find it 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese grated Optional Toppings / Add-Ons sour cream cilantro avocado guacamole Instructions Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap corn tortillas in foil and warm in the oven while you prepare everything else. Shred cooked chicken using forks. Mix in 3 tablespoons tomato paste, ½ cup grated cheese, rice, frozen corn kernels (no need to defrost them), 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. For the sauce combine 3 cups tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder and heat through, keeping warm until […]