Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Niki's Green Smoothie

I am on a health kick and thanks to my new Ninja blender.... a smoothie kick too!!!   I got brave and wanted to see what these green smoothies are all about.   Don't be scared.... they are good!!!!   I would suggest starting out small.  Add a small handful of spinach only...and/or put the smoothie in a closed dark cup so you can't "see the green" until you get used to it.  I've recently doubled my green intake and still love it!!!   Here is my original recipe.   Your bladder will thank you for all the nutrients you are giving it!!!  Oh... and I added up all the calories... only 163!!!!
1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 frozen banana (leave out if banana's bother you)
7 frozen blueberries
1/8 Cup Quick Oats (Add more for hungrier appetites!!)
3 slices of pears (I used Del Monte Lite Canned Pears... a can lasts me about a week)
1/2 Cup packed Spinach
1/4 Cup Kale or Collard Greens
1 Small (about 4-5 inches) celery stick (I freeze mine)

 Add all ingredients in blender and blend.   Be sure to blend for a long time (about 3 minutes) to make sure all greens are liquified.   I don't like to chew my smoothies!!  ;)

Yields about 20 ounces

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chicken Potpie Soup with Homemade Biscuits

I have been wanting to try Chicken Potpie for some time.   Looks simple, yummy, and screams IC Friendly!!!  I found this one that was a soup and used Biscuits instead of a pie crust.  Bingo!!! I thought the fun shaped biscuits would appeal to my toddler.  No such luck (picky girl!)... but that's okay, cause Momma and Dada loved it!!   I found it in my Taste of Home Cooking magazine... submitted by Karen Lemay.   Modified slightly (more salt & added garlic)
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C shortening
5-6 Tbsp 2% milk
2 Tbsp butter
1 Cup cubed peeled potatoes
1 Cup chopped sweet onion
2 celery ribs
2 medium carrots chopped
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1tsp garlic powder
4 Cups Chicken Broth
2 shredded cooked Chicken breasts
1 Cup peas
1 Cup corn

1.In a large bowl mix flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until dough holds together.  Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. 
2.On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 thickness.  Using any fun shaped cookie cutters, cut 18 shapes.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 425 for 7-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a rack.
3.  For soup, in a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots; cook and stir for 10 minutes until onions are tender.
4. Stir in the flour, salt & pepper, until blended;  gradually whisk in broth.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  STir in remaining ingredients; heat through.  Serve with biscuits.

**note, the biscuits will not grow while cooking (like cookies).  So choose your medium-large cookie cutters.

Butter Cream Chicken

I hadn't tried a new main dish recipe in so long it feels like.  And this was a hit to motivate me to keep trying new stuff!!   YUMMY!!!  It tasted like chicken fried chicken... but a tad healthier.  :)  A definite keeper!!!!  I found this here , modified slightly.
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Bread Crumbs
2 Egg
Olive Oil
1 Cup Chicken Broth
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp Half & Half
1 tsp Thyme
2 Tsp Cornstarch
Salt & Pepper

Whisk egg in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs.   Dip Chicken in Egg, then Breadcrumbs and fry in a few tablespoons of oil.  Cook chicken until golden brown.   Remove and set aside.   Using the same pan, add butter and chicken broth.  Whisk the mixture around and scrap up all the brown bits leftover from the chicken.  Add the half & half, thyme.  Whisk around and allow it to come to a boil.  Into a small bowl, add 2 Tbsp half and half and the Cornstarch.  Stir around until smooth.  Pour Cornstarch Mixture in the pan and allow it to continue to boil until desired thickness.  Add a bit of salt and pepper and pour over chicken to serve.  

Shortcut Mashed Potatoes

I love homemade mashed potatoes, but I hate peeling potatoes more!!!  So I came up with this shortcut way to make them and skip all the peeling!!!! 
4 Cups Frozen Potatoes (I use cubed kind)
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp Salt
Dash of Pepper
1 Tablespoon Half/Half (could probably use milk or possibly leave out all together if you don't have any on hand)

Boil potatoes in chicken broth until soft.  Drain.   Put potatoes in Bowl and add Salt, Pepper, Half & Half and mix in mixer until fluffy.

**note, this serves about 2.  The potatoes mush during the boil and you'll lose some when you drain.   A Small price to pay for NO PEELING!