Monday, April 2, 2012

Food: Weekend Recipe Exploration...

Thanks to Pinterest we've been mixing up our culinary repertoire as of late.  Below are a few recipes we made last week with great success...

Blueberry & Sour Cream Muffins
from http://kitchensimplicity.com/

With a subtle hint of sour cream these muffins are nothing less than delicious.  For the sake of full disclosure...this is the first time I've made Blueberry Muffins which did not come from a box. :)

Chunky Artichoke & Chickpea Salad (click for recipe)
from http://www.vegetariantimes.com

I love artichokes and chickpeas so I was immediately intrigued by this recipe.  We regularly have a vegetarian/vegan chicken salad in the house for lunches and quick snacks.  I thought this would be a nice break from the norm.  It's an interesting mix of flavors for sure but I still felt like something was missing.  Next time I think I'll sub out the chopped white onions for a red onion.

Fresh Basil Pesto (click for recipe)
from www.mybakingaddiction.com
I purchase fresh basil pretty much every time I go to the
market.  Only problem is that I can never use it all before it goes bad.  After finding this (super simple & delicious) recipe I realized that I can make pesto from the massive amount of basil I get from Trader Joe's.   And in this form it keeps for much longer.  We use it on hot and cold pasta dishes but my favorite is as a bread/sandwich/panini spread.  Mmm, Mmm!  Does anyone have a thought on how well this would freeze? I'm thinking about separating it into ice cube trays for future manageable portions.

(Vegetarian) Chicken, Broccoli, Mushroom & Rice Casserole (click for recipe)
from www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

I made this dish last week for the second time since finding it on Pinterest.  Without a doubt this is THE YUMMIEST recipe I've made thus far.

Here is my vegetarian adaptation:
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion
10oz mushrooms quartered
1 stalk of celery diced
1 chopped carrot
1c Long Grain & Wild Rice prepared per instructions (I cook it in veggie broth)
2 bags of Quorn Chik'n Tenders (soy-free!)
2 cups of broccoli florets
12 oz of Cream of Mushroom soup
12oz of Cream of Celery soup
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (optional, as far as I'm concerned)
Salt and pepper to taste
*1-2c veggie broth (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare rice per instructions. In a heated pan add 1 tbsp oil and cook onions, carrots, broccoli and celery until about half done. Add mushrooms & Chik'n.   Cook until tender. Let cool. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. *I've found the mixture to be pretty dense (for lack of a better word) so I add a little veggie broth for a better consistency.  Pour into a baking dish and heat uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minute before serving.  This recipe filled an entire 9x13 inch baking dish.  Rather than eating casserole for 5 days straight (like we did the first time) I froze half.  This will make the perfect meal on one of those busy days when neither of us is up for cooking.

UPDATE: Oops, nearly forgot!  Also made last week...

Mac & Cheese w/Chik'n, Goat Cheese & Rosemary (click for recipe)
from www.mybakingaddiction.com

This dish was scrumptious!  I love goat cheese but wasn't sure how I would like such a strong flavor with the Rigatoni.  I'm happy to report that it was perfectly mild once mixed with the cream.   I also added fresh basil and sage from our herb garden with the chopped rosemary. I substituted the chicken for Quorn Chik'n Tenders to make it veggie-friendly.   I'll definitely be making this again!


  1. my mum freezes her pesto all the time- it works brilliantly!


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