Saturday, November 21, 2015

Easy Taco and Rice Pie

Today's recipe is another one I came up with cooking from the pantry - and I have long said, a well stocked pantry full of healthy and economical ingredients like mixed beans, rice, canned tomatoes, tuna, grains, salsa, re-fried beans, pastas etc, can be a time saver, and a wallet saver!

So today I was in the mood for tacos - you know when you get one of those crazy cravings for something? Except I didn't have any taco shells in my pantry, and I didn't feel like running to the store to get some. Instead I decided to get creative and subbed in high fiber, nutty tasting brown rice. Add an egg white and some grated cheddar, and you've got the basis for a healthy pie crust to scoop a yummy taco mixture into.

And voila! A star is born!


Serve my easy taco pie with a tossed green salad. Better still, the recipe makes two pies so you can have one now and freeze the other for later. If baking from frozen, thaw on your counter before baking.

So get into that pantry. Pull out some gorgeous brown rice, your favourite salsa, and some re-fried beans and try this recipe yourself - created with love and a pinch of magic from your friendly neighborhood Kitchen Witch. And if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Easy Taco Pie

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 2 pies

Ingredients 
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups grated sharp (old) cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1, 16 oz tin re-fried beans
  • 1, 10 ounce can (1, 1/2 cups) tomato salsa or rotel
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice
Directions 
  1. Mix the rice and egg whites together with 1 cup of the grated cheese. And press equal amounts into two pie plates that have been well sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Brown the ground beef and diced onions in a non-stick pan treated with cooking spray over medium high heat. 
  3. Add the re-fried beans, salsa, seasoning, and lime juice.
  4. Pour in equal amounts into each pie shell and top each pie with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 45 minutes. 
  6. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 
  7. Serve with a green salad. 

 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rosemary Beef and Wild Mushroom Stew with Potato Gruyere Dumplings

Well it's that time of year again. A cold snap has come to the air, and Christmas will be here before we know it. Although this can be a depressing time for many of us, this year, I choose happy - reminding myself that a change of seasons is also a reminder of change in our own lives.

Spring for me is all about renewal - new vegetables, fresh asparagus, crepes, and eggs. Foods that evoke feelings of Easter, and lilacs, and breezes grown warmer.

And then, before we know it, it's summer. The sun comes out, the grass grows green, and we find ourselves in a world of abundance. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are ours for the picking. Plump ripe tomatoes on the vine, juicy berries, and the smell of grilled meats on the breeze as we head to the beach for one last swim and kids play until the streetlights come on.

With Autumn, comes the harvest. Afternoons spent canning tomatoes, and pickles, and beans. The smell of wood smoke, new pencils, and apple pie as we prepare ourselves for the long months of hibernation the cold weather brings.

And now, with winter right around the corner, I'd like to present a meal that makes me think of roaring fires, days on the ski slope, fresh shoveled snow, skating parties, and Jack Frost painting the trees in shades of icy silver white.

 This gorgeous stew is full of the flavours I think about when I contemplate winter. Rosemary and thyme combine with fresh garlic and winter herbs seasoning the stew from the inside out with their combined essence of earthy unctuousness and acting as the perfect compliment to beef, wild mushrooms, and pillowy potato dumplings made with gruyere cheese.

 As always, I've worked hard to make this stew a little bit healthier by using high fiber Nutri-blend flour, lean beef, and no sodium added beef stock - keeping the sodium levels low in this dish while losing nothing on flavour.

So get out into the elements. Take a walk in the woods, pull on some skates, or hit the slopes - and then when you get home bask in the warmth and aroma of stew made with love and a pinch of magic from your friendly neighborhood Kitchen Witch. And if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Rosemary Beef and Wild Mushroom Stew with Potato Gruyere Dumplings

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Rosemary Beef and Wild Mushroom Stew 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  •  2 lbs stewing beef cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1/4 cup all purpose or Robin Hood Nutri-Blend flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup each diced celery and carrots
  • 2 stalks fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 stalks fresh thyme
  • 5 cloves peeled whole garlic
  • 10 brown button mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • 1 pkg dried mixed wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups no sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Dumpling Ingredients
  • 1  cup dried instant mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup hot water 
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup all purpose or Robin Hood Nutri-Blend flour
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Directions 
  1. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, herbs de provence, and garlic powder together.
  2. Place the stewing beef into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the flour mixture. Toss well so that all of the meat is evenly coated. 
  3. Pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms and let steep 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove the mushrooms from the water and chop. Reserve the mushrooms water for the stew.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sweat the onions, carrots, and celery in the olive oil just until they begin to grow soft.
  6. Add the beef and toss well browning slightly on all sides. Don't worry if some of the flour mixture begins to stick to the pan, just reduce the heat lightly, this will add to the flavour of the stew. 
  7. Add the wild mushrooms, the brown mushrooms, and continue to stir and toss.
  8. Add the red wine, mushroom water, and beef stock to the pan and de-glaze it getting all of the flavour off the bottom. 
  9. Bring to a slow boiling simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and let stew for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
  10.  Add the frozen peas during the last 20 minutes of cooking and bring back to the boil.
  11. Mix the potato flakes with hot water. Stir in the flour, herbs de provence and grated cheese. Add the beaten egg and mix well using your hands. Form into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Drop into the stew and cook covered for 15 more minutes.



Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.




Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sticky Orange Roast Chicken with Fennel and Onions

Those of you who have been following The kitchen Witch for awhile know I'm absolutely crazy about Sunday Dinner. When I was growing up, no matter what was going on the rest of the week, I always knew Sunday dinner was something I could count on as both an ending and a beginning.

We'd sit in the dining room around a large table with family and friends over dishes like roast beef, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, and gravy and I would feel a sense of gratitude for the week just ending along with a sense of excitement for the one about to begin.

It's a tradition I've kept alive in my family and although my son now lives too far away from home to attend Sunday dinner often, my parents often join us around the table and there is always room for friends.

Tender chicken is roasted with oranges and fennel and glazed in a sticky marmalade sauce.


That said, to my mind Sunday dinner is about very specific kinds of dishes. It's comfort food taken to the next level. Eaten off the good china with a glass of wine, Chopin playing softly in the background, Sunday dinner needs to be easy enough to put together with very little stress, but elegant enough to mark Sunday evening as a special occasion because I don't think we do that enough anymore. If you can't make it happen every night, making sure to have a wonderful sit down meal on Sundays will be something to look forward to and is a beautiful way to get caught up with your family and friends while you set the tone for the week ahead.

It's also a great time to get creative in the kitchen with old classics - like today's recipe for Sticky Orange Roast Chicken with Fennel and Onions - a recipe I came up with because I'm crazy about the flavours of orange, fennel, and slow roasted chicken coming together.

This is one of those meals that makes the whole house smell good, and especially at this time of year, harkens feelings of comfort and well being. So light a fire in the hearth, pull out some candles, and gather everyone around your Sunday table for a weekly feast. And if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!





















As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Sticky Orange Roast Chicken with Fennel and Onions

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!


 

Sticky Orange Roast Chicken
 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Roasting Time: 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 1, 3-5 pound roast chicken
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • zest from one orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 orange, quartered, and then halved
  • 1 medium onion, quartered (to stuff into the cavity)
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
Sticky Marmalade Glaze
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
Directions 
  1. Drizzle the olive oil into a roasting pan and then toss in the sliced fennel, and sliced onion.
  2. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, 1 tsp herbes de provence, the orange zest, and the 5 garlic cloves. Toss well.
  3. Mix together a seasoning blend with the remaining salt, pepper, herbs de provence and the garlic powder. 
  4. Sprinkle the inside cavity of the chicken with 1 tsp of the seasoning blend and then stuff with the quartered onion and orange. 
  5. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with the remaining seasoning blend and place onto a roasting rack above the fennel and onions. 
  6. Roast uncovered in a 325 degree oven while you make the glaze.
  7. To make the glaze, melt the marmalade into 1 cup of chicken stock in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and add the thyme and vinegar. Let boil 5 minutes until it reduces slightly. Add the cornstarch to the remaining tbsp of chicken stock to make a slurry and add to the glaze. Stir until slightly thickened and then turn to low.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven after it's roasted an hour, lift the rack off the fennel and onions and give them a good toss. You will do this periodically (about every 20 minutes or so) until the chicken is cooked. The idea is to get the fennel and onions nice and brown and caramelized as they will act as a substitute for gravy. 
  9. During the last 30 minutes of roasting, glaze the chicken every 10 minutes or so with the sticky marmalade sauce.
  10.  Roast for 2-3 hours until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 
  11. Slice. Serve the chicken over a bed of the fennel and onion, drizzle with the remaining glaze, and sprinkle with sliced toasted almonds.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.