Category Archives: Bell pepper

Chicken Soup

chicken soup

Look at the golden glow!

I’ve never made chicken soup before. Mainly because I don’t really like it. I know, it’s an odd confession as an opening for a chicken soup recipe. But…. The soup I made wasn’t like the chicken soup I grew up with. What never appealed to me was the rich, clear broth that had little pools of chicken fat floating on top.

So I figured that instead of throwing a whole chicken into the pot with a carrot and an onion, I’d do something differently. I used a chicken breast, a chicken leg, and a bone in, skin on chicken thigh. As usual, I tried to remove as much fat as possible. I also added a lot more to the soup. There is the typical carrot, however, instead of just halving it, I diced it into half moons and sauted a little. The onion also got the saute treatment instead of being just halved and thrown in. Potatoes and a bell pepper also made their way into the pot. I wanted to add some more veggies (of the frozen variety) but there was no more room in the pot. Oh well. Here is what I did:

Ingredients:
1 large white onion (diced)
1 large carrot (diced in large half moons)
chicken (whatever you want, but I used cut-up chicken breast, thigh, and leg)
6 cups of water (pretty much the max for my pan, but you can use more if you’d like a looser soup)
2 small-medium potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)
1 bell pepper (chopped in large chunks)
1-2 bay leaves (optional)
Salt, pepper, turmeric, spanish smoked paprika, sweet paprika (all to taste)

Steps:
1. Saute the diced onion and carrots for a few minutes.
2. Add chicken and cover with water.
3. Bring water to a boil and add the spices.
4. Add the potatoes and bell pepper. Add the bay leaves if you’re using them. Check the spices in a few minutes (potatoes tend to absorb a lot).
5. Let simmer on low heat for a half hour or so.

soup-veggies-saute

Soup veggies sauteing

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup Cooking

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Roasted Salad

Roasted Salad

Roasted Salad

I am so thrilled that it’s finally summer, but it seems I can’t give up my oven. Though I do have a grill, it’s an electric one. 😦 My local fire department does not allow grilling on balconies. But I still love summer veggies and have a tendency to buy too much. So, today, I decided to put some of those veggies to good use and make a salad. Since roasting is so easy and brings out the flavor so much, I decided to sacrifice personal comfort in my caricature-worthy tiny kitchen for the benefit of the salad.

Ingredients:
3 bell peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow)
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 red onion diced
1 tb basil
Salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar to taste

Steps:
1. Cut up the peppers in large chunks and clean the asparagus
2. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Roast to your desired doneness at 425 degrees; I roasted the asparagus for about 5-6 minutes and peppers for about 15-20.
4. When the veggies cool, dress with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.
5. Add the diced onion.
6. Sprinkle with a little bit of basil

Roasted Salad Detail

Roasted Salad Detail

Voila! Ready to serve.

Orzo with Roasted Shrimp

Shrimp and Orzo salad

Shrimp and Orzo salad

This dinner is completely inspired by Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa.  I love her style of cooking and many of her recipes and have tried quite a few.  But I had a couple pounds of shrimp sitting around and I wanted to use up some of it.  I also had a ton of veggies sitting around and I didn’t want to waste those either.  So, I thought that orzo would be a perfect canvas to combine all these great ingredients. I tried to stick to her recipe for the most part, but of course, I had to make things “mine” by switching a few things.

Ingredients:
Shrimp
1/2 cup (dry) orzo
2 bell peppers (I used yellow and orange)
1/4 large hothouse cucumber
1/4 cup feta (I used French feta, but use your favorite/whatever you have on hand)
basil, lots (I used about a 1/4 cup)
2 TB olives, finely minced
2 scalions finely minced.
Olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Dice the bell peppers and cucumber.
2. Cook the orzo according to package directions.
3. Combine all the ingredients.

Orzo with Shrimp

Orzo with Shrimp

Oven Roasted Shrimp

Oven Roasted Shrimp

Tomato and Spinach Soup

Tomato-Spinach Soup

Tomato-Spinach Soup

This was a completely unexpected and impromptu soup. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m not much into soup since I have so few soup recipes. But this just came together suddenly, since I didn’t even get into to the kitchen until about 8 in the evening. What can I say, I was bored so I started cooking. 😉 I had some things I wanted to use up before they go bad and wanted something easy, light, healthy, and packed with nutrients. And since I’m fond of throwing a bunch of stuff in one pot and seeing what develops, I got a really yummy soup that is perfect for this cold and rainy weather. I hope, one of these days we’ll have spring.

Ingredients:
1 (1lb) jar of tomato sauce
2 bell peppers (red and yellow, or whatever you want)
1 large onion
1/2 lb carrots
1/2 cup of brown rice (optional)
1 lb spinach
Water (at least as much as the tomato sauce; I used two times the tomato sauce)
basil
bay leaves (optional; I used a few small ones)
Spices (salt, freshly ground black pepper, cumin, corriander, paprika, Pensey’s Chile Con Carne, Pensey’s Sweet Curry)

Steps:
1. Saute the onion and bell peppers. Season a little bit.
2. Heat the tomato sauce in a pan (I used a 3.5 QT pan). Add water (as much as you used for the tomato sauce. I just used the empty jar of sauce).
3. Add the sauted vegetables and cook a few minutes.
4. Add brown rice, if using and carrots.
5. Add spinach.
6. Add the rest of the water and bay leaves.
7. Add the spices, whichever you are using, and basil.

Tomato Soup ingredients

Tomato Soup ingredients

Tomato soup and veggies

Tomato soup and veggies

Tomato soup and spinach

Tomato soup and spinach

Chahohbili-inspired chicken stew

Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew

Where I live, stew and chili season is quite a long one, from about October to about end of April or so. Not really knowing how to make this Georgian dish (ex-USSR Georgia, not southern US Georgia), I searched online and found a few recipes. I got the general idea, but not having an authentic recipe, I didn’t want to attempt it. But the pictures looked so good, that they got me thinking. With that as inspiration, I made a pretty good stew, if I do say so myself.  This certainly hit the spot on a cold and rainy evening.

Ingredients:
Chicken (I used 3 bone-in thighs and 4 legs; season with salt and pepper all over, even under the skin)
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 peeled tomatoes cut into rounds
4-5 potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)
2-3 red bell peppers cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 tb of ketchup (or tomato paste)
Beef stock (about 3-3.5 cups total, depending on how much sauce you want and how thick you want it)
Olive oil, salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground chipotle (optional, dash), paprika (a dash), fresh dill

Chicken Stew Cooking

Chicken Stew Cooking

Steps:
1. Saute the onion and when the onion starts to brown a little, add the garlic.
2. Brown the chicken. This won’t cook it, just make it look prettier.
3. Add the peppers and the peeled and sliced tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium. To peel tomatoes, place a small X on the bottom and pour boiling water over the tomatoes. Let them sit in the hot water for a few seconds. This will loosen the skin so you can peel it. Once peeled, slice in rounds.
4. Season everything (salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground cumin, chipotle, and paprika).
5. Add beef stock and ketchup (about 2 cups or so of stock, to start) and let come to a boil. Make sure the ketchup is well mixed and distributed in the pot.
6. Add the potatoes (I cut them up into bite-sized pieces). Let cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Check the sauce. Add more stock and/or spices if you like. If you like things as they are, let cook another 20 minutes on low heat.
7. At the very end, add dill.

I served it over cilantro rice.  The sauce was great with the rice, the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone, the veggies and potatoes were good enough to eat on their own.  Which I did the next day.  YUM!  Can’t wait to make this again.

Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. Not because I haven’t cooked, but because I’ve been so busy. But tonight, amazingly enough I had enough energy to go to the grocery store, get some groceries, and actually cook the food today. But like any busy woman, I want something quick, effortless, and most importantly, delicious. So here is what I came up with today.

Seasoned Shrimp

Seasoned Shrimp

Vegetables in the Pan

Vegetables in the Pan

All ingredients in the pan

All ingredients in the pan



 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
10 oz package of shredded carrots (I used about half)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 red bell peppers (sliced)
rice pasta (gluten-free pasta; a handful or so)
shrimp
asparagus (a handful or so)
olive oil (as needed)
1/4 cup or so of white wine
salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chipotle powder

Steps:
1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a heavy pan. Once the oil is hot enough, drop in the veggies (though, you might want to drop in asparagus close to the end, so it’s not too mushy).
2. My package of this rice pasta indicated that it takes 5 minutes to cook, so I started the water water for it in a separate pot.
3. Season the shrimp before adding it to the pan. I seasoned the shrimp right in the collander where I defrosted them. For the seasoning, I used salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and chipotle pepper powder. All to taste, of course. Then, add to the pan.
4. Add the wine, close the lid, and let steam for about 5 minutes.
5. When the pasta is ready and shrimp is cooked, add the pasta to the pan and toss everything together.

Dig In!

Dig In!

Pasta Sauce – Vegetables Galore

Chunky Pasta Sauce

Chunky Pasta Sauce

I haven’t made anything pasta related in a while and figured it was time to get back to that.  So today I decided to make pasta sauce.  Additionally, I had a lot of vegetables in my fridge that I haven’t used up yet, so I figured it’s a perfect opportunity to use them.  This worked out really well since I like a really chunky tomato sauce.  And if you have kids, this is a great way to get them to eat vegetables.  This recipe can also be vegetarian quite easily – just leave the meat out.  With this recipe, use what ever veggies you like, in any quantity you like.  Here is what I did.

We're cooking now!

We're cooking now!

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Adding the meat

Adding the meat

Ingredients: 1 lb of ground turkey
1 very large carrot (cut into half moons)
2 red bell peppers (diced)
1 large white onion (minced)
1 zucchini (cut into half moons)
1 summer squash (cut into half moons)
3.5 oz of mushrooms (that was the size of the package I had. Use more or less)
3-4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
2 cans of tomatoes (I used 1 can of Red Gold roasted garlic and onion and 1 can of Red Gold basil, garlic, and oregano)
Roasted tomatoes (optional; I had some on hand so I used them)
Tomato paste (I used about 3 oz, half of a 6oz can of Red Gold tomato paste)
2-3 tb of olive oil
Olives (optional, but I had some so I used them; chopped, about 2 handfuls)
Garlic powder
Paprika Salt, Pepper (freshly ground)
Flat leaf parsley (for garnish and for cooking, to taste)
6 bay leaves (3 for the sauce, 3 for the pasta)

See the parsley

See the parsley

All the ingredients cooking

All the ingredients cooking

Adding pasta to the sauce

Adding pasta to the sauce

Steps:
1. Saute the onion for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
2. Add the carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables and salt & pepper. Let cook for a few minutes (I put the lid on and let the veggies steam a little).
4. If you are adding meat, do it at this stage. I pushed the veggies to the sides of the pan and added the meat into the middle so that it can brown. I also season the meat at this point. Cook the meat until it’s all browned and thoroughly cooked.
5. Add bay leaves and parsley. Mix everything together and taste seasoning. This is when I add more salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and anything else that strikes my fancy.
6. Add the tomato products (canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and roasted tomatoes if you have them).
7. Put the lid on and let cook over medium-low for about 10-15 minutes.
8. Add the pasta to the sauce (which has been cooking in a separate pot, according to the directions on the box.) I serve it with a little bit of cheese grated on top. I used a very mild goat’s cheese.

I know you can't resist this!

I know you can't resist this!