Beef roast in a multi-cooker

Sunday comfort food for a cold winter’s night is the theme of this recipe that I made a month ago.  We limit red meat in our home, and use it as a treat once or twice a year.  For those special nights, this is a great recipe that provides enough food for a family of six.

Begin with a 3 pound beef chuck roast and sear the meat in a multi-cooker at 350 degrees with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Season the roast with salt and pepper to taste.  Add 3/4 cup chopped large yellow onion, 5-6 red potatoes cut into squares, 1/2 bag small carrots and 3 cups beef broth.  Cook for 8 hours on low.

Remove the meat from the pot and place on a dish while preparing the rest of the recipe. Separate from the vegetables. Mix 2 tablespoons Wondra Flour into 1/4 cup water.  Drain and separate the broth from the cooker, removing the excess fat.Return the broth to the cooker. Increase the cooker to 350 degrees to boil the liquid.  Add in the flour mixture twice if desired for thicker gravy.  Return the meat and vegetables to the pot and continue to heat through for 10-15 more minutes.  Serve.

Shrimp and noodles

Here is a fun recipe for the family that is easy to make and fun to eat.  No need for stopping at your favorite noodle restaurant, this one is great tasting and made at home.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in Cooking Light magazine last summer. I used 8 ounces of Lo Mein noodles and cooked according to the package directions and drained.

Next, I combined 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and black pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Then, in a large electric skillet, I drizzled 1 tablespoon stir fry oil and added  1 1/4 cups broccoli tops, 3/4 cup sliced carrots, and 3/4 cup red pepper.  Saute these until soft and then add 1/4 cup chicken stock mixture.  Heat for another 2-3 minutes and then add one bag cleaned large shrimp, along with 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced ginger.  Continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked and pink.  Then add the Lo Mein noodles and the rest of the chicken stock mixture.

Cook until all the ingredients are well mixed and warmed through.  Just prior to serving, add 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.  Top with Sesame seeds if desired for serving.

Slow cooker sesame chicken

The weather is cold and comfort meals are still on the menu at our house.  I love using a slow cooker for an easy delicious meal, especially when I have a busy day of activities planned.  This Asian recipe is very easy and quite tasty to make and enjoy. It will serve four people or just two with a nice amount of leftovers for another day.

Begin by slicing 1-2 whole chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Prepare a sauce of 1/2 cup Agave, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  Pour this sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.  I usually stir the chicken after the first 1 1/2 hours just to mix well with the sauce.

Next, add 3/4 bag of small carrots which are sliced in half, and 2 small white chopped onions.  Continue to cook on low for another hour.  Then add one can of pineapple chunks with juice, about 3/4 cup snow pea pods and turn the slow cooker up to High.

Mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water and add to the cooker.  Cook for another hour and then serve with brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Spinach and Tomato Tortellini

After doing an Internet search, I was not able to find a recipe which comes close to how I have prepared this dish several times.  It is quite tasty and has gone through some variations in the past years. I have finally settled on this method which produces a very delicious quick and easy dinner.

I use microwave bacon to start, which immediately speeds up the cooking process. In a large 10 inch deep saucepan, I heat 5 strips of bacon with just a teaspoon of olive oil.  Remove the bacon and set aside to cut into pieces.  In the pan, brown one white chopped onion.

   

Next, add 1/2 of one frozen box of spinach, which has been thawed and drained.  And, also 1/2 bag of frozen tortellini, which have been thawed, but not yet cooked. Stir to combine and heat slightly.  Then add, one canned of drained diced tomatoes.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then add bacon pieces and cook and additional five minutes.

Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes. Serve and enjoy.

Roasted chicken with citrus

Lemon chicken is one of my favorite dishes.  Here is a different recipe that includes other citrus with an equally tasty flavor for dinner. I used two chicken breasts with bones, 2 lemons, 2 tangerines, 3 shallots, red potatoes, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, Kosher salt, and ground pepper.

Place the chicken in a roaster pan on a wire rack.  Spray with Pam, squeeze a bit of lemon over the chicken, and top with lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Add 1- 1/2 cups water to the pan under the rack.

Cut the lemons and tangerines in half and place around the chicken.  Peel the shallots and cut in segments and also place around the chicken.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake for 60 minutes.  This dish has an excellent citrus taste and is a delightful change to a standard roasted chicken.

Noodle bowl

Noodle bowls are very easy to make at home. And, they are often one pot meals, making them very easy for a weeknight dinner when schedules are hectic. I modified a recipe that I found last year in Real Simple magazine, and came up with a great dish. Here are the ingredients needed for this dish:

1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 10 white mushrooms-cleaned and sliced, 1/3 bag of small carrots, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 6 green onions, 4 cups chicken broth and 3 cups hot water, lo mein noodles, 2 small bok choy-chopped, 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

I used my Staub cast iron pot and with the sesame oil, added the mushrooms, carrots, ginger and scallion whites only, cooking for about 3 minutes until just starting to soften.

Next, add the chicken broth and water, bringing the soup up to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Next add the desired amount of noodles and the bok choy and cook for up to 4 minutes maximum.  Stir in the vinegar and scallion greens at the end just prior to serving.

 

This cooking pot is wonderful, as it operates like a rain forest. By keeping the moisture and flavors within the pot, it makes any soup or stew just delicious. This noodle bowl can also include shrimp or cooked chicken breast.

 

Chicken Cacciatore

Easy one pot meals or rustic stews are perfect for cold winter nights.  I look for hearty soup recipes and other meals with shrimp or chicken to help warm us in the early months of the year. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart and is another hit in our home.  Very easy to prepare and in under one hour, your family will enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner.

Here is how I prepared this meal.  First, gather these ingredients:  2 boneless chicken breasts, ground pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 large box white mushrooms, 1 can stewed tomatoes/14.5 ounces, dried oregano

Using the olive oil in my Staub pot, I heated it first and then added the two chicken breasts.  Season with pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes, turning over to brown both sides.  Remove from the pot and cook the mushrooms.  Cover during the cooking process, stirring half way after 3 minutes.  Cook until soft and moist.  Add tomatoes and season with oregano.  Reduce the heat and cook on medium until tomatoes are in small pieces, and flavors have blended.  I keep the cover on the pot for about 10 minutes during this phase of cooking.

Then, return the chicken to the pot and cook until the chicken is fully cooked and heated. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or other starch. Or, for a lower carbohydrate meal, omit the starches. This dish has great flavor and is very satisfying.