Peanut-Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumber
  • ¾ cup lite soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
  • ½ to 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper (we used 1 tsp.)
  • ½ tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. soba noodles or angel hair pasta (we used soba noodles)
  • 1 (10 oz.) pkg. shredded carrots (we used julienned carrots*)
  • 6 green onions, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

Directions

  1. Peel the cucumbers, cutting them in half lengthwise and throwing the seeds away afterwards. Cut each half into crescent-shaped slices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the following ingredients together: soy sauce, coconut milk, rice wine vinegar, peanut butter, garlic, sesame oil, crushed red pepper and salt. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl, tossing to ensure they’re fully coated in the dressing. Cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for 8 hours if you want to.

*The recipe called for shredded carrots but we wanted a little more crunch since we knew the noodles were going to be soft so we used julienned carrots instead.

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While you can eat this after it’s sat in the fridge for 8 hours, we enjoyed eating this right away ! The produce has a nice crunch to it which is a nice contrast to the tender noodles. You’d think you were in for an onion bomb with the size of the pieces but the flavor really gets tamed down by the cucumber and the tanginess of the dressing. We got very little heat from this so we added more crushed red pepper onto our portions. Overall, it’s an easy dish to make and great to enjoy on a hot summer day !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Shredded Chicken Tacos (Tinga De Pollo)

Ingredients

  • Chicken
    • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
    • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • ½ cup chicken broth (we used reduced-sodium chicken broth)
    • 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
    • ½ teaspoon brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Tacos
    • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
    • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
    • 6 scallions, minced
    • Minced fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. For the chicken: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning it with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large Dutch oven, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add half* of the chicken in so it can get browned, letting it cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the browned chicken on a plate and repeat the cooking process with the other half of the chicken, adding the second batch of browned chicken to the plate as well.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, pouring the last tablespoon of oil into the Dutch oven afterwards. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring it around frequently for 5 minutes or until the onion’s browned. Add the garlic, cumin and cinnamon into the Dutch oven, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until the mixture is fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and their juice, broth, chipotle and adobo sauce, and the sugar, stirring to combine and waiting for it to come to a boil afterwards. Once boiling, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom before moving onto the next step.
  3. Put the chicken back in the Dutch oven, turning the heat down to medium-low afterwards. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken registers 195 degrees, flipping the chicken after the first 5 minutes. Once the chicken’s fully cooked, take it out and place it on a cutting board.
  4. Transfer the remaining mixture from the Dutch oven into a blender and process it for 15 to 30 seconds or until smooth (we used the puree option on our blender to get the mixture smooth). Pour the smooth sauce back into the Dutch oven. Once the chicken’s cooled down enough for you to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces, returning it to the Dutch oven afterwards. Turn the heat up to medium and stir frequently for 10 minutes or until the sauce looks like it’s thickened and is clinging to the chicken**. Stir in the lime zest and juice at this point, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste afterwards.
  5. For the tacos: Spoon the chicken down the center of each tortilla, serving with the avocado, Cotija, scallions and cilantro as toppings and serving lime wedges on the side.

*We had to do more than just 2 batches in order for the chicken to get browned rather than steamed. We also added more oil into the Dutch oven for the other batches when the bottom seemed to be void of oil.

**Because of the blender, our sauce was already thicker and was coating the chicken so we only cooked the sauce and chicken until they were both heated through.

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You’ll be coming back for seconds when you try this taco ! The sauce initially was nothing to write home about but once we added enough salt to it, we really tasted the smokiness from the chipotle and some of the other components in the sauce. It tasted so good that we started trying to think of ways to use that sauce in other dishes, we loved it that much ! All the components together work so harmoniously in this taco. You get that spice from the sauce, the creamy avocado, the funky (in a good way) flavor of the Cotija cheese, the freshness from the green onion and cilantro and a sharpness from the green onion all in this taco. We’d be happy to make this again and hopefully you will too !

We got this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cook’s Illustrated.

Take care everybody !

Maque Choux

Maque choux (pronounced mock shoe) is a damn delicious side dish from Louisiana !

Ingredients

  • 4 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
  • ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced onion (we used red onion)
  • ¼ cup dry sherry (we used cooking sherry)
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (we used frozen corn kernels that we thawed)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (we used green onions)

Directions

  1. Add the bacon to a large skillet, setting the heat to medium. Cook the bacon until it’s nice and crisp, pouring all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings out afterwards (we decided not to drain off any drippings). Toss the bell pepper and onion in, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until they’re tender.
  2. Deglaze the skillet by pouring the sherry in, letting it simmer until the liquid has nearly evaporated, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the skillet while waiting for the sherry to evaporate. Now stir in the corn, cream and Tabasco, letting it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until it’s thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste, mix in the scallions and you’re ready to eat !
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This recipe is an old favorite of ours. We like how colorful this dish is thanks to the bell pepper, corn and green onions. We’re not sure if it’s from the Tabasco sauce or simply the black pepper but there is a little bit of heat that you get in this. The silkiness from the heavy cream is a nice contrast to the crunch of the green onions, crisp bacon and the bite of the corn. Hope this becomes a new favorite side dish for y’all as well !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Tabasco.

Take care everybody !

Mongolian Beef

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. dry sherry (we used sherry cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • ¼ tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced peeled ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 lb. sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain (we used 1 lb. of stir-fry beef)
  • 16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Rice noodles, for serving (Just because of our budget, we used white rice that we had on hand rather than buy rice noodles)
  • 2 tsp. hoisin sauce
    • ¼ cup soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
    • 2 Tbsp. molasses
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (we used Skippy creamy peanut butter)
    • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil (we used toasted sesame seed oil)
    • 1 Tbsp. water
    • ½ tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

Directions

  1. Start off by making the hoisin sauce. Take a saucepan out and add all the hoisin sauce ingredients into it, setting the heat to medium. Constantly stir the ingredients until the peanut butter and molasses have blended into the sauce. Take saucepan off the heat and let it cool at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add the following ingredients, stirring until smooth: soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, dry sherry, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, salt, and 2 teaspoons of the hoisin sauce you just made.
  3. Take a large nonstick skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the ginger, garlic and beef, cooking for 2 minutes or until the beef is browned*. Add the green onions in, stirring frequently for 30 seconds. Pour the soy sauce mixture into skillet, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until the sauce has thickened**.

*The beef for some reason seemed to be getting boiled rather than sautéed so we drained the oil when there was 30 seconds to a minute left on the cook time and continued cooking afterwards.

**The sauce seemed to get absorbed by the beef and green onions before it even had a chance to thicken but we still stirred the mixture around for a minute so the beef could get a little sear on it.

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This was a tasty dish that became even better with a little bit of extra hoisin sauce drizzled onto the individual servings.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Skippy.

Take care everybody !

Meatless Skillet Supper

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • ½ cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth (we used Swanson 33% Less Sodium)
  • ½ to ¾ cup instant brown rice (we used ¾ cup)
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Take a large skillet and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the carrots, lentils and green onions, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Pour the broth into the skillet and wait for boiling to occur. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and cover the skillet, letting it simmer for 5 minutes. Take the lid off the skillet just long enough to stir in the rice and then put the lid back on. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or however long it takes for the veggies to be tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice in the skillet using a fork before taking the skillet off the heat and sprinkling the cheese on afterwards. Put the lid back on the skillet for a minute or two or until all the cheese has melted.
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Mommy loves eating this for lunch, it’s a pretty quick and easy dish !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson.

Take care everybody !

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves*, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar (we used rice vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 10 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms (we sliced 8 oz. of baby bella mushrooms)
  • 12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

Directions

  1. In a small bowl** stir together the water, soy sauce, and vinegar to create your marinade. Take a resealable bag out and add the chicken to it, followed by the marinade. Seal the bag up and stick it in the refrigerator, allowing the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes. After those 30 minutes pass, drain the chicken, keeping the marinade. Combine the marinade with the cornstarch, making sure that the cornstarch is fully combined.
  2. Take a wok or large skillet (we used a skillet) out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the green onions, mushrooms, and garlic, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Take the vegetables out of the skillet, leaving them off to the side for now.
  3. If you think it needs it, pour some more oil into the skillet. Once the oil’s hot again, add the chicken to the skillet, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Take the chicken out of the skillet and add it to the vegetables. Pour the marinade mixture into the skillet, stirring continuously until it’s thickened and is bubbly as well. Add the vegetables and chicken back to the skillet, adding in the water chestnuts as well. Let the dish cook just long enough for everything to be heated through, stirring during that tie. Serve this over rice and enjoy !

*Since we had to really stretch our food budget this month, we used a pound of chicken tenders that we had in the freezer instead of buying the chicken breast halves.

**We actually added the marinade ingredients to the bag first and just shook up the bag long enough for the ingredients to combine (helped save us from dirtying up an extra dish).

Serves 4.

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This is a good dish but we like having a spicy component in our food so later on we added some crushed red pepper flakes to the dish and liked it even more. We also sprinkled some kosher salt into the dish to help bring out the flavors more.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !