February 27, 2017

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Oh my goodness, I do love me some lentils. They’re my new favorite play-thing when it comes to experimenting in the kitchen. We’ve been eating them instead of rice or potatoes as side dishes with supper because they’re soooooo much better for you (high fiber, high protein) and they cook up just as fast.

I usually cook up a big batch of something on Sunday that I can pack for lunches during the week and my all-time favorite is my Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage (seriously, if you haven’t made that one yet, put it on your bucket list). But since the weather’s been warming up and, again, I’m obsessed with lentils right now, I thought I’d try to make a lentil salad!

And I did!

And it was awesome!!

I figured I’d treat the lentils like pasta and make something similar to a pasta salad. And since I wanted to use my Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils I decided to head in a Mediterranean direction which I’m so glad I did! I can’t wait to make this over the summer for pool parties and potlucks!

If you can’t find Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils in your local grocery store, ask for them! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with an easy homemade vinaigrette (or use prepared) and fresh, crisp vegetables.

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February 15, 2017

Chicken Salad 3 Ways

Guess what?!


And for this baseball loving family, that means we are SUPER-DEE-DOOPER excited!

New spring uniforms picked out – check!
New helmets ordered – check!
Practices & games scheduled for the next 4 months – check!
Super cute embroidered baseball mom bags done – check!
Family vacation carefully planned around team schedule – check!
Color coordinated soft coolers, cleaned and ready – check!
Swamp butt from now until the end of summer - check!
Matching folding chairs permanently resided in SUV – check!
Sunflower seeds in EVERYTHING - check!

Life switches into a new gear for our family during baseball season and one thing that means for this baseball mom is carefully planning, preparing and packing food for the two-day tournaments that we play in. It doesn’t take long for everyone to get sick of soggy sandwiches and punky hot dogs so that means I have to step up my game.

My favorite thing to do is make a variety of chicken salads. I cook one big batch of chicken then divide it up between my three favorite recipes (from top to bottom):

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
Classic Chicken Salad
Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad 3 Ways! Make all three: Cranberry Pecan, Classic and Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad all from one batch of chicken. Perfect for game day and picnics!

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February 6, 2017

Pepper Steak

When I can cook an entrĂ©e in less time than it takes me to cook a small pot of rice, I am one happy mama! I made a note of this in the recipe below but if you’re planning to serve this with rice (which I highly recommend) you better get that rice going before you start cooking your pepper steak because this dish comes together quickly!

I don’t necessarily think of this as “Chinese food” though you can certainly nudge it closer in that direction by adding more ginger and a little sugar to the sauce when you mix it up (I’d say double the ginger and add about a tablespoon of brown sugar).

This reminds me more of a quick meal folks used to throw together when the peppers started coming in from the gardens. We used to always make it with a cornstarch slurry but I started using a brown gravy mix because it adds just a little more beefy flavor (and that’s all gravy mixes really are: cornstarch and bullion).

If you’re looking for something quick and easy for weeknight meals, you’ll love this one! Don’t look at the ingredient list and think it’s too much. Most of the ingredients in the sauce are the same things you use on the steak, I just separated them into two sections to make things easier to follow!

Pepper Steak! Super easy recipe with sauteed steak strips, peppers and onions. PERFECT over rice!

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