Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pozole Style - Mexican Chicken Soup

For years, I'd heard lots of people talk of "pozole" but had no idea what it even was, except for that people loved it. I imagined something like mole (¡nada que ver! - not even close!) Then I started teaching amongst a high Mexican population and anytime traditions or favorite food came up in our discussions, pozole, always came up with lots of enthusiasm. Finally, at a Christmas Dinner with friends, I was introduced to it and learned that it's soup with very few cooked ingredients (meat - generally pork and hominy corn) and lots of broth and then topped with fresh ingredients and a spicy kick. I'm a huge fan contrasting textures and tempuratures with food so this has been on my favorite's list since. A lot of the time this soup is prepared with pork, which is very tasty, but I try to make a healthier and simpler version. I don't have a specific recipe to follow, but it's practically impossible to mess this stuff up. If you go authentic, you make your own broth, but my version can be whipped up in no time.

First prepare 2 chicken breasts (I like the crock pot for simplicity) and shred. Then saute diced onion and celery in a stock pot with a little oil until onions are clear. Add chicken, broth, hominy, chick peas, and oregano and let simmer. Remember I don't have a recipe so just use the rule of thumb that you toss quite a bit of salad on top and you'll want plenty of broth so add more broth or less cans of hominy and chick peas if necessary.

Soup Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
1/2 diced onion
2 stalks sliced celery
2-3 quarts chicken broth
2-3 15 oz cans hominy
1-2 15 oz. can chick peas (sometimes I add these...you don't usually find these in traditional pozole)
1-2 Tbsp oregano

While the soup simmers for a bit, prepare the following with which to top the soup.

Finely sliced cabbage
Diced onion
Diced avocado
Diced or sliced radishes (not pictured)
Chopped cilantro
Jalapeño chiles in adobo sauce
Lime wedges (not pictured)

Serve with plenty of broth in a deep bowl. Add toppings generously with a dalop (or more) of jalapeños in adobo on top and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Break tostadas on top for an extra crunch. Repeat and enjoy until satisfied!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kale Chips

Kale is one of the most nutritious foods available to us and I usually toss a leaf or two into my green smoothies (which is probably the best way to get all of the good nutrients out of it since it is blended and raw), but I thought this would be a fun and different way to prepare it and my girls agreed. They are always asking for these now.

You'll need:
1 bunch of Kale
1 tsp coconut oil
sea salt

Wash leaves and dry. Toss with oil, lemon juice and salt. Place in single layers on cookie sheet(s).
Bake at 300F for 20-30 minutes or until crispy and no moisture is left in the leaves. Watch closely toward the end of the baking time so as not to burn them. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Butternut Squash with Garlic and Agave

Labor Day. The end of summer and the official beginning of all things fall. Even though it still feels like summer, school begins, harvests are waxing and there's all kinds of wonderful produce to use this time of year. This is another I came across on Pinterest and made the same day. It's simple, delicious, and perfect for a late weekend lunch.  The original recipe came from doorsixteen.
You'll need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Cut squash in half and remove seeds. 
Peel and dice into 1 inch cubes.
Drizzle with oil, agave, salt, and pepper. Peel garlic cloves and add to cubed squash. Toss to coat.
Bake @400°F for 50-55 minutes (turning half way through cooking) or until squash is tender. I served it with Kale Chips and it was delicious.
*Recipe for Kale Chips coming soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Delicious Fried Shrimp Dinner

When I want to make something special around here, I make shrimp. Everyone loves it and we don't eat it so often that it feels like an everyday meal. I love shrimp salad, shrimp tacos, and seafood stew, but my husband's all time favorite is fried shrimp. I think I made it for him the first or second Valentine's Day we were married and since tomorrow is our anniversary, I thought I'd share this simple recipe.

1 pound medium to large shrimp (your preference)
1 cup flour
vegetable oil

If you buy already peeled and deveined shrimp, that's great, but I still always like to wash mine and make sure there is nothing left behind. After washing, pat dry with a paper towel. Mix 1 cup of flour with a dash or two of paprika and salt (around a teaspoon). Stir well. Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixtrue and place on a plate while heating the oil to medium high heat.

Fry on each side until golden and remove from oil and place on a plate lined wtih a paper towel. Serve with mashed potatoes and a fresh green salad.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fresh Mex Quinoa Salad

I'm finding quinoa popping up more and more on restaurant menus and recipe posts in the blogosphere, which just gets me more excited about using it. (Want to know what quinoa is? See this post.) This summer I came up with a salad that I really have enjoyed because it's filling and fresh. And it keeps for a few days in the refrigerator which makes it nice to make ahead of time and put in portions to take to work for lunch or on a picnic.

I must say I've never measured exact quantities . . . it's a little different each time, but delicious the same.

Ahead of time cook your quinoa and black beans and cool. (I usually do this the day before and then let them cool completely and store in the refrigerator overnight). For quinoa: rinse and add 2 times amount of water to quinoa. Reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes).
Prepare the following:
roma tomatoes
green pepper
fresh corn from the cob (or frozen corn)

Mix the chopped ingredients with the quinoa and drained and rinsed black beans.

Then squeeze generous amounts of lime juice along wtih plenty of salt, pepper, and cumin to desired taste. I do quite a bit of cumin and salt and a little black pepper. Mix thoroughly and serve with avocado and cilantro on top.

Does anyone else out there use quinoa? I'd be excited to hear how you use it. I've tried it as a side at restaurants with a bit of mint in place of rice and it was absolutely delicious. Share your ideas in the comments section!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chicken Marsala

I had some mushrooms and cream that I needed to use up and so I went hunting online for something with those ingredients and came across a few pasta/chicken recipes that I thought sounded yummy. So I threw this together and it ended up being a hit. Let's just say that if my husband liked it, it's definitely worth posting.


1 pound Linguine
6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Butter
1 package mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (or Half-and-Half)
Chopped Fresh Parsley
Parmesan Cheese (for topping)

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Flatten chicken breasts and salt and pepper both sides. Dredge in flour. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add mushrooms to the pan and stir. Immediately pour in chicken broth and deglase the pan by stirring. Cook viorously for 1 minute until sauce reduces.

Pour in cream and stir. Turn off heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Make a bed of pasta on a plate and top with a piece of chicken and plenty of sauce. Sprinkle with lots of parmesan and garnish with more parsley.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spinach Lasagne Roll-Ups

Has anyone else fallen in love with the power of Pinterest in organizing ideas? This is one of the first recipes I pinned and I love that I can find things online, pin them, and know exactly where to come back for them when I'm ready to cook or make my grocery list. My girls loved this recipe so this will likely be one we'll do again soon and I'll probably try to add a variety of veggies - perhaps mushrooms, peppers, asparagus . . . The original recipe that I followed was found at The Girl Who Ate Everything.

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 ounces fresh spinach, (I heated it slightly in a skillet so that it would mix easily with the cheese mixture)
1 (15 ounce) container fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
salt and pepper
32 oz spaghetti sauce
9 Tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Make sure you drain the spinach well. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, Italian seasonings, chicken, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter (or use a cutting board) and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry by patting them with a paper towel. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over a noodle.
Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 Tablespoon of mozzarella cheese.
Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Serve and enjoy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ensalada Rusa (Russian Potato Salad)

I tried my first ensalada rusa at a cute little diner on the ruta 6ta in Capitan Miranda, Paraguay. Often served with carne asada or any grilled meat, this potato salad is the perfect side dish to a summer party and puts a little twist on a typical potato salad. Every time I taste this yummy rendition, it takes me back to my days in Paraguay.

3 ½ lbs russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes), peeled, boiled and diced
1 lb carrots (about 6-7 medium size carrots), peeled, boiled and diced
8 oz fresh peas (about 1 cup), boiled for less than 3 minutes
Lime juice from 1-2 limes
1 cup homemade mayonnaise (storebought will work too)
Salt to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together, chill until ready to serve.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Green Spaghetti

It was a regular weeknight and I couldn't decide what to make. My girls aren't fans of regular red-sauce spaghetti (or at least the oldest claims so now). I recalled a time I was at a social gathering and tasted the most delicious green spaghetti. So I decided to invent my own. This is what I came up with:

In a frying pan, saute in coconut oil:
1/2 sliced onion
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

In a blender
Let above ingredients cool slight and add to the blender. Then add:
3 tomatillos, rinsed and sliced
1 large bunch of cilantro, rinsed
1/2 cup sour cream
milk to desired consistency (I used rice milk)

Blend until smooth.

Prepare noodles and pour green mixture over the top. Heat through. Serve warm and garnish with queso cotija (Mexican crumbly cheese) or parmesean or a cheese of your desire.

Delicious and healthy. And another green dish just in time for St. Patty's Day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Avocado Ice Cream with a Hint of Lime

For over a year now I have been wanting to experiment with avocados in ice cream. Yes, you read correctly: avocados! Yesterday, the stars aligned. I had three delicious avocados that needed to be used and a sudden surge of energy on a weeknight. (Nevermind that it was blizzarding outside and the rest of the sane world was making soup!) The girls were playing contently and I still had energy after making dinner so I pulled out my recipe, checked my refrigerator for ingredients and was short on one. That's when dear neighbors come to the rescue. I texted. She had just what I needed and I was on my way to making a dream come true. Literally.

If you're hesitant, give it a try. Remember, avocado is a fruit and in South America, they eat it as such (with sugar and milk in the middle) just like we do with a dash of salt and a spoon to scoop it out. So ice cream or smoothies with nature's butter isn't stretching it.

I found this recipe and made some adjustments. Here's what I did:

Mix the following ingredients in the blender:

3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
a dash of salt

Place in ice cream mixer/freezer with ice on the outside and run until it thickens. Ice cream will be soft. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours to harden.

I loved the results. It was super creamy with a slight hint of lime. I am already thinking of some new ideas for a slightly different concoction. I can't wait to try more variations and share them.

Now, you can try it, just in time to make something a little green for St. Patrick's Day. Want to try other green recipes from delightsbydaisy? Try my green smoothie or to-die-for lime cupcakes!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Smores Indoors

I don't know about you, but January brings a burning desire to escape to the outdoors and flee the cramped up and drab winter days. Being outdoors where we live isn't much of an option in January, so why not pitch a tent and roast some smores [in the oven]? That's just what we did to rid ourselves of the winter blues.


6 graham crackers
6 large marshmallows
1 hershey's chocolate bar


Split graham crackers in half (two sections each). Place six (two-section) halves on cookie sheet and place 1 marshmallow on top of each graham-cracker half. Turn oven to broiling and place cookie sheet in the oven. It only takes a minute or less to brown the marshmallows so watch them closely.

Remove from oven.
Place three portions of chocolate bar on warm, melting marshmallow. Top with the other half of the graham cracker and enjoy.

These yummy treats keep nicely if you let cool and place in a air-tight container. Simply warm in the microwave for 10 seconds and enjoy while daydreaming of camping in July.