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Chicken & Barley Stuffed Peppers: Your Kids’ New Favorite Dinner

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I just had to share this recipe with you. Consider it a gift to kick off your summer! I made this recipe a few weeks ago, and it was an instant success. My husband loved it, my kids loved it, and I loved that everyone cleaned their plates. But for some odd reason, I forgot to add it to my weekly menu again, until tonight! We have been grilling like crazy lately, and my kids needed a little variety, so I decided to make these stuffed peppers again. WOW! Another raving success! My husband even ate seconds. I just love a meal where everyone leaves the table well-fed and satisfied!

Now, before you think it may not work for your family, try it. I do not like traditional stuffed peppers. In fact, I don’t really loved cooked peppers, but this recipe is a winner; I promise!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers (we love red)
  • 1 lb. of ground chicken
  • 1 cup of diced zucchini
  • 1 cup of barley
  • 2 cans of mild red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. of paprika
  • 1 tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of pepper
  • Drizzle of Sriracha (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Brown chicken in a large skillet
  2. Meanwhile, cut peppers in half and remove stems and seeds.
  3. Place 6 halves onto parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes at 450 until tender and charred at the edges. Flip after 10 minutes.
  4. Chop the other 2 halves of peppers and the zucchini into small chunks.
  5. Add the vegetables and barley to the browning meat, mixing well.
  6. Reduce to a simmer and add the enchilada sauce and spices.
  7. Mix well and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the barley is tender.
  8. Remove the peppers from the oven and transfer to individual plates. Spoon a heaping portion of the filling into each pepper and serve immediately.

Variations: You can top with taco cheese or cilantro. Feel free to change-up or add additional veggies, such as frozen corn, diced tomatoes, or onions.

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Ridiculously Easy Roasted Corn

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I love fresh veggies in the summer. We are so fortunate to live in an area surrounded by local farms that offer fresh veggies at a very low-cost, and I really wanted to enjoy these treasures year-round, so I bought a vacuum sealing system for $20 on an online yard-sale and realized that it was the best money that I ever spent!

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My freezer is full of green beans, berries. tomatoes, and corn. At the end of the season, I went to the farm across the street and bought three dozen ears of corn, then blanched them, and cut the corn off the cob. I then vacuum sealed them in family sized portions. It has been so nice to open a bit of summer during the doldrums of winter.

Last night, I was making a nice dinner for my husband, and I pulled out a pack of corn. I debated just steaming it, or sautéing it with some zucchini, but then I decided to roast it since the oven was hot, and I really didn’t feel like tending to the stove. Well, this was a stroke of brilliance. I will make corn this way from this point forward!

It’s so easy, with one step clean-up, and fool-proof instructions.

Here is the recipe!

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Ingredients:

  • Corn (frozen, or fresh off the cob)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh thyme
  • Parchment paper

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spray paper with olive oil spray (Really,you can use any variety of spray.)
  4. Spread corn in a single layer.
  5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
  6. Roast in the oven, about 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown.

That’s it! The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make the whole dish while any meat you are preparing gets a chance to rest. You capitalize on an already hot oven, and it requires no attention. Once it is done, transfer the corn to your plates, or a serving bowl, then sweep the parchment paper into the trash, and clean-up is complete! It doesn’t get any easier than that.

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Kelly’s Corn Chowder

Some kitchen creations top all the rest

They hold special weight in your recipe chest.

With creamy fresh flavor

And warmth you will savor

This corn chowder is simply the best!

Ok…so I refer to some of my recipes as “big guns”. These are the greatest recipes in my arsenal, and I am careful not to pull them out too often, in order to protect their special status.

This one is one of the top 5 weapons in my kitchen arsenal.

It happened by accident. I had never had corn chowder before, but after scoring an abundance of fresh corn at the local farm, I had to be creative. I am posting this now, because it is a nice way to warm up on a cold day. Not to mention, it would be a great way to sneak some more veggies into your family’s diet.

Kelly’s Corn Chowder

Ingredients

    • 1 stick of butter
    • 1 small onion
    • 1 small carrot
    • 1 small celery stalk
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
    • 3 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cups half-and-half
    • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    • Salt & pepper

Directions

1. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan.

2. Use a food processor to finely dice the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute in the butter for 2 minutes.

3. Add the flour and stir constantly to make a roux.

4. Cook until the roux is a light brown color.

5. Set aside to cool.

6. In another saucepan, combine the corn and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

7. Simmer for 10 minutes.

8. Pour the boiling stock & corn slowly into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump.

9. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture will become thick.

10. In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half.

11. Stir it into the thick corn mixture.

12. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.