2

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

IMG_1612

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!

FullSizeRender_1

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.

FullSizeRender

Advertisements
0

Ridiculously Easy Roasted Corn

IMG_9068

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!

IMG_9267

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!

IMG_0104

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.

IMG_0105

20

Lemon Lavender Asparagus

11-IMG_3644

On most days I will agree with my husband that Target is a trap. While I love to wander the bright clean aisles, convincing myself that I need everything I see, I have often found myself wondering exactly how I could have spent $100 in 10 minutes, when I only came for one small item, like Band-Aids. But, Oh! How I love a productive trip to Target.

As I was walking through the grocery section, assessing my “needs”, I stumbled upon a pretty jar of lavender.

Whoa! They actually sell this at Target?

Ohhh!! It looked so pretty. I had to have it. This was not a “want”. It was a NEED!

So I tossed the pretty bottle into my cart of “essential things I have to have” (aka– $100 of stuff that I didn’t need before I walked in to the store) and off I went to figure out just what you do with a jar of culinary lavender.

I have to admit that I intended to use it in a martini or infuse it into something, but then I had a moment of creativity and it totally worked. I sprinkled it onto my asparagus and what a beautiful thing that was.

While my husband may roll his eyes at me and grumble about all of the “crap” (It is so not crap!) that I come home with, this time I am going to celebrate a victory. Just this once, I actually used an impulse buy, and it was worth the money spent. I highly encourage you to follow suit, give into the impulse, and invest in a jar of lavender for yourself.

Lemon Lavender Asparagus

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. of lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. of lavender

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425˚.

01-IMG_3633

Wash asparagus well, and pat dry.

03-IMG_3635

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread asparagus evenly.

04-IMG_3636

Drizzle with olive oil.

05-IMG_363709-IMG_364207-IMG_3640

Sprinkle with zest and lavender.

10-IMG_3643

Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until tender. (Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of the asparagus)

13-IMG_3646

This may be served hot, or at room temperature.

20130916-105346.jpg