Portuguese Style Rice + White Wine and Paprika Chicken


I announced it already, but to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the rubble, Pantry Party still exists but July and August themes will be combined. What I mean to say in more concise language is that I’m extending the RICE Pantry Party round-up to occur end of August. You now have until August 28th to get your rice recipes in. The rice doesn’t need to be the star of the dish, but it does need to be used.

I’m sure I’ll make more rice before August 28th, because I eat rice a lot. I usually eat it just plain with curry on top of it, but for my theme entry I decided to make something different.

The flavors in the rice and the chicken melded together so well. I was very happy with how this dish turned out. I didn’t really do what I had intended with the rice – instead I took the lazy man route and dumped everything in the rice cooker. While I use the rice cooker frequently, I’ve never used it like this. I was skeptical and was convinced we’d be going to get hamburgers after the rice failed, but it actually came out perfect. I guess lazy works sometimes.

Portuguese Style Rice

3 slices bacon
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp crushed rosemary
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp parsley, chopped


1. Cook the bacon until crispy. Set on paper towels to drain. In the bacon drippings stir the onion, garlic powder, rosemary, and pepper together. Cook until the onion is tender.

2. Pour everything (including the bacon and the cooked onions) into a rice cooker. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

* serves 6

White Wine and Paprika Chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp apple juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup onion, diced


1. Combine the garlic, white wine, 1 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, apple juice, and salt together in a small dish. Pour over the chicken. Cover the chicken and marinate for at least a half hour.

2.  Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade using a slotted spoon. Discard the remaining marinade. Place in the hot oil in a single layer.  Cook for 3 minutes, until browned on one side. Then stir fry for 3 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the pan.

3. Add the onion to the pan on medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes, until the onion begins to brown. Spoon the onions over the chicken.

* serves 2

* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is being shared with Cast Party Wednesday

Taco Salad



I’m part of the website swap-bot. I participate in a lot of recipe swaps. Recently one of the swaps I participated in was called Send Me Some New Recipes. The swap required that you mail an envelope with at least 25 recipes in it, taken from anywhere. I sent recipes to my partners cut from magazines, handwritten from my personal collection, and printed from blogs online. One of the envelopes I received was a ton (25) recipes written on neon index cards. I added these to my recipe box collection, which has become significantly fuller since I started swap-bot.

This recipe was written on a neon green index card. This was a super easy recipe and was very delicious.

Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3/4 cup water
10 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salad dressing of choice
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, optional (also, guacamole could work!)


1. In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco spice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Stir in the ground beef. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the crushed chips. Serve with option sour cream or guacamole (or both!) on top.

* serves 5
* shared with Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, & #Foodie Friday

Breaded Tomato Pasta



I know I posted earlier in the month my Pantry Party dish of the month. But this month my inspiration ran amok. Rather than just post one breaded dish, this month there’s going to be (at least) two. Fried tomatoes are now my favorite things ever. Really, this dish is incredible simple. But sometimes it’s the most simple dishes that taste the best.

This dish dug into my pantry to grab my spaghetti noodles, bread crumbs, and flour. I bought the tomatoes this morning at the farmers’ market, so they were better than usual.

Don’t forget, enter Pantry Party’s breaded theme this month before the 28th! For more info go here!

Breaded Tomato Pasta

4 oz spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp basil, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste


1. Cook the spaghetti noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Place the milk in another shallow dish. Place the flour in another shallow dish.

3. Slice each tomato into three slices. Using the ends of the tomato that are left over from the slices, chopped the tomato. (By the ends I mean the ends of the tomato.)

4. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet. Dredge each tomato slice in flour. Then dip in milk and then cover in bread crumbs. After dipping in the breadcrumbs, dip back into the milk and into the breadcrumbs again. Place each tomato slice in the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel to drain.

5. In the hot skillet add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, garlic powder, and salt. Cook until fragrant. Add the noodles and stir together with the tomato, basil, and garlic, making sure to evenly combine.

6. To serve place pasta on a plate. Place three fried tomatoes on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

* serves 2
* Besides Pantry Party, this dish is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Macadamia Tomato Pesto

Macadamia Nut PestoThis month at our very own Pantry Party, the theme is noodles! The goal of Pantry Party is to look through your pantries and use ingredients that are crying out to be used – ingredients that may have been forgotten about. Also, the dishes entered into the challenge should meet whatever the monthly theme is. This month I relied on some macadamia nuts that were hiding in my pantry. You’ll also see I used two different types of noodles, because I decided it made more sense to use the partial boxes than open up a new box.

I have a whole shelf of nuts. I have almonds, I have pine nuts, and I also have macadamia nuts. Well, actually, I don’t have them anymore because I used them – but you get it. I had macadamia nuts and then I used them to make this pasta sauce.

I love pestos and I had forgotten how much I liked making pesto from ingredients other than just basil and pine nuts. This was a delicious sauce and was a very easy meal to make.

So, don’t forget to enter this month’s noodle themed Pantry Party! I’d love to see what type of noodle-y dishes you have in store. Entries are due by the 26th of February.

Macadamia Tomato Pesto

1/3 cup macadamia nuts
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbsp basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
pepper, to taste
9 oz noodles


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Once cooked drain and set aside.

2. In a skillet dry toast the macadamia nuts until lightly browned, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes.

3. Place the nuts, tomatoes, basil, garlic, Parmesan, 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, and pepper into the food processor. Process until pureed, about 30 seconds.

4. In the skillet  over medium heat add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Pour the puree into the skillet and stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Toss the noodles with the sauce.

* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Eggplant Parmesan



I know I say this every time I post a recipe that uses eggplant: I really don’t like eggplant. But I have this tendency when I don’t like certain foods to keep making them in different ways. I figure that it isn’t always the actual food I dislike, but the preparation of the food. The eggplant parmesan was a great way to eat eggplant. It didn’t even taste like eggplant. I first breaded and fried it and then baked it.

In retrospect though I should have served it with something else. I had just made the eggplant, but it would have been good with pasta or even some garlic bread.

I loved the fresh basil. I love basil anyway, but for some reason it tasted even better than usual.

Eggplant Parmesan

1/2 eggplant, cut into 4 slices
1 15-oz can whole tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
a glug of olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 eggs, beaten
6 oz mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped


1. 2 hours before you’re ready to start cooking, place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt. Set over a sink and let sit for 2 hours.

2. Once the 2 hours are passed, press the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.

3. In a food processor combine the tomatoes, garlic, and the glug of olive oil. Process until well combined and chopped. Season with pepper. Set aside.

4. In a shallow dish combine the flour and breadcrumbs. In another shall dish beat the egg. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add the eggplant slices. Fry until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.

6.  Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Place 2 slices of eggplant in the casserole dish. Use 1/2 of the mozzarella to layer the eggplant. Place the basil on top of the mozzarella. Layer another slice of eggplant onto each stack. Cover with the remaining sauce and then the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, and Foodie Friday

Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew



This week’s slow cooker meal was another lentil dish. I’ve been going through a lentil thing lately. I’ve been using them a whole lot. This stew has lasted multiple days. I made it on Tuesday and I’ve had a bowl everyday since then. Tomorrow will be the day I kill the last of it.

I have a lot of problems with beans typically. I can’t eat black beans, white beans, and kidney beans among others because I get such bad stomach cramps from the gas that beans gas. You know that old song, “Beans beans they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you fart?” Yeah.. I get so much gas that I feel like a hot air balloon. The point of my story about gas is that lentils don’t do that for me.

Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew

16 oz dried lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 cups vegetable broth
2 15-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
cheddar cheese, shredded to taste


1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.

2. Pour the softened onions and garlic into the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients as well (except for the cheese.)

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low.

4. When the stew is done, serve and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

* serves 12
* shared with Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen and Weekend Cooking

Fish Pie


This month over at BakeBakeBake the challenge is British. Frankly, my experience with British food is very small. All I can think of is fish and chips. But a baked British dish? Google was required to find something to meet the challenge! Fish pie is a pie made with white fish. It is a traditional British dish. Upon googling I found Jamie Oliver’s Fish Pie recipe, using a combination of fish, shrimp, carrots, celery, lemon, tomato, spinach, and mashed potatoes.

I was skeptical, but clearly I had no reason to be. This dish was time consuming (until it went into the oven) but came out perfectly with a beautiful crispy potato topping.

Fish Pie

2 lbs white potatoes, cut into pieces
1 carrot, shredded
2 sticks celery, shredded
5 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lemon
2 1/4 lbs tilapia, cut into pieces
4 oz shrimp, cleaned and peeled
olive oil
1 handful baby spinach
2 tomatoes, quartered


1. Preheat oven to 400. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 12 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, mash together with several glugs of olive oil.

2. Place the grated carrot, celery, and cheese together in a baking dish. Zest the lemon into the baking dish. Cut the tilapia into bite size pieces. Mix the tilapia, shrimp, spinach, and tomatoes in with the grated vegetables.

3. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes.

* serves 6
* shared with Tasteful Tuesday Party, Tasty Tuesdays,  Tempt My Tummy, & Recipe Box 

Lentil Chili

IMG_8559This month’s Random Recipe challenge was to borrow a random cookbook from a friend and cook a randomly chosen recipe from the book. My cookbook this month was Still Life with Menu Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. My random recipe happened to be the lentil chili. I’ve never cooked out of this cookbook before, but after this chili dish I may need to add the book to my collection.

The only thing about this dish is I think it’s dryer than it should have been. My schedule during the week is nuts, so on Wednesday and Thursday I actually make dinner in the middle of the afternoon and then heat it up after I get home from my classes that go until 9 p.m. For this chili I did the first hours work of cooking in the afternoon and the last 10 minutes when I got home from class. I think the chili sitting there made it thicken up a whole lot more than had I done the whole dish at once and then eaten it.

The flavor was great though and that’s all that matters.

Lentil Chili

2 cups dried lentils
3 cups water
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste


1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add in the lentils. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover, simmering for 30 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and onions. Stir in and cover again, simmering for another 30 minutes.

3. Add the salt and tomato paste, stirring into the lentils. Simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered this time.

4. Stir in the vinegar, black pepper, and red pepper. Serve hot either alone or with toppings such as sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.

* serves 4 large servings
* besides Random Recipes, this recipe is shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Party, Linkin’ Up Thursdays, & Showcase Your Talent Thursday  


Turkey and Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs


This might not be the best picture to show what my completed meatballs and sauce looked like, but I wasn’t pleased with the pictures I took of the complete dish. Instead you get to see cooking meatballs. I really liked the meatballs. The addition of the sun-dried tomatoes was so good. Matt didn’t like them as much as some of the meatballs I’ve made in the past because he said they were too moist. It was probably because of the sun-dried tomatoes, but whatever. I liked them. He isn’t really always one to judge, because he likes it when I overcook things.

I served these meatballs over pasta with garlic bread. It was a carbalicious, delicious meal.

Turkey and Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs

4 pieces of sun-dried tomato, patted dry
2 garlic cloves
1/2 anaheim pepper, cut into two pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 lb ground turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp skim milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 (14 1/2 oz) can whole tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil


1. In a food processor, pulse together the sun-dried tomato, 1 garlic clove, one piece of the pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add in the breadcrumbs  and pulse more to combine. Remove the mixture to a large bowl.

2. Stir in the chicken, egg, and milk into the breadcrumb mixture with your hands.  Roll balls out of the mixture into balls 1 1/2 tbsp big. Roll the meatballs into flour and tap off any excess.

3. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the meatballs and cook for 6 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove and place on a plate.

4. Wipe the food processor clean. Add the other garlic clove, can of tomatoes, the other half of the pepper, and oregano. Pulse together until well combined. Pour the sauce into the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes.

5. Return the meatballs to the skillet with the sauce and simmer, turning halfway through, for 2 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

* serves 4 (makes about 20 meatballs)
* shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Corn, Potato, Tomato Curry


I love curries, but I’ve never made a curry with corn in it before. I was kind of skeptical at what this dish was going to turn out like. But I guess I am someone of little faith sometimes, because this dish turned out perfect. For about 525 calories (which includes 1 cup of rice) I got a delicious and healthy meal. And the colors of the dish, the red, yellow, and green, are so pretty. I accidentally put more coconut milk in the curry than what the original recipe called for, but I ended up really liking the more soupy texture of the dish. With the rice, it was great.

It was easy and was a great lunch!

In other news, school started this week. Life has suddenly got a little more hectic.

Corn, Potato, Tomato Curry

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 anaheim pepper, diced
2 cups canned corn kernels
1/2 can coconut milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder


1. Boil water in a large pot. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the cumin seeds and cook for several minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes. Cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add the tomato, cilantro, and anaheim pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes, then stir in the corn. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemon juice, and curry powder. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking