Cheesy Mushroom Farro and Oven Roasted Acorn Squash

Evening folks! As promised, here is the recipe for my dinner tonight. The Farro is nutty and creamy and the earthy mushrooms have a great meatiness for a healthy meatless dinner. The oven roasted acorn squash is sweet and tender and is perfect for the start of fall! Have a great rest of the night!

Cheesy Mushroom Farro
Ingredients

10 ounces mixed mushrooms (or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 onion, chopped (or 2 shallots or 2 leeks)
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 cup farro, rinsed
1 cup of any dry white wine
3 cups broth (veggie broth to make vegetarian)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat a medium sized pan (I used my medium sized dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat for 30 seconds.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook down about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions until soft about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Season with a bit of salt.

Add the farro to the pan and stir to coat the grains in the oil and toast slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and stir. Cook the farro, stirring occasionally, until the wine cooks down almost completely, about 8 minutes.

Add the broth about 1 cup at a time, cooking until the liquid almost completely evaporates before adding the next increment; this will take about 45 minutes to complete. Remember to stir often to create a creamy texture.

When the farro is tender and absorbs almost all of the liquid, stir in the mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and butter. Continue to stir until the butter is melted in and the mixture is creamy.
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Oven Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients
1 acorn squash, washed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Halve the squash, scrape out the insides, and slice into 1/2″ half moons.
In a large bowl, toss together the squash, oil, salt, and pepper. Lay the squash out on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until super tender.
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Chicken Tikki Masala

Hope you guys are having a great Sunday! Ours was pretty nice. We slept in until 9ish, then I made a yummy breakfast of bacon, hash browns, and scrambled eggs. Since we just got back from vacation, I thought we would be making a trip to Waffle House, but luckily we had these in the fridge. Perfect Sunday morning!

The rest of the fridge and pantry were pretty bare, so the girls and I took a trip to the market. We got enough food to last us a few days. I decided to step up my culinary game by researching and creating new dishes this week. Tonight- Chicken Tikki Masala.

I love Indian food. I mean, for real, I LOVE it. I really could eat it everyday. I know that is extreme, but there are so many things on the menu that I want to try, so it is true. Unfortunately, I am the only one in my family who likes it. My husband and girls tolerate it. Hubby doesn’t like curry or coconut. The girls are still wary of new spices. I would bathe in coconut milk and add curry to all my meat if I could. I love chickpeas more than the average American. I think lamb kebabs should overtake hamburgers. I may be on the extreme just a bit, but there are some really amazing Indian dishes out there that I think you should try.

So I thought I should try this one first; Chicken Tikki Masala. Mild flavors and one of the main dishes on the “kid menu.” I researched a bunch of dishes and here is what I came up with. Everyone loved the chicken and seemed to just be content to eat Naan and soak up the sauce. Just enough leftovers for me =)

Chicken Tikki Masala

Ingredients
3-5 boneless chicken thighs or breasts
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika- sweet or smoked
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes- (or use roasted for a more smoky flavor)
3/4 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 cups cooked rice, to serve

Directions

Cook the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, paprika, and kosher salt. Cook down, about 10 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices. Mix for about 5 minutes. Add in your chicken cut up in small, bite-sized pieces. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the heavy cream. Taste and add more garam masala or salt if needed.

Serve over white rice. I would use basmati or jasmine. I cooked it according to package with chicken stock instead of water. I also added 2 tablespoons of butter. Top with fresh cilantro if you like. Serve with a side of toasted Naan bread.

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Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Skillet Green Beans and Rice with Pine Nuts

Hello! Tonight I made a family favorite that I have done in many variations on the blog before. I had some beautiful green beans freshly picked from my garden and some pine nuts leftover that needed to be used up. I made enough to have for leftovers for another night!

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

Ingredients
4 chicken fillets
1 onion, diced
1 carton mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of crushed and diced garlic
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 container of reduced sodium chicken stock
add salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken pieces to hot oil in a single layer without crowding. Cook 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is browned; remove from pans.
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Add in your veggies. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the stock. Cook down about 5 minutes.
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Add your chicken back in the pan. Cook for 30 more minutes with the chicken in the sauce. Take out the chicken and add in the cream cheese and heavy cream. Stir and let them all melt together. If you want a thicker sauce (to dunk bread), add in more cream cheese. If you want a thinner sauce (to add to pasta) add in more cream. Add your chicken back in. Cook for just a few more minutes… Again…Perfection.

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Rice with Pine Nuts-

Ingredients
1/2 stick of butter
1 small bag of rice
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 container of low sodium chicken or veggie stock

Directions
Toast some pine nuts in a pan for a few minutes on low heat. Watch these; they burn quickly.
In a large round pot or pan, heat butter on med heat until it melts. Add in your rice and cook for a few minutes. This toasts the rice and helps give it a nice nutty flavor. Then I added all of the stock in the pan, mixed well, and put on the lid. Every 5 minutes or so, I stirred it to make sure the bottom didn’t burn or stick. Near the 20 minute mark, I felt mine needed a little more liquid, so I added a few more tablespoons of water. I mixed well and added in my pine nuts. Delicious!

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Skillet Green Beans

I had these beauties from my garden.
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So I threw them in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of bacon fat (butter or olive oil would be fine). I cooked them about 15 minutes. stirring them occasionally. In the end, I threw in a handful of the toasted pine nuts.

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Spicy Veggie Couscous

Hello again! So I was thinking about what I wanted to take for lunch tomorrow. Today I ate a  whole wheat wrap with spicy chicken, spinach, and hummus  from my school.  I added a bit of  Light Ranch (the only kind they have) to the mix. It was actually pretty tasty. I would get that again! The menu tomorrow is not very promising, although they do have a veggie burger. Unfortunately, by the time I get to the veggie burger, it is  pretty cold and stale. I don’t think many middle school kiddos choose it. Who can blame them…

So tonight I had some couscous left over at dinner. I also had half of both a yellow and orange sweet pepper, 1 jalapeno, 1 sweet onion, 1 small head of broccoli, and 2 cloves of garlic leftover from last weeks groceries. I chopped up all the veggies and cooked them in a bit of peanut oil for about 10 minutes. Then I added the couscous and a bit of soy sauce and pepper to add a bit of flavor. I stirred well, and cooked for another 5 minutes. Now I have a yummy lunch for tomorrow! =)

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Spicy Chicken and Veggie Risotto

It seems lately I have been on a spicy kick. I have been adding hot sauce, red chili flakes, and jalapenos on just about everything. Maybe it is the cool weather rolling in that makes me want to spice it up? In any case, I felt like adding a punch to my dinner last night. Everyone was doing their own thing and going in different directions, so it was either have straight up leftovers or create something out of the leftovers from the fridge. I decided to create something new from something old.

Spicy Chicken and Veggie Risotto

Ingredients

1/2 rotisserie chicken, finely chopped or shredded
3 tablespoons butter or oil
half a can of tomato paste
3/4 opened stock in a box
half an onion, chopped
handful of mushrooms, quartered
can of green chilies
about 1/2 cup rice
1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup parm cheese

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized pot over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until beginning to soften and brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add in tomato paste and green chilies. Mix together well. Add 1 cup broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining broth by 1/2 cupfuls, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender but still very creamy, stirring gently and often, about 10 minutes longer (about 25 minutes total cooking time). Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and chicken. Stir to warm the chicken through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl and serve with additional Parmesan cheese. You could make this vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and using veggie stock or water.

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Baked Enchilada Farro with Beans and Corn

Happy Tuesday, ya’ll! So the other day I made this.
https://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/08/30/enchilada-farro-with-beans-and-corn/

It is super healthy and delicious, but after a few servings, I needed to find a way to change it up. So, I made it into tacos. Yum. Then I made it into this cheesy bake. All I did was add a another small can of enchilada sauce and 1 jar of salsa to the mix. Then I spread it into a sprayed casserole dish and topped it with shredded cheese. I baked it at 350 until all the cheese was melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Freezing half of this for my future. 

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