One Pot Vegan Meal-Veggie and Rice Stew

Evening guys! Today was an amazing first day of school. My kids were so cute and I think this year is going to be pretty special.

It has been a super busy day, like I knew it would be. I actually made this last night. This is a one pot vegan meal, so feel free to add meat, beans, or cheese if you so choose!

I took all my veggies from the farmer’s market and sliced them up; eggplant, peppers, squash, okra, tomatoes, and an onion.

First, I heated up a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I sautéed my onions for a few minutes before adding the rest of the veggies. I also added a glass of white wine – Pino Grigio. I stirred them all together then added 2 small cans of diced tomatoes. I added 1/2 cup of rice. I stirred occasionally adding more liquid (wine, veggie stock, or water) when needed.

I cooked until rice was done, about 20 minutes.



So good!!!!

What is your favorite veggie meal?

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

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


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.



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

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


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.

Add in your veggies. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the stock. Cook down about 5 minutes.
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.


Rice with Pine Nuts-

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

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!


Skillet Green Beans

I had these beauties from my garden.

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.


Crockpot Balsamic Chicken with Yellow Rice

Evening guys! Super busy week! I started coaching a girls’ running program called Girls on The Run a couple of nights a week. I basically get to spend the afternoon with 15 amazing middle school girls and other awesome coaches, have some girl talk, and help the girls get ready for a 5K in the spring! We do fun activities, run/walk, do yoga, and build each other’s self esteem. Girl Power!

So last night after practice, I prepared this in the crockpot. I turned it on this am before I left for work.

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken with Yellow Rice

5 Chicken Thighs
2 sweet peppers, sliced (mix of red, yellow, green, and orange leftover from Monday)
1 onion, chopped or sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup broth/water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, and Italian seasoning
ground black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes to taste
1 package yellow rice


Pour the olive oil on the bottom of the crockpot and add the chicken. Add peppers, onion, and top with in vinegar and herbs.
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Stir and add on top of cooked yellow rice (or any grain of your choosing)

Best looking Crockpot meal yet!


White Wine Mushroom Risotto; plus an idea for kids and leftovers

Wine, mushrooms, and rice…oh, and I added bacon. You are welcome!

I haven’t made risotto in a really long time. I sometimes fall into that Atkins thinking and really want to just eat tons of protein. That lasts maybe one meal, at most, one day, then I fall off the “No Carb!” bandwagon. Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” I think she was referring to this mindset. Or maybe it was moderation of butter, or pies, or wine…well, whatever the reason, I find it to be a most excellent motto. One to live by, for sure.

So the other day, I was watching Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, and she was making a white wine risotto. She was using some crazy expensive ingredients; dried porcini mushrooms, locally sourced pancetta, saffron, what looked to be a very expensive bottle of wine she got from a friend who owns a specialty wine shop, and I think she might have even shaved some truffles on top (that may or not be an exaggeration; I can’t remember). Well, that got me to thinking, “I can make that without spending $50 dollars on my meal.” So here is my cheap version of her decked out classic.

Start by warming a quart of chicken stock. You could make your own, and I sometimes do, but you can also use stock from a box. I like to buy low sodium. Control your salt intake when you can.

Take a large Dutch Oven. This is my prized possession in the kitchen. I love my cast iron pans, but I covet my Le Creust. We got it on sale, I think, because it is a hideous pea green. I have grown found of it so much. Heat it up and add 1 stick of butter. Once it is melted add 1/2 of and onion (Vidalia for me) and 3 pieces of bacon chopped up. 003

Then add 1 pint of mushrooms. I added baby portabellas, but cute little button mushrooms would work just fine. Whatever is on sale, people! You can buy sliced, or you could save yourself fifty cents or more and just slice them yourselves. No judgment here! Cook down for about 5 minutes. Add about a teaspoon of salt and pepper.


Add 2 cups of Arborio rice. Arborio has the perfect starchiness for Risotto. Stir rice until coated with butter. Add about 1/2 a bottle of dry white wine. My favorites are Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. When cooking, always choose a wine you want to drink. My bottle was Pinot Grigio, and it cost about $10.

Once it cooks a bit, add your warmed chicken stock a little bit of a time. Your risotto needs love. Keep by its side; stir it often; whisper sweet nothings in its ear. “Who is my sweet risotto? You are! You are so pretty! I just love you so much!” Kiss it and give it some nibbles…Taste it here and there to see if it is al dente and seasoned right (add salt and pepper when needed). When it is, add 2/3 grated parmesan cheese and a couple of splashes of heavy cream. Stir until coated and take off the heat. 007

My bowl of just risotto. 010

Wondering if the kids are going to like this…well, R loves mushrooms, and K loves rice. Both my kids love runny eggs. Add a side of sunny side up eggs, and we have a meal! The richness of the yolk adds amazing depth to the risotto. R even asked if we could have this for breakfast. Why, yes, yes we can!