Chicken Vegetable Ramen Noodle

When I was in college I used to make ramen noodles a few times a week in my trusty electric hot pot. It was one of the few things that was fool proof to make in there, besides heating up a can of soup. Once I graduated though the hot pot was thrown out and I stopped eating ramen noodles. Then last year not long after my Dad passed away I had a sudden craving for ramen noodles. There was such a feeling of comfort and safety in that bowl of noodles. A reminder of when life was easier and the safety of youth made you feel like nothing could ever go wrong or nothing bad could happen. Grief is a funny thing. It can make you remember things you completely forgot and question whether or not they happened and can make you find comfort in the oddest of things, hence the ramen noodles. To this day I still enjoy the occasional bowl of ramen noodle and have a case of it in my cabinet at all times. It got me thinking, why not try to make a traditional ramen bowl as opposed to the instant one I have been enjoying.

I began by prepping my various vegetables to have them ready to add to the pot as I was going…

And once I started it came together pretty quick, the most time consuming part of making this ramen bowl was prepping all of the vegetables. Oh yeah, and finding the miso. I ended up going to a local Oriental grocery market that I’ve known about for years. I did find miso at my local supermarket, but, the recipe called for white miso and the one they had was red and I didn’t want to take any chances with subbing ingredients.

And while it was delicious, I did have a minor mishap. I left the pot covered a little too long with the noodles so I ended up with something more like Lo Mein than ramen soup. I did have enough broth for one bowl, but, not for two.

Oh well… My noodles and veggies were just as delicious.

I’ll definitely make this again, but, I think next time I will omit the eggs and the chicken. It was definitely enough with just the vegetables.

 

Chicken Vegetable Ramen Bowl

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more for seasoning chicken

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided

1 chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

2 eggs

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1-inch piece ginger, finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons white miso

8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced

1 cup baby spinach

4 to 5 mini sweet peppers plus more for garnish, sliced

3 to 4 green onions plus more for garnish, sliced

1 large carrot, thinly sliced into ribbons

6 ounces ramen noodles

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once hot, add the chicken breasts to the skillet. Brown chicken for 5 minutes on each side.

Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through.

In a small saucepan, place the eggs and cover with water and cover the pan. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Keep lid on saucepan for 5 minutes. Drain the hot water and fill with cold water, once cool drain the water and peel the eggs.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the remaining oil. Once hot, add onion and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.

Add garlic powder, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Whisk in soy sauce, broth and miso. Add mushrooms and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Add the peppers, green onions, spinach and carrots. Continue to simmer covered for 5 minutes. Taste the broth and add salt if necessary.

Finally, add ramen noodles and turn off heat (the heat from the soup will soften the noodles).

Slice chicken breasts and eggs. Divide soup into bowls and serve with chicken and a halved egg.

Recipe from Simply Organic

Caribbean Chicken

Every week there are two questions I dread… What should I make for lunch for the week and what should I make for dinner? I try to switch it up and make different things but sometimes I just run out of ideas or quite simply I just don’t feel like cooking. Thankfully, I have a binder of organized recipes I have been collecting for quite some time and I am finally putting them to good use. This Caribbean Chicken recipe is one that I ripped out from Food Network Magazine a few years ago and I am sure I will be making it again.

To start I browned boneless skinless chicken thighs that I seasoned with curry powder, allspice, thyme salt and pepper in melted coconut cream that I skimmed off the stop of the coconut milk. Just remember not to shake the coconut milk or you won’t be able to skim this cream off of it.

 

Once the chicken was browned I transferred it to a plate and added onion, garlic, cilantro, a serrano chili and thyme sprigs to my Dutch oven and cooked until the onions began to soften. 

 

I then returned the chicken to the pot along with water and the remaining coconut cream and milk from the can and cooked it covered on medium-low heat, for about 15 minutes until the sauce was thickened and the chicken was cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. And finally, I added in a cup frozen peas and carrots thawed and cooked everything until the pear and carrots were warmed through. I then seasoned it with salt and pepper.

 

And served it with white rice.

 

Caribbean Chicken

Ingredients:

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 sprigs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, quartered

1 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (do not shake)

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 Scotch bonnet, habanero or serrano chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed

Cooked white rice for serving

Directions:

Combine the curry powder, allspice, chopped thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl and use it to season the chicken.

Skim 2 tablespoons of the solid cream off the top of the coconut milk and transfer to a large Dutch oven or pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, chili and thyme sprigs to the pot and cook, stirring until the onions are softened. Return the chicken to the pot along with a 1/4 cup of water and the coconut milk along with any remaining coconut cream. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Remove the thyme sprigs and add the peas and carrots and continue cooking until warmed through.

Serve with rice.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken and Broccoli

So, this wasn’t one of my favorite types of slow cooker meals. You know, throw it all in the slow cooker, walk away for about 8 hours and come back to a delicious meal, but it was one of the quickest (3 hours) and tastiest.

I started off by combining hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, minced garlic and red pepper flakes in my slow cooker. I then added in chicken thighs that I roughly cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces. I set the slow cooker to low and cooked the chicken for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, I added in a cornstarch-water mixture to thicken the sauce and some fresh broccoli florets and continued cooking everything for an additional hour on the high setting.

And that was it…

 

To serve, I made rice to soak up all of the sauce.

 

The one thing I would do different next time I make this is omit the cornstarch-water mixture. I found that the sauce got even thicker the following day for left-overs.

Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients:

1/4 cup hoisin sauce*

1/4 cup soy sauce**

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets

Cooked rice, for serving

Directions:

In a slow cooker whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the chicken and toss to coat with the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.

In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.

After 2 hours, stir the cornstarch mixture into the slow cooker to thicken the sauce. Add the broccoli and toss to coat (don’t worry if you cannot coat most of the broccoli). Cover and cook for an additional hour on high, or until the broccoli is tender. Serve with rice.

*I used a garlic hoisin sauce

**I used a low-sodium soy sauce

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Chicken Egg Rolls

There’s nothing like making homemade takeout… you know those staples like pizza, burgers, Mexican and probably one of the most popular Chinese. I don’t know about you but one of the things I like the most from my Chinese take-out are the egg rolls. And today I am bringing you a super simple and absolutely delicious recipe to making egg rolls at home!

First, in a medium bowl, I combined shredded chicken (I bought a cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket), broccoli slaw (which you can find in your local supermarket in the bagged salad area), cilantro, scallions, and freshly grated ginger along with teriyaki sauce, duck sauce and vegetable oil.

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Next, with the egg roll wrapper positioned in a diamond shape in front of me I placed about two tablespoons of the mixture in the lower corner.

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To roll, I folded up the bottom corner, then each of the sides (it’ll look like an envelope) and then dabbed the top edges with water and then rolled to enclose it.

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Once I had finished rolling all of the egg rolls I heated vegetable oil in my cast iron skillet. I’ll say it was about 1/4 of the way up the sides of my skillet. Now, I’m not one to take the temperature of the oil when frying food. My trick, place a wooden spoon in the center of the oil and if bubbles form around it you know the oil is ready. This is definitely a lot safer than my other “trick,” flicking water into the oil. Not a lot of course, just enough to get a reaction. So, once my oil was ready I fried the egg rolls in batches, turning, about 3-4 minutes until they were golden brown. I then transferred them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

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I served the egg rolls with a broccoli slaw salad made by combining the remaining broccoli slaw, cilantro and scallions in a large bowl and tossing it with teriyaki sauce, duck sauce, vegetable oil and rice vinegar. And of course with a side of duck sauce for dipping! YUM! The fresh grated ginger is really the standout ingredient in these egg rolls… You taste it, but, not as an overpowering ingredient but as one that really brings all the flavors together.

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And it wasn’t long before I made these again (less than a week later) but without the chicken, yet, they were just as delicious. I am thinking of trying shrimp next.

 

Chicken Egg Rolls with Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed

4 cups broccoli slaw (about 8 ounces)

1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

4 scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger

3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons duck sauce, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for serving

8 egg rolls wrappers

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

 

Directions:

Mix the chicken, 2 cups broccoli slaw, 1/4 cup cilantro, 2 scallions, the ginger, 2 tablespoons each of teriyaki sauce and duck sauce and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium bowl.

Heat about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. While the oil is heating, arrange the chicken mixture in the center of each egg roll wrapper.

Tuck in the ends and roll to enclose, dab the edges with water and continue to roll to enclose.

Once the oil is hot, fry the egg rolls in batches, turning, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

To make the slaw, combine the remaining broccoli slaw, cilantro and scallions in a large bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon each of teriyaki sauce, duck sauce and vegetable oil along with the rice vinegar, toss. Serve with the egg rolls.

**The original broccoli slaw recipe included a 14-ounce can of baby corn which I opted to leave out.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken and Hominy Stew

Hey Everyone! For this week’s Slow Cooker Sunday I am bringing you a stew that those of you who are sensitive to spiciness may find too spicy and those of you on the other end of the spectrum will say “Where’s the spice?” I’m on the latter side of that statement. I truthfully didn’t think the stew had any kick to it but others who tried it did, but, not so much that they weren’t able to enjoy it. So, what is this stew? Well, it’s a Chicken and Hominy Stew.

Once again, this is another of my favorite types of slow cooker meals… Just chop, drain then add to the slow cooker and let the machine work its magic. After cutting boneless skinless chicken thighs into approximately 1-inch pieces I placed them in the bottom of my slow cooker. Next I added in 2 seeded and chopped poblano chile peppers, half a bunch of cilantro that I roughly chopped and two cans of hominy that I rinsed and drained. If you are wondering what exactly is hominy check out this link.

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I then added in my liquids… low-sodium chicken broth and a jar of mild salsa verde.

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And finally I added in two corn tortillas that I tore into small pieces. I then covered it and set it to cook on low for 7 hours. Now, if you have a programmable slow cooker you need not worry about your start time, but, if you have a slow cooker like mine – I have one that has a 4 and 6 hour cook setting for high and a 8 and 10 hour cook setting for low, and a separate warm setting – make sure you take note of your start time. You don’t want to “overcook” the soup and end up with chicken that’s on the verge of shredding. You want a bit of bite to this soup since it is a stew.

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And after 7 hours it was time to enjoy a bowl. I topped it with some chopped avocado and enjoyed it with an extra corn tortilla on the side. Overall there’s not one thing about this stew I would change. The flavors all worked well together and like I said earlier I definitely didn’t feel like it was too spicy, it was just right!

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Hominy Stew

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 15-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed

2 poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 16-ounce jar salsa verde

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 6-inch corn tortilla

Kosher salt

Options for topping:

sour cream

avocado, diced

cilantro, chopped

romaine lettuce heart, shredded

corn tortillas, warmed

Directions:

Add the chicken, hominy, peppers and cilantro to the slow cooker. Add the broth, salsa verde and salt and stir to combine. Next, tear the 2 corn tortillas into small pieces and add to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

If serving with the tortillas, warm them according to the package directions. Top each serving of the stew with your favorite topping and enjoy. Serve with the warmed tortillas on the side.

*Please note I use a 5 1/2-quart slow cooker.

Recipe modified from The Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken Tikka Masala

Welcome to my new (and first) series… Slow Cooker Sunday. As the temperatures drop and the craziness of the holidays approach you may want something hearty and stress-free for dinner and the perfect solution to that is a slow-cooker dinner. You put all of your ingredients into the cooker in the morning, set it to cook on a high or low setting depending on your time needs and by the time you are ready to sit down to dinner your meal is ready and clean-up is a breeze. It can’t get better than that. A slow-cooker meal is also perfect for during the week, whether you are working, running errands or taking care of kids. That dreaded question that may run through your mind throughout the day – “what should I make for dinner?” – can easily be answered. So be sure to check back every Sunday to see what new meal I post. For today’s first Slow Cooker Sunday meal I am bringing you Chicken Tikka Masala. This is something I always order whenever I go out to an Indian restaurant. I am always tempted to order something different but I always settle on this favorite.

I began by cutting about a pound and a half of boneless skinless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and marinating them in yogurt for a few hours. Afterwards I placed them in the bottom of my slow cooker. In case you are wondering, marinating the chicken in yogurt helps to tenderize the chicken.

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Next, in a sauté pan I cooked a diced onion and three minced garlic cloves in olive oil until the onion was softened. I then stirred in fresh grated ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika and Kosher salt. Garam masala is what gives this dish its incredible flavor. Typically it’s a blend of black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, black and green cardamom, bay leaf and cumin. Initially I looked for it in the international aisle of my supermarket and with no luck there I checked out the spice area and was able to find it among the McCormick Gourmet spices. I should have known it would be among the “fancy” spices in the glass bottles… LOL!

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I then added the onion mixture to the chicken in the slow cooker along with a can of diced tomatoes. After stirring everything together I covered it and cooked it on high for 4 hours. I typically like to use my slow cooker on the low setting, but, I needed this dish to be done in the early afternoon.

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Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking I stirred in heavy cream and left the cover off of the slow cooker so the sauce could thicken. Meanwhile I made basmati rice…

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Which I served on the side with some of the chicken. This was INCREDIBLY delicious and just as good as the Chicken Tikka Masala I’ve had at some of my favorite Indian restaurants. I can’t wait to make it again.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bit-sized pieces

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons garam masala

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups cooked basmati rice, to serve

Directions:

Marinate the chicken in the yogurt for up to six hours or as little as an hour. Shake to remove the excess yogurt and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium-high heat until the onions have softened. Stir in the ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika and salt. Transfer to the slow cooker on top of the kitchen. Add in the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine everything.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Make note of the start time because 15 minutes before the end of cooking add in the heavy cream. If you would like a thicker sauce leave the cover off for these final 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

*Please note I use a 5 1/2 quart slow-cooker.

Recipe from the kitchn

Chicken Pad Thai

Whenever I go to a Thai restaurant my go-to dish is always Chicken Pad Thai. It’s pretty much foolproof and always delicious. A few years ago I attempted to make it myself and was happy with the outcome – it was super simple and tasted awesome. I recently dug out the recipe I used and whipped it up for dinner.

To begin I prepped all of my ingredients; minced garlic and ginger, sliced three thinly sliced chicken breasts into strips and julienned 2 carrots and 1 zucchini.

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Two of my other ingredients were rice noodles and Asian chili paste.

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Next I whisked together soy sauce, water, peanut butter and the chili paste until it was smooth.

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To cook the vegetables and chicken I began by sautéing the garlic and ginger for about a minute and then adding the vegetables and chicken and cooking everything until the chicken was cooked through.

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While I was cooking the vegetables I prepped the rice noodles by soaking them in warm water (I brought a pot of water to boil and then removed it from the heat). Luckily the rice noodles now come in these individual packets (there are four in a box) so I knew exactly how many noodles I needed – 2 packets. The last time I cooked with rice noodles – granted it was some time ago – they didn’t come in these nifty packages so I had to use my best guess as to what was half of the package.

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The noodles soaking…

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Once the noodles were ready (I followed the directions on the package and soaked them for 5 minutes) I added them to the pan with the vegetables and then added in the peanut/soy sauce I made along with light brown sugar and cider vinegar. I tossed all of the ingredients together to distribute the sauce and let everything cook for a few more minutes and then it was time to enjoy my homemade Chicken Pad Thai and it was delicious!

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Chicken Pad Thai – Modified from here

Servings 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons Asian chili paste

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 zucchini, julienned

2 carrots, julienned

8 ounces chicken breast, sliced into strips

1/4 pound rice noodles, follow directions on package to prepare

1 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoons cider vinegar

Optional for garnish:

Lime Wedges

Chopped Peanuts

Bean Sprouts

Directions:

1. In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, water, peanut butter and chili paste.

2. Heat a large sauté pan (or wok) over medium heat and add the canola oil. Once the oil is hot add the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the vegetables and chicken and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Add the noodles and toss to coat them.

3. Add the peanut/soy sauce, brown sugar and cider vinegar and toss to distribute. Cook until heated through.