Thursday, February 17, 2011

our hearts are warm, our bellies are full, and we are feeling prime

Just for fun, I thought I'd post some recipes that we've had lately that have been good enough to make the cut into the 3-ring binder of recipe joy(As it turns out, there are now two 3-ring binders.  There was just too much joy there to fit into one.)

They don't have a whole lot in common, other than the fact that they're all easy, delicious, beloved by Eric, use chicken, (except one of them) and use black beans (except for one of them).

(Actually, Eric's words upon eating the Thai Chicken were, "This isn't too bad.  I'm not all that hungry but I want some more of that."  This resulted in a little 'you missed your lines again' discussion, where I pointed out that saying "this isn't too bad" is akin to saying, "Everything else you make is crap, but this dish I could actually swallow down.", and that a better phrase might be something along the lines of, "This is quite good.", or "I like this."  We had a good laugh at that.  One thing I will say for Eric, he is teachable.  Absent minded at times, but definitely teachable.  Also, he doesn't get upset when I rat him out on the blog.  That's got to be worth something.)

Anyway, back to these recipes that "aren't too bad":

Thai Chicken Stir-Fry

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken
¼ cup rice wine
1 ½ Tbs lite soy sauce
3 ½ Tbs water
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbs cooking oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (could use ¼ tsp dried in a pinch, but fresh tastes SOOOO much better)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups bias-sliced carrot (3 medium)(I use our food processor)
½ to 1 stalk broccoli, broken in to little flowerets (or you can substitute 2 cups fresh peapods, tips and strings removed)
4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces (I use a food processor)
3-4 fresh mushrooms, sliced in food processor (optional)
1 orange bell pepper, sliced in food processor (optional)
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Rice Noodles (example pictured over there---->)
(or you can substitute 2 cups hot cooked rice)

Prepare rice noodles according to directions on package (i.e., soak them in warm water for 30-40 minutes)

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; set aside. For sauce, stir together rice win, soy sauce, water, fish sauce, cornstarch, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

Pour oil into a wok or large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook and stir for 15 seconds. Add other veggies, cook and stir for 2-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove veggies from skillet.

Add half the chicken to hot skillet. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Return all chicken to skillet. Push chicken from center of skillet. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Push chicken into center of skillet, return veggies to skillet. Add rice noodles and stir. Stir in the peanuts. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes more or until heated through. If using rice instead of noodles, serve over rice.

Serves 4

Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 can of green chili enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz. can, drained) yellow corn
1 large (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 package of taco seasoning
1 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 can of chunk chicken

Open the cans, pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.

Serve w/ shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado,fresh tomatoes, & tortilla chips, etc

Non-refried (i.e. Healthy) Black Beans Side Dish
(Don't think I'm too tacky, but I often serve this with Rice-a-Roni to finish out a Mexican meal)

2 cans canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped (I usually use dehydrated onions)
2-3 cloves garlic (at least)
1 can diced tomatoes, preferably with some spices mixed in (if there are no spices in the tomatoes, add ¼ tsp cayenne pepper when you cook them)
1 tsp cumin (or more)

If you’re not using dehydrated onions, fry them in a little bit of olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, and fry for a bit more. Otherwise, just dump everything into a saucepan and heat. If you let it simmer for 30 minutes or more, you get better flavor. It makes a lot, but if you half the recipe, you’re stuck with ½ can of tomatoes, so I always make the whole thing. It freezes well though.

Happy Cooking!

5 points for the name of the song
2 points for the name of the musical

2 points for the composer(s) of the musical
other points awarded by whim


Jake said...

It's got to be from Newsies. Those paper boys were always full of spirit and rejoicing over things like food.

Also I want points because after eating beans for two years I was so sick of them that I swore off them for years, but now I love them so much Melissa is looking for recipes with black beans for me.

If that doesn't do it the I should say, "After you been having steak for a long time, beans, beans taste fine".

Barbara Corry said...

Nostalgia, isn't it great. This was a real nice Clambake(?) from Carousel by Rogers and Hammerstein. Again, the whole company sings, not that you asked for that. I'm not really sure if that's the title because it is a very short song and it may be part of a longer one like June is Busting out all over. In the depths of my mind I'm thinking UFO did this with Michael as Billy. Shirley Jones became a star because of this role.

Barbara Corry said...

Whim point, I have actually been to a clambake. With my brothers and sisters, when I was probably a young teenager, in California. We dug the clams and then boiled them. You have to dig quickly because the clams seem to move as fast of worms when you're trying to catch them for fishing. Back then I didn't care for them, especially when we had to pry them out of the shells!

Jeri said...

I was going to guess Oliver - they sing about being hungry, figured that maybe they sang about being full too??? guess not!

Ok - shameless stab at whim points:

I've been to a clam back too???? (I was in Oregon tho, not Cali) on a Youth super activity (back when they were allowed)

And I have a GREAT recipe for Jacob that uses black beans??? Look on "" and look up the recipe for pumpkin and black bean chili. I know it sounds weird, but it is really tasty!

How about this one: I know a song from Carousel. "You'll never walk alone" ... in fact, and my brother played it on the violin at my gram's funeral????

Ok - nothing really concrete. how about one whim point for EFFORT???? and Shameless begging???

Charlotte said...

Okay--here's the point round-up so far:

Jake: 2 points--one for the beans comment, and one for the great "beans, beans taste fine" song. I'll give an additional point to whichever one of you (you and Melissa) will post the link to the blog post where you were watching Survivor Brazil and Melissa asked you if you could imagine eating nothing but rice and beans. That's one of my all-time favorite We Are Corry's moments.

Barbara: 12 points: 5 for the song, 2 for the musical, 2 for the composers, 1 for knowing about the UFO production, 1 for Shirley Jones trivia, and 1 for attending an actual clambake.

(Incidentally, if you end up winning all this, I can't WAIT to see how excited dad will be about having a whole game night with Eric and Me. He's just going to DIE of excitement. You'd better start prepping him now, just in case.)

Jeri: 3 points--1 clambake point, one for naming another song from Carousel, and one for the bean chili recipe. I've printed the recipe, and if I end up making it and liking it before we end this little game, I'll give you another 3 points. If Eric decides that it's "not to bad", I'll give you an additional 2 points for a total of 5 pumpkin bean chili points.

Jake said...

I had all but forgotten about this

Harmony said...

My favorite easy, delicious, uses-chicken-and-black-beans recipe:

Can't help but wonder if it will be beloved by Eric as well. :-)

And I also have a 3-ring binder of recipe joy that I organized for my husband for Christmas a few years ago when my previous system (or lack thereof) was driving him crazy. And our binder too needs to be expanded to a second binder!

Harmony said...

P.S. Where's Tasha???

Charlotte said...

Another point to Jacob for the Survivor link.

Harmony gets the same bean-recipe-link deal, so 1 point now for sharing, with 3 or possibly 5 points in the future if I manage to make it and it is beloved by all before we're done with this little competition. Another point for having a 3-ring binder of joy.

Incidentally, I love how Midwinter Musical Madness has taken a little "my best recipe that includes black beans" turn. You just never know where things are going to go around here, do you? Serendipity!

And yeah, where IS Tasha?

Tasha said...

I'm here! Sorry, I had my back go out on me and spent every ounce of energy the last two days just trying to walk and teach. It's coming around now.

In an attempt to make the life of mom's easier, incorporate two of the main themes from this post and maybe get on the board, I share with you my FAVORITE chili recipe. It uses chicken AND black beans, is very easy and my kids (Enoch included) all eat them. Yup, the recipe says pinto beans, but they make me gag, so I put in black beans instead. And I use frozen corn because canned corn makes Enoch gag.

As another side note, I live on the I-15 corridor, and after a recent move am currently two blocks south and three blocks east of your parents and think game night would be tons of fun - or at least ice cream escape. Think about it!!!

Tasha said...

Also, because I'm not thinking well enough to make my whole comment in one post, I'm REALLY curious about how people organize their three ring binder of joy...I too need to expand into another but there are some things that I think I want to organize cookies aren't really a dessert - I mean sure, kindof, but really? No, so then is there a afternoon dessert section or an evening dessert section, or the dessert that I make when I'm trying to convince people that I'm an awesome dedicated cook but really I'm not section...something to think about. Work that into a lyric and post is and let's get a dual three ring binder of joy brain trust working here...

Robert said...

Just a comment on the first recipe - Who came up with the name fish sauce? I suppose that's a little better than fish juice, but still. It conjures up images in my mind of Jack Lelanne "Simply put a small rainbow trout, in the top of the JLSS Power Juicer Deluxe and in less than 5 seconds you have a full cup of delicious fish sauce."

Other than the fish juice and the mushrooms I think I'll have make this one for ShaLiece.

Carol said...

I missed it again! So, I will try sharing one of my favorite chili recipes and how I organize my recipes.

Chili recipe - from the back of a Kuner's black beans can - I have a special connection to the Kuner's brand as they had their main cannery here in Colorado. My grandfather was the nightwatchman there for YEARS. He had an old bicycle he rode around and allowed my male cousins to do the same. Being the first generation Church member - you'll understand the next statement. My grandfather chewed tobacco. He used to throw his old tins on top of the office in the cannery. When that building closed, my uncles wanted to see how many tobacco tins were up there - needless to say they didn't bother to count and were amazed that grandpa died of old age (90 something) and not cancer!


Kuner’s Canned Chili Recipe

1 Lb ground beef, browned (we used stew meat and simmered it longer to tenderize the beef)
1 medium onion chopped and sautéed (I usually remove the ground beef to let it drain and reserve a bit of the fat to sauté the onion)
1 Can Kuner’s Southwestern Black beans with Cumin and Chili Spices
1 Can Kuner’s Diced Tomatoes (I usually use one with green chilies)
1 Can Kuner’s Sweet Corn – drained

Mix everything together and simmer until heated through. Top with grated cheese. Serves 6 – 7.

If doubling this recipe, consider substituting 1 can of the Southwestern Black beans with a can that has jalapenos and lime juice in the black beans. I remove the jalapenos, but it does add a nice flavor. If you simmer the chili too long and it gets too thick, you can add a little bit of chicken or vegetable broth and retain the flavor of the chili.

Recipe organization - I have two styles and several binders. The first style is for the general recipes that we use on a somewhat regular basis. They are divided by category (main dishes, salads, desserts, etc.). So, when it came time to split, we just divided what would fit in the binders.

My second style is based on Cuisine. I have several types of cuisine for which I have collected a lot of recipes that I like to cook together (Cuban, Thai, Amish, etc.). I have much smaller notebooks where I keep those recipes. There are some duplicates, but things are where I find can find them depending upon my cooking mood.

Not much to do with the music - but the song "Food, Glorious Food" is running through my mind right now!

Jeri said...

I know Carol's song!!! It's from Oliver... which was my original guess for this post. SEE - I WAS RIGHT! You might have thought you were doing something from Carousel, but I think Oliver is definitely closer! And I really need ot organize all my recipes... my system right now is called "CHAOS"

Charlotte said...

And here comes the point fairy back to make some awards!

(Glad to see you Tasha)

Tasha--1 point for the chili recipe, with the possibility of 5 more later, depending. No points for living close to my parents, but Heather and I will be down for a bit in about a month, and although we'll be running around too much for a game night, (probably) an ice cream/visit session sounds glorious! I'll send you a message when it gets closer. I'll give you another point for bringing up the recipe organization topic, since I'm always on the lookout for things to write about, and I'm looking forward to finding out what other people have to say as well.

Robert: 1 point for the mental image of Jack Lelanne making fish sauce, which cracked me up. (You can buy fish sauce in the Asian Isle, it's used pretty commonly in Thai foods). I'll give you an additional point because I've SEEN the organization of ShaLiece's recipes that you did for her a few years ago, and I'm amazed and completely impressed.

Carol--1 point for the chili recipe, with the possibility of five more in the future. Maybe I should have a chili party and invite people over to weigh in. One more point for taking the time to write out your recipe organization techniques. One more point because I'm feeling like I should give Jeri and point for her comment about food glorious food, and if I do that, I really can't leave you out in the cold now, can I?

Jeri--1 point for being on the same wavelength as Carol, and remembering that food glorious food came from Oliver.

Incidentally, we're doing Oliver at the opera this summer. We had auditions for the orphan boys about two weeks ago. I didn't sit in on the auditions, but I was able to hear quite a few of them in my office through the ventilation system, and if the auditions are any indication, it sounds like it should be a stellar cast.

Carol said...

Goodness, I just had to come back! As i was going on my merry little way at work after posting what I could, I couldn't quite thinking about food. I just finished reading "The Help" yesterday (just in time for the book club last night). Of course, all this talk of food made me ponder on Milly's Caramel Cake, Aibileen's Lady Finger Cake and made me wonder if I will ever be able to consider eating a chocolate pie again?!

I think there should be a new publishing rule. If you have a book that mentions a lot of food, then you are responsible as an author for publishing said recipes, (except chocolate pie in this case)!

Okay - keeping musical. Have you seen on You Tube the 'Food Court Musicals'? They are sponsored by Improv Everywhere. This one cracks me up and I thought it was appropriate for the day.

Charlotte said...

Now THAT video is definitely worth another point.

Charlotte said...

And Harmony gets 5 points! We had your bean/mango/chicken salad for our Sunday meal today, and it was an enthusiastic thumbs up by all involved. Thanks!

Harmony said...

You're welcome! Glad you liked it. I was wondering why my point totals jumped. :-)

Harmony said...

Did you try it with ranch or poppyseed dressing? Just curious.

Charlotte said...

Ranch. We (I) make our own with 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup mayo, 1 Tbsp (dried) parsley, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper.

We never have buttermilk, so I just add a tsp of lemon juice to skim milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes first. Also, we use the reduced fat olive oil mayo that Kraft makes.

Harmony said...

I add 1-2 tsp. white vinegar to a cup of milk when I need buttermilk (usually for pancakes or waffles). Try poppyseed dressing on that salad sometime though. Jeff prefers ranch, but I like the sweetness that the poppyseed adds.

Charlotte said...

3 more points for Jeri! We had the pumpkin chili this weekend, and I found it delicious, particularly on day 2.

Eric sadly, was not so complimentary. Hence 3 points instead of 5. Oh well. What does Eric know?

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