Veggie Bowl

If we had a go-to week night dinner, this would be it.  I probably make this about once a week, and even more frequently if it’s just me eating at home.  It’s so versatile, quick to put together, and healthy, so I love making them after a game or workout (and before my wine 😉 ).

Wilds’ Veggie Bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package Asian Gourmet Chinese noodles
  • 1/2 cup Garlic hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup Broccoli
  • 1/3 cup Carrots
  • 1/3 cup Baby corn
  • 1 egg
  • Salt / pepper to taste
  • Sriracha sauce

Disclaimer: These are all estimated amounts, so add as much or as little as you like!

Start by boiling water in a pan.  The chinese noodles are in 2 groupings of noodles per package, and 1 serves ~2-3 people.  Put 1 of the chinese noodle groupings in the boiling water and follow the package directions for cooking.

While the water is boiling, cut up your raw vegetables into bite sized pieces.  I usually use about 3/4 a head of broccoli, 10-15 baby carrots and half a can of baby corn cut in thirds.  Place those in a pan, add some hoisin sauce and put on medium heat.

Drain the noodles when they’re done cooking and add them to the vegetable / hoisin mixture.  Mix them together and add a little more hoisin sauce for good coverage.  In a small pan, fry an egg to your liking.

When the egg is ready, put the veggies & noodles in a bowl, then egg, and top with sriracha sauce. Done!

noodle-bowl

Edits: If Hunter is eating this, we always cook chicken and add that to the bowls for some extra protein.  We’ve done a lot of experimenting with this dish and hands down the Chinese noodles are our favorite.  The fatter noodles are a runner up.  I’m not a spicy person, but I’ve slowly been adding more and more Sriracha to my noodle bowls – baby steps.

Results: Like I said, this is a go-to meal for us and we always try to keep ingredients on hand so it’s easy to whip together last minute for dinner.  It’s also fun since we have been making these for years (?) and slowly tweaking it until it’s just to our liking.

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Cornbread 2 Ways

It’s your lucky day.  Instead of sharing my favorite cornbread recipe, I’m sharing two.  They’re both great, but definitely different, so pick your favorite!

Traditional Cornbread

This is what you get when you’re thinking “I grew up in the South and am craving cornbread,” probably because it’s the recipe on the back of the Martha White cornmeal bag and has been made for generations.  My mom has makes this version, and it always hits the spot as a great side to whatever your main dish may be.  Definitely top with ample butter, so it melts into the bread, ahhhhhhh.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 C milk, or 1 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 C self rising corn meal
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 can whole kernel corn (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place butter in skillet for 7-8 minutes until hot & butter is melted.  Beat egg in a medium bowl.  Stir in milk, oil, corn meal, baking powder and salt until smooth.  Batter should be creamy and pourable.  If too thick, add 1-2 T more milk.

Pour mixture into the heated skillet and bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Edits: I added 1/3 can of whole kernel corn to the batter because I just like having  corn in my cornbread.

cornbread_traditional

Sweet Cornbread

Okay, recipe #2.  Full disclosure: One day I was looking for my mom’s cornbread recipe in my inbox and came across this one instead from a local blogger I follow.  Since I couldn’t find mom’s, and I like other recipes I’ve tried from Natalie, I decided to try it out for our Christmas dinner with Samantha!  Like I mentioned, this is different from the first recipe, but just as good.  It’s more of a cake-y feel, and a little sweeter than a traditional cornbread.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 14 oz can creamed corn

Melt butter in 9×12 dish @ 350 degrees.  Mix other ingredients well in a bowl and pour in pan.  Bake 30-40 mins.

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Edits : I decided not to bake this in a 9×12″ pan, and ended up using my iron skillet (because #southern), and then a smaller 4×8″ dish for the overflow.  It ended up taking 40 minutes to bake, but check your oven as you bake just in case.  I did the toothpick trick for good measure 🙂

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Zucchini, Corn & Bacon Pizza

Do you ever have a craving for some flavors or ingredients and you come up with an idea and know it could turn out bad, but want to try it anyways?  That was exactly what happened last week when all I wanted was a pizza with zucchini, corn and bacon on top.  Who knows why I chose those 3 toppings, but it seemed like a good idea and I was determined to make it.

Zucchini, Corn & Bacon Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza crust
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt / pepper / Old Bay to taste
  • 4 pieces of bacon

Preheat your oven based on the instructions for your crust.  I went with the Pillsbury pizza crust because I wanted it to be a little thinner.  Spread the crust out on your pan, cover the top in your pizza sauce, and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Now work on your toppings. In one pan let your butter melt while you cut your zucchini into slices.  The thinner, the crispier they will become.  Saute the zucchini in the pan with the butter, and add some salt, pepper and Old Bay to taste.  Cut the corn off the cob and put in a bowl.  As the zucchini is close to being cooked, a the corn so give it a little crisp as well.

In another pan, cook your bacon strips over medium heat.  When they’re to your crispy liking, dry them on a paper towel and crumble them into smaller pieces.

Now top your pizza with the zucchini, corn and bacon and put into the oven!  Bake it according to the crust directions (I baked mine a little longer for a crispier crust) and enjoy!

zucchini corn pizza

Results: I really liked the different ingredients together.  It was like having a somewhat healthy pizza since there were veggies on it.. Next time I might add some red pepper flakes for a lil kick.  Hunter enjoyed it too and we both finished off the leftovers later that week!

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Minestrone Soup

Since Hunter and I headed to Georgia for Christmas, we wanted to celebrate with his sister in Charleston before we left.  We thought about grilling out, but it was raining off and on, so I decided on some soup and cornbread.  After a search through my inbox, I found this minestrone recipe that fit the bill.  Note: I’ve never made minestrone (or probably eaten it) before, so who knows why it sounded great, but I’m glad it did.

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 15.25 oz. can whole kernel sweet white corn, drained
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  1 box chicken broth (~4 cups)
  • 1 c uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 15.5 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 2 t Tabasco
  • 6 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach
  • Shredded gruyere cheese

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté about 3 minutes, until softened, stirring frequently.  Add oregano and garlic and sauté another minute, continuing to stir frequently.  Stir in the squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn.  Sauté 5 more minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth and crushed tomatoes to your pot.  Add in the ranch packet and hot sauce and stir.  Next add the pasta and beans to pot.  Cook 10 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in spinach, and salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese!

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Edits : There were a few… for starters, I didn’t have fresh oregano, so just used the dry kind in a bottle.  I also had baby carrots on hand, so cut those up instead of buying the big guys to cut up.  I used 1/2 c more pasta than the recipe called for, because I love pasta.  I had never heard of great northern beans, but apparently they’re common enough to be with all the other beans on the aisle.  I used a little more hot sauce, and a little less spinach, plus subbed parmesan cheese for gruyere. Phew, I think that’s it!

Results : I admit, I was kinda skeptical since I’d never had minestrone soup before, and wasn’t sure if this would actually fill me up.  It totally did.  I couldn’t even finish my bowl (which was overflowing).  Samantha and Hunter ate all of theirs too, and the recipe got a raving review!  It’s a keeper 🙂

PS – This is great with cornbread!

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Slow Cooker Chili with Corn

Sunday was the first time it’s felt like fall in awhile, and we were both craving something warm to eat while watching football. Well chili was the perfect solution!  I don’t have a great go-to recipe, so I found one online I wanted to try, and we grabbed the ingredients during a break in football.

Slow Cooker Chili with Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or beefchili 01
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 8 oz diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 16 oz black beans, drained
  • 12 oz sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 t chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce

Put olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, 1/2 t salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Cook until browned, then drain and put in your dutch oven or crock pot.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, and stir well.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 4-5 hours for a crock pot, or simmer for 4 hours in your dutch oven.

Serve warm, and garnish with desired toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, or lime slices.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Edits : The original recipe called for all spice, and I didn’t have any, so I left it out.  I also added more corn that the original recipe, and we upped the heat with more tabasco, chili powder and cayenne than it called for.  We only simmered it in the dutch oven for 2 hours because we were hungry, and that was fine.

Results :  Delicious!  It was a perfect dinner for the first chilly day we have had in weeks.  I baked some corn muffins to serve with it which were the perfect complement.  The extra spice helped clear my sinuses too.  Now I’m looking forward to having the leftovers!