Kimmie Bee’s Simple Marinara

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My son had a school basketball game (still undefeated .. woo hoo) and had travel basketball practice just a few hours after his game ended. I was busy running errands during the day and didn’t take anything out of the freezer to make for dinner. Sigh! No problem! Here is where a well stocked pantry comes in handy.  A quick sauté of some veggies and my go to Trader Joe’s bottled marinara sauce and dinner was on the table in less than thirty minutes. Success!!!

You will need:

3 T olive oil

1 carrot, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small package of baby portobellos, sliced

6 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 t oregano or Italian seasoning

1 t red pepper flakes

1 t salt

1 jar of Trader Joe’s marinara (or your favorite brand)

1 lb of angel hair pasta, cooked according to the package

Heat a deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, carrot, mushrooms, onion and sun dried tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and spices and cook for an additional minute. Add the marinara and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Serve over angel hair pasta and garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese.

#yumola

* For my local friends, I’d be happy to help you stock your pantry with essentials *

Kimmie Bee’s ‘lighter but still tasty’ Chicken Alfredo

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The Fall basketball season has begun and, for my household,  that means we are constantly on the go which makes dinner planning and making a challenging task. However, I’m determined to keep my mommy mobile out of the fast food drive-thru lines! So, during this busy season, quick and easy recipes are my friend. My son LOVES pasta. In an effort to lighten up one of his favorites, yet still satisfy his … all of our … tastebuds, I came up with this version of Alfredo sauce. It is packed full of flavor and pretty scrumpdiliocious!

You will need:

2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut the breast in half lengthwise and then julienne or cube

kosher salt (about a teaspoon)

freshly ground black pepper (about a teaspoon)

1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (can totally omit this)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T olive oil

2 T butter (I use unsalted)

3 T flour (could use cornstarch with almost the same results)

1 cup of chicken stock or broth

1 cup of 1% milk (could use skim, but won’t be as creamy)

1 cup of plain; non fat greek yogurt at room temperature

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 lb of your favorite pasta, cooked according to the package and drained (I used bow tie because it’s my son’s favorite)

Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Add one tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and add the chicken. Cook for three minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl.

In the same pan, with the heat turned down to medium, add the remaining olive oil and butter. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds while stirring. Slowly whisk in the flour or cornstarch. Cook for one minute while whisking constantly. Slowly add the milk and broth, while whisking, until the liquid is combined with the flour and smooth. Turn up the heat to medium high and simmer the sauce for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the yogurt. Once the yogurt is combined with the sauce, return the pan back to medium heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Simmer, while whisking, for an additional 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and the nutmeg. Add the cooked chicken back into the pan as well as the pasta; stir to combine and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.

Serve alongside your favorite vegetable and ENJOY!

* Cook’s note: The options are endless with this recipe. As is usually the case, I used what I had in my refrigerator and pantry. You can substitute the chicken for portobello mushrooms or add a package of sliced portobellos to the pan when cooking the chicken. You could also add broccoli (spinach, peas, etc.) to the pan, at the very end, and have a ‘one pot dish’.

#yumola

Quiche with Butternut Squash, Onion & Spinach

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I’ve never made quiche before. I know, hard to believe, but true! In my quest to make NEW healthy and delicious vegetarian meals for my hubby (a new vegetarian), I decided to give it a try. I had a butternut squash that I needed to cook and thought why not roast it and put it into a quiche? I looked online for inspiration and lo and behold, there was a recipe for quiche using … you guessed it … roasted butternut squash. I doubled their recipe and Kimmie-fied it, a bit, but the inspiration totally came from a recipe I saw on kingarthurflour.com. My recipe will make two 9″ pies and, trust me, you will want to make both of them because this quiche is even better the next day. SOOOOO good!!!!!

You will need:

Your favorite pie crust recipe. My recipe, listed under ‘Tips’, makes two 9″ pies and is DELICIOUS! However, please don’t let making homemade crust keep you from trying this recipe. There are many GREAT store bought options out there.

2 medium onions, diced

4 T olive oil

2 T quality balsamic vinegar (I LOVE the ‘balsamic vinegar of modena’ from #williamssonoma)

3 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cubed (#traderjoes has already cubed butternut squash if you would like a shortcut)

2 cups of baby spinach, chopped (#earthboundfarm brand is my FAVE)

2 cups of milk (I used 1% organic from #costco)

10 large eggs

2 t dried rosemary (rub the dried herbs in your fingers to release the oils … can use 2 T fresh)

1/2 t of dried thyme (can use 1 t fresh)

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (grate your own cheese, please and  reserve 1/2 cup to put on top of the pies)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Prepare and roll out your dough to fit into your 9″ pie pans. Poke holes all over the dough with a fork and bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of the olive oil and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized. This should take between 20-25 minutes. You are looking for a golden brown. Add the balsamic during the last few minutes of cooking.

While the onion is cooking, toss the cubed butternut squash with the remaining olive oil and season with a liberal amount (about a half teaspoon each) of salt and pepper. Spread it, in a single layer, onto a cookie sheet and roast in the oven. You can keep the squash in the oven until the onions are finished caramelizing.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the herbs, one and a half teaspoons of salt and pepper, caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash, baby spinach and the two cups of the cheese. Divide the mixture evenly into your two prepared pie crusts. Top with the reserved cheese.

Bake the quiche for 40 minutes or until the center is just set and the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool for ten minutes.

Enjoy!

#yumola

 

Kimmie Bee’s Stuffed Peppers

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Comfort food! Who doesn’t like it? We all have our favorite comfort foods and often times they are the foods we grew up eating. One of my favorites is my Mom’s stuffed peppers. I recently had a taste for them, but wanted to tweak the recipe to make it a bit healthier. They were scrumpdiliocious!

You will need:

1 1b of ground turkey

olive oil (or your oil of your choosing)

1 onion, chopped

2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 t dried oregano

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups of crushed tomatoes, (I used 1/2 crushed tomatoes and 1/2 Trader Joe’s marinara)

1 cup of brown rice, cooked

shredded mozzarella

4 to 5 medium peppers (green, red, orange or yellow)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté the onion, ground turkey, garlic and spices in a drizzle of olive oil. Turn off the heat and mix in the cooked rice and 1/2 of the crushed tomatoes. Set aside.

Cut the tops off of the peppers and carefully remove the seeds. Season the inside of the peppers with salt and pepper. Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers and top them with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Place the peppers in a baking dish and bake for 25-30 min. Cover with foil if you’d like the peppers to be softer.

 

Enjoy!

#yumola

Kimmie Bee’s Favorite Frittata

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I frittata. Do you frittata? ☺️ I LOVE frittatas and have them at least three times a week. They are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the ingredient options are endless and only limited by your imagination! For this individual frittata (and my favorite ingredient combination), you will need:

1 scallion (green onion), chopped

3 baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

a handful of baby spinach

3 sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil (you can chop or leave whole)

1/4 t of crushed red pepper flakes

drizzle of avocado oil (olive oil or your favorite oil)

kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

2 eggs, beaten

Sauté veggies in a drizzle of your favorite oil for three minutes over medium high heat.

Add the beaten eggs and reduce heat to low.

Once the eggs start to set, place the pan under the broiler, set to high, and cook until the eggs puff up and start to brown around the edges. Watch closely. You can add your favorite grated cheese just before you pop it under the broiler if you’d like.

Enjoy!

#yumola

No more store bought spice packets, Part 2

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There are so many reasons to make your own spice blends, but one BIG one is that you control what goes in and you KNOW how long they have been on the shelf. There are quite a few great companies out there … Penzeys is my GO TO … to help you out. One of my favorite homemade spice blends is listed below. It is a bit spicy; packed full of flavor and I use it on everything … chicken, ribs, burgers, eggs … everything! You, of course, can alter the amounts to your liking or even add other spices. But, whatever you do, stop buying those little packets that have ingredients in them you can’t even pronounce.

1 T freshly ground black pepper

1 T cayenne pepper

2 T garlic powder

1 T onion powder

1 T dried oregano

3 T paprika

2 T kosher salt

1 T dried thyme

Mix all of the spices in a bowl and store in an air tight container. You can store for six months in a cool, dark place … your pantry … and use as much or as little as you like.

Enjoy

#yumola

Sheila’s Skillet Potatoes with String Beans

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I promised to post this recipe days ago and haven’t because … LIFE. But, I’m sitting on my sofa; thinking about my big sister (Sheila) who had the nerve to go on a three month vacation. Who does that? I mean, I miss her! But, I digress. Those thoughts reminded me that I hadn’t posted her scrumpdiliocious potato recipe. Growing up, my Mom always made fried potatoes with onions (she still does and my kids LOVE it), but my sister took it to a whole other level of deliciousness! Trust me! Your taste buds will be doing the happy dance.

You will need:

3 lb bag of potatoes, sliced about 1/2 inch thick (scub, pat dry and leave the skins on … I like baby yukon golds, but you could use any variety)

1 large onion, sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 T olive oil (or your favorite oil)

1 bag of frozen green beans (I love Trader Joe’s haricot vert, but you could use fresh)

kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a heavy sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the oil. Season the potatoes with the salt and pepper and add them to the hot pan. Do not turn for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and turn the potatoes. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and green beans and lower the heat to medium. Continue cooking, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Enjoy!

#yumola

Kimmie Bee’s Vegetable Chili

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I LOVE going to the Farmer’s Market in the Summer. There are SO many options and varieties of vegetables, but I tend to buy more than we can use before they go bad. Since I haven’t tried my hand at canning veggies, what am I to do with some of my abundant and delicious Summer produce? Make a scrumpdiliocious vegetable chili, of course! For this recipe, you will need:

2 T of your favorite oil (I use regular olive oil)

2 carrots, sliced

1 rib of celery, including the leafy tops, chopped

2 ears of corn cut off of the cob or 1 cup of frozen corn

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

3 green onion, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

3 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed

3 T chili powder

2 T ground cumin

1 t oregano

2 t paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1 – 15 oz can of black beans

1 -15 oz can of great northern beans

1 – 15 oz can of kidney beans

1 – 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

water or vegetable stock as needed to thin out the chili if too thick

Heat oil, in a large dutch oven or stock pot, over medium high heat. Add all of the vegetables and saute approximately 10 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes start to soften. You don’t want to brown the veggies. Add all of the spices and stir. Drain and add the beans to the pot as well as the tomatoes. Stir, cover and lower the temperature to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the water or stock, if needed, stir and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes. Season with extra salt and pepper, if needed and serve. Garnish with chopped, avocado, cilantro or even sour cream and grated cheese.

Enjoy!

#yumola

 

Penzeys Spices

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Rarely do I feel so strongly about a product that I want to use it exclusively! As someone who loves trying new products and creating different flavor profiles and recipes, I enjoy trying a variety of products. So, this is HUGE for me! I already loved using Penzeys Spices because of the quality. The price is right and they just do spices right! But, it gets better. Not only do they have amazing products, they have amazing ethics, morals and values. Of course, I will still use fresh herbs. Some recipes just call for them. As for dried spices, Penzeys you’ve got all of my yeses and my dollars too! 😊

#PenzeysSpices #yumola

Barbecue Chicken Sliders with Coleslaw

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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about making everything from scratch. But, even I take shortcuts from time to time. This has got to be one of the easiest recipes, EVER, and so tasty. Seriously! It will make about 24 sliders or 12 regular sized sandwiches.

You will need the following:

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 12 oz bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (I use #sweetbabyrays)

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 T of apple cider vinegar

1 T of Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup of brown sugar

24 slider buns (I prefer the brioche sliders at #WholeFoodsMarket

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the crock pot. Add all of the other ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Shred and serve on the slider buns. Top with coleslaw.

If you want to get fancy, before putting the slaw on the sliders, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the bottom buns on a baking sheet. Top with desired amount of pulled chicken and place the bun tops on. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle, lightly, with kosher salt and bake for 3 to 5 minutes. (Shown on picture below)

AND, for the Coleslaw:

1/2 head of green cabbage,  shredded

1/2 head of purple cabbage, shredded

2 large carrots, shredded

1/2 cup of mayo

2 T sugar

2 T lemon juice

1/2 T of quality balsamic vinegar

1/2 T of white vinegar

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir. For best results, chill at least 1 hour before serving.

OR, if you’d rather forgo making the coleslaw & dressing from scratch …

1 lb bag of coleslaw mix

your favorite bottle of coleslaw dressing. My fave is #marzetti original slaw dressing found in the cooler next to the lettuce.

1 T of quality balsamic

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix, chill and serve.

#yumola