Friday, December 8, 2017

Ranch Dressing/Dip for a BLT salad or any salad

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been trying to eat "cleaner" and low carb.  I wanted to try a "homemade" ranch dip/dressing without using a purchased packet of the dry spices. I found this amazing version at Barefeet in the Kitchen.

I made this for a Sunday school Christmas party - for a BLT salad.  I just tossed chopped lettuce, chopped cherry tomatoes and crumbled bacon with this yummy ranch dressing!  I loved it! 

Best Ever Ranch Dressing (adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
3/4  - 1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp finely cracked pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste - approximately 1 - 3 teaspoons, adjust to taste

Whisk together the mayo, sour cream and milk... until smooth.  Add the spices and whisk until combined.  Add the lemon, whisking again.  Pour into a jar and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  This dressing will keep nicely in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Enjoy!

**Barefeet in the Kitchen frequently swaps plain white vinegar for the fresh lemon juice.  She says both acids work beautifully to add just the right about of "tang" to the dressing.  I used fresh lemon juice.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

These are yummo!  We often roast green beans in the oven with olive oil and sea salt.  I needed a new idea.  I bought fresh dill at the store and was just going to roast them with fresh dill.  I decided to search and found this amazing recipe at Eating Well.  These were so easy and such a nice, side dish ... with our grilled chicken and BLT salad.

Lemon-Dill Green Beans - adapted from Eating Well

1 lb of fresh green beans - trimmed
4 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp minced shallots ( I didn't have so I used green onions)
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large pan, fitted with a steamer basket.  Add green beans, cover and cook until tender-crisp, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile..... in a bowl, whisk dill, shallots, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper together.  Toss with the warm green beans.  Let stand about ten minutes before serving, to blend the flavors.

Nutritional information from Eating Well

Serving size - 1 cup

Calories 73, 4 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 10 grams carbs, 2 grams protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar, 163 grams sodium

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Friday, November 3, 2017

I love slow cooker meals.... and I am learning to use my Instapot more too!  Mine isn't actually an Instapot... mine is a pressure cooker from QVC.  I love it - same as an Instapot. 

I have found this great blogger that prepares 10 - 12 freezer/crockpot meals at one time.  What a great idea!  I would love to have done this when my girls were younger.  You have to visit Kelly at New Leaf Wellness.  She has such great, easy recipes.  She is even trying to convert each recipe to an Instapot recipe.  Please visit New Leaf Wellness!

I made her Steak Italiano not long ago and we loved it. I love her Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos.  I made the taco seasoning and ranch seasoning from scratch... like she lists below.  This chicken had so much flavor.  I loved it!  My hubby loved it.  As I mentioned, I am trying to eat low-carb...and this chicken was perfect.  Chris put his in corn tortillas and loaded it up with sour cream, cheese, avocado and cilantro.  I did the same... but in a bowl without the tortilla.  I was sad when it was all gone.  This chicken will be a new staple in my house. 

Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos (from New Leaf Wellness)

Cook fresh or freeze and cook later.  Serve on soft tortillas, rice or lettuce with your favorite toppings. 

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 taco seasoning packet (or this homemade version: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp of           each of the following - salt, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, garlic powder             and onion powder)
1 dry ranch seasoning packet (or this homemade version: 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp dried onion flakes, 3/4 tsp dill, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 6 - 8 hours on low.  Use two forks to shred meat and mix with any spices/sauce left in the slow cooker.

If choosing to freeze and cook later: Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to cook, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the morning in water.  Follow directions above.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I love all Pioneer Woman recipes.  She is so fun!  Chris and I even stopped by The Mercantile in the months after it opened on one of our many drives to Texas.  We didn't get to eat in the restaurant due to the really long line but we enjoyed shopping.  I even got to meet Ree and get a photo.

When in doubt, always go to The Pioneer Woman for any recipe!  Anything and everything I have ever made that Ree makes... is always scrumptious.

I did make a few adjustments... but only because I wanted it a little more low carb!

Our middle daughter was in town for the weekend.  There was a chill in the Omaha air and she was craving Broccoli Cheese Soup.  I had never made it before.... so I went to The Pioneer Woman first.  Jenna ate for three days - she loved it! 

Broccoli Cheese Soup (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 whole onion, diced
1 1/2 sticks butter  (I only used 1 stick)
1/3 cup flour (I only used 1 Tbsp - trying to make more low-carb)
4 cups whole milk (I used 4 cups of cream instead)
2 cups half and half (I used 2 cups chicken broth instead)
4 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 pinch nutmeg
3 cups grated cheese, variety ( I used mild cheddar and sharp cheddar)
small dash of salt
freshly ground pepper
Chicken broth for thinning

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions.  Cook the onions for 3 - 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top.  Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in the milk and half and half.  Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt and plenty of black pepper. 

Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.  Stir in cheese and allow to melt.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Then serve as is... or mash it with a potato masher or transfer in small batches to a blender and puree.  Return to pot to reheat. 

Serve warm! I did sprinkle cooked bacon on the top!

*I definitely needed to add chicken broth the next day when reheating - for thinning

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