Tag Archives: leftovers

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Curried Chickpeas (Quick and Economical)

If you want a delicious dinner for less than $5 per person (with leftovers), make this.

This meal comes together in about 15 minutes and cost me  $5 total to make (but I had all the spices, butter and salsa on hand already so I didn’t buy those).

It serves 2 and there’s plenty of curried chickpeas leftover for lunch the next day, Simply make some rice and serve the chickpeas over that or stuff them into a baked potato.

You can also buy two acorn squashes and stuff those and this will serve 4.

The nutty chickpeas, spicy curry, and crunchy green pepper and were a beautiful contrast to the sweet, tender acorn squash flesh.

It was cheap, quick, filling, delicious and healthy. This dish is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins C, A, and B.

I hope you enjoy it

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Curried Chickpeas (Quick and Economical)

Serves 2

1 acorn squash

2 tablespoons butter, plus 2 teaspoons

1 medium red onion

1 green bell pepper

1 ¼ teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained

½ cup salsa

Cut acorn squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Stab the flesh several times with a sharp knife. Season with salt and pepper and place 1 teaspoon of butter in the cavity of each half. Place in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup of water on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

While that microwaves, chop onion and bell pepper and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add onion and cook 3 minutes. Then add green bell pepper and chickpeas and cook 4 minutes. Add salsa and heat through.

When squash is done, remove it carefully and peel back the plastic wrap carefully being sure not to put your hand in front of the steam.

Stuff each squash with curried chickpea mixture and serve.

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Mango, Pineapple Salsa (serve it as an appetizer first and leftovers on pork, chicken or fish)

I love salsa. Fruit salsa. Smokey salsa. Charred salsa. Jarred salsa. Green salsa. You name it, I love it.

But I particularly love this Mango, Pineapple Salsa. One of my best friends makes a similar salsa and this is my version. My salsa won “Best Overall Salsa” at a friendly competition and it was up against an array of excellent salsas.

Aside from being delicious served on its own, this salsa is great on grilled fish or pork. I recently marinated pork chops for 24 hours in Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce (online) http://www.soyvay.com/flavors/veri-veri-teriyaki) and then pan fried the pork and topped it with the leftover salsa. It was fantastic!

 Pork with Mango, Pineapple Salsa

If you don’t have that sauce, use soy sauce, ginger, 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar  and 1/2 a garlic clove for 3-4 pork chops. That makes a nice marinade. A pork loin marinated in Asian sauce, grilled and then served with this salsa would be spectacular.

This would also be great on chicken or fish tacos.

The key to this salsa is ripe, sweet fruit. Mangoes are hardly ever ripe when you buy them, so I buy them 3-4 days before I need to make this salsa. I also buy extras in case some are not sweet. Whenever I have to use avocados or mangoes I buy extra because you’ll often get a disappointing one in the batch. I bought 5 mangoes to be safe. There were all sweet, so I ate the others for breakfast.

Let this marinate for 2 hours or more before serving. You can adapt this recipe and add 2/3 cup drained black beans to this and it’s delicious, too. In that case, I also add 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

If you can’t find ripe mangoes, you can use the jarred refrigerated type, but fresh is always best!

I like to serve it in a margarita or martini glass for nice presentation. It’s such a refreshing salsa for summer. I adore it!

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Mango, Pineapple Salsa

2 1/2 very ripe mangoes, chopped fine

2 ½ cups finely chopped fresh pineapple

¾ of a medium red onion, chopped

2/3 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

1 teaspoon cumin seed

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Sea salt to taste

.Directions:

Chop all the ingredients and place in a medium bowl. Add salt to taste. Toss and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Hump Day Hack: Homemade croutons with leftover bread; cleaning the coffee grinder

It’s Wednesday, which is my Hump Day Hack day.

If you’re like me, you buy some lovely ciabatta or other artisan buns for a recipe and then end up with leftover bread. Well, transform it into EASY croutons. Ciabatta works best but French and Italian loaves are great, too.

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If you don’t have time this week, you can freeze the bread and then defrost it on the counter ad make croutons next week.

These croutons are great of gazpacho or even dipped in a Bloody Mary (Hey, if you can do it with milk and cookies as a kid, why not croutons and Bloody Marys when you grow up?)

You will need 1 ciabatta

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Heavy dash of garlic salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice up 1 ciabatta or other bread into bite-size pieces.

Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to toss the bread to incorporate the oil. Then toss with Italian seasoning and a generous dash of garlic salt. Toss to coat.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp.

These will keep a few days (depends how soon your bread will expire and if it has preservatives) but are best enjoyed fresh. They are amazing hot!

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Here’s another wonderful way to use artisan bread before it goes bad. You can use it to make dill toast for smoked fish, like smoked salmon or trout. It’s FABULOUS.

To do this, take your ciabatta or French bread and brush it with olive oil. Then sprinkle dried dill weed on the bread and a dash of salt. Bake it at 400 degrees for 5-10 minute, depending on how toasted you want it. I prefer it at about 6 minutes.

Then spread cream cheese or horseradish on the bread and top with smoked fish and capers. It’s simply delightful!

Panzanella is another use for old artisan bread. I like this recipe from Ina Garten: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/panzanella-recipe.html

salad

And here is my second tip of the day: If you ever need to clean out your coffee grinder, fill it with rice and pulse until the rice becomes a powder. Then toss the rice and wipe the inside of the grinder with a damp paper towel.

Why would you need to clean it? Well, sometimes you might want to use it to make bread crumbs or grind spices. There are a variety of reasons.

photo 2 (23)

Thanks for reading these Hump Day Hacks and Tips. If you have any additional suggestions, or requests, I am always listening. Thank you

Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad

This dish is packed with protein from three sources: quinoa, chicken and edamame. It’s a light dish and has vitamin C, antioxidants, B vitamins, fiber and more.

.This makes a large batch, so you can enjoy it for several days. It’s so easy to pack for lunch and leftovers are great cold. I actually prefer it cold.

You can use any combination of stir-fried vegetables, like broccoli. I sometimes toss that in if I have takeout leftovers. I personally love ginger, so I’d prefer twice as much ginger, but to tame it for everyone else, I use this amount. If you love ginger, you can add more, too.

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Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad

This serves 6

2 cups white quinoa

4 cups chicken broth

½ teaspoon ginger paste

1 bunch green onions

2 cups shelled edamame (microwave is most convenient)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 (7.75-ounce) bag of tri-colored cole slaw mix

1 red bell pepper

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Black pepper, to taste

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

Meat from one rotisserie chicken

Dressing:

4 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

4 teaspoons sesame oil

4 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon ginger paste

For the dressing: whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

For the quinoa, in a medium to large pot with a tight fitting lid, bring broth, ginger paste and quinoa to a boil for 3 minutes, then cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. You will know quinoa is done when the grain releases what looks like a little hook. If it’s not done after 15 minutes, cover and cook another 5.

While that cooks, slice roots off green onions and thinly slice the rest of the onions and set aside. Chop red bell pepper and set aside.

Cook edamame according to package directions.

Grab your bundle of cilantro and chop the leaves.

Next, in a large frying pan, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and cole slaw mix and cook 7 minutes. Add red bell pepper and stir fry 3 minutes. Then add soy sauce and pepper to taste.

Debone and de-skin your chicken and chop it into small cubes.

By now, quinoa should be done.

Transfer it to a large bowl. Add edamame, cabbage mixture, cilantro and chopped chicken. Toss with the dressing and serve.

Quinoa