Friday, May 30, 2014

Zucchini Beef Casserole

Zucchini Beef Casserole
Zucchini Beef Casserole

Zucchini is one of my favorite things to grow and eat. Some years the crop is a little too large and baking bread gets boring. This is a great way to use up all that extra zucchini! Yes, it calls for boxed and canned "stuff", but that's part of what makes it so easy to get together. 

Zucchini Beef Casserole
Zucchini Beef Casserole

Zucchini Beef Casserole
Printable Recipe

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 
Serves: 8

1 pound ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
6 cups diced zucchini (about 3 medium)
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 package stuffing mix
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brown ground beef and drain well. Put into a large mixing bowl.
3. Cook zucchini in a little water until just tender - about 5 minutes. Add to beef.
4. Heat 1 1/2 cups water to boiling. Remove from heat and add stuffing mix. Stir and let stand until water is absorbed. Add to beef and zucchini.
5. Mix sour cream and cream of soup and pour over beef, stuffing and zucchini. Blend well.
6. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 45 minutes until bubbly and browned on top.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chicken Thighs with Mango Jalapeño Salsa

Chicken Thighs with Mango Jalapeño Salsa
Chicken Thighs with Mango Jalapeño Salsa

Chicken thighs get a little kick from jalapeños in a sweet-hot mango salsa. Temper the jalapeños by roasting them first, if desired, but either way, the salsa is the perfect accompaniment to the ginger, garlic and lime marinated chicken.

This was the very first time I've ever had mango salsa and I fell head-over-heels in love with it! I now make it often to have with different dishes like pork or grilled flank steak. It's delicious no matter how you serve it. The kids like it with traditional corn tortillas.

Not all of my children are fans of chicken thighs (and the man doesn't like chicken at all!) so substituting with another cut is just fine. Make sure to cook the chicken according to the cut and all will be well.

Chicken Thighs with Mango Jalapeño Salsa

Printable Recipe 
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 9 hours and 15 minutes including marinating time
Yield: 4-6 Servings


Thighs and marinade:

3 pounds chicken thighs - about 12 small, 8 medium or 6 large
one inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 large cloves garlic - minced
Zest and juice of one lime
1 teaspoon Kosher salt


1 large *ripe mango - diced, about 2 cups
2 large or 4 small **roasted jalapeños - chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 lime - juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt


1. Trim excess fat from thighs and set aside.
2. Combine garlic, ginger, lime juice, zest and salt and stir into a paste.
3. Rub thighs with paste, making sure to rub some under the skin.
4. Put into a plastic zippered bag and seal well, removing air. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Arrange thighs on a rack over a baking pan and bake for 60 minutes.
7. While thighs are cooking, make the salsa.
8. Toss all salsa ingredients together and refrigerate until thighs are cooked.
9. Remove thighs from oven (check with a thermometer that they are at 170 degrees internally) and serve with salsa.

*Use a Tablespoon of honey in the salsa if your mangoes are not very ripe or sweet.

**Roasting jalapeños : Roast jalapeños  under the broiler until blackened. Turn several times during cooking so each side is done well. Remove from broiler and wrap immediately in plastic. Let stand 15 minutes and the skin will easily slip off the peppers. Remove seeds and chop.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Cinnamon Chips with Fruit Salsa

Cinnamon Chips with Fruit Salsa
Cinnamon Chips with Fruit Salsa
Almost every kid loves salsa and chips and this sweeter take on them is the perfect snack. Change fruits to suit your own tastes, but use the same amounts listed for the best results. Using a cooking spray pump (I love Misto) in lieu of butter cuts down on calories as well.

The chips really only need one side sprayed and dusted with cinnamon sugar, otherwise it just gets messy and they stand a greater chance of burning.

Make up a batch of these in just a few minutes and watch them disappear just as quickly!

Cinnamon Chips with Fruit Salsa
Printable Recipe

Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 15 minutes
Yield: 10 servings


10 whole wheat flour tortillas
Oil in a spray pump
1/3 cup granulated sugar plus one Tablespoon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced kiwi
1 cup diced pineapple
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Stack flour tortillas and cut into 6 wedges, making 60 wedges total. Set in a single layer on ungreased baking sheets.
3. Spray wedges evenly but lightly with oil.
4. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over tortilla wedges.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crisp and just beginning to brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool completely.
6. While chips are baking, combine fruits, the remaining tablespoon of sugar and lemon juice and refrigerate until needed. Serve with cooled chips. Use within 2 days for best results. Chips can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.