Archive for category Recipe

Pumpkin Enchiladas

This week the CSA haul included a cheese pumpkin and some baby mizuna (or arugula – some kind of baby bitter green), so I adapted this butternut squash enchilada recipe.

  • 1/2 cheese pumpkin (or almost any winter squash)
  • cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt
  • 4 cups bitter greens
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 cup cooked beans
  • 10 small tortillas
  • cheddar cheese
  • 1 jar salsa
Cut the pumpkin into large chunks and season with salt, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon.  Bake in a 350 oven for 90 minutes or until soft.  You can do this part pretty far in advance and keep the cooked pumpkin in the fridge.
Heat some oil in a skillet and sweat the diced onion until softened.  Add the greens and wilt.  Scoop out the pumpkin flesh into a bowl. Mix with the onion, greens, beans, and cream cheese.  Add half the salsa to the bottom of a casserole pan (9×13).  Assemble the enchiladas, then pour the rest of the salsa on top.  Cover with cheddar cheese.  Bake at 400 for 30-ish minutes.

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Eggplant Lasagna; Lunchbox

Sorry, no pictures again.  We have a semi-regular tradition of sharing dinner with another family in our building every couple of weeks – it’s a great way to make a complete meal out of the odds & ends of two pantries at the end of the week.  Tonight my contribution was an eggplant lasagna, brought to you by the fact that I had 3 eggplant and a box of lasagna noodles to use up.  Crushed tomatoes in the pantry are a staple, so the only shopping was for the cheese.

I sliced the eggplant medium-thin, salted it and let it sit in the colander for about 20 minutes.  Then I layered it on a plate with some paper towels and microwaved it for 5 minutes (hat-tip to Cook’s Illustrated for the idea).  What this extra step does is suck a TON of the moisture out of the eggplant so it doesn’t make your lasagna watery.

For the sauce, I did a simple base of chopped onion and red pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, Italian herb blend, and a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes.  I let that simmer while the eggplant drained.

Layered it up with some no-boil noodles and mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan on top, and into a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Gorgeousness. Like an eggplant parmesan but without the hassle of breading and frying.  (Without the oil too, I guess, but I’m pretty sure there was enough extra cheese in the lasagna to wipe out that advantage.)

Lunchbox for Monday: Apple slices with peanut butter (peanut butter on the bottom of the container, apple slices vertical); salami & cheese mini-pita sandwiches; buttered green beans (hey, I can dream, right?)

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Vegetable Chili

This is a staple in our house – unfortunately it looks like the pictures are broken in this old post, but you guys know what chili looks like, right?  It’s chili.

The only major change I made this time around was to use pinto beans instead of kidney beans.  Otherwise, this is the same chili I’ve been making for years, the same chili that my mom made for me as a kid.  Every year around this time, I pull out my fall jacket and long sleeved shirts, and start to crave this chili.

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Pizza night!


Did I mention this week was all about the quick and easy?  I love pizza night because Dylan loves to help make it, and it’s a super-easy way to get him to eat veggies.  I told him what we had in the fridge and said that the only rule for what to put on this pizza is there had to be two vegetables on it.  He picked broccoli, mushrooms, and scallions.  (Also pepperoni and cheese.  Here’s a hint to avoid having to pat down the grease off your pizza – use turkey pepperoni.  It tastes exactly the same as the pork stuff.)

Dylan menu: pizza, milk, peach yogurt

Aeryn menu: cheerios, peach yogurt, formula


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Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The theme for this week is “quick and easy” since we’re easing into a new routine.  And apparently also “hoisin sauce” for no particular reason at all. This recipe comes from Real Simple by way of FreshDirect, and is, appropriately enough, really really simple.

  • 3/4 lb chicken, sliced thin
  • 2 large carrots, in matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, in matchsticks
  • 1/4 green cabbage (about 2-3 cups), shredded
  • 1-2 cups button mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 2-3 tbsp hoisin sauce, more for drizzling
Heat some vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet, add mushrooms.  Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms have given up their water and are starting to brown.  Add chicken, cabbage, carrots, and peppers, cook about 7 minutes or until veggies have wilted and chicken is just cooked through.  Add hoisin sauce, toss to coat, and continue to cook until you like the way it looks.  (If you want your vegetables on the crisp side, just another minute is enough.  If you want it to be softer and more Chinese-takeout-esque, you can let it cook for quite a while.)
Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves, drizzled with a little extra hoisin.  Delish, and also low-carb if you’re into that sort of thing.  (Also gluten free, unless hoisin has gluten in it, but there’s probably a GF version out there.)
Dylan’s menu: mu shu chicken over rice, milk to drink
Aeryn’s menu: mashed potato/sweet potato, cheerios, formula

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Chicken & Rice with Kale and Arugula

This one’s a quickie – just a link, no picture.  Last night’s dinner was from Martha Stewart – One-Pot Chicken & Rice With Kale and Arugula.  The original recipe called for chard, I had kale and arugula in the fridge to use up.  Otherwise I made this exactly as written and it was quite tasty!  Dylan ignored the kale on his plate but did eat the chicken and rice (and some of the carrots).

No lunch box post today because Dylan decided to have the school lunch (“Trayless Tuesdays” mean hamburger day).

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Miso-hoisin spaghetti with eggplant and green beans

This is a variation on this recipe I found on Serious Eats a few weeks ago and fell head over heels in love with.  The sauce can be used for a dish like this, over pasta, or for a terrific chicken/pork/shrimp marinade.  And since the ingredients are all things that last basically forever in your fridge (miso, hoisin, and chili-garlic sauce), this can be whipped up at the last minute when you realize that it’s the end of the week and your pantry is down to half an eggplant, some green beans, and half a box of spaghetti.

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Chicken Cheese Sliders / I’m baaaaaaaaack

This blog, as I’m sure you all guessed, has been on summer vacation.  Which was absolutely my plan all along.  And since it was such a cunning and brilliant plan, I now have an incredibly convenient excuse to be all “back to school / back to blogging!”

Yep, back to school.  Dylan started Pre-K at PS230 this week.  I am now officially the mom of a school-aged child.

Which means that in addition to posts about dinner-my-non-picky-but-incredibly-stubborn preschooler will eat, you will also be getting almost-daily school lunch posts as well.  Don’t worry, those will be short.

So, dinner tonight.  Not the most exciting meal, but hugely successful from a feeding-kids POV and pretty tasty to boot.  And doable on a weeknight!  Huzzah!

Chicken-Cheese Sliders

1 whole skinless bone-in chicken breast

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 can chopped green chiles (4 oz)

1 small onion OR a few scallions, chopped (Yes, I ran out of onions.  Who DOES that???)

some garlic, minced/pressed

slider buns or regular sandwich/burger rolls.  If you are in NYC, FreshDirect has these awesome little brioche slider buns which are perfect for this.  They come in bags of 12 but you can freeze them and then slice & bake directly from the freezer.

cheese (cheddar or American)

arugula (this was for the adult sandwiches only, if your kids will eat spinach by all means use that instead!)

In a chef’s pan or skillet with a lid, combine the chicken, chiles, bbq sauce, alliums (that’s onions & garlic), and about 1/4 cup of water.  Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Put in fridge.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull it off the bones and shred it with your hands.  Mix it back into the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 400.  I probably should have told you that first. Sorry.

On a sheet pan, assemble sandwiches, but leave them open faced.  Basically you want the chicken and cheese on a bottom bun and an empty top bun next to it.  Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty.  Add arugula.  Put top bun on sandwich.  Eat!  You could also add some spicy mustard if you wanted to.  Or extra bbq sauce.

Dylan eating sliders

Mmmmmmmm, cheesy!

Dylan’s menu: 2 sliders, edamame, milk, 1/2 apple



Aeryn’s menu: homemade baby food (potatoes, green beans, zucchini, carrots), cheerios, formula

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Pasta with tuna and green beans

From Martha Stewart, a nice modern twist on the flavors of a traditional tuna noodle casserole.  No pics tonight – too tired and forgot!

The major changes to this recipe were in the proportions.  Since the original serves one, we more or less tripled it.  (Also for some reason in Martha’s world tuna cans are 3 oz instead of 5.  Weird.)

  • 8 oz (1/2 box) whole wheat fusilli/rotini/etc
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 cans water-packed low-sodium tuna, drained
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Boil pasta in salted water.  1 minute before the end of cooking, add the green beans.  Drain.

Meanwhile, combine everything else in a bowl.  When the pasta and green beans are done, mix them in.  Season to taste!  Wasn’t that easy?

Dylan gobbled this up, which was nice to see because we’ve been so exhausted lately that he’s been eating a lot of junk food – granola bars instead of actual meals, etc.   So serving him a balanced meal that he actually enjoyed eating was a nice change of pace.

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Roast chicken over leeks, carrots, and fennel; Brussels sprouts

Roast chicken, leeks, carrots, fennel, brussels sprouts

What Sunday nights should look like

There are few foods that offer more deliciousness per time invested than a roast chicken.  Especially if you’ve foregone the roasting rack and instead laid your bird over a bed of carrots, leeks, and fennel.  And especially if you also happen to have a lemon and some fresh thyme to put in the cavity.

Five minutes to assemble, a little over an hour to roast (but no worries if you leave it in a bit longer – it can take it), and you have dinner.  It’s so hands-off you can even decide halfway through cooking it that it’s such a lovely evening you may as well stroll over to Juice Box for a bottle of pinot noir.

(The bread you can either purchase fully baked or do like I do and buy frozen parbaked baguettes to keep in the freezer in case you feel like having bread one night.)

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