Hominy with Kale and Chicken

By Corinne

Living here in the great white north I’ve only recently been introduced to hominy.  After a bit of looking around on the internet, it seems like canned hominy is easy to find and can usually be found near beans in the grocery store. Most sources recommended using canned rather than dried, and if you can find them, it will certainly save them a step. If you’re living in Thunder Bay, I haven’t found canned hominy anywhere (though word on the street is that Bulk Zone has brought in some canned hominy now!) and the only place I’ve found whole dried hominy is Renco’s Foods on Court St.

Once you’ve figured out the hominy part, this is an easy supper.

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Time: about 35-45 minutes (depends on the thickness of the chicken you are cooking)

Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups of hominy* (rehydrated and cooked) or probably one can drained will do
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 6 cups of washed and finely chopped kale leaves – no stems
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (I used mini san marzano because they are my fav)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes, or one crumbled red chili
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth. I used white wine.
  • Salt and pepper

*If you can find canned hominy, by all means, use that. If using dried hominy, start this recipe the day before by cooking the hominy. I skipped the soaking overnight step and cooked it in the slow cooker on low overnight. It still took until early afternoon before kernels were tender and had popped. I cooked the whole bag of dried hominy and froze what I didn’t use in two cup portions so that I won’t have to do this step again for a while.

In a large pan heat 1 tbsp canola over medium heat. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and add to pan. If your chicken breasts are quite thick, you may wish to cut them in half to reduce cooking time. Cook for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken) until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken from pan.

Add 1 tbsp canola to the pan and turn up the heat a bit to medium high. Add the hominy and stir and cook for about 10 minutes until some of it is getting a bit browned on the edges. Add the onion and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Slice the chicken breasts and add back to pan with the other ingredients. Add the chili flakes, thyme, garlic and kale. Add the white wine and the lemon juice. Stir until chicken is reheated,  kale has wilted and the liquid has been mostly absorbed, about 5-7 minutes. Some of the tomatoes may have just started to break down, that’s ok, but if they’re all still whole that’s ok too. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.

Harissa Chicken Wraps with Hummus

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By Corinne

I am generally not one for buying spice blends, though I do enjoy when my friends visit exotic places and bring them back for me! Harissa is a Tunisian (though variants are found throughout north Africa and the Mediterranean) blend of of chilies, garlic and other spices such as mint. It’s often found as a paste rather than as the dry spice blend and either will work in this recipe. I picked up this Harissa blend on a bit of a whim, though I did receive a cookbook for Christmas that calls for harissa in a few recipes. I made my own wraps for this, but you can certainly use store bought tortillas or pita breads.

Makes: about 6-8 wraps

Time: about 30 minutes, more if you make your own flatbreads

You will need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • about 1 tbsp of harissa spice blend
  • about 3/4 cup of hummus (mine was very garlicky!)
  • veggies you like- I used sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and red onion- other options might include red peppers, lettuce, baby spinach, mushrooms or any other veg you like in a wrap
  • wraps or pitas (I found this was enough chicken to make about 7-8 wraps, but I used a lot of veg in my wraps) I used Homemade Flour Tortillas, but certainly store bought is fine

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with harissa spice. I cut my chicken breasts in half lengthwise as they were fairly thick and I wanted to reduce the cooking time. Set chicken aside and allow to marinate for a bit while you prep any of your veggies you will be using with your wraps.

Add a little oil to pan if necessary. Add chicken to pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side.  When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan and slice into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Since these wraps are delightful with the chicken warm or cold, you could certainly prep the chicken the day before, and they are awesome for lunch the next day.

To assemble, spread about 2 tbsp of hummus on centre of wrap (or more or less as you like it!) and place chicken and veggies of your choice down the middle. Fold up from the bottom, then wrap both sides around. You can pin it all together with a toothpick.

 

 

 

 

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Blackberry Salad for Two

By Corinne

I adore salads. I know that ‘adore’ seems like a word reserved for kittens and perhaps rich cheesy goodness but I really l do love salads.  I love them making them with fresh greens from my little garden all summer long, but even in the winter between bowls of soup, I still crave crunchy greens. In the summer, salad is our side for almost every meal, but in the winter I tend towards a supper salad, as greens for just a side are not only pricey, but can be hard to get in good condition

The only thing that makes me sad about a supper salad is I generally make them in whatever portion I need them for that supper, so I often don’t have leftover supper salad for lunches.

Time: about 20 minutes

Serves: 2- though easily doubled.

You will need:

  • 1 large head of romaine, washed and chopped
  • 2 mini cucumbers, or half of a regular English cucumber
  • 6 oz (180g) of fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup of finely shredded red cabbage
  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts or 3-4 boneless skinless thighs (what I used in the photo)
  • lemon pepper seasoning

For the dressing:

  • juice from one lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tsp liquid honey
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • few grinds of fresh pepper

Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside. This probably makes a bit more dressing than you need for two salads, but better a bit extra than not enough!

Wash and chop lettuce, spin to dry and set aside. Finely chop red cabbage, and mini cucumbers and set aside.

Season both sides of chicken breasts or thighs with lemon pepper seasoning. I like Mom’s Pantry lemon pepper seasoning because it’s quite lemony and has no salt added, but whatever lemon pepper seasoning you like will do.

Heat about a tbsp of canola in a heavy bottomed pan (I used cast iron, but whatever pan you have will work) over medium heat and add chicken to pan. If your chicken is super thick on one end, you can give it a few pounds with a meat tenderizer to even it out a bit for easier cooking. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until cooked through.

Assemble salads. Divide romaine and place on plates, scatter red cabbage and cucumbers on top. Slice chicken and and top salad with sliced chicken and a generous handful of blackberries. Whisk dressing and drizzle over salad. Eat. Enjoy.

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Italian Chicken Soup with Quinoa and Spinach

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By Corinne

Doesn’t this sound like some sort of hipster healthy living type soup? Well. Sure it does. But just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it can’t also be filling and delicious! If you don’t love quinoa, then feel free to use a small pasta instead.

This recipe calls for a parmesan rind. If you haven’t started using fresh parm (or asiago) I highly recommend it. While it’s more expensive than the stuff that comes in a can, it also has a great deal more flavour, since you know, it’s not mixed with sawdust. One of the best things about using fresh cheese is saving the rind for soups. When you get down to the rind, just throw it in a bag and put it in the freezer until you need it. It adds an incredible amount of flavour to soups and stews. It generally doesn’t dissolve fully in the soup, but does get softer. If your soup is at a full roiling boil it may somewhat dissolve, and I’ve accidentally forgotten to take it out before pureeing soups. Oops.

Serves: 3-4

Time: about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how long you let the soup simmer

You will need:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 pound (250 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs – about 3
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, thyme, basil
  • several generous grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1 cup white navy beans -I used dried, which I rehydrate and freeze. 1 cup is more than half of a standard can – you can probably just use a whole can if you’re using canned beans, unless of course you have a use for your leftover beans!
  • 1 can (28oz, 794g) tomatoes -I used whole and smushed them up, but diced would work great as well
  • 4 cups chicken or veggie stock – I used my favourite Homemade Veggie Bouillon
  • 1/2 cup dry wine – red or white, if you happen to have some open, it’s awesome to deglaze the pot with after cooking the onion/celery/chicken, but it’s ok to omit
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • grated parm or asiago for garnish if desired
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dry) – to be added to individual bowls
  • handful of chopped fresh spinach- to be added to each bowl

Dice onion and celery, add to a heavy bottomed pot with a few tbsp of butter or oil. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to pot with onion and celery. Allow to cook until the vegetables have some colour and the chicken is cooked. Add the minced garlic and stir around until fragrant, but don’t let the garlic burn.

If you are using wine to deglaze – pour a little in the pot and scrape up all the delicious browned bits.

Add the tomatoes, stock, carrots, beans, thyme, basil, oregano, pepper and parmesan rind. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes, but longer if you have time.

While soup is simmering, rinse quinoa well in a small mesh sieve to remove bitter saponins. Cook quinoa in a 1:2 ratio of water – if you are using half a cup of quinoa, use 1 cup of water. If you are using 1 cup of quinoa, use 2 cups of water etc. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes. When liquid is absorbed and quinoa has ‘popped’ it is ready.

Chop a handful of fresh spinach for each bowl, ladle in hot soup, and then add a few tbsp of cooked quinoa to each bowl. Garnish with grated parmesan or asiago cheese if desired.

Easiest Honey Garlic Chicken

 

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By Corinne

I know that pre packaged sauces can be super convenient. That being said, honey garlic sauce is so easy to make and has such a short and simple list of common pantry ingredients that it makes going out to buy a jar of sauce more work than mixing it up 🙂

Time: prep 5 min, bake 1 hour

Makes: 4 chicken thighs + extra sauce

Oven: 350F

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup sodium reduced soy sauce*
  • 3 cloves of garlic – pressed or minced
  • 2 tsp of sesame seeds (if desired)**
  • 1 chili pepper minced (if desired) I usually use a thai red chili pepper, though a regular chili pepper or 1/2 tsp of chili flakes also works
  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs

*This recipe is gluten free as long as you ensure you use a gluten free soy sauce

**If you wish to give this a more ‘sesame’ flavour, add 1/2 tsp of toasted sesame oil to the sauce.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a measuring cup, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Place chicken in an oven safe dish with lid. Pour sauce over chicken.

Place covered, in a 350F oven for 1 hour. Remove lid and broil for 3-5 minutes to crisp up skin. Serve with rice and snap peas.

While this is certainly enough sauce to do more chicken, I like to pour the sauce over my rice and veg. The sauce is easy to make more of since the honey and soy are in an equal ratio, so if for example you want to do 6 or 8 thighs, you could add and additional 2 tbsp each of honey and soy, and an additional clove of garlic if desired.

Guest Post! “Week Night Chicken Fajitas” with Garden Salsa and Guacamole

By Mandi 

As we leave Labor Day behind us and the structure of fall begins to take shape it is easy to become overwhelmed with the pressures of the day to day and forget to make family meal time a priority.  I get it: schedules are hard to co-ordinate, and we are all so busy with work, school, sports and other activities that our time to gather together with our loved ones to enjoy a meal is limited.

 

One of my favourite parts about Pampered Chef are the fun, festive and FAST solutions that can be shared that help make family meal time easy.  My tool of choice is the Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven – this amazing “Magic Black Pot” truly makes my life in the kitchen a breeze.  The key to the RockCrok’s magic is its versatility; it is created from clay that is heat resistant, so you can sear, braise, simmer, slow cook, fry, boil, bake, broil, microwave and grill in one pan (oh yeah, and afterwards it can go in the dishwasher)!  In terms of cost, I tell my customers, that if the RockCrok helps you avoid one trip to the Drive Thru per week it will pay for itself in less than 2 months.

 

One of my family’s favourite go-to’s are Week Night Chicken Fajitas, which satisfies all 3 meal goals – they are fun, festive and fast!  I like to pair these with homemade Garden Salsa and Guacamole which is a super easy “piggy-back” recipe that can be whipped up quickly while the fajitas are cooking.  Add some margaritas and in 30 minutes you have a Mexican fiesta!

Time: prep 10 min, depends on cooking method- microwave 18 min, bbq 35 min, oven 40 min
Week Night Chicken Fajitas
You will need:
  • 2-3 bell peppers (any colour combo you desire), cut into strips
  • 1-2 red onion, cut into strips (I chop mine finer because my kids are more likely to pick out the strips)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos (optional and depends on your preferred level of heat – my little guys and hubby don’t enjoy a lot of spice so I eliminate completely.)
  • 4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub (I also enjoy the Pampered Chef Chipotle Rub in the recipes too)
Fixing Suggestions
– 12 small flour (or corn) tortillas
– shredded cheddar cheese
– sour cream
– chopped jalapenos
– chopped cilantro
– Garden Salsa and Guacamole (recipe included below).

– anything else you desire

Steps

1. Using your Pampered Chef RockCrok Dutch Oven,  Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, or other microwave safe, lidded cooking vessel, start adding your sliced peppers (including jalapenos if you are including them), onions and garlic (Pampered Chef Garlic Slicer quickly creates paper thin garlic slices).  Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Tex Mex Rub.  Mix gently to combine.

2. Lay chicken over the bed of vegetables.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cover with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Tex mex rub.  Manually rub the seasoning on to the surface of the chicken.

3. Place cover on the RockCrok or other cooking vessel and place in the microwave (on high) for 10 minutes. Redistribute the chicken, microwave for another 8 minutes.  Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer (should be 165 degrees).  If you don’t have meat thermometer, cut into the largest piece of meat, if the meat is white and juice is running clear, they are done.  If not, microwave for another 3-5 minutes.  Every microwave is different, which is why it is important to check.

4.  Once cooked completely, remove chicken breasts and slice into strips.  Mix them back in with the veggies and replace the lid to maintain the heat.  Serve with tortillas and desired fixings.

This is a microwave recipe, but it can be adapted to the oven or the BBQ, but times would have to be adjusted.  Depending on the cooking vessel, BBQ would take about 35 minutes and oven would take about 40 minutes at 350F.

Every kitchen needs to have a meat thermometer – use this to determine when your chicken is cooked (should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 2-3 minutes to be considered done.

 

Piggy Back Garden Salsa and Guacamole
I call this recipe “piggy back” because I make the salsa first and then use some of it to flavour the guacamole.  For these recipes I use another Pampered Chef favourite, the Manual Food Processor (or as is affectionately known, the MFP).  I love this tool because it is compact, easy to use (my kids like to take turns pumping it) and because it is manual, it really allows you to control the consistency of what you are making.  You can make your salsa and guacamole as chunky or as smooth as you like it personally.
Salsa
This recipes is a great use of tomatoes from your garden and is great on its own.  When I make this salsa in the winter the flavors always remind me of late summer.
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  •  2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 lime, juice and zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pampered Chef Tex Mex Rub
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 jalapeno (optional)
1. Add 1/2 tomatoes to the Manual Food Processor (MFP), process a bit to break them open.  Add remaining tomatoes, process a bit to break them open.
2. Cut onion, jalapeno (if adding) into chunks and add to MFP.  Rough chop cilantro before adding it.   Add pressed garlic, lime zest, lime juice, rub).  Process until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Remove salsa from the MFP, but leave ~1/2 cup behind.
Guacamole
1/2 cup of garden salsa
2-3 ripe avocados
1/2 lime, and zest
2 gloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cut avos into chunks, and roughly chop the cilantro and add to salsa.  Add the garlic, lime juice and zest, and salt.

2. Combine until desired consistency is achieved.

These recipes are great to serve buffet style or family style.  I love placing the components into interesting and eclectic serving vessels which contributes to the fun and festive feel of this quick week night meal!!

Adapted from
https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/recipe/Main+Dishes/Under+30+minutes/Quick+Chicken+Fajitas/1129445
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If you are interested in learning more about Pampered Chef, or would like to check out any of the products mentioned above.  Follow one of the links below and search for (RockCrok Dutch Oven, Manual Food Processer, Garlic Slicer, Tex Mex Rub, Chipotle Rub)  If you are interested in making a Pampered Chef Purchase, Brown Butter and Pink Peppercorn is hosting an ONLINE Pampered Chef show from Sept 20-30, 2016.  If you have a Canadian shipping address, you can order via either of these links.  If you live in the U.S.  drop me a line and I will connect you with a consultant that can help you.

https://pamperedchef.ca/go/corinnebbpp
https://pamperedchef.ca/go/juliebbpp

If you are interested in earning some Pampered Chef product for free — check out some of the benefits of hosting.

https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/pws-host-a-show

If you would like some more information about how to become a Pampered Chef consultant, check out this link, or send me an email mandifow@gmail.com.  I am looking for team members in all provinces and territories, and would love to help you get started.

https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/pcmandi/be-a-consultant

Amanda (Mandi) Fowler van Wyk
Team Leader and Trainer Pampered Chef Canada

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Snap Peas and Cherry Tomatoes

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By Corinne

This is one of my favourite mid-week meals. It’s healthy, comes together quickly, and the combination of bright cherry tomatoes and snap peas is delightful. One caution, because you leave the cherry tomatoes whole, they are VERY hot and juicy when you go to eat them, be careful not to burn your tongue!

Serves: 2 – though is easily scaled up (because I wanted some leftovers for lunch, I also made a side of toasted orzo)

Time: about 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken breasts

You will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • 8oz snap peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove of garlic if desired
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed  pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with lemon pepper seasoning. Cook chicken until browned and no longer pink inside, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from pan, place on a plate, and cover to keep warm.

In the same pan, add snap peas, then after a minute or two, cherry tomatoes. If necessary, add another tbsp of oil. Cook, stirring occasionally until snap peas and cherry tomatoes have some colour and some of the tomatoes have started to split – about 5-7 minutes. If desired, in the last minute of cooking add 1 crushed clove of garlic and salt and pepper to taste. You may find you don’t need to season the peas and tomatoes as some of the lemon pepper seasoning is likely stuck to them from the chicken 🙂

If necessary, you can add the chicken back to the pan to reheat when tomatoes and peas are almost finished cooking, I find this is generally unnecessary as long as you cover the chicken to keep warm.