Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sweet chili BBQ chicken and Cauliflower Broccoli soup

Following in the new trend of smart grocery shopping and cooking healthy, last night Evan and I made this delicious cauliflower and broccoli soup. This recipe serves 6, so we each had a bowl last night, a bowl for lunch today and since we are leaving for VACATION early Friday morning, we gave our nice neighbor the rest. We also made some sweet chili BBQ chicken. We are using up stuff in our fridge before we leave for a week and wanted to incorporate the drumsticks and the sweet chili packet we had open.

Cauliflower and Broccoli soup
adapted from The Pioneer Woman 

1 stick butter, divided
1/2 whole onion, finely diced
1 whole carrot, finely diced
.5 cauliflower head (roughly chopped)
.5 broccoli head (roughly chopped)
5 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole milk
salt, to taste

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.
Add the carrots and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and broccoli and stir to combine.
Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly. Add mixture to the simmering soup. 
Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Add two to three ladles of hot soup into your bowl and stir. Serve immediately.

Sweet chili BBQ Chicken

3 drumsticks
packet of Chicken in the Oven Sweet chili 
3 teaspoons of Hunts BBQ sauce. 

Preheat oven to 200C. 
Rub sweet chili all over chicken and then top with BBQ sauce. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes or until chicken is golden. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Spicy Taco Burritos

Tonight, Evan turned this Taco Salad recipe by the Six Sisters' Stuff into spicy taco burritos with avocado and sour cream, homemade taco mix and homemade Catalina dressing.

Taco salad
adapted from the Six Sisters' Stuff
Ground beef

taco seasoning mix
chili beans
1 cup of Catalina salad dressing
1/2 cup water
Iceberg lettuce
Tortilla chips (we used tortillas)
Your favorite taco toppings: cheese, tomato, avocado, olives, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
by Rachel Cooks

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp black pepper

Catalina Dressing
by Kitchen Simplicity 
1/4 cup ketchup 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
1/4 cup onion, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder) 
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 cup canola oil 
salt and pepper, to taste
Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender (or use a handheld blender) and process until smooth. Add the oil in a steady stream with the machine running until the mixture comes together in an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
*If you are using onion powder instead of chopped onion you could also shake this up in a jar with a tightly sealed lid.
Makes approximately: 1.5 cups

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain excess fat. Stir in the taco seasoning, chili beans and Catalina dressing. Add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Set out meat mixture, lettuce, chips, and all other taco toppings. Let everyone assemble their own salad. 

We assembled everything we had onto warm tortillas and wrapped them up! It was delicious but spicy, in a good way, and filling! Perhaps next time we'll stick to keeping it as a salad or eating it as lettuce wraps like this pretty idea from Self.


Chinese Spring Festival

Last night we went to Evans' classmate Yiyins' place in Tel Aviv for unbelievably delicious and authentic Chinese Spring Festival and New Year meal. 

Here we made a great beef and chicken broth soup and then cooked cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, radish, potato, Chinese mushrooms, cellophane noodles, stick tofu, etc. in it and added individual sauces of peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, over rice. 


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Turkey Chili

We have an amazing market across the street from us. We've realized that we can save a lot of money on food if we plan ahead the menu for the week to come. The Mahane Yehuda shuk is the best place in Jerusalem to buy everything to cook delicious meals everyday.  We are blessed to have everything from fresh breads, pitas and gourmet cheeses to an amazing variety of fresh fruits and veggies and Middle Eastern spices so close.  

Yesterday, before the start of Shabbat, we went to the shuk (market) and got stuff to make food for the next few days. We haven't made chili in a while, and decided it would be a nice change since we eat a lot of chicken based meals. 

I found a great recipe here, but we wanted to tweak a couple of things to our liking. 

Turkey Chili
adapted from What Megan's Making
1 lb. ground turkey
1 small onion chopped

1 green chili pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic smashed and minced
1 tablespoon chili powder or to taste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (12 oz.) crushed tomatoes
.5 bottle of Goldstar Beer
1 can of chili beans rinsed
.5 can of corn

sour cream and cheese for topping
1 avocado


Heat a large pan to medium-high. Add ground turkey and a little salt and pepper (and a little oil if using all white meat) and cook, stirring and breaking up, until there are no pink spots left in meat (about 5-8 minutes). Remove meat to a deep pot and put a lid on it to keep warm. In the same pan add the onion, chili pepper, garlic and a little more salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the onion mixture to the pot with turkey then add the chili powder and cumin.  Stir all ingredients until blended. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, beans, corn and stir. Pour in beer (that's what we used instead of chicken stock) to desired consistency. Bring to a simmer; and cook, tasting and stirring every 10 minutes or so. Serve in a bowl or mug with sour cream and chopped avocado. 

The avocado is something we like to add on top, since it helps with the spiciness of the chili and looks pretty on top. 

We like making our own pita chips too! To make them you just:

Pita Chips
Parmesan cheese

Cut pita in half horizontally and in half again until you have quarters or chip sized pieces. Spread a little butter on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place in toaster oven until crispy and enjoy!

Shavua tov (good week), 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

It's another grey, rainy day in Jerusalem and I was planning to go out get my toes did. :/ Sadly, I don't think its going to happen because I'm not up to it when it might rain, I can probably save some money and get one on vacation next week (Evan and I are going to Istanbul, Sofia and Bucharest!!) and because I just whipped up a new smoothie!!

Who likes peanut butter?  I do!
I made this smoothie today that it's perfect for peanut butter and banana lovers everywhere!

Smooth PB&B Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
1/2 small container of yogurt (I used Greek)
honey (optional)

whirl whirl whirl til combined!

 I'm glad Evan gets back today from his trip up North today with our friends Luke and Opal. He's been gone since Wednesday morning. He'll report back on his adventures. 


Friday, February 1, 2013


I am so tired of this rain and cold!  It's been raining here in Jerusalem for the past 4 days. Naturally we decided to make more chicken soup. Cause its hot and delicious and makes you feel good and takes your mind off of the rain and wind and that Approach to Classical Jewish Texts Seminar paper you're writing.

I was looking for a recipe with rice this time and found a good one at Martha Stewart.  I needed to check on when exactly to put the rice in, and then used the recipe that I wrote about before.

It was past 1pm by the time we were almost done with the making of the soup and we were starving so I decided to whip up a new smoothie with green apples and berries in the meantime. 

Here is the recipe by Undressed Skeleton.

Green Apple Berry Banana Smoothie

2 Large Green Apple Peels
1 Packet Truvia
1/2 Medium Banana
1/3 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries (No Sugar Added)
1/2 Cup Water

Blend on High!

For my version, I only used half a green apple with the skin on and frozen berries and semi frozen strawberries. I also omitted the Truvia. Blended on high and it turned out great, even Evan liked it! I need to find a better place to take pictures and more straws!!

Here is a picture of our chicken and rice soup.

Shabbat Shalom, everyone!