SRE Group Cooking Blog with Adrienne of Positively Cooking!
Everyday, there seems to be another reason against a home-cooked meal leaving you, and your family, with a greasy bag of deep-fried easy. Whether you’re tired from work, lost track of time, busy carpooling kids to activities, the excuses stop here. My goal is to inspire more home-cooked meals within your sound-proofed, quiet, energy-efficient townhome or garden apartment.
Positively Cooking is a recipe base that not only proves nutritious eating can taste good, but that it can be easy. All it takes is a touch of planning and a desire to eat sensible, useful food. I promise to only use ingredients you already have, or you can easily find at your local grocery.
As we get started on our kitchen journey together, we should start by getting your pantry, Whirlpool frost-free refrigerator, and freezer ready for effective menu planning and dinner preparation. First things first, give your kitchen a good clean. Remove all items, wipe the shelves down, group like items together, & throw away expired food-stuff.
Now you know what you’ve got in your inventory and its time to stock up. Put at least 2-4 pounds of your favorite meats in the freezer along with several bags of vegetables/fruits like corn, broccoli, spinach or vegetable medleys.
Stock your pantry with several cans of your favorite beans, green chilies, tomato sauces, tomato paste, salsa, broths, flour, oil (sesame and olive), nuts, Worcestershire, soy, rice, salad dressings, herbs/spices (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic powder, Cajun spice), vinegars (white and red), granulated sugar, & honey. Stocking your pantry will save you money and time in the long run. You of course do not have to buy all at once, however, take advantage of weekly sales and economical bulk pricing.
With a stocked freezer and pantry, your grocery list is left with fresh produce and dairy that you can pick up weekly. My staples in the produce section: an onion, bulb of garlic, fruits like strawberries & grapefruit, bell peppers, spinach, cilantro, lemons and limes. I buy several yogurts (including plain yogurt for garnish [replacing sour cream] or for recipes) and milk. Now, these are typical items I pick up, however, I NEVER step foot through the automatic doors at the grocery without a list. Nutritious eating does not start in your kitchen, it starts with taking 15 minutes to plan your menu, generate a grocery list, and get those squeaky cart wheels into the grocery aisles.
Whether it’s because you are on a budget, looking to eat healthier, or want to connect with loved ones around the dinner table, cooking at home can have so many benefits. With Positively Cooking, I am going to give you a base of ideas, tips, recipes to create new staples on your dinner/lunch/breakfast table. With custom birch kitchen cabinets and designer, granite-like laminate kitchen tops with backsplash, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy your unique, charming space.
Here is one of my favorite go-to recipes. With a stocked kitchen this recipe is simple, cost-effective, and most importantly… really good.
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
- 1 lb shredded, cooked chicken breast
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded [optional] and chopped
- 1 (4 oz) can green chilies
- ¾ cup salsa
- 2 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, with juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable OR chicken broth
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp. garlic salt
- 1 (10 oz) package frozen corn, cooked per package instructions
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Plain greek yogurt, to garnish
- Whole grain tortilla chips
Place your cooked, shredded chicken, onion, green pepper, garlic, jalapeno, green chilies, salsa, tomato sauce, and black beans into the bottom of your crockpot. Pour in water and broth. Season with all spices [cumin, chili powder, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic salt.] Stir in cilantro and corn. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until vegetables begin to soften, 4-6 minutes. Once vegetables softened, add remaining ingredients [green chilis, salsa, tomato sauce, black beans, water, broth, cumin, chili powder, thyme, bay leaves, garlic salt, corn, cilantro and shredded, cooked chicken.] Stir until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt [to add creaminess] and a single serving of tortilla chips.
Visit Adrienne’s website at www.positvelycooking.com! To learn more about the Schottenstein Real Estate Group community (including their amazing kitchens!) visit www.sregroup.com