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Sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Sometimes I’m craving something but I want it now and it’s time for a few shortcuts. Wonton soup is one of those things I crave all the time, but with order minimums, there’s only so many times I can order take out and be left with a bunch of other stuff in the fridge (although the husband never minds). I was having another one of those cravings this weekend, grabbed a bag of pre-made wontons, and tossed a few things I had in the fridge and freezer in. Voila! If I did a little more shopping before hand, I might pack this with some more veggies, like bok choy, carrots, broccoli, maybe a bit of cilantro. This is a great base for so many options. Easily made vegetarian or vegan too, subbing out the fish sauce, chicken broth and opting for meatless wontons. Endless possibilities!

5 minute won ton soup

Five Minute Wonton Soup
inspired by the view from great island

4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 package wontons (I used Trader Joe’s frozen chicken cilantro mini’s)
1/3 cup very thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Bring your stock and water to a low boil, stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss in the wontons and let cook for about a minute. Add the mushroom and cook for an additional minute, until the wontons are just done. Remove from heat and stir in in the scallions. Serve hot!

I know that title is soooo long, but I felt like each ingredient really deserved to be highlighted because wow are they great together. And I’m usually a little meh on chickpeas and just sorta like sweet potatoes mostly — together with this lovely browned chicken and bright delicious sauce though, it was such a lovely tasty surprise!

braised chicken thighs in tomato honey ginger with sweet potatoes and chickenpeas

Chicken in Tomato Honey Ginger sauce with Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas
via food52

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 medium chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on), about 2 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger
1 medium sweet potato
15 oz can chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons orange juice
Torn mint leaves for garnish, optional (I subbed parsley and it was great!)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Brown chicken in hot oil, skin-side down, about 7 minutes. Set chicken aside. (Reserve skillet and fat in pan.) While chicken browns, finely chop shallot, garlic and ginger. Thinly slice sweet potatoes and set aside. Raise heat on reserved skillet to medium-high. Add chopped shallot, garlic, ginger, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add honey and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and add chicken to pan, covered with sweet potato slices and chickpeas. Cover and simmer chicken until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Before serving, stir in orange juice and scatter mint over servings.

My husband is a HUGE pickle fan and has been on a roll with pickling lately. He started just last month and we’ve already eaten our way through jar after jar of deliciousness. But he really topped himself this week with these amazing sesame ginger pickles. They are super fresh and crunchy and packed with flavor! We served them as an appetizer to our favorite Paleo Chicken Pad Thai. We almost ate an entire jar each (and some the next night too!). This is a super simple recipe, great for beginning picklers.

sesame ginger pickles 01

Sesame Ginger Pickles
via The Joy of Pickling

1 lb Asian or pickling cucumbers (about 3/4 inches in diameter)
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1 scallion, cut into 1 inch lengths then slivered
1-inch piece fresh ginger slivered
1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and slivered
3 tbs rice vinegar
5 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil

Halve the cucmbers lengthwise and then cut them into 1-inch long pieces. In a bowl, toss the cut cucumbers with the salt. Let them stand at room temperature one hour. Drain the cucumbers and return them to the bowl. Mix them with the scallion, ginger and jalapeños. In another bowl, stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil, and pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (he transferred them to mason jars here). Let the pickles stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or in the fridge for 24 hours, turning the cucumbers occasionally. The pickles will keep in the fridge for about a week (day 3 today, and they’re still delicious and crunchy!)

sesame ginger pickles 03

(ps) this is how much my husband loves pickles…. meet Mr. Pickle:

mr pickle

I love this twist on a typical corn chowder! So much healthier too! With coconut milk instead of your traditional heavy cream, this soup has a satisfying heartiness without all the extra heaviness. And with a little chili pepper, it has just the right amount of kick. Might even toss in a bit of chicken next time for some extra protein. This is an awesome base for so many great additions, but is definitely delicious all on it’s own!

thai corn chowder

Thai Inspired Corn Chowder
via the kitchn

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Thai chili pepper, finely chopped, optional
3 tablespoons finely grated lemongrass
4 cups corn kernels (frozen or fresh from 4 corn cobs)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
13.5 oz can coconut milk (1 2/3 cup)
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Roughly chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving

Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent. Stir in the potatoes, chili pepper, lemongrass, and a pinch of salt. Add a splash of broth, cover, and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the corn and cook another two minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in the coconut milk. Serve warm, garnished with cilantro and lime.

This was a lovely brunch this weekend! Packed with veggies and super hearty, SO MUCH better than my usual boring scramble. A little messy the first go around, but once I figured out to set the top before flipping, it turned out magnificient.

spanish tortilla

Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers and Asparagus
adapted from whole foods

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 pound red or yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1/2 in pieces
1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers, drained well
8 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, stir well, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just about tender, about 15 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook 3-5 minutes more, until it’s just al dente. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes. Stir peppers and eggs into potato mixture, once it’s cooled. Wipe the skillet clean.
Heat another 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Transfer potato mixture to the skillet and cook, running a spatula around the edges and gently shaking occasionally to prevent sticking, until eggs are set and bottom is golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place a lid or large plate over the top for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking to set the top. Carefully invert onto a large plate. Heat remaining oil in the skillet and slide tortilla back in, cooked side up. Cook about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer tortilla back to the plate and let cool at least 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

 

So, so delicious and so easy! This was the perfect side to a bit of chicken this week. I had a few radishes in the fridge leftover from the weekend that I rolled in olive oil & salt and tossed on the pan too. I almost didn’t touch the chicken, this veggie mix was awesome. And the vinegary parsley oil paired with each so perfectly. I love an easy veggie side that’s really just a few minutes in the oven – minimal prep is my fave.

roasted acorn squash with carmelized shallots

Roasted Acorn Squash & Caramelized Shallots with Parsley Oil
via with food and love

2 large acorn squash
6 – 8 large shallots
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt & more for finishing
pinch ground pepper

Preheat the over to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper (or foil). Half the squash & scoop out the seeds, then quarter the squash so you have 8 pieces. Trim the ends of the shallots and peel the thinnest outer layer off. Arrange the squash (with one of the cut edges down) and shallots together on the baking tray, rub them gently with a little olive oil and pinch of sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes, the edges that are down should be golden brown. Flip the squash to the other cut edge and flip the shallots, roast for another 15-20 minutes. The shallots should be beautifully caramelized and the squash should have brown edges and soft centers, if they need a little more cooking, lower the heat to 350 and continue cooking until satisfied. As the squash and shallots are cooking you can prepare your parsley glaze. In a small mixing bowl combine the chopped parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper. When the squash is done cooking immediately rub the mixture all over each piece and serve warm!

Still on a soup kick! My darling husband made this one for me. It was wonderful to come home on such a cold night to a warm house and a warm meal. This spicy, creamy, hearty stew really hits the spot. Great job babe!

sausage potato spinach soup

Sausage Potato & Spinach Soup
via damn delicious

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound red potatoes, diced
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat. Stir in garlic, onion, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken broth and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.