Mexi-Lime-Cilantro Rice with Shrimp

Sometimes I run low on ingredients. I know it seems weird if you’ve even seen my shopping lists… but I only go shopping every 2 weeks (Unless I poorly plan and run out of an essential like butter or milk). So, towards the end of the two weeks, if I have been cooking outside of my meal plan… I don’t always have all of the ingredients for my meal plan! AH! That happened last week and I had to go scrounging on pinterest for a recipe that had shrimp and rice… that wasn’t something I’d made a million times. I found this recipe: Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice and Shrimp . I of course made my alterations and made my own recipe out of it, especially because I have a food blog… you gotta change at least 3 things to make it your own! The plus side? It took me less than 30 minutes to make! Give this one a try, and ENJOY! You can even make it less or more spicy, to your taste. Throw some jalapenos in there if you want!

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Ingredients

Shrimp
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound raw, frozen (wild caught) shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 fresh cracked pepper
Rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice (depending on how many people you’re going to serve. Adjust according to amount of people you’re cooking for. This is for 4 people. Remember, if you increase amount of rice, also increase amount of water!! 2 parts water to 1 part rice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed + extra
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped + extra

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • 1/2 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1/4 chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • diced bell pepper (I used red)
  • 1 TB butter

 

Instructions

Rice
  1. Start this first!! Rinse the rice well either in a bowl or in a mesh colander until the water runs clear. Then put into a rice cooker, or a sauce pan and cook according to directions on package. Once rice is done and completely cooked, pour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the lime juice, salt and cilantro and set aside.
Shrimp
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Line pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
    3. Drizzle shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle all of the seasonings evenly over the top.
    4. Dollop the butter over the tops of some of the shrimp.
    5. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through, circled up tightly and no longer transparent in the middle. (Depending on size of shrimp. I usually use medium to jumbo shrimp).

Rice Skillet Mixture

  1. Add the butter, black beans, onions, diced bell pepepr, and corn into the skillet. Sautee until the onions are translucent and add the salt, pepper, garlic and the 1/2 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis. Pour in the cilantro lime rice and stir to properly combine. Sprinkle in the fresh cilantro and top with the shrimp once cooked. Garnish with more cilantro and a bit of avocado!

ENJOY!!!!

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And now, for the song of the day:

Cajun Seared Salmon topped with a Simple Guacamole

I always forget how simple and easy fish is to make. I just always have to remember to thaw it properly in enough time for dinner! Ha! Luckily, yesterday, I remembered to put the frozen salmon into the fridge to slowly thaw the fish! I then ran it under WARM (not hot) water just before I cooked it while it was still in the vacuum sealed pack… just to finish the thawing. Once that was done… Dinner really took 20 minutes. Start to finish. How lovely is that?! Even if you work full time and need something quick to eat when you come home, this is a great answer! Serve this over a bit of rice, orzo pasta…. with some chips or… as is! I ate this with a few corn chips, and it was the perfect and filling dinner! I couldn’t even finish my portion of the salmon! DELISH though!

Salmon and a Simple Guacamole

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INGREDIENTS

1-2 lbs salmon (I did 2 salmon steaks of sockeye salmon – wild caught)
1 TB olive oil (I used light extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Emeril’s Bayou Blast Cajun seasoning
2 TB butter
1 tsp black pepper
2 TB lemon juice

For the Simple Guacamole:

1 avocado, sliced
1 green onion diced
Juice from 1/2 of lemon
1/2 cup frozen corn (or fresh) slightly heated up and set aside
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TB chopped fresh parsley

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INSTRUCTIONS

Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon and rub the Cajun seasoning over and into the top of each salmon steaks. Place in fridge until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cast-iron grill pan onto the stove and heat to medium-high. Salt the grill pan lightly.
Combine the avocado, green onion, parsley, lemon juice, corn and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use.
Grill the salmon skin side down on grill pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Top the salmon with pieces of the butter and the lemon juice and place into preheated oven (still on cast iron grill pan… make sure yours is oven safe!) And bake for 5-10 minutes to desired doneness. It really depends on the thickness of the salmon steaks. (I baked them for approximately 8 minutes.)
Top with some of the simple guacamole and enjoy!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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Southwestern Chicken Salad with an Avocado Parsley Dressing

When you come home after a long day at work and it’s hot outside… the weather is nice, sun is shining… don’t you just crave a salad? Nice, cool, crisp? Add a bit of chicken and just enough spice to make the dressing’s coolness almost a relief?

This is the salad for you! I seriously craved this dressing after I had it the first time. I made ANOTHER salad for lunch the next day JUST so I could use the rest of the dressing. It was THAT amazing!

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This is for 3-4 salads, depending on size of salad… is it your main course, or a side?

Ingredients

Salad:

Large head of Dark Green Romaine
1 15 oz. can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
3 mini sweet peppers chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium vine-on tomato cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Chopped scallions (Green Onions) – if so desired
1/2 Avocado diced
2 chicken tenderloins cooked (I cooked w/a bit of cumin and chili powder and olive oil) and sliced PER SALAD)
1 cup (more or less) corn. I used thawed frozen corn… you can use fresh or canned as well
1/2 can diced Natural Black Ripe Olives
Drizzle of salsa

For the dressing:

1 cup loosely packed FRESH parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic in Pure Olive Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. White Balsamc Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB fresh local Honey

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Directions
Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender (I used my Nutribullet) until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Finely chop romaine, sautee your chicken until cooked through and white all the way through, chop the sweet peppers, tomatoes, and green onions, avocado, black olives…
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Toss with desired dressing. I did find that the salad was best when I drizzled the salad with the dressing, and then tossed to coat thoroughly!

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You will NOT regret making this salad!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Community Post: 13 Incredibly Awesome Amy Poehler Quotes

No Meat Lentil Chili

My husband called me last night and asked the million dollar question: “What’s for dinner”? Hahahahaha… yesterday was grocery shopping day, and I had NOT gone grocery shopping yet. Plus side? I still had 1 meal left from my meal plan that I had not yet made… LENTIL CHILI!!! I told me husband as much, and his response was actually less than excited… can you imagine?! HA! J/K. I knew he was going to be a bit hesitant when he heard the word “lentil”. You think of anything but chili when you hear the word lentil.

I didn’t want to thaw my last pound of ground beef, I was saving that to make meatballs for my littles today, and I didn’t want to use it in chili if I didn’t have to. So… lentil chili it is! And you know what? We LOVED it!! My husband cleaned out his bowl and went back for seconds! And, if you change a few of my ingredients, you can make a vegetarian version for sure!!! This was a winner, don’t be scared off  by the word lentil, even your kids would like it! Just wait until after they are done to tell them it was meat free deliciousness!

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INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 mini sweet peppers (multi-colors), chopped
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 TB Cornmeal mixed with 1/4 cup water to thicken chili
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn (or fresh)
  • 1 can Organic Black Beans (rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed brown Lentils
  • 1 28 oz. can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cartons (48 oz) Organic Low-sodium chicken Broth(use vegetable broth to go for the Vegetarian Option)
  • ⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and chopped peppers; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until onion is soft and lightly browned.
  2. Stir in garlic, cumin, cayenne, black beans and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and chicken broth (or veggie broth). Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add the water and cornmeal mixture and let simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Top with: more cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocado pieces, etc!!! ENJOY, you seriously will!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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Quick Shrimp and Avocado Salad

I needed a quick dinner… something using fresh foods, and low in carbs. Something yummy but also filling, and this salad definitely did the trick! I LOVED it! The natural fats in the avocado and the high protein in the shrimp were exactly what I needed! So fresh and yummy! If you want a nice salad to go with dinner, a quick lunch with leftover shrimp, or even something to put on a hoagie roll, this is it! Try this salad out!

This is for the dressing and the salad.
Also… I usually use this cute little wish when I’m making salad dressing:

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Cute huh? It fits easily into bowls and measuring cups, or whatever I need to fit it into to mix something. Perfect size for little jobs. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Baked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 avocado, cut into large pieces
1/2 sweet onion chopped
1/2 cup sweet white corn (thawed frozen or fresh)
1/2 to 1 English cucumber sliced and quartered
Optional handful of grape tomatoes

For the Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Dash white balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
Dash hot sauce

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INSTRUCTIONS

Bake shrimp for 12 min at 350 with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Remove, set aside. After cooled (10 min), either leave whole, or chop into bite size pieces.
Add shrimp, avocado, and onion, corn, cucumber and tomatoes to a large bowl.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until well-combined.
Add dressing to shrimp avocado salad until it has the amount you desire. Top with a bit of parmesan cheese if you’d like!
Serve additional dressing on the side. I put leftover dressings in washed glass jelly jars and save it for up to a week in the fridge.
And now, for the quote of the day:

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Easy Peasy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ok, this soup tasted really yummy… but it did not photograph well… it was very frustrating. Honestly? I don’t know how people always get good pics of their dishes. I don’t have the time to be quite honest. My pictures aren’t perfect, but my food is good!

I have another recipe for chicken tortilla soup, but this one is pretty dang easy! It’s a thinner soup as well, and went great with some chips that I had. Start to finish it took me less than 30 minutes! You could probably let this one simmer for a while too if you wanted.

Today it was 80 degrees here!!! My kids and I spent a majority of the day outside, which was awesome!!!! I wasn’t sure if a soup would go well on such a warm day, but it was honestly just perfect!

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I couldn’t get a good picture of the whole pot of soup, so I will show 2 separate pictures of the soup in a bowl. 🙂

  • 4 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • end of jar of salsa – add 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth to jar, shake, and pour into skillet with the chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TB olive oil

For the Soup

  • 32 – 40 oz. of low sodium free range chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup medium restaurant style salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 1 cup frozen sweet white corn
  • 1 can organic black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 TB fresh chopped cilantro

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Directions

  1. Drizzle olive oil into skillet, and heat at medium high. Season the chicken tenderloins with the garlic powder, salt and pepper, and cumin. Place into the skillet. Add the salsa and chicken broth – use the end of a jar of salsa, add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, shake and pour into the skillet with the chicken and the place the lid on. Reduce to medium low heat. simmer for 4-5 min per side until cooked thru. Remove the chicken and shred. Set aside.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, combine the first five ingredients under “for soup”; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the rinsed black beans and the corn, stir in the chicken that you previously set aside.
  4. Stir cilantro into soup. Top with tortilla chips, a bit of cheese and sour cream if you desire!. If desired, serve with additional salsa. Yield: 8 servings.

Ever wonder what to do with leftover soup??? This is what I do:

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I use leftover applesauce jars, pickle jars, etc… I fill it up with a couple of inches room at the top, and let them cool. Once cooled, I place them in the freezer. Then, my husband takes them to work for lunch!!! Perfect and quick lunches!

And now, for the quote of the day, I love C.S. Lewis!

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Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/fiesta-turkey-tortilla-soup#ixzz3TTDX9Wol

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet Meal

What.A.Week. And it’s only Wednesday. Yes, as I type this, it’s Wednesday morning… I blog ahead sometimes. But seriously. It’s been a week that I do not wish to repeat. Was anything REALLY that bad? No. Not if I think about it. In the moment though? HORRIBLE! Isn’t that always the way it is though?

Gotta get up and out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, smile, pray, and move forward! I CAN DO THIS! 🙂

So last night I had absolutely NO CLUE what to make for dinner. I had a bunch of stuff that I had to figure out how to meld together. I had chicken tenderloins (you can also use leftover rotisserie chicken in this recipe), leftover rice, cans of beans and roasted tomatoes with chilis… etc… and I thought… I can do something “mexican themed” with that, and my husband will be quite happy!

So, here ya go!

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This dish is cheesy, a bit spicy, and quite filling! You don’t need a large portion, and this can make a whole family happy! After both my husband and I had dinner, there is enough for at least 5 more portions, 3-4 large portions! For us, we have it frozen and portioned for my husband’s lunches. It’s great when we do that because he has a stock of lunches just waiting for him to grab out of the freezer each day!

From start to finish this meal took me less than 30 minutes, because a lot of the food was either canned, or leftovers!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large chicken tenderloins (my FAVORITE are the Trader Joes chicken tenderloins) – no need to thaw
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups pre-cooked white or brown rice. (You can even use leftover rice from chinese takeout!)
  • 3/4 can (or whole can) black beans – rinsed well
  • 1 cup frozen corn – I used sweet white corn
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TB queso dip (I had this in my fridge – you can use leftover from Moe’s, or the white or yellow queso if you have some… but not required)
  • 1 TB tomato paste for thickening
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping

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DIRECTIONS

  • Drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet and place the chicken tenderloins into the skillet with the oil. Heat on medium to medium high heat. While they are cooking, evenly season both sides of the chicken with the dry spices. (cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano and salt&pepper)
  • Once the chicken is seared on both sides and starts to cook through, I remove the chicken tenderloins one at a time, place onto a cutting board, cut into 1-2 inch pieces, and then scrape back into the skillet. You can cut them with scissors in the skillet as well… up to you how you would like to do it.
  • Add the can of roasted tomatoes and the 1 TB of tomato paste and let simmer for about 5 min. Then add the queso dip if you have it, for a bit of cheesiness and spice. If you want a bit more heat and spice, add some cayenne powder at this time!
  • Add the can of black beans and the corn
  • Add the leftover (or freshly COOKED) white or brown rice and stir to combine.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Cover the dish with 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice) and IF you have an oven safe skillet, put the skillet into a oven preheated to 300 degrees. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbling.
  • Serve immediately!

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ENJOY!!!!

And now, for the quote of the day: I need any excuse I can to add chocolate to my daily diet. 🙂

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Beef and Lentil Pasta Fagioli

It’s cold. I know I shouldn’t complain, especially coming from me who wished for snow… today it was cold enough to snow! It definitely did NOT snow though. Boo. If it’s gonna be below 30 degrees most of the day, I seriously think that there should be snow. Ugh.

So, SOUP is on the menu!! I just have to say, when it is cold outside, I LOVE to have soup. It can just simmer on the stove top and make the whole house smell delicious while we wait for dinner time. Then all of the flavors just meld together into warm deliciousness.

I love chili, and I also like the Italian version: Pasta Fagioli. I made my own version of both.

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Ingredients:

  • Lentils : 1/4 cup lentils boiled/simmered in 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt for 20 minutes and set aside
  • 1 pound 85/15 ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 15 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (4 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 TB fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (I used shells, you can use any small pasta)
  • dash hot sauce

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Directions:

  1. In a large pot, over Medium heat, cook the ground beef.
  2. Drain the liquid from the cooked beef (if any).  If you use ground beef with a lower fat ratio then you will have little to no liquid to drain.
  3. Stir in the chopped onions, carrots, seasonings, and minced garlic.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the can of diced roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, black beans (drained and RINSED) and corn.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Add 1 cup of water and stir and simmer. Add additional water as needed to consistency that you desire.
  7. When the soup has 10 minutes left to simmer, cook the pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes or until a bit firmer than al dente.  Do not over cook the pasta.
  8. Drain the pasta and stir it into the soup. Add the cooked lentils at this time as well.  Simmer for 10 more minutes.
  9. SERVE! (Have with bread, or just sprinkle a bit of cheese on top and ENJOY!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

hahahaha….

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(I experienced this today with my 3 year old son… and discovered and ENTIRE roll of toilet paper in the toilet… took him like 10 seconds to do it. I think it’s a world record!)

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

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If you need a dish that will fill up ANYONE that will feed a lot of people and still have leftovers?? My mom loves the taste of enchiladas, but does NOT like the soggy tortillas… she LOVED this recipe! 🙂

Try this one out for sure! My picky daughter even liked this one! SCORE!

  • 1/2 lb cooked ground beef seasoned with Taco Seasoning… (I used from leftovers from tacos the previous evening)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tbsp sauce from can of Chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 of Chipotle pepper diced from can of Chipotle in Adobo sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 TB from (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 2 tbsp for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided*
  • 1 medium (4 oz) haas avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 baking dish with oil.

Cook your hamburger until well cooked through. Drain any fat, and then add taco seasoning as per directions on package, and once combined well, removed from heat and set to the side. If using leftovers, thaw and have set to the side.

In a medium saucepan cook the quinoa with 1 3/4 cups broth according to package instructions; when cooked, fluff with a fork and set aside. OR, put in rice cooker and cook add water according to directions on package.. and push button. 🙂

Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, cumin, 1/4 cup broth and chipotle en adobo. If it’s too thick, add 2 tbsp water to thin out. Bring to a boil and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, green chiles, corn, black beans and 1/4 cup cilantro and taco meat (ground beef). Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and mix will. Place into the baking dish and spread out. Top with the enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. *****You can also use chicken, or skip the meat all together for a equally filling dish, but less calories!****

Cover with foil and bake until hot the cheese is melted, about 20 to 25 minutes.

To serve, top with avocado, scallions and remaining fresh cilantro. Serve immediately!

DELISH!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Cheddar Bacon Corn Chowder… best mix of ingredients ever huh??

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Who doesn’t like bacon, cheese, corn and potatoes??? Like, really?! This one is a bit spicy too!! DELISH! I was sweating by the time I was finished enjoying this bowl of cheesy goodness…. meanwhile my husband was looking at me like I was crazy and telling me it was just a tiny bit of heat… just goes to show the difference in spiciness tolerance! Ha!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 4 slices (about 1/4 pound) bacon, diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 4 large red potatoes, cleaned and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry’s seasoning (Low Sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp Emeril’s Bayou Blast seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 TB shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more/less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • optional garnish: extra shredded cheddar cheese, thinly-sliced green onions, reserved bacon bits, sour cream
  • ***** Optional! Add 1/2 cup of dark beer for a bit of extra yummy flavor! ******

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Directions

Heat a large stock pot over high heat. Add the corn kernels and let them dry-roast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until their edges begin to brown and caramelize. Transfer the corn to a plate to set aside.

In the same stock pot, fry the bacon pieces over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the pan, and discard the rest.

Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the flour until combined, then cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add in the vegetable broth, milk, potatoes, lawrys, Bayou Blast, and sage and cayenne, and stir to combine. Continue heating until the mixture reaches a simmer but not a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the corn, cheese and most of the bacon bits, reserving a few to save as a garnish if desired. Stir to combine.

Taste test the broth, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. (I recommended the amounts that I used, but your seasoning preferences may vary.)

Serve warm, with additional garnishes if desired.

Creamy Cheesy Goodness!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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