Marinated Veggie by TheLookingGlassCraft.com

Marinated Veggies

I’m absolutely in love with this new recipe that was shared with me for marinated veggies! These veggies are perfect for any occasion. Feel free to alter the veggies used, adding in your favorites. The flavors will blend well together for a variety of veggie combinations. Marinated veggies can be served warm or cold, as a side dish or overtop lettuce to turn your salad into a meal. This recipe is perfect for summer parties!

Your Favorite Veggies

What a great way to get in your daily dose of veggies! Mix up a big batch of marinated veggies and you’ll have no problem eating your greens this week. I love to throw in a variety of bell peppers for an extra splash of color, making this dish fun and bright. Slice and chop all of your veggies into bite sized pieces. For more color add in extra bell peppers, or substitute a yellow squash for a zucchini. Pour all of the chopped veggies into a large ziplock bag.

Delicious Dressing

In a small blender or food processor, pour in ½ cup Vegetable Oil and ½ cup Olive Oil. Add in ½ cup White Wine Vinegar and ½ cup Sugar. This is the base for your marinade and will make a sweet vinaigrette type dressing. Then mince 3 cloves of fresh Garlic to season your marinade. I love garlic and tend to add in a little extra if I’m making this for the family. Finally, finish the seasonings with 1 tablespoon Salt, 1 tablespoon Mustard, and 2 tablespoons Tarragon. I like to use stone ground mustard whenever possible, it adds the perfect balance of flavor, but you can use any kind you prefer. Blend these ingredients until well combined.

Perfect for Summer Parties

Pour the marinade over the veggies. Seal the bag tightly and refrigerate overnight. Since this marinade is essentially a salad dressing, you can eat the veggies right away. The flavors, however, will combine and develop after marinating overnight. I’ll occasionally make an extra batch of the dressing to use on salads throughout the week, since it’s delicious on it’s own as well. These veggies are wonderful for summer parties. You can make them up the night before and let them marinate until you’re ready to leave. Perfect for cookouts and potlucks! Have fun mixing up your favorite veggies this summer and enjoy!

Marinated Veggies

2 Bell Peppers

1 lb. Carrots

1 lb. Mushrooms

1 bunch Broccoli

1 bunch Cauliflower

2 Zucchini

5 Stalks Celery

½ cup Vegetable Oil

½ cup Olive Oil

½ cup White Wine Vinegar

½ cup Sugar

3 cloves garlic

1 T. Salt

1 T. Mustard

2 T. Tarragon

 

Slice and chop all veggies to bite sized pieces and combine in a large ziplock bag. In a small blender or food processor combine both Oils, Vinegar, and Sugar. Add in Garlic, Salt, Mustard, and Tarragon for seasoning. Blend until fully combined. Pour the marinade over the veggies and let sit overnight, sealed, in the refrigerator. Enjoy your veggies!

Marinated Veggies by TheLookingGlassCraft.com
This delicious dressing will have you coming back for more!
Smoothie Pops by TheLookingGlassCraft.com

Smoothie Pops

Warm sunshine on the beach, a cool breeze on the green grass, and sweet frozen smoothie pops are the best things about summer. These sweet and colorful smoothie pops are so simple to make. I love making a big batch to freeze after going berry picking at our local farms! Nothing compares to the taste of fresh berries.

Fresh, Ripe Berries

These smoothie pops are an all natural, healthy treat for your daily dose of sweet! They can be made with all varieties of fruit for your favorite flavor combination. Frozen berries can be substituted, but for the best results use fresh, unblemished berries.

Pick out ½ cup of your favorite Berries or cut fruit. This can be a single flavor, or a combination. Experiment and have fun! Pour berries into a blender and add 1 cup Yogurt.  I use plain, unsweetened yogurt for my smoothies, but you can substitute with whatever kind you like. However, if using a sweetened yogurt, omit Brown Sugar and only use ½ of the Honey called for.

Organic, Local Honey

Add in 2 tablespoons Honey to your smoothie mix to sweeten and flavor it. I like to use organic, locally grown honey whenever possible. Using locally grown honey has the added benefit of boosting your immune system and resistance to potential allergens in your area. Bee’s use the local plant life to gather nectar and make their honey, in the process their immune system neutralizes potential allergens from these plants. Just 2 teaspoons of local honey a day helps your own immune system to neutralize local allergens as well, reducing allergy symptoms.

Sweeten to Taste

Finally, for unsweetened Yogurt, add in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to sweeten. You can substitute this with a more natural sweetener, like agave nectar, if you prefer. However, if you use an alternative sweetener, adjust to taste as these can tend to be stronger than normal sugar. A drop of vanilla extract or another suitable extract can be added for flavor if you like, but start small with these as a little bit goes a long way. Pour smoothie mix into a popsicle mold and freeze.

Create and Have Fun!

One of the neatest things about these smoothie pops, is the way that berries and fruit will naturally color your smoothie, making these a fun and healthy treat for the kids as well. I recently made these smoothie pops for a 4th of July cookout and the effect was spectacular! Instead of choosing just one, I made three different flavors of smoothies. One smoothie was made from raspberries, another from blueberries, and the last one was made with a banana, cut into slices. Using a popsicle stick and plastic wrap to cover, I layered the colors one at a time into my popsicle mold. By letting each layer freeze slightly before adding the next, beautiful red, white, and blue striped popsicles were created. What a fun addition to our holiday cookout! Have fun creating your own unique combination of smoothie pops and share with us in the comments below.

Smoothie Pops

1/2 cup Berries (or cut fruit)

1 cup unsweetened Yogurt

2 T. Honey

2 T. Brown Sugar

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Experiment with new flavors and enjoy!

Smoothie Pops by TheLookingGlassCraft.com
Perfect for summer parties or a sweet treat for the family.
Mushroom Chicken Overview

Mushroom Chicken

This simple mushroom chicken is a great dinner recipe to make on a busy night. The entire dish can be quickly put together in minutes, then simply let it cook. The gravy becomes a rich sauce, creating a moist and creamy dish that is completely effortless. Mushrooms and a wonderful touch of rich, hearty flavor and bring this dish to the next level.

Hearty Gravy and Fresh Mushrooms

Mushroom Chicken Step 1
Layer fresh sliced mushrooms over chicken.

Lay the Chicken Breasts out across the bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle 1 cup fresh, sliced Mushrooms on top. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine 2 cups Beef Gravy and 1/4 cup Beef Stock to make the gravy thin. I use a Homemade Gravy, but in a pinch you can substitute pre-made gravy. Add in ¼ cup Sherry and stir the sauce all together. Pour the sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. As it bakes, the chicken will absorb the rich, hearty flavors from the mushrooms and gravy. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes. Let the sauce stand to thicken for about 5 minutes before serving.

Mushroom Chicken Step 2
Pour gravy over-top the casserole.

You can always, prepare the sauce ahead of time and mix with the chicken breasts in a plastic freezer bag. Freeze the mixture until ready and dump in the crockpot in the morning before work. Add in fresh, sliced mushrooms and an extra ¼ cup of water. Cook on low heat for 6 – 8 hours. The sauce should be thick and creamy. Preparing it this way, the sauce will act like a marinade, infusing the chicken with even more flavor.

Mushroom Chicken Close Up
Enjoy your delicious meal!

Mushroom Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless

1 cup Fresh Mushrooms, sliced

2 cups Thick Beef Gravy

1/4 cup Beef Stock

¼ cup Sherry

Spread Chicken breasts in a deep casserole dish. Sprinkle fresh mushrooms over top of the chicken. In a medium bowl, combine Gravy, Stock, and Sherry to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes.

 

Spicy Cajun Pasta

Spicy Cajun Pasta

Opposites attract, in the best of ways, with this creamy, spicy dish. This rich and smooth Fettuccini Alfredo kicks it up a notch with colorful peppers and spicy seasonings! Our Spicy Cajun Pasta is a step away from the ordinary with a unique, colorful dinner that’s quick and easy to prepare. This spicy variation of an Alfredo sauce came together one night when my husband brought home a Siracha seasoning mix for me to experiment with. That night a new family favorite meal was born. The calm Alfredo sauce balances out the intense spices in this dish and the colorful peppers make it as pretty as it is delicious.

Classic Dinner with a Spicy Twist

Using fresh ingredients and a homemade Alfredo Sauce makes this a meal bursting with flavor! Peppers can be sliced and stored ahead of time, making this dinner a breeze to throw together.

Prepare your Homemade Alfredo Sauce in a small stove pot , or heat a pre-made Alfredo over low heat. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. This can be adjusted for taste. Next mix in ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder and ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder. This will give the sauce a rich, hearty taste, without a lot of extra effort. It lays a great foundation for the additional spices. Now comes the hot stuff. Add 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning. I love this seasoning as it adds just the right amount of spicy flavor, without being too hot or overpowering. Stir in ½ teaspoon Siracha Powder to really kick up the spices a notch. Siracha powder is an intense spice, so don’t overdo this one! ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes adds some extra bits of color as well as enhancing the flavor and adding an extra bite of spice. Finally, stir in 1 teaspoon of your favorite Hot Sauce. I usually use Franks or Louisiana hot sauce. Combine all of these seasonings together with the Alfredo sauce to create the perfect balance between smooth and spicy. Continue letting the Alfredo thicken or heat until it is the right temperature and consistency for you.

While the sauce is heating, slice 1 Bell Pepper of each color (red, green, yellow, and orange). Sauté the peppers in a large skillet with 1 or 2 tablespoons Butter. When the peppers are soft throughout and no longer crisp on the inside, remove from the heat. Pour the finished sauce and peppers over cooked noodles and toss to combine. Serve immediately for the best taste. Enjoy!

Spicy Cajun Pasta

Alfredo Sauce

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Pepper

¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder

¼ teaspoon Onion Powder

1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning

½ teaspoon Siracha Powder

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 teaspoon Hot Sauce

1 Green Pepper

1 Red Pepper

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Orange Pepper

Cooked Noodles

Heat or prepare Alfredo Sauce in a small stove pot. Mix in all seasonings for a spicy kick. Slice 4 different colored peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, and Orange) and sauté in a large skillet. Pour the Spicy Alfredo Sauce and Sautéed Peppers over cooked noodles. Toss to combine and enjoy!

Chicken Avocado Burritos

Chicken Avocado Burritos

I originally created this recipe to use as a freezer meal. I wanted a healthy alternative for lunches that could be made ahead of time and easily brought to work. But after my husband tried these Chicken Avocado Burritos they seldom make it to the freezer anymore, sometimes they don’t even make it onto a tortilla, and he will eat the filling by itself, before I have rolled any together. So this is absolutely a new favorite for us.

One Simple Filling, So Many Uses

My favorite thing about this recipe is how versatile it can be. You can wrap the filling in tortillas for a simple snack. You can bake them in the oven, covered in enchilada sauce and cheese for a delicious dinner. Or you can freeze them for a quick on the go meal.

These burritos could be made using leftover chicken, or turkey, but the best flavor comes from cooking the chicken on the skillet with seasoned oil. Mix together 1 tablespoon Oil, 1 teaspoon Chili Powder, ½ teaspoon Cumin, ¼ teaspoon Turmeric, ¼ teaspoon Salt, and ½ teaspoon Pepper. Pour this seasoned oil over 2 cups of cubed chicken in a skillet and combine. Cook until the chicken is white all the way through.

While the chicken is cooking, mix together ½ cup Sour Cream, 1 teaspoon Chili Powder, 1 teaspoon Cumin, and ½ teaspoon Pepper in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups chopped Avocado, 1 cup Shredded Cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Cilantro, the seasoned sour cream mixture, and the cooked chicken. Stir to combine.

Fill each tortilla with this chicken avocado mixture and roll them up. Place seam down in a baking dish and cover with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Bake at 325 degrees just until cheese is melted.

Chicken Avocado Burritos

(Seasoned oil for cooking Chicken)

1 tablespoon Oil

1 teaspoon Chili Powder

½ teaspoon Cumin

¼ teaspoon Turmeric

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Pepper

2 cups Chicken, cubed

½ cup Sour Cream

1 teaspoon Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Cumin

½ teaspoon Pepper

2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped

2 cups Avocado, chopped

1 cup Shredded Cheese, any kind

1 package Tortillas

Optional: Enchilada Sauce and Shredded Cheese to Bake

Mix together the seasonings and oil for cooking the chicken. Combine seasoned oil and chicken in a skillet and cook until no pink is left in the centers. Mix together Sour Cream, Chili Powder, Cumin, and Pepper. In a large mixing bowl combine Avocados, Shredded Cheese, Cilantro, Cooked Chicken, and Sour Cream mixture. Use as filling in tortillas and place burritos, seam down, in a baking tray. Cover with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese, then bake at 325 degrees until cheese is melted.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Apple Pie Oatmeal

In the age of microwave meals and fast food, slow home cooked staples of the past are falling rapidly behind us. Today breakfast means cereal, frozen waffles, or fast food sandwiches more often than not. But there is something special about starting the day with a home cooked meal. Whether it’s a meal with family or a treat for yourself, this is a great way to set a positive tone for the day.

Wholesome and Delicious

Oatmeal is a great homemade breakfast for busy mornings. It takes little effort and is a healthy way to start your day. This Apple Pie Oatmeal is one of my favorites, because it tastes like a dessert, but is low in calories and high in nutrients. I use steel cut oats because they have a creamy texture and fullness that keeps you from craving snacks before lunch. Although they take a little longer to cook, I start the oats when I wake up, and simply stir the pot occasionally as I get ready. This delicious homemade breakfast can be made effortlessly if you chop the apples the day before and add the lemon juice to keep them from browning overnight.

Start with 2 Apples, peeled and chopped. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice over them to keep from turning brown. Then mix them in a stove pot with 1 cup Steel Cut Oats and 1 cup Milk. Add in ¼ cup Brown Sugar and 1 tablespoon Butter. Season with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Add 4 cups water and heat to boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. I usually cook mine for at least 30 minutes so they are nice and thick.

This thoughtful homemade meal takes almost no effort to prepare. Just throw the ingredients in a pot and stir occasionally, for a delicious and nutritious breakfast that’s as sweet as apple pie. Let the oats cool on the stove for a few minutes before serving, they will thicken as they cool.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

2 Apples, Chopped

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 cup Steel Cut Oats

1 cup Milk

¼ cup Brown Sugar

1 tablespoon Butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups water

Combine ingredients in a stove pot. Heat to boiling, and then simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!