Friday, February 26, 2016

The Quickest Tomato Sauce

I made this tonight (I needed something quick and easy) and served it over fresh pasta.  The recipe says you can use it for anything that requires a tomato sauce- including pizza.  It was delicious (as most things are that call for fresh basil!).  And, most things that Jamie Oliver makes up, you can pretty much bank on.
The Quickest Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
3 x 14 oz good-quality canned plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Brown sugar (optional-to tame the acidity)

In a large frying pan, pour in 4 lugs of olive oil.  Add the garlic and watch for it to color lightly (doesn't take long!).  Add the basil and tomatoes.  Using the back of the wooden spoon, mush the tomatoes as much as you can.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring it to a boil.  (You can strain the sauce if you'd like at this point to get rid of chunky bits, but I didn't).  Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavors.  If you store in a jar in the fridge, it should last for a week.  Or freeze in batches.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mexican Potato and Veggie Bowls

I'm a sucker for some good Mexican food and I'm always trying to find different ways to serve it in my house.  I went out on a limb tonight and made something totally from my own mind that I thought sounded nice.  Surprisingly, it turned out so fantastic!! We all loved it, even my kids (who ate it inside of a taco instead) gobbled it right up and went for seconds and thirds!  Bonus...its vegan and super healthy.
(excuse the bad picture, but I had to take it on my phone)
Mexican Potato and Veggie Bowls
A Rachel Original!

(Measurements are not exact because you season to your own liking)

Potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
Avocado, diced
One large zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen corn
One can black beans, drained
One bunch cilantro, chopped (may not use all of it)
One large tomato, diced small
Half sweet onion, diced small
Crushed red pepper
Garlic powder
Salt, pepper
Olive oil

After dicing potatoes, boil them for a few minutes to desired tenderness and drain.  Heat olive oil in large skillet and toss potatoes in with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Add garlic powder to taste and then sprinkle cilantro all over (to taste).  Remove and set aside.  
Next, heat olive oil in large skillet and toss in salt, pepper and zucchinis to get a nice char on them. Then, put drained beans and frozen corn in with additional S&P and sprinkle oregano, crushed red pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Toss altogether until hot.  Remove and set aside.  
Let's make pico! :) Throw diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro into a bowl.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste and stir to combine.  
To assemble your bowl, start with potatoes, then add zucchini mix, top with pico and diced avocado. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Simple Shredded Chicken

This is really easy and delicious chicken to serve for a quick meal or on a salad.  I served it as a Greek salad with this vinaigrette.  

Simple Shredded Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (about 2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup water or low-sodium chicken broth
  1. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot and rippling. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken top-side down in the hot skillet and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes until golden brown on top. Flip the chicken, add the water or chicken broth, cover the skillet and let the chicken simmer gently over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (it will register 160 degrees on a thermometer). Don't overcook or it might be dry. While the chicken is simmering, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time if the liquid evaporates too quickly. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Let it cool slightly before shredding. The cooked chicken will keep well-covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Lasagna has got to be the best comfort food.  This recipe makes is super easy and just as tasty (and probably better for you since you're not layering all of those cheesy layers together).  Plus, no meat and all the veggies!!  We seriously loved it, fought over the last bite, and will definitely be making it again.
Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain tomatoes into a 2-cup liquid measure. Add water to tomato liquid to make 2 cups. Add tomato/water mixture and 1 teaspoon salt to skillet.
  2. Scatter noodles into the skillet, layer tomatoes over the noodles and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, stirring occasionally (so the noodles won’t stick!) for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in zucchini and squash, cook, stirring now and then, until noodles and squash are tender, about 8 minutes. Add basil and half of the rictotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese to the noodles, stirring until the sauce is creamy. Dollop remaining ricotta cheese over the noodles, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Nolan's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have found the one!  This is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I use anymore.  It is amazing!  One of the keys to making them the best is to really mix the batter well before you add the chocolate chips.  Plus, it's versatile!  You can make a chocolate base, also, by just switching one of the ingredients.

Nolan's Chocolate Chip Cookies
From my friend, Nicole Anderson



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars and pudding mix.  Add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.