Teriyaki peanut stirfry

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Annndd this is my solution for all my leftover farmers market veggies that needed to be used.  Yellow zucchinis go bad before green zucchinis? Seriously, why do they? It’s a mystery to me. Also it should be noted that zucchinis are a HOT item at the farmers market this summer. If you need zucchinis you had better get to the farmers market RIGHT when it opens because those puppies fly off the stands. Zucchinis were hard to come by early in the summer ,due to the weather, I was told, so as soon as they were available, they were in high demand. And we have been eating them every which way for about a month.stirfry (5)

I don’t usually do a lot of stir fry meals in the summer but I was running out of ideas for all these yummy veggies. This has been my go-to stir fry recipe for a long time and God-forbid the day Tastefully Simple stops making their Teriyaki sauce and I will have to make my own! I always add a bit of peanut butter because I am sassy like that. Sometimes I will even throw in a hand full of peanuts. SCANDALOUS. Oh deary…please forgive this post. It has been a long, busy, exhausting week with 3 boys that have way more energy than me.

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Teriyaki peanut stirfry
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Ingredients
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, washed & ends cut off (if they are store bought, you can skip this step)
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, rinsed & sliced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons Tastefully Simple Honey Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat for about a minute.
  2. Toss in onions and heat until translucent.
  3. Mix in carrots, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms. Turn heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
  4. Toss in zucchini, turn heat up to medium, and heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. In a separate dish whisk together peanut butter and teriyaki sauce.
  6. Combine sauce with veggies in the skillet.
  7. Serve warm and top with sesame seeds for garnish.
Notes
You can really use any veggies for this dish or any meats, these are just the ones I had on hand and chose to use.

 

 

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5 minute guacamole

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This guac was inspired by our favorite Mexican restaurant in town, Casa de Tequila. Hands down, best Mexican in our area. And we are pretty much professional Mexican food consumers so just trust us. At Casa de Tequilla they have a salsa/guac cart that comes around to every table and the server will make your salsa and guac fresh right in front of you, mortar, pestles and all folks. The guacamole is chunky and packed with flavor AND you get to choose what you want in it. Cilantro? Onions? Peppers? It makes you feel like you are somewhat contributing to the prep of your food instead of being super lazy, but you’re not at all.

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One day when I was craving some guac from Casa de Tequila, and we had already been there once that week,I decided to whip up some impostor guac of my own. The only thing I didn’t have were the spicy red peppers which is what gives it that extra kick. If you need the kick, go ahead and add some spicy red peppers. Other than that, my craving was totally satisfied. A big high five to myself for taking care of that craving in the privacy of my own home, rather than risking the embarrassment of going to Casa de Tequila any more than we already do. And believe me when I say, the restaurant staff knows us all too well.guacamole

Did I mention this guac takes about 5 minutes to make? Score!

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Ingredients
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Mash avocados in a medium bowl. Be sure to save one of the pits. You can store the pit in the guacamole until you serve it, which will keep it from browning.
  2. Mix in tomatoes, onions, lime juice, salt and cilantro.
  3. Store in fridge until you are ready to serve, or serve immediately.

* here is another one of my easy guacamole recipes

** here is a fantastic gluten-free Mexican chicken lasagna recipe you can serve with this guac

*** here is one of my favorite chicken recipes: guacamole stuffed, tortilla crusted chicken

****lastly my gluten-free Mexican pizza recipe would be fabulous with some guac smothered on top

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{crockpot} Creamy pesto chicken

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Our summer has just been absolutely crazy, so my favorite crockpot recipes have been proving crucial. This creamy pesto chicken is in my top 5 crockpot recipes of all time. But really any recipe that you just dump all the ingredients into a crockpot, let it cook all day unattended, AND when it’s done tastes incredibly gourmet, would be on my top recipe list. This creamy pesto chicken serves perfectly over rice, quinoa, or better yet, my cilantro lime quinoa.

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This recipe uses pesto from the jar, (found at any supermarket), but you can make your own, I usually make my own but I didn’t have time for this recipe. Here is the recipe I normally use if you are up to making your own! Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe. There are some really great store bought organic jars of pesto though and better yet, if you have a local market that makes it fresh, use that! I am all about saving time when I have to be in the kitchen, but only if that means I will not have to compromise the nutrition or freshness of my dish.

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Ingredients
  • 1 (12oz) package of cream of chicken (condensed) soup
  • 1 (12oz-20oz) package of your favorite pesto, OR 1½ cups of homemade pesto
  • 4 chicken breasts (thawed or frozen), diced
  • 1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
Instructions
  1. With your crockpot on medium heat, toss in the chicken.
  2. In a bowl combine chicken soup and pesto.
  3. Pour over chicken.
  4. Let the chicken mixture cook on medium heat for 4-5 hours or on low heat for 6-8.
  5. minutes before serving throw in the mushrooms.
  6. Garnish with diced tomatoes.

 

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{crockpot}Calico beans

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Beans are kind of my jam. I love beans. Any kind really: green, pinto, refried, black, navy, baked: but these calico beans are my all-time favorite. I know some people have sour feelings towards beans because of well you know I’m sure. But those magical fruits are really healthy, protein packed, have only the same amount of calories as meat, are loaded with fiber, and (ahem) get digested rather quickly.

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They are a great dish to make for a gathering because they are so simple to make and everyone loves them! A few weeks ago I made these calico beans for a get together, and at least 5 people asked me for the recipe! I am telling you, everyone will love them. And for whatever reason people think these beans are way more complicated to make than they actually are. When I tell people the recipe they can’t believe how few ingredients are in the beans and how easy they are to make. Anybody can whip these up. These beans make you look good. You know like you actually know what you are doing in the kitchen, but you really dont. The only problem is I could eat the whole crockpot full of them, I just can’t stop. The good news is that they are better the next day warmed up in the oven.

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Ingredients
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can baked beans
  • 1 can pork and beans
  • 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can great white northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb maple bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 large onion, diced
Instructions
  1. Fry ground beef and onion, drain.
  2. Put meat and onion mixture on medium heat in a large crock pot.
  3. Fry bacon. When it cools crumble on top of meat mixture in crockpot.
  4. While bacon is cooking, dumb all the beans in the crockpot and stir.
  5. Add ketchup and barbecue sauce and continue to stir.
  6. Let the beans cook on medium for at least 3 hours but up to 6.
  7. An hour before serving take the crockpot out of the warmer and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

 

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Merlot meatballs

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Did you ever just crave a really good, hearty meatball with an ooey gooey sauce? I know I am not the only one. This recipe will be sure to take care of those cravings, no problem. I usually only make meatballs for holidays but one rainy day I just had a hankering for some comfort food and my husband is crazy for meatballs, especially mine :)–So I whipped these up with some roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli and they went over really well, even with one picky little 2 year old.

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There is something so comforting and homey about a juicy meatball with the right sauce, I’m not quite sure why.  These meatballs are made using Tastefully Simple’s Merlot Sauce, which has always been a favorite of mine and I think they really make the flavor of this sauce stand out. I love using Merlot Sauce as a steak sauce alone but it is great in my meatloaf recipe and delicious in these savory meatballs. If you need some Merlot Sauce you can find it here.

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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, garlic, seasoned salt, merlot sauce, salt, pepper, onion, breadcrumbs, and beaten eggs.
  2. Mix ingredients with your hands and roll into ½inch-1inch balls, depending on your preference.
  3. Place on a baking stone or greased baking pan.
  4. Heat meatballs at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Be sure not to over cook or the meatballs with get tough.
  5. Remove meatballs from oven and use tongs to place them in a slow cooker.
  6. Whisk together maple syrup, ketchup, honey and grape jelly in small bowl.
  7. Pour sauce mixture over meatballs and heat on low-medium for at least 10 minutes or until you are ready to serve.

 

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We have been out all week enjoying the sunshine-y, summery weather, doin’ summer things! I even have a slight tan! Thanking God for this beautiful week! Although it is supposed to cool down for this Mother’s Day weekend, we have some fun things planned! I hope all you mothers out there have a lovely weekend and I tip my hat off to you all. Being a mother is the hardest job ever with the most rewarding results. We all deserve a day totally devoted to us mommys!

 

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