ALL SET FOR THE ARCTIC BLAST! #CHICKEN/VEGGIE SOUP

Well, dear momma said there’ll be days like this. And she was correct. On this day, in my neck of the woods, (So. Florida) I’ll be prepping and cooking for the arctic blast. Yes, I know you must be saying, “Florida!?”. Already, we’re experiencing a mix-bag of rain, wind and of course, a nose-dive of temperatures.

Yep! Those cold digits have long legs and as I pen,  they are making their way here. In a couple of days, temperatures will plummet to the low forties and in some  northern regions, twenties and thirties. Forecasters said there could be SNOW.

So, what does a sun gal do with all that thinning blood pulsating through her veins? Well, other than reaching for her coat, mittens and boots, she’ll heading for the kitchen alright. And, that’s what I did. Decided to prep and cook for later. So, when that cold weather pattern enters my locale, I will have some form of culinary control.

Made me a big pot of chicken and veggie soup.  Have done so a ‘million and one’ times. Had all my ingredients on hand.  With all my root veggies and other ingredients, (diced carrots, onions, celery, pumpkin, corn on the cob, fresh thyme, scallion, chicken noodle mix, etc) the whole process went quite smoothly.

I know my stomach and my palate will be very much satiated during this arctic spell. As I feast on this mouth-watering dish with perhaps a few crispy crackers, I’ll reach for my throw and dress in my favorite sweater while I let my remote lead me to something entertaining on the tube. Arctic blast….bring it on!

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BARLEY/LEEK SOUP WITH PAN-SEARED SHRIMP

Kicked up my lunch to a satisfying and nutritious notch. Went with one of autumn’s popular vegetables, leeks. These sweet and subtle flavors were excellent to pair with barley.

PREPPING FOR LEEK AND BARLEY SOUP
PREPPING FOR LEEK AND BARLEY SOUP

Did it my way by adding other fresh/pantry ingredients like:

  • onions
  • carrot
  • celery
  • veggie bouillon cube
  • salt/black pepper
  • dried oregano
  • fresh thyme
  • veggie broth

After sauteing fresh veggies including leeks in a drizzle of olive oil, rinsed barley was added along with dried seasoning. Veggie broth and cold tap water were added along with a sprig of thyme.

Barley/leek soup simmered under low to medium heat until barley was tender. Then, this was pureed to a thick consistency. Barley/leek soup was topped with pan-seared shrimp with a garnish parsley.

OLE! OLE! IT’S TACO FRIDAY OVER HERE!

My taste buds were on high alert for this one. Lunch was super-delicious.  Stuffed some crunchy taco shells with mouth-watering left-over turkey chili. Topped my crunchy ones with diced:

  • nature’s butter (Hass avocado)
  • vine-ripe tomatoes

Garnished turkey chili tacos with flat-leaf parsley I had on hand. And of course, for me, tacos are not tacos without squirts of sour cream.

 

IT’S A TACO FRIDAY! #TURKEY CHILI!

Still rocking my turkey chili. Used up my mouth-watering treat in a few crunchy taco shells. Topped with the spicy poultry with diced avocado, vine-ripe tomatoes, and cool sour cream. Garnished with chopped Italian parsley.

Once again, my palate and I  were transported to a happy place.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO/CHICKEN SALAD

So glad that I went with the culinary ride. Hopped outside the box and decided to take my yams to another level. Cubed, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled those nutrient packed foods with cinnamon, a pinch  of salt, and powdered ginger.

SWEET POTATOES FOR ROASTING
SWEET POTATOES FOR ROASTING

Placed them on foiled baking sheet and baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 35 minutes until they were crispy on the exterior creamy on the interior.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

After cooling, those sweet and crispy treats were added to left-over bite-sized rotisserie  chicken (breast portion), a handful of Italian parsley and a few broccoli spears. For dressing, I combined:

  • a dollop of sour cream
  • light mayonnaise
  • a sprinkle of salt and black pepper
  • a splash of red wine vinegar

All ingredients were combined and ‘married’ well.

My taste buds were ‘over the moon’ with the mix of in the sweet and savory. It was like a party inside my mouth.

ROASTED GRAPES/BROCCOLI CHICKEN SANDWICH

Wasn’t happy with the seeds in my grapes. Thought I had bought the seedless version. Decided to roast them and oh what deliciousness. Those little seeds became quite crispy and more edible. As the high heat caught them in the oven, they took on a limp-like appearance.

It was such a culinary joy to partake of the sweet and tart juices that exploded in my mouth. Be careful,  though, make sure to indulge when they are warm or come to room temperature. Roasted grapes were paired with  roasted broccoli and a light chicken breast sandwich.

My palate was so excited to devour all the goodness between a crusty roll that was overstuffed with wholesome and mouth-watering foods. With a sip of a little Merlot, I was brought to a satisfying place.

 

 

PROTEIN-PACKED LUNCH #HARD-BOILED EGGS

Wanted a quick, easy, and satisfying dish for lunch. Decided on hard-boiled eggs on a bed of garlic asparagus. Paired same with servings of summer’s sweet/juicy tomatoes and creamy avocado. Made sure to  sprinkle  with black pepper and pinch of salt.

With a few crispy whole-wheat crackers (not in pic) on side, lunch was served.

SEARED SALMON WITH MANGO SALSA

Felt like I was transported to a tropical paradise for lunch. My palate and I couldn’t wait to devour a sweet, tart and mouth-watering serving of mango salsa. My protein of choice was heart-healthy salmon.

This omega acid fish was seared on both sides in a drizzle of olive oil. Then a lime-butter sauce was spooned on. Chopped olives and capers were used for topping. Servings of steamed  Jasmine rice along  with garlic-flavored asparagus completed my tropical dish.

ANGEL HAIR AND CORNED BEEF IN A CAN

When hunger calls and I’m  too weary to cook a huge meal, it’s imperative that I go with what I have in-house. And that was what I did. Delivery couldn’t have done a swifter move.

Had a slice of corned beef (may have  been Libby’s brand) securely wrapped in saran wrap and foil in freezer. Once in a while, I like to go here and be naughty with my food choices. Defrosted same and added to sautéed baby sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes with finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers.

Tossed in an al dente serving of whole-wheat angel hair pasta and combined with the tasty and delectable treat. Garnished with Italian parsley I had on hand.

CINCO DE MAYO TREATS #CORN FRITTERS

Lunch was quite a delicious treat. With the help of some crispy and sweet corn (canned) and other pantry ingredients, I was able to whip up a savory and slightly sweet corn fritters.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CORN FRITTERS
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CORN FRITTERS
BATTER FOR FRITTERS
BATTER FOR FRITTERS

With a drizzle of canola oil in a skillet, my corn fritters were cooked and crispy brown on both sides. Served them with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped avocado.