Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

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So I went a little crazy this weekend…at the grocery store! We had a beautiful warm sunny day and I think that definitely affected my attitude while shopping. All of the vegetables in the store looked so fresh and delicious, I didn’t want to pass anything up. I just kept picking things up, and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized I probably had more veggies that I could use up in a week. After a couple large salads I still had quite a few left to use so I figured this stir fry would be a great way to do that.

This might not be what you typically think of as stir fry. Instead of a sticky gooey sauce I prefer to let the vegetables be the star and season the chicken with paprika for a little more intensity. However, you could definitely add a little brown sugar to this to make it a little sticky if that’s how you like it. Another great thing about this meal is that it only takes one pot and one pan, making for quick and easy clean up!

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry
3 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
5 carrots
1/2 yellow onion
1 cup green beans
6-7 asparagus spears
5-6 kale leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 green onions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Place the chicken breasts in a baking pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom. Season the chicken. Combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons paprika in a small bowl. Season the chicken with half of the spice mixture. Turn the chicken over and season the other side withe the rest of the spices. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until cooked through (cooking times will depend on the size of your chicken).

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2. Peel and chop your carrots. Place a pot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat and add the carrots. Next chop your onion and add that to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Allow these to cook together until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.

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3. Next chop your green beans and asparagus and add them to the pot. Chop your kale into bite sized pieces and add it to the rest of the vegetables.

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4. When the vegetables begin to soften add your stock and rice to the pot. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook at a simmer until the rice is cooked and the stock has evaporated.

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5. When the chicken has cooked use two forks to pull it apart. Place the pulled apart pieces in the pot and stir to combine with the vegetables and rice. Add more salt or pepper if needed and top with chopped green onions, enjoy!

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Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

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I have never liked mushrooms.  Sorry to any of you mushroom fans out there, but I have just never liked them.  I think it’s the slightly slimy texture that just completely turns me off.  I basically avoid them at all costs.

However, this week I got some in my farm basket and I realllly try not to let anything I get go to waste so I decided to give it my best try to make something I didn’t absolutely hate out of these mushrooms.  After scouring recipes and multiple Google searches for “mushroom dishes that don’t taste like mushrooms” I decided my best bet was to add bacon to them.  When in doubt, just add bacon, right?

So, I mixed up this quick bacon stuffing and gave these mushrooms my best shot. While these aren’t something I would make too often, I have to admit I didn’t hate them.  Also, when I shared them with people who actually enjoy mushrooms, they loved them. So, if you’re a mushroom-friendly individual I think you’ll like these.  The mushrooms I had were pretty small, so I think this recipe would work better with larger mushrooms (that way you can stuff more bacon into each one)!

Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
20-30 white button mushrooms, cleaned with stems twisted off
5 slices of cooked bacon
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 yellow onion very finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup breadcrumb
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
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2. Cook your rice according to the instructions on the package. I used brown rice in mine but any kind would work.

3. Chop up your cooked bacon and add to to a bowl with the parsley, chopped onion, garlic, breadcrumb, olive oil, salt and pepper.

4. When your rice has cooled, at it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine them all.
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5. Carefully spoon about 1/2-1 teaspoon (depending on the size of your mushrooms) of the filling into each mushroom.

6. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes (again depending on the size), until the filling on top starts to brown, enjoy!
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Arancini

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These arancini have quickly become a holiday favorite with my family. While we don’t do the full blown out Italian seven fishes dinner, we do avoid meat on Christmas Eve and make at least a couple of fish dishes. My mom introduced these rice balls to our vegetarian Christmas Eve menu a few years ago and they were an instant success.

This year I took on the arancini duty and am happy to have this recipe under my belt now.  While I usually shy away from things that need to be fried, these are totally worth the effort (and I usually make my husband do the frying part for me)!

Arancini
2 cups uncooked rice
1 container of small fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half
2 cups breadcrumbs
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
vegetable oil for frying

Note: I’ve found that it’s easier to make this recipe in thirds (as described below) to get the right texture for your rice mixture.

1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package and let it cool completely once cooked.

2. Place 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

3. When the rice has cooled, add 1/3 of the cooked rice, 1/2 cup of breadcrumb, 2 lightly beaten eggs, 1/3 cup of grated cheese and 1/3 of the chopped basil in a bowl and stir to combine. The mixture should be just a little sticky, so you can easily roll it into a ball. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more rice.

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4. Take a small amount of the rice mixture and form it into a ball. Make a small indent in the middle of the ball and place half of one of the small mozzarella balls in it, cover it with a bit more of the rice mixture and roll into a ball.

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5. Roll each ball in the bowl of breadcrumbs and then set aside.

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6. Continue the same process until all of your rice is used up.

7. Heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil in saucepan on medium heat to 350 degrees. When the oil has reached 350 degrees carefully fry the arancini in small batches for about 4 minutes each, until brown.

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8. Place each arancini on a paper towel to drain and serve warm. These pair great with some marinara sauce, enjoy!

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