I’m pretty sure any blog is incomplete without the obligatory corn casserole recipe around this time of year. Sometimes, if I’m feeling fancy I call it a corn souffle. Because, you know, casseroles get a bad rap a lot of times (they really deserve more, if you ask me). And maybe sometimes I call it spoon bread. Just because. Who knows?! Regardless of whatever I decide to call it at the moment, I have to admit that I find myself drooling a little bit every time I see corn casserole/souffle/spoon bread. SO, SO GOOD! Most recipes use a corn muffin mix as a base, which is scrumptious. BUT this one is just as amazing and made completely from scratch! YAY!
I haven’t made this recipe more than like one other time in our marriage because I was SURE that Travis wasn’t a fan. It’s funny how notions like that get stuck in our heads because as it turns out he really does like it. He even asked why I haven’t made it more. At that point I wasn’t sure if I should cry a tear for all the missed corn casserole opportunities or jump for joy for the many corn casseroles in our future. I just played it cool in reality. Didn’t want to seem like a total food dork, even if I am one.
The real test was on our 1-year-old son, who has decided corn is on the “do not eat” list. He literally finds every piece of food he doesn’t like (a.k.a. almost every vegetable) and promptly drops them on the floor. I like to tell myself he’s a future scientist and is testing the laws of gravity, but I think I have to accept that he just likes dropping food he thinks is disgusting on the ground. We ate this casserole 3 times during different meals. The 1st two times the corn casserole ended up on the floor. BUT, 3rd time is a charm because….SUCCESS! My child actually ate corn! Without any sort of manipulation or begging on my part. Major win.
So I’ve learned a few lessons here. First, make sure to ask your husband/significant other/whoever you cook for if they like or dislike something before assuming one way or another. Next, persistence is key with a 1-year-old. Finally, I’ve learned that my love of corn casseroles is for reals and I will be making many more variations in my near future.
Side note…We ate a random helping of sides with this including orange pomegranate coleslaw and my recently posted Thanksgiving dinner rolls. Sometimes side dishes are where it’s at! I just realized my “side note” talked about sides. HA! I crack myself up sometimes.
Can I be real for a minute?? I now have a one year old. EEK! I get it now when people say kids grow up fast…where did the time go? When our little man was first born we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and now we have no idea what it was like before him. The laughs, smiles, and squeals just melt my heart. He plays like it’s his job (busiest boy in the world) and I swear he can run faster than I can. Something I must work on I suppose…Maybe less galette and more salad? Only if it’s this spicy chicken Southwest salad, of course! (Nice transition, right? Totally worked real hard on that one. Also, not giving up the galette. That would be silly.)
This is a super simple, weeknight, use-all-your-leftover-veggies, I-can’t-even-think-of-making-dinner kind of meal. And it’s AMAZING! Sometimes simple is better than the hard stuff and this is definitely quick and easy. Perfect for someone who wants to be somewhat healthy but also has to chase a one year old that they can’t keep up with (aka…me).
My absolute favorite part is that I usually have everything I need to make it because the ingredients are staples in my house. And actually I lied because I have another absolute favorite part…there’s not actually a recipe! MIND BLOWN! If you say you can’t cook because you can’t follow a recipe, this is good news for you. All you really need to do is follow a shopping list. Or maybe just go find these things in your fridge or pantry.
Travis and I probably have this once a week. I’ll have Travis grill up some extra chicken if we’re already grilling, I cut it up, and either freeze or refrigerate it depending on how quickly I plan on using it. Then it’s just a matter of chopping, heating some ingredients up (if you so choose) and eating. Nom, nom!
Spicy Chicken Southwest Salad
Hot and spicy chicken DEFINITELY spices up this Southwest salad!
Lettuce (Romaine, or your favorite kind), ripped or cut into bite size pieces
Grilled chicken, cubed
Black Beans, rinsed and drained
Avocado, sliced or diced
Hard boiled egg, cubed
Cheddar cheese, grated
Tortilla chips, crushed
lime, for garnish
Bell pepper, diced
Red onion, finely chopped or diced
Mix desired amount of hot sauce with the grilled chicken (I like mine hot so I add quite a bit!). I usually heat up the chicken and hot sauce in a saute pan if it's not already warm, but this is optional.
Heat the black beans and frozen corn in a saute pan over medium heat. Again, optional but if you eat it cold, please make sure to use canned or fresh corn so you don't break a tooth!
Layer desired ingredients over lettuce. Top with ranch dressing and crushed tortilla chips. Finish with a squeeze of lime to garnish.
By Flavor From Scratch
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/
Would I call this a dressing? A Sauce? Yummy stuff I would eat by the spoonful straight out of the jar? Um…I mean I would never do that. I’m way too ladylike. WAY to ladylike *cough, cough*.
Whatever the case, and whatever you would like call this recipe, just make it. This creamy avocado-y yogurt-y goodness is totally worth trying at least once in your life. And then you will realize that once is not enough and decide it’s worth trying at least 1000 more times. More or less.
This recipe is loosely based off of a ranch-style dressing so it’s perfect for salads (I *love* this on a taco salad!). I also put it in a buffalo chicken wrap. Incredible way to cool down a spicy wrap! This would also be amazing as just a sauce for spicy grilled chicken or fish. OH MY! Anything spicy should automatically be paired with this dressing/sauce. No questions asked.
My recipe has buttermilk in it (since, like I said, it’s kind of based off of a ranch dressing), but you can totally up the amount of yogurt or olive oil if you don’t have buttermilk. I just love the buttermilk to give it that extra creamy, decadent texture. AHHH, I made this awhile ago and just talking about it makes me want to make it again. Like right now. SO GOOD!
Let me get to dreaming about what to put this dressing on next. I expect to hear soon what you used this avocado magic dressing on (that’s what I should have called it…magic dressing). Yum!
Having a newborn has completely changed my view of food. My food thoughts these days consist of things such as: “How can a little baby pack away that much food? He must be a magician,” and “I’m SOO hungry…I will eat anything. Seriously. Anything.” (Breastfeeding moms, are you with me there? I can eat all day and still be hungry). Oh, and my favorite recently pondered question is whether or not I have somehow turned from human to milk-making machine. Because sometimes I feel like that’s my new job. Actually, that is my new job along with professional cuddler, diaper changer and swaddler. I’m learning on the job. I think my client is happy but he doesn’t talk yet.
Along with these very deep and profound thoughts (hey, they’re profound if you’ve been sleep deprived), there’s just no more TIME! I was always the person that used cooking and baking as my calming factor after a busy day. Kind of like yoga for someone who can’t balance on one foot. No joke, I made a hot dog the other day on an indoor electric grill and was proud of myself for the amazing feat I accomplished…I don’t even like hot dogs! Well, except for at a good summer cookout. But that was one good hot dog because I made it myself! One step at a time…I’ll get back to making full meals I’m sure!
So I guess where I’m going with all this rambling is that despite the fact that the next several recipes I’ll post, including this kohlrabi and potato recipe, are fairly simple and 100% delicious, I was smart enough to stock up on recipes and photos prior to baby’s arrival. I don’t feel like you all would be impressed with a recipe on how to make a hot dog. Just a hunch.
Back to the reason you’re here…I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of potatoes so let’s jump right to the kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is a mystery ingredient for many. I must admit I had no clue what it was or how to use it prior to acquiring this fine specimen from VanScoy Farms awhile back (again, I made this before the little guy arrived). After some research, I found a simple recipe and was on my way. I personally think kohlrabi kind of tastes like brussels sprouts a little. You can disagree though. I won’t take it personally.
To prep the kohlrabi, remove any stem or leaves. Slice it into quarters and cut the core out. Peel the kohlrabi through the outer fibrous layers (if you have a bigger kohlrabi like I did, make sure to get through all the outer layers to the completely white part or you’ll end up with tough sections. I learned from experience). After that, you’re ready to dice and use!
If any of you have been wondering why I’ve been MIA this past month or so, I swear I have a good reason. I went on a last minute cruise around the world…oh wait. This just in: that actually didn’t happen. That was someone ELSE I saw going on a cruise around the world in travel magazine. The REAL reason is *even* better! Travis and I met our handsome baby boy! He decided to come a couple weeks before his due date. Just like his dad–always on time and a little early, just in case. For any parent out there, you know what a whirlwind the first month is (little guy will be a month old already!). I’ve been SUPER busy with dirty diapers and feedings and keeping the guy happy but it’s all been more than worth it! I get to see him grow a little every day, which makes me so happy. I can already tell we’ll have so much fun together!
So with that said, I have had little time to shower (no joke, unfortunately), let alone time to think about blogging. Bummer, right? Well I thought I’d kick things back off with a very simple, but delicious tip about broccoli. Yes, who knew there could be a broccoli tip? The vegetable seems so straight forward! But I’ve been lacking in my knowledge of broccoli for years it turns out.
As an adult, I’ve always loved broccoli (not so much as a kid but I just didn’t know any better). I went about my cooking using the broccoli florets like it was my job, throwing away the seemingly useless broccoli stalk. For awhile, I bought just the broccoli “crowns” at the store because I started to wonder why I was paying for the stalk that I just threw away. Just recently, I realized that I could actually use the broccoli stalk in stir fry recipes and basically any other recipe that calls for broccoli. Am I late to the game? Probably. But my mind was blown nonetheless.
The broccoli stalk is just as amazing as the florets! And I hear it’s also good for you, but since I’m not a nutritionist I won’t even try to tell you why. You may wonder how to prep those stalks because they seem so tough and inedible. Here’s how I do it:
Cut off the florets and use as normal. Yum!
Cut off the top and bottom so you have a nice thick section of stalk to work with.
Cut off the thick outer layer of stalk. I cut off 4 sides so it looks like a square cylinder (see above picture since “square cylinder” really makes no sense otherwise).
Cube, slice, dice, shred, etc. the remaining inner section of the stalk.
You’re done! Use the broccoli stems in any recipe that calls for broccoli!
I used the cubed stalks from the pic above in some fried rice and it was oh-so-yummy. You could use the stalks in stir fry recipes, coleslaw, salads, etc. Opportunities are endless! I could get at least an extra cup of cubed stalk out of a large bunch of broccoli. I feel so sad knowing that I threw away all that good broccoli in the past! Here’s to learning something new every day!
Talking about learning something new, the little guy teaches me something new every day. So now back to diapers and learning new things. Hopefully another recipe will come soon, if the little guy cooperates! Wish me luck with that!