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Weekly Meal Plans

Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps

September 4, 2019

You know when you’ve had something delicious, and it was in a specific time and place that you won’t ever get to visit again, but the memory of it just kind of haunts you?

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can recreate it at home. It’s crazy, but this post is brought to you by a craving that has lasted for over fifteen years. 

Yes I realize that makes me sound old, but let’s just focus on the fact that the flavors of this Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap are that good, shall we?

Long ago when I was a young, spritely twenty something, I worked in Boston at a mutual fund company (where I met my husband, so they were wonderful years). I used to run out to lunch and grab wraps from this amazing wrap place because they were so quick and so good. They had a ton of different kinds of wraps but I kept returning for their warm, tangy, salty, comforting Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap because the flavors from the peanut sauce were amazing, the crunchy veggies the perfect counter to the soft rice and chicken, and everything was so warm.  Warm rice, warm wrap and warm chicken all succeeded in making my belly very full and happy.  So when I was trying to think of new dinner ideas that could produce the same feeling in my kids, I knew I had to try to recreate this wrap.

I love to make food that is driven by cravings…they can lead you to some very good places. Like this Thai Peanut Satay Sauce.

I have tried to make a good peanut sauce many times before, but I could never get it to be as good as my memory of this wrap. So I kept researching and fiddling and finally…I discovered two game changers. The first is to start with coconut milk. It makes it so thick and creamy and the perfect consistency. The second is white vinegar. SO many recipes for satay sauce use rice wine vinegar but I found a food blog by a woman whose mother hailed from Thailand and sounded like a wonderful cook, and she swore that you should only use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in your sauce. I actually taste tested this with my big kids and she is SO right. (Can’t re-find her blog either or I would share!)

This sauce actually comes together very fast, and most of these are already in your pantry. Some of the flavor notes like lemongrass and chili I’m listing as optional because if you have coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and ginger, lime and white wine vinegar, you’re going to get something approximating this crave worthy sauce. And then you need to make buckets of it and put it on everything. Noodles, rice, chicken, pizza crust, whatever you prefer.

If you were super smart and made the sauce on a weekend, then your weeknight dinner prep looks like: shred rotisserie chicken and toss it in a pan with some of the sauce to your desired thickness (I would say about 1.5-2 cups per chicken), slice some veggies…

and throw some rice in the rice cooker. I’m not going to lie, jasmine rice is delicious here. But when I had the leftovers for lunch I used the more virtuous brown rice and it was delicious too.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, this recipe (along with literally thousands of others) will make it worth your while. I love it for the use of the steamer tray on top which is completely helpful in steaming broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc. But for these wraps I used it for getting the wrap nice and hot. I just put it in and shut the lid after the rice was done for about 1-2  minutes. You can also microwave it in a moist paper towel for 30 seconds too, which I did the next day.

Then you try to build the wrap with rice straight from the rice cooker, still steamy.

The dense packing of the rice is pretty important, so make sure when you wrap it you fold it over and secure all the fillings with one hand and then fold in the ends and roll.

If for any reason you wait to eat this trust me and microwave it for 30 seconds as it is best to eat it pipping hot. You can also wrap it in foil to stay warm if needed.

My kids LOVED this dinner. As did my husband. It is definitely a keeper and I’m so glad to have it in back in my life again. It’s kind of like meeting an old friend again after a long time. Also, how cute is she? She’s basically a dream 11-year-old. I’m glad she gets to know about this wrap young.

Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps

For the sauce:

1 can coconut milk

3/4 cup peanut butter (natural is the best)

3 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated

1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced or grated

4 T. soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

2 T. sweet chili sauce, optional

2 T. lemon grass puree (or let 4 1-inch pieces simmer in the sauce), optional

1/4 c. white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works fine too)

For the filling:

2 cups cooked rice (jasmine is best, brown works too)

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 3 cups)

2 cups peanut sauce

red pepper, thinly sliced

shredded carrots

scallions, sliced

cilantro and lime, if desired

Directions:

While rice cooks in rice cooker, heat 2 cups peanut sauce with shredded chicken. When rice is done, warm wraps in top of rice cooker or microwave in a wet paper towel for 30 seconds. Then quickly build wrap with rice, sauced chicken, veggies, and more sauce if desired. Wrap and serve immediately. If needed, you can make wraps ahead and wrap them in tin foil and keep them warm in the oven at 200 degrees.

 

Pork Posole

August 29, 2019

We are back in the swing of the school year, and I’ve been scouring my cookbooks and the internet to find new dinner ideas. My criteria has been dishes that are easy, delicious and feed a crowd. And I guess I’ve also been looking for things that are a little different, something we’ve never tasted before.

This Pork Posole checks all the boxes. When you find a dish that has SO much flavor, and is so simple and easy, and is a little bit different than anything you’ve had before, you have to share it. The amazing flavor comes from three things: the salsa verde…

the hominy…it was a little hard to find for me so I bought six cans from Amazon and I am very excited to have the makings for more posole in my pantry. Amazon Prime for lyfe. (Seriously, what did moms of little kids do before it existed?)

…and the addition of 3 cups of tortilla chips at the end. It sounds so weird but then you realize that the corn chips dissolve and when they do, they thicken this dish and add salt and fat that makes you crave more. It’s loaded with veggies that help to balance this decadence though, right?

I was a little worried that the fresh poblano pepper would make it too spicy, but my normally picky nine year old loved this dish along with my big kids.

My six year old did not love it though and ate what we always serve the kids who think something is too spicy: a cheese roll up. This is the name we give a tortilla sprinkled with shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese, rolled up and microwaved for 30 seconds with some avocado. (Just looking out for you mommas out there.)This dish has got to be one of the best bowls of stew/soup I’ve ever had. I’ve seen a lot of posole recipes around using chicken instead, and you could easily swap the pork for the chicken here. But the pork was so flavorful and satisfying I highly recommend trying it. There are a lot of crock pot versions too, but I think sautéing the veggies adds so much flavor and once you’ve done that you might as well just let it simmer on the stove for 30 minutes.The salsa verde and the lime make this taste so fresh, but at its heart this is comfort food and perfect for fall. I hope you get to try it and fall in love with it like we did. 

Happy Eating,

xoxo Katie

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 1/2 pounds lean, boneless pork loin, 1/2-inch diced

2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)

1/3 cup small-diced poblano pepper

2 Holland yellow or orange bell peppers, seeded and 3/4-inch diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

6 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade, simmering

1 (12-ounce) jar medium salsa verde

2 (15-ounce) cans white hominy, rinsed and drained

1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

3 cups yellow corn tortilla chips, plus extra for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lime wedges, sliced or diced avocado, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, grated Cheddar, and sour cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium (11-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium-high heat. Add the pork and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer the pork and any liquid to a bowl and set aside. (Don’t worry about crowding the pan here). Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the pot, add the onions, and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the poblano and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, chili powder, and oregano and cook for one minute. Return the pork and its juices to the pot.
  2. Add the chicken stock and salsa verde and bring to a simmer. Stir in the hominy, black beans, corn chips, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon salt, depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock and the chips.
  3. To serve, ladle the posole into large soup bowls. Garnish with a squeeze of lime and top with avocado, scallions, radishes, tortilla chips, Cheddar, and sour cream. Serve hot.

Recipe from Ina Garten can be found here on Foodnetwork.com

Sheet Pan Lemon & Herb Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce

August 20, 2019

Hello00 food friends! If you are still reading this blog after the super silent summer here, thank you! I spent the summer being the general manager for a kitchen remodel and general move out due to floors being redone, as well as focusing on my super cute offspring up at our lakehouse (that doubles as a ski house in the winter). I spent a lot of time researching recipes and dreaming about all the food I’ll make this fall in our new kitchen, so I hope there are a lot of good things to come here on The Humble Onion. I want to make all the delicious but easy dinners with new flavors, so if you’re looking for that sort of thing, keep checking back.

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s a picture of our kitchen – we are waiting on new counters and backsplash so I’ll wait until they are done to do a blog post about it but here is a sneak peak:

My first meal in our new kitchen was grass-fed burgers, and it was SUCH a thrill to hear the smoke alarm go off, then turn on our new blower in our hood…and hear the alarm shut right off. Any of you who have lived through this knows how stressful it is to set off your alarm all the time when you’re cooking. (Pro tip: we lived with a shower cap over our smoke alarm for almost a year and it kept it from going off when I cooked.) Also, here is where I remind you you don’t need a gourmet kitchen to make good food. I cooked at our camp kitchen all summer and was just as inspired. 

Ok, my second meal was this Sheet Pan Lemon & Herb Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce. I wanted something easy, healthy, but full of flavor and I had been craving salmon. I love Ina Garten’s Roast Salmon with Herbs and had made it before, so I thought I’d make the fish in a similar way, but loaded with the fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes on the vine, and asparagus all on the same sheet pans. I was also craving something creamy – and this lemon dill cream sauce couldn’t be easier.

This sauce soaked into all the lemon, olive oil, and tomatoes juices and mashed into the potatoes nicely. Every bite was delicious and kept having to remind myself how easy this dinner was. The best part was it kept well on the stove so my husband and son could load up when they got home from football. Yup, conditioning has started, so goodbye lazy summer dinners and hello taking turns to eat, coordinating rides, and making big dinners for a hungry teenager.

This meal starts with salt and peppering your salmon, then adding lemon juice and olive oil and letting it marinate on the counter while you prep the rest of the food. Then you add herbs…you can add others that you like like parsley or chives.

I made two sheet pans to give the veggies room to cook. I tossed the veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper and then nestled in the filets.

One Note: If you prefer your potatoes crispy, you can cook them on a separate sheet pan, and place in the oven 5-8 minutes before the fish and veggies. I poured the lemon and olive oil marinade over everything which made them soft and able to mash with your fork to pick up all the juices on your plate, which I loved.

Then they roasted for…wait for it…12 minutes. It was super fast, just enough time to pull together the cream sauce. For my littles who don’t like salmon, I did cook a turkey kielbasa and they were thrilled.

The result was a super fast, super yummy dinner. It was seriously easy and restaurant level delicious. The tart acid from the tomato juices mix with the meaty salmon, fresh herbs, and creamy lemon dill sauce, so every bit is fresh and light and full of flavor. The potatoes help make this a stick the ribs comfort food dish.

I can’t wait to make this again, and neither can my husband and big kids. We loved it I hope you do too.

Happy Eating, Katie xoxo

 

Sheet Pan Lemon & Herb Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce

Ingredients

1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) skinless salmon fillet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup good olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)

1/2 cup minced fresh dill

1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed

1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1 quart cherry tomatoes

For the sauce:

1/2 cup creme fraiche

1/2 sour cream

juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 T)

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the salmon fillet in a non-reactive dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions and dill. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet.

Divid vegetables on two sheet pans, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper (about 2 T. of olive oil for each sheet pan). Nestle salmon in the middle of the veggies and then place in the oven.

Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until salmon is almost cooked in the center at the thickest part and the potatoes are soft when you insert a knife and the center of the salmon is firm. Cook 1-2 more minutes if needed.

While it cooks, mix together the dill cream sauce by combining the creme fraiche, sour cream, lemon juice and fresh dill with salt and pepper to taste. Stir and set aside until serving.

 

 

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

April 26, 2018

Do you like Peanut Butter? Chicken Satay?

Then you are in for a treat my friends.

Its hard to put into words how I felt after racing home on a chilly spring afternoon of sports to find this ready in the crock pot. Tears of joy? Maybe. Especially because this was SO easy to make and took all of 5 MINUTES at around noon time.

If you have ever tried to make Chicken Satay, you know it has SO many ingredients. My husband loves it but I usually chicken out (see what I did there?) when I start to make it because of ingredient fatigue. (Visit Ina Garten’s recipe to see what I mean).

This however has all the flavor of a great satay sauce with a handful of Thai ingredients.

Did you know that Thai cooking tries to balance 5 different flavors? There is usually something sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter in every dish. (I usually leave out the spicy part since I am making this for kids – I left out the red pepper flakes and just added sriracha to mine). This helps me to keep a stocked pantry to cook Thai food, since I know most recipes will call for coconut milk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime, brown sugar or honey, ginger and garlic to get these flavors balanced. And I usually keep ginger in my freezer and limes in my fridge so I always have them on hand. If this hurts your brain then just ignore this paragraph and follow the super easy crockpot recipe below and you will just have to lift the lid to have good food in six hours.

This is also a great recipe when you have a package of chicken breasts and want to magically turn it into something delicious.  Add some cilantro, rice and dry peanuts to your shopping list for garnish and you are done.

Also, this recipe for Carrots with Ginger and Honey by Martha Stewart is the perfect side to this and also only takes five minutes. You’ve already got the ginger and honey out anyway.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken (printer version here):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coconut milk about a half a can
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce low-sodium
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Optional garnishes: chopped peanuts cilantro or green onions

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To a 6 qt slow cooker, add the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, and stir until combined.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into one inch chunks and add to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  4. Add the lime juice and cornstarch/water mixture to the slow cooker and stir carefully.
  5. Cook for an additional 20 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  6. Garnish with desired toppings like chopped peanuts, cilantro or green onions (or all three!).

Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

 

Carrots with Ginger and Honey (printer version here):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 bunches (about 2 pounds) baby carrots
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 two-inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3 tablespoons honey

DIRECTIONS:

1. Trim stems of carrots to 1/2 inch. Peel carrots, and wash stem area.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt water, add carrots, and reduce heat. Simmer until carrots are almost tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove carrots from heat, and drain. (Carrots can be prepared earlier in the day to this point.)

3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, and sauté, stirring, until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and honey, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until carrots are glazed. Serve immediately.

Recipe from marthastewart.com

 

 

Weekly Meal Plan for 4/16

April 16, 2018

Hi Foodie Friends,

As promised, here is the first installment of my Weekly Meal Plans. I hope to find some very interesting and creative way to neatly post these with boxes and graphics. Until then I will do it the old fashioned way with links and old photos. I am excited to dig through THO archives and find old recipes we knew and loved.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

M: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Maple Dijon Roasted Veggies 

T:  Lemon Roast Chicken with potatoes

W: Ina’s Chicken Pot Pie (I use store-bought puff pastry instead of the one she makes in this recipe!)

Thur: Easy Chicken Parm

Fri: Pizza

Sat: Grilled Steak + Asparagus courtesy of my husband