Well Dined

18Jan/1711

FFF – Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Well Dined | Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I have another post from Fantastical Food Fight - a monthly blog challenge who's theme this month was Slow Cooker Soups.  Yum - so perfect for cold weather!  I knew immediately that I wanted to do this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup that I had made before, but didn't post about.  It is so insanely easy and delicious.

Well Dined | Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

All you do is add diced onion, carrots, and celery to a slow cooker, along with wild rice and raw chicken (you don't even have to cut it up).

Well Dined | Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Add chicken broth and poultry seasoning.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

9Oct/165

SRC – Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Well Dined | Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

The Secret Recipe Club is coming to an end, you guys.  This is both very sad and a huge relief to me, as I have had so much fun exploring other blogs, but also felt a lot of pressure to meet the timeline.  There will be one more seasonal post at the end of this month, and one more regular post in November.  I was assigned Cheese Curd in Paradise this month, written by Ashley.

I actually couldn't find a bio page on this blog, sorry Ashley!  But I could discern that Ashley lives in Wisconsin, has a son, and loves comfort food!  I found a ton of yummy looking stuff while scrolling through the archives.

The first thing a saw was a bunch of yummy looking dip recipes, like Creamy Spinach and Radish, Warm Bacon and Caramelized Onion, Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke, and Cheddar Bacon Ranch.

I also saw tons of casseroles, like Meatball Sub, Stroganoff, and Potato Chip Topped Tuna Noodle.

And slowcooker recipes, like Creamy Tex-Mex Chicken, and Swedish Meatballs.

And pasta recipes, like Homemade Beef-a-Roni, Bacon Cheeseburger Gnocchi Skillet, Creamy Chicken Pesto Gnocchi Skillet, BLT Tortellini Skillet, and Ham and Cheese Gnocchi Skillet (loving these skillet meals).

And some special occasion recipes, like Maple and Shallot Spaghetti Squash, Roast Duck with Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing, Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Thyme Crust, and Seared Scallops with Prosecco Herb Beurre Blanc.

I didn't even get to the desserts, y'all!

In the end, I was torn between this Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole and this Chicken Bacon Ranch Tater Tot Casserole.  So I decided to combine them!  By which I mean, use ranch seasoning instead of the seasoning mix in the slow cooker casserole.

Well Dined | Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

It is hard to take good photos of casseroles, y'all, especially in the slow cooker.  But the slow cooker was what I loved about this.  Throw frozen tater tots, raw chicken, cooked bacon, onions, cheese, ranch seasoning, and milk into the insert and forget about it until dinner time.  Perfect.  I did feel like it was missing a bit of a creamy element, but I don't know how sour cream would do in the slow cooker.

For ease an comfort, this just can't be beat!  Enjoy!

12Sep/1610

SRC – Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole from Cookin’ Mimi

Well Dined | Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole

It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club!  I was assigned Cookin' Mimi - a blog full of comfort food and home cooking with lots of influences like Southern, Southwestern, and some International.  The author is a Southern Californian with a Southern family - which explains the variety of influences!  She doesn't remember a time when she wasn't cooking.

I was in crunch mode when I chose a recipe, on the search for an easy dinner.  Mimi is a big fan of casseroles, like me, so I looked at this Cheesy Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole and this traditional Chicken and Rice Casserole, but decided on this Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole.

I also scrolled through the desserts quickly and saw Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ice Cream, Coconut Tres Leches Cake, and Pina Colada Poke Cake.  Clearly I'm in a tropical mood.

Well Dined | Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole

But back to the casserole!  It is really straightforward and simple - combine chicken, green chiles, rice, and a sour cream sauce; top with cheese; bake; the end.  But something in the recipe jumped out at me as unfamiliar - it called for par-boiled or converted rice.  What the heck is that?  I turned to the internet and found out that by par-boiling the rice, the nutrients of the outer parts are forced into the grain before they are removed - making it something in between brown and white rice.  In fact, it supposedly has most of the nutrients of brown rice, an even lower glycemic index, and the soft texture of white rice, without getting as mushy.  How had I never heard of this before?!  It is perfect to use in casseroles and slow cookers because the texture holds up.  It's awesome!

But, there is a downside - unless you are ordering it from Asia, most brands are grown in the Southern US and have high levels of inorganic arsenic, which is toxic.  So, you know, don't eat a ton of it all the time.

13Nov/150

Sweet Potato and Chard Gratin

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Are you looking for a new side for your Thanksgiving dinner?  Maybe something a little more grownup and sophisticated?  This gratin with sweet potato, chard, Gruyere, fresh herbs, and lots of garlic may be perfect for you.  You could certainly make it for a non-holiday dinner as well, though it does take quite a bit of time with pre-cooking, layering, and baking.  Luckily, I was with my dear friend Melissa (Smells Like Brownies), who helped with the prep-work.

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Start with a big sweet potato (or two smaller ones) and a whole lot of chard (seriously - a lot)

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Peel the sweet potato and slice thinly, then set aside.

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin

Remove the stems from the chard, chop, and place in a big pot with some onion that has been sauteing in butter.  Look at those colors!  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; and cook until soft.  

25Apr/140

Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

Well Dined | Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

You know that cheesy broccoli and rice casserole that makes it's way to every potluck ever?  That is so bad for you, but so yummy, that you eat heaps of it and you tell yourself that it's got broccoli so it's okay?  Well here's your chance to pig out, because this version (made with quinoa instead of rice) is a lot better for you.

Well Dined | Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

Of course, to convince my husband to eat it (and because I wanted more protein without having to make a separate dish), I threw some shredded rotisserie chicken in there.  You can see in the photo that I just threw big florets of steamed broccoli in there.  I ended up wishing that the broccoli was more evenly spread throughout, so I will recommend chopping it first.

Well Dined | Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

This is hearty, and creamy, and just plain awesome.  Kids (and big kids) will gobble it up.

21Mar/142

Classic Pot Roast

Well Dined | Classic Pot Roast

Pot roast is a pretty standard American meal.  Many folks have their own recipes that they love.  But just in case you don't, here's mine!  An herb crusted beef roast goes into a pot with potatoes, veggies, red wine, and beef stock until it is super tender - yum.

Well Dined | Classic Pot Roast

First step - rub that beef.  Combine kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to make a rub.  Sprinkle over and press into the meat.

Well Dined | Classic Pot Roast

The you are going to brown those veggies and sear that beef.  Heat olive oil in a heavy dutch oven until very hot.  Then add an onion and carrots and cook until really browned.  Remove the veggies temporarily, add more oil, and sear the beef on all sides.  Then take that out, too, because you need to deglaze.

19Mar/140

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Okay, I am not a huge canned tuna fan.  But I saw this recipe for stuffed shells with tuna, spinach, and roasted garlic topped with bechamel and buttery bread crumbs and I had to try it.  I even had a couple of tins of really nice smoked albacore (pretty much the only canned tuna I like).  You guys, this is not your grandmother's casserole.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The first thing that makes this dish special is the roasted garlic, which is super easy to make.  Just chop the top off of a whole head of garlic, place it on a sheet of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it up, and roast away.  When it's done it becomes creamy and sweet and is delicious spread on bread, but we will be using the whole thing in this recipe.  Just squeeze to pop out all the cloves - I find this to be creepy but fascinating.  All that sweet roasted garlic goes into a creamy bechamel sauce.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The filling is tuna, spinach, and breadcrumbs - simple, but good.  After it is all mixed up, half of the garlic bechamel goes in to make it nice and creamy.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Then that mixture gets stuffed into cooked pasta shells.  I tried to find whole wheat shells, but no luck.  Then you are going to frantically lick the bowl, and the spoon, and your fingers - because this filling is soooooo good.

12Mar/141

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Alfredo

Well Dined | Pumpkin Goat Cheese Alfredo

Here's a quick little semi-homemade cold weather meal, perfect for weeknights.  I took some store-bought fresh spinach fettuccine and thick sliced roasted turkey from the deli counter, and tossed them with a homemade pumpkin goat cheese alfredo.  It's interesting enough to not be boring, but it's easy enough to not cause a headache.

Well Dined | Pumpkin Goat Cheese Alfredo

The homemade part is the decadent sauce, which involves butter, garlic, cream, pumpkin, goat cheese, sage, and pumpkin pie spice.  I wanted to do something a little different, which is why I went with turkey, but chicken would work just as well.  And I like how the spinach pasta brought a little color to the table.

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Alfredo
adapted from Closet Kitchen
serves 2

8 oz pasta of choice (I used fresh spinach fettuccine from the refrigerated section), cooked
8 oz cooked turkey or chicken, diced or shredded
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 tbsp sage, sliced thinly (or dried)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Add the cream, pumpkin puree, goat cheese, Parmesan, sage, and pumpkin pie spice and simmer until the cheese has melted.

Add in the poultry and allow to warm through. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Toss with pasta and serve immediately.

One Year Ago - Light Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf
Two Years Ago - Pinterest Recipes
Three Years Ago - 5 Couscous Dinners

22Jan/140

Butternut Squash Carbonara

Well Dined | Butternut Squash Carbonara

By now, you guys should have figured out that I love butternut squash and pasta together.  I could practically rename my blog "The Butternut Squash Blog".  So when I saw someone grate butternut squash so that it dissolves into their velvety carbonara sauce, you know I was all over that.  Especially because I had a nasty cold and wanted comfort and didn't care that the pasta wasn't whole wheat.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash Carbonara

The original recipe used buccatini, which I love, but I couldn't find any at the store.  I did see these gorgeous long fusilli noodles though.  I have to say, after having cooked with them twice, I wouldn't actually recommend these.  It takes longer to cook than advertised and the inside is still crunchy (not al dente - crunchy), while the outside has gotten soft so that it breaks apart and doesn't stay long and beautiful.  Sigh.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash Carbonara

Anyway, grate up that squash (just a little chunk, not even a whole one) and toss it into a pan with a little rendered bacon fat, butter, and garlic.

20Jan/140

Miso Tahini Soup

Well Dined | Miso Tahini Soup

After a bit of a hiatus, Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I are getting back to our weekly vegetarian lunches.  Last week we tried this amazing soup recipe packed with veggies.  It is warm and comforting, with lots of flavor and texture - plus it's really easy to make.  It's also both vegan and vegetarian friendly.  And gosh, isn't it pretty?

Well Dined | Miso Tahini Soup

The soup starts out with sliced squash (we used acorn) and tiny cubes of turnip simmered in water until tender.  At first I thought that one small squash and one turnip wouldn't be enough, but they turned out to be plenty!  So don't go overboard and think that you need to get more/bigger.  The cooking water then becomes the base for the broth and miso, tahini, and lemon zest are added to round it out.

Well Dined | Miso Tahini Soup

You can garnish the soup however you like, but we stuck with the original recipe and used avocado, chives, toasted nori, and toasted sesame seeds.

Well Dined | Miso Tahini Soup

The soup can be served over a grain, and we choose to try out buckwheat.  We are both avoiding white rice for health reasons and thought this grain-like seed would be fun to try.  Unfortunately it cooks to a porridge like consistency instead of individual grains.  So I would recommend barley or brown rice instead.