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Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing // Food Fresh and Simple from Karista's Kitchen

Bowl food is all the rage at the moment and for good reason.  It’s easy to assemble and typically filled with the most delicious ingredients like this spicy chicken and vegetable rice bowl.

This recipe is a lovely twist on the traditional chicken and vegetable bowl as I’ve used Harissa powder or paste to add a little flair, spice and flavor to the chicken.  Harissa is an aromatic and spicy chili paste or powder that is traditionally used in African or Middle Eastern cooking.  It’s become quite popular in the U.S. in the last few years and it’s now easily found in most markets.  I think Harissa makes a nice change in flavor to curry or sriracha.

I’ve paired this Harissa seared chicken with carrots, zucchini, red peppers and I’ve included diced pineapple to balance the flavors.  To finish off the dish, I’ve topped this recipe with sunflower seeds, fresh cilantro and then a drizzle of avocado lime dressing. On occasion, I’ll substitute some of the ingredients with wilted greens, spinach, tomatoes, green onions, radishes and mandarin oranges.

This spicy chicken and vegetable rice bowl definitely nourishes the body and delights the senses. Which is what good food is all about, right?

It’s been a busy winter and I haven’t posted here as often as I’d like. It’ll be another few weeks before I post again because I’m moving! Yep, again. We’re moving just up the road a few miles to a new house, but we’re still located in the lovely Willamette Valley. When I’m in and settled, I hope to tape some cooking videos in the new kitchen! I’m not terribly tech savvy so we shall se how it goes. 😉 In the meantime, I’ll be posting on Instagram and Facebook so you can keep up with all the deliciousness on my social media.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and delicious spring!

Love,

Karista

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing

Serving Size: Makes Two Bowls

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced chicken, either breast or dark meat
  • 1 teaspoon Harissa powder or Harissa paste (easily found in most markets)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, optional
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice, warm
  • ½ cup shredded or diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced zucchini, not cooked
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • In a sauté pan over medium high heat add the 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the diced chicken with salt and pepper and then toss with the harissa paste or powder.
  • Add the seasoned diced chicken to the sauté pan and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
  • In a small food processer or blender, add the avocado, lime juice, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, garlic clove, olive oil and white wine vinegar. Pulse until the dressing is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like the dressing a bit thinner in consistency, add 1-2 tablespoons of water until you’ve reached desired consistency.
  • To assemble, place one cup of warm rice into each bowl. Top with cooked chicken, carrots, zucchini, red pepper, pineapple, sunflower seeds and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with the avocado lime dressing and serve immediately.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pasta Salad vegetarian

    Asian Noodle Salad Bowl

    Asian Noodle Salad Bowl // Karista's Kitchen

    Who doesn’t love bowl food? I’ve loved bowl food since before bowl food was a thing.

    When I was a twenty-something I’d bake diced potatoes or cook some rice or noodles. Then I’d add one of them to a bowl and layer it with any complimentary ingredients I could find in my fridge or pantry. I’d top it off with something creamy or saucy and then proceed to enjoy every last bite.

    There is something so fresh, simple and comforting about beautiful bowl food.  This Asian Noodle Salad Bowl is easily assembled with seasonal ingredients that are combined with a few pantry staples. The result is a beautiful recipe with loads of flavor.

    Asian noodle salad bowls are the perfect lunch or dinner bowl, combining the comforting texture of soba noodles with an array of fresh ingredients.  Top the ingredients with the plate-licking spicy peanut sauce and you’ll find yourself adding this beautiful bowl to your regular menu rotation.

    I make this Asian noodle salad bowl with all or just a few of the ingredients, depending on what I have on hand.  Sometimes I simply throw a handful of baby greens in the bowl and top with sliced mushrooms, sliced green onions and sesame seeds.  This Asian noodle salad bowl is also delicious with grilled or pan seared Gulf shrimp, tofu or tempeh. This beautiful Asian noodle bowl is always a favorite at my kitchen table.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Asian Noodle Salad Bowl

    Serving Size: Makes two bowls

    Asian Noodle Salad Bowl

    Ingredients

    • 1 package buckwheat or traditional soba noodles cooked according to package directions and cooled
    • ¼ cup peanut butter
    • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2-4 tablespoons warm water
    • Salt (optional)
    • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
    • 1/3 cup sliced or diced red pepper
    • 1/3 cup mung beans
    • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
    • ¼ cup sliced radishes
    • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
    • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
    • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    • ½ avocado, sliced

    Instructions

  • In a food processer add the peanut butter, chili sauce, lime juice, vinegar, hoisin sauce, olive oil and two tablespoons of warm water. Blend until the sauces is smooth and creamy. Add additional water to thin the sauce if desired. Season to taste with salt if needed.
  • To assemble the salad bowl, place about one cup of noodles in each bowl. Top with the carrots, red pepper, mung beans, green onions, radishes, basil, cilantro, sesame seeds and avocado. Drizzle with the spicy peanut sauce and serve. Serve with extra sauce for the noodles.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for Home By Design Magazine February/March 2017 issue.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Braised Red Cabbage

    Braised Red Cabbage pairs perfectly with slow cooked pork roast, roast pork tenderloin or roast chicken // Find it at Karista's Kitchen

    I often prepare braised thick-cut pork chops for dinner and I love to serve this braised red cabbage with the pork chops.

    I get juicy, perfectly thick-cut chops from my favorite Willamette Valley farm, Red Bird Acres.  I should have posted that recipe first but the chops always get gobbled up before I can snap a photo. I promise, I’ll post it soon.

    Although this braised red cabbage recipe is divine with pork chops, it’s also lovely with my Italian slow roasted pork, roasted pork tenderloin or roast chicken.  If I’ve got a bowl of apples to use up, I’ll toss in some apple slices during the last half of braising time which gives the braised red cabbage a bit of a sweet with savory flavor. Pears also “pair” nicely with this cabbage dish. 😉

    I’ve always had an affinity for cabbage. I adore it thrown in my weeknight greens and mushroom sauté which adds a bit of “crisp” to the greens.  I also like shredded cabbage mixed in with my salad, added to a soup or stew, grilled and topped with a chimichurri sauce or roasted in big “steaks” like my friend Alyssa’s recipe from Everyday Maven.  I even toss it in this pasta dish that was inspired by my trip to Italy.

    I believe cabbage is best when it’s in season from late fall through winter. It’s economical, satisfying and full of all the good stuff to make a body healthy.  

    When I was researching cabbage a few years ago, I stumbled across this little bit of trivia.  Ancient healers said cabbage contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight.  How dreamy is that?! I am such a romantic about food, I know it sounds weird. But I’ve always admitted to being a wee bit quirky.

    Cabbage is truly a power house of vitamins and an excellent source of folate. It contains a large amount of vitamin C, which is good for the immune system.  It also contains vitamin K, which helps with mental function and concentration. Not to mention it’s a great source of fiber and helps fill you up so you don’t grab that extra cookie after dinner.

    The next time you put the slow cooker on with a pork roast or you’re roasting a chicken for dinner, try pairing this braised red cabbage recipe with your entrée. It’s a simple, seasonal and fresh side dish that will compliment your fall or winter meals.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Braised Red Cabbage

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Braised Red Cabbage

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons of ghee, clarified butter, divided
    • 4 ounces of bacon, diced
    • 1 red onion, halved and thin sliced
    • 1 head of red cabbage, cored and shredded
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
    • ½ cup vegetable broth
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In an oven proof skillet or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of ghee over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy and fat is rendered.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.
  • Next add the sliced onions, shredded cabbage and minced garlic to the pan. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Add the bacon back into the pan.
  • Stir in the vinegar and vegetable broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and then cover the skillet or Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Give the cabbage a little stir about every 15 minutes or so.
  • Remove the cabbage from the oven, stir in the last tablespoon of ghee and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
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    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

    Chocolate, Almond Butter and Oatmeal Balls. Just the perfect amount of sweet. Find these at Karista's Kitchen

    I had a whim today and I made these. Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls.

    It’s Monday and I had a little bit of a craving for almond butter and then I thought some chocolate with that almond butter would be tasty.  As I was attempting to stir some organic unsweetened cocoa into my almond butter, I thought, why not add some oatmeal and honey and I’ll make some quick treats.

    These kinds of recipes have been swimming around the web for quite some time now.  Some people call them energy balls, some people call them peanut butter oatmeal balls because they use peanut butter rather than almond butter.  But I call them treats. Anything with a smidge of sugar, sweetener or honey fall in the “treat” category for me.

    Chocolate, Almond Butter and Oatmeal Balls // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m not much of sweets eater as you know, but now and again I do like a little something that tastes a wee bit indulgent.  These chocolate, almond butter oatmeal balls speak to my indulgence cravings but also adds a little of the good stuff to my diet.  Not only do I use organic unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe but I also add sunflower seeds and then I roll the balls in hemp seeds.

    Hemp seeds are definitely one of the super foods. It’s rich in antioxidants, fights bad cholesterol, contains the perfect balance of essential fatty acids, reduces inflammation and helps balance hormones among many other things.  I add it to salads, soups, pancakes, baked goods, sprinkle it over rice and now I roll my chocolate, almond butter oatmeal balls in hemp seeds.

    You can certainly roll these fun treats in whatever you like, but the hemp seeds are small enough they stick well to the balls and add just a little texture to the outside.

    And the good news? No baking required.

    Enjoy these chocolate, almond butter oatmeal balls for a quick breakfast, snacks or as an after dinner treat. Or just whenever you walk by the fridge and you need a little something sweet. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

    about 18-20 balls

    Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup of oatmeal (I used GF)
    • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
    • 3/4 cup almond butter
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/3 cup hemp seeds

    Instructions

  • In a food processor add the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, almond butter, unsweetened cocoa and honey. Pulse until the mixture begins to come together. It won't feel like a dough and could still be crumbly but it should stick together when forming a ball.
  • I used a small cookie scoop for uniform sized balls. Scoop out balls and gently pat to form a smooth ball. Roll each ball in the hemp seeds and then place them in an airtight container.
  • I keep these treats in the fridge and bring them out and set on the kitchen counter for a quick breakfast or snack.
  • Notes

    You can substitute with your favorite nut butter.

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    Beef Chicken Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork

    Cassoulet

    Cassoulet from Karista's Kitchen // A slow cooked French stew

    Classic Cassoulet is a hearty slow-cooked dish originating in the south of France.  It’s often referred to as the “unofficial” national dish of France.

    Traditionally, cassoulet includes what my Grandmother would refer to as “everything except the kitchen sink”.  Meaning that almost any meat, poultry, skin, gizzards, beans and whatever was available went into this succulent dish.

    I’ve had a few truly authentic and amazing cassoulet’s in the past. All filled with decadent duck confit, pork skin, pork belly, mutton, sausages, fava beans and white beans. A meal so rich and lush, it’s everything you’d expect from a slow cooked French dish.

    My cassoulet however is slightly less time-consuming, and not to worry, it doesn’t contain duck confit, mutton or pork belly. Although those ingredients are delicious in a cassoulet, I wanted to create this recipe to be simple, yet flavorful.

    I also wanted this slow cooked stew to reflect the bounty of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  We’re so lucky to have an abundance of small farms and ranches nearby that raise grass-fed and pastured pigs, cattle and chickens. Not to mention all the gorgeous produce and fresh herbs.

    I’ve included locally raised meat and poultry (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, sausages), white beans and lots of fresh herbs and aromatics.  You could also substitute with beef chuck roast, lamb or pork belly – and any type of sausages that you love.

    This meal is perfect a la carte with a glass of French Burgundy or a Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s also quite lovely paired with a Salad Lyonnaise or Ratatouille, which I’ll get around to posting soon.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Cassoulet

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Ingredients

    • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 tablespoon corn starch or all-purpose flour
    • 2lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
    • 2-3 pork or beef sausages (I used my favorite German pork sausages)
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 2 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 2-4 cups chicken broth, enough to just cover the meat
    • 2-3 15ounce cans white beans, drained (cannellini beans work best)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

    Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then add them to the pot and brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl or platter.
  • Next season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and then toss with the tablespoon of corn starch or flour. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the pork. You may need to brown the pork in batches, otherwise the pork won’t brown if the pot is over crowded. When the pork is browned, transfer to the bowl or platter with the chicken.
  • Next brown the sausages, adding additional oil if needed. Once the sausages are brown, transfer them to the bowl or platter with the chicken and pork.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and then stir in the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and fragrant and then add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
  • Stir in the ½ cup of white wine, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the fresh thyme sprigs and dried herbs. Place the chicken thighs, pork cubes and sausages back into the pot and then add the chicken broth. Enough to cover the meat.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the meat simmer in the broth and veggies for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the lid and then stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer this stew sits the more flavor it will develop. I like to make this the day before I’m serving it, however, if I make it the same day I’m going to serve it, I’ll make it several hours prior and then let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove top before serving. If you feel the flavors need a little boost, sometimes a teaspoon of white wine vinegar will bring all the flavors together.
  • Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley and a basket of crusty French bread.
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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Chicken Veronique

    Chicken Veronique // One of the easiest and most delicious weeknight meals // Karista's Kitchen

    Chicken Veronique sounds fancy but it’s truly one of the easiest weeknight meals I prepare.

    Typically, I make this dish in the summer with halibut, sole (which is traditional) or another seasonal white fish.  However, this recipe works just as beautifully with chicken.

    The traditional recipe calls for poaching the sole in white wine and then topping it with a white sauce and garnishing with fresh grapes.  Although I do love a wine poached fish, I prefer to pan sear my fish and chicken for this recipe.

    Because the chicken takes a bit longer to cook, I finish it in the oven.  Once it’s done, I transfer the chicken to a platter and then make the sauce in the same pan.  Using any juices that have collected in the pan makes for a deeper flavored sauce.  Chicken Veronique is one of the easiest and most delicious weeknight meals! // Karista's Kitchen

    Fresh tarragon makes this Chicken Veronique sing! I’ve used dried tarragon and it just doesn’t taste the same, although if you can’t find fresh, dried tarragon will do.  I adore the combination of fresh grapes with fresh tarragon and they both pair well with white fish and chicken.  I do typically use chicken breasts that I’ve butterflied and cut in half so they’re more of a “cutlet” size. This also makes them easier to cook stove top.

    However, you can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if it strikes your fancy. 😉

    A little prep, a bit of dancing about at the kitchen stove and in 25-30 minutes you’ll have a delightful one dish meal.  Because the sauce is quite lush, I serve Chicken Veronique with herbed farro, quinoa, rice pilaf or cauliflower rice and a steamed or roasted, seasonal veggie.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chicken Veronique

    3-4

    Ingredients

    • 2 chicken breasts, butterflied and then halved, making 4 "cutlets"
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (optional but it does give a nice bit of crisp to the chicken)
    • 2-4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 medium to large shallot, diced
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 cup halved seedless grapes (red or green)
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. In a large bowl, mix together the one tablespoon fresh tarragon and the all-purpose flour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons ghee. While the ghee is heating, lightly dust the chicken with the tarragon and flour mixture.
  • When the ghee is hot, add the four chicken cutlets to the ghee and brown, about 5 minutes. Then turn each chicken breast over and then place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. The chicken breast should reach at least 160F internal temperature.
  • When the chicken is done, carefully remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a platter.
  • Over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee to the same pan. When the ghee is melted, add the shallots to the pan and stir, pulling up those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the shallots are wilted and translucent, stir in the wine and then the heavy cream.
  • Let the liquid come to a boil and then simmer on low until it begins to reduce and thicken slightly. The sauce should coat the back of spoon.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir in the tablespoon of fresh tarragon and the grapes. Let the grapes warm in the sauce for a few minutes.
  • Place the chicken either back in the pan, nestled in the sauce or place the chicken on a platter and ladle with the sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve.
  • Notes

    This recipe serves 3-4 and can be doubled.

    If you'd like a smooth sauce, strain the sauce prior to adding the fresh tarragon and grapes. Then add the sauce back to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the fresh tarragon and grapes.

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    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Shredded Beef Machaca // Karista's Kitchen

    If I’m being totally honest, I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  Unless its pot roast, roasted or fried chicken and maybe my Tuscan lasagna; which is always better the second day.  Often, a recipe can lose some of the fresh flavor and texture during the process of re-heating and then I promptly lose interest.  I sound like a food snob.  I promise I’m not a food snob, just a little picky about the flavor and texture of my food.

    The beauty of leftover pot roast are the many ways it can be re-invented into another recipe.  I adore pot roast sandwiches smothered with caramelized onions and Havarti cheese, a simple pot roast soup with pearled barley and porcini mushrooms and of course this gorgeous shredded beef machaca.

    You can certainly prepare a pot roast specifically for this recipe, but it tastes just as delicious with leftovers.

    As a child, this dish was a staple in our home.  Although we call it machaca, it’s not a traditional Mexican machaca. Mexican machaca is actually a dried, marinated beef (much like our beef jerky).  However, because we include scrambled eggs in the shredded beef, it was dubbed “machaca” in my house. Sort of a riff on the very popular machaca con huevos, a Mexican beef and egg scramble.

    Shredded beef machaca was served as a celebration meal, a meal for dinner guests and on occasion a Sunday supper.  My parents used to make it into burritos with the usual assortment of delicious Mexican condiments.  I serve this machaca with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, cotija cheese, avocado slices, red chili sauce or my brothers delicious salsa recipe.

    When I prepare this for my family I like to make dinner a casual event and place the shredded beef machaca and layering ingredients in the center of the table. Then everyone can assemble their own taco or burrito with their favorite condiments.

    The result is loads of easy conversation, laughter, smiling faces and very happy bellies. Which always makes me happy.

    Shredded beef machaca makes a delightful meal and can be served a la carte or with salad greens, black beans and a little cerveza to top it off!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Serving Size: 6

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Ingredients

      For the pot roast (or use your favorite basic pot roast recipe)
    • 3-4lbs beef chuck roast, halved
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 bay leaf
      For the Machaca
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or high heat oil
    • 1 cup diced white onion
    • 2-3 cloves garlic
    • 1-2 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 cup red chile sauce or your favorite salsa
    • 2-3 large eggs, whisked
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lime juice
    • Dash of hot sauce, optional
    • Crumbled cotija cheese
    • Avocado slices
    • Warm corn tortillas
    • Mexican crema or sour cream
    • Fresh chopped cilantro
    • Salsa

    Instructions

    To make the pot roast
  • Pre-heat the slow cooker on low. Season both halves of the beef chuck with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the ghee over medium high heat and brown all sides of the chuck roast. Transfer the chuck roast pieces to the slow cooker and add the beef broth, bay leaf, onions and garlic. I don't add too much liquid when preparing a pot roast in my slow cooker as I want the pot roast to slowly cook in as much of it's own juices as possible. This will make for a very tasty pot roast. Adding too much liquid will cause the roast to boil which will give it a bland and chewy texture.
  • Let the pot roast cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
  • When the pot roast is done, shred the beef and set aside.
  • To prepare the Machaca
  • Heat a large skillet and add another two tablespoons of ghee or high heat oil. Sauté the diced onions until soft and slightly caramelized and then add the garlic. Sauté for one minute longer. Stir in the diced poblano peppers, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.
  • Add the shredded beef and chile sauce and toss to combine.
  • In another small pan, add a little butter to the pan and cook the eggs, scrambled style. When the eggs are done, fold them into the machaca.
  • Add a squeeze of lime and season to taste with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
  • Serve with crumbled cotija, avocado slices, warm tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro and additional salsa.
  • Notes

    I like to cook the eggs in a separate pan rather than in the machaca directly, to keep the texture from being soggy.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes Soup

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup // Dairy Free // Karista's Kitchen

    This gorgeous Carrot Ginger Coconut soup is a revised version of my original carrot soup recipe.  As time passes, and the more I prepare a recipe, chances are it’s going to get a few makeovers now and again.

    Although I do love my original recipe, I’ve created this version with coconut milk to appease my nagging dairy allergy and to create a different flavor twist to the soup.

    I prepare carrot ginger soup almost year round.  My family completely adores this soup in the fall and winter months because of the soothing properties of ginger.  It’s also equally as loved in the spring and summer for the bold taste of earthy, sweet carrots and the tropical flavors of coconut milk.

    Last week I topped the carrot ginger coconut soup with candied blood orange that my brother and sister-in-law sent me from Japan.  The simple touch of orange elevated the flavors yet again, creating the most delightful winter soup.

    I often make the soup on the weekend and store it in the fridge for quick weekday lunches or a light weeknight meal.  It also makes a delicious starter to Sunday dinner or a late night snack.

    And sometimes, I just find myself stopping by the fridge and snagging a spoonful of the silky, lush soup. It’s delicious room temp or warm and obviously, I eat it when it’s cold. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 12-15 medium carrots, chopped
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 4 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups carrot juice (enough liquid to cover the veggies in the soup pot)
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    • 1 cup canned organic coconut milk (not the light coconut milk)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and dried thyme. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until all the veggies have softened.
  • Add the 4 cups of vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups carrot juice and sliced ginger. (enough liquid to cover all the vegetables in the pot) Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the ginger slices, or as many as you can.
  • Either using a hand blender or pour the soup into a blender, Vitamix or food processor and puree. You may need to do this in stages as all the soup may not fit in the blender/food processor all at once.
  • Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and stir in the allspice, pinch of cloves and coconut milk. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. If the soup feels too thick, stir in ¼ cup of vegetable broth at a time until the consistency feels right.
  • Serve immediately. You can keep it warm on the stove if needed. Just keep the heat on low. This soup can be refrigerated for about 3 days and reheated stove top, or microwave.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    A potato side dish can taste indulgent, comforting or even refreshing like this Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil.  

    Although I’m a huge fan of classically prepared potatoes such as mashed potatoes, I do have an affinity for a simply roasted potato dish.  Roasting new potatoes or fingerlings gives a crisp outside and soft, creamy inside which pairs well with all sorts of lovely ingredients.

    Often I use chopped fresh rosemary, garlic and lemon and finish with sea salt.  But this recipe uses the combination of lemon and basil, which I think are two ingredients that were made for each other.

    Sometimes I’ll gently warm a bit of sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil and then when the potatoes are done, I’ll toss the potatoes with the garlic infused oil and top with the lemon and basil.  And sometimes I skip the garlic and simply finish roasted new or fingerling potatoes with a sprinkling of lemon zest and basil chiffonade.

    Or you can do what my youngest gal does… slather these potatoes with some sour cream, Irish cheddar cheese and dig in. 😉

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    When I’ve had my fill of potatoes dauphinoise, gratin, scalloped or mashed potatoes, this lovely side dish is a most refreshing change and a delicious compliment to a meat or poultry entrée.

    This potato dish is also fabulous in the spring paired with roast lamb or whatever you might serve for Easter or Mother’s Day Dinner.

    This will be my last post until after the Christmas holiday, but until then, you can follow all my food finds and kitchen chaos on Instagram and Facebook.

    Thank you for your continual support and for sharing Karista’s Kitchen with your friends and family.

    Wishing you loads of love, true joy and the most delicious food!

    Karista

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Ingredients

    • 1lb red new potatoes or fingerlings, scrubbed clean
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • Zest of one lemon
    • 1 bunch basil, sliced chiffonade or chopped
    • Sea salt to finish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F
  • Toss the potatoes in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and then season with some salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and place them in the oven.
  • Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until toasty brown on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • When the potatoes are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for five minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over low heat and then add the sliced garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, remove the garlic from the oil.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and toss with the garlic oil, lemon zest and basil chiffonade. Season to taste with sea salt and then transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Serve warm.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme // Karista's Kitchen

    These happy little peppermint chocolate pots de créme combine two of my family’s favorite flavors. It seems that peppermint and chocolate are the Ying and Yang of dessert flavors around here. 

    If I make a trip to the chocolate shop they ask me to bring them chocolate covered peppermint patties.  If I make chocolate cake, my family asks me to add peppermint chips to the frosting.  And when we have homemade hot cocoa, they love to add a peppermint stick or peppermint schnapps.

    So naturally when I was making chocolate pots de créme this week, I had to include peppermint.

    I love to serve pots de créme for dessert.  I’m not a huge fan of sweets, I’m more of a salty kind of gal, but I do love all things creamy and chocolate. Which is why if I serve a dessert, it’s usually a creme brûlée, pudding, custard, mousse or pots de créme.  And what could be more seasonal than peppermint chocolate pots de creme.
    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme // Karista's Kitchen

    I have to admit, this festive dessert made me smile. They look so happy and cheerful and full of everything delicious this holiday season.  So rather than place them in the fridge to serve with dinner, I proceeded to pull out the equipment and photograph the little lovelies.

    What I captured certainly mimics my current holiday mood.  These peppermint chocolate pots de créme look like little snow-capped mountain peaks, laced with the flavors of holiday celebrations.  Although deliciously perfect for the holiday dessert table, they will be just as refreshing for a summertime treat.

    Wishing you a tranquil yet festive holiday season of good cheer, warm hugs and delicious food!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Makes 4, 4ounce cups

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 2 tablespoons Peppermint Schnapps (optional) or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
      For the Whipped Cream
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)

    Instructions

  • Combine the chocolate chips, heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or use a double boiler over simmering water.
  • Heat the chocolate mixture over medium heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture has come to a simmer. Take it off the heat.
  • Put the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl and whisk smooth. While whisking the eggs, carefully drizzle a tablespoon of warm chocolate mixture into the eggs. Continue to do this three or four times until the eggs have been tempered and are slightly warm.
  • Whisk in the remaining chocolate and then add the peppermint schnapps.
  • Return the mixture back to the pan and heat while stirring until the liquid is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  • If you have any lumps, pass the mixture through a sieve. Pour the chocolate into small jelly jars, ramekins or pots de créme cups and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
  • Before serving make the whipped cream.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and peppermint extract until soft peaks form. Dollop or pipe the heavy cream onto the pots de creme and garnish with peppermint chips, chopped candy canes or just dig in and enjoy!
  • Notes

    This recipe is easily doubled.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Holiday Cheese Board

    Holiday Cheese Board with Nibbles // Karista's Kitchen

     

    If there is one moment during the year that no one will ever question how long you (I) linger around the hors d’oeuvre table, it’s during the holidays when the table is loaded with glorious amounts of creamy, lush cheese.  After all, what can be more fun than nibbling on new types of cheese or an excuse to indulge in your favorite cheese?

    Putting together a holiday cheese board couldn’t be simpler.  I like to include at least five kinds of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard from different regions of the US or International.  You could always create a “local” cheese board with cheese made only from your region.  This would be a delicious way to support not only your local cheese makers but introduce your guests to the cheese produced in your area.

    I also like to assemble an international cheese board, sort of “around the world in cheese”.  This is delectable fun and creates interesting conversation around the food table.  It’s also a great way to introduce guests to new cheese!

    Holiday Cheese Board with Nibbles // Karista's Kitchen

    I like to label the cheese on the holiday cheese board and if there is room on the label, give a short tasting description.  You can find tasting descriptions online or simply ask your local cheese specialist.  They love to talk cheese. 😉 I should know, I worked as a cheese specialist once upon a time – and I still like to talk about cheese.

    When putting together your holiday cheese board be sure to add in a few extra nibbles either on the board or on platters around the board.  I recently found these lovely parmesan cheese crisp crackers that are divine when paired with cheese.  I also love an interesting selection of charcuterie paired with the cheese, possibly from your local charcuterie shop or butcher.  Assorted oil cured or stuffed olives (I adore lemon rind stuffed green olives), candied or truffle laced nuts, peppers or peppadew peppers, grapes, apple or pear slices dipped in chocolate.  A small assortment of fresh bread, crostini or crackers rounds out this lovely holiday cheese board.

    A holiday cheese board makes a perfect first course for all your dinner parties or celebrations, but it can also make a fabulous last course with cocktails or aperitif.

    Wishing you all a most delicious and happy holiday season!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Holiday Cheese Board

    Holiday Cheese Board

    Ingredients

    • Five types of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard to soft
    • Oil cured or stuffed olives
    • Charcuterie, assorted (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, etc)
    • Fresh fruit such as grapes, pear or apple slices
    • Peppers or Peppadew Peppers (goat cheese stuffed peppadews are divine!)
    • Candied, smoked, herbed or truffled nuts
    • Assorted crackers, crostini, fresh bread, slices of pumpkin or banana bread is always fun

    Instructions

  • On a large platter, platters or wood board, place your cheese around the board/platter, spacing it out and cutting a few slices of each to get the slicing started.
  • In between the cheese place bits of grapes/fruit, tiny bowls of nuts, peppers and olives, roll or stack the charcuterie and then wedge the crackers in if there is space. If not, serve the crackers, crostini, bread pieces, etc in small bowls or platters.
  • Label the cheese and serve. Simple and delicious!
  • Notes

    This Holiday Cheese Board was created for Western Horse & Gun Magazine 2016 Holiday Issue.

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    Appetizers Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table vegetarian

    Socca (chickpea flatbread)

    Socca (Chickpea Flatbread) // Karista's Kitchen

    Sometimes I feel this humble blog is my somewhat ignored child.  I think about this blog all the time and I’m constantly planning a million things to post here.  But alas, paid work must come first and sometimes that work takes up most of my time… which is a good thing is it not?

    You should see my list of recipes I’ve got going.  Every season I make this long list of recipes to prepare, photograph and post here for you to completely revel in and enjoy.   However, half of those recipes never make it onto the blog. The really delicious recipes that I feel you MUST have come rain or shine or snowstorm or vacation actually get posted.  Other recipes sort of hang around season after season until before I know it, it’s been a full year and the recipe is still on my “to post” list.

    This Socca (chickpea flatbread) is one such recipe.  I can’t say for certain why it’s taken me so long to post this other than it often disappears before I can snap a few photos.

    Socca (Chickpea Flatbread) // Karista's Kitchen

    Socca is such a simple, fragrant, tasty little recipe that I prepare at least two or three times a week.  Sometimes I’ll make Socca on the weekends and we nibble on it with cheese and wine for a light dinner or snack.  My sassy gals love socca with fresh herbs and garlic as a compliment to a dinner salad or soup.

    Socca is so versatile I use it for pizza crust on occasion or serve it for breakfast with fried eggs and wilted greens.

    Socca, also referred to as Farinata, originated in Italy.  It’s a simple flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and typically rosemary.  Although, many versions of socca can be found all over the world.  Some recipes call for resting the batter for several hours prior to baking.  I’ve tried it both ways. Whisking the batter and baking it off within minutes of preparation. Or letting the batter sit for several hours before popping it in the oven before dinner.  Personally, I love the end result when the batter has had time to rest and flavors meld and allow all the delicious magic to happen.  But if you’re in a hurry and just need to get it in the oven, it will still taste delicious.

    I’ve listed a basic socca recipe but feel free to add your favorite fresh chopped herbs, garlic, sautéed onions, shallots or garlic.  I love it simply with rosemary, salt and pepper and eaten right out of the pan.  Which is how I finally managed to photograph the socca.  I suppose I could have fancied up the photo but socca is simple goodness and truly needs nothing fancy added.  Maybe just hungry family members. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Socca (chickpea flatbread)

    Serving Size: Makes 8 slices

    Socca (chickpea flatbread)

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup chickpea flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
    • 3/4 cup - 1 cup lukewarm water
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or a mixture of fresh herbs or chives)
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

    Instructions

  • Whisk together the chickpea flour, 3/4 cup water (adding more for a thinner flatbread), salt, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes or covered in the fridge for about 2-3 hours or overnight if you're preparing for breakfast.
  • When you are ready to bake the socca, pre-heat the oven to 425F. Place a 10 inch cast iron or iron skillet in the oven and let it pre-heat with the oven.
  • When the oven is ready, carefully remove the pre-heated skillet and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan. Pour in the socca batter.
  • Carefully place the skillet back in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until it's golden brown and a little cracked on top.
  • Remove it from the oven and slice into 8 wedges and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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