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Category Archives: Cooking in the south

Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad

3 Tbsp. olive oil divided

3 Tbsp. lime juice

1/2 C chopped red onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 C chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. jarred jalapeno slices

1/2 C chopped red bell pepper

2/3 C black beans drained and rinsed (I used whole can)

2/3 C frozen corn thawed (I used whole bag)

6 cups peeled sweet potato chunks (about 2 1/2 pounds)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 425°F. Coat foil lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. On prepared pan, toss together sweet potatoes, salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast about 30 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and cool. In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, corn, black beans and cilantro. In blender, puree lime juice, garlic, jalapeno and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss with potato mixture and serve. Soooo Good!!

Compliments of our good friend Holly Clegg and her cookbook Eating Well To Fight Arthritis. We pray for Holly as she is in hospice care right now and want her to know her recipes continue to bless us.


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Slow Cooker Turkey Chili w/ Sweet Potato and Black Beans

1 Can (15oz.) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil, divided                 1 Tbsp. chili powder

3 Cups peeled & diced sweet potatoes                 2 Garlic cloves minic

1 Pound lean ground turkey                      1 Large onion, finely diced

2 Cups vegetable or chicken broth                 1/4 Tsp. paprika

1 Tsp. Jalapeno pepper, minced                 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/4 Tsp. black pepper                                1 Tsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin                            1/4 Tsp. dried oregano

Topping for serving: hot sauce, diced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, diced onions, salsa, thinly sliced green onion, etc.


In a large pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and saute sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes, until softened. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sauteing. Add sweet potato mixture to slow cooker. Turn up heat to medium-high. In same pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Saute onions, jalapeno pepper, garlic and ground turkey, stirring & breaking up the meat. Cook until meat is no longer pink & onions softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sauteing. Drain off any grease. Add meat mixture and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring until well combined. Slow cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.


From our teammember Laura: “every one of my 4 children love it! And it lasts for several meals!!”


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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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6 chicken breasts– boiled,chopped/shredded

2 boxes– frozen spinach                       3 white onions

3-16oz. containers sour cream             2 tbsp. butter

12 oz. monterey jack cheese                 1 cup chicken broth

2 cans cream of chicken soup              20 corn tortillas

3 Tps chopped jalapeno                        2 Tps jalapeno juice

1/2 cup pace picante sauce                   3/4 cup milk

4 cans small diced green chiles (21oz. total)

Boil chicken. Microwave spinach to thaw and drain. Sautee onions. Mix all ingredients– except tortillas and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Layer tortillas and mixture in a casserole dish, top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 2 casseroles!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this family favorite. Ole`!


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Baird Family Thai Chicken

1 lb chicken breast, cut into strips                 1 med carrot, sliced

1 Tbl Thai red curry paste                               1Tbl olive oil

1 med onion, sliced into strips                       1 Tbl corn starch

1 med zucchini, cut into bite size                  1-14oz can coconut milk

1 red bell pepper, cut into bite size               2 Tbls chopped, fresh                                                                         basil leaves



Heat the oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the onion and Thai curry paste, stirring to coat the chicken. Cook for 3 minutes then add the remaining vegetables. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the chicken is done and the vegetables are just cooked but not too soft.


Dissolve the cornstarch in the coconut milk, then pour into skillet and stir. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and stir in the basil. Serve over rice immediately.

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Claire’s Taco Soup

1lb ground beef                                       2 tbsp taco seasoning

1 can of corn (15oz)                               1 1/2 tbsp dry ranch mix

2 cups of salsa                                         2 1/2 cups of beef broth

2 small cans of green chilies (9oz)      1 can of black beans (15oz)

OPTIONAL FOR TOPPINGS: sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro

In a large pot cook ground beef, crumbling and stir occasionally until browned.

Add corn, salsa, chilies, black beans, taco seasoning, dry ranch mix and mix together well

Pour in beef broth and allow to simmer on medium/low for 30-40 minutes

Serve and top with optional toppings.


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Sweet Potato Sausage Bake

4 Cups peeled and sliced sweet potatoes

4 Cups thinly sliced unpeeled tart apples

2 tsp. minced onion                               2 tsp. salt

1/2 Cup maple syrup                             1/2 Cup apple juice

1/4 Cup melted butter

1 lb. pork sausage (I prefer hot or maple flavored)

1/3 Cup dry bread crumbs

1/3 Cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 2 qt. oblong casserole.Arrange alternating layers of apples and sweet potatoes in the casserole.  Sprinkle each potato layer with onion and salt.  Thoroughly combine syrup, apple juice and butter, pouring over mixture.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Brown sausage.  Drain and mix with bread crumbs.  Uncover casserole and spread sausage mixture on top.  Bake an additional 20 minutes, uncovered.  Sprinkle with raisins.

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Pam’s Easy Jambalaya

1 lb each of sausage (Andouille or we used chorizo), shrimp, peeled and deveined, and raw chicken chopped into bite size pieces.
8 oz tomato sauce                                   1 med onion, chopped
8 oz chicken or vegetable stock           1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme                                    2 bay leaves
16 oz beef broth/stock                           1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp creole seasoning                           1 Tbs dried parsley
1.5 C white rice                                       3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 Tbs butter, sliced into pats                Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients except for shrimp and butter in baking dish.  Mix well.  Place pats of butter on top.

Cover with foil (throughout cooking) and bake for 45 minutes. Stir to ensure rice is cooking evenly and continue baking for another 30 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook 15 minutes.  VOILA:  Louisiana Jambalaya in the oven!  Top with sliced green onions and enjoy!  Thank you Pam Welsh for sharing … and it’s Gluten Free!

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Almost Mamacita’s Salsa

1 lb. Yellow Onions, chopped chunky

3/4 C Vegetable Oil                     6-8 Serrano Peppers

8 C Water                                     5 T Cumin

1 bunch Cilantro, chopped       1 T Sugar

2 T Crushed Red Pepper            4 T Salt

4 28oz. Cans Crushed Tomatoes


             In a large gumbo pot, sauté’ onions in vegetable oil til soft.  Do not brown.  Add tomatoes and water.  Chop serranos finely by hand or in a food processor.  (You may want to start with 4 or 5 peppers and add to taste.) Add
serranos and spices to tomato mixture.  Bring to boil.  Let boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. This makes a large pot of
Almost Mamacita’s
Salsa.  You may wish to cut the recipe in half if you don’t want leftovers to freeze or give away!
WARM with chips or flour tortillas.

You may not know it, but Carol & Gerry had Mamacita’s
Mexican Restaurant for 16 years.  We shared this recipe 10 years ago, and one of our clients recently shared with us that she makes it all of the time.  So, we thought we would share it again!

Shrimp Primavera

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2 Tbsp olive oil, divided                        1 lb medium shrimp
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided                   4 C chicken stock
5 oz snap peas, halved crosswise        4 oz baby spinach
1/4 C chopped green onion                   2 Tbsp white vinegar
10 oz uncooked gemelli pasta              2 Tbsp shredded Romano
1.5 C chopped broccolini
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in Dutch oven. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 tsp Kosher salt.  Add shrimp and cook until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove shrimp & set aside.  Drain.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Add bell pepper, snap peas and green onion.  Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add mixture to shrimp; cover and keep warm.
Add pasta, chicken stock and remaining 1/2 tsp salt to Dutch over, bringing to boil.  Boil, stirring occasionally, until pasta is almost tender and stock absorbed, about 9 minutes.  Add spinach and Broccolini, cooking til spinach is wilted.  Stir in shrimp mixture and vinegar.  Top with cheese to serve!

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Crawfish Bisque

1 can potato soup             1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans whole kernel corn 1 8 oz block cream cheese
1 pint half & half              2 pkgs (lbs) crawfish tails
1 bell pepper                     1 bunch of green onions
1 stick butter

Chop bell pepper and green onions.  Saute in butter.  Add remaining ingredients, cooking over low to medium heat, til warm.

Easy breezy … Serve with Sensation Salad and French bread for sopping! I have a friend who adds a bag of cubed hash browns to the soup.  Could even substitute shrimp or crabmeat, or add them all!

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