Kimberly Peil

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Frozen Meals

In Health, Recipes, Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I am hoping that we might get a few meals from friends and family after our baby boy arrives, but if I feel anything like I did with Ella, I won’t want to cook for a few weeks.  So in preparation, I have been making and freezing a few meals.  So far I have two lasagnas and four soups frozen.  I am still hoping to make a couple chicken enchiladas as well.  I thought I would share these two soups, because they are AMAZING!  They have made it into our regular rotation.

Salmon and Creamed Corn Chowder

This has no cream, but is somehow still creamy and good!

Cajun Kale Soup with Andouille Sausage

I don’t know if a soup gets healthier than this.  Kale, Brown Rice, Bell Pepper.  And I use Chicken Andouille Sausage to keep it lean.

So I made double batches of each of these, because I love them that much.  I am 36 weeks and 6 days!  Here’s to hoping baby boy comes  just a little early.


Part-time Vegetarian

In Recipes, Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I make a lot of vegetarian food.  And not because I think meat is bad, or because I feel sorry for the poor animals (maybe I should), but because I honestly think our bodies were designed to consume mostly plant products.

If I were to imagine myself being self-sufficient (i.e.- no large-scale manufacturing plants to provide my food and 1lb. of meat per night), I think I would eat mostly fruits, veggies and grains.  I could definitely milk a cow and collect eggs from a chicken too, so those proteins stay.  But I am pretty sure that I would not raise and slaughter enough animals to provide myself with the amount of meat that the average American eats on a daily basis.

In my quest to eat less meat and more veggies, I have discovered some amazing chefs/bloggers/authors who have helped me discover that eating vegetarian can be both delicious and filling.


My friend Brenna first introduced me to this book about six months ago, along with Heidi Swanson’s blog/website  I have yet to make something out of this book that is a failure.  Hunter is in love with every recipe and keeps asking if we can add many of them to our weekly menu rotation.  So far her Black Pepper Tempeh, Cabbage Soup, Wild Rice Casserole and Magic Sauce are my favorites.


Next on my list of new favorites is this Oregonian and her vegan cookbook.  I borrowed it from the library, because I wasn’t sure I was going to be down with her vegan style.  But her recipes are simple and tasty.  And the best part is that Ella has liked everything I have made so far!  The black bean burgers are my absolute favorite, and next week I am going to be giving her Spanish Quinoa a shot.

Even if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan, I highly recommend checking these books out.  The recipes are ridiculously simple for weeknight suppers, and they are loaded with good-for-you stuff.  One thing that I hate about a lot of vegetarian recipes on various websites (i.e.- Cooking Light, Food Network) is that they don’t think out of the box.  They are always pasta and cheese dishes.  What about the stuff that’s good for you– the beans, the veggies, the whole grains.  Isn’t this why people should be eating vegetarian anyways?

Seriously, try it.


In Recipes, Uncategorized on November 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

As I was compiling my Thanksgiving grocery shopping list, I was reminded of the first week that Hunter and I were dating.  His birthday happened to be about a week after our first date (this was in February).  And I remember him asking his mom to make a full Thanksgiving meal for his birthday.  I thought, whoa, this boy likes to eat!  And then I thought, crap, I can’t cook.  Our relationship isn’t going to last another week.

Well thankfully, nine years later, I have learned how to cook.  So much so that Hunter prefers my cooking over everyone else’s.  So even though we are going to my Dad’s house for Thanksgiving, I will be making a full Thanksgiving meal at home on Saturday.  That way my hubby can enjoy all of his favorites and have lots of leftovers.

I am sure you all have your favorites, but if you are looking to try some new recipes, here are my favorites!

Alton Brown’s “Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole.”  The thought of canned mushroom soup in my green beans makes me nauseous.  This is a much yummier option!

Paula Deen’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes, because does Paula ever get anything wrong?  These are amazing.

I always hated sweet potatoes until my mother-in-law introduced me to this recipe.  My family’s version was some nastiness out of a can with marshmallows on top.  The only difference is that I only use 1/2 cup of sugar in them.

This is the best pumpkin pie recipe.  Super simple.  I can’t stand store-bought pumpkin pie.  It just tastes like pure sugar.

Thanksgiving is the only time we really eat corn.  Because, well, it really has no nutritional value.  But it makes a ridiculously good and cheesy bake!

And of course you have to top all that goodness off with a fresh cranberry sauce and homemade gravy.  I am so hungry.  Why can’t it be Thursday already?

I am going to attempt to cook a turkey this year.  For some reason that is the one thing that I fail horribly at.  I tried one year and actually caught the oven on fire.  This time I am using one of those oven bags.  Hopefully that will solve the problem.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Food Blogs!

In Health, Recipes on October 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I have been working like a crazy lady lately.  No time for blogging.  But I do plan my menus every Monday, no matter what.  And I have discovered some ridiculously amazing food blogs, so I thought I would share.  I know most of these probably don’t appeal to the mass public, but if you are looking for some amazing, healthy recipes, check them out!

Gluten-Free Goddess


Smitten Kitchen

101 Cookbooks





Menu Monday

In Recipes on September 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I am pretty excited about my menu this week.  We went to my friend Brenna’s house this weekend, and she introduced me to an amazing vegetarian cookbook along with the author’s website.  So I spent several hours last night on this website, researching vegetarian recipes for the week.  What I love about these recipes is that they are exactly what vegetarian should be (in my opinion).  They are full of healthy whole grains, beans, and lots of green veggies.  I get so frustrated with many of the recipe websites, because their versions of vegetarian are lots of pasta and cheese.  If that’s all we ate, we would not be very healthy or have a balanced diet!  So without further ado, here is this week’s menu!

Monday:  Ribollita with some whole grain crusty bread

I love Kale!  So does Hunter.  And thankfully Ella will eat just about anything in soup form, so this should be a winner.  Plus, the sudden change in weather is begging me to make soup.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Spice Rubbed Braised Beef,Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Tomatoes, and Roasted Potatoes with Magic Sauce

I’ve made this Braised Beef before, but I am going to try it in the crockpot this time.  And the magic sauce on the potatoes is amazing!  Brenna made it when we were over this weekend, and it really was magic.

Thursday: Double Broccoli Quinoa with Tofu

I cannot wait to try this recipe!

Friday: Homemade Pizza with Brenna’s Marinara Sauce

Sorry, No pic or recipe for this one.  Brenna was gracious enough to send me home with some of her marinara sauce, and I plan to put it to good use!

And just in case you were curious about what we eat for other meals during during the week, you really shouldn’t be.  It really isn’t that interesting.  Breakfast is almost always Old Fashioned oatmeal with berries and soymilk, eggs, and sauteed spinach.  Lunch is usually leftovers or PB&J.  But I think I will try and mix up our morning routine and try this yummy recipe out!

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

Have a good week, and hopefully you find something healthy to eat!

pictures from

Menu Monday

In Recipes on September 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Today I have a mish-mosh of recipes that I plan on making.  My awesome Mom-in-Law gave me a ridiculous number of tomatoes and pears from the garden.  Now I have to figure out what to do with them!  I’m thinking lots of salsa, caprese salads, and pear crisps!  Other than that, nothing too spectacular on the menu this week… well, except for this Chicken Kebab recipe.  Seriously, a must try.  The dipping sauce is to die for!

Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Lemon Pepper Yogurt Sauce

I took the advice of several reviewers and reduced the salt in the sauce to about 1 1/2 tsp, and then added cherry tomatoes and onions to my kebabs.

Here’s another recipe I think I am going to try for lunch this week.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese

Considering the amount of macaroni & cheese Ella consumes on a weekly basis, I figured I better find a way to make it healthy.  I love that this recipe uses 3 cups of Butternut Squash!  I think I will add broccoli to hers though, because it is nearly impossible to get her to eat her veggies.  And plus, I have never given her mac&cheese without it, so she doesn’t know any better.  Hee, hee.

Some Salsa?

I figured this would be a good use of those tomatoes.  Plus I can heap it onto some yummy breakfast burritos.

And last but not least, a Pear Crisp.

Pear Crisp from the Pioneer Woman.  Yum!

The rest of the meals this week will probably be pretty ugly.  I need to use up stuff in the freezer, and that usually means Turkey Chili, Spaghetti, and Salmon Burgers.  Nothing Fancy.

Now I am off to a midwife appointment.  Dreading the scale, but I am excited to schedule our 20-week ultrasound.  I need to know if it is a girl or boy so I can start the planning!  I hope you all have a great week.

Ella is 18 months!

In Babies and Such, Recipes, Uncategorized on August 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

It’s Monday!  But no Menu Monday for me.  We are having leftover pizza tonight, with this amazing Greek Salad that I whipped together.  OK, fine.  There is one recipe for ya!

If you haven’t discovered Pioneer Woman, you should.  I wouldn’t call her food healthy, but oh-my- goodness good!  If I made her stuff every week,  I would gain 50 pounds.

Anyways, Ella is 18 months old!  Seriously, how did that happen?!  There is absolutely no baby left in this girl… she is all toddler.  I couldn’t even begin to list all of the words she can say now.  She has a new one every day.

My absolute favorite thing is her new-found ability to sing.  If she wants to listen to a certain song, she will come up and hum part of it, or sing a little blurp of the lyrics (this is, of course, in her toddler-ese).  Her favorites are Barbara Ann by The Beach Boys and She Loves You by the Beatles.  She will come up and sing, “Ba Ba Ba ANN!” for Barbara Ann, or “Yeah, yeah, yeah” for She Loves You.  Holy cuteness!

She is still her feisty self, of course.  She has learned to re-enact various falls or injuries.  If I am making dinner, or doing something else where she isn’t getting enough attention, she will quickly re-enact one of these events to get some much needed hugs and kisses.

She loves amals (animals), playing atside (outside), going to the pawk (park), and fwing (swinging).  She also grown very attached to her baby doll, ever since finding out that there was another baby growing inside of mommy.  She spends a couple hours a day rocking it, changing its diaper and feeding it.

Oh yes, we found some animals!

She LOVES big doggies.

Did somebody say fwing at the pawk?!

And here she is, taking care of her BeeBee!

I am so blessed to have this little girl in my life!  Happy 1 1/2 years sweet Ella!

Menu Monday

In Health, Recipes on August 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Well, so much for the vegetarian/pescetarian menu this week.  I am 12 weeks along in my pregnancy, and keep losing weight.  I’m down 4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  And that is not from being sick.  I have had a fairly easy first trimester this time around.  I’m just not eating enough.  So I told Hunter that some of the meat has to stay for now.  Plus, I am craving comfort food, so that is what I will be making… even if it is 85 degrees outside.   So here is what is on the menu this week!

Monday:  Spaghetti with Spinach Salad

Sorry, no recipe link for this one.  I just have a tried and true, memorized recipe that I use.  I ALWAYS use Iserno’s Nitrate-Free Chicken Sausage, and would NEVER use white noodles, but that was the best pic I could find.

Tuesday: Two Bean Soup with Kale and Crusty Bread

I’m totally cheating this week… this was on last week’s menu, but I wasn’t feeling so hot Friday night.  So I am going to try again and make it this week.

Wednesday: Italian Meatloaf , Red Potatoes, and Asparagus

This is my absolute favorite meatloaf recipe.  Hunter doesn’t like meatloaf, but loves this one.  Yum!

Thursday: Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers and more grilled Asparagus.

This recipe is pretty close to the one I use… the main difference is that I add Worcestershire sauce to the mix.

Friday: Chicken Kabobs and Brown Rice

This recipe looks pretty simple, and that’s how it should be when it comes to kabobs.  I usually use zucchini, mushrooms, onions and bell pepper on mine.


Menu Monday

In Health, Recipes on August 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Every Monday, I spend at least an hour planning meals for the week.  So instead of sharing my usual, personal stories, I thought I would share with you what is on the menu this week!

We aren’t vegetarians…yet.  Although, we are honestly moving in that direction.  Hunter has been reading a compelling book titled, “The China Study.”  I plan on reading it too, but since I am limited on time at the moment, I just have him give me a daily run-down.  The only thing I am having a hard time buying into is that we shouldn’t eat fish.  So maybe I am leaning more towards becoming a pescetarian.

Either way, Hunter and I are super-passionate about healthy eating.  It has nothing to do with dieting or losing weight.  It has everything to do with being healthy and preventing cancer and other diseases.  And the other great thing about meatless dishes is that they are usually very inexpensive and economical.  Fish can be spendy sometimes, but I usually wait until it is on sale, stock up and then freeze it.  So with that said, here is this week’s menu.

Monday:  Buddha’s Delight with Tofu, Broccoli, and Water Chestnuts

Tuesday: Grilled Salmon, Asparagus, and Red Potato Salad.

Wednesday: Cannellini Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts and Brown Rice.

Thursday: Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema and Black Beans

Friday: Two Bean Soup with Kale, and Crusty Whole Wheat Bread with Tomatoes and Parmesan.

Yum!  Hope some of these inspire you to eat healthy this week!

Saturday Market and a Bowl of Beef Stew

In Recipes on September 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I am loving this cool, overcast morning.  It is perfect weather for the Saturday Market, if you ask me.  So Ella and I just got back from our little trek with a bag full of veggies, longhorn beef, and fougasse bread.  And to welcome this beautiful fall weather, I think I will make a crock pot of Herby Beef Stew with my Saturday Market Findings!


1-2 lbs stewing beef, cubed
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
5 red potatoes, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped

2 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles

1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 – 14 oz can beef broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar

Brown meat in canola oil, in a saucepan.  Place meat in the slow cooker.  Place vegetables in the slow cooker.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat, mixing well.  Cover.  Cook on High 5-6 hours or Low 10-12 hours (I prefer the low setting, as the meat seems more tender).