Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Chili

You  might think "sweet potato and quinoa chili? That's weird". The b/f thought the same thing when I told him what I was cooking for dinner but he sure as heck went back for seconds! This chili is packed full of protein and good for you! Give it a shot and I promise you'll love it! 
Chili Seasoning
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
Mix the seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.

  • 1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs olive oil, separted
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • green  onions
Place the vegetable broth with a dash of olive oil in a small pot, bring to a boil then add in the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. 

While the quinoa is cooking heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large pot. Saute the garlic, celery, bell pepper and onion for 5 minutes. Next add the sweet potato and 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until sweet potato starts to soften. Reduce the heat to medium/low, add in the chili seasoning, stewed tomatoes and beans. Cover and for at least 15 minutes. If you want to let it sit turn the heat on low and keep on the stove as long as you like. Once you are ready to serve the chili add the quinoa to the chili and serve. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lemon Grass Coconut Soup (Tom Ka Gai)

In the mood for some yummy and healthy Thai? This soup is so easy to make and takes very little effort but tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen! 

This soup is perfect as a side dish or your main course. If you want to add some carbs to the soup I suggest adding come cooked udon noodles. If you are one of my carnivorousness friends just add some cooked chicken (cubed). 

Ingredients (Makes 3-4 large bowls)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 3 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup of ginger cut into small chunks
  • 1 pkg of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 8oz package of baby bella mushrooms sliced in half
  • 3 tbs red curry paste
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro (save some for garnish)
  • 2 tbs chives, for garnish

Place the coconut milk, broth, lemon grass and ginger in a large pot over medium/low heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. In a small bowl mix the curry paste, soy sauce and lime juice until all clumps are gone. After 20 minutes remove the lemon grass piece and discard them. Next add the curry mixture to the soup along with the tofu, bell pepper, mushrooms and cilantro. Cover and cook on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes or until veggies are tender. Serve warm and garnish with extra cilantro and chives.

Looking for something else to cook along with theThai Lemon Grass Coconut Soup check out my Udon Noodles with a Thai Peanut Sauce recipe here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vegetarian Gravy, Turkey Gravy & Mama's Stuffing

 Most of my Thanksgiving dishes are vegetarian with the exception of the turkey and the turkey gravy. Everything else I have converted to vegetarian since the b/f is a veggie, he even gets his own gravy!
I'm not a huge fan of vegetable broth but thanks to the delicious No-Chicken Broth I found I am able to make vegetarian dishes a little more tasty. 
Vegetarian Gravy 
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 2 cups of No-Chicken Broth or homemade vegetable broth
  • season with thyme, garlic powder, S&P
  • 1-2 cups of mushrooms, sauteed in butter and chopped
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced (optional)
Heat the butter over medium heat in a small pot and saute the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Mix the flour in the milk until all clumps are removed then add to the pan over medium/high heat stirring frequently. Once the mixture starts to thicken add in the seasonings then the broth a little at a time, continuously stirring until you have created a thick rue. Toss in the mushrooms, cover and keep warm. Top with sliced egg before serving.

*If the gravy is too runny, mix another tbs of flour into 1/4 cup of broth, add to the pan then bring to a boil.

Turkey Gravy
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 4 tbs flour,  mixed in 
  • turkey giblets, chopped in large chunks
  • 3 cups of Chicken Broth
  • drippings from turkey
  • season with garlic powder, S&P
  • 2 boiled eggs, sliced
Heat the butter over medium heat in a small pot and saute the onions, garlic & giblets until giblets are cooked through. Remove the giblets then make the roux.

Mix the flour in 1/2 cup of the broth until all clumps are removed then add to the pan over medium/high heat stirring frequently. Once the mixture starts to thicken add the cooked giblets, turkey drippings & seasonings. Next add the rest of the broth a little at a time. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring continuously to keep it from clumping. Once the sauce thickens cover and keep warm. 

Remove the giblets then top with sliced egg before serving.

Mama's Biscuit Stuffing (Vegetarian)

This recipe was given to me by my mom and it is by far my number one favorite Thanksgiving dish! I made a few adjustments but it still tastes like mama's recipe. I don't actually stuff the turkey with the stuffing instead I just cover it with gravy and enjoy!!
Step 1 Biscuits (make the night before) 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter milk
Preheat the oven to 400. Mix the four, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender cut the butter into the flour then add the butter milk a little at a time. Continue to mix the dough until it starts to form a ball. Place mixture on a floured surface or silpat and knead until the dough is smooth. Roll the dough on a surface until it is 1/2 inch thick and jar or round cutter, but your biscuits. Place on a non-stick pan and bake for 12-15 minutes. Leave biscuits covered on the counter over night. 
Step 2 Stuffing (day of)

  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • S&P and some Cajun seasoning (Tony's or Slap Ya Mama)
  • 3 cups of No-Chicken Broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
Preheat the oven to 375. Crumble the biscuits into a large casserole dish. Stir in the onions, garlic, celery and seasonings. Taste the mixture to make sure it is well seasoned then add the eggs and broth. Mix well. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

**If you are a cornbread stuffing fan just replace the biscuit with homemade cornbread and add some carrots. YUM!