Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
Tortilla Soup
Delicious Taco Casserole
WOWZA Baked Beans + Bacon

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I have a few rules for lunch.

-It has to be yummy.
-It has to be easy.
-It can’t use the oven.  

Every single day when I eat lunch I sit in front of my computer, usually catching up on email or going through my blog reader to see what all my great recipe/garden friends are up to.   You know lunch is exceptional when you plan to do this, but the only thing you can do is turn your monitor on before you devour your entire lunch without touching the keyboard or mouse once.    This lunch time experience was just me and the stuffed pepper and it was a good one.

These stuffed peppers are:
-Yummy.  Very.
-Quick and easy.  The thing that takes the most time is making the quinoa.
-It doesn’t use the oven.  It uses the stove top and the microwave.  
-Fresh!  Garden pepper and spinach, yum!

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Here’s all your beautiful ingredients.  Such a pretty lunch we’ll be having!

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Hello Mr. Pepper!  You are huge, beautiful and delicious. I love you dearly.

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Here’s your quinoa with chopped up spinach and garlic.   The way I make my quinoa is 1/4 cup dry  quinoa with 1/2 cup water.  Bring to boil, then simmer and cover for 15 minutes.  

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After I melt the cheese, I put the pepper top back on.  More pepper to eat makes me a happy girl!

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If you have any quinoa that can’t fit in your pepper, I just put it on the side.  Also, I always put extra tomato sauce on top. I love tomato sauce. When it’s time to start picking tomatoes from the garden this will all be fresh. I can’t wait!

Lunch Time Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
  1. 1 green pepper - seeds removed and top cut off (but keep the top!)
  2. 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  3. 4 spinach leaves - chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic - minced
  5. 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. tomato sauce - amount depends on your preference
  1. Cook your quinoa as instructed on box.
  2. Cook green pepper in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, set aside.
  3. When quinoa is done, add spinach and garlic and mix around.
  4. Fill pepper with quinoa mixture. Add a spoonful of sauce on top, then cover with your mozzarella cheese.
  5. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until your cheese is melted.
  6. Add another spoonful of tomato sauce on top.
  7. Put your green pepper top on.
  8. Enjoy!
  1. You can add additional tomato sauce all over the pepper as desired.
  2. This recipe is for one 1 pepper, if you want 2 peppers, duplicate it and so on.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!

When I get Chinese takeout I usually order:

Chicken & Broccoli
Broccoli & Garlic Sauce
Shrimp & Broccoli
Lo Mein with Added Broccoli

Do you see the broccoli love?

I have been trying to perfect a takeout restaurant version of chicken and broccoli for many years.   I was close but the broccoli was never perfectly crunchy, the sauce was too thick, the sauce was too thin, the taste was off.  But finally, finally!  I shake my fist at you chicken and broccoli because I did it!  It was a great moment sitting down at dinner to eat this and hear the cheers from both my and Matthew’s mouths.  It’s really good.  I don’t think I can ever order takeout again if I know it’s this easy (and much more healthier) to make at home.  

If you love Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli, you will like this version.   Alot!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
  1. 1 head of broccoli, cut up into florets
  2. 1 small green pepper - cut up into small slices
  3. 3/4 cup sugar snap peas - chopped into thirds
For the chicken marinade
  1. 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut up into bite size pieces
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  5. 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  6. 1 tablespoon water
  7. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the sauce
  1. 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 4 cloves garlic - minced
  4. 2 tablespoons flour
  5. 1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
  6. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  7. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to fry in
  2. 1/2 cup water
  1. Mix your marinade ingredients in a bowl - add your bite size chicken pieces and stir. Set aside.
  2. Mix your sauce ingredients in a bowl - set aside.
  3. Steam broccoli for 3 minutes, drain - set aside.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, it's marinade and 1/2 of the sauce mixture. Keep cooking until chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Add steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, green pepper and remaining sauce with 1/2 cup water.
  6. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens up.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from a teaspoon of happiness
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
Oh garden greens, I love you.   I picked some fresh broccoli, green peppers and sugar snap peas.  You can omit the sugar snap peas if you want to, but I would highly recommend keeping them in. It gives it a great additional crunch!   

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
You want your chicken to be cut up into bite size pieces, and then you let them marinate for a bit until you are ready to move on to the next step with them.

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
This is the magic sauce that holds everything together.  It’s the sauce I have fought with to get just right.  It was a glorious moment!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
The sauce turned out so well due to these 3 great ingredients.  I’ve really come to love sesame oil in cooking the past few years.  PS. Make sure you use low sodium or lite soy sauce, we want to cut back on the salt in this recipe.

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!
And when it’s all done you will have one beautiful skillet full of chicken and broccoli.  

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli. You will never order takeout Chinese again after you learn how easy (and healthy!) it is to make yourself!Dive right in, it’s delicious!

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli

Tortilla Soup

I love tortilla soup – love, love love.  
I used to get tortilla soup all the time from a local Mexican restaurant but one day I got some near closing time and it was a big disappointment   It was like they gave me the entire bottom of the pot that was sitting all day long with every ingredient soggy.  I was very upset.  That night I told myself I would match their tortilla soup with my own.  I would set up a table outside their restaurant serving small cups of my own soup and compare it theirs.  The neighborhood would love mine.  They would put me on their shoulders, parading me down the streets while chanting “tortilla soup, tortilla soup!”.  Well one of those things came true, I came up with a tortilla soup recipe that (dare I say) is better than theirs.  *High Fives*

 This soup is delicious.  It’s easy to make with a few canned goods.  It doesn’t take much time, minus some simmering here and there.   Please give this soup a chance.  



Tortilla Soup
  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  3. 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  4. 1 1/4 cup water
  5. 10 oz chicken broth
  6. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 1 15 oz can of white hominy
  9. 1 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed/drained)
  10. 1 4 oz can of chopped green chile peppers
  11. 1 cup yellow corn kernels (cooked)
  12. 2 cubes frozen cilantro (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh)
Optional for on top
  1. Sliced Avocado
  2. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  3. Crushed Tortilla Chips
  1. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute in minced garlic until slightly brown.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, water, chili powder and oregano. Stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in hominy, black beans, corn, chile peppers and cilantro. Stir well.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve into bowls, serve with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices and shredded cheese on
  8. top.
  9. Enjoy!
  1. You can turn this into chicken tortilla soup by adding 1/2 pound of boneless chicken breast. Cook it, cut it into small pieces and add in the pot when you add the beans/corn/hominy/peppers.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
These are all the ingredients you’ll need.

You might also want some cheddar cheese or a avocado. I would highly recommend this direction.

Start by browning some garlic in a big pot.  Who doesn’t love the smell of garlic cooking?

Once it’s brown, add in your water.

Then your chicken broth.  I showed the steps above because I usually always  make my chicken broth from bouillon cubes.  I find it much cheaper and just as good. 

Open up your crushed tomatoes.  San Marzano is the best in my opinionblogIMG_1445
Then stir into the pot.

Add your oregano.

Then your chili powder.

Stir all your ingredients together, bring to boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Start to prepare your other ingredients.  Open up your black beans and rinse  and drain them.

Add your hominy.  Do you love hominy as  much as I do? I eat it by the spoonfuls.

Then add your corn.  I use frozen corn and cook it right before.

Then add in your green chiles.

Put all these ingredients into the pot.

Last but not least, get your cilantro.  I usually use the frozen cilantro cubes as I find they work well in soups.  You can use fresh if you’d like.blogIMG_1469
Add your cilantro.

Then stir again and let simmer for 15 more minutes.

When it’s done, spoon into bowls.

The truth is that I always go back for seconds.

You can eat it plain if you’d like, it’s totally delicious that way.

Or you can add some cheese which will melt quickly causing you to fall madly in love.

Or you could grab a avocado and add some cubes in too.

This is totally the way I like it.  I love that the soup is hot and will cause the avocado to melt slightly. 

I have been known to eat a entire avocado this way. 

Hope you will try this amazing soup – let me know how it works out for you!

Delicious Taco Casserole

This recipe is up there in the favorites.  When I first made it, we had it 2 more times that following week. Since then we’ve had it almost once a week.   Even though there’s only 2 of us, we usually finish a entire casserole ourselves.  We really really really really love it.  Who doesn’t like tacos? Who doesn’t like casseroles? Who doesn’t like cheese on top?  It’s like a dream world scenario!

More reasons why this makes me have happy dreams at night:

It’s easy to make.
You can make it early in the day, store it in the fridge and then cook it at night.
It’s pretty – the red and green colors are lovely!
It has cheese on top! Did I mention that already? Sorry.

Feel free to customize it too.  You can add a onion if you’d like.  Maybe throw some crushed chips on top, or some avocado slices.    Just please try this! 


Taco Casserole
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1 cup (8 ounces) of elbow macaroni noodles
  3. 1 medium sized green pepper (chopped)
  4. 1 10.75 ounce can condensed tomato soup
  5. 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  6. 1 package of taco seasoning mix
  7. 3/4 cup shredded taco blend cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, set aside.
  3. In a pan cook ground beef with chopped green peppers until meat is brown.
  4. Mix in tomato soup, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning. Mix real good.
  5. Stir in pasta. Mix real good.
  6. Put mixture into a baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top of the entire casserole.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted.
You can also
  1. Add a onion (same time you add the green pepper)
  2. Sprinkle crushed up tortilla chips on top
  3. Add avocado slices on top
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Here’s all your ingredients.   You might even have everything you need already in your cabinets.

Measure your elbows (the noodles)..

And boil until al dente.

Drain, and set aside.

Chop up your green pepper. If you’d like to add a onion, this would be the time to chop that up too.

Put it in your pan..

Add your ground beef.

Then mix it all around so everything gets that delicious green pepper taste (and smell!) to it.

After the meat is brown, add your tomato soup.

Then  your diced tomatoes.  In the summertime I will make these fresh but for now the canned version will do.

Then add your beloved packet of taco seasoning.

Mix it all around.  Oh man, the smell, you can’t beat it.

Then add your elbow noodles.

And mix it good so everything is covered in that sauce mixture.

At this time it’s totally ok to test it. You should.  I did.  Even two spoons.  Noone is looking.  We’re all friends here.

Transfer the casserole to a baking dish.

Measure out your cheese.

And spread it on top.   At this time I usually take a big handful of cheese from the bag and eat it too.  Cheese, I love you.

Because I planned on making it that evening, some plastic wrap went on top and into the refrigerator it went. 

Right after I put it in the refrigerator I spotted this guy and snuggled with him for a few minutes. 

When you’re ready to make it..
Pop it into the oven and then enjoy! It’s really that easy!

One cheesy taco casserole will be yours.  All yours! Ok, you probably have to share.  

Serve, make sure you get some of that cheese on top.  If any cheese falls off into the casserole dish, fight for it.  You deserve it.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! When I told Matthew what I was making, he broke his concentration from editing and did this reaction.  It’s a major winner.

WOWZA Baked Beans + Bacon

Two weekends ago Matthew made these amazing baked beans.  I’m going to give credit where it’s due, these were the hit of the picnic.  I was in love with them, so much so that I made him save some here for me to eat later.  So when I came home from the picnic after eating too many beans, I immediately sat down and continued to eat more beans.  They are so amazing!
The original recipe comes from here.  Matthew said he followed the ingredients and instructions pretty spot on.
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Lots of onions and green peppers in this. I was worried because I don’t like onions.  Boy, was I wrong!

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BBQ Sauce + Apple Cider Vinegar.  I was worried because I don’t like apple cider vinegar. Boy, was I wrong!

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Glorious bacon. Bacon is one of the best foods, ever.

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Mix the beans and peppers/onions together…

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Then the BBQ Sauce mixture..

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You need a big pan, just a warning.

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I needed to taste test. It’s very important.  Or something.

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Then pour into pans/pots that you can bake.   This makes quite alot of beans..

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Then put the glorious bacon on top. You can either bake this right away, or we let it sit in the fridge over night and baked it the following day.

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