Monday, August 31, 2009

(73) Spicy Basque-Style Chicken

I'm always my own worst critic when it comes to meals. I'll say something is good, but I rarely say "HOLY COW, I just cooked a killer dinner". Tonight, I said just that. And lots of Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm and a !MEOW! thrown in for good measure. I made this exactly as written. Do not leave out any of the items. They all are important in their own right.

I served this with yellow rice and steamed broccoli. While the rice was cooking, I made the chicken. This is truly a 30 minute meal, start to finish. If you can't find smoked paprika in your grocery store, check out one of my favorite places to shop, Penzeys!

Spicy Basque-Style Chicken

Smoked paprika is a traditional ingredient in Spanish cuisine. Serve this dish with saffron rice to soak up the tasty sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces chicken, about 1/2 cup sauce, 1 tablespoon prosciutto, and 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2007

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/4 cup sliced green olives
2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1/4 cup finely chopped prosciutto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine paprika and pepper; sprinkle evenly over chicken. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds. Turn chicken over. Add olives and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with prosciutto and parsley.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 264 (31% from fat), Fat: 9g (sat 1.6g,mono 4g,poly 2.2g), Protein: 36.2g, Carbohydrate: 8g, Fiber: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Iron: 1.4mg, Sodium: 876mg, Calcium: 92mg

Sunday, August 30, 2009

8/30/09 - This week's menu

A few friends and I have been talking about menus lately... and I realized that I've never posted my menu on this blog. I try to plan out my menu and do all of my grocery shopping on Sundays. I put the menu up on a little dry erase board we keep in our kitchen. That way I remember what we're eating that day and also I don't have to answer 'what's for dinner' questions! Score!!

If you're looking for inspiration for your weekly menu, you might also check out one of the blogs I read - This Week for Dinner.

Anyhow - this week's menu is a pretty easy one. I sing with the Jacksonville Symphony and have rehearsals on Tuesday nights. We take a summer hiatus, but rehearsals start back up this week. So most likely you'll see easy meals or sandwiches on the list on Tuesday nights.

Sunday: Eggplant Parmesan, angel hair pasta, salad
Monday: Spicy Basque-Style Chicken, yellow rice, broccoli
Tuesday: leftovers or sandwiches
Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin with Paprika Spice Rub, Two-Corn Polenta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese, green beans
Thursday: homemade pizza, salads

We'll be visiting with our family over the long weekend. I'm sure there will be some cooking going on (my mother-in-law is an AWESOME cook!!), but there's none on my official plan!! I will be back on Wednesday of next week with another menus!

(72) Eggplant Parmesan

Yum yum yum yum yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. We got some eggplant from our friends' gardens. They gave us a purple one and 3 white ones! Have you ever seen a white eggplant? Me either... check it out!

You slice it thin (please, slice it thin and uniformly or you'll be cursing like me...) and then soak it in a pot of water. I couldn't figure out how to make it stay submerged, so I rigged up a weight using a small plate and my meat hammer!

You bake it in the oven to crisp it up - I had to do more like 7 minutes per side to get it crispy!

I imagine you could use jarred sauce, but this recipe was really very easy. I used about 3/4 of it in the eggplant and used the other 1/4 of it to put over some angel hair pasta. The sauce was very flavorful!!

When you're done layering and baking - this is the cheesy goodness that you end up with!! Even the baby gave it two (messy) thumbs up! I will be making this one again!!

Here's the recipe - it was already on my website, made and reviewed by my friend Jill! Enjoy!

PS: I made the recipe as written - I thought the amount of basil and oregano was fine for my tastes!!

(71) Grilled Salmon with Apricot-Mustard Glaze

I have to admit that in my almost 32 years, I've NEVER cooked salmon. My husband and I don't like love salmon, but I suspect that's because we've never had it really well prepared. Anyway, I decided to live on the wild side and cook salmon. Guess what? We liked it! I can't tell you if this was just good or if it was awesome because I have no point of reference, but I'd love it if you'd try it and tell me what you think!!

Grilled Salmon with Apricot-Mustard Glaze

Friends and family will beg for the recipe when you serve this sophisticated take on salmon. Brush the fruit reduction on the fish at the last minute to prevent sugars from burning on the grill.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2007

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup apricot nectar
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remaining ingredient:
Cooking spray

Prepare grill.

To prepare fish, sprinkle fillets evenly with garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.

To prepare glaze, combine nectar and next 6 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon pepper) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; set aside.

Place fillets, skin side up, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes; carefully turn over, and grill 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Brush each fillet with 1 tablespoon glaze; grill 30 seconds.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 342 (34% from fat), Fat: 13.1g(sat 3.1g,mono 5.7g,poly 3.2g), Protein: 36.4g, Carbohydrate: 18.1g, Fiber: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Iron: 0.7mg, Sodium: 482mg, Calcium: 25mg

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

(70) Maple-Sage Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Ok now this recipe is really a no-brainer. Chop up some sage (you must use fresh!!), pop it all in a ziplock and then let it sit for a few minutes. I know that my friends from the north will shudder, cry, scream bad words at me, or something... but I used regular old pancake syrup (Publix brand, lite butter mmmm) and it was a.ok to me!!

The pork was really tender and the flavors were great. The maple and sage made it almost taste like breakfast sausage (yum!). I served with some egg noodles and steamed broccoli.

Maple-Sage Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Only four ingredients give pork tenderloin outstanding flavor in this dish. Serve with sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach for a dinner that's ready in less than an hour.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2008

1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Cooking spray

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Remove pork from bag. Place pork on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°. Cover loosely with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 153 (24% from fat), Fat: 4.1g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 24g, Carbohydrate: 3.5g, Fiber: 0.0g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Iron: 1.3mg, Sodium: 343mg, Calcium: 10mg

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

(69) Tomato-Poblano Soup

I roasted the peppers the night before which made the prep for this meal super easy. I crushed the tomatoes with my hands as they came out of the can. No need to dirty a knife or shears. After my light-you-on-fire enchiladas the other day, I was extra careful to get the seeds and membranes out of the peppers. In all honesty, it wasn't quite as hot as I wanted! Oh well! I will for sure make this soup again. With a grilled cheese it was a tasty, quick, weeknight meal! Two thumbs up!

Tomato-Poblano Soup

The tomatoes and chiles contribute a day's worth of vitamin C in a serving of the soup. Use low-sodium or organic vegetable broth for a vegetarian appetizer. Chop tomatoes in the can with shears to reduce cleanup.

Yield: 6 servings
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, December 2008

4 poblano chiles
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sour cream

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut chiles in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place chile halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 18 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop.

3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute.

4. Using kitchen shears, coarsely chop tomatoes in the can. Add tomatoes, chiles, and broth to pan, stirring to combine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.

5. Place half of tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until almost smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture. Stir in juice and salt. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1 teaspoon sour cream. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 102 (26% from fat), Fat: 3g (sat 0.9g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.3g), Protein: 3.7g, Carbohydrate:13.3g, Fiber: 3.3g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Iron: 1.9mg, Sodium: 362mg, Calcium: 78mg

Monday, August 24, 2009

(68) Mushroom Ravioli w/Parmesan Chive Sauce

Ok, let me say that the flavor on this was OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD. I mean, it was so good that I'm dreaming of the leftovers. The ravioli itself was a bit, um, interesting, though. It wasn't hard to stuff, but maybe I cooked them 3 seconds too long or something (I watched closely, I promise!), I dont know, but they were awfully mushy. In the bowl it was kind of like mushroom lasagna w/cream sauce. NOTHING like the picture you will see below. Anyway, the flavor totally made up for it. I want to try this one again and stuff it in cannelloni shells or maybe even fill crepes with it. SO FREAKING GOOD.

PS: Two things extra - (1) I doubled this so the baby could have some and we'd also have leftovers and (2) my camera died a sad death yesterday, but I promise when I get a new one this week, I'm going to start taking pics of my recipes! Just FYI!

Mushroom Ravioli w/Parmesan Chive Sauce

Freeze leftover wonton wrappers in heavy-duty zip-top bags.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 7 ravioli and 3 tablespoons sauce)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2007

1/2 (8-ounce) package button mushrooms
1/2 (6-ounce) package presliced portobello mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 wonton wrappers
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Remaining ingredient:
Fresh chives (optional)

To prepare ravioli, place mushrooms in food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook 5 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally.

Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Place ravioli on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch.

To prepare sauce, combine milk and flour in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; stir with a whisk. Cook 4 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, 1 tablespoon chives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Set aside; keep warm.

Cook ravioli in boiling water 2 minutes or until tender. Drain. Serve with sauce. Garnish with fresh chives, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 334 (22% from fat), Fat: 8.2g (sat 3.5g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.8g), Protein: 17.3g, Carbohydrate: 48.7g, Fiber: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Iron: 3mg, Sodium: 896mg, Calcium: 410mg

Sunday, August 23, 2009

(67) Green Chile-Chicken Enchiladas

These were not hard to make at all, but they were a little time consuming. SO worth it in my book. YUM. As I mentioned in the sauce recipe, it was spicy, but the flavors were awesome and the texture so creamy. Will make these again for sure! (oh and I don't know why I always feel compelled to say this, but I left out the bay leaf *blech yuck spit phewweee blech*)

Green Chile-Chicken Enchiladas

New Mexicans prefer these over the beef enchiladas associated with other Southwest cuisines. Prepare the sauce and the chicken mixture up to two days ahead, and refrigerate separately until ready to assemble the enchiladas.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, December 2007

3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion, divided
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
3 cups Green Chile Sauce
Cooking spray
16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Combine broth, 1 cup onion, and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan; chill 15 minutes. Reserve broth mixture for another use. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine chicken, remaining 1/2 cup onion, and sour cream in a bowl, stirring well.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spread 1/4 cup Green Chile Sauce in the bottom of each of 2 (11 x 7-inch) baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place 8 filled tortillas, seam-side down, in each dish; pour 1 1/4 cups of remaining Green Chile Sauce over filled tortillas in each dish. Combine cheeses in a bowl. Sprinkle half of cheese mixture evenly over filled tortillas in each dish. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 308 (30% from fat), Fat: 10.1g (sat 4.3g,mono 2.6g,poly 2g), Protein: 27.2g, Carbohydrate: 29g, Fiber: 3.4g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Iron: 1.2mg, Sodium: 382mg, Calcium: 198mg

(66) Green Chile Sauce

Either I didn't take enough care removing the seeds or I just had hot chiles. This sauce was make-your-nose-run kind of spicy. But I love that kind of stuff, so it was a.ok in my book! YUM! This recipe makes just enough for the enchilada recipe!

Green Chile Sauce

Fresh Anaheim chiles--long, slender, pale green peppers--have mild heat. The sauce pairs well with chicken or pork, or serve it as a snack with baked tortilla chips.

This recipe goes with Green Chile-Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 3 tablespoons sauce
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, December 2007

6 Anaheim chiles
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Preheat broiler.

Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 14 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning after 7 minutes. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile. Remove and discard seeds and tops. Chop chiles to measure 3/4 cup.

Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add chiles, coriander, salt, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place half of chile mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed chile mixture to pan; stir well. Remove from heat; cool completely.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 23 (39% from fat), Fat: 1g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.6g), Protein: 0.7g, Carbohydrate: 3.3g, Fiber: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.2mg, Sodium: 114mg, Calcium: 9mg

Thursday, August 20, 2009

(65) Southwestern Corn & Pepper Gratin

I think the recipe name is deceiving. Gratin to me is a layered vegetable (potato or otherwise) dish with lots of cheesy/milky sauce... This is a southwestern corn pudding. No matter what it's called, it was yummy. HUGE HUGE serving size. I will definitely make this one again! (PS: I made it in a 2qt baking dish)

Southwestern Corn & Pepper Gratin

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, July 1997

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 3/4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears), divided
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated sharp cheddar cheese
Cooking spray
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add bell peppers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 cups corn, jalapeño, and cumin; sauté 5 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese. Spoon about 3/4 cup bell pepper mixture into each of 4 gratin dishes coated with cooking spray.

Combine 3/4 cup corn, 1/2 teaspoon salt, milks, flour, and eggs in a blender; process until smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup egg mixture over vegetables in each dish. Place dishes on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Note: This recipe can also be prepared in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 425º

Nutritional Information
Calories: 279 (31% from fat), Fat: 9.5g (sat 3.2g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.5g), Protein: 15.9g, Carbohydrate: 36.8g, Fiber: 5.6g, Cholesterol: 176mg, Iron: 2.8mg, Sodium: 617mg, Calcium: 243mg

(64) Southwestern Chicken Roll-Ups

I'm not a huge recipe tweaker and I certainly am not a make-it-up kind of girl. I am in awe of people who make up their own recipes. So what I say here is a rare statement from me - I'm gonna work on this one. I think this recipe has a LOT of potential, but as written, I didn't love it. It was pretty good, but has the potential to be awesome.

Next time I think I will mix the cream cheese and salsa together as well as chop up the cilantro and mix that in with it. The breadcrumbs were kind of awkward. I don't know if it needed egg wash (or salsa wash?) or maybe panko instead? In any case, I will keep you updated on my progress. I know you'll be hanging on the edge of your seats until then ;)

Southwestern Chicken Roll-Ups

This recipe is fast and easy, and I can prepare it in advance for guests. Use toothpicks to secure the chicken before dredging. -CL Reader

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 chicken roll)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2004

6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 tablespoons (about 3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
6 tablespoons picante sauce
6 cilantro sprigs
6 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Top each breast half with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon picante sauce, and 1 cilantro sprig. Roll up jelly-roll fashion, beginning at narrow end.

Dredge chicken rolls in breadcrumbs. Place rolls, seam sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; lightly coat rolls with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 257 (20% from fat), Fat: 5.8g (sat 2.7g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.6g), Protein: 41.7g, Carbohydrate: 6.9g, Fiber: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Iron: 1.6mg, Sodium: 385mg, Calcium: 40mg

Sunday, August 9, 2009

(63) Peach Mojitos

May I just say OH MY! *drool* These were a little work (a little, not a ton!) and SO SO SO worth it. Please, make them PLEASE!

Peach Mojitos

Use a wooden muddler to crush the mint mixture in the pitcher, if available. The procedure releases the mint's essential oils, melding them with the lime juice.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2008

3 cups coarsely chopped peeled ripe peaches (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 large limes)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
2 cups white rum
4 cups club soda, chilled
Crushed ice
Mint sprigs (optional)

1. Place peaches in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Press peach puree through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

2. Combine rind, lime juice, sugar, and mint in a large pitcher; crush juice mixture with the back of a long spoon. Add peach puree and rum to pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in club soda. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 186 (1% from fat), Fat: 0.1g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.1g), Protein: 0.6g, Carbohydrate: 21.6g, Fiber: 0.9g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.3mg, Sodium: 21mg, Calcium: 14mg

Saturday, August 8, 2009

(62) Marmalade Chicken

This dish was something different for me - I don't normally do the fruity thing with meat, but I'm glad I took a chance! The shallots gave the sauce a caramelize onion flavor (don't skip them!) and the marmalade just gave the perfect hint of sweet. I will definitely make this again!

Marmalade Chicken

Orange marmalade and freshly grated orange zest make a deliciously tangy sauce for quick-cooking chicken tenders. Serve with brown rice.

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Eating Well Magazine, January/February 2009

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound chicken tenders (see Note)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1. Whisk broth, vinegar, marmalade, mustard and cornstarch in a medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add it to the pan. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Add the chicken; return to a simmer. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in orange zest.


Per serving: 213 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 27 g protein; 0 g fiber; 246 mg sodium; 55 mg potassium.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why oh why oh why?

Am I the only person in the world who can not make rice? I think I might be. I can not make a good pot of rice to save my life, so I've come here to ask for help - PLEASE! I need tips, pointers, a play-by-play, SOMETHING. I can't live the rest of my life without rice.

I have tried the rice cooker. I have tried on the stove. I have tried in the microwave. It's either too wet, too dry, burned, etc. blah. I suck. HELP!

Please and thank you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

(61) Spinach-Cheese Bake

I thought for SURE this recipe had bombed - it was just so weird looking after it was put together. I was really anticipating having chips and salsa for dinner... but guess what!? It was not a bomb at all! It was VERY tasty! This came out almost like a spinach lasagna - good texture and great flavors. YUM. I cut it as 8 servings vs. 12 and served with breaded pork chops and some fruit. I'll make this again for sure!

Spinach-Cheese Bake

You can assemble the casserole in less than 10 minutes by using preshredded cheeses. Pair this dish with fresh berry salad and mini muffins for a lovely Mother's Day or graduation brunch.

Yield: 12 servings
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, May 2007

1 tablespoon butter, melted
Cooking spray
2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 3/4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350°.

2) Pour the butter into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; tilt dish to coat. Place spinach evenly in bottom of dish; sprinkle evenly with cheeses.

3) Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Pour milk mixture over cheese. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 157 (34% from fat), Fat: 6g (sat 3.7g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 10.8g, Carbohydrate: 15.1g, Fiber: 1.6g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Iron: 2.6mg, Sodium: 494mg, Calcium: 263mg

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

(60) Steak & Potato Kebabs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

To quote my daughter - OH WOW! YuM! These were great. Super easy to prepare and delish! We had a big day, lots of food, so I skipped the rice I was going to make and I'm glad I did. 2 skewers were plenty of food. We finished the meal off with a cool bowl of fruit with whipped cream. HEAVEN!

Steak & Potato Kebabs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Source: Eating Well Magazine, May/June 2009
Yield: 4 servings (2 kebabs each)

Steak kebabs get a Southwestern spin with poblano peppers and a creamy sauce spiked with cilantro, chile powder, cumin and vinegar. The potatoes are partially cooked in the microwave before putting them on the grill so they’re done at the same time as faster-cooking steak, peppers and onions. Serve with: Green salad and Spanish rice.

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, minced
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
8 new or baby red potatoes
1 1/4 pounds strip steak, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 poblano peppers or 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

1. Combine cilantro, vinegar, sour cream, garlic, chile powder, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Preheat grill to high.
3. Place potatoes in a microwave-safe container. Cover and microwave on High until just tender when pierced with a fork, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.
4. Toss the potatoes, steak and pepper pieces with oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Thread the potatoes, steak, peppers and onion chunks onto 8 skewers. Grill, turning once or twice, until the steak reaches desired doneness, about 6 minutes for medium. Serve the kebabs with the reserved sauce.

Per serving: 271 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 65 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 30 g protein; 2 g fiber; 368 mg sodium; 786 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C & Zinc (35% daily value), Potassium (22% dv), Iron (15% dv).

(59) Tex-Mex Egg Casserole

My mom has been making this for years. I've never tried it myself, but today was the magic day! I made it for a retirement brunch at work and it was a success! I love this casserole so much. Serve it with a little sour cream and mmmmmmmm a great Tex Mex breakfast! I used skim milk and next time I will try Eggbeaters just to see how that works. If you try it, please tell me what you think!

Tex-Mex Egg Casserole

8 eggs
2 c. milk (counting liquid from Rotel)
1t. salt
5 slices of bread cubed (a good layer on bottom of pan)
2 c. grated cheese (I use cheddar.)
1 can Rotel

Cube bread and place in bottom of a 13 x 9 dish sprayed with cooking spray. Drain Rotel liquid into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 2 cups of liquid. Beat eggs, liquid mixture, and salt together. Spread drained Rotel over bread layer. Sprinkle 1.5 cups of cheese over bread. Pour egg mixture over that and top w/remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350° for 30-45 min. until lightly brown on top. (The bottom tends to get too dark if left too long.) Serve with sour cream as a topping.

(58) Skillet Chicken Souvlaki

This dinner was such a nice change of pace! I made the sauce first because I wanted it to sit and let the flavors meld together. I thought "Oh no, not enough food" when I served it up, but once we got it loaded into the pitas, it was MORE than enough. I served with the recommended Greek salad. Will make this one again for sure!

Skillet Chicken Souvlaki

For the salad, combine 5 cups torn romaine lettuce, 1/3 cup sliced red onion, and 3 sliced pepperoncini peppers. Combine 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss with salad. Top with 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons halved kalamata olives.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup chicken mixture, 1/4 cup sauce, 1 pita, and about 1/4 cup tomatoes)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, August 2009

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (about 1)
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated English cucumber
1/4 cup 2% Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat soft pitas, cut in half
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until done. Remove from pan.

2. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chicken, garlic, and oregano; cook 30 seconds.

3. Combine cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt). Serve chicken mixture with yogurt sauce, warmed pita, and tomato slices.

Nutritional Information
Calories:361, Fat:7.4g (sat 2.3g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.8g), Protein:35.1g, Carbohydrate:39g, Fiber:4.7g, Cholesterol:72mg, Iron:3.1mg, Sodium:589mg, Calcium:105mg