Friday, July 31, 2009

(57) Sesame-Orange Shrimp and Chicken Stir-Fry

I love a good stir-fry! Since being pregnant (and dealing with horrific morning sickness), Chinese food from the actual takeout place just doesn't sit right with me. So my husband loves when I make it at home!! This recipe title is misleading - it's not orangy AT ALL... but it was very tasty! It makes huge servings and LOTS of sauce, so 1/2 cup rice might not be enough. Next time I'd consider either more rice or serving with a slotted spoon! This one's a winner!

Sesame-Orange Shrimp and Chicken Stir-Fry

"Stir-fries are an easy way to get more vegetables into my 4- and 6-year-old's diets. After years of experimenting to get the best flavor and consistency for a versatile sauce, I was finally satisfied with this combination of ingredients. The taste is slightly sweet with subtle flavors that complement all those fresh vegetables. There's a surprising hint of ground red pepper along with the nutty flavor of the dark sesame oil." —Rachel Spear, Casper, Wyo.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/2 cup rice)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2009

1 cup water
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup mushrooms, halved
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

1. To prepare sauce, combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Set aside.

2. To prepare stir-fry, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan, and keep warm. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add chopped broccoli and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to the pan; stir-fry for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Return chicken to pan, and stir in shrimp. Add sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve over rice.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 340, Fat: 7.3g (sat 1.3g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.3g), Protein: 28.6g, Carbohydrate: 38.6g, Fiber: 2.7g, Cholesterol: 142mg, Iron: 4.1mg, Sodium: 864mg, Calcium: 77mg

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

(56) Balsamic Pork with Shallots

The chopping was a little bit of a pain, but otherwise this was a SNAP! I feared it would be too salty, but it was really great! I'll make this one again, for sure!

Balsamic Pork with Shallots

This dish is reminiscent of bistro-style steak with shallot sauce. Serve with rice, egg noodles, or roasted potatoes.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and 1/4 cup shallot mixture)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, March 2009

5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 1/4 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 8)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan, and keep warm.

2. Add remaining 4 teaspoons oil to pan; reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water and vinegar; simmer 6 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spoon shallot mixture over pork. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 260, Fat: 9.6g (sat 2.1g,mono 5.9g,poly 1.1g), Protein: 26.2g, Carbohydrate: 16.9g, Fiber: 0.7g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Iron: 2.6mg, Sodium: 365mg, Calcium: 44mg

(55) Sausage and Roasted Pepper Pasta

I have to tell you, I LOVE roasted peppers. I also love Italian sausage, so this recipe was a winner to me! It took a little longer to put together than I would have liked (but was not hard or overly time consuming by any means...). I should have just planned it out better.

Anyway, for some reason my Publix still only has sweet Italian turkey sausage, not the hot, so I added some red pepper flakes. YUM. When the dish was finishing (to the adding pasta stage) I actually said to my husband "I'm not so sure about this one!" But a few minutes of simmer/boil and the sauce really did come together.

The portions are HUGE - you could easily make 6 meals out of this one, IMO. Very filling, very flavorful. Will repeat this one...

Sausage and Roasted Pepper Pasta

Four assertive ingredients tossed with mild pasta make for a simple, satisfying supper. Try a mix of red and green peppers in this recipe.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, March 2009

4 medium bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds) - I used 2 red, 1 yellow, 1 green just for variety
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
12 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until thoroughly blackened. Place bell peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel; discard skins. Chop and set aside.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.

4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan, and cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell peppers to pan. Move sausage mixture to outside edges of pan, leaving an open space in center. Add tomato paste to open space in pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir tomato paste into sausage mixture. Stir in pasta and reserved cooking liquid; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in black pepper and salt. Sprinkle with cheese.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 430, Fat: 11.5g (sat 3.7g,mono 4.4g,poly 1.3g), Protein: 28.9g, Carbohydrate:52.4g, Fiber: 4.4g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Iron: 4.4mg, Sodium: 894mg, Calcium: 79mg

Sunday, July 26, 2009

(54) Grilled Honey-Mustard Pork Tenderloin

And now for the star of the show... MEOW! This pork was SO good. Throw a few yummy ingredients into a ziplock, let the pork soak it all in for a few hours, off to the grill and VOILA! Dinner! I love meals like this! The pork was quite tender and so very flavorful (but not overly strong). Just right. This will go into the regular rotation!

Grilled Honey-Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Yield: 8 servings
Source: Southern Living, MARCH 2008

2 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons country-Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

1. Remove silver skin from tenderloin, leaving a thin layer of fat covering the tenderloin.

2. Stir together chopped parsley and next 7 ingredients until blended. Pour mixture in a large, shallow dish or zip-top plastic freezer bag; add pork, cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Remove pork, discarding marinade.

3. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Grill tenderloin, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes on all sides or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 150° to 155°. Remove tenderloin from grill, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

(53) Parmesan-Basil Rice Pilaf

2 new recipes on tap tonight. The first is this rice pilaf. It has lots of potential, but I didn't love it as written.

What was right about it - the texture was GREAT! Think risotto creamy.... YUM!

What was wrong about it - I admit, I don't love green peas. I'll eat them, but they're not my favorite. So they really didn't need to be in there. The dried basil was all wrong - next time FRESH FRESH FRESH. I also would put another clove of garlic in next time. The cheese flavor wasn't super strong, so I would also top it with a few shaves of good strong parmesan!

I will make this recipe again, but with some tweaks! Anyway, here it is!

Parmesan-Basil Rice Pilaf

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 1996

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup water
2 (14 1/4-ounce) cans fat-free chicken broth
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in water and broth; bring to a boil.

Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 20 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add remaining ingredients, tossing well.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 305 (10% from fat), Fat: 3.5g (sat 1.7g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.2g), Protein: 12.7g, Carbohydrate: 53.9g, Fiber: 2.2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Iron: 2.3mg, Sodium: 179mg, Calcium: 144mg

Friday, July 24, 2009

(52) Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Another quickie! Score! The orzo was a little dry, think next time I'll put a tbsp of butter in it (not healthy I know, but whatever!). The shrimp was very flavorful! I can't wait for the leftovers!

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Sautéed asparagus makes a fine accompaniment. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound trimmed asparagus spears; sauté 4 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup orzo mixture and about 7 shrimp)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, March 2009

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

2. While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 403, Fat: 10.4g (sat 4.8g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.4g), Protein: 40.1g, Carbohydrate: 34.7g, Fiber: 1.7g, Cholesterol: 276mg, Iron: 4.3mg, Sodium: 549mg, Calcium: 97mg

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to cut a pineapple

A lot of things in life and in cooking are just kind of trial and error. I always got mad at how expensive the cut fruit was at the grocery store and thought "OK, really?! I can do that myself!" But if you've never a cut a pineapple before, it's kind of daunting, right? So I turned to the web to teach myself how to do it and I haven't bought pre-cut pineapple in years!

I hunted the internet for a great video to share with you. What I found were 8,000 different ones. Some weird, some crazy, some booooooooooooring. Many of them went about it differently than I did, which is cool. I found the one below, though, that most mirrors my technique. I hope you find it helpful! Go out and try it yourself and report back! I bet you'll be a pro in no time :)

PS: In the 'you learn something new every day" file - I had no idea you could tell a pineapple was ripe by pulling out one of the green pieces! (I always just sniff the bottom to see if it smells like pineapple!)

Epicurious - Cutting a Pineapple Season: 1 - Watch more amazing videos here

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

(51) Rotini with Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomatoes

Another dinner winner! YUM! This recipe was as fast as they come and very flavorful. And holy cow, the serving size was BIG! Don't skip the goat cheese, either. The creaminess is awesome!

Rotini with Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomatoes

Reminiscent of a pasta salad, this recipe coats rotini and colorful vegetables with a basil-flecked balsamic vinaigrette.

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2007

8 ounces uncooked rotini (corkscrew pasta)
Cooking spray
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (1-inch) slices asparagus
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and asparagus to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, basil, vinegar, and oil. Arrange 2 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 419 (20% from fat), Fat: 9.5g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.6g), Protein: 33.9g, Carbohydrate: 48.5g, Fiber: 3.4g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Iron: 3.2mg, Sodium: 324mg, Calcium: 105mg

Monday, July 20, 2009

(50) Teriyaki Pork and Vegetables with Noodles

This is a weeknight dinner winner FOR SURE! In the time it took me to boil the water and cook the noodles, dinner was ready!! Flavorful, easy, and filling. Even the baby liked this one :) She's definitely my kid!! Oh and the spice factor was medium. It wasn't on fire, but it wasn't a sissy dish!! If you're a wimp, go for less of the chili sauce and you'll be a-ok!

Teriyaki Pork and Vegetables with Noodles

The sweet-savory flavor of teriyaki sauce is a centuries-old mixture of soy sauce and mirin (sweet cooking wine). Over time, Japanese Americans added ginger, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and green onions, elements of the bottled teriyaki sauce Americans know today.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2007

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
4 green onions
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
3 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick), cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 (3 1/2-ounce) package shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.

Remove green tops from green onions; thinly slice, and set aside. Mince white portions of green onions; set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced green onions, bell pepper, pork, and mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes or until pork is browned. Combine reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid, teriyaki sauce, and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pasta and teriyaki sauce mixture to pan; toss well to coat. Stir in sliced green onion tops.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 444 (27% from fat), Fat: 13.5g (sat 4.1g,mono 4.6g,poly 2.7g), Protein: 26.3g, Carbohydrate: 51.9g, Fiber: 3.1g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Iron: 3.4mg, Sodium: 633mg, Calcium: 40mg

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

(49) Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle

We made this as part of our cooking club menu last week. I must admit, I'm really not a huge fan of bananas, but it got DEVOURED! I love the idea of using Nutter Butters in place of nilla wafers! YUM!

Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle

Prep: 35 min., Cook: 20 min., Stand: 30 min., Chill: 2 hr. 
This homemade pudding is divine, economical, and uses on-hand ingredients. The pudding has thickened enough when a distinct trail is left in the mixture when you stir with a spoon. The cookies will soften the longer the dessert chills.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Source: Southern Living, February 2009

3 cups milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 medium-size ripe bananas
1 (1-lb.) package peanut butter sandwich cookies
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
Garnishes: peanut butter sandwich cookies, dried banana chips, fresh mint sprigs

1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice. Place saucepan in ice, and let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly chilled.

3. Meanwhile, cut bananas into 1/4-inch slices. Break cookies into thirds.

4. Spoon half of pudding mixture into a 3-qt. bowl or pitcher. Top with bananas and cookies. Spoon remaining pudding mixture over bananas and cookies. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Shortcut Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle: Omit eggs, sugar, flour, and butter. Substitute thawed extra creamy whipped topping for sweetened whipped cream. Reduce vanilla to 1 tsp. Place 3 cups milk and vanilla in large bowl; add 2 (3.4-oz.) packages vanilla instant pudding mix. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until thickened; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4.

Do you like my new outfit?!

I just gave myself a facelift!! If you read from a blog reading service (google reader, etc), you might not have noticed this. I need to know, is it too busy? Does it make your eyes go buggy? Or do you like it? Does it make me look fat? Or is the green slimming on me?! ;)

Seriously though, we've been on the road for what seems like weeks between weddings and the baby's 1st birthday (ACK!) so I haven't had much time to devote to cooking or menu planning, but next week, I'm back at it! So look for a few new ones from me!

Happy/messy cooking :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

(48) Mixed Fajitas with Peppers and Onions

We wanted to make fajitas for our 4th of July/1st birthday party soiree. I didn't follow this recipe to a T because we were cooking ahead of time and for a large crowd. But we did use the marinade and may I say YUM!!! I did both chicken breast and steak. The steak was a little tough, but I think that was because it wasn't a great piece of meat, not because of the marinade.

We marinated the meat overnight. There were a few bags of chicken that soaked for 48 hours. They were fine too. The chicken was super moist and very flavorful! I have been eating the leftover meat as a taco salad and there are some chicken quesadillas in my future too!

Mixed Fajitas with Peppers and Onions

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, May 1999
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 tortilla, 2 ounces meat, 1/2 cup onion mixture, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 2 teaspoons cilantro)

1 1/4 pounds flank steak
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
2/3 cup beer
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breast
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 large onions)
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
2 cups green bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
12 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups diced seeded tomato (about 1 large)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Trim fat from steak, and score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak.

Combine juice and next 7 ingredients (juice through garlic) in a small bowl. Divide marinade equally between 2 large zip-top plastic bags, adding steak to 1 bag and chicken to the other. Seal bags, and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight, turning bags occasionally. Remove steak and chicken from bags, discarding marinade.

Prepare grill or broiler.

Place steak on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into thin slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 10 minutes or until onion mixture begins to brown.

Warm tortillas according to package directions.

Spoon steak or chicken, onion mixture, tomato, and cilantro down center of each tortilla; roll up.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 378 (30% from fat), Fat: 12.4g (sat 3.5g,mono 5.3g,poly 2.3g), Protein: 26.8g, Carbohydrate: 38.7g, Fiber: 3.3g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Iron: 4.1mg, Sodium: 444mg, Calcium: 97mg

(47) Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies

Don't you love the name?! :) I adore The Pioneer Woman. Please tell me that you read her blog. It's funny, educational, and YUMMY!!! I saw these Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos the other day and I just knew that I had to try them. I made them for July 4th. They barely made it to the table, everyone was grabbing and gobbling. I made what I thought was a ton of them and it wasn't enough. Next time I'll make even more! They're VERY easy and SUPER GOOD!

My changes:
1) I used reduced fat cream cheese (please, lord, don't use fat free!!)
2) My jalapenos were ginormous so I used half a slice of bacon per wrap.
3) I cooked at 350 for 30 minutes then finished with a broil for about a minute or 2.

YUM YUM YUM YUM YUmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I will make this one again and again! Please try them! Here's the printable recipe! Enjoy!