Monday, March 30, 2009

Chicken, Feta, and Pistachio Salad

We loved the flavor combination in this one.

1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar (I used red)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets (about 1 pound total)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled
2 navel oranges (peel and white pith removed), halved and thinly sliced

In a medium skillet, toast pistachios over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper, and set dressing aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium. Sprinkle chicken with coriander; season with salt and pepper. Cook (in batches if necessary), turning once, until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, and thinly slice crosswise.

Add pistachios, lettuce, parsley, and scallions to bowl with dressing, and toss to combine. Divide among serving bowls; top with chicken, feta, and oranges.

Kale Chips

My mother-in-law will be so pleased with this snack! She's a big proponent of Kale's nutritional value. Tracy shared this idea with me. They were easy to make and a tasty after-nap snack for Rooke and I to munch on.

Wash and de-veien the leaves.
Lightly brush both sides with olive oil.
Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bake about 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown around the edges.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Greek Stuffed Peppers

The three of us all enjoyed these! As you can see, I didn't do a great job of getting the peppers out of the crock pot, but they tasted good and went well with chicken marinated in Italian dressing.

4 large bell peppers
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I'll use chickpeas next time - personal preference)
1 cup crumbled feta (4 ounces)
1/2 cup couscous
4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving

Slice a very thin layer from the base of each bell pepper so they sit flat. Slice off tops just below stem. Discard stems; chop tops, and place in a medium bowl. Remove ribs and seeds from peppers.

To bowl, add beans, feta, couscous, scallion whites, garlic, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Stuff peppers with bean mixture; place upright in slow cooker. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours.

Sprinkle peppers with scallion greens; serve with lemon wedges.

To make in the oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In step 2, use a 5-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid; add 1 cup water. Cover; bake until peppers are tender, about 1 hour. Proceed with step 3.

Frozen Cheesecake

I can't take credit for this dessert, although I've made it before and loved it! My sister whipped this up and gave me permission to use her picture since I didn't take one of my own.

1 1/2 finely ground graham cracker crumbs (approx. one package of chocolate or original)
1/3 cup white sugar (optional)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter or margarine until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes. Cool.

1 8oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 can of frozen juice concentrate, any flavor (berry or pink lemonade are good choices)
1 tub Cool Whip
food coloring can be used to enhance the color desired

Blend cream cheese and concentrate together in a blender until smooth.
Pour into bowl and fold in cool whip. Evenly fill crust with mixture.
Cover and freeze for at least one hour or up to one day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

14-Layer Cake

14 layers?! Yes. 14 layers. I'd been wanting to make this cake since I first saw it, so I took advantage of my mother-in-law's Kitchen Aid and being at my in-law's house (AKA, free babysitting!) to try it out. It was so much fun! I'm not going to try and post the recipe. I wouldn't do half as good as where I found it, so just go here. But I'll share some pictures of my 14-layer baking extravaganza!  This would be fun to adapt to a person's age for their birthday cake - turning ten = ten layers!

Dividing the batter among 14 aluminum baking pans.

The finished product before cutting into it.

It worked! And it even tasted pretty good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cajun Chicken Pasta

This was so good. I made it for dinner with Ryan's family and it was a hit! You can find the original recipe here, but I adapted it for 8 and made a few changes. Here's my version:

Serves 8

1 pound linguine pasta
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup butter
4 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
16 fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 green onion, minced
4 cups half & half (2-3 cups would probably be enough)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguini pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl, and toss to coat.
Depending on how much you are making, you may need to use two skillets for the following steps: In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in butter until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add green and red bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and green onions; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat, and stir in half & half. Season the sauce with basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper, and heat through.
In a large bowl, toss linguini with sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mulligatawny Soup

This Indian soup comes from one of my favorite books: The Big Book of Soups & Stews by Maryana Vollstedt. I like to serve it over rice.

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 chopped, peeled turnip
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
shredded coconut for topping

In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm oil and butter. Add carrot and saute for 2 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and apple and saute until tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add curry powder, coriander, cloves, ginger, salt, and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl or cup, mix cornstarch and water. Add to soup and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add chicken. Puree beans with 1 cup stock from soup in a food processor. Add to soup pot and mix well. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and sprindle with coconut.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gnocchi Goodness

This recipe comes from my "Aunt" Pam. She made it for our family several years ago and I loved it! The ingredients are a little pricey, so I don't make it often, but Jessie invited Jaimie and I over to cook together, tripling the recipe and splitting the cost of the ingredients. Brilliant!

1/2 c. chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (2T oil reserved)
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 9 oz total)
1 lb. gnocchi pasta
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1/2 c. canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 c. crumbled gorgonzola cheese (about 2 oz)
1/4 c. chopped prosciutto
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

Heat 1 T oil reserved from the tomatoes in heavy large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and saute until cooked through, about 3 min per side. Transfer chicken to plate and cool; do not clean skillet. Cut chicken into half inch pieces.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 T tomato oil in same skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic; saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, basil, broth, cheese and proscuitto to skillet and bring to boil.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. top with pine nuts and serve.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Falafel with Yogurt Sauce and Pita Chips

This recipe comes from my friend, Jessie. I've picked up lots of new, great recipe ideas from her blog, and have already made this one twice since seeing it!

For the falafel:
2 T olive oil, divided
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. diced onion
3 garlic cloves
1/4 c. packed EACH cilantro and parsley
zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. baking powder
1/3 c. flour
1 egg

Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray and 1 T olive oil and place in oven. Preheat to 375.
Pulse chickpeas, onion, 3 garlic cloves, cilantro, parsley, zest, salt, cumin, pepper flakes, and baking powder in food processor until minced. (I don't have a food processor, so I added the egg and put everything in my Vita Mix) Transfer to bowl and stir in flour and egg. Drop mixture in balls onto hot baking pan and bake 20min. Brush falafels with oil, flip and bake for another 15-20min.

For the yogurt sauce:
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 cup minced cucumber
2 t. lemon juice
1 t. minced garlic
salt and cayenne pepper

Combine yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and 1 t. minced garlic in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Chill until ready to serve.

I like to serve this with pita wedges or chips (how I make my own to follow), sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and hummus.

Baked pita chips:
I buy the cheap, store brand wheat pita bread.
Preheat oven to 350.
Pull the pita apart and cut into fourths or eighths, depending on what size you want your chips to be. Lay in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with whatever seasonings sounds good. Garlic salt with a little pepper is my favorite. Cinnamon and sugar would make a good sweet snack.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Curried Lentils

This one comes from a friend up in Canada. She served it for lunch when we were visiting and I loved it! It's got a good kick.

1 cup lentils (red or green)
3 T butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1” cube root ginger, grated
1 t chili powder
1 t tumeric
½ c plain yogurt
1 t salt (I thought it needed more)
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1-2 green chilies or ¼ t red pepper flakes
1 t ground cumin
2-3 large garlic cloves
½ t garam masala

Wash lentils and drain

Saute onion and ginger about 6-8 minutes in 2 T butter. Stir in chili powder, tumeric, and then lentils. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add 2.5 cups hot water. Bring to boil and reduce to low. Cover and simmer 30-35 minutes (or until lentils are soft)

In small bowl whisk yogurt and salt. Add to lentils. Stir in tomatoes and cook on lowest heat setting.

In small saucepan, melt butter and add chilies and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stir in cumin and garam masala. Remove from heat immediately and add to lentils.

Serve over rice

OR, you can do what my friend, Tracy, suggested and throw everything except the yogurt in the crock pot with two cups of water. Cook on low for six hours and then serve with a dollop of yogurt on top. Yummy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This recipe can be made to serve 8, or freezes well to serve 4 twice! It's another from my Everyday Food magazine and it's delicious. With six cups of whole milk and two kinds of cheese, what's not to like?!

6 Tbsp. butter, plus more for baking dishes
course salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne pasta
1 tsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally (I'll use 3 or 4 next time)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese (I used Monteray Jack)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.

Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To Freeze: Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.

To bake from freezer: Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

I got this recipe from my Everyday Food magazine that my thoughtful sister gave me a subscription for this Christmas. I love it! And I love these muffins, too!

1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas (about 1 pound)
1/3 cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork (you should have 3/4 cup); stir in milk and vanilla.

With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in frozen blueberries.

Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer muffins to a rack to cool 10 minutes more.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Meadow Muffins

My son gobbles these up! Don't judge them by the way they look. They aren't called "meadow" muffins for nothing!

1 2/3 C flour
2/3 C whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C shortening (I use 1/4 cup butter)
1 ¼ C buttermilk
¾ C mashed sweet potatoes (I use 1 heaping cup)
1/3 C firmly packed br. Sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a large baking sheet.
In large bowl, stir together first 7 ingredients.
Cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
In a medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients until sugar is dissolved.
Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients until mixture forms a soft dough.
Drop 12 heaping soupspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden on top. (Make sure to check at 20 min.)
Cool 15 minutes on rack before serving.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Braised Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

Having lived in China for two years, Ryan and I love Asian food - and this one is a keeper! The prep was a little long, but I worked on it throughout the day and then it was a sinch to throw together.

Serves 4

1 lb. Chinese-style egg noddles
1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into very thin stips about 1 1/2 inches long
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
4 cups finely shredded both white and red cabbage
8 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Chinese black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper

In large pot, bring water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil. Add the noodles. Stir and cook for just one minute. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain and set aside.

Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the garlic and mushrooms and toss and stir until beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and toss with the mushrooms until the chicken is opaque, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Raise the heat to high and add 1 Tablespoon oil. Add the carrot and cabbage and toss and stir until beginning to wilt. Add the green onions and toss and stir for just 10 seconds. Remove from heat and add the chicken mixture.

Place the wok over medium-high heat and add the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the noodles and toss to coat evenly. Cook until the liquid is completely reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken mixture and toss until well combined.

Divide among individual plates and serve immediately.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...