Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dijon Mustard Chicken Fricassee

Another recipe found in the Cooking Light magazine. A note - factor at least eight hours into your prep time for the chicken to marinate in the herb-mustard mixture. We only had two chicken breasts, so everything was cut in half. Here is the full recipe. Also, we used dried thyme instead of fresh since that's all we had on hand. This was really yummy!

1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Combine mustard, 1/2 tablespoon parsley, 3/4 teaspoon thyme, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; toss well to coat. Chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion to pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon parsley and remaining thyme. Return chicken to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon. Keep warm. Cook sauce, uncovered, over medium heat 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Pour sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Gingery Shrimp and Couscous

So I'm an idiot and erased the pictures from my camera before I was able to download them, so all I have is the picture from the website. They were such pretty pictures too! lol, oh well. Moving on...if you like ginger, this is a must try recipe! We didn't have the snow peas that it called for, but we used some cut-up frozen asparagus instead. It was delish!

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
1 cup white wine
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces snow peas, cut in half on the diagonal - we used asparagus instead
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped - we left this out
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 10-ounce box (1 1/2 cups) couscous

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Nestle the shrimp in the onions and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to the package directions. Divide the couscous among individual bowls and spoon the shrimp and snow peas over the top.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

I had the urge to bake yesterday and remembered this recipe that I clipped from my Better Homes and Gardens magazine. These were really good. I didn't have wheat germ, so I just left that out and we don't really like nuts in our cookies, so I left that out too.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour. Stir in rolled oats, flax seed meal, wheat germ, chocolate, cranberries, and walnuts (dough will be a little crumbly).

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

I found this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine and it was the perfect afternoon snack today, along with some guacamole.

1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
Dash of crushed red pepper
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of ground red pepper

Place garlic in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeño pepper, and crushed red pepper; process until smooth. Spoon bean mixture into a medium bowl, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with ground red pepper.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Poached Salmon Salad w/Beets

So I found this recipe in my Real Simple magazine and it seemed real simple to it? OK, moving on...Jim made this tonight while I was out "running" and when I came home the house stunk SO BAD like vinegar! So of course I immediately thought that dinner was going to be horrible. Boy was I wrong! There are some really strong flavors going on in this dish but it was so good! Our dressing was a little strong but it might have had something to do with the fact that the horseradish we used was JUST opened and that it says extra strong or something on the side of it. Yeah, Jim didn't notice that when he bought least that's what he says. Oh and we couldn't find water cress so we just used spinach instead. We also used the rest of the salmon fillet from the other day. Try this recipe!

1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed
kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. prepared horseradish
2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed (about 6 cups) - we used spinach
3 medium beets, peeled and sliced paper-thin - we used canned sliced beets
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

Place the salmon in a large skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/4 cup of the rice vinegar and water to reach halfway up the salmon. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the salmon is opaque and beginning to flake, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Using a fork, flake the salmon into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, horseradish, the remaining 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In individual bowls, combine the spinach, salmon, and beets. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the dill.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ancho Grilled Salmon w/Sweet Potatoes

So this is an old recipe I clipped from a Better Homes and Garden magazine, who knows how long ago, so there's no link to it. But, it was really good and a fairly quick meal to put together. We bought a whole salmon fillet and just cut off what we wanted to use for this recipe. So in reality, we didn't have the 4 pieces it was asking for. It turned out fine though.

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground ancho chili pepper or chili powder - we used the ground ancho chili pepper
4 5-to 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets

Preheat broiler. Scrub potatoes. Halve lengthwise; cut in 1/4-inch slices. Place on greased rack of unheated broiler pan. In bowl, combine sugar, salt, cumin and chili pepper. Coat potatoes with cooking spray (or we used olive oil) and sprinkle both sides with half the spice mixture. Broil 4 inches from the heat 10 minutes (ours took about 13 minutes) or until tender; turn once midway through cooking.

Meanwhile, rinse salmon; pat dry. Sprinkle with remaining spice. In skillet, cook fish in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork; turn once midway through cooking.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grilled liver sausage sandwich

Jim was so proud of his creation and I'll give that to him since it was quite yummy...and I hate mushrooms! Another thing about Jim is that he loves his mustards. I swear, every other week he comes home with some new mustard that he just had to try. Well this particular one is called Kozlik's Canadian Sweet & Smokey mustard.

sliced mushrooms and onions, sauteed
2 slices of pumpernickel bread
a few slices of smoked liver sausage
1-2 slices of Colby cheese
sweet & smokey mustard

First Jim sauteed up a little sliced mushrooms and onions. Then he assembled the sandwich and grilled it up like you would a grilled cheese. Not rocket science here, but I definitely thought the sandwich was blog-worthy :o)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I was in the mood for baking and had some pretty sad looking, really ripe bananas hanging out in my kitchen, so something with banana in it was what I was going to make! I found this recipe and thought it would be perfect. A little banana, a little chocolate, what could be bad about that? Mine turned out a little darker than I would have liked, so I probably didn't need the full hour of baking time, but it's still delicious! The only slight changes I made was that I used half white flour and half whole wheat flour, and I only used 2 bananas instead of three, since that was all I had.

1-3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 heaping c. chocolate chips
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 large extra ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan. In medium bowl, combine all flour but 2 Tbsp, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix. Whisk to combine and set aside. In small bowl, combine remaining flour and chocolate chips, tossing well to combine and set aside. In bowl of stand mixer, combine shortening and sugar. Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Add milk and vanilla, then banana to mixture and combine well. With mixer on low, add flour mixture until just combined then fold in chocolate chips. Spread into loaf pan, tap to remove air pockets, and place in oven to bake. Bake loaf in oven for 1hr or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sausage and Pasta Bake II

This recipe is pretty much the same one as I made before, but this time I attempted making my own sort of Alfredo sauce to go along with I added in some asparagus.

1 bunch of roasted asparagus cut into bite size pieces
1 package hot Italian turkey sausage - of course regular Italian sausage will work as well
1 pound pasta of your choice
1-2 cups fresh spinach

3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups cheese (we used 8 oz of cream cheese and the rest Parmesan cheese)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. In the meantime, heat up a skillet, remove the casings from the sausage and add it to the skillet. Cook the sausage until there is no more pink.

For the sauce, add the butter and flour to a sauce pan and whisk on low heat until the mixture just starts to turn a light brown color. Add in the milk and whisk constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. (In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box). Once it thickens a little, add in the cheeses, salt, garlic powder and black pepper and whisk to combine.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot adding the spinach so it begins to wilt. Also add in the roasted asparagus. Once the sausage is cooked, add it to the pot with the pasta, spinach and asparagus. Stir in the Alfredo sauce. Transfer the mixture to a 13x9 baking dish and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Add parsley for garnish if you'd like. Enjoy!

Chicken Couscous Pita

This meal was quick and easy and utilized some leftover couscous we had in the fridge. I didn't really follow any recipe, but this is what I threw together.

First we marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Newman's Own Lighten Up Light Lime Vinaigrette and cooked them in the oven. Then I took the leftover plain couscous, heated it up in a pan with some chili powder, cumin and black beans.

I took a pita, cut it in half and split it open. I smeared a little sour cream in there, added the couscous mixture, some sliced chicken, avocado, spinach and cheese. Quick, easy and tasty!