Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Parmesan Fingers Over Garlic Spaghetti

for chicken fingers:
2 pounds chicken breasts cut into strips
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons olive oil

for the marinara sauce:
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 4 oz can tomato paste
2 Tablespoons water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

for garlic spaghetti:
1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water from the pot
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons EVOO
6-8 cloves minced garlic
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. For chicken fingers: mix together flour, salt, and pepper on a small plate. In a small bowl wisk together eggs and water. In a second bowl mix together breadcrumbs, parmesean and seasonings.
2. Roll chicken breast in flour mixture, coat with egg mixture, and then roll in breadcrumb mixture.
3. Cook in a large skillet with 3 Tablespoons olive oil for about 5 minutes each side (over medium high heat).
4. For sauce combine all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on low for about 30 minutes, or let it simmer for up to 6 hours. Stir occasionally and add a teaspoon of water if it gets too thick.
5. For spaghetti: Heat butter over medium heat, add garlic and seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes. Add a few splashes of reserved cooking water and bring to a slow boil. Let boil about 3 minutes. Add spaghetti and combine well, and heat thoroughly. Sometimes extra cooking water is needed--you don't want sauce too soupy but you do want it to coat all the noodles.

Apple Feta Salad

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5 cups torn romaine
5 cups torn red leaf lettuce
1 medium red apple, chopped
1 medium green apple, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the walnuts; sprinkle with sugar and pepper. Stir until well coated. Spread onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl,combine the romaine, red lettuce, apples and feta cheese; set aside.
3. In a blender, combine the dressing ingredients; cover and process until blended. Drizzle over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with sugared walnuts.

Lemony Hummus--DELICIOUS!

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Process all in a food processor. Delicious!

Loaded Tostadas

splash of olive oil
corn tortillas
taco seasoning
ground beef
black beans
refried beans
shredded cheese
sour cream

1. Brown hamburger with the onion, add taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions.
2. Heat oil in a skillet and brown tortillas about 20 seconds on each side.
3. Drain on a paper towel and top with favorite toppings!
Tip, spread the beans on the tortillas before adding the meat!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baked Chicken Teriyaki

Another find from last week's I'm an Organizing Junkie's menu! This one looks like it is bound to be a winner with the husband!

1 Tablespoon corn starch
1 Tablespoon cold water
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs

1. In a small sauce pan combine the corn starch, water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Let it simmer over low heat stirring frequently until sauce thickens and bubbles.
2. Preheat oven to 425.
3. Line a baking pan with foil (to prevent a sticky mess to clean up later!) Place chicken in baking pan and brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over and brush other side.
4. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and turn chicken over and bake for another 30 minutes. Brush with sauce occasionally throughout cooking.

Also great with salmon apparently! Cook at 375 for less time than the chicken and til fish is flaky.

Pesto Chicken Packets with whole wheat penne

I got this recipe from last week's I'm an Organizing Junkie's post and it looks delicious!

4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 whole zucchinis sliced into half moon slices
2 whole shallots or small onions
4 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 cup pesto
2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes for garnish

1. In a foil packet layer 1 tablespoon pesto, 1 chicken breast, 4-5 shallot slices, 6-8 zucchini slices, and top with 3 tablespoons of pesto.
2. Seal packets at the edges and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Top with copped tomatoes for garnish. (I am guessing you serve the packet over the pasta, but that wasn't clear from the recipe!)

Alethia's Chocolate Chip Muffins

What's great about these muffins is that they only have 1/4 cup sugar in them yet still taste delicious!

1 3/4 cup flour (use half white and half whole wheat flour for a bit of a healthier option)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
chocolate chips

1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
2. In a separate bowl beat 1 egg and then add the milk and oil.
3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well.
4. Mix in chocolate chips until it "looks yummy" (Alethia's directions!)
5. GREASE MUFFIN TIN! (I did not do this the first time, bad news!)
6. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Blueberry Muffin variation:
Instead of chocolate chips, add 1 cup of fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries and 2 extra tablespoons of sugar and fold into the batter. You can also add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for an optional zest!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Darren's Chili--that I adapted :)

1 red pepper
1/2 onion
1 green pepper
1 can chili beans--lightly drained
1 can kidney beans--with juice
1 can pinto beans--lightly drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 fresh roma tomato--diced
1 small can tomato paste
1 pound ground beef
3 garlic cloves (I used minced garlic)
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano

1. Saute red pepper, green pepper and onion until tender.
2. Add to crock pot with all ingredients except meat.
3. Brown meat and garlic together.
4. Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook for several hours.

Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium zucchini--peeled and diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium potato, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1 can kidney beans
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cooked pasta

1. Heat olive oil in a 12 qt pot. Add onions and garlic, cook 2 minutes, set aside.
2. Place all raw and frozen veggies in a microwavable safe dish, add 1/2 cup broth and cover with saran wrap. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.
3. Put all remaining ingredients except pasta in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down to a simmer, simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add pasta and heat for 2 more minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Layered Shrimp Spread

Snack for date night tonight :)

8 oz. fat free cream cheese, softene
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayo
1 c. seafood cocktail sauce
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 c. finely chopped tomatoes
2 cans (4 1/2 oz. each) tiny shrimp (rinse and drain)

Beat cream cheese, sour cream and mayo until smooth. Spread on a large round serving platter. Cover with seafood sauce. Sprinkle with cheese, shrimp, onion and tomatoes. Cover and chill. Serve with crackers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mini Ham and Egg Casseroles

I made these this weekend when my in laws were here, and they were a big hit! They saved and reheated well, so I'm mixing up another batch to have on hand this week for breakfasts!

  • 1/4 baguette, cut into small cubes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut crosswise into 12 slices
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 scallions, white and green portions thinly sliced and separated
  • Pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and fill each cup halfway with bread cubes. Top each with a cream cheese slice.

  2. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the ham, scallion whites and a pinch of pepper. Cook, stirring, until the scallions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and bring just to a simmer before removing from the heat.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and thyme, then whisk in the warm half-and-half mixture. Fill the muffin cups with the egg mixture and bake until puffed and golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a cooling rack.

Ranch Chicken

6 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 cup low fat Ranch Dressing
½ cups Breadcrumbs
½ cups Cornmeal
¼ cups Parmesan Cheese
½ teaspoons Garlic Salt

Preheat oven at 425° F.
On a large plate mix together breadcrumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, cajun seasoning and garlic salt, set aside. Pour ranch dressing into a bowl and dip each chicken thigh into the dressing and then into the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and repeat until you have all of the chicken thighs on the cookie sheet. Place in 425° F oven and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Yummy Yammy Fries

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
4 x medium sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Combine all spices: grated parmesan cheese, ground cumin, chili powder, paprika chipotle chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder, in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Wash potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Do not peel them.
Slice each potato into french-fry-like wedges (about 10 fries per potato, depending on the size of the potato). Toss fries in a large bowl with olive oil until well-coated, then toss with spice blend.

3. Spread fries evenly on a non-stick baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn fries over and bake an additional 7 minutes, or until tender. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fries. Make sure you don’t over-bake them, or they’ll be soggy.

Crock Pot Thai Chicken

-2 to 3 lbs. chicken drumsticks or thighs**
-1 large red bell pepper, seeded
-1 large onion, coarsely chopped
-1/2 cup chicken broth
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1 Tbsp. ground cumin
-3 large cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
-1 tsp. salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
-2 Tbsp. corn starch
-2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
-1 Tbsp. soy sauce
-1/4 cup lime juice
-1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-3 green onions, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts (or omit this and use chunky peanut butter)

Deskin the chicken and place into the slowcooker with the bell pepper strips and onion. Mix the soy sauce and chicken broth in a measuring cup and pour over chicken. Add cumin, garlic, chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

Whisk together the cornstarch, peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and the lime juice. Add cup of the cooking juices from the crock. Mix carefully until smooth. Stir back into the crockpost to blend well, but without breaking up the meat.

Cover again, and cook for another 20 - 30 minutes until sauce is well thickened. Garnish with green onions, cilantro and peanuts. Serve with rice.

**You can also use 6 - 8 boneless chicken breasts cut into strips. If using this option cook on low for 4 - 4 1/2 hours. And then bump up the heat to high to cook the sauce.
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