Garlic Shrimp Bake


I save a lot of shrimp recipes, but I realized I don’t often MAKE shrimp dishes.  Likely due to the cost of fresh shrimp, which can be pretty high.  I am not opposed to cooking with frozen shrimp, but it’s not my preference.  It’s just too watery, I hate thawing it, and they don’t quite live up to their fresher cousins.  Anyway, shrimp is something I really enjoy when I do get a chance to make it and this dish is no exception.

It has SO much flavor it’s unbelievable, especially considering how simple it really is.  Everything goes into one dish and gets thrown into the oven.  Of course you will want to make some bread to go along and sop up that amazing sauce in the bottom of the pan.  I also chose to whip up some orzo (which I flavored with a quick gremolata) because as usual my husband wouldn’t have called it dinner without some form of starch.  They all went very nicely together.

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The shrimp has such a freshness to it from the lemon, garlic and parsley.  Then you get that heat from the red pepper flakes that really kicks it up a notch, while still having a sweetness to it as well.  The tomatoes become little jewels that soak up that liquid in the bottom and they literally burst in your mouth.

Though the cost of shrimp often leaves me a bit shocked, I would gladly pay it a little more often to enjoy such fantastic dishes as this.  This dish would also be a great dinner party addition, perhaps justifying the cost even a bit more.  If that wasn’t enough to convince you, I would even go so far as to say it’s a pretty healthy dish, with most of the fat coming from the olive oil which is said to be good for you anyway.  So with those great excuses, you have no reason NOT to go out and pick up some nice shrimp and treat yourself to this dish!

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Garlic Shrimp Bake

Ingredients :

  • 1.25 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (if you are making this for two as we did you could easily get away with a lb and not have such a crowded pan)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 T. lemon juice (I actually just used the juice of one lemon and the zest as well)
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • splash of white wine (about 2 tablespoons or so)
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (I used one roma tomato)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Arrange all the ingredients except the parsley in an oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great for this).  Bake for 10 minutes, or until shrimp is done (depending on the size of shrimp you buy).
  3. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve along side some bread or pasta.

Recipe from Nutritious Eats

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Buffalo Chicken Waffle Fries


Just when I think there can’t possibly be another way to enjoy buffalo chicken I come across another!  And if you are a lover of all things buffalo chicken like me, you are NOT going to want to miss out on this one!  Pure genius is what this is.  All the goodness of buffalo chicken on a waffle fry, covered in cheese and drizzled with ranch and chives…. HECK YEAH!

Honestly these are fantastic as is, but my husband wanted me to mention that they may be even better if the fries had been a bit crispier.  Though I cooked the fries to a proper doneness before topping them with all the goodies they did get a bit soft again from the moisture of the chicken and having to sit there for a while as I photographed them.  I wasn’t bothered at all by the softness of the potato, but if you prefer a crispier fry just make sure you not only push the initial baking time as far as you can without burning them, and also serve them immediately for best results.

These are substantial enough to eat as a meal, perhaps with a side salad as we did.  I am going to say they are fairly low FODMAP as well minus the ranch (though I only used a little).  There may be some ingredients in the wing sauce that aren’t low FODMAP, I really didn’t look that far into it since I am being so casual with the diet right now, but I didn’t have any troubles after eating this meal so unless you are really sensitive to things I am sure it’s ok.  These are something you are going to want to make over and over again, and would be a great thing to serve at your football parties this fall!

I apologize in advance, the picture isn’t going to be much to look at…. by the time they were done I was hungry as was my husband and then in the middle of taking pictures I had a terrible hypoglycemic attack and I had to really rush through.  They may look like a mess on the plate, but they look better in person lol, and they taste WAY better than they look.

 

Buffalo Chicken Waffle Fries

Ingredients :

  • enough waffle fries to make a single layer on a sheet pan (I used probably 3/4 of a bag)
  • 1 cup roasted chicken, shredded (rotisserie chicken works great for this)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 handful grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 handful grated mozzarella cheese
  • ranch for drizzling (see note below)
  • chives

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or according to the package of your waffle fries).
  2. Spread fries in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake about 20 minutes, or as directed on the package.
  3. While fries are baking, add the hot sauce and butter to a medium skillet and cook over low heat until the butter has melted. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Taste and add more hot sauce if desired.
  4. When fries are finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and drop spoonfuls of the chicken over the fries. Top with both cheeses. Return to the oven for five minutes.
    Remove from the oven and drizzle with ranch dressing and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

** Note : I use lite ranch, but it’s still pretty thick out of the bottle.  What I like to do is mix it with a bit of water to thin it out which not only makes it spread more easily and stretches it out, but it doesn’t lessen the flavor at all and saves you calories since you don’t need as much to cover everything.

Recipe from Buns In My Oven

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Roasted Garlic Chicken & Herb White Pizza


There is nothing better than the smell of roasting garlic!  Well maybe coffee, but as far as savory goes garlic is where it’s at!  It’s so simple to do, and roasted garlic makes so many dishes better.  I like it slathered on bread with butter and toasted, in sauces, or even as whole cloves in/on a dish.  There is a pizza from The Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits called Satisfaction that uses whole roasted garlic cloves on top and I just LOVE it!  If you haven’t tried that one, do so next time you are there.

Ok, now to tonight’s pizza.  It was good, but both my husband and I kind of felt like it was lacking in flavor.  I wanted to stay true to the recipe and give it a shot, but I think if I made it again I would go with my gut and throw some whole cloves on it as well.  I also think something like some olives, or maybe kalamata olives would go a long way to kick up the flavor a bit.  I also think I would throw a little Provolone or maybe Asiago on it as well to just give it more complexity of flavor.  It is a good starting point though for sure.

For the pizza dough you could certainly use store bought, either already prepared or in dough form.  If you have the time though (and you could even make this ahead of time, freeze it, and pull it out the morning you want to use it) I strongly suggest making your own, and more specifically Emeril’s recipe which I shared here for the Stromboli recipe.  Seriously great dough, and awesome to work with.

Roasted Garlic Chicken & Herb White Pizza

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 8 cloves roasted garlic, minced (make ahead)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cups Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 T. fresh parsley, chopped

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a siplat liner, or grease and sprinkle with cornmeal.  (I use a pizza stone, and with the dough recipe I shared I have found no need for corn meal on the bottom).
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Saute roasted garlic for 1 minute.
  3. Add flour, and mix until well blended. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk and half and half. Mix in the pepper.
  5. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  6. Spread dough into roughly a 12 inch circle on prepared baking sheet. Spread white cause over the dough. Top with chicken, red onions and cheese.
  7. Bake for 17 minutes, or until the crust is golden, and the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with herbs. Cut and serve immediately.

Recipe from Dinners Dishes & Desserts

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Orzo Chicken Asiago


There are times when the simplest of recipes to prepare end up being some of the best to eat, and this is one of those times.  I could see this becoming a regular in anybody’s household.  It’s far within most people’s comfort zones, simple to make, and has everything most people look for in a meal.  You have your starch, your protein, your dairy, and your veggies all in one colorful dish!

While trying to get my husband’s opinion on the dish for this blog, as I often try to do because I feel like he is a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy and therefore harder to please when it comes to trying new things, I was given a rating of 8 out of 10.  When I asked him to elaborate on that, he simply said “the tomatoes weren’t terrible”.  Not exactly helpful if you ask me… I mentioned such to him and that my readers are not going to want to try a dish that is described as being “not terrible”.  He said that if someone like himself, who hates tomatoes, would say the dish was an 8 and that he liked it in spite of the tomatoes that it must be good.  So there you have it… the tomatoes aren’t terrible.

I, on the other hand, and I might add I also don’t like large pieces of tomato, thought they were not only “not terrible” but that they were a key ingredient in the dish, and part of what makes it so fantastic.  All the freshness added by the tomatoes, onions, peas, and parsley give this a light feeling not typical of most pasta dishes. This is also true because of the orzo, which is a small pasta, but seems a lot like rice in shape and texture.  The orzo is perfect for this because it gives it a risotto feel and leave it so creamy in texture with the Asiago.  The only change I made to this recipe was to pre-cook my chicken.  I did this mostly because it had been in my fridge for a few too many days and I was nervous to leave it in there a couple more until I was ready to cook it.  As often happens, I took my meat out with specific dates in mind, but plans changed, and things got pushed back a couple days.  Rather than waste the meat I just cooked the chicken with a little salt and pepper in the skillet and put it back in the fridge.  I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about boiling the chicken for so little time in this recipe (and especially now because my orzo only took 9 minutes to cook) from a raw state, and it being done properly.  So even when I make this next… and there will be a next time…. I will pre-cook the chicken as I did this time.  For the wine I again used the Moscato I had opened the night before and it worked very well for this….. and was also quite enjoyed straight from the bottle as I was cooking… shhh!  Good thing I was only cooking for my husband and I lol.

Anyway, I highly recommend EVERYONE try this recipe.

 

Orzo Chicken Asiago

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces (see above, I pre-cooked mine)
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked Orzo
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh grated Asiago cheese
  • parsley

Directions :

  1. Do your prep work ahead of time so you can keep your attention on the pasta, and stirring it.  You also don’t want to over cook your pasta into mush!
  2. In a dutch oven combine broth and white wine.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and orzo.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 9-12 minutes or until pasta is done, but still a bit al dente.  Mine took about 9 minutes.  Stir frequently the entire time.  About halfway through cook time add your dry herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. In the last minute add the tomatoes and green onions. 
  4. Remove from heat, add in the frozen peas and stir around to help cook the pasta.  Add in your cheese and parsley and serve.

Recipe from citronlimette

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Published in: on March 9, 2013 at 9:19 am  Comments (1)  
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Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir-fry


This is a fabulously simple dish, ready in under 20 minutes.  It would be just as good for a special occasion as a quick weeknight meal and has a lot of flavor despite the seemingly simple ingredient list.  I had to really fight the urge not to throw a little something extra in this, and really give it a chance, but I am glad I didn’t.  The peas give it that freshness, the sauce gives it the heat and sweetness, the nuts give it that crunch and have a great buttery texture that just goes so well with the shrimp, and of course the lime just ties it all together and gives it that little something extra.  I almost didn’t even make this because it seemed SO simple, and I wasn’t sure if Jeff would be ok with it.

I accidentally grabbed cooked shrimp when I was at the store, but it was ok since all the flavor is in the sauce and I didn’t have to worry about getting it into the shrimp since it coats everything.  I didn’t have Jasmine rice on hand so went with some boil in a bag brown rice and I actually think it went perfectly with this.  For the chili sauce I had some garlic chili thai sauce already opened so I used that.  My only issue with this recipe was when it was time to photograph it…. it’s not exactly the prettiest dish to look at, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in taste!  You won’t regret trying this one.

Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir-fry

Serves : 2         Time to make : less than 20 minutes!

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 C. sweet chili sauce
  • 1 1/4 C. snow peas
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 C. cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 C. jasmine rice, uncooked (or another quick cooking variety)

Directions :

  1. In a medium sized pot cook rice according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over moderate heat.  Cook garlic in oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add shrimp and saute until pink and cooked through.  Remove from pan.
  3. While shrimp is cooking, trim ends off snow peas and cut into thirds diagonally.
  4. Add sesame oil to the pan and saute snow peas until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Return the shrimp to the pan and add the sweet chili sauce, cook until  heated through.  Add more chili sauce if necessary.
  6. Serve over rice and top each plate with chopped cashews and a fresh lime cut into wedges.

Recipe from the clever carrot

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Published in: on February 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm  Comments (3)  
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Buffalo Fried Goat Cheese


I only need one word to describe these…. AMAZING!  I’ve been so good with my diet lately that I felt it was time to have a bit of indulgence to stay motivated.  I had come across these the other day while browsing recipes and knew I had to try them.  In our house we don’t often have goat cheese because my husband claims he is allergic…. though I am not sure if I believe him or if this is one of those allergies that comes around out of convenience for not wanting to eat a specific food.  I have only had it a handful of times, and always enjoyed it, but one time stands out in my mind as noteworthy and that was the time in Tahiti that I had it deep fried…. OMG!  I have to say these are as good if not better than those were with the addition of the buffalo sauce.  Each gorgeous ball is packed with perfect balance of tang, creaminess, crunch, and heat!

I have a pretty sketchy track record when it comes to breading and frying things…. more often than not I lose all my breading in the pan.  It usually ends up fine, at least as far as taste, but darn it if it doesn’t look terrible!  This is the most successful I have ever been with breading and it was so easy.  I think the cheese is the perfect soft/sticky for the breading to stick, and by double breading it allowed for a nice thick coating.  Because you are frying soft cheese I would recommend getting your oil fairly hot before you start since this is not something you want to cook for very long or you will get cheese escaping out the sides.  I went with medium-high heat, and once I put them in (working with only three at a time so I could really watch them closely) I only needed to fry them for maybe a minute total before they were nice and brown.  I just carefully rolled them around with a slotted spoon so that they cooked evenly and avoided spilling out the sides from staying on one side too long.  My advice is just to watch very closely.  Another bit of advice…. the original recipe which I halved called for me to use a cup of panko crumbs for my breading and I probably used less than half of that which then leaves the rest wasted.  I understand wanting enough to be able to roll them around in, but if you would prefer not to waste so much start with half of it and see how much you can coat before adding the rest to your dish.

These would be a fantastic appetizer to serve for any party, but I am thinking especially for the superbowl.  They really are easy to make, and once you get them all prepped, cook in very little time at all.  I think a fresh veggie tray with ranch would be the perfect accompanying appetizer for these, and with that you also have the perfect vegetarian spread as long as they are ok with the eggs anyway.

Buffalo Fried Goat Cheese

Makes : about 12                        Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 4 oz. log of soft goat cheese
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (see note above)
  • 3 cups vegetable oil, for frying (I didn’t measure, but just put about a half inch in the bottom of my skillet and I used canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce

Directions :

  1. Cut off 1/2 inch slices from your goat cheese log and roll them into balls. 
  2. Roll cheese ball into egg mixture, taking care to evenly coat the entire thing before then rolling into a dish of the panko very gently pressing into the crumbs to help them stick.  Roll in egg mixture again carefully and then into the crumbs a second time.  Repeat with all the cheese balls before you start frying.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat, and test before you start frying your cheese balls by dropping in a piece of breading.  It should float and bubble.  Carefully drop a few balls into the pan and gently roll them around with a spoon for a short time (maybe a minute or so depending on how hot your oil was) until they are a nice even golden brown.  Read above for a more detailed tip on this.
  4. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
  5. Toss your fried cheese balls in the wings sauce gently and serve warm on a bed of greens.

Recipe from a Bitter Sweet Wife

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Cheddar Mac & Ham Casserole


If that doesn’t scream comfort food I don’t know what does!  Chances are you already have to make Mac and Cheese at least once a week for your little ones, but if you have to eat it I say you should at least enjoy it.  I am not a fan of Mac and Cheese by itself, but I LOVE it like this.  Most shocking thing of all though is how low calorie this recipe is…. relative to how much you can eat at least!  I am going to make myself sound like a pig, but when I make this I portion it into three servings.  So for an entire third of a casserole it’s only about 600 calories!  That’s a heaping plate full of cheesey, yummy goodness!

I think I came across this recipe on a site called Key Ingredient, which for those that aren’t familiar, is a recipe sharing site that goes along with the Demy (an electronic recipe reader).  The only thing I have changed from the original recipe was to pre-cook the ham a bit because I don’t care for the fatty chewy parts and that eliminates the issue.  I have tried this with an alfredo type Mac and Cheese and it was also VERY good, but normally I stick to the four cheese like it calls for.  When I am not counting calories I eyeball the ham and cheese and probably end up with more than it calls for, but it is great either way.  I also often put a little more peas than it calls for, but I figure that is actually healthier.  As for the ham… it calls for a half lb, but every time I go to the store and ask the deli counter for half a lb cut thick (sometimes I buy a ham steak from the meat section too) they end up giving me closer to 3/4-1 lb and I just throw it all in if I am not worried about the extra calories that day.

Anyway, I definitely recommend this one, and think it will easily become a regular in your dinner rotation.

Cheddar Mac & Ham Casserole

Serves : 3-4                       Time to make : 25 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1 (14 oz) box of 4 cheese Deluxe Mac & Cheese
  • 1/2 lb Ham, cubed
  • 1 C. frozen peas (I use more like 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk (or whatever you have)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Also start a large pot of water to boiling.
  2. Meanwhile cook the ham in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 4 minutes.  I find this not only eliminates the chewy parts of the ham, but it just adds more depth to the flavor so I suggest you don’t skip this step.  I usually add just a tad bit of water (like a T.) towards the end of the cook time to the skillet to help get up some of the browned bits in the pan and keep it moist and flavorful.  Set aside.
  3. Once water is boiling add your pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes.  Drain pasta then add the cheese packet and stir until well combined. 
  4. Next add the milk, peas, and ham.
  5. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake for 15 minutes.

cheddarmac&hamcasserole

Ultimate Tuna Melt


Let me start by saying I did not name this recipe.  It came from Food.com.  However, I do agree that this is one awesome tuna melt!  The first time I made this recipe was in 2007, and I have made it countless times since.  Not only are they tastey, but they are quite quick and simple to prepare, and low in fat and calories.  These melts make it into our meal rotation often during those times we are trying to lose a bit of weight… such as last night lol.

Over the years I have very slightly altered the recipe to suit our needs and this is what I will share on my blog.  The ingredients are all basically the same, but I may have changed a few amounts and also the method a little to give the best results.  Jeff and I usually each eat 4 of these…. yeah I know it sounds like a lot, but even at that many the calorie total fits well within our daily budgets.  If you can find the 100 calorie english muffins that works best (if you are counting calories anyway), but any type will do just fine.  Likewise, I use the ultra thin cheese for diet reasons, but have used regular slices before as well.  As for the tuna, I use chunk light because I try to avoid Albacore for the mercury levels, however the original recipe did suggest the albacore.

 

Ultimate Tuna Melt

Serves : 2-4               Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 4 (100 calorie, or wheat variety) english muffins, cut in half
  • 2 small cans of tuna (in water), well drained
  • 3/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I usually use one of the small jars of marinated hearts)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (start with the lesser and taste it)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 slices ultra thin provolone

Directions :

  1. Preheat broiler, and arrange muffins on baking sheet.  Spray lightly with any sort of cooking spray and brown slightly.  This happens fairly quickly so keep an eye on it.  Once done set aside while you mix the topping.
  2. In a large bowl combine the tuna, artichokes, onions, lemon juice and zest, seasoning, and oil.  Spoon carefully onto each toasted muffin.  Top with a slice of cheese.
  3. Broil for a couple of minutes, watching closely until cheese has melted and starts to brown.  I find that rotating them helps get them all evenly done.

ultimatetunamelt

BBQ Muffin Cups


These super simple muffin cups came from Food.com, and are what gave me the idea for my Italian Chicken Cups (shared the other day).  They are another great weeknight meal, and though they are not really low in calories or anything the simplicity and low cost help make up for it.  And you can always lower the calories by using ground turkey, low fat cheese, and reduced fat biscuits too.  I have tried versions with corn in them as well, and really enjoyed the addition.  This has become one of our go-to recipes whenever we need to repeat things because of busy schedules and they are SO easy, even Jeff can make them start to finish without messing them up…. which if you know my husband you’d know is no small thing.  If you use the Pilsbury Grands (my preferred biscuit) you’ll get 8 of these, which Jeff and I can eat by ourselves, but I’d say you can get away with 2 per person as long as you have a little side with them.

 

BBQ Muffin Cups

serves : 2-4                 time to make : 25 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 T. onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can flakey biscuits (I use Pilsbury Grands)

Directions :

  1. Brown beef and onions in skillet.  Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drain beef and onions before mixing in the bbq sauce and brown sugar.
  3. Using your hands, stretch the biscuits out to about double the size and fit down into a lightly sprayed muffin pan. 
  4. Fill each cup with the beef and onions mixture then top with some cheese.
  5. Bake about 15 minutes or until muffins are golden and cooked through.

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Italian Chicken Cups


For those out in cyber space following this blog, THANK YOU!  I know I have been a terrible blogger this past year…. well let’s face it, a non-existent one would better describe me…. but I really hope I will find more time this year now that things are more settled here.  We moved a couple times, and life just got busy, but now we are in our new home and I am getting used to our new schedules and finding more time to do the things I love.  Anyway, I guess I haven’t done too bad, considering this year I still had close to 10 thousand views on this blog even though I only made one post lol.  Not bad at all.  Let’s see how many I can get this year.

So for my first post in a very long time… I give you Italian Chicken Cups.  Nothing really complicated to make, but this is one of my own recipes, and I have to admit it’s a great one!  There is so much flavor packed into these adorable little bundles that you won’t believe how easy they are to prepare.  And the presentation is perfect for a dinner party with friends.  I make them as a main course, but I have had suggestions from people that have tried them that they might also do well as an appetizer.

Notes:  I have used various different kinds of biscuits for these, but I prefer the Grands ones by pilsbury.  There are 8 in a package and they are nice, big, and fluffy.  When I make the chicken I just season with salt and pepper, and a bit of Italian seasoning before grilling up on a counter top grill.

Italian Chicken Cups

serves 4-8             time to make : 25-30 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1  large chicken breast, cooked (see note above)
  • 1 roll of refrigerated biscuits (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, diced
  • 2-3 T. roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 T. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2-3 T. shredded parmesan

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray 8 of your 12 muffin cups.
  2. Cut up chicken into small pieces, and combine with olives, artichokes, tomatoes, dressing, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Using your hands stretch the biscuit out, keeping their circular shape until they are about twice the size.  Press into the prepared muffin pan allowing them to cup up out of the top and form a cup.
  4. Spoon filling into cups and bake according to package directions for your biscuits.  Using the Pilsbury Grands it is about 15 minutes I find in my oven.  In the last 5 minutes add the cheese to the tops if you want it to get melty, otherwise you can add it at the end.

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Day 138 : Macaroni Salad


We decided to have a hotdog night so I just needed something to serve with them.  A quick search resulted in this gem of a recipe.  Originally is obviously called for macaroni but I used an organic veggie spiral pasta since that’s what I had on hand and it turned out well that way since the spirals allow all the sauce to stick to the noodle better.  It also called for celery but I didn’t have any and honestly I don’t care for it.  I will list it in the ingredients list though in case someone else does.  If, like me, you choose to leave it out just increase the other three things slightly to make up for it.  I especially like the sauce, and it reminds me of the deviled egg salad sandwiches which I have also made for this blog.

The entire thing came together very quickly and easily and could easily be doubled or tripled as a potluck type thing.  You could even add cubes of cheese or some olives or pretty  much anything else you like to it.

Macaroni Salad

Serves : 4               Time to make : 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 lb macaroni, cooked and rinsed in cold water until completely cooled then drained.
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • 2 T. vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Directions :

  1. Combine the mayo, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  2. Pour over the pasta, and veggies and toss to coat.

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Day 87 : Iced Cinnamon Mocha


Another hectic day so this is going to be brief.  Had pizza for dinner since Jeff was home late and decided a nice iced mocha would be a good after dinner treat, and there’s something very relaxing about the combination of cinnamon and chocolate.  I had just gotten some chocolate marshmallow ice cream from Schwan’s so just used that, but you can use whatever chocolate ice cream you have on hand.  I went a bit light on the sugar in this since I didn’t want an overly sweet drink and found it to be just right for me, but you can adjust to your tastes.

Iced Cinnamon Mocha

Serves : 1                 Time to make : 5 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup chocolate ice cream
  • 1 packet splenda
  • 1 1/2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half
  • whip cream

Directions :

  1. Mix in blender until smooth and top w/ the whip cream and another sprinkle of  cinnamon.

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Day 74 : Asian Noodle Bowl


I often see variations of noodle bowls on tv that look like something I would enjoy, but once I see the recipe I pretty quickly realize that a lot of the ingredients are not available in my small area.  I came across this particular recipe on Key Ingredients and was thrilled to learn that it called for such basic ingredients.  The only thing I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find was the chili garlic sauce, which I did find at Walmart.  I even had the almond butter on hand because my oldest son is allergic to peanut butter so we started buying that for him a while back.  So I had all the ingredients and was set to make this, but I was still a bit skeptic only because I know Jeff doesn’t like a meal with no meat in it lol.  He actually gave this 5 stars though!  I also really enjoyed it and would definitely make it again.

I just made the entire box of noodles since I hate leaving such a small amount in the box to put back in the cupboard.  I think I will do the same again next time, but add even more of the broccoli and snow peas in since I had extra this time.  I just didn’t want it to be too much so I stuck to the proper measurements.  I found my snow peas and broccoli already prepped in bags in the produce section which made prep work that much easier.  The entire dish only takes as long as it takes to cook some noodles since the sauce goes together SO quickly.  It’s the perfect weeknight meal and something a little different to help shake things up mid-week.

Asian Noodle Bowl

Serves : 4-6           Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/2 head broccoli, tops cut into florets, stems sliced thinly
  • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 T. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. chili-garlic sauce, like sriracha
  • 1-2 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin

Directions :

  1. Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until brown.  About 3 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions in a large pot.  When there is about 3 minutes left of cook time add the broccoli.  In the last minute add the snow peas and red pepper.
  3. While pasta is cooking combine the almond butter, soy sauce, lime juice, chili-garlic sauce, and brown sugar in a large bowl with 3 T. of the hot pasta water.  Whisk until smooth.
  4. Drain the pasta and veggies and throw into the bowl with the sauce, tossing carefully to coat with the sauce.
  5. Serve with the sliced scallions and toasted almonds on top.

Day 51 : Southwest Burgers with Guacamole Aioli


First things first… 51 days!  Wow, I am so grateful to those who follow along with me and read my blog and I hope you have enjoyed everything thus far.  I can’t believe we are already 51 days in!  I forgot to mention that the other day my blog was featured on The Daily Post as one of the top ten themed blogs that rock!  I was beyond shocked to see my blog featured and so honored!  Links to both The Daily Post and FoodPress can be found in the sidebar.

These are my own creation as well, and one that we really enjoy.  While we were dieting we went on a boca burger kick because they were so much healthier, but really we enjoy them regardless.  If you have not had boca burgers before I suggest you try them!  These particular burgers were the result of needing to use up various things I had left over from other recipes and they turned out so great that I had to make a recipe out of it.  Everything together is perfect, but we also like to use the leftover aioli as a dipping sauce for fries.  It’s not quite a traditional aioli in the way it’s made, but it’s a very simple method and it’s super versatile.

You should make the aioli in advance so it has plenty of time to chill and allow the flavors to marry.  The burgers cook up very fast so these are a great weeknight meal.  I normally serve fries with them, but you can do whatever you like.  When we were point tracking (Ww) we used sandwich thins for the buns, but tonight I used up some leftover hamburger buns and toasted them which I felt was even better.  The chipotle was another addition today which I think really kicked it up a notch something I will do every time now.

 

Southwest Burgers with Guacamole Aioli

Serves : 2                       Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 4 original boca burgers (1 box)
  • 2 wedges laughing cow chipotle cheese (or the jalapeno weight watchers version)
  • 2 slices reduced fat American cheese
  • red onion slices
  • 2 large lettuce leaves
  • roasted red peppers (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 burger buns
  • 3 T. light mayo
  • 2 T. plain greek yogurt
  • 2 T. guacamole dip (I use Mission brand)
  • 1 T. roasted red peppers, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili pepper
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Directions :

  1. Combine the mayo, yogurt, guacamole, chipotle chili pepper, salt and garlic in a small bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat spray with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Heat your broiler at the same time to quickly toast your buns.
  4. Place all four burger patties in the skillet and flip after about 4 minutes or so.  They cook pretty quickly since you are really just heating them up, so after a minute or two, add the American cheese to two of the burgers and continue cooking until cheese is melted.
  5. Build your burger in the following order… Toasted bun, laughing cow cheese, lettuce, burger topped with cheese, second burger (without cheese), generous dollop of the guacamole aioli, onion slices, roasted red peppers, top bun.  Do the same for the second burger.
  6. I suggest using any leftover aioli as a dip for fries or you could use it as a spread on sandwiches the next day.

 

 

Day 50 : Walnut Crusted Chicken with Hollandaise Sauce


As luck would have it we never got a chance to make it to the store today, and though I had one last recipe in mind for the week it turned out I forgot to pick up shallots while at the store last.  So yet again I was forced to figure something else out on the fly.  I actually did a stuffed chicken tonight, but wasn’t as pleased with the resulting flavor as I’d like so I am going to put that on the back burner for now and revisit it later.  Jeff thought it was good, but for me it just wasn’t something I would enjoy again, though it wasn’t inedible either.

Anyway, the idea of a Hollandaise sauce over chicken is not new to us, and in fact I have had a similar dish in the past, but I changed it up a little bit tonight by the method I made my sauce and the coating I used for my chicken.  I think the ending result was very good, and I would definitely do it again the next time.  You can certainly just bake the chicken  in a baking dish, but puuting it on the rack over a sheet pan lifts it up a bit allowing the heat to circulate all the way around and it keeps the bottom coating from getting mushy because it normally sits in the juices.  You could take it a step further and line your sheet w/ foil to make clean-up even easier too.

Walnut Crusted Chicken with Hollandaise Sauce

Serves : 3                          Time to make : 1hr 10min

Ingredients :

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1/4 cup of flour (just need enough to coat the chicken)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and coat a oven safe rack w/ cooking spray, placing it over top a  sheet pan.
  2. Crush your cornflakes til they are about the size you want for coating your chicken and place them in a shallow dish.  Roughly chop (or process) your walnuts til they are very small and the right size for coating the chicken.  Add that to the crushed cereal
  3. Dredge chicken breasts in the flour in a small dish just enough to coat them.
  4. In a second dish combine the 1/3 C melted butter, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Dip the flour coated chicken into this mixture ensuring that the entire breast is coated.
  5. Take the butter dipped chicken and roll it into your cereal and walnut coating making sure to coat every side and it helps to lightly press it into the chicken a little too.  Then carefully move the coated chicken to the rack.
  6. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the tops of your chicken slowly (so you don’t wash your coating off) and bake for 1 hour.
  7. When there is about 5 minutes left to your chicken it’s time to start the sauce.  A little trick to make it a bit warmer is to run very hot water through your blender just before you start and then dry it out.
  8. Seperate your eggs and place the yolks in the blender (you can save your whites for something else or toss them, it’s up to you).  Along with those place the lemon juice and cayenne pepper.  Blend until well mixed.
  9. With the blender on high and either the lid off or the little center piece of your lid removed (if your blender has it) slowly add the melted butter and continue to blend until the sauce thickens, which takes about 30 seconds.
  10. Pour your sauce over the chicken and enjoy!

Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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