July 27, 2009
Wrap it in a tortilla and put some cheese on it and it’s probably one of my favorite foods. Since I’ve been home on maternity leave, I’ve had to come up with something for lunch every day. I was getting tired of salads and sandwiches so I decided to rummage through the fridge to see what I could come up with for lunch. I saw some tortillas in the fridge but wasn’t sure if I had anything to go in them. Then I remembered I had a bag of peppers and onions in the freezer and I also had some mushrooms in the fridge. So from that came the inspiration for my vegetarian quesadilla lunch. It was super delicious and a great change from my usual lunch foods. Not to mention it was really quick to make while the baby was sleeping! I even had time left to eat it. : )
1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers (any color)
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup mexican blend cheese, shredded
2 10″ tortillas
Heat a pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add veggies and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove veggies from the pan and place in a bowl. With a damp paper towel wipe out the pan. Spray again with non-stick spray and place one tortilla in the pan. Add 1/2 the cheese and then the sauted veggies on top. Add the other 1/2 of the cheese and top with another tortilla. Allow the tortilla to cook 3-5 minutes. Then carefully flip the quesadilla and allow the other side to cook 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cut into triangles and serve with sour cream.
Makes 1 large quesadilla.
*Add any veggies you like to this vegetarian quesadilla.
May 3, 2009
What says Summer better than grilling and corn on the cob? How about grilled corn on the cob. I know it’s not quite that time of year yet but it’s been in the 80′s here so it already feels like Summer. My grocery store had corn on sale this week so I bought a few ears for us to grill. I’ve never done this before but I have eaten it, and it’s really good. I looked online for some ideas on how to grill it and we had this for dinner last night with marinated grilled pork chops. I think the corn could have cooked a little more so I’ll probably leave it on the grill longer next time. It was still a great dinner though!
Grilled Corn on the Cob
4 ears corn on the cob
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 tsp dried parsley or 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
Begin by pulling back the husks on the corn and removing the silks, but leave the husks attached to the cob. Once the silks are removed, rinse the corn well. Wrap the husks back around the corn and place in a pan or pot of water to soak for at least one hour. Remove the corn from the water and pat dry with a paper towel. Again, pull the husks back. Mix the parsley in with the melted butter and brush over the corn kernels. Sprinkle each corn cob with salt and pull the husks back up. Secure with a rubber band or wrap in foil. Grill for 30-45 minutes. Test the corn kernels with a fork to see if done.
October 20, 2008
I’m finally back to blogging and just in time for this month’s Tasty Tools blog event. After over a week of the soft food diet due to my wisdom teeth surgery, I’ve been craving some comfort food. I saw this recipe in the October issue of Cooking Light and thought what a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. I get my comfort food and I have an excuse to use my dutch oven for the blog event.
I automatically associate my dutch oven with comfort foods; soups, stews, chili, roasted chicken, fried chicken, and let’s not forget chicken and dumplings. This recipe for chicken and dumplings is not like the traditional one I grew up eating from my Granny’s kitchen. The kind I’m used to has soft, flat, noodle-like dumplings and shredded chicken in broth. Full fat, full salt, and no veggies in sight. This version is a little healthier though and just as tasty. I would definitely recommend doubling the recipe though so you’ll have some leftovers.
Herbed Chicken and Dumplings
2 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3/4 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut celery
- 1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 parsley sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add celery and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute. Add broth to pan; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, chopped parsley, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk, stirring just until moist. Spoon by heaping teaspoonfuls into broth mixture; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until dumplings are done. Discard parsley sprigs and bay leaf.
- 285 (16% from fat)
- 5.2g (sat 1.5g,mono 1.9g,poly 1.2g)
October 7, 2008
Calzones are such a good way to use up things you have in the fridge. When I opened my fridge yesterday, I saw some broccoli I purchased last week and figured I’d better incorporate it into dinner somehow before it went bad. In the freezer, loads of chicken. I stocked up last time it was on sale BOGO. So from this came my dinner last night. I added a little garlic because everything is better with garlic and voila, I had a delicious calzone. Now if you’re wondering if Mr. Picky ate this, well no, he didn’t. He had a sausage calzone. How boring and uninteresting. He just didn’t know what he was missing!
Garlic Chicken and Broccoli Calzones
(makes 2 large calzones)
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 cup, chopped broccoli florets
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
prepared pizza dough (I used this recipe)
Begin by pre-heating the oven to 375 F. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts. Sear on each side just until browned. Top with chopped garlic. Place the pan (if oven safe) into the oven (or place chicken breasts in an oven safe pan) and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set chicken breasts aside to cool (about 10 min.) While the chicken breasts are cooling, add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan to deglaze it. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to the pan, along with the chopped broccoli. Stir to coat the chicken and broccoli with the pan sauce.
Turn oven up to 450 F. Roll out the pizza dough into two even circles. Place chicken and broccoli mixture on one half of each circle. Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Fold the other half of the pizza dough over the filling and press edges together. Cut a couple slits in the top of the dough. Brush the tops of the calzones with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 min until dough is golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce.
August 28, 2008
It’s that time again to highlight another kitchen utensil in the monthly Tasty Tools blog event hosted by Joelen. This month’s tool is the whisk. Everyone has these in their kitchen and I for one never think twice about pulling one out to beat some eggs or pancake batter. But it’s a handy little tool. I particularly love the one I used tonight to mix up the sauce for my asian pork stir fry. It’s the mini whisk from Pampered Chef. It’s the perfect little tool for beating just an egg or two and whisking together ingredients for a salad dressing or marinade.
I make my chicken stir fry pretty much the same way I made this. We had chicken last night so I thought using some pork chops in this stir fry would be great. It was a very easy and delicious dinner.
Asian Pork Stir Fry
3-4 1″ thick center cut, boneless pork chops (or pork loin), cut into 1″ pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into strips
1/2 a large onion, diced
1 cup broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1-2 cloves minced or pressed garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
Begin by combining the soy sauce, honey, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to incorporate the honey into the soy sauce. Set aside. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the pork to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and carrots to the pan. Cook covered (to steam the vegetables) about 5 minutes. Add the pork back to the pan to finish cooking along with the soy sauce mixture. Add the broccoli the last 5-6 min and cook covered. Serve over rice.
June 17, 2008
Here’s another delicious dinner to add to my “it’s too freakin’ hot to cook inside” list. My sister was visiting for my birthday so I decided we would grill out last night. I had all the ingredients to make chicken kabobs so I decided to use this marinade recipe that I’ve used before and added about 1 tsp each salt and pepper. I used chicken, cut into 1″ chunks, bell pepper, red onion, and grape tomatoes. I tossed them all in a bowl with the marinade and let them marinate for an hour. Then I put the chicken and veggies on soaked skewers (to prevent burning on the grill). I also made some red potatoes in a foil packet on the grill so I wouldn’t have to do any cooking inside. I seasoned them simply with salt pepper and lemon juice and left them on the grill about 30 minutes. It was a wonderful birthday dinner, even if I did make it myself. : P
On another note, I got new kitchen toys for my birthday! My wonderful husband got me the KitchenAid ice cream attachment and an extra bowl for my mixer. I’m so excited to make some frozen treats for summer!
June 11, 2008
Here’s another terrific recipe that I snagged from another food blog, Annie’s Eats. I have gotten several great recipes from this blog. What can I say, the girl knows good food! And as I expected, this recipe definitely didn’t disappoint. What’s even better is it uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand; chicken, spinach, and tortillas. I also made some simple black beans to go along with my quesadilla tonight. I seasoned them with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. This meal also gave me a reason to pull out this amazing salsa that I bought while we were in Houston, TX last month. It’s not your traditional tomato based salsa and is made only of fire roasted peppers. And it is HOT! A little of this stuff goes a long way. It went so well with these delicious quesadillas.
Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
fajita seasoning, to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for brushing
3-4 oz. button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 cup packed fresh spinach
3-4 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Combine the lime juice, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes and garlic in a plastic bag. Seal and shake well to combine. Add the chicken breast to the bag and allow to marinate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
Place the chicken in a nonstick skillet and sprinkle to taste with fajita seasoning. Cook on medium-high heat until cooked through. Cut into small pieces and set aside. In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and spinach and sauté just until the spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Brush a grill pan with olive oil and heat to medium/medium-high heat. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas, spooning it onto half of each tortilla and leaving a border uncovered near the edge. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Fold the tortillas in half over the chicken mixture to enclose loosely. Place on grill pan and cook until dark grill marks have formed on one side of the tortilla. Flip over and repeat to achieve grill marks on both sides. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Serve as desired with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
Source: adapted from Williams Sonoma
June 9, 2008
It is very evident by the suffocating heat and humidity that Summer is upon us. I think somehow Spring just passed us by here in Alabama. And with this hot weather comes the smell of grills firing up all around my neighborhood. Sure there is something wonderful about grilled food that makes you feel more relaxed like you’re having a back yard party even if it’s just a week night, but let’s face it, it’s just about too darn hot to cook inside! Lately I’ve been dreading turning on my oven. By the time I get dinner done, I’m sweaty and have to cool down before I can even eat. So needless to say you are probably going to be seeing more grilled foods in my blog for a while.
Now whenever I ask what my husband what he wants to grill he will most always say “burgers”. The guy loves some burgers. In the evenings when we walk our dogs around our neighborhood if he smells the smoke of grill he will always say “we need to grill burgers soon”. Now I get tired of plain old burgers. I can think of tons of other things that I would love on the grill. But what can I say, he has simple tastes. So tonight I decided we would grill burgers but I wanted to change them up a bit from my regular recipe. So I threw some ingredients together and what came out was a super moist, smoky, and delicious burger. You should definitely give this one a try if you’re looking to change up your regular burger recipe.
*I also think bacon would be awesome on these burgers.
1 1/4-1 1/2 lb ground beef or chuck
1/4 cup barbecue sauce plus more for brushing the tops of the burgers (I used honey bbq because that’s what I had)
2 cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves if they’re small)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
*Sliced sharp cheddar cheese
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Form into 6 patties. Place on a hot grill or grill pan and cook until desired doneness. Brush the tops of the burgers with the extra barbecue sauce once they’re done. Top with the sharp cheddar and remove from the grill. Place the buns on the grill and allow them to toast for about 5 minutes or so.
Carmelized Onions and Mushrooms
1 yellow or sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into 1/2″ chunks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp beef broth or water
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and toss to coat with the butter. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar and toss again. Cover and allow to cook down about 5-7 minutes or until you start to see a light brown coloring on the onions. Add the mushrooms in and stir together with the onions. Cover and allow to cook another 5 minutes. Add the broth or water to deglaze the pan and get all the brown bits off the bottom. Serve on top of the barbecue burgers.
February 13, 2008
I’ve come to the realization we just don’t eat enough veggies. I personally could eat veggies all day every day. In fact if I didn’t like a good, juicy burger every now and some crunchy bacon from time to time, I could almost be a vegetarian. But my husband, well he’s another story. He would eat nothing but meat, bread, potatoes, and pasta if he didn’t have a loving wife that insisted he eat other things that are good for him. I don’t always bother making all the veggies I like because I would be the only one eating them. But I’ve become pretty creative at incorporating some veggies into our meals. He’s much more willing to eat vegetables if they’re in something rather than just piled on a plate screaming “I’m a veggie, I’m good for you!”. Ok, so they don’t really scream at you but they might as well as far as he’s concerned. So tonight for dinner I crammed as many vegetables into our dinner as possible. I made a really yummy veggie rice pilaf to go along with our spicy Cajun shrimp which I just sauteed in some olive oil and garlic, and sprinkled with Cajun spice mix. We also had some steamed yellow squash and broccoli (for me) and corn on the cob (for him). Such a great dinner!
Veggie Rice Pilaf
1/4 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 large green bell pepper,chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
salt and pepper
Begin by cooking the rice and set aside. Then finely chop all the vegetables. Heat a skillet over medium heat with about 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add chopped veggies to the pan and saute 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and let simmer another 3 minutes or so. Add the pressed garlic and stir. Last, stir in the cooked rice, remaining broth, salt, and pepper. Let cook another 3-5 minutes until some of the broth is absorbed. Serve warm.
February 11, 2008
I love days when I actually have time to make breakfast instead of just heating up some instant oatmeal or eating a bowl of cold cereal. Everyone knows the breakfast foods that you actually have to cook are so much better than ready made foods. Homemade waffles, pancakes, biscuits, hashbrowns….mmm. Can you tell I’m big on breakfast? Another one of my favorite breakfast foods, or actually anytime foods, is the omelet. You can pretty much add anything you like to it from ham to veggies to various cheeses. The only problem I have with the omelet is that I can never get it to flip right. It never looks as pretty as it does at a restaurant when you go out for breakfast or brunch. But whatever, it still tastes good which is what really matters. And if all else fails, you can have scrambled eggs with stuff mixed in. : ) Today I decided to use up some of the veggies in my fridge and came up with this. Delicious!
Three Egg Garden Omelet
3 whole eggs
2 Tbsp milk or cream
1 Tbsp each finely chopped green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms
2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for the top if you like
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
Whisk eggs, milk, and all veggies in a bowl. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Let it cook for about 2 minutes until the edges start to look done. Sprinkle the cheese over the omelet. Test the edges with a spatula to see if the omelet is ready to flip. When ready, fold each side of the omelet to the middle and cook another minute or so. Top with additional cheese and veggies if desired.