Friday, November 21, 2014

Chicken Mushroom Alfredo

I am not really a huge fan of Alfredo sauce but I know many others who love it. I happened to see a jarred variety at Trader Joe's and thought, why not? Decided to make a sauté of chicken thigh chunks and mushrooms and then add zucchini spirals to keep the carb count low. It turned out yummy.

1 pkg of boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 pkg of sliced mushrooms
1 jar Trader Joe's Alfredo Sauce
2 zucchini-cut into ribbons or spiralized (if you have one of those handy gadgets like I do).
Parmesan cheese, grated

In large skillet with lid, sauté the onion and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and stir well letting that whole mixture brown a bit. Lightly salt and pepper. Add the Alfredo sauce, bring to a boil; then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and mix well. Put lid back on and let that mixture cook for maybe 5-10 minutes? Serve with grated Parmesan.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chicken Sausage Stew

What sounds good on a cold, windy, snowy day? How about a hearty stew? This one is super easy. I threw it together from leftovers and pantry items.

1 pkg smoked chicken sausage, cut in small bites
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 bag shredded cole slaw mix
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T Italian seasoning

In large skillet with lid, brown the chicken sausage. Remove and set aside. Brown the onions and carrots, throw in the garlic and the cole slaw mix, add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper. Stir around well. Add the tomatoes and put the sausage back in. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or so.

This also tastes great the next day :-)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chocolate Chili?

I saw this recipe in Prevention Magazine and made a few changes. I used less meat and fewer beans than the original recipe called for and simmered it a bit longer. I cooked it a bit longer since I needed to have my glass of wine before dinner. Priorities!

I served this over some rice and shredded cabbage and garnished with a little shredded cheese, chopped fresh onion, chopped cherry tomato and avocado.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lg red bell pepper, chopped
1 lg yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt and pepper
4 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (15.5 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Shredded Cheddar, chopped onion, avocado, and tomato for toppings
1.  Add beef and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl with slotted spoon and set aside. Remove excess fat in pan but leave a little for browning Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to pot. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in cocoa, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and 1 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper. Stir until combined and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. RETURN beef to pot. Stir in broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Serve with toppings.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blackened Cod with Creole Rice

Oh wow, this dish is a keeper. It has great flavor and is not too spicy so it would please a lot of palates. You can also use any mild white fish like catfish, or tilapia. The cod looked really nice at Plum Market so that's what I used. The dish is a nice bowl dinner with the rice topped with the fish and then a flavorful red pepper sauce over all. I also served with sautéed spinach cause we needed something green in that bowl!

1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
creole seasoning (see below for homemade but you can just use any ready made creole spice that you might have)
1 generous T of butter

1 lb of cod
blackening seasoning (see below for homemade or use any other blackening spice that you may have)
some vegetable oil

1 jar roasted red peppers
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 to 2 t Tabasco Sauce

Cook the brown rice.

While the rice cooks make the seasonings and the red pepper sauce

1 T kosher salt
1 T herbes de Provence
1 T ground cumin
2 t cayenne pepper
2 t ground black pepper
2 t sweet paprika
Mix together. Save the leftover for other dishes.

Blackening Spice:
1 t kosher salt
1 t sweet paprika
1 t onion powder
3/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t ground pepper
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme

Mix together in small bowl.

Put roasted red peppers and their juice, the garlic and Tabasco sauce in small processor and blend. Set aside.

When rice is done, add generous T of butter and 1 T creole seasoning and mix well. Put lid back on and set aside.

Rub the fish all over with blackening spice.

In cast iron skillet or other heavy one, heat some vegetable oil. Add the fish and cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook another 3 minutes. Fish should flake easily.

Serve fish over the rice and spoon on red pepper sauce. Yum-delish.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mushroom, Spinach and Goat Cheese Fritatta

Sometimes you get home late and think how can I get dinner on the table fast? I often think of eggs as they are quick and nutritious. 

6 eggs beaten
1 pkg of sliced mushrooms
1/2 bag of spinach, chopped
1/2 small onion chopped
some red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
a little olive oil
some crumbled goat cheese

preheat oven 400

In medium oven proof skillet, heat a little olive oil. Cook the onions and mushrooms. Add the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Pour in the eggs and let that mixture cook until eggs are beginning to set around edges. Sprinkle on goat cheese and pop into the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool a bit before serving.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Spiced Thighs and Cumin Cabbage

I have to say that this dish is so, so good and incredibly easy. I don't often use my ground coriander, but I did tonight. I had some napa cabbage that wanted to be cooked up and I obliged.

4 boneless chicken thighs, rubbed with ground coriander, turmeric and kosher salt. Be generous with the spices.

1/2 napa cabbage, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 small yellow pepper, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
some vegetable oil

Brown thighs in some vegetable oil in large lidded skillet. After browning well, remove to plate and add the onion and the peppers. Brown these and add a big tablespoon of cumin and some black pepper--stir around and add the garlic, and then the cabbage--stir well and then nestle the thighs back into the skillet. Pour on maybe a 1/2 cup of water, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Simmer about 20 minutes or so. Serve over some sort of rice. I served this over a really tasty rice and lentil dish that can be found on the grocery shelf--Lund Rice and Lentils with Mild Curry. I like the Lund products which I find at Arbor Farms Market.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pumpkin Chili

This is a good dish to make when you're going to be out of the house until dinner time as it goes in the crock pot and simmers all day. It doesn't really have much of a pumpkin taste to it, if any really. I think the pumpkin just functions as a way to thicken the chili. This is a nice vegetarian option and tastes quite nice served over some brown rice, garnished with avocado. If I had had some chopped fresh cilantro and green onions that would have been good as well on top. I added a little shredded cheddar-what could that hurt? We liked the flavor but ended up adding just a bit of hot sauce cause we really do favor spicy food. It has a very nice flavor without adding anything. I happened on this recipe in the most unlikely of spots: the ANN Magazine that accompanies the Sunday paper now and then. They don't usually publish recipes but just happened to recently and it sounded good, so there you have it.

1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 26 oz box or can of diced tomatoes
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large carrots, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 T brown sugar
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 T cumin
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for at least 5 hours. Can cook longer, but stir after 7 hours.

Good served over rice, spaghetti squash, or baked potatoes. This makes a lot so you'll have leftovers.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pasta with Clams and Kale

If you like spaghetti with clam sauce then I'm pretty sure you'll like this dish. It's pretty much the same idea, but I have added a bunch of torn kale in place of the parsley cause kale gives you way more bang for the buck (nutritionally).

For two big servings:

6 oz spaghetti or linguini
1 can 6 oz chopped clams, drain clam juice into measuring cup of wine
3 cups torn kale
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 t dried oregano
1 t red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil

Cook pasta according to package and throw in the kale when you have three minutes before it's done.

In large skillet, heat some olive oil and sauté the onion and the garlic, stirring often so garlic doesn't burn. Add the oregano and red pepper, salt and pepper, stir around and then add the white wine/clam juice and stir around. Drain pasta and kale. Dump clams into the sauce and then add the pasta. Stir well and let that all warm together well. Ladle into bowls, add parmesan and enjoy! Goes well with garlic bread. I will be making this a again-it's easy and good. Next time will use whole wheat pasta.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shrimp and Tortellini

Here's a nice quick and flavorful dinner. You need shrimp and cheese tortellini and just a few other things that are probably already in your pantry.

12 frozen large shrimp, thawed and shelled
12 oz cheese tortellini ( I like Trader Joe's)
some parmesan cheese
1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
some olive oil
red pepper flakes
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 T butter

Cook tortellini according to package directions--throw in the peas during the last ten minutes. Drain pasta and peas and put back in the pot and add some olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a bit of parmesan cheese.

In medium skillet, heat some olive oil and quickly sauté the shrimp, add the garlic and juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 T of butter. To serve, spoon shrimp and sauce over pasta and peas. Easy and yummy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rainy Day Lunch

Nothing tastes as good as tomato soup and grilled cheese on a damp and dismal day. Today I tried a low sodium version of creamy tomato that Trader Joe's sells and it was pretty good. I zipped up the standard grilled cheese with a couple slices of bavarian ham and some thinly sliced red onion and grilled it up in my panini press. Yum!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Meatless Monday

This is a really easy and good vegetarian dish. I used a short cut: Trader Joe's Red Curry Sauce. This is a made up dish using what's in the fridge but it was mighty tasty if I do say so myself.

1 head of cauliflower, broken into medium pieces
1/2 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn in small pieces
a bit of olive oil
a large onion diced
1 bottle Trade Joe's Red Curry Sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock

Steam cauliflower about ten minutes.
Sauté onion in large skillet in some olive oil.
Add the cauliflower and and kale. Stir well.
Add the sauce and the chicken broth. Stir well and cover and simmer about 20-25 minutes.

I served this over Trader Joe's Red Quinoa which cooks in about 20 minutes.

Serve over quinoa, garnished with fresh tomato, cilantro and chopped almonds.