Recipes


Happy New Year! I have posted a new recipe in so long…maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution, to post on here more often. Since I posted last, one major thing has taken place. I bought a condo! I’m very excited to move in just about 3 weeks and cook in my new kitchen!

So, I have been wanting to share an amazing Chicken Pot Pie recipe with you all. I recently participated in a chicken pot pie cook-off with one of my friends. We both made chicken pot pies and a group of friends had dinner with us to judge to recipes. Needless to say, I won and this is why.

Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie recipe is delicious. While I normally cook pretty healthy food, there is always a little room for real comfort food like this. This is the perfect meal to cook for guests as you make it in individual ramekins. The recipe does take a little time but the results are worth it. Your guests are sure to be impressed!

 Enjoy!

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post such an amazing recipe. Risotto, yum! This Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach has a ton of flavor and is pretty healthy, too.

This recipe comes from the May 2010 edition of Cooking Light. Just looking at the photo made me drool my mouth water. I finally cooked this risotto up a few weeks ago and it did not dissapoint.

Risotto is a fancy name for a rice dish. There are a lot of varieties (from seafood to butternut squash) and normally arborio rice is used. I have used arborio rice in the past which is great, but this time I used a whole grain rice mixture for this recipe. I also used all natual bacon from Trader Joe’s and because you cook the bacon first, there is no added oil or fat.

You may have heard that risotto is difficult to make or it takes to long. While I wouldn’t call this recipe difficult, it does take some time but it’s so worth it. Just turn on some good music and prepare to be in your kitchen for about 30-45 minutes. Between cutting vegetables and stirring the risotto often, this recipe does take a bit of patience. But, the recipe is very straightforward and it’s a great risotto to make for guests – they will  surely be impressed!

A warm risotto dish is great for the fall. Interested in other risotto recipes? Check out my Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto here.

What a heat wave we’re having on the East Coast! It’s so hot in my apartment, I can’t even think of cooking. But, last week, when it was a bit cooler, I cooked up some Honey Soy Chicken Kabobs – in my oven!

Kabobs are so versatile – and such a summer staple. They are easy to prepare and grill – or roast, in my case. I do have an indoor grill but sometimes it’s just easier to use my oven. Call it laziness, I guess! 🙂

I created this recipe from one I read online a while ago. I had a bunch of the ingredients I remembered so I just went with it. This chicken turned out moist and the sweetness of the veggies paired perfectly.  Now we can have kabobs all year long!

Here’s my recipe:

Honey Soy Chicken Kabobs

Makes 4 kabobs

Ingredients:

2 – 3 chicken breasts, cut in cubes

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 sweet onion, cubed

1 red pepper, cubed

Four wooden skewers

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Mix oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic and a little salt and pepper in a bowl to create marinade.
  3. Put chopped chicken in a plastic Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken.
  4. Refrigerate chicken and marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  5. When ready, add chicken and vegetables to wooden skewer – alternating between chicken, onion and red pepper.
  6. Put skewers on baking sheet and roast in over for 12-15 minutes or until juices from chicken run clear.
  7. Enjoy (with a side of brown rice)!

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I posted last. Bad me. But, I hope you’re enjoying the summer so far. Any big plans?

One exciting thing a few of my friends are doing this summer is splitting a CSA share from a local farm. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and, basically, we pay a fee to get a share of the farm’s vegetables each week from June to November. I really enjoy going to farmer’s markets and this takes things a step further. It’s been fun so far and has allowed me to try a few new recipes. I am a big proponent of supporting local farms and businesses plus, by being apart of the CSA, we are getting fresh organic vegetables soon after they are picked. Oh, and we get fresh, organic eggs, too! 

Included in our share last week was escarole – a hearty green and part of the endive family. Have you had escarole before? I had eaten it in a restaurant but I hadn’t cooked with escarole so I quickly went onto my favorite recipe website, allrecipes.com, to find the perfect dish. I immediately saw a recipe for Escarole and Beans which was simple and healthy so I gave it a whirl. I actually had all of the ingredients on hand, which is always a plus!

This recipe was really simple to put together and made plenty of leftovers. I would actually consider it a comfort food based on it’s thicker consistency so you can definitely enjoy this dish year round. Escarole and beans makes a fiberful side dish or a light dinner. I was expecting it to be basic in flavor but the garlic and red pepper flakes gave it a nice kick and I really enjoyed it. Leafy greens, such as escarole, are a great source of fiber as well as vitamin A and K. Who can’t use a little tasty nutritious dish in their life?

I’ll be back with another easy summer recipe in a few days so stay tuned!

If it’s hot where you are, like it is here in Boston, hope you’re staying cool. It’s supposed to be in the mid 90’s here tomorrow! Have  a great week!

How was your Easter weekend? It’s been beautiful here in Boston so I’ve been enjoying the weather. I love it when it’s unseasonably warm! Hope it’s nice where you are.

So, every month, I receive a few different cooking magazines…Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking, and Cuisine at Home. Not surprisingly, I don’t usually get a chance to read them immediately but get around to checking out the recipes eventually.

I recently made a combined dinner of two recipes from different magazines, Broiled Shrimp with Spinach Orzo Salad. The Broiled Shrimp recipe came from the April 2010 issue of Cuisine at Home and the Spinach Orzo Salad came from the April/May issue of Healthy Cooking. It turned out to be a great light meal.

Shrimp is something I don’t cook too often but when I do, I’m always surprised how easy it is. This broiled shrimp is super quick to prepare and cook. The mixture of flavors resulted in a tasty shrimp dish!

I love pasta salad, especially because it reminds me of summertime cookouts. This Spinach Orzo Salad is an easy side dish that’s a little different from a tradition rice or pasta side. I ate the leftovers for days and it was perfect for lunch.

Broiled Shrimp

Adapted from Cusine at Home

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/8 tsp. dried dill

2 Tbsp. whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

¼ tsp. dried oregano

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and oregano. Set aside.
  4. Coat two small cassserole dishes with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Arrange six shrimp in each dish and divide butter/lemon juice mixture over shrimp. Top with breadcrumbs mixture.
  6. Broil shrimp for about 5 minutes. Watch closely as the shrimp cooks very quickly.
  7. Serve with Spinach Orzo Salad (recipe below). 

 Spinach Orzo Salad

Adapted from Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking

Servings: 4

Ingedients:

8 oz. whole wheat orzo

3 oz. fresh spinach

¼ c. reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

¼ red onion, chopped

¼ c. reduced fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing

¼ tsp. dried basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

Preparation:

  1. Cook orzo according to directions. Drain in cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine spinach, cheese, onion and orzo.
  3. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinigarette, basil and pepper. Pour over orzo mixture to coat.
  4. Chill salad until ready to serve.
  5. Top with toasted pine nuts before serving. (I toasted pine nuts in my toaster oven using the light setting)

How’s your week going? We’re more than half way to Friday. Woohoo! I’m excited that St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. The parade in South Boston, which is happening on Sunday, is always a lot of fun (think green beer and a lot of people in a festive mood). Next week, I’m planning to post a Irish-themed recipe or two. I have to represent, right? Check back. 🙂

Back to today’s recipe. As you might remember, I am part of the Craving Ellie in My Belly (CEiMB) cooking group. Sadly, I haven’t posted recipes from Ellie’s group lately. I’m blaming it on my busy schedule and my wimpiness (a few week’s ago, the chocolate mousse recipe contained tofu and I’m just plain scared of it).

Anywho, I’m back with this week’s recipe , which comes from Ellie’s first book titled The Food You Crave. I just couldn’t pass up making this Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo. Doesn’t it sound delicious? It was…and easy too. I always expect soups and stews to be more difficult to make then they actually are. Soups, especially Ellie’s, are great for a healthy dinner – or lunch! This filling meal was on the table in less than 30 minutes…great for a weeknight!

As for the taste of this lemon chicken soup, it was just right. I wasn’t so sure about adding an egg to the soup but it made for the perfect consistency. And, the lemon flavor was fantastic, in my opinion. Not too lemony, a great flavor. Rounding out the soup was delicious veggies, protein from the chicken and fiber and carbohydrates from the whole wheat orzo. Yum!

Have a great rest of your week! What’s up for your weekend?

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already and this is my first post of the week! Things have been a bit chaotic lately as I prepare for my new job and wrap things up at my current company. Lots to do, I tell you!

I haven’t had much time to cook lately but I have a few things up my sleeve for this week that I think you’ll enjoy. First of all, here’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner. I actually make this dish about once a month (it’s that easy, and that good!) but this time there’s a twist.

Last week, I mentioned the Eggland’s Best eggs I given the opportunity to try through Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program. Yum, yum! Well,  at the end of last week, I received a box to try more products.

Bertolli sent me two of their new pasta sauces. I am a huge fan of Italian food and, really, anything with red sauce, so I was excited. I have made my own pasta sauce a few times (my Grandmother’s recipe!) but I have nothing against using a jarred pasta sauce to save time.

Having a marketing and PR background, I love creative packaging and advertisements. As I opened the box from Bertolli, I immediately noticed their creative packaging which was designed like a fancy menu. Loved it!

Inside the box were two jars of Bertolli’s new sauces, Spicy Arrabbiata (red sauce) and  Four Cheese Rosa (alfredo sauce). I always choose tomato sauce over cream sauces so I decided to first incorporate the Arrabbiata sauce into my Italian dish. To give the sauce a proper review, however, I first tasted the sauce on it’s own. It had a nice traditional tomato sauce flavor with the perfect amount of spiciness for me. I’m a mild-to-medium salsa girl, if that helps you understand the level of spice! I enjoyed the flavor because it tasted clean and natural with little added sweetness.

I incorporated the sauce into a Pasta & Chicken Sausage Bake. It’s a great healthy recipe that I almost always have the ingredients on hand for. The spicy tomato sauce was a nice addition. I know you’ll enjoy it, too!

   

 Pasta & Chicken Sausage Bake

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

2 c. whole wheat pasta

2 links cooked chicken sausage, cut into rounds (I used Al Fresco Sweet Italian Style – a favorite of mine!)

1 c. spinach (I used frozen)

1 c. tomato sauce (I used Bertolli’s Spicy Arrabbiata)

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 c. low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400*.

2. Cook pasta according to directions. (If using frozen spinach, add it in the last two minutes of cooking pasta to thaw a bit).

3. Drain pasta (and spinach, if applicable).

4. In a casserole dish, add pasta, spinach, chicken sausage, tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. Toss with a spoon until well combined.

5. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

6. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

7. Remove from oven, remove foil, and return to oven for an additional five minutes until cheese is bubbly.

8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

How has your week been going so far? I hope it’s flying by for you! Beside things at work, I was able to run 3.5 miles yesterday without pain! Let’s hope I continue on that route.

And looking ahead to this weekend, it’s supposed to be in the high 40’s in Boston! Spring is coming, spring is coming!

Next Page »