Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skillet Chili Mac with Corn

Skillet Chili Mac with Corn

Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

Makes 6 Servings

1 tbsp canola oil
1 pound 96/4 ground beef
1 onion, minced
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 11-oz. can corn, drained
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3 oz. Cabot 75% cheddar cheese, grated

Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add beef, onion, chili powder, coriander and salt. Cook beef until it is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat or grease. Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often and keeping the heat at a steady simmer until macaroni is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in corn, green chiles and cilantro and sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover and let it sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 357 calories, 43 carbs, 8 fat grams and 27 protein grams.

Review: Wonderful! I liked that it's lower calorie but still filling, and the macaroni came out great. I love recipes that cook the macaroni for me - nice! I will say that I had to add a bit of salt to mine, and next time I might add some hot sauce to the mix to give it a little more heat. It had flavor, but I like mine a bit more spicy. Regardless, this one was a winner, and I love that it makes 6 servings and only takes 25 minutes tops, including prep!

In the skillet!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicken Tortellini Bake

Chicken Tortellini Bake
Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café
Makes 4 Servings

9 ounce package of cheese tortellini (refrigerated not dry)
1 tbsp olive oil
16 oz. chicken
3 green onions finely chopped, white and green parts
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
8 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 cup fat-free sour cream
2 oz. cabot 75% cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken for 1-2 minutes and add fresh mushrooms and green onions, cooking until chicken is done and mushrooms are brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Mix in sour cream and cook for 1-2 minutes. Spray a square baking pan with cooking spray. Pour tortellini in bottom. Put cooked chicken/sauce mixture over it and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake covered with tin foil (spray foil with nonstick cooking spray so it won't stick to cheesy top!) for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for additional 15 minutes until bubbly.

Nutritional Information: 462 calories, 41 carbs, 11 fat grams and 43 protein grams.

Review: Wow. The cream sauce this makes tastes downright bad for you. I love that! The mushrooms were a nice flavor too - very soft and melted right in to the sauce. I couldn't taste the green onions, but i'm sure I would have missed them if they hadn't been there! Also, I'm glad I put the tortellini straight in rather than boiled it - this was a tip from Mel that was definitely a time-saver! I will be making this one again - I also love that it has a short recipe list.

Whole dish

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken #2

Sweet and Sour Chicken #2
Recipe adapted from a My Kitchen Café Recipe
Makes 4 Servings

16 oz. chicken
Salt and pepper
½ cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups white rice, divided
Sauce: ¾ cup splenda, 4 tbsp ketchup, ½ cup vinegar, 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 1 tsp garlic salt.

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over rice. (1/2 cup per serving)

Nutritional Information: 450 calories, 61 carbs, 9 fat grams and 28 protein grams.

Review: We loved this - the fact that it was breaded pretty much meant that Austin was 100% about it. I loved that I made my own sauce - always better than jarred! Yes, it took a while which could be seen as a downside, but it would make it easy to make while pre-cooking (i.e. can cook something else while it's in the oven!) and honestly, it's worth it! I'm always looking for new Asian-inspired recipes and this one is DEFINITELY a keeper!

Close up of the chicken - definitely breaded and "legit" as Austin says

Friday, December 24, 2010

Out of Town

I probably should have said bye on this blog! haha Oops. Basically, I've been skiing since Monday and will be here, in Colorado, until Sunday. I will resume cooking new recipes and posting new things this coming Monday!! I hope you're all having happy holidays!
Me and Austin - Day 2 of our Trip

Friday, December 17, 2010

Classic Red Chili

Classic Red Chili
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Café
Makes 10 servings

2 medium onions, diced
2 tsp salt
2 pounds 96/4 ground beef
3 large cans (29 ounces each) pinto beans, drained
2 46 oz. can tomato juice
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup water
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet with salt. Drain grease. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 cup water with the garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar. In a large pot, combine tomato juice, beans, tomato sauce, and ketchup. Stir in hamburger and onions and seasoning/water mixture. Mix well. Stir in bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally (this can simmer for as long as 4-5 hours).

Nutritional Information: 423 calories, 55 carbs, 7 fat grams and 34 protein grams.

Review: I actually didn’t follow the directions above – I slowcooked the whole thing raw beef and all. However, I wish I had because this BARELY fit in the slowcooker and took forever to cook! Haha So I’d follow the directions above. :) And don’t forget to drain those beans! I forgot to drain the first can so it was a little soupier than I wanted. SO all in all, regardless of my errors, it was STILL good! Hehe I really liked it, less smokey and more sweet. It has a lot of flavor and is definitely filling. I’m going to make this again – but by following the recipe above!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma
Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 4 Servings

Chicken: 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp olive oil, ¾ tsp salt, ½ tsp cumin, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 pound chicken, diced.
Sauce: 1 small container 0% Fage yogurt, 1 ½ tbsp tahini, 2 tsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp minced garlic
Also: cooking spray, 4 pitas, 1 cup lettuce, 8 tomato slices
Options: 1 cup couscous OR 1 large pita

Combine first six ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken to bowl. Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients stirring with a whisk. Cook chicken over medium heat in medium pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, 4 minutes on each side until no longer pink.
Pita Option: Place pitas in toaster; cook for 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each with ¼ cup lettuce and 2 tomato slices. Top each serving with a quarter of the chicken pieces and sauce. (to make it easier to eat – spread sauce on pita with the back of a spoon, then top with lettuce, tomato and chicken so they “stick” to the pita).
Couscous Option: Cook couscous per package instructions. Divide couscous across 4 plates. Then serve lettuce, tomato, chicken and sauce alongside it.

Nutritional Information (couscous option): 475 calories, 61 carbs, 7 fat grams and 39 protein grams.
Nutritional Information (pita option): 434 calories, 53 carbs, 7 fat grams and 39 protein grams.

Review: I really liked this light recipe. I tried it hot and cold (with the pita) and both were good. I preferred it cold and made it like an Indian Pita Pizza with the sauce as the base so the ingredients would stick – very good! My sauce mix was 200 grams total, so if you weigh it’s 50 grams of sauce on each one. This is a keeper. It was good with couscous as well – but not as filling to me.

A pic of it with the sauce on bottom and "toppings" above it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna (next time Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake)
Adapted from a Real Mom Kitchen recipe
Makes 6 servings

2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) package dry ranch dressing mix
24 oz. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (next time 7.5 oz. barilla macaroni)
3.5 oz. 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
75 grams fresh mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Stir in chicken and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Layer: 4 lasagna noodles, chicken sauce, ½ cup cheese, 4 lasagna noodles, chicken sauce, 4 lasagna noodles, remaining cheese in 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Next time, cook pasta per box instructions then mix together all ingredients except for cheese. Wait and add cheese after 30 minutes. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 488 calories, 38 carbs, 14 fat grams and 47 protein grams.

Review: I really like the filling - the evaporated milk added a lot to this dish - it almost tenderized the chicken and mixed with the ranch it had a great flavor. I will say that I was NOT happy with how the top layer of the lasagna came out - too tough. I made notes above about what i'm going to do next time (make it more of a pasta bake instead of a lasagna so it cooks more evenly. I think this will make a huge difference.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast Nachos
Recipe from My Bizzy Kitchen
Makes 2 Servings

5 small corn tortillas
3 eggs
1 tbsp fat-free milk
½ oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, grated
4 slices turkey bacon
4 tbsp salsa

Cut corn tortillas into 6 triangle pieces and spray them with Pam. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and bake for 12 minutes at 350. Cook bacon in the microwave per instructions, and dice it up. Scramble eggs with milk and a bit of salt. When the tortillas are done, split them into two piles of 15 triangles and divide the eggs over the top. Then sprinkle bacon over each pile and add cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, about 3 minute (watch it or it will burn!). Then top each pile with two tablespoons of salsa (I used Trader Joe’s 3-Pepper Salsa).

Nutritional Information: 337 calories, 32 carbs, 15 fat grams and 18 protein grams.

Review: YUM. Seriously - I loved the flavors of the eggs, bacon and salsa and the crunch of the nachos, which made them really fun to eat. This, to me, is definitely more for the weekends as i'm not sure how it would reheat, but it could be easily switched to during the week if you made it more like a quesadilla or even a tostado. Regardless, I want mine in nacho form. It filled me up to - while the calories aren't super high the fat helped as well as the protein. Great recipe that i'll be making again!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Creamy White Chili

Creamy White Chili
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Café
Makes 6 Servings

20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup onion, diced
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
2 15.5-oz. cansGreat Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can chicken broth
1 4-oz. can chopped green chilies 1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: 384 calories, 27 carbs, 15 fat grams and 29 protein grams.

Review: Wow. The sour cream + whipping cream base really make this soup taste sinful. The can of green chiles adds a nice kick, but it's mild (add a second can for even more!). There is nothing I would do different. The serving may not look huge but it packs a lot of protein with the chicken and beans and kept me full for hours. Austin, Teresa and Forrest agree that this soup is a winner! Austin likes his with a piece of toast.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from a Taste and Tell Recipe
Makes 6 Servings

4 cups fat-free chicken broth, room temperature
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms of your choice
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp minced garlic, jarred
4 tbsp light butter
1 cup onion, diced
9 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper

To garnish:
12 tsp Kraft parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley

Heat olive oil in a second, large skillet. Add mushrooms and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate. Heat butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add rice, and stir to coat in butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add wine, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually add stock, a cupful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs it. Increase heat to medium so liquid bubbles. Cook for 17 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in mushrooms and cook for 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into six servings and then stir parmesan cheese into each and top with parsley.

Nutritional Information: 403 calories, 43 carbs, 12 fat grams and 24 protein grams.

Review: Creamy and delicious! I'm such a huge risotto fan now. I really like the thick, richness of it, and it makes a great, healthy serving that is very filling. As you can imagine, if you're not a mushroom fan don't go for this recipe (I mean come on - a pound of mushrooms made me smile but if you're meh on them - pass on this). I thought the mushrooms added a lot of flavor, as did the minced garlic. I'll be making this again!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rotel Slowcooker Chicken Burritos

Rotel Slowcooker Chicken Burritos
Recipe adapted from Fabulessly Frugal
Makes 6 Servings

16 oz. chicken
1 can Rotel
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 packet taco seasoning
6 large Mission flour tortillas
1 avocado (116 grams)
1 can Trader Joe’s refried beans with jalapeno seasoning*
60 grams (2 oz) cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, divided into 6
6 tbsp Sour cream, divided into 6

*If you can’t find these, get a can of black beans, drain them, and mash them with a fork

Place chicken in slowcooker. Mix Rotel, chicken broth and taco seasoning and pour mixture over chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred it, and add back to slowcooker to blend with any remaining sauce. Scoop out contents of avocado and mash, leaving mixture chunky. Mix beans and avocado together and spread evenly on six warm tortillas (about 85 grams each). Sprinkle each with cheese (10 grams). Add a scoop of chicken mixture (114 grams) and a dollop of sour cream (15 grams). Fold into burritos and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: 462 calories, 58 carbs, 10 fat grams and 32 protein grams.

Review: Yum! The guacamole added so much mixed with those beans. It was almost like a bean burrito then no – there’s some spicy chicken! I liked the sour cream and that little bit of cheese went a long way. This was a great burrito/wrap that we’ll definitely be having again. Although, next time I’ll double the chicken and use the other half in salads or in a taco or enchilada bake!

The inside

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Cooking Inspiration

Ranchero Macaroni Bake

Ranchero Macaroni Bake
Recipe adapted from a Recipes for Moms recipe
Makes 6 Servings

1 can (14.5 oz.) fat-free cream of mushroom soup
½ cup skim milk
3 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup red salsa, medium
1/4 cup green salsa, hot
10 oz. elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 oz. tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
16 oz. chicken
1 packet taco seasoning
½ cup fat-free chicken broth

Cook macaroni according to package directions. While it cooks, cook chicken in a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat with chicken broth and taco seasoning. Cook for 7-8 minutes until no longer pink. Drain macaroni. Combine soup and milk in a large bowl. Stir in cheese, salsa and cooked macaroni. Stir in chicken. Spoon into a baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir; sprinkle with crushed chips. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Full Dish - 6 servings

Nutritional Information: 401 calories, 47 carbs, 6 fat grams and 32 protein grams.

Review: Very good. The green salsa really added some extra fire that I think I would have missed if I hadn't added. The soupiness helped - I was nervous at first to stir before adding the chips, but it made a big difference and helped it cook more evenly. I liked the chip layer too - very crunchy, especially against the pasta/soupiness of the rest of the recipe. All in all, I would make this again and wouldn't change anything, great pastsa bake!