Monday, July 27, 2009

Green Chicken Curry

My husband loved it...and that is saying something. He even took seconds! Woo-hoo! I love those nights in the kitchen, they make all the time worthwhile...especially when all the time is about 30 minutes! YES! I love quick, delicious meals! This had just the correct amount of kick, and the cous cous...mmmmm! I am now going to start rotating cous cous into our meal plan, I loved it! Not to mention cilantro, it always gives the perfect fresh taste to every meal.

Green Chicken Curry
Printable Version

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups couscous, cooked according to package directions
3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Season raw, sliced chicken with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 2 minutes per side until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, green chilies, curry powder, cumin, and cilantro. Add mixture to chicken and bring to a simmer. Simmer 10-12 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens and reduces slightly. Serve chicken and green curry sauce over couscous.

Serves 4.

Adapted from: My Kitchen Cafe

Chicken Tortellini Bake

I have a weakness for cheese. O how I wish I had a weakness for something else, something HEALTHY! But I don't, so I might as well just give in, right? When I saw this recipe on a friend's blog, I knew that I just had to make it. Unfortunately, I knew that I would also have to change it quite a bit to fit our family's tastes, but it all worked out WONDERFULLY! I mixed her recipe with one of my own, Chicken Tortilla Bake, and came out with a delicious dish. It was extremely easy and perfect for a quick, weeknight meal.

Chicken Tortellini Bake
Printable Version

16 ounce package of cheese tortellini, thawed(pre-packaged in the refrigeration isle)
1 chicken breast boiled or sauteed and cut into bite size pieces
8 ounces chicken broth
1 4 oz. can green chilies
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix the monterey jack and mozzarella cheese together. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine chicken broth, sour cream, and green chilies.

Spray a 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Pour thawed tortellini in bottom of pan. Sprinkle half the cheese over tortellini. Scatter cubed chicken over the top. Pour sauce mixture over the chicken/tortellini/cheese and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

Bake covered with tin foil at 375 for 15 minutes, uncover and bake for additional 15 minutes until bubbly and golden brown around the edges.

Serves 4.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Mexican anyone?! I am not a huge mexican fan...or a huge COOOKING mexican food fan. I think it is because I am not sure if I can do it. All of the dishes seem so complex that I scare myself away from trying them. However, I decided to give this recipe a shot and it worked out great! It was simple, which is exactly what I needed to give me confidence to start making more mexican dishes. Baking them in the oven make them seem somewhat healthy, or more healthy than frying anyway, which is key for my family. The inside is perfectly creamy from the cream cheese along with the melted delishisness from the monterey jack. I loved the crispy tortillas, which was a shock to me because I normally only like soft shell. Give them a shot and let me know if you think this is as simple as I did!

Baked Chicken Taquitos
Printable Version

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup green salsa
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, sliced finely

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese
14 small yellow or white corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and 1 cup cheese and combine well.
Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don't crack while rolling. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. (A few of mine wanted to rebel and come unrolled so I stuck a toothpick through them to keep them right and tight.)

Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don't touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Remove from oven, top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Serve immediately with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side. These extras really made the taquitos for us!

Make 14 Taquitos

From: My Kitchen Caf

Skillet Lasagna

Talk about a delicious, easy lasagna! I didn't know "easy" lasagna existed until I saw this dish on a fellow blogger's page. I am so glad that I tried it out! We love pasta, and especially lasagna, but it is SOOOO time longer! I really loved this dish as did the guests that I made it for. I am in the process of unpacking my life into my new house so I had to steal a pictures from Melanie...not to mention the fact that she got an amazing picture, which is hard to accomplish with this type of dish!

Skillet Lasagna
Printable Version

2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 pound ground beef
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into 1 inch lengths
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (do not use fat-free)

Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a blender or food processor until they are coarsely ground and no large pieces remain.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is lightly browned and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.

Scatter the broken lasagna noodles over the meat and then pour in the ground tomatoes and tomato sauce over the pasta. Stir in the basil and oregano. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in half the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Cover and let stand off the heat until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.

Serves 5.

Adapted from: My Kitchen Cafe

Monday, July 13, 2009

Watermelon Salad

Talk about refreshing...this is my new favorite summer salad. The sweet watermelon contrasts perfectly with the tangy onion and fresh basil. The creamy feta is in a league of its mouth is watering right this instant! My mom made this along with some delicious Cafe Rio Pork for dinner, (which is one of my all time favs), and I could barely stop eating the watermelon salad to eat the pork! I can't wait to make this side dish for a great summer BBQ...whoever is there will LOVE it.

Watermelon Salad
Printable Version

6 cups watermelon, diced
4 oz. feta, crumbled
3/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced thin
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Prepare watermelon, feta, red onion and basil. Combine all together and drizzle balsamic vinegar just prior to serving.

Serves 6.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lemon Shrimp

I am not a fan of fried foods. Actually, I never, ever make them in my home. However, my father in law is an absolute PRO at them. He can fry anything that you give him, and it doesn't feel the slightest bit greasy. Since one of our favorite recipes is Lemon Chicken I decided to put a little spin on it and make Lemon Shrimp. O MY MY, what a good idea that was! Not to mention I had the fry master at my fingertips helping me every step of the way! This was absolutely delicious, I think I will have a hard time choosing between making chicken or shrimp with this meal from here on out!

Serves 4.

15-20 shrimp (your choice), deviened
1 egg yolk
1 dash pepper
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (or All Natural Bragg Liquid Aminos to be gf)

3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. flour (or organic wheat rice flour to be gf)
2 Tbsp. paprika
1/3 cup corn meal

2 cups oil for frying (we used 1 cup coconut and 1 cup peanut...delish!)

Soak shrimp in egg yolk, soy sauce and pepper for 5 minutes.
Coat each piece of shrimp in a mixture of cornstarch, flour paprika and corn meal. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, this creates an even color when frying. Fry shrimp in hot oil, (you know the temperature is correct by placing a small piece of white bread in the oil. If it browns in 30 seconds, your oil is ready. This is approx. 365 degrees.) turning to fry evenly. Drain shrimp on a plate covered with paper towels.
Service with rice and lemon sauce (below).

1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup water

In medium saucepan mix together sugar and corn starch. Then add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Cook until thickened.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chocolate (Oatmeal) Cake

Don't be scared...O PLEASE do not be scared of the (Oatmeal) in this chocolate cake. You do not even know it is there. All that the oatmeal does is make this cake the most moist cake you will eat in your entire life! I literally ate 3 pieces of this cake the first time that I tried it...I just could not stay away. Watch, heavenly, moist chocolate cake, here I come!!!

From: LuAnn

1 cup oats
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add oats to boiling water and allow to stand for 9 minutes. Add softened butter and allow to stand until melted. Slowly mix in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Bake for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jamaican Toasted Coconut Cookies

As my sister would say, "If someone could figure out a way to hook me up to an IV and pump [coconut] through it, I would be a happy woman"! This is how I felt when I tasted this cookie dough. I knew it was going to make delightful cookies, and it did! To be honest, if you don't like coconut, you could still like these cookies. They taste like a perfect sugar cookie with just a dash of coconut, which makes them perfect. They are the tiniest bit chewy, and basically, to die for.

From: Pots and Pins

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup coconut (I used big ribbon coconut and it was great but shredded coconut is probably best)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.(YES...250). Cream butter and sugar very well, add vanilla, coconut, baking soda and flour. Roll into 1-inch balls or use a 1-inch scoop. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Using a fork, lightly press until cookies are a little less than a 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until coconut is toasted and the bottoms of the cookies are just barely beginning to brown; DO NOT OVER BAKE. (Cookies will seem very fragile when first out of oven but let cool on the pan for about 3 to 4 minutes then carefully remove to rack to cool completely. Cookies will firm up as they cool.) Makes about 30 cookies.

Coconut Chicken Stir Fry

This Coconut Chicken Stir Fry, or, as my mom would like to name it, "Chicken 'Da Bomb", was THE BOMB! It has a delicious sauce with just a slight coconut flavor, a little kick from the ginger and curry paste, and a perfect consistency. I loved the crunch from all of the vegetables and the tender, moist chicken. Melanie from My Kitchen Cafe made this recipe with Shirmp, which I would love but hubbs would not, so I subbed it out for chicken. She also combined all ingredients together, but I had to adapt the recipe to have my vegetables separate from the chicken and sauce. It was equally as delicious, and hubbs even gave the snow peas a shot and liked them! (Slowly but surely I am converting him to veggies!)

Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe
Serves 4

1 recipe Coconut-Curry sauce (below)
1 pound chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite size pieces
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons EVOO(extra virgin olive oil)
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced (any type will do)
8 ounces snow peas, strings removed and diced
1 cup bean sprouts
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 3/4 tablespoon ground ginger spice
2 1/4 cups rice, cooked

Coconut Curry Sauce
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste (I used 2 teaspoons for a doubled recipe - this paste can be found in most grocery stores in the Asian foods aisle near the Thai ingredients)
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Prepare the coconut curry sauce and set it aside (I doubled the sauce recipe because we love lots of sauce).

Toss the chicken with soy sauce. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken and cook, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl.

Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to the skillet and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in snow peas and bean sprouts and cook for one more minute. Transfer vegetables to a clean bowl.

Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet. Cook, mashing garlic mixture into the pan with the back of a spatula, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cooked chicken. Whisk sauce to recombine and add to pan, bringing to a simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve vegetable mixture and sauce mixture over rice.