Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicken Fajita Skillet with Avocado Salsa

Another weight watchers recipe. The good news is Nick didn't believe me, which means not only is it not bad for you but it tastes good too! I ate the leftover salsa for lunch the next day and just added black beans to it. Excuse the steam in the picture.

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes - quartered
1 med. avocado - peeled and cubed
2 TBSP. fresh cilantro - chopped
1 TBSP lime juice
1 lb. chicken breasts - cut into strips
1 onion - sliced
1 red pepper - sliced
1 green pepper - sliced
1 tsp mexican seasoning - I used taco seasoning from the package
2 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce

1. Combine tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and line juice in bowl.
2. Heat oil in skillet over med/high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat oil in the same skillet over med/high heat. Add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are very soft - about 5 min. Add the chicken and seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently - about 1 min. Stir in the soy sauce and cook until liquid almost evaporates - about 30 seconds. Serve with the salsa.

Ben's 6th Birthday Cake

My attempt at making an Indiana Jones birthday cake for Ben. I thought it turned out pretty cute and it tasted good too! I got the recipe from another's the link -
I didn't use the cake recipe she did. I just used a cake mix and baked according the box directions.

1 plastic palm tree
1 plastic bush
1 Indiana Jones action figure
1 dark chocolate cake mix
1 tub premade chocolate frosting
1 small box shortbread cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray all three pans with non-stick cooking spray. You need a square cake pan, a loaf pan and a mini loaf pan. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Pour cakes into all three pans. Bake for 20-35 minutes, keep checking for doneness. Cool cakes completely.
2. Place square cake on serving platter and frost top. Cut off about 1 inch from the end of the loaf cake to make it the same size as the square cake. Place smaller piece in front of square cake for a "step." Place loaf cake on top of square cake near the back edge. Frost the top. Place mini loaf atop the regular loaf. Frost the entire thing.
3. Place the cookies in a plastic bag. Seal bag and crush cookies with rolling pin. Sprinkle cookie crumbs all over surface of cakes. Place palm tree, bush, and action figure.

Apple Tart

The cream cheese added that extra something that made it much better. This is another Food & Family recipe. Forewarning - leftovers aren't that tasty so definitely finish it the first time you make it!!

1 premade refrigerated pie crust
4 oz. cream creese
3 apples - thinly sliced - definitely use smaller apples, mine were too big
1/4 c. sugar
2 TBSP. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon sugar
1 c. cool whip - thawed

1. Heat oven to 450. Line 9 inch pie plate with crust. Spread cream cheese around the center.
2. Toss apples with sugar and flour. Spoon over cream creese.
3. Fold crust partially over apples. (I couldn't do this part since my apples were too big) Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 25 min. Cover loosely with foil for last 5 min. Cool. Serve with cool whip.

Chicken Stuffing Bake

This recipe came from the Food & Family magazine put out by Kraft. It's a free magazine and I love just about every recipe in it. I would definitely recommend it!

1 pkg stuffing mix for chicken
1.5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite size pieces
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/3 c. sour cream
16 oz. package frozen mixed veggies - thawed and drained

1. Heat oven to 400. Prepare stuffing mix as directed. Mix chicken, soup, sour cream and veggies in 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with stuffing.
2. Bake 30 min or until chicken is cooked through.

Super Easy!!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

There are about 5 million recipes out there for chicken tortilla but I figured I'd add mine to the mix. It's super easy to make and tastes awesome.

1 onion - chopped
1 red pepper - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
3 c. chicken broth
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilis
10 oz package frozen corn - thawed
1 tsp. chili seasoning or any of the taco/fajita seasoning packets
1.5 c. cooked chicken breast - chopped - I use the precooked whole chickens and shred them
1/4 c. fresh cilantro - chopped
tortilla chips

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over med/high heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until softened and lightly browned - about 5 min.
2. Add the broth, tomatoes, corn and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and cilantro. Reduce heat and simmer until heated through. Serve with crushed tortilla chips on top. Of course - always can be topped with cheese!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I'm beginning to notice a lot of the food I post looks the same. It seems to have the red, white and green theme going. I promise they all taste very different. This had a really good flavor because of the dressing. I am always amazed at how much spinach shrinks down when you cook it. I would definitely serve it with a carb since the mushroom is stuffed with only veggies. Nick and I had it as a side on a leftover day.

4 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 c. italian dressing - divided
1/4 c. red pepper - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
20 oz. fresh spinach
1/4 c. parmesan cheese - I used the shredded, not the grated but either would work

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut off stems from mushrooms. Chop and set aside. Scrape out gills from mushroom caps and discard gills. Brush 1 TBSP of dressing onto rounded sides of caps. Place, rounded sides down, on foil lined baking sheet.
2. Heat remaining dressing on med high heat. Add mushroom stems, red pepper and garlic. Cook and stir for 2 min. Add spinach. Reduce heat to med low. Cover and simmer until spinach is wilted - about 4 min. Stir after 2 min though. Spoon evenly over mushroom caps and sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake 18-20 min or until mushrooms are tender.

Steak and Potatoes (w/ a side of Green Beans)

The steak is an Emeril recipe and the green beans are weight watchers. I did the baked potato all on my own :) The steak is with a garlic butter sauce which was very yummy. We modified the recipe (I included the original below) since we weren't going to eat as much meat at it called for. We ended up splitting one steak. The green beans were with carmelized shallots. I like using shallots because they taste similar to onion but Nick who doesn't really like onions, likes shallots.

Ingredients - Steak
4 ribeye steaks - each about 1 1/2 inches thick
1 TBSP salt
2 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
4 TBSP minced garlic, divided

Instructions - Steak
1. Season the steaks evenly on all sides with the salt and let come to room temp for at least 20 min.
2. Heat a large saute pan over med high heat and add olive oil. When oil is almost smoking, add 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp of the butter. Add the steaks and cook, undisturbed for 6 min - or until well browned on the first side.
3. Turn the steaks over and top each steak with 1 TBSP of garlic and 2 tsps of the remaining butter. Continue to cook the steaks on the second side for 5 min for med rare.
4. Remove the pan from heat, tilt pan slightly to remove some excess rendered fat from the pan. Turn steaks so that garlic and butter are in the pan. Allow steaks to sit for 15 seconds. Transfer steaks to a platter and pour the garlic butter drippings over the steaks. Allow steaks to rest for 5 min before serving.

Ingredients - Green Beans
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans - trimmed
2 tsp olive oil
6 med shallots - peeled and thinly sliced
2 TBSP fresh parsley - chopped
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper

Instructions - Green Beans
1. Heat a large pot of water to a simmer. Steam green beans until tender - about 5 min. Run steamed beans under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking and set aside
2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add shallots and cook, stirring often (add a little water if they start to stick), until golden and tender - about 5 min.
3. Add green beans to skillet and toss over med heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, toss to mix and coat.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Waist Line Friendly Chicken Pot Pie

There isn't much of a crust on this but it still tasted good. You could always add more of the crescent rolls to it and make more crust. I just made the rest of the crescent rolls and served them as a side. Zero leftovers - Nick at it all!

cooking spray
1 tsp butter
1 onion - chopped
2 c. mushrooms - sliced
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 c. frozen mixed veggies
1 c. chicken broth
3 c. cooked chicken breast chopped - I bought a rotissere chicken already cooked and shredded it
2 TBSP flour
1/2 c. evaporated milk - divided - I used fat free
4 rolls - reduced fat crescent roll dough

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat daking dish with cooking spray.
2. Coat large pot with cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook until tender - stirring frequently - about 5 min. Stir in seasonings. Add veggies, broth and chicken. Cover and simmer - 15 min.
3. In a small cup, combine flour and 1/4 c. of evaporated milk. Stir into chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened - stirring constantly - about 2 min. Stir in remaining evaporated milk. Cook until slightly thickened - about 2-3 min more.
4. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Unroll crescent rolls and arrange dough around the dish. Bake until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly - about 15 min.

Scary Pudding Cups

I thought these would be fun for Ben so I gave them a try. I had to improvise because I didn't have the semi sweet melting chocolate. Instead I used black icing I had bought to decorate Halloween cookies. It worked well at first but after the pudding sat in the cups for a bit, it started to drip down the inside of the cups. Also, it appears that it should be minty since it's green but it's not. Although, mint would be pretty tasty.

1 square semi sweet baking chocolate
2 c cold milk
6 drops green food coloring
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding - the smaller package
8 oreo cookies - crushed - I scraped the creme off the cookies to make crushing them easier

1. Melt chocolate in micowave as directed by package. Use a small paint brush to paint a monster face on the inside of cups. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Add milk and food coloring to dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min - or until well blended. Pour into prepared cups.
3. Top with cookie crumbs. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Shrimp, Tortellini, Spinach

This is a quick dish to make and tastes great. The best part is the minimal amount of prep work.

1 pkg refrigerated tortellini
1/4 c Italian dressing
garlic - minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes - undrained
3/4 lb cooked cleaned shrimp - I used the frozen kind, size small
6 oz spinach leaves
1/4 c fresh basil - chopped
parmesan cheese

1. Cook tortellini according to package instructions.
2. Heat dressing over medium/high heat. Add garlic - cook 1 min. Add tomatoes and shrimp. Bring just to a boil. Stir in spinach and cover - simmer 1-2 min. Stir occasionally.
3. Stir in tortellini and basil - simmer uncovered 3-4 min. Stir occasionally until sauce thickens.
4. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.