Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Italian Chicken and Spinach Skillet

I found a great new blog the other day and have already tried out several of the recipes (and bookmarked even more to try soon)!

This Italian Chicken & Spinach Skillet was so flavorful (and easy!)! I have a long standing rule that any recipe that gets my husband to eat spinach goes in the keeper file so we will definitely be having this one again! :)

Just 8 points for a good sized serving!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kickin' Chicken Nachos

This, my friends, is the awesomeness that results from your husband making dinner:


I think Jake was over chick, diet food and seized the opportunity to make nachos after spotting key ingredients around the kitchen. We had an abundance of grilled chicken after our freezer and fridge died (right after I had stocked up on chicken breasts of course!) that was just begging for a more creative use than simply throwing it over a salad. We tossed some of the chicken in buffalo wing sauce and then used typical nacho toppings like an insane amount of cheese, olives, sour cream, salsa and heaps of guacamole. I usually make my own guacamole but we tried the Wholly Guacamole brand for the first time since I had a coupon...it was SO good! Not quite as good as the homemade stuff, but definitely nice to have on hand in the fridge. I used it on turkey burgers the next night...I'm pretty firmly in the "guacamole goes with everything" camp.

I think I'll let Jake handle dinner more often. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chicken Puttanesca

We first had this meal when my mom was here just after Kate was born. So good and really easy to put together as evidenced by the fact that I've been able to repeat this meal after our family reinforcements left! This recipe has a ton of flavor and is good for you too!




Chicken Breast Saute Puttanesca- Style

1.24 lbs uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp unsalted butter
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
10 medium olives, black, sliced
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
14 oz canned diced tomatoes

1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Cook chicken in skillet until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Flip and continue cooking just until chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in the same skillet and add garlic and red pepper flakes; stir over the heat for 30 seconds.

4. Stir in the olives and capers; pour in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.
5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly until just slightly reduced; about 3 minutes.

6. Return the chicken to the skillet along with any accumulated juices and cook until warmed, about 2 minutes.

Time to lose the baby weight! 1 chicken breast and 1/3 cup sauce is just 4 points.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Maple Chipotle Pork Chops

Here's hoping I haven't lost my approximately 3 readers over the course of my long absence from blogging! We've been a bit busy around here with a new little one! We still only have a meager semblance of a schedule, but it's enough to have allowed me to venture back into the kitchen lately. I've been so excited to be able to plan and cook meals again...even if they are pretty much cold by the time I get a chance to eat! We've pretty much mastered the art of eating in shifts...Kate has an uncanny ability to sleep through the entire preparation of dinner and then those little eyes pop right open as the food hits the table!

I think I've mentioned before I have a slight obsession with grits and will pretty much make any recipe in which they appear (especially if it is featured in Southern Living). So it is no surprise that the first meal I made after my return to the kitchen was this:


These Maple Chipotle Pork Chops are fantastic! We had them over the smoked gouda cheese grits and it was a great meal. We weren't able to grill the pork chops because it's the season of the severe thunderstorm here, and I'm sure that would have made them even better by carmelizing the sauce a bit. I just prepared them on the stovetop in a little bit of oil and it worked out well.


Pork Chops:
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can
6 (1 1/4-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients, and set aside.
2. Sprinkle pork chops evenly with salt and pepper.
3. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°, turning once. Baste with half of barbecue sauce mixture the last 5 minutes of cooking or when meat thermometer registers 145°.

Smoked Gouda Grits:
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 2/3 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese and butter, stirring until melted.

Spoon Smoked Gouda Grits evenly onto 6 serving plates; top each with a pork chop, and drizzle evenly with remaining barbecue sauce mixture.

Also, if anyone has any idea as to what to do with leftover canned chipotle peppers in adobo, I'm all ears. I always have leftovers when I use them in recipes and never have any idea what to do with them!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I cooked!! Well...sort of

Just 12 days away from our due date now! So excited to meet our baby girl soon!!

In an increasingly rare burst of prior planning and energy, I managed to gather the ingredients to prepare a dinner yesterday that went beyond baked chicken and veggies. While it did rely on the slow cooker, I'm totally still counting it! :)

I made this Southwestern Pulled Brisket that I found over at Smitten Kitchen and it was so tasty! I'm definitely more of a pork BBQ girl but this recipe will be working its way into the rotation for sure (especially if brisket keeps going on sale at Publix). We made ours into sandwiches with coleslaw and there are plenty of leftovers...which I'm pretty sure means I get credit for dinner again tonight! Yay! :)

You'll have to rely on Smitten Kitchen's pictures...our camera/video camera/ and what feels like everything we own is packed up in the hospital bags sitting by the door just waiting for a certain little girl to decide she's ready to enter the world!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stockpiling

I did A LOT of cooking this past weekend...but don't have anything to really show for it and can't even recommend any recipes since we haven't tasted anything yet! I was busy making recipes to put away in the freezer for either the last couple weeks of pregnancy when I might not feel like hitting the grocery store or making meals and/or for some easy meals once our daughter arrives!

All in all, I made 7 different entrees. This was my first time experimenting with bulk cooking but I think I could really get into it. If you're interested, moneysavingmom.com is hosting a freezer cooking day today so you can read more about her process and what she's whipping up as I type! I'm amazed she got all her groceries for around $61 for 25 meals...my total bill was about twice that for 14 meals (which will really end up being 28 meals for just the 2 of us)!

So here's what you can look forward to hearing about in the coming weeks (assuming that a) the recipes turn out well and survive the freezer and b) that I actually do any blogging in the next couple of weeks!)

Mexican Veggie Casserole
Firecracker Enchiladas
Oriental Beef & Noodles
Chicken Taco Soup
Ham & Asparagus Bake (in case she comes her due date around Easter...gotta have ham!)
Zippy Turkey Bake
Baked Ziti

I have a teeny tiny freezer and was able to fit all of these in 8x8 foil pans and ziploc bags and still have tons of space leftover. I have a couple more things I hope to get a chance to make before delivery day but I'm really happy that I've at least set aside these items!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chipotle Burgers

Fitpregnancy.com might not be the first place you think of when you're looking for a new recipe. But these Chipotle Beef Burgers will satisfy anyone...expecting a baby is not required!


1 pound 88% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
1 can (4.5 ounce) chopped green chilies
1/2 large ripe avocado
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
4 whole-grain hamburger buns
4 large leaves romaine lettuce
4 large slices tomato

1. Combine ground beef with chili powder and green chilies. Shape into 4 patties.

2. Grill over medium heat, turning once, until beef burgers are 155° F to 160° F.

3. While burgers cook, mash avocado in small bowl and mix with cilantro, garlic and lime juice.

4. Serve burgers on whole-grain buns topped with lettuce, tomato and avocado-lime spread.

I kicked up the guacamole a bit by adding chopped tomatoes, black pepper and several dashes of hot sauce. The chipotle chili powder and green chilis in the patties really gives these burgers a bit of heat. We had these burgers with chipotle spiced sweet potato fries which were the perfect accompaniment. I also just threw these on the Foreman Grill because Jake was busy finishing up the painting in the baby's room! YAY!