Sunday, March 30, 2008

First times with Chicken

I love the smell of a chicken cooking (boiling) on the stove. It is such a home-y smell! Today was a day like that - kinda rainy and dreary outside (but at least warmer) and basketball on the tv (reminds me of a Shenandoah song).
But, I made some Gumbo (from the April Everyday Food), some Chicken and Dumplins with peas, Chicken salad (and some hummus, but it didn't have chicken in it).
Chicken Gumbo (I will have to make some rice for it, because right now it is a little too oil-y for me because there was no rice in it to drink up the roux)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup flour
2 red peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 frozen bag cut okra
1 pkg fully cooked andouille sausage
4 cups cooked chicken
4 cups water or broth
Heat oil and stir together flour till milky consistency. Add veggies (not yet for the okra) and saute till softened, about 10 minutes. Then add the broth (I did 2 cups broth, 2 cups water), okra, and sausage. Bring to boil and then add chicken. Warm through. Very easy for a 30 minute gumbo recipe. I added some red pepper flakes and hot sauce (because gumbo is supposed to be spicy).

Chicken and Dumplins (Healthy style) Can you believe I was raised in the south and never made chicken and dumplins - I was so deprived! But on the suggestion - I had to make it to see if I could do it! The gravy part it makes is so yummy and comfort food! :)
Chicken broth with bones, chicken chunks
1 1/2 cups flour (1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup ap)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
large pinch of parm cheese
3 T cold butter
3/4 cup milk
mix dry, cut in butter, add milk and parm cheese. Drop into boiling broth by little pinches (I rolled mine into balls). Boil for 10 minutes, then cover and boil for 15 more. I added about 1 cup frozen peas into mine as well. First time making them and I thought they were pretty tasty! You can definitely tell I used whole wheat flour - but they were filling! Oh, I got the basic dumplin recipe out of Betty Crocker's cookbook (I experimented with the flour, parm cheese, and peas).

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Lemon

Well, its almost Spring here in L-ville.
Bobby gave me some lemons from his tree when I was home last so I had to use them. We bought some asparagus since it is in season, and I had some arborio rice (which I love), so I found a recipe - and tweaked it some of course. It is so creamy - without being totally fattening!
1 48oz box low-sodium ff chicken broth (keep heated on separate burner)
olive oil
1/2 onion - finely chopped
1 1/4 cup arborio rice
1 lemon - zested
1 bunch of asparagus, cut on a slant
juice of half of a lemon
1 T butter
1/3 cup parm cheese

Saute onion in oil. Add rice till coated in oil. Add zest to rice. Add asparagus. Add broth 1 cup at a time (and keep adding when liquid has gone away). Keep stirring until all broth is used. Add butter, lemon juice, and parm cheese. Stir and serve either as meal or side dish!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cranberry-Orange Oats Pancakes

Mom gave me a Prevention magazine and I found one recipe out of two magazines that I liked. I made them tonight and they were delicious. I would tend to make these during the fall and winter, because of the flavors - but they were yummy for Lisa and I on this almost spring, sorta rainy day. They have fiber in them too, so they are very filling!

Cranberry-Orange Oats Pancakes
1 cup oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ap flour
1/4 packed brown sugar
1 heaping T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup oj (I used 4 oranges I had in the house) with my relatively new squeezer from W-S which I love!
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil (these are those healthy fats)
3/4 cup craisins

Mix dry, add wet in, fold in craisins - cook! I loved them!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cooking with Mom - Spinach Lasagna

I finally was allowed to cook a meal for my parents while they were here, so Mom and I put together a spinach lasagna recipe that I got from a dear friend in St. Augustine. Martha Shinn, youth ministry professor extraordinaire, made this lasagna for a bunch of single girls in Young Life one Valentine's Day. It was amazing. So, I've made it ever since. Dad loved it - said he could have eaten the whole pan - that's great because he's lost so much weight! Will power!

Spinach Lasagna
1 32 oz jar spaghetti sauce (I use prego)
1 cup water
2 egg whites
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and very well drained
1 16 oz container red-fat small curd cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
pepper to taste
8 oz lasagna noodles
1 package 2% grated mozz cheese
Mix sauce and water - set aside. Mix the rest (through the pepper). In 9x13 layer in starting with sauce - then noodles - then spinach - repeat. Top with sauce. Refrigerate overnight. Top with mozz cheese and some parm/romano, etc. Bake covered for 1 hour at 375. I take the lid off with about 10 minutes left to brown the cheese a little more. Fantastic! Serve with a salad and bread!

Cooking with Mom - Cranberry-Apple Rice Pudding

My Mom is a great chopper! :) And these apples I got to pick in White Plains, NY when I was up there during peak apple season...
I wanted to make this because you can make it halfway healthy and my Dad loves rice pudding, so we'll see what he thinks of this. And I get to use the crockpot while I cook other things.
Cranberry-Apple Rice Pudding
3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup to 2.5 cups of water)
1 apple, diced
1/2 cup craisins
1 tsp vanilla
1 can each ff condensed milk and evaporated milk

Spray crockpot with pam. Stir all ingredients together. Cook on low for 3.5 hours or until all the liquid is evaporated. I serve it with some ff cool whip.

Cooking with Mom - Roasted Vegetable Stew

My parents are in town this weekend. I had my mom find a recipe we could make - she picked this. Enjoy - it was really good - but a two person recipe (for all the chopping)
Roasted Root Vegetable Stew

2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped beets
I cup chopped turnips
1 cup chopped parsnips
12 shallots - peeled and halved
1 garlic head - peeled, cloved
olive oil
fresh parsley and sage (about 2 tsp each)
2 tsp chopped, minced fresh ginger
3 cups veggie broth
s/p to taste
topping - sour cream
Roast first 7 ingredients on a sheet pan at 450 for 30 minutes. Take out and put the rest and the veggies in a dutch oven over medium heat for 30 minutes. When done, I mashed up all the veggies with a potato masher - or you could use an immersion blender. Great color and good taste - the roasting of the veggies brings out the sweetness of it. Mom and Dad both liked it and it will serve as leftovers this week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fast, Healthy Italian Chicken

I brought out the Cooking Light Cookbook to try to make something healthy and good. Found this recipe. It actually tastes really good! I put mine over some leftover quinoa but you could use brown rice or whole wheat pasta, or even risotto or polenta - any would be great.

Italian Chicken with Chickpeas

1 lb chicken tenderloins

3 turns of olive oil

garlic powder, oregano, s/p for chicken

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 can diced italian tomatoes

1 can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained

Cook the chicken until half way done. Then add the rest, turn on low to simmer until chicken is done and tomato mixture is heated through.

How easy, fast, and yummy is this!