Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thai Red Curry with Beef

Here is another recipe from Men's Health (same issue as the General Tso's Chicken).  It has many fewer ingredients, but is still really fast moving, like QUICK!  Add this!  QUICK!  Add that!  It comes out really delicious if this is your style dish.  Very rich.  Lots of leftovers for us.  I also think it needs some kind of green vegetable to make it prettier.

Thai Red Curry with Beef
adapted from Men's Health

2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 lb steak (round, loin or flank) cut in 1/2" wide strips
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 can (13.5 oz) light coconut milk
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced
juice of 1/2 lime
cooked brown rice

Heat wok or skillet on medium-high.  When hot, add 1 tbsp of oil and coat pan.  Add beef and sear until brown (2-3 minutes).  Transfer beef and juices to a plate and set aside.  Return wok to medium heat and add another tbsp of oil.  Add shallot and ginger and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Stir in curry paste and heat for 30 seconds.  Stir in coconut milk, lime zest and fish sauce; heat for 2 minutes.  Add sweet potato and bring sauce to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and beef with juices and heat through.  Serve over rice.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yogurt Parmesan Baked Chicken

You can see that the link to this recipe is the WORLD'S Best Baked Chicken.  And it's pretty awesome.  I just want to reserve that title for a few more years until I'm really sure it's The One.  This recipe is insanely healthy, really tasty, fast and easy.

Yogurt Parmesan Baked Chicken
adapted from Dashing Dish

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried minced onions
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
Pinch salt, pepper, sugar (~1/8 tsp each)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray.  Place chicken breasts in a large plastic food storage bag and pound to about 1/2 inch.  Place them in the baking dish.  In a small bowl, fully mix the yogurt, parmesan, garlic, onions, Mrs. Dash, salt, pepper, sugar.  Spoon the yogurt mix over the chicken and cover evenly on the top and sides.  Bake 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

The original recipe calls for sweetener, but I don't mess with anything that's not actual sugar because I can't stand the flavor.  I also had a bad experience with aspertame, so I don't trust anything "diet."  Next time I'm going to swap out the Mrs. Dash for dried parsley, as suggested in the original recipe, too, and possibly the onion powder for dried.  It will definitely be going into regular rotation.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Crescent Pizza

When I looked up this recipe on Rachael Ray's website, I realized I actually watched this episode in April 2009.  I was out of work and the ingredients were cheap and easy.  I made it a lot for a while because it was easy and a big hit in my house, then I totally forgot about it for a few years.  Toward the end of last year I finally remembered it again and it's been happily devoured on several occasions.


Chicken Bacon Ranch Crescent Pizza
adapted from Sara Mayer on Rachael Ray

1 can crescent rolls
1 cup barbeque sauce
1 large can cooked chicken, or shredded
1 cup shredded cheddar
6 cooked bacon pieces, chopped
1 cup ranch dressing
1 tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 375F.  Cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Spead out the crescent rolls flat onto the parchment and pinch the seams to seal.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and turn on the broiler.  Spread barbeque sauce all over the crescent to the edges, as much or little as you want.  Spread out the chicken, then sprinkle bacon and top with cheese.  Put in the broiler for a few minutes, watching until the cheese melts.  Remove from oven.  In a plastic sandwich bag, combine ranch dressing and chili powder.  Use the bag like a pastry bag (snip a tiny piece off one corner) and drizzle the dressing over the pizza.  Cut into squares and serve.

I know a few years ago I played around with different flavor combos, but I haven't for a while.  I'm thinking a Caprese pizza would be awesome.  Look out for the recipe soon.

Chicken Enchiladas

I have no idea where I got this recipe, but I've been making it from memory for so many years, I'm going to go ahead and call it mine.  If I got it from you, please step up and let me know!  It's a good thing to make when you don't know what else to make, because it's fast, simple and really tasty, and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand.

Chicken Enchiladas
by, Me.

2 large cans cooked chicken
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
8 tortillas
1 jar taco sauce
3/4 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Add chicken to a skillet on medium-high heat with sour cream, cheddar, parsley, oregano and pepper.  Heat until cheese melts.  Stir in salt, tomato sauce, chili powder and garlic until fully mixed and bubbling.  Stir pretty constantly.  Remove from heat.  Lightly coat a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray.  Roll even amounts of the filling into tortillas and arrange in the dish.  Cover with desired amount of taco sauce and cheese.  Bake uncovered 20 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes and serve.

Also amazing reheated, maybe even better.  You could also add chopped onions, green or red peppers, jalepenos to the filling, as well.  I usually serve it with yellow rice.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is one of those mimicked recipes from a chain restaurant, and I actually think it is better than PF Changs or Pei Wei.  And because it's homemade, it's probably a million times healthier.  I've previously used Iceburg lettuce because Boston is nearly impossible to find in my rural area, but I'm sure you'll be more lucky.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
adapted from

1 lb ground chicken
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 head of Boston lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken until cooked through.  Stir in ginger, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sriracha, hoisin and cook until heated through (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat and stir in peanuts.  Serve warm wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tequila Lime Chicken

When I found this recipe, it said it was a copycat recipe from a restaurant or something.  Given this is low carb, I highly recommend not eating it at the restaurant and making it at home.  Also, use the leftover dressing as a dip for tortilla chips or veggies!

Tequila Lime Chicken
from Low Carb Friends

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mexican-blend shredded cheese

2/3 cup tequila
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger

Mix marinade and add to chicken in a large Ziploc bag.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

1/2 cup mayo (low fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (low fat)
2 tbsp heavy cream
3 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp minced jalepeno slices
2 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp tabasco
1/4 tsp each: salt, cumin, dill, paprika, chili powder, cayenne
1/8 tsp each: garlic powder, pepper

Mix dressing ingredients and refrigerate.

Grill the chicken and cook through.  Preheat broiler oven on high.  Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and top wtih scoops of the dressing.  Sprinkle a Mexican blend cheese.  Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This time I baked my chicken in the marinade at 425F, covered, for about 30 minutes, until it was cooked.  Then dumped the juices, added the topping and put it under the broiler.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

General Tso's Chicken - Healthy!

The only time I ever see the man read a magazine is when we travel.  It's tradition that we stop in in all the duty free shops, kick some tires and then buy magazines (or puzzle books for me) for the flight.  Last March we went to the Riviera Maya and he picked up a Men's Health for the flight.  He was pulling pages out on the plane with Asian-inspired recipes that he wanted me to make as soon as we got home.  One thing about Men's Health recipes:  I feel like they're tailored to men who are professional gourmets with unlimited funds for ingredients you'll use once.  The recipes are fairly complicated (in my opinion) and use a ton of ingredients that you need to add to the recipe really quickly in varying quantities.  In the end, you have a really delicious dish. 

BONUS!  This recipe is like a fraction of the calories of take-out and tastes just as good, if not better. 

General Tso's Chicken
from Men's Health

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch, divided
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp soy sauce (light)
1 tbsp hoisin
1 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp srircha

Preheat oven to 375F.  On a foil-lined (sprayed w/cooking spray) baking sheet, toss chicken with 2 tbsp cornstarch.  Spread cubes out and bake 12 minutes.  In a wok or sauce pan, heat oil, garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes.  Add broth, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, honey and sriracha and stir for about 3 minutes.  In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tsp cornstarch with 2 tsp water.  Add to the pan, stir and heat until thickened.  When the chicken is done, add to the pan and toss to coat.  Serve over brown rice and broccoli.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baked Falafel

I got a massage on Saturday morning at a place that is conveniently located next to Trader Joe's.  I've been on the hunt for some goat cheese varieties - I really want to try blue goat cheese and goat cheese brie, specifically.  Living where I live, there's not much opportunity for fancy.  I did end up with some goat cheese slices, but not what I was really looking for.  I did get two amazing mozzarellas - Burrata and Buffalo.  They were gone by Sunday afternoon.  I also randomly picked up tzatziki sauce because I was in some kind of post-massage brain mush and I guess I was going to figure out later what to do with it.  I dipped some crackers in it and then thought FALAFEL!!  Duh.  Most amazing taste combination.  I researched how it's made and it seemed easy enough.  It pretty much was.

Baked Falafel
from Instructables

1 15 oz can chick peas, drained
1/2 onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley and cilantro
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
pinch of cayenne
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse to blend.  Scrape sides with a spatula occasionally.  Blend until completely mixed.  Taste to make sure you like the mix.

With your hands, collect about 2 tbsp of mixture and ball it up.  Flatten into a disc and place on baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.

Bake about 15 minutes, then check to see if they're firming up on the bottom and flip.  Bake again until firm on both sides, but soft inside.

I'm probably not the most qualified person to tell you anyone how to make falafel.  I followed the recipe, but my batter was too wet and my patties were too dry and crumbly.  They did, however, taste delicious and the tzatziki was fantastic with it.  You could probably bake these in ball form, but I don't know how they'll stand up.  My favorite part of the recipe is just the beautiful colors of the fresh herbs against the red spices.  I will make these again soon.  Maybe I'll try to fry them next time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Baked Herb & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is a nice variation on Chicken Saltimbocca.  This came from a file of photocopied recipes my mom gave me a very long time ago, so I'm not exactly sure where it came from.  A quick internet search says it might be from "125 Best Chicken Recipes" by Rose Murray, which definitely looks like something my mom would have in her kitchen (among about 200 other recipe books).  This was really tasty.  I had some grocery store Fontina that I picked up, but after tasting it, I made the game-time decision to use some mozzarella instead. 

Baked Herb and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
adapted from 125 Best Chicken Recipes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 thin slices prosciutto
olive oil
1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning
2 strips mozzarella, cut 4 inches long, about 1/2 inch square
1 egg
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Lay a piece of prosciutto on top.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle some of the herbs on it evenly.  place a piece of cheese at one end and roll it, keeping the cheese inside, to the other end.  In a shallow bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Place flour in another shallow bowl.  Pour bread crumbs in a 3rd dish.  Coat each breast roll in flour, then coat completely in egg and roll in breadcrumbs.  Place on baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

So you're probably a smarty pants that can see that the chicken is not cooked all the way through.  This is because I did not pound the chicken breasts down to 1/8" like a schmuck.  Always, always pound the chickens down when making rolls like this.  Maybe someday I'll listen to my own advice.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

I love anything with buffalo chicken involved, so I'm always looking for new ways to make it.  This was a great tasting dish and was super easy to make.  It's essentially buffalo chicken dip and wonton wrappers baked.  So, so yummy.  I'll be making this again very soon.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 (8 oz) package of 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
2 shredded chicken breasts (or 1 large can)
24 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 375F.  Spray muffin tin with light coat of cooking spray.  In medium bowl, use a hand mixer to combine cream cheese, ranch dressing, wing sauce and 3/4 cup cheddar.  Stir in shredded chicken. 

Place a wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin tin and press down.  Spoon in about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in each of the cups.  Put another wonton wrapper in each cup.  Then pour another tablespoon of chicken mixture in each cup.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbles.

Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges are brown.  If they are too brown after 10 minutes, cover the tin with foil.  When done, remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes.  Loosen around the edges with a knife and pop cupcakes out.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Oh, the meatball.  I never knew they were so versatile.  Now I think we have some kind of meatball recipe every week.  I am definitely making this one again.  I love the familiar flavors eaten in a whole new way.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

1 cups Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb ground chicken
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cubed

Preheat oven to 400F.  Prep a baking dish with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, Parmesan, milk,  Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.  Mix ingredients together until evenly blended.  Place remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.  Take about 2 tbsp of chicken mix in your hands and make a flat disk, about 2 inches across.  Place a piece of mozzarella in the center and mold the meat around it.  Roll it around in your palms to make it a ball.  Coat the meatball in bread crumbs and squeeze gently for them to stick.  Place in the baking dish.  Repeat until you are out of meat.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are firm.  Cut one open to make sure the chicken is fully cooked.  Top with some marinara sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and serve.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Garlic and Red Pepper Shrimp

I found this little recipe in Cosmo.  Yeah, the magazine.  I clipped it in my constant search for variety.  Now, almost 7 months later, I'm mad at myself for waiting so long to finally make it.  Especially since we eat shrimp practically once a week.  It would probably be great served over rice or pasta, too.

Garlic and Red Pepper Shrimp
adapted from Cosmopolitan

1 lb large shrimp, cleaned, shelled and deveined (uncooked)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp lemon zest (dried is fine)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

In a large bowl, combine all ingredient and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.  Heat a skillet or wok to medium-high heat and add shrimp.  Saute, constantly tossing with a spatula or slotted spoon for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp are cooked and opaque.  Serve hot or cold.

Men's Health magazine also, surprisingly, has pretty decent recipes.  Unforunately they are also super complicated and involve at least 15 ingredients, many of which you'll use a 1/4 tsp of and never use again.  I'm sure I'll post a couple of them up, since we've had some tasty dishes from there.

Throwing a question out there to the interwebs world:  where's the strangest place you've ever gotten a winning recipe?