Sunday, October 26, 2008

Healthy Chicken Pomodoro

A couple of years ago, I bought a book called Body for Life by Bill Phillips. If you are looking for a guide to help change your eating habits, this is a great book! It stresses healthy eating, not dieting. My husband pretty much follows this book's principles and has 6 days of healthy eating and one "cheat" day. I have not been quite as disciplined, but this is a great book, and best of all, has a ton of healthy recipes! Just looking through the recipes has shown me how using different ingredients or cooking things slightly differently can make all the difference in a healthy meal. I'm going to try to cook from this book more.
Also note, I was taking that photo as my camera was dying--it probably doesn't look very good, but trust me, this dish is yummy!

Chicken Pomodoro

Prep time: 30 minutes
4 servings


4 portions of spaghetti (about 8 oz uncooked)
2 egg whites
4 tsp Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning
1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated
4 portions of chicken breast (about 1 lb)
2 tbsp of olive oil
3 tomatoes, diced, or 1 can of diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
4 tbsp of red wine (or chicken broth)

1. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites. In a pie plate, combine the Mrs. Dash seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

3. Dip chicken breasts in egg white then into the seasoned Parmesan, coating both sides.

4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. (The Parmesan can burn quickly, so don't overdo it.) Place chicken breasts in skillet; cover and cook for approximately 6 minutes; turn and cook for 6 more minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

5. Add tomatoes and bell peppers to skillet and saute over medium heat until pepper begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning and red wine; continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

6. Add pasta to the skillet with sauteed peppers and tomoatoes; mix gently.

7. Slice cook chicken. Divide pasta mixture onto plates and top with sliced chicken. Enjoy!

Bail-Out Beef Stroganoff

I tore this out of some recipe magazine and the name currently escapes me. It was a magazine that specialized in 30 minute meals, though, and this is a quick and easy one! I was able to prepare everything while waiting for the water to boil, and prepare the rest of the ingredients while the noodles and broccoli were boiling. I like this particular version of straganoff because it has a few tablespoons of tomato paste, which gives it a nice flavor.

Bail-Out Beef Stroganoff

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings

3 cups of dried wide noodles
3 cups of broccoli florets (I bought fresh, but you could probably use frozen)
1/4 cup of light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of fresh dill
1 pound beef ribeye steak
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
4 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 can of beef broth
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, adding in broccoli for the last five minutes of cooking. Drain well. Return pasta to hot pan; cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in a small serving bowl, combine dill and sour cream; stir together and chill until serving time.

3. Trim fat from beef and cut into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, heat the cooking oil and cook half of the beef, the onion, and the garlic until onion is tender and beef is desired doneness. Remove from skillet. Add remaining beef to skillet; cook and stir until beef is desired doneness. Return all of the beef to skillet; sprinkle flour and pepper over beef. Stir to coat.

4. Stir in broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for one minute more. Divide noodle-broccoli mixture among plates and top with beef mixture. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

I saw this recipe on The Way the Cookie Crumbles and have been wanting to try this for awhile. OH DEAR GOD. If this recipe doesn't convince you to go out and buy a Cook's Illustrated cookbook, I don't know what will. This is the best chicken recipe I have EVER made!

Although the recipe calls for it, I would not buy an entire cut-up chicken. I have never bought one before, and frankly, it grossed me out. I would suggest buying skin-on chicken breasts.

Additionally, I only used 2 heads of garlic. I did only make 3 chicken pieces, so that was part of it, but since the papery shell is left on, I'm not sure how much of the flavor goes into the sauce. At the end, you do have to press out the garlic from 10 cloves, but the rest seem like they're kind of there for decoration. I don't know, though, I'm sure Cook's Illustrated has its reasons!

The sauce is really good at the end, but it could be optional. I thought the chicken was very tasty without it.

Serves 3 to 4


Table salt
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or skin-on chicken of your choice)
Ground black pepper
3 heads of garlic, outer skins removed, cloves separated and unpeeled
2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered pole to pole
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup of dry white wine or dry vermouth (I used my normal white cooking wine)
3/4 cup of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Dissolve 1/4 cup of table salt in 2 quarts of cold water in a large bowl. Submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned; about 30 minutes. Rinse chicken under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season with pepper.

2. While the chicken is brining, combine the cloves and shallots in a pie pan with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in the preheated oven. If you have "normal" sized garlic, it should be done in 30 minutes. If the cloves are larger, leave in for 45 minutes. Toss the garlic and shallots every 15 minutes and stir. When done, remove the pie pan and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

3. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a large, oven proof (it just has to be stainless steel) skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet begins to smoke, place the chicken in, skin-side down, and cook for about 5 minutes, until deep golden brown. Using tongs, turn over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and place on a large plate; discard excess fat. Remove the pan from heat, and add wine or vermouth, chicken broth, and herbs to the pan. (The original recipe says to tie together the herbs with kitchen twine; I didn't have any, so I just placed them in the pan together.) Stir to combine, and using a spatula or wooden spoon, loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the ban to combine with sauce. Set skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic and shallot mixture into the pan. Add the chicken back into the pan, skin side up, on and in between the garlic cloves. Put a meat thermometer in one of the chicken pieces, and place the entire skillet into the oven.

4. Bake chicken in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until thermometer reads 160 degrees. Set oven to broil, and broil chicken for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken is brown and crispy. Using oven mitts, remove skillet from oven and place back on stove. Remove chicken, garlic, and shallots and place on a serving dish, reserving 10 garlic cloves. Discard herbs.

5. Turn stove top on to medium heat. Using a sieve or garlic press, press 10 garlic cloves out of their shell. Place butter in sauce and using a whisk, stir the garlic paste into the sauce. Bring liquid to a simmer. Pour into a gravy boat and serve with chicken.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

Source:All Recipes

This soup really reminds me of fall. It's a very hearty soup and I love the combination of Italian sausage and beef broth. I use about 4 turkey Italian sausage links and I usually cut the "simmer" time to about half. I also use 2 cans of diced tomatoes as opposed to cutting my own.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 35 minutes
Serves: 8


1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup of chopped onion (about half an onion)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of red wine
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup of thinly sliced carrots (1 large carrot or 2 medium ones)
1/2 tablespoon of packed fresh basil leaves (I use 1/2 tsp of dried basil)
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 sliced zucchini
8 ounces of fresh tortellini pasta
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley.

1. In a large pot, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.

2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings until onions are clear. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

3. Skim fat from soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip II

Source: All Recipes

This recipe is divine! It's as good as the restaurant versions! I use sour cream instead of mayonnaise and mix the mozzarella right in with all the ingredients. I didn't have any Romano this time, so I just doubled the Parmesan and it turned out great. I like to serve it with blue corn tortilla chips.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes
Yields: 12 servings


1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of mayonnaise (I use sour cream)
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cupo of grated Romano cheese
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
1 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a small baking dish.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, and garlic salt. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.

3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese (or mix it in with everything else). Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pioneer Woman's Linguine with Chicken Thighs

Source: The Pioneer Woman

This was the first Pioneer Woman recipe I made, and I think one of the few on her site that does not have a healthy dose of butter and cream :) I only had one can of crushed tomatoes, so I used that and about half the basil and parsley.

I bought a new pan this weekend. I have a wonderful 12" All Clad fry pan, but it's just not deep enough for sauces or dishes with a lot of veggies. You know you have reached a new level of domesticity when you are willing to spend $200 on a single freaking pan. It's worth it, though, I love my All Clad pans!

Hello, my pretty!


Olive oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 medium onion, chopped (I used half)
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of white wine
2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 package of linguine noodles
Parmesan cheese

1. Boil a pot of water for the linguine. I put the noodles in when you add the chicken back into the sauce, so everything's done at the same time.

2. Heat olive oil in a hot skillet, and add diced chicken in a single layer. Don't move the chicken--allow to sit for a few minutes until they get browned, and then turn them over and do the same thing on the other side. Don't worry about them being completely done--they'll finish cooking later in the sauce. Remove chicken and set aside.

3. Add onions and garlic and stir to combine. Add white wine, and with a spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen brown bits. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cooked chicken back into the sauce, and simmer for another 15 minutes. I always throw some frozen garlic bread in the oven the last 5 minutes to serve with the dish. Add in the chopped fresh herbs right before you serve the dish.

4. Drain noodles and serve. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Roast Sticky Chicken Rotisserie-Style and Garlic Mashed Potatoes Secret Recipe

Source: All Recipes

I like this recipe because it's delicious, fairly easy to make, and yet a great company dish, too. I've made the chicken for Christmas and Thanksgiving in the past. The best part is you mix the dry ingredients, rub them on the bird, and then pop it in the fridge overnight. The next day, all you have to do is take it out and put it in the oven. It couldn't be easier!

I did the prep for this on the same day I made the Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken, and I realized they have almost THE exact same herbs! This one just has white pepper in addition. I guess that lime makes all the difference!

Anyway, the day before, mix all the dry ingredients and rub it on the bird. I just use one, which means I halve all the dry ingredients, but stick to the original version if you're making 2.

Also note, the chicken has to cook for 5 hours! Sometimes it will be a little less, but plan for that time. I think cooking it at that temperature is part of what makes it so moist and tender.

Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Yields: 8 servings


4 teaspoons of salt (I halve this)
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 onion, quartered
2 4-pound whole chickens (you could probably buy a chicken already cut up, I've just never made it that way)


1. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse thoroughly, pat try, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine all the dry herbs and mix well. Rub each chicken inside and out with the herb mixture.

This bird's all like, "What's up?"

Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken (or whatever you can fit). Place chicken in a resealable bag or doublewrap with plastic wrap. Refridgerable overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

3. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees. Let chicken(s) stand for 10 minutes before carving.

I love the leftovers, too. Once we eat dinner, I typically strip the remaining meat and save it for salads, sandwiches, etc. The drippings that are created while it cooks are to DIE FOR, too! I always save those with the chicken.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Secret Recipe

This was the first time I'd tried this recipe and it did not disappoint! I made a couple of changes. I used 3/4 of the butter called for and instead of adding raw garlic, I roasted about 5 cloves by cutting off the top 1/3 of the clove, drizzling them with olive oil, wrapping in foil, and cooking in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes. I also thought the taste of oregano was too overpowering. I'd much rather let the taste of the cheese and garlic come through than the oregan. Next time I'll omit it completely.

I scaled it down to 5. The original recipe is for 100, so check out All Recipes if you'd like more!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Serves 5


2 and 1/2 pound unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
6 ounces of butter, room temperature (this is 12 tablespoons, I used 8)
2 and 1/2 ounces of Romano cheese, grated (5 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoons of chopped garlic
1 and 1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 and 1/4 teaspoons of oregano


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 45 minutes; drain. Stir in butter, cheese, garlic, salt and oregano. Mash with a potato masher or with an electic mixer. I used my KitchenAid to just blend it--I like my potatoes a little chunky!

We both LOVED this dinner! It seemed fancy without a whole lot of effort, For timing info, I put the chicken in the oven at 1:00 and started the potatoes at 4:45.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

4-3-2-1 Cupcakes (Epic Fail)

I saw these on venice's blog, and thought they looked delicious.

Let me preface this by saying...I have not made cupcakes in a LONG time. Years, in fact.

I was so excited once the batter was done. As opposed to licking the spoons, I was just scooping up the extra batter and eating it. Yum!

But...I overfilled the cupcakes. See exhibit A:

Yeah, I may have overfilled them a bit.

But my husband still enjoyed them!

SO WHAT if we had to separate the cupcake tops from the cupcakes? They were still delicous!

This is a definite reminder to husband always says I'm a great cook, I say I just read recipes. Hopefully I can make it to the "great cook" category, but seriously...who forgets to fill cupcake tins 2/3 full?!?!

Also, I frequently ignore serving size. I only have one cupcake tin, and I had a lot of batter left over. Halve it if it's just you and your hubby.

These were delicious otherwise, try them!

4-3-2-1 Cupcakes


1 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of cake flour (I used regular, couldn't find this "cake flour")
3 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
4 eggs (I get it! 4, 3, 2 ,1! I am a genius!)
1 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of almond extract


1. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture alternatively with milk and almond and vanilla extract, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour batter into cupcake tins. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove from pan to finish cooling. Top with your frosting of choice. I used vanilla confetti frosting...yum!

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken and Country Green Beans

Source: All Recipes

I have not made this chicken recipe in awhile, but it's very easy recipe, especially if you have lime juice on hand. The blend of spices is great, and the lime juice adds that extra kick.

I made this with thin chicken breast filets, my new favorite to pick up at the grocery store. You'll have to adjust the cooking times if you use thin-cut--just a couple of minutes each side.

I tend to be pretty lazy when it comes to side dishes, but I found this green bean recipe on All Recipes and it was super easy. The turkey bacon I wanted to use was expired, but the recipe was just as delicious without it. I can't wait to make it with the bacon!

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes
Serves 4

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used thin cut)

2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
3 tablespoons of lime juice


1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, and parsley. Sprinkle mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.
2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes each side (half if thin cute). Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and lime juice (I mix these together in a small bowl while mixing the dry herbs.) Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Country Green Beans

I LOVE these! Such a low maintenance side dish! Nom nom nom!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of cooked ham (or bacon)
1/4 cup of butter or margarine
1/4 cup of water
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper (I doubled, I LOVE pepper!)

1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the green beans are tender.

I started the green beans a few minutes before the garlic lime chicken because I knew they would take longer. Together, both are a quick, easy meal!