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Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe Review from 1/23/12

Last weekend was "Staycation" weekend, followed by a busy week for the Husband.  Lunches and suppers needed to be simple and easy.  The slow cooker dish was perfect - cooking in about 6 hours; the chicken dish could only have been easier if we had done takeout.  But after a weekend of restaurant food, that was the last thing I wanted to do!  Good to have some quick and tasty dishes to turn to.

Barley and Wild Rice with Squash (The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson)
Did I mention I ended up buying this cookbook?  I've made 4 or 5 recipes out of it now and have been pleased with them.  This one was also good.  I ended up doing a "dump 'n go" because it didn't make sense to saute the leeks, carrots, celery and then bring everything to a boil when it would do it's thing in the slow cooker quite nicely and would be one less pan to clean up.  Guess what?  It did everything quite nicely in the slow cooker.  I did end up subbing acorn squash for butternut because we have some from last year's garden that needs to be used up.  I've noticed our squash lasts till about Jan/Feb and then it's compost time.  This was for lunches during the week, with fruit and carrots as sides.    

2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp dried time (I used a herb mix)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups chopped butternut squash (I used acorn)

My directions:  layer ingredients in slow cooker and  pour broth over everything.  Cook on Low 6-8 hours (6 hours was good) or High for 3 hours. 

Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce (Ckng Lght, Jan/Feb 2012)
A slight change in meal-plans had the Husband making this since I don't get home till 7:40p on Monday nights.  Should be right up his alley - simple, with meat.  I did one small alteration to the recipe - I bought sauce that had basil in it already.  I'm just not willing to pay $4.00 for a package of fresh basil that I only have one use for. 
photos from

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
16 slices pepperoni, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (I used Barilla, tomato-basil)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and pepperoni; cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add oregano; cook 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning after 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Cheesy Potato Soup  (Ckng Lght Jan/Feb 2012)
OUTSTANDING!!!   A couple of small adjustments - I used Yukon gold potatoes instead of baby red because I had some that needed to be used up, and goats milk instead of cow.   I have one suggestion - use 1/2 -2/3 lb potatoes and sub the rest with blanched broccoli or cauliflower to up the veggies.   This made about 4 substantial servings (I certainly didn't go away hungry!).   This only takes about 40 minutes total from prep to table.  Seriously. 

1 tablespoon butter
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1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chopped red potato (about 1 pound)  (chop about the size of large dice is recommended, mine were a bit to large)
1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk   (I used goats milk with no problems)
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped green onions  (skipped; extra expense this time of year)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender (I like to caramelize my onions for a deeper flavor). Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring onion mixture constantly. Add potato, milk, broth, and 1/2 cup water to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese and ground red pepper; cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Top each serving evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped green onions.

Vanessa Pruett, Cooking Light

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