Search This Blog

Monday, March 16, 2015

Recipe Reveiw from 3/9/15

April and May will be the months of Blog Worthy Events.  I am currently packing up the downstairs in anticipation of a kitchen remodel.  We are contracting to have the kitchen gutted then put back together in a slightly different configuration, new flooring installed in the downstairs, and perhaps (this is still under negotiation) tongue and groove installed in the entryway. Not sure about that bit because the stairs are involved and it might become an exploding project.  Which I don't want.

I will try and remember to take some photos before demolition starts.  I'm a bit frazzled trying to pack up 17 years of accumulated stuff, wipe the dust off of neglected things and vacuum up those corner cobwebs.

The Meal Plan:
Sun - Chicken Chili Mac n Cheese
Mon (yoga)  leftovers
Tues - leftovers
Wed (AM yoga) -Lemon Chicken
Thurs (yoga late) - leftovers
Fri - Mexican Quinoa Enchiladas

Lunches - butternut squash soup, crackers, luna bars, yogurt, granola, fruit

Chicken Chili Mac n Cheese (Ckng Lght Jan/Feb 2015) gluten free options**
This was surprisingly quick to pull together and hit the spot for mid-winter comfort food.  Mild enough for small tastebuds, and can be perked up for adult tastes with a dash of red pepper.  Creamy, oh so delightfully creamy! I made one substitution - I used cavatappi instead of elbow macaroni.  I wanted a larger curly noodle for a more 'adult' dish (not that there's anything wrong with elbow!).  I would make this dish again. Highly recommended!

8 ounces elbow macaroni** (I used cavatappi)
photo from
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons canned diced green chiles, drained
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour** 
6 ounces shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper 

Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and minced garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add diced tomatoes and diced green chiles. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to pan, and cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Stir in macaroni, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Easy Weeknight Lemon Chicken Dinner  (Ckng Lght Jan/Feb 15)  gluten free option**
Easy?  Yes!  Tasty?  YES!  This came together in about 35 minutes and was like a Sunday dinner mid-week without all the fuss.  My concern was it would be too similar to the Charred Lemon Chicken Picatta I made about a month ago.  The only similarity was the use of lemons, and the lemon in this dish was more of a hint than the star. I did pound the chicken breasts to facilitate even cooking - given the plumpness of these cuts of meat, I've found that a little pounding really evens out the cooking.  I also decided to roast my green beans in the oven with the chicken, then add to the pot toward the end. 

 Some rustic bread should be a must to sop up the yummy gravy.  Highly recommended! 

12 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
photo from
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 thyme sprigs
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup whole milk
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour**
1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
8 very thin lemon slices
1 (8-ounce) package trimmed haricots verts (French green beans)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan.
4. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add potatoes, cut sides down; mushrooms; and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to pan; simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Mexican Quinoa Enchiladas  (Pinterest/Damn Delicious Blog)
This was good, came together very quickly, could be better with a couple of tweaks.  I would recommend increasing the quinoa by another 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  Given the amount of enchilada sauce, corn, black beans, the quinoa was a bit overwhelmed and I thought, even after baking, the dish was a bit on the runny side rather than the fluffy I prefer.  I would also just use the full can of beans - personally I find it most annoying to try and use up half a can of anything.  I was also thinking, some diced and sauted chicken would be really good in this if you need just a bit of a protein or flavor hit. 

Made enough for three meals for two of us.  I recommend some cornbread alongside. 

photo from
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed (I used the whole can)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8x8 or 2 quart baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
Spread quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and cheeses have melted, about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with avocado and tomato, if desired.

No comments:

Popular Posts