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Monday, September 19, 2016

Recipe Review from 9/12/2016

This was a week where the meal plan went totally off the rails.  It happens and most of the time things can just be shuffled forward.  The downside was I ended up with the two pasta dishes being shuffled forward.

The upside to the shuffle, because next week will be a short meal week for me (more on that in a couple postings), is meal planning is done!  I  will just need to double check ingredients before heading off to the store.

The Meal Plan:
Sat (L) leftover pasta and shrimp   (S) Neighborhood potluck
Sun (L) leftover pasta and shrimp  (S) Quinoa, Kale and Romesco Sauce
Mon (yoga)  leftover quinoa
Tues - Chicken Fajitas
Wed (AM yoga) Cheesy pasta
Thurs - leftover fajitas
Fri- leftovers

What actually happened:
Sat (L) leftover miso soup   (S) Neighborhood potluck
Sun (L) leftover miso soup  (S) Quinoa, Kale and Romesco Sauce
Mon (yoga)  leftover quinoa
Tues -leftover quinoa with sauted summer squash and onions
Wed (AM yoga) out
Thurs (Happy Birthday to the Husband!) pizza
Fri- chicken fajitas

Lunches - Tomato Sea-shell soup (me) Sandwiches (Husband).

Kale, Mushroom Quinoa with Romesco (Ckng Lght, Sept 2016)  gluten free, vegetarian option**
Recipe says this is a 40 minute dish.  Took me closer to an hour - it's putsier than it appears. I did skip the hard boiled egg - it seemed out of place with the rest of the dish - and used some grated parmesan cheese instead.  I added some sliced summer squash to the mushroom mixture for color and variety.

The sauce on this is really good.  Don't skip the sauce!  It really pulls the whole dish together. 

1 (6-in.) whole-wheat pita, cut into 6 wedges  (I used 1/2 of a large English muffin)
1 cup drained and chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
photo from
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 to 4 Tbsp. water
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock** (or vegetable stock)
1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
2 (8-oz.) pkg. presliced cremini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces baby kale (I used Swiss Chard)
4 large eggs in shells 
1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute on each side or until toasted. Break into pieces.   My notes - seriously?  Heat a broiler for ONE slice of pita?  Use a toaster! I did for the muffin. 

3. Place pita, peppers, almonds, 2 tablespoons oil, juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and paprika in a food processor; process until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition until sauce reaches desired consistency.

4. Bring stock and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and white parts of green onions.

5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook 8 minutes or until mushrooms brown. Add kale to pan in batches, stirring until wilted. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

6. Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Carefully add eggs to pan; boil 6 minutes. Remove eggs from pan; place in ice water to cool. Peel and halve eggs.

7. Spoon about 3/4 cup quinoa mixture into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1/2 cup mushroom mixture, 1/4 cup sauce, and 2 egg halves. Sprinkle with green parts of green onions.

Tomato Sea-shell Soup   (Ckng Lght, Sept 2016)  vegetarian
Like I noted in last weeks recipe review on the Miso Soup, I am not going to be prepping one jar a night.  I made enough for the week.   Since I did make this ahead, and I know GF noodles can get soggy, I didn't note a GF option so I'm not sure what to recommend.  

And, as I noted in last weeks review, noodles are messy - stick with chopped zucchini. 

I subbed summer squash for the zucchini, and Swiss Chard for the spinach - it's what I had ready in the garden.

My observation on this one is, you either need to let the jar come to room temp or use boiling water.  I used a cup of  water warmed in the Keurig and it just wasn't hot enough to warm the jar and ingredients.  What ended up working the best was, microwaving about 1 minute, then adding hot water. 

Flavor-wise, this was tasty and not nearly so messy as the Miso soup.

1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as Dell'Amore)
photo from
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cooked whole-grain small shell pasta (about 1 oz. uncooked)
1/2 cup zucchini noodles, zucchini ribbons, or chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese 
1. Combine marinara, pepper, and salt in the bottom of a 1-pint wide-mouth jar. Layer in pasta, zucchini, spinach, and cheese  (My note - keep cheese separate until after water has been added); seal. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Add very hot water to jar to within 1 inch of rim. Cover and let stand 2 minutes before eating.

Cheesy Chicken Fajitas  (Ckng Lght, Sept 2016)  gluten free option 
I had some leftover turkey tenders in the freezer so I poached those a night or two before the rest of the dish.  The addition of corn and beans was a bit different - but a perfect use for that summer/fall produce.  This is a pretty basic recipe, really.  It's chicken fajitas, just toss some veggies and stuff into a pan and saute!

This is a really light and refreshing meal - it didn't have the heaviness I sometimes associate with fajitas.  I liked the flavors a lot and thought this would be outstanding over rice - almost like a Chipolte burrito bowl.   Recommended. 

photo from
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup unsalted canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
8 (6-in.) corn tortillas
8 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 8 slices 
1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, corn, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add beans, tomatoes, stock, and juice; cook 2 minutes. Top vegetable mixture with chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese.

3. Place pan in oven; broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

4. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas; top each with 1 teaspoon sour cream and 1 avocado slice.


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