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Monday, July 31, 2017

Recipe review from 7/25/2017

Not much to say this week, it's been toasty warm for us (LOVIN' IT), puppy is growing, work is busy, yup, life is good. 

And I made a few new recipes! 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L)                           (S) Chicken and black bean tacos
Mon (Yoga/Bkgrp/Legion)  leftovers
Tues - leftover tacos
Wed - pork chops with peppers
Thurs (yoga) take n bake pizza
Fri -leftover chops
Sat -  lentil and bulger salad over greens

Lunches - Lentil and bulger salad

BBQ Chicken and Black Bean Tacos (Ckng Lght, June 2017)  gluten free
I combined a couple of activities making this dish - instead of a rotisserie chicken, I made stock from a bird I had in the freezer,  then used the meat from there.  I could have grilled or even roasted my chicken, but I was going for ease of prep and I wanted some additional stock on hand.

The great thing about this recipe is that it uses items we usually have in the pantry: frozen corn, black beans, chicken, and BBQ sauce (I use Stubbs Original).  A very inexpensive meal.  Recommended!

2 teaspoons olive oil
2/3 cup diced red bell pepper (from 1 bell pepper)
photo from
3/4 cup frozen whole kernel sweet corn, thawed
3/4 cup canned unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
12 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup organic barbecue sauce (such as Annie's)
10 (6-in.) corn tortillas
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in corn and black beans; cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place shredded chicken and barbecue sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix until thoroughly coated. Loosely cover, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until warmed through.
  3. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Place 3 tablespoons chicken mixture in center of each tortilla. Top each tortilla with 3 tablespoons bell pepper mixture.
  4. Place yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Dollop each taco with about 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture. Sprinkle tacos with cilantro.

Seared Pork Chops with Poblano Peperonata  (Ckng Lght, June 2017) gluten free
This is a dish that does come together in about 20-30 minutes, with a few moments to even start clean-up.   I will note that I forgot to buy the capers, and I bought red pepper flakes for this dish and forgot to add them... sheesh.  I'm not sure the dish even needed the capers. 

What I would like to note is, I think this would be great with balsamic vinegar instead of red wine.  Something about the flavor combination made me think balsamic.  Course that's without capers - capers might have said something different.

Bottom line - great mid-week meal that comes together very quickly with minimal fuss.

5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Photo from
4 (6-oz.) bone-in center-cut pork loin chops
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sliced red onion
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 poblano chile, seeded and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained (forgot to buy)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper  (bought, forgot to add)

1) Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over high. Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

2) Reduce heat to medium-high. Add remaining 3 1/2 teaspoons oil, onion, garlic, poblano, and bell peppers to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and remaining ingredients; cook 1 minute or until liquid is reduced by half. Serve pepper mixture with pork.

Lentil-Bulgar Salad  (Moosewood Cookbook by Molli Katzen)  vegetarian, vegan option
I've owned the Moosewood cook book for years and I've made a handful of items from it.  A couple weeks ago I made the tabuli salad for lunches for the week - on the opposite page was the lentil bulgar recipe.  I had the lentils, I had the bulgar, I had parsley, olives, green onions - all I needed was feta, a bell pepper and celery.  Wah-LA!  I had lunch.

Recipe says this serves 6 - I'd go with 5 or less.   It made just enough for me for lunches for the week.
  • 1 cup dry lentils (I used brown lentils)
  • 2 cups water
Put lentils in a small saucepan. Add water and bring to just boiling. Turn heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
  • 1 cup dry bulgar wheat
  • 1 cup boiling water
Place bulgar in a small bowl. Add one cup boiling water to bowl, cover and let stand at least 15 minutes or longer.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (I used juice of one lemon)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp freshly minced (or 2 tsp dried) mint (I skipped the mint, not a fan)
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly minced (or 2-3 tsp dried) dill
  • fresh black pepper to taste
Combine in a small bowl and mix well with a wire whisk.  Set aside.
  • 1/4 cup packed freshly minced parsley
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion  (I used some green onion I had in my fridge).
  • 1 small bell pepper any color
  • 1/2 stalk celery, minced  (I used the whole stalk)
  • 1/2 cup nicoise olives
Combine the above veggies and herbs with the bulgar and lentils in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and mix well.   Just before serving, top with: 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 medium tomato, diced  (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

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