Tuesday, June 30, 2009

White Chili

2-3 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 c chicken broth
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c minced fresh parsley or cilantro
Monterrey Jack cheese

In a slow cooker, add all ingredients except cilantro and cheese. Stir well. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or until chicken is done. Shred chicken; add cilantro and stir. Top each bowl with cheese.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Potato Hamburger Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 family size can of Vegetable Beef Soup
1 family size can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 large potatoes

Cook, chop and season to taste ground beef
Peal and thinly slice potatoes. (It helps if you have a slicer)
Put two layers of everything in a 9x13 pan
Layer half the potatoes, then add half of each can of soup and half the hamburger, do the same with the next layer.

Bake for 2 - 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wahoo Green Sauce

If you've ever been to Wahoo Fish Tacos, you know the green sauce I'm talking about. It's the mildly spicy cilantro sauce that they give you to put on your tacos and rice bowls. It's SO good. But a rice and shrimp bowl at Wahoo's costs around $7. For that price, I was able to make a big bunch of green sauce, plus the shrimp I needed to make rice bowls for the whole family!

After a bit of Internet searching, I found a recipe someone had created based on the Wahoo green sauce:

  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 2 Cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 Limes (Juice only)
  • 1/2 C. Half and Half or cream
  • 1/2 C. Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or salt to taste
  • 1 Poblano pepper washed remove stem and seeds and cut into chunks
Put all the ingredients into your food processor and let her rip till the consistency is creamy and the cilantro and the Poblano pepper is very fine.

When I made it, I ended up adding a bit more salt and pepper to counteract the very strong lime. So when I make it again, I'll probably cut the lime juice by half. I also added about a tsp of cumin - but that's because we really love cumin at our house!

So it's not exactly Wahoo's green sauce. It's creamier and - as some commenters pointed out - higher in calories than the original. It's still pretty darned good.

I served it first on shrimp and rice bowls (cook rice, add a little chopped cilantro, top with shrimp stir-fried in teriyaki sauce and red pepper flakes) and it was delicious. Definitely a match for the pricy Wahoo bowls. Then we had a lot of the sauce left over, so the next night I served it on Gorgonzola beef rollups... that was really good, too. Especially since the Gorgonzola cheese was a bit too strong, so the green sauce counteracted that nicely. Finally, we had baked chicken and rice for dinner last night and it was just a little boring. But spoon a little of that green sauce over both the rice and chicken, add some diced avocado (and a slice of that artisan bread from my last post) and suddenly it was a meal worthy of Father's Day!

Artisan Bread

This is an incredibly easy bread recipe. It takes about 5 minutes (and 4 ingredients!) to stir together. Then you just let it rise for a couple of hours before baking. Easy, easy! And tasty, too. :)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal
1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. (I always start out mixing with a wooden spoon, thinking this time I'll keep my hands clean. But after a minute I remember that it's easier to just get in there and quickly knead it together. It's VERY sticky dough. It helps to rub a little vegetable or olive oil on your hands before handling the dough.)

2. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. (I usually just use a clean dishcloth.) Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours). (Sometimes I punch it down once or twice during the rising and let it rise again. This will make the texture of the bread a little finer. But if you like a coarse, rustic bread, don't bother punching it down.)

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it. (I rarely have cornmeal on hand, so I just skip that part. It turns out fine.)

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes. (I don't actually preheat my baking stone because the instructions that came with the stone say that's bad for the stone. So if I'm using a baking stone, I just slide it into the oven with the dough when I'm ready to bake. Or sometimes I bake the bread in regular bread pans. Or on a cookie sheet. Once in a casserole dish - because it was clean. It all works just fine.)

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. (You don't have to slash the top. I think that's just for looks. It's never affected the quality of the bread.) Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. (DON'T skip this step! The hot water and steam are very important to the recipe. If you don't have the steam, your crust will be REALLY crunchy. Too crunchy to want to eat. But cooking it in the steamy oven helps the crust stay just soft enough.)

5. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 loaves.

Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Italian Steak Sandwiches

1/2 c plus 2 tbsp beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
16 slices deli roast beef
4 sandwich rolls, sliced
4 slices provolone cheese

In a large skillet, combine broth and seasonings. Add beef. Heat through. Place beef slices on rolls; drizzle with broth mixture. Top with cheese.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicken, Garlic and Sundried Tomato Pasta

• 1 (16 ounce) package farfalle pasta
• 1/2 cup butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 3 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in water
• 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese

In a large pot with boiling salted water cook farfalle pasta until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic cloves and cook until garlic browns. Add the cream of chicken soup and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in the dried parsley, salt, and ground fresh pepper. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add bite size chicken pieces and hydrated sun dried tomatoes. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Mix in grated Romano cheese. Toss cooked and drained pasta with chicken sauce. Serve warm.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

1 cup pecans - crushed to tiny bits
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste

This one is quick and easy. Just put your chicken breasts in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the crushed pecans. Dot with the butter/margarine. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

(You could also dip the chicken in an egg wash and then shake in a bag with crushed pecans to coat the entire piece of chicken. But I find that too much trouble when this method works quite well.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beef with Broccoli

1 pound lean beef, cut into thin strips
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup water
2 TB soy sauce
2 tsp oil
2 TB oil

Slice the beef into thin strips. Combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of oil and salt in a bowl. Add the beef and toss well to coat. Set the beef mixture aside to marinate. In a large skillet, heat the ginger and 1 1/2 TB of oil on high heat. Add the broccoli and stir fry for 5 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining 1/2 TB of oil to the pan. Stir fry the beef mixture for about 5 minutes or until it is well browned. Return the broccoli to the pan and add the water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Makes 6 cups

*For those counting weight watchers points, this is 8 points per 1 cup.
**We serve this with fried rice - the recipe we use is posted after this recipe

Fried Rice

1 TB vegetable oil
6 slices of ham, diced
4 eggs
4 cups rice, cooked
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
3 TB soy sauce

Heat 1/2 TB of oil in a large skillet. Scramble the eggs in the oil until the eggs are done. Remove the eggs from the pan. Add another 1/2 TB of oil to the pan and stir-fry the onion, vegetables, and ham. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the pan. Continue stirring until the mixture is hot. Add the soy sauce, mix well, and then add the eggs. After it is all mixed well and hot, serve.

Makes 6 1/2 cups of fried rice

*This recipe turns out better if you use cold rice (left over from another meal?) but I usually just used fresh made rice and it turns out fine. It is just a little mushier.
*For those counting points, I used egg beaters instead of whole eggs and it is 2 points per 1/2 cup.
**The original recipe called for more oil, but I cut it down. I have tried using non-stick spray and eliminating the oil all together and the rice did not turn out well. Some oil is necessary.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yeast Pancakes

4 c all-purpose flour (I use 2 c whole wheat and 2 c white)
2 pkgs (1/4 oz each) quick-rise yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 c warm milk (120-130 degrees)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c canola oil

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and oil; beat for 2 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 30 minutes. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown.

*This makes a lot of pancakes. I usually freeze the extras and then we have pancakes to eat in the mornings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

South-of-the-Border Pasta and Chicken

(From the Weight Watchers Best Eats Recipe Book)
Prep 15 min Cook 20 min Serves 2


1 1/3 cups pasta shells (whole wheat is preferred)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tso extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (wear gloves to prevent irritation)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, oil, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chicken (optional), bell peppers, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and pasta; toss to combine.

Per Serving (2cups): 398 Cal, 8g Fat, 2g Sat Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 57mg Chol, 649 mg Sod, 52g Carb, 4g Fib, 29g Protein (if chicken is added), 33mg Calc

Additions: I liked the dressing a lot and didn't think there was enough of it, so I doubled the ingredients for that. It adds some extra calories, but it's totally worth it! Also, the flavor will be stronger if you let it sit over night before serving it, but you don't have to do that, either. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pork Chops and Rice

4 pork chops (or about 1 lb pork diced for stew)
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 c uncooked rice
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper pork chops if you want whole pieces of meat to serve. I like to use the diced pork to make the meal go further and so I don't have to cut up everyone's dinner! In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add meat; brown on all sides. Remove meat from skillet. Drain off excess fat, but keep any cooked on bits left from cooking the meat. Stir the rice into the pan. Pour the tomato sauce into a liquid measuring cup; add enough water to make 3 cups of water. Pour into the skillet. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper. Place the meat on top of the rice mixture. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and meat is cooked all the way through.


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