Friday, June 26, 2015

Alfredo Jo's

Need something quick, easy and delicious for dinner?  How about these Alfredo Jo's?  It's a twist on Sloppy Jo's - but made with alfredo sauce instead of the traditional sauce used with Sloppy Jo's.  Serve on toasted garlic bread with a side salad and you have yourself one heckuva meal!

Alfredo Jo's
Serves 4-6

1 LB Ground Turkey
8 oz Mushrooms
8 oz Alfredo Sauce
1 Tablespoon Butter
Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper or Nature's Seasoning
Garlic Toast (optional)

In a large non-stick skillet, add the butter and let it melt over medium-high heat.  Once melted, add the meat.  Season with salt and pepper or Nature's Seasoning.  Stir in the mushrooms.  Cook until the turkey is browned and cooked through.

Next, add in the alfredo sauce.  Stir together and heat until the sauce is heated through and bubbling.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve toasted garlic bread (or garlic toast).  As well, if you like a little kick - sprinkle a bit of crushed red pepper on top.  Yum.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fancy Pants Chicken and Mushrooms

I made this dish the other night and I think I may have received the best complete ever from the teenager.  She said, "This chicken is soooooooooooo good, it makes me feel like I am eating in a fancy restaurant even though I'm wearing sweatpants."

Yeah.  It's that good.

It's a recipe originally featured on Lydia's.  I modified it a bit to suit my family.  It was very easy to make and turned out wonderfully.  I served it with a side of Macaroni with Browned Butter Sauce.  All was divine, everyone was full and still asked for a second helping.  Yep.  It was that good.

Fancy Pants Chicken and Mushrooms
Serves 4-6

1 LB Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup White Wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1 Pound Sliced Mushrooms
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Flour
Salt & Pepper or Nature's Seasoning Blend
1 Tablespoon Sage

Step 1:  Prep your chicken by washing it and patting it dry.  If you are using really thick chicken breasts, pound them between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap with a mallet until they are about a 1/2 inch thick. 

Step 2:  In a large fry pan, add 2 TB of Olive Oil and 2 TB of Butter.  Heat over medium-high heat.  

Step 3:  Place the flour in a shallow dish (I use a pie pan).  Sprinkle the chicken with Salt and Pepper or Nature's Seasoning Blend.  Dredge the chicken, 1 cutlet at a time, in the flour.  Tap the excess flour off the cutlet and place in the heated frying pan.  Do this with all the chicken.

Step 4:  Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, then remove to a plate.

Step 5:  Once the chicken is out of the pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, slice mushrooms and garlic. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of water and cook until mushrooms are softened and the water evaporates, about 4 minutes.

Step 6:  Slide the mushrooms to the side, and put the chicken back in the pan, in one layer, and arrange the mushrooms on top of the chicken. Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the sage and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, in pieces, in the spaces in the pan. Pour the white wine and tomato sauce into the spaces in the pan as well. Sprinkle each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese. Cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to reduce the sauce to your liking, and serve.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

Here is my favorite roasted chicken recipe.  I have to say, roasting a whole chicken is so much better than the individual parts.  It is so much more flavorful and that much more juicy.  This is a great rainy-day recipe for the summertime or a great meal with some potatoes for the cooler months.  It is succulent, juicy and has just the right amount of seasoning.  Hints of garlic and savory, tart lemon flavor the meat beautifully.  Everyone in the family is sure to enjoy!

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme
Serves 4-6

Cooking Spray
1 Onion, Peeled and Roughly Chopped
2-3 Carrots, Peeled and Roughly Chopped
2-3 Celery Stalks, Roughly Chopped
2 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
1 (5½-pound) Whole Roaster Chicken
2 Teaspoons Nature's Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Lemons, Cut into Wedges
4 Teaspoons Chopped Garlic
1 Cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 9x13 baking or roasting pan with cooking spray.
Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan and top with parsley and thyme. Mix ingredients to evenly distribute them.

Step 2:  Time to prep the chicken!  Remove the giblet pack and neck (usually stored in the cavities).  Discard.  Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry.  Starting at the neck, loosen the skin around breast using your finger. Rub entire chicken (including breast meat under the skin) with olive oil. Season the outside of the chicken and the inside of cavity with Nature's Seasoning.  Next, add the garlic to the chicken cavity and rub into the flesh of the cavity.  Now, stuff the lemon wedges into that same cavity.  

Step 3:  Place the prepped bird on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan (place it chicken breast- side up).  Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables and bake in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake chicken additional 45 minutes.

Step 4:  Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest, covered with foil for 20 minutes. Place the vegetables into a serving dish.  Next, pour the liquid into fat a separator.  Once the liquid has settled/separated, use this as a sauce for your chicken.  Meanwhile, carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables and sauce.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rhubarb Crisp

Part of embracing the spring and early summer is to:
1. Thank the Lord for the living through another winter and
2.  RHUBARB!!!

I <3 Rhubarb.  Always have, always will.  Unfortunately, I do not have any rhubarb plants.  So, I depend on friends and coworkers - and I highly grateful to them when they provide!  I was very fortunate this week that one of my coworkers brought me some rhubarb.  HAPPY DANCE!!  I asked the teenager what she would like .  .and this is what she chose.  Good choice, Teenager... good choice.

Rhubarb Crisp

6 Cups of Rhubarb, washed and diced/sliced
2 Cups Granulated White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 and 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Butter, melted

Step 1:  Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, add the rhubarb, white sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch.  Mix together.  Pour the mixture into the 9x13 pan and spread into an even layer.

Step 3:  In that (now) empty bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and baking soda.  Mix together.  Add the butter.  Mix together.  This will be lumpy, but do the best you can.

Step 4:  Spread the flour/sugar/butter mixture over the rhubarb in the pan.  Break up an large chunks of the dry mixture with your fingers.

Step 5:  Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes - until hot and bubbly.  

To serve, scoop out a big spoonful into a bowl.  Adorn with either whipped cream or ice cream.  For an even better treat - just pour a little 1/2 and 1/2 over your serving (swoon!).  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Roasted Beet and Green Apple Salad

My husband absolutely detests beets.  I can't even begin to describe how much he loathes them.  And I recently realized how much I actually miss and love, love, love beets.  Seriously, my parents grew them in the garden when I was a kid and I always looked forward to eating them.  My college roomie and I shared that love for beets . . . and her parents used to keep us in supply during the harvest months.  Then, I eventually married a man who hates beets.  How did that even happen?   And over time, I quit making them.  Dumb, right?  I didn't think much about it  . . until the other day when we were at a party and beets were being served.  And then I knew I had to make this salad as soon as possible.  I just couldn't wait.  My daughter and I will just need to eat the whole salad ourselves . . . oh darn!

Roasted Beet & Green Apple Salad
Serves 4-6

3-4 Medium Sized Beets Roasted
1 Large Tart Green Apple
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Cup Toasted Walnuts
1/4 Cup Soft Cheese of Choice (goat cheese, whipped cream cheese, or Gorgonzola)

Step 1:  Once your roasted beets have cooled, peel and dice into bite sized pieces.  Add them to a large bowl.  Wash and core the apple.  Dice into similar sized pieces as the dice beet.  Add to the bowl.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In a small bowl, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and thyme.  Mix together thoroughly with a fork.  Pour over the beets and apples.  Mix to combine.

Step 3:  To serve, dot the soft across the salad and sprinkle with walnuts.  

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Are you unsure about how to roast beets?  Click here to learn more.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Chocolate Banana Muffins

My household has been trying to be a bit more healthy lately.  I can't decide how I feel about that (in general) - but I can tell you that I physically feel better.  Which is a good thing!  As a result though, I have created an 80-calorie, low fat chocolate banana muffin.  That's right - 80 calories!!!  AND THEY TASTE AWESOME.  Nothing weird in them either - straight up normal stuff, I promise!!  Give these a whirl - your family and kids will love them.  They might even think they are eating a cupcake for breakfast . . .just sayin'.  

Chocolate Banana Muffins
Yield:  15

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
2 Cups Ripe, Mashed Bananas (2 - 3 medium bananas)
6 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 and 1/3 Cup Sugar
1 and 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Meanwhile, prepare your muffin tin(s) with paper liners.
Step 2:  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix well.
Step 3:  Measure the batter into the muffin pan(s).  I use a standard scoop that holds 1/4 cup batter and disperse.  So easy that way!
Step 4:  Place the filled muffin pan(s) in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Store in Fridge for Freshness.

Friday, May 15, 2015

BBQ Black Bean Quesadilla

Need a quick, easy and satisfying meal?  If you love bbq - you'll love these.  Soft, warm tortillas with a generous filling of gooey cheese, sweet and tangy bbq sauce, a little sharpness from red onion and all with the satisfaction of meatiness . . .without the meat.  Perfect for a quick meal for yourself . . or make a whole bunch and feed them to the family!  Please note, in the photo below - I used a whole wheat tortilla/low carb - the tortilla looks burnt because of it!  Use whatever kind of tortillas you enjoy.  

BBQ Black Bean Quesadilla
Serves 1

1 TB BBQ Sauce
2 8-inch Tortillas
1/3 Cup Black Beans (from a can, rinsed)
1/4 Cup Cheese (cheddar, cojack, mexi-blend . . whatever you like!)
1-2 Tablespoons of Diced Red Onion
Non Stick Vegetable Oil Spray

Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray.  Preheat on stove-top over low heat.    Place 1 tortilla in the skillet.  Brush with the BBQ sauce.  Disburse the black beans on top of the black beans.  Sprinkle the beans with the cheese. Disburse the onion over the cheese.  Top with remaining tortilla.  Let cook over low for 3-5 minutes, or until bottom is browning.  Then, carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook another 3-5 minutes until that side is browned as well.  Transfer to a cutting board and slice it with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.  Serve hot.