Thursday, February 26, 2015

spicy fish taco bowls... 30 minutes

the goods:

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3-4 tilapia filets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup fresh corn kernels (sliced off the cob is best)
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
cooked rice
toppings: fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa or pico

Mix the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over both sides of the fish filets. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add oil and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the fish filets to the pan. Cook the fish for 3 minutes on each side, or until completely cooked through (fish should be completely white and flake apart easily). Transfer fish to a plate. Add corn, peppers and onion to the pan and cook on high for several minutes without stirring to get some good char marks on them. Stir and repeat letting each side char, until the peppers and onions are tender. Add the black beans and heat through.
In bowls, layer rice, corn/pepper/bean mixture, fish, then top with desired toppings!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

chicken alfredo roll-ups... 20 minutes

the goods:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, lightly pounded to an even thickness
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoon chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tube (8 ounces) cresent rolls
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

cheese sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before shredding.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, Parmesan, chives, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove rolls from can, separating them into 8 triangles. Top each triangle with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture. Starting with the wide end, roll up each triangle, tucking the ends underneath. Dredge in bread crumbs, pressing to coat. Place seam-side down onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, 1-2 minutes more. Serve roll-ups drizzled with cheese sauce.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

sausage stuffed shells... 45 minutes

the goods:

16-18 jumbo pasta shells
1 pound pork sausage links, casings removed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook according to package directions. Drain well, then add shells to the prepared ice bath to stop the cooking. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and use wooden spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook 5-6 minutes until browned. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds then add tomatoes and spinach. Stir to combine until spinach wilts. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese. Using a spoon, fill pasta shells with pork filling and arrange in a baking dish (I used a pie plate). Sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese then bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese has melted and tips of shells begin to crisp.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

cheesy crockpot tortellini... 8 hours

the goods:

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound italian sausage, casings removed
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (9 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Parmesan, for serving

In a large skillet, combine the ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook over medium-high, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns. Drain. Combine the meat, marinara sauce, and tomatoes in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
Stir in tortellini and sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more on low. Serve sprinkled with parmesan.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

garlic ranch chicken pizza... 25 minutes

the goods:

dough for 1 pizza (homemade or frozen)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh spinach

garlic ranch sauce:
2 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 and 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon chopped, dried chives
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
dash of onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients for the garlic ranch sauce together in a small bowl. Roll out pizza dough and spread sauce over the top of the dough. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over the top followed by the chicken, bacon, spinach and tomatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 450 degrees for 9-12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

fajita salad... 30 minutes plus marinating

I know it's a long list of ingredients, but don't be intimidated, a lot of it is the same stuff (limes, cilantro, etc.) used in different ways. This salad is well worth the effort!

the goods:

honey-lime vinaigrette:
2 limes, juiced
2/3 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cilantro
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons salt
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup olive oil

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into strips
2-3 heads romaine heats, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
cilantro leaves, for serving

Honey-lime vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend together until the garlic is well chopped and the ingredients have emulsified. Transfer to a small jar or bowl and refrigerate.
Marinade: Using the same processor or blender (you don't even need to clean it), place all ingredients for the marinade inside and puree until garlic is finely chopped. Pour half the marinade into a zip-top bag and add the chicken to the marinade. Refrigerate. Pour the other half of the marinade to another bag or bowl and add the sliced onion and peppers to it. Refrigerate. Let the chicken and peppers marinate for several hours, or using immediately is fine too.
Salad: In a large skillet over high heat, cook the onions and peppers (do not add the marinade). Toss with tongs until the veggies are soft and browned in spots. Remove from pan. In the same pan over high heat, add the chicken and marinade and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and slightly caramelized. Toss with the vegetables. Arrange plates with lettuce, chicken and peppers, avocado, tomato and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

potato ham chowder... 35 minutes

the goods:

4 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 and 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 and 1/2 cups milk
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 and 1/2 cups diced ham
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more. Stir in ham and salt and pepper to taste. Don't be shy with the salt. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.