Saturday, July 15, 2017

white cheese chicken lasagna... 1 hour and 20 minutes

the goods:

9 lasagna noodles (not oven-ready)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
4 packages (8 ounces each) sliced mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided, plus an additional 1/4 cup for topping
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken (I sliced mine off of a rotisserie chicken)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then lay flat on wax paper or foil to prevent sticking.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in flour and salt, and cook until bubbly. Slowly stir in broth and milk, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 3 slices of the mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup parmesan. Season with basil, italian seasoning, and black pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside. In a medium bowl stir together the ricotta and spinach until combined, set aside.
Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, spread a layer of the ricotta/spinach mixture on top of the noodles, sprinkle with 1/2 of the chicken, drizzle with sauce, and layer with mozzarella slices, then sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan on top. Add another layer of noodles, smear with remaining ricotta/spinach mixture, sprinkle with remaining chicken, drizzle with sauce, and layer mozzarella slices on top, the sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan on top. For the final later, lay out noodles, drizzle with sauce, and layer mozzarella slices on top. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

apple cranberry salad... 15 minutes

the goods:

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, grilled, and chopped
1 bag spring salad mix
1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1 cup candied pecans
1/3  cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

In a small jar, combine dressing ingredients. Place lid on top and shake to combine.
In a large bowl combine salad mix, apples, pecans, and cranberries. Toss with dressing and serve topped with chicken and blue cheese crumbles.

Monday, July 10, 2017

BBQ brisket nachos... 15 minutes

the goods:

1-2 cups leftover shredded or sliced BBQ brisket (you can also purchase it pre-cooked at the store)
BBQ sauce
tortilla chips
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
3 sweet peppers (red, orange, yellow) sliced
sour cream
chopped cilantro

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss brisket with BBQ sauce to moisten. Spread tortilla chips out on a baking sheet. Top with brisket, corn, and cheese. Place in oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. To serve, top with tomatoes, peppers, sour cream, cilantro, and additional BBQ sauce if desired.
Kid approved!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

chopped thai salad with sesame garlic dressing... 15 minutes

the goods:

1/3 cup canola oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon ginger paste
squeeze of lime juice

16 ounces frozen shelled edamame
5-6 cups baby kale
3 large carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup cilantro leaves
3 scallions
3/4 cup cashew's (preferably Trader Joe's Thai Lime and Chili cashews)

Puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to fit your preferences.
Cook the edamame by boiling it for 3-5 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, chop kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro, and scallions into thin, bite-sized strips. Place the cooked edamame in the food processor and pulse 5 times to get a minced texture. Transfer to a bowl and repeat the same process for the cashews.
Toss the kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro, green onions, edamame, and cashews together until well combined. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 26, 2017

penne pasta in creamy vodka tomato sauce... 30 minutes

the goods:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
3/4 cup vodka
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces penne pasta
freshly grated parmesan, for serving

In a medium pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, and drain.
While water is coming to a boil/pasta is cooking; heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until onion softens, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, vodka, red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce to low and cover. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes until sauce thickens. During the last 10 minutes, add mushrooms, cover and continue to simmer. Add heavy cream, half and half, and salt to sauce and stir everything together. Toss pasta with sauce and serve topped with parmesan and basil.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

chicken taco salad... 15 minutes

the goods:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 packet taco seasoning, divided
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
2 ears of corn, grilled and kernels sliced off the cob
1 can (14.5 ounces), black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup doritos cool ranch or nacho cheese chops, crushed in your hands
homemade ranch dressing with the juice of 1 lime squeezed into it, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped and mixed in

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken pieces to skillet and season with 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. On individual plates, add lettuce, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and chicken. Drizzle with dressing and add tortilla chips on top.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

chicken sandwiches with pomegranate BBQ and apple slaw... 1 hour and 30 minutes

the goods:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
crustini sandwich rolls, buttered and toasted

pomegranate BBQ sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
2/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (or regular molasses if you can't find it)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

apple slaw:
2 honeycrisp apples, julienned
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 head napa cabbage, sliced into shreds
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine all the BBQ sauce ingredients, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Then reduce to low and cook for 30-60 minutes, until thickened. Stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature to cool. Store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk together the sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Rub it all over the chicken. Add the olive oil and butter to the skillet. Place the chicken in the hot oil and cook until brown on both sides and deeply golden, about 5 minutes per side. Allow chicken to rest on a plate for 10 minutes before shredding. Return shredded chicken back to the skillet to coat in the pan drippings. Stir in 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce.

To make the apple slaw, toss the apples, scallions, cabbage, and cilantro in a bowl. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and honey. Drizzle it over the slaw and toss well to evenly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.

Assemble sandwiches, by topping toasted buns with chicken, BBQ sauce, and apple slaw.