Friday, November 9, 2007

Easy Burrito Roll-Ups

Note: This is a slow-cooker recipe, requires a full day.  My mom emailed me this recipe.  The yield is more than 2, but I don't know what it is officially. I halved it and we had at least one full serving left over.  I am providing the halved version. More notes follow the recipe.
  • 1/2 of a 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or a 7oz can if you can find one)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from 7oz can)
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 C 'thick n chunky style' salsa
  • 6 flour tortillas (10inch)
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1 C shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 C sliced ripe olives
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
Optional (see notes below):
  • chopped tomatoes
  • guacamole
1. In a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, layer beans, chicken thighs, garlic, chiles, cumin and salsa.
2. Cover; cook on Low setting 7 to 8 hours.
3. About 15 minutes before serving, heat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil; heat in oven about 15 minutes or until warm. Meanwhile, place all topping ingredients in individual serving dishes.
4. Remove chicken from slow cooker; place on large plate. With fork or potato masher, mash beans slightly to thicken sauce. Shred chicken with 2 forks; return to slow cooker and mix with bean mixture to moisten.
5. Have guests place warm tortilla on serving plate, spoon about 1/2 C chicken mixture onto tortilla; top with desired toppings. Fold side of tortilla over filling.

Robyn's notes: I can't eat black beans, so in order to be sure I could eat this, I didn't mash the beans at all. He still liked it, and it meant I could eat it just fine. The "Optional" items are things that he suggested might be good toppings to go with. I didn't heat the tortillas in the oven, and since they're easy to heat in the microwave, that's probably what I'd do next time. This was easy, and it was good.  On December 17th, 2007, I made this again, at full-size, as my contribution to our Office Holiday Potluck.  It was well-received and was easy to take, as I did step 1 before leaving the house, then plugged the slow-cooker in when I arrived.  We were having our potluck around 2pm and I start work at 7am, so the timing was just right.  

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hong Kong Primavera w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 3oz vermicelli or thin spaghetti
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2/3 C coarsely grated carrots
  • 1/4 C frozen green peas
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 C thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage

1. Cook the vermicelli or spaghetti according to the directions on the package but without salt. Drain and toss with the green onions; keep warm.
2. While the pasta cooks, combine the water, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a blender container. Cover and process until smooth. Add the pepper flakes and set aside.
3. Place the oil in a heavy, 10" nonstick skillet; stir in the carrots, peas, ginger and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the cabbage is wilted. Add to the pasta and toss well. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

Robyn's notes: I used red wine vinegar, chunky peanut butter, and whole wheat fettucine because that's what I had in the house. I didn't have any red pepper flakes, so I sprinkled in some ground cayenne pepper. I didn't use the blender because I didn't want to wash it, so I whisked/stirred with a fork.

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chipotle Apple Chicken Breasts

  • 2 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small tart apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tsp olice oil
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

1. In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 1 tsp drippings. In the drippings, saute apple until tender. Add the onion, applesauce, chipotle peppers and bacon; saute 2 minutes longer.
2. Cut a pocket in each chicken breast half; stuff with apple mixture. In a small skillet, brown chicken in oil on both sides. Transfer to an ungreased 8-in square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 425°F for 12-15 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.
3. Meanwhile, add the flour, apple juice, salt and pepper to the skillet; stir to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with chicken.

Robyn's notes: He really liked this, but I thought it didn't have much flavor. It might be that I stuffed the two breast halves differently or that I didn't give myself enough sauce. I used turkey bacon and I served it over enriched brown rice.

** 2 Stars: Acceptable. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, if I make changes

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Black Bean Pesto

  • 1/2 C homemade or bottled salsa
  • 2-3 fresh cilantro springs (optional)
  • 3/4 C canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1. Place the salsa, then the cilantro and then the beans in a blender. Process on medium-high speed until the pesto is smooth; stop the motor as necessary to scrape down the sides of the container.
2. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for an hour to blend the flavors.

Robyn's notes: I used bottled salsa and dried cilantro. Served as a dipping sauce for broccoli.

Fettucine with Spinach and Feta

  • 8 C spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 green onion
  • 2/3 C crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • pepper to taste
  • 4oz fettucine

1. Pick over and stem the spinach, discarding any withered or yellow leaves. Wash the spinach well in several changes of water until no trace of sand or dirt is left behind. Drain the spinach in a colander and set aside.
2. Thinly slice the green onion, including the tender green part, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the feta, oil, lemon juice, dill and pepper.
3. Cook the fettucine according to the directions on the package but without salt. For the last 30 seconds of cooking, stir the spinach into the water with the fettucine and push it under the water to wilt it. Drain.
4. Add the fettucine and spinach to the bowl and toss with the cheese mixture. Serve the pasta hot or at room temperature.

Robyn's notes: I used whole wheat linguine instead of fettucine. Served with Black Bean Pesto and broccoli.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Zucchini Panned with Red Peppers

  • 1/2 small sweet red pepper
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 C finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

1. Cut the red pepper into strips about 1/2" wide, stack the strips and cut them across the make 1/2" squares.
2. Trim the ends from the zucchini and cut into thin rounds.
3. Add the oil to a heavy 8" nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Stir in the peppers and onions; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not brown. Stir in the garlic, zucchini, basil, salt and pepper.
4. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the zucchini is just tender.

Robyn's notes: I used yellow sweet pepper, because it's what I had in the house. He thought it was really good and ate it very quickly.

Flavorful Chicken

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

1. In a shallow bowl, combine butter and soy sauce; dip chicken on both sides. Place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and paprika.
2. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°F.

Robyn's notes: This was surprisingly tasty for such a simple dish. I served it with Zucchini Panned with Red Peppers. He and I both really liked this.

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often