Friday, November 16, 2007

Brunswick Stew

  • 2 C water
  • 2 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C diced fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 C cream-style corn
  • 1/3 C frozen lima beans
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 drops hot sauce
  • dash pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper

1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, chicken, onion, and ham. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Remove chicken; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; return to the pan.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally.

Robyn's notes: lots of notes on this one. We don't generally eat grocery store ham, so I left that out entirely (both of us have experienced raising hogs, so we know how much better it tastes). I used a 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes instead of cutting up the whole tomatoes, because I knew I'd be short on time. I didn't peel the potatoes because he prefers the skins left on. I didn't have hot sauce, so I left that out. Oh and I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and just simmered a little shorter. It was good but if I make it again I'll use chicken broth instead of water.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brighton Beach Eggplant

  • 12 oz eggplant
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 2 cloves unpeeled garlic
  • 2 Tbsp seedless raisins
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • ground red pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides of the eggplant and onion with the oil. Arrange the eggplant and onion, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Add the sweet pepper, tomato and garlic.
2. Roast the vegetables on the top shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, or until they are tender. Transfer them to a chopping board to cool. Scrape out the pulp from the eggplant and discard the skin. Remove the skin from the tomato and pepper. Coarsely chop all the vegetables and place them in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Peel the garlic and put it through a garlic press; add it to the chopped vegetables. Stir in the raisins, cilantro, turmeric, salt and ground pepper. Mix well.
4. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to blend the flavors. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Robyn's notes: I served this stuffed in pita pockets. Didn't have any turmeric in the house, so I just left that out. Looked kinda gross (basically a mush of a bunch of stuff), but he liked it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Black Eyed Pea Salad

  • 1 C frozen black eyed peas
  • 1 C fresh or frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 4 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

1. Cook peas according to package directions; drain. In a salad bowl, combine the peas, corn and onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

Robyn's notes: I added tomato quarters to this just before serving, and he was really glad. Very easy, but cooking the peas takes some time.

Turkey Tetrazzini

  • 2 oz uncooked spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 C cubed cooked turkey breast
  • 2/3 C condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 C chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp diced pimientos
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt, optional
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Stir in the turkey, soup, cheese, onion, pimientos, Worcestershire sauce and salt if desired.
2. Transfer to a 1-qt baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Robyn's notes: I substituted whole wheat linguine for the spaghetti. This went quickly and both of us liked it. Served with Black Eyed Pea Salad.

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Corn and Lima Bean Tossed Salad

  • 1/3 C frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C frozen corn
  • 1 C chopped lettuce
  • 1/4 C roasted sweet red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

1. In a small saucepan, bring lima beans and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add corn; simmer 4-5 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Drain and cool.
2. In a small bowl, combine the lettuce, red peppers, onion and bean mixture. Refrigerate until chilled.
3. Just before serving, combine the lime juice, oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.

Robyn's notes: I substituted baby spinach for the lettuce, because lettuce has basically no nutritional value, just roughage, and therefore he doesn't really want to eat it.

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

Friday, November 2, 2007

Country Style Cucumbers

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 4 red onion slices
  • 2 Tbsp rice or white-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ground red pepper to taste

1. If the cucumber is waxed, peel it; otherwise leave the skin intact. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with the tip of a teaspoon and slice the cucumber into 1/4" crescents. Place the slices in a small mixing bowl.
2. Separate the onion slices into rings and add them to the bowl.
3. In a measuring cup, stir together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and red pepper. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions.
4. Let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before servings, or cover and chill overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Robyn's notes: I used red-wine vinegar because it's what I have in the house.

Turkey Florentine

  • 8 oz boneless turkey breast cutlets (1/4" thick)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 4 tsp minced onions
  • 1/4 C apple juice
  • 8 C spinach, loosely packed
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)

1. Dry the turkey pieces with a paper towel, then sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.
2. Place a heavy, 10" nonstick skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the butter and add the turkey. Cook, turning as necessary, for 3 minutes, or until the turkey is browned and firm to the touch, with no trace of pink in the center. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
3. To the skillet, add the onions, apple juice and spinach. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 minute, or until the spinach is barely wilted. Sprinkle with the nutmeg (if using). Place the spinach on a serving plate, top with the turkey and serve.

Robyn's notes: this went fast to cook. Looks pretty and fancy when done, but definitely needs a side dish. I served with couscous for me, and Country-Style Cucumbers for him.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Peanut Ginger Pasta

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 1/4 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 oz uncooked whole wheat linguine
  • 1 C chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil

1. In a blender, combine the first 10 ingredients; cover and process until blended. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, cook linguine according to package directions, adding broccoli during the last 5 minutes. Cook until tender; drain.
3. In a large bowl, combine the carrot, red pepper, onion and basil. Add linguine, broccoli and lime juice mixture; toss to coat.

Robyn's notes: if I make this again, I won't use the blender to combine the first ingredients. I could whisk them together just as easily (although it would definitely take longer) and wouldn't have to wash the damned blender afterwards. Plus, I lost a lot of the mixture because I wasn't able to get it out of the blender all that well. The ginger was strong, especially for my taste. He liked this and ate most of mine as well as his own.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Curry Powder

Many items in the spice aisle of the grocery store are a single spice or herb, dried, chopped or ground, etc. Curry powder, however, is not a single spice or herb. When purchasing curry powder, different brands will have different amounts of the spices, and sometimes other spices added.

Most curry powders usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek in their blends. Additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, long pepper and black pepper may also be added.

The curry powder I have on hand contains coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion, red pepper, and ginger.

GF - because curry powder is not a single spice, there is a slight possibility of gluten in some brands. The McCormick company is very dependable on this subject and does not hide wheat on their labels (if it's there, it'll say "wheat", not "natural flavours"). At the time of this writing, McCormick curry powder is gluten-free, as are most others.

Curried Chicken and Bulgur Salad

  • 1/4 C medium-grain bulgur
  • 1/2 C water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp mango chutney
  • 2 Tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/2 C cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 Tbsp currants or seedless raisins
  • 1/2 C canned mandarin orange segments, drained

1. In a small saucepan, combine the bulgur, water, and salt; bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender and the water is absorbed. Fluff the bulgur with a fork and turn it into a mixing bowl to cool.
2. If there are large pieces of mango in the chutney, dice them; then place the chutney in a medium bowl with the yogurt and curry powder. Mix well with a table fork. Add the bulgur and toss everything until the bulgur grains are well-coated.
3. Cut the green onions, including the tender green parts, into fine slices. Add the green onions, chicken, currants or raisins and oranges to the bulgur mixture and toss again. If desired, cover the bowl and chill the salad for 30 minutes or overnight to blend the flavors.

Robyn's notes: He didn't get to eat much of this, because he ate too much at the work Halloween party, but he tasted it and really liked it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chili Non Carne

Note: Long cooking time. Plan ahead, will need over 90 minutes total.

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C chopped onions
  • 6 Tbsp chopped celery
  • 6 Tbsp diced carrots
  • 1/4 C chopped green peppers
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 C canned tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 C water
  • 3/4 C canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp bulgur
  • salt to taste
1. Place the oil in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add the onions, celery, carrots and peppers. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not brown. Stir in the garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the tomatoes (with juice) and water; bring the chili to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
3. Add the beans and bulgur. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the bulgur is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.
Robyn's notes: yeah, yeah, I know, lots of bulgur recipes recently, haha! It bulks up the chili and adds nice flavor. When I made old-fashioned chicken macaroni salad, I chopped up more green pepper than I needed, and kept the extra in a sealed container in the fridge, knowing that I'd need some for this recipe.  He really, really liked this a lot.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Turkey Medallions Seared in Thai Butter

  • 1/4 C lime juice
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8oz boneless turkey breast cutlets (1/4" thick)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 6 thinly cut lime slices
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, ginger and sugar until the sugar dissolves; set aside.
2. Dry the turkey pieces with a paper towel and sprinkle them with the salt.
3. Place a heavy 8" or 10" nonstick skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the butter. Quickly add the turkey. Cook for 3 minutes, turning as necessary, until the turkey is firm to the touch and browned on both sides, with no trace of pink in the thickest part.
4. Transfer the turkey to a warm serving plate. Pour the lime juice mixture into the skillet and cook for 30 seconds, or until it becomes syrupy and is reduced by half. Pour over the turkey. Garnish with the lime slices and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Robyn's notes: I made no notes the first time I made this, so thoughts from the second time, in 2021: the lime was super strong, knocked us back a bit, but we both cleaned our plates. I had lowered the heat to medium and the sauce still went to caramel in seconds, so I pulled it off the heat immediately. Recipe goes fast, prep ingredients ahead. 

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

Old-Fashioned Chicken Macaroni Salad

  • 2/3 C uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 C frozen corn
  • 1 C cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/4 C sliced celery
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Cook corn according to package directions, drain and cool.
2. In a serving bowl, combine the macaroni, corn, chicken, celery, egg, green pepper and onion. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Robyn's notes: I chopped up extra green pepper for use in another recipe later, and I always make more hard-cooked eggs than I need. I used safflower mayonnaise for health reasons.