Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spinach and Artichoke Penne with Chicken

So a few weeks ago, D made a recipe from Closet Cooking called Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken.  He views stuffing chicken as a PITA but did it anyway.  We each took a bite, realized the chicken was bad, and had to toss out the entire dinner. We were both bummed because it did taste good, minus the spoiled chicken.  So D said he would make it again, but he would just cut up the chicken and toss everything with penne.

So yesterday that is what he did.  It was basically Spinach and Artichoke Dip served on pasta with some chicken.  It was excellent.  We will have again.

Spinach and Artichoke Penne with Chicken


Photo by ALB

Adapted from Closet Cooking

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients
4 (6 ounce) chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
10 ounces spinach, thawed or wilted, squeezed of excess liquid and coarsely chopped
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (used low-fat)
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1 tablespoon oil (used cooking spray)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
10 oz uncooked Penne

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2.  While pasta cooks, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add cooking spray to pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add onion, chicken and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the artichokes, spinach, cheeses, seasoning and broth; heat through.

3. Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture.

Yield: 5 servings.

14 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Spiced Grilled Chicken Thighs with Creamy Chile-Herb Sauce

This is one of those recipes that I'm not sure how we missed the first time.  It is chicken with sauce...my favorite. Anyway, I saw it, showed it to D and he said he would make it.
Grilled chicken is always good, and then with the sauce.

We would have again.  We had with Spicy Fried Corn with Bacon and Chipotle.

Spiced Grilled Chicken Thighs with Creamy Chile-Herb Sauce

Photo by ALB

We love the contrast of the bright, herbaceous sauce with the smoky grilled chicken thighs.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 chicken thighs and about 2 tablespoons sauce)

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (used 2 C Cilantro instead)
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper

Preparation
1. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon sugar, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal bag. Let stand 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat grill to medium.

3. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to grill rack; grill 8 minutes on each side or until done.

4. Place remaining 2 table­spoons oil, remaining 1 tablespoon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, parsley, half-and-half, and jalapeño in the bowl of a mini food processor; process until finely chopped. Serve sauce with chicken thighs.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 377; Fat: 18.5 g; Sat fat: 4 g; Mono fat: 8.9 g; Poly fat: 3 g; Protein: 45 g; Carbohydrate: 6 g; Fiber: 2 g; Cholesterol: 218 mg;  Iron: 4 mg; Sodium: 584 mg; Calcium: 84 mg

10 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2015

Greek Chicken Nachos

So this was a slightly different take on nachos.  I helped D make it. Overall it was good, and I liked it.  We both thought the chicken should have a bit more spice on it (he sauteed chicken with Greek Seasoning...didn't buy a rotisserie).

We would still have again.

Greek Chicken Nachos

Photo by ALB

ACTIVE TIME: 24 mins
TOTAL TIME: 33 mins
YIELD: Serves 6 (we got 4)

Ingredients
3 (6-in.) whole-wheat pitas
Cooking spray
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (used 2 TBSP, where was the division supposed to be)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 cup chopped English cucumber (used a regular one)
10 pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise (Didn't use)
8 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 2 cups)
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup) (used reduced fat)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Split each pita in half horizontally into rounds. Coat cut sides of pitas with cooking spray. Cut each pita half into 8 wedges. (It was actually easier to cut into quarters, then cut horizontally and then cut two more times to get the 8 wedges). Arrange half of wedges, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes or until browned; remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining wedges. Cool 10 minutes.

Combine oil, vinegar, and pepper in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives; toss to coat.

Arrange all pita chips on foil-lined baking sheet so they overlap. Top with chicken, mozzarella, and feta. Bake at 400°F for 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with lettuce mixture and oregano. 

Nutritional Information (from CL with no substitutions/6 servings)
Calories: 343; Fat: 13.8 g; Sat fat: 4.5 g; Mono fat: 6.7 g; Poly fat: 1 g; Protein: 22 g; Carbohydrate: 35 g; Fiber: 4 g; Cholesterol: 51 mg; Iron: 3 mg; Sodium: 553 mg; Calcium: 219 mg; Sugars: 3 g

13 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Cooking Light, December 2016

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

I showed this recipe to D and he said yes.  It looked pretty easy to make (I would have bought shredded coleslaw mix to make it easier but he used the food processor).  The portions were huge!  It needed a little bit of soy sauce and chile garlic sauce, but doesn't everything?  Would have again


Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

Photo by ALB

Amended from Taste of Home

TOTAL TIME:
Prep/Total Time: 30 min
YIELD:4 servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 pound ground pork (used 1 pound)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 cups shredded cabbage (about 1 small head)
2 large carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
4 ounces rice noodles (used 8 oz)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Additional soy sauce, optional

Directions
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook and crumble pork until browned, 4-6 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, garlic and seasonings. Add cabbage and carrots; cook 4-6 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook rice noodles according to package directions; drain and immediately add to pork mixture, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with green onions. If desired, serve with additional soy sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (1-1/2 cups)

Nutritional Facts (from Taste of Home with no changes)
1-1/2 cups: 302 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 652mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 4g fiber), 14g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 medium-fat meat, 2 vegetable, 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

11 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings of 1-1/2 Cups) 

North-African Spiced Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower

I got this recipe from M, who happened to post it on Facebook one night, while I was scrolling through.  Actually, she posted all the ingredients and I asked her for the recipe.
Anyway she took a picture of the recipe and D made it.

We agreed with M, that it needed more spice.  But for how easy D said it was, we could have again.  The original recipe called for carrots, but carrots on their own are gross so we used cauliflower.

North-African Spiced Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower

Photo by ALB

Ingredients
1 TBSP Ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken hindquarters (1.5 pounds)
1 head of cauliflower
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400.

Combine spices through salt and rub evenly over the chicken

Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet.  Add the chicken and cook until browned, turning, once, about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate. Add the cauliflower and 1- 2 TBSP of lemon juice to the skillet, scraping up and browned bits stuck to the pan. Place the chicken in the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 180 and the cauliflower is just tender.

Drizzle the remaining lemon juice over the chicken and cauliflower. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the cilantro just before serving.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Shrimp and Black Bean Tacos

These were very easy. That aside, they need some tweaking, but because they were easy, they will get it.

First we used white rice because that's what we had. Second, we combined the rice and beans.  We decided after the fact they needed some seasoning (see my additions for next time).

We had with a southwest salad.

Shrimp and Black Bean Tacos


Photo by ALB

YIELD Serves 4 (serving size: 2 tacos)

A little bit of the black bean liquid brings the chunky mash together. The mash also helps to hold all the filling in place.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons canola oil (didn't use)
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted black beans
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
8 (6-in.) corn tortillas
1 cup hot cooked brown rice (used 1 cup cooked white rice)
1/2 cup fresh pico de gallo
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves
(Next time, lime juice, 1/4 C cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt)

Preparation
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp, 1 teaspoon cumin, and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally. Remove shrimp from pan. Drain beans in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Add beans (didn't do), reserved liquid (didn't do), 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and chili powder to pan; cook 3 minutes, mashing beans with a fork.

(Heated beans and added the Cup of rice mixing everything with the reserve liquid...add some lime juice, 1/4 C cilantro and 1/2 tsp salt next time).

Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over medium-high directly on the eye of a burner 15 seconds on each side (or microwave those suckers). Divide bean (and rice mixture), rice, shrimp, pico, onions, and avocado evenly among tortillas. Garnish with cilantro leaves; serve immediately.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (from CL)
Calories: 408; Fat: 11 g; Sat fat: 1 g; Mono fat: 4.9 g; Poly fat: 2.2 g; Protein: 22 g; Carbohydrate: 61 g; Fiber: 11 g;Cholesterol: 107 mg; Iron: 2 mg; Sodium: 323 mg; Calcium: 138 mg; Sugars: 4 g

10 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions)

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2016

BBQ Beef-Stuffed Potatoes

D and I decided to make this.  We typically make 1 crockpot meal a week.  We both thought the potatoes in the crockpot was weird, so D was going to microwave them. However I was home so I baked them in the oven.

The result was pretty good. The BBQ won't win any contest, but again, another comfort food that is perfect and ready when you get home.  Working from home, the smell will make you hungry all day.

We cut the recipe to 4. It made big portions. (Even though I baked the potatoes, I still used the salt and oil, so I counted it for my nutritional purposes

BBQ Beef-Stuffed Potatoes


Photo by ALB

ACTIVE TIME: 15 mins; TOTAL TIME: 8 hrs, 15 mins
YIELD: Serves 6 (we got 4)

Be sure to wrap the potatoes in parchment paper; foil can add a metallic taste to the dish. (we baked out potatoes in the oven an hour before eating).

Ingredients
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced red onion
Cooking spray
6 (4-oz.) russet potatoes (used 4)
2 teaspoons olive oil (used 1 TBSP)
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
6 tablespoons light sour cream
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Preparation
Combine brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; rub generously over roast.

Place red onion slices in bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray; top with roast.

Rub potatoes with oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Wrap each potato in parchment paper; arrange on top of roast. (didn't do)

Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until tender. (baked potatoes in the oven for 1 hour with no type of wrap (with the salt and oil) or in the microwave)

Unwrap potatoes; split lengthwise, cutting to but not through the other side. Shred roast with 2 forks, and stir to combine with onion mixture.

Top each potato with 1/2 cup beef mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 2 teaspoons green onions, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (as written from CL, 6 Servings)
Calories: 385; Fat: 12.7 g; Sat fat: 6.1 g; Mono fat: 4.9 g; Poly fat: 0.7 g; Protein: 32 g; Carbohydrate: 37 g; Fiber: 3 g; Cholesterol: 92 mg; Iron: 4 mg; Sodium: 687 mg; Calcium: 173 mg; Sugars: 12 g

16 Smart Points (4 servings, my calculation)

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2016