Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Kale

I really like the taste of this.  D hated making it.  So much so, he left out some ingredients.  The only reason I noticed he did, was because the original picture from CL had red in it and ours did not.
He said there were way too many ingredients.  So we probably won't have again, which is a shame because I really liked it.  He added the tomatoes for left overs.  It still tasted good.

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Kale

Photo by ALB

ACTIVE TIME: 22 mins
TOTAL TIME: 22 mins
YIELD: Serves 4 (serving size: 4 oz. chicken and 1 1/2 cups bean mixture)

This rustic chicken supper is a one-dish meal through and through: It all comes together in one skillet and includes the main (chicken), starch (creamy cannellini beans), and side (braised kale and tomatoes). It also couldn’t be faster or easier to throw together—just 22 minutes from start to finish. You can use either lacinato kale, the kind with dark, bumpy leaves, or curly kale for this dish; just make sure to remove the stems as they won’t have time to break down before the dish is done. Swap the chicken for boneless center-cut pork chops on another night.

2 tablespoons olive oil (used Cooking Spray)
4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped carrot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 ounces lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 bunch) (used 2 bunches of Kale, no idea what kind)
1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side (chicken will not be cooked through). Remove chicken from pan.

Add onion, carrot, thyme, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine; cook 2 minutes. Add kale; cook 3 minutes or until wilted. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, stock, and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until done.

Calories: 516; Fat: 13.7 g; Sat Fat: 2 g; Mono Fat: 6.6 g; Poly Fat: 1.6 g; Protein: 52 g; Carbohydrate: 43 g; Fiber: 12 g; Cholesterol: 124 mg; Iron: 5 mg; Sodium: 609 mg; Calcium: 179 mg; Sugars: 8 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2017

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


I'm not sure how I feel about these.  I never had spaghetti squash before this.  So D and I tried it.  While not bad, they aren't the end-all-be-all either.  They tasted like yellow squash in string form.  So I can't imagine putting spaghetti sauce and parm cheese on it and faking anyone out.  Actually, I'm kind of grossed out by that .

However, considering we have had zucchini with queso fresco, and squash and zucchini with jalapenos, adding a "Mexican" flair to spaghetti squash wasn't creepy.

The taste of the filling was very good.  However, it tasted like taco meat on top of squash.  If I want to save calories/points, I think I would just put the filling on a 1-pt tortilla and call it a day. The other thing is tacos in my mind are typically cheap.  The squash alone was over $9, so I was kind of stuck on that.

We had with black beans.  I don't think we'll have again. Not horrid, just the price point was off for me.


Photo by ALB

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 1 boat (we had 4 servings)
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
Adapted from Skinny Taste

3 small spaghetti squash (24 oz each) (we used 2 squashes)
olive oil spray
1 lb 93% ground turkey (used 96%/4% ground beef)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup water
4 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup part-skim shredded Mexican cheese blend

For the Pico De Gallo: (bought fresh from the store)
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two if they don’t fit). Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and soft yellow strands. Spray the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the squash facedown on the baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until the flesh easily pierces with a fork.

Meanwhile, brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Combine the ingredients for the quick pico de gallo in a medium bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the inside so the strands appear. Spoon scant 1/2 cup meat inside each squash bowl. Top each with 2 tbsp cheese and transfer them to the oven and bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, top with pico de gallo and serve immediately!

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

Carne Asada Bowls

As always with a chopped salad we got 3 really huge servings.  D isn't a fan of leftover salad, so that's why.

Anyway, this was really good. He grilled the steak, and the rest came together.  We didn't have a side, but the salad was so huge, why would we?

Will have again.

Carne Asada Bowls

Photo by ALB

Serves: 4 (we got 3)

Cooking spray
1 (12-oz.) flank steak (used 1 lb)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil (used cooking spray)
3/4 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
1 ounce tortilla chips (used baked tortilla chips)
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1 1/2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
4 lime wedges (didn't use)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. (D heated the grill). Sprinkle steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add steak to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. (D did this, but on the grill). Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into slices; cut slices into 3/4-inch pieces.

Add oil to pan (used cooking spray); swirl. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, stock, and beans to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Divide lettuce among 4 shallow bowls. Top evenly with bean mixture, steak, tomato, tortilla chips, and avocado. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and queso fresco.

Serve with lime wedges.

Calories: 369; Fat: 15.1 g; Sat Fat: 3.6 g; Mono Fat: 6.9 g; Poly Fat: 1 g; Protein: 28 g; Carbohydrate: 31 g; Fiber: 10 g; Cholesterol: 56 mg; Iron: 4 mg; Sodium: 486 mg; Calcium: 133 mg; Sugars: 4 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2017

12 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 3 servings)

French Onion Chicken

So I assume D loves French Onion Soup, as he orders it all the time in restaurants.  His favorite protein is chicken, so when I saw this recipe, I figured he would be all for it, and I was correct.

He made it.  He thought it was a little weird you make chicken with beef broth, but didn't complain.  The result was huge portions, and a very flavorful dish.  We didn't have a side (the pasta was the side).

We will have again.

French Onion Chicken

Photo by ALB

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour

Chunks of tender chicken tossed in a thick french onion gravy loaded with sautéed Vidalia onions and melted Swiss cheese.

Adapted from Mother Thyme
Serves: 4-6 (we got 6)

10oz uncooked penne
2 pounds Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion), peeled and sliced
Cooking Spray
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded Italian 5-blend cheese
1 baguette, sliced

Prepare pasta according to directions on the box.

Meanwhile, spray cooking spray in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat.

Add onions and stir. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Cook onions, stirring occasionally to avoid burning until onions are tender and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Place cooked onions in a small dish and set aside.

Return skillet to stove over medium heat and add more cooking spray.

Season chicken with salt, pepper and thyme.

Add chicken and cook until all sides are brown and cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken from skillet.

Increase temperature to high. Add in beef broth and deglaze skillet. Reduce temperature back to medium. Gradually whisk in flour and butter until broth is thicken. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and thyme.

Stir in cooked chicken and onions until combined with beef gravy.

Sprinkle with cheese and place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until cheese in melted and bubbly.

Sprinkle with a pinch of thyme if desired.  Mix with Pasta.

Serving Size: 1.5 Cups

11 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Guinness-Braised Beef Brisket

I think I'm just a eat a corned beef in public kind of person. It just tastes better out. Plus for me it is a one and done kind of dish. Don't really want left overs.

That said, it was still nice to have.  We went out last Saturday, and this cooked while we were out.  It was ok.  The broth was overly sweet, but that's probably why they said to discard it.  The meat was tender, and it didn't take on the broth taste.

If I had all the ingredients, I would have again. We had with Mashed Potatoes.

Guinness-Braised Beef Brisket

Photo by ALB

YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)

2 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
6 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 (3-pound) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed

Combine first 11 ingredients in a large electric slow cooker, stirring until well blended; top with beef. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef; cut diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch slices. Discard broth mixture.

Calories: 226; Calories from Fat: 39 %; Fat: 9.7 g; Sat Fat: 3.2 g; Mono Fat: 4.7 g; Poly Fat: 0.4 g; Protein: 17.9 g; Carbohydrate: 15.2 g; Fiber: 0.9 g; Cholesterol: 87 mg; Iron: 2.2 mg; Sodium: 1105 mg; Calcium: 28 mg

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2004


When I first saw this recipe, I thought it was going to be about Shrimp covered in Fritos, because of the Homesick Texan's little blurb about Fritos.  It wasn't, but that's ok.

I told D we should have this anyway, and he obliged.  He suggested Baked Tostitos, so that's what he did. He was going to sub some panko with that, but he just used the whole (6-1/2 oz) bag.  For some reason, I had decided this would be 2 servings.  Both D and I laughed during eating.  That is a lot.

We had with a salad.  As usual, a recipe from Homesick Texan that we will have again.


Photo by ALB

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips (6 1/2 oz Baked Tostitos)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ cup ketchup
1 teaspoon horseradish (more like a TBSP)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Sliced lime, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°F and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Season the crushed tortilla chips with the pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed, adding salt to taste. (Depending on the chips, I usually start with ¼ teaspoon.)

Lightly salt and pepper the shrimp then toss with the flour. (If using frozen shrimp that’s been thawed in cold water, pat down the shrimp with a paper towel before seasoning so they aren’t too wet.) Beat the eggs until bright yellow and place ½ cup of the crushed tortilla chips into a bowl. (You only start with 1/2 cup so you can refresh the chips as you dredge, which keeps them from becoming too clumpy.)

Working in batches, dip the flour-coated shrimp into the eggs then dredge in the tortilla chips. Place coated shrimp on the baking sheet. A quarter-way through the process, refresh the tortilla chip dredge with another ½ cup fresh crushed tortilla chips, then continue to dredge. Repeat the process until all the shrimp are coated.

Bake uncovered for 7 minutes, then remove the sheet from the oven and flip the shrimp over to the other side. Return to the oven and cook for 5-7 more minutes or until the coating is lightly browned and the shrimp are pink.

As they are baking, to make a chipotle cocktail sauce stir together the ketchup, horseradish, chipotle powder, and lime juice. Taste and add salt, if needed. After the shrimp are done, serve warm with the chipotle cocktail sauce and limes on the side.

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

It was close to St. Paddy's Day, and like everyone else, I started looking around for a Corned Beef Recipe.  On Pinterest, of course, I fell down a rabbit hole, and ended up finding this recipe.  I really thought it was from Williams-Sonoma, but apparently it was not.

Anyway, this was really easy.  Also 2 TBSP of rosemary is a lot (I only got 1 TBSP out of all that I cut off our bush).  I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer to do everything (except beat an egg with buttermilk), so it came together quickly.

We will have again, since D said, "It's the best bread you've made, yet."

Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

Photo by ALB

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: foodnessgracious

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cups buttermilk
1 whole large egg

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour a non stick baking tray or spray with a non stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, rosemary and cheese. (I used the whisk attachment on the KitchenAid. Probably speed 3-4)

Add the egg to the buttermilk and beat until mixed. (I did this with a manual whisk)

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and lightly mix through until it becomes sticky and a ball forms. (used the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid.  Probably speed 3-4)

Dump the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and roughly knead the dough into an ball shape.  (keep kneading in the Kitchen Aid, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom to incorporate everything...about 3-4 minutes at that).It may be on the wet side so have some extra flour on hand for dusting. (throw flour on a counter, dump the dough on the counter and shape into a ball).

Place the dough onto your prepared baking tray. Take a sharp serrated knife and cut an X on top of the soda bread.

Photo by ALB

Season the top with some more salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (25, and a toothpick was messy...30 and the toothpick was clean) and the top is golden brown.

Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with butter (or beer cheese soup).

Photo by ALB

8 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 8 servings)