Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

I hosted Presto Pasta Nights a couple of weeks ago.  I received many, many wonderful recipes.  This one intrigued me with the use of lemons and yogurt in the sauce.  So I made it, right away.

The interesting thing about this dish, is that it's equally good, hot or cold. We ate it hot for dinner. But then as a cold salad the next day.  Both were very enjoyable. 

Diane uses salmon instead of chicken in her recipe.  I can see where the lemon and salmon would be a good mix. I tend to be more of a chicken fan so we went with the chicken.

Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
Adapted from Diane from My Life in the Charente

18 oz. greek yogurt (3 - 6 oz. tubs)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. grated lemon peel (1 large lemon)
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 cup peas
Pasta (I used Barilla Whole Grain, Rotini, about 8 oz)
Salt and pepper

Combine yogurt, milk and lemon peel.  Mix and set aside.
Cook pasta and drain.
Saute onions in cooking spray for a couple of minutes, add red pepper and peas and cook for about 3 minutes. 
Reduce heat to low and add cooked and drained pasta, shredded chicken and yogurt lemon mixture. Gently stir to coat and heat through. 
Serve warm or cold.

Total calories = 1750 calories
6 servings = 292 calories per serving

One Year Ago...

Shredded Beef, Bean & Corn Fajitas

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

It's cold still. Spring in Minnesota gets that way. Break out the fuzzy slippers cause it's time to get comfortable and warm!

I love a good corn chowder soup. It's comfort food all the way. Creamy, chunky, warm and hearty!

What I don't like is all the calories. This soup is super low calorie and healthy. Instead of potatoes, we have summer squash. My husband never even noticed. No joke. He totally loved this.

It was so light and healthy, I couldn't help but add some cheese and bacon to top it off. It brought an already delicious soup to a whole new level. If you feel like leaving the cheese and bacon off, you can knock about 40 calories per bowl. Nice.

We ate this soup with some fantastic cuban quesadillas. This hearty, filling meal came in about 500 calories. There are a ton of leftovers too! Can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder Recipe
Cooking Light, Aug 2010

4 slices applewood smoked bacon
1 1/2 cups onion
1/2 cup celery
2 lbs. yellow summer squash
2 lbs. frozen corn, thawed and divided
4 cups milk, divided
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
Tabasco sauce, chipotle flavored (optional but good!)

Cook bacon in a pan until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tbsp. bacon drippings in pan.  Crumble bacon and set aside.  Add onions, celery and squash to drippings in pan, saute about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 2 cups of corn. Set aside.  Place remaining thawed corn and 2 cups of milk into a blender, process until smooth.  Add remaining milk, thyme, salt and pepper to blender. Process until smooth.  Add pureed mixture and reserved whole corn to onion mixture.  Heat on medium until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.  Top each bowl with 1 tbsp. bacon, onions and 1 tbsp. cheese.  I also put about 4 - 5 drops of chipotle Tabasco in it. It was subtle but was delicious!

Total calories = 1980 calories
10 servings = 198 calories per bowl

Summer Squash & Corn Chowder + Cuban Quesadilla = 509 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pumpkin Hummus Wraps

This was an interesting experiment.  I made this pumpkin hummus but wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it. 

The obvious choice for me would be a wrap. We eat those all the time. I had made a black bean butter that I made into a veggie wrap.  Then I tried a bacon hummus and made BLT wraps.  So why not with pumkin hummus.

I loved it and ate many of them. 

Then I moved on to bagels.  I loved it on my light bagels.  I even ate it with egg too.  Seems like an odd combination but I loved it. It was healthy and quite tasty. 

This recipe made a lot of hummus and I was pretty much the only one eating it.  So it pretty much worked as breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Even snacks.  It lasted a long time in the refrigerator so I didn't mind at all!
I did lower the amount of oil and tahini from the original recipe. I'm a believe of tasting as you go and adding what you like.

Pumpkin Hummus
Adapted from Allrecipes

1 3/4 cups dry garbanzo beans

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 oz. lemon juice
2 tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tahini paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt to taste

Mix everything in a food processor until smooth and creamy.  Mix water in as necessary to get the right consistency.  Taste and season as desired. 

One Year Ago...

Quinoa Meatloaf Muffins

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - March 28 - April 3, 2011

Tuesday: Bean & Pineapple Tacos, cheese quesadillas (kids)

Wednesday: Zucchini Lasagna and spaghetti (kids)

Thursday: Turkey Broccoli Wraps

Friday: Out to eat with friends

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Pulled chicken sandwiches with Sassy BBQ sauce

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie

One Year Ago...

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cinnamon Pretzels

You know when you see a recipe and you're thinking that you have to make it ASAP?  Well, I saw this recipe and literally got up and turned the oven on. Seriously. 

The kids had been good, I had just opened a bag of pretzels and these sounded really good. 

The kids weren't disappointed. At all.  These were awesome and the kids loved them! So did I of course!

Cinnamon Pretzels
From Finding Joy in my Kitchen

1 (16oz) bag of fat-free pretzel twists

1/8 C oil; I used olive oil
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Pour pretzels in a large bowl. Drizzle oil over them and toss to coat.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Pour over pretzels and toss to coat.  Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in oven at 300 for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

One Year Ago...

Garlic Ranch Bacon Biscuit Topped Pot Pie

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Southwestern Cream of Chicken Soup

Everyone loved this soup. Loved, loved, loved.  It was thick, warm and creamy.  95 degrees, humid and in the sun and I would still enjoy this soup. I can't wait to make it again!

Southwestern Cream of Chicken Soup
Adapted from For the Love of Cooking

1 tbsp. butter
1 red pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp. garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
6 tbsp. flour, divided (I used gluten free)
2 cups milk, 1%
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white rice, dry
Colby jack cheese, shredded (4 oz)
1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (6 oz)
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Melt butter over medium heat.  Add peppers, onion and spices.  Sweat the mixture for 5 - 6 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.  Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. 

Whisk in 3 tbsp. of flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and milk, then whisk until smooth.  Add the rice and let simmer but do NOT BOIL for about 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until rice is tender.  Keep a watch that it doesn't boil.

Combine the cheese with the remaining 3 tbsp. of flour in a zip lock bag, toss to coat.  Coating the cheese with flour before adding to the soup helps prevent the cheese from separating in the soup.  Add the cheese to the soup a handful at a time, stirring to melt completely before adding the next handful.  Add chicken and cilantro and heat for another 3 - 5 minutes.  Taste the soup and re-season if neeed. 

Total calories = 1841 calories
7 cups = 263 per cup

1 1/2 cups Southwestern Cream of Chicken Soup = 396 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Irish Apple Mash

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicken & White Bean Wraps

 I have recognized my addiction with beans. And I plan to do nothing about it.  Except for eat more. 

I also have an addiction with chicken salad.  When I saw this recipe combining the two, well, it wasn't long before they were on the menu. 

For those who are not bean fans, you would never know that there are beans in the sauce. 

Seriously. Not a bit.

It just tastes creamy and delicious. The only thing I would do would be to up the veggies a bit. I loved the onions and cucumbers in here.  Highly tasty.

You can put this on a wrap or on a bed of lettuce if you're gluten free.

Chicken & White Bean Wraps
Adapted from Once a Month Mom

12 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast
2 cans white beans, drained & rinsed and slightly mashed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 (6 oz) containers of Greek plain yogurt
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
3/4 cups cucumber, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
Salt and pepper

Mix everything but the tomato together and mix together.  Fold in tomatoes and serve with tortillas and lettuce.

Total calories for filling = 1460 calories
12 servings = 122 per serving
Filling + 100 calories wrap = 222 calories per wrap

2 Chicken & White Bean Wraps = 444 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Lime Cilantro Sour Cream

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mexican Ground Turkey Quinoa Skillet

I don't make quinoa enough. I always forget how much I like it. I love quick, inexpensive one pot meals like this. 

This is an incredibly filling, tasty dish that I could make over and over.

Mexican Ground Turkey Quinoa Skillet
Adapted from $5 Dinners

1 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 (4 oz) can chopped chilies
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tbsp. garlic
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn
2 green onions for garnish

Brown ground turkey and onion.  Add garlic and spices and stir for a minute or so.  Add tomatoes, green chilies, rinsed quinoa, water and black beans.  Stir and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes or so until quinoa is done and most of the liquid is done. 

Total calories = 2122 calories
10 cups = 212 calories per cup

2 cups Mexican Ground Turkey Quinoa Skillet = 424 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Pioneer Womans BBQ Meatballs

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - March 21 - March 27, 2011

Monday - Lemon Salmon Pasta (with chicken)

Tuesday: Buffalo Stuffed Shells
Wednesday - Chicken Poblano Casserole

Thursday - Steaks & Zucchini Herb Casserole

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Veggie Oriental Stir Fry; black beans, broccoli slaw, onions, garlic, peppers, teriyaki sauce.

Sunday - Sloppy Maple-BBQ Turkey Joes & butternut squash

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie
Tuesday - Buffalo Stuffed Shells & steamed broccoli 

One Year Ago...

Pioneer Womans Macaroni & Cheese

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Orange Amish Friendship Bread

I wasn't sure about putting jello into this cake.  It's gelatin so I didn't know how it would set. Well, it wasn't a problem.  It worked well.

It wasn't quite as orangy as I would have liked. It tasted great but it could have used more oranges.  I'd be tempted to use a large box of orange jello but that might over do it. Not sure.  Either way, it was a winner.

I am eager to try it with other flavors like strawberry! I'll wait until summer when strawberries are in season!

Orange Amish Bread Recipe

1 cup amish starter
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp. applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 small box jello
1 - 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained well

Combine everything but oranges.  Stir well.  Add oranges carefully.  Spray 2 - 8 x 8 pans (or 2 loaf pans) with cooking spray.  Pour batter into pans and bake for 1 hour at 325.

One Year Ago...

Cinnamon & Lime Chicken Fajitas

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beef Stew with Butternut Squash & Chickpeas

Have I mentioned my love of butternut squash and chickpeas? I'm sure I have.  I now buy chickpeas in bulk.  Is that wrong?  I can't tell you how often I'm making something and it crossed my mind "I should add a can of chickpeas to this!" 

Just wait until I make chickpea cookies!

Beef Stew with Butternut Squash & Chickpeas

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp. garlic
1 1/4 lbs. lean beef stew meat
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. curry powder
Dash cayenne (to taste)
1/4 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock (8 bouillon cubes, 4 cups water)
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
2 lbs. butternut squash cubes, peeled & cubed
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)

Heat small bit of cooking spray in nonstick pan, add onions and carrots and cook 5 minutes, until soft.  Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.  Mix flour with curry powder and sprinkle over the beef.  Add beef to onion mixture and cook, without stirring for about 4 - 5 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with red wine, then add beef stock.  Add curry paste. Bring all to boil then reduce to simmer.  Cover with a tight fitting lid or pour into a casserole dish with lid and place in oven at 325 for 1 hour.  Stir in chickpeas and squash and cook for another 40 - 45 minutes until squash is soft.  Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired. Yield 10 slightly heaping cup.

Total calories = 2215 calories
10 servings = 222 calories per serving

2 cups Beef Stew = 444 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Cheesy Cornbread Muffins

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tangy Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are a regular at our house.  So I of course was drawn to these when I saw them!

I LOVED the orange juice these!  Don't skip the mustard either, it added an awesome tang. They were incredibly tasty and sadly didn't last as long in the frig as I would have liked!

Tangy Chicken Fajitas
Adapted from Annies Eats

2 lbs. chicken breast, boneless, cut into strips
2 red peppers, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
2 onions, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 tsp. mustard

Toppings: lettuce, tomato, scallions, sour cream

Mix orange juice, 1/2 cup of the cilantro, worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and chipotle powder in a small bowl.  Set aside. 

Heat pan, add chicken, peppers, onion and orange juice mixture.  Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until chicken is cooked, onions and peppers are soft and liquid has reduced and slightly thickened.  Add a tsp. of mustard to remaining sauce in pan and stir around thoroughly. 

Scoop onto tortillas and add toppings as desired.  Garnish with remaining cilantro. 

Total calories for filling without tortilla = 1430 calories
12 servings = 119 calories
Chicken fajita with 100 calorie tortilla = 219 calories

2 Tangy Chicken Fajitas w/sour cream & tomato = 500 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Vegetarian Meaty Chili

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Penne Pasta

So I stalk visit Joannes blog daily.  She always has something awesome going on there.  I loved the idea of this dish but knew I would have to alter it. A lot. 

Like I used ground turkey rather than lamb.  And I used cheese that I can pronounce rather than Halloumi or Kasseri cheese.  Yes, I live in a bubble.  I used parmesan.

I'd love to be able to use the excuse and say that I simplified this recipe because I have 10 - 12 kids around me at any given moment and I don't have time to deal with lamb and halloumi. Joanne however is surrounded by medical textbooks that use words like glomerulonephritis and malabsorptive and oligoarticular.  This sounds equally annoying as 10 kids so I really have no excuse. 

She also uses really good words like squash and pasta.  Those words in the same sentence are music to my ears! 

Despite my simplication of this recipe, it was super delicious!  Squash and pasta just belong together.

The fact that this was filling, healthy, low calorie makes this one that I will make over and over again! 

Butternut Squash Penne Recipe
Adapted from Eats Well With Others

Large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into smaller cubes (I had 3 lbs, 10 oz)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chicken broth (more if necessary)
14 oz. multi-grain or whole wheat pasta (I used Barilla Plus)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Spray squash with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer squash to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender and brown around the edges, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. Saute ground turkey and onions in cooking spray. Saute until ground turkey is browned and onions soften, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and spices; stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in squash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cook pasta in large pot of salted boiling water until just tender but still firm to the bite. Return pasta to the pot. Add turkey squash mixture, half of the cilantro, and half of the cheese. Toss.  Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls and garnish with remaining cilantro and cheese.

Total calories = 2800 calories
10 huge servings = 280 calories per serving

2 servings Butternut Squash Penne = 560 calorie dinner

One Year Ago...

Quinoa Black Bean Cold Salad

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - March 14 - March 20, 2011

Spring begins this week!  In Minnesota it can often be awhile before it actaully looks and feels like spring though.  We're still covered with many, many inches of snow. 

I often will find a recipe and just add the link to a future Menu Plan Monday post so I won't forget about it. This week I seem to have a lot of mexican flavors going on. Well, it's one of our favorites so I'm keeping it.  I'm also looking to do some freezer cooking for April as it will be an extra busy month for me.  So half of the chili will go in the freezer and I'm going to split the Poblano Lasagna into 2 pans and freeze one for April.  I already have a couple of pans of frozen enchiladas in the freezer just waiting. 

Monday: Chili & Buttery Beer Bread

Tuesday:  Peanut butter pancakes, ham, fruit

Wednesday: Mexicali Ground Turkey Cornbread Bake

Thursday:  Poblano Chicken Lasagna (2 - 8 x 8 pans)

Friday: Out to eat with kids, then ice skating

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Something in the crockpot

One Year Ago...

Turkey Taco Burgers

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.