Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pizza! Rosemary, chicken, havarti, onions, tomatoes

We are starting an exciting excursion into making homemade pizza! My boss gave us a pizza stone and a book on breads. Our first adventure turned out delicious.

Crust: I'll have to come back and repost the crust recipe. You can also always use pre-made or frozen crust.

Roll crust out to 14 inches.

Top with:
1/3 cup pizza sauce (we used contadina and used very little b/c that's what we like)
Havarti cheese (can you ever have too much cheese?)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary: pull rosemary off and sprinkle over cheese
1.5 chicken breasts: season salt and pan seared first. diced up small.
Grape tomatoes: cut in halves
Red onion: diced up

Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone
Remove pizza stone from oven, sprinkle cornmeal lightly on stone
Lay rolled out dough on stone. Spread toppings on stone.
Bake at 500+ oven for about 8 minutes.

Rating: Really delicious. We thought we should have added some fresh garlic. It was outstanding though and we can't wait to make more pizza variations!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Penne Pasta with Sherry Cream Sauce, Parmesean Chicken, Broccolini

Prepare 6-8 oz penne pasta (about 1/2 box) according to directions
While that's cooking...

1 small-medium red onion diced medium
Saute in a small amount of olive oil (tbsp) on med-low heat until translucent

Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of cooking sherry. Reduce heat to low.
Add about 2 cups of milk (skim to keep it healthy, cream if you want decadence)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Few dashes of nutmeg and pepper

Bring mixture to a simmer on low heat.

1 tsp of cornstarch dissolved in about 2 tbsp cold water. Add this to sauce, stirring immediately. Let sauce simmer and thicken (takes about 1 minute).

When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add it to the sauce. Salt as needed. Turn off the heat.

Add a handful of fresh spinach (tear it up some if you want)
Add 1/2 package of grape tomatoes (cut tomatoes in half if you want)

2 small chicken breasts cut up into bite size chunks
pat dry
Spray chicken with non-stick cooking spray
Sprinkle Mrs. Dash regular table blend over chicken (prob 1/2 tbsp?) & stir
Sprinkle Parmesean cheese (1/2 cup?) over chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in pan on high heat. When heated, add chicken to pan, keeping pieces separated as much as possible. Let sear on high heat. Sir after about 1 minute and continue to pan-sear until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken on top of pasta.
6 stems broccolini, steamed in a little water in the microwave. Salt for flavor.

Rating: Kristi exclaimed this may be her new favorite!


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Everybody has their favorite chili concoction. This is mine...

Brown together:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion diced up
salt, pepper, chili powder (about 2 tsp)

1 can beef broth
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans bush's chili beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes (contadina original): rough chop the tomatoes. Add juice and all.
1 tsp of chili powder (more or less to your liking)
1/4 tsp of crushed red peppers (for heat)

Put a lid on it and simmer on low heat for as long as you like (as little as 20 minutes, as long as an hour). Or put it all in a slow cooker for the day.

Rating: We ate it all in 2 days, you tell me :) It's way better the 2nd day!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Garlic Tenderloin Steak, roasted sweet potatoes, broccolini, mixed peppers

2 beef tenderloin filets: Rub filets with oil, pressed garlic and let marinade for 3-6 hours. Let come to room temp and grill on a hot grill, done to your liking (5 min per side will give you a medium-rare depending on thickness of filet).

Roasted rosemary sweet potatoes: Cut potatoes into bite size chunks, spray with cooking spray, season with salt and rosemary, roast 15 minutes in a 500 degree oven, stirring often.

Mixed sweet peppers with onions: cut peppers and onions into strips. Saute over medium heat in butter. Season with salt.

Broccolini: Place a little water and butter in a saute pan. Add broccolini stalks, cover, and steam on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Rating: *****Yummy! A great romantic meal :)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

San Francisco Pork Chops

For this dish, you will need a skillet with a tight-fitting lid!

4 bone-in thick pork chops (you can also use chicken), about 1.5 pounds--I used tenderloin and cut them into thick medallions and reduced the cooking time per side
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 TBSP cooking dry sherry
4 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp cold water

Season chops with salt and pepper. Brown in a little bit of oil in the skillet, each side (about 30 seconds-1 minute per side).

In a small bowl, mix together: garlic, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Pour over chops in skillet.

Reduce skillet heat to low (liquid should barely simmer) and cover. Cook 30 minutes (until chops are done) turning once. Keep an eye on the liquid level. If it starts to dry up too much, add a little water or broth.

Remove chops from skillet. Increase heat to medium and mix in dissolved cornstarch. Stir with spatula and let sauce get thick and bubbly. Pour sauce over pork chops.

This tastes really good served over buttered egg noodles (pour some of the sauce into the egg noodles). Green beans make a great vegetable side dish for it!

Rating: This is an old favorite of mine! It came on a recipe card in the mail eons ago and I've been making it ever since!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Black Bean Mexican Chicken

12 oz chicken breasts (2 boneless skinless breasts, 300 calories): season with mexican seasonings (I use pampered chef southwest seasoning or chipotle seasoning. You could use salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder.
1 medium yellow onion (40 calories)-medium dice
1 can seasoned black beans (330 calories, I use Bush's)
1 can stewed tomatoes (123 calories, I use Del Monte original flavor)-rough chop the tomatoes
1 cup of frozen corn (130 calories)-I actually don't measure, I just toss some in
1 bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 cup chopped, depending on your love of cilantro)

Spray saute pan w/ non-stick cooking spray or a little bit of olive oil. Saute the chicken on med-high heat with onions until 2/3 of the way cooked.

Add black beans (liquid included), stewed tomatoes (liquid included), and corn to pan and reduce heat to med-low. Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes.

Add cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Serve as is or over rice. You can also top with any of the following: chopped avocado, sour cream, cheese, or fresh tomatoes. It's also good just as is!

Rating: We love, love, love this dish. It's so quick and easy to make but really flavorful.

Tip: Have it the same week you have moroccan chicken since they both use cilantro.

Pampered chef's southwest seasoning or chipotle rub can be purchased here:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moroccan Chicken

13 oz chicken, cut up in bite sized chunks. Spray with non-stick spray and season liberally with pampered chef's Moroccan Spice Rub. (325 calories)

Petite gourmet carrots (100grams)-steamed and cut into large dice (40 calories)
1/2 medium red onion-diced (60 calories)
1 red or yellow bell pepper-diced (60 calories)
2-4 cloves of garlic, pressed (15 calories)
1 yellow squash-chunk into bite size pieces (60 calories)

Grape tomatoes-cut in 1/2, about 1.5 cups (50 calories)
Cilantro-chopped up finely

Cook chicken, onion, and pepper on high heat in large saute pan (non-stick spray or lightly oiled). Add garlic, squash, and carrots when chicken mixture is 2/3rds finished cooking. Season with salt.

Serve with couscous (I use Near East) prepared to package directions. 3/4 cup cooked= 175 calories

Plate 3/4 cup of couscous (each plate), chicken and veges, and top with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.

Rating: We eat this as often as possible. It's seriously delicious and seriously healthy. Low in calories and incredibly filling and yummy.

Get pampered chef moroccan spice rub. You will not regret it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

La Tropicana!

Yummy enchiladas, rice, and maduros from La Tropicana restaurant. It's truly a hidden delight in South St. Louis City.

Rating: One happy tummy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stir Fry

Kristi made us a delightfully healthy stir fry!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up. Poach chicken in chicken broth...250 calories

Diced up vege's: carrots (petite gourmet), celery, red pepper, yellow pepper, brocolini, onion. Pan fried in a spritz of olive oil and seasoned with Pampered Chef's Moroccan Spice Rub (incredible)...150 calories(?)

Angel Hair Pasta...400 calories

Rating: it's a favorite we have often!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ravioli, salad, and brocolini

1 package of Louisa beef ravioli (800 calories total)
1 tub of Louisa ravioli sauce (400 calories total)

1 package of brocolini (50 calories?). Steamed in the microwave with salt.

1 salad (80 calories?): 1/2 ice berg lettuce, 1/2 spinach leaves, chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, 1 clementine diced up. Season w/ garlic salt, pepper. Sprinkle of Parm cheese. Drizzled with raspberry vinegar

Rating: Thumbs up!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beer-Marinated Chicken Thighs, roasted sweet potatoes, brocolini

Marinade 6 chicken thighs 6 hrs/overnight (skin removed): 1-1/2 cups beer, 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 4 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced), small onion (thinly sliced), 1/2 tbsp paprika, 2 tsp kosher flake salt, tbsp of sweet chili sauce (or cayenne pepper, anything spicy to your liking)

Cook chicken: Oven bake at 400 for 40 minutes in dish, bone-side up OR grill on BBQ on indirect heat for 40 minutes turning every 10 minutes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes: peel and chop potatoes into cubes. Spray potatoes liberally with Pam cooking spray. Season with chili powder, tsp of sugar, garlic salt, pepper. Toss well. Spread on cookie sheet/roasting pan. Roast at 500 for 15 minutes, turning frequently.

Brocolini: Steamed with salt and pepper in microwave.

Rating: Mucho thumbs up!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Brining guide

Brining is a must when cooking chicken, turkey, and most pork cuts. It makes the meat so incredibly juicy and tender.

Basic brine:
1 quart of water + 1/2 cup kosher (or 1/4 cup table) salt.
Optional: 1/2 cup sugar
Optional: add in other herbs and spices that match what you're cooking

Heat water to boiling and dissolve salt and sugar. Chill water until it's tepid/cool to the touch before placing meat in it. Meat should be fully submerged in brine. Brine for up to 8 hours (a minimum of 1 hour per pound of meat).

*I stray away from using table salt (which is denser and thus requires less salt to make the brine). The flavor isn't as good as kosher salt because of the added iodine and anti-flaking agents.