Speedy Chicken Cacciatore

DSC01665

I heart this meal.  Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s healthy as well.  I brought leftovers to work and everyone was raving about how good it smelled and wished I’d made enough for them all!  I found this recipe over at beautyandbedlam.com while I was looking for recipes for the 17 Day Diet and I made some slight modifications.  This is a meal that is sticking around for me because it’s that good.

Speedy Chicken Cacciatore

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 1 package (8 ounces) portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 jar (27 ounces) marinara sauce (I used Private Selection hearty marinara sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Salt and pepper your chicken
  • Mix the flour and parmesan cheese in a bowl
  • In a small prep bowl, add the following spices: 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning; set aside
  • Cut chicken into cubes and dredge in the mixture of flour and parmesan cheese; set aside
  • Add EVOO to a large, deep skillet over medium heat
  • Add onions, mushrooms, and green bell peppers to skillet.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes; set aside
  • Add extra EVOO and the chicken to the skillet.  Cook for 3 minutes on each side
  • Add cooked vegetables back into the skillet
  • Add garlic to the skillet and stir for 15 seconds
  • Add the marinara, spices, and Worcestershire sauce to the chicken and vegetable mixture
  • Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes

Chicken Tikka Masala

DSC01542

My gosh, would you look at that.  What better way to say hello again than with an amazing dish such as the chicken tikka masala?  You guys, I kid you not, this is truly an authentic dish.  It’s not a fluffed up version of it, it’s the real thing.  The best part?  It’s SO easy!

I specifically made this dish from savorytooth.com for my sister because she loves Indian food, and this is one of her favorites.  She couldn’t believe this was home made – she thought it was spot on to restaurant quality!  Ahh, that’s a huge compliment.

As previously mentioned, it’s a quick dish to make.  You coat it and let it chill in the refrigerator for one hour and then cook it on the stove top for about 20 minutes and serve it with basmati rice and/or naan.  That’s it!

Chicken Tikka Masala

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINATING CHICKEN

  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE

  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 5 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS FOR SERVING

  • basmati rice
  • naan

INSTRUCTIONS MARINATING CHICKEN

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients and whisk.  Add the cubed chicken and coat with the marinade.  Let it chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • After the one hour is up, add the cubed chicken and the marinade to a large pot over medium-high and saute until the chicken is mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add butter, jalapeno, garlic, tomato sauce, heavy whipping cream, garam masala, paprika and salt.
  • Mix well and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cheeseburger Sliders

DSC01621

These little guys were so good and it was just a snap to make.  Baking it does not take any of the flavor away, so you won’t feel too guilty eating these.  You can either make it a meal by having four for yourself, or as an appetizer by making enough for a crowd.  Your choice!  I tell you, though, it’s hard to just eat these as an appetizer.  Better make sure you have plenty of other food going around!

Cheeseburger Sliders

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • slider buns
  • 1 slice American cheese, divided into 4 slices
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • pickles
  • lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Combine ground beef, salt, and pepper; shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch patties and softly flatten with your hands.
  • Place into a a glass pan so they’re not touching.  Cook for 25 minutes.  If you’re using lean beef, you won’t need to drain any fat because there won’t be any.  If there is any fat, drain that off first.
  • At 23 minutes, take the pan out; divide your cheese slice into four individual slices and place one on top of each burger.  Cook for the last two minutes just so the cheese melts.
  • Add whatever toppings you’d like.

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Broccoli

Swedish Meatballs

Ah, Swedish meatballs.  What a satisfying meal these make.  They are definitely a European flavor.  I want to say it’s because of the garlic glove that goes in it, but so do regular meatballs.  So I’m not quite sure where that flavor comes from.  Well, wherever it does come from, I don’t care, because European flavors make me feel like home again and I welcome any of these scrumptious dishes.  I found this recipe on emeals when I was subscribed to it a while ago, but the funny thing is, I made it slightly unhealthy because I’m using beef instead of turkey, BUT, it’s LEAN beef, so I’m ultimately not going to feel that bad about my choices!

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Broccoli

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper (divided into 1/4 tsp each, plus extra dash for broccoli)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 12 oz. pkg uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, minced garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.
  • Heat EVOO in a large deep skillet over medium heat; brown meatballs for about 8 to 10 minutes or until done.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • To the same skillet, add beef broth and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 pepper; scrape pan to loosen browned bits.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water; add to skillet.
  • Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Return meatballs to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until meatballs are hot.  Stir in sour cream and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
  • Cook pasta according to directions.  Add broccoli to pasta during the last 5 minutes.
  • Drain pasta and broccoli separately.  Add butter and salt and pepper to broccoli.

Chicken with Alfredo Penne Pasta

DSC01273

I was in the mood for something indulgent and knew this dish would hit the spot.  Alfredo pasta is a comfort food for me and I had a rough work day.  Good enough, right?!

Chicken with Alfredo Penne Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 8 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt, divided in half
  • 1 tsp tsp black pepper, divided in half
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • For the chicken, heat a skillet to medium-high and add EVOO.  Sprinkle the chicken breasts with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper on both sides.  Cook the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side and place in oven for about 5 minutes afterwards in a glass pan.
  • While cooking your chicken, cook your penne pasta at the same time, about 11 minutes; drain and bring back to pan
  • In a small saucepan, add the whipping cream, the rest of the salt and black pepper, and stir until it is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.  Take off the stovetop and add in the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to it and stir until it is well incorporated.
  • Add the sauce to the pasta and stir.
  • Divide pasta into bowls; slice chicken and divide between the bowls.

Little Lemon Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

DSC01665

These chicken fingers are for sure not your average chicken fingers.  They are a more grown up version, but at the same time, compensated with the sweet sauce that goes with it.  It’s a pleasing twist on the classic.  I decided to cut the chicken into smaller pieces than regular chicken fingers to make it easier to pick up and handle.  I found this recipe in Food Networks Kitchen Favorite Recipes, but made my own adjustments to it.  For starters, the recipe calls for the chicken to be fried and I opted to bake it instead to be healthier.

Little Lemon Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • dash of ground ginger
  • freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon (about 2 tbsp)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cut the chicken into long even pieces, then cut diagonally.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a shallow bowl or pie plate, toss the panko, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons salt.  Beat the eggs in another bowl.
  • Dip the chicken in the eggs, and then press into the panko mixture to coat evenly, shaking off any excess.
  • Add all of the chicken to a clear pan or a baking sheet and cook for 35 minutes, uncovered.
  • In a small microwaveable bowl, add the apricot preserves, soy sauce, ketchup, and ground ginger; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the preserves melt, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in lemon juice and cool before serving.

 

Toasted Steakhouse Sandwich

Toasted Steakhouse SandwichQuizno’s used to sell a very tasty French dip and Scott has been missing them.  I scoured the Internet for a copycat version of the sandwich and came close, but no cigar.  While it’s not the same, it tastes great!  I found this recipe over at food.com

Toasted Steakhouse Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 packet au jus mix
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup prepared alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 dash onion salt or garlic salt
  • French bread roll
  • 3/4 lb thin-sliced deli roast beef
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • For the au jus sauce, melt butter in saucepan and saute onions until tender.  Add flour and stir.  Add contents of au jus mix packet and gradually whisk in water.  Simmer the sauce while making the sandwich.
  • For the “secret” sauce, stir together the alfredo sauce, mayonnaise, and onion salt or garlic salt.  Spread sauce evenly over both pieces of sliced bread.
  • Heat the oven to 350 F.  Place the French bread rolls on baking sheet and place in the oven for about 1 minute, or until the sauce bubbles a little; remove from oven.
  • Add the roast beef to the French bread rolls and then the cheese on top.  Place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted.  Serve with au jus sauce.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

Farfalle with Mushroom and Spinach.1

On Sundays I typically like to make a meal that I bring for the whole week to work, so pasta is usually a good bet for me.  I feel a little healthy eating this dish because of the mushrooms and spinach, so it kind of cancels out the pasta 🙂  I found this lovely recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but adjusted it for myself.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 8 oz. dried farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced portobello or other fresh mushroom
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a pot, cook the pasta according to directions.
  • In the meanwhile, heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are nearly tender.  Add the garlic within the last 30 seconds and stir.
  • Stir in spinach, thyme, and pepper, cooking for about 1 minute or until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted.
  • Stir in cooked pasta; toss gently to mix.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Farfalle with Mushroom and Spinach.2

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Scott and I felt like being rebels and had some loaded nachos as dinner.  I know, I know, this is an appetizer for a little get-together, not an actual meal!  What were we thinking!  But it was great, especially with an ice cold beer.  We ate like kings!  You could easily add some shredded chicken or ground beef to this, but we opted out of any meat.

Loaded Nachos

INGREDIENTS

  • Tostitos Rounds chips
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup bottled salsa
  • Refried beans
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pickled jalapenos

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Set your oven to 350 F.  Place chips on a cookie sheet in a single layer; add the cheese, bottled salsa, and beans to the chips.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.  When it’s done, add the sour cream, guacamole, and pickled jalapeños.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

This is a go to Spanish rice recipe for me and I found it over at jamiecooksitup.com.  I love that she adds bell peppers to hers, yum!  The only thing I didn’t do was add the cheese to it, even though it’s amazing with it, but for most days that I want Spanish rice, I prefer it without.  Give it a try either way because you won’t be disappointed!

Spanish Rice

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red, orange, and yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups rinsed white rice
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium-heat; add butter and let melt
  • Add the onion and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
  • Add the rice and stir for about 10 seconds
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cumin and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid over the pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After the minutes are up, with the lid still on, remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Open the lid, fluff the rice, sprinkle with salt and pepper; serve.