Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Courtesy of Kraft's Whats Cooking Fall 2008

1 - 540ml can of undrained diced tomatoes (I used herbed)
1 box Stove Top Stuffing Mix
2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2lb of diced chicken or turkey
1 tsp dried basil leaves (I omitted because my tomatoes were spiced)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozarella)

Mix first 3 items until stuffing is moist.
Layer into a lightly greased casserole dish:
1/2 stuffing mixture, chicken/turkey, basil, cheese, 1/2 stuffing mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Serve with green salad or soup......

"Bon Appetit!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hoping to do a little "Shrinking" next week...

So, in an effort to try to prevent my legs from turning blue as a result of too-tight jeans, I'm trying to keep my diet in check. No, I'm not swearing off of all of the things I love, but we'll just have a more on again, off again relationship rather than a steady thing. And I'm on a mission to find healthier versions of the things I love the most, which is why I have become a fan of the Hungry Girl daily e-newsletter and other healthy-but-realistic recipe sources.

To that end, I've chosen Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by the Podleski sisters and the Hungry Girl cookbook for recipe sources for this weekend's/next week's cooking. Here are a few recipes I'm hoping to try from the ES&BM cookbook. I'll post some from HG later tonight (It's on my bedside table and frankly I don't feel like going to get it). Will post the actual recipes as I try them.

Na-cho Ordinary Taco Salad (page 39)
The Squash Court (Butternut squash soup with orange and ginger)
Livin' on the Vedge (roasted veggies with lemon couscous)
Loaf Potion #9 (cranberry-orange loaf with zucchini, carrots and walnuts)

Sounds yummy, right? Here's to a healthy week!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spinach Couscous Salad

I love this recipe:


1 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. couscous
1/2 c. Italian salad dressing
2 c. shredded fresh spinach
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 of 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts
Spinach leaves

In a saucepan, bring chicken broth to boiling; stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; add salad dressing. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours or until completely chilled.
Before serving, toss couscous mixture with shredded spinach, tomatoes and water chestnuts. Serve on spinach leaves. Makes 8 servings.,1843,155162-246194,00.html

Le dîner est servi . . .

Black Bean and Rice Salad

I made this salad for Paula's baby shower a couple of weeks ago because I thought it would go nicely with the spare ribs that Deb was bringing. I was right.

1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked long-grain rice, chilled
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 green onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish, if desired

Combine beans with rice, green and red bell pepper, tomato, and green onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, mustard, sugar, cumin, and pepper. Add dressing to beans and rice and stir gently to blend ingredients. Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve chilled. Serves 6.

Le dîner est servi . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chili Tortilla Stack

The proportions in this recipe depend on what you have in your fridge, how big the dish is you are making this in, and your preferences, so I'll just list the ingredients and once you read the instructions you'll be able to gauge how much you'll need. Or, you could do what I did and use up stuff from the fridge!

I used:

1 package small flour tortillas (about 8)
1/2 to 3/4 of a 14 ounce can refried beans (I used vegetarian)
2-3 cups your favourite chili recipe or canned chili (I used my own homemade chili)
2-ish cups shredded cheese (I used marble)
1/2 cup corn (thawed if frozen, drained if canned, left alone if fresh!)
Jar of salsa

Optional, for garnish (but they make it really, really good)

Diced tomato
Chopped green onion
Ranch dressing
Shredded iceberg lettuce

In a casserole dish, layer:

Tortillas (torn to fit)
Refried beans

Repeat layers until your dish is full or your ingredients run out, whichever comes first. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbling and layers are warmed through.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges. Top each piece with chopped tomato, green onion, and shredded lettuce. Drizzle with ranch dressing, and enjoy!

Cheeseburger Pie

This is a hit with my entire family (OK, so there are only three of us, but one of us is 2 years old, so I consider this a victory).


1 frozen pie crust
1 pound extra-lean ground beef (or use regular and drain it after you brown it)
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup crumbs (cornflake, bread, cracker...doesn't really matter)
1/2 cup ketchup (or bbq sauce, or 1/4 cup of each)
squirt of mustard (any kind; we often use honey mustard)
salt, pepper and Mrs Dash Italian flavour to taste
1/2 tsp (or more if you like it spicy) crushed red pepper flakes or chili sauce
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar or mozzarella cheese


Thaw pie crust at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Brown ground beef and onions in a skillet until meat is cooked through and onions are soft. Drain off excess fat if necessary. Add water and mix well to combine.

Add crumbs, ketchup, mustard and seasonings. Mix together. Pour mixture into pie shell and smooth top. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes, give or a take a few.

After 30 minutes of cooking, remove foil and sprinkle cheese over top of pie. Return to oven for five minutes, or just until cheese bubbles. Allow pie to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

You really don't need much else with this other than a salad, but I have been known to choke down a few fries or some mashed potatoes alongside :)

Rat-a-too-ille...leftover style

So, Thanksgiving dinner is over. You forgot to cook the squash, there are leftovers everywhere and no-one wants anymore turkey. This is what I did, loosely based on a recipe.

Step #1 Ingredients:

1 stalk of celery (leftovers from the veggie tray)
1/2 bag of mini carrots (leftovers from the veggie tray)
3-4 slices of ham (leftovers)

***Grate these three items, I used my food processor,
and then add

salt & pepper
1-300ml box of Knorr red pepper/tomato soup

***mix well and pour into greased casserole dish.

Step #2 Ingredients:

1 chinese eggplant (on its last leg)
1 zucchini (use it or toss it)
1 purple pepper (or green, red, orange)
1 red onion
1 green onion
1 peeled butternut squash (par cooked in microwave)

***I would in the future add 3-4 potatoes thinly sliced too!

I used my food processor to thinly slice these veggies.
Layer one veggie at a time on top of the ham/carrot
mixture in the casserole dish.

Step #3 Ingredients:

1 can of diced tomatoes (or fresh leftovers)

Cover the top of the casserole with the tomatoes and juice.
Top with leftover potatoes if you have some.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 1/2.
Uncovered if you'd like thicker, covered if you would like it soupy.

*** I think this could be done in a crock pot too!

Serve with fresh bread.
Judy says she really can taste each vegetable
but they all blend and that gives it a great taste.
She says make it again.....
Now sit back with Remy and the Disney movie and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cheddar, Cauliflower & Potato Soup

This is a super easy soup that my kids love. It is from a dairy ad in Canadian Living from ages ago. Add a crusty bread and salad and it's a perfect light dinner or lunch.

4 cups cauliflower (about 1 small head), chopped
1 cup potato, diced
20 oz. chicken broth (either homemade or canned condensed)
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
2/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 1/2 cups shredded medium (I use old) cheddar cheese

Cook cauliflower and potato in broth until tender. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, melt butter. Over medium heat, saute onion until tender with thyme. Stir in flour and cook one minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in cauliflower, potato and chicken broth. Remove from heat, add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Season to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Yummy and even better the next day!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mushroom Chicken Couscous

also from "Frozen Assets Lite & Easy: by Deborah Taylor-Hough

I had a tough time picking which recipes to test today. This recipe book is a true gem.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 tbsp margarine
1 large onion, chopped finely
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup reduced-fat chicken broth
3 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup reduced-fat chicken broth
1-1/2 cups couscous
cooking spray
fresh cilantro springs (optional)

Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Pound with a meat mallet until 1/4-inch thick. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch wide strips.

In medium bowl, stir together cornstarch, 1/4 cup broth, sherry, soy sauce and cayenne.

In large skillet or saucepan, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Remove onion mixture from skillet; set aside. Spray saucepan with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat; add chicken. Cooking, stirring gently and frequently, until chicken is no longer pink. Add onion/mushroom mixture to cooked chicken; pour in cornstarch mixture and stir constantly over medium-high heat until sauce is thickened slightly and bubbly. Remove from heat. Cool. Place in labeled freezer bag; freeze.

To Serve: Thaw chicken mixture. In large saucepan, stir together milk and 3/4 cup broth; heat to boiling. Stir in couscous, voer pan and remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Heat chicken mixture over medium heat in large skillet until heated through. Fluff couscous. Serve chicken beside couscous. Garnish with cilantro.

Per Serving: 317.7 calories; 3.4 g fat; 25.9 g protein; 44.4 g carbohydrates; 37 mg cholesterol.

Changes I made: I substituted apple cider for sherry and chili powder for cayenne, but only because I didn't have the sherry and cayenne. I cooked the couscous and froze the couscous and chicken in individual serving dishes.

This dish is lovely. The apple cider gives it a nice fruity finish.
Le dîner est servi . . .

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cups onion, chopped
8 cups reduced-fat chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
2 large carrots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup celery, chopped
5 oz. dried wide egg noodles
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cupes (about 2 cups)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium-sized tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

In large pan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring frequently. Stir in broth, garlic, thyme, pepper, carrots, celery and chicken. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until carrots are barely tender and chicken is no longer pink (less than 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in zucchini, tomato and parsley. Cool. Pour into labeled freezer bag; freeze.

To Serve: Thaw. Place in large pan or Dutch oven; add noodles. Heat over medium heat until heated through and noodles are cooked through.

Per Serving: 230.3 calories; 2.9 g fat; 33.6 g protein; 29.1 g carbohydrates; 58 mg cholesterol.

Changes I made: I added the noodles and continued cooking until the vegetables and noodles were cooked.

Really delicious. Easy. Saved two bowls of soup for lunch tomorrow . . . yummy!!
Le dîner est servi . . .

Chicken Pasta Italiano

6 oz bow tie pasta, uncooked
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small red pepper, cut into thin strips
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/8 cup Parmesan chees

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chicken slices; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, zucchini, red pepper, frozen peas, salt and Italian seasoning. Cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes. Cool. Place into labeled freezer bags. Freezer.

To Serve: Thaw chicken mixture. Cook bow-tie pasta according to package directions. Heat chicken mixture in large skillet over medium heat until heated through. Toss together pasta and chicken mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Per Serving: 197.7 calories; 3.1 g fat; 13.0 g protein; 29.6 g carbohydrates; 19 mg cholesterol.

Changes I made: After adding the vegetables I cooked them well. I cooked the pasta. I tossed the pasta with the chicken mixture and then packaged in freezer bags. I tossed in a pinch of grated Parmesan, sealed the bags and put them in the freezer.

This one was a toss-up. I absolutely loved it, in fact I think it is my favourite of the 5 recipes I made this evening. Hal did not like it.

Le dîner est servi . . .

Chicken Vegetable Skillet

I went shopping this afternoon and purchased everything I needed to cook and freeze FIVE entrees:
Old-Fashioned Chicken and Rice
Chicken Vegetable Skillet
Chicken Pasta Italiano
Chicken Noodle Soup
Mushroom Chicken Couscous

Chicken Vegetable Skillet

from "Frozen Assets Lite & Easty" by Deborah Taylor-Hough

6 tsp olive oil
1 pound potatoes, sliced thin
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup carrot, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
3 tbsp fresh parley, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add potatoes and chicken; cook until chicken is no longer pink, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to another container and set aside. Using same skillet, melt butter and stir in onion, green pepper, carrot slices and garlic; cook over high heat until just barely tender. Add potato-chicken mixture to vegetables in skillet. Stir in tomatoes, and remaining spices. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until potatoes are just barely starting to get tender (cook potatoes completely if you are serving right away). Remove from heat. Cool in refrigerator. Place mixture into labeled freezer bag; seal and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Heat in large skillet over medium heat until heated through.

Per serving: 254.8 calories; 11.3 g fat; 17.0 g protein; 22.8 g carbohydrates; 35 mg cholesterol.

Le dîner est servi . . .

Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice

from "Frozen Assets Lite & Easy" by Deborah Taylor-Hough

2-1/2 cups canned fat-free chicken broth
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice, uncooked
1 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 (6-oz) jar sliced mushrooms, undrained
1 tsp pountry seasonings

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring broth to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover tightly and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and rice is tender. Cool. Place into labeled freezer bags; freeze.

To serve, thaw. Place into large skillt; heat over medium heat until heated through.

Per Serving: 301.9 calories; 1.7 g fat; 30.2 g protein; 43.3 g carbohydrates; 53 mg cholesterol.

Quick and easy and tastes delicious.
Le dîner est servi . . .