Friday, February 24, 2012

Easy Apple Crisp

Wish you could have some apple crisp that was delicious and full of flavor but also under 200 calories a serving? My apple crisp is served in the apple itself, which means you can eat the entire thing and not feel guilty with all the butter and sugar you normally find in a dessert of this type. Hallowed out apples are re-stuffed with apple pieces that have been coating in a touch of sugar and spices then topped with a topping that becomes crispy once baked. Of course you can't have apple crisp without a bit of ice cream right? Trying having it with some non-fat greek yogurt instead. You'll never miss the calorie laden icecream along side this warm treat.

One Year Ago: Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli 
Two Years Ago: PB&J Cookies

What You Need:

4 medium sized apples
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs butter, melted

What To Do:

Core your apples, don't worry that there is a whole in the bottom, we'll take care of that in a bit. Using a melon baller, or grapefruit spoon, remove most of the inside of the apple, leaving a shell about a 1/4 inch thick on all sides to hold your filling. You could probably use a regular spoon, but it's easier cutting through the flesh of the apple using one of the tools I mentioned.
Once your apples are cleaned out, take the innards and cut them into small pieces. Toss those pieces with 2 tbs of the brown sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt.
Mix the remaining 2 tbs of brown sugar with the rolled oat and the butter until it's fully incorporated. Everything should be moist and the stick together fairly well. Place a tiny bit of the oat mixture in the bottom of the apple. This will help to keep the juices inside. Fill each apple with 1/4 of your apple filling and then top each with 1/4 of the reaming oat mixture.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 30 minutes or until the apples look a bit slumped, a knife easily pierces them and the topping is golden brown.

Each apple is 214 calories with 7 grams of fat, based on My Fitness Pal's calculator.
According to the same website, a normal serving (1 cup) of apple crisp is 412 calories and 15 grams of fat. My recipe is half that and just as good, if not better!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken with Blue Cheese Cream Sauce

Rich and decadent, this dish is surprisingly easy to make.The basic cream sauce came from last week when I was helping out and Paradise Bakery. The sauce there was this rich cream sauce made with goat cheese and was served with butternut squash ravioli and toasted baguette. Wanting to recreate it at home but needing something more substantial for my husband, I set out to make this dish.

One Year Ago: Mexican Fiesta Rice
Two Years Ago: Caramel Apple Crisp

What You Need:

1/4 c minced onion or shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c half and half
1/2 c blue cheese
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
4 chicken breast (about 1 lb)

What To Do:

In a sautee pan, heat 1/2 tbs olive oil. Once hot, sear the chicken on both sides until just cooked through. It should only take a couple minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat to medium low and add in the remaining 1/2 tbs olive oil. Sautee the onion or shallot until just soft and add in the garlic. Cook for another 30 seconds before adding in the half and half and the blue cheese. Keeping the heat on medium low, cook for a few minutes or until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens slightly. Return the chicken breast an any juices back the pan to rewarm. Serve with a bit of the sauce on top of each breast.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

I love spicy foods and one of my favorite things is buffalo chicken. I love how the spice hits your tongue and is then cooled by the creaminess of the blue cheese dressing. My husband, loves tacos. So why not combine them? Turns out, spicy buffalo chicken makes some incredibly tasty tacos. I serve them in toasted corn tortillas with just a bit of blue cheese and some tomatoes. They are great by themselves for lunch or along side a tossed salad or some rice for supper. And don't forget a tall glass of ice cold beer. Beer and buffalo chicken go together like Mac and cheese. You shouldn't have one, without the other. 

One Year Ago: Peas and Pasta
Two Years Ago: Pasta with Summer Squash

What You Need:

3/4 lb of chicken (I used boneless skinless thighs but breast work well too)
1/3 c hot sauce
1/4 c honey
2 tbs Sriracha
1/2 c water
1/2 c blue cheese crumbles
16 grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
8 corn tortillas

What To Do:

Combine the hot sauce, honey, sriracha and water into a wide pot. Add in your chicken and bring everything to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes, turning half way through if your sauce doesn't cover the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the sauce and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, turn the sauce back to high and let it reduce for about 5 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and you have a thickened sauce. 
Cut your chicken into pieces or shred with two forks. Toast the corn tortillas by placing them over an open flame for a minute or two per side, or in a nonstick skillet, just until slightly blistered and warmed through. 

Top each tortilla with 1/8 of the chicken, 1 tbs of the crumbled blue cheese and two of the cherry tomatoes that have been sliced into quarters. Give a drizzle of the reduced sauce and top with some cilantro if you'd prefer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cobb Salad

Yes I realize it's the middle of winter and yes, I even realize that while you can get okay produce in most parts of the country this time of year, that salad are generally a "summer" food. However, there comes a point in winter time (our are usually long, often having frost well into May), that a girl needs a reminder of summer time and the plentiful bounty it brings with it. Cobb salads are composed, meaning they are not all tossed together, but carefully arranged. I like the look of straight lines but you could always make piles. Blue cheese dressing is traditional but the dressing is really up to you. I keep the choices simple but you would normally find diced hard boiled eggs and sometimes even avocado grace this terrific reminder of summer.

One Year Ago: Apple Cider Cake
Two Years Ago: Mushroom Pies with Pear Salad

What You Need:

1-2 chicken breast, roasted, cooled and diced
6 cup mixed greens
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, sliced (peel if desired or use 1/2 an English cuke)
1 c diced blue cheese
4 pieces of bacon, cooked crisp and then chopped

What To Do:

Place the greens on the bottom of a large serving platter or shallow bowl. Start with the diced chicken in the middle. Place it in a straight line down the center of the salad. Repeat with the rest of your ingreidents, in any order you like. Serve with dressing, makes enough for 4 supper sized salads.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vinegar Smashed Potatoes

Potatoes are always an inexpensive option when deciding on what to make for a side dish, and mashed or baked aren't the only options out there. Small potatoes are great when they're roasted, they're even better when they're smashed and roasted even longer to get nice and crispy. When they come out of the oven and are still nice and hot, malt or red wine vinegar is splashed on top. It's very reminiscent of British chips without being fried.

One Year Ago: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Two Years Ago: Slow Cooker Ribs

What You Need:

2 lbs fingerling potatoes*
1 tbs veg oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar or malt vinegar
salt and pepper

What To Do:

Toss the whole fingerling potatoes with the oil, salt and pepper. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and put into a preheated 400 degree oven. Roast them for about 45 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and carefully "smush" them using a spatula or the back of a large spoon. You're just looking to split their skins and flatten them a little bit. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove, carefully flip them over and put them back in for another 10 minutes. Once they're brown and crispy, place on a serving platter and sprinkle them with some extra salt and the vinegar.

*Note: You can use the small red potatoes but they might need to be par-boiled before roasting to assure that they are cooked through.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Green Chili

Green. Not like Green eggs and ham green, but salsa verde green. It makes a difference right? This is a quick and easy chili where most of the flavor comes from salsa verde. Chicken is cut up and simmered in a delicious green sauce. Sauteed onions and garlic are added into it, along with some  creamy white beans. This is not your traditional tomato based chili but it still has that warming, comforting feel.

One Year Ago: Skillet Potatoes
Two Years Ago: Carne Asada

What You Need:

2 cups salsa verde (try this version, or this version)
1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized cubes
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15oz) can white beans (canellini's are my favorite)
salt and pepper

What To Do:

Simmer the chicken and salsa verde together until the chicken is no longer pink. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic and until soften. Stir the onion and garlic along with the beans into the chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble and cook together for a few minutes until everything is hot. Serve over rice. This is even better the next day or even served with a fried egg.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Feijoada (Black Bean Stew)

Trying to expand on my knowledge of Latin style cooking (since we all know how much I LOVE Mexican food) so I've been doing some searching. I keep looking for easy dishes to make and I also do my best to keep things as authentic as I can, however in this dish, ease won out and it's not totally authentic. Traditionally, this is made with several different parts of a pig, ears, tails etc, however as most Americans tend not to eat animal "parts" Feijoada has become a dish made with pieces of salt pork, different sausages, carne seca, etc. My version still uses pork, but I opted for kielbasa and pork chops as that is what was available to me at the time. I also chose to cook it in a crock pot, again opting for convince. Even with the few changes that I have made, this dish is still hearty and very tasty.

One Year Ago: Ina's Coconut Cake

What You Need:

1 c beef broth
2 bay leaves
3 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed*
1lb boneless pork chop, cut into 1 inch chunks
1lb smoked kielbasa (about 1 ring)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 orange, segmented

What To Do:

Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot/slow cooker and cook on low for about 6-8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. Smash some of the black beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the stew. Serve over rice with a nice pile of greens. Top the stew with a few orange segments.

*NOTE: You can use dried beans instead. Pick over and sort beans. Cover with cold water and let sit over night. In the morning drain the beans and add into the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Increase beef broth to 2 cups and cook on low for 8ish hours. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Green Lentil, Sausage and Kale Stew

This is a warm, hearty and good for you dish.  It has nice smokey kielbasa combined with healthy green lentils, sweet potato and kale. This recipe is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, but you would never know how good it is for you, from the way it taste. It is perfect for winter time, especially this year as the weather is so abnormal, warm one minute, freezing the next. You need a nice hearty meal on those cold days and this fits the bill perfectly.

One Year Ago: Pork Chop
Two Years Ago: Bowtie Pasta Salad

What You Need:

1 link kielbasa (about 14-16oz)
1 lb (about 2 cups) french green lentils
1 large onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped or torn
2 c chicken stock
1 c red wine
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

What To Do:

Rinse and sort the green lentils. Cover them with 4 quarts of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 to 20 or until softened. Drain.
While the lentils are cooking, slice the kielbasa into 1/4 inch rounds and cook in a large soup pot until browned. Add in the onions, sweet potato, celery and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the can of tomatoes, red wine and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and add in the thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and stir in the lentils and kale. Once heated through it's ready to serve! Tops with some Parmesan cheese if you'd like.
HostGator Promotion Code

Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner