Sunday, January 29, 2012

This Past Weeks Eats

I've added some recipes that were on our menu last week that we really liked. I was not meaning to turn this blog into a place with tons of recipes but it seems much easier when I'm searching for them to just pull them up on the blog. So I will probably continue to add them along with other little snippets of our life. A few new recipes on the menu this week as well. So stay tuned!

We had this Chicken Piccata tonight and really enjoyed it, we paired it with the carrot salad below which was also really yummy :) capers!    

Chicken Piccata w/ Pasta & Mushrooms from Eating Well 

  • 6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 chicken cutlets (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons butter    
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

 Carrot Salad from Country Living
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon(s) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 pound(s) carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup(s) sliced dried apricots
  • 3 small scallions, sliced
  1. In a medium pan over low heat, cook lime juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, and red pepper until warm, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook carrots until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer carrots to a serving bowl.
  3. Add dried apricots and scallions, then toss salad with warm honey-lime dressing. Sprinkle with lime zest. 

 I made these muffins for breakfast on the go for us a week or so ago and we really loved them! Adjustments... I reversed the all-purpose and the wheat flower since I'm not much on a total wheat taste with my pastries. I also used almonds instead of macadamia nuts
 Blueberry Coconut Macadamia Muffins from Eating Well website
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 5 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Source) or whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut or vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine coconut, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons macadamia nuts in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, egg, egg white, buttermilk, butter and coconut (or vanilla) extract in a medium bowl until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add blueberries and the remaining 3 tablespoons nuts; stir just to combine. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut topping and gently press into the batter.
  4. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes more before serving.

 I found a recipe from All Recipes a year or so ago and kept adapting and adapting it until it seemed pretty much perfect (to us) for chewy granola bars. It looks nothing like the original recipe but it was a good base to start. We LOVE these so much! I try to make a batch of these or some sort of muffins on Sunday (as well as the Earth Balls) for our breakfasts on the go for the week.

Granola Bar Recipe
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4cup honey
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey. Stir in the 2 cups assorted chocolate chips, raisins, nuts etc.
  3. Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 9 minutes and then take out and press mixture into pan again. And then cook for another 10 minutes, press down in pan again when taking out of oven. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving. 

We had this side with some baked salmon the other night and we seemed to like it. Our only complain was too much lemon and garlic. I'd say half the garlic and I may even leave out the lemon juice altogether next time.

Quinoa Side Dish from All Recipes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dash fresh lemon juic
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa, and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
  2. In a bowl, toss quinoa together with garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and onion. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and serve.

I made the mixture for these the other morning before I left for work (they stay together much better if they are cold when cooking) and popped them in the oven when I got home. As always a few little changes. Dry the beans with a towel after they are rinsed. I put mine in the kitchenaid mixer after to get them nice and mashed up. I increased the breadcrumbs by another 1/4 to 1/2 cup since I could tell the mixture was too mushy.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers from All Recipes
  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
  5. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
  6. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side. 

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