Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 22-Crockpot Cashew Chicken

I'll be the first to admit, I've slacked off on finding new recipes over the last few months. Between work, the holidays, family gatherings, and day-to-day routine, it was easiest to stick with our tried and true favorites. I still cook at least 2-3 times a week, but I've fallen into a routine of cooking the same 15 favorites over and over and over and...

This week I was inspired to try something new.  I usually crave Chinese food around the holidays (why is that?) and found this recipe for Cashew Chicken on Sally Cooks. It looked tasty and simple enough, so I gave it a shot. It was great!

Crockpot Cashew Chicken
1.5-2lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup unsalted cashews (We really like nuts, so I put in a whole cup)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp ginger paste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water or chicken broth

1. Layer chicken and vegetables in the crockpot. 
2. Combine remaining ingredients, except water and cashews, and pour over chicken and vegetables in crockpot. 
3. Add water or broth if necessary so mixture is almost completely covered. 
4. Cook for about 6-7 hours on low. Add nuts when there is about an hour left. (I added the nuts from the beginning and there were completely cooked through and soft. I'd suggest adding them later if you like the crunch.)
5. Enjoy over rice. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 3-Orange Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry

We love stir-fry in our household. 

Orange Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry
By Good Housekeeping Fast Weeknight Favorites
2 navel oranges
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and thinly sliced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 lbs thin asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
1 garlic glove, crushed with garlic press
1/4 cup water

1. From 1 orange, grate 1 tsp peel and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. Cut peel and white from the remaining orange. Cut orange crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices, cut each slice into quarters.

2. In nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add pork and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until pork just loses its pink color, about 2 minutes. Remove pork from skillet.

3. In the same skillet, add asparagus, garlic, orange peel, 1/4 tsp salt, and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Return pork to skillet. Add orange juice and orange pieces, heath through, stirring often.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2- Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats. 
Helping health-conscious cooks sneak veggies into a meal, by hiding them behind the word "pizza".
Delicious, healthy, easy. Enjoy!

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats
5-6 zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
1lb ground turkey
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
2. Cut each zucchini in half, horizontally. Use a spoon to scrape out the center of the zucchini, leaving about 1/2 inch on the skin. You will not need the center for this recipe, but you may want to set it aside and keep it for another use.
3. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add turkey, oregano, basil, ant and pepper. Cook until turkey is browned. Drain any excess fat. Stir in marinara sauce until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Scoop turkey mixture into each zucchini. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 12 minutes.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27- One Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

My husband loves chicken alfredo pasta. 
I'm a bit of a health nut and most canned versions of alfredo sauce make me cringe. It's not the calories (although high), it's the add-ins and extras. Tonight I made a homemade version of this classic favorite. It is not considered "health food" by any means, but it is nice knowing that it was made at home with love (and no weird ingredients). 

We all deserve to indulge every now and then!

One Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
3 tbsp olive oil
1.25lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
14oz chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 small bag frozen broccoli florets
1 14oz box pasta (penne, elbows, bow ties, etc.)
2 cups shredded real parmesabag frozen broccoli florets
salt and pepper

1. Warm oil in a large pot. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Add to pot and brown chicken over medium-high heat. (Chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point. It will cook through later.) Once chicken is browned, add garlic and sauté about a minute.
2.  Add broth, cream, broccoli and pasta. (I added a little milk too, for bulk.) Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender.
3. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
4. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9- Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Grilling and summer go hand in hand. My hubby and I recently discovered the pre-pattied gourmet burgers at the grocery store meat department. They are a little on the expensive side, but definitely worth it. Our favorites are the jalapeño burger and the bleu cheese burger. Top notch.

We were inspired by these delicious patties to create our own gourmet burger. We came up with a few delicious-sounding combinations including this incredible concoction. We present to you the Hawaiian Turkey Burger. 

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers
1.25 lb ground turkey
1/4 bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup Teriyaki marinade
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained well (press with a paper towel to soak up excess liquid)
deli-sliced ham (several slices), chopped into small pieces
salt and pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Work your way through the mixture to make sure that all ingredients are thoroughly combined. You may need to add more bread crumbs if your mixture appears too wet (draining the pineapple well will also help with this).
2. Divide the mixture into patties. Makes 5-6. I refrigerated the patties overnight to allow the marinade to soak through the burger.
3. Grill until burgers reach desired doneness.
4. Enjoy! ( I also suggest pineapple slices, tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, teriyaki sauce, and swiss cheese for toppings.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7-Chicken & Eggplant Stir-Fry

My mom gave me a basket of organic produce that she received from a family friend. The basket included sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh lettuce, crisp cucumbers, radishes, and a deep-purple eggplant. Oh so fresh and oh so delicious. 

Tonight's recipe was inspired by this plethora of produce. 

Chicken & Eggplant Stir-Fry
1 eggplant, cubed
2lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp basil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 cups spinach
salt and pepper

1. Cook chicken, along with garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and soy sauce, in a large skillet or wok over medium heat until chicken is almost cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. 
2. Stir in mushrooms and bell pepper. Continue cooking until the mushrooms brown, about 2-3 minutes. 
3. In a separate skillet, heat oil and cook eggplant until lightly browned. Add eggplant to chicken mixture. 
4. Stir spinach into the chicken mixture and stir until the spinach wilts.
5. Serve with rice. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6-Sweet and Spicy Peanut Butter-Glazed Chicken Tenders

I have a peanut butter problem. 

While most people like peanut butter, I take the adoration of this savory spread to another level. Take my birthday for example. Last year I received The Big Six + Cookbook by Peanut Butter and Co. as a gift. Most people would simply smile and say thank you. I, on the other hand, was stoked. It was the most exciting, most thoughtful gift ever. (Thanks Aunt Cindy!)

The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook contains a plethora of PB recipes, from breakfasts and cookies, to appetizers and main courses. As much as I love peanut butter, I had never considered cooking with it. Baking, yes, but cooking? At first I was apprehensive, but it didn't take long for the idea to sink it. It is peanut butter, after all. It has to be good. 

Fun fact: I ate peanut butter pizza once when I was in grade school. 
...and I liked it. 

Sweet and Spicy Peanut Butter-Glazed Chicken Tenders
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup The Heat is On peanut butter (If you don't have this, you can also combine 1 cup of natural peanut butter with 1 tsp crushed red pepper and 1 tsp cayenne or hot sauce)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil. 
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the honey, peanut butter, an butter until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Do not let the glaze boil. Remove from the heat.
3. Dip the chicken strips in the glaze, coating well on both sizes. Reserve the extra glaze. Place the coated strips in the foil-lined pan, cover with aluminum foil, and cook for 20 minutes on the center rack of the oven. 
4. Remove the foil cover and pour the remaining glaze on top of the chicken. Continue to roast for another 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. 
5. Serve. Pictured here with green beans and an organic tossed salad.