Monday, February 20, 2017

Chicken Chop Salad

4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 c. bottled Italian dressing
2 heads romaine, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch squares
1 English cucumber, cut into slices, then quartered
16 grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
5-6 slices provolone cheese, cut into small squares
1/2 c sliced pepperoni, cut in half
4 pepperoncinis, sliced

1 lemon, zested
8 Tbsp lemon juice (from zested lemon)
 (note, if you don't have enough lemon juice, make up the difference with red wine vinegar)
2 large garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano)
1/3 c. Extra Virgin olive oil

Marinade chicken breasts in Italian dressing at least 4 hours or overnight. Grill chicken until done. Then slice or chop into bite-sized pieces. Place into a bowl.

While chicken is marinading, combine all the other ingredients in a large salad bowl as shown in photo above.

Make dressing by combining all the ingredients together except olive oil. Whisk oil into the rest of the ingredients, until well combined.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Serve salad with chicken on top.

I also made Italian bread croutons by toasting Italian bread, topped with olive oil, Italian spice and a pinch of salt on top. Toast until crunchy, but not too brown. You can serve the bread on the side or cut up and add to the salad.

This makes 5 generous dinner salads. It is light and delicious.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Quick and Easy Rojo Pozole

This recipe came about because of a leftover boneless pork loin I had cooked in the crock pot for pork BBQ sandwiches. If you don't have cooked pork, you can use chicken or beef (cooked), but the pork really made this dish very tasty.

2-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 large garlic cloves, pressed (or finely minced)
1 large poblano pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1-2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
6 oz tomato paste
2 cups water
4 cups homemade chicken stock (or low sodium broth)
4 cups cooked boneless pork (see note above)
3 can golden hominy, drained
2 4-oz cans green chilies
Juice of one lime

lime wedges
avocado, chopped
sour cream
corn tortillas

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic cloves and poblano pepper. Cook until soft. Add flour and additional olive oil to make a thick paste. Add seasoning (salt, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper). Continue stirring mixture until brown (may burn slightly, but don't worry). Add tomato paste and combine well. Add water and scrape up bits on the bottom of the pan. Mixture should thicken and make a very red "gravy" that looks a lot like a dark enchilada sauce. Adjust seasoning (make it spicy or add more salt at this point).

Add chicken stock, pork, hominy and green chilies. Stir well and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer. Add juice of one lime and continue simmering. Stir periodically so it doesn't burn. You can serve it at any time, but you can also let it simmer for up to a half hour or more. It will thicken up as you simmer it. If you want it thinner, add more stock or water.

Serve pozole  in a large bowl with desired toppings, but make sure you add more lime juice and cilantro to give it a fresh flavor. You can also top with shredded cabbage or lettuce, fresh radishes for additional "crunch."

This is not authentic, but it tastes wonderful. Serve with additional hot sauce. I recommend you also serve this with cheese quesadillas as pictured below


Makes 6-8 large servings.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 carrots, small dice
2 stalk celery, small dice
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely diced
1/2 tsp  pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 large bay leaf
6-7 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 package Lundberg Farms wild rice-brown rice blend with seasoning packet
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk

Heat olive oil, add onion, carrots, celery and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, spices and stir until well mixed. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add wild rice-brown rice blend and seasoning packet.

Simmer 30 minutes (or until rice is tender). Whisk flour into half and half until well-blended. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into the soup. Add the milk and continue cooking until soup thickens and soup is completely hot.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rolo Turtle Cookies

Butter pretzels (I use waffles or small twist)
Rolo candy
Half pecans

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place pretzels on parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place an unwrapped rolo candy on top of each pretzel.

Place in oven for 3 minutes or just until the rolo candy is soft. Remove from oven and place a half pecan on top and press down. You can also top with another pretzel instead of the pecan.

Cool in refrigerator or in a cold place until chocolate hardens. Makes about 3 dozen pretzel cookies. Salt in the pretzels will break down the chocolate, so eat them quickly!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Banana Nut Muffins

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c evaporated cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine bananas, sugar, vanilla, egg and melted butter until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until smooth and well combined. Fold in nuts

Place 12 muffin liners in tins and grease the bottoms only of the muffin liners. Fill with batter until almost to the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly and enjoy.

To make mini muffins, bake 10-15 minutes.

Makes 12 large muffins and approximately 24 mini muffins.

214 calories per muffin

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Shortbread Bites

1/2 c. butter
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp. red, green and white nonpareils

In a food processor, combine all except the nonpareils. Process until mixed well. Remove dough and need until it comes together. Mix in the nonpareils to spread throughout the dough.

Flatten dough into a square about a half inch thick on a piece of wax paper. Wrap in wax paper to cover and freeze for 15 minutes.

Score dough into half-inch squares and then cut. Place dough on an ungreased baking sheet, separating squares into tiny cookies

Bake in the middle of the oven at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until bottoms are just browned. Watch carefully so they don't burn.

Remove to a cooling rack and enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Whole Wheat Sunflower Seed Bread

This recipe makes a 1.5 pound loaf in the bread machine. If you don't have a bread machine, you could probably make this by hand, but I'm not a breadmaker and so I don't know much more than putting the ingredients in the pan, push start and 3 hours later, voila! Baked bread!

9 ounces of warm water (about 80 degrees)
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds (I used unsalted)
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp bread machine yeast

Place ingredients in the order recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Use Whole Wheat setting on your bread machine and when it is done, cool on a wire rack. Slice and slather with soft butter. Enjoy!