Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicken Apple Panini

1 Granny Smith apple cored and sliced thin
4 tbsp mayonnaise
4 tbsp light Vidalia onion salad dressing
4 slices rustic sandwich bread (whole grain)
1/4 lb thin-sliced chicken breast
4 slices provolone cheese
cooking spray

Combine mayonnaise and salad dressing until blended. Spread mixture on one side of all bread slices. Assemble sandwiches as follows: 1st layer - chicken  2nd layer - apple slices  3rd layer - provolone cheese  4th layer - remaining bread slices. Coat panini maker or grill with cooking spray. Cook 5–6 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is crisp and golden. Cut sandwiches in half using serrated knife.

*I'm a big believer in the ingredients that go into our bodies! Stay clear of salad dressings that contain high fructose corn syrup. Breads, dressings, baked goods, and children's snacks are among the many foods that can be loaded with this genetically modified ingredient. Reading Labels is key...knowing which ingredients to avoid and which ones to consume are key to a healthy mind and body!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nana's Chicken Soup

1 pound chicken thighs (skin on)
3 14.5 oz cans chicken broth or 1 large can
3 celery stalks chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 large onion chopped
1/2 bulb of fresh garlic chopped
1/2 lemon
4oz orzo or egg noodles
cilantro for garnish

Clean chicken and place in large stock pot. Fill pot with water until it covers chicken. Bring water to a boil then reduce to a soft boil for 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Skim fat from the water and add vegetables, chicken broth, and garlic. Cook until tender. Meanwhile, after chicken has cooled, separate chicken from the bone into bite size pieces. Cook orzo in soup mixture according to package directions (9-11 minutes). Before serving, add in chicken and the half of lemon. Season with salt/pepper and garnish with cilantro.  


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Salmon with Avocado Dressing and Couscous

1 pound fresh salmon
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
3 ripe avocados 
handful cherry tomatoes
1 lemon (1/2 squeezed 1/2 cut into quarters) 
1 box Near East Garlic Olive Oil Couscous

Preheat oven to 350. Place salmon on a long sheet of aluminum foil (enough to form a folded pocket). Brush olive oil on top, add a dash of salt and pepper, along with 1 chopped garlic clove and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Fold foil around salmon to form a pocket. Bake in oven for 30 min or until cooked through. Meanwhile, mash avocado and add the rest of the garlic and cilantro. Stir in lemon juice and salt/pepper. Set aside. Cook couscous according to directions (I use olive oil instead of butter). Serve salmon with avocado dressing, couscous, and quartered lemon. ENJOY!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

1 Package of Gnocchi (usually this is found near the deli section)

15 oz Frozen Broccoli
4 tbs Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pound Fresh Chicken Sausage
1/2 Red Onion Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
crusty bread

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add gnocchi and cook according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water.
Meanwhile, cook frozen broccoli until tender (microwave works great!). Heat 2 tbs olive oil over large skillet. Saute chicken sausage until cooked through. Add in onion, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove sausage mixture from skillet and reserve. Add the remaining 2 tbs olive oil and saute drained gnocchi for 3-4 minutes or until slightly browned. Return the sausage mixture to pan and add cooked broccoli. Toss to combine. Pour in reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Add in lemon juice and serve with bread. Enjoy! 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Goolish Guac

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
8 assorted large flour tortillas (red pepper, garden, spinach, or whole wheat
Coarse salt
8 avocados (pitted. peeled, and smashed)
1 lime squeezed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
2 cloves of minced garlic
Halloween cookie cutters (I used a pumpkin and moon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Using a the Halloween inspired cookie cutters cut shapes from tortillas. Arrange as many shapes as can fit in a single layer on oiled sheet. Coat tortillas with cooking spray, and season with salt. Bake until slightly darkened and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining tortilla shapes, using a clean, cooled baking sheet.
Put avocados, lime juice, 11/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mash with a fork until chunky. Stir in tomatoes. Serve with chips

I made this for our Little Foxes Playgroup and it was simple, fun, and festive! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Turkey Garbanzo Bean Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound turkey sausage, casings removed, crumbled
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans diced peeled tomatoes with juices (Hunts with Basil and Oregano works best)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 cans garbanzo beans (chick-peas), undrained
2 cans chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled, sliced

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey sausage and chopped garlic and sauté until sausage is golden brown and cooked through, breaking up sausage with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes with their juices and chopped fresh rosemary and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garbanzo beans with their liquid and chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup 15 minutes. Stir in fresh lemon juice. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing.)
Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle soup with chopped fresh cilantro and top with sliced avocado.

This soup recipe was given to me from my mom who originally got the recipe from my Aunt Kitty. This is the season for soups and I thought it was a perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes with you! Enjoy!
*For the ones that need a rating, Jared gives this one 5 out of 5 stars!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

1 3-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (about 6 large leaves)
6 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes over and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until they are caramelized; set aside.
In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent and tender, 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, and the remaining salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is flavorful. Remove from heat. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot and keep warm.

This is a perfect soup for a fall day! I found this recipe in my REAL SIMPLE COOKBOOK (which is worth buying by the way). It freezes really well (up to 3 months) and is definitely a kid pleaser! Enjoy!