Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Bean, Chicken and Red Pepper Stew

This is the original recipe. (and not my photo)
Below are my modifications.  I served it with a small quesadilla.  This was super easy and healthy, so you should try it.

Black Bean, Chicken and Red Pepper Stew
Serves- 4
Approx. Calories: 220 per serving

1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1.5 chicken breasts, cut up into chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1.5 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked through.  Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil.  Add the onion to the pot and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Mix in the black beans, diced tomatoes, red peppers, green chiles, chicken broth, cumin, and cayenne.  Return the chicken to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Allow to simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.  When finished, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Turkey Bolognese

This was adapted from the Family Circle cookbook.  Excuse the camera phone picture.  This recipe was originally served over polenta... we discovered we don't like polenta.  So this time, pasta it is!
Note:  Matt says this is gross leftover and microwaved despite being very tasty fresh.

Turkey Bolognese over Pasta
Serves: 4-6
Calories: about 333 for 1/6 of recipe

1 package ground turkey (20 oz)
4 oz restaurant blend fresh mushrooms
1 jar Marinara (I used Newman's Own)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2.5 cups dry penne pasta

In a pot, start the water boiling and cook the pasta per the directions.

Meanwhile in a 10" or larger pan, saute the mushrooms in a little oil for 3-5 minutes.  Crumble in the turkey, basil, oregano, salt & pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until turkey is cooked thru.  Add the marinara and reduce heat, cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the cream until heated thru.  Serve over pasta.  This is light on the pasta, heavy on the sauce, which is thick and chunky.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chicken Ranch Ranchero Over Rice

Here is another recipe I marked on Pinterest.  Not a very healthy one (again), so it won't be in the regular rotation, but it was easy to make.  I only had 1 pound of chicken, so I cut the recipe to 2/3... I have no idea how you would fit the whole recipe in an 8x8 because mine filled it up, so keep that in mind.  Matt liked this more than I did... definitely needed more seasoning and spice.

Chicken Ranch Ranchero Over Rice
Serves: 4 (I say this serves closer to 6)

Calories: Approx 550 per serving (1/6 of recipe)

  • 3 cups rice, cooked
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 0.25 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 medium serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 30 ounces tomatoes, diced (or be really authentic and use fresh tomatoes!)
  • 1 Tablespoons oregano
  • 0.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 0.25 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 cups Ranch dressing
  • 1.5 cups Colby Jack cheese
  • 1  deep dish 8×8 pan

In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the garlic, serrano pepper and onions for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for 5-6 minutes. Add in the seasonings and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Set aside. Place the cooked rice in the bottom of the baking pan. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice in a single layer. Add the Ranch dressing on top of the chicken. Pour the Ranchero Sauce (cooked tomato mixture) over the whole dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve.

Freezing Directions:
Follow directions above, but instead of baking, cover and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve. (Double cooking time if chicken is still or partially frozen.)


I have never made applesauce before, but I will be doing this over and over again.. so easy and yummy!!  The store had apples for 59c a pound, so the first time I made this with Cortland and McIntosh.  The second time I made it with honeycrisp because they were on super sale.  Both times it was delicious!  You really should have an apple peeler/slicer machine thing for this.

I like my applesauce chunky so I cut the water and cooked it a little less.  All I needed was a hand potato masher (barely) because they just fell apart.   The second time I did cut back on the sugar some. 

Homemade Applesauce
Makes about 2.5 cups

  • 10 cups apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 0.5 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 0.5 cup sugar or Splenda (optional, or to taste)

Place apples, water, cinnamon, and sugar in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours or until apples are tender and easily mash. Mash with a potato masher, or puree in blender or food processor until you teach the desired consistency.

Freezing Directions:
Divide and place among freezer bags or containers. Seal, label, and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This was borrowed from here.  So was the picture.  I of course made modifications... and I agree, this is definitely a keeper!  Matt actually said he wouldn't change anything (well, to my version).  I think next time I would add some red pepper flakes to the sauce =)  And magically figure out how to cut the calories in half haha.

Chicken Manicotti with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Serves:  3-4
Calories:  640 calories in 2 pieces (ouch)

9 manicotti shells
2 cups chicken, cooked and finely chopped
1 (8 ounce) container chive and onion cream cheese
3-4 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup frozen tri color pepper and onion mix from Kroger
1/2 cup mozzerella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Combine all:
7 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, I pulsed them in my mini food processor
1 (16 ounce) jar creamy Alfredo sauce
1.5 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Stir together chicken and next seven ingredients.  (I cooked the spinach and peppers/onions in the pasta pot for a couple minutes to heat them thru and drain the liquid easier).

Put all the filling into a large plastic baggie and snip the tip.  Squeeze filling into the manicotti.  If you put some pressure on the pasta, the filling shoots right thru and doesn't split the pasta.  Place in a 8x11  baking dish.  Pour roasted red pepper sauce evenly over cannelloni.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.