Friday, January 27, 2012

Portobello, Broccoli and Red Pepper Melts

We'll just call these YUMMMMM.  And if you don't know about Annie's Eats, you need to go there.  We both liked these very much.  No calorie count on this one because it would depend on surface area and size of bread.  And I am lazy..... it might be around 400 each.  We had this with some soup and it was great.

Portobello, Broccoli and Red Pepper Melts
Serves: 4

1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 portobello mushrooms (stems removed), sliced ½-inch thick
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced ½-inch thick
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 thick slices country bread
2-4 oz. provolone cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat a broiler with a rack placed 4 inches from the heat source.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the broccoli on the baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Broil until the broccoli begins to brown, tossing once or twice, about 4-6 minutes.

Add the sliced mushrooms and peppers to the pan with the broccoli and toss to combine.  Broil, tossing once or twice, until the vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes more.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and garlic in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.  Place the slices of bread on a work surface.  Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the garlic-mayo mixture.  Top with the cooked vegetables, then the cheese.  Line the baking sheet with a new piece of foil.  Transfer the assembled sandwiches to the baking sheet.  Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2-4 minutes.

Foil-Pack Chicken and Broccoli Dinner

Matt liked this... I thought it was ok.  I have a lot of commentary to make it better haha.  Here is the original recipe and photo.  I think the bacon gets too chewy and you need more than 1 slice, the chicken portion is large, I would rather have the savory herb flavored stuffing instead of chicken and it is kind of soggy, needs a little more cheese..... haha.  And it took closer to 45 minutes than 30 to bake these suckers so maybe downsize the breast or pound it thinner.

Foil-Pack Chicken and Broccoli Dinner
Serves: 4
Calories:  about 600 each

1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor
1 1/4 cup Water
24 ounce Boneless skinless chicken breast; 6oz each
4 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices Cooked bacon; crumbled
4 tablespoons Ranch dressing

- Oven to 400
- Spray 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil.
- Combine stuffing mix and water.
- Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet.
- Top stuffing with a 6oz. chicken breast half.
- Top chicken with 1 c. broccoli.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled.
- Drizzle with 1 T. ranch dressing
- Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside
- Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 25-30 mins
- Remove packets and let stand 5 mins
- Cut sits in foil for steam before opening.

Laughing Cow Alfredo Sauce

Generic photo of alfredo since I was too lazy to take a picture myself

I thought this was good... I may have added a little more parm and an extra wedge of cheese... and a crap ton of black pepper.  Matt wasn't a huge fan.  But this was easy.  I will say the serving size is small in our house and it really doesn't save that many calories over a jarred sauce and it is more expensive.... hmmm, I am not selling you on this recipe am I... oh well.

Laughing Cow Alfredo Sauce 
Serves: 2
Calories:  About 185

3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Creamy Garlic & Herb
1/2 cup Skim Milk
1 Tbsp reduced fat Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Tbsp Molly McButter (I used 2 Tb real butter)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

In medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients over a low heat, until everything is melted and is velvety smooth (approximately 20 minutes). Serve immediately over hot cooked pasta of your choice .

Summer Corn, Bacon and Potato Chowder

This was yummy and would be even better when corn is actually in season and awesome.  Definitely a keeper.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  If you don't know what Pinterest is.... it is the new, best way to waste time at work =)  I posted my measurements below the original recipe.

Summer Corn, Bacon and Potato Chowder
Serves:  4
Weight Watchers Points: 6
1 medium uncooked yukon gold potato(es)  
1 spray(s) cooking spray  
1/2 cup(s) uncooked celery, chopped  
1/4 cup(s) (chopped) uncooked onion(s), chopped (or 1 large shallot)  
4 piece(s) corn on the cob, kernels removed with a knife  
1 cup(s) sweet red pepper(s), diced  
4 oz uncooked Canadian-style bacon, diced  
2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk  
1/2 tsp table salt  
1/4 tsp black pepper  
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce, or to taste   

Pierce potato in several places with a fork; microwave on high power until tender, turning over once, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool; peel and mash.

Meanwhile, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Add celery, onion, corn and red pepper; sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Stir bacon and milk into saucepan; stir in mashed potato and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; stir to combine. Cover and simmer 10 minutes (do not allow to boil). Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

* * *
My Edits
Serves:  2
Calories:  About 320

2 medium uncooked redskin potatoes  
1 spray cooking spray  
1/4 cup uncooked celery, chopped  
1/4 cup (chopped) uncooked onion
3 pieces corn on the cob, kernels removed with a knife  
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced  
2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1.5 cups 1% milk  
salt and pepper to taste

Part 2

I forgot the one new kitchen thing that will change your life!!!  Totally worth it at $2 for a box of 4.  Plus, here is a coupon from Reynolds.

Buy these.  Seriously. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grown Up Hamburger Helper - Revisited

I found this recipe in my Rachel Ray cookbook and adapted it. I cut the recipe in half because apparently RR cooks for an army in her house. This was pretty good and much better than that boxed crap. And it really didn't take much more time or effort.

Edited 1/24/12

Grown up Hamburger Helper
Serves: 3-4
Calories:  Approx 625 per 1/4 recipe

-2 cups pasta (I used elbow macaroni. Cavatappi or penne would work too)  Mini Penne
-1/2 pound ground beef
-2 big tablespoons of grated onion
-2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

-2 tablespoons butter
-1 1/2 tablespoons flour  2 Tb
-1/2 cup chicken stock  1 cup
-1 cup of half and half
-1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard  2 Tb
-1 1/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese  1.5 cups Kraft Triple Cheddar

-chopped dill pickles
-diced tomatoes or salsa

1. Boil a pot of water and add the pasta, cook per the box. Don't drain until the rest is ready.

2. In a large skillet brown the meat. Add the onion and worcestershire then some salt and pepper. When fully cooked, remove to a paper plate and get rid of the grease.

3. In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the half and half and the chicken stock. Bring to a bubble and cook for a few minutes until it thickens up. Stir in the dijon. Add the cheese and keep stirring until all melted into gooey goodness. More salt and pepper.

4. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce skillet along with the meat. Serve with the dill pickles and tomatoes/salsa if you wish.

Matt wants to add that he sprinkled on his most favorite ingredient in the world and it made the dish unbelievable. What is this secret ingredient that makes everything better? A Little Caesars spice pak of course!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Random Kitchen Things

So I have been a slacker with blogging lately because of the holidays.  I didn't have to take too many dishes to places and I ate meals that other people cooked.... then ate the leftovers =)  So there hasn't been much cooking going on lately besides a couple recipes I don't feel are worth sharing.

But I did want to post a couple of things that I have "discovered" recently and wondered why I ever cooked without them.

Kitchen Scale
I picked up a cheapie from Meijer and it makes things soooo much easier.  Especially pasta.  Totally worth it.  Pick one up for under $20.

Little bottles of wine
My husband and I don't really drink wine... but a lot of these fancy pants recipes call for it.  What to do....I have no idea why it didn't dawn on me to pick these little guys up.  Each bottle is a cup, which is perfect.

Cast Iron Grill Press
This puppy makes some deliciously crunchy grilled sandwiches and takes up way less space than like a panini press.

Squeeze bottle minced garlic
Don't laugh.  I am lazy and have zero desire to use fresh garlic and mince it all up.  This isn't as good as the 'real' thing, but it is way convenient and fast!  Try it out.

Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer
This isn't really new to me recently... but I love this thing almost as much as the apple crisp I make with it.  Totally worth it.

Yes I know none of these products is revolutionary but maybe you will discover something on this list that you haven't tried yet.  Happy cooking!