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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chicken Pad Thai

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped fine
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

2. Cooking Directions
In a small bowl, combine the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In another bowl, combine the tofu with another 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons fish sauce with the water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne.
In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until done, about 12 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove. Put another tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the pasta and the fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, tofu, and 1/3 cup peanuts. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, the bean sprouts, and half the cilantro. Top with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Brisket

If you can make the dish a day or two in advance, the flavor mellows
1 flat-cut beef brisket (4 to 5 lb.), trimmed of excess fat
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 C. dry red wine
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
1 tsp. dried thyme

Set the oven at 325 degrees. Have on hand a 6-quart Dutch oven or another heavy, flame-proof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Sprinkle the brisket all over with salt and pepper. In the pot, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the brisket for about 5 minutes on a side. Transfer the meat to a plate. Lower the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil. Cook the onions, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until golden. Stir in the celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomatoes, thyme, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan. Place the meat, fat side up, on top of the vegetables. Cover with the lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 3 1/2 hours or until a fork inserted into the meat slides out easily. Remove the cover and cool the brisket in the pan. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. To serve: Set the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the meat from the sauce. Slice it thinly against the grain. Discard the fat from the sauce. Use a ladle to remove some of the vegetables and sauce from the pot. In a food processor, work the mixture until smooth; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with more vegetables, leaving some of the vegetables whole if you want a chunkier sauce. Return the puree to the pot and stir well to blend it with the juices in the pan. Arrange the meat in a baking dish. Spoon 2 cups of the sauce on top. Cover with foil and reheat for 30 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, bring the remaining sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Pour into a gravy boat and pass separately with the meat.

Crock Pot- Busy Day Barbecue

Seasoned with thyme, paprika, cayenne powder and cumin, this brisket is aromatic and flavorful.
1 Tbs. dried thyme leaves
1 Tbs. paprika
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 lb. beef brisket, trimmed of fat
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 C. barbecue sauce

Combine thyme, paprika, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and cumin in a small bowl set aside. Rub brisket all over with liquid smoke, then rub with spice mixture. Pour Worcestershire and barbecue sauces into a slow cooker place beef on top. Cover, and cook on low 8-10 hours, until fork tender.Yield: 8 servings

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spicy Chick'n Stirfry

1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Thai chili pepper, bird's eye chili pepper, small red serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper; seeded and thinly sliced*
1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup bias-sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced red, green or yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon water
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed
1 tablespoon sliced green onion (optional)
1 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
DIRECTIONS: In small bowl stir together soy sauce, chili pepper, gingerroot and garlic. Place MORNINGSTAR FARMS MEAL STARTERS Chik’N Strips in resealable plastic bag. Pour soy mixture over Chik’n Strips. Seal bag and let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes or refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

In nonstick wok or large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Stir-fry onion in hot oil for 1 minute. Carefully stir in Chik’N Strips and marinade. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.

Push Chik’N Strips mixture from center of wok. Add broccoli, carrots and bell pepper to center of wok. Sprinkle vegetables with water. Cook, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir together Chik’N Strips mixture and vegetables. Stir in mango slices and snow peas. Heat through. Garnish with green onion and almonds, if desired.

YIELD: 6 cups mixture; 4 servings
Using the jalapeno pepper or serrano pepper decreases the spicy hotness of the stir-fry. Since hot chili peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin or eyes, wear disposable or rubber gloves when working with them. If your bare hands do touch the chili peppers, wash your hands with soap and water

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Garlic Baked Salmon

Whether you use fillets or steaks, this salmon is for the garlic-lovers.

6 - 8 salmon steaks
Juice of 3 lemons
6 - 8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. white wine, optional
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, white wine, and parsley together. Place salmon steaks in a lightly greased baking dish and pour mixture over salmon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until fish is flaky. You can also make this recipe with a couple of large salmon fillets.

Parmesan Herb Baked Flounder

Mayonnaise helps the breadcrumbs adhere to the fish. Serve with white and wild rice or on a hoagie roll with lettuce and tomato for a fish sandwich.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 (6 oz. each) flounder fillets
1/3 C. (about 1 1/2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. low-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbs. minced green onions
1/4 C. dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the fish on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise and onions; spread them evenly over fish. Combine the breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, salt and black pepper and sprinkle it evenly over the fish. Lightly coat the fish with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Baked Fish with Herbs

Marjoram, thyme, garlic powder and bay leaves all go into this well-seasoned fish dish.

2 lb. white fish fillets
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. marjoram leaves
1/3 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
Two bay leaves
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. of white wine or water with a little herb vinegar paprika to season lemon wedges to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash fish, pat dry and place in a baking dish. Combine oil with salt and herbs. Drizzle over fish. Top with bay leaves and onions. Sprinkle with paprika. Pour wine or water over all. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

Baked Dill Salmon Fish

Simple, delicious and healthy. Paired with some broccoli or spinach it's a full, nutrient-packed meal.

1 1/2 lbs salmon steaks or skinless fillets
2 tsp. fresh minced dill or dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. salt-free herb seasoning or seafood blend
1 lemon, sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with dill and the seasoning. Top with lemon slices. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes, until flesh turns opaque. Serve with extra lemon.

Baked Halibut Steaks

An Italian-style vegetable and feta cheese topping is the perfect enhancement to delicious baked halibut.

1 tsp. olive oil
1 C. diced zucchini
1/2 C. minced onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 C. diced fresh tomatoes
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 (6 oz.) halibut steaks
1/3 C. crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and stir in zucchini, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove saucepan from heat, and mix in tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Arrange halibut steaks in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Spoon equal amounts of the zucchini mixture over each steak. Top with feta cheese. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork. Yield: 4 Servings.

Baked Tilapia with Tomatoes and Olives

This light preparation with olive oil is a healthier alternative to many fried fish recipes and even tastier.

6 Tilapia fillets
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tomatoes -- peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 C. coarsely chopped green olives
1/4 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1/2 C. finely chopped red onion
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

Preheat the oven to 400º. Lightly oil a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the fillets in one layer. In a bowl, stir together the oil, thyme, tomatoes, olives, red pepper flakes, garlic, onion, and lime juice. In the prepared baking dish, arrange the fillets, skin sides down, season them with salt, and spoon the tomato mixture over them. Bake the fish, uncovered, in the middle of the oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until it just flakes

Citrus Baked Fish

Orange juice and lemon juice make this a citrus-flavored dish.

2 lb. fish steaks
1/2 C. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh, minced cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. orange juice
1 Tbs. lemon juice

Arrange the fish in a shallow baking dish. In a small skillet sauté the onion and the garlic until the onion is tender but not brown. Into the pan, stir in the cilantro, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over the fish. Combine the orange juice and lemon juice and pour evenly over the fish. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Baked Lemon Sole

This is a very healthy dish because the fish is baked, not fried, and the sauce is quite light as well.

4 3 1/4 oz. sole fillets
2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. margarine, melted
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

Rinse fillets thoroughly in cold water; pat dry with paper towels, and set aside. Combine melted margarine and lemon juice in a small bowl. Combine flour, chopped parsley and pepper in a shallow container. Dip fillets in margarine mixture and dredge in flour mixture. Transfer fillets to a nonstick baking sheet, and drizzle any remaining margarine mixture over fish. Sprinkle fillets with paprika. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fish is golden brown and flakes easily when tested with a fork. If a crisper texture is desired, broil baked fillets 4 inches from heat for 1 minute. Garnish each fillet with a lemon wedge and fresh parsley sprigs, if desired.

Creole Baked Fish

This superb preparation will make a special main dish.

1 tsp. of olive oil
3/4 C. of celery, finely diced
1/4 C. of green bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 C. of yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 C. of yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. of kosher salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. of fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tsp. of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. of lemon zest, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. of orange zest, finely chopped
1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice
4 tsp. of fresh orange juice
1 16-20 oz. can of no-salt-added plum tomatoes, finely diced with their juices
1 tsp. of granulated white sugar
1/2 C. of water
1 Tbs. of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 Tbs. of fresh oregano, finely chopped
4 5 oz. fresh mild fish filets (redfish, snapper, catfish, halibut, or bass)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the celery, green and yellow bell peppers, onions and bay leaf. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions become soft and transparent (clear), about 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add salt, crushed red pepper, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, and orange zest. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add lemon juice, orange juice, tomatoes, sugar, and water. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add the basil and oregano and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place fish filets in a shallow baking pan and top with the sauce. Place pan in oven and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grilled Chicken and Pepper Salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Vegetables and Chicken
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 bunch arugula (about 4 ounces), tough stems removed
1. Prepare Balsamic Vinaigrette: In serving bowl, with wire whisk, blend all vinaigrette ingredients; set aside.
2. Prepare Vegetables and Chicken: Cut each pepper lengthwise in half; discard stems and seeds. With hand, flatten each pepper half. In bowl, toss peppers and onion wedges with 3 teaspoons oil. Rub chicken breasts with remaining 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cook chicken 12 to 15 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part of breast is pierced with tip of knife, turning over once.
4. While chicken is cooking, place onion wedges and peppers, skin side down, on same grill. Cook onion about 15 minutes or until golden, turning occasionally; cook peppers 18 to 20 minutes or until skins are charred and blistered.
5. When onion wedges are done, remove from grill to plate. When chicken is done, transfer to cutting board. When peppers are done, wrap in foil and allow them to steam at room temperature 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
6. While peppers are steaming, slice chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
7. Remove peppers from foil; discard skins. Thinly slice peppers. Add peppers, chicken, onion, tomatoes, and arugula to bowl with dressing; toss gently to coat.

Jerk Chicken Kebab

5 large green onions
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and cut up
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and cut up
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, cut into 12 equal pieces
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1. Coarsely chop 2 green onions; cut remaining 3 green onions into 2-inch-long pieces and reserve. In blender at high speed or in mini food processor, with sharp side of blade facing up, blend chopped green onions with jalapeño, ginger, vinegar, Worcestershire, thyme, allspice, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until blended, scraping down side of blender once. Transfer herb mixture to medium bowl; add chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly.
2. In small bowl, toss red pepper and green-onion pieces with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
3. On 4 long skewers, alternately thread chicken, red pepper, and green onions.
4. Place kabobs on grill over medium heat; brush with any remaining marinade. Grill kabobs 10 to 12 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with tip of knife.

Peking Chicken Wrap

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 2-inch by 1/4-inch sticks
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1. Stack tortillas and wrap in foil. In small bowl, mix honey, soy sauce, ginger, ground red pepper, and garlic until blended. Set aside tortillas and honey mixture.
2. Coat chicken with oil and place on grill over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes, turning over once. Brush chicken all over with honey mixture, and cook 5 to 7 minutes longer or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with tip of knife, turning over once.
3. While chicken is cooking, place foil-wrapped tortillas on same grill, and heat 3 to 5 minutes or until warm.
4. Transfer chicken to cutting board and thinly slice. Spread hoisin sauce on one side of tortillas; top with chicken, cucumber, and green onions, and roll up to serve.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grilled Shrimp with Garlic and Bedcrumbs

This is a simple dish that doesn't need much else.

2 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 C. olive oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 C. dried seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
16 10-12 inch wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Stir shrimp, oil and garlic in a large bowl to combine. Add breadcrumbs and parsley and toss until shrimp are evenly coated. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Thread shrimp on skewers, place on plate. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours. Prepare BBQ (medium high heat). Grill shrimp until just opaque in center and crumb coating begins to brown,
about 2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp skewers to platter.

Scampi Grilled Shrimp

This is a nice shrimp dish because the sauce isn't very heavy at all. A lot of lime juice, olive oil and garlic simply flavor these shrimp.

1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. lemon juice
3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. minced garlic
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 lb. raw, cleaned, shelled shrimp

In a plastic or glass bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Stir in the shrimp and marinate for 20-30 minutes. Preheat grill. Remove shrimp from the marinade, and thread onto skewers. Grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until done.

Hot and Spicy Grilled Shrimp

This is an easy dish to throw together with a whole lot of flavor!

1 large clove garlic
1 Tbs. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 wedges lemon, for garnish

Preheat grill for medium heat. In a small bowl, crush the garlic with the salt. Mix in cayenne pepper and paprika, and then stir in olive oil and lemon juice to form a paste. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with garlic paste until evenly coated. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve. They work great under the broiler, too.

Honey Grilled Shrimp

Very simple recipe with sticky-sweet flavor.

1 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 C. lime juice
1/2 C. Florida honey
1 tsp. white pepper


Thread shrimp evenly on wooden skewers. Combine remaining ingredients and brush on both sides of shrimp. Place shrimp on grill, 4-6 inches above coals that have lost their flame, have a red glow and a thin layer of white ash. Grill 2-3 minutes, then baste top sides with honey mixture. Turn shrimp and grill an additional 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Meal Planners-Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Add some bell peppers to the chicken breast and cook in olive oil. Once this is done place on top of some cooked rice and enjoy.

1 tsp. olive oil
4 (about 1 lb. total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 container (15 oz.) refrigerated marinara sauce
1/2 C. water
2 C. hot cooked white or brown rice

Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add sauce and water to skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in cooked rice.

Meal Planner- Cheesey Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken, cheese, and pasta...perfect for any occasion!

1 whole chicken
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, diced for easier melting
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion
2 stalks of celery
2 Tbs. butter
1 small jar of pimentos
1 small can of sliced black olives
12 oz. pkg. spaghetti

Boil chicken until cooked through. Remove chicken from water to cool (de-bone chicken when cool enough to handle). Boil spaghetti in chicken water. Sauté onions & celery in butter until onions are transparent. Add all ingredients together in a large bowl. Bake in a large casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with garlic bread & salad.

Meal Planner- Mexican Rice

For an extra spicy kick, add a chopped green chili after the rice has browned.

1 C. long grained Rice
3 Tbs. Oil
1 Onion, diced small
1 clove Garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 of an 8-oz. can Tomato Sauce, freeze remainder
2-1/4 C. Water or canned Chicken Broth

In a large skillet, brown rice in oil. Add the remaining ingredients, let simmer, covered, over low heat for 25 minutes or until tender. When done, transfer to an 8"x8" casserole dish. Top with 1-1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese. Microwave at high, right before serving, to melt cheese.

Meal Planner- Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Just as flavorful and filling as meat varieties, and good for you too!

1 can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree -- (28-oz.)
1 can chunky salsa -- (14 1/2-oz.)
1 can tomato paste -- (6-oz.)
2 cans black beans -- (15-oz.) rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernel corn -- (15 1/4-oz.) drained
1 can diced green chilies -- (4-oz.)
1 1/2 Tbs. ground cumin
l/2 tsp. garlic powder
5 corn tortillas
1 can sliced ripe olives -- (2 1/4-oz.) drained

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, salsa, tomato paste, beans, corn, green chilies, cumin, and garlic powder. Mix well. Ladle about 1 C. of this mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker; spread evenly. Top with 1 l/2 tortillas, cutting to fit as necessary. Spread on 1/3 of the remaining tomato mixture. Repeat these layers 2 more times, ending with the rest of the tomato mixture; spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle the sliced olives over all.
Cover and cook on the low heat setting about 5 hours. Serve hot

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring-Artichoke,Mushroom and Ham Tart

Artichoke, mushrooms and ham are delicious together in this delicoius tart.

1 3/4 C. sifted all-purpose flour
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 C. butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs. olive oil
8 ozs. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 ozs. Parma ham
1 (4-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
7/8 C. crème fraiche
4 eggs
1 tsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 C. milk
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place flour, parmesan cheese, butter, and a pinch of salt in food processor. Process briefly. Add the egg and 1 tablespoon oil through feeder tube, adding extra oil if necessary; you should be able to bring the dough together in your hands. Wrap in plastic, and chill for 1 hour. Roll out to fit a 9-inch quiche pan with a loose bottom. Prick all over. Chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Line pastry with foil, and cover bottom with uncooked beans to weight it. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans, and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove and cool. Sauté mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Lay ham over the pastry base, and top with mushrooms and artichokes. Beat together crème fraiche, eggs, parsley, and milk. Season well with black pepper and salt; pour mixture over the ham and vegetables. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 6 servings.

Spring - Artichoke Wonton Bites

If you like hot, cheesy artichoke dip, you'll love this treat. They're a bit neater to disperse and eat at a gathering and are sure to please everyone.

1 C. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 14 oz. can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 12 oz. package wonton wrappers

In a small mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, onion powder and garlic powder, mix well. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and the chopped artichokes; set aside.

Coat one side of each wonton wrapper with non-stick cooking spray; press greased side down into miniature muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Watch carefully to prevent over-browning. Fill each cup with 1 Tbs. artichoke mixture. Bake 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

One Pot Alfredo Pasta

This is a creamy dish where everyone wins - even the dishwasher!

12 oz. linguini
2 C. fresh broccoli florets
1 C. 1" pieces fresh asparagus (can use frozen)
2 C. sliced zucchini
1/2 C. snow peas
1/2 C. frozen peas
3/4 C. Half & Half
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese
3 tsp. butter
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp. pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguini and boil for 7 minutes. Gradually add broccoli and asparagus and cook 2 minutes. Gradually add in zucchini, snow peas, frozen peas and cook for 3 more minutes. In large bowl put Half & Half, Parmesan, butter and salt and pepper. Drain pasta and vegetables well. Toss to coat with cream mixture. Serve at once.

One Pot Summer Harvest

This easy dish is full of flavor from potatoes, apples, chicken breast and onions.

4 medium potatoes, sliced 1/3-inch thick
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
2 Tbs. cooking oil
1 red apple, cored and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
1 Tbs. honey
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/3 C. sliced green onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Place potatoes in a shallow, 1 1/2 quart, microwave safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap, venting one corner. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes until just tender. While potatoes cook, toss and brown chicken in oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Add apple and toss 2 minutes. Add potatoes, toss about 5 minutes until potatoes are lightly browned. In small bowl, mix vinegar, honey and mustard; drizzle over contents of skillet. Add green onions. Toss 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

One Pot Spaghetti

Use your pressure cooker to speed up the process and have your spaghetti dinner ready in no time.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. hamburger
1 C. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 C. dry red wine
1 C. water
1 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat pressure cooker and add oil. Lightly brown hamburger, onion and garlic, stirring occasionally to separate meat. Add all remaining ingredients except cheese. Toss uncooked pasta in liquid so it separates (if spaghetti is too long, break strands in half before adding). Close cover securely. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe and cook 7 minutes for well-done spaghetti, 6 minutes for al dente. Cool cooker immediately. Stir cheese into mixture before serving.

One Pot Meatball and Gnocchi Soup

The combination of the herbs and red wine make for such a bountiful and refreshing dish. Opting for the turkey products is a very figure-friendly choice and using the lemon juice and zest in the meatballs also brings such a light zing to your mouth.

2 Tbs. olive oil
4 pieces turkey bacon, diced
4 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks (with leafy parts), chopped
1/2 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, roasted
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs. fresh thyme, minced
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 C. red wine, preferably cabernet
1 lg. can diced tomatoes(with liquid)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 C. gnocchi, store-bought or hand-made
4 C. chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C. fresh parsley, minced

meatball recipe
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
1 Tbs. fresh thyme, minced
1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese
1 lemon, juiced and zested


Combine ingredients for the meatball mixture and set aside. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel, set aside. Next add the carrots, celery, onion, roasted garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme and rosemary and let cook another 5-7 minutes.

Deglaze pan with red wine and let cook for 1 minute before adding the canned tomatoes, garbanzo beans, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and begin forming meatballs and dropping them into the soup. Also add the gnocchi and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, until both meatballs and gnocchi are floating to the top. Return bacon to the soup and garnish with fresh parsley just before serving.

One Pot Skillet Dinner

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. water
1 can (16 oz.) undrained stewed tomatoes
1 C. uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni)
1 envelope vegetable soup mix

Brown the beef and drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until pasta is done.

One Pot Tuna Casserole

With noodles, vegetables, and onion flavoring, this tuna casserole is a complete meal.

1 Env. Golden Onion Soup Mix
1 1/2 C. Milk
10 oz. Frozen Peas & Carrots *
8 oz. Medium Egg Noodles **
6 1/2 oz. Tuna, Drained & Flaked
2 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Frozen Peas & Carrots should be thawed. Egg Noodles should be cooked and drained. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, blend golden onion recipe soup mix with milk; stir in peas & carrots, cooked noodles and tuna. Turn into greased 2-quart oblong baking dish, then top with cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbling

One Pot Chicken and Gravy

This is a great crockpot recipe for anyone who loves the taste of cream of chicken soup.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Potatoes, quartered, with jackets
About 6 stalks celery
1/2 package baby carrots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package dry onion soup mix

Place vegetables on bottom of crockpot. Brown chicken breasts in PAM or vegetable spray. Place over vegetables. Cover with the cream of chicken soup, undiluted. Sprinkle with dry onion soup mix. Do not add water. Cover and cook all day on low or 6 hours on high.