Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Fresh Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Fresh Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

Serves 4.

A delicious meal, and fairly easy considering the presentation.
Adapted from: Coach Shelly Heim: Eating Clean and Staying Fit

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half1/2 red onion, thinly sliced1 cup fresh basil, chopped1 tablespoon olive oil4 – 5 garlic cloves
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar1/4 cup water

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish that has been coated with nonstick spray and season with salt and pepper. Top with tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, red onion, and basil.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, water; pour over chicken.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Serves 4.

Shown here with Parmesan Oven Fries, these chicken fingers were so so good.  We all LOVED them. I really need to make a batch and freeze them (to replace the store-bought chicken nuggets), but each time I make them, we just want to eat them!
Source: Betty Crocker

2/3 c. Bisquick mix
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt or garlic salt
1/2 t. paprika
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2" strips
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 T. butter, melted (I omitted this)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

Mix Bisquick, cheese, salt, and paprika in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag.  Dip the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture.  Seal bag; shake to coat.  Place chicken on cookie sheet.  Drizzle butter over chicken (if using).

Bake 12-14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in the center.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Gyro Burger Pitas

Gyro Burger Pitas

Serves 4.

These were fun, and different than our normal line-up for meals.  Both The Mr. and I both really enjoyed the change.  
Source: Our Best Bites

1 lb. lean ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dry onion
1 Tbsp. Dijon or coarse grain mustard
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. rosemary, dry or fresh and chopped

Tzatziki sauce
4 pitas or 6″ rounds of flatbread 
Fresh tomato and thin onion slices

Gently combine lamb, garlic, onion, mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, oregano, and rosemary with your hands and shape into 4 oblong patties. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place on pitas or flatbread and add onions, tomatoes, and Tzatziki. Fold like a taco and serve immediately. For easy serving and clean-up, wrap in aluminum foil.

I sauted my onion slices instead of using fresh.  Use whichever is your preference!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chewy and Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy and Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen.

Cornstarch is the "secret ingredient" in this recipe, and I must say, it really does make a difference!  These cookies came out tall and fluffy (but still moist, dense, and chewy) just like the blogger said they would.
Source: Apple a Day

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.

Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)

Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Balsamic and Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic and Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6.

A delicious pork tenderloin recipe!  And so easy!  You probably have everything needed for the marinade already on hand.
Source: Kitchen Confidante

4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2-1/2 t. coarse salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
2 T. olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1-1/4 lbs. each)
2 T. canola oil (if preparing in the oven)

Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl.  Marinate in a large bag overnight, or for the majority of the day.

Grill preparation:
Sear the tenderloins on all sides, then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Oven preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat canola oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat.  Working in batches if necessary, add pork and brown all over, about 4 minutes.  (I skip this part and it still turns out fine, but won't have the crusted edges.  If you choose to skip it, you will need to increase baking time a bit.)

Transfer pork to oven.  Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes.  Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dinner in a Flash

Dinner in a Flash

Serves 3-4.

This is not a "clean eating" dinner.  It's nothing fancy.  It's not something I'd want to eat every night.  But it's super easy.  And it kinda resembles a homemade meal.  And it tastes good too.  If your other option is fast food, maybe this will be appealing?

4 chicken breasts
1 c. mayo
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine mayo and cheese, and spread on top of chicken that has been placed in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray.  Bake for 45-60 minutes until cooked through.

Knorr's Italian Sides Creamy Garlic Shells

Birds Eye Green Beans and Spaetzle in a Bavarian-style Sauce -- in the freezer section

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Makes about 20 bars.

Delicious and gooey and rich and dense.  It's hard to stop eating these!  The original recipe calls for 100% chocolate chunks, but I opted to use white chocolate chips for half.
Slightly adapted from: Ina Garten

2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (I used 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1-1/2 c. chopped walnuts, optional
1-1/4 lbs. semisweet chocolate chunks (or a combo of white and dark)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 13x9 baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.  Then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour mixture.  Do not beat.  Fold in walnuts and chocolate.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Do not overbake!  A toothpick may not come out clean; that's okay.  Cool completely in the pan and then cut into bars.