Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday: Baked Chicken Chile Rellenos

This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker cookbook, a staple that has been in my kitchen since I graduated from college and had my very own tiny studio apartment.

What you will need:
Chicken breast (I sliced three large ones in half, making six).
1/3 cup flour
3 Tbs cornmeal
pinch of red pepper
1 egg
1 (4oz) can of green chile peppers
Cheese (Betty Crocker says Monterrey Jack, but I used cheddar)

What to do:
1. Using a meat mallet pound your chicken out until it is thin. You are going to be rolling it up, so it needs to thin enough to manage easily. I let my three year old have at this for a while.
2. In a bowl mix your flour, corn meal, and red pepper. Stir together.
3. In another bowl beat your egg.
4. Open those chiles!
5. On the edge of your chicken add the chiles. I just put a nice heaping spoonful.
6. Then add your cheese. I used shredded. Next time I make this I will use a block of cheese so that it makes less of a mess and is easier to roll.
7. Roll it up and secure with a toothpick (or two!)
8. Next, dunk the entire thing into the egg and then into the flour. Repeat for all of your rellenos.
Sprinkle a little cheese on top of them and bake them!
9. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through at 375.
Pour some salsa on the top and a bit of cilantro. Enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday: Flat Bread Pizza

So, Mommy was heading out of town and the boys needed an easy dinner. Here is what we came up with!

What you will need:
Pizza sauce or marinara of some kind (we actually just used a jar of Ragu!)
Whole-wheat flat bread
Mozzarella Cheese
Green Pepper and Black Olives (or the veggie of your choice)

What to do:
Simply make your own pizza by toasting your flat bread and loading it up with the good stuff.
Dab on a bit of sauce, your veggies and the cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy your easy breezy Friday night!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zucchini Cake

What do you do with leftover ZUCCHINI because you just make the zucchini tomato pasta I posted about five minutes ago.....?

You bake baby, you bake.

Look at these pictures. Slobber on yourself. Then go and make this cake.

What you will need:
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (can Use All White Flour If You Don't Have This)
  • 1-¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg, To Taste (1/4 To 1/2 Tsp?), Optional
  • 1 Pinch Ginger (about 1/16 Tsp Or So), Optional
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Grated (unpeeled) Zucchini
  • 1 (20 Oz.) Can Crushed Pineapple In Juice, Drained (reserve In Case You Need It For The Cake Batter Or The Frosting)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 8 Ounces Low-fat Cream Cheese, Softened (can Use Full-fat Cream Cheese)
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar, Approx.
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • Splash Of Milk Or Pineapple Juice, If Necessary
What to do:

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated zucchini, and pineapple into flour mixture. Batter will be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. If it still seems too dry, just add a little splash of the pineapple juice.

Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 33-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Add a splash of milk or pineapple juice if necessary. Spread frosting over top of cake. You can garnish with chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.

This recipe came straight from The Pioneers Woman's Tasty Kitchen website.
Please visit it here!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thursday: Zucchini and Tomato Pasta

Whoa, Nelly! Talk about simple and healthy....this here pasta is a hit!

What you will need:
Whole-Wheat pasta
Lemon Juice
Parmesean Cheese

What to do:

1. Dice up those tomatoes nicely and stick them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bit of parmesean cheese.

2. Now, stick it into the oven and roast those bad boys for about 15 minutes!

3. Meanwhile, boil your pasta al dente. (about 12 minutes). Drain and set aside.

4. In another bowl add two small shredded zucchini (mine were frozen and pre-shredded from the garden this past summer!). Toss in another good handful of cheese and two table spoons of lemon juice.

5. Add in the tomatoes and the pasta. Stir.

6. Eat with one your best buddies (Sarah from The Frugal Table) and think of summer.....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesday: Beef and Barley Soup

Here is another way to use barley! I love it. I love barley. More than girl scout cookies. Yep, my love for barley runs deep. MMMMmmmm.......

What you will need:

1 pound beef brisket, London broil, stew meat, or chuck roast, cut into small cubes
Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound small mushrooms, chopped up small (if serving kiddos!)
6 cups water or beef broth (I did one can beef broth and five cups water)
1/2 cup uncooked pearled barley
1 bay leaf
3 large carrots cut up
3 ribs celery cut up

What to do:

1. First, heat your olive oil in a large pot and add your meat. You can have it pre-cut up or leave it whole and then cut it. Brown it on all sides. Chop your mushroom and onion up. I cut up the mushroom so that my son will eat it as he will not eat whole mushrooms yet. Saute the mushrooms and onions with the meat.

2. Add your water and beef broth. I actually put this into a crock pot and let it simmer all day. You could do this or cook it for a shorter period in a large pot on the stove top.

3. Cut up your celery and carrots. Add them (and the bay leaf) to your crock or pot.
Aren't they pretty??

4. Now, add in your barley. A little bit goes a long way. 1/2 cup is a good filling amount!

5. Cut up your meat and toss it in.

6. If you are cooking this in a crock pot simply let is simmer all afternoon until the meat is soft and tender. If you are cooking it on the stove let it simmer for an hour or until your meat is cooked through.

and the finished product.........

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tuesday: Grapefruit and Avacado Salad

This is a colorful dish. Easy, delicious, and healthy. My three year old loves this salad!

What you need:
avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
small red onion, thinly sliced (use to taste, I would not put in a whole one).
dressing of choice
olive oil
chicken (optional)

What to do:
1. Cut up your grapefruit. Make sure to take all that white pith off of it. It won't be good in the salad with it. If you are serving younger children you might want to cut the grapefruit pretty small.
2. Peel and chop your avocado. (I think this is the worlds best food!)
3. Peel and chop just a bit of red onion.
4. Mix together and serve with grilled chicken breasts (optional) and your dressing.

We ate our salad with home made apple sauce and freshly made wheat rolls.

Monday: Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

My first little darling is Ethiopian born. I lived in Ethiopia for several months while he was a little dude and grew very fond of the food. I found this recipe on the Whole Foods Market website. While it is a very good meal, I would not say it actually tastes like Ethiopian food. However, it is a good stew and close enough to Ethiopian food that it would be a great way to introduce this vibrant culture into your home.

I used actual BERBERE in my recipe which is a very popular Ethiopian spice. It can be purchased at specialty stores or mimiked fairly easily.

What you need:
~Berbere OR mix together the following: paprika, salt, allspice, pepper, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cayenne, and ginger.
Real berbere is spicy and a bit hot to the taste. It is delicious!
~2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I do not use canned. I boil my own. This works fine too!)
~3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
~2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
~1 medium red onion, chopped
~1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
~1 quart vegetable broth
~1 pound red potatoes, white potatoes, or sweet potatoes (your choice!)
~4 carrots

What to do:

1. If you are making your own berbere, go ahead and mix your spices together. Set aside.
2. Place your chickpeas onto a large baking sheet along with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast them for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.
3. While the chickpeas are roasting to a golden brown add olive oil to a pan on the stove. Add the garlic and onion, stirring, until the onion is very soft.
4. Add the berbere.
5. Add the tomato sauce. Mix it all together really well.
6. Take your chopped potato, carrots, and those yummy chickpeas and add them into the pot.
7. Simmer until all the vegetables are tender.

Serve with INJERA (made with teff flour, still can not made good injera despite multiple tries) or some nice flat bread.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tasty Green Meal Plan

The warm weather has lifted spirits in my house. Thus, I ventured out this week to make new recipes while still focusing on introducing grains and vegetarian dishes to my boys.
I even turned off the heat and opened a window, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (big sigh of relief....spring is near!)

Monday~ Ethiopian Chickpea Stew ( Made especially for my own darling Ethiopian born son.)
Tuesday~ Grapefruit and Avocado Salad (with grilled chicken)
Wednesday~ Beef and Barley Soup
Thursday~Tomato Zucchini Pasta
Friday~Chicken Chile Rellenos
Saturday~ Pizza Sandwiches

Extra: Homemade Quinoa Cheese Crackers