Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken Alfredo Lasagne

9 lasagne noodles
1 1/2 lb. cooked chicken
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup
1/2 C. sour cream
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped - optional
1 3/4 C. mozzarella or provolone cheese
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
3 T. parsley

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook lasagne noodles according to directions on package. In a medium skillet, sautee garlic in olive oil, stir in alfredo sauce, chicken, bell pepper, sour cream, and cream of mushroom soup (undiluted). Cook over medium-low for 5-7 minutes, til mixture is just heated through.

Grease a 13x9" baking dish and lay down 3 lasagne noodles. Top with alfredo sauce mixture, then cheese. Repeat layering, ending with cheese. Top with parmesan and parsley.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lasagne is heated through.

Yields 8-10 servings

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rice with Stir-Fried Veggies

2 C. white rice, uncooked
3 1/2 C. water
1 T. parsley
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. teriyaki
1 medium yellow onion, chopped and divided in half
3 cloves garlic, or 2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. minced ginger
1 medium-large bell pepper, any color, chopped
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, any variety, sliced thin
3 tsp. oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large, shallow skillet, add 2 tsp. oil and heat over medium high. Once oil is hot, add garlic, half of the onion, ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add rice and toast til rice is opaque, about 3-5 minutes. Add water, parsley, soy, and teriyaki. Brign to a boil, cover and simmer on medium-low for 13-15 minutes.

In a medium skillet, and remaining oil, mushroom, bell pepper, onion, pinch of ginger, salt and pepper. Saute over medium-high for 7-10 minutes, or til veggies are fork-tender.

When veggies are cooked, during last 2-3 minutes of rice cooking, fold stir fried veggies in, and finish cooking. Garnish with additional parsley if desired.

Yields = 6-8 servings

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pear Ginger Crisp

4-5 large Bosc pears
3 T. grated gingerroot
1 1/4 C. brown sugar
3 T. margarine, very cold
1 1/2 C. oats
2/3 C. flour

Peel and thinly slice the pears. Toss pears with ginger, 1/3 C. flour, and 1/4 C. brown sugar and aplce in a greased 8x8" pan.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, cutting margarine through the mixture until mixture consistency is of fine crumbles. Sprinkle the topping over the pears.

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until pears are fork tender and mixture is golden brown on top.

Yields = 8-12 servings

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ginger Pork StirFry

3 lb. pork roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
3 large dry white onions
4 T. minced gingerroot
3 medium to large bell peppers, assorted colors
1 bunch green onions
2 C. shredded carrot
2 cans straw mushrooms

Cut onion into slices. Cut the bell peppers into julienned trips. Drain liquid from the straw mushrooms.

Season pork with salt and pepper.

Add 2 T. oil to a large, shallow skillet over high heat. Add onion, gingerroot, and pepper to skillet, sautee until partially cooked. Add all remaining ingredients except green onion and carrot. Cook over high to medium high heat for 6-10 minues, until pork is cooked and veggies are fork tender. Add green onion and carrot just before servings, stir well.

Serve over white rice.

Yields = 4-6 servings

Variation idea:
Use chicken or beef in place of the pork.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Indonesian Garlic Chicken

3 lbs. chicken, bone-in or 2.5 lbs. boneless
1 C. honey
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 T. minced gingerroot
salt & pepper
1 small bunch cilantro

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Whisk together honey, garlic, and ginger. Add to crockpot chicken and honey mixture. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, low for 6-8 hours. Serve over fried rice.

BBQ Pork Fried Rice

1 1/2 C, pork ribs, shredded or diced
1/4 C. BBQ sauce, any variety
2 tsp. veggie or canola oil
2 C. cooked white rice (leftover rice works great for this)
2 large eggs, slightly scrambled
1 C. peas, canned (drained) or frozen (thawed)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 C. soy sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 T. minced gingerroot
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Toss shredded pork with BBQ sauce.

Add oil to a large, skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add onion and cook until translucent. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
Add egg and scramble quickly. When egg is half cooked, add all remaining ingredients and cook over medium-high to high heat for 12-15 minutes, stirring to mix, the stir occasionally and heat through. Rice should be golden, and mixture should be hot.

Yield = 6-8 servings

Maple Glazed Ginger Pork Chops

1/2 C. maple syrup
4 T. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. gingerroot, minced
4 bone-in pork chops (boneless works fine, too)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, ginger, and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Drizzled half the mixture over chops and let marinade for 15 minutes to 2 hours.

In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tsp. oil. Once oil is how, add pork chops and sear 2-3 minutes on each side. Cut heat down to a medium-low and cook 6-9 minutes per side, until pork chops are cooked through. Drizzle with remaining marinade.

Serve with salad and baked potato.

Yields = 4 servings.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sweet and Tangy Chicken Strips

2 large chicken breasts, cut in half, then into strips
1/4 orange bell pepper
1/4 C. honey
1 T. olive oil
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a medium mixing bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat well.

Over medium-high heat, spray a skillet with cooking spray, and add chicken. Cook over medium-high for 6-8 minutes, turning chicken over as it browns. Chicken is done when juices run clear and is golden brown.

Yields = 4-5 servings.

Italian Sausage Burgers

1 lb. Italian sausage
1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 T. fennel seed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 medium onion, minced
1/4 C. Italian style bread crumbs
1 T. oregano
1/4 C. parmesan
6 slices provolone or mozzarella
6 rolls or buns, toasted

In a large mixing bowl, combine sausage, turkey, fennel seed, garlic, onion, bread crumbs, oregano, and parmesan. Using the side of your hand, score mixture into 6 equal portions. Shape into patties.

Add 3 patties to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, burgers are done when juices run clear and burger is no longer pink in the middle. Add cheese, let set for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.

Top with marinara.

Yield = 6 burgers

In the mood for meatballs? Add 1 egg and 2 T. milk to meat mixture. Use nice crusty french rolls and some marinara and build yourself a meatball sammie!

For an appetizer - form meat mixture into balls, slightly flatten in the middle and fry until fully cooked. Serve over small buns for Italian Burger Shooters!

Veggie Fried Rice

1 T. oil
2 C. rice
1/2 C. lemon pepper marinade
3 1/4 C. hot water
1 T. parsley
1 T. dry minced onion
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, any variety
1/2 large onion, any variety
1 large or 2 medium bell peppers, any variety
1 C. peas, fresh or frozen
1 C. shredded carrot
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 large eggs, slightly scrambled
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper

In a large, skillet, add 1 T. oil and heat over medium-high. Add rice and toast - 3-4 minutes, or until rice is opaque. Add marinade, water, parsley, and dry minced onion. Simmer covered for 12-16 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed into rice. Rice should be cooked but firm. Remove rice from the skillet and let set, uncovered for 30 minutes, (longer is better, but if you don't have too much time, 30 minutes will do.)

Slice mushrooms thin. Finely dice pepper and onion.

Add 1 tsp. oil to pan. Add mushrooms, pepper, and onion along with garlic to pan, cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or til veggies are partially cooked. Add scrambled egg and seasonings along with peas, carrots, and rice. Cook together for 10-13 minutes, until rice is lightly browned, egg and veggies are fulled cooked and mixture is heated through.

Yields = 4-6 servings

* This is a great weeknight dinner on its own! Or serve with your favorite Chinese dish!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Honey Pepper Chicken Stirfry

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 bell peppers, red and orange, preferrably
1/2 C. orange juice
3/4 C. honey
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. parsley, for garnish
Salt & pepper

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Finely chop bell peppers and onion. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add juice, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and chili powder. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and add to marinade mixture. Let marinade for 1 hour.

Add 1-2 T. oil (not olive oil) to a large, shallow skillet or wok over high heat. Add peppers and onion.

Add chicken and marinade to pan and cook over high for 3-5 minutes, turning over to brown on both sides. Cook an additional 4-8 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.

Top with parsley.

Serve over white or fried rice.

For some easy variations:
1. Use beef or pork instead of the chicken
2. Add broccoli, bean sprouts, mushrooms (any variety), shredded carrot, or your favorite/seasonal veggie
3. Substitute apple juice with 2 T. soy sauce instead of orange juice
4. Add 1/3 C. BBQ sauce into marinade mixture
5. For some extra heat, add 1/2 tsp. Tabasco or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Yields = 4 servings.

Creamy Cheddar Garlic Mashed Potatoes

3 to 3 1/2 lbs. red potatoes
1/2 C. sour cream, light
3-4 T. margarine or butter - cut into chunks
3/4 - 1 1/4 C. nonfat milk (powdered milk works great for this)
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, sharp as you like
1/4 C. parmesan
2 cloves garlic crushed or 1/2 tsp. garlic juice
2 tsp. salt

Cut potatoes, skin on, into even sized pieces, the smaller you cut them, the quicker they will cook.

In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt. Add potatoes and boil until fork tender.

In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, garlic, parmesan, cheddar, 1/2 of each sour cream, margarine, milk, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30-60 seconds, add more salt, margarine, milk, and sour cream to taste.

Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yields = 6-8 servings

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rustic Stuffed Mushrooms

For all you mushroom lovers out there - this is a great way to throw together a classic appetizer in a matter ofm inutes. With only 5 minutes of prep time and a few basic ingredients, you'll wonder why you've never made these before!

12-16 medium-sized white button mushrooms
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1-2 T. minced garlic (use 2 if you like strong garlic flavor)
2/3 C. sour cream, light
1/4 C. ground turkey, beef, or chicken - browned (I use leftover ground turkey)
1/4 C. parmesan
1 T. parsley
1 tsp. onion powder
fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients except mushrooms in a small mixing bowl, stir until well combined. Rinse and dry mushrooms, fill with mixture, top with additional parmesan, if desired, and place in a greased oven safe baking dish.

Bake at 400 for 15-17 minutes.
Serve hot with marinara for dipping sauce.

Yields = 5-6 servings

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chicken & Mushroom Rice

1 1/2 C. white rice
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, thin sliced
1 C. chicken, cooked and shredded
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
2 3/4 C. hot water
3 T. minced onion
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced (optional)
1 T. oil

Add oil and onion to a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, and sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add rice, cook for 4-6 minutes, until rice is opaque and slightly golden.
Add bouillon cubed to water, add to pan when rice is toasted. Stir in chicken and teriyaki. Bring to a boil and cook covered for 13-16 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is fully cooked.

Yields = 5-6 servings

Parmesan, Sour Cream, and Chive Mashed Potatoes

4 lbs. potatoes, red or Idahoan
1 - 1 1/2 C. fat-free milk
4-6 oz. sour cream (light)
3-4 T. margarine
2/3 C. parmesan
2 tsp. salt
3-4 T. chives

Cut potatoes into 3" chunks and cover completely with water. Bring water to a boil, cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Potatoes are done when fork tender.
Tranfer from pot immediately to a large mixing bowl and mix on low, adding milk, margarine, parmesan, salt, and sour cream slowly, until potatoes reach desired consistency and flavor. Top with chives before serving.

Serves = 5-6

Triple Cheese and Chicken Dip

4 oz. each swiss, cheddar, and monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 orange bell pepper, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
4-6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped

In a medium, oven safe dish, combine all ingredients except green onions. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with green onion and serve with tortilla chips, bagel chips, or toast wedges.

Serves = 4-8

Yankee Remoulade

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C. Mayo (light or fat free)
2 T. lemon juice concentrate
2 T. mustard
1 T. horseradish
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1/8 C. green onions, finely chopped
2 T. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 T. minced garlic
Dash of Tabasco, more to taste if you prefer it spicy

Whisk together in a bowl until well blended or puree in blender til smooth. Chill before serving. Store in airtight container in refrigerator, will hold for up to 1 week.
Serve over grilled chicken, shrimp, fish, or seafood or on the side as a dipping sauce.

Yields = 4-6 servings

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chicken & Roasted Veggies

Love the smell of roasting chicken? How about roasted veggies? This one-dish dinner has everything: chicken, potatoes, onions, peppers, and it's all infused with the rich flavor of garlic. Great comfort food and perfect for entertaining, this dish is heaven on a budget!

3.5 lbs. chicken, bone-in, skin removed
3 T. minced garlic
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 large red bell pepper, julienned
1 1/2 lbs. Idaho potatoes
salt and pepper
olive oil

Drizzle 1 T. oil in bottom of a 13x9" baking dish. Cut potatoes into thin wedges. Add potato to baking dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to baking dish and top with bell pepper, garlic, and onion. Drizzle with 1-2 T. olive oil.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Chicken with be fully cooked and juices run clear when dish is ready.
Serves = 4-5

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken and Pepper Spread

I love the combination of chicken with red bell peppers, though orange and yellow work fine, too. I am gearing up for a party next month - inviting everyone over for appetizers, drinks (non-alcoholic, of course), and dessert. I adore finger food, and have been looking for some budget friendly alternatives to high-priced dips and spreads found in the grocery store. That, and I'm allergic to paying $5-$7 a jar for salsa.
With some simple (read, inexpensive) items to dip, tis party is sure to be a smash hit!

1 lb. cooked chicken, rough chopped
1 large or 2 small-medium red bell peppers, roasted
1 small clove garlic
1/4 medium onion
4 oz. cream cheese, fat free or light
4 oz. sour cream, light (fat-free tastes funny)
pinch of salt

In food processor, add chicken, peppers, garlic, and onion. Pulse until mixture is finely ground. Add salt to taste.

Fold sour cream and cream cheese together, add chicken mixture, folding ingredients together to combine.

Refrigerate immediately and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve with unbuttered toast triangles, wheat crackers, pretzels, corn chips, or tortilla chips.
This also works as a nice spread for a hard roll or on toast.

Yields = 8-12 servings.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

White Chocolate Bars

1 pkg. vanilla or white cake mix
2 eggs, minus 1 yolk
1/4 C. apple sauce, unsweetened
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. milk, fat free
1 tsp. chocolate extract
1 pkg. white chocolate pudding mix, optional
1 1/2 C. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 13x9" bakikng dish.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing until well combined.
Spread in prepared pan. Mixture will be thick. Sprinkle with whie chocolate chips or shavings, if desired.

Bake for 25-27 minutes. Bars are ready when the center is set and top is lightly golden.
Cool and cut.

Raspberry Honey Sauce

For a simple vanilla ice cream, over decadent brownies, or as a dip for crunchy almond biscotti, this simple sauce has tons of flavor, and freezes well. I like to make a big batch every few months and use it in a pinch when I don't have time to make a from-scratch dessert. But with this sauce, you can take all the credit for a luscious, scrumptious dessert that guests and family are sure to love.

1 pint raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a small sauce pan, add all ingredients and bring to a simmer on a low heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve hot over ice cream, pound cake, or brownies. Serve room temperature as a dip for crunchy cookies like butter cookies, wafer cookies, sweet pretzels, biscotti, or cinnamon-apple chips.

Serves 12-16 (2-3 T. servings)

Serving idea: Serve over White Chocolate Bars.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Quattro Veggie Dip

1 large red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
1 C. shredded carrot
1 C. fresh spinach, chopped fine
2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. oregano
4 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
6 oz. light sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

Peel onion and garlic, place on baking sheet with bell pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or til pepper is blackened.
Remove pepper from baking sheet to a paper bag, close tightly to let the pepper steam. After 10 minutes, remove pepper from skin, chop fine. Add garlic, onion, and spinach to food processor, pulse til mixture is chopped finely, or chop by hand until pieces are chopped fine and uniform in size.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except 1 tsp. parsley, reserve for garnish.
Serve with cucumber slices, carrot and celery sticks, wheat crackers, and small wedges of toasted bread. Add cheese cubes for a perfect party tray.

Yields = 16-20 servings

Friday, October 2, 2009

Smoky Southwestern Dip

16 oz. light sour cream
4 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1 each orange and red bell pepper, roasted
1 clove garlic, roasted and crushed
1/2 medium red onion
4-6 sun dried tomatoes, rinsed
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2-3 dashes Tabasco

Finely chop onion, peppers, and sun dried tomatoes. Mix well sour cream and cream cheese. Stir in all ingredients except salt and pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yields = 10-14 servings
Top with green onion or shredded cheese before serving, if desired.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Garlic Salsa

For all you garlic lovers out there, this wild and mild salsa is a great alternative to the bland, boring store-bought salsa. And with so few ingredients, it's a snap to make!

2 cans diced tomatoes, drain one can (14 oz.)
1 medium red onion, quartered
3-4 cloves garlic
handful of cilantro
1/2 red or orange bell pepper
lime juice

Add 1 can of diced tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, onion, bell pepper, and the juice of one lime to the food processor. Pulse 3-4 times, until mixture is chunky and combined. Add remainin tomatoes, pulse one more time.

Empty contents into a serving bowl, add salt, and additional lime juice, if necessary.

Yields = 3 1/2 C. salsa

Cheesy Bean Dip

2 cans refried beans, fat free
8 oz. Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1 1/2 C. salsa, any variety
1/4 medium onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small bunch cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425.

In a oven safe dish, combine beans, cheese, salsa, onion, and garlic. Mix until well combined.
Top with additional cheese, if desired.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until mixture is heated through and cheese on top has melted.

Serve hot with tortilla or corn chips.

Serves: 8-10

Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese Dip

This dip featured the bright, bold sweetness of the red bell pepper paaired against the creaminess of provolone and the tang of cheddar. Great with wheat crackers, bagel chips, or toasted Italian bread rounds - this is a great opener for a rustic Italian feast.

1 large red bell pepper
1 clove garlic
4 oz. each provolone, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella shredded
1/8 C. parmesan
2 T. parsley
1/8 C. bread crumbs (plain or Italian-style)

Preheat oven to 425.

On a baking sheet, place garlic and pepper. Place in oven immediately, remove after 10-15 minutes. Place in fridge to cool fast.

In a medium, oven safe dish, combine cheeses. Crush garlic and chop pepper finely. Add to cheese mixture. In a small bowl, combine parsley, parmesan, and bread crumbs.
Sprinkle evenly on top of cheese mixture.

Bake for 8-13 minutes, until cheese is melted and topping is lightly golden.

Serve hot.
Yields = 8-10 servings


This 5 minute favorite is a snap for entertaining. With a few basic ingredients, you'll have a great dip for chips, crackers, pretzels, toast, veggies, and more!

6 T. imitation bacon bits
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 sun dried tomatoes, rinsed, dried, and finely chopped
1/4 small sweet onion, chopped fine
6 oz. light sour cream
3 oz. light or fat free cream cheese
2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, stir until all ingredients are well combined. Chill or serve immediately.

Yields = 10-12 servings

Tuscan Garlic Dip

6 oz. light cream cheese
6 oz. light sour cream
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped (for stronger flavor, roast the pepper first)
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp oregano

In a medium-sized bowl, mix well all ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Garnish with small bay leaves if desired.

Serve with Italian bread (toasted), veggies, or crackers.

Yields = 12-14 servings (1 1/2 T. each)