Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Speedy Skillet Chicken

This recipe is fast, delicious and healthy.  I like to serve the chicken with a side of couscous or rice and a vegetable.  For the couscous or rice, I love all varieties of the Near East brand.  If I am really in a hurry, the couscous cooks in just 5 minutes!     

Speedy Skillet Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ T olive oil
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
½ t paprika
½ t poultry seasoning
½ t freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in skillet on medium-high heat.  Sprinkle half of the spices on each side of the chicken.  Cook chicken in heated skillet about 5 minutes* per side or until juices run clear.  Serves 4

* I like to use the thin sliced chicken breasts.  They cook faster and are in smaller portions which help stretch out the meal a little.  Depending on the thickness of the chicken, you may need to increase the cook time. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spicy Shrimp Spaghetti

This recipe is my adaptation of a Rachel Ray recipe.  I use very similar ingredients but cut out several steps to make preparation faster.  This is the best shrimp pasta I have found.  It is packed with flavor and has less fat that most other shrimp pasta recipes.  Enjoy!

Spicy Shrimp Spaghetti
This recipe was adapted from Rachel Ray’s Spicy Shrimp and Spaghetti Aglio Olio(Garlic and Oil).

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T olive oil
10 cloves minced garlic
2 oz tin anchovy fillets
1 lemon, juiced
½ c chopped flat leaf parsley
½ - 1 t seasoned salt
¼ - ½ t cayenne pepper
1 pounds spaghetti*

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, start cooking shrimp.  Rinse and drain shrimp.  Set shrimp aside.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  Add garlic and anchovy, stirring frequently until garlic is golden and the anchovy has broken down.  Add shrimp, lemon, parsley, salt and cayenne pepper.  Cook stirring frequently until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.  Add cooked and drained pasta.  Toss to coat. 4-6 servings
*Gluten-free pasta can be used in this recipe.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Steamed Broccoli with Parmesan Cheese

Most of my vegetable recipes are pretty simple.  So, I hesitate to share them.  But then I remember how easy it is to get stuck in a vegetable rut.  Sometimes, I feel like we eat the same vegetables over and over.  So, maybe sharing them will give you some fresh ideas and help me come up with more!

If you don't already have one, I would suggest getting a vegetable steamer.  Steaming is my favorite way to prepare broccoli.  I also use my steamer to tenderize tougher vegetables before adding them to recipes.  To steam broccoli, I actually use a sauce pan with lid that came with steamer and double boiler inserts.  It was a gift so I really don't know where it came from but it is similar to this one.  I love this product because after steaming, I can dump out the water and use the warm sauce pan to finish up my side.  I also like that the pan can also be used as a double boiler.  I love products that have multiple purposes!

This is what my pan with steamer insert looks like.

My steamer full of fresh broccoli. . . Mmmm.

Here is the finished product . . . steamed broccoli with Parmesan cheese. 

Steamed Broccoli 

2 large bunches of fresh broccoli
2 T margarine
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
½ t freshly ground black pepper

Put about one to two inches of water in the bottom pan.  Wash broccoli and cut off the florets.  Place florets in the top steam pan.  Bring water to boil.  Place steam insert filled with fresh broccoli over the sauce pan with boiling water.  Steam for about 10 minutes or until desired tenderness.  Toss steamed broccoli with margarine and black pepper.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  4-6 servings

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Banana Muffins {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

Do you have overripe bananas?  This is a good thing at my house because then they often turn into delicious banana muffins! 

You definitely won't miss the egg in these moist, delicious muffins.  These muffins can also be made dairy-free.  Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you must try Banana Cake (EF, DF) you may also like Banana Nut Bread (EF, DF).

Banana Muffins
1 ½ c flour
¾ c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
¼ c vegetable oil
¼ c milk or non-dairy milk
3 medium mashed bananas
1 t vanilla extract

Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, blend the bananas until smooth.  Add oil, milk and vanilla mixing until combined.  Slowing add in the dry ingredients, while mixing the batter.  Spoon batter evenly into 12 greased muffin tins.  Bake at 375o for 16-20 minutes.  Cool in muffin tins.  Makes 12 muffins

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shredded Chicken Tacos

As promised, here is the shredded chicken taco recipe. We like this with the corn and black beans but they could just as easily be omitted.  A friend of mine makes hers that way and I thought it was a great way to add some different flavors. 

Shredded Chicken Tacos

1 T olive oil
1 T chili powder
½ t onion powder
¼ t cayenne pepper
2 t ground cumin
½ t freshly ground pepper
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained

Heat oil in skillet.  Add chicken and all spices stirring frequently to incorporate spices.  Then add corn and black beans.  Continue cooking and stirring until heated through.  Serve warm on crunchy shells*, corn tortillas* or flour tortillas and top with your favorite taco toppings.  Serves 6

Note:  If you are not using my recipe for shredded chicken, you will want to add ½ t garlic powder to the mixture.

* Those eating gluten-free can use crunchy or soft corn tortillas but be sure to double check the label.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shredded Chicken {Slow-Cooker}

I have a little bit of a love affair with my slow cooker.  When you are busy, it just really makes life so much easier.  Plus, meat comes out so juicy and tender.  What isn't to love?  This is my slow cooker recipe for shredded chicken.  I try to buy split chicken breasts when they are on special.  I really recommend using the split breasts.  Cooking chicken with bones and skin adds a lot of flavor.  Since it cooks up so nice and tender, the skin and bones can easily be removed.  I buy four large split breasts and cook all of it.  Then I use half and freeze the rest for a later use.  I usually use my frozen cooked shredded chicken within a month but I am pretty sure you could freeze it for much longer.  I will share a recipe for shredded chicken tacos in my next post . . . stay tuned. 

Shredded Chicken {Slow-Cooker}

4 split chicken breasts (with bones and skin – at least 4 pounds)
1 c water
½ t freshly ground pepper
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Pour water into slow cooker.  Place two chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker.  Do not remove skin or bones.  Cooking with the skin and bones adds flavor.  Season with half of the garlic, salt and pepper.  Add remaining two chicken breasts and season with remaining garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook on high for about 6 hours.  Cool slightly before handling.  Remove the skin and pull the chicken off bone.  Shred chicken with a knife and fork.  Use two shredded breasts for dinner and freeze remaining two for another time.  Add about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth with the chicken before placing it in the freezer.  This will keep it moist.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cinnamon Crescents

I found these 8 Minute Mini Cinnamon Rolls on Pinterest.  I thought these were really good but they stuck to my pan like crazy.  I also think I overcooked them a little, which made them kind of dry.  I thought about trying them again but then I decided just making cinnamon crescent rolls would be easier.  The family loved them!  When I made the cinnamon crescents, I initially used 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Next time, I will plan to make them with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  But then again, we really like cinnamon!  I also think I will double the recipe because my family gobbled these up pretty quick!

Cinnamon Crescents  

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
2 T brown sugar
½ - 1 t cinnamon
½ c powdered sugar
1 T milk or soy milk
¼ t vanilla 

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Unroll and separate crescent roll dough.  Sprinkle each triangle with brown sugar mixture and roll up.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake according to package directions.  While baking the rolls, mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Drizzle icing on warm crescent rolls.  Makes 8 cinnamon crescents

Note:  I think these can easily be made dairy-free.  The brand of refrigerated crescent rolls I purchased was dairy-free and soy milk can be used in the icing.  Be sure to check the label of the crescent rolls, if you have a dairy allergy.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baked Chicken Parmesan {Egg-free}

When dining out, chicken parmesan is off limits if you have an egg allergy.  This recipe is easy, egg-free and healthier than what you could find in a restaurant and we think it is just as tasty!  Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you  may also enjoy Baked Chicken Strips (EF, DF) or Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken (EF, GF).

Baked Chicken Parmesan

6 boneless chicken breast halves
6 T margarine
2/3 c bread crumbs*
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
1 T dried parsley
1 t garlic powder
¼ t freshly ground pepper            
6 slices provolone cheese

Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.  Melt the margarine in a bowl.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Dip chicken in margarine, then place in bread crumb mixture turning to coat.  Place on baking sheet.  Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Top with provolone cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve with your favorite pasta tossed in marina sauce.
Serves 6 

* Be sure to check the bread crumb label to make sure they are egg-free.