Saturday, April 28, 2007

Amazing Beans--healthy, easy, yummy

I thought I'd post a quick, easy and inexpensive recipe for a side dish of beans. There are so many health benefits from beans. I've only made this recipe with black beans but I imagine any type of bean would work. Eat up...lots of antioxidants, fiber and low in fat.

Amazing Beans

1 can black beans, drained, rinsed (or whatever beans you prefer)

Juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley and cilantro (optional)
Fresh ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Combine all ingredients and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Heat before serving. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tomatillo Chicken Tacos

So, one would think that there would be AMAZING Mexican food in the EP. And there is, but it is hard to find between the thousands of truly tasteless fast food rip-offs. So, in my quest to never leave the house, I opened my Rick Bayless book and tried the following, and it was FREAKING AWESOME.

Essential Simmered Tomatillo-Serrano Sauce (makes 1 1/4 C, but you might want to septuple it because it is delicious on EVERYTHING.)
8 oz (5-6 med) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh serrano chiles (2 is slightly more than Jooj can handle, but if you have no toddlers, hit 3), stemmed
1 1/2 T oil
1/2 med white onion, roughly chopped (I don't like white, so I used yellow. White is the preferred in Mexico, so do what you want with that information.)
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 C chicken broth
3 T cilantro, roughly chopped
salt to taste

1. Turn on your broiler. It is under your stove.
2. Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened and soft on one side (about 5 min) and then turn them over and roast on the other side. They will get messy and ugly.
3. Transfer (including ALL THE JUICE) to your blender.
4. Heat 1 T oil in large skillet over med. Sautee onion and garlic until golden. (Add garlic at very end, it only takes a minute). Add to blender. Puree medium coarse.
5. Heat the remaning 1/2 T oil in skillet over med-high. Add puree all at once and stir for about 5 min, until noticeable darker and thick. Stir in broth and cover, simmering for about 10 min. Stir in cilantro and salt.

For the rest of the dish you need:
12 corn tortillas
2 C greens (Any kind you want. Don't feel the need to get all fruity on us.)
1 1/3 C cooked, shredded chicken (about 2 breasts)
1/2-3/4 C Asadero or queso fresco cheese. (In the dairy. It is there. It is Mexican. Just look. If it is not there, you could use something like a romano combined with a smelly goat cheese, but it won't translate as well.)

1. Put your veggie steamer in a pot with about 1/2 of water and set it to boil. Wrap the tortillas ina heavy towel and let them steam in the steamer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, and leave them in there with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
2. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the greens. Return to boil. Stir in chicken and simmer until greens are done. (less than 5 minutes.)

3. Make tacos out of it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sneaky "health" food

I felt so sneaky and "mom-like" after making this Crunchy mac and cheese recipe the other night!! The puree's were awesome!!!! I couldn't even detect them with my supersensitive, picky-pregnant-lady tastebuds. We did 1/4 cup orange and 1/4 cup white mixed in. Also, didn't feel like buying cereal just for this recipe so I just used a little over a cup of flaked wheat (love my Grain Mill!!!!) and added about twice the amount of parmesan. We'll definitely be adding this to our dinner rotation and I can't wait to try out the other recipes (got two tupperware's full of puree ready to go!) and puree's!

Speaking of crockpot chicken....


This is one of my fave's-especially since I always have fresh ginger on hand after following La Yen's advice to stick a root in the freezer! (I FINALLY got around to remembering to buy it!!)

2 T. jam* (heaping!!!)
3 T low-sodium soy sauce (or whateve's)
2 T. water
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

Combine the jam, soy sauce, water and ginger in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and toss so that is is covered with sauce. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

(For added flavor let the chicken marinate in the sauce-covered in the fridge- for 2-3 hours before cooking.)

Slow-cooker options: Place everything in the pot and cook on low for 4 hours (or longer if you want delicious-fall-apart-juicy chicken) If you don't have time to defrost before throwing in the crockpot, omit the water and be extra, extra generous with the jam.

*Most any jam can be used and will taste good. Our fave so far was a Von's brand apricot/pineapple jam. Marmalade and seedless berry jams also work well. Jelly does not work as well as jam due to its thinner consistency.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Crockpot Chicken

I make this when I don't have a lot of time or when I just can't think of anything else. The kids like it just as much as we do, which doesn't happen very often. It's super easy.

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix

Place frozen chicken breasts in crockpot. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cook for 4-6 hours on low.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice. We like it with a side of steamed broccoli. Yum!

Also, if you haven't tried crockpot liners, please do! You'll use your crockpot a lot more--I promise.