Thursday, February 28, 2013

CREAMY BOWTIE PASTA WITH CHICKEN

2 cups raw whole wheat bowtie pasta
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed or shredded chicken
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced chives

Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain well.

While pasta cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and bell pepper in the oil until tender.  Add the garlic and cook another minute. 

Stir in the chicken, sour cream, milk, salt, pepper, tarragon, and thyme; heat through.

Stir the drained pasta into the skillet; sprinkle with the Parmesan and chives.


Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SAUCE

This is a great sauce to spoon over ice cream, pound cake, waffles, etc.

2 cups halved fresh strawberries
1 cup sliced fresh rhubarb*
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water

In a small saucepan, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, and sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. 

Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water, stirring until smooth; stir into the strawberry mixture.  Cook, stirring, for another minute or two until of desired consistency.


*You may also use frozen rhubarb. To use frozen rhubarb, measure out the rhubarb while it is still frozen but allow it to thaw completely.  Drain thawed rhubarb in a colander but do not squeeze.

Note: This is a recipe I tore from a magazine a few years ago.  I believe it was from a Healthy Cooking magazine 3 or 4 years ago.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

LAYERED TACO CASSEROLE

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
8-oz taco sauce
3/4 cup water
1 can (4-oz) diced green chilies
1 pkg1.25-oz) taco seasoning mix
12 whole-grain corn taco shells, broken up
2 cups shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
Toppings to suit your taste ie diced tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, sliced green onion, sliced ripe olives, sour cream, etc.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish; set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink.  Stir occasionally during cooking to break up.  Drain in a colander and run hot water over beef; drain well.

Return beef to skillet and stir in taco sauce, water, green chilies, and taco seasoning mix; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.

Layer half the taco shell pieces on the bottom of the greased dish.  Cover with half the meat mixture; sprinkle half the cheese over the meat.  Repeat the layers with the other half of the ingredients.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Serve with the toppings of your choice.


Yield: 8 servings

Friday, February 22, 2013

SALMON CROQUETTES

1 can salmon
1 egg
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
corn meal for rolling

Drain, remove bones, and smash salmon with fork; add the remaining ingredients and mix together well.  Form into patties, using about 1/3 cup mixture for each pattie.  Roll patties in the corn meal.

Place 1/2 cup canola oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Place patties in the hot oil and cook quickly until browned.

Drain on paper towels before serving.

Note: This is not my recipe.  I was given this years ago and was told it is a family favorite.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NON-ALCOHOLIC PINEAPPLE-ORANGE COLADA

1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks
1/2 cup frozen pina colada concentrate
2 cups orange sherbet
Fresh orange slices for garnish, if desired

Place all ingredients in blender; cover and blend on high until smooth.  Scrape down sides during blending, if needed.
Yield: Approximately 3 cups

Monday, February 18, 2013

EASY SAUSAGE CUPS

1 pkg Won Ton Wrappers
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crumble sausage into a medium nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until browned; stirring occasionally.  Drain the sausage well!

Spray mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray and place Won Ton wrappers in each muffin cup so as to form small cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Mix the well-drained sausage, cheeses, and ranch dressing together.  Use mixture to fill the Won Ton cups.  Bake at 350 degrees approximately until bubbly.

Yield: 30 servings

Friday, February 15, 2013

LIME PEAR SALAD

To the best of my knowledge this recipe made its way to me from a lady named Nancy in Great Falls, Montana.  This is one of those recipes that goes together quickly and easily but does need to refrigerate overnight.  Of course that makes it a great "make-ahead" dish.

1 large box lime gelatin
1 cup hot pear juice (reserved from the canned pears listed)
2 tbsp cream
1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (16-oz) pears, drained and mashed
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Dissolve the gelatin in the hot pear juice, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved.

Blend the cream into the creamed cheese and beat to blend and soften; stir into the gelatin mixture.
Add the mashed pears, stirring to blend together.  Gently stir the whipped cream into the mixture.

Pour into a mold that has been lightly greased with salad oil or another container and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Calphalon Unison Nonstick Grill Pan, 12 inch

Advanced nonstick surface sears in moist flavor of meat, poultry and seafood without oil for healthier meals. 
This is an excellent representation of the items on clearance at Chef's Catalog.  This grill pan is only $39.95 a savings of $110.  Regular price is $150.  But hurry this is effective through 2/18.

Click on the link in the right-hand column for the Chef's Catalog Clearance items.

GOLDEN HONEY-RAISIN SNACK MIX

5 cups sweetened whole-grain oat cereal with honey and almonds
1 cup pretzel sticks
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the cereal and pretzels.

In a small saucepan, heat the peanut butter and butter to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over the cereal and pretzels; toss until evenly coated. Spread in an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from oven and stir in the raisins and peanuts. Spread over waxed paper and allow to cool completely. Once completely cooled, may be stored in an airtight container.


Yield: Approximately 8 cups

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

3-WAY CHEESE SPREAD

Make this basic cheese spread and use with 3 separate mixtures.

Basic Cheese Spread:
1 pkg (8-oz) Neufchatel cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup milk

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.  Divide the mixture into three 2/3 cup portions and add a group of the following to one portion.

Group 1:
2 tbsp finely chopped green pepper
2 tbsp shredded carrot
1 tsp grated onion

Stir into one portion of the basic cheese spread.

Group 2:
2 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish

Stir into one portion of the basic cheese spread.

Group 3:
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper

Stir into one portion of the basic cheese spread.

You can cut the tops off 3 bell peppers, 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow and clean out the seeds.  Put the 3 spreads into the 3 peppers for a colorful presentation.

Spread on a variety of whole-grain crackers to serve.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

MEXICAN BURGERS

1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup taco sauce
1 pkg (1 1/4-oz) taco seasoning mix
6 crisp taco shells
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
shredded lettuce for garnish, optional
Hot salsa for condiment, optional

Preheat broiler.

Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, taco sauce, and the taco seasoning mix together and mix until well combined.  Shape the mixture into 6 oblong patties that will fit into a taco shell instead of a bun.

Place patties on broiler tray and broil 6-inches from the heat until cooked according to your taste.  Turn once during cooking.

To serve, place about a tablespoonful of the shredded cheese in the bottom of each taco shell.  Place the burger in the shell next.  Top burgers with the tomato, bell pepper, and remaining cheese.  Sprinkle with shredded lettuce and add some salsa, if desired.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

CHEESEBURGER CHOWDER

1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp flour
2 cans (14 1/2-oz) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 lb pasteurized prepared chees product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tsp sweet pickle relish

In a large saucepan, brown meat with the onion and drain well.

Stir in the flour, cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Add broth and tomatoes; cook on medium-low for 5 minutes or until heated thoroughly.  Stir often during the cooking.  Stir in the cheese product; cook and stir for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated thoroughly.

To serve, spoon into soup bowls.


Suggestion: Serve with crusty bread or crackers.

Yield: 8 cups

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BALSAMIC PEAR SALAD

1/4 cup Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
2 tbsp mayonnaise with olive oil
6 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 red pears, sliced thin
1/2 cup shredded Italian Cheese Blend
1/3 cup slivered red onions
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Gradually add the vinaigrette dressing to the mayonnaise, stirring with a whisk until well blended.

In a large bowl combine the salad greens, pears, cheese, onions, and bacon.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

This is an old Kraft Foods recipe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ITALIAN CHICKEN-VEGGIE MARINARA DISH

2 slices bacon, cut-up
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 lb large carrots, sliced diagonally into chunks
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 jar (14-oz) your favorite marinara sauce
2 cups whole-wheat uncooked rotini
2 medium to large zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise then into chunks
1/2 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook, stirring, the bacon over medium heat until crisp (3 to 4 minutes).  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a medium bowl.  Keep two tablespoons of the bacon dripping in the pan.  Add the chicken and oregano to the pan; cook while stirring for 4 to 5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.  Add to the bacon and set aside.

Add the carrots to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.  Add the broth, marinara sauce, and rotini; stir well.  Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; simmer on medium-low heat 12 minutes.  Stir in the zucchini and the chicken mixture.  Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through.

Dip into serving bowls and sprinkle the cheese over the tops.


Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, February 1, 2013

HEARTY CHICKEN RICE SOUP WITH LIME

10 cups chicken broth
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3/4 lb chicken breast cut into small cubes
2 cups cooked instant brown rice
2 tbsp lime juice
fresh lime slices as garnishes

In a Dutch oven, combine the broth, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, pepper, thyme, and the bay leaf.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring a couple of times.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Add the chicken and simmer uncovered 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and discard it.  Stir in the rice and lime juice just before serving.


When serving, garnish each bowl by floating a lime slice.