Tag Archives: dinner

Chicken Sausage and Brussels Sprout Pesto Pasta

It’s not that often that something you pin on Pinterest actually turns out as delicious as you thought it might be. This Chicken Sausage and Brussels Sprout Pesto Pasta from Gimme Some Oven is one of my favorite Pinterest success stories. It was crazy delicious!! I usually have pesto in the freezer from one of the large batches that I make, so this was quick and easy enough to do after work one night.

Pesto Pasta

Chicken Sausage and Brussels Sprout Pesto Pasta

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Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
  • 4 chicken sausage links, sliced into ¼" thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Toasted pine nuts, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving ¼ cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
  5. Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

 

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Forty Clove Chicken

This one is for all of my garlic lovers out there. You have to love garlic—and I mean really, really love garlic—for this dish. Slathered and slow roasted in butter, 40 cloves of garlic and fresh herbs, this chicken is one of the most flavorful I have ever made.

Forty Clove Chicken

Forty clove chicken is a traditional French dish, but it’s not intimidating or stuffy … it’s simple, rustic cooking that will blow your dinner guests away.

Roasted Chicken

Whole Chicken

Forty Clove Chicken

 Original recipe from Martha Stewart

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Ingredients
  • 40 cloves of garlic, about 3-4 heads
  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs
  • 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place garlic in a medium bowl; cover with another same-size bowl, creating a dome. Hold bowls together tightly, and shake vigorously until skins are loosened, about 30 seconds. Remove and discard skins; set garlic aside.
  2. Place chicken in a large roasting pan. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon butter; season with salt and pepper. Spread garlic and remaining tablespoon butter around the chicken. Add sprigs of thyme.
  3. Roast, basting occasionally with juices and stirring garlic, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, about 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken, and serve with garlic and pan juices.

 

 


Greek Chicken Wraps

Rotisserie chicken is a busy mom’s best friend. I can usually get at least three meals out of each whole chicken. And with the hardest part of the meal out of the way, I can get dinner on the table pretty quickly. I usually go for something simple, like pesto pasta with chicken, spring mix salad, or chicken sandwiches. So these Greek Chicken Wraps from Cooking Light are a nice way to mix things up. I usually have most of these ingredients on hand at home, so this is a great recipe for me to pull out of my back pocket when I’m looking for something different.

Greek Chicken Wraps

Greek Chicken Wraps

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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp ground red pepper
  • 4 oz shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1 cup)
  • 2 small cucumbers, chopped
  • 6 tbsp plain hummus
  • 6 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Place tomatoes, olives, feta, juice, oregano, oil, pepper, chicken, and cucumber in a large bowl; toss to combine.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon hummus over 1 side of each tortilla. Top each tortilla with about ½ cup chicken mixture. Roll up wraps; cut in half.

 


Cilantro Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

One of my favorite things (cilantro) + one of my hub’s favorite things (sriracha) … this recipe had our names all over it! I’m not usually adventurous when it comes to burgers—I tend to gravitate to the usual toppings—but I couldn’t resist this Cooking Light recipe for Cilantro Burgers with Sriracha Mayo. Don’t usually go for spicy foods? No worries. These are light on heat and heavy on deliciousness.

I made just one change to the original recipe—I went for ground turkey over the ground sirloin, and I don’t feel like the recipe lost anything by going for the non-red meat option.

Cilantro burgers

Cilantro Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

1 pound ground turkey
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
4 hamburger buns
3 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tbsp Sriracha
1/3 cup cilantro sprigs

 

1. Combine ground turkey, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix just until combined. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty (about 3 1/2 inches in diameter).

2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; grill 4 minutes. Carefully turn patties; grill 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove patties from pan. Add buns, cut sides down, to pan; grill 1 minute or until toasted.

3. Combine mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 patty. Divide cilantro sprigs evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.


Quinoa-Stuffed Collard Wraps

Are you ready for this? Quinoa-Stuffed Collard Wraps—a bit time consuming but so worth the effort!

A while back, some of my former coworkers and I were swapping quinoa recipes. It was the type of  bourgeoisie, “I only shop at Whole Foods” kind of conversation that you’d expect to see parodied on a sitcom. {For the record, you can usually find me roaming the aisles of Safeway or Wegmans, depending on if it’s raining or not—because Wegmans has a parking garage and there’s nothing worse than trying to load a car with two kids and tons of groceries in the rain. But I digress …}

This recipe was, by far, the most unique and interesting one shared. It comes from my former colleague, James, who grew up in Southern California (for some reason, that fact seems relevant to me with this recipe). I love collard greens but, growing up in the south, I’ve pretty much only ever had them boiled in fat back—delicious, but not exactly the healthiest way to enjoy collards.

I was intrigued by this completely different use of the green, and the filling just sounded delicious. They were every bit as good as I was hoping. I did adapt the original recipe a bit by adding garlic (because why not?!) and sauteing the veggies instead of boiling them. One word of caution: while you don’t want to blanch the collards too long, you also want to make sure to blanch them long enough. If the collard isn’t cooked enough, it a) won’t be flexible enough to roll and b) will be chewy as all get out, which makes this nearly impossible to eat. Enjoy!

Quinoa Collard Wraps

Quinoa-Stuffed Collard Wraps

1 bunch collard greens
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 package Italian Turkey Sausage (Sweet or Hot, depending on your preference)
1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

 

1. Remove the sausage from its casing and brown separately over medium-high heat. Once browned, finely chop it up and set it aside.

2. In the same pan that you used for the sausage, heat a little bit of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the squash, zucchini, and cauliflower and cook until all is tender and slightly browned, approximately 15 minutes.

3. Prepare the quinoa in a separate pot according to the directions on the package, using the vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor.

4. Once the quinoa is done, stir in the vegetables and sausage. Mix well.

5. Wash each collard leaf thoroughly. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water near the stove top. Working with one or two collard leaves at a time, boil them for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove each leaf from the boiling water and place in the ice water for a few seconds. Transfer from the ice water to a paper towel and pat dry. Be careful not to overcook the collards, as they will fall apart when you add the filling. Also, try not to stack the collards, since they may stick and tear.

6. Take a couple spoonfuls of the quinoa mixture, place it in the collard leaf, and roll it up like a burrito. You can serve these as is or with a balsamic vinaigrette for dipping.


Summer Vegetable Pizza

This pizza is bursting with fresh summer flavors … from the fresh basil pesto to the toppings of zucchini, tomato, red pepper, and mushrooms. I’ve never used the refrigerated dough balls before, but I figured if it was good enough for this Cooking Light recipe, I’d give it a shot. Sure, it’s a little more work than the ready-made pizza crusts, but the payoff is worth it! For only $1.70, I got one of the Safeway Select traditional pizza dough balls, which yielded a thick, chewy crust. I used my pizza stone to get a nice crunchy bottom to support all of my toppings and cheese. As with most moms, I was chasing after two kids while trying to make dinner—hence, the burned cheese. Oh well, it was still delicious!

Summer Vegetable Pizza

1 refrigerated fresh pizza dough
1 tbsp cornmeal
2-3 tbsp fresh basil pesto
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 small tomato, sliced
1 cup fresh mushrooms
½ zucchini, diced
Olive oil
1½ cups shredded mozzarella

1. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

2. Put a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal on a flat cookie sheet (using a cookie sheet will allow you to pick up and easily slide the pizza onto the pizza stone). With a little olive oil on your hands, form dough into a 14-inch circle.

3. Pierce the entire surface of the pizza dough liberally with a fork. Spread pesto sauce over crust, leaving a ½-inch border. Arrange the vegetables over the dough, and sprinkle evenly with cheese.

4. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven and slide pizza on top, parchment paper and all. Bake at 500° for 15-17 minutes or until the crust and cheese are browned. Brush edge of dough with olive oil. Slice and serve!


Indian Chicken Curry à la the Eastern Spice Company

I love to make and introduce my family to diverse ethnic dishes. I think food is the perfect gateway to learning about other cultures. Growing up, we didn’t venture much outside of lo mein or spanakopita when it came to ethnic foods, mostly because there just wasn’t much else around.

Until I moved to the DC area 11 years ago, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even know what shawarma, pho, falafel, or bi bim bap was, let alone ever eaten them. I’m excited that my girls will grow up with such a variety of cuisines at their fingertips and will, hopefully, see that delicious food is at the heart of every culture and that we aren’t as different as we may appear.

Indian Chicken Curry

The one thing that makes it difficult for me to cook outside of my comfort zone is the array of dish-specific, and often expensive, spices that you need to make a recipe truly authentic. So when the folks at Eastern Spice Company asked me to try out one of their spice blends, I jumped at the opportunity.

Eastern Spice Company specializes in bringing authentic eastern flavors into your kitchen one dish at a time. Simply choose a dish from their website and they will send you the exact amount and blend of spices needed to make the recipe, which you can conveniently pull up via the QR code on the tin. What I love most about this concept is that I was able to make a delicious Indian dish at home without having to spend a small fortune in the spice aisle.

I made the Indian Chicken Curry (Tamatur Murghi). It was a bit spicy for my three year old, but my husband and I both LOVED it. The recipe was easy to follow and completely doable for a busy week night—the entire thing took maybe 30 minutes total. The best part is, with the spices provided, all of the other ingredients are easily found in any grocery store in any town across the United States.

At $4 a tin (i.e. $4 per meal), these spice blends probably aren’t the most economical if you cook Indian food on a regular basis. But if you’re like me and you want to try something different, I would absolutely recommend giving one of the Eastern Spice Company’s blends a try. Use the code ESC10 for 10% off your purchase and get cooking!

The views and opinions presented in this post are my own. Other than a complimentary tin of spices, I did not receive any compensation for this post.


Southwestern Chicken Soup

It’s amazing the dishes you can create from cleaning out your pantry. My Stepmom threw a bunch of ingredients in a pot one day, and the result was a Southwestern Chicken Soup that has quickly become one of our family favorites. The best part about this dish is that it’s largely made from pantry staples, which makes it super easy to make on the fly.

Southwestern Chicken Soup

Southwestern Chicken Soup

3 large chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tbsp dried cilantro (fresh is great if you have it)
1 can salsa verde
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 bag frozen corn
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream
Tortilla chips

1. Boil the chicken for 30-45 minutes or until done. Allow to cool on a plate and then shred each piece of chicken with a fork.

2. In a large pot, combine all ingredients through frozen corn and cook on medium for 45 minutes to an hour (you can also cook on medium-low for 2 hours).

3. Laddle soup into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream and crumbled tortilla chips.


Peanut Chicken with Soba Noodles

The best part about this peanut chicken recipe from Cooking Light is that you can control the amount of heat that goes into the peanut sauce. I love the flavor of peanut sauce, but it can sometimes get a little spicy even for me, let alone my three year old. If spice isn’t an issue for you, you can always use store-bought peanut sauce to save a bit of time.

The cucumber soba noodles are a fantastic, light side to go along with the chicken, though I have to admit that I preferred the soba noodles I made a while back to these—still, these were tasty, just a bit less flavorful.

Peanut Chicken Soba Noodles

Peanut Chicken with Soba Noodles

7 oz uncooked soba noodles
3 tbsp rice vinegar, divided
2 tbsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp honey, divided
¼ tsp sugar
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
1 medium cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Cooking spray
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp water
2 tsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or chile garlic paste
Chopped fresh cilantro

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain. Combine 2 tbsp vinegar, sesame oil, 1 tbsp honey, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the noodles, onions, and cucumber; toss to combine.

2. Combine remaining 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and peanut oil in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Thread chicken evenly onto 4 (10-inch) skewers.

3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add kebabs to pan; cook 12 minutes or until done, turning to brown all sides.

4. Combine remaining 1 tbsp vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, peanut butter, 2 tbsp water, and sambal oelek in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle mixture over chicken. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with noodles.


Hearty Beef Stew

I am always looking for ways to make recipes easier, faster, and more weeknight-doable. I won’t say that I never make complicated or time consuming recipes, but it’s just not realistic for me to do it on a regular basis and especially not in the 30 minutes I am allotted during the week to get dinner on the table.

So I decided to take this multi-step recipe for Hearty Beef Stew from Cooking Light and just toss everything in the Crock Pot, crank it up, and cross my fingers that I’d end up with something edible. Could the beef have been a bit more tender had I followed the actual recipe? Yeah, probably. But considering how quickly I was able to throw this together in the morning, not bad … not bad at all. The fact that all I had to do when I got home was toast some bread and ladle the stew into bowls certainly didn’t hurt either. So it’s up to you. Follow the recipe at the link above or follow my shortcut and just wing it. You pretty much can’t lose either way.

Beef Stew

Hearty Beef Stew

16 oz boneless beef chuck
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 large onion, sliced
1 ½ cups baby carrots
6 oz sliced mushrooms (about 2 cups)
2 lbs new potatoes
3 thyme sprigs
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tsp minced garlic
1 ½ cup Guinness beer
4 cups unsalted beef stock
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce

Place all ingredients in a large Crock Pot and stir well. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.