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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Simple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We are currently building an outdoor kitchen, so in the meantime we have no grill. Thus, I have to cook chicken indoors.  It's always fun to look in my kitchen to see what I have to stuff some chicken breasts with.  Last night I had goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and spinach.  I figured, "why not just stuff it and bake it?"  And so I did.  And it was tasty.

Serves 2


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp goat cheese (or about 2" cut from the goat cheese log)
Large handful of baby spinach
1/4 Cup sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 Cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Dash of onion powder
Dash of garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in a 9x13" pan.  Add white wine and lemon to butter.  Set aside.

Mix goat cheese, spinach and sundried tomatoes in a bowl.

Slice chicken breasts like you are cutting a sub sandwich (make a big pocket in the breast, but keep the breast intact).  Stuff with goat cheese mixture, seal chicken as best you can, and hold together with a couple of toothpicks.

Place chicken in 9x13" pan and brush the top with the white wine mixture.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder on the breasts.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes until done.  Baste the top with remaining juice before serving.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples

This recipe  came from Cooking Light magazine.  It was so easy, and SO flavorful!  It is like a comfy, fall-tasting dish, but healthy.  So many comfy recipes are heavy dishes.  This was fantastic.

Serves 4


3/8 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp coriander
1/4 Tsp black pepper
1/8 Tsp cinnamon
1/8 Tsp nutmeg
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
cooking spray
2 Tbsp butter
2 Cups thinly sliced gala apples
1/3 Cup thinly sliced shallots
1/8 Tsp salt
1/4 Cup apple cider
1 Tsp fresh thyme

1.  Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  Combine salt, coriander, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pat dry tenderloin slices and coat each side with dry rub, patting to stick.  Add pork to pan and cook about 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove pork from pan and set aside.
2.  Melt butter in same skillet over med-high heat.  Add apples, shallots and salt.  Cook about 4 minutes or until brown and tender.  Add thyme leaves and apple cider and cook another 2 mins.  Serve apple mixture atop pork tenderloin.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

I had this at Houston's and am now obsessed.  So I tried my own recipe, and I love it!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


16 oz raw kale, rinsed and chopped (hard stems removed)
1/2 Cup unsalted peanuts, chopped and toasted
3/4 Cup roasted peanut oil
1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp & 1 Tsp dry mustard
1 Tsp worcestershire
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tsp sesame oil
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tsp brown sugar
1 Tsp water
2 Tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients from peanut oil through pepper in a bowl and whisk.  Toss peanut vinaigrette with kale and toasted peanuts.  Serve immediately.  (Or set dressing aside in the fridge and toss when ready).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Roasted Garlic, Cheese and Spinach Quinoa

Sadly, this recipe is not my own.  A reader in a magazine submitted it, and I gave it a whirl.  I love making quinoa in different variations.  It is a great healthy side dish - especially when you add veggies to it!  The roasted garlic in this recipe adds such nice flavor!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


1 whole garlic head
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp dry white wine
1 Cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 Cup baby spinach
1/3 Cup chopped seeded tomato
1 Tbsp shaved fresh parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Remove papery skin from garlic head.  Cut garlic head crosswise at the top to expose the raw garlic.  Wrap in foil, and bake for 1 hour.  Set aside and let cool.  Separate cloves and squeeze to extract garlic pulp.  Discard skins.
3.  Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallots and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.  Add quinoa, cook 2 mins stirring constantly.  Add wine, cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add broth, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer 15 mins or until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in garlic, spinach, tomato and cheese, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Simple Crab Cakes and Savory Remoulade

These were so delicious, and so easy!  Get good quality crabmeat, and be sure to cook on high heat to get that crispy outer crust.  Yum!

Serves 4

For Crab Cakes:

1 1/5 Cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp low fat mayo
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tsp worcestershire
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp tabasco
2 Large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
1 Tsp olive oil
4 Lemon wedges

Combine all ingredients through crabmeat in a large bowl.  Make 8 patties and refrigerate until ready to cook.  (Now's a good time to make the remoulade, if you haven't already.  This can all be made in advance).

For Remoulade:

1 1/4 Cups lowfat mayo
1/4 Cup creole mustard
1 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 Tsp cajun seasoning
2 Tsp horseradish
1 Tsp sweet pickle juice
1 Tsp tabasco
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To cook the crab cakes, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over med-high heat.  Add patties and cook 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy!  Serve with lemon wedges and remoulade sauce!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cheddar and Spinach Souffles

This recipe originally called for parmesan instead of cheddar.  I made them, and the flavor was lacking a little bit.  So, I altered them by adding onions and subbing cheddar for parmesan.  These are very interesting, light and unique.  They pair beautifully with steak and red wine!

Serves 4


Cooking spray
1/4 Cup dry breadcrumbs
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
1/2 Medium yellow onion, chopped
2/3 Cup fat free milk
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 Tsp salt
1/8 Tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 Tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 Cup (2 oz) finely grated, good quality sharp cheddar cheese
2 Large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
1/4 Tsp cream of tartar


1.  Place a baking sheet in the oven.  Preheat to 425.
2.  Coat 4 (6 oz) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with half of the breadcrumbs, tilting and turning ramekins to coat.  Leave some breadcrumbs for later use.
3.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high.  Spray pan with cooking spray.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Add spinach, cook for 2 minutes until it wilts.  Place spinach in a colander and let stand for 5 minutes.  Squeeze excess liquid from spinach and onion mixture and coarsely chop.
4.  Combine 2/3 Cup milk and the next 4 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small saucepan over med-high heat, stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Cook for 2 mins or until mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Spoon mixture into a large bowl, let stand for 10 mins.  Stir in spinach, onions, cheese and egg yolks.
5.  Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and let sit at room temp for 15 mins.  Beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form.  Do not overbeat.  Gently stir one-fourth of egg whites into spinach mixture and gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Gently spoon mixture into prepared ramekins.  Tap dishes 2-3 times on counter to level.  Sprinkle each with remaining breadcrumbs.  Place ramekins on baking sheet and return to oven at 425.  Immediately reduce temp to 350.  Bake souffles at 350 for 21 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.  Serve immediately.