Archive for January, 2012

January 29, 2012

Stuffed Chicken

I cannot believe I haven’t posted about this recipe before. That’s just nuts!!! I’ve made it thrice now. My apprehension has a good foothold: Every time I make this recipe, I’m worried it won’t turn out well or I’ll mess something up. Also, there’s a lot of hands on time. And I get really excited when I make it.

This recipe is incredibly versatile, which means I narrowed down the options to share with you. To just one! Aren’t you proud?? It goes like this:

Single Serving Stuffed Chicken
Inspired by Cooking Light, June 2010

1 T olive oil
1 chicken breast
4 kalamata olives, roughly diced
1/4 c spinach, chopped
1 T feta
1/2 oz mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in an oven-safe pan over medium-high. Combine filling: olives, spinach, and cheeses.

Slice a one-inch slit into the side of the breast, move the knife around so you don’t puncture any other side but so that you give yourself room for the fillings. Fill. Place onto heated pan. Saute for 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and put into the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until a slice into the thickest part reveals a thoroughly cooked chicken with no pink or translucency. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Enjoy. The melted cheese! The melded flavors. Oh. Man. I’m so happy for you that you might get to eat this. And, for that matter, I’m really happy for me, too.

Ehh. I couldn’t do it! Most of you probably want more than one serving, more than one option. Right? Here’s another, closer to the original and four servings.

Stuffed Chicken with Hummus, Feta, Tomato, and Olives
Inspired by Cooking Light, June 2010

4 chicken breasts (about 2 lbs., maybe a bit less)
1/4 c hummus
1/4 c feta
3 T diced tomato
2 T chopped kalamata olives
1 T olive oil

Follow same instructions. Enjoy.

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January 25, 2012

Minestrone

I could eat soup at almost every meal. I say almost, because there’s still brunch and breakfast to consider.

Propped, Prepped

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is the fact that for most people, a grocery trip might not even be necessary. I needed to pick up a zucchini (That’s right. Just one.), some broth, and pasta. THAT’S IT!! For me, that’s an incredibly short shopping list for something that’s a) so, incredibly delicious and b) SO much food.

Minestrone
Inspired by Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker

3 c dried Great Northern beans
5 1/2 c chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
32 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c spinach
1 c kale
3 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t peppercorns, ground
1 c small pasta shells, uncooked (Aren’t you glad I didn’t make the MINIstrone joke?)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Have Halved

In a slow cooker, pour in your Great Northern beans. Top with water. Two inches above the beans will be sufficient. Crank it up to high for two hours, until fork tender.

Pour chicken broth into a large dutch oven and turn heat onto medium.

Mince garlic, chop zucchini, and dice onions. Sauté all. Once browned and smelling delicious, add mixture to broth. The broth should be hot enough to look like this:

Add sautéed vegetables and carrots to the broth. Add tomatoes. Add spinach and kale.

Add spices. Mix together. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about two hours. Okay, you can simmer for about 30 minutes and get a similar effect, but the longer it goes, the more concentrated the flavors will be. After two hours (or until you don’t feel like waiting anymore) add your miniature shell pasta. Bring back up to medium heat, and boil the pasta in the soup. (Oh, the flavor!! The intensity!) Once the pasta is cooked through, the beans should be ready from the slow cooker. Add.

Spoon into a bowl (with or without a piece of crusty bread waiting at the bottom of the bowl). Top with Parmesan. Enjoy.

As a side note: Feel free to use beans from a can or precook your beans (as I could’ve/perhaps should’ve done) and add when you add the tomatoes.

This makes a LOT of delicious soup. After you add the pasta and the beans, be prepared to add more seasoning. Also, be prepared to freeze at least a portion. This is the gift that just keeps on giving.