Monday, June 29, 2009

Pasta with Pomodoro Sauce

Dinner really doesn't get much easier than this!

Pasta with Pomodoro Sauce
Cooking light

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely sliced fresh basil
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly (do not brown). Stir in pepper, salt, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 7 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Serve over pasta.

6 servings

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I don't usually follow a recipe when I make meat sauce, but I thought I'd give this one a try. I'm glad I did, because I really liked it. And it's a great recipe to throw together when you're short on time.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Cooking Light

12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
3/4 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 (26-ounce) bottle low-fat spaghetti sauce
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk (I used soy milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While pasta cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef; cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain beef, and set aside.

Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Stir in beef and spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the milk, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce over pasta.

6 servings

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa

I have been eyeing this recipe for a long time, and I am so glad that I finally made it - YUM!!!
I couldn't find quick-cooking barley, so I partially cooked pearl barley and added 2/3 cup of that.

Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa
Cooking Light

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
1/4 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
6 lime wedges
Avocado Salsa (recipe follows)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chili powder and next 4 ingredients (chili powder through green chiles); cook 1 minute. Stir in barley and next 4 ingredients (barley through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in cilantro. Serve with sour cream, lime wedges, and Avocado Salsa.

Avocado Salsa
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled avocado
1/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients; toss mixture gently. Serve salsa immediately.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Garlic Burgers

These burgers were great! I love that it uses portobello mushrooms along with the beef to add bulk, allowing you to have a nice big burger without too much fat. The mushrooms also add lots of moisture.
I served these with coleslaw (recipe follows) and roasted sweet potato wedges.

Garlic Burgers
Kosher by Design Lightens Up, Susie Fishbein

For the burgers:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large shallot
2 cloves fresh garlic
6 ounces portobello mushroom caps
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
nonstick cooking spray

For the garlic spread:
1 teaspoon canola oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup light mayonnaise

6 whole wheat buns
1 tomato sliced, optional, for garnish

Place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Place the shallot and garlic into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until finely chopped. Add the portobello mushrooms and pulse until the mixture resembles ground beef; don't over-pulse or it will turn into a paste.

Add the mushroom mixture to the beef, along with the red pepper flakes, black pepper, parsley, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Use your hands to gingerly toss until the meat is all mixed and seasoned.

Spray a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium heat.

Make 6 patties; they should be about 1-inch thick and 6-inches in diameter. Grill for about 6 minutes on each side.

Over medium-low, heat the canola oil in a small pot. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Remove from heat and stir in the mayonnaise.

serve the burgers, topped with the garlic spread, on whole wheat buns. garnish with sliced tomatoes if desired.

6 servings

Cider-Mustard Slaw
Cooking Light

Combine half of one (16-ounce) package cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw mix, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

4 servings

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sweet-and-Sour Stir Fry

I'm so sorry for this awful, unappetizing photo. It really does not do this meal justice, because this was seriously the best stir-fry I have ever made. It had tons of flavor, and was sweet but not cloying like the take-out day-glo orange stuff. I was just so tired and hungry last night that when dinner was ready I just wanted to eat, so I didn't take the time to get a better picture. So please overlook this and make this dish!!!
I doubled the meat and soy-cornstarch mixture, and used boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Sweet-and-Sour Stir Fry
Rick & Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures, Rick Bayless & Lanie Bayless

For the sauce and marinade:
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided (I used low-sodium)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the stir-fry:
8 ounces raw pork tenderloin or boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
6 ounces snow peas or sugar snap peas
1/4 head green cabbage, sliced 1/8-inch thick (3 packed cups)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Using a garlic press, crush garlic into a small bowl. Add the ginger, sugar, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and the ketchup.

Combine the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl. Add the meat and toss to coat.

Set a wok or very large (12-inch) skillet (non-stick works best) over high heat. When very hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Swirl wok or skillet to coat evenly. Immediately add the sliced onion. Stir with a spatula to coat with oil. Add the bell pepper strips and stir to coat. Add the peas. Cook - stirring with a spatula nearly continuously - until the onion looks a little soft, about 2 minutes from when the onions went in. Add the sliced cabbage. stir continuously until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 2 minutes more. Scrape vegetables from the wok or skillet onto a serving platter. Wipe out with paper towels and set it over high heat again.

When very hot add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Swirl wok or skillet to coat evenly. Add the meat and its marinade. Stir with a spatula to coat with oil, then spread out flat in wok. Wait 10 seconds or so, then start slowly turning and stirring meat until browned - about 2 minutes (a little more for chicken).

Immediately add the vegetables and sauce to the pan. Cook - stirring continuously - until sauce boils and vegetables are hot, about 1 minute. Add the cilantro and toss a few more times. Scoop onto a serving plate.

4 servings

Penne Pasta with Roasted Fennel, Cherry Tomatoes, and Black Olives

This pasta was really good with lots of flavor, and I was able to use up a little bit of the huge rosemary plant in my backyard (I also grow oregano, so this dish was perfect!).

Penne Pasta with Roasted Fennel, Cherry Tomatoes, and Black Olives
Cooking Light

1/2 pound fennel bulb
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
8 ounces uncooked penne (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (3 ounces) freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (I used Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 450°.
Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise; discard core. Chop the fennel into bite-sized pieces. Combine fennel, olives, rosemary, oregano, and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle fennel mixture with pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat. Bake fennel mixture at 450° for 30 minutes or until fennel is tender, stirring once.
Prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place in a large bowl. Add fennel mixture and salt, and stir to combine. Add cheese; toss to combine.

4 servings

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pizza Sauce

Tonight I made pizza for dinner. I kept it simple with a plain cheese topping, but I used this sauce recipe. I doubled it and put half of it in the freezer to use another time.

Basic Pizza Sauce
Cooking Light

This makes a chunky sauce; if you prefer a smoother consistency, you can puree the sauce in a food processor with one tablespoon water. Make-ahead tip: Prepare the sauce a day or two ahead and refrigerate it, or make a double batch and freeze the extra for up to one month.
Cooking spray
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, oregano, pepper, and tomatoes. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in basil and vinegar. Cool.
Note: Nutritional analysis is for 1 1/3 cups Basic Pizza Sauce.
Spicy Pizza Sauce Variation: Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper with the oregano and black pepper; omit basil.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Farfalle with Tuna

This is a quick, simple, flavorful pasta dish made with ingredients that most people have in the pantry. Even the kids gobbled it up :)

Farfalle with Tuna
The Pasta Cookbook, Jenni Wright

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can chopped Italian plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons dry white wine
8-10 pitted black olives, cut into rings (I used kalamata)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
3 1/2 cups dried farfalle
1 (6-ounce) can tuna in olive oil (I used chunk light in water)
Salt and ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft and golden.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring to a boil, then add the white wine and simmer the mixture for a minute or so. Stir in the olive and oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to package directions.

Drain the canned tuna and flake it with a fork. Add the tuna to the sauce along with about 4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Drain the cooked pasta well and turn into a warmed large serving bowl. Pour the tuna sauce over the top and toss to mix. Serve immediately.

4 servings

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pan-Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken, but I feel guilty if I make it more than once every few years. So when I came across this lighter version I had to try it - and it did not disappoint! The spices in the coating were fabulous, and it was moist and crispy without being greasy.
This is definitely going to be on regular rotation in our house!

Pan-Fried Chicken
Cooking Light

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned
2 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
1/4 cup peanut oil (I used canola)

1. Sift together first 6 ingredients; place mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Sprinkle salt evenly over chicken. Add chicken, one piece at a time, to bag; seal. Shake bag to coat chicken. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour. Place chicken on a cooling rack; place rack in a jelly-roll pan. Reserve remaining flour mixture. Loosely cover chicken; chill 1 1/2 hours. Let chicken stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Return chicken, one piece at a time, to flour mixture, shaking bag to coat chicken. Discard excess flour mixture.

2. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 minutes or until done, carefully turning every 5 minutes.

3. Line a clean cooling rack with brown paper bags; arrange chicken in a single layer on bags. Let stand for 5 minutes.

4 servings

Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash

This is a really good fresh tasting potato salad, and I will definitely make this again! My changes: I used zucchini instead of yellow squash and cooked it in a grill pan; I left out the tarragon and increased the basil; and I substituted 1 tablespoon drained capers for the cornichons.

Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash
Cooking Light

2 pounds small red potatoes
3/4 pound yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. To prepare salad, place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until tender. Drain; cut potatoes into quarters, and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Lightly coat squash with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place squash on grill rack; grill 2 minutes on each side or until browned and tender. Remove squash from heat, and add to potatoes.

4. To prepare dressing, combine chives and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour dressing over potato mixture, tossing gently to combine. Serve salad warm or chilled.

6 servings