Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Asparagus

Dinner with friends on a Tuesday night really breaks up the week and gives me something to look forward to! A big thanks to Kerryann for helping out with the stuffed chicken. She spotted this recipe in her South Beach Diet cook book, and we decided to give it a whirl. I recommend using extra large chicken breasts so you can make a nice, big pocket to stuff!

Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

olive oil
4 large chicken breasts
1/2 lb fresh spinach
2 cloves of garlic
4oz goat cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and add chopped garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds and then start adding spinach. Cook until all spinach is wilted and then move to a plate. Next, cut each chicken breast almost in half (create a pocket), salt and pepper the inside, stuff with 1/4 of the spinach, 1oz of goat cheese and close. Use toothpicks to hold together if needed. Heat the skillet back to medium heat and brown chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to a cookie sheet or just move skillet to preheated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. 

To roast asparagus:
Cut tough ends off of fresh asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay the asparagus in a single layer on cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until just starting to brown.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicken Salad Wraps & Peanut Butter Bars

Chicken Salad Wraps 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream (you can also use low fat)
1/2 cup seedless red grapes - halved 
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
4 large lettuce leaves

Bake the chicken breasts for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, let cool and shred into a large bowl. Add mayo, sour cream, walnuts, grapes, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste and mix to combine. Adjust any ingredients after a taste test. I know I added a little bit too much mayo! Oops! Still turned out great, but start with less and work up. Add a quarter of the mixture to a large lettuce leaf and wrap like a burrito. I served mine with fresh cut cantaloupe and avocado.

Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup gluten free graham cracker or gingersnap crumbs 
1/4 cup butter
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt 1/2 cup butter in sauce pan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add powdered sugar, peanut butter and crumbs. Stir until all combined and smooth. Spread mixture into a well greased square casserole dish and pat down. In the same sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup butter and then add chocolate chips and stir until melted and shiny. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and smooth out. Refrigerate bars for at least an hour before cutting. Better than a Reese's!! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend in Review

I am completely in love with summer. Everything is more alive when the days are longer. There's nothing better than sleeping in, spending the day by the pool with my favorite boy and having a few drinks on the porch in the shade. August weekends are full of lazy relaxation and happiness. I completely recharge so I can be productive once again on Monday.

One thing no one wants to do when its hot outside is spend a lot of time in the kitchen. As much as I love to bake and try out new recipes, I just can't do it for hours at a time when its 100 degrees outside. Plus, why waste time inside, when you can be outside enjoying yourself? But a girl's gotta eat! So I managed to have a weekend of tasty meals without spending too much time with the oven on.

Summer Crisp Salad

This salad is crunchy and light. Easily prepared in about 10 minutes, its perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. I used Romaine lettuce, mini cucumbers, Gala apples, Feta cheese, chopped walnuts and Bolthouse's Raspberry Merlot Vinaigrette. 

Polenta with Marinara

Use pre-cooked polenta sliced into strips to create a fun appetizer or light meal. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium high, season polenta with Italian seasoning and cook on each side until crispy. Serve with marinara sauce. 

Sweet & Sunny Breakfast Bowl

Top instant or quick cooking brown rice cereal with a chopped banana, walnuts and honey for a filling and nutritious start for the day. This filled me up for hours and almost felt like dessert for breakfast!

Margherita Pizza

I used a pre-made frozen pizza dough (Gillian's Foods) for this amazing gluten free pizza. Roll out the dough, top with marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil and bake according to directions on package. This is by far the best gluten free pizza I've had to date! It's nice to have it fresh from the oven!

Rice Chex Treats

Of course there has to be dessert! These treats are made by melting one stick of butter in a large saucepan. Add one package of Jet Puff marshmallows (regular or mini), one TBS vanilla extract and melt. Once melted, remove the pan from heat and stir in an 8oz box of Rice Chex. Pour the mix into a greased 13x9 pan, press down (with greased hands!) and let cool before cutting. You'll want to have a couple of people around to share these with, or you will surely eat the entire pan!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sesame Chicken

This blog, among other factors, is really taking a toll on my waistline! I've decided to lighten things up a bit and try some healthier recipes. This recipe for Sesame Chicken is adapted from Martha Stewart's website (oh Martha, my hero). I found it while searching for "light chicken ideas". While it is indeed healthy, its quite filling and one of my favorite recipes yet! 

Makes about 4 servings

1 cup rice
3 TBS honey
2 TBS sesame seeds
2 TBS gluten free soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
salt & pepper
2 TBS olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs broccoli, steamed 

Cook rice according to directions. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken, season with salt & pepper and toss to coat. In a large non stick skillet, heat 1 TBS oil over med-high heat. Add half the chicken. Cook, turning occasionally until opaque throughout. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Return all chicken to skillet, add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice.