Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mexican Chili

People often say to me, “But I don’t have all the ingredients in my kitchen” or “I don’t want to buy one jar of spice just for one dinner.” I found a great solution for a dish I wanted to make but didn't want to buy a jar of cumin or chili powder. I found these Recipe Inspirations by McCormick in the spice section of the grocery store, which contain pre-measured spices for different recipes. I just happened to find one that worked  perfectly with my recipe.
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small onion, minced (save 1 Tbsp for topping)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
1 can chicken broth
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp salt

In a medium pan over med-high heat, add EVOO and brown all sides of the pork. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onions to pan and sauté until tender. Add seasonings, cook and stir for 1-2 more minutes. Add pork, beans and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine avocado, cilantro, ½ Tbsp minced onion, lime juice and salt.

Top chili with avocado mixture and warm corn tortillas.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Swordfish with Vegetables and Quinoa

2 swordfish filets
Fish seasoning: salt and lemon pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 small yellow squash, julienned
5 thin asparagus spears, halved
Freshly crushed black pepper

Grill seasoned swordfish over med-high heat for 5-6 minutes per side.

In a medium pot, bring broth and quinoa to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for about 35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.

In a medium sauce pan, heat a drizzle of EVOO over med-high heat. Sauté vegetables for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate with quinoa, add vegetables and top with fish.

Grilled Salmon and Pesto Gnocchi

2 salmon filets, skin on
Salmon seasoning (salt and lemon pepper)
1 package of potato gnocchi (found near pasta in the grocery store)
1 jar of pesto
½ red bell pepper, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp freshly minced parsley

Preheat grill to high. Cook seasoned salmon, skin side down over high heat for about 6-7 minutes.

Flip filets over, remove skin, and cook the other side for about 2-3 minutes. When fish is ready, it should easily flake.

Boil water in a large pot for the gnocchi. Cook according to the directions on the package by boiling for 3-4 minutes until they float to the top. Drain. Toss with pesto.

In a small sauce pan, heat a drizzle of EVOO over med-high heat. Sauté bell peppers and garlic for 3-4 minutes, until tender.

Serve by plating pesto gnocchi, add salmon and top with bell pepper mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Spicy Beet Greens

½ roasting chicken
Seasoning: garlic salt, lemon pepper, paprika

beet greens, chopped
¼ cup chopped hard salami
½ small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup of water
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup of cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. In a 9x9 glass casserole dish, drizzle with EVOO. Place seasoned chicken, breast side down, cover with aluminum foil and bake. Bake for 20 minutes per pound. Uncover, flip chicken over and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Make sure internal temperature reaches 170˚.

Wash the greens thoroughly, chop and set aside.

In a large skillet over med-high heat, cook salami for about 3 minutes. Add onions and cook until translucent. Stir in garlic. Add water, sugar and red pepper to pan. Bring mixture to a boil.

Mix in beet greens and chickpeas. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chicken Taco Salad

This salad is so tasty it doesn’t even need dressing. So easy to put together and you can modify the ingredients to your liking.

3 chicken boneless breasts
1 can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
Lettuce mix
Corn tortilla chips
1 can of black beans, drained
Shredded cheddar cheese
Jarred jalapenos slices, chopped
Green onions, sliced

Before you go to work in the morning, add the chicken and canned tomatoes in the crock pot. Turn to low and let cook for 6+ hours, or until you get home from work. Then take two forks and shred the chicken, mixing in the juice from the tomatoes. Set aside.

To assemble salad, start with lettuce, top with crushed tortilla chips, add beans (cold), top with shredded chicken, add cheese and finish off with jalapenos, green onions and a dollop of salsa. (I would have also added sliced avocado and sour cream, but I didn’t have any. Sliced olives would have also been a nice topping.)

Husband's inquiry, “So, it’s like we’re having nachos for dinner, but on a bed of lettuce?”


BBQ Pork Loin with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I debated on what to name this dish - "BBQ Pork..." or "Bringing Sexy Back"??? This is one good looking...and tasting dish!

2 2" boneless pork loin
BBQ sauce to marinate and brush when grilling
2 large red skinned potatoes, quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 green onion stalks, minced

In a pot with a steamer, steam potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove steamer with potatoes from pot, drain water from pot. Add garlic, butter and milk to pot and return to stove top over low heat; stirring until butter melts, allowing garlic to cook. Add potatoes back into pot and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in green onions and set aside.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Depending on thickness of meat, cook until center of pork is pink or internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Brush pork with BBQ sauce throughout grilling process and once removed from grill.

Serve grilled pork and mashed potatoes with a side salad or a serving of steamed veggies.

Note: Steaming, instead of boiling, potatoes keeps a nice potato flavor and you're not boiling all the nutrients out.

Grilled Chicken with Rice Pilaf

2 chicken boneless chicken breasts, seasoned
1 cup of long grain basmati rice

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
10 asparagus stalks, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 chopped pecans, toasted
2 tsp EVOO

In a rice cooker, cook rice and broth until done. In a sauce pan, heat EVOO over med-high heat. Add onion, garlic, zucchini and asparagus; saute for a few minutes until tender. Set aside. When rice is cooked, mix in veggies and toasted pecans.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until no longer pink in the middle.

Serve chicken with pilaf.