Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweet Potato Foil Packet Tacos

So this was weird.  Yes, it's taco meat with sweet potatoes but MAN was it good!!!  You HAVE to try it!!  I got it from Tasty Kitchen - the site started by The Pioneer Woman.

Sweet Potato Foil Packet Tacos

1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) beans (black, kidney or pinto)
6 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, salsa, guacamole for garnish

Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and beans. Set aside.
To assemble packets, spray the foil with non-stick spray. Place 1 cup sweet potato cubes in the center of each piece. Top with a small piece of butter (about 1 teaspoon) and a pinch or two of salt. Sprinkle some chopped spinach over the sweet potatoes, followed by about 1/3 cup of taco meat and a sprinkle of cheese. Fold the sides in, then bring the top and bottom ends of the foil together in the center and fold, sealing the packet.
Repeat with remaining ingredients, placing the packets on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
*Alternately, place ingredients in a 9"x13" dish and cover with foil.  Increase the cooking time to 45 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.
Makes 6 servings.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chicken Florentine Pasta

I got this today from the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog and had to try it since I had nothing planned for tonight.  It was a HUGE hit with the family and will make it into our rotation.  Here is the link

1 pound penne pasta
1. 5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (more if needed)
1 bag baby spinach
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Heat butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken chunks in a single layer and do not stir for a minute or two in order to allow the chicken to brown on the first side. Turn the chicken and brown on the other side. Cook until done, then remove chicken from the skillet.
Turn heat to medium. Add garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it's reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point.)
Turn off the heat. Add spinach, tomatoes, chicken, and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything. Add plenty of Parmesan shavings and toss to combine.
Serve with extra Parmesan shavings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Wow!  It really DOES taste like stuffed peppers!

Stuffed Pepper Soup

2 lbs. ground beef
2 quarts water
1 can (28 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups cooked long grain rice
2 cups chopped green peppers
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1 tsp. pepper

In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peppers are tender.

Yield:  10 servings

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables

I tried this recipe last night and it was yummy!!  Pretty simple to put together and if you prep all the ingredients beforehand, it should take less than 30 minutes to get it on the table!!  I served it with couscous and it was great.  I got the recipe from one of those magazine cookbooks at the register in the grocery store called Shortcut Cooking.

Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables

1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1/8-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
10 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces or one 10" package frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained
1 cup purchased shredded carrots
1/3 cup chopped, seeded tomato (1 small)

1.  In a small bowl, stir together salad dressing, vinegar, honey and crushed red pepper, set aside.
2.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken; cook for 5-6 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (170 degree internal temperature), turning once halfway through cooking.  Add half of the dressing mixture to skillet; turn chicken to coat.  Transfer chicken to a serving platter.  Keep warm.
3.  Add asparagus and carrots to skillet.  Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; transfer to a serving plate.
4.  Stir remaining dressing mixture, add to skillet.  Drizzle the dressing mixture over chicken and vegetables.  Sprinkle with tomato.

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving:
269 calories
12 g. fat (2 g. sat fat)
66 mg. chol
323 mg. sodium
12 g. carb
2 g. fiber
27 g. protein

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

A friend of mine gave me some old Real Simple magazines and I looked through one the other day (February 2009)  and found this recipe to try.  We tried it tonight and it was great!!  Very simple to put together and very simple flavors but delicious.  I made it with just bone-in chicken thighs since that is what I had in the freezer

Maple-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 onion, cut into 1" wedges
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 3.5 - 4 lb. chicken cut into 8 pieces
3 Tbsp. maple syrup

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9x13" baking dish, toss the sweet potatoes, onion, thyme, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.  Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Nestle the chicken among the vegetables and drizzle with the maple syrup.

Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until the chicken is cooked through, 55 to 65 minutes.