Archive for the 'Main Course' Category

Chicken with White Beans & Tomatoes

Whenever I want a healthy, protein-rich meal, I turn to this recipe.  I tore this recipe out of Real Simple magazine (one of my favorites!) several months ago and have already made it three times.  It’s a simple baked dish that is comprised of chicken, cannellini beans, and tomatoes.  Baking the chicken with some garlic, herbs, and chicken broth makes it super moist and so flavorful.  It’s also incredibly easy to make and requires very minimal prep work, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights!

Chicken with White Beans & Tomatoes

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • Chicken broth

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375° F.  In a 9-by-13-inch (or some other large) baking dish, toss the beans and tomatoes with the thyme and oregano sprigs, garlic, red pepper, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  2. Pat the chicken dry and place on top of the bean mixture.  Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the chicken; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.  Pour the white wine (or chicken broth) into the baking dish and then add enough chicken broth so that the liquid is approximately ¼ inch deep.
  3. Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, approximately 35 to 45 minutes, or until it registers 165 degrees F.

Serves: 4

Source: adapted from Real Simple Magazine, January 2011

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon

I decided to make this pasta dish for dinner a few days ago after watching Giada De Laurentiis make it on her cooking show.  ‘Giada at Home’ is one of my favorite shows to watch on The Food Channel – I love how she uses simple, fresh ingredients, and most of the things she makes can be made in 30 minutes or less.  This particular recipe took only 20 minutes to make and it was delicious!  It’s a simple vegetarian pasta dish with a sauce that is very similar to pesto.  The sauce is filled with flavors that I love – basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, olives and lemon.  It’s the perfect meal to make on a busy weeknight, and the leftovers are excellent for lunch the next day too.  The linguine would also be great topped with grilled boneless skinless chicken.  I am already planning to make this again very soon!

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped or julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) medium green Italian olives, pitted
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of half of a lemon
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.  Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.
  2. In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Pulse until blended but still a little chunky.
  3. Add the Parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss well.  Pour the tomato mixture on top and toss until the pasta is coated.  If the sauce is dry, add some of the reserved pasta water and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serves: 4-6

Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Pan-Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Basil Pesto and Mozzarella

I came up with the idea to make these sandwiches after seeing grilled vegetable sandwiches featured on my sister’s cooking blog a few weeks ago.  Her sandwiches had grilled vegetables, ricotta cheese, and balsamic vinegar.  I don’t care for ricotta cheese, but basil pesto seemed like the perfect substitute to go with the grilled vegetables.  I also added some mozzarella cheese to give the sandwiches another layer of flavor.  For the vegetables, I used a colorful mixture of zucchini, yellow summer squash, and roasted red peppers, but you could also use eggplant or portabello mushrooms.  I served these sandwiches on fresh grilled ciabatta bread and they were delicious!  For a side dish, we had fresh strawberries and pineapple, and it was the perfect Spring dinner.

Pan-Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Basil Pesto and Mozzarella

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ¼ – inch thick slices
  • 2 yellow squashes, sliced lengthwise into ¼ – inch thick slices
  • 2 red peppers, roasted (for instructions, click here) or 2 roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 8-12 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Basil Pesto (recipe below)
  • Loaf of ciabatta bread

Directions

  1. Brush both sides of the sliced zucchini and yellow squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium- high heat and brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Working in batches, grill the zucchini and squash until they are tender and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.  Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
  4. Slice the loaf of ciabatta bread into 4 pieces and cut each piece in half lengthwise.  Lightly brush the bread with olive oil and then grill for 3-4 minutes until the bread is toasty.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches:  Spread a layer of pesto on each side of the sliced bread.  Top with mozzarella cheese, and then layer slices of the grilled zucchini, squash, and roasted red peppers on top.  Place the top half of the ciabatta bread on top of the grilled vegetables and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Basil Pesto

Yield: 1 cup pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (approximately) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt & pepper until finely chopped.
  2. With the food processor still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency.
  3. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in ½ cup of Parmesan cheese.  Season the pesto with more salt and pepper, to taste.

Source:  Sandwiches inspired by Kristine’s Kitchen & Giada De Laurentiis;  Pesto recipe from the cookbook ‘Giada’s Family Dinners’

Almond Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I have two favorite recipes for pork tenderloin.  The first is honey hoisin pork tenderloin, and the second (in no particular order) is this recipe for almond crusted pork tenderloin.  This recipe is super easy to make and so flavorful.  The pork is tender and juicy and the almonds and bread crumbs give the crust a nice crunch.  I like to serve slices of this pork tenderloin alongside fresh steamed vegetables and fluffy mashed potatoes.  It would also be great accompanied by a salad and fresh bread.  The next time you are looking for a simple and delicious (and healthy!) pork tenderloin recipe, try this one!

Almond Crusted Pork Tenderloin

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of any fat
  • 1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, almonds, rosemary, pepper, & salt in a shallow dish.  Place the beaten egg whites in a separate shallow dish.
  3. Dip pork in egg whites and then dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Place the pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake pork at 425 F for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F.
  5. Cover the pork with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Then cut the pork into ¼ inch thick slices and serve.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, January 1998

Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

Chicken with mushrooms and green beans is one of my favorite things to make when I want a delicious dinner that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.  This recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal – it’s well-balanced, low-calorie and so tasty.  This dish is seasoned with salt & pepper, butter, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley – simple, fresh-tasting flavors.  The recipe comes from one of my favorite cooking magazines, Everyday Food, by Martha Stewart.  In my opinion, you can never go wrong when you make one of Martha’s recipes, and this one is no exception!  I recommend serving this with a simple green salad, crusty bread, or over white or brown rice.  Enjoy!

Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a half-inch thick & sliced in half
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 10 ounces white (or cremini) mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Set a steamer basket in a large saucepan and fill with enough water to come just below the basket.  Bring the water to a boil, add the green beans, cover the pot with a lid, and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Working in batches, cook the chicken until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate, and loosely tent with aluminum foil (reserve skillet).
  3. Place the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet.  Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, and parsley.  Top the chicken with the mushroom mixture, and serve it alongside the green beans (alternatively, you can mix the green beans in with the mushrooms).

Serves: 4

Source: slightly adapted from Everyday Food Magazine, November 2008 (Martha Stewart)

All-American Chili

I’ve tried several chili recipes over the years and this one is definitely my favorite.  It’s flavorful, spicy, and hearty.  The recipe comes from the January 2003 issue of Cooking Light, and not only is this chili delicious, it’s also fairly low calorie.  It’s easy to make, and it’s the perfect thing to have on a cold day.  I like to serve this chili with homemade cornbread or crusty French bread.  Like most chilis, the leftovers are excellent and the flavors only improve over time.  And if you are looking for a recipe for vegetarian chili, try this one – it’s also from Cooking Light and it’s another one of my favorites!

All-American Chili

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 6  ounces  hot (or mild- depending on how much spice you like!) turkey Italian sausage
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
  • 8  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, chopped (optional – I always omit this… the chili is spicy enough for me without it)
  • 2  tablespoons  chili powder
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cumin
  • 3  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • ½  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 1 ¼  cups  Merlot or other fruity red wine (beef broth can be substituted)
  • 2  (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, un drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • ½  cup  (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Remove the casings from the sausage. Add the sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño (if using)) to the pan; cook 8 minutes or until the sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add the chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in the wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Discard the bay leaves.  Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.

Makes: 8 servings (each serving size is 1 ¼ cups)

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Every time I use my slow cooker, I wonder why I don’t use it more often.  It’s such a wonderful kitchen appliance.  I made this pulled pork last weekend and it was so easy!  All I had to do was put the pork in the slow cooker along with some onions and chicken broth (for flavor) and set it to low power for 8 hours.  Then I had the whole day free to cross things off my to-do list and run my errands.  Meanwhile, my dinner practically cooked itself!  I also used this time to make a delicious cranberry blueberry pie for dessert– (recipe to come soon!)  After 8 hours, I checked on the pork and it was cooked to perfection.  Then all I had to do was shred the meat, put it back in the slow cooker with some BBQ sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s :) ) plus a few other ingredients, simmer it for another hour, and dinner was ready.  I served this pulled pork on homemade brioche burger buns (which I also made while the pork was cooking all day.)  These pulled pork sandwiches were fantastic!  The pork was sweet, tender, juicy and deliciously BBQ flavored.  And the leftovers were great the next day… and the day after that too.  I’m not usually one to eat leftovers 2 days in a row, but this was so good that I couldn’t resist!  I can’t wait to make this pulled pork again!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1  (3 lb.) boneless pork shoulder, skin and excess fat removed
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • ½  cup  low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2  cups  bottled or homemade barbecue sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  mustard
  • 2  tablespoons  honey
  • 1  tablespoon  soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the pork of any excess fat.  Scatter onion over bottom of slow cooker and place pork on top.  Add broth, cover and cook on low until very tender, about 8 hours.  Remove the meat and let cool.  Remove the onions and cooking liquid from the slow cooker (discard them) and wipe the slow cooker clean with a paper towel.
  2. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat into thin shreds, removing all fat and gristle.
  3. Return the pulled pork to slow cooker and stir in the barbecue sauce, mustard, honey and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour longer on low, stirring occasionally. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Source: Adapted from My Recipes

Homemade brioche buns made these pulled pork sandwiches extra delicious.

Asian Glazed Salmon

I discovered this recipe for Asian glazed salmon a few months ago when I was browsing through Sur la Table’s website.  Eric and I love Asian flavors and we love fish, so we decided to try it out.  It is now one of our favorite recipes and we have already made it twice!  The sauce is super flavorful and it smelled amazing as it was cooking.  And baking the salmon was so much easier than grilling it.  Overall, this is a fantastic recipe that’s simple, healthy, and effortless.

Asian Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. piece of salmon, center cut with skin on
  • ¼ cup Hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger (optional- I omitted)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Oil an 8×8 inch glass baking dish.  Place the salmon, skin side down, in the dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Spread half of the glaze on the fish.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, or until it is done to your preference.  To prevent the glaze from burning on the bottom of the pan, during the last few minutes of baking, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, or more as needed, to the pan.  Garnish with wedges of lime and drizzle the remaining sauce on top.

Serves: 4

Source: slightly adapted from Sur la Table


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