Saturday, July 30, 2011

God is Able

One of my favorite worship bands, Hillsong Live, released another CD this past Tuesday - God is Able, and I have been listening to it non-stop since I downloaded it. I am so thankful for their ministry! Below are some of my favorite songs from the CD.

Chicken Enchiladas

Okay, so we like our Mexican/Tex Mex food. I wanted to find a recipe for enchilada sauce that was not tomato based - as that is not what they use in restaurants. What do you know - they had one in my new favorite cookbook collection! I think we are set on enchilada recipes now. The search is over!

Chicken Enchiladas
Canyon Ranch Cooks
Makes four, 2 enchilada servings

For the enchilada sauce:
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground oregano
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 1/2 cups vegetable (or reduced sodium chicken broth)
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp honey
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt (optional - I think this makes it too salty)

For the enchiladas:
1/2 cup onion, minced
12 oz cooked chicken breast, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup vegetable (or reduced sodium chicken broth)
8 corn tortillas
4 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a large saute pan, combine flour with dry herbs and spices and cook over medium heat until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients for sauce and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

2. Lightly coat a medium saute pan with canola oil and saute onion, chicken, oregano and chili powder until chicken is lightly browned. Add 1 cup stock and simmer until liquid has evaporated.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Soak a tortilla briefly in warm water, lay on a flat work surface and spoon 3 Tbsp chicken filling inside one edge. Roll tightly and place into an 8"x8" baking pan. Repeat. Ladle sauce on top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 14 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Each 2 enchilada serving contains:
- 430 calories
- 55 g carbs
- 9 g fat
- 76 mg cholesterol
- 35 g protein
- 482 mg sodium (or less if remove salt)
- 6 g fiber

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicken Pot Pies

I try not to cook with butter... but I do, I use about 1-2 Tbsp. This recipe uses 7 (!). I'll work on cutting the fat our later. For those of you whole don't mind it every once in a while, this is an easier version of chicken pot pie. It makes six, 8-oz ramekin pies instead of one 9" pie.

Chicken Pot Pies
Canyon Ranch Nourish

For the crust
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
4 to 6 Tbsp ice water

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Four 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, diced
2 cups yellow onions, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp dried crushed thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh sage (or 2/3 tsp dried sage)
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried parsley)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. For the crust, place the flour in a medium bowl. Add the salt and cane juice (sugar) and mix well. Cut the butter into the flour, using a pastry cutter, until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water, 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing gently after each addition. The dough will begin to form a ball when enough water has been added. Gather the dough with dry hands and form into a ball. Let rest for 5 minutes.

3. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a circle large enough to fit the top of an 8-oz ramekin.

4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Brown the chicken on all sides. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and vegetables and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Whisk 4 cups of the chicken stock, the thyme, and sage into the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Combine the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of the chicken stock in a small bowl. Mix well. Slowly whisk the paste into the chicken and vegetable mixture and cook over medium heath until thickened. Stir continuously to avoid burning.

7. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire, parsley, and lemon juice and remove from the heat.

8. Place 1 cup chicken mixture in each of six individual 8-oz ramekins and top each with a dough circle. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

Each serving contains
- 400 calories
- 40 g carbs
- 15 g fat
- 86 mg cholesterol
- 24 g protein
- 734 mg sodium
- 3 g fiber

Crispy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

I recently purchased two cookbooks off Amazon: Canyon Ranch Cooks and Canyon Ranch Nourish. I love them. They have hundreds of delicious, nutritious dishes. Usually when I buy a cookbook, I only really like two or three of the recipes, but I am just about liking every one I make from these books.

I made this snack when my mom and grandma were up in College Station last weekend. I'm excited to make these and other spice variations in the future! These are surprisingly spicy, so if you don't do spicy, I'd omit the cayenne pepper.

Crispy Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Canyon Ranch Nourish: indulgently healthy cuisine
Makes six 3/4 cup servings

1 Tbsp evoo
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Two, 15-oz cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with canola oil spray.

2. Combine the olive oil, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, basil, oregano, cayenne, and pepper in a large bowl.

3. Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans well and pat dry. Add the beans to parmesan mixture and toss together until well coated.

4. Spread the beans evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. (I baked them for 1 hour; however, a lot of recipes on the internet say 30 minutes is enough. I guess if you don't want them super crispy, shorten the cooking time.)

Each serving contains
170 calories
20 g carbohydrate
7 g fat
8 mg cholesterol
10 g protein
313 mg sodium
3 g fiber

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cheeseburger Macaroni

This is like homemade hamburger helper, but it tastes way better... and it is just as good for leftovers!

Cheeseburger Macaroni
Serves 4


1 lb lean hamburger meat
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
2 cups beef broth (or water)
1 cup elbow macaroni

Cheese sauce:

2 Tablespoons butter
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Brown and drain hamburger meat. Stir in taco seasoning, Rotel, beef broth, and macaroni. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 mins until macaroni is tender.

Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce…Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

I don't know anything about the website I got this recipe from, but I'm assuming there are veggies in these nuggets to hide them from their children. It is genius. They would have fooled me! (Other than the fact that you can kind of see orange and green through the panko bread crumbs.) These chicken nuggets are so good, simple, and cheap (if the ground chicken is on sale). The ground chicken was $4.99/lb at Kroger last week. I'm not sure if that is normal, but it sounds really high to me.

Chicken & Veggie Nuggets

1 (12 to 14-oz) package California veggies, thawed
1 egg
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 tsp onion salt (or other seasoning)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Put the veggies and egg in a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed. Pour puree into a large bowl. Add the ground chicken and onion salt. Mix together with a fork until well mixed. On a large cutting board, spread a thin layer of the panko bread crumbs, and salt and pepper them lightly. Spread the chicken mixture on top of the crumb mixture until it's about 1/2" thick. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken mixture, and sprinkle the last cup of panko on top. Use a cookie cutter to cut the chicken into shapes.**

Transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or just until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with ranch dressing or barbecue sauce.

**It got kind of messy doing this on a cutting board. Panko kept falling off the counter (and kind of grossed me out since it touched the raw meat). I think it would be easier to do it either in a 9 x 13" pan (using a circle or a not-so-detailed cookie cutter), or to form small balls in your hand and roll them in the panko. Then flatten them to 1/2" with your hand or a spatula. This is the method I am going to try next time.

Spicy Jambalaya

I found this delicious recipe on a friend of mine's website - Fitness Food and Faith. (Awesome blog by the way.) I think I am making three of her recipes this week, and I have a feeling they will all be great! :o) This meal takes about an hour and a half to prepare, but is very hands-off. My favorite kind after a long week of work!

Spicy Jambalaya

12 oz andouille sausage
1 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup long grain brown rice
1 1/2 cup water
1, 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown sausage and then remove and set aside. Add flour to the oil and make a dark roux by cooking the flour over medium high heat until golden in color, stirring continuously. Add the chopped onions, celery and parsley to the roux and toss well to coat. Cook for about six minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for thirty seconds more. Add the browned sausage, water, tomatoes, rice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour. Before serving fluff with a fork.

French Onion Soup

Yummy french onion soup without butter. Yes. I've made this a few times now, and we really like it. It is time consuming, so I only make it on Saturdays. (I think it takes about an hour and a half.) If you have the time, I recommend it!

French Onion Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes

5 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
olive oil
1 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
1 beef bouillon (I use 1 tsp Better than Bouillon beef base)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I use chardonnay)
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp ground thyme
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
French baguette (slice and toast before placed on soup)
Gruyere/Swiss cheese (I'm cheap and buy the presliced Kroger swiss)

In a large saucepan, saute the onions in olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30 to 40 minutes (or longer). Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization.

Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add stock, wine, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

We use ramekins, but if you have oven proof soup bowls, it would probably be easier (and you won't have to keep going back for more). Ladle the soup into the bowls. Cover with toast and a slice of cheese (or a ripped up part of one if using a ramekin). Put into the oven/toaster oven and broil until cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Texas Caviar

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law. It is always a big hit at get-togethers or pot lucks. I made it last night for a going-away pot luck today at work... and it's all gone. And it's healthy! (minus the bag of chips you will eat while scarfing it down...)

Texas Caviar

1, 16 oz jar of medium Pace picante sauce
2, 16 oz cans black eyes peas, drained and rinsed**
1, 16 oz can white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced white onion
1, 16 oz can diced tomatoes or 1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced seeded jalapenos (about 2)
1 cup chopped green onion (green and white parts)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped black pepper
2 Tbsp ground cumin

Mix and refrigerate overnight.

**The picture above is how I made it last night - with 1 can of corn and 1 can of black beans to replace the 2 cans of black eyed peas... I tweaked the recipe only because one of my coworkers asked me to try it this way this time. It is great either way!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini

Every year after Thanksgiving my mom made us turkey tetrazzini with the leftover turkey. I am definitely going to keep that tradition. It's so good and leftover turkey and gravy gets old really fast. You pretty much make your own cream of mushroom (or in my case, mushroom/celery/onion) with this recipe, but it is very easy to make. I think it took about an hour from start to finish.

Turkey Tetrazzini
Adapted from Simply Recipes

12 oz package of pasta
12 oz sliced mushrooms (4 to 5 cups)**
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups 1% milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine or dry sherry
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup peas (optional)
1 cup grated parmesan (not the fake, powdery stuff)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Ground nutmeg (optional)
1/3 cup bread crumbs (or panko)

**I didn't have 12 oz mushrooms, so I did about 1 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 1/2 cup chopped celery, and 1 1/2 cup chopped onions, and it turned out great!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil water for the pasta.

2. Cook the mushrooms (or mushroom mixture) in olive oil over medium heat, stirring until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter (Note: light butter does not work). Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for three minutes.

4. Cook pasta according to package instructions minus a couple minutes, so it still has a "bite". (You will be baking it for 30+ minutes later.) While the pasta is cooking, continue on with the recipe.

5. Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

6. When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas (optional). Stir in 2/3 cup parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a greased 3 quart casserole dish.

7. In a small bowl, combine well the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini.

8. Bake the tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata

We are big tilapia fans over here. I have four or five recipes I switch between, and I usually make one a week. I got this recipe from a cookbook my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas. There are so many recipes in here I want to try. I'm making another two this week: Spinach and Artichoke Mac n' Cheese and Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Marsala Sauce and Pasta (which if I continue to make this, I will shorten to Pork Tenderloin Marsala). Some of her recipe names are crazy long. Anyway, here is another one of our favorites. (This may not be something you want to make now since bell peppers are really expensive right now.)

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beer or chicken stock
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Chili-Lime Fish Fry
4 Tilapia fillets (I sometimes use basa if I have it)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 limes
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup oil

To prepare the peperonata, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño, bell peppers, and salt and pepper. Saute until the peppers are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes, then add the beer or stock and stir for a minute or two more. Top with cilantro and set aside.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 shallow dishes; place the flour in one, beat the eggs in the second, and scatter the bread crumbs in the third. Season the bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp grated lime zest, the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Coat the fish in the flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumbs.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. If the pan is not large enough to fry 4 fillets, heat the oven to 275 degrees and place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. As you fry the fish, transfer it to the rack in the hot oven to keep warm. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until deeply golden and crispy. Season with a little extra salt and top the fish with lime juice. Serve with peperonata.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

This is some yummy tilapia. I think Jaden Hair has been on TV quite a bit these days, but I'm not sure where since we don't have cable. Her and PDub are getting so famous, it's ridiculous. I found this recipe from her website. I've made a few of her other recipes, and they are all winners. I love how her Asian food is fast and easy to make while still tasting like you got it from an Asian restaurant. I always serve this tilapia with these noodles.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

4 tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise (basa works well also)
3 Tbsp honey
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crushed pecans (done easiest in a food processor)
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp olive oil (for frying)
Honey glaze: 3 Tbsp honey mixed with 2 Tbsp hot water

Wash tilapia and pat dry. Using a brush, brush both sides of the fillet with honey. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the fillet.

Combine the Panko and crushed pecans. Lay out your ingredients in this order: Tilapia, egg mixture, panko/pecan mixture. Dip the fish in the egg, coat with panko/pecan on both sides, set aside. Repeat with all fillets.

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, turn the heat down to low (I do medium low). Add the fillets to the pan, makingsure the fillets don't touch each other. You may have to do this in separate batches. Fry on low for 2 minutes or until the underside is golden brown. Turn. Fry another 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Pour the honey glaze over the fish. Note: If you don't fry on lower heat, the panko/pecan coating will burn before the fish is cooked through.

**I have always cooked the fish in a pan, but I think I might try cooking them in the oven next time. I'm assuming it will taste just as good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

Yay for quick, yummy, weeknight casserole dishes. This is one of the first recipes Ree put on her website, but I never made it until recently. Of course, it's really good. This is also another good meal for leftovers.

Chicken Spaghetti
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced onion
4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or less, if heat-sensitive)
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil the spaghetti for several minutes, until very al dente (or, until it still has a nice "bite" to it.) You do NOT want to overcook the spaghetti, as you’ll be baking the dish again later. Combine cooked spaghetti with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in greased casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Delicious. Here is the link to Gina's Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken. Her pictures are helpful for this recipe. I've made it many many times, and it is so good. They taste just as good for leftovers which is a big plus. I usually serve these with quinoa with sundried tomatoes.

It can be really frustrating cutting the chicken into cutlets. There must be some trick out there that I haven't come across yet because I'm not so great at it. Sometimes mine turn out okay, but most of the time they are horribly uneven and come out funky-looking. Luckily, as long as you use many toothpicks, it doesn't matter if the chicken fully covers the cheese/broccoli. It will taste the same!

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

After many attempts at making homemade cinnamon rolls, I have found a winner. Ree's (The Pioneer Woman's) were good, but the recipe makes around 50 cinnamon rolls, and there is no way I will ever need that many. Also, she uses 4+ sticks of butter, and even though that makes a whole lot of rolls, I don't think I can ever use that much butter in one recipe again. It kills me.

Money Saving Mom's cinnamon roll recipe will now be my go-to cinnamon roll recipe. It is so simple since you use a bread machine. All you have to do afterward is roll out the dough, spread/sprinkle on the filling, roll it up, cut it up, and bake it! Enjoy. :o)

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Money Saving Mom


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten, plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla


Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 4 Tablespoons softened butter and 1 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.

Roll up and cut into 15-25 rolls (depending on how big you want them) and place in two to three greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.