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!