Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta and Pine Nuts

I have made a feta stuffed chicken before, but this recipe from Cooking Light caught my eye. Why didn't I think to add spinach and pine nuts with the feta? Either way, I am glad I found this recipe. The spinach is a great addition. We both enjoyed it! We paired with a couscous salad with diced cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese.

5 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled fat free feta cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Place spinach in a colander; press until barely moist. Wipe pan clean.
Combine spinach, cheese, nuts, juice and garlic. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 3 tablespoons filling into each pocket. Seal with toothpicks. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until brown. Add broth to pan (if ovenproof) or to ovenproof dish with chicken.
Cover and place in oven.
Bake for 15 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Turkey and Zucchini

I feel a little silly posting this recipe. Mainly because it is a regular dish in our house and I feel it is too easy to blog about. Regardless, I posted it. This dish includes two of our favorite ingredients: pasta and turkey. (As you can see from the label counts on the side of the blog!) We love this pasta dish!

1 lb whole wheat penne pasta (I prefer the Barilla brand for whole wheat)
1 lb. ground turkey; lean
1/2 white onion; diced
3 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 zucchini; ends trimmed and chopped
2 - 14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes; drained (I like to drain, because I think the juice makes the sauce too thin.
1 - 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil - fresh would be great, but I was out.
Salt and pepper
Fresh parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt and add pasta. Cook till al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, brown turkey in a pan over medium-high heat. Once cooked through; drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, warm oil over medium- high heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook till tender then add zucchini. Season with crushed pepper flakes and pepper. When zucchini is tender, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked turkey, oregano, basil and salt. Lower heat to medium-low and adjust seasonings.
Allow sauce to cook for 5-10 minutes.
Top pasta with sauce and parmesan.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tomato , Brie and Basil Pasta

I am a cheese lover and Brie is one of my favorites! My friend Ali posted this recipe on her blog and I had to make it. It tastes like a grown up version of mac n cheese. We both loved it!
Ali found the recipe from Sunset magazine and the recipe couldn't be easier. We are gearing up for vacation and I was trying to clean out my fridge, so I decided to add a few more ingredients and change things up.

1 lb. whole grain pasta (I think shells work best)
4 oz brie cheese; sliced
1 quart cherry tomatoes; halved
2 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 white onion; minced
1/2 cup olive oil
8 ounces of fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves; chopped
3/4 cup reserved pasta water
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta cooks, warm olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are tender. Add spinach leaves and lower heat. Stir until leaves start to wilt, then add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Right before draining pasta, reserve 3/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and return to pan. Add spinach and tomato mixture to pasta and stir in cheese and basil. Keep stirring till cheese melts. If pasta looks too dry, add some reserved pasta water. I added about 1/2 cup, but added the other 1/4 cup before I stored the leftovers.
That's it! Easy and delicious!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Black Bean, Avocado, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

I have been looking for lighter dinner options for the warm Summer months and came across this dish. Wow, this was so good! Chad (my where's the meat eater) loved it too. I paired with rotisserie chicken breast which I chilled the night before. I think next time, I might include warm pita bread with hummus and make little sammies. This would also be a great salad to bring to a party!

1 seedless cucumber; diced
2 Roma tomatoes (or home grown); diced
2 Haas avocados; diced
1- 15 ounce can black beans; drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons red onion; diced (I left this out because I forgot to buy one - but I didn't miss it)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro;  minced
2 limes; juice of
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Keep in fridge till ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from here - Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes. 

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup  Points: 2 ww pts
Calories: 126.9 • Fat: 5.7 g  Protein: 5.0 g  Carb: 16.0 g  Fiber: 6.7 g   

Monday, August 2, 2010

Buffalo Style Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are always a hit and this version was no different. Using ground turkey and whole wheat buns helped to lower the fat and calorie count. Another winner in my book!

1 lb ground turkey, lean
1 carrot; peeled and diced
2 celery stalks; washed and diced
2-3 cloves of garlic; minced
1 yellow onion; diced
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup hot sauce (or more or less to your taste)
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste (I buy the paste in a tube and store in my fridge)
1/3 cup chicken stock
Whole wheat buns
Blue cheese crumbles
Broccoli Slaw

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and break up with a wooden spoon. When the turkey is no longer pink, drain. Return to pan and add carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Stir together and cook for another 7-8 minutes.

While the mixture continues to cook, make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and chicken stock. Pour sauce over turkey mixture and stir together. Lower heat to medium-low and add tomato paste. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Toast the buns in toaster and build your sloppy joe. Top with blue cheese crumbles and broccoli slaw (for a little crunch).

You may have noticed that our ratings haven't been showing up lately.... this is because we both got a little tired of rating each meal. I decided that if we both like it, I will post it. We both REALLY liked this one. Give it a try!

Recipe adapted from A Little Ditty (my talented friend Ali's talented sister, Kristen) and the Food Network's Rachael Ray.
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