Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chicken Caesar Salad in a Shell

This is so delicious and the perfect dinner for a hot summer night! I got the recipe off of For the shell part you use Azteca shells that are pre-made in a package and raw, and all you do is bake them. Wal-mart carries them-in our store they had them in the refrigerated section over by the yogurt and dairy products. They are really good, and the nice thing about them is you can bake them ahead of time and they will keep for a couple of days. The recipe is for 2 full size salads, but I doubled it and then adjusted a couple ingredients to my liking.

1 large chicken breast, cooked & diced (I used Tyson's chicken breast strips in the bag that are already grilled and cooked!)
4 bacon strips, cooked and broken up
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into small pieces
4 c leafy greens
1/2 c shredded swiss cheese
Caesar Salad Dressing (I prefer Bernstein's-it's excellent!!)
Fresh Parmesan cheese
2 Salad shells (cooked according to package directions)

-Prepare salad shells and set aside. Layer greens, chicken, bacon, cucumber, and swiss in the shell. Drizzle dressing over the top. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
-I actually mixed all ingredients in a big bowl and served that way, and it was perfect!
-You can also have this without the shells and just add croutons.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Speaking of Zucchini...

I have discovered a new taste sensation and can't believe I've never thought of it before! It's so simple-all you do is slice up some zucchini, toss it in a skillet with butter and garlic salt, and simply add dried dill weed! Add to your liking, but I'm telling you, it's scrumptious! I'm never doing oregano or anything else again in my zucchini! Dill it is!!

Eggplant Bolognese

This was really good! In an effort to use more zucchini (and appease my husband) I left out the eggplant. I used 3 zucchini and 1 summer squash. The kids loved it. No complaints of squash. I think it's because it is chopped up so small. And, call me uncultured, I just used hamburger instead of ground chuck. This is from Every Day Food magazine.

8 T olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced
1 lrg eggplant (about 1#) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), finely chopped
1 zucchini (about 8 oz), quartered lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick crosswise
1 garlic clove, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 # ground beef chuck
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 T dried oregano
1 # rigatoni or other short tube pasta
Parmesan cheese, shaved

1 In saucepan with lid, heat 6 T oil over medium-high. Add eggplant; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6-8 min. Transfer to bowl; set aside.
2 Add remaining oil to pan; reduce heat to medium. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, til veggies have softened. 7-10 min.
3 Add beef; cook stirring and breaking up meat with spoon til cooked, 5 min.
4 Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, add tomatoes, oregano and eggplant to beef-vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick and eggplant is tender, about 25 min. (doesn't take that long without eggplant). Season with salt and pepper.
5 Meanwhile, cook pasta til al dente, according to package directions. Drain; serve topped with sauce and parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zucchini and yellow squash gratin

2T butter
2 med zucchini sliced
2 med yellow squash sliced
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan
Heat oven to 450. In large skillet, heat butter and add zucchini, yellow squash, shallots and garlic. Sautee over med heat 4-6 mins till crisp-tender. Add cream and cook till thickened, about 5 mins. Remove from heat, add half of Panko and half of parmesan. Stir. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle top with remaining Panko and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Bake8-10 mins. till golden and serve. I like to add more salt and pepper when eating!

Herbed Chicken Parmesan

I love chicken parmesan. It is one of those satisfying, comforting dishes. I found this excellent recipe from Cooking Light that my family really enjoyed! I know that when Ryan comes to me later after dinner and says "you really need to make that dish again" that it had to have been really good! I changed a couple things to my liking, but one thing I LOVE is the Newman's sauce with the balsamic vinegar in it. The vinegar makes it so delicious! CL recommends you serve this over orzo pasta, but I couldn't find any so I served it over angel hair pasta. This is great served with a Caesar salad (the salad kits are great!).

1/2 c fresh parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 c dry bread crumbs
1 T minced fresh parsley
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 lb. chicken breast tenders (I especially like the size for kids)
2 T butter
1-24 oz. jar Newman's Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina Sauce (this is a lot, but we like a lot of sauce on ours. It's the perfect amount if you double the rest of the recipe)
3 t balsamic vinegar
1/4 t black pepper
1 c shredded provolone cheese

-Combine 1/4 c of parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and salt in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Dip each chicken tender in egg white; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Set aside.

-Combine tomato sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Cook till heated through. Pour the sauce over chicken in pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 c parmesan and the provolone cheese. Wrap handle of pan with foil, and put under broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

-Serve over angel hair pasta. (I tossed mine with a little butter and salt).
-Serves 4. (I doubled the recipe and it made plenty for leftovers the next night!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Raspberry-Yogart Ice Pops

2 c plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c frozen raspberries (or any other fruit)

In medium bowl, whisk yogurt and sugar to combine. In a blender, place 1 cup yogurt-sugar mixture (reserve the rest) with raspberries; puree until well blended. Press raspberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl (discard solids).

Dividing evenly, layer yogurt mixtures in six 3 ounce ice-pop molds. Insert sticks, and freeze til solid, 4-5 hours. To unmold ice pops, run warm water briefly over the molds.

I let the kids help me because it was so easy. They loved it! And these are sooo good!
from Every Day Food magazine

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Best Veggie Sandwich

These puppies are absolutely scrumptious! So full of flavor, and you don't feel guilty eating them. They're not super kid-friendly, although most of my kids ate them with no problem. I love the toasted sesame seeds-a must!

4 Whole-Grain English muffins, split and toasted
2 avocados, mashed
1 c alfalfa sprouts
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 c Ranch dressing-Hidden Valley from mix if possible-it's so much better!
4 T toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

-To toast sesame seeds, put in skillet and turn on med-high heat and stir for a couple minutes. Remove from heat once they start to turn golden. Don't let get too dark.
-Preheat oven to broil. Place each muffin open-faced on a cookie sheet. Put under broiler for a couple minutes to toast slightly.
-Place halves close together. Distributing ingredients evenly, cover each half in this order with ranch, avocado, tomato, onion, salt and peppper, sesame seeds, alfalfa sprouts, cheese.
-Place under broiler for another 1-2 minutes or so, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
-Serves 4-6

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Coconut Banana Bread With Lime Glaze

We love banana bread at our house, along with coconut and anything with lime! So I think this is my favorite banana bread recipe by far! The glaze is soooo yummy!It's from Heather's ward cookbook, but I tweaked it just a tad.

2 c flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c apple juice
1/4 c sour cream
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c flaked sweetened coconut
2 T flaked sweetened coconut

1/2 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 T FRESH lime juice

-Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Set aside. In your mixer bowl beat butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, sour cream, apple juice and vanilla. Beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Fold in 1/2 c coconut. Pour batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan; sprinkle with 2 T coconut. Bake at 350 for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
-Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lime juice, stirring with whisk. Drizzle over warm bread. This is extra moist if you let it sit and eat the next day! Freezes well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Balsamic Pasta Salad

Here's a great recipe for all that fresh basil coming on in the garden! I got this salad idea from Plates & Palates in Bountiful. It looked so good I had to recreate it, and yummy it is!

12-16 oz. Any kind of pasta (Penne preferably)-Target has cool pasta-I used their Spinach Garganelli-awesome!
Balsamic vinaigrette-I used Newman's, and then added some balsamic vinegar & olive oil for more flavor
Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
Fresh parmesan cheese
Pine nuts
Salt to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water until cool. Toss pasta with the rest of ingredients in a large bowl to your taste. Salad is best if it sits in fridge a while or overnight. You may want to leave out pine nuts and cheese if sitting overnight to prevent sogginess, but mine is just fine the next day with everything in it. Serves 8-10. I love this-one of my new favs!