Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna

Oh, how I love an excuse to cook with cheese! My sister was coming in from out of town this week, and she is a bean-hating-vegetarian. I was stumped as to what to cook, since Kevin is a tofu-hating omnivore. I decided a veggie lasagna was in order, and that I would also create a lentil soup for Kevin and Maya (who is quite skeptical about melted cheese). The nice thing about a baked pasta dish, is that you can assemble the entire thing in the morning (or previous day), and then bake it an hour before you want to serve it. Perfect. I raced to the grocery store and back home, which Miss Maya was at school, and assembled this bad boy extremely quickly. It was a whirlwind of activity, but it was well worth it, so I didn't have to destroy my kitchen at 5pm, with a guest anxiously awaiting dinner.

Anyway, the final product...

This is a good one. I will keep this recipe in the files, because it's an easy, go-to recipe for company, or a new mom, or a potluck. It is full of veggies, and you could definitely add more if in the mood. The one factor to consider, is the fact that the recipe is totally dependent on the sauce. This calls for a jar of "fat free pasta sauce," so you really need to decide how far you want to go with this ingredient. I used "Classico Tomato Basil," which is the sauce we buy at Costco. It's not fat free, but a very close second. The thing is, the better the sauce, the better the lasagna (in my opinion), so I think next time, I will try a different sauce. The one I used was good, but it wasn't exceptional. I would like to try making my own, but I haven't found a recipe that excites me. Anyway, back to the final product. I really liked this - it is really delicious, without being heavy or too rich. The sauteed veggies are really nice, and add a great texture to a meatless pasta bake. I felt that using part-skim cheeses didn't affect the flavor of it at all, which was really nice. My only big complaint, is that it really fell apart. The recipe instructions, state that the lasagna needs to "stand" for 10 minutes, which I assume was the time it needed to "set." Well, it still totally fell apart when I cut into it. I recognize that this doesn't affect the taste one bit, but you know how I love pretty food. Anyway, after leaving out for 30 minutes, I cut into it again, and it stayed together just fine. So, the moral is, let it sit for a tad longer, if you want a pretty slice. Oh, I just love layers... Mmmmmmm.

Try this... If you dig cheese.

Vegetable Lasagna

This vegetable lasagna is perfect for making ahead and can easily transport to a potluck or the freezer.

Yield: 6 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (omitted - Nora hates 'em)
3/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 (26-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato basil pasta sauce
2 tablespoons commerical pesto
1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
Cooking spray
6 hot cooked lasagna noodles (about 6 ounces uncooked), cut in half (I used whole wheat)
3/4 cup (3 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375�.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and the next 4 ingredients (mushrooms through onion); cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pasta sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Combine pesto and ricotta in a small bowl. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish or pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodle halves over tomato mixture. Top noodles with half of ricotta mixture and 1 cup tomato mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles; sprinkle with mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 375� for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Notes: To make ahead, assemble as directed; stop before baking. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature; bake as directed. For easy cleanup, assemble in a disposable 8-inch aluminum-foil pan. If you're making for a gift, deliver uncooked with baking instructions.

CALORIES 328 (30% from fat); FAT 10.9g (sat 5.4g,mono 3.8g,poly 0.9g); IRON 2.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 31mg; CALCIUM 418mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39g; SODIUM 491mg; PROTEIN 18.2g; FIBER 3.7g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2001

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup

After my little sis (curry-hater) made a comment about the curry overload on the blog lately, I decided to take a curry break. After all, she is one of the few who follow this blog, so I must cater to my readers. Then I found this recipe, and the amazing reviews were screaming at me, so I just had to give it a try. On Wednesday, Kevin was home at lunchtime, and I decided, on a whim, to whip it up and see how it turned out. Well, this is a terrific recipe. I see what all the hype was about. First of all, it has a terrific base. It's like a really thick, flavorful chicken soup, with a different texture in every bite. You have the al dente noodles, the tender chicken, the crispy bite of the snap peas, and the leafy greens, all coming together in a really nice, hearty, hot pot of deliciousness. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a soup. It's more like a brothy hot pot. It is actually tough to eat this with just a spoon, because of the long noodles. Anyway, Kevin found this to be only okay. Basically, he loved the flavors, but didn't love the components. He'd rather have a chicken and rice soup, with your standard soup veggies, but with the awesome broth of this recipe. Okay. Maybe next time. I'm glad I made this one. It is a really cool recipe, and it looked really pretty. Of course, I made some minor modifications, so as not to have to buy ridiculous amounts of ingredients, but I pretty much stuck to the book. We liked it. I'll tweak it and try it again in a few weeks!

Try this. It's a great variation from your standard chicken noodle.

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup

Chicken soup flavored with coconut and curry make this Thai a reader favorite. Snow peas, spinach, and chicken breast give the soup flavor, texture, and a wealth of nutrients.

Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 2 cups soup and 1 lime wedge)

4 cups water
3 cups fresh spinach leaves (I used frozen, because I had it, and wanted to get rid of it.)
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
1 (5 3/4-ounce) package pad thai noodles (wide rice stick noodles)(I just used plain linguine)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (I omitted this. I just can't bring myself to use it.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (omitted)
4 small hot red chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
7 lime wedges (omitted)

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach and peas to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.

2. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; saut� 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Serve with lime wedges.

CALORIES 315 (22% from fat); FAT 7.8g (sat 3.7g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.3g); IRON 3.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 62mg; CALCIUM 78mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.9g; SODIUM 841mg; PROTEIN 29.3g; FIBER 2.4g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

As previously mentioned, I'm in the Fall spirit lately, cooking up a storm of pumpkin flavored yumminess. I decided to try making these, as it's always nice to have a unique brownie/bar in the repertoire. I've been loving all things "cheese-cakey" lately, so this sounded very good to me. Well, it is good. Not terrific, not out of this world, but a good solid flavor. My big issue with this recipe, is that the finished product was super moist and sticky, to the point of looking sort of horrible and sloppy. Basically, they were supposed to be baked in a 10x15." Um, does anyone have a pan this size? I baked it in a 9x13, and it was much more like a cake, than a brownie. Also, there was so much cream cheese topping, it was nearly impossible to create a pretty swirl (yes, I'm a sucker for pretty swirls). So anyway, the moral of the story is, "Tastes great, less pretty." Meh. Oh well. I have about 20 of them in my freezer. Maya loved them, but now she has no interest in the leftovers. I guess I'll be eating them for the next several months. I wish someone else would make these, because I can't understand why they were a sticky, ugly, tasty mess.

This is how they were supposed to look:

The recipe...

Please try this, and tell me how they turn out.

Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars

These spiced pumpkin-cream cheese bar cookies with a creamy, tangy swirl are perfect for Halloween or any autumn get-together. You can chill them airtight for up to 3 days.

Yield: Makes 24 bars

6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature (yes, I used reduced fat cheese. Okay, I'm zipping up my flame suit, and getting ready for everyone to tell me that this is why they turned out sloppy...)

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, and 1/3 cup water until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg; stir or beat into butter mixture until well blended. Spread batter evenly in a buttered and floured 10- by 15-inch baking pan.

2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, remaining egg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

3. Drop cream cheese mixture in 24 evenly spaced 1-tablespoon portions over batter. Pull a knife tip through filling to swirl slightly into batter.

4. Bake in a 350� oven until center of pumpkin batter (not cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per bar.

CALORIES 164 (38% from fat); FAT 7g (sat 4.2g); CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23g; SODIUM 130mg; PROTEIN 2.6g; FIBER 0.4g

Sunset, NOVEMBER 2003

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sesame-Soy Meatballs

I love you, Cooking Light. You make my month.

I made this recipe tonight, unsure of how it would taste. It is supposed to be made with ground sirloin, but I subbed ground turkey, because I don't eat ground beef, and I had turkey in the house. The meat mixture was a big, gloppy mess, to the point where I added more meat, because I thought the balls would fall apart. I was skeptical, to say the least. Even when I put them on the stove, in a pan, I thought there was no way they'd stay together. I was anticipating one of those nights, where we would try the food, hate it, and end up re-heating leftovers. I wished I had paid more attention to the one and only review of these meatballs - it said they were good, but mushy. Why didn't I listen?

Much to my surprise, even though the balls didn't keep their perky, bouncy ball shape (they were more like a messy, slightly deflated ball), they tasted delicious. They were very moist, without being mushy, and the flavor was really outstanding. Kevin said they reminded him of the szechuan meatloaf I make, though they were much saucier and moist. I will definitely be making this again, but I'll try it with ground chicken next time. We both tend to like the texture of it a little better. By the way, this one is easy and quick. Serve it over brown rice, with some steamed veggies on the side, and you have a delicious, easy meal, with an easy clean up.

Make these. Make them, now.

Sesame-Soy Meatballs

Serve these garlicky, spicy meatballs with steamed sugar snap peas and two cups cooked rice tossed with 1 tablespoon chile paste—you'll find it on the ethnic aisle of most supermarkets or at Asian grocers.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 5 meatballs)

Cost per Serving: $2.50

1/3 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef; mix gently to combine. With moist hands, shape beef mixture into 20 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.

3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs to pan; cook 4 minutes, turning to brown meatballs on all sides. Arrange browned meatballs in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining meatballs. Bake meatballs at 400° for 7 minutes or until done.

CALORIES 241 ; FAT 11.3g (sat 2.7g,mono 4.8g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 36mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.3g; SODIUM 491mg; PROTEIN 23.5g; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 1.9mg

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2010

Black Pepper-Fennel Breadsticks

What a great week! Here's what happened:

Thursday: Received my "Everyday with Rachael Ray" mag in the mail. Score!
Friday: Received my "Cooking Light: Holiday Double Issue" in the mail. Super score!
Saturday: Received my "Food Network" magazine in the mail. I am in heaven.

Since I had made a vat of pumpkin soup on Thursday, I decided to whip up Rachael Ray's breadsticks on Friday morning. They are really easy to make, and I've been dying to try these fennel seeds I bought at Penzey's (a.k.a. the best spice shop on earth). The breadsticks were tasty, though I'm not the biggest fan of fennel. Next time, I will make them with fresh rosemary instead. The thing about these breadsticks, is that they really should be made and eaten immediately. The following day, the sticks had lost their crunch, and had a hybrid crunchy/soggy texture. Blah. Anyway, I might make them for Turkey Day, but I need to figure out how I can do it without them tasting old... Any ideas for me?

Oh, and also, Rachael Ray doesn't post her recipes to the magazine website until the actual month of the magazine. So, I got November last week, but she won't post the recipe until it actually becomes November (how dare she). So, when it is posted, I will put it on the blog. I just can't bring myself to type it out. But... you should come for Thanksgiving, so you can try these bad boys. They were a nice soup addition. Gotta love a good breadstick.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Soup - 2 Ways...

First of all, I do not understand why it's "unacceptable" to soup in the Spring and the Summer. Ridiculous. To make matters worse, people go pumpkin crazy in the Fall, and yet, barring a pumpkin shortage, one can buy canned pumpkin in the store, during all seasons. So what's this pumpkinsanity, during the month of October? I mean, how many people actually cook with fresh pumpkin? Seriously. If you cook with fresh pumpkin, leave me a comment, because I am dying to know if this is really a trend.

Okay. Rant over.

Now, onto the cooking. For the first time ever, I cooked with fresh pumpkin. My close friend, former roomie, and now neighbor to my parents, sent me a Harvest Pumpkin Soup recipe, which looked delicious, though I was quite intimidated by the use of fresh pumpkin and fresh butternut squash in the dish. In the past, I've tried cutting a butternut squash, and it was both messy, and extremely difficult. My knives are okay, but truth be told, I need a new set pretty badly, because cutting the pumpkin was a beast. Maya helped me by doing the "mixing," and we roasted some delicious pumpkin seeds after our project. Anyway, Liz's gave me some roasting tips, which really helped, and I ended up modifying her recipe, because Kevin is very skeptical about recipes with dairy in them. I found an alternate recipe, from Cooking Light (of course), and I married the two together, in the hopes of creating a masterpiece. Basically, I took Liz's recipe, and cut down on the butter, subbed skim milk for the cream, and did a little finagling of the spice combination.


Okay, so the end result was a deliciously thick, yet smooth soup, that had a perfect blend of sweet cinnamon subtlety, and roasted cumin saltiness. We aren't usually fans of smooth soups, because we adore chunky soups that border on stews (Rachael Ray would call us a "Stoup Family"). This soup is an excellent companion to a grilled cheese (and tomato, of course) sandwich, or a grilled chicken salad. It's very light, and, in my opinion, it wasn't a meal by itself , but that may be because I didn't make it quite as rich as the recipe suggested. If you are in the mood for some tasty, Fall inspired, fresh pumpkin/squash yumminess, you should make this. It's worth the effort, even if you have old, dull knives!

Here is Liz's recipe, including my modifications, from the Roasted Pumpkin and Winter Squash Soup recipe I nabbed from Cooking Light.

Harvest Pumpkin Soup

~2-lb Sugar Pumpkin
~2-lb Kabocha Squash, or Buttercup Squash (I used a butternut squash)
Salt & Pepper
4 Tbsp Butter (salted) (I cut this way down, but I'm not even sure how much I used)
1 cup Sweet Onion, diced (I used 2.5 cups of onion)
1/2 cup Carrots, diced
1/3 cup Celery, diced (My celery was looking sad, so I didn't use it)
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Paste (concentrated)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed (I cut this way down, too, but again, not too sure how much)
4 cups Vegetable Broth (I use the little squares that you mix with boiling water)
1 cup Half & Half (I used skim milk, because that's what I had)
I added a 1/4 tsp of pepper, and a 1/4 tsp of cumin
dash of clove at the end (I used allspice instead)

Preheat your oven to 400. Slice the pumpkin and squash from stem to bottom and remove seeds and pulp. Season with S&P and roast on a cookie sheet for 45 – 60 minutes, or until tender. (As Liz suggested, I put the halves face down in casserole dishes, with a dash of water, while they roasted. Yum.)

Ten minutes before the pumpkin and squash are done roasting, in a large stock pot, melt the butter. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Then add the ginger, cinnamon, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Stir to combine heat over medium until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vegetable stock and bring the pot to a boil. When the pumpkin and squash are tender (pumpkin may be more so than the squash), scoop out all of the flesh and add it to the pot, along with the Hald & Half. Return everything to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out as much as you can of the vegetables and pumpkin and squash, and liquify it using a blender (or if you have an immersion blender, that would be perfect for this). Return the liquefied veggies to the pot. You don’t have to blend the entire pot – just however much you want to that you’re comfortable with the consistency of the soup. When everything is smooth and heated through, taste and add salt or cinnamon as needed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Curried Beef Stew

I am sure you are so sick of seeing curried dishes on our blog. I'm sorry, but I guess I'm on a roll. We probably stink, and are sweating curry lately. This family adores Indian food, though, for many reasons, so I keep making more and more. You see, the ingredient lists for curried dishes always boast our favorites:

Sweet Potatoes
Beans (chickpeas, lentils)

The flavors are also quite outstanding in curried dishes. Rarely do you find that a recipe comes out bland. So, those are my reasons. Good enough? I haven't cooked with beef in a while , and we had a pound of stew meat in the freezer, so I whipped up the bad boy last night. The upside of the recipe, is that it is easy to make, my family loved it, and my kitchen smelled heavenly. The downside to this recipe, is that it cooked for a whopping 2 hours on the stove top. Yikes. Anyway, the big boss (Maya) loved this dish. After she took her first bite, she said, "Mommy! This is good beef!" Gotta love it. Kevin was also a big fan. The dish has a well rounded blend of spice curry and sweet, fruity flavors. Anyway, this is a nice way to use up your extra soup veggies that are wilting in the fridge - carrots, celery, mushrooms, green onions...

You should make this (when you have 2 hours to spare). Kevin gives it 4 bowls, plus a cup (so, is that 4.5 bowls?).

Curried Beef Stew

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai chile sauce
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
Cooking spray
1 pound beef stew meat
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 (14 1/4-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1 1/2 cups (1-inch-thick) sliced carrot
1 cup (1-inch-thick) sliced celery
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup light coconut milk

To prepare paste, combine first 6 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl.

To prepare stew, heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan.

Reduce heat to low; add oil to pan. Add paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add curry, cinnamon, and bay leaf; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in beef, soy sauce, and broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.

Add sweet potato, carrot, celery, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until beef and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; stir in coconut milk. Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

CALORIES 358 (30% from fat); FAT 11.8g (sat 4.4g,mono 4.4g,poly 1g); IRON 5mg; CHOLESTEROL 71mg; CALCIUM 74mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.6g; SODIUM 556mg; PROTEIN 28.5g; FIBER 6.1g

Cooking Light, JULY 2002

Friday, October 15, 2010

Soba Noodles with Broccoli and Chicken

In keeping with my "Kinda Sorta Like Italian Food Week." (remember my tomato chutney?!), I decided to use these Japanese noodles. I found these udon noodles at Ocean State Job Lot a couple of months ago, and they were dirt cheap, so I figured someday, I might actually use them. Well, lo and behold, I found this recipe for soba noodles with chicken, and I figured I could just substitute udon noodles. If you are wondering about the difference between the two, soba noodles are thin buckwheat noodles, and udon noodles are thicker, softer, wheat noodles. Anyway, I followed some of the reviews, and doubled the sauce, since people said it was too dry. I am glad I had more, but I actually wish I had "one and a halfed" the sauce, instead. Anyway, this is an easy recipe, and it is really delicious. It is actually really spicy (I wouldn't recommend doubling the crushed red pepper), but also sweet and gingery, with a nice kick of flavor in every bite. My whole family really liked it - including both babies. Maya basically picked out every piece of chicken, leaving the rest of us with very little. Anyway, this is a definite "make again" meal. We loved it, and the leftovers made a really tasty cold salad the next day!

Make this. Seriously. Kevin's rating: 5 BOWLS!!!

Soba Noodles with Broccoli and Chicken

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups chicken mixture and 1/2 cup noodles)

6 ounces uncooked soba (buckwheat noodles)
1/4 cup sake (rice wine) or dry sherry (I used Sherry because it seemed more versatile, for future recipes)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
3/4 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used breasts instead)
1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
3 cups quartered mushrooms
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup (1-inch) red bell pepper strips
1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Combine sake and the next 4 ingredients (sake through crushed red pepper) in a small bowl; set aside (I doubled this part, but NOT the crushed red pepper).

Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 4 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and sesame oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and remaining ingredients; stir-fry 4 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Return chicken to pan; stir in sake mixture. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over noodles.

CALORIES 357 (18% from fat); FAT 7g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.9g,poly 3.2g); IRON 3.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 49mg; CALCIUM 61mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.2g; SODIUM 810mg; PROTEIN 30.1g; FIBER 3.3g

Cooking Light, MAY 2004

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Indian Spiced Chicken with Tomato Chutney and Chile-Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

As I've mentioned previously, my husband despises dairy, but mostly cheese. In case you are wondering, he is not lactose intolerant (everyone asks this), he just hates the taste, texture, and smell of dairy. Of course, I love cheese, so this definitely puts a damper on my cooking/eating style. Sadly, I can't make anything Italian, because it almost always contains cheese or milk/cream. I do miss lasagna and stuffed pastas, but I mostly just miss tomato sauce. Oh, how I love Italian dishes with tomato sauce. You may have noticed that I cook a lot of Indian food, which my family really enjoys, so I decided to try a new spin on tomato sauce - tomato chutney. This dinner was a marriage of 2 recipes - one from Cooking Light, and one from allrecipes. Basically, the CL recipe for "Indian Spiced Chicken with Tomato Chutney" looked delicious, but the chutney recipe was full of ingredients that I didn't have on hand. Instead, I searched on allrecipes for a substitute chutney recipe, and I found a very simple one, which didn't call for so many ingredients. The end result was really great (despite the fact that my timing was truly out of whack on this one). The chicken itself is nicely spiced, but very mellow and simple. Once topped with the chutney, however, it was incredibly flavorful - both sweet and salty, with a really subtle, tangy, ginger flavor. As I was eating it, all I could think about, was, "What else can I make with this chutney?!" It was the simplest component of the dish, but definitely a big winner. The Chile-Garlic Sweet Potatoes recipe is from Eating Well, and it is really simple and quite delicious. It also allowed me to use up some leftover taters and butternut squash, and it was a really lovely side dish with the chicken. These 3 recipes came together beautifully, and, served with steamed broccoli, made for a really well rounded, simple Fall meal.

Make this one. It's a keeper. Kevin's rating: 4 BOWLS

Indian Spiced Chicken with Tomato Chutney

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile
1/4 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup coarsely chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
**Or, you can make the chutney my way (see below)!

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

To prepare chutney, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and serrano; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add tomato, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer 5 minutes or until mixture is thick. Set aside, and keep warm.

Prepare grill.

To prepare chicken, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add coriander, curry, cumin, and black pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Brush mixture evenly on both sides of chicken; sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Serve chutney over chicken.

CALORIES 268 (30% from fat); FAT 8.9g (sat 1.9g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.5g); IRON 1.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 108mg; CALCIUM 36mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.3g; SODIUM 687mg; PROTEIN 40.6g; FIBER 0.9g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

Tomato Chutney
Adapted (a lot) from

* 2 cups chopped tomatoes (Use a can - it's easier!)
* 2 teaspoons ginger (Use the refrigerated prepared kind - easier!)
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (Meh, skip it!)
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 tablespoon white sugar (I used 2 tsp instead - it was perfect sweetness.)
* salt to taste


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cilantro, chili powder sugar and salt. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and saucy, about 10 minutes. I used my immersion blender, to make this smooth, because my fam isn't into super chunky tomato sauce.

Chile-Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

4 servings, about 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

* 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed (and peeled, if desired), cut into 1-inch wedges or pieces (I just used 2 huge sweet pots, and probably 8 ounces of butternut squash - way more than the recipe suggests)
* 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
* 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see Note)
* 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
* 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper


1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
2. Combine oil, chile-garlic sauce, soy sauce and white pepper in a large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat with the seasoning mixture.
3. Spread the potatoes evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.


Per serving : 177 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 31 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 348 mg Sodium; 586 mg Potassium

* Note: Chile-garlic sauce (also labeled chili-garlic sauce, or paste) is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and will keep for up to 1 year in the refrigerator.

Blueberry-Apple Cobbler Bars

I made these little bites of deliciousness last week, just to get rid of some of our leftover food (i.e. blueberries and apples). Maya loves when I bake, because she enjoys playing with the sugar and flour I spill on the counter (yes, I am quite a mess in the kitchen). I have never made a cobbler before, though I am always drooling over cobbler recipes. I liked this one, because it wasn't meant to be eaten with a spoon, but could be picked up like a brownie. Sadly, these sort of fell apart anyway, but once frozen, they stayed relatively intact. They were really easy to make, and I had fun cutting in the butter/shortening. It's funny - while I was making them, I was thinking I would definitely end up with a bunch of fruit, covered with a giant dusting of flour, because the batter wasn't really wet at all. The crumble topping ends up coming out like a really nice crumbly crust, though, and it tastes really good. My mom asked me if these were a "light" recipe. I told her yes, but then realized that they aren't really light (though I did experiment with light butter) - they are just well portion controlled. Each bar comes out to 200 calories, which isn't so high, for a dessert... Right?

Maybe you should try these... Kevin doesn't do fruit desserts, so he couldn't rate these, but I give them 3 Bowls. They are good, but in my humble opinion, it's a not a real dessert, unless there's chocolate involved.

Blueberry-Apple Crumb Bars
Adapted from


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shortening (I used half "light butter," which actually worked pretty well!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen blueberries, and used half apples, because I didn't have enough berries)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.