September 2011 Archives

Chicken-Penne Salad with Green Beans Fresh and cool for summer, this makes a perfect packed lunch or light dinner with lots of vegetables, a light fresh herb dressing, and shredded chicken. 2 cups uncooked penne (tube-shaped) pasta
2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil or oregano
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell pepper, drained and cut into thin strips
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes. Add green beans; cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
Combine pasta mixture, chicken, onion, basil, parsley, and bell pepper in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine.
Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.

Original recipe
Meatloaf with Herbs My family always just made meatballs instead of meatloaf, so this was something new to me. This recipe is subtly different in a more veggie-centric way, and leans more toward Italian seasonings. The original recipe calls for ground pork sausage, but I find that turkey heavily seasoned with fresh herbs does the job just as well. Making a sort of panade with bread soaked in milk is a tenderizing trick I picked up from Cook's Illustrated, and it works wonderfully here. The topping is from the Cummings family, and while I was initially skeptical about the sour cream with ketchup, it really adds depth without taking over. 1 cup of finely chopped onion
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 carrot, chopped fine
1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoon salt, less if using sausage
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
1/2 pound of ground turkey or sausage
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (2-3 pieces of bread)
~1/2 c. milk
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs - basil, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley

Topping:
1/3 c. ketchup
~1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
~1 Tbs. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and scallions in butter, over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Cover the skillet and stir occassionally until the carrots are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/3 a cup of ketchup. Cook for 1 more minute.

In a large bowl, combine the meats, eggs, vegetables, and herbs. Squeeze out excess liquid from the soaked bread and add it to the mix. Form into a loaf and put into a rectangular baking pan with 2-inch high sides. Combine topping ingredients and pour over the loaf.

Bake the meatloaf in the oven for 1 hour.

Serves 4 to 6, with plenty for leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.

Original recipe

BLT Salad (Bacon, Lentil, and Tomato) Crispy bacon and fresh tomatoes made healthy in a lentil salad with balsamic dressing and fresh thyme. Perfect for summer lunches. Yay for not having to turn the oven on! 4 pieces bacon, preferably thick slices
2 cups green or black lentils
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh)
1 pound small tomatoes

Slice the bacon into strips. In a medium skillet cook the bacon pieces until crisp, then reserve. Save a tsp or so of the bacon drippings for the dressing. Meanwhile cook the lentils about 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender.

Carefully add the balsamic vinegar, salt and thyme to the bacon drippings, adding a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Whisk the dressing, making sure to loosen any bits stuck to the pan. Remove from the heat and reserve.

Drain the cooked lentils and place into a large bowl. Pour the hot dressing over the hot lentils, and mix well. Let the lentils cool to room temperature.

Halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on the size. Once the lentils are cooled, stir in the reserved bacon and the tomatoes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Original recipe
Stacie's Curried Chicken Salad A favorite of teas and showers and girly events, this fruity chicken salad has a slight hint of curry in the dressing and lots of crunch from the celery, pecans, and apple. Easy to throw together ahead of time and makes plenty to share. 2 C cubed chicken
1 apple, chopped
3/4 C dried cranberries
1/2 C celery, chopped
1/4 C pecans, chopped
3/4 C mayonnaise (or 1/2 c. mayo and 1/3 c. yogurt)
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp curry

Combine chicken, apple, celery, cranberries, pecans, and green onion. Mix mayo, lime juice, curry, and toss with other ingredients. Serve as sandwiches or with crackers.

From: Stacie (via allrecipes.com)
Sour Cream Scones A slightly healthier scone that has a nice nutty flavor from the whole wheat flour. For early-morning events, make the dough the night before, shape it, and refrigerate. Then in the morning, all you need to do is pop them in the oven. Serve with lemon curd (homemade, it's really easy!) or butter. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (about 3 ounces)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine both flours and the next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Combine sour cream, butter, and egg in a small bowl. Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in currants.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6 to 12 times with floured hands. (Dough will be crumbly.) Divide dough in half. Pat each half into a 6-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut each circle into 6 wedges; do not separate.

*Note: dough can be made the day before up to this point and refrigerated overnight covered with plastic wrap.*

Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and cinnamon. Lightly coat top of dough with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Nutritional Information per scone
Calories: 175, Fat: 4.8g

From Cooking Light