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Cauliflower and Sausage Casserole This casserole is healthy, filling, and surprisingly delicious for a dish with cauliflower as a main ingredient. Sausage, tomatoes, and the aforementioned cauliflower make for a warm and comforting casserole that is even better as leftovers the next day. 1 medium head cauliflower, about 2 pounds
1 teaspoon fine table salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound uncooked herbed chicken sausage OR spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 medium onion, about 1/2 pound, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stems fresh thyme, leaves only
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
1 can diced tomatoes
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.

Cut the cauliflower head in quarters. Slice away the leaves and stem, and with an angled cut cut away the core from each quarter of the cauliflower head. Chop cauliflower roughly into bite-sized florets, each about 1-inch across.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the salt. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander set in the sink. Run cold water over the florets to stop the cooking process and shake the colander to drain any excess water. Return the cauliflower to the cooking pot and set aside.

Place a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then, when the pan is quite hot, add the sausage. Use a spoon to break up the meat. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through and beginning to get crispy. If using chicken sausage there should not be a great deal of fat in the pan, but if using Italian sausage, drain all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan with the sausage. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Scrape up any brown bits as you sauté. Crush the tomatoes, and add them to the sausage. Stir thoroughly, then add the reserved tomato sauce and cook for about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the sauce with the cauliflower in the cooking pot. Spread the cauliflower and sausage mix in the prepared baking dish and distribute evenly. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle them evenly over the cauliflower. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs have browned and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

original recipe

Italian Chicken Stew This chicken stew is hearty fare with tomatoes, kidney beans, carrots, celery, onion, and basil. You may want to add more broth for a more soup-like consistency. 2 tbs. olive oil
2-3 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1-2 carrots, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can can low-salt chicken broth
½ c. fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tbs. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 ½ pounds total)
1 can organic kidney beans, drained

Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Sauté the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with bread

Derived from Giada De Laurentiis (food network)
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
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)
Green salad with Dates, Smoked Almonds, and Goat Cheese This salad has a lot of ingredients, but it is well worth the work. Smoked almonds and chopped dates add strong smoky/salty/sweet flavors to the crunchy lettuce, cabbage, and celery mix. Beans, chickpeas, and shredded precooked chicken provide protein, and crumbled goat cheese acts as a creamy accent. A simple red wine vinaigrette is included in the recipe, but feel free to improvise - just about any vinaigrette will do. Made ahead of time on Sunday, it makes for a easy, healthy work lunch and will last for nearly a week properly stored in the fridge. For a vegetarian version, just omit the chicken. Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded very fine
3-4 stalks celery, chopped

Toppings:

Cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/2 cup smoked salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce can chickpeas and/or 1 12-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Optional: 6 shallots OR 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Avocado

Dressing:

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey or fruit jam
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. olive oil


To make ahead: Mix the salad ingredients (washed and thoroughly dried) together. Store in large plastic containers lined with paper towels. Top with the finely chopped shallots or red onion, dates, almonds, and legumes.

Per serving: Toss with the goat cheese, top with chicken and/or avocado, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to taste

Whisk the jam/honey, mustard, and seasoning together. Add vinegar, stir well, and slowly add oil while whisking until emulsified.

Original Recipe

roasted_salsa_mexican_casserole.jpgThis is definitely best Mexican casserole I have ever had. Fresh summer corn, zucchini, and red pepper are sauteed in green enchilada sauce with precooked shredded chicken, layered with corn tortillas and homemade smoky tomato salsa, then topped with a mix of cheeses and baked until the flavors meld. It is, however, also a lot of work - and although the casserole is well worth the effort, but I do advise planning ahead before tackling it. I think we ate at around 9:30pm the night I decided to make it. But it makes a ton - would be great for feeding a crowd, and has so many veggies that it doesn't leave you feeling greasy like most cheese and sour cream casseroles.

Salsa:
8  plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
3  garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1  small onion, peeled and chopped
1  seeded jalapeño pepper, quartered
Cooking spray
1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
Casserole:
1  cup  chopped onion
1  cup  fresh or frozen corn kernels
1  cup  diced zucchini
1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
3  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
1  tablespoon  minced garlic
2  teaspoons  chili powder
1  teaspoon  ground cumin
1  (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
1  (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
12  (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/2  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1/2  cup  (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco

Preheat broiler.

To prepare salsa, combine first 4 ingredients on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 20 minutes or until charred, stirring once. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Place tomato mixture in a food processor; add cilantro, lime juice, and pepper. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare casserole, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, corn, zucchini, and bell pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Add chicken and next 5 ingredients (through green chiles); sauté 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of tortillas over salsa. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with 3/4 cup salsa. Repeat layers, starting with remaining tortillas. Finally, sprinkle the cheeses on top. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until bubbly

Original recipe

dill_chicken_salad.jpgThis recipe is famous back home at ladies meetings and potlucks. The dill gives it a delicious spring flavor and if made in a food processor it makes a wonderful creamy spread for crackers or homemade bread. And don't forget the celery salt- it really makes a difference in taste. As with all chicken salads the measurements are approximate.

1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tbs. dried dill
1/2 tsp. celery salt
juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
~2 c. cooked chicken, chopped fine

Combine the first 5 ingredients thoroughly. Taste, adjust, and add to the chicken. Mix well and serve with bread or crackers. Alternatively: if serving as a dip, blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy.

Recipe by Debi Akiyama
maple-bakedchicken-sweetpotatoes.jpgDelicious winter comfort food: golden baked chicken with butternut squash and onions, slightly sweetened with maple syrup. Plus it only takes a few minutes prep work, most of the time is hands-off in the oven. So good, I've already made it twice in the past month.

    2-3 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on
    Olive oil
    1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
    1 medium butternut squash or 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    3 tablespoons maple syrup
    Kosher salt and black pepper
    4-6 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the chicken skin side down in a hot pan. Once the skin is crisp and brown remove the chicken from the heat.

Arrange the chicken (skin side up), onion, and squash/sweet potatoes in a large baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme.

Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 45-60 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving
Original recipe

kale_brown_rice_gratin.jpgI upped the greens and added chicken to this warming casserole to make it a one-dish meal, but you can of course omit the chicken and use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. The flavors are simple but delicious - a little dijon and hint of nutmeg add interest, but the main focus is the creamy texture of the rice and greens.

1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups short grain brown rice
3 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth if vegetarian)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (optional)
2 large bunches kale
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
6-8 ounces of extremely sharp cheddar-style cheese
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed 3.5 - 6 quart pan. Add shallot and saute until brown.

Add brown rice and saute with shallot for about 5 minutes, until it starts to get a little toasted.

Add milk, stock concentrate, spices and dijon. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes - 1 hour. You can peek and stir occasionally without problem. Note: the milk will curdle here if you boil it very long, but this doesn't really affect the final product.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

At the end of the rice's cooking time, add in the finely chopped kale. Cook an additional 5 minutes of so to help soften the kale.

At this point it should be rather thick. If it is not, put two tablespoons flour in a small bowl and add some of the remaining liquid from the rice mix. Stir to make a roux and add back to pan to thicken. Once thick enough to be like a wet paste, spoon into 9×13 casserole dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs (cheese first!) and put into preheated oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly.

Original recipe



white_chicken_chili.jpgThis southwestern chicken soup is spiced like chili but looks more like tortilla soup. Beans, corn, and the typical soup trio of onion, carrots, and celery round out the vegetables, and cilantro and sour cream help brighten the flavors. The recipe makes a ton, but it freezes well and is great to have on hand for cold lazy evenings.

1.5 lb. chicken breast (boneless, skinless), cubed small
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cans shoepeg corn (drained)
1 can Rotel
2 cans navy (or northern) beans (1 can drained, 1 undrained)
2 c. low-sodium V8
4 c. chicken broth
1.5 tsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
Garnish:
fresh cilantro
sour cream
Fresh jalapenos, minced
Saute onion, carrots, celery until onion is lightly browned. Add chicken, cook ~ 3 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Freezes well.

From: David Sutton
 
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