Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chicken Roulades

I’ve been feeling under the weather so I’ve been trying to eat a lot of veggies.  Luckily, I’ve been obsessed with frozen vegetables lately unlike I ever have before in my life.   It’s pretty common for me to have boxes of frozen spinach in my freezer because I throw it in everything – eggs, pasta, on pizza, and in smoothies.  I also typically have all kinds of chicken in my freezer since I take advantage of when it’s on sale at the store so rather than making plain old chicken and vegetables, I wanted to see what else I could do.  I was thrilled to come across this Chicken Roulades recipe I had tucked away.

Thin slices of chicken are rolled with a spinach-Gruyère cheese mixture, cooked until golden brown and topped with an easy broth-based sauce tanged up with fresh lemon juice and lemon peel. I used smoked Gruyère cheese which gave this dish a whole other layer of flavor but you could easily use any of your favorite cheese.  I love buying thin chicken cutlets in the store and keeping them on hand specifically for recipes like this because I’m not a big fan of pounding chicken until it’s thin.  With the thinning already being done for me, it also speeds up my whole cooking process which is just what I need when I’m not feeling good.  This dish is just what the doctor ordered.

If you like this, also check out Spinach and Tomato Stuffed Chicken Roulade.

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In small bowl, combine Gruyère, mayonnaise, garlic, 1 teaspoon  mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

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On each piece chicken, spread 1 heaping tablespoon spinach up to 3/4  inch from edges. Place 2 teaspoons cheese mixture on spinach at one short end,  in a strip, 1 inch from edges. Roll up, starting at end with cheese. Secure with  toothpicks to enclose filling.

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Heat oil in 12-inch skillet on medium-high; add chicken. Cook 5 to 8  minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; add 1 tablespoon water. Cover; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165  degrees F), turning over once. Transfer to plate and cover with foil.

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Into same skillet on medium-high, stir chicken broth, lemon juice,  remaining 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 4 minutes or until  sauce thickens slightly. Stir in lemon peel.

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Remove toothpicks from chicken and slice.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Smoked Gruyère

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Good Housekeeping magazine

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Broccoli with Walnut Romesco Sauce

This week has been brutal for me.  Normally, I would be in Vegas right now for March Madness with my girl friends playing blackjack and betting on NCAA basketball but instead I’m home nursing a stupid cold and having a rough week at work.  After going to Vegas for 10+ years every March, this year we passed on the trip in order to go to our friend’s stepson’s wedding in Mississippi next weekend.  And although we will have a great time down south, it’s killing me not to be in Vegas.  Instead of drinking too much, not eating enough and winning and losing, I’ve been staying away from alcohol and eating healthy.  One tasty dish I’ve made is Broccoli with Walnut Romesco Sauce.

Steamed broccoli is served with a quick puree of garlic, olive oil, roasted red peppers, walnuts, water, and tomato paste.  Smoked paprika, ancho chile powder, and sherry vinegar add additional layers of flavor that pack a punch and keep this sauce interesting.  I only used a fraction of the olive oil called for to keep calories down and was happy that this sauce wasn’t too oily.  In fact, this sauce reminds me of my favorite dip I have ever made (and now my go-to dip), Roasted Red Pepper Dip.  This sauce is versatile too.  Add a dollup to some chicken, on your burger, or mixed in with your favorite tomato sauce for a flavorful pasta dish.  I’m happy to tell you about this sauce because it’s so good but I wish I wasn’t able to because I was too busy gambling right now.  I’m looking forward to Mississippi but it looks like I’ll also need a trip to Atlantic City soon.

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Saute garlic cloves in olive oil over medium heat, 3 minutes.

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Puree with jarred roasted red peppers (drained),  walnuts, water, tomato paste, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, salt and ancho chile powder.

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Serve with steamed broccoli.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Food Network magazine

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Just the word “casserole” reminds me of Sundays at my Grandma’s or weird microwavable leftovers that would be eaten f0r days.  But in Central Illinois where I grew up, casseroles were pretty commonplace with the more mayonnaise the better.  They were pretty much invented as a catch-all of whatever was left in the fridge, with leftover meat and possibly questionable vegetables hidden in mayo, cheese and/or some kind of creamy soup.  Plus, they were cheap and quick.  For a working mom pinching pennies, casseroles were life savers.  This Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole takes me back to being young in Illinois when my mom was still around and eating dinner meant the TV was off.

Onion and mushrooms are cooked until soft, thickened with flour and milk and mixed with broccoli florets and precooked chicken.  A combination of fat-free plain yogurt and mayonnaise (I used low-fat) are added off the heat which really thickens up the casserole while keeping it low in calories.  Finally, a topping of cheddar (again, I used low-fat) and parmesan cheeses are added and the dish is broiled until melted and golden.  You are left with a one-pot dish that doesn’t require any baking.  This is such a quick and easy casserole to make and really could be used with any meat or vegetable – just the way a casserole should be.  So turn the TV off and enjoy an old classic.

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Preheat broiler.  Prepare broccoli in microwave according to package directions.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook 12 minutes or until mushrooms brown and liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.

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Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly.

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Stir in broccoli and chicken; cook 1 minute.

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Remove pan from heat. Stir in yogurt, mayonnaise, pepper, and salt.

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Top evenly with cheeses; broil 2 minutes.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Low-fat mayonnaise
  • Reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Bombay Chicken Salad

I have friends in Tampa who I go visit often and on a trip several month ago, one of my friends picked up some food from the local grocery store for us to snack on.  Along with the hummus, veggies and crackers, she also brought home a curried chicken salad, called Bombay Chicken, that was so good, I wanted to rub my face in it.  I can pretty much count on her picking up this salad now whenever I’m there and it’s just addicting.  The last time I was there in January, I sat down and actually dissected the salad trying to figure out what was in it.  I haven’t tried to recreate the salad myself yet but it reminded me that I had the recipe for this Bombay Chicken Salad that was just waiting to be made which has similar flavors and is, no doubt, much healthier.

Chicken grilled with curry powder and cumin is diced and added to quinoa (or couscous as the recipe calls for) and mixed with mango, golden raisins, scallions, and almonds.  The whole mixture is tossed with a light dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, honey and more curry powder.  The warm flavors of the curry and cumin contrast perfectly with the sweet creaminess of the mango and raisins while the scallions and almonds both provide their own unique crunch.  While I made this with quinoa, this would be delicious with couscous as the recipe indicates, or even whatever your favorite rice is.  The Bombay Chicken from the grocery store in Tampa is a mayonnaise-y calorie bomb so at least I know that when I have that craving, I have this healthier dish to turn to that is just as satisfying.

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      In a small bowl, combine curry powder, salt, sugar, ground cumin and black pepper. Rub onto chicken. Heat grill to medium-high heat.

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Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add couscous and cook for 9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

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In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, salt, curry powder and pepper. While whisking, add oil in a thin stream.

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Place couscous in a large bowl. Add mango, raisins, scallions, almonds and cubed chicken.

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Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

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Refrigerate unless serving immediately.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Family Circle magazine

Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

I’ve been a little bit of TV maniac lately.  Aside from the Superbowl and the Olympics, I’ve been binging on shows like House of Cards on Netflix and True Detective on HBO but then getting sucked right in to stuff like The Voice.  I can’t even tell you what I watch otherwise but I think it’s a bunch of syndication TV like Friends, White Collar, Will and Grace, and Gilligan’s Island.  You know, stuff that is on all the time.  I have a low tolerance for TV unless it’s either good or mindless.  If it’s anywhere in between, I lose interest rapidly.  I have work and I have my blog and I have other interests yet I still need my TV, even if it doesn’t get my undivided attention. I even have one eye on my TV when I make dinner at night.  Things quick and simple are all I can handle.  I cook things that take longer on the weekends when I have more patience so this Bourbon-Glazed Chicken is a quick chicken dinner that can get me to relaxing pretty quickly on weeknights.

Chicken cutlets are basted in a sauce of shallots, Dijon, maple syrup, and bourbon before being thrown on the grill until perfectly cooked and juicy.  This chicken is simple – a little sweet, a little tangy – and perfect for when you just want to eat, relax, and watch a little TV. Serve this with some steamed or microwaved veggies and this is a perfect meal.  We all have busy lives and sometimes just sitting down on the couch if front of the old boob tube just feels really good. There is always something else you could be doing.  But not doing it is sometimes just what you need. Laundry and everything else can l wait another day.

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Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in bourbon, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

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Sprinkle chicken breast halves evenly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Arrange chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; baste with half of bourbon mixture. Grill 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with remaining bourbon mixture.

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Grill 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Mardi Gras Slaw

It’s Mardi Gras! Unfortunately, I’m not in New Orleans and instead grumpy about the latest snowfall, which I hope and pray is the last time I mention snow until next winter. I mean, it’s MARCH after all.  Anyway, I’ve never been to Mardi Gras but I have been to New Orleans so I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans are going on on this Fat Tuesday.  I figured this recipe for Mardi Gras Slaw was the most appropriate thing I could make.

Both green and red cabbage are mixed with a mayonnaise-based sauce kicked up with cayenne pepper and mustard seeds.  Shredded carrot and scallions added more layers of flavor making this a light and fresh side dish.  My first bite of this really reminded me of the kinds of summertime slaws I had at cookouts when I was growing up in Illinois and I tell you, it made me smile.  I’ve grown to appreciate cabbage much more in my adulthood so this colorful slaw was a really great find.  Something about it just screams summer to me which I really need at this point considering it was only 5 degrees outside when I woke up this morning.

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Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard seeds, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

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Add remaining ingredients, and toss to coat.

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For best results, let slaw chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Light mayonnaise

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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