Tag Archives: couscous

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

28 Dec

I posted this almost a year ago and made it last night again for dinner (another one of many times throughout the year). This is one of my daughter’s favorite quick dinners I make, and it’s my go-to recipe for a simple and easy delicious meal! Last night I subbed out Panko bread crumbs seasoned with Italian dried season and used a jar of homemade canned tomatoes, chopped, with liquid drained. If you haven’t made this before, try it out!

anotherfoodieblogger

So simple, so colorful, and soooo good! I had a bag of fresh spinach and a pound of defrosted boneless chicken breast in the fridge. A lovely tomato sat on the counter. In my mind, that’s a no brainer. BUT! I didn’t want to stuff the chicken, it was too cold to grill, and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. All the recipes I found online just didn’t “do” it for me, so I set out to combine several of them with the parts I liked, then completely improvised from there. My family gobbled this right up, and now I have yet another easy weeknight dinner I can put into my rotation.

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or other seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon…

View original post 282 more words

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans in a Spicy Tomato Herb Sauce

16 Oct
Sausage and Garbanzo Beans with Tomatoes in a Spicy Herb Sauce

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans with Tomatoes in a Spicy Herb Sauce

Well. This meal got totally mixed reviews. My daughter loved it. My husband didn’t like my choice of sausage but really enjoyed the spicy bean sauce and herbs, and ate mostly that. I found it middle ground because of my choice of sausage. I  liked it OK, just OK. But that is what cooking is about. Experiment! Next time I will make this with standard smoked turkey sausage or Kielbasa, and my husband agreed it would be outstanding with that instead of this fancy-schmancy stuff I bought.

I got the idea for this dish from a blog I follow, TasteFood:   Mediterranean Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Chickpeas. She has some fabulous recipes. Why oh why didn’t I use standard smoked sausage for this? I will tell you why.  I was in Target in their new upgraded store with a food section, and saw these and thought, “Wow! I wanted to make this recipe I just saw on a food blog site, but how neat to make it with this instead!” It was touted with all natural, no preservatives, yada yada. And spinach and garlic! Winner! (not)

Sausage Tomato Herbed Spiced Garbanzo Bean Skillet Ingredients

Sausage Tomato Herbed Spiced Garbanzo Bean Skillet Ingredients

I was also excited to use a canned jar of my tomatoes, and I scrounged in my herb garden to get the last of my herbs for this. I got some fresh tarragon, but my basil plants had frozen overnight and looked horrible, my cilantro had expired long ago, but luckily had some store-bought cilantro in the fridge. For this recipe, just use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (parsley, basil, cilantro, etc.) or use dried, which is always acceptable when you don’t have fresh. It’s not like we all have greenhouses in our backyard.

So that’s the back story. Now I present the recipe, but I shall suggest smoked sausage (turkey, Kielbasa, or otherwise) instead of ground chicken and spinach froo-froo stuff. ‘Nuff said,

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans in a Tomato Herb Sauce

Smoked sausage of preference  (hint, hint)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2  tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 can of tomatoes, your own homemade, or store bought
2 tablespoons of minced fresh herbs, any kind (halve that if they are dried)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste

Slice your sausage on a diagonal, to look cool for a photo, or just slice it normal in about 1/4 inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet on medium heat, then add the sausage, with a about a 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook until the water evaporates. Now it’s just a test of patience to get the sausage browned to your liking.  Uncover, and using tongs, flip the sausage over and over until you are satisfied with the outcome. I’m impatient. You would only have to flip them once if you are not.

Garlic Spinach Chicken Sausage in Skillet

Garlic Spinach Chicken Sausage in Skillet (I was finally satisfied)

Once the sausage is done to your liking, remove to a paper-toweled plate and set aside. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet, then add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions start to soften. Now add the chicken broth (or wine, I wish I had some!) to deglaze the pan.  Simmer that for about 5 minutes until the liquid reduces about in half. Now add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes with liquid (drain off any unusually large liquid amount if homemade canned type), the herbs and the crushed red pepper flakes. You can sub in cayenne pepper if you don’t have that on hand.

Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Herb Mixture

Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Herb Mixture

Smoosh the tomatoes down if you used homemade, or you are home free if you uses canned diced tomatoes. Stir and simmer that all around until it looks nice and thick and yummy, and don’t forget to grind a bunch of black pepper over it, to taste. Now add the sausage and simmer until heated through, just a minute or so. This can be served  over couscous, rice, or pasta, or like I did with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains (no I am not paid to endorse that) or just eat as is! This really is a simple and great weeknight meal idea with very few ingredients.

Chicken Sausage in Tomato Garbanzo Mixture

Chicken Sausage in Tomato Garbanzo Mixture

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

18 Sep
Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Hey, I finally caught a salmon on my line! (And… he got away, boo hiss.) But it was fun and exciting, nonetheless. So you may have noticed I didn’t do a weekend post, because, well, I was gone fishin’! But the night before we left I made these crazy-good stuffed bell peppers, and I think we’ve found our new-favorite vegetable stuffing. I was perusing through Trader Joe’s last week and noticed this package of Harvest Grains. It sounded so delicious, with couscous, quinoa, orzo pasta, and teeny garbanzo beans. Wow! What a bunch of cool grains and stuff all in one package! And the flavors were just wonderful. So much better than plain old white rice.

Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Red Bell Peppers and Tomatoes

Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains, Red Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes

I decided I would make my roasted bell pepper recipe using this instead of rice, and yowza, what a hit with the family! Seconds for everyone. I thought I had some ground turkey in the freezer, and I was going to be really healthy using that instead of ground beef, but alas, it turned out to be a package of ground pork (plain, not breakfast-type.) Well, what the heck, I used that instead. I also used some of my tomatoes from our hanging tomato plant experiment, which are coming in fast and strong. Now if I can only ward off the frost until I get most of them harvested, as it’s cooling down quick in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this, and if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you can substitute rice, but I would simmer it longer and use more liquid.

Simmering Bell Pepper Stuffing

Simmering Bell Pepper Stuffing

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

2 large red bell peppers (or 3 or 4 if you want all the stuffing inside)
1 pound ground  fresh pork (or turkey or beef)
1/2 cup onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains (or rice)
3/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes and liquid, or 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cut 1/2 inch tops off of the bell peppers, and dice the tops up except for the stems. Clean and rinse the inside of the peppers and place with small amount of water in covered microwavable dish. Microwave for five minutes and let rest until ready to stuff.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Ready for Oven

Stuffed Bell Pepper Ready for Oven

In a very large frying pan, sauté the ground pork (or turkey or beef) along with chopped pepper tops, onion and garlic until your meat is browned. Drain. Add the rest of ingredients except cheese and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the Harvest Grains are done, about 15 minutes. (Longer if using rice.) Stir in half the cheese.

Stuff the peppers with mixture and place in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, and spoon the extra stuffing around the peppers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over top and bake 5 minutes longer. Dinner is served!

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

5 Jan
Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake Dinner Plated.

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake Dinner Plated

So simple, so colorful, and soooo good! I had a bag of fresh spinach and a pound of defrosted boneless chicken breast in the fridge. A lovely tomato sat on the counter. In my mind, that’s a no brainer. BUT! I didn’t want to stuff the chicken, it was too cold to grill, and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. All the recipes I found online just didn’t “do” it for me, so I set out to combine several of them with the parts I liked, then completely improvised from there. My family gobbled this right up, and now I have yet another easy weeknight dinner I can put into my rotation.

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or other seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
10-ounce bag of fresh spinach
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
Black pepper
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes Ready to Bake

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes Ready to Bake

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan or dish with oil. Halve the chicken breast(s) lengthwise, and if needed, pound to an even thickness.  Season the chicken breast with Mrs. Dash or other seasoning, to taste. Add the chicken to a 1 quart resealable plastic bag and add the balsamic vinegar,  minced garlic, lemon juice, and baking soda. (My husband made me add the baking soda. He swears up and down it makes any meat more tender or juicy.)  Seal the bag and squish it all around to coat, and set aside. Next, line the bottom of the baking dish with all the spinach, then drizzle the chicken broth over it. Now sprinkle the crushed red pepper, green onions and a little bit  more balsamic vinegar evenly over the spinach. Place the chicken on top of spinach, then drizzle the liquid from the bag over everything. Now add the tomatoes on top, and grind black pepper over it all. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the  foil, and spread the breadcrumb/cheese mixture over the chicken, then lightly spray with oil. Put back in the oven and bump it up to broil for 10 minutes. You’ll end up with some extra liquid in the pan, but I don’t think I would skip the chicken broth for fear of drying out the spinach. Serve with couscous or rice of choice. Spicy, tangy, delicious!

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake Dinner, Steaming and Ready to Devour

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake Dinner, Steaming and Ready to Devour

Spinach, Mushroom, and Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breasts

18 Apr
Spinach, Mushroom, Swiss Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Spinach, Mushroom, and Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This was actually a fairly quick meal to make when I prepared it the other night, and for that I was thankful because I had it in my head it was an hour earlier when I went to actually cook it. My daughter’s piano lesson was moved to an hour later because of her school track practice, and when we got home I thought I had another hour to relax before starting dinner. However, several things I did made this fairly quick. I stuffed and rolled the chicken breasts during my lunch break, then put them in the fridge for later. Second, I kind of cheated on the breading and used a half packet of Shake and Bake I had on hand. Otherwise I probably would have made a homemade coating but just simply didn’t have the time when it came down to it. Lastly, I used 5-minute quick-cook herbed couscous and microwaved the asparagus instead of steaming or baking it. After all that, I had dinner on the table within 40 minutes, and the entire family thought it was delicious! I thought so too myself.

Prepping the Chicken

Prepping the Chicken

Spinach, Mushroom, and Swiss Stuffed Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 green onion, sliced thin and chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 slices of Swiss cheese, halved
1/2 packet of Shake and Bake coating, or any other breading

Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting through the middle of them lengthwise, but don’t cut all the way through. Lay the chicken down flat on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet until about 1/4-inch thick. In a skillet, add the butter, mushrooms, green onion, garlic, and pepper. Sauté on medium heat for about five to seven minutes. Add the chopped spinach and stir until wilted, just a minute more or so.  Lay the slices of Swiss cheese down one side of each chicken breast, and spoon half the spinach mixture over each. Fold the other half of the chicken over that then secure with toothpicks. Dredge the stuffed chicken in the breading until fully coated. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 35-40 minutes until done. About 10 minutes before the chicken was done I made the herbed couscous and asparagus, and we all sat down to eat at a decent hour!

%d bloggers like this: