wifeyskitchen

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Stir Fried Walnut Chicken — April 28, 2012

Stir Fried Walnut Chicken

My fiance and I registered for a wok on our wedding registry. I really hope we get it for recipes like this. It smelled so good while I was making it and the colors were so bright and pretty. It screamed healthy with all the vegetables! Half the recipe made me four servings, but they were small servings. Happy Eating!

Stir Fried Walnut Chicken

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Stir Fried Walnut Chicken

Recipe Thanks to Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet

Ingredients:

1 tsp. plus 3 tbsp. cornstarch, divided

2 tsp. plus 3 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 ½ tsp. grated fresh gingerroot

5 tsp. vegetable oil, divided

1 medium onion, quartered

1 garlic clove, minced

1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned

½ cup fresh broccoli florets

½ cup chopped carrot

1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained

3 cups cooked long grain rice

½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 teaspoons soy sauce until smooth. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag; add soy sauce mixture. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In another bowl, combine the remaining cornstarch and soy sauce until smooth. Stir in the broth and ginger; set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in 2 teaspoons hot oil until no longer pink; remove and keep warm. In the same pan, stir-fry onion and garlic in remaining oil until tender.

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Add the red pepper, broccoli, carrot and water chestnuts; cook and stir until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Stir broth mixture and stir into vegetables. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Return chicken to the pan; heat through. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with walnuts. Yield: 6 servings.

Utensils Used:

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Lasagna Rollups — April 26, 2012

Lasagna Rollups

I have always thought of myself as a lasagna lover, but thinking about it more, I’m really just a lover of my mom’s lasagna. It’s a simple lasagna, but oh so good. I have never found a lasagna that has competed with hers until now… It will never beat my mom’s, but it’s giving hers a run for it’s money. I forgot to buy ricotta cheese, but it was a happy accident. I already had cottage cheese in the fridge and I like that in lasagna so much better.Half the recipe made three servings.

Lasagna Roll-ups

Lasagna Roll-ups

Recipe thanks to Homemade by Holman

Ingredients:

8 lasagna noodles

1/2 pound lean ground turkey

1 T olive oil

1 clove garlic

1/2 onion

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 egg

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 T fresh basil, chopped

1 1/2 T fresh oregano, chopped

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  When it reaches a boil, salt liberally and drop noodles.  Stir occasionally and cook to just al dente.  You want to leave them slightly more firm since you’ll be baking the pasta.  Drain noodles and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add turkey and brown.  When almost cooked through, add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add 1/2 the basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, lightly beat egg.  Add ricotta, Parmesan and remaining basil and oregano and stir together.  Spray pan lightly with cooking spray.  Add enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  To assemble, on a drained noodle, add a spoonful of ricotta mixture.  Top with a spoonful of meat sauce and roll up.  Place seam side down in pan.  Continue until you’ve used all the noodles.  Top each with a little more meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining crushed red pepper flakes.  Bake approximately 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Utensils Used:

Barbeque Beef Sandwiches — April 18, 2012

Barbeque Beef Sandwiches

Manwich has nothing on this girl! Ok, It tasted pretty similar to Manwich, but I loved the big chunks of celery and onion. The only thing that was missing was sweet pickles. If you have never had a sloppy joe with sweet pickles on top, stop what you are doing and go get yourself one right now. So delicious! The best part about this recipe was I already had everything in my fridge except the ground beef and buns. Such a cheap, healthy, recipe. Half the recipe made me enough for four sandwiches. Happy Eating!

Barbeque Beef Sandwiches

Barbeque Beef Sandwiches

Recipe Thanks to Taste of Home Comfort Food Cookbook Diet

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 hamburger buns, split

Directions:

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, celery and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Spoon 3/4 cup onto each bun. Yield: 6 servings.

Utensils Used:

Snicker Bar Blondies — April 17, 2012

Snicker Bar Blondies

It’s time for another monthly book celebration in my class and OMG did I pick a great recipe to make! These were so easy to make and needed very few dishes. Seriously if you are going on a first date and you want to impress the guy, have these cooking when he picks you up. The smell alone will make him love you! It was buttery brown sugar goodness. Enjoy!

Snicker Bar Blondies

Recipe thanks to The Cafe Sucre Farine

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

⅔ cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 – 6 ounces Snickers bars, coarsely chopped (I used the 4.62 ounce Fun Pack – which is 8 small bars – the regular size Snickers candy bars are 2.07 ounces so  2 or 3 would be perfect, depending on how Snickery 🙂 you want your blondies )

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Add brown sugar and mix well. (I like to use a whisk for mixing these.) Cool slightly.

3. Add eggs (beaten) and vanilla. Blend well with a whisk or wooden spoon. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well again using a whisk or wooden spoon – no mixer neccesary!

4. Spread in 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan. Scatter chopped Snickers and chocolate chips on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Utensils Used:

Stuffed Pepper Soup — April 16, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This was a great soup recipe to make on a week night. It only needs to simmer for 30 minutes which would be nice after a long day of work. I used brown rice, but I think I will use white rice next time. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, I got too excited and ate it! I took a picture of it in my Tupperware. I made half the recipe and it made four good size servings.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Recipe thanks to Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Serve about 1 1/3 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

Utensils Used:

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce — April 15, 2012

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Usually I don’t like asparagus unless it’s drowned in butter. However, my fiance, the angel on my shoulder, has been getting me to eat healthier. This recipe was delicious and only has two tablespoons of butter (I only put one tbsp). After 12 minutes it wasn’t done enough though so I put it in for ten minutes more and it was done perfectly.

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Recipe thanks to All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.

3.Bake asparagus 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the baked asparagus to serve.

Utensils Used:

Marinated Flank Steak —

Marinated Flank Steak

When Spring comes around I always get inspired to grill. This was such an easy meal to make with very few ingredients. I loved sticking the ingredients in the bag and having barely any dishes to deal with after. When my fiance and I go out to dinner and have steak he always orders medium rare, but I am a well done gal. He is starting to turn me into a medium well gal though. Tonight I had to admit to him that I over cooked the steak. Boy did he ravel in that one! I served the steak with Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce.

Marinated Flank Steak

(I found the recipe on Pinterest, but I don’t have the original recipe)

  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • salt and pepper

Combine first four ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add steak, turn to coat; marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill until desired doneness. Let stand, covered loosely with foil for 10 minutes, before cutting in thin strips against the grain.

Utensils Used:

Spinach and Red Pepper Fettuccine — April 14, 2012

Spinach and Red Pepper Fettuccine

I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself after making this recipe. I felt like I was eating at Olive Garden. I liked this recipe because there were a lot of steps to do. Most people would steer away from recipes like that, but it was fun to me. It actually probably wasn’t that there were a lot of steps they just seemed to all happen at the same time. Cooking isn’t just about the end product to me, it’s about the process. My dad always says, “It’s the journey not the destination,”  and this is so true for cooking. To make this healthier next time I will grill the chicken instead of bread it. There were a lot of ingredients for this recipe, but most of them are common ingredients you probably already have. I made half the recipe and it made me three servings.

Spinach and Red Pepper Fettuccine

Recipe Thanks to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

*Serves 4-6 (depending on if you are serving adults or kids)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

6 ounces fresh spinach

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup lowfat milk

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound fettuccine

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they’ll finish up in the oven). Don’t scoot the chicken around once you lay it in the hot oil! Let the oil work it’s magic to sear the crust on the chicken. If you get all antsy and try flipping too early and/or moving the chicken around the pan, the breading is likely to fall off. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.

 

Utensils Used:

Korean Beef Rice Bowl — April 9, 2012

Korean Beef Rice Bowl

My fiance and I love going to this restaurant called Kobe Steak House. It’s the kind of restaurant where they cook in front of you and do all the tricks with the utensils. Well minus the tricks, which would have ended badly, this reminded me of Kobe. The vegetables were done perfectly and it only took about half an hour to cook. My fiance even said, “Jeez it’s already done!” The only thing I would do differently next time if marinate the meat longer. I am going to marinate it in the morning and cook it for dinner to get the flavors really going. I made half the recipe and it made two good size servings.

Korean Beef Rice Bowl

(Recipe thanks to Steamy Kitchen)

Ingredients:
2 cups raw rice
1 pound beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks (or 1 cup matchstick cut carrots)- There were baby carrots in the fridge already so I just sliced those up. Worked great
1 small zucchini, diced
2 handfuls of spinach leaves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Directions:
1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. (I used a Steamfresh bag of frozen white rice. So easy to pop it in the microwave and have steamed rice in four minutes)
2. For the beef, if using flank steak: Cut the steak into very thin slices ACROSS the grain. If using other steak: Cut the steak into very small cubes, about 1/2-inch. If using ground beef: leave as-is.
3. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Add the beef and toss to coat. Let marinate while you prep the vegetables. Steps 1 and 2 can be done ahead of time up to 1 day before.
4. Heat a large saute pan or wok on medium heat. When hot, swirl in the oil. Add the onions and saute for 1 minute. Turn the heat to high and give it just a few seconds to heat up. Add in the beef, spreading the beef all over the surface of the pan, tossing with the onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes until just barely pink.
5. Add in the carrots, zucchini and toss. Cook for 1 minute. Toss in the spinach and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

Utensils Used:

Oreo/Marshmallow Easter Bunnies — April 5, 2012

Oreo/Marshmallow Easter Bunnies

Spring Break starts on Friday so the kids have been mentally done and so have I! To top it off the fourth/fifth graders had state testing this week so our schedule has been all switched around. To send the kids off for break I decided we needed to do fun Easter/Spring activities. At the end of the day we will be having an Easter egg scavenger hunt. Our fourth grade buddies will hide eggs around the school in certain places. The first graders will read clues in the eggs to know where the next egg is. The last egg will lead them to the teachers’ lounge where these cute little Easter Bunnies will be waiting for them.

You need:

Big Marshmallows

Vanilla Almond Bark

Oreos

Pink Jelly Beans

Black frosting

Pink Decorating Sugar

Melt the almond bark.

While the almond bark is melting cut the marshmallows in half and sprinkle the inside with pink sugar. Dip the oreos in the almond bark, covering the entire oreo. While the bark is still hot, stick the marshmallows to the oreo and put the pink jelly bean on for the nose. I made my own powdered sugar frosting since I only needed a little bit for the eyes. Mix a tiny bit of milk with powdered sugar and mix in black food coloring. Dot two eyes with the frosting.

Utensils Used:

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