Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mango Chutney Pork Chops

I found this recipe on page 73 of the February/March 2013 issue of Taste of Home magazine.
It called for a pork roast, but pork chops are easier.

This recipe makes a big helping of chutney, which if not all used with the pork can substitute as some pretty delicious salsa.
Instead of dicing, slicing, and mincing my chutney ingredients I put everything in my Vitamix on the lowest possible speed until chopped up. Convenience is key in my house.

pork chops

pork chop seasoning -- per 2 pork chops
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger

mango chutney
2 medium mangoes, peeled and diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tbsp white vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In small bowl, combine pork chop seasoning.
  3. Sprinkle seasoning on pork chops, pressing spices into the meat on both sides.
  4. Cook for 30-40 minutes (depending on thickness of pork chop), until cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine all chutney ingredients. 
  6. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat stirring occasionally for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  7. Serve with pork chops.
  8. Enjoy!

Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

I found this recipe on page 37 of Wegmans Menu Winter 2013 issue.
They offered two "Step Savers":

  • replacing the chicken & corn starch with Wegmans Seasoned Chicken Breast Strips for Stir Fry
  • replacing the vegetables with Wegmans Stir Fry Blend Fresh Cut Veggies Kit
It also called for Wegmans Garlic Simmer Sauce, which I couldn't find so I made my own version.
This recipe was filling, healthy, and a pretty convincing home-cooked asian dish.

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut in thin diagonal slices
2 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs water 
1/4 lb broccoli florets
1/4 lb cauliflower florets
3/4C red or yellow bell peppers, 1" dice
3/4C green bell peppers, 1" dice
1 large carrot 1/4" bias slices
3oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2C fresh baby corn, halved
1C fresh snow peas
1/2 chicken broth
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp garlic red wine vinegar
2 tsp onion powder

  1. Mix sliced chicken with cornstarch and water until chicken is coated, set aside.
  2. Blanch veggies in large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in stir fry pan on high -- oil should be hot but not smoking.
  4. Stir fry chicken 4-5 minutes.
  5. In small bowl, combine chicken broth, garlic salt, garlic, vinegar, and onion powder.
  6. Add mixture to pan.
  7. Stir fry 5 minutes to heat through.
  8. Enjoy!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Trying to eat with minimal added sugar, flour, and dairy has brought to try some new things.
I found this recipe and it was a little spicy but SO good.

1 tbs olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3C marinara sauce (I used Victoria All Natural Marinara)
1/2C red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 lbs cleaned shrimp

  1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, until soft.
  3. Add garlic and pepper flakes, cook 1 minute.
  4. Add vinegar, cook 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in marinara and black pepper, simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp, cook until pink (time depends on if shrimp are fresh or frozen).
  7. Serve over pasta if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken

In my search to find added sugar free, flour free, and dairy free meal options I stumbled upon this recipe.
It was simple, easy, and delicious!

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
12oz jar of "clean" salsa (no added sugar)
1/4C water
4 small zucchini, diced
1/4 medium pineapple, diced

  1. Place chicken on bottom of crock pot.
  2. Pour salsa and water over chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred using 2 forks.
  5. Place shredded chicken back in crock pot for ~1 hour.
  6. Serve chicken over zucchini and pineapple.
  7. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Sauce

I bought a cherry tomato trio from Wegmans last weekend and found this recipe.
I modified the recipe to become a sauce, served it over pasta (in this case, Ezekiel sprouted grain spaghetti).
It was so so flavorful and delicious (and healthy to boot).

2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 heirloom tomato

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes in an 8x8 baking dish.
  3. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Sprinkle oregano and minced garlic over tomatoes.
  5. Place in oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Puree heirloom tomato.
  7. When 10 minutes is up, remove from oven and add tomato puree to baking dish.
  8. Stir well.
  9. Place back in oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Salted Oat Cookies with White Chocolate and Toffee

Last weekend, I went on a cupcake tour of NYC.
One of the stops was at Milk and Cookies bakery for a Salted Oat Surprise cookie. It may have been the best cookie I have ever eaten.
On the tour they told us that Milk and Cookies has a cookbook, unfortunately their cookbook does not contain the recipe for the Salted Oat Surprise..BUT the internet has helped me come up with something :)
I found this recipe and added toffee bits and a liberal helping of sea salt.
While I am on a no flour/dairy/sugar/alcohol challenge, I made these for the Denver/Baltimore football game today. And I admittedly had a cookie (for quality assurance purposes).
They are the closest I think it is possible to come to the Salted Oat Surprise without being at Milk and Cookies! Success!

1C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
14 tbs salted butter, softened
1C sugar
1/4C brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2.5C old-fashioned oats
1/2C white chocolate chips
1/2C toffee bits
sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt.
  4. In large bowl (or stand mixer) beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula.
  6. Add egg and vanilla, mix until incorporated.
  7. Scrape down bowl again.
  8. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until incorporated.
  9. Gradually add oats, white chocolate chips, and toffee bits until well combined.
  10. Roll desired size dough into ball (mine were somewhere between 1tbs and 2 tbsp in size).
  11. Place dough balls on baking sheet, about 2.5" apart.
  12. Press down slightly on the dough balls so that they are flat on top.
  13. Liberally sprinkle with sea salt (this is all preference, I prefer a heavy hand with the sea salt).
  14. Bake for 15 minutes, until a deep golden brown.
  15. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  16. Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Very Chocolate Chip Brownies

I have never made brownies from scratch, I figured because there are so many types of boxed brownie mix that it must be really complicated.
It's not.
In fact, this recipe from page 53 from the October/November 2012 issue of Taste of Home magazine is simple and to die for.
I've made it both with regular chocolate chips, and with Nestle Tollhouse limited edition Dark Chocolate & Mint chips -- both were amazing.

1.5C sugar
2/3C salted butter, cubed
1/4C water
10oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and water.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in half of the chocolate chips until melted. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Grease 9x13 pan.
  6. In a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer), beat eggs and vanilla.
  7. Stir in chocolate mixture.
  8. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  9. Gradually add flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, mixing well.
  10. Stir in remaining chocolate chips.
  11. Spread into greased pan.
  12. Bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  14. Cut into bars.
  15. Enjoy!

Taco Seasoning

This makes enough for about 1 lb of ground meat.

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mix well.
  2. Add to your browning meat of choice.
  3. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Vegetable Stew

I am currently doing a 30 day fABtastic fat melt challenge with LiveNow Fitness.
As part of the challenge, I am not supposed to eat flour, added sugar, dairy, or alcohol.
I stumbled upon this recipe and gave it a go.
It was super filling, easy to prepare, and according to MyFitnessPal only 277.6 calories if you split it into 8 servings. Can't beat that!

1 package (~1.5lb)boneless skinless chicken breast
1 16oz bag Wegmans Frozen Spring Blend Vegetables (yellow squash, green beans, peppers)
1 16oz bag Wegmans Frozen Harvest Blend Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, yellow squash)
1.5C chicken broth
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
4oz tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 medium sized sweet onion
2C raw butternut squash pieces
4 tbs balsamic vinegar

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, with the chicken on the bottom.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from the slow cooker, and using 2 forks shred the chicken (this should be pretty easy as the chicken breasts are falling apart at this point).
  4. Put shredded chicken into slow cooker, stir well. 
  5. Let slow cooker stay on warm setting for at least another 30 minutes.
  6. (optional) Serving over brown rice or barley adds some nice bulk.
  7. Enjoy!

Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake

I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make it for New Year's Eve in the event that someone didn't like bananas.
It was a hit...and super easy!

1 package Oreos, crushed into small crumbs
1/4C sugar
1/4C butter, melted
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp peppermint extract
2C heavy cream, whipped
red food coloring
1 candy cane, crushed

  1. Combine cookie crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Add butter and mix well.
  3. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and partway up the sides of a 9" springform pan.
  4. Refrigerate pan while making the cheesecake.
  5. Beat cream cheese until fluffy in a large bowl.
  6. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  7. Stir in peppermint extract and food coloring (more food coloring for a redder cake, or less for a more pink hue).
  8. Fold in whipped cream.
  9. Pour filling into pan.
  10. Sprinkle candy cane on top of cheesecake.
  11. Cover and freeze for 6 hours, or until firm.
  12. Enjoy!

Banoffee Pie

I found this recipe on Pinterest, was told that it was amazing by a friend, and decided to give it a go for dessert on New Year's Eve.
Amazing doesn't do it justice. It is SOOOO GOOD!

3 bananas
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2C whipping cream
1 sleeve of honey graham crackers
1 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 small piece of chocolate

  1. Remove the label on the condensed milk and submerge the unopened can in a pot of water (make sure the can is covered by water at all times!).
  2. Cover and boil for 2.5 hours.
  3. Take the pot off the stove and allow the can to cool (I let it hang out in the pot for a little while and then used a large scoop to get it out and let it cool further).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Grind up graham crackers in food processor.
  6. Melt butter in microwave and pour into crumbs.
  7. Blend until the mixture resembles sand.
  8. Smooth crumb mixture into pie plate to make a crust.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Whip cold cream and vanilla on high until whipped and fluffy. Set aside.
  11. Slice bananas and lay in pie pan in any way you choose.
  12. Open the can of condensed milk and mix with a knife until smooth.
  13. Pour can of condensed milk on top of bananas.
  14. Spread whipped cream over bananas.
  15. Grate chocolate on top.
  16. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  17. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates

I made this recipe as an appetizer for New Year's Eve, they were DELICIOUS.

18 pitted dates
4oz goat cheese (I used Celebrity International Goat's Milk Cheese with Cranberry and Cinnamon)
6 strips of bacon, cut in thirds

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice dates lengthwise.
  3. Stuff date with a piece of goat cheese.
  4. Close tightly and wrap with bacon, securing with a toothpick.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes, turning halfway through.
  6. Enjoy!

Mini Artichoke Tarts

I made these as an appetizer for New Years Eve, the recipe makes about 40 tarts.
They were pretty delicious!

13.75oz can marinated artichoke hearts (I used Wegmans Italian Classics Artichoke Hearts)
1C finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
5 eggs
1/4C fine dry bread crumbs (I used Wegmans roasted garlic bread crumbs)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
dash of cayenne pepper
2C shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Drain the artichokes, reserving 1/3C of marinade.
  3. Chop artichokes into small pieces and set aside.
  4. In small saucepan over medium heat, heat reserved marinade.
  5. Add onion and garlic to marinade, cook ~5 minutes until onion is softened and liquid is mostly absorbed (don't let the garlic brown).
  6. In a large bowl, beat eggs.
  7. Stir onion mixture, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne pepper into egg mixture.
  8. Blend in cheddar cheese.
  9. Stir in artichoke heart pieces.
  10. Spoon mixture into well greased mini muffin pan, until muffin openings are full.
  11. Bake 20 minutes, until set.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pan.
  13. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  14. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  15. Enjoy!