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All Vegetable Lo Mein

9 Aug

I must admit, I have never made an asian inspired dish… ever! I’m not sure why, but it has always intimidated me a bit. This dish was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed the challenge of working with different ingredients. This dish takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, which is always handy in the hot summer nights when  you don’t want to heat up the house. It’s also quite healthy since we replace the traditional lo mein noodles with vegetables.

Vegetable Lo Mein

For the chicken you will need

2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons of honey
4 teaspoons sesame seed oil
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 cup chicken stock
3 chicken breasts cut into chuncks

For the “noodles”

2 cloves of minced garlic
3 large carrots
2 small summer squash
2 small zucchini
Splash of reduced sodium soy sauce

(Basically you want equal parts of each. Getting smaller squash and zucchini is key in this dish to avoid excess seeds and water)
Combine the first five ingredients and 1/2 a cup of chicken stock. Stir well. Add the chicken breast and marinade it for about 15 minutes. While the chicken in marinading use a mandolin to julienne the carrots, zucchini and squash.

With a large saute pan (or wok) heat about 1 tbsp of vegetable oil on high. While the pan is heating remove the chicken from the marinade. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken.  Working quickly, rotate the chicken to brown it on all sides. Once the chicken is browned, add the reserved 1/2 cup of chicken stock and cover. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove the chicken and cover it to keep it warm.

Using the same saute pan (or wok)  heat it to high and add about 3 tbsp vegetable oil. Toss in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, next add in the julienned vegetables. Cook on high heat for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Do not over cook the vegetables or they will become mushy. The vegetables should have a similar consistency as noodles. Finish the vegetables with a splash of soy sauce and top with the drained chicken.

Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip Won-tons

14 Feb

My grandma was always attending gatherings or luncheons with friends. I can’t remember a time when she went to a party empty handed. This past weekend I attended a family dinner with my boyfriend and decided to bring this favorite appetizer for group gatherings. Baked buffalo chicken dip won-tons

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You will need
prepared buffalo chicken dip
1 package of won-ton wrappers
bowl of water

Start by mixing up your favorite buffalo chicken dip recipe. Such as this one from Frank’s redhot website.  Next, line up about 5-10 won-ton wrappers. You want to work with a few at a time and keep the rest covered so they don’t dry out. Place a small tablespoon of the chicken filling in the center of the wrappers.

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Brush the edges of the won-ton wrappers with water and fold the wonton over to create a triangle. Gently pinch the edges so the filling is sealed in the wrapper.

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Brush the base of the triangle with water and fold one of the bottom corners to the middle (one over the other).

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Once all of the won-tons have been filled you will want to put them on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to cool. The filling and the wrappers need to be the same temperature.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 17-20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Aren’t these adorable? Be aware they must be served hot! I’ve also done the same thing with artichoke spinach dip and the result is still just as good. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Meatballs and Spaghetti

12 Jan

Chicken & Spinach Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs Recipe

2 lbs ground chicken
1 small grated onion
1 package of chopped frozen spinach (thawed)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Pinch of italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Place your spinach in the center of a clean dish towel and squeeze out any excess liquid over the sink. (The spinach is a great way to help our chicken not dry out but if there is too much liquid from the spinach, the meatballs will not stay together)

Combine the grated onion, drained spinach, ground chicken, mustard, and seasonings. Roll into balls a little larger than golf ball size. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes on 375 degrees or until cooked through.

Serve along side marinara sauce as an appetizer

OR

Serve with wheat pasta as a healthy main course.

Wheat Pasta Recipe:

3 eggs
1 cup of all purpose white flour
1 cup wheat flour
plus extra for flouring the board
pinch of salt

Feel free to use all wheat flour to make your pasta. I found using all wheat to be a little too grainy for my taste.

On a large cutting board make a well in the flour. Add in the eggs and salt and begin to wisk in a little bit of flour a little at a time. Once the dough becomes too difficult to stir in flour with a fork, begin to kneed with your hands until there are no lumps. Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes

Pasta Press:
After letting the dough rest I divided the dough into four  small sections. Set the machine on the largest setting and feed the dough through. My pasta press starts on one and goes through six. I fed the dough through twice each setting at stopped at 5. After that I ran the dough through the spaghetti setting.

Rolling the Dough by Hand:
Be sure to flour your surface well so the pasta doesn’t stick. Roll the dough out until you can see your hand through the dough. Gently fold the dough over until it is a manageable size then thinly slice the dough with your knife.

From there you can lay the pasta out and allow it to dry or you can cook it immediately. Cook the pasta in generously salted, boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. (The pasta will cook at different times depending on the thickness of the pasta so you may need to add more time.)

Mediterranean_Kabobs with Garlic Sauce

8 Jul

This recipe worked well today with it being so incredibly hot. I just fired up the grill and didn’t have to heat the house. The Kabobs are made with fresh summer vegetables, spinach and feta chicken sausage served along side homemade garlic sauce.

Garlic Sauce

4-6 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cold egg whites
1/3 cup sour cream

Place garlic and salt in a food processor and combine. Add oil and lemon juice gradually on medium speed for about three minutes or until well combined. Be sure to scrape the bowl frequently. Add in the egg whites one at a time and beat until you have a mayonnaise consistency. Finally stir in the sour cream. Feel free to use less garlic if you wish to tone down the garlic flavor.

Kabobs

5 feta and spinach chicken sausage links. (I purchased mine from House of Meats, if you can’t find that flavor I’m sure regular would work just fine)
Fresh Vegetables cut into bite size pieces. (I used mushrooms, 1 red Onion, 2 green peppers, 4 tomatoes)

Cover sausage with water in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through. The sausage has a longer cooking time than the vegetables so I boiled it on the burner attached to the grill to retain moisture.

After the chicken is cooked. Cut into bite size pieces and skewer along with vegetables. Place the skewers on a medium high direct heat for about 10 minutes. Turning every 3-4 minutes.

Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken

25 Feb

Super Easy Roasted Chicken with simple pan gravy and vegetables.

1 cup baby carrots
half medium onion chopped in large pieces
10 small potatoes, halved
1 4lb Whole Chicken (gizzards removed)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tsp Lowery’s seasoning salt
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp butter or margarine

Layer the carrots and onion on the bottom of a slow cooker cover and cover with the water

Combine all of the spices in a small bowl.  Generously rub onto the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the onions and carrots in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (It really depends on your slow cooker) The chicken should be falling off the bone when fully cooked.

About 30 minutes before the chicken is done. I cover the halved potatoes with water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once they are tender I drain the water and lightly season with salt, pepper and about 2 tbsp margarine.

Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the slow cooker and allow it to rest. Using a strainer, pour the liquid from the chicken into a small sauce pan over medium heat bring to slight boil. In a small cup I combine the corn starch and 1/2 a cup of water. Gently pour the corn starch mixture into the chicken liquid, stirring well until it thickens.

Serve with dinner rolls and salad.

Enjoy

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Rebel Lasagna

15 Feb

When I think of lasagna I think of a rich tomato beef sauce with creamy ricotta and mozzarella. But not this lasagna! Meet “The Rebel Lasagna”! Its made with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce, chicken, thyme and veggies. Careful, it may change the way you think about lasagna.

Lasagna made with chicken and a cheddar cheese sauce
What you’ll need:

1/2 cup of Shredded carrots
1/2 medium onion thinly diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 cups cooked chicken chopped
1 14.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups skim milk
1 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 box no bake lasagna sheets

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Saute the carrots and onion in olive until tender.  Add the garlic to the carrot and onion mixture and cook for two minutes. Add the cooked chicken, thyme, 2 tbsp flour and chicken broth. Stir well to avoid clumps in the flour. Simmer the chicken mixture for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

In a saucepan, melt 4 tbsp butter and add four tbsp flour. Stir for 3 minutes to cook out the flour. Gradually add the milk stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Add the ground mustard salt, pepper, and 1 and 1/2 cups of cheese, stir until combined.

In a 9×13 glass pan, spread a thin layer of the cheese sauce into the bottom. This will prevent the pasta sheets from sticking. On top of the cheese sauce line the pan with pasta sheets and spoon half of the chicken mixture on top. Ladle enough cheese sauce to cover the chicken. Top the cheese sauce with a second layer of pasta sheets, spread the other half of the chicken mixture on top, and ladle more of the cheese sauce on top to cover the chicken. Top the chicken with last layer of pasta sheets, ladle enough cheese sauce to cover the pasta sheets and top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree oven, uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned.

(I placed a cookie sheet a rack lower in my oven to catch any cheese that might bubble over)

Serve with a vegetable of your choice and a side salad.

Enjoy!Rebel Lasagna

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

14 Feb

Like Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

This is my version of the ever-popular Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi soup. Since the first time I had it I was determined to recreate it. 10+  tries later I think I’ve finally got it. I’ve tried using different combinations of chicken stock, cream and milk but the broth was either too watery or too creamy and lacked the chicken flavor. The secret is the Knorr Condensed Stock packets! They flavor the cream with out adding too much water!

.5 cup Shredded carrot
3 stalks of celery chopped
.5 medium onion chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh spinach leaves with out stems, chopped
2 cups chopped chicken. (I roasted some chicken thighs, but to make it easier consider buying a cooked rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store)
4 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp flour
2 Knorr Home-style Condensed Chicken Stock packages
¾ gallon whole milk
.5 package frozen gnocchi

Start by sautéing the carrot, celery,  and onion in a large pot until tender. In the last 3 minutes add the spinach and continue to sauté. Once cooked through, remove from the pot and reserve for later.

In a second medium size pan, cover the gnocchi with water and bring to a light boil.  The gnocchi are ready when they begin to rise to the top and are tender. Drain and set aside for later

While the gnocchi are cooking, melt 4 tbsp of butter in the pot we cooked the vegetables in. Add in the flour. Stir well for about three minutes. Next add about half a cup of milk. Stir until there are no lumps. Add one cup of milk and stir until there are no lumps. After all of the lumps are removed, cover and let simmer for two minutes or until it thickens. From that point, add the rest of the milk in, stirring continually for about three minutes. The soup should start to thicken at this point.  Add the two stock packets,  chopped chicken, gnocchi, and the vegetables. Allow the soup to simmer for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve with salad and bread.

Enjoy!