Monday, March 29, 2010

Chickpeas with Sausage and Spinach

Grandma calls chickpeas, "chi-chi beans".

I have seen a few versions of this recipe on different foodie sites lately. With the drizzly rain on and off these past days we were in need of a dish just like this. So very tasty, warm, and satisfying.

It is obvious chi-chi beans are no longer just a salad staple. When you cook them they become hearty little flavor nodules. Sound appetizing? Then make this for dinner tonight. Do it.

One version of the recipe called for chorizo, and another - hot italian sausage. I used sweet italian and Abel still called it "firey!" We are demanding that he likes spicy foods. Its working, slowly.

chickpeas with sausage & spinach
(adapted from everybodylikessandwiches)

Ingredients: 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, olive oil, 2 large carrots chopped, 1 can of chickpeas, about 3/4 lb uncooked sausage (patties or fresh links-skins removed), some chicken stock or some water, 1/2 lb fresh baby spinach,

Chop up a small onion and a mince up 2 cloves of garlic. Put some oil in a large frying pan and add in the onions and garlic. Saute over medium high heat until onions get soft and start smelling good. Add carrots and let cook for several min until they start to soften. Add a little chicken broth if drying too fast.

Add a can of rinsed chickpeas to the frying pan and cook them for 10 minutes until they start getting a bit brown on the edges. Stir them from time to time.

Add fresh sausage to the frying pan. Once the sausage is cooked through, add some chopped kate or spinach or chard into the frying pan. Add in broth or water, a little bit at a time, so things don’t dry out.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oatmeal - Cinnamon Chip Muffins

This is a great recipe I found online, I only adjusted two things. But a great hearty muffin of a snack they are! I used "Irish" rolled oats but not totally sure that changed anything.

Our family is full of oatmeal lovers. My mom makes the best killer buttermilk-oatmeal cookies out there. I think she quadruples her recipe because she fills tables and countertops with them while they cool. She knows how fights would break out if there weren't enough.

Cinnamon chips are a great invention and I think this recipe needed a little more than called for in the original because they are so stinking good. I think they'd be great in our trail mix recipe too so I'll keep some around for quick access. I doubled this recipe and got 12 good sized snacks.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Muffins – Makes 5

1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup rolled oats (quick cooking okay, but not instant)
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (if doubled only add 3/4)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cinnamon chips (may sub choc. chips) this is the edited amount :)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 5 normal size muffin cups or line with paper liners. In a large microwave-safe measuring cup combine boiling water, oatmeal and butter. Let sit for 20 minutes.

In a medium size mixing bowl, thoroughly mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

With a spoon, beat the egg and vanilla into the oatmeal mixture; stir oatmeal mixture into dry ingredients just until mixed Stir in cinnamon chips. Batter will be thick and kind of gummy.

Spoon into muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes. Note: If muffins seem to be browning too quickly, throw a sheet of foil over the top to shield.

Let cool slightly. Remove from pan.

Mangia~ Tracey

Quick Chicken Parm

Abel liked this.
Some jar sauces aren't too bad and doctoring them up makes them tastier. I like adding garlic, onions, basil, and parmesan. That made this meal practical for a before-work project. Also, getting chicken breasts pre-cut into smaller pieces helps them cook faster. Any time your kid gives your dinner a thumbs up equals happiness!

Baked Chicken Tenders

1 lb fresh chicken tenders
1/2 c flour
1 egg whisked
plain yogurt
bread crumbs with salt, pepper, parsley, and parmesan cheese mixed in

Put all of these on separate plates and dredge every chicken tender through each in the order above; then place in a foil lined pan, spraying foil with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min depending on the size of the pieces. (It doesn't usually take as long as you would think.) Then turn up the oven to broil for a few minutes to crisp the chicken.

Chicken Parm Part

2 c mozz cheese
3/4 lb of your choice of pasta, cooked

Doctored up jar sauce: saute half an onion finely diced and 2 cloves of diced garlic; add 1 jar sauce plus parmesan and basil to taste.

After chicken is slightly crisp remove from oven and put a ladel full of sauce over the pieces. Sprinkle 1.5 c mozzarella cheese over the sauce and chicken, and return to broil for a min or two, just long enough for the cheese to melt.

Extra cheese is for the pasta!!

Mangia~ Tracey

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Roasted Veggies & Tuna Noodle

It's HARD to fit veggies in at most meals. We've all found roasting makes it easier and tastier. ;) Spread your veggie of choice on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees till done. How could that be simpler? ;) Veggies I love roasted: cauliflower, asparagus, sweet potatoes, peppers & onions, parsnips.

I made tuna noodle the other night and had a head of cauliflower in the fridge so I roasted it for a side. I guess aesthetically it wasn't the best choice (since the plate of food was almost monochromatic - and white was the monochrome) but nutritionally it actually delivered. ;)

Tuna noodle, oh, how I love you. Let me count the ways...

1. You are creamy
2. You are dreamy
3. You have mushrooms
4. You have pasta
5. You have tuna
6. You have peas
7. You hold your own against a generous sprinkling of red hot

There you go - seven ways. Seven ways to love it and probably twice as many ways to make it.
Here is my preferred method:

1/2 lb. pasta (just say NO to ELBOW macaroni!!)

Drizzle of olive oil
1 med onion chopped
1 package of mushrooms chopped (your favorite variety)
3 cloves minced garlic

Sprinkle 2 heaping tbsp of flour and cook a few mins.

1 package cream cheese (Momma G's secret ingredient) - cook on med heat until melted

Whisk in:
1 cup chicken stock
2% milk until smooth and creamy

Cook sauce on med-high until a creamy consistency. Add peas to sauce and stir until peas are cooked - about 2 mins.
Turn off burner and add crumbled tuna and cooked pasta - fold into the sauce.

P.S. I tried the flavored tuna in a packet this time, and I wasn't crazy about it because I like to have chunks of tuna. Scott (who is not a tuna noodle fan - gasp! ) actually liked this recipe since the tuna basically melted into the sauce and he didn't detect it as easily.