Cajun Chicken Pasta

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I found this recipe on Skinnytaste and it is so good you won’t know you’re eating a skinny version of cajun chicken pasta.  The only thing I did differently was to use regular linguine instead of Dreamfields.  I just cannot get used to Dreamfields so I’ll stick to the regular.  I think whole wheat pasta would work, too, but whole grains bother my gout so I just stick to regular.

If you haven’t been to Skinnytaste ~ take a look!

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

8 ozs uncooked linguine
1 lb chicken tenderloins
1 to 2 tsps Cajun seasoning ~ use more or less if you like
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsps light cream cheese
fresh cracked black pepper
2 scallions, chopped
salt to taste
Cooking spray

In a small blender, mix mix milk, flour, and cream cheese and set aside. Make sure all veggies are prepped. Season chicken tenderloins with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.

Prepare pasta in salted water according to the package.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and add half of the chicken. Cook until no pink remains and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the other half of chicken. Set all chicken aside.

Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell pepper, onion, garlic to skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add mushrooms and tomatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes or until all veggies are tender. Season with 1/ tsp salt, garlic powder, and fresh black pepper.

Reduce the heat and add the chicken broth and pour in the cream cheese,flour/milk slurry and stir for about 2 minutes.

Place the chicken back in the skillet, adjust salt and Cajun seasoning if needed.

Add the linguine and toss to coat the linguine.

Sprinkle the green onions over the top and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Strawberry Sour Cream Jello Salad

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I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love jello.  It’s weird, I know, but I crave the stuff.  At one of my daughter’s bridal showers, this salad was on the table and I was in heaven.  I didn’t get the recipe right them so I searched around until I found it.

It’s easy to make but takes a little planning.  I made it with sugar-free jello and less fat sour cream so it was not full of sugar and fat.  Mr. Meat Eater loved it, too, and I think it would be great for picnics or BBQs.

Strawberry Sour Cream Jello Salad

1 large box strawberry jello ~ I used sugar-free
1 small box strawberry jello ~ I used sugar-free
2 cups boiling water
2 (10 oz) boxes frozen strawberries ~ I used berries in light syrup
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (16 oz) container sour cream ~ I used less fat

Mix boiling water with jello in a large bowl. Add strawberries (Frozen is fine) and pineapple ~ all the juices from the fruit go in too.

Pour half this mixture in a 13×9 pan and leave the other half in the bowl. Put both in the refrigerator. When the bottom layer has jelled, spread sour cream over it. Pour thickened jello from the bowl carefully over the sour cream.

Chill until the all the jello is firm.

Makes 8-10 servings

Happy Cooking!

Southwest~Style Cod

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I really like fish and seafood and I don’t make it nearly enough.  Last week my local grocery had US caught cod fillets on sale and happened to have recipes for it right at the counter so I bought the cod and grabbed a recipe.  The recipe was very easy and was excellent.  I’ll be making it again for sure!

Southwest~Style Cod

2 lbs fresh cod fillets
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 tbsps flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix all ingredients except cod in a Ziplock bag. Add the cod and shake until the fish is well coated. Place coated fish in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese mixture over the fish.

Bake at 400º for 12 to 15 minutes or until the fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Makes 4 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Garden Minestrone from Fresh from the Farmstand

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Here is another recipe from Gooseberry Patch‘s Fresh from the Farmstand cookbook.  Don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway of a copy of this cookbook!  To enter, go to  THIS POST!  Entries on any other posts or on Facebook will not be counted!

I LOVE minestrone soup!  I also have a terrible habit of NOT reading a recipe through until I’m ready to start dinner.  I read the ingredients and that’s as far as I go.  I don’t see myself changing any time soon so I spend some time trying to figure out how I can change it up to work for me.  And that’s what happened with this recipe.  I didn’t start with dried beans so I used two cans of navy beans, rinsed.  My celery was so limp, I couldn’t stand to touch it so I threw it out and subbed fresh green beans.  Mr. Meat Eater refuses to eat anything with cabbage in it so I subbed spinach.  In place of the water used to cook the dried beans, I used chicken broth.  I also used 2 cans of diced tomatoes with the juice since tomatoes at this time of year are awful. I also threw in some oregano and basil. Soooooooo…same recipe?  I followed the recipe just using my substitutions.  You can make any recipe your own and this is just a good example of it.  This particular recipe is so good and that makes it easy to add your own ingredients.  My photo isn’t very good either, sigh ~ the white stuff is Parmesan which I have to have with minestrone.

The recipe was submitted to Gooseberry Patch by Kay Marone of Des Moines, Iowa.  Here is her recipe the way it is in the book.

Garden Minestrone

2 cups dried navy beans
10 cups cold water
2 to 3 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups ditalini, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large soup pot over high heat, cover beans with water. Bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain; rinse beans well and return to pot. Add 10 cups cold water; bring to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, saute onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes or until onion is lightly golden. Add this mixture along with the tomatoes to the simmering beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for another hour.

Stir in cabbage, zucchini, pasta and parsley. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

Makes 8-10 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Roasted Mushroom Green Beans

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I am just starting to play catch-up with the recipes I made right before my gout attack and this is one of them.

I found this recipe on Pinterest although it was pinned from Kalyns Kitchen and it is WONDERFUL!!  It’s easy to make and would go well with almost any main dish.  I made it as the recipe stated except I went heavy on the Parmesan because I love it.

Roasted Mushroom Green Beans

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced in 1/2 inch slices ~ I used Baby Bellas
1 lb. fresh green beans, thin ones are preferred ~ I used Haricot Verts
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese ~ I used much more

Preheat oven to 450º. Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice. Wash and trim green beans if needed. Cut green beans in half although I did not do this since mine were not long.

Put green beans and mushrooms into a Ziploc bag. Stir together olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over, then smoosh the bag or so all the beans and mushrooms are lightly coated with the mixture.

Arrange green beans and mushrooms on a large cookie sheet, spreading them out so the beans and mushrooms are not crowded. Roast for 20-30 minutes and check for doneness after 20 minutes. Cook until beans are tender-crisp, mushrooms are cooked, and all liquid on the pan from mushrooms has evaporated.

Season beans and mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste and then sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top and serve hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Granola Bars

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I made these to take to a friend’s brunch on Christmas Eve.  They are super easy to make and are just delicious.  You will never buy granola bars again.

The recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, nuts, etc., but at my local grocery store they sell something called Brain Food.  The one type that I chose was pumpkin seeds, nuts, and raisins mixed together so I used the entire container of this (I think it was 16 oz) instead of each individual ingredients.  I also added a small bag of dried cranberries.  I used fat free sweetened condensed milk to save some calories and this worked perfectly and is how I will make them in the future.

I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it’s a keeper!

Granola Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)

Preheat an oven to 350º.

Line a 13×9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles.

Mix both oats, pumpkin seeds, both nuts, cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl and spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars.  I went longer for crunchier bars.

Let the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 bars.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Spicy Black Beans and Rice and a NEW Gooseberry Cookbook Giveaway!

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The Giveaway is now over!!!

A BIG thank you to all who have sent me good wishes regarding my bout with gout.  Yes, I still have it and am on my 3rd medication.  I HOPE this one does the trick!

A new Gooseberry Patch giveaway starts today ~ the cookbook is called Rush-Hour Recipes and I will be cooking from it this week!  Giveaway rules will be at the end of this post for a copy of this cookbook.

Mr. Meat Eater has spent lots of time in the Caribbean ~ probably at least as much as he has spent here with me.  He really loves Caribbean-type food, including beans and rice.  When I saw this recipe I knew he would love it because it doesn’t have bunches of what he considers objectionable veggies in it.  I made it today for his lunch and he loved it.   I’ll have to take his word for it because I don’t like beans and rice so I didn’t even try it.  I did have some leftover so I am going to freeze it and next week I will add a little chicken and make tortillas with it.

I used brown rice instead of white and petite diced tomatoes since that’s what I had on hand.  Other than that, I followed the recipe.

The recipe was submitted to Gooseberry Patch by Aubrey Nygren-Earl of Taylorsville, UT.

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup long-cooking rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1 (15 1/2 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add uncooked rice and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the beans and diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

Makes 8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

I have one copy of this cookbook to give away.  To enter the drawing please reply to this post and this post only.  For another chance to win the cookbook, please “LIKE” Gooseberry Patch on Facebook and let me know you have in your post.  If you have already “liked” them, just say so in your post.

The drawing will be held on December 23 and I will mail the cookbook after Christmas.   If I pick a winner and do not hear from the winner by December 27, I will pick a new winner.

Any questions, please send me an email ~ a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

Happy Cooking!

Three Tomato Pasta

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What an excellent pasta recipe!  The original recipe calls for goat cheese ~ I’m still not that thrilled with goat cheese so I subbed in mozzarella but if you love goat cheese, by all means use it.  The only thing I didn’t have on hand for this recipe was the sun-dried tomatoes so this is almost a pantry recipe.  I also didn’t use the fresh parsley because I didn’t have any so I use a few shakes of dried parsley.

The recipe came from a cookbook that I bought for my DD for Christmas but I didn’t remember buying it for her last Christmas, too.  So it became MY cookbook ~ The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook from Cooking Light .

Three Tomato Pasta

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped and drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
12 ounces penne, cooked
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or 1/2 cup goat cheese
chopped fresh parsley, if desired
chopped fresh basil, if desired

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, saute for a minute or two being careful not to let the garlic burn (if it does, throw it out and start over). Add sun-dried tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Mixture will reduce.

Prepare penne while the sauce cooks. Drain, place pasta in same pot that you cooked it in and add the sauce, cheese, parsley and basil, if using. Mix lightly and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Turkey Finger Sandwiches

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These are not finger sandwiches like I think of when I hear that term.  It’s a stuffed loaf of French bread slice into thin servings.  It’s really quite healthy unless you use marinated artichoke hearts like I did instead of the plain artichokes.  By the way it was eaten up at our party, it was a hit.  I got the recipe from Food.com where it was posted by PleasantNancy .

I think this sandwich would be great for a picnic or tailgating or really any occasion.

Turkey Finger Sandwiches

1 unsliced loaf of French bread
2/3 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp garlic, minced
12-14 slices of deli turkey
Fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, sliced into thin sticks
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and hearts sliced in half if they are big or you can use sliced regular artichoke hearts

Carefully slice off the top 1/3 of the loaf of bread. Pull out the bread from the bottom 2/3 carefully, leaving a 1/2 inch shell.

In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic together until thoroughly mixed. Spread half of this mix over the inside of the bottom shell.

Roll up the turkey slices and fit them inside the shell over the cream cheese layer. Lay spinach leaves over the turkey. Layer the red bell pepper strips over the spinach and the artichokes over the red bell pepper.

Spread remaining cream cheese mix over the inside of the top of the loaf and replace on top of the filled bottom.

Wrap entire loaf tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. I made mine the morning of the party.

To serve, unwrap and slice into 1-inch slices and stick a toothpick in each slice. Arrange on a platter and serve.

Makes 10-12 servings

Happy Cooking!

Roasted Cauliflower

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We had a whirlwind trip to Saratoga, NY, over the weekend for our nephew’s wedding.  Ten hours in the car last Friday on the way up and 10 hours in the car on Sunday on the way home.  Great wedding!  Our niece got married in June and our nephew in October.  I think we are done with weddings for a bit.

We had a great time in Saratoga ~ I used to be a regular back in the day but haven’t visited in over 30 years.  It’s changed for the better!!

On to the recipe…I love cauliflower.  I don’t care that it stinks when I cook it and I eat it cooked and raw.  I found this recipe some time ago and it’s delicious.  Easy to put in the oven while other things cook ~ my favorite!

I didn’t put the Parmesan on at the end or broil this particular time ~ it’s good either way.

Roast Cauliflower

2 tbsps minced garlic
3 tbsps olive oil
1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 450º. Grease a casserole dish.

In a large ziplock bag, place cauliflower, garlic, and olive oil and mix it around making sure all the cauliflower has some olive oil on it. Pour into the casserole dish and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley and broil for 3-5 minutes to brown.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking