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Monday, February 22, 2010

Mediterranean chicken and polenta BHG

This was so delicious--really fantastic. A comfort food for hard times. Serve with a good dry wine and what can I say--wonderful. This is also great because it only takes 20 minutes. It would be good without the chicken as a vegan polenta too---using everything but the chicken. Easy way to cook polenta see the second step below!

1/2 of a 6.5-oz jar oil-packed dried tomatoes with italian herbs
4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 lb.)
1 cup assorted olives, drained
1/2 cup dry white wine or reduced sodium chicken broth
4 small bay leaves
1 cup cornmeal

1. Heat oven to 375. Drain tomatoes , reserving the oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In ten inch oven going skillet heat the reserved oil over med-high heat. Cook chicken in hot oil 3 minutes each side or until browned; remove skillet from heat. Add tomatoes, olives, wine, bay leaves. Transfer t oven. Bake , uncovered 10-15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees F when inserted in chicken.

2. MEANWHILE, for polenta in large saucepan bring 3 cups water to boiling. In a bowl combine cornmeal, 1 cup COLD water, and 1 tsp salt; gradually stir into boiling water. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat; stir occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve chicken with polenta and olives. Serves 4.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hoppin' John Stew on Grits

This is tasty and pretty quick especially if you used canned black-eyed peas (I do use frozen ones too , but cook them first for this dish) (the basic recipe can be found in Southern Living's January 2010)

1 medium onion , chopped
2 (15 oz) cans blacke-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cans of diced tomatoes (21 oz), undrained (can add some green chilies to this)
1 tsp liquid smoke (or if you eat meat a cup of smoked ham)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. sugar
cilantro is optional
Cooked grits
Picante sauce (as much as you like)

Cook onion in large pot with a few tablespoons of water for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in peas, tomatoes, liquid smoke (or ham), corn and sugar. Cook about 15 minutes. Add picante sauce as much as you like to taste.

Meanwhile place 4 cups of Chicken broth and 1 cup of quick grits in a pot. Cook until thickened (about 5-10 minutes). If you eat dairy you can add 1 cup of cheese.

Serve the hoppin John over the grits.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mexican rice

Good served as a side with tacos etc.

1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 1/4 cup water
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 Tab of chopped celery (fine)
1/4 cup or so of picante sauce
1/4 of a green bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
couple dashes of oregano
pinch of red cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tab olive oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in pot. Brown rice while stirring. Add garlic just as rice gets brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until rice is done (35-50 minutes depending on the rice you have)--you can add a bit more water if needed.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mcdougall's minestrone (1 hour cook time)

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This is from this months Mcdougall newsletter.I love this and it is fast and easy. When making mine I added some mixed vegetables in place of the string beans since I had none. I also added some baby limas. I didn't add the pasta, but may at a later date.This is one of my favorites and it freezes well.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

"This is a quicker version of our favorite Minestrone Soup using canned beans instead of the dried kidney beans. All of the delicious flavor is still here though, and it makes a hearty meal for several people with a loaf of fresh bread."

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6-8
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup chopped green beans
1 ½ cups chunked potatoes
1 ½ cups shredded cabbage
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup parsley flakes
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
Several twists of freshly ground pepper
½ cup uncooked whole wheat or brown rice pasta

Place the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large pot with ¼ cup of the vegetable broth. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining broth and all of the ingredients except the pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add the pasta, mix in well and continue to cook for another 15 minutes until pasta is tender."