Archive for March, 2010

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

March 16, 2010

Hearty Chickpea Ragout
Posted by Mama


Dad made this over the weekend. The beans he used needed to be soaked overnight or at least soaked for 6-8 hours in hot water. After cooking the whole pot for about 1 1/2 additional hours the beans were less al dente!

1 1/2 C. dried chickpeas (or 2 cups canned, drained chickpeas)

2 T. olive oil

1 med. onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2  t. thyme leaves

1/2 bunch kale, thicker stems removed and discarded, leaves coarsely choppe3d

Salt and pepper to taste

2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/2 in. thick strips

2 T. red wine vinegar

2 C. tomato puree (sauce)

2 C. chicken, beef or vegetable broth

1/2 C. pearl barley, rinsed

Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, to taste

If using dried chickpeas, soak in cold water to cover for 4 to 6 hours. (See note above.)

In a medium-size pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the kale, stirring to coat it with the oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, until kale is somewhat softened. Stir in the red peppers, increase the heat to high, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add the tomato puree and the stock or broth and bring to a boil.

Once the liquid boils, add barley and soaked, drained chickpeas. (Do not add canned chickpeas at this point). Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, stir them into the mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, checking the tenderness of the barley and the chickpeas, both of which should be al dente. Ladle the ragout into warmed soup bowls and top each serving with grated cheese if desired.

Serves 8.

Chicken,Main Dishes

Chicken Eggplant Parmesan
Posted by Mama

Tags: ,

From Colorado Classique

1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/4 in. thick rounds

6-8 T. olive oil, divided

2 t. salt, divided

1 t. ground black pepper, divided

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 in. slices

1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes (sauce)

2 6 oz. packages sliced mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

1/4 c. lightly packed fresh basil leaves

Preheat broiler. Coat both sides of eggplant rounds with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange eggplant on a baking sheet and broil about 5 minutes on each side or until browned; set aside. Turn oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute in hot oil. Layer a greased baking dish with half of eggplant, half of chicken, half of tomatoes, half of mozzarella cheese, half of Parmesan cheese, and half of basil leaves. Repeat layers. Drizzle top with 1/2 T. oilve oil. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 min. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

Side Dishes

March 1, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower
Posted by betsyjo


This recipe further proves my theory that people don’t like vegetables because they insist on boiling all the flavor and texture out of them.  If you haven’t tried roasted cauliflower, do it!  Then try mashed cauliflower…you won’t believe it!

This recipe was pretty good!  The cauliflower part was awesome.  The dressing is good on it, but I think next time I will just roast the cauliflower, squeeze some lime juice over it, and sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Dressing
Serious Eats


1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 small bunch cilantro (leaves and delicate stems), roughly chopped
2 small cloves garlic. roughly chopped


1. Preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the center. Wash and thoroughly dry the cauliflower and cut into large florets.

2. In a small bowl, combine the two tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and toss well with the oil mixture. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once with a spatula mid-roasting.

3. While the cauliflower roasts, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary.

4. Drizzle the roasted cauliflower with the dressing and serve immediately.


Pesto Rolls
Posted by betsyjo


I thought this looked like a different type of dinner roll, so I made them this weekend.  I was pleased with the result, even though I added a little too much flour (rookie mistake – dangit!) and I had to buy store-bought pesto.  (Remember how I can’t buy fresh basil here?)  What I didn’t notice in the grocery store is that the cheap folks in the Kroger Private Selection kitchen put SPINACH in their pesto, and I’m sure it’s not to enhance the flavor!  So, I would love to taste this with the real stuff.  Anyway, here’s the recipe.  I followed it to a T.

Pesto Rolls

Sweet Savory Life

1/2 cup warm water (115 degrees F)
1/2 cup warm milk (115 degrees F)
1 egg (room temperature), slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package (2 1/4 tsp) instant dry yeast
1/2 cup pesto (Savory Sweet Life pesto recipe)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
*Dough can be kneaded by hand, bread machine, or KitchenAid Mixer using the dough hook.  However, directions below are written for a KitchenAid.

*You can also use store bought frozen dinner roll dough and pesto to save time!


Place water, milk, egg, melted butter, sugar, and salt in a K.A mixing bowl.  Add 4 cups of flour on top of all the liquid mixture sprinkling yeast on top.  Using the dough hook, knead bread mixture on speed 3 until dough is smooth and elastic adding additional flour as needed (approx. 5-7 min.).  Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel.  Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour in a warm area.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle slightly larger than a 9×13 pan (rectangle).  Spread surface evenly with pesto and sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top.  Beginning with the long side, roll dough pinching the seam to seal.  Cut into 12 equal slices and place them in a greased muffin tin, cut side up.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from muffin cups and serve warm. Enjoy!

Chicken,Main Dishes

Chicken Pot Pie
Posted by Chammer

I made this recipe last night– great Sunday dinner!!! I love Chicken Pot Pie, but always worry about the fat/salt/calorie count. This recipe is better than most I’ve seen.  It’s from Real Simple, with my adaptations!


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 3/4 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 9-inch store-bought piecrust, thawed if frozen


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Salt & pepper chicken with some olive oil, roast chicken in oven 30-35 minutes; let cool, then shred.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a shallow 1½- to 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal. Cut several vents in the crust. Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Chicken,Main Dishes

Lamb or Chicken Pita Pockets
Posted by Chammer


Here is a great recipe that’s super easy and Will and I love to eat.  If you can’t find Greek yogurt (which I never can), take 1.5 times the amount of yogurt recipe calls for and put on a paper towel inside a sieve.  Let the yogurt drain for 4 hours over a bowl to thickent the yogurt. This will help the consistency of the yogurt.  I can never get the recipe to stay in patty form, so I just cook it like ground beef and we put it into the pitas like that.

Lamb or Chicken Pita Pockets

Recipe Courtesy Rachael Ray,


  • Handful cilantro leaves
  • Handful mint leaves
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 1 cup Greek style plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, a palm full
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grill seasoning blend, 1 1/3 palm fulls (recommended: McCormick Montreal Seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 pita pockets
  • 1 cup mango chutney
  • 8 leaves tender lettuce


Place the herbs in a food processor and pulse grind them into a fine chop. In a bowl combine the herbs, yogurt, cumin and grill seasoning. Add the meat and mix to combine. Form into 4 large, very thin patties. Wash up and preheat a large nonstick skillet with a couple tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Heat a small second skillet over high heat and blister the pitas on each side. Cut tops off the bread and fill pita pockets with patties, lettuce and chutney.