Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Bites

We both loved this recipe! It is the perfect cure for when a craving for buffalo wings hits. It wasn't hard to make at all. I was actually really surprised how easy it is to make wing sauce. My hubby said he thought they were better than Wing Stop! I feel horrible, but I have no idea where I got this recipe from. If this is yours, please let me know and thank you!!

Buffalo Chicken Bites

2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of onion powder
Pam or vegetable spray
Dash of ground black pepper
Dash of garlic powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)

In a small bowl or ziplock bag, mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken pieces in bowl, and mix until pieces are evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to 2 hours. (I did this the night before serving.) (This is very important to ensure pieces get crispy in the oven. Do not skip this step!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a wire rack over a jelly roll pan. (If you don't have a wire rack, you can create a make-shift rack out of aluminum foil.) Place chicken on rack, and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees, spray chicken with Pam, and bake for 5 more minutes so they get crispy.

While the chicken is baking, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and the hot sauce. Stir together until the butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and set aside.

Once chicken is cooked, place bites in a small bowl. Add hot sauce mixture and stir together.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and some celery.

Taco Rice Skillet

This is a great one pot meal for any busy week night supper. It was easy to make and easy to clean up! I definitely recommend this one. My husband got the tortillas out and used it as a filling for a burrito.
Taco Rice Skillet
Serves: 3-4
Approx 8pts (without cheese)

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used onion powder)
1 package taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup shredded cheese

In a skillet, cook turkey and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain if necessary.

Stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa and corn; bring to a boil. Add rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until the cheese is melted.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sun Dried Tomato Tortellini

This next recipe is one that I got from a friend's girlfriend. I believe she got the idea from a Johny Carino's dish. I have not eaten at Johny Carino's very often so I am not sure which dish she was trying to copy, but whichever one-this is fabulous and super easy. It has been my go to dish ever since. I don't know the exact measurements ( I usually just eyeball it). It is pretty hard to mess this one up. The only bad thing is that it isn't exactly WW friendly, but you have to indulge every now and then, right?

Sun Dried Tomato Tortellini
Frozen Tortellini
1 to 2 Sausage links, diced
A jar of Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo
Approx 1 cup frozen peas
Tomato, diced
Approx 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients and pour into a 9x13 greased dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered.
That's it. How easy is that! It is delicious too. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

I have just recently become a fan of Chicken Parmesan. I am not really sure why I haven't ordered it before, but it is fabulous! This is a healthier version and it tastes just as wonderful. I am definitely pulling this one out again in the future to help with those Italian food cravings.

Baked Chicken Parmesan
From: Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Serves 8 5.5 ww points

4 (8 oz) chicken breast halves, sliced in half
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup marinara
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Lightly spray a little more cooking oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, spoon sauce over chicken and top with shredded cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Instant Shepard's Pie

So I have started to notice a theme to my choices in our evening meals. I am all about the quick, healthy dishes and this is definitely one of them. I found this recipe in the Weight Watchers magazine I picked up at the store one day. This one was great! Even the husband liked this one and said it was a remake. I couldn't believe how quick and easy it was to make on top of it all. This one you definitely need to try. :)

Instant Shepard's Pie
From: WW Magazine (10meals, 10minutes, 10dollars article)
Serves 4
Points value: 6

1 (1lb) bag frozen mixed vegetables for stir-fry
20 Italian-seasoned appetizer-size fully cooked turkey meatballs
1 (12oz) jar fat-free turkey gravy
1 red bell pepper, diced (I omitted)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Bring the vegetables, meatballs, and gravy to a boil in a large deep skillet. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper; cover and simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the potato flakes and milk, stirring until creamy.

Spoon about 1 1/4 cups of the meatball mixture into each of 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 2/3 cup of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle evenly with the pepper.

Yep, that easy! Enjoy!

Beer Can Cornish Hens

Cornish hens were on sale one day when I was at the store so I picked a couple up. I have never cooked Cornish hens before so I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. I have always wanted to try a Beer Can Chicken from Deen Bros cookbook. I figured why couldn't I do it with a Cornish hen?? I emptied small tomato juice cans, cleaned them and poured my beer into those. It worked perfectly. The hens turned out great but didn't have as much flavor to them as I thought it would. Next time I might try cooking them a different way and in the oven.

Beer Can Cornish Hens
From: The Deen Bros Cookbook

1/4 cup mayonnaise
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Cornish hens
2 emptied tomato juice can or anything of that size ( I think tomato paste cans would work)
Beer of your choice

In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest. paprika, celery seeds, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Slather Cornish hens inside and out with the mayonnaise mixture, place in a bowl and let stand in the refrigerator while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill to medium and place a drip pan in the center (we preheated ours to about 350). If using a charcoal grill, light the coals. When they are red-hot, use tongs to move them to into two pile on opposite side of the grill. Let coals burn until they are covered with a thin layer of gray ash. Set a metal drip pan in the center of the grill between the piles of coal.

When grill is ready, pour your beer of choice into your emptied juice cans. Put the can into the Cornish hen's rear cavity, keeping the can upright. Stand the hen upright on the grill grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and cook for about 45minutes. When done, the internal temperature of the hen should register 180F on a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh but not touching the bone.

Transfer to your plates and enjoy!!

Penne Saute with Italian Turkey Sausage and Vegetables

This is another recipe I got from the cooking class I took with my mom at Central Market. It turned out just as tasty. I think next time I will get marinated artichoke hearts so they aren't as bland. It was another quick, easy yet yummy meal. I definitely recommend it for any of you pasta lovers out there!

Penne Saute with Italian Turkey Sausage and Vegetables
Serves 4
7pts per serving

8 ounces Italian Turkey Sausage
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (I omitted)
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 (15oz) can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1 (15oz) can artichoke hearts, drained of juices ( I recommend seasoned if you can get it)
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives, drained of juices
3 cups cooked pasta

Remove casing from sausage and cook over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring to break up sausage, until no longer pink in the center. Remove any excess drippings from sausage buy blotting bottom of skillet with paper towel.

Add bell pepper and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peppers are tender-crisp.

Add tomatoes with juices, artichoke hearts, and black olives ( and salt and pepper to taste, if desired), and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Simmer over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture is warmed through.

Add cooked pasta and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is warmed through.