Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mango-Cranberry Chicken

From "Fix, Freeze, Feast" by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik

Makes 4 entrees, 4 servings each

1 tray (about 6 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken half-breasts
1/2 cup chopped dried mango (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup boiling water
2 (9-ounce) jars mango chutney (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 9 cloves)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 (1-gallon) freezer bags, labeled

1. Rinse and trim chicken and cut into bite-size strips. Divide the chicken evenly among the four 1-gallon freezer bags.
2. Place mango and cranberries in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water; stir. Add chutney, vinegar, onion, garlic, sesame oil and curry powder; stir. Divide cooled sauce evenly over the chicken.
3. Seal and freeze.

1. Completely thaw one entree in the refrigerator.
2. Simmer chicken and sauce in a large skillet over medium heat until meat is thoroughly cooked, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Serve hot over rice or noodles.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Autumn Bean Soup

2 cups white kidney beans (cannellini)
1 cup kidney or red beans
1 cup chickpeas (garbanzos)
2-3 cups fresh spinach or escarole, washed, drained, and chopped OR 1 10oz package frozen spinach
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. each dried basil and oregano
1 T dried parsley
Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Beans can be canned or cooked from dry.

Combine all ingredients and simmer until onions are soft, about 45 minutes. Garnish with optional parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Recipe from FirstLine Therapy.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread.

A Rachael Ray recipe!

Serve with another Rachael Ray recipe and pumpernickel bread:
Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:
1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed
1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey
Coarse salt and black pepper

Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

December Menu Plan (date to be determined)

Chicken Cheese Soup
Beef and Broccoli Calzone
Chicken Cacciatore

Pulled Pork Chili
Chicken and Dumplings
Steak Stroganoff Pasta
Waffles, Pecan Sticky Buns (optional)

Chicken Lasagna Alfredo
Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers
Taco Soup

Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken Parmigiana
Feta and Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Beef Barley Soup
Basic Red Sauce

September Meal Preps

Chicken Breast Supreme (with rice): (9x13 pan) Thaw. Cook covered 1 hour at 350 degrees. Needs salt.

Honey Hoisin Chicken: (1 bag) Thaw and slow cook 4-5 hours. Take chicken out, add cornstarch and turn to high to thicken sauce. Put chicken back in.

Chunky Chicken Chili (Bottlecap Chili): (2 containers) Thaw and reheat. Add chili powder and hot sauce to taste.

Ginger Beef: (1 bag) Don't thaw. Slow cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Shanghai Stir-Fry: (1 bag beef) Thaw. Pour off marinade and reserve. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry until well browned, about 10 min. Remove beef from pan and keep warm. Add marinade to skillet, reduce heat and simmer 3 min. Return beef to pan. Stir in a can of mandarin oranges and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Garlic-Studded Pork Loin: (1 bag) Thaw and slow cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Cashew Chicken: (1 bag entree, 1 bag cashews) Thaw and reheat. Serve with rice.

Chicken Gyro Kit:(1 kit: pitas, fully cooked chicken, feta, yogurt sauce) Thaw and reheat. Warm pitas in the oven. Add a chopped cucumber to the sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce for Gyros

Black Bean Burritos: Thaw. Spread with salsa and cover with foil. Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees. Uncover and add cheese. Bake until melted.

Breakfast Burritos: (18 super-yummy, 4 low-cal) Leave plastic wrap on. Cook in microwave 2 min.

Southwestern Goulash: (2 bags, 6 servings each) Thaw and reheat.

Apricot Pork Chops: (1 bag w/7 large chops) Thaw and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Italian Mac & Cheese: (1 bag) Thaw sauce, combine with 1 lb. cooked penne pasta, transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and grated Parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.

Sassy Spinach Quiche: (1 bag) Thaw. Fill 2 pie crusts and bake 40-50 min. at 350 degrees.

Marlboro Man Sandwiches: (1 bag/12 sandwiches) Thaw and gently reheat. Serve on sub rolls with pickle spear. Provolone suggested.