Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

I seem to be using a lot of black bean lately which, I guess is not always bad since they are pretty good for you. I really like to have sides that aren't heavy and are a good light snack. I have found many recipes similar to this one but just have never made it. This recipe is really simple doesn't require a lot of ingredients and it healthy. Because of the Quinoa and black beans there is quite a bit of protein in the salad. 
Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Melskitchencafe
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced ( or more i put 4 because I love garlic and it wasn't over powering) 
3/4 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup frozen sweet white corn
2-15oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro chopped

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot and the onions, saute for 4-5 minutes, add garlic for about a minute.

Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until almost all the liquid has absorbed. 

Stir in frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let pot sit of the heat until corn and beans are heated through. About 5-6 minutes. Stir in Cilantro. Serve warm or chilled.
I served mine chilled and it tasted even better the next day. Great flavors and I really load up on the cilantro because I love that stuff too. This is a great salad to bring to any potluck or party!! A definite keeper and crowd pleaser.
My husband said you can for sure make this again and soon please! Enjoy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa chicken

Since I am a total fan of crock pot meals lately I decided to add another. This one was actually made on the weekend but it was perfect because I put it all in the pot and was able to get stuff done for the rest of the day. This recipe was SUPER easy also no complaints here. Very Very few ingredients also which is nice because it is a small shopping list for once and nothing out of the ordinary that you would never use again. 
Very few ingredients these are just a few and depending on how you use the mixture you wont need much.

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
Adapted from sixsistersstuff


2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed ( you may use whatever beans you like)
2 cans corn, drained
1 package taco seasoning
4-5 chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup water

Put beans, corn, taco seasoning, and water in crock pot and mix together until seasoning is dissolved. Place chicken breasts on top and spread salsa on chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Shred meat place back in crock pot and stir till combined. Serve however you desire

I chose to make mine into tacos. I had shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, Onions, avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream. I used flour tortillas and wrapped them up right into my mouth!!

I served my delicious tacos alongside some re fried beans and cilantro lime rice! YUM I had my sis, her hubby, and my 2 nieces over and still had a bunch left over. I was able to freeze the rest in single portions for when I am home alone and need a good meal. The next day I did use my left overs and made a salad with the mixture and was very delicious! Very versatile recipe super easy and a definite must try!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pineapple Curry Chicken

Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines. The chief spices found in mostSouth Asian curry powders are turmeric, coriander, and cumin; a wide range of additional spices may be included depending on the geographic region and the foods being included (white/red meat, fish, lentils, rice and vegetables

So who doesn't love a home cooked meal when they get home after a long day? I sure do especially when it doesn't take much effort. Lately I have been looking for recipes I can throw in the crock pot and have ready when I get home. A lot of the time I go to the gym after work or shortly there after and don't have a lot of time to think about supper. This way when I make something in the crock pot I can have it whenever I am ready. Of course I am always looking for healthy recipes too. I had gotten this taste of home magazine from my mother in law and found a few recipes that I would like to try out.

Pineapple Curry Chicken
Yields: 6 Servings

2 cans 8oz unsweetened pineapple chunks undrained
6 bone-in or boneless chicken breasts
1 can (15oz) Garbanzo beans or chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 large onion cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup julienne carrots
1 medium red sweet pepper cut into strips
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch 
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp curry powder
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp fresh ginger minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes ( I omitted since I don't like spicy)
Toasted flaked coconut (A MUST if you like coconut)

1. Drain Pineapple reserving 3/4 cup juice. Place chicken breasts, bean, vegetables, and pineapple in a 6qt slow cooker. In a small bowl combine coconut milk and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in the sugar, curry powder, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, lime juice, red pepper flakes and reserved juice. Pour Over Chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve with rice and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Yummy Chunks of pineapple and toasted coconut what a great combination!!
With the Chicken and Garbanzo Beans you are also getting a healthy dose of Protein.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

When I saw these cookies in my Martha Stewart Magazine I knew I had to test them out. Salted caramel yes thank you! These cookies for the most part are pretty easy but can be messy. I like to bake but have not strayed to far from the chocolate chip cookie which you can never go wrong with. These may not be for everyone but they are sure for me and warning it is hard to eat just one. They are a flaky cookie with a sweet, salty caramel middle that melts in your mouth. Like I said they can be messy as I was eating one last night my husband said uh you have something hanging on your chin.... Oops just a little caramel.
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
Yields: 54

3 Sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
44 small soft caramel candies (12 ounces), such as kraft which I used
6 Tablespoons heavy cream
Large, Flaky sea salt 

1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugar with mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 tsp table salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap, then roll into 1 1/4 inch balls. Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut. Place balls on parchment lined sheets and press indentation into each with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and re-press indentations. Bake until golden about 9-10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

2. Place the caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. cook stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth about 4-6 minutes. Spoon into indentations in cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt.

The caramel never really seems to harden enough to set the cookies on top of each other if you do they get stuck together and then it really makes a mess. It suggests storing them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quick Pastitsio

Pastitsio (Greekπαστίτσιο[paˈstitsio]), sometimes spelled Pastichio, is a Greek and Mediterranean baked pasta dish including ground beef and béchamel sauce in its best-known form. Pastitsio is a version of the Italiandish pasticcio di pasta, also known as lasagne al forno.

When I found this dish I wasn't sure what Pastitsio meant but it sounded good and decided to make it. It really isn't that different from other recipes that I have made just has a weird name. I love pasta of any kind and will eat it any chance I can get. This also is a great recipe to freeze and the serving size 1 1/3 cups is a pretty decent size! Again I substituted the ground sirloin for ground turkey. Next time I make this dish I would add more tomatoes because I feel for my preference there could have been more. 
Quick Pastitsio
Source Cooking Light
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 pound ground sirloin ( or ground turkey if you wish)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (love onion so if you do too put in a little extra)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk 
  • (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese 
  • (3-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese 
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Preparation
  • 1. Preheat broiler.
  • 2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
  • 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan; drain. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beef; sprinkle with salt. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in milk, tomatoes, and cream cheeses, stirring until smooth; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pasta.
  • 4. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch broiler-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top. Broil 4 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with parsley.
Look at all that creamy pasta and bubbly Cheese.