Recipe Review: French Bread Chicken Melts

So I’m 99% certain that I found this in a Cooking Light magazine at some point but naturally, I can’t find the source online.  Nonetheless, it’s a yummy recipe so I’m going to share it with you.  I’ve tweaked it a bit so I’m going to tell you how I make it.

french bread chicken melts

French Bread Chicken Melts

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts (I just cooked two chicken breasts in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes and used that)
  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 1 package of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup honey Dijon salad dressing (optional – we don’t use or like this and instead we substitute a bit of chopped garlic, salt and pepper)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion and bell pepper; coat vegetables with cooking spray.  Cover and cook 8 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken and salad dressing; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.
  3. Split bread in half horizontally; place bread halves on a baking sheet, cut sides up.  Spoon chicken mixture onto bottom half of loaf; top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese.
  4. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is lightly toasted.  Place top half of loaf over bottom half.  Cut loaf into 4 equal portions.

THOUGHTS

  • This makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner.  We like to serve this with homemade Cream of Tomato Soup.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

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Recipe Review: Pecan-Crusted Catfish

So I’ve had some leftover catfish filets in the freezer for a while now and decided to use it up on this recipe.  I’m fairly certain I found this in a Cooking Light magazine a while back but I couldn’t find it online.

Pecan-Crusted-Catfish

(note: this picture is not mine – the source can be located here)

Pecan-Crusted Catfish

Serves:  4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup pecan meal*
  • 4 (6-ounce) catfish filets
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 lemon wedges

* note:  I couldn’t find pecan meal so I did some research and it turns out that it’s really just finely chopped up pecans.  I pulsed some pecan pieces in my food processor until they looked small and similar to whole wheat flour.  Make sure you don’t over process or you’ll end up with pecan butter (i.e. peanut butter made out of pecans)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish; stir well.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and pecan meal in another shallow dish.
  4. Pat fish dry.
  5. Dip fish in egg mixture and dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing firmly to coat.
  6. Spray fish with cooking spray.
  7. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Serve with lemon wedges.

THOUGHTS

  • I had everything I needed on hand except the lemon which made this dish quick and easy.  Oh… and it’s also really, really yummy.
  • I served this with some steamed broccoli and both my husband and I really enjoyed it.  This will definitely be served again at my house.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

I found this recipe via Cooking Light.  You can view it here.  I made this for lunch the other day and it was scrumptious and easy. 

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-1/2 ounces bean threads (cellophane noodles)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chile paste with garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups chopped roasted boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 large Boston or romaine lettuce leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cover bean threads with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain, and rinse under cool water. Chop noodles.
  2. While bean threads soak, combine cilantro, soy sauce, chile paste, and oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add noodles and chicken to soy sauce mixture; toss well to coat. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each lettuce leaf; roll up.

THOUGHTS

  • I didn’t know what the heck bean threads were and I had mung bean sprouts (those white, crunchy sprouts that are next to alfalfa spouts) on hand so I used those instead.  Bean threads are actually made from mung bean starch… so it’s kinda the same thing. This allowed me to skip step 1.
    mung bean sprouts

    mung bean sprouts

    bean threads / cellophane noodles

    bean threads / cellophane noodles

  • I also didn’t have cooked chicken on hand so I went ahead and cooked my chicken with the mixture of cilantro, soy sauce, chile paste, and sesame oil until no longer pink.  Then I added the mung bean sprouts and let that heat for about 5 minutes.  All in all, it took about 15 minutes.  If you had roasted chicken on hand, you could assemble this dish in about 5 minutes. 
  • Personally I didn’t feel like this made enough for 4 people for a ‘main dish.’  It would feed 2, however.  I split the dish in half and packaged it separately from my lettuce and brought both to work with me.  I tore my lettuce up, warmed my chicken mixture and ate this dish like a salad.  Delish!
  • These were definitely not spicy in my opinion.  If you think you’d prefer them spicy, I’d add a touch of red pepper flakes. 

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Recipe Review: Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

This is a recipe that I found years and years ago in a Cooking Light magazine.  I’ve checked and rechecked but they apparently don’t have this recipe online (I’ve had this problem with several Cooking Light recipes from this same magazine).  Nonetheless, I’m here to share their recipe with you today.

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

Yeild:  4 servings (serving size: about 3 tenders)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 lbs chicken breast tenders
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.
  2. While chicken cooks, combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.  Pour lemon juice mixture over chicken; cover and let stand 4 minutes.

THOUGHTS

  • I loved that this dish was super easy to prepare and took probably 15 minutes at the most.  I made this quickly during the week and took it to work for lunch with some steamed vegis.  Quick, simple, and healthy!  SCORE!
  • I thought this dish was too strong in the lemon for my taste so I think the next time I make it I’m going to sub the 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice for 1 Tablespoon of chicken broth.  I like just a little bit of lemon flavor and I think the zest is more than enough to add that.  If I try it this way, I’ll definitely let you know.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Delightful Order
Happy Hour Projects
I Heart Nap Time
One Artsy Mama
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Under the Table and Dreaming

Recipe Review: Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Lo Mein Noodles

I consider myself a pretty good cook.  Truthfully, we have very little ‘fails’ at our house in the kitchen… unless it’s lasagna, but that’s a story for another day.  Anyway, one of the few things that for the life of me I just can’t seem to cook right is Chinese food.  I mean I truly suck at it.  If we’re going to have a fail, it’s probably going to be because I tried to make Chinese food.  If we’re really craving it, we order out because that’s a sure thing.  However, when money is tight or I just happen to have a bag of stir-fry veggies in my freezer sometimes I’ll get a wild hair up my bum and try to make Chinese food at home.  This particular recipe is one I’ve made a few times and that my husband loves.  I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it.  Truthfully it’s really high in salt to me (although most things are) and as I’m not a huge fan of peanuts (or peanut butter) this isn’t particularly up my alley.  That being said, I do think this recipe is worth sharing… at least according to my husband.

I’m fairly certain that I got the original recipe out of a Cooking Light magazine however I scoured the internet and cannot find this recipe anywhere.  So, excuse the crummy picture… it’s been scanned in from the now several-years-old magazine page that I tore out.

Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Lo Mein Noodles

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces wide lo mein noodles (I can never find these, so I use linguine or fettuccine noodles instead)
  • 14-ounce can of fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter (I use full-fat regular creamy Jiff)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (such as Maggi)
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (or tenders) cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 18-ounce package of frozen stir-fry veggies
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook lo mein (fettuccine or linguine) noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Combine chicken broth, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with whisk.  Set aside.
  3. While lo mein noodles cook, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and is completely cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan.  Add garlic and ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds (be careful not to let it burn!).  Add vegetables to pan; sauté 4 minutes or just until crisp-tender.  Stir in peanut butter mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 5 minutes or until thick.  Return chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.  Add noodles; toss well.  Top each serving with chopped basil and peanuts.

THOUGHTS

  • If you know you’re going to be in a hurry, you can prepare the peanut butter mixture the night before and just let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • I found it unnecessary to thaw my vegetables before cooking which is nice as I usually forget to take them out of the freezer until right before I start cooking
  • It usually takes longer than 5 minutes for the peanut butter mixture to thicken up.  Give it enough time or else your dish will be really watery.  It’s ready when it coats your spoon and doesn’t immediately run off.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Delightful Order
Happy Hour Projects
One Artsy Mama
Skip to My Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming

Recipe Review: Spiced Chicken with Couscous Pilaf

So this recipe is a staple in our house.  It has amazing flavor, cooks in one pot, and makes a large meal.  I had some friends over for dinner the other night and I served appetizers of various kinds of hummus and dippers as well as this dish and a dessert that I’ll share with you guys later.

Original recipe is from a Cooking Light magazine.

Spiced Chicken with Couscous Pilaf

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (also known as cayenne)
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in paprika mixture.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove the chicken from pan. Keep warm.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in couscous and broth; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in corn; cover, and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the minced cilantro and lime juice. Serve with the chicken.

THOUGHTS

  • I prefer my chicken chopped into bite-size pieces so I’ll cut it up, then toss the pieces in the skillet and dump the spices on top – it’s less messy and quicker this way BUT the chicken doesn’t get crispy on the outside like it would if you did it per the instructions.
  • Do not use smoked paprika – it completely alters the flavor of the recipe and not in a good way.
  • The cilantro and lime juice can make or break the dish – they add a lot of flavor without being overpowering and definitely take this dish to the next level.  Don’t leave ‘em out.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs, Skip to My Lou, and Chef in Training.

As well as…


One Artsy Mama

Recipe Review: Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime

So I’m about 98% sure that I got this recipe out of a Cooking Light magazine a few years back but for the life of me I couldn’t find it on their website.  If you can find the recipe creator online let me know so I can link back to their website to give them credit for this tasty, easy recipe.

Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime
  • 1-3/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined (but uncooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Grate 1 teaspoon lime rind; set aside.  Squeeze 2 tablespoons lime juice into a large bowl.  Add shrimp and next 3 ingredients, tossing well to coat.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp mixture; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat; stir in reserved lime rind, cilantro, salt, and pepper. 

YEILD:  4 servings (serving size:  about 1-1/2 cups)

Review:

One of the things I loved about this recipe is that we basically had everything on hand already except for the shrimp.  I love recipes like that!

I purchased 2 lbs extra-large shrimp that were frozen.  The day before, I prepared the marinade, opened the bags of frozen shrimp, dumped them into a shallow dish, poured the marinade on top, and popped them in the refrigerator to thaw.  You should never thaw meat at room temperature.  Doing this helped the shrimp to really soak up some of the marinade flavor. 

If you prepare the marinade the day before this recipe is a cinch to cook.  It took no more than 10 minutes to go from skillet to table.  I served this over a bed of white rice.