January 1, 2011

What's cookin' this week? January 3, 2011

Santa made it pretty clear this year that he wants me back in the kitchen. J I’ve been combing through new cookbooks to create menus for the next few weeks. I hope you can find some meals your family can enjoy. These are just inspiration so take it and make it your own.

As usual, I make dinner Monday – Thursday and Friday is usually leftover night or dinner out with the family.

This week’s menu comes from two cookbooks – Better Homes and Gardens – Fast and Fresh Family Dinners and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.

Rosemary Chicken with Veggies and Pasta
(A full meal in one dish so no need for sides)

Salsa, Bean and Cheese Pizza
Veggies and hummus

Roasted Tilapia with fire-roasted tomatoes and olives
Mixed fruit

Blue cheese and chops with rice
Green beans

I hope you enjoy this week's recipes and take the first step this year to owning what your family eats one meal at a time.


Rosemary Chicken with veggies and pasta (start to finish – 30 min.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. plain or spinach linguine (we are using cheese tortellini)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 med. zucchini and yellow squash cut into ¼-inch slices
½ cup apple juice
2 tsp. fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 Tbsp. chicken broth or dry white wine
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning. In a large skillet, cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Add garlic to skillet. Cook for 15 seconds. Add zucchini, squash, apple juice and rosemary. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together broth and cornstarch. Add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes. Serve veggies and pasta with chicken.

Salsa, Bean and Cheese Pizza (start to finish – 20 minutes)
4 6-inch corn tortillas (or use flour tortillas if you already have them)
4 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 jalepeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes
4 oz. shredded cheese (Mexican, cheddar, Monterey jack)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 425F. Place tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet. Lightly brush tortillas with 1 tsp. olive oil on both sides. Bake for about 3 minutes on each side or until light brown and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook onion, chile pepper, and garlic with remaining 3 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is tender. Stir in black beans and tomato. Heat through.

Sprinkle tortillas with half of the cheese. Spoon bean mixture over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Roasted tilapia with fire-roasted tomatoes and olives
2/3 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
12 small green olives with pimientos cut into quarters
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 pound tilapia fillets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

In medium bowl, combine the tomatoes with juices, olives, onion and garlic until mixed.

Lightly mist fillets with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in an 11”x7” glass or ceramic baking dish. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Roast until the fish flakes easily and is no longer translucent in the center – 10-12 minutes.

Blue cheese and chops with rice (start to finish – 45 minutes)
2 ½ cup cooked brown rice
4 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup apple juice
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional) – we’ll be leaving these out
½ tsp. salt
¼ + 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
4 boneless pork chops (1/2 – ¾ inch thick)
1 red pear, cored and chopped
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 2-quart square baking disk and a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, green onions, 2 Tbsp. of apple juice, walnuts, ¼ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spoon rice mixture into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together the thyme, ¼ tsp. salt and the ¼ tsp. pepper. Rub onto both sides of chops. Cook chops in skillet over medium-high heat until browned, turning once. Arrange browned chops on top of rice mixture. Pour remaining apple juice over chops.

Bake, covered, for about 30 minutes (or less if chops are thinner) or until no longer pink inside and juices run clear. Transfer chops to serving plates. Stir chopped pear and blue cheese into hot rice mixture. Serve with chops.

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