Monday, May 26, 2014

Pork Chops WIth Honey Balsamic Glaze

I'm pretty sure I just found my new favorite way to prepare pork chops.  This sauce was to die for, and came together in a pinch, with ingredients most people already have on hand.  It was a huge hit with the family, and I can't wait to make it again!  My mouth is already watering...

Thank you Taste of Home for this quick and easy meal!

Pork Chops With Honey Balsamic Glaze
4 bone in pork chops
1/2 tsp each red pepper flakes, salt, pepper
1/2 c each balsamic vinegar & honey
3 scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, or 1/4 tsp dried & crushed
1/8 tsp each salt & pepper
1/4 c butter cubed

Sprinkle chops with seasonings.  Heat oil over medium, add pork, cook 5 minutes per side.  Remove & keep warm.  In the same skillet, whisk all ingredients except butter, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, whisk in butter until melted, serve with chops.

At this point, I added the chops back into the pan and coated them with the sauce.  I kept them warm in there until it was time to serve.  Is served these with green beans and rice - yum!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

General Tsos Chicken

We love Asian food in our house, and our favorite take-out is Axia.  Their food is delicious, and oh so fresh - and the selection is second to none.  The menu goes on for days.  When takeout isn't in the budget though, recipes like this are fantastic.  This chicken tastes like it comes from a restaurant, at a fraction of the cost (to both your wallet and your waist!).  Thanks Miss Ray for another delicious recipe!

General Tsos Chicken
1 egg white
5 T cornstarch
1 T + 2 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 lb chicken breasts cut in ¾” pieces
1 tsp sesame oil
1 ½ T honey
1 1/s T rice vinegar
3 T oil
1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 head steamed broccoli for serving

In medium bowl, whisk together egg white, 4 T cornstarch, 1 tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp ginger.  Stir in the honey and vinegar.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high for 2 minutes.  Add 1 ½ T oil and swirl to coat.  Carefully add ½ the chicken pieces in a single layer.  Cook, turning once, 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken and oil.  Add scallions and garlic to (now empty) skillet and stir fry 1 minute.  Stir in sesame oil mixture.  Return chicken to pan and cook, stirring, until sauce is thick and chicken is cooked through, 1-2 minutes.  (Be very careful at this point - the sauce thickens very quickly).  Serve with broccoli and brown rice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pasta With Italian Sausage And Pumpkin Sauce

The original recipe for this came from All Recipes, which is a great site for inspiration.  I only made a few changes, and they are in brackets below.  The family loved this and we ate leftovers for days.  It was such a hit, and it's such a healthy meal; I can't wait to make it again.

Don't let the pumpkin puree throw you off - give this recipe a try, you'll love it!

I couldn't get a picture thanks to the record amount of time it took to inhale this, but when I make it again, I'll be sure to add one.

Pasta With Italian Sausage and Pumpkin Sauce
1 lb bulk Italian sausage(I used ground pork)
½ onion diced
4 garlic diced
1 pkg pasta (16oz)
1 can pumpkin puree (15oz)
1 can chicken broth (14.5oz)
½ c half and half (I used fat free evaporated milk)
½ c sour cream (I used fat free)
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt & pepper
1 T parmesan
¼ tsp Italian seasoning
(I also added a bag of spinach to the sauce at the end and red pepper flakes)

Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high until browned, 10 minutes.  Drain excess grease.  Stir in onion & garlic and cook 5 minutes.  Cook pasta al dente as per package directions.  Stir next 7 ingredients into sausage and cook 5 minutes, until thick and creamy.  Combine pasta and sauce in a large pot and stir until heated through, 4-5 minutes.  Serve topped with parmesan and Italian seasoning.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Make Ahead Unstuffed Shells

This was a recipe that I adapted, but originally came from Kraft.  I'll post their recipe below, but will let you know what I did differently (my version was pretty easy, but both are great).  I recently bought a couple of pounds of Bison from Wag Jag and I've been dying to try it.  The health benefits seem endless, so I was pretty excited to replace our ground beef with this nutrition powerhouse.

If you're interested, check out this website for a more detailed comparison of Bison to other red meats.  Pretty cool stuff.

My take on the taste?  Amazing.  It honestly tastes just like ground beef, slightly sweeter.  It seems more dense, likely due to the lower fat contact (way less grease and fat to skim!) and it took a little longer to cook.  I love it, the family loves it, and it will be replacing ground beef in our home.

Make Ahead Unstuffed Shells

4 c pasta shells (I used penne, about half a box)

1 lb ground beef (I used 2lbs of ground Bison)

1 jar pasta sauce (I used a can of chopped seasoned tomatoes)

¾ c cream cheese (I used 95% fat free)

½ c milk

¼ c shredded parmesan

1/3 c chopped basil

1 ½ c grated mozzarella (I used light mozzarella)

Cook pasta as directed, omitting salt.  Brown meat in large skillet.  Stir in pasta sauce; simmer on medium heat 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Drain pasta.  Whisk next 3 ingredients in large bowl until blended.  Add pasta and basil; stir gently until pasta is evenly coated.  Spread half the meat sauce on bottom of 13x9 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with pasta mixture and remaining meat sauce.  (All I did was pour the noodles into the baking pan, and spread the bison/tomato mixture on top).  Sprinkle with mozzarella, cover with foil.  Refrigerate up to 24 hours ( I didn't do this, I made it right away).  Heat oven to 375.  Bake casserole, covered, 40-45 minutes, or until heated through, uncovering after 30 minutes.

So good!