Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Basil Tortellini Bean Soup

My kids gobbled this up! So easy to put together, then the crock pot does the cooking!

5 chicken bouillon cubes or 5 tsp bouillon granules*
9 oz frozen cheese tortellini
15 oz can white beans, drained
14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Place all ingredients in a freezer bag and seal.

To cook: No need to thaw! Place in crockpot and add 4.5 cups water. Cook on low for 4 hours. Don't overcook or the tortellini will be mushy (though it will still taste good).

* If you are not freezing, use 4.5 cups chicken stock/broth instead of the bouillon. Using the bouillon and adding water later just saves freezer space.

**If you want to add more to this soup... GO FOR IT! Add chicken, zucchini, spinach, carrots, etc. I wilted in some fresh spinach as it was cooking. You can also top it with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

My whole family loved this dish! So easy to prepare -- cook tonight, or freeze for another night!

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Combine all ingredients in a freezer bag. Mix well and seal.

To cook: Thaw completely. Preheat oven to 350. Place coated chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Lightly cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the chicken over, and cook for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chicken & Spinach Tortilla Bake

I found this recipe and it sounded so good. I was right! My kids thought so too -- one of them told me he really loved it. :) Next time, I think I'll add some mushrooms!

1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 chicken cutlets (I used ~1 lb chicken tenders)
1.5 cups store-bought salsa verde
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 large tortillas, cut into wedges (6 each)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach (~1/4 lb)
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (or monterey jack or cheddar jack)
2 large tortillas, cut in half

Preheat oven to 450. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then shred the chicken.

While shredding chicken, quickly saute the onions in the same pan, if desired.

Whisk together the salsa verde and ricotta cheese; season with salt and pepper. In a greased 9x11 baking dish, layer one-third of the salsa mixture, tortillas, chicken, onion, spinach and cheese; repeat twice (switching the tortillas & salsa mixture). Put 1.5 of halved-tortillas on top, and top with more cheese. Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

(This will FILL your pan! Just squish it down as you're layering. The spinach will cook down...)

Recipe from Rachael Ray magazine.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Honey Sesame Chicken

1/2 cup beer (I used a dark beer)
2 T Sesame Seeds
3 T Honey
2 T Dijon Mustard
1/2 t pepper
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1.5 lbs boneless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in large freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible; seal & freeze. To serve: thaw overnight in fridge, bake in large dish at 350 F until juices run
clear (~50 mins).

Sweet Orange Salmon

1/4 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. honey
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
1 T apple juice (or sherry)
1 T minced fresh ginger root
1 pound salmon fillet

Combine all ingredients in large freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible; seal & freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight in fridge. Line an 8-in. square baking dish with foil; coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Drain and reserve marinade. Place salmon in prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. While fish is baking, bring marinade to a rolling boil in small saucepan for at least 5 minutes. Simmer to reduce; use to baste at end of cooking or use as dipping sauce.