Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week #6 - Taco Soup

Another one from my favorite message board - thanks, Val!!!

2 lbs. ground beef or turkey 1/2 lg. onion, chopped 2 15 oz. cans black beans, pinto beans, or 1 of each 3 packs taco seasoning 1 pack ranch mix (not low fat) 1 4 oz. can green chiles 2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce 8 C. water 2 C. frozen corn Chili Cheese Fritos Shredded Cheese Sour Cream Brown meat and onion and drain grease. Add beans, and mix in seasonings. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer - the longer the better. It is also excellent to make in a crock pot. To serve put a small handful of Fritos in a bowl, and spoon soup over them. Put a dollop of sour cream on top, and then sprinkle some cheese over that.

What I did different:
I used black beans only, 1 pack of seasoning and the ranch mix, and I threw in a can of diced tomatoes. I would have used fresh if such a thing existed around here this time of year! I also used tortilla chips instead of fritos because I had them on hand.
10. Everyone loved it except our friend's 4 year old who was joining us for dinner (but then gain last night he wouldn't touch my meatloaf - I think we are going to have to stop inviting him for dinner)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Week #5 - 2 recipes!!!

Alright, this buys me a cheat week along the way :)
Chicken and linguine in a creamy red sauce
(from the brand name cookbook I love so!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 jar (1 pound 10 ounces) smooth tomato sauce
2 cups water
8 ounces uncooked linguine or spaghetti
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed

1. In 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and brown chicken. Remove chicken and set aside.
2. In same skillet, stir in Pasta Sauce and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in uncooked linguine and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until linguine is tender.
3. Stir in cream and basil. Return chicken to skillet and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

What I did differently:
I added a clove of crushed garlic to the oil before sauteing the chicken and put the chicken back in before the cream so that I could take some out for Joey (our milk-free wonder). I also added a few generous sprinkles of Parmesan cheese!
Rating: 9 It was so weird to cook the linguine in the sauce but I think the starch helped thicken it up. I think you could use light cream or less cream (I used just less than 1/2 a cup). Enjoyed by everyone and easy to cut out the cream for dairy-free people!

Pork chops and white beans
I got this one off my favorite message board's Dinner Rut thread! Thanks Julie!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary crumbled
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
4 well-trimmed bone-in pork rib chops (about 2 pounds; each 1 inch thick)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and rosemary; season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together broth and tomato paste. Pour mixture into skillet; stir in beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are coated evenly and sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, generously season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork (in two batches, if necessary) until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve on top of bean mixture.
What I did differently: Not much actually! I added diced carrots to the peppers and onions because I had them! Oh, and I used boneless pork chops
rating: 7 Everyone ate the pork but the kids weren't big fans of the bean mixture. I take that back - Ryan ate his 4 NTYB (No Thank You Bites) of beans and Rachel munched on a piece of carrot before spitting it in my hand! Joey, again, ate it all. Rob and I decided that the beans would be a tasy side dish to grilled pork so we will probably do it that way next time. We had a packaged rice side dish with it