Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

21 05 2014

This rustic Tuscan bean side dish is deliciously creamy and loaded with both flavor and nutrition! It whips up pretty quickly too. Get some chicken or steak on the grill while you prepare this, and before you know it you’ll have a lovely weeknight meal ready to enjoy.

Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium, reduced-fat beef stock
  • Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 2-3 oz fontina cheese, cubed (you want to use fontina because it melts really well)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat a few Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, a minute or so. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes and just a pinch of salt. Next add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stock, olives and cheese. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cheese will melt nicely into the stock, creating a nice creamy dish.

Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat some oil and saute kale until wilted and cooked, 5-10 minutes. You can make as much as you like, I filled the pan (remember it shrinks when it cooks). Transfer sautéed kale to the beans and finish cooking together the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dish out beans, top with parsley and enjoy alongside a protein of your choice. I served with grilled chicken breasts.





Creamy Parsley-Lemon Salad Dressing

21 01 2014

This creamy dressing is delicious and healthy, the key is to use Greek yogurt rather than mayo (typically found in creamy dressings). Packed with flavor, it’s a great dressing for just about any salad. Featured here has southwestern components, such as corn, red onion and tomatoes.

Creamy Parsley-Lemon Salad Dressing

Creamy Parsley-Lemon Salad Dressing

The following makes enough to dress 2 large salads, plus leftover dressing (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Big handful of parsley
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (use 3 if you like garlic and want an extra bite to the dressing)
  • Heaping 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor combine yogurt, lemon zest and juice, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. While the food processor is on, stream in the oil and vinegar. Taste, and adjust seasoning and oil to your liking.

To make the salad pictured above: place mixed greens in a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper, mix gently with some of the salad dressing. Divide among plates. In the same large bowl, combine toppings such as corn, red pepper, onion, tomatoes and cucumber; and mix in a little more of the dressing. Divide dressed, chopped veggies on top of the tossed greens. Serve the salad as is for a meatless option, or top with a baked crab cake (pictured above) or chicken. Drizzle protein with a little more sauce.





Barley Salad with Creamy Artichoke Dressing

6 07 2013

Here’s another salad recipe great for summer parties! This is a much healthier option than classic potato or macaroni salads that traditionally have heavy mayo bases. Here you get a creamy salad without any guilt, thanks to the artichoke and cheese “dressing”. And because there’s no mayo or sour cream, this is another good go-to dish for parties that might be outside on a hot summer day.

Barley Salad with Creamy Artichoke Dressing

Barley Salad with Creamy Artichoke Dressing

The following serves 6-8 (compliments of Oprah and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cups dry pearl barley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp small capers, rinsed
Rinse and drain the barley. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add barley and cook 35-45 minutes. Drain the barley and rinse it under cold water.
While the barley is cooking make the dressing. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop them. In a food processor, combine half of the artichoke hearts (reserving the other half), the cheese, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the lemon zest and juice and process until a paste forms. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.In a serving bowl, combine the artichoke dressing and the cooked barley and turn to coat. Add the parsley, olives, and the reserved artichoke hearts and turn again. Sprinkle with the capers and serve. Can be served warm, at room temp or cold (good for making a day in advance).




Pork Ragu Over Creamy Parmesan Polenta

1 03 2012

This is a knock out meal kids….Rachel Ray’s luscious pork ragu paired with my go-to creamy parm polenta, make for a must try 🙂

Pork Ragu Over Creamy Parmesan Polenta

The following serves 4 (courtesy of Rachel Ray):

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb pork (I used ground pork, Rachel uses pork shoulder)
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Polenta (see recipe below)
  • Handful chopped parsley leaves
  • Shredded parmigiano cheese

Heat large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil and the pork, breaking up in pieces. Saute over medium-high heat until it starts to get a golden brown color. Add 2 more Tbsp olive oil along with the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Stir in the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the veggies until soft, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute, then add the wine and cook for another minute. Next stir in the stock and bring sauce to a simmer. Next add a pinch of ground cloves (this really gives a nice depth of flavor).

When the sauce returns to a simmer add the milk and reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce mellow for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about 30 minutes, start the polenta.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • Salt to taste

Bring milk and broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Off heat finish with parmesan and a little salt.

You can make the pork ragu ahead of time and reheat over medium-low heat. You may need to add a splash of water or stock when you’re reheating the sauce to thin it out a bit.

Serve the sauce atop the creamy polenta and garnish with lots of cheese and parsley.





Greek Chicken Roulades and White Wine Sauce with Creamy Orzo

28 02 2012

Roulade is a French term for a cut of thinly pounded meat with a filling rolled inside. These beauties make a big impact in both flavor and looks….give them a try when you’re sick of eating the same tried and true recipes!

Greek Chicken Roulades and White Wine Sauce with Creamy Orzo

The following serves 2 (compliments of Cuisine Favorites):

  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, divided
  • 3 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp minced lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 oz each), trimmed of fat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Dice 6 olives; set aside. Process remaining 6 olives, bread crumbs, tomatoes, zest, garlic and oregano in a food processor until minced.

Using a meat mallet, pound chicken between plastic wrap to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Spread olive-tomato filling on chicken (spread within 1/4 inch of the edge of the chicken). Roll chicken to enclose filling, starting at one short end; secure with toothpicks.

Saute roulades in oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, 4 minutes. Remove roulades to a plate. Add onion to the skillet; saute 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until liquid is reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth. Bring mixture to a boil; add reserved diced olives and roulades.

Cover skillet; reduce heat. Simmer roulades 10 minutes; remove roulades to a plate. Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch; stir into sauce in skillet. Simmer about 1 minute, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Remove toothpicks, then slice roulades; serve with sauce.

For the Creamy Orzo (If you have hungry fam members like me, I recommend making a double batch!):

  • 1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 2 Tbsp minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/8 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper

Start boiling broth in a saucepan for the orzo before making the roulades, then finish the orzo dish while the chicken simmers.

When the broth is boiling, stir in orzo. Return liquid to a boil. Cook orzo, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed, about 9 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

Stir tomatoes and feta into orzo, mixing until feta melts slightly. Season orzo mixture with salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken roulades and sauce.





Saltimbocca Chicken Breasts With Sage Pan Sauce Over Creamy Arugula Pasta

5 02 2012

In Italian, saltimbocca literally means to “jump in the mouth.” And the combination of prosciutto, provolone cheese and sage are just that delicious! The pasta with greens compliments the classic flavors of saltimbocca too. This meal doesn’t take as long as it may seem, but elicits a special feeling…great to make for date night!

Saltimbocca Chicken Breasts With Sage Pan Sauce Over Creamy Arugula Pasta

The following serve 2 (compliments of Cuisine For Two):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 oz each)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 oz provolone cheese, cut into two sticks
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, plus another 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage

For the pasta:

  • 4 oz dry angel hair pasta
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup torn arugula

Preheat oven to 400. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta, cover the pot with a lid to speed up the boiling time.

Season chicken with pepper, cut a slit in each, then stuff with cheese. Wrap each breast with two overlapping slices of prosciutto. The slices I had were a little on the small side, so I ended up using three slices each.

Saute chicken in oil and 1 tsp butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning to brown all sides, 6-8 minutes total. Place chicken bundles on a rack set on a baking sheet; transfer chicken to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Remove chicken and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

When you put the chicken in the oven, work on the sauce. Saute shallots for sauce in 1 tsp butter over medium-high heat using the same skillet in which the chicken was browned. Cook until shallots are soft, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with wine; simmer over high heat until liquid nearly evaporates. Add broth and lemon juice; simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp butter and sage.

When you take the chicken out of the oven to rest, work on the pasta (your pasta water should be boiling by now). Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 4 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the cream, parmesan, egg yolk, zest, pepper flakes, salt and pepper – then top with arugula. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl. Toss to coat pasta with sauce and to wilt the arugula.

Place one chicken bundle on each of two plates; drizzle with sauce and serve alongside pasta.





Lemon-Sage Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Parm Polenta

5 12 2011

My post on facebook tonight says it all: “The chateau is filled with the aroma of talent! Yep, that would be me cooking!” I paired this chicken dish from the Food Network holiday mag with one of my go-to polenta recipes. Believe me, this meal will help you feel the talent too…and don’t be shy, it’s OK to brag a little 🙂

Lemon-Sage Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Parm Polenta

The following two recipes serve 2:

  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 and 1/4 lbs)
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • 2 large eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 springs sage, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (best if it’s cold)

Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets. Sprinkle lightly with water, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4 inch thick. The chicken breasts I used must not have been as thick as what the recipe called for, because they were thin enough once I sliced in half. Either way, once you have them to the desired thickness, season with salt and pepper.

Pour some flour into a shallow dish and season lightly with salt. Lightly beat eggs with the lemon juice in another shallow dish.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off any excess; dip in the lemon-egg mixture, coating both sides. Add the cutlets to the skillet and cook until golden on the bottom, about 2-5 minutes. Add the sage leaves to the skillet, then turn the cutlets and cook until golden on the other side, about another 2-5 minutes (depends on the thickness – you want to make sure the chicken juice runs clear). Transfer the cutlets and sage to a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour out any remaining oil from the skillet. Add the wine and chicken broth and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and swirl until melted.

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates. Serve along with the polenta recipe below and dress everyone with the pan sauce. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

When you start the pan sauce above, also start the polenta recipe below:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Bring milk and broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Thin with water or more chicken broth if necessary. Off heat, finish with parmesan, oil and salt.