Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rotini with Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomatoes

It's been a while and I apologize. Things snuck up on me fast. I had to pack up my entire apartment before the move, then there was the move itself and even though it has been more than a week, we're just getting around to setting up our computers. But now that things have settled down, I'll have more time to devote to cooking, eating, and sharing.

It's a beautiful day outside today, though! I love spring. Not only is it warm, usually sunny, but produce like asparagus goes on sale. Last time I saw asparagus for less than $2 a pound, I snatched some up and made Rotini with Chicken Asparagus and Tomatoes.

It was nothing fancy and almost seemed like a warm pasta salad. But it still hit the spot. Asparagus, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese? How can you go wrong with that? You can't.

If you don't care for goat cheese (the boyfriend is unsure of his feelings toward it) you could probably sub crumbled feta.

Overall, a great spring dish.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coq au Vin

On the weekends I love to make meals that take a little more time. On the weekdays I'm so tired and hungry after work that I just really want dinner to be on the table as fast as possible. But the weekends are a different story.

It's much warmer now, but when I made this dish a week or so ago, it was still pretty cold and dreary afternoon. A perfect time for this Coq au Vin.

I have my friend, Laurel, to thank for my coq au vin craving. She was invited to a wedding where it would be served. "It says it has pheasant in it," she said. "That sounds gross."

I told her it probably tasted just like chicken and many of the recipes I saw in magazines just looked like a French chicken stew.

"You'll like it," I assured her. At least I hope so. I do.

What are your favorite slow-cooked weekend meals?

I served this Cooking Light version with whipped mashed potatoes. It was a great slow-cooked Saturday meal.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Garlicky Bean Enchiladas

After nearly a month of cooking from my freezer and pantry, I can nearly see the back of the freezer and closet. It's a great feeling. In the pantry I always keep a bunch of different kinds of black beans. Canned beans are an easy side, a quick protein source, and pureed in a food processor for quick dip when mixed with some lemon juice, olive oil, and some herbs.

Garlicky Bean Enchiladas are another way use white beans. And what's more, I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, fridge, and freezer. Just a couple of problems. The original recipe used WAY too much oil. And the servings were a bit large. To make them more point-friendly, I cut the oil by soaking the tortillas in chicken broth and by using fewer tortillas and less cheese. For as many changes as I made, it really didn't sacrifice flavor.

Do you have a favorite enchilada recipe?

Glaricky Bean Enchiladas
4 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 (14.5 oz.) can white beans (such as cannellini)
3 tbsp plus 1/2 cup chicken broth
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup store-bought salsa verde
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until barely golden, 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 tbsp chicken broth. Season with salt and cook, mashing the beans, until softened -- about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Next, warm remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth in a small skillet. Soften each tortilla in the chicken broth -- about 30 seconds or so. Immediately fill tortillas with 3 tbsp of beans and roll. Place in 13x9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Pour salsa over the filled tortillas and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake until cheese is melted and salsa is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Nutritional Info: 392 calories/15 grams of fat/9 grams of fiber