White Bean and Chicken Soup Monday, Jan 19 2009 

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I got this from Food and Wine.  I have to say I am really glad I subscribed to this magazine.  I get so many good ideas.  I made this for my lunches this week, but it made so much!  So some will be my lunches and some made its way into the freezer.

Ingredients-

3 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ dice.

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2tbl vegetable oil

2 med onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

2 tbl flour

2 tbl chile powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano, crushed

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

8 cups chicken broth or stock

3 15 oz cans navy beans, drained (I used 1 bag dried and made them myself)

Tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded Monteray Jack cheese, cilantro and diced avocado, for serving.

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a dutch oven, heat oil until shimmering.  Add half of the chicken at a time and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over, about 8 min per batch.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Add the onions to the oven and cooke over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook until fragrant.  Add the flour, chile powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne.  Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.  Add the stock, navy beans, chicken, and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is very tender, about 30 min.

3. Uncover and simmer the soup over moderate heat until slightly thickened,about 30 minutes longer.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with the tortilla chips, sour cream, Jack cheese, cilantro and avocado.

This soup had the perfect amount of spice.  Yum!

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Kung Pao chicken with fried rice Monday, Jan 19 2009 

We decided to have a “take-out” night at home.  I think we did a pretty good job!

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Kung Pao Chicken

2 boneless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic
1″ ginger root, grated
5 scallions
2 tbsp. peanut oil
handful of dried red chilies
2 tsp. Sichuan pepper
1/2 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
Marinade:
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. light soy sauce
2 tsp. sherry
4 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water
sauce:

6 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. dark soy sauce
2 tsp. light soy sauce
6tsp. Chinese black vinegar (which we had to go to the Oriental Market to buy.  Ben is know a fan as everything in much cheaper there)

1. Cut the chicken into small 1/2″ cubes  Place in a small bowl, mix with marinade. 

2.Peel and slice the garlic, chop scallions into chunks.  Snip the chilies into into 2″ sections

3. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  Heat the wok over high, add peanut oil, chilies and sichuan pepper for 15 seconds, add the chicken and stir fry.  As chicken begins to cook, add garlic, ginger and scallions.  Stir the sauce and add it to the wok, continue to toss and stir the chicken so it doesn’t burn.

4.When the sauce is thick and shiny and chicken is cooked, stir in peanuts

Fried Rice

2  eggs, beaten

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oik

1 clove garlic,minced

1 tbl cooking oil (we used peanut oil)

1/2 c thinly bias-sliced celery

1 c sliced fresh mushrooms

2 c cooked white rice

1 med carrot, shredded

1/2 c frozen peas, thawes (we left it out as I am not a fan)

2 tbl soy sauce

1/4 c sliced green onion

1. In a small bowl combine eggs and 1 tsp soy sauce.

2. Pour the sesame oil into a wok or large skillet.  Preheat over med heat. Add the egg mixture and garlic; stir gently to scramble. When set, remove egg mixture fromwok and cut up and lg pieces.  Remove wok from heat.

3. Pour the cooking pil into the wok or skillet (add more if needed during cooking).  Return to med-high heat.  Stir-fry celery in hot oil for 1 min.  Add mushrooms; stir fry for 1-2 min or until veggies are crisp-tender.

4. Add cooked rice, carrot, and peas.  Sprinkle with the 2 tbl soy sauce.  Cook and stir for 4-6 minutes or until heated through.  Add cooked egg mixture and green onion; cook and stir for about 1 min or until heated through.

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We loved it!

Milk-Choclate Cookies with Malted Cream Monday, Jan 19 2009 

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I look forward to book club every month. It is an opportunity to try something that is sooo not diet food and pawn it off on others! Ok, so I ate one after I made them. Quality control. I wouldn’t want my book reading pals to get sick 😉

Milk- Chocolate Cookie with Malted Cream

From Food and Wine (pastry chef at Niche in St. Louis considers them his Oreo)

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Cookies-

1 1/2 sricks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c light brown sugar

1/2 c granulated sugar

6 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

1 tbl vanilla extract

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

2 tbl unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Filling-

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c chocolate malt power, we used Ovaltine

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 c confectioner’s sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cookies: In a lg bowl with the electric mixer, beat butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and beat until smooth.  In a small bowl, whisk the flour with cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat at low speed until just incorporated.  Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/4″ thickness and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Using a 2″ round cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible and transfer to the baking sheet, 1″ apart.  Gather the scraps, chill, with cutout rounds for 10 min,  Re-roll scraps, stamp out more.

4. Bake the cookies in the lower and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 min, until dry and set.  Shift the pans halfway through baking.  Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely.

5. Filling: In a med bowl, using an electic mixer, beat the butter with the chocolate malt powder at med speed until light, about 3 min.  Add the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and beat at low speed just until combined.  Transfer the filling into a pastry bag (I used my new cookie press with the icing attachment my mom gave me for Christmas) fitted with a 1/2″ plain tip.  Arrange half of the cookies on a work surface, bottom side up, and pipe a 1″ mound of filling onto each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressins to spread the fillinf to the edges.

6. Makes sure to spill a bit of icing on a baking sheet to lick later!

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Seafood chili Monday, Jan 12 2009 

So I love Costco.  A lot.  We had decided that we would go to McCormick & Schmicks for our 1st anniversary in Feb and purchased discounted gift cards from Costco this weekend. We love M&S grill, but I have never had anything but carry out from McCormick.  It came with a very yummy cookbook.  I decided to make this chili for my lunches this week since we had almost all of the ingredients on hand.  It did not disappoint! 

From- McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant Cookbook

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1/2 lb dry white beans

2 c low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 c olive oil

1 c medium diced onions

1 c medium diced celery

1/4c each; medium diced red, yellow, and green bell peppers

3 tbl chopped garlic

1 c white wine

28 oz canned, diced tomatoes with juice

1 tbl Tabasco (which we did not have so I used hot chili peanut oil)

4 tbl tomato paste

2 c water or chicken broth (we used the broth)

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsps chili powder

1 tsp cumin

2 tbl fresh chopped basil (we used dried)

2 tbl fresh chopped parsley (we used dried)

2 tsp dried thyme

1 lb seafood (you can use cod, halibut,salmon, or shrimp. We used salmon)

-Soak the white beans overnight.  Drain.  Cook the beans in the broth until tender, about 25 minutes.

-Saute the onions, celery, and peppersin the olive oilto soften.  Add the garlic and cool for 1 minutes.  Add the wine and reduce for 1-2 min.  Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

-Drain the cooked beans and add to the veggie mixture along with the Tabasco, tomato paste, broth, and herbs.  Simmer for 10-12 minutes.

-Add the seafood and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.  Stir carefully to incorporate seafood without breaking it up too much.

This was really good.  It was not as heavy as regular chili.

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers Monday, Jan 12 2009 

From Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

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1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 c fine dry bread crumbs or 3/4 c whole wheat bread crumbs

1 tbl milk

2 tsp dried Greek seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1 lb ground uncooked turkey or chicken (we used turkey)

4 soft pita bread rounds or 4 whole wheat hamburger buns (we used whole wheat pitas that I had made from scratch)

1 recipe Greek Salsa

1/4 c crumbled feta cheese

1. pre-heat broiler.  In a medium bowl stir together egg, bread crumbs, milk, Greek seasoning, and salt.  Add ground turkey; mix weel.  Shape into 4 1/2 thick patties (we actually halved this and made 8).

2. Pleace patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 11 to 13 minutes or until no longer pink (165 F) turning once halfway through broiling time.

This was when I made the Greek Salsa:  In a bowl combine 2 tbl white wine vinegar, 2 tbl olive oil, and 1 tsp dried greek seasoning.  Stir in 1 cup finely chopped tomato, 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber, and 1/4 cup finely chopped, pitted kalamata or ripe olives (we used canned black olives). 

3. Serve the burgers in pita bread.  Top with Greek salsa and sprinkle with feta.

Per sandwich with 1/3 c salsa- 442 cal 17 g fat 42g carb

This was awesome!  I loved the Greek Salsa.  It was really light and went well with the burgers.  We will be making this one again.

Meatless Tacos Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

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I have one word for this dish.  Yum.  Even Ben thought that it was awesome, and he went into not wanting to like it. 

1/2 c water

1/4 c lentils, rinsed and drained

1/4 c chopped onion

8 taco shells

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

5 tsp taco seasoning8 oz extra firm tofu

1 1/2c shredded cheese

1 med tomato, chopped

1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1.  In a souce pan combine water, lentils, and onion.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed.  Meanwhile, heat taco shells according to package directions.

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2.  Stir tomato sauce and taco seasoning mix into lentils.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in tofu; heat through.  Spoon into taco sheels.  Top with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

We had leftover mexican rice from a party this weekend that we also added.  Very good.  We will be making this again very soon.  With the taco seasoning it tasted like a regular beef taco.