Wednesday, April 17, 2013

{Recipe} Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers


Updating one of my favorite dishes today!  I really love stuffed food. Is that a weird proclamation? Recently I tried to make a new stuffed chicken & it just didn't come out as I hoped.   It's too bad, because in the pictures, the dish looks great. But I will attempt to modify the recipe & see if it's salvageable.  To redeem myself, I decided to make these fail proof stuffed peppers.  I've tried a few variations/methods to cooking stuffed peppers, but this is my far my favorite.  I don't know why it's taken me 3.5 years to update a recipe I love, but whatever.  Enjoy!!


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It's OFFICIAL!!! I am FINALLY on hiatus...meaning, SUMMER VACATION!!!! No more crazy hours & no more stress for 3 blissful months.  I have a lot planned this summer including a LOT of cooking.  What better way to start off my "summer" (though it's barely spring) posts with this AMAZING dish!

I've been craving home cooked meals lately that are easy, healthy & hearty. No boring chicken here. When I saw this dish on a new blog I found, Simply Love Food I thought, THIS is my kind of stuffed pepper. This dish is incredibly flavorful & healthy...even with the cheese!

I have made stuffed peppers before in the crock pot & I thought they were good. Nope, these win.  Of course, there was one minor problem.  The recipe calls for 1/2 lb ground meat...someone wasn't paying attention & made the entire pound...so my mixture was a bit more meaty. But J didn't really seem to mind! And we ate the extra meat the next night in tortillas.  We will definitely be having these again this summer!

Southwestern Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers
Serves: 4
Cook time according to Rachel: 35 mins
How difficult was this for Rachel? Super easy!

Ingredients:  
1/2 lean ground turkey
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups cooked brown rice
4 bell peppers
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 packet taco seasoning
1 jar 15-16 oz jar Salsa (I used peach salsa & it was AWESOME)
1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
light sour cream for a topping
Note: I used pre seasoned Jenni-O taco meat

Directions:
Pre heat oven to 450 degrees

Place halved & seeded peppers in a lightly greased baking dish

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Not much a difference in these two pics!

Over medium heat, brown ground turkey.  My meat looks orange bc it was pre-seasoned.

Once meat is about half way cooked through, add chopped onion & cook for a few mins until the onions become tender

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While meat is browning, in a small pot, cook rice according to packaging.

Once the meat & rice are cooked, add into a large mixing bowl. Combine with corn, beans & salsa.

Mix thoroughly.

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Spoon mixture carefully into peppers packing as much in as you can.

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Sprinkle cheese on top

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(I used a Mexi-blend this time around)

Bake approx. 20 mins until the cheese is brown & melty

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ENJOY!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Light Fettuccine Alfredo w/ Broccoli


Every once in a while I just want to indulge. I want to forget about being healthy & making good choices. I want to forget about the summer & bathing suit season. I want to just relax & enjoy eating delicious foods without worrying about the consequences.  After drooling over Fettuccine Alfredo recipes online, I knocked some sense into myself & decided to look for a healthier alternative.  


This recipe was SO much better than I had anticipated!! It was rich & creamy & every bit tasted like I was indulging in something horrible.  The only problem I had with this dish was the portion size.  Sadly, this makes 4 servings...when it could have EASILY been 2.  I guess thats the sacrifice for it being so delicious. 


I found this recipe at Cooking Classy & just by the look of her picture, I HAD to make it.  This recipe is similar to a guest post I featured a few months ago, Low-cal Fettuccine Alfredo but this has a different spin on it. It is a bit richer but the portion size is smaller.  I cannot wait to make this again!

Light Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves: 4
Cook time according to Cooking Classy: 20 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 30 mins
How difficult was this for Rachel? Not horrible...there are a bunch of steps, but worth the end result!

Ingredients:
8 oz Fettuccine pasta, uncooked
1 cup fresh broccoli
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup skim milk
2 tbsp heavy cream
1tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup fresh, finely shredded parmesan cheese
2 oz Neufchatel cheese
black pepper to taste

Directions:
Cook pasta according to directions on package.


Meanwhile, in a large skillet (or medium sauce pan) melt butter over medium heat.
Once fully melted, mix in flour & cook while whisking constantly for 2 mins.


Gradually add in a little milk while whisking vigorously until smooth.
Stir in cream, lemon juice, salt & garlic powder.
Continue to stil to prevent lumps from forming. Cook sauce until mixture thickens & begins to gently bubble.


Reduce heat to low, add in Parmesan cheese & Neufchatel cheese & stir until cheese has melted.


Mix in broccoli.  Let mixture continue to cook for 2 mins while stirring of course.

Drain cooked pasta well. Do NOT rise.

Pour sauce into pasta & mix thoroughly.


Serve Immediately!

Note: when reheating the day after, I added a little more parmesan & cream.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Post! Chicken w/ Boursin Mushroom Sauce



If you know me, you know I CAN'T STAND mushrooms. My dad always enjoyed grossing my sister (who can't stand them either) and I out by telling us how they just slide down your throat when eaten. NO THANKS.  When my coworker, Sam, who has been VERY supportive of this blog, told me about this dish, I asked her to be a guest blogger so my followers weren't out of luck when it came to mushroom based dishes.  So while I will never try this dish, I hope you all do! Here's Sam!

Rachel and I have been work buddies for a little over three years now. I started baking at a young age, but when it came to cooking, the kitchen kind of scared me. Last year I decided I needed to change that, and Rachel’s blog was just the inspiration I needed to start teaching myself :) After trying out a bunch of recipes on here, I branched out and discovered the wonderful world of Pinterest. This recipe is my favorite find so far, and quite possibly the best dinner I’ve ever made. Seriously, if you like mushrooms and cheese (does anyone not like cheese?), you’ll love this dish!


Chicken with Boursin Mushroom Sauce
From Baked Bree (http://bakedbree.com/chicken-with-boursin-mushroom-sauce) , Original version by America’s Test Kitchen
Serves: 4 (Though it’s super easy to cut the recipe in half to only serve 2, which is exactly what I did J)
Cook time according to Baked Bree: 30 minutes
Cook time according to Sam: 45 minutes (I’m still learning though)
How hard was this for Sam to make? Pretty Easy!

Ingredients:                                                            
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1 Tablespoon butter
1 minced shallot
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup crumbled Boursin cheese (Garlic & Fine Herbs)
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley







Directions:


Season both sides of your chicken breasts with salt & pepper (don't be shy!)


In a large skillet, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add chicken & cook over medium-high heat until brown. Aprox 5 mins. Flip over, cover & reduce heat to medium.

Let cook for 15 more minutes. Transfer to plate and cover with foil to keep warm.


Add mushrooms & butter to skillet.


Add shallot & let cook for a minute. 
I decided I needed more mushrooms & added a few after taking this picture :)


Add wine. Stir occasionally to make sure bits don't get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Cook until wine has almost completely cooked off.


Remove from heat & whisk in Boursin & parsley.  If desired, season with additional salt & pepper.


Pour sauce over chicken. I've been told the pictures of my final result make it look like an omelet. But I swear it is absolutely delicious! Bon Appetit!!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Roasted Corn & Edamame Salad

 I can't believe it's been  2 weeks since my last post! I hate when that happens, but sometimes life just gets in the way.  Work has been crazy as ever. However, in 2 weeks I will have my life back for the summer. I can't wait!  Lots of trips, reading, cooking & exploring to do!
J's dad & stepmom were in town this past weekend. Of course I had to work, but I was able to escape & have dinners with them...which is really the best part of having visitors in town, besides hanging out with them that is :)

We decided on Saturday night to head up the coast to Malibu & head to one of my favorite spots, so appropriately named, Dukes.


We didn't think we'd get a pretty sunset since it was overcast all day, but look how wrong we were! Being able to escape to a place like this is what makes me fall in love with California over and over again.  Now, on to the food...


 I've been trying to be better about eating veggies with dinner & I stumbled across this recipe on SELF.  Now their version looks fancier, BUT it tasted delicious & was an AWESOME side dish.  The dish is served cold, so on a hot summer day, this would make an awesome lunch or a side dish at a BBQ.   It lasted us two nights & was almost better the next day as the flavors had time to settle in. Crunchy & light & HEALTHY.  Exactly what this girl needs.

Roasted Corn & Edamame Salad
Serves: 4
Cook time according to SELF: 45 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 55 mins + 1 hour of refrigeration time
How difficult was this for Rachel? Easy!

Ingredients:

2 ears fresh corn, grilled & unhusked  or 1 1/4 cup cooked corn
1/2 -1 cup cooked edamame
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup small diced red bell pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp light mayo (or greek yogurt)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp finely chopped or grated ginger
1/8 tps salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl filled with water, soak corn in husks for 30 mins before grilling.
Grill corn 10-12 mins until fully cooked.

Dump everything in the bowl & mix thoroughly.



Chill in the fridge for aprox 30 mins- 1 hour.

Serve!