Saturday, June 30

Chicken Stuffing Dish with Orzo Pasta

Homemade crunchy croutons top a cheesy chicken dish. I served this savory chicken meal with a flavorful green bean orzo pasta side. Yum!

Chicken Stuffing Dish and Green Bean Orzo Pasta

3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied  
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup of milk
3/4 cup cheddar cheese thinly sliced
Pepper to taste
2 cups of croutons (see recipe below)

Homemade croutons
5 slices of whole wheat bread
1 t of garlic powder
Pepper to taste
A couple tablespoons of canola oil
A couple dashes of dried rosemary

Orzo Pasta
1 cup orzo pasta
1 cup French cut green beans-cooked
1/8 cup parmesan cheese

Cube bread and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle oil over bread and sprinkle remaining ingredients on the bread. Toss bread to coat and bake at 400F for approx. 10 minutes or until bread is golden and toasty.

Chicken Dish
To make the chicken, lay butterflied chicken breasts in a single layer in a 9x13in pan. Lay sliced cheese over chicken.  In a separate bowl combine cream of chicken soup, milk and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken and sprinkle croutons on top. Bake at 350F uncovered for approx. 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Orzo Pasta
Cook pasta according to package until al dante. Drain water and add green beans and parmesan cheese. Remove about 1/2 cup of the cooked chicken stuffing dish sauce and stir into the orzo pasta.

Wednesday, June 6

Strawberry Honey Glazed Pork Chops

Most would agree that pork chops and applesauce are delicious. Two nights ago though I began a quest to experiment with a different pork and fruit combination and there the strawberry honey glazed chop was born. My husband gave it 10 stars and for a guy that likes his meat I was happy to have landed a recipe that made it into his all-star list. To turn these chops into a complete meal I made a side of roasted potatoes and yams and some light butter and parmesan cheese green beans. Yield 4 servings.

Strawberry Honey Glazed Pork Chops

1/1/2 T strawberry jam
4 T honey
1/3 t chili powder
1/3 t garlic powder
a dash of pepper
4 Bone-In Pork Chops
garlic powder

To prepare chops, sprinkle cracked pepper and garlic powder on both sides of the chops. Heat about 1T of oil in a skillet over med-high heat and sear each side of the chop for about one minute. Remove chops from heat and place in a baking dish. Bake for about 25 min at 350 or until the chops are 10 minutes from being done.

When chops are about 10 minutes from being cooked through, spread glaze over the tops and return chops to oven to complete baking.

Roasted Potatoes
3 medium russet potatoes
1 yam
Oil of choice
1/2 t dried rosemary
 a couple dashes of pepper
1/4 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t dried sage

Scrub russet potatoes and chopped into bit sized pieces, leaving the skin intact. Wash and peel yam and cut into bit sized pieces. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle oil and sprinkle the rosemary, pepper, salt, garlic and sage over the potatoes, mixing to thoroughly coat. Bake at about 450 degrees until potatoes have a nice crisp on the outside and are tender in the middle.

Green Beans
10oz of frozen cut green beans
2 T of butter
2T of parmesan cheese

Cook beans according to package and then drain. Stir in in butter and then garnish with the parmesan cheese.

Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry

If you're a fan of that tangy orange sauce Panda Express uses on their Orange Chicken then this recipe will be right up your alley.

1 can of chunk pineapple(just use the juice for the sauce)
1/4 t chili powder
zest of 1 orange
1 T vinegar
1/4 t ginger powder
1/4 t garlic powder
black pepper
3 T soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1T plus 1t cornstarch

Stir Fry 
1 head of white cauliflower
1 head broccoli
1 onion
3 carrots
pork for stir fry (for this recipe I found a great deal on bone-in pork chops and just used the meat from them)

Cooked rice- I used wild rice but honestly any variety of rice would work just fine.

Chop your meat into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl, add in 1/4 t garlic powder, 1/8 t ginger and a couple turns of black pepper and stir to coat the meat. Place your meat mixture in the fridge while you prepare your veggies.

Keeping your vegetables separate, chop the cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and onions.

Place about 1 T of oil in your skillet or wok with the heat on medium and stir fry the pork until cooked. Place meat in a covered bowl to keep warm. Next stir fry each veggie separately beginning first with the cauliflower then the broccoli, carrots and lastly the onions. Keep the vegetables at a crisp tender as they will soften as they sit. Remove veggies as they are done and place with the cooked pork.

Combine all sauce ingredients together and pour into the empty wok or skillet. Bring sauce to a boil (the sauce will turn from a cloudy orange to a bright translucent orange/red color). If the sauce seems too thick add a little more water to thin it out. Turn heat down to low and add the veggie mixture and the reserved pineapple chunks to the sauce. Serve over your favorite rice.

Saturday, June 2

Sausage Curry Pasta


In the past, if there was one ingredient I avoided it was curry, yellow, red the thought of that overpowering smell was a strong enough deterrent to leave my dishes void of any trace of it. That is until now...I found that ginger, curry and garlic play quite well together and that a mellow crisp zucchini nestles right up to Italian sausage. I decided to use mozzarella for the sole fact that it's cheap, however, some cubed Gouda, Havarti or Provolone would also add a yummy touch!

1 uncooked Italian sausage or bratwurst
8 oz penne pasta
3 T chopped white onion
1 T butter

1/8-1/4t yellow curry powder
a couple dashes of ginger powder
a couple dashes of garlic powder
1 small zucchini
1 oz diced mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package until al dente and drain. In a small skillet boil italian sausage for approximately 25 min or until cooked through. Drain liquid and sear sausage in pan for about 1 min turning frequently until a nice brown on the skin forms. Remove from heat and slice into ⅛ inch ovals.

Saute onion, butter, curry, ginger and garlic until onions are opac and softened (about 3 min)
Remove onion mixture from heat and transfer into a heatproof dish. Using same skillet, saute zucchini with 1 T oil and a couple turns of black pepper until a crisp tender, do not overcook as the zucchini will soften as it sits.

Combine sauteed zucchini, onion mixture and sausage slices and toss with drained pasta. Garnish with diced mozzarella cheese. 

This was great hot but in my opinion made an even better cold pasta salad for lunch the next day.