Thursday, February 28, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Honey Mustard Chicken and Vegetables


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

Omigosh! At the end of the month already. And the end of the 8th year of me writing this February recipe extravaganza. It seems appropriate to finish with chicken since we eat so much of it.

At the end, and I never even got to share my Spinach Eggplant Lasagna, Garam Masala Chicken, Pasta Limone, Butternut Squash Bake, Sausage Bake with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts, Herb-crusted Cauliflower Steaks, Drumsticks Rice and Beans, and, well, you get the idea. I have tons more one-pan meals I could have shared. Crazy, huh?

This is the time of the month, too, when I start thinking about what next February will be like. 29 Days next year! Wow! Do you have suggestions for me? If so, put them in the comments section. I have been tossing around some topics (I’m down to four possibilities), but I’d like to hear what you’d like to see on these pages.

And if you haven’t gone rummaging among the archives, this might be a time to do that, while you’re here, before you forget. Past Februaries have had 28 or more recipes for soup, eggs, chicken, appetizers, mini-desserts, recipes with few ingredients, weekly menu plans, and this month’s earlier one-pan meals.

Ready for the last meal of February? It’s a keeper! The zing of the mustard with the sweet honey is a nice flavor profile.

Honey-Mustard Chicken and Vegetables (serves 4)
4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
16 large brussels sprouts, halved
1 large bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small head cauliflower, separated into bite-size florets
Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Dijon mustard
 
Set oven at 375 degrees. Prepare a large baking dish or baking sheet pan with light coating
of oil.

Prepare vegetables and put on baking pan, mixed or separated as I did. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.

Place chicken thighs, skin-side up on top of vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
 
Mix well the honey and mustard. Coat all sides of chicken thighs, drizzling any remainder over the top of each thigh.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until chicken is brown and registers 165 on meat thermometer. Serve immediately. Crusty bread is a nice complement.


DH’s Rating: 4 ½ Tongues Up
“How did you like this dish?”
“The chicken was great, but I didn’t like the cauliflower. Too soft.”
“The Brussels sprouts were soft, too.”
“Yeah, but the texture was different. But, hey, it’s really good. The chicken was great.”
I’ll take that!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Shrimp Rice Pilaf


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

Are you enjoying this month of menus? If so, it would be a huge favor if you would share links to recipes you like on social media. Bloggers depend on readers. So please share the word and the recipes you especially enjoy! Thanks so much. Now, on to our regularly scheduled show!

You know how I’ve told you that you can serve some of these meals with leftover rice or noodles? Well, this recipe has noodles and rice built into it. That’s a nice principle to know. Some of the previous recipes this month could have used instant rice (or broken noodles) as an added ingredient, providing those extra carbs that some in your family crave.

I adapted this recipe (as is my wont), from Eating Well’s Rice Pilaf with Shrimp to make it even easier and faster by using pre-cooked shrimp and adjusting for our taste with extra green onions. My reason for using pre-cooked shrimp? That’s what I had in the freezer. Now, to be clear, raw shrimp is better and not that much longer to cook (once you peel and devein—not my fave job), so choose what you want.

Rice Pilaf with Shrimp (serves 4)
4 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup prosciutto, chopped
¾ cup noodles, broken into small pieces
¾ cup instant brown rice
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup baby lima beans, frozen
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 pound shrimp (if using frozen, thaw first)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dill

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and prosciutto and cook, stirring frequently, until onion are translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add noodles and rice, stirring often, until noodles begin to brown, about 3 more minutes.

Add wine, stir, and cook until evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add lima beans and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes longer.

While noodles, rice, and beans are cooking, toss shrimp with remaining oil and lemon juice.

Scatter the shrimp in an even layer over the pilaf, drizzling remaining lemon juice and oil over the shrimp. Cover and remove from heat (if using pre-cooked shrimp. Cook 5 minutes more if using raw shrimp).

Remove from heat and let stand, covered for three minutes. Still in dill and season with pepper. Serve immediately with crusty bread and a salad if desired.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
Him: “This was really good. Did you think so?”
Me: “Yes, I liked it, too. Different”
Him: “I don’t usually like lima beans, but they were different in this. 5 Tongues Up or whatever you want.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Parmesan Chicken


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

Ready for more chicken? This is my penultimate chicken recipe for this month’s series on one-pan meals. I told you, we eat A LOT of chicken!

I like the simplicity of this meal. I can throw it together in minutes and get it on the table in 30 minutes or so. Fast meal and tasty. And all in one pan!

Parmesan Chicken (serves 4)
4 chicken thighs
4 long carrots cut in half longways and through the middle
8 small potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Massage the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper them, and set aside.

Mix together more salt and pepper with the garlic powder, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese. Coat the top of each thigh with the mixture, covering sides and bottoms. Press into the chicken.

Place chicken in baking dish. Arrange the vegetable around the chicken.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest part.

Serve immediately, dribbling pan juices over the chicken.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
“This is a different way to have chicken. I like it.”
Oh, good. You’ll be seeing it again, then!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Pecan-Crusted Salmon


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

Like most Americans, we’re trying to get more fish into our meal rotation. Fish not only has all the nutrition stuff going for it, but it cooks quickly. And, while not quite as versatile as chicken, most folks don’t try many new things with fish so they get tired of it.

Years ago, at the Green Valley Grill in North Carolina, I had my first bite of Pecan-Crusted Trout. Delicious! Melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Linger-on-the-tongue delicious. So I had to give it a go myself. Here is one of the ways I now serve salmon. The problem I face is DH. He loves my ginger-orange-lemon grass-soy marinade for salmon so much, I have trouble getting him to venture out! But I persist!

I adapted this recipe for Pecan Crusted Oven Baked Salmon and it was wonderful! I think you’ll agree!

Pecan-Crusted Salmon (2 servings)
1 sweet potato, cut in coins
½ pound Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
10 baby potatoes, halved
1 piece bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil for coating vegetables
Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
2 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon dill weed
½ cup pecan halves, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

After cutting vegetables, put sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes in a zipper bag with oil, sea salt, and pepper. Massage to coat.

Place vegetables on the baking sheet, leaving empty space for salmon later. Add bacon
pieces to top of Brussels sprouts.

Place in oven to cook while preparing salmon. Set the timer for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle salmon with sea salt and pepper and set aside.

Mix chopped pecans with butter, garlic, and dill in a small bowl.

When vegetables come out, place the salmon in the open space, top with pecan mixture, and put back in the oven.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until the salmon flakes easily.

Serve immediately. 


DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
“This is really good. I like the crunch of the nuts, that’s different. Very tasty. But, next time, can you make it the old way again?”
I must have given a look because he then said, “But it’s good to try something new, right?”

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Za'atar Chicken Chunks with Veggies


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

Za’atar, pronounced zay’-ter, is a seasoning spice mixture used in Middle Eastern cooking as a condiment. Regional variants are sometimes a closely-guarded family secret. Generally za'atar contains sesame seed, thyme, oregano, and marjoram as the base for additions such as savory, cumin, coriander, fennel seed, sumac berries, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, rosebuds, and caraway. Pretty much what you want it to be, right?

Some nights you need like a flash dinner, you know. And chopping food into smaller chunks is your greatest secret for making that happen. This recipe comes together for a very fast weeknight dinner. Prep is just a few minutes and can be done ahead and refrigerated for roasting later. Serves three-ish. The only carbs are from the veggies, and you know how little that is! Eat as much as you want guilt-free.

Also, you can use the same technique with different seasonings to make different meals. So roast up a second pan at the same time and have it ready to serve for a super-fast dinner later in the week. This is a really versatile pan meal. You can make two pans at the same time. Eat one for dinner tonight and use the other pan in a different dinner later in the week.

This recipe uses za’atar, but try other seasonings. You could use cumin and make soft tacos from the other pan. Or seasoned with cumin, toss into a pot with diced, seasoned tomatoes for a quick chili. Or toss the veggies and chicken with salt and pepper, make a quick chicken gravy to mix in and serve over noodles for a super-fast meal later in the week. This is a wonderful combo that can be used in myriad ways.

Za’atar Roasted Chicken Chunks and Veggies (serves 3-4)

1 large breast (or two medium)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 tablespoons Za’atar seasoning (or Italian, tarragon, cumin etc.), divided
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
½ cup onion, sliced
1 cup mushrooms
1 zucchini, cut into coins
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup broccoli florets
½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil.

Prepare a large zipper bag with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon za’atar (or other seasoning). Add ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Moosh to combine.

Cube the chicken in bite-size pieces. Add in chicken chunks and massage to coat. Remove from bag, put on a plate, and cover to refrigerate until ready to cook.

Add remaining oil, za’atar, salt, and pepper to same zipper bag. Mush to combine. Chop vegetables into big chunks. Add to bag and massage to coat.

Arrange chicken on baking sheet and put the vegetables all around the chicken chunks. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture in the zipper bag on the pan ingredients.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables show char marks and the chicken is done. Serve immediately.

DH’s Rating: almost 4 Tongues Up
Believe it or not, he made himself a salad to go with this veggie-heavy meal! What can I say? Anyway, he noted that this was a spice he didn’t recognize. I explained what it is and that he’ll be tasting it in a variety or upcoming recipes. He thought it was fine, but not something he’d request necessarily. He doesn’t do change well. He might have liked it more over rice, but this is a one-pan meal. I thought it was an interesting dish and one I will make again.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Pasta Primavera


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

I shared a similar recipe on this blog last year. One-Pot Spaghetti was part of the inspiration for doing the one-pot theme this year. That and the explosion of recipes for one-pot/one-pan recipes all over the Internet. I see at least one a day during the time I’m cruising social media.

This recipe differs from last year in the kinds of ingredients and in the color. Check out the greens in this thing! This one is meatless, too, unless my other one-pot spaghetti.

What makes this recipe harder than last year’s is the amount of prep. Not onerous, but more than the other one-pot spaghetti had. Both needed to be attended to with constant stirring to keep things moving, allowing the very full pot to cook both veggies and pasta. But all in all, it takes 20-25 minutes from start to finish. That’s pretty darn good.

Oh, and don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. The first 11 ingredients (out of 16) go in the pot first thing! The last five are added near the end.

This One-Pot Pasta Primavera recipe comes from “Oh My Veggies”. I made it as described (for once!).
 
One-Pot Pasta Primavera (serves 4-6)

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
8 ounces linguine or spaghetti, uncooked
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into large florets (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
4 ounces sliced white button mushrooms (about 1 cup)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (less for milder heat; more to increase heat)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Additional Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

Add the broth, linguine, onion, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a large pot set over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.

As soon as it comes to a boil, set the timer for 7 minutes and start tossing constantly with long-handled tongs.

Continue boiling and tossing. As soon as the 7 minutes is up, add the peas, parsley, heavy whipping cream, Parmesan, and lemon zest and continue cooking, tossing constantly, for 1-2 more minutes, until the pasta and veggies appear tender. Remove from heat.

Note that much of the liquid will have evaporated, but not all. And that’s okay! Let the pasta sit for a couple of minutes to cool; the sauce will continue to thicken during that time. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.

DH’s Rating: 3 Tongues Up
He didn't even want to rate it! He just didn’t think this was all that tasty. I did. What can I say? He doesn’t want me to make it again, so I won’t, but your taste buds and his may not be the same. Try it if it sounds good to you.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Chicken "Enchiladas: Florentine


Welcome to my annual Month-of Recipes on this blog. Go rummaging in the attic here and you’ll find past recipe months for appetizers, chicken, soup, mini-desserts, and more. The way it works is, for each day in February I post a recipe that fits the category. This month is one-pan meals, excluding pizza, most casseroles, and slow cooker recipes.

One of my busy-night stand-bys is using leftover chicken in enchiladas with green sauce.
So this dish isn’t technically enchiladas because I didn’t roll up the corn tortillas and nest them. However, all the ingredients are there plus a special nutrition booster. Now, we all know that chicken enchiladas aren’t going to make the best nutrition list, right? Maybe that’s why they taste so good!

When I served this, I commented that doing this month’s recipes, I noticed that we eat chicken frequently and if that bothered him. His response was perfect. “Do we? I guess I didn’t realize that. They’re always so different.”

Since my original recipe isn’t a health food, I decided to up the nutritional value in this dish by adding spinach. Here’s one of his favorite dishes changed up, and DH loved!

Chicken “Enchiladas” Florentine (serve 6)
15 ounce can green chile sauce
10-12 corn tortillas
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo on cheddar and Mexican Blend)
Avocado chunks, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, plain yogurt (or sour cream)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour about ¼ of the can of green chile sauce into a baking dish.

Cover the sauce with corn tortillas broken to fill the spaces.

Put spoonsful of sauce in light layer on each tortilla.

Layer on half of spinach. On top of that put ½ the chicken. Top with ½ cup cheeses.

Repeat another layer. Top with remaining corn tortillas, rest of enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.
 
Top with avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, and yogurt.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up!
“Oh, good! You made this again. I love your chicken enchiladas.”
“Well, this one isn’t quite the same. Instead of making the rolled up enchiladas stuffed with chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce, I went easier and, um, a little different.”

Him, biting into his first forkful. “Hmm. Good. What’s the green stuff?”

“Spinach. And I layered the tortillas rather than rolling them. A whole bunch faster ‘cause I was running late tonight.”

“Easier is better, right, and the flavor is still there, so good for you!”