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!”

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Honey Garlic 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.

Honey and garlic? How could that NOT be delicious, right? I have never been told that I need to add more garlic to a dish. Ha! In my world, more is always better with garlic! However, I pared this recipe down for some of your more timid palates, but, if you’re like me, use a large clove of garlic.

This is another chicken dish I make that has a bit of sweetness. This is a flavor profile I never used to make, but we’ve become rather fond of how it changes the meal. This is one of my very favorite ways to eat chicken. DH, too! Is it my favorite favorite? Well, like your children, you really can’t pick just one, now can you?

Honey Garlic Chicken (serves 2)
2 chicken thighs
2 teaspoons oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ginger, minced
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Large handful of baby carrots
8 large brussels sprouts, cut in half
Whole potato (halved after baking)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with cast iron skillet inside. Let skillet sit in hot oven for ten minutes, then remove to add chicken. Add oil and swirl around.

While skillet is heating, pat chicken dry. Add chicken to skillet, skin side down, when removed from oven. Let sit for five minutes then turn skin side up and return to oven with the potato alongside.

Bake chicken and potato for 20 minutes.

While chicken is baking, combine garlic, ginger, honey, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly and set aside.


After 20 minutes, remove chicken from the oven. Remove potato and put on a plate. Pour sauce into skillet, stirring around to coat all sides of the chicken. Move chicken to the center and add vegetables, coating chicken, carrots and brussels sprouts with the sauce. Put potato beside chicken. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on all.

Bake for another 25 minutes or until chicken reads 165 degrees on your meat thermometer and potato is baked. Spoon sauce over chicken. Stir carrots and brussels sprouts around to coat with sauce again.  

Remove potato and halve on plates. Serve with chicken and other vegetables.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
“I think this is the best chicken yet. And I like having a potato with it.” I think with my oyster sauce chicken and cocoa chile chicken, I’ve gotten him used to chicken with a bit of sweetness. He does have a big sweet tooth!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Shepherd's Pie


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.

Uh, oh! This is one of those “recipes” that I don’t really have a recipe for. I tried to attend to the details when I was preparing it, but . . . well, you know how that can go.

The great thing about Shepherd’s Pie is that it began as humble peasant food to use up leftovers, so you can pretty much make this however you want and it can be different each time. To keep it to one pan, use an oven-proof skillet large enough to hold the ingredients.

I always use peas and carrots, but you know, that’s not writ in stone. If you have leftover asparagus (or asparagus on it’s way to heaven), use it up. We peasants eat what’s put in front of us. And this is a great leftovers dish opportunity.

I also use ground beef in my Shepherd’s Pie, but ground pork, ground chicken, or ground lamb, heck, even ground bison would work, I’ll bet.

Sharon’s Shepherd’s Pie (serves 4-6)
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound low-fat ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef gravy (leftover, packaged, or bottled)
1 cup carrots, large dice
1 cup frozen peas
2-3 cups mashed potatoes (leftover or fresh made)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (use another cheese if you want a melted cheese top)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In skillet, brown onions in oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Push to side when onions are just translucent and just beginning to brown and add in beef.

Brown beef as you move onions onto the meat and break up meat’s large pieces. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.

Add in gravy and bring to a bubbling state. Add in carrots and cook for five minutes.

Remove from heat. Add peas, mix together, and top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes look slightly browned and the meat sauce is bubbly hot.

I like to serve a simple fruit salad with this to cut the richness, but a tossed salad is good, too.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
This is one of his favorite comfort food meals. When we have leftover mashed potatoes, he knows this will follow later in the week. It’s also great warmed up for lunch one day, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Baked Chicken Thighs


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.

Sometimes you just want simple, right? Well, you got it with this one-pan meal. While you certainly are welcome to add spices of your choice, sometimes just plain salt and pepper are enough. This may be the simplest recipe I’m posting this month. Again, if you have leftover rice, potatoes, or noodles, feel free to add them in. We found the veggies and chicken to be a fine dinner on its own, especially if you’re going lower carb for meals.

Baked Chicken Thighs (serves 4)
4 chicken thighs
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends snapped off
3 large carrots, cut into strips
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put chicken thighs in the middle of a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

While chicken is baking, prepare your vegetables.


When the chicken comes out of the oven, tuck the carrots and asparagus around the thighs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to oven for another 25 minutes.

Serve with pan juices drizzled over both the chicken and vegetables. Enjoy!

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
Have you picked up that we eat a LOT of chicken? Yep, that’s cause it’s easy, cheap, and you can fix it a million ways. I’ve only found, over the years, a couple of chicken recipes that DH didn’t like. DH liked that in this dish the chicken flavor really came through when it was not masked by herbs or sauces.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Brats with Cabbage and Apples


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.


 Sounds Teutonic, doesn’t it, and this is a classic combination in some parts of the world. As a warning, unless you like this combination of flavors (and I do, but see DH’s rating), this may not be the dish for you.

Sausage, cabbage, potatoes, apples. Yum. But it is a heavy meal and may not be for everyone. Probably best to serve this in the dead cold of winter rather than a sunny spring day! Hey! Maybe you could invite the neighbors in for an OctoberFest meal! Get more beer!


Brats with Cabbage and Apples (serves 4-6)
4-6 brats
12 ounces Guinness Extra Stout
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into eighths
½ red onion, cut into slices
½ pound baby potatoes, halved
1 cup apple cider
½ head of red cabbage, cut into slices
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, soak brats in Guinness Extra Stout for three hours.

After three hours, turn the heat to high and boil for 15 minutes. Lower heat to medium and continue cooking until a thick sauce forms on the bottom and brats are browned. Remove brats to a dish and cover with foil.

Deglaze the pot with cider. Immediately add apple slices, onion, and potatoes.Stir around to coat with deglazing liquid.

Add cabbage and drizzle on apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add brats back in and stir to combine.

Simmer all ingredients for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately for freshest taste.

   

DH’s Rating: 3 Tongues Up
“Too heavy. I feel too full.”
“Yeah, but how about the taste? Did you like how it tasted?”
“Yeah . . . But why was it so sweet? That tasted funny to me.”
I explained the apples and apple cider and he understood, but said he wouldn’t be requesting this for a future meal. Okay. I’ve got lots of stuff he likes better. Don’t worry about him. He won’t starve.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Month-of-One-Pan Meals: Greek Meatballs


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.


Who doesn’t love Mediterranean/Aegean flavors? Even though lamb is a meat to be eaten only occasionally, making meatballs from ground lamb allows you control portion size even more. One pound of ground lamb, cooked with enough vegetables, can easily serve four people. The unique flavor of the meatballs makes this an interesting meal for your exploration of flavor profiles from other countries.

Unless you serve this with leftover rice or noodles, you have another tasty low-carb meal that pleases the eye and the palate.




Greek Meatballs (serves 2 with leftover meatballs for later use)
1 pound ground lamb
1 egg
½ medium onion, diced
½ cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons McCormick’s Greek Seasoning, divided
1 tomato, cut in eighths
1 yellow squash, cut in ½“ rounds
1 bell pepper, cut in strips
1 small onion, quartered and separated
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking pan with foil.

Combine ground lamb with egg, onion, panko, and 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning. Mix thoroughly. Put in oven to bake for 20 minutes.

After cutting vegetables, massage with olive oil and sprinkle on remaining Greek seasoning. Add to pan and bake for 30 minutes alongside meatballs.

Serve immediately.

DH’s Rating: 3 ½  Tongues Up
“I’m just not a lamb fan. I mean, this is tasty, but I don’t like the flavor of lamb. Could you make this with hamburger, ground chicken, or ground pork?” Can do!