Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Autumn Saute

My brother-in-law's girlfriend (Autumn) made an amazing dish for Thanksgiving this year. It had all of my favorite fall flavors: butternut squash, kale, cranberries, walnuts... yum! I immediately asked her for the recipe and she shared this link. It quickly became a favorite weeknight recipe for me (although not for Michael, who does not enjoy butternut squash...more for me).

She added some brown rice (and I serve it the same way) but it would also be quite tasty with quinoa. She also used feta instead of goat cheese. I have used both kinds of cheese and I think they are equally delicious. (Then again, I love cheese.)

Kale and Butternut Squash Saute

-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
-1/2 cup diced yellow onion
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-4 1/2 cups chopped fresh kale
-1 tsp grated lemon zest (I usually leave this out, I think the lemon juice adds enough flavor)
-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-2 tbsp dried cranberries
-4 tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
-4 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until squash is lightly browned and slightly tender (about 7 minutes).
2. Add kale, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and cook until kale is wilted and squash is tender (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat.
3. Add cranberries and nuts, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Italian Chicken Bake

Nicole over at Prevention RD always posts the yummiest recipes. When this one popped up, I knew I had to make it soon! I got the ingredients during my grocery store trip on Saturday and put it on our menu for the upcoming week. We had plans to eat dinner with Michael's parents that Sunday night and his mom texted us Sunday afternoon with her planned dinner: baked chicken with tomatoes, artichokes and mozzarella! Her recipe turned out to be slightly different (no balsamic vinegar, much more cheese) but we got a good laugh about it.

This recipe was great, so easy to make and made delicious leftovers. Michael usually doesn't care for tomatoes but loved these after they were roasted. The basalmic vinegar added to the vegetables was a great touch. I used shredded part skim mozzarella because I had some I needed to use up, but of course it would be great with fresh as the recipe calls for.

Italian Chicken Bake
5 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
4 (5 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
10 basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat and transfer to a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the tomatoes and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees in the thickest part).
Remove from oven and set oven to broil. Top chicken breasts each with 1 ounce mozzarella and return to oven for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove chicken from oven and top with basil leaves. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Information (per serving): 349 calories; 13.8 g. fat; 89 mg. cholesterol; 636 mg. sodium; 12.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.3 g. fiber; 40.8 g. protein