Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicken BLT Salad

Salads make a healthy quick lunch. If you limit the amount of dressing you use and cut down on the bacon bits this salad is also low calorie. (Unfortunately I tend to prefer the higher calorie salads.)
Also the avocados make this salad rich in B vitamins. There have also been studies linking avocado rich diets to a lowering of cholesterol. The mixed greens and the tomatoes provide vitamin C and the spinach provides vitamin A. So enjoy the bacon knowing you are getting a vitamin packed lunch.
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • bacon ranch dressing

Toss all ingredients except dressing. Lightly drizzle dressing over top of salad or serve in a small dish to the side of salad.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are a number of ways to make chocolate chocolate chip cookies: chocolate squares, coco powder and even chocolate pudding. I prefer using chocolate squares or pudding because I've found it makes the cookies more moist. But I also enjoy the pudding recipe for another reason. It gives you the chance to experiment. Substitute vanilla pudding and suddenly you have vanilla chocolate chip cookies. Or you could substitute butterscotch pudding and chips for butterscotch butterscotch chip cookies.

So here is the recipe using pudding. Have a little fun with it.
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (4 serving) package instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together flour and baking soda.

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla and pudding mix. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chips.

Drop spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Note:  I have tried cream cheese pudding with cranberries and walnuts for a delicious fall cookie.  I have also tried this cookie recipe with lemon pudding and no chips.  (I couldn't think of what to add with lemon.)  Both were very delicious.  I'd love to hear what combinations you've tried.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sweet and Sour Salad

The candied pears and walnuts give this salad a sweet flavor. While the vinaigrette dressing gives it a sour taste. It's not the healthiest use of your fruits and vegetables, but it is an excellent way to increase your intake if you tend to shy away from the healthy.
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 raspberries
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/4 vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Melt butter in small skillet over medium. Add pears, walnuts and brown sugar. Heat until well coated.

Mash raspberries. Add mustard, vinegar and oil. Shake to combine. (Run through a strainer if you want to remove the seeds.) Salt and pepper vinaigrette to taste.

Combine remaining ingredients. Add candied pears and walnuts. Top with raspberry vinaigrette. Enjoy.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Do you enjoy a good pizza but find delivery too expensive? Then you should enjoy this recipe. It is quick and easy but still tastes gourmet. And at a fraction of the price.

  • Pizza dough (You can find it in the refrigerator section of your grocery store or if you'd like to make your own try this recipe. It makes two medium pizzas.)
  • Garlic Alfredo Sauce (one jar will make about three medium pizzas)
  • Frozen Spinach, chopped (Again one box will make about three medium pizzas depending on how generous you are with your toppings.)
  • Bacon bits
  • Frozen grilled chicken, chopped (pre-cooked)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese

Spread your pizza dough on pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with Alfredo sauce. Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out water. Add toppings as generously as your family desires. Cook for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or as indicated on your pizza dough package.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spicy Carrot Soup

This soup is a bit spicy, so I wouldn't serve it as a main dish. But it makes a good side dish or appetizer or even a mid afternoon snack. The pureed vegetables give the soup a nice creaminess.
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 16 oz carrots (chopped)
  • 1 large potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 cups V8 (and 3 cups water)

Heat oil in deep saucepan. Add vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until softened (about 15 minutes). Add liquid and spices then cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree the mixture. If necessary gently reheat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Moroccan Beef over Rice

This is a nice dish when you are tired of standard American fare. It also works well wrapped in a tortilla and served for lunch, but I prefer it over rice. Also, I use dehydrated chopped onions. (You can find them in the baking section of your grocery store.) If you are using fresh onions you will need to fry them in olive oil before cooking the beef.
This recipe only requires 10 to 15 minutes of active cooking. But it does need to cook unattended for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 dried chopped dried apricots
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, strained
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 dried cranberries
  • 1 cup V8 juice

In a large skillet combine beef and onions. Cook until browned.

Use garlic press. Then add garlic, coriander and bay leaf to beef. Cook an additional minute.

Add apricots, tomatoes, tomato paste, cranberries and juice. Cook uncovered on medium low for 25 to 30 minutes. (If you are not using instant rice add one cup rice and two cups water to a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Cover. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.)

Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice.