Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quesadilla Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
8 3/4 oz can whole kernel corn, undrained
4 1/2 oz chopped green chiles, undrained
2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t crushed red pepper (optional)
6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn, and green chiles; mix well. Stir in all of the spices except red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of the mixture on bottom of 13x9 baking dish (sprayed with no-stick cooking spray). Top with 3 tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture, and cheese.

3. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower and Parsley

From: Martha Stewart Everyday Food

I saw this on the Everyday Food show on PBS, it looked so good that I tried it out and it was great. There is a video on marthastewart.com site that shows how to make it- just type in the recipe in the recipe finder search box on the site.
Serves 4.
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into large florets
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Season chicken with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Place cauliflower around chicken, turning to coat in pan juices; season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in parsley, vinegar, and capers.


Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

From: Barefoot Contessa


  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 lemons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.


Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

From: Barefoot Contessa

This is so yummy. I went out and bought tomatoes for it, but I can't wait to make this again when the tomatoes in my garden are ready. I didn't use a food mill- I used a stick blender that I put right in the pot, it came out fine.


  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream ( I used light cream)
  • Croutons, for garnish


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that's left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.


Zesty Chicken with Shallots, Capers and Olives

From the book Weight Watchers: Make It in Minutes: Easy Recipes in 15,20,and 30 Minutes
  • 1 pound thin-sliced skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can dried tomatoes, with their juice
  • 5 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Sprinkle the chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Sauté the chicken until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side; transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and cook until the shallots are soft, about 1 minute Stir in the vinegar; continue to cook until the vinegar evaporates, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the wine, tomatoes, olives, and capers.
  6. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.
  7. Stir in the basil.
  8. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook about 1 minute longer to heat through.

Serve the chicken over your favorite thin-strand pasta with a tossed green salad on the side.


Chicken-Pasta Salad

Adapted from Cooking Light

Any kind of short pasta can be substituted for farfalle.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)


  • 4 cups cooked farfalle (about 8 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta)
  • 2 cups diced ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrot
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the olive oil and remaining ingredients, and stir mixture well with a whisk. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and toss gently. Cover salad and chill.

Ok, I didn't follow the recipe that closely but the part I did follow closely was the dressing and that was the best part! My modifications:

- Used grilled chicken breast from the night before

- Omitted celery and peas (didn't have them) and added green onion

- Used baby spinach as a lettuce base

- Used orzo pasta in place of farfalle

- Doubled dressing recipe but you could do at least that much - we almost ran out for just 2 servings.