Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Healthy Penne Casserole (aka "Tofu Stuff")

Mandy: Don't fear the tofu!!!

1 pkg. silken tofu
16 oz. penne pasta
1 jar pasta sauce (I use Ragu Sundried Tomato & Sweet Basil)
1 egg
1 tbsp. (or so) dried or fresh parsley
1/2 cup parmesan
1 pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook pasta as directed on package to al dente so they don't overcook.
Drain the water from the tofu (don't be afraid!).
In a small bowl, combine the tofu, parmesan, parsley, & egg. Stir well.
In a casserole, layer the sauce, tofu mixture, pasta, & cheese as follows:

  • A little sauce
  • 1/2 of the pasta
  • All of the tofu
  • A couple handfuls of cheese
  • More sauce
  • The rest of the pasta
  • The rest of the sauce (make sure it covers all of the pasta!)
  • The rest of the cheese (make sure it covers all of the sauce!)

Bake, covered, for 45 minutes or until warmed through.

This dish makes a lot & keeps well, so you can heat it up for leftovers.

P.S.: It doesn't taste like tofu!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chicken with Capers & a side of Green Beans

I found this on BHG.com because I was looking for a way to use a jar of capers I had on hand. I posted the recipe, plus any changes that I made when I was trying it last night. I did a half recipe; it took about 15 minutes, I think.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb.)
1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
4 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs (I used chicken flavored stuffing & it worked, even though the crumbs weren't "fine" or anything)
8 oz. green beans, trimmed
2 lemons, 1 sliced and 1 juiced (because I did a half recipe, I used just 1 lemon: half for juicing & half for slicing)
1 Tbsp. capers

Place one chicken breast half between sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly pound with flat side of meat mallet to even thickness. Repeat. (I dispensed with this step & the recipe worked fine.)
Brush chicken with mustard (I just spread some around with my finger--I'm so technical sometimes); sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, and bread crumbs to coat. (To do this without making a huge mess, I just did the mustard, salt, pepper, & bread crumbs on one side, then put the breasts with that side down in the heated oil & did the mustard, salt, pepper, & bread crumbs on the other side. Let me know if you find an easier way to do this part!)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook 4 minutes per side or until no pink remains (170F). Transfer to plates.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet. Cook green beans in oil 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; add lemon slices the last minute. Transfer to plates.
Add juice and capers to skillet; heat through. Drizzle on chicken.
Makes 4 servings.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fluffy Chocolate Dessert (aka Catfood)

1 large angel food cake
1 12 oz package of semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoos sugar
16 oz Cool Whip
6 eggs, separated

Melt chocolate chips, egg yolks, and sugar in a double broiler. Cool. Fold into beaten egg whites. Fold into Cool Whipe. Tear cake into bite siz pieces and fold into chocolate mixture. Place in a 9x13 Pyrex Dish and refrigerate over night.

*This dessert has been nicknamed catfood ever since I was a little girl and my Grandma made this for Thanksgiving one year. My older cousins, not wanting me to share in the bliss that is eating this dessert, decided to tell me it was catfood so I wouldn't try it. It took me awhile, but I figured things out and now it is one of my favorite desserts!*

Strawberry-Cranberry Jello Salad

This is for you Cat!

1 Large Strawberry Jello
1 small can cryshed pineapple drained
1 apple shredded
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 - 1pound can whole cranberry sauce

Dissolve jello with 1/2 cup less water then directed. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and pour into mold. Refrigerate until firm.

*Hope this works with your un-used Jello molds. This recipe is from my grandma.

Grandma's Chicken Rolls

1 can (8) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 3 oz package cream cheese softened
2 Tblsps butter or margarine, softened
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tblsp or a little more chopped green onions
1 Tblsp milk
a few fresh mushrooms thinly sliced
2 cups chicken (cooked, boned and diced) (can works too)

1/4 cup (or a little more) melted butter
Parmesan Cheese

Blend cream cheese, butter and milk until smooth. Add Salt, pepper, onions, and milk. Fold in chicken and sliced mushrooms. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chicken muxture onto the roll. Fold the ends of the rol around the chicken mixture, pinching to seal (part of stuffing may show). Rolli n melted butter and Parmesan cheese. (To cut down on fat you can just place them on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and brush with butter and sprinkle with the cheese).

Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with gravy made from diluted cream of chicken soup.

*This is great comfort food for fall. I remember requesting these every week from my Grandma because they are soooo yummy! If you don't like mushrooms, don't worry, you can't even taste them..in fact you could probably leave them out. Enjoy!*

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Elders' favorite chocolate chip cookies

I was printing this out for the Elders, so I thought I'd post it. These cookies have made me famous among the missionaries all over the area! I made the instructions pretty idiotproof for them, so that's why they're so verbose.

1 cup white sugar
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened (I use shortening)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
chocolate chips, to taste (I usually use about half a bag)

· Heat oven to 350.
· In large bowl with electric mixer, beat white sugar, brown sugar, & butter (shortening) until light & fluffy (usually about 2 minutes).
· Beat in vanilla & eggs until well blended.
· Gradually beat in flour, baking soda, & salt. (I usually add the flour a cup at a time & stir for awhile in between.)
· Stir in chocolate chips.
· Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets by rounded tablespoonfuls (I have a cookie dough scoop from Bed, Bath, & Beyond that works great for this) 2 inches apart.
· Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown (I do 8, but your oven might be different). Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

* HIGH ALTITUDE: Decrease shortening to 1 cup, white sugar to ¾ cup, & brown sugar to 1 ¼ cup.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Busy night chicken & penne

up to 4 chicken breasts (for just my husband & me, I only use 1)
penne pasta
1/2 cup Kraft Light Italian dressing, divided
1/4 cup parmesan
broccoli cuts
red bell pepper, diced (I usually use about 1/3 of a pepper)

Cook the pasta.
Meanwhile, cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing to a saucepan; heat on medium-high until it just starts to bubble. Add chicken.
Cook chicken in dressing until cooked through; add broccoli & peppers & cook until tender. (If using frozen broccoli, add broccoli just after chicken.)
Drain water from pasta & return to pot. Add chicken mixture, parmesan, & remaining dressing to pot; stir well. Serve.

This dish takes hardly any time at all (10-15 min. if the chicken is thawed already), is low in fat & high in antioxidants, & the red & green of the veggies makes for great presentation!

This recipe comes from the Kraft Food&Family magazine.