Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans and Potatoes

This is yet another Pinterest find that looked intriguing.  The husband and my toddler man both love green beans, and I love lemon, so I added to my meal plan for the following week.  This dish was so easy to throw together and works great for a weeknight if you have the time for everything to cook in the oven.  We all really enjoyed it and had absolutely no leftovers.  I, a very vocal green bean hater, even ate and ENJOYED the green beans!  I’m slowly coming around to vegetables…very slowly, but this dish was a good step for me and something I will make again very soon!

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans and Potatoes

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 1.5 pounds)
3/4 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed, washed
8 small red potatoes, washed and quartered, skin-on
1 lemon
5 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Lemon-Pepper seasoning

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix your olive oil, the juice of the lemon, salt, pepper and garlic in a medium-sized bowl.  Toss the green beans in the mixture, then using tongs remove the green beans to a roaster or casserole dish (coated with nonstick spray), leaving the liquid in the bowl.

Now toss the potatoes in the liquid, and using a slotted spoon remove them and add to the green beans.

Toss the chicken in the mixture and then place the chicken on top of the green beans and potatoes.  Drizzle any remaining liquid in the bowl over the chicken.  Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on top of the chicken.

Bake/roast for 50 minutes, then remove the chicken from the pan and set aside and cook the green beans and potatoes for another ten minutes or so – until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork.  While that’s cooking, check if your chicken is done.

Return the chicken to the pan and serve.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Cooking with Christen, originally adapted from Real Simple

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I’m very happy to have found yet another “take-out fake-out” recipe!  Sweet and Sour Chicken is another one of my Chinese buffet favorites, but I usually only get a few pieces since it’s deep fried and the sauce, while yummy, is full of sugar.  This version is loaded with peppers and pineapple, something the restaurant version is usually lacking, and instead of deep frying the chicken, it sits in a cornstarch and egg white mixture for 15 minutes and is cooked quickly in a bit of canola oil.  Of course, the best part is that we all enjoyed this!  I picked out the peppers, the toddler man picked out the pineapple, and the husband happily accepted our cast offs.  I will most certainly make this again soon!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 egg white
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks (I used chicken breasts)
One (10 oz) can pineapple chunks (reserve the juice)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 to 3 Tbsp brown sugar (I used 2)
2 Tbsp high heat cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks

In a bowl, whisk together the egg white, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat evenly.  Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, whisk together 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, ginger, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt.

Set a wok or large saute pan over high heat.  When a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates, pour in 1 Tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat.  Add the red and yellow bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the wok onto a plate.  Wipe the wok or pan dry.

Return the wok to the stove on high heat.  When a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates, pour in the reamining 1 Tbsp of oil and swirl to coat.  Add the chicken, spreading it out in one layer.  Let the chicken fry, untouched, for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned.  Flip and fry the otehr side the same for 1 minute.  The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle.

Add the cooked bell peppers, pineapple chunks, and the pineapple juice mixture.  Let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Source:   The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, page 106

Peasant Pasta – Crazy Cooking Challenge #7

Now that I’m back to blogging more regularly, I wanted to find some kind of cooking challenge to join up with again, but one that didn’t require a huge time committment and allowed me some flexibility on recipe selection since I live with some picky eaters.  I was very excited to find the Crazy Cooking Challenge over on Mom’s Crazy Cooking!  Each month, she chooses a theme, and everyone in the group cooks/bakes a recipe that fits in that theme, and that recipe must come from another food blog.  Considering I follow at least 80 food blogs in my Google Reader, I knew this would be a challenge that I would really enjoy!

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This month’s theme was Spaghetti with Red Sauce.  We are a big pasta loving household, so I was very excited with this month’s theme!  My search for the perfect recipe took me to the blog Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats and this fantastic Peasant Pasta.  Pasta + sausage + red sauce = the happiest boys in the world in this house.  Both the husband and toddler man LOVE sausage and pasta, so I knew I had to make this.  We were not disappointed!  Even I, the one who really rather dislikes sausage, loved it!  The leftovers are just as good the next day.  This is orginally a Rachael Ray recipe from her show 30-Minute Meals.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried any of her recipes, but they very rarely only take me 30 minutes.  Usually by the time it’s said and done, I’ve spent AT LEAST 45 minutes dealing with it.  This was an hoenst-to-God under 30 minute meal, and I will be making this again very, very soon!  Make sure you check out Jaime’s blog…there are a ton of fabulous recipes over there!

Peasant Pasta

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 2 links, casings removed
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 4 links, casings removed
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked to al dente
Grated Italian cheese, for passing

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan.

Add sausage meat. Crumble sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze the pan drippings using chicken or vegetable broth.

Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into your sauce, this will blush the color and cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper. Stir basil into your sauce to combine. Toss hot drained spaghetti in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats, originally from Rachael Ray

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Crispy Chicken with Creamy Italian Sauce and Bowtie Pasta

Have I mentioned my love of Pinterest?  I am seriously addicted and have found so many amazing recipes that I want to try.  This is one of the first recipes I “pinned”, but hadn’t gotten around to making until recently when I saw it on one of my favorite food blogs, A Taste of Home Cooking.  She made a few changes to the original recipe, so I opted to follow her adapted version as it looked more up my alley.  She used panko for the chicken rather than corn flakes, which made for a crispy and delicious crust.  The sauce for the pasta was creamy and had great Italian flavors from the Philadelphia Cooking Cream and the garlic.  I really wanted to top this with the tomatoes and fresh parsley as she did, but as I mentioned in a previous post, most of my produce in the drawer met an unfortunate demise.  I will definitely be adding those next time around.  All three of us gobbled this up and I will certainly be making this again very soon.  Even the leftovers were delicious!

Crispy Chicken with Creamy Italian Sauce and Bowtie Pasta

3 large chicken breasts
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups Panko
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 10 oz container Philadelphia Cooking Cream (Italian Cheese and Herb Flavor)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh tomato, chopped
1 box bowties (farfalle), cooked according to package directions

Place chicken breasts in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and seal the top. Pound the chicken flat with a meat mallet. Add flour and salt to the bag and reseal. Put the bag in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Place the Panko and milk each into separate pans. Remove the chicken from the freezer and dredge each piece in the milk and then immediately into the Panko. Add the olive oil to a hot non-stick skillet. Carefully lay each chicken piece into the hot oil. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until the underside of each piece is nice and golden brown. Turn the pieces over and cook another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and tent loosely with foil.

Add the minced garlic into the same pan. Cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth, Philly Cooking Crème, cream of chicken soup and milk. Whisk the sauce around and let it get all warm and bubbly. Should only take about 3 minutes.

Slice the chicken into strips and serve over cooked pasta and sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and tomato.

Source:  A Taste of Home Cooking, originally adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Mongolian Beef

I must be on a major Chinese food kick lately, because this is the second of three “take-out fake-out” recipes I’ve tried in the last week or so (stay tuned for a fabulous sweet and sour chicken recipe later this week!).  I’m a sucker for Chinese take-out, as are the husband and tiny man, and we’ve had more than our fair share since the baby made his debut.  As much as we enjoy that take-out, it’s really not that great for you, and so I’m continually on the lookout for a healthier alternative.  Enter this unbelievably good Mongolian Beef. 

Though I’ve never had the restaurant version of this before, I can imagine this is a much tastier, and most certainly healthier, version.  The sauce had a nice flavor with a good kick from the red pepper flakes, and it took me less than 15 minutes to get on the table.  The husband has already requested that I make this again very, very soon, and I’m sure I can oblige that request!  The only change I made was using sirloin instead of flank steak because that’s what I had, and I also didn’t use the green onions as the ones I bought met an unfortunate demise in my refrigerator (I’ll spare you the details).

Mongolian Beef

1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar (measured, not packed)
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large green onion, sliced thinly

Pat steak slices dry and add to a bowl with corn starch. Toss to ensure all pieces are just coated. Shake off excess corn starch using a strainer.

Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a large wok or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Turn the heat to high and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Pour the sauce back into the wok and cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Add the green onions (a pinch reserved for garnish), stir, and remove from heat. Plate, top with remaining onions, and serve.

Source:  Confections of a Foodie Bride, orginially from Pink Bites