Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ugly Sweater Party & Sunday Dinner

Yo Yo Yo! 

Happy Holidays everyone. I'm ready to pump out a 4 day boozy week and then enjoy 10 days off. Bring on some free time (aka no work)!

Anyway, this weekend I went to an ugly sweater party at my friend Koryn's house. I was too busy shoving my face to take any food shots but she had quite the spread. Buffalo chicken dip, spinach dip, meatballs, mini pizzas, pigs in a blanket, mini tacos, veggies, and endless desserts...

Also in the mix was a baked brie I brought over. Again, forgot to snap a picture, but it was bangin' me.

After making my self sick eating too much last night, I woke up this morning in need of a nutritious home cooked meal. I had most of this in my house already and stopped by the store to get a few more things. In roughly a half hour, I cooked up a fab meal for 1...and I'll be enjoying the leftovers all week for lunches and probably dinners too...

Balsamic Honey Glazed Chicken, Caramelized Onion Quinoa, Lemon Pepper Green Beans, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup chicken brother
2 Tbs honey
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 pat butter

Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.  In skillet, melt butter and add olive oil.  Add chicken, and cook 5 - 7 minutes on each side until cooked all the way through.

Remove chicken, place on a plate, and cover with tinfoil.

Put balsamic, honey, lemon juice, garlic, and chicken broth in skilled and let thicken up for about 5 minutes.  Scrape any leftover bits with a spatula.

Pour sauce over chicken.

To go with my chicken, I cooked up a quick batch of quinoa with some chicken broth and caramelized some onions.

I also had a handful of fingerling potatoes laying around which I tossed in olive oil, salt,  pepper, and roasted.

Lastly, I steamed some green beans and tossed them in lemon pepper spice from Trader Joe's.

So, there you have looks super ambitious but really its super easy.

Off to watch the Next Iron Chef finale!  Who are you rooting for??

Monday, December 12, 2011

Looks like Chili

See?  I told you I'd be back more often...I know, I're thrilled.

Anyway, the other morning I was doing some blog reading and stumbled on this recipe from Cara's Cravings.  I adapted it slightly based on what I had in my house, but I pulled this together pretty quickly and it was awesome!  Not really a chili in my book, but it looked and tasted like one with half the calories and fat.  Sweet.

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili with Swiss Chard and Butternut Squash

1 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 Chile pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5oz of turkey chorizo
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1lb peeled, diced butternut squash
2, 15oz, cans reduced sodium black beans
14oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 large bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

When oil is shimmering, saute onions and peppers until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. 

Add the garlic, chorizo, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for one minute more, stirring.

Add butternut squash, black beans, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high. When mixture comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lid and add the swiss chard, stirring as it wilts in. If the chili seems dry, add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for another 5 minute, until chard is tender.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

This was super flavorful and light at the same time.  For a big bowl of chili, it kept me full without weighing me down.  The Greek yogurt was a great substitution for sour cream, and added an interesting flavor.  I added some crumbled tortilla chips the next day which made it even better.  I will definitely be making this again!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This Turkey is Still Giving

I realize I'm a few weeks late on my Thanksgiving post but since I'm still eating my leftovers in the form of this turkey soup, I figured it was okay to still share this recipe with you!

Last year I attempted to create turkey soup from the leftover turkey carcass from our Thanksgiving dinner.  The end result is what I would call...well...a turkey failure.  I'm not going to get into the details, but it wasn't good.  So naturally, this year I claimed redemption.  And what a redemption it was (insert roommates head nodding in agreement here).

I was too busy perfecting the soup to take snapshots of each step, but if you follow the below recipe, I assure you that you won't care you missed the pictures.

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Soup


1 turkey carcass (with all meat removed)
2 carrots, peeled and halved
1 onion, quartered
2 celery stalks
4 peppercorns
2 bay leaves

3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced (I had frozen pearl onions so I threw those in)
3 celery stalks, diced
1 cup small baby potatoes
1 cup butternut squash, diced
1 cup turnips and parsnips (I bought Trader Joe's pre diced mixture)
soup noodles of your choice
reserved turkey leftovers (cover your leftovers in an airtight container with a few teaspoons of gravy so it doesn't dry out)
1 bay leave
parsley for topping


For Broth:
Add celery, carrots, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves, turkey carcass in a large stock pot and fill with water until carcass is mostly covered with water.  Turn heat to high, bring to boil.  Reduce heat, simmer and cover for 2+ hours.  The longer you simmer the flavors together, the better your broth will take.  Mine simmered for close to 4 hours.

Remove carcass, and strain soup with cheese cloth to make sure you don't get any unwanted turkey bits in your broth.  Discard veggies, peppercorns, carcass, and bay leaves.

For Soup:
Add diced celery, carrots, onions, butternut squash, turnips, and parsnips into stock pot.  Add turkey broth and simmer until veggies are tender.  Add turkey to reheat.

Place noodles in a bowl, pour soup over, and enjoy!  Sprinkle with parsley for topping if desired.

This was delicious!  The potatoes were perfectly cooked with a crunch on the outside and warm potato center.  The pearl onions added a different texture than I usually use in my soup and the butternut squash made it extra colorful.  I enjoyed this for lunches for almost a week and have some more in my freezer for upcoming cold months.

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?