meaniecooks: (Default)
I love chicken tortilla soup, but I get bored with chicken very quickly. I grew up eating beef most dinners, which probably has something to do with it.

Last night, I put together my first-ever batch of beef enchilada soup. It's a little too salty (all because I did not grab the low-sodium beef broth), but there's decent heat and really good flavor. I'll be making it again, with minor modifications.

* 1 small yellow onion, diced small
* 1 celery heart, diced small
* 2 large carrots, diced small
* Dried cilantro, ground black pepper, salt

* 2 cartons College Inn beef broth
* 1 medium can Greet Giant Nibblets corn, including liquid
* 1 medium can Bush's black beans
* 1 large can chopped green chilies
* 2 cans Old El Paso green enchilada sauce
* Enough tomato paste to round out the flavor and thickness

* 1.5-lb. steak, lightly seasoned, grilled to medium, allowed to rest, and cut into bite-size pieces
* 1 box Goya yellow rice, prepared as directed

Sautee the onion, celery, and carrot in a little bit of olive oil or cooking spray and with the cilantro, black pepper, and salt until the onion is pliable and has lost its bite.

In a large pot over medium-medium high heat, combine all ingredients except for the steak and rice.

Cook the steak, allow it to rest, then trim it and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Add the steak pieces and any juices to the large pot. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it go for about 20 minutes.

Cook the rice according to package directions. Add the rice to the large pot.

Serve hot. Possible garnishes include cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips or chips, and salsa.
meaniecooks: (Default)
Tonight, I made my first batch of chicken chili, ever. Like, from scratch and everything! :) I'm recording it here, just in case it turns out to be a big, icky failure--so I know what not to do.

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large jalapeƱos (seeds and membranes removed), chopped
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup chicken broth
2-15.5 oz cans of great northern beans (white beans), not drained
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin

In large skillet, saute onion and jalapeƱo until onion is translucent. Add ground chicken and poultry seasoning. Break up meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Drain fat from pan. Add broth, beans, chili powder, and cumin. Mix to combine. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble for 10-15 minutes, covered.

Yield: 4 cups

* "Onion" this time is a mix of red and yellow.
* Jalapenos are completely seeded and demembrane-ified, which makes for a relatively mild chili.
* We haven't eaten the chili yet, except for a tiny sample. It's in a container in the fridge, mingling until dinnertime Tuesday evening.
* I also have tomato and corn on hand, just in case we decide that the chili needs something else.
* I also have zucchini, parsnips, carrots, and celery on hand, just in case this is screaming to be turned into a spicy stew. :>
meaniecooks: (Default)
We're working on bettering our already good cooking, mostly by reducing the fried-ness in our favorite dishes. One of those is sweet and sour chicken, which, as you are probably aware, is usually deep-fried and crunchy and OMG. I chose to eliminate breading and deep-frying, and I also switched up the ratio of veggies and meat. (This is another new thing for me.) Here's what I did tonight for dinner...

Olive oil (I used PAM olive oil spray, just enough to lightly coat the pan)
2 chicken breasts
Kosher salt
1/2 large Vidalia onion, diced
1/2 celery heart, approx. 1/2 inch slices
1 package of "California stirfry blend" (carrots, snap peas, broccoli)
1/2 bottle World Harbors Sweet 'n' Sour Sauce
Pineapple chunks
White rice

Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken. Cook through. Remove from pan.

To hot pan, add the onion and celery. Sautee. Add remaining veggies. Sautee.

Reduce heat. Add sauce. Stir to coat.

Slice chicken. Add to pan. Stir to coat. Add pineapple chunks. Cover. Turn off heat. Let dish mingle while preparing rice.

Serve chicken and veggies over rice.
meaniecooks: (Default)
I'm documenting this for posterity, mostly. It all started with the pursuit of something suitable to put on my Portillo's beef sandwich (I'm all out of their OMG-yummy peppers, but I have enough bread and beef for four sandwiches).

Sweet peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow bells)
Vidalia onion
Olive oil
Kosher salt

Heat grill pan over high until it is screaming hot. While pan is heating, rinse and cut peppers into large pieces. (I take three good cuts from stem to bottom and use those pieces whole.) Trim onion and cut into large chunks. The theme here is: LARGE. Yeah. Big, bold pieces of veggies. Yum!

In a bowl, combine pepper and onion pieces and enough oil to coat. Turn pieces until coated. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Lower heat to medium/medium-high. Place a single layer of peppers (fleshy side down) and/or onions in pan. Let 'em cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The pepper skin will blacken and start to blister. At the end of the cooking time, put pepper pieces in a zip-close bag, and seal the bag. I put the onions in a separate bowl, but there's no reason you couldn't put 'em in the same bag. Repeat this process until you've cooked all your peppers and onions. (Six peppers and a HUGE Vidalia onion took about four rounds of cooking. YMMV.)

After a while, the pepper skin will be loosened enough that you can peel it off. I suggest you do that, unless you like eating blackened, blistered pepper skin. :) Slice up the pepper pieces and/or combine with the onion pieces. Serve. Enjoy.

(I'm serving this as a side to lovely center-cut pork chops, along with some rice. Dessert tonight is apple slices with low-fat vanilla yogurt fruit dip.)
meaniecooks: (Default)
We're going through the stage of WW where all we want is our bad-for-us comfort foods, so I'm taking this as a challenge to WW-ify those recipes while still remaining as true as possible to them. Chicken parm wasn't too difficult, and the results were really tasty. And it only took half an hour, from prep to table!

Chicken breast halves (boneless and skinless, of course)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spray oil (PAM or equivalent, preferably olive oil)
Minced garlic
Prego Chunky Garden sauce (Tomato, Onion, and Garlic variety)
Reduced-fat mozz/parm cheese blend

Preheat large, deep skillet. When hot, spray with oil. Season chicken breasts and add to skillet. Cook 4-5 minutes, then add shallots and garlic. In another 2-3 minutes, turn breasts and move shallots and garlic around. Cook another 4-5 minutes, then add entire jar of sauce. Flip chicken to coat with sauce, and incorporate shallots and garlic into sauce. Turn heat to medium, cover the skillet, and let the chicken hang out in the sauce while you prepare the pasta and any veggies (we had Birds Eye baby beans and carrots blend). When the pasta and veggies are ready (about 10 minutes), turn off the skillet's burner.

When I plated things up last night, I gave each of us a med/large serving of pasta, a chicken breast half, and lots of sauce. I then topped everything with cheese (a couple of tablespoons per plate) and zapped 'em in the microwave so that the cheese was melty. Then I added the veggies to the plates and served dinner.

Wicked tasty, relatively cheap ($16 for everything), plenty of leftovers, and relatively WW friendly. (And this can continue to be WW friendly, as long as we watch our portions.) I will concede to being a little whiny, regarding wanting the deep-fried chicken cutlet that one normally gets with chicken parm, but I'll adjust!
meaniecooks: (Default)
I was hoping to make something relatively WW-friendly for dinner last night, and I succeeded! Our grocery store has been totally remodeled (and added on to) and now sports a HUGE seafood area (and a sushi chef and a real meat counter and all kinds of "ethnic" foods that are neither Mexican nor Italian). It's like they decided to give us small-town coastal folks a big city grocery store!

Anyhoo.. yesterday's special was 41/50 peeled/deveined/cooked/frozen shrimp. So, I grabbed half a pound of 'em and picked up several fresh veggies (sweet onion, shredded carrots, stringless sugar snap peas, zucchini, summer squash) and a bottle of teriyaki marinade. Prep time was almost nil (large dice on the onion, zucchini, and squash), and cooking time was not very long (sautee onion 'til translucent, add all other veggies and just enough marinade to coat, turn off heat, scatter frozen shrimp across the top of the veggie pile, cover, and let residual heat warm the shrimp through). Add some rice, and voila!

Steve raved about this meal all evening. I think it's going to be a staple in our weekly meals, at least until the weather gets too cold to leave the windows open (thus rendering our house almost 100% fishy smell-free) or until the price of shrimp goes up prohibitively. And when either of those things happens, it's probably time to be roasting turkeys and other hunks of meat anyway. :D

(WW totals: 12 points for the entire panful of stirfry, so about 3 points per serving. Rice extra.)
meaniecooks: (Default)
Another easy recipe. Set it and forget it!

Beef roast, about 2 pounds
Sweet onion
New red potatoes
McCormick (or other brand) pot roast seasoning mix
1 cup water (or amount indicated on seasoning packet)

Layer potatoes, carrots, and some onion on bottom of crock. Place meat atop the vegetables. Tuck remaining vegetables in around roast. Mix seasonings with water and pour mixture over roast and veggies. Cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.


Feb. 22nd, 2006 09:13 am
meaniecooks: (Default)
This was so easy that I shouldn't even have to write the recipe down. It's here for posterity, mostly.

2 avocados, pitted, flesh scooped out and diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped small
1/4 sweet yellow onion, chopped small
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro, to taste
Dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate. Eat.
meaniecooks: (Default)
Based on a recipe in the 2005 Christmas Cookies issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening for 30 seconds. Add sugar baking powder, and salt; combine. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in egg, milk, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Beat in the flour on low speed. Divide dough into fourths. Cover; chill 3 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Stir in chocolate pieces.

Cookie assembly and baking:
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
* Roll dough out and cut into 2-inch squares.
* Place squares 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each square.
* Brush one corner of dough with water.
* Fold opposite corner over filling.
* Fold brushed corner over first corner; press gently to seal.
* Press a chocolate piece onto overlapping corners.
* Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
* Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Yields approximately 60 cookies.
meaniecooks: (chomp)
I'm looking for Mom's best recipes. No, not my Mom's--YOUR Mom's (or Dad's or grandparent's). Any meal, any type of dish. I just wonder what you consider the "best" recipe to be, and what it is. Consider this a Mom's best recipe swap. :) I'll submit mine, too, in the comments.
meaniecooks: (chomp)
Last night's dinner was simple, but very tasty.

We've discovered the wonder that is the fresh and frozen foods section of Sam's Club. OMG. On Christmas Eve, we had delightful steaks from Sam's, and last night, I cooked up boneless pork chops that I'd marinated in World Harbors Southwestern citrus sauce (made for crockpot cooking, but works well as a marinade) and served those up with brown and white rice seasoned with jerk seasonings and some homemade fruit salsa. Mmm.
meaniecooks: (chomp)
I just ate the best dinner I've made all year. (We'll ignore that the year is only 10 days old and that this is the first time I've cooked in 2005.) Really simple, too.

I roasted a pork tenderloin (Hormel brand) that I seasoned with Mrs. Dash (the chicken blend, if you're curious) at 20 minutes per pound, and it came out perfect and super moist. I served that up with Birds Eye vegetable blend with pasta and garlic sauce.

So, not a whole lot made from scratch, but tasty and relatively good for me, besides!
meaniecooks: (Default)
Originally posted on [ profile] meanieshrinks's journal on July 23, 2003.

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Originally posted on [ profile] meanieshrinks's journal on August 1, 2003.

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Originally posted on [ profile] meanieshrinks's journal on November 12, 2003.

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Originally posted to [ profile] meanieshrinks's journal on November 12, 2003.

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Originally posted to [ profile] bigmeanie's journal on July 1, 2004.

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Originally posted to [ profile] bigmeanie's journal on May 20, 2004.

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