Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cheese-Stuffed Chicken

This is an absolute favorite in our house, but I haven't made it in awhile. Stupidly, I didn't take a picture of the innards-I will next time. Also, we ate it with Stuffed Zucchini Boats, which you can find here!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the fatter the better)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 C shredded mozarella cheese

For the stuffing:
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided (I've done it with dried basil too, not as great, but doable if you have to)
2 tbsp lowfat cream cheese, softened
2tbsp grated Romano cheese
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

(if you need more, just add a little more cream cheese, basil, and cheese, but you need less than you think)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking dish with vegetable cooking spray, set aside. To prepare stuffing, in a small bowl, combine all of the stuffing ingredients except for 1tbsp of the basil. Mix well. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep horizontal pocket in each chicken breast. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly into each pocket. Secure openings with toothpicks. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned.

Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining basil. Cover baking dish with foil and bake until cooked through and no longer pink, about 20 minutes.

Tomato Grilled Chicken

1/2 C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
3/4 C chili sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
4 chicken breasts

Mix lemon juice with garlic powder in a medium bowl, add salt and pepper to taste. Blend chili sauce, mustard, and sun-dried tomato in a separate bowl, set aside. Place chicken in a shallow dish, marinate in lemon juice/garlic powder mixture in refrigerator for 30min-1hr. Preheat grill. Place chicken on and cook for 5-10 minutes, turn chicken over. Turn chicken over. Brush with tomato mixture. Grill, covered, until the chicken is cooked through. (We added a slice of provolone cheese to each and made into sandwiches-delicious!)

Sweet Potato Fries

I had a recipe that I tried for these a long time ago, but I didn't like it. So I made up my own.

However many sweet potatoes you need, cut into circles (fry-shape is a pain to me)
Olive oil

Put your sweet potatoes in a gallon ziploc bag. In a bowl, mix olive oil and spices together until blended, and then pour over the sweet potatoes. Seal and mix together until coated. To cook on the grill, seal in individual foil packets, cooking for 20-30 minutes on the upper part of the grill, turning once. For the oven, bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about the same time, turning once in the middle.

Taco Chicken Nuggets

Just looking at this picture makes me want them again. Now.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C margarine or butter
1 egg
2 tbsp water
3/4 C cornflake crumbs
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1/2 C flour
sour cream to serve

**note: this is what the recipe calls for. I personally add a lot more cornflake crumbs-probably another cup, because I used to run out of coating every time-and use more like a cup of flour and two eggs!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Melt butter in a shallow baking sheet (one WITH SIDES of course!) in the oven (move the melted butter around and make it coat the bottom of the whole pan). Beat egg and water in a dish. Combine cornflake crumbs and taco seasoning mix in a plastic bag, shake to mix well. Coat chicken lightly with flour in a bowl. Dip into egg mixture, letting excess drain. Place in cornflake mixture, shake until completely coated (I work with about 5 pieces at a time. Just FYI-this step takes me a bit, so don't make this on a day you are looking for a superquick meal). Arrange chicken on a prepared baking sheet, do not allow nuggets to touch. Bake, turning once, for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Fun Crescent Rolls

I made all of Maya's baby food, and had a blast doing so. Lately I've been tiring of the same usual lunches I make for her every day, and am NOT impressed at the ingredients and nutrition in some things we have been buying. So we are starting to get creative and using some of the leftovers we have, and she's actually been enjoying lunch more (she's a breakfast eater all the way, not so much lunch or dinner)!

One particular favorite of hers has been crescent rolls. Filled with anything. A small amount of cheese, marinara, and turkey pepperoni is what is pictured here, but I've also put in turkey dogs, leftover pork tenderloin, leftover vegetables of all sorts... a million combinations!


2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar + 3 tbsp
2 eggs
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Mix flour, soda and salt. Beat together shortening and butter, and add sugar, then eggs, then dry ingredients. Mix cinnamon and the rest of the sugar. Roll the dough (I prefer chilling the dough for a few minutes before) into 1 inch balls and roll around in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet and flatten with a cup. Bake about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Jalapeno

Once again, since I am not a seafood or fish lover, I didn't try this... but Patrick was thrilled about it! He found the recipe here and gave it a big thumbs up.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ahi tuna steaks

Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a flat-bottomed dish. Place the tuna steaks in the dish, turning to coat entirely in marinade. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Cook the steaks until they are beginning to firm and are hot in the center, 5 to 7 minutes per side.