New Recipe Tuesday

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions.  It’s never really been my thing.  I think if someone wants to start something, start it on a random Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday.  Change patterns when it works to change them and waiting until the weekend, the next month, or a new start to the year rarely works for me.  Instead, I have often tried to increase a skill over the course of a year.  The last few years it’s been quilting, knitting, knife skills, or other things.  This year as I was thinking about the things I hoped to do throughout the year, I felt like I was in a cooking rut.  So, I decided that at least once a month I was going to intentionally make a new dish.
Since I live alone, a new dish often lasts the entire week. But, I was telling a friend about my plan regarding this and she decided to join me in this adventure for the time-being.  So, once a month, and generally on a Tuesday, we take turns cooking, and then eat together and watch Glee & New Girl.  It gives us that nice plan for socializing and we get to try new dishes.
So far, we’ve made Chicken Parmesan, Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, Gorgonzola Cream Pasta, and other entities.  The dishes have all been winners, but I anticipate there might be a date in the future when we end up eating cereal or grilled cheese because something doesn’t turn out.
Have you been trying new recipes this year?  Or made New Year’s Resolutions that you’ve stuck to?  Do you have a dish I should add to the New Recipe Tuesday rotation?

Hungry Girl Egg Bake

Have you been watching Hungry Girl on the Food Network?  I’ve been a fan of hers for a few years and while I don’t love every recipe I eat of hers, there are several which turn out really well.  A few weeks ago we made her El Ginormo Southwestern Egg Bake.  In my general opinion, black beans should be added to just about anything.  So, when there was a fancy–and easy–egg bake with black beans already in the recipe, it was without a doubt worth trying.  Besides making enough to serve a larger crowd, I didn’t do much to alter this recipe.  Check it out sometime in the near future!

El Ginormo Southwest Oven-Baked Omelette
2 1/2 cups fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned sweet corn, drained
1/4 cup canned diced green chiles
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
Optional toppings: salsa, fat-free sour cream, chopped scallions

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a deep 8″ X 10″ baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with nonstick spray, making sure to coat the sides as well as the bottom.
In a large bowl, combine egg substitute, milk, cumin, and taco seasoning. Whisk thoroughly.
Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper, and stir well. Carefully transfer egg mixture to the baking pan.
Evenly add black beans, corn, and green chiles to the pan. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in the oven until the top has puffed and the center is firm, about 1 hour.
Allow to cool slightly. Cut into four slices. If you like, finish off with the optional toppings!

Western Broccoli Salad

Have you ever experienced one of those moments when you realize that something has entered into your diet significantly?  Over the past month I’ve realized that I’m eating a lot more broccoli.  A lot more.  My iron levels must be through the roof.  I have been eating broccoli at lunch daily from the salad bar at work.  But, when I get breakfast in the cafeteria, a lot of times this includes bringing a bowl full of broccoli down to my office to snack on throughout the day.  There have even been a couple of times when I get to the end of the day and realize all three of my meals have included broccoli in some form.

Trying to find a different way to incorporate broccoli into my diet, I came across this recipe, which also uses ranch dressing.  Some would say ranch is the ketchup of our generation.  So, I searched for a recipe which incorporated broccoli and ranch and came across this recipe from Taste of Home magazine.

Western Broccoli Salad

4 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup fat-free ranch salad dressing

Place 1 in. of water and broccoli in a skillet; bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and pat dry. In a serving bowl, toss the broccoli, tomato, beans, onion, cheese and salt. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Being the day after Valentine’s Day and a couple months away from Easter, we’ve got a lot of holiday cooking which sticks out.  It’s still winter, and so I am still thinking a little bit about some of my favorite winter holiday recipes.  Although this recipe was first found in a Cooking Light magazine at Thanksgiving time a few years ago, it has become one of my favorite rice side dishes.  It is often a more fall/harvest-inspired recipe, but that wouldn’t stop me from making it at just about any time of the year.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a side dish that isn’t potoato-based.  In those days, wild rice pilaf is a nice addition.  It doesn’t hurt that like me, wild rice is a major crop in Minnesota.

I’ve also brought this recipe for potluck meals. Cooking it the night before, I’ve reheated it the next day in the crockpot with an additional cup or two of chicken stock.

Also, instead of separate wild rice and brown rice, I generally use Uncle Ben’s long grain rice & wild rice blend and cook that separate while sautéing the celery, onion, garlic, etc.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Cooking spray

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup uncooked wild rice

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice

1/2 cup dried sweet cherries

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add celery, onion, wild rice, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in broth and sage; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in brown rice, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in cherries and remaining ingredients.

Kale Pesto Pizza

Whenever I have been part of a CSA, I have loved being able to try new things.  Kale is one of those ingredients which is more difficult to figure out.  I’m not a huge fan.  I’m working on it, but it’s only been a few years when I have learned to really like salads, so other greens are still on the figure-out-how-to-like it list.  When my parents got some kale early last fall, they decided to make a pesto out of it.  Using oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and almonds, they made a pesto.  When looking online for kale pesto recipes, most call for walnuts, but not being huge fans of walnuts and having some almonds to use up, it seemed like a better fit.  I don’t think we wrote down the recipe, and let’s be honest, when I have made pesto in the past, I rarely measure things out.  I know those ingredients were in it and I use the food processor to break down the greens and develop the paste.

So, at this point there was a pesto.  I’ve used pesto with pasta (the most traditional use), and in making potato salad.  But, my mom suggested making a pizza out of it.  This was her kale and pesto, after all.  My parents were a bit unsure what else to include and so we looked through the cabinets and came up with this winning combination:

 

Kale Pesto Pizza

Boboli pizza crust

Kale Pesto

Roasted Red Pepper

Sliced, grilled chicken breast

Black Olives, sliced and drained

Low-fat mozzarella cheese

Spread pesto on the pizza crust.  Liberally layer pepper, chicken, and olives on the pesto.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted, in line with the instructions on the crust.  Slice and eat.  It’s tasty goodness.