Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Triple Tomato Orzo

Triple Tomato Orzo
serves 4
recipe found in Health Magazine, May 2011 (recipe developed by Nadia G, host of Bitchin' Kitchen)

I used red bell peppers instead because they were on sale!
1 cup dried orzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small red onion, minced
1 red chile, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
12 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
4 basil leaves, torn
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 kalamata olives, minced
1/4 cup minced parsley
4 large tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375°. Cook orzo until al dente; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic 1 minute. Add onion and red chile; sauté 6 minutes.

With clean hands, crush canned tomatoes; add to pan.

Add minced sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves, brown sugar, sea salt, and pepper to pan; bring to a simmer. Cook until most of liquid is cooked off (25-30 minutes).

Add olives and parsley to pan; remove from heat. Add orzo to sauce, mixing well. Core tomatoes; stuff with orzo-and-sauce mixture. Top each tomato with 2 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Karl's reaction: "Ohhhh, I like this a lot. This is really good babe."

My take: This was excellent. Will be making again...even with red bell peppers!!!

Chicken Couscous

Chicken Couscous

serves 4
recipe found in Fitness Magazine, October 2011
Chicken Couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 lemon, zest peeled into 1/2-inch- thick strips, juice to taste
1/3 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Warm the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the almonds; toast until golden, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl.

2. Season the chicken with the salt and black pepper, add to pot and cook until browned, 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate. Add the scallions, zucchini and carrots; cook 6 minutes. Mix in the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and turmeric; saute 1 minute.

3. Add the chicken stock, tomato, chickpeas, lemon zest and raisins; bring to a simmer. Return chicken to pot, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl. Season with lemon juice. Cover and keep warm.

4. Add the couscous to the liquid remaining in pot, cover and turn off heat. Let rest 5 minutes; fluff couscous with a fork. Serve chicken and vegetables over couscous, garnished with almonds and parsley.

Karl's reaction: "The house smells really good. This looks awesome. I wish there were more raisins in this. there curry in here?" So my husband hates Indian food and curry. There was no curry in here but for some reason he thought it tasted too Indian. Sigh.

My take: I liked this. Seemed like there could be more juice to it though, but I'd make again (without Karl being around).

Spinach-Tomato Pasta Shells

Spinach-Tomato Pasta Shells
serves 4
recipe found in Health, July/August but developed by Guy Fierie (host of three Food Network shows)

Spinach-Tomato Pasta Shells (sooo good)
 3/4 pound whole-wheat medium pasta shells
1 tablespoon butter
1 thinly sliced shallot
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) container grape tomatoes
Garnishes: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, additional grated cheese
I also added Jennie-O Italian turkey sausage to get more meat in the recipe (it really added good flavor too)

Cook pasta shells according to package.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced shallot and crushed red pepper; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until translucent.
Add spinach and chicken broth; cover and cook for 1 minute. Add half-and-half, 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. Stir to combine, and cook for 3 minutes.
Add grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise, and the cooked pasta; toss. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley and additional grated cheese. Serve.

The meal all put together.
Karl's reaction: "Ohhh, I like this one a lot. Might be a titch too spicy for me, but I do like it."
My take: I love this recipe. Really good. Tasted better the next day even.