Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

I had some sweet potatoes that were given to me that I wanted to try some new recipes with.  I've never really used sweet potatoes for anything other than baked sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon or in a casserole, so I was excited to explore.  The first recipe I came across and was added to our menu was for Baked Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos.  These were really good but next time I make them, I'll omit the rice and add some grilled or baked diced chicken to the black bean mixture.  I prefer meat and I don't think anything would be lost with removing a carb.

Baked Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
slightly adapted from Tasty Kitchen


⅓ cups Brown Rice, Uncooked
Chicken Broth (Amount Specified By Package Directions, To Boil Rice)

1 whole Large Sweet Potato, Peeled And Cut Into 1" Pieces
2 Tablespoons Butter Or Margarine, Or More To Taste
1 pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste

1 can Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed (15 Ounce Can)
3 teaspoons Lemon Juice, Fresh Or Bottled
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
3 dashes Cayenne Pepper
1 pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 whole Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Green Chili, Deseeded And Minced (I used a Jalapeno pepper)

4 whole Large Burrito Sized Flour Tortillas
1 cup Grated White Cheese (Monterey Jack)
Sour Cream (optional Topping)


Cook the rice according to package directions until tender (using the required amount of liquid – either broth or water). Drain, then fluff with a fork and let it rest with the lid closed while you make the rest of the fillings.


Boil the sweet potatoes until very tender, then mash or whip with the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


In a bowl, mix the beans with the lemon juice and seasonings. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onions, garlic and green chili pepper about 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the bean mixture and warm through.


Layer the warm ingredients down the center of each tortilla in this order: cheese, rice, beans, sweet potatoes. Fold the tortilla at the top and bottom of the filling in, rotate and roll the burrito up so that all the ends are closed. I served with sour cream.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Orzo Casserole

I had a bag of orzo that had been sitting in the pantry for some time so I sought out a recipe to use it.  When I came across this recipe for Broccoli Cheese Orzo Casserole, it was like a homerun as I had everything I needed either in the fridge or in the pantry.  Score!!!  This was very good and Serena really enjoyed it.  For her, it was a perfect meal (I served it with homemade chicken nuggets).  And making my baby happy always makes me happy.

Broccoli Cheese Orzo Casserole
slightly adapted from Working Girl Cooks

1 package orzo pasta
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups frozen broccoli, boiled until tender

Boil pasta according to package, drain.  Mix pasta with cream of mushroom soup, shredded cheese, and broccoli.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole

When I saw this recipe on a fellow blogger's website, I knew I had to add it to our menu.  I did make several changes and it turned out absolutely delicious.  Serena even loved it and ate all the vegetables hidden in it!  The leftovers were equally as good.  I'll definitely make this again.

Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole
adapted from On My Menu

1 cup brown rice
2-1/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, chopped or thinly sliced
3 Tyson Grilled and Ready frozen chicken breasts, cooked and diced 
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt, to taste
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies
1/3 cup carrots, chopped small
2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the rice and chicken broth in pot on stovetop, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat the chicken according to the directions on the bag and then dice up into bite size pieces.  Lightly grease a medium-sized casserole dish. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the carrot, zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms. Season with cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until zucchini is lightly browned and all vegetables are tender. In a large bowl, mix the rice, onion, zucchini, chicken, mushrooms, beans, chilies, carrots, and 2 cups of the cheddar cheese. Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms

I love stuffed mushrooms.  I love spinach artichoke dip.  What a great combination of the two!!!  Not only did I enjoy these, Serena loved them too!  I had enough stuff leftover that I made a separate dish of just the dip to use later in the week with crackers for a quick snack.

Spinach Artichoke Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms
Eating Well Living Thin

20-25 white mushrooms
4 ounces (1/2 pkg) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup light Hellman’s mayo
14-ounce can artichoke hearts, sqeezed to remove excess liquid and finely diced
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Splenda/sugar
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (not shredded – the powdery fresh from the deli-cheese case)
Pinch cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wipe mushrooms clean; remove stems and gently scoop out the gills to make room for the filling.

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, mayo, diced artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, Splenda, Parmesan, and cayenne. Fill each mushroom cap with 1 tablespoon of dip mixture. Place on a baking sheet (with sides, as the mushrooms will release liquid) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and the filling is golden. Serve warm. Makes approx 10 servings of 2 pieces each.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rotini with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is a recipe that I adapted from one found on Food TV by Giada De Laurentiis.  My store didn't have the pasta that her recipe used, I used some things that I had on hand rather than fresh ingredients that she used, and I made mine into a casserole type bake.  I think my changes worked perfectly and this dish turned out great!

Rotini with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
adapted from a recipe on Food TV

3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
1 pound hot sausages
1 can artichoke hearts, diced up
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 ounces rotini pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
2 Tablespoons dried parsley leaves
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a big casserole dish. Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rotini in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley, and artichoke mixture to the sausage in the casserole dish. Stir until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.  Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Roman-Style Chicken

I knew we would love this dish when I came across it and it did not let me down.  I used skinless chicken breast halves with ribs as the recipe called for but don't think any flavor would have been lost if I had used boneless, skinless chicken breast, which is what I will do next time.  I didn't use thighs because the breast halves was enough for us, even allowing for some leftovers. 

I served this with roasted potatoes.

Roman-Style Chicken
slightly adapted from Food TV

4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs (I used 3)

2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones (I didn't use)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers
2 Tablespoons dried parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.