Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm cooking.

For some reason I get a subscription to Cooking Light magazine. I am either getting it for free or I paid next to nothing for it... I honestly can't remember. Anywho, because of this Cooking Light subscription, I have started this really bad habit of going through each issue and tearing out the recipes that sound good. And as I sat down this past weekend to do my monthly ritual of tearing out yummy recipes I realized that I had gathered a nice little collection of these over the past year, but I had yet to make one of them. Not one. Oops.

So, I sat down and picked a few that I wanted to make first: Herb & Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Cheese Ravioli with Pesto. Now, I have to preface these recipes with the fact that I cannot cook. I do not have a palate for flavors and oftentimes screw up even the easiest boxed mac & cheese. I rely heavily on Chris to do the cooking around here since he seems to enjoy it and is actually really good at it. But, come this fall, Chris will be busy being a PhD student so I figured I might as well try my hand at cooking actual meals for once and stop relying on Chris or Ms. Lean Cuisine to do it all for me. (Lord knows I will not allow myself to go hungry!)

Sunday evening I made the Herb & Goat Cheese Chicken, and I was completely surprised that 1) I did it all by myself; 2) It was actually fairly easy and quick; and 3) it actually tasted good (aka, Chris approved and recommend making it again).

My camera phone doesn't do it justice.

Here is the recipe, slightly edited, from the Cooking Light version:

  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (Reviewers say regular breadcrumbs work too)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint rosemary (we used rosemary from our herb-garden)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket; close opening with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. 
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add chicken to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on 1 side or until browned (I would suggest browning both sides). Arrange chicken on a baking sheet (browned side up); broil for 8 minutes or until done (ours needed another couple of minutes).
  4. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, red pepper, and spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Like I said, it was yummy! Who doesn't love goat cheese?! Recipe # 1 = success!

Then, last night I made the Cheese Ravioli with Pesto. Again, I was surprised how easy it was and how good it actually tasted.

I really need to get a new phone,
or use my real camera to take these!

Here is the recipe, from the Cooking Light version:

  • 1 (9-ounce) package fresh 3-cheese ravioli
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)
  1. Cook ravioli according to package directions; omit salt and fat. Drain.
  2. Combine spinach, basil, salt, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor. With processor running, add broth, olive oil, and lemon juice through chute until mixture is smooth.
  3. Combine ravioli, pesto, and tomato in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook 1 minute or until warm; sprinkle with cheese and about nuts. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.
Recipe #2 = another success! Quick, easy, and yummy! While the cheese ravioli I bought was kinda cheap, so I would suggest buying "nice" cheese ravioli (maybe not even frozen), it was tasty and filling. I cannot wait to go home and eat the leftovers tonight! (and I'm one of those people that doesn't usually eat leftovers.) Oh, and I cannot say how much I recommend everyone investing in a food processor, even if it's a tiny 3-cup one. They are genius, and absolutely amazing for non-cookers like myself!

So do any of you stock up on recipes and never make them like me? (Don't even look at my Pinterest "Yummy in my Tummy" board!) Or, are you fantastic chefs and can share some tips or recipes with me?!

1 comment:

  1. I love making stuffed chicken! it is so easy! I've made this - Hummus/Spinach stuffed chicken with a orange sauce

    and of course, this week I made stuffed chicken wrapped in cresent rolls -

    I should stick with fish and eggs though. I can never tell when the chicken is done and have a tendency to under cook.


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