Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Confetti Bean Salad

A light and refreshing side dish that's good for you, too! Perfect for taking to all of those summer picnics :) Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com. Makes about 12 side dish servings (2/3 cup each).


Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, oil, chili powder and sugar;. shake well. Pour over bean mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Creole Meatloaves with Buttermilk Sweet Potatoes & Trinity Gravy

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray. Unfortunately, this is not your 30 minute meal...it takes a bit longer to prepare, but it's well worth it!! If you don't like spicy, skip the hot sauce. We like spicy foods...I added 2 Tbsp. to our trinity gravy and it was perfect for us.



Ingredients
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chinks
Salt
1 cup buttermilk
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon plus more for drizzling
1 large red or yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Black pepper
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, depending on how spicy you like it
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 to 5 scallions, sliced on bias, for garnish

Directions
Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil, season with salt and cook to tender, 12-15 minutes. When potatoes are ready, drain and return to hot pot, mash with buttermilk to the desired consistency. Then, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in medium skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 of the onions and half the garlic to pan and cook to soften, 5-6 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool. To cool onions add pork, a palmful of paprika, thyme, salt and pepper, mustard, egg and breadcrumbs. Mix to combine and form 4 loaves 2 inches thick, drizzle liberally with EVOO and arrange on parchment lined baking sheet and roast 35-40 minutes until firm and golden.

To the same skillet, add butter and melt, add remaining onions and garlic, celery, pepper, salt and pepper and cook to soften 5-6 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over the pan and stir a minute more. Stir in stock then hot sauce, thicken over medium low heat a couple of minutes then turn heat to lowest setting to keep warm.

Serve the meatloaves topped with the Trinity Gravy and garnished with the scallions, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes alongside.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas...Mmmm. One of our favorites. The recipe I've been using has very few ingredients and takes little time to prepare...I always get compliments and requests for the recipe when I make them for guests (maybe I'll post it sometime :). On the down side, it isn't the healthiest meal. I found a new, healthier recipe and thought I'd give it a try. Only 230 calories per enchilada! Recipe courtesy of Giant Food Stores! Two thumbs up.


Ingredients
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 ounces diced green chilies, drained
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce (low sodium)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (low sodium)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon flour
2 cups cooked & shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup frozen corn (fresh or canned is fine, too)
8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar (reduced fat)

Directions
Coat a large saute pan with oil. Saute onion and garlic until tender; add drained chilies, tomato sauce and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the cumin, garlic powder and flour. Stir well to combine. Add one cup of the sauce to the shredded chicken, mix in the rinsed and drained black beans and corn.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds to soften and make them more pliable. Coat the bottom of a 13 x 9" pan with a ladle of sauce. Divide chicken mixture among the 8 tortillas. Fold tortillas over the filling and place in the pan with the seam side down. Top with the remaining sauce and the shredded cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven until the cheese melts. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce. Garnish with toppings like cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, low-fat sour cream, chopped tomatoes, salsa and diced avocado.

Dripping Roast Beef Sandwiches with Melted Provolone

Perfect for a busy evening because these sandwiches can be ready in less than 15 minutes! Serve with fries, fresh fruit, or a nice side salad. Recipe courtesy of Campbell's Kitchen.


Ingredients
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed french onion soup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef
4 soft hoagie rolls or kaiser rolls
4 slices diced provolone cheese, cut in half
1/4 cup drained hot or mild pickled banana pepper rings

Directions
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the soup and Worcestershire in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the beef and heat through, stirring occasionally.

Divide the beef evenly among the rolls. Top the beef with the cheese slices and place the sandwiches onto a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes or until the sandwiches are toasted and the cheese is melted. Spoon the soup mixture onto the sandwiches. Top each sandwich with 1 tablespoon pepper rings.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shrimp & Scallop Fettuccine Alfredo

Taste of Home. We all know seafood is expensive. When I saw that sea scallops were on sale, I snatched 'em up! And, this recipe only calls for 1/4 of a pound, so it's not too hard on your wallet. I added a full pound of shrimp and about 8 ounces of fettuccine. Take note of the alfredo part of this recipe. I will never again use store-bought alfredo! This sauce is super easy and tastes like the real deal. YUM! Serve with some crusty garlic bread.


Ingredients
4 ounces uncooked fettuccine (I used 8 ounces)
1/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 1 pound)
1/4 pound sea scallops, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, chopped (or 1/4 of an onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine or additional chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Directions
Cook the fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute shrimp and scallops in 1 tablespoon oil for 3-5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and scallops are opaque. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute shallot in remaining oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream; cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened.

Drain fettuccine; stir into cream sauce. Add shrimp, scallops and cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with tomato and parsley. Yield: 2 servings (makes more with the added shrimp and pasta)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Berry Lemonade Slush

Who doesn't love Country Time Lemonade? This drink screams summer!! It's the perfect way to use strawberries that are about to go bad. Quick, easy, and very refreshing!


Ingredients
1/2 cup Country Time Lemonade drink mix (dry)
1/2 cup water
3 cups ice cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

Directions
Add all ingredients to blender; cover. Blend on high speed 10 seconds. Turn off blender. Stir with spoon; cover. Blend an additional 5 seconds or until smooth, using pulsing action.

Serve immediately. Store leftover slush in freezer. Makes 4 servings (3/4 cup each).

**Depending on availability and preference, try substituting blueberries for strawberries.

(Almost) Tandoori Chicken

Another Rachael Ray recipe. Again, I halved the recipe, using only 1 lb. of chicken thighs. We aren't a big fan of thigh meat, so next time I will make this with breast meat. I love cardamom (think chai), but I couldn't bring myself to pay $12 for a small container, so sadly, I nixed it from the recipe. I also marinated the chicken for a few hours before baking it. My first experience with naan: delicious! And the tomato, apple & chive topping sounds odd, but it was the perfect complement to the chicken.


Ingredients
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 lime, zested
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 green apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced into matchsticks
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and very thinly sliced lengthwise
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 pieces naan bread, plain or flavored, store-bought, warmed

Directions
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Combine the yogurt with the spices and zest of lime in a large bowl. Cut the chicken into large chunks and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add to the yogurt mixture and toss to coat evenly. Put a small wire rack on a baking sheet or a slotted broiler pan. Arrange the chicken on the rack or slotted pan and roast until charred at the edges and juices run clear, about 15 minutes.


Combine the apple, tomatoes and scallions in a serving bowl. Add the lime juice, oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine.


Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve with apple-tomato topping and warm bread.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

BBQ Beef Stir-Fry

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee (Food Network). I made this with thin spaghetti instead of lo mein noodles...either is fine. I would recommend doubling the hoisin sauce recipe if you like things extra saucey :) It really soaked into the meat and veggies, leaving little to spoon over the noodles.

Ingredients
1 (1 1/2-pound) beef chuck steak, sliced into thin strips
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 carrot, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1 stalk celery, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
4 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tablespoon freshly minced ginger root
1/2 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 (8-ounce) package lo mein noodles, cooked according to package directions

Hoisin Sauce
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Dash pepper

Directions
Add the canola oil to a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

To the same skillet or wok, add the carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and broccoli and stir-fry until slightly tender but not soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beef back to the skillet along with the hoisin sauce (below), and toss to coat the beef. Arrange the lo mein noodles on a serving platter and top with the beef stir-fry.

Hoisin Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients until well blended.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Springtime Chicken

I clipped this recipe out of Fitness Magazine years ago...finally got around to trying it. Healthy & delicious! This is the full recipe, but I cut it in half for Nick and I. I had leftover tomatoes, basil & mozzarella, so I made tomato caprese salad...yum!


Ingredients - Chicken
1 8-ounce container low-fat plain yogurt (I used Greek)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb)

Ingredients - Tomato-Mozzarella Topping
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 medium-sized onion, cut into 16 wedges
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 lb plum tomatoes, cored, seeded & chopped (about 4 cups)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and balsamic vinegar until well blended. In a plastic food-storage bag, combine chicken & yogurt mixture; seal and turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; saute 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add balsamic vinegar and water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 7 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and onion is tender. Increase heat to medium-high. Add tomato, salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in mizzarella and basil.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Gently rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Grill, turning once, for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until internal temperature registers 170 degrees.

Serve immediately, with topping, or let cool to room temperature.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray's Look & Cook - One of my favorite cookbooks! My favorite part of this recipe was the peperonata. Packed full of flavor! Would be delicious on top of a chicken or steak dish (I'm thinking fajitas!) The lime and cilantro give this fish the perfect finishing touch.


 Ingredients - Peperonata
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded & thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beer or chicken stock (I used Corona)
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Ingredients - Chili-Lime Fish Fry
4 tilapia filets
Salt & pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
2 limes
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup vegetable, canola or safflower oil

Directions
To prepare the peperonata, heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalepeno and bell peppers, and salt and pepper. Saute until the peppers are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes, then add the beer or stock and stir for a minute or two more. Top with the cilantro and set aside.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 shallow dishes; place the flour in one, beat the eggs in the second, and scatter the bread crumbs in the third. Season the bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp grated lime zest, the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Coat the fish in the flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumbs.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. If the pan is not large enough to fry 4 filets, heat the oven to 275 degrees and place a cooking rack on a rimmed baking sheet. As you fry the fish, transfer it to the rack in the hot oven to keep warm. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until deeply golden and crispy. Season with a little extra salt & top the fish with lots of lime juice and then the peperonata. Serve with white rice.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes.

These peppers are so flavorful and easy to prepare! The ingredient list is simple, with things I usually have on hand. Enjoy!


Ingredients
4 bell peppers, any color
Salt
5 Tbsp EVOO
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (if using canned, drain)
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauce

Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, then add peppers. Boil, using a spoon to keep peppers completely submerged, until brilliant in color and flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Remove skillet from heat. Add meat, rice, tomatoes, oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Drizzle remaining 1 tbsp olive oil inside the peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish, then stuff peppers with filling. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl. Spoon over filling. Add 1/4 cup of water to the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes (or longer, depending on the size of the peppers), until the internal temperature is 150-160°.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Herb & Cheese-Stuffed Burgers

If you're tired of the same old burgers, give these a try! Recipe from Taste of Home. I won't be posting again until next week...my beautiful sister-in-law is getting married and the next few days will be busy busy!



Ingredients
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
4 hard rolls, split
Lettuce leaves and tomato slices, optional

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon mustard; set aside.

In another bowl, combine the onions, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt, rosemary, sage and remaining mustard. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight thin patties. Spoon cheese mixture onto center of four patties; top with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Serve on rolls with lettuce and tomato if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is from 'Our Best Bites' - http://www.ourbestbites.com/. Thank you, Andi Kipe, for bringing this site to my attention! Lots of great recipes and crafts!! Serve these yummy rolls as an appetizer, or pair them with fried rice for a great dinner.



Ingredients
2 tsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 lb ground chicken
3 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped (about 8 small mushrooms)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 C bagged coleslaw mix or thinly shredded cabbage
1 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, and finely minced
1/2 C thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 3-4 Tbs juice)
1/2-1 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce
1/3 C roughly chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce

Dipping/Drizzling Sauce4 Tbs soy sauce
4 Tbs rice vinegar
3 Tbs water
2 tsp honey
1-2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger

Directions
Heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat on the stove top. When hot, add vegetable oil and then garlic and ginger.  Saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and then add ground chicken, chopped mushrooms, and kosher salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through. 

Add cabbage/coleslaw, water chestnuts, and green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes, until cabbage starts to wilt. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, the zest from the lemon and the lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

To prepare dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine.

To serve, carefully remove the individual leaves from the head of lettuce. (The closer you get to the center, the easier it becomes!) Place chicken mixture in the leaves and serve with sauce.

Yield: about 5 C chicken mixture.  Makes 14-16 lettuce wraps.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The same, but different.

Here are 2 recipes that have very similar ingredients, but two very different tastes. Both amazingly easy and delicious!

Moroccan Lemon-Olive Chicken (Rachael Ray)


Ingredients
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into large bite-size pieces (I used breast meat)
2 tablespoons EVOO
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 lemons, 1 sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 fresh bay leaves
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup large, pitted, green olives
A handful mint leaves, finely chopped
2 handfuls flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

Directions
Heat EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. When oil ripples and begins to smoke, add chicken pieces and brown 3-4 minutes to get good color on the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the onions, garlic, lemon rounds and bay leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, 6-7 minutes more. Add spices, stock and olives to the skillet and cook 5 minutes more to reduce. Remove from heat, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon into the skillet and stir in the herbs. Serve with rice or couscous.


Kalamata Lemon Chicken (Better Homes & Gardens)


Ingredients
1 to 1-1/4 pounds  skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon  olive oil
2/3 cup  dried orzo
1/2 cup  drained, pitted kalamata olives
1 14-ounce can  chicken broth
1/2 of a  lemon, cut into wedges or chunks
1 tablespoon  lemon juice
1 teaspoon  dried Greek seasoning
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
Hot chicken broth (optional)
Fresh snipped oregano (optional)

Directions
In a 4-quart Dutch oven brown chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, turning once. Stir in orzo, olives, broth, lemon wedges, lemon juice, Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Bake, covered, in a 400 degree F oven about 35 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (180 degrees F). If desired, serve in shallow bowls with additional hot broth and top with snipped oregano. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hungarian-Style Chili with Polenta

I love Rachael Ray. I have 3 of her cookbooks and I'm just now getting into them. This recipe is hers.
This was my first time cooking with polenta and, I must say, I'm hooked! So delicious with the gouda cheese. I will definitely make this dish again (many more times!) Nick loved it, too. I cut the recipe in half and it was perfect for the 2 of us (Nick even had leftovers for lunch the next day). YUM-O!


Ingredients
2 tablespoons EVOO :)
2 pounds coarse ground sirloin
1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 quart beef stock
1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup quick cooking polenta
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Gouda
1 cup sour cream
Finely chopped fresh dill, parsley and chives for garnish


Directions
Heat a large pot over medium-high to high heat. Add beef and brown 7-8 minutes. Add hot pepper, bell peppers, onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften vegetables, 7-8 minutes more.

Stir in chili powder, sweet paprika and oregano. Add tomato paste to pot and stir to combine, 1 minute. Add stock to pot and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes more.

In a separate pot, bring water or chicken stock and milk to a boil, whisk in polenta and cook 2-3 minutes until thickened. Stir in butter and cheese, season with salt and pepper.

Fill shallow bowls with polenta, make a well in the center. Fill well with ladles of chili and top with herbs.

Homemade Pizza

There's nothing better than homemade pizza! With dough made from whole wheat flour and toppings like fresh cherry tomatoes, spinach, turkey pepperoni and part-skim mozzarella cheese, this delicious pie is good for you, too! Recipe courtesy of Hylton & Kara.


Ingredients
1 cup warm water (100 degrees)
1 pinch sugar
1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
2 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. olive oil
Toppings (cherry tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni, spinach, salt & pepper, olive oil)

Directions
Put warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl in a warm place for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix flours and salt. Add water mixture to flour mixture and add oil. Kneed until not sticky. Roll into a ball and put in a bowl coated with oil. Cover with a towel and let stand until dough doubles in size (about an hour).

Kneed dough again and split in half (for 2 pizzas).

Layer (in order):
- sliced cherry tomatoes (Your sauce! You'll need about one container per pizza)
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- turkey pepperoni
- spinach (Pile it on! Spinach is all water and wilts down to almost nothing)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- drizze of olive oil

Bake in a 500 degree oven (yes, 500 degrees) for 16 to 18 minutes.

Great for date night or entertaining guests! Enjoy :)