One of my resolutions for 2013 is to try *at least* one new recipe a week. Geoff Livingston suggested back when I made that resolution that I should collect everything I make and publish at the end of the year. So here we are 🙂
1. Mexican Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken – This is a recipe I found on Pinterest. It is so stinking easy and there are ways to make it healthier than it is to begin with. All you do is put 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts in a crock pot with 1 cut up onion, a can of black beans, a can of corn, a can of tomatoes, and a packet of taco seasoning. I know some of those ingredients could be tough for a low sodium diet – really the taco seasoning packet could be replaced with some red pepper or chili powder, and if you can get fresh veggies, go for it! That all cooks on high for 6 hours. At that point, you shred up the chicken and you add a packet of cream cheese (8 ounces). I used 1/3 less fat but you could probably even use fat free. You cube that up and then cook for another 30 minutes. The recipe suggests serving over rice or with tortillas but I opted to serve it with blue tortilla chips. VERY nummy!
2. Black Bean Salad – The key to this salad is what you marinate the vegetables in. It’s very easy to put together, and the dressing actually ends up just on this side of being too sweet. You can find the recipe here. I’ll say this – when they say this is a hunger-fighting salad, they are darned right!
3. Crockpot Apple Oatmeal – This recipe is extremely simple. Cut up two apples, put those pieces, a third-cup of brown sugar, a and a teaspoon of cinnamon at the bottom of the crock pot. Add 2 cups of oats, 4 cups of water, do not mix. Cook on low 8-9 hours (a good overnight recipe). This turned out…ok. It would be good for a big family for a weekend breakfast, but warming it up the next day did not work very well. The texture was also kind of weird. I probably won’t make this again.
4. Quinoa Mac & Cheese – This sounded like a great idea. I got the recipe off Pinterest. Basically all you do is cook the quinoa and then mix it with an egg, some milk, and cheese, and then bake it. For me, however, it came out as very dry and just kind of…weird. I’d be curious to see if you all have better luck.
5. Vegetable Tian – This came from a cookbook – Barefoot in Paris (not an affiliate link). It’s very simple but a little time consuming. Essentially you sautee onions and garlic in olive oil and put that mixture on the bottom of a greased 13/9 pan. Then you cut up tomato, potato, and zucchini into quarter inch slices and layer them on top. Spread some thyme twigs on top and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the thyme, add gruyere cheese, and bake another 30 minutes. It was VERY tasty!
6. Lemon Flatbread – I improvised this from a recipe I found on Pinterest. That recipe involved making your own focaccia dough, but I was pretty sure flatbread or pita bread would work just as well. And indeed it did. All you do is spread some olive oil over the flatbread, then some rosemary, then lemon (the recipe suggested slices but I did smaller chunks), then drizzle oil and a significant amount of sea salt on top. I baked at 350 for about 15 minutes. Really tasty!
7. “Paleo” Tacos – This is not exactly a recipe per se. The general idea is that instead of using a corn or flour based shell, you use a leaf of iceberg lettuce. The recipe I saw called for browned turkey but I used refried beans. The “salsa” is just tomato mixed with cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and whatever other spices you like. Top off with fresh avocado. Super easy and amazingly filling, even without that yummy cheese and sour cream 🙂
8. Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore: Normally when I think of Chicken Cacciatore I think of a lot of spices and the use of sherry. This recipe doesn’t use sherry, but man is it ever good. Essentially, all you do is toss some chicken into your crock pot, cover it with 28 ounces of tomato, onion, and whatever fresh herbs you like, and then cook on low for 8 hours. After the 8 hours are up crank the heat up to high and take the lid off. My only problem was I didn’t drain the tomatoes – and I think you should 🙂 Here is the recipe I used: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/06/crock-pot-chicken-cacciatore.html
9. Grilled Chili-Lime Tilapia: This was a scary one for me because I don’t cook fish a lot, usually overcook it, and I don’t cook much with chili powder either. However, I have to say, this is one of the best things I’ve ever made. I did the “bake at 350 for 15 minutes” version as I don’t have a grill. Here is the recipe: http://mrmrsbeeze.blogspot.com/2012/06/weekend-recap-grilled-chili-lime.html
10. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings: I never got to have my grandma’s chicken ‘n dumplings (at least to the best of my recollection), but my mom always said it was to die for. I highly doubt this is THAT good, but the ratio of effort to tastiness is just perfect! The only thing I would change is that I think I would only use one package of biscuit dough instead of two, but it’s hard to say – I have a LOT of dumplins, and I am okay with that 🙂 Here there be the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Chicken-and-Dumplings/Detail.aspx
11. Powerhouse Pesto Pasta: This was really good although I didn’t have quite enough pesto and it didn’t end up looking quite exactly like the picture. It was easy to make and and easy to eat 🙂 Here is the link to the recipe!
12. Lime Cilantro Chicken Tacos: Another winner. This makes a lot of food so it’s great for a family or a party gathering. It’s very very simple and tasty. I substituted a Mexican “fiesta” spice for the recommended taco mix because I figured it would cut down on the salt. Still just as tasty. Check it out here!
13. “Better than fried?” Chicken: I had never done much experimenting with Greek yogurt so I was pretty nervous about this recipe, but it did turn out really juicy and tasty. Better than fried? Well…not so sure about that 🙂 Here’s the recipe!
14. Herb Crusted Pork Chops: I’m not really sure why they’re called “Herb Crusted” but they are darned delicious and simple to make. Super quick too. A little dijon goes a long way and the panko adds that nice crunch crunch to feel like you’re being a bad dieter type person. The chops are very tasty and very juicy. Check out the recipe!
15. Sage and cinnamon chicken: Another super easy recipe, but this one requires a little experimentation. In my first run I used the amounts of sage and cinnamon in the recipe, but it was a *little* too sagey for me. Still, the mix of sage and cinnamon is flavorful and light and good for a warm day. Recipe is here.
16. Spaghetti with kale and lemon: Kale is another substance I had never cooked with before. This recipe is slightly work intensive but not too bad, and I thought it tasted really really good. My only mistake is that I used egg noodles, so they stuck together and got clumpy. I’d have also broken the kale up into smaller pieces – it gets a bit chewy! Recipe here!
17. Balsamic Chicken & Potatoes: I was a little worried about this recipe because it combines lemon with an oil & balsamic vinegar mix. However, I need not have worried. This dish is pretty darned easy and also happens to be super tasty. It would be great for fall but wasn’t too heavy for a hot summer’s day. Recipe is yonder!
18. Garlic Herb Tilapia: I improvised with this a little because I didn’t feel like buying McCormick’s Italian seasoning. It was light but super tasty! Recipe here.
19. Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: I thought this was going to be really work-intensive but actually it wasn’t too bad. Next time I think I’ll add more “stuffing” – really tasty and filling though! Recipe is here 🙂
20. Watermelon, Mint & Feta Salad: I don’t know you can really call this a recipe. It’s just mixing up aforesaid ingredients. It was really good though!
21. Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing: This was really easy to put together and it was a very good summery salad. The lemon basil dressing is just 2 tablespoons of lemon juice & 2 tablespoons (I think) of olive oil and then some fresh basil, so that is a dressing that would taste good with a lot of different salads. Recipe here!
22. Mongolian Tofu: I took a recipe that my pal Karima-Catherine sent me and did a bit of an overhaul. The main thing is the sauce, which consists of ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar. I opted to treat it more like a stir-fry and it still tasted pretty darned good. The basic recipe is here.
23. Crock pot shrimp scampi: This recipe was tasty but I don’t think I’ll make it in a crock pot again. The ingredients you put in the crock pot, which you’re supposed to have on low for 6 hours, mostly end up disintegrating. What remains is a good tasting thing, but I think you could just as easily let things simmer in a pot for a much shorter time. Recipe is here.