Monday, September 15, 2008

Tex-Mex Lasagna

This dish was definitely a crowd pleaser! This dish was very easy to put together and could be made ahead of time. The cream cheese and sour cream cooled the heat from the peppers and spices.

Tex-Mex Lasagna
Source: Cooking with Paula Deen

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 (15.25 oz.) can corn

1 (15 oz.) black beans, drained

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1 (16 oz.) sour cream

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

6 oven-ready lasagna noodles

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, grated

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cheddar cheese, grated

In a Dutch oven, combine chicken and next 12 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cream cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Spoon one-third of sauce into prepared dish. Top with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread one-half of sour cream mixture over noodles, top with one-third sauce. Sprinkle with half of cheeses. Repeat layers. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Greek Cherry Tomato Salad

This was a great way for me to use up the bounty of tomatoes and cucumbers I had. I loved the tangy tomatoes with the feta cheese.

Greek Cherry Tomato Salad
Source: Cook's Illustrated

2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 4 cups)
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 medium shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Toss tomatoes, 1/4 tsp. salt, and sugar in medium bowl; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to salad spinner and spin until seeds and excess liquids have been removed, 45 to 60 seconds, stirring to redistribute tomatoes several times during spinning. Return tomatoes to bowl and set aside. Strain tomato liquid through strainer into liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Bring 1/2 cup tomato liquid, garlic, oregano, shallot, and vinegar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 3 Tbsp., 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and cool to room temperature. Whisk in oil and pepper to taste until combined. Taste and season with up to 1/8 tsp. salt.

Add cucumber, olives, feta, dressing and parsley to bowl with tomatoes, toss gently and serve.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Baked Mostaccioli

So, I've been trying to incorporate more healthful dishes into my meals. This recipe for mostaccioli is a light version that includes lots of tomato flavor, ground turkey and fat free cottage cheese. I must admit that I am not usually a fan of cottage cheese with pasta dishes, but this definitely made the dish really creamy!
Baked Mostaccioli
Source: Healthy Cooking
8 oz. uncooked mostaccioli
1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cups (16 oz.) fat-free cottage cheese
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1-1/2 cups shredded, part skim mozarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the turkey and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain if neccessary.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and marjoram; set aside. Drain mostaccioli.
Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into an 11x7x2 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the mostaccioli, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Top with cottage cheese mixture. Layer with remaining mostaccioli, meat sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (dish will be full).
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30--40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.