Seems like we’ve been on a bit of an international flavors binge this past week! Don’t let that scare you-every ingredient should be available in your local grocery store. With all the cool weather we’re having, it’s nice to cozy up with a hot bowl of stew or plate of pasta by the fire and these meals really deliver.
Braised Lamb with Shitake Mushrooms and Ginger
Steamed Bok Choy
This Asian take on a lamb stew comes together nicely into a filling, not too spicy meal. Top it with fresh coriander and chopped peanuts if you wish. We slurped this up in big bowls with fresh Jasmine rice and lightly steamed greens on the side.
Light and delicious, this is almost like a noodle salad but with tender pieces of spiced chicken. It’s wonderful on a summer evening, but I love it year round to add a little variety to our menu. Crunchy peanuts, tender noodles, and spicy chicken make it better than take out!
Just like burritos but laid out flat instead of rolled, this recipe is versatile and fast! You can use ground beef or turkey (as in the picture), your favorite salsa, and change up the veggies, and make it as spicy as you wish. You can even top it with avocado, fresh tomato chunks and lettuce, or sour cream. Use your imagination!
Hint: If you don’t use up all the filling, heat it up in the oven and then sprinkle over some chedder cheese and chopped avocado. Serve with tortilla chips. Delicious!
Tossed green salad
If creamy pasta sauces are a no-no for you, don’t fear-this one has much less calories than traditional fettuccini alfredo but still has lots of flavor. This recipe is a regular in our house, because lactose intolerant Jake can actually eat it. In the photo I substituted whole wheat egg noodles for the fettuccini noodles and also threw in a can of tuna. Not a tuna fan? It’s fantastic with chopped, cooked chicken breast or shrimp, too.
Whole wheat dinner buns
Delicious for a weeknight but special enough for company, this is another regular meal at our house. The secret to getting the filling just so and to save time chopping is use a food processor to mince up the onions, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. You may be tempted to forgo drizzling the butter over top when you bake them to save calories, but the fat makes them brown up nice and golden.
Veggie Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Recipe Adapted From Company’s Coming Chicken
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped mushroms
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use the real stuff!)
2 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
6 chicken breast halves, or 3 whole chicken breasts, pounded fairly thin (about
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp water
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1/3 cup butter
Saute the mushrooms, carrots, onion, and garlic in the butter until soft. Add zucchini and continue to saute until the moisture has cooked away. Remove from the heat. Stir in paremesan, sherry, dijon, salt and pepper, and oregano.
Lay one chicken breast half on your counter, bottom end up (where the bones would’ve been) Top with 1/3 of the filling. Lay another chicken breast half on top, bottom end down, so it’s a chicken breast “sandwich”. Continue with the rest of the filling and chicken breasts.
Mix your egg with the water in a pie plate or very shallow dish. Set aside. Measure out the bread crumbs into another very shallow dish. Working assembly line fashion, gently dip the chicken breast sandwiches into the egg mixture, and then the bread crumbs, before finally placing them onto a foil lined baking sheet. Be careful-the filling will want to slide out so you really have to support them and hold them together as you are dipping.
Once they are finished and on the baking sheet, drizzle them with the melted butter and bake in a 400 F oven for 20 minutes. Turn over, and bake them another 20 minutes. (40 minutes total)
Serves 6 (1/2 a chicken “sandwich” each)