Tag Archives: tomatoes

Chicken Parmesan with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

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jillpickle: I decided to make a Chicken Parmesan with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe from this month’s Cooking Light.  It was a little time consuming and resulted in lots of dirty dishes (which is not bad if you live in a house where someone else likes to wash dishes).  One of the reasons that this turned out so well was that we used organic cherry tomatoes, home-grown garlic, home-grown lemon thyme and organic onion.  It turned out to be the best Chicken Parmesan I’ve ever eaten.  Modifications I made were few: I used a small onion in place of the shallot and instead of cutting the chicken through the middle, I flattened the chicken with a mallet and cut the cutlets in half.  I had more chicken that the recipe called for so I used more bread crumbs.  Really yummy!!!

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Tilapia with Sauteed Tomatoes and Pesto

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Katie:  Although it was a hot day, I had fun picking basil and making pesto at Pesto Fest!  I’ve used some of the pesto to make quesadillas (with tomatoes & Parmesan cheese), as a spread mixed with plain yogurt for wraps, and froze the rest. 

For this meal, Ken poached the tilapia in some white wine.  The pesto topping was made by sauteing tomatoes and green onions and adding pesto.  It was a delicious meal completed with a side of steamed green beans! 

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Katie:  I like making couscous, especially since it’s pretty easy to prepare.  It’s not very flavorful by itself, but it works well as a base with other ingredients.  While I’ve often had the finer variety of couscous, I’ve recently tried Israeli (or Pearl) couscous which is bigger, chewier, and a little more flavorful.  I was excited to try this recipe for Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen.  It pairs Israeli couscous with roasted grape tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and a dressing made with roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.  I made this recipe as written, using fresh herbs from the garden.  It went well with fish, and was a good choice for a summer dish! 

Chicken Parmesan Pockets

Katie:  I’ve thought about making calzones, but have been intimidated by the amount of prep work required just to prepare the pizza dough.  So when I spotted this recipe for Chicken Parmesan Wraps from Can You Stay for Dinner?, I was excited at the possibility of a quicker version of calzones.  Rather than using homemade or even store-bought pizza dough, Andie used egg roll wrappers.  Great idea!

I prepared the pockets as written, except I cooked the chicken breasts in a panini grill.  I made a few adjustments to the marinara sauce, including adding balsamic vinegar, which really enhanced the flavor.  The sauce took a little while to simmer, but otherwise these were pretty simple to prepare.  The pockets were crispy and tasted great with the flavorful marinara sauce.  These would probably be great with other fillings too, like mushrooms or ricotta cheese.  Now I just need to decide what to make with the leftover egg roll wrappers!

Chicken Parmesan Pockets (slightly adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner?)

makes 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 6 egg roll wrappers (each 7 inches squared)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce:

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil.  Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirred frequently, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned.  Lower the heat if necessary to prevent the onion and garlic from burning.

Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining sauce ingredients (Italian herbs through balsamic vinegar), stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the bottom does not burn.

Chicken Parmesan Pockets:

Cook the chicken in a panini press or pan until lightly brown and thoroughly cooked.  Let cool, and then shred with two forks (or your fingers), pulling against the grain of the meat.  Mix the shredded chicken with one cup of the marinara sauce in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cover a cooking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay the egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface.  Layer each with a few leaves of spinach, then the chicken mixture, and top with the cheeses.

Lightly brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper with water and fold the upper left corner downward, covering the filling and forming a triangle, and press to seal on the bottom right corner. Press to seal each of the sides. Repeat with remaining wraps.

Place all 6 filled wraps on the baking sheet without touching each other, brush lightly with the remaining tablespoon olive oil, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Peanut Stew

Matthew:  After the great beef stew, it was time to try something a little different.  Erika recommended this recipe for Inner Warmth Peanut Stew, from Matt Moyer, executive chef at The Great Dane.  The list of ingredients might seem a little strange–butternut squash, tomatoes, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger–but the combination really tastes good.  I was a little hesitant to add 1/2 cup of ginger, but I went for it.  I really enjoyed this stew.  It made quite a bit and I ended up freezing half of it, but after I finished the first half I thawed the other half to eat right away.  I highly recommend this recipe if you are tired of the more traditional winter soups and stews, but still want something warm and filling.  Two small changes I made were to use chunky peanut butter and to add some cinnamon.

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Katie:  You can never have too much pumpkin!

I was pleasantly surprised with an extremely simple black bean soup recipe recently, so when I saw this pumpkin version on Closet Cooking, I knew I had to try it!  It was a perfect blend of onion, garlic, black beans, diced tomatoes, pumpkin puree, a bit of sherry, and cumin and chili powder.  The addition of pumpkin made it slightly sweet and very rich.  It was great topped with sour cream and cilantro!

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup (slightly adapted from Closet Cooking)

yield:  4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry Sherry (or dry white wine)
  • cilantro (chopped, optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add  the garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Transfer to a cooking pot and add the broth, pumpkin, black beans, tomatoes and sherry.  Simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and puree carefully until you reach the desired consistency.  Add extra liquid (water) if it gets too thick.
  6. Serve with cilantro and sour cream.  Enjoy!

Stuffed acorn squash

Matthew:  I’ve been accumulating squash from my CSA for the past few weeks and I finally had a break in more perishable vegetables and was able to use some of them.  My friend Beth, who is a genius in the kitchen, sent me a recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with glowing reviews.  I instead used acorn squash, but it still turned out great.  The recipe also calls for marinara sauce.  It would have been great to use homemade sauce, but since I didn’t have any on hand, I found some good quality canned sauce.  As Beth said, this is really a great recipe for using up random vegetables.  I actually used so many vegetables that they didn’t all fit back in the acorn squash halves, so I had to use another baking dish for the extra.  This is definitely a d0-over!  Here’s the recipe:

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep: ~ 45 minutes total time, 20 active prep.  chop/saute all the veggies while the squash is cooking and it’ll be quick.

Ingredients:

– 1 spaghetti squash
– 1/2 T. olive oil
– 1/2 chopped:
celery
carrots
onions
bell pepper
zuchinni
summer squash
mushrooms
(or anything you need to get rid of)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
– 1/2 c. bread crumbs or almond meal if you’re going gluten free
– your fav marinara sauce (~ 1 cup)
– 2 oz. shredded mozzarella
– 1 oz. parmesan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Halve the squash length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves of the squash in a large pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.  (I roasted my squash which worked fine.)

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add celery, carrots, peppers, salt and pepper and cook veggies until softened. Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Scrape the meat out of the squash and place in a large bowl. Add the sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, and marinara sauce. Mix everything together, then return the mixture to the empty squash halves. Top with extra marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is bubbling and melted.