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White Chicken Chili

16 May


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2/3 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 seeded jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (4-ounce) chopped green chilies
  • 2/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 can large white beans, undrained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup grated low-fat Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Mix in the garlic, jalapeño, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it’s a little soupy.

At the end of 20 minutes, mash chili lightly using a potato masher, until about half of the beans are broken up. This will give the chili a thicker consistency that will be thickened even more by the cheese. Speaking of…

Serve topped with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole if you like, or have fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.


Sesame Noodles with Chicken

16 May

(We do this without chicken, so I have categorized as vegetarian)


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 scallions (white and green parts), sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Game Plan: Make the sauce while the noodles cook.

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat. When the pasta water boils, salt it generously, add the spaghetti or noodles, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Put the spaghetti in a large bowl and toss with the sesame oil.

To make the Peanut Sauce: In a blender drop in the garlic and ginger while the motor is running. When the chopping is complete, stop the machine and add the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and red pepper. Process until smooth, then–with the blender running–slowly pour in the water.

To serve, toss the spaghetti with the Peanut Sauce, then top with the cucumber, chicken, scallions, and peanuts.

Cook’s Note: Toasted sesame oil delivers richness and intensity to our sesame sauce with just a drizzle. Maintain its punch by storing it in your refrigerator.

Read more at:

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

30 May

We kept the hotdogs and mac and cheese separate, but I’m sure it would taste good together as well.

•    1 pound elbow macaroni
•    Salt
•    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•    1 package beef or pork hot dogs, chopped into 1-inch pieces
•    1 tablespoon butter
•    1 medium onion, finely chopped
•    2 tablespoons all- purpose flour
•    1/2 cup beer, 1/3 of a bottle – whatever you have on hand, chicken broth can be substituted
•    2 cups milk
•    Pepper
•    1 rounded tablespoon spicy mustard
•    2 rounded tablespoons ketchup
•    3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar, shredded, divided (Buy preshredded cheese. You will need 1 1/2 sacks of 10-ounce packages.)

Boil a large pot of water for macaroni. Salt water and under cook macaroni, cook about 7 minutes until just under al dente in doneness.

Preheat broiler and set rack 12 inches from heat.

While pasta works, heat a large deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, then add hot dogs and brown on both sides, 4 minutes total. Remove the dogs with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and the butter. When butter melts, cook onions 4 to 5 minutes, then add flour and cook another minute. Add beer and cook off completely, 1 minute. Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, then season the sauce with salt and pepper and stir in the mustard and ketchup. Lower heat and add 2 cups of the cheese.

Stir to melt, 1 minute. Adjust mustard, ketchup, and salt and pepper, to your taste.

Drain pasta well. Combine pasta and hot dogs with sauce and coat evenly then pour into large casserole and top with remaining cheese. Melt and brown cheese under broiler, 2 minutes. Serve.

Taken from:

Chicken Parmesan

30 May

We made a couple good meals when Mom and Dad Levis came to visit.  Chicken Parm is a great comfort food. 🙂

•    4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
•    1 egg
•    1/2 cup milk
•    seasoned bread crumbs
•    2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
•    8 slices mozzarella cheese, or more
•    1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
•    Parmesan cheese

Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish.

Slice 8 pieces of mozzarella cheese and put two on each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad.

Taken from:

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

8 May

We tried this recipe a couple of nights ago and really liked it!  The chicken didn’t seem to do a whole lot for the recipe, so we’re going to try increasing the sweet potato amount up by 1 or 2 cups next time.


•    2 tbsp olive oil
•    1 cup onion, diced
•    1 tbsp garlic, minced
•    1 tbsp chili powder
•    1 tsp cumin, ground
•    1 tsp salt
•    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
•    1/2 cup carrots, diced
•    1/2 cup celery, diced
•    1/4 cup red bell peppers, diced
•    2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
•    4 cups chicken broth
•    2 cups chicken, chopped
•    14 1/2 oz canned tomatoes with juice
•    1/2 cup creamy organic peanut butter
•    1 tbsp dry roasted peanuts, chopped
•    1 tsp cilantro, minced

1.    Slice up chicken and place in a heated saute pan. Leave it slightly undercooked so it doesn’t overcook once added the soup.

2.    In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, and seasonings in olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is slightly softened.

3.    After 5 minutes, add carrots, celery, bell pepper, and sweet potato. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

4.    Stir in chicken, broth, tomatoes, and peanut butter.

5.    Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes (or until potatoes are tender).

6.    Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7.    Garnish soup with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

*Taken from:

Minestrone Soup

5 May

This is the copy cat recipe for Olive Garden’s minestrone soup.  Very good, healthy, and freezes well!  The vegetable ingredients are definitely variable, so I find myself adding more of some things and less of others depending on what we like.

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 45
Number of Servings: 8

•    2tablespoons olive oil
•    1/2 cup minced white onions (about 1 small onion)
•    1/4 cup chopped zucchini
•    1/4 cup frozen cut italian green beans
•    1/4 cup minced celery (about 1/2 stalk)
•    2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
•    4 cups vegetable broth
•    1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans , drained
•    1 (15 ounce) can small white beans or great northern beans , drained
•    1 /2 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
•    1/2 cup carrots , julienned or shredded
•    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
•    1 teaspoons dried oregano
•    1 teaspoons salt
•    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
•    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•    1 1/2 cups hot water
•    3 cups fresh baby spinach
•    1/3 cup small shell pasta


  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.
Number of Servings: 8

*Taken from:

Black Bean Burgers

5 May

Another one of my favorites!  It definitely tastes best if you make homemade hamburger buns ahead of time.

  • 2 cups well-cooked white, black or red beans, or chickpeas or lentils, or 1 14-ounce can, drained
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or the spice mix of your choice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Bean-cooking liquid, stock or other liquid (wine, cream, milk, water or ketchup) if necessary
  • Extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.

1. Combine all ingredients except liquid and oil in food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed. If necessary, add a little liquid for a mixture that is moist but not wet. Let mixture rest for a few minutes.

2. With wet hands, shape into patties and let rest again for a few minutes. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Film bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with oil and turn heat to medium. When hot, add patties. Cook undisturbed until browned, about 5 minutes; turn carefully with spatula and cook 3 or 4 minutes until firm and browned.

3. Serve on buns with mustard, ketchup, chutney or other toppings.

Yield: 4 servings.

*Taken from: