Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011

The last full week of October, wow! It was an interesting week meal wise; unfortunately, of the three new dinner recipes I tried, only one was a keeper. The Green Chile Beef Burritos were good, they could still use some tweaking, but everyone at the table agreed we should make them again, so I decided to include the recipe here. We did also have one of our very favorite dinners this week - pasta with chicken, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. I added that here for you as well. A very straightforward dish that comes together in a snap, and has all your components in one dish (and only two pots to wash!).

On the disappointing front - this week's baking session. I hosted a coffee get-together on Friday morning, and made a few new muffins to include as part of the spread. The muffins were fine, but nothing to write home about, and a bit more work than they should have been. The chocolate chip pumpkin bread, bananas and grapes were all much more of a hit than the muffins. Oh well...better baking luck next time!

Have a happy Halloween on Monday!

New Recipe
Green Chile Beef Burritos

Tried and True
Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 4 boneless chicken breasts cut into strips or chunks
* 3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
* 1-2 cups broccoli florets
* 2 cloves of garlic
* 1 tsp basil
* pinch of crushed red pepper (to taste)
* salt & pepper (to taste)
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 tbls of butter or margarine
* 1 lb cooked pasta
* grated Parmesan

1. Cook the pasta according to box directions
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat, saute the garlic for 1 minute
3. Add chicken and saute until no longer pink.
4. Add broccoli, tomatoes, basil, crushed red pepper, chicken broth and butter or margarine. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Combine chicken mixture with pasta, and finish with Parmesan cheese.

What can I say...we love this dinner! Quick and easy - veggies, protein and pasta all in one! As long as it takes you to cook your pasta (we use rotini or ziti noodles usually) is how quickly you can have dinner on the table! You can also substitute some of the chicken stock for white wine - about 1/4 cup, and then use chicken stock for the other 3/4 cup.

Green Chile Beef Burritos

* 1 beef sirloin tip roasts (3 pounds)
* 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
* 1/2 medium onion, chopped
* 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
* 1 tsp garlic
* 1 tbsp chili powder
* 1 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend, optional
* 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
* fat-free flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
* Chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, avocado, and shredded cheddar cheese, optional

1. Trim fat from roasts; cut meat into large chunks. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with the chilies, onion, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder, cumin and seasoning blend. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat is tender.
2. Remove beef; cool slightly. Shred with two forks. Cool cooking liquid slightly; skim fat. In a blender, cover and process cooking liquid in small batches until smooth.
3. Return liquid and beef to slow cooker; heat through. Place 1/3 cup beef mixture on each tortilla. Top with tomatoes, lettuce and cheese if desired. Fold in ends and sides.

I forgot to take a picture! (Next time we make this I will add that to the posting.) We all enjoyed this, though I think next time I will add some more cumin, and see if I can find medium heat green chiles to add. There wasn't too much heat, and it could handle beefing up the seasonings. But, for a quick week night meal that everyone enjoyed and was fun to individualize at the table, I would recommend this. One last suggestion - if you do happen to have an immersion is another great use for it! I was able to just use the immersion blender right in the crock pot (I put the meat on a plate while I blended the sauce). Perhaps I might serve the shredded meat separate from the sauce and let everyone add their own sauce; the burritos did get a bit runny from all the sauce.