Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Dare You to Make a Better Chicken Cacciatore!

Hello, everyone! So, here we go; our first recipe together...I'm super excited, and, in honor of my Italianheritage, I had to make one of my family's favorite Italian dishes-chicken cacciatore.

You're going to need to get out the following ingredients:
  1. 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (remember I try to keep it low-cal
  2. cup of yellow onion (sliced thin)
  3. 1 green bell pepper (sliced thin)
  4. 2 cups of fresh mushrooms (pre-sliced)
  5. 2 cups of diced fire-roasted tomatoes (the fire-roasted part is really important--this gives it an amazing flavor that totally sets this dish apart)
  6. 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  9. 1 cup of chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen works just fine)
  10. 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  11. 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
  12. Garlic powder
  13. Salt and Pepper
  14. 1/4 cup of red wine
  15. Non-stick cooking spray (I use this instead of oil...this keeps our calories low, while still keeping our food from sticking to the pan).

Now, once you start cooking this recipe, it goes pretty fast.  This being said, you need to make sure that you have all of your ingredients out, prepared and ready to have your veggies chopped, your cans open, and your utensils ready!

The first thing we need to do is saute our chicken, get out a large sauce pan, spray the cooking spray, and put your burner on medium/high.  While you're waiting for the pan to heat, take a moment and shake some garlic powder on to your chicken.

Once your pan is nice and hot, go ahead and put your four breasts of chicken in the pan...make sure that you cook your chicken all the way so all those nasty germs go away.

After your chicken is cooked, take it out of the pan, put it on a plate, and set it aside for a few minutes.  Now, spray your pan with the cooking spray again, and add your onions.  Saute them for three minutes, and then add your garlic and peppers and cook them for another two minutes.  Now, you want to add your mushrooms and broccoli and cook for another four minutes.  Make sure throughout this whole process that you are stirring your veggies so everything is cooked evenly.

When all your veggies are cooked and blended together, you can add your red wine.  You're going to cook this for a while.  Keep stirring your veggies, and when it looks like all the wine has cooked away, add your tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, and salt.  Get this really hot, until you start to see little bubbles in the sauce, and then turn your burner to low.

Now, take the chicken you set aside, and put it in your yummy sauce.  Cover your pan and let this simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Right before you take your pan off the burner, pour your parsley in stir in.
Take off the burner, serve, and enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Age-old Question

Hello! Thank you for stopping by and checking out my ideas on what to make for dinner.  I started this blog for several reasons, the first being that I love to cook and have many answers to the question, "What's for Dinner?"

The second reason is that I understand the need that people have to cook a fast, yummy, and low-calorie meal for themselves and/or their families.  In today's world, everyone is in a rush, including myself.  As a means for self-preservation, I have learned how to get in, get out, and get the job done when it comes to cooking supper for my family.

The third reason is that I understand how important it is to many to cook healthfully.  One of the most important questions that I ask myself when I cook is, "Is it healthy; it is low-calorie?"  So, in many of my recipes, you will notice a few big differences than in many others.

The first is that you will never see the word "butter." I have found a way to substitute no-calorie cooking spray for almost everything.  The other foods that do require butter we either do not eat or use a butter substitute called "Promise" which you can find in any major food store.

The second is that there are hardly any carbs-foods like potatoes, pastas, bread- in the dinners that I make.  It's amazing how fast calories pile up when you add carbs to the mix...white flour is no good either.  If, however, you're just craving that pasta side or piece of garlic bread, try to substitute good carbs like whole wheat breads and pastas and sweet potatoes instead.

So, without further ado, let's go ahead and figure out what's for dinner.