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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recipe Reviews

Hi All,

Today I have some recipes that I've made recently to review with you. It's important to me to make real dinners for us. I'm trying to make recipe plans once a week or once for two weeks so that I can shop one time. So far (i.e. for the last two weeks) it has worked out well!

I found a pull-out book of recipes in one of my Rachel Ray magazines called "Your weeknight meal planner". It was so unbelievably helpful for the first week of meal planning! It has all of the ingredients for all the meals listed in front and pictures of all the meals.

I ended up making only three out of the five recipes since I had family show up for dinner and needed to use twice the amount of chicken and we ate out once more than we'd planned.

Ok- recipe #1- Meatless Meatball Heros
It was pretty easy to make and really, really good!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 (19oz) can of chickpeas, rinsed
2 eggs
1 lemon
3/4 cup shredded cheese
2 cups jarred roasted garlic pasta sauce
1 large whole grain baguette
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
EVOO
salt and pepper

Make It!
1- Preheat oven to 350

2- Grind up almonds to powder (like fine breadcrumbs)

3- In medium bowel (I used a flat bottom casserole dish), use a potato masher to coarsely mash the chickpeas with the eggs, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. pepper

4- Stir in cheese and almonds

5- Line a baking sheet with foil/parchment and lightly coat with EVOO. Form the mixture into golfball size meatballs and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with some EVOO (I forgot that part)

6- Bake 25-30 minutes

7. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, heat pasta sauce. Cut baguette into 4 pieces (I did it into thirds) and scoop out a little bread. Toast (I did it for the last 5 minutes of baking the balls- right in the oven)

8- To serve: I placed a small amount of sauce along the bottom of the bread, placed the spinach, the balls (4-5 per third) then more sauce.

The balls had a nice texture and taste, but they didn't taste like meat. The predominant flavor was definitely pasta sauce.  I will make absolutely make this one again.

Crispy Parmesan Pork Chicken

I forgot to take a picture of this one since this was the one that I turned into a double recipe for family at the last minute.  Also, I used chicken breasts butterflied in half instead of pork chops.

Ingredients
1 tangerine or orange
4 chops/chicken breasts
1/2 cup slivered almonds (the rest of the package from the meatballs)
1/2 cup parmesan
1 egg
6-7 cups baby spinach (the rest of the container from the meatballs)
salt/pepper
EVOO
Optional 1 small red onion (I opted out)

Make It!

1- Grate the tangerine (I bought an orange) to get 2 tsp. of zest, place in measuring cups. Halve and squeeze fruit to get 1/4 cup juice (I had to add from juice from our fridge). Whisk in 2 tbsp. EVOO, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

2- If using onion- place slivered onion in small bowel and add 1 tbsp. of dressing to coat. (To make onion more mild, try soaking it in cold water for 10 minutes first)

3- Season meat with salt/pepper. Grind up almonds and parmesan to powder. Place in shallow bowl. Put egg in another shallow bowl and lightly beat. Dip the meat in egg, let excess drip off, then place in crumb mixture (pat on thick). Set aside until EVOO is heated.

4- In large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup EVOO on med-high until shimmering. Reduce to med, add meat and cook on one side until golden, 3-4 mins. Carefully flip and cook other side to golden. Remove pan from heat and let meat sit in pan 3 mins.

5- In salad bowl, toss the spinach with onion and remaining dressing. Serve with meat.

Since I was making more than 4 servings, I placed the meat on a lined baking sheet at 350 in the oven. Also, I had the salad sit in the fridge for 10 minutes after mixing it. Pretty yummy.

The third recipe I made from this book was Chili Beef and Veggies. I didn't take a pic of it either and I won't make it again. It was alright, but not great.

Note- The original recipes were by Kate Slate, I just added my opinions and the changes that I made.

Thanks for checkin' these out!

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