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Monday, March 27, 2017

Tortellini Chicken and Arugula Salad

10 minutes. That's what Cooking Light says and it's true. You don't count the time it takes to boil the water but 10 minutes!!! It takes less time to decide what to order on a take-out menu and punch in your credit card :)

1 package of frozen cheese tortellini
2 cups chicken breast (either leftover, pulled from a grocery rotisserie or whatever you've got in the fridge)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
3 cups baby arugula
thinly sliced shallot (optional - I'm not a fan of raw onion but someone in my family eats them like apples)
1/4 cup Parmesan

1. Cook the tortellini. Drain, rinse with cold water.

2. Combine garlic, oil, lemon, sugar, salt and pepper and mix well (or use store bought salad dressing but you'll get a completely different meal).

3. Toss the tortellini, arugula and chicken and drizzle with dressing.

Sweet Potato and Mushroom Risotto

We're all things sweet potatoes these days. I don't think I had a sweet potato until I was like 35 yrs old. I didn't have a black bean until I was 18...you catch my drift. We grow up on certain things and not others (did you ever hear the This American Life story about the woman who had chicken every night for dinner until she went to college and realized that not everyone else had chicken every night for dinner...??). Paddy wonders why we can't have 'real potatoes' but whatever - Jack eats sweet potatoes and I love them too. So if I can kill two birds with one stone, let's do it.

2 roasted sweet potatoes, peeled and pureed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups sliced shiitakes
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped sage
5 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken (or veggie) broth, warm
salt and pepper
1/4 cup marscarpone or cream cheese
1/4 Parmesan

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high. Add mushrooms, onion, sage and garlic.

2. Add rice and cook a couple of mins, stirring. Stir in 1 cup of sweet potato, 2 cups of stock. Bring to a boil. Simmer until liquid has almost been absorbed. Add more stock and simmer again, until almost absorbed. Continue until all stock used and rice is tender.

3. Remove from heat, add the rest of the potato and cheese and mix until incorporated.

Sauteed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Ok, so this doesn't sound that great, I know. But I've been trying to minimize effort in the kitchen, which means that many nights I throw bone in chicken breasts into the oven before putting Jack to bed and then seeing what I can pair with them after he's asleep to make it seem like it's not exactly what we had the night before. This was very good - adapted from Fine Cooking. We were pleasantly surprised. You can substitute the greens - the recipe called for chard but I used kale. Whatever you got...

3/4 cup raisins (preferably golden but don't go out of your way!)
1 bunch of kale, Swiss chard...some kind of hearty green, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
handful of parsley if you have it
1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted on the stove top for 10 minutes or until brown
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
Small handful of Parmesan

1. Soak the raisins in boiling water until plump. Drain.

2. Heat oil in a large saute pan, add the onion and soften. Add the garlic. Add the greens. Toss until tender, 5-10 mins.

3. Remove from heat, add the raisins, parsley, lemon, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.