Archive for September, 2009


I love that Cooking Light has so many 20 and 30 minute meals in their magazines; they make weeknight dinners a breeze!

Tonight, I made Chicken Cacciatore. It was good, although a little bland. If I make it again, I’ll add more salt – both to season the chicken and to the sauce. I think it may have been lacking because of the pasta sauce I used (I think it was “too healthy”). I may also add some bread crumbs to the sauce to thicken it a bit.

Chicken Cacciatore
from Cooking Light, October 2009

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
olive oil
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce (I used Ragu No Sugar Added Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce)
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (tip: slice it length-wise so that it doesn’t brown!)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with oregano, basil, and red pepper. Place a small amount of olive oil in the pan. Add chicken to pan; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.


browning the chicken

Add mushrooms and bell pepper to pain; saute 5 minutes.

add the mushrooms and peppers

add the mushrooms and peppers

Stir in pasta sauce and wine; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

add the wine and sauce

add the wine and sauce

Stir in the salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and basil.

Serves 4
(1 serving = 1 cup chicken mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil)


the plated dish

1 serving = 5 Weight Watchers Points (probably less if you omit the cheese!)

calories – 239
fat – 6g
carbs – 11.1g
fiber – 2.6g

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I’ve been away from this blog for so, so long and I am so, so sorry! My excuse? I was off planning my wedding… and then getting married… then spending time with the in-laws… then catching up at work after 2 weeks off… phew!

Throughout all of this madness, I didn’t cook any new dishes – just rotated my tried-and-true recipes, many of which I’ve already blogged about. Sometime soon, I’ll post pictures and details of the wedding (it was perfect!).

Now that things are finally starting to settle down, I have time to try new dishes. My new issue of Cooking Light came in the other day and it’s packed with good stuff! (The last 2 issues were disappointing.)

Tonight, I made the cover recipe. It was the most hearty and time-consuming out of the recipes I flagged, so I thought it would be perfect for a rainy Sunday evening.

If you decide to make this, plan ahead! It is by no means a quick dish… It takes about 3 hours to cook. But it’s worth it!!! This is a new favorite for me, and I plan to rotate this recipe with my usual beef stew recipe.

Beer-Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot, and Turnips
from Cooking Light, October 2009

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 (1 lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cubed
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (12 oz.) dark beer
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
9 ounces small turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Place flour in shallow dish. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour.

preparing the beef for browning

preparing the beef for browning

Add beef to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

browning the beef

browning the beef

Add broth, beer, garlic, and bay leaf, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

Cover and bake at 300 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots; cover and cook 25 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, turnips, and onion; cover and cook an additional 1 hour and 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef is fork-tender.

3. Remove beef and vegetables from the pan; discard the bay leaf. Cover beef and vegetables; keep warm. Let cooking liquid stand 10 minuts. Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of the bag. Drain cooking liquid into a medium bowl, stopping before the fat layer reaches the opening; discard the fat. Serve cooking liquid with beef and vegetables. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Serves 4

(1 serving = 9 Weight Watchers points)

Calories – 383
Fat- 19.7
Carbs – 21
Fiber – 3.6

the plated dish

the plated dish

I served mine alone, and served Stan’s over egg noodles (as seen in the first picture).

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