Breaking out of the rut

We love pizza and have it often as an easy weeknight dinner.  We tend to get in the habit of having some of the same ones over and over and I wanted to change it up.  Looking back at blog, we have had this before.  However, we haven’t had it since 2012.  So I guess that doesn’t count as a rut if you have something once every 5 years!

Chicken Pizza Francaise

  • 1 prepared pizza crust, preferably whole wheat
  • 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, slightly pounded
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence (you can substitute thyme)
  • 5 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB mayonnaise

Sprinkle chicken with garlic and Herbes de Provence.  Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan and cook chicken about 3 minutes a side until browned on the outside and just cooked through.  Set aside.  Add shallots to the pan along with about 4 TB of water.  Stir and cook until shallots are soft and golden brown (about 5 minutes).  Add another 1 – 2 TB of water and the spinach, stirring until spinach is wilted.  Set aside.

Thinly slice chicken.

Preheat oven to 450.  Combine dijon mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl and spread on pizza crust.  Top with spinach and shallot mixture.  Top with chicken and then with cheese.  Bake at 450 about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Something(s) new

We’ve tried a few new things this week and the results have been very positive.  The chicken thighs went over very well, last night’s pork was excellent and we both loved the tilapia tonight.  Here are the updates.

Roasted pork tenderloin with brown sugar and mustard

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375.  Season pork with salt and pepper.  Combine brown sugar, mustard and thyme together.  Line a pan with aluminum foil and place sliced onions on the foil.  Put pork on top of the onions and top with about 1/2 of the brown sugar/mustard mixture.  Seal edges of foil and roast for 25 – 30 minutes.  Take temperature of pork (it should be at 130).  Top with remaining mustard mixture and broil for 1 minute.  Let rest for 5 minutes and carve.  We had this with a baked sweet potato.  Delicious!

Parmesan tilapia

  • 1 tilapia fillet per person
  • 1 TB butter (softened)
  • 2 TB Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp basil

Line a pan with foil and preheat broiler.  Combine butter, cheese, mayonnaise and basil.  Broil tilapia for 3 minutes a few inches from broiler.  Flip fillets and broil another 3 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with cheese mixture.  Broil another 2 minutes and serve with broccoli.  Excellent!

3 experiments = 3 wins!

Surf and turf

I’m getting caught up so I’ll fill you in on last night’s surf dinner (Salmon with Tzatziki sauce) and tonight’s turf – curried pork satay.  Both are easy and good for weeknights.

Salmon with Tzatziki sauce

  • 1 small container low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 TB white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cucumber, drained on paper towels
  • 1 small salmon fillet per person, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Mix yogurt, basil, vinegar and garlic in a food processor.  Stir in cucumber.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan.  Cook salmon flesh side down for about 4 minutes.  Turn and cook skin side down for about another 4 minutes.  (I find covering the pan helps it to cook correctly and reduces spattering on the stove.)  Serve with the sauce.  (I also added some steamed broccoli and a little bit of cous cous.)

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Curried Pork Satay

  • 1 boneless pork chop cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 2 tsps curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine olive oil, soy sauce, red wine, sugar, curry powder and red pepper flakes and whisk together.  Marinate pork for 2-4 hours and then skewer and grill.  Boil remaining marinade and baste with marinade while cooking.  (They cook quickly about 2 – 3 minutes per side.)  We had it with roasted cauliflower and rice.

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Birthday night

Our daughter turned 6 today.  My husband is at a conference so she and I had dinner out.  I had a seafood Cobb salad and she had chicken tenders and fries.  I still feel compelled to provide a recipe so I give you (I admit that this is recycled from about a year ago but we have some new followers and it is still good):

Chicken with lime

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast per person or extra for leftovers
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB white wine
  • 1 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lime cut in wedges
Preheat oven to 350.  Put chicken in a ceramic baking dish with olive oil, lemon juice and white wine.  Mix to combine.  Top with rosemary, paprika and pepper.  Bake about 35 – 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 150.  Serve with lime wedges.  Squeeze fresh lime juice onto chicken and eat.
Steamed broccoli 
  • 1 head broccoli, stems cut off
Place a steamer insert into a pot of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add broccoli and steam 3 – 5 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.  If you want to be extra healthy, top with freshly squeezed lemon juice.  If you want to indulge a little, top with grated Parmesan cheese.  If you want to indulge even more, top with melted butter and lemon juice.  If you are trying to gain weight (not something I’ve ever needed to do!), get some Hollandaise sauce and go crazy.  🙂

While I was out…

Just because I had book club did not mean that my husband would starve.  I fixed my quick tilapia and oven roasted asparagus for him while I was whipping up my appetizers.  This is one of those great quick weeknight dinners and tilapia is an inexpensive fish!

Tilapia with butter caper sauce

  • 1 tilapia fillet per person
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 tsp capers

Combine flour and paprika.  Dredge tilapia in flour mixture.  In a heavy pan melt olive oil with 1 tsp butter.  Cook fish about 4 minutes a side.  Meanwhile, melt remaining butter with capers.  When fish is done, pour melted butter caper mixture over fish.

I served it with asparagus that I tossed with olive oil and roasted at 400 for about 6 – 7 minutes.  I added a little bit of Parmesan cheese.

Hard to beat easy, healthy and inexpensive!

This is one of my favorite go to recipes for a weeknight.  Tilapia is inexpensive and healthy and this takes minutes to fix.  When my daughter was younger she loved it.  She has lost her taste for it and I can’t wait for her to get it back.  She had SpongeBob Mac and Cheese which is not particularly healthy but you choose your battles.

Tilapia with Butter Caper Sauce

Per Serving

  • 1 Tilapia filet
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp capers
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Combine flour with salt, pepper and paprika and dredge tilapia filets in flour.  Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium heat and swirl in olive oil.  Brown tilapia 3 – 4 minutes per side.  While cooking fish, in a small sauce pan, melt butter with capers.  When fish is cooked, spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli, 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Grate parmesan cheese over broccoli and serve.  You can use lemon juice instead of cheese to reduce the calories.