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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two Great Recipes

The weekend is almost here and as usual, I've been thinking about food.  I'm obsessed with what meals I'm going to prepare on weekends because I have more time to cook.  I often try new recipes or make more time consuming dishes on the weekends and we usually have a family dinner on Sundays.  However I know not everyone loves to cook like I do so I have a couple of good recipes for you. 

Flipping through my cookbook the other day, I came across a recipe I'd only made once but thought it was worth keeping.  It has few ingredients and I knew I could put it in the crockpot, making it an excellent choice for Tuesday night.  Tuesday was a very busy day and that night I had conferences at both schools and my husband was out of town.  I needed something that would be ready when we all got home.  Monday I bought all my groceries as usual and put the chicken in the crockpot at lunch on Tuesday.  That night we were treated to a wonderful meal.  The chicken just fell off the bone.  We were all tired and the clean up was minimal.  I served this dish with store bought mashed potatoes (yes, I do resort to convenience sometimes) and green peas. 

Sun-dried Tomato Chicken
4 lbs. or so of chicken pieces ( I used legs that I pulled the skin off to reduce the fat and because they are cheap.)
1 cup sun-dried tomato vinagrette with roasted red pepper
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
Arrange chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish or crockpot.  Pour vinagrette over chicken and sprinkle with pepper.  Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and basil over chicken.  Bake uncovered at 400 for 1 hour or until done if using oven.  If using crockpot, cook on high for 5 1/2 to 6 hours or low for 7.  Easy dish either way and just as good if you don't have the sun-dried tomatoes.

I can eat this next comfort-food dish for my main meal with some bread for a light supper or it makes a great side dish.  It has several of those spices I talked about last week and will make vegetarians happy.  You can easily expand this recipe to feed more people. 

Black Beans and Yellow Rice
1 5 oz. package saffron rice mix
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice (use bottled if you don't have a lime)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Cook rice according to package instructions.  Keep warm.  Combine beans, lime juice, chili powder and cumin in  a saucepan.  Heat through and stir in cilantro.  Serve over rice with a spoonful of sour cream, if desired. 

I hope everyone gets some fresh air the next two days as the weekend may be rainy and much colder where I live.  I'm taking the dog for a power walk later.  Happy, Healthy Eating!    

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