Thursday, August 16, 2007

And I Am Back!

M & I went to Disneyworld last week so I have not been cooking at all. Let me tell you, Florida in August during a major heat wave is so not a good idea. BUT, I did get to ride the teacups & see Endeavor Launch.

The week before we left was an attempt to use all food items in the house, so nothing really worth posting, as we ate out quite a bit too. But now we are back in action. Of course, that bad 4 letter word is back... The Diet. We didnt follow it on vacation, but I am pretty sure the 10+ hours in 110 heat & walking all day counteracted the chicken fingers we ate. But it was nice to be away from it, it gave me a fresh start to this week of cooking & all new ideas.

Last night was a nice evening at home. We had Tuscan Soup with Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Herbs & Ginger & some leftover wild rice.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Herbs & Ginger Courtesy of Food Network
Tuscan Soup Courtesy of Food Network
Wild Rice- Thanks Uncle Ben!

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Herbs & Ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, like soy or peanut
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
about 6 ounces each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons packed fresh mint leaves, torn

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place them skin side down in the pan. Cook, turning once, until firm to the touch, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate.
Add the lime juice to the skillet, and scrape up any browned bits that cling to the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken broth and ginger, and bring to a boil. Off the heat, add the basil and mint to the pan and swirl the pan to combine.

Divide the chicken between the 2 plates and spoon the herb sauce over the chicken. Serve.

***Notes*** I used a grill pan b/c I like the lines it makes on the chicken :-), but by doing this, I didnt have much "sauce" to cook the herbs & ginger in, so I added some more chicken broth. My chicken wasn't completely cooked through, so I put the chicken back in the grill pan, added some more lime juice & covered it up for about 7 mins on low heat to allow the juice to cook in & finish cooking the chicken.

Tuscan Soup
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.
Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired

**Notes** I added mushrooms b/c I had a package opened. Thats the only change I made. I have no idea why I thought making soup when it was 112 outside was a good idea. But it sure was tasty!!!

These was all very tasty, I like the sweetness of the cooked ginger with the tangy-ness of th elime juice.

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