Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weeknight Dinner #2

As I walked across campus from my night class in the freezing cold, shaking my fist at the air around me for being so frigid and at myself for forgetting my sweater, all I wanted was a bowl of hot deliciousness to combat the excruciating hypothermia.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating about the excruciating hypothermia, but it was very cold, and I was very grumpy...

When I got home, I realized that I just didn't have the patience to slow cook a stew for a few hours, and I certainly didn't want to spend that much time cooking when I really should be doing homework. SO: diving into my fridge I discovered a jar of tomato pasta sauce that I had used maaayybe 1/2 a cup from earlier this week.. and thought, "I should really use this."

This is the recipe that followed:

Quick, Healthy, Comfort-foody, Tomato-Stewed Chicken

You'll need:
olive oil
Garlic salt and pepper
1 onion (I used a white onion)
1 C chopped mushrooms
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (This serves two people, but you can add more chicken if you're feeding more people!)
a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
roughly 13 oz of tomato sauce from the jar (about half of the jar)
1 clove of garlic
2 TBS balsamic vinegar

Start by putting a nonstick pan onto the stove on about medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil, and while you're waiting for that to heat up, chop the onion into about 1" chunks or so. When the pan in good and hot, drop the onions in there and then salt and pepper liberally.

Then, clean and chop the mushrooms, and add them to the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft. Place this into a bowl and set aside.

Then, sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, add more olive oil to the pan, and cook the chicken on both sides until it is brown is pretty much cooked through. I cooked them on medium-high for just about five minutes per side. It will continue to cook later during the "stewing" process, so don't worry too much. Then, open up the can of diced tomatoes and drain the extra liquid. Add this to the pan along with the half jar or tomato sauce. Then, add the onions and mushrooms you set aside earlier. Salt and pepper again! No bland-ness... ick. Let this simmer for a while, until the liquid reduces down. I let is stew there for about 20 minutes. If the liquid reduces TOO much, then simply add a bit more tomato sauce or even water. At this point you want to chop up the garlic and let it stew in there as well.
While this is stewing away.... you can work on the super simple and healthy side dish!

Super Simple and Healthy Side Dish: Roasted Carrots
Any excuse I can find to use my oven (to heat up my tiny apartment) is great. I saw a similar recipe for roasted carrots like this somewhere on the Food Network, so I decided to put a little spin on it.

You'll need:
5-10 carrots (just depends on how much you wanna make)
olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried dill

Preheat the oven to 400 (horray! Warm apartment!) Peel and chop the carrots (at a diagonal) and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, dill, and lemon juice. Stir them all together so that all the carrots are all coated with the lovely flavors. Put them onto a baking sheet and place into the oven. Let them roast for about 20 minutes, but it could be more or less depending on the thickness of the carrots. When they are done roasting, they should be fork-tender and a bit browned around the edges. Yum yum

So, by the time the carrots are done roasting, your chicken should be perfectly stewed! Clever, huh? :P

Dish 'em up and enjoy! Nom nom nom.. hot healthy comfort food :]

foodie foodie!

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