Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cajun Chicken & Rice Stuffed Peppers

Why is it that cooking healthy dinners is so much easier when you're unemployed? I think the answer to the question is obvious. In any event, I'm enjoying my unemployment while I can. One of the first things I did after being laid off was I scoured the internet for some new healthy recipes. One of my go-to websites for such recipes is myrecipes.com. I like to search for Cooking Light recipes.

Well, when I found this recipe I knew I wanted to give it a try when the hubs would be on night work. "Why?" you ask? Well that's because he's Picky Peter and doesn't like peppers. I, for one, love stuffed peppers but just haven't found a recipe I liked that was easy enough. This recipe turned out to be just the ticket.

I made a few modifications based on ingredients I typically have on hand and I couldn't have asked for a more delicious dinner tonight. I highly recommend this dish. I'll definitely be making it again, and again and suggest you try it soon!

adapted from
Cooking Light

2 portion sized chicken breasts, or 1 large chicken breast, diced
2 green peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and membranes discarded
1 1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
2 tsp EVOO, divided
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup minute rice
2 pinches of salt


1. Place pepper halves in a shallow dish. Cover with saran wrap and microwave 4-5 minutes. Remove from microwave and drain off liquid.

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in skillet. Add chicken and season with cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

3. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic. Saute 1 minute.

4. Add chicken broth, rice and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes. (This is a good time to get your dishes done)

5. Return chicken to skillet and continue cooking until rice is done and broth is absorbed, about another 3 minutes.

6. Divide chicken and rice filling and stuff pepper halves equally.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sausage, Pepper & Onion Sandwiches

One meal I like but tend not to make often is sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches. I don't know why I don't make it more often (honestly, I just don't cook that often anymore). Anyway, I used to make it by just browning the sausage, doing a quick saute of the peppers and onions, adding beef broth, seasoning with salt and pepper, and simmering away until the onions and peppers were cooked to my liking. I always knew it was sort of bland, so one day I was reading the cooking board and realized there were actual recipes people use to make these sandwiches.

I bookmarked
this recipe and it's been saved in my email ever since November. That's not half as long as I usually save recipes before trying them, so I guess that's an improvement.

This recipe, with a few modifications, was actually really great, not bland in the least! I'm happy to have found this recipe and will definitely be making it again in the future, and probably more often than usual :)

Source: adapted from Food Network

1 package sweet Italian sausage
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large green bell pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
3 large garlic cloves, minced
about 1/4 cup chicken broth
about 1/4 cup cooking sherry
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
3 6-inch italian rolls
1. Remove casing from sausage and cut into 3 inch links. Cut links in half and flatten so both sides will cook evenly (I'm weird about making sure my sausage is thoroughly cooked and not pink in the middle and this has been my solution to ensuring that doesn't happen). Cook in skillet until browned on both sides (about 8-10 minutes). Remove sausage from pan and set aside.

2. Add EVOO and onions. Saute about 10 minutes, stirring, until golden.

3. Add tomato paste and cook about 1 minute.

4. Add peppers, chicken broth and sherry. Season with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes until peppers are softened.

5. Return sausage to pan and cook until peppers are cooked to your liking (I don't like a lot of crunch to my peppers so I tend to cook them longer).

6. Stir in balsamic vinegar and add just a few more splashes of chicken broth to take the edge off of the vinegar.

7. Serve in fresh italian rolls and top with cheese if you like.