Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2017:
* Use the Spiralizer at least once per week for healthy veggie-rich meals
* Continue to spin from the Wheel of Meals for recipe inspiration

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Sauced Pasta



The Wheel of Meals landed on Slow Cooker

I made this recipe based on a photo in the cookbook.  It was good, but there are non-crockpot steps to the recipe (like cooking the pasta and the broccoli separately).   I served it in a bowl because of the super delicious broth in the slow cooker which you can't really see in the photo.   I just wanted to slurp that all up.


Chicken and Broccoli Sauce
Recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution
Makes enough to sauce 1 pound of pasta

Ingredients:
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme  (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca
1&1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
12 ounces broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces (4&1/2 cups)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
cooked pasta of your choice

Directions:
Microwave onion, 1/4 cup tomatoes, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to slow cooker.

Stir broth, wine, and tapioca into the slow cooker.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker.  Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred into bite-sized pieces and return to slow cooker.

Microwave broccoli with remaining tablespoon oil in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add to the sauce.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 cup tomatoes.   Before serving, season with salt and pepper.   Serve over pasta.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Braised Lentils


The Wheel of Meals landed on New to You

Surprisingly, I've never cooked lentils, but this little legume has been my list to try for awhile.  This dish was tasty, healthy, and very filling.  The lentils soaked up the flavor of the chard stems and braising liquid, and a little squirt of lemon brought the dish together.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Braised Lentils
Recipe from America's Test Kitchen: Best-Ever Cooking For Two
Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces Swiss Chard, stems chopped and leaves cut into small pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
2  (6-8oz) skinless salmon fillets, 1&1/2" thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
lemon wedges

Directions:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chard stems and onion and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in 1&3/4 cups of broth, lentils, and lemon juice, and bring to simmer.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and cover to keep warm.

Wipe skillet clean.  Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Place salmon in skillet and cook until browned on first side, about 5 minutes.  Gently flip fillets and continue to cook 3-5 minutes until fish registers 125º for medium-rare.  Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Wipe skillet clean again and return to medium-high heat.  Add cooked lentil mixture and remaining 1/4 cup broth and bring to a simmer.  Stir in chard leaves and remaining 1 tablespoon butter and cook, stirring constantly, until chard is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve with salmon and lemon wedges.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers


These were tasty, but I would recommend browning the sausage before stuffing them in the peppers because the meat still seemed a little pink when the peppers were done.  Other than that, they had good flavor and it was a filling meal when paired with a salad.

Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
Recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 slice white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1/4 cup milk
12 oz Italian sausage, removed from its casing
1 small zucchini, chopped into 1/4" pieces
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Directions:
Microwave onion, garlic, oil, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Cut top 1/2 inch off each pepper.  Chop pepper tops finely, discarding stems.  Remove core and seeds from peppers.

Mash bread and milk together in a large bowl using a fork. Mix in the onion mixture, chopped pepper tops, sausage, zucchini, cheeses, cooked rice, 1 teapoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Pack filling evenly into peppers.

Pour 1/3 cup water into slow cooker.  Place stuffed peppers upright in slow cooker.  Cover and cook until peppers are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

Using tongs and slotted spoon, transfer peppers to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with basil and additional cheese if desired.