Saturday, April 14, 2012


Alright everybody.  Every semester during reading days and finals, the amount of cooking and baking in our house goes up significantly. I find that it helps me to de-stress and is also a way for me to celebrate finishing a difficult semester. Two of the recipes I tried this week were winners and definite repeats to share. They are both from my cookbook, "Our Best Bites."

The first recipe was recommended to me by one of my friends Court who also has the cookbook and really loved it. I contemplated using dried herbs instead of fresh but Court talked me out of it which was a VERY smart move. The herbs added so much flavor. I also used whole wheat fettuccine (Barilla) and it was really tasty.

Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine
recipe by Our Best Bites
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons
2 T Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
1/2 lb Fettuccine (that’s just 1/2 of a normal box like in the picture)
2 medium zucchini
1 C shredded parmesan cheese (about :)
5-6 cloves garlic
Fresh Basil (about 1/2 C)
Fresh Oregano (about 1/4 C) If you don’t have fresh oregano, just add a little dried.
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Prepare grill. You could also do this on the stove top in a skillet, or a grill pan.
Place chicken in a zip-lock bag with the juice of one lemon, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and a couple tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Smoosh around and set bag aside while you get your other things ready. (If you’ve got time to spare, let the chicken marinade for 30 minutes, if you don’t, just take what you can get. I did mine for 15 min and it was great.)
Put the pot on the stove to boil water for the pasta. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, slice the zucchini in half length-wise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Press, or finely mince garlic cloves. In a small sauce pan on the stove, place 1/4 C olive oil and add garlic. Turn burner onto low-med heat. It shouldn’t be popping and frying, it should just slowly warm, infusing the oil with the garlic and removing that zing fresh garlic has.

When water boils, add pasta and a spoonfull of salt

Remove chicken from bag and salt and pepper both sides. Place chicken, and zucchini on grill.
While chicky and zuchs are grilling and pasta is boiling, chop herbs and get out cheese. Zest both lemons and juice the one that hasn’t been juiced.
See, now you’re all ready. When everything is done cookin’ you can throw it together! Keep an eye on that garlic. You DON’T want it to get brown and crispy. It should still look nice and white. Give it a stir. If it starts really cooking, just take it off the heat and set aside.
When zuch and chicken are done take them off the grill and chop ‘em up.
Reserve about 1/2 C pasta water. Drain pasta and immediately place in a big bowl. Place chopped zuch and chicken on top. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, herbs, and garlic-olive oil mixture. Just pile it all in there. Then stick your face up real close and inhale. Ahhhh, heaven.

Now take some tongs and give everything a big toss. If you feel it needs more moisture, add a little of the pasta water, or a little more olive oil. This will make 4 generous servings.

Garnish with a little more Parmesan on top and another squeeze of lemon if you have any left. Then sit back, relax, and imagine you’re sitting in some gorgeous Tuscan villa!
This next recipe I found because Jer and I were in the mood for a salad for dinner but I wanted something a little more interesting than just the normal green salad. 
BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
- Leftover Old-Fashioned BBQ Chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces, or just brush your favorite bbq sauce on some chicken  and grill it up.
- Leafy green lettuce (I like Romaine)
- Hard-boiled eggs; sliced, wedged, crumbled, chopped, whatever.
- Chopped green onions or sliced red onions
- Chopped tomatoes
- Blue cheese (if not using aforementioned dressing) or sharp cheddar cheese.
Wash and chop lettuce (if not buying pre-washed, pre-chopped lettuce). Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Arrange lettuce on large dinner plates and add a handful of BBQ chicken. Arrange remaining ingredients on top–you can either keep all the toppings separate and let dinner-eaters mix it up (or not) according to their liking, or you can just go WILD and sprinkle everything on top. Serve with dressing and enjoy!
Both of these recipes are so summery and delicious. The best part is they were easy and fairly quick! Next on the menu is a little less healthy- Banana Bread French Toast! 

1 comment:

  1. I've been eyeing that salad for quite some time now... I'm gonna have to give it a try!