Recipes Galore!

I'm way overdue for a recipe post, or any post for that matter! I've tried quite a few recipes in the past couple of months. I've been experimenting with baking a little even though it's not one of my strong points, however I don't wanna toot my own horn but I think my attempts have been pretty succesful. :)

Here are 3 of my fave recipes for you to take a stab at....

Braised Smoked Paprika Chicken
I came upon this first one looking for something new to make for my boyfriend. Not that he doesn't love all the Cuban food but I wanted to change it up a little. This is an old Hungarian recipe only I switched the sweet paprika for smoked and added the mushrooms to the mix. The paprika thing was actually by mistake (oopsy), but it turned out really well! ;)

  • 3 -3 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (you can use thighs and legs too)
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups onions, diced
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill or chives, for garnish
1. Pat the chicken dry and season with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large casserole pot or Dutch oven over Medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle them with sugar. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and light brown.

3. Stir in bell peppers, mushrooms, tomato paste, paprika, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and stir everything well. Add the marjoram and chicken broth. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over medium-low heat for about 50 minutes.

4. While the chicken is cooking, whisk the sour cream, flour, and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
5. When the chicken is tender, remove it to a plate. Stir the sour cream mixture into the sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens a little. Reduce the heat to low and return the chicken to the sauce to reheat for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the garnish on top.

Goes great with white rice. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup
I've made plenty of butternut squash soup recipes in my cooking days, but this one is by far my favorite. It really celebrates the veggie's buttery sweetness and makes eating healthy a walk in the park.

  • 1 1/2 lbs or 1 medium butternut squash (I was very excited to use one from my very own garden)
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (Love Love LOVE cumin!!)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups of veggie broth
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. Peel and cut the squash into medium-sized pieces. Drizzle 1 tsp of canola oil on a baking sheet and place the pieces on top. Put the squash in the oven for 45 min to 1 hour, until squash is tender.

3. Heat the other tsp of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and carrots and stir well. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring frequently, until soft. Add in the squash, cumin, and ground cloves. Add the broth, stir, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender.

4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a drizzle of yogurt.
A delicious and healthy low-calorie meal!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
I made this for my mom's birthday last month because I didn't just want to buy her a cake and I know how obsessed she is with pineapples. Needless to say, it was a big hit!! And soooo easy!

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices in juice, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 (6oz) jar of maraschino cherries, without stems, drained
  • 1 small can of crushed pineapple
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Supermoist yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cup water/pineapple juice mixture
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil

1. Heat oven to 350° F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place the butter in the baking pan and put the pan in the oven until the butter melts. Take the pan out of the oven and pour the cup of brown sugar over it, spreading it evenly.

2. Place the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar in the pattern that you'd like. Then place the cherries where you'd like them. Use the reserved pineapple juice to make 1 1/4 cup of liquid (add water if there's not enough juice).

3. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, oil, 3 eggs and the pineapple juice mixture. Add the small can of crushed pineapple to the batter and stir in well.

4. Pour the batter into the pan over the pineapple slices and cherries. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 mins. It's done when you stick a toothpick or knife in the middle and it comes out clean.

5. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife along the edge of the pan to separate the cake. Place a large heatproof dish over the pan and quickly turn the pan upside down onto the dish and voila!
Serve it warm or cool or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
Mmmm mmmm!

Hope you enjoy all these recipes. There'll be more to come soon but these'll keep you busy for now. ;)

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