Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chicken and Chickpea Couscous

I was skeptical to try this recipe mainly because it is a South beach diet recipe, so I wasn't sure it would have much taste, and because Bill already didn't think couscous had much taste. But we like chickpeas, and I like couscous, so I thought I would give it a try. This recipe says that it serves 4 but since we have it as a main dish usually with a salad, I would say it serves more like two, so the second time I made it I added more couscous and broth to make it stretch further.

Chicken and Chickpea Couscous
From: South Beach Diet cookbook
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup couscous
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
Salt & Pepper
Note: For an even healthier meal use low sodium chicken broth and whole-wheat couscous.

1. Drain and rinse chickpeas (rinse in strainer until bubbles disappear).

2. Cut uncooked Chicken into small cubes. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat (I actually used a large skillet and this worked just fine). Add chicken

4. Cook Chicken until no longer pink inside and lightly browned (about 6 min.)

5. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

6. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, cumin, and cinnamon to the same pan. Cook until onions are softened and lightly browned (about 3 min)

7. Add broth and bring to a simmer.

8. Stir in Couscous, chickpeas, and a good pinch of salt and pepper

9. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 minute

10. Return Chicken to pan with Couscous. Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper
(see you can see how we could use more couscous, sure is a lot of chicken and chickpeas!)

Serve... and enjoy

The finished product! mmmmmmmm! (Don't mind the stray couscous on the side of the bowl)

Creamy Veggie Vermicelli

(I got this recipe from All Recipes - also see it here)

We really like this recipe, and we usually use broccoli & asparagus, but you could use any veggies... peas, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, etc. Some chicken would also be delicious (maybe I will try that next time).

Creamy Veggie Vermincelli
From: All Recipes

2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1 inch pieces)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
8 oz uncooked Vermicelli (we actually use bowtie sometimes)
6 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs grated lemon peel

1. In a large skillet, saute the broccoli and asparagus in butter for 8-10 min or until tender crisp.

2. Meanwhile, cook vermicelli according to package directions

3. In a large saucepan, cook and stir the cream cheese and milk over medium heat until smooth.

4. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes longer or until blended. Remove from the heat.

5. stir lemon peel into the vegetables. Drain vermicelli; place in a large serving bowl. Add vegetables and cheese sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4-6 servings

*** Notes: I suggest using a wide bowl and not a deep bowl... easier to coat. ***
Since I am switching to this new blog for recipes I am going to move all of my recipes from my other blog over to this one, so if you see one that you already read, don't worry, I will try to intersperse new recipes in with the other ones.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hearts of Palm Risotto

So lately I have found that I have a weakness for Risotto. I found a recipe for Asparagus risotto that I posted on my other blog, and will soon move over here, but ever since trying that, I feel like I can't get enough. It is usually pretty rich, so if I eat to much I get a tummy ache, but sometimes it is worth it. Originally I thought that making risotto would be hard, it is a little time consuming, but not difficult, so don't let it scare you!

If you have never had Hearts of Palm before, this recipe might not sound that good, but definitely get yourself out and try hearts of palm sometime. I was introduced to them through the salad bars of many Brazilian restaurants in Chicago.

Note: The recipe is in grams and ml so I tried to convert them as best as possible.

Hearts of Palm Risotto

From: Technicolor Kitchen
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20-25 min

1 tablespoon cold butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
140g Arborio rice (a little more than ¾ cup)
60ml dry white wine (aprox. ¼ cup)
700ml vegetable stock (approximately 3 cups)
2-3 hearts of palm, sliced
20g Parmesan cheese, grated (approx. ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cold butter
salt and pepper

1. Bring Stock to a boil in a medium Saucepan.

2. Separately, in a large pan, heat olive oil and butter over high heat. Add the Onion and cook until it's transparent.

3. Pour in the rice and stir for 1 minute; add the wine and stir until it's absorbed.

4. Add the stock - 1 ladleful at a time - and stir constantly until it's absorbed. Repeat this step until the rice is al dente (20 mins or so).

5. One minute before it's ready add the hearts of palm and mix well (I used almost a whole can of sliced HoP and sliced them even a little smaller, the rest I used on a salad).

6. Remove from heat, add butter, and cheese and mix well. (I used real Parmesan Cheese and it was definitely worth it, although I saved some time and bought some that was already grated. Also, I used a little more than 1/4 of a cup because I LOVE Cheese).

7. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.

8. Serve immediately, garnish with parsley if desired (I didn't use fresh... shame on me!), and Enjoy!

Friday, May 16, 2008


A couple weeks ago I decided to organize some of the recipes I had, which is also around the time I decided I wanted to do a food blog. I have many cook books including ones made up of my favorite recipes from my mom and one from friends and family.

But I didn't have anywhere to put the new ones I was finding, so I bought a cool binder and organized them in there.
It really works out because I can just take them out and clip them to the hood of our oven while cooking so I don't get food all over them or take up extra space.

Now that I have everything all organized it should make this blog quite easy!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Welcome to my new blog Dutch Oven. I'm not a professional (yet!), I just wanted to have a place to organize my recipes and thoughts about cooking. Since I'm not a professional I would love to hear any advice or tips along the way.


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