Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Healthy Dinner and a Recipe

So after all of the holiday partying and goodies it is time to stop eating out and fix dinner at home. Last night we had a STELLAR dinner! It started out with a new recipe from one of my favorite books.
I have tried close to 15 recipes in this book and have not only liked them but loved and devoured them...and loved devouring them. ;)

We made Chicken Pene Pasta Toss.
I didn't have pene so we used another pasta we had on hand. It also called for whole wheat pasta (which by the way I love) but we only had spaghetti whole wheat noodles left.
The sauce is light and delicious it is made from the juice of grape tomatoes that have burst, onion, garlic and some parmesan cheese. It has a great pepper flavor with some fresh arugula added tossed in at the end. I had it for lunch today and it was just as tasty reheated.

One trick is that instead of adding the arugula into the entire batch and tossing it together we reserved it and just put it in the portion that we were going to eat so when you reheat it you don't have slimy, soggy lettuce which is not good eats.

For dessert I made this:
My brother had the fixings for yogurt parfaits on Christmas morning and I have been craving them ever since. How can you beat layers of homemade granola, berries, and low fat vanilla yogurt.

The recipe for my Mom's famous granola

1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
6 C. oats (I use regular oats, not steal cut or quick but you can use what you like.)
1 C. coconut
1 C. wheat germ
1 C. almonds (I use a variety of nuts depending on what I have on hand. This batch also had pecans.)

Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl (if you want to add a little extra sweetness you can add some brown sugar. When I add brown sugar I put the "wet" ingredients in a sauce pan and heat it up to melt the sugar.) Then add dry ingredients. Stir altogether to coat the dry ingredients with the "wet" ingredients. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Add dried fruit after baking.

Make sure to check the granola 15 minutes in and stir if needed. I always double my recipe and it fits perfectly in one of those cereal tupperware you get at the store. When you double the recipe you will need to use two baking sheets. I bake both sheets at the same time and switch positions 15 minutes through. I then put both the pans into the big bowl that I mixed it in and stir and then put on the sheets again and bake for an addition 10-15 minutes. I have also baked the granola in the large metal bowl that I have. It takes a lot longer but it does have a little bit of a different texture.

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