Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chicken & Black Bean Tostadas

I soaked my Rancho Gordo Midnight black beans for about 6 hours today and just put them on to simmer for about 3 hours. I also put some chicken breasts in the crock pot with some salsa, chicken broth, oregano, & cumin. My house smells good! Everything should be ready by 6:30. I'm making tostadas with the chicken & salsa. Need to work on a better way to get pictures on here so that they are bigger! Will post recipes & pics later on.

I haven't gone running in 10 days. Ugh. I just haven't been able to get myself motivated. My clothes/shoes are laid out, so maybe I can muster enough energy to at least walk the dogs and run 2 miles tonight before dinner. My next half marathon is in 12 days. I'm so excited to meet Zoe in person! We've been online buddies for over 3 years; she lives in England. Her and her husband are coming out to run the US Half Marathon with us. Both Corey & I have come to just love Zoe & her husband Dave. We're going to have fun. But I'm not sure that any of us are quite ready to run the entire 13.1 miles. Well, actually, I just ran the Nike Womens Half 10 days ago (last time I ran! lol) so I'm sure I could run it, but everyone else is planning on doing lots of walking, so walk I will. I hope to get at least 6 miles of running in that day. We'll see!

Ok, well, I am getting tired of just posting recipes, so I wanted to do an actual blog entry for once. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stuffed Pork Chops & Butternut Squash

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch kale leaves, stems & ribs removed, chopped fine (use whatever greens you want)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 slices ham (I used rosemary ham from Trader Joes)
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 4 thick-cut pork chops for stuffing


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add kale (or spinach, swiss chard, etc) , 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the Italian seasoning; cook, stirring, just until kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place the pork chops on a flat work surface; cut a slit horizontally to the bone so chop can be opened like a book. Stuff each chop with 1/4 of the kale mixture, the ham, & the shredded cheese. Secure chops with toothpicks.

To cook and serve:

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet. Add chops; cook 2 minutes per side or until browned. Place chops in single layer in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bake the chops in the oven for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer when inserted in the pork. Remove chops to a platter; cover with foil. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes in warm place before serving.

Serve over a bed of butternut squash. I just sauteed Trader Joes frozen squash with olive oil until it was hot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dragon Bean Pasta Fagioli w/Cheesy Garlic Bread

*adapted from The FoodNetwork Magazine, but I made a few changes of my own*

Active time: 45 min/Total: 2 hr 25 min/Serves: 4-6 (I served 4 and theres a ton leftover)


5 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1/4 t red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 t finely chopped fresh rosemary (from my yard! ;)

1 2-oz piece pancetta (optional, but I recommend it!)

5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

1/2 t oregano

Fleur de Sel

3 lbs fresh dragon/cranberry beans, in pods, shelled (or 1 c dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight. I used fresh dragon beans)

2 bay leaves

1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 c grated parmesan, and more for topping

2 c small shell pasta

1 bunch kale, stems & ribs discarded, leaves chopped

1/4 c roughly chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this cuz I didn't have any)

Freshly ground pepper


1. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and pancetta, if using, and cook 2 mins. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with oregano & salt. Add the beans, 3 quarts water (if you can use chicken or veg stock, I say go for it), the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 mins to 2 hours. (Mine took a full 2 hours)

2. Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 mins. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 or 6 mins. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary. I didn't need it)

3. Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta, if used. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan. Check seasonings. I added more salt.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Halve a loaf of Italian bread lengthwise, then crosswise. Mix 3 T olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 t dried oregano; brush on the cut sides of the bread and toast 10 mins at 400. Mix 2 T grated parmesan and 1 cup each shredded asiago & cheddar; sprinkle on the bread and bake until melted, about 15 more minutes.