Monday, June 21, 2010

fresh is best!

Today for lunch, I had a Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe.  After reading the ingredient list and seeing the finished product, I was skeptical that this would be anything but bland.  I tasted a few bites last night, and my suspicions were confirmed.  Betty, what were you thinking?
Basically, veggies, rice, and chicken in a dish, baked.  The only other ingredients were chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  So really, there wasn't much flavor.  To avoid hating my lunch and buying something unhealthy at work, I poured some teriyaki marinade over the whole thing.  It was, with the marinade, still just average.  The only way I can see to make this better is some sort of flavored or exciting chicken - the recipe just calls for "cut-up cooked chicken," so I guess you could use any sort of spice/herbs on it.

On to today's meals.  For dinner, I made Fresh Tomato and Garlic Penne.  First, I diced up fresh garlic, which is something I do quite regularly.  However, after a conversation with some friends this weekend, I learned that you are supposed to use your big knife and rock it back and forth to chop garlic - I had been using my small knife.  I don't think I got the rocking motion down really, and I'm still not sure I have it figured out, but the garlic was chopped, so no harm was done:
Don't you love my cutting board?  I got it as a gift for winning a game at a friend's wedding shower years ago, and I smile every time I use it!  Anyway, onto the recipe.  I was very impressed with this sauce!  I don't think I ever realized how delicious diced tomatoes with garlic and basil could be!  It tasted so fresh and delicious!  I added in some artichokes, black olives, and zucchini I had extra from another recipe, since I wanted to eat more veggies.  I am definitely excited about using this as my go-to pasta sauce in the future (assuming I have fresh Roma tomatoes and time to make my own sauce).
I have to say, making this sauce I felt a little bit like Teresa from The Real Housewives of New Jersey making red sauce with her family.  Yum! I'm definitely learning that fresh ingredients make the best food - hence the title of today's post!

I also made lunch for tomorrow - Antipasto Chicken.  I am really excited to eat this.  I actually made it before dinner, and I was so tempted to gobble it up right away!  The chicken looks delicious, as do the fresh vegetables.  I was pretty careful to not overcook the chicken, so I'm feeling very optimistic about it being done well.  And anything topped with feta cheese is good in my book!
Artichokes, red pepper, tomatoes, yum!  I'll let you know how it turns out.  This will be the third recipe in about a week with artichokes - good because I need to use them up before they go bad, but I'm questioning how much I like artichokes.  I am realizing that I enjoy their flavor, but not so much their texture.

Well, it's time to watch THE BACHELORETTE; but I'll be making a separate post with my thoughts on tonight's episode, and posting it tomorrow.  I'm waking up bright and early to go for a 30 minute run with M.  It's going to be hot and humid all week - but we have to push through!

1 comment:

  1. The first recipe desperately needed garlic. Garlic, garlic garlic.

    And the antipasto chicken looks delish!