Friday, November 4, 2016

Cheese Tortellini Primavera in a Light Garlic Cream Sauce

Cheese Tortellini with Fresh Vegetables in a Light Garlic Cream Sauce - A quick and easy meal that comes together in 20 minutes! 

Yes, you read that correctly. 20 minutes! 

Tortellini is a great pasta to use when you need to cut down on cooking time. Where other pasta shapes can take 8-12 minutes to cook, you will have perfect tortellini in about 5 minutes. 

As far as timing, chop your veggies and get out your other ingredients while the water is coming to a boil. Once the water boils, toss your veggies in for one minute. Blanching the veggies will cut down on your sauteeing time. Then, you make the sauce when you drop the tortellini. The sauce and tortellini will be done at the same time, and then all you need to do is toss it all together. 

This is a great Meatless Monday meal, a perfect quick weeknight dinner, and makes great leftovers (if you have any!) for lunch the next day. 

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Cheese Tortellini Primavera in a Garlic Cream Sauce

  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 each red and green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 12oz bag of frozen tortellini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Splash of white wine
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c light cream
  • A few pinches each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (like McCormick's Perfect Pinch)
  • 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once it is at a full boil, toss in the broccoli and carrots. Cook for one minute and then remove with a slotted spoon into a colander and run under cold water. Drain well. Return the water to a boil and put in the tortellini.Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the tortellini pops to the top of the water.
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan.
- Toss in the onions and garlic; saute 1 min.
- Add the broccoli, carrots, red and green pepper, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning; saute 1 min.
- Add the white wine, stir for 20 seconds before adding the broth. Bring to a gentle simmer and then add the cream and Parmesan cheese.
- Drain the tortellini and add to the veggie/sauce mixture. Toss and serve.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Buffalo Chicken BLT Wraps

Restaurant-style wrap with crispy chicken tenders tossed in buffalo sauce, cold lettuce and tomatoes, and smoky bacon. 

When you go to your neighborhood restaurants - you know, like quick, casual places, nothing too fancy, good food, and big portions - do you have a favorite thing to order, or do you always try something new? I love trying new things, but at some restaurants, I have a favorite dish and order it every time we go.

A local bar and grill has a chicken wrap on their menu that I just LOVE. It's a pretty straight-forward wrap with buffalo chicken and veggies, so I decided to recreate it at home. I added bacon though because, well, bacon!!

I fried up the chicken while the bacon was cooking, and that's pretty much all the prep that goes into this dish. 

My key to crispy chicken tenders with breading that stays put instead of sliding off the chicken when you take a bite is simple. Cornstarch. Instead of using flour as your first breading step, use cornstarch. Your breading will stick to your chicken in a thick layer and won't go anywhere when you cut it or take a bite. 

Look at how beautifully crunchy and crispy that chicken looks!

Once the chicken and bacon are cooked, you simply layer your wrap with greens, bacon, tomatoes, and the chicken tossed in buffalo sauce. Drizzle on a little ranch dressing and wrap it all up.

For a pub style meal at home, give this chicken wrap a try!

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Buffalo Chicken BLT Wrap

  • 2 lbs, Boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • A few pinches each Salt and pepper
  • 1 c Cornstarch
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 c Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp each Spices (onion powder, garlic powder)
  • 1/4 c Vegetable oil
  • 8 slices Bacon, cooked
  • 2 cups Lettuce/greens of your choice
  • 1 large Tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 c Buffalo sauce
  • 4 Tortilla wraps, large
  • 1 Tbsp (per wrap)  Ranch dressing
- Set up your breading station: put cornstarch in the first bowl, beaten eggs in second, and breadcrumbs seasoned with onion and garlic powder in a third. Place paper towels on a large plate and top with a cooling rack. - Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat - Season chicken strips with salt and pepper. Roll in the cornstarch, shake off any excess. Coat with egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs, fully coating the chicken. - Place the chicken in the pan and fry for 4 minutes until one side is golden brown. Flip and brown the other side for 4 minutes. Check the temperature - chicken should reach 170 degrees. Cook until the chicken is at the correct temperature. Transfer to the cooling rack. - Toss the chicken with buffalo sauce - Assemble the wrap by layering greens, bacon, tomatoes, chicken, and some ranch dressing. Fold in the ends and roll, tucking the ends in as you go so you end up with a nice, tight burrito shaped roll. Slice in half and serve.
Yield: 4 wraps