Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weeknight Fare: Smoked Paprika Chicken with Egg Noodles, Orange-Cranberry Spinach Salad with Glazed Pecans, Peanut Butter Browines

So working the night shift has presented a fun new problem: what to cook that will still be good to eat once my husband gets home. I made spaghetti one night and then tried to be a little more creative for the next go. This recipe is really quick and easy, and if you use light sour cream, is pretty healthy. Be sure to use smoked paprika, not the regular sweet kind. It makes a world of difference in the flavor. Also, for my husband who loves spice, I added a few pinches of cayenne which was really good.

Smoked Paprika Chicken with Egg Noodles (From Rachael Ray Book of 10)
Salt and Pepper
8 oz extra wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2-1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 pinches cayenne (if desired)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Boil egg noodles in salted water until tender (about 6 minutes). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then the chicken, lightly brown the meat on all sides for 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Season the chicken mixture with smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne, then stir in the chicken stock and reduce heat to low. Stir in the sour cream and drained egg noodles and let mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Garnish with an additional sprinkle and paprika and parsley before serving.

Orange-Cranberry Spinach Salad with Glazed Pecans (from Me!)

Fresh Spinach
Dried Cranberries
Mandarin Oranges, drained
Glazed Pecans (I use Diamond Brand Glazed Pecans)
Raspberry Viniagrette (I use Newman's Own Raspberry Walnut Vinagrette)

Sprinkle spinach (or mixed greens would be great as well) with the toppings as desired. It would also be good with a balsamic viniagrette. You can add additional fruit if desired (apples and grapes would be good).
This is a fabulous combination of flavors that I love and I also add protein to it to make it a meal (deli turkey or diced grilled chicken.) Really good to carry to work for a light lunch!!

Baking fun for the week: peanut butter + cream cheese + brownies=need I say more? ;)

Peanut Butter Brownies (From Taste of Home Fall Baking Cookbook)

3 eggs
1 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to the egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside 1 cup of mixture for topping, then spread remaining batter into a greased 13x9 inch baking pan. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and milk on low just until combined. Carefully spread over batter. Drop reserved chocolate batter by tablespoonfuls over filling. Cut through the batter with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack. Chill until serving.

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