Monday, June 08, 2009

Dinners that Lillian ate

I've had two successes and one incredible flop in the dinner department. The flop was a falafel adaptation. After I finished frying the little croquettes, I gave one to Tyler to see if he would like it. He scrunched up his face, shook his head from side to side, then opened and closed his mouth like, 10 times. We ended up cooking a frozen pizza.

The two other dinners, while not quite the Most Delicious Food Ever, were easy to make and healthy(er). And, Lillian ate both, which never happens. (Amy noted that she ate a cupcake just fine, along with soda and cookies. Somehow, however, I can't bring myself to serve these things for dinner.)

Cumin Chicken with Black Beans

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 t ground cumin
2 T olive oil
1/2 c chopped red onion
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c frozen corn, thawed
1 1/4 c cherry tomato halves
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 T chopped cilantro (I used parsley because cilantro is the devil's herb)
2 t red wine vinegar

Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound with a mallet to 1/2-in thickness. Rub cumin over chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken for 4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board. Return the skillet with pan drippings to medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, and 3 T water and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes until ingredients are just heated through. Remove from heat and toss with the scallions, cilantro, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice chicken and arrange on top of beans.

Serves 4.

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

12 oz multigrain elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower
4 slices bread, dried on the windowsill overnight (I used left over garlic bread)
1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 c grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 1/2 c reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 c milk
1 T dijon mustard

-Heat oven to 400. Cook the pasta, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain.

-Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 T of the oil, and 1/4 t each salt and pepper and pulse to combine; set aside.

-Return pot to medium heat and add the remaining T oil. Add the onion, 3/4 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5-7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard.

-Transfer to a 13X9 baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

Serves 6.

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