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I apologize for the lack of blogging these last couple of weeks, the warm weather has been keeping me out of the kitchen!

Here is a great light version of a classic Italian recipe.  The chicken stays moist and is full of flavor, I promise you won’t miss all of the extra calories and fat.

Ingredients

– 4 (4oz) chicken breast halves

– 1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

– 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

– 1/2 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese

– 3/4 c. marinara

– cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.
Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl.  Dip the chicken in breadcrumb mixture.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken. Lightly spray a little more cooking oil on top and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.  Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon sauce over chicken and top with shredded cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. (Total baking time should be 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken) Let chicken rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with a big salad or pasta for a complete meal.

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Lentil Soup

I loved making this easy lentil soup.  It’s completely healthy, hearty, and delicious!  Even better is the fact that it made a huge batch so I froze half for later.

The only substitution I made from the original recipe was replacing 4 cups of water with 4 cups of beef broth.

Next time I am going to double the amount of vegetables and reduce the amount of lentils (for my own preferences)… either way, this recipe is worth keeping!


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 8 cups water ( I used 4 cups beef broth and 4 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

You can find the original recipe on allrecipes.com by clicking, here.

I love the classic flavor of this pasta dish.  Not only is it simple, but you can easily tailor the recipe without compromising the taste.  Have leftover vegetables that you want to get rid of? Throw them in.  Do you need to eat meat in order to consider it dinner?  Add some diced chicken breast.

What you need:

8 oz.  pasta (I used whole wheat penne); 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

2 Tbsp. Pine nuts

12 dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes; 1 cup vegetable broth; 1 Tbsp. olive oil; 1/4 Tsp. crushed red pepper (I doubled up to 1/2 Tsp.); 1 clove minced garlic; 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

P.S. You can click on any photos on the site to enlarge

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving broth, and coarsely chop.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook 9 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  3. Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.
  4. Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic 1 minute, until tender. Mix in the spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserved broth, and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking 2 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Serve with Parmesan cheese

The original recipe can be found on allrecipes.com, click here.

These are a-maz-ing.  I’ve been holding onto this recipe for quite sometime and man, oh man, am I happy that I finally got around to making these granola bars!

They’re crunchy, not too sweet and have the perfect amount of cardamom flavor…. perfect for snacking.

After reading the reviews I took some suggestions from others and cut the brown sugar down to 1/4 c. and the butter down to 4 tbs.  I also substituted the raisins for dried cranberries, and the walnuts for a mixture of pecans and almonds.

Here’s what you need:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup nuts (your choice) & 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, 4 tbs. butter, & 3 tbs. honey

Mix and bake to get this deliciousness:

Directions

Preheat oven to 350’F.

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, extending the foil over the sides.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine oats, raisins/cranberries, nuts & cardamom in large bowl.

Heat butter, brown sugar, & honey in sauce pan until boiling.

Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix until well coated. Transfer to prepared pan and press in evenly with spatula.

Bake 30 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Cool on rack, when completely cool (it’s hard to wait, I know) lift granola out of pan and cut into 18 bars. *

*Note: My granola did not did not cut into perfect bars but I was able to break it into large chunks.  I have a feeling this may be because I skipped out on some of the sugar and butter but I still recommend doing so, it’s worth leaving out the extra because it turned out perfect!!

Find the original recipe on allrecipes.com, here.

February Recipes

Top: Mini Baked Omelet Cups; White Chili; Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Bottom: Turkey Sausage, Kale, & White Bean Soup; Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins; Sugar Cookie Icing

Welcome

Welcome to The Recipe Box’s new home.  I moved from my old blog (http://rachelsrecipebox.blogspot.com/), at blogspot, for a cleaner look and more blogging options.  I have transferred my most recent posts but you can find all of the old recipes (and new recipes) categorized in the “recipe” tab.

I love to hear your comments, especially if you try any of the recipes!!

-Rachel

A few weekends ago Tony and I had our hearts set on a big breakfast of pancakes, home fries, and bacon…but then I ran across a recipe for Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins on Joy the Baker’s blog. What? Too good to be true? We thought so, and had to make them right away!

The muffins were a moist, sweet bread good enough to eat alone. Once you add the maple syrup glaze, you’re talking a whole different kind of good! The recipe mentions that you can add any other ingredients that you would typically put in pancakes. Next time: blueberries!


A perfect breakfast for a snowy morning

Empty plates and happy faces =)

Thank you, Joy the Baker! Click here to try her recipe.