Sunday, April 1, 2012

A delicious Mediterranean Dinner and some super yummy cookie dough balls!

Hello there!

I tried two new recipes last night and they were both very good! The first one was a little bit time consuming. I'm glad Dave was home to help me with it. I could have made it alone but it went quicker with his help.

I changed the recipe a bit . . . mainly because I didn't have two of the correct ingredients but it actually was really good and really flavorful anyway!

The first recipe is a Mediterranean Chicken Spinach and Rice Bake. Here is where the original recipe came from:

*Note: Use the biggest baking dish you have! I think I used a 13x9 and that was too small. I had to skimp on some of the ingredients to make it all fit.

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. You'll need 2 pounds of frozen spinach. Let it partly thaw and then lay 1 pound of it on the bottom of a greased baking pan.

The recipe called for 2-3 plum tomatoes but my Kroger was out of plum tomatoes so I bought cherry instead. It said to de-seed them . . . which is a lot more tedious to do to about 30 little cherry tomatoes then to 2-3 big plum tomatoes! But I didn't mind. I find that kind of thing a little therapeutic.

The recipe also called for 2-3 tomatillos . . . again, my Kroger was out of them so I just used 3 Green Tomatoes. I got online and searched the difference between the two and I didn't really find an answer about the difference between their taste. All I learned was that the taste of the two are very different from each other. I have no idea what the dish would have tasted like if I used tomatillos but I know I loved the green tomatoes! They were sweet and so good!

Layer half the spinach, half the green tomatoes, half the cherry tomatoes, half the garlic (the recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic which is equal to 6 teaspoons of garlic. So at this point you spread 3 teaspoons of it on this layer), and sprinkle on some sea salt and lemon pepper seasoning.

Spread 2 or 3 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese and 2 oz of crumbled goat cheese across the vegetables. Then scatter the chopped up grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 of them) over the cheese.

Then spread 2 cups of cooked brown rice on top. I use the Minute rice that comes in two 1 cup servings that you just pop in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. You can kind of see the mushrooms in this pic too. I forgot to take a picture before I poured the rice on top. Saute 2 large portebello mushrooms (sliced) in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and a about a table spoon or two of balsamic vinegar until tender.

Next your supposed to layer the other half of the spinach, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, and lemon pepper seasoning again. I wasn't able to use the full amount of vegetables because it was already overflowing out of the pan! Then sprinkle with the remaining 2-3 oz of mozzarella cheese and 2 oz of goat cheese and bake in the oven for 25 - 35 minutes.

The final product! It was SO good! I'm excited to have the leftovers tomorrow! The original recipe said it made 6 servings, which it did but since we had to leave out a decent amount of the second layer of veggies I think it would have probably made 7 or 8 servings if I used a bigger pan and was able to use the full amount of everything. This a good meal to make for a get-together.

. . . you thought this post was done! Oh no! There is still dessert! Mmmmmm! Raw Cookie Dough Bites. These pictures might be kind of odd. Half of the pics are in the Magic Bullet and the other half are in a bowl. I didn't think my Magic Bullet would be able to hold all of the ingredients so I divided the recipe into two batches. So some pictures are from the first batch and some the second.

First, process 2/3 cup raw almonds, 2/3 cup raw walnuts and 2/3 cup oats into a fine meal.

Than add a dash (about a 1/4 of a teaspoon) of cinnamon, and a dash (about an 1/8th of a teaspoon) to the fine meal and and just pulse a few times to mix it in or just use a spoon to mix it in good.

Then add a 1/4 cup raw agave nectar and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. I used my vanilla from Haiti again :) Pulse a few times (or use a spoon) to mix the wet and dry ingredients.

Add in 3 tablespoons of mini dark chocolate chips. Of course you can use more than that if you want! Hee hee!

Mmmmmm! So good! now roll the "dough" into balls. Place in the freezer to harden. Keep them stored in the freezer.

These things are seriously so good! I think they taste exactly like Samoas! You know what I'm talking about? The Girl Scout cookie with chocolate, coconut, and caramel. They don't have caramel or coconut in them but somehow they taste exactly like Samoas to me! They are awesome! And I really don't feel guilty about eating them!

Here's where the original recipe came from:

Hope you enjoy the recipes! :)

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