Sunday, August 8, 2010

Breakfast or Dessert? Easy Yoghurt Parfait

It sounds fancy, but practically a no-brainer! There is NO cooking required.

Like many "working Moms", I found out today that I have yet to do what my husband and I call a "major grocery"--that is to shop for all important household stuff, including replenishing the freezer and pantry. Goodness!

This morning after cooking the hot meals, in my fridge I saw that I still had 1 fuji apple left, 2 bananas, and a small container of pineapple chunks. I still had 2 personal-size favored yoghurt,too. I thought then of capping our brunch with something that looks fun, fancy and yummy.

This I thought was a great idea for my first-born who just had is braces on and wanted something easy to eat.
  • 1 medium apple, sliced into squares
  • 2 bananas, sliced into small squares
  • 1 c fresh or canned pineapple chunks
  • 2 containers of yoghurt , plain or flavored (If you're on a diet, don't forget to read the label because flavored yoghurt may be hig in sugar or fat)
  • (Other fruits that you can use: kiwi, mango, melo, papaya, seedles grapes sliced in halves)

After slicing the apple and banana, put these in a small bowl with a little lemon or calamansi juice to prevent it from darkening. Drain and put on paper towel to avoid making the parfait watery.

To Assemble:

  • Get 4 wine glasses or any fancy glass
  • Divide all fruits in 4 parts, start with the apple then spoon the yogurt on top (about 2 spoonfuls). Then the bananas, top that with yoghurt,too. Then the pineapple and top with the rest of the yoghurt. Chill in the refrigerator. Sprinkle with cornflakes, granola or rice crispies (or whatever breakfast cereal you might have in your pantry) and serve immediately.
  • Remember: To spoon carefully so that you can still see the layers of fruit between the yoghurt.

TIP: If you're thinking of serving friends with this as a dessert--I suggest a color combination of fruit. So have an apple in one layer, kiwing as another layer and mango as another! Or, how about grapes, banana then melon!

Happy healthy eating!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicken Tettrazini--simple, easy but goooood!

My memory of this dish is of my late Father, Ben. He saw the recipe in a Sunday magazine and it caught his attention, because it was said to be a favorite of the late Cardinal Sin (Yes, that is actually a church leader's title and last name.) My dad told me to try it for a party he and my Mom were hosting. I was in high school, then.

It was a hit, especially in a household where the typical pasta sauce is tomato-based. This is a simple, creamy dish that pleases both the grown-ups and kids. The ingredients are easy to find and can be prepared like an everyday meal. I don't have the original recipe anymore, but I have taken the ingredients to heart since then.
  • 1 whole chicken breast with bone
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into small squares
  • 1 small pack frozen veggies (carrots/corn and peas)--really convenient
  • 1 can of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small block cheese, grated (cheddar for a sharper flavor or ordinary cheesefood for everyday cooking. It's affordable and kids like it)
  • 1 can good quality cream
  • 2 T butter or butter compound
  • 1 pack pasta, about 400 gms cooked al dente: spaghetti, linguini,penne
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

As I've said, this is really easy to do. The key is preparation. With things in place, it will turn out good everytime.

Boil chicken breast in about 2-3 cups water seasoned with salt and pepper, till cooked. Make sure that the chicken is submerged to ensure even cooking. When done, set broth aside and slice cooked chicken meat into small squares/pieces.

Prepare a deep pan and put on medium heat, add butter and saute the onions till transparent and aromatic, add the green bell peppr, then mushrooms. Continue stirring in the next 3 minutes, then add the cooked chicken and about 2 cups of broth. Should the broth not be enough, just add water. Bring to a boil.

Put the heat on low and add the frozen vegetables, cream and half of the grated cheese. I included frozen veggies for added color and nutrients. (You can blanch your own carrots and peas if you wish) Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper if needed. Immediately add the cooked pasta and turn off the heat. Toss the pasta till totally coated with the chicken-veggie-cream mix. If it appears dry, just add another half cup of broth or milk.

Transfer to a baking dish and top with the rest of the grated cheese. Sometimes, depending on the cream brand and I find the sauce runny, I put the baking dish in the microwave oven for about 3-5 minutes, let it rest a bit then serve.

This is for you Pops!