Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jackson has arrived!

I am sorry that it has been so long since I have been on my blog. We delivered a happy and healthy baby boy in early March and I have been very busy adjusting to our new life. We are enjoying every moment of this new chapter. I promise I will get back to posting delicious and healthy recipes soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

General Tsao Chicken Thighs

As I near my due date, I find myself way too exhausted to really cook a lot of from scratch meals. I've been focusing on cooking quick, but still healthy, meals. This chicken recipe was very simple and didn't require a lot of kitchen time. We had some steamed brown fried rice and sliced fresh pineapple with this dish. YUM!

General Tsao Chicken Thighs
Adapted by: http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2010/04/general-tsao-chicken-with-brown-rice.html

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat removed
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
Trader Joe's General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce

-In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.
-Season chicken thighs and place in hot skillet.
-Cook 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
-Add sauce to pan and cook for 1 minute on lower heat. Use as much or as little sauce as you prefer. I would say I used about 3/4 - 1 cup.
-Remove from heat and serve warm.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beef & Black Bean Chili

It's been snowing or cold the past 4 or 5 days and so chili is always something we like to make when the weather is dreadful. This was a beef and black bean chili recipe from Pinterest that I had wanted to try, so that is what I did. We had this chili with some jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins.

Beef & Black Bean Chili
Adapted by: http://www.closetcooking.com/2011/12/beef-and-black-bean-chili.html

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (I bought a can that had zesty jalapenos mixed in)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

-Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat and brown your hamburger meat. Drain all grease and set aside.
-Add oil to pan and saute onions until soft, or about 5 minutes.
-Add the garlic, cumin, chili powders and cook an additional minute.
-Add the tomatoes, beef, beans, broth, chipotle and oregano, and bring to a boil.
-Reduce heat and cover with a lid.
-Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Skinny Funfetti Dip

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my sweet tooth has really gotten the best of me in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. This was a great way to satisfy my sweet tooth and not feel super guilty about it. This funfetti dip is really good and goes well with a lot of different foods for dipping. I used low-fat animal crackers, sliced apple wedges, vanilla wafers, and graham crackers. I think you could use a lot of different things.

Skinny Funfetti Dip
Adapted by: http://thedomesticrebel.com/2012/06/20/skinny-funfetti-dip/

1 box funfetti cake mix
2 cups low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
1 8oz tub fat-free or lite cool whip, thawed
1/2 cup sprinkles

-Add the first three ingredients to a mixing bowl and combine until thoroughly mixed.
-Fold in sprinkles and cover.
-Refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
-Serve with your favorite dippers

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ham & Broccoli Pockets

These reminded me of hot pockets, except much healthier and I actually know what ingredients are going into them. Bryan helped me cook these last night and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked them. We didn't serve anything with this dish because we figured it would be very filling and we were right. I imagine you could change the filling to be anything you desire, but the ham and broccoli filling was delicious. I'm going to attempt to make breakfast filled pockets this weekend.

Ham & Broccoli Pockets
Serves: 4 large pockets or 8 smaller pockets (you can wrap in saran wrap and freeze remaining pockets for later)
Adapted by: http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2011/05/ham-and-broccoli-pockets.html

1 cup really warm water
1 tablespoon pure honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon lite salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups diced ham
10 oz broccoli florets; cooked, drained, and chopped
1 cup frozen peas, cooked and drained
6 ounces reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Dough:
-Dissolve yeast in 1 cup very warm water. Allow mixture to sit for a few minutes.
-Add in honey, salt, and olive oil. Whisk together.
-Using a stand mixer, mix in the flours. I used the hook to knead the dough for 5 minutes. You can knead the dough by hand, if you desire.
-Allow dough to rest 5 to 10 minutes, while preparing the filling.

For the Filling:
-In a large bowl, toss together ham, broccoli, and peas.
-In a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth and flour, until mixture is smooth. Add to a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until mixture just begins to thicken.
-Add milk, whisking frequently, to get mixture mixed all up and smooth. Add black pepper.
-Continue to cook, whisking often, until mixture thickens.
-Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese.
-Pour cheese sauce in the bowl with the ham, broccoli, and peas. Stir together well.

-Divide dough into 8 small balls.
-Roll each ball of dough out, like you were creating a personal size pizza.
-Place ham filling on one half of the rolled out dough.
-Use a pastry brush and wet the outer edges of the dough, then fold over the dough to make a pocket, and seal with hands or a fork.
-Repeat with remaining dough and mixture.
-Place on baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

*Tip: I cut a small sliver in each of the pockets to allow breathing room.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Spinach & Cheese Tortellini Primavera

This is a wonderful veggie-filled pasta dish that we really enjoyed. I get "mommy guilt" when I realize I haven't eaten enough vegetables in the day, since I am growing a little boy in my tummy, so this made me feel really good when I ate it. It's super filling, so we only had this in a bowl and then finished the evening off with some lowfat frozen yogurt for dessert.

Spinach & Cheese Tortellini Primavera
Serves: 4
Adapted by: http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2012/03/spinach-and-cheese-tortellini-primavera.html

1 package of fresh spinach and cheese tortellini (or whatever other kind of tortellini you prefer)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
5 spears of asparagus, wooden ends removed, cut into thirds
1/2 a zucchini, diced
1/2 a yellow squash, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (more if desired)
1 tablespoon dried parsley or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

-Fill a pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
-Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
-To the heated skillet, add the broccoli and onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing around frequently.
-Add remaining vegetables and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until veggies are crisp tender.
-Add minced garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
-Season veggies with salt and pepper, to taste.
-Toss the drained tortellini with all the cooked veggies and add a drizzle of olive oil to the entire dish.
-Add parsley and parmesan cheese and toss one more time.
-Serve in bowls and top with additional parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes

I think I could eat a different kind of pancake or waffle every single day, if I could get away with it. I love them! We had some buttermilk that needed to be used up this week, so I opted to try these strawberry buttermilk pancakes. These were so delicious. We had these pancakes with some apple chicken sausage on the side.

Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes: 6 to 8 pancakes
Adapted by: http://www.simplyscratch.com/2012/06/strawberry-buttermilk-pancakes.html

1 cup white whole wheat flour OR all purpose flour (I use wheat for the whole grain aspect)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon lite salt
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/8 cup vanilla nonfat greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons light butter, melted
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped

-Preheat griddle over medium heat and coat with nonstick cooking spray or a small amount of canola oil.
-In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
-In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, yogurt, egg, and butter.
-Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
-Fold in chopped strawberries.
-Pour batter, by 1/4 cup increments, onto the hot griddle and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
-Serve with butter and light or sugar free syrup

Enjoy! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mediterranean Pork Medallions

I had some potatoes that needed to be used up and my husband quickly requested Greek lemon potatoes, so I decided some greek-inspired pork medallions would be an appropriate main dish. We were really satisfied with this meal.

Mediterranean Pork Medallions
Adapted by: http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2011/07/mediterranean-pork-medallions.html

1 pork tenderloin, sliced into medallions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of half a large lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

-Combine all ingredients together in a ziploc bag. Let pork marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
-Coat a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray and heat over medium high heat.
-Add pork medallions to hot grill pan and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, or until pork is cooked through.
-Let meat rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
-You can use the remainder of the marinade as a sauce by bringing it to a low boil in a saucepan and drizzling over cooked pork.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2-ingredient apple cake

Seriously, this is one of the easiest and quickest ways to enjoy a cake-like dessert and it actually tastes really good. I served this cake with some fat free vanilla frozen yogurt with cinnamon on top of everything. YUM! If you don't like apple, you could use any other can of pie filling fruit, such as cherries or blueberries.

2 Ingredient Apple Cake
Serves: 12
Adapted by: http://notagourmetchef.blogspot.com/2012/03/2-ingredient-cinnamon-apple-cake.html

1 can apple pie fruit filling
1 box dry angel food cake mix

-Mix the two ingredients in a mixing bowl.
-Grease a 9x13 baking dish and pour mixture into dish.
-Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until top is brown and cooked through.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Asian Spaghetti

This pasta dish was really good. I had some chicken breasts that I pan cooked and chopped up to throw in with it. It was filling, nutritious, and tasty.

Asian Spaghetti
Serves 4
Adapted by: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Asian-Spaghetti

8 ounces angel hair pasta (try to use whole grain or wheat varieties)
1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup fresh snow peas
3/4 cup shredded carrots
4 green onions, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil or sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, optional

-Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain pasta and set aside.
-In a large skillet, add oil and saute mushrooms, peas, carrots, and green onion until crisp-tender. Add in garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
-In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar and cayenne pepper. Toss wet mixture into pan with the veggies. Add cooked pasta.
-Toss all ingredients together.
-Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Enjoy! :)