Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

Original Recipe from:,1639,149167-240206,00.html

I have never really been a big fan of mushrooms, but slowly I am trying to learn to like them. My mom didn't care for them so we never had them growing up. I've found that I kind of like them when they are cooked certain ways. This recipe is quite delicious and perfect as a side dish to any meal.

Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4-6 people

1/2 ounce or about 5 sundried tomatoes (not the kind packed in oil)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
18 white mushrooms - pull out the stems and chop finely and keep the tops/caps for later
1/2 cup of shallots finely chopped (use onion if you don't have any shallots)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs (we use whole wheat breadcrumbs)
1 large egg yolk beaten
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons light grated parmesan cheese

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-In a bowl, place sundried tomatoes in hot water (completely cover the tomatoes) for about 5 minutes. -Reserve 1 tablespoon of liquid from the bowl.
-Remove sundried tomatoes, dry off and chop very finely
-On a baking sheet, sprayed with nonstick cooking oil, place all mushrooms face down.
-Bake mushrooms for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Drain off any liquid that may have formed on the baking sheet.
-Turn mushrooms over to prepare to fill them.
-In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute chopped mushroom stems, garlic, and shallots until softened. Mine took about 6 minutes.
-In a medium sized bowl, combine sauteed mushroom mixture, breadcrumbs, sundried tomatoes, the tablespoon of reserved liquid from soaking the tomatoes, egg yolk, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper, and combine well.
-Place a little of the stuffing mix into each of the mushrooms and top with grated parmesan cheese.
-Bake in oven for 15 minutes

Enjoy! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breakfast Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal with walnuts

I am obsessed with oatmeal! I eat it several times a week for breakfast. I never really ate it as a kid but have found as an adult that I love it. I think I like oatmeal so much because the choices are limitless when it comes to how you eat it. I have tried several different kinds of recipes with oatmeal. This is one of my absolute favorites. It reminds me of the fall. Not only is oatmeal delicious, it is super healthy for you and keeps you feeling full for several hours. Steel Cut Oatmeal is the best choice for you but it takes some time to make, so during the work week I use Plain Instant Oatmeal. I try to stay away from flavored oatmeal packets because they are loaded with sugars and you will notice that the ingredients list contains ingredients you can't even pronounce. Instant plain oatmeal only contains oats and no added sugars. You can add natural sweeteners to the plain and it is a healthier option. Oatmeal can definitely be served alone but I normally eat a bowl of oatmeal with either a piece of fruit or some egg whites cooked.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal with Walnuts
Serves 1

1 package Quaker plain instant oatmeal
2/3 cup water or milk depending on your preference on how you cook your oatmeal
1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin - I use Libby's
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed - optional
chopped walnuts

-Cook instant oatmeal with water or milk according to directions on box
-Once oatmeal is cooked, add pumpkin, spices, and flaxseed and stir well.
-Top with walnuts

The walnuts and flaxseed provide healthy fats and just add to the overall health of the oatmeal.

Enjoy! :)

Spicy Baked Pork Chops

I receive weekly recipes from and this is one that I received about 2 weeks ago and have been wanting to try. I love simple dinner recipes, especially during the work week. This particular recipe is very easy to make and it tastes so incredibly yummy.  You can marinate it the night before and throw it in the refrigerator so that it is ready for the oven when you get home. You can pair baked pork chops with just about any side dish you prefer. We served these pork chops with mashed maple sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower.

Original Recipe:

Spicy Baked Pork Chops
Serves 4

1 cup orange juice (we use Trop50 by Tropicana, which has 1/2 the sugar and 1/2 the calories of normal orange juice)
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (we use kikkoman)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless pork loin chops - trim off any fat
1 cup breadcrumbs (we use whole wheat breadcrumbs but you can use whatever you prefer)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper

-In a 13x9 baking pan or larger baking dish, combine orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, and olive oil and mix well.
-Add pork chops and make sure they get coated very well with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hr to 24 hours.
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
-Coat a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
-Take the marinated pork chops and bread them with the breadcrumb mixture and place each on the cookie sheet.
-Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked completely

-You can use chicken or turkey for this recipe if you don't want to use pork chops. The cooking times may just vary a little.

Enjoy! :)
Enjoy! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

oatmeal craisin cookies

My coworkers asked me to bring in something sweet next week so I was looking through my cupboards to see what I had to work with. I realized I had everything to make oatmeal cookies except raisins. What I did have is Craisins, which are my new guilty pleasure. A friend of mine introduced me to them so I have been buying the little 100 calorie packs of them and having one every now and then. Here is my version of an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, now called Oatmeal Craisin Cookies. :)

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
Makes approx 32 cookies

1 stick butter - softened, not melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup Craisins

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla and cream together with blender until well combined.
-In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oats and combine well
-Add 1/2 flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine with blender
-Add additional flour mixture and combine
-Add Craisins and combine
-On a nonstick cookie sheet, drop spoon size amounts on it
-Bake approx 10 minutes
-Let cool 1 minute before taking off cookie sheet
-Let cool on baking rack completely before storing

Enjoy! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blackened Cajun Spiced Steaks

I don't often post recipes using beef. It is not intentional, but we don't cook with red meat much in our house. The crazy thing is that we bought 1/2 a grass-fed cow from my parents last November, so we have plenty of red meat to use. I often find myself not sure what to do with all the different cuts of meat because I don't typically prefer to cook with red meat. I think we have made a pretty good dent in the meat we do have, but we still have more, so you will probably see a few posts in the coming weeks that pertain to beef recipes. Steak can often have a bad reputation as being loaded with fat and high calories, but there are certain cuts of meat that are actually quite healthy for you in small amounts. This recipe originally calls for ribeye steaks, which we don't have at our house, so I used sirloin steaks. When we eat beef in our household I try to use cuts that have the word "loin" in them. This is the leanest and healthiest cuts of beef. I think you will really enjoy this recipe. You can come up with several options for side dishes with steak. We served this dish with some fresh grilled corn on the cob and sliced fresh watermelon and mango.

Original recipe found at:

Blackened Cajun Spiced Steaks
Serves 4
*This recipe calls for use of a cast iron skillet

1 pound or 4 4-oz sirloin steaks (feel free to use ribeyes or any other steak you prefer)
4 tablespoons light butter
2 tablespoons lower sodium worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper

-In a small bowl, combine all dry seasoning ingredients and combine well
-Coat your steaks on both sides with the seasoning mix and let sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature
-In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter and worcestershire sauce over medium high heat making sure to stir often.
-Turn heat to medium heat and add the steaks
-You want to sear each side of the steaks for about 3 to 4 minutes
-You can then transfer the steaks to the grill to finish cooking or you can cook the steaks in the cast iron skillet until they reach the temperature you prefer.
-We cooked the steaks about 8 minutes per side in the cast iron skillet
-Drizzle any of the drippings on top of your steaks and serve

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chicken Noodle Casserole

I think I have said this before and I will say it again, casseroles are a great dish to make during the week because they are so quick to prepare and don't require a ton of effort. They also make a lot of food, which can be reheated for leftovers at lunch. Some can even be frozen in individual sizes for meals on the weekend or when you don't feel like cooking one evening. Casseroles are a big hit in my house because I usually only have to come up with a small side to serve with them. If the casserole contains bread, potatoes, or noodles, I try to serve a side dish of fruit or a simple salad and that takes no time at all. This recipe can be altered several ways for a different dish each time.

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Serves 6-8 (feel free to cut the recipe in half for a smaller casserole but we like to have leftovers in our house for lunch during the week)

-1 box (usually 7 servings of pasta) whole wheat egg noodles or any other pasta shape you prefer - cooked according to box and drained
-1/2 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
-1/2 cup finely chopped celery
-1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
-1/2 cup diced mushrooms -optional (we use baby portabella mushrooms)
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-1/2 cup shredded low-fat swiss or cheddar cheese
-1 pound shredded chicken breasts (you can shred a rotisserie chicken from the deli, cook and shred your own chicken breasts, or buy the canned chicken breasts and drain them)
-2 cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
-1 cup frozen peas - cooked (we buy the steamable frozen peas and just cook them in the microwave according to directions)
-Pepper for seasoning

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Cook pasta according to box, drain, and set aside.
-In a medium sized saute pan, add a little extra virgin olive oil and saute onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms for a few minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute.
-Add the sauteed vegetables to the pasta and and stir until well combined.
-Add your seasoned shredded chicken and cooked peas to the pasta and vegetable mix and combine
-Add your cream of chicken/cream of mushroom soup and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir until well combined.
-In a 13x9 baking dish, spray with nonstick cooking spray.
-Add the pasta mixture to the baking dish and top with 1/2 cup of shredded swiss or sharp cheddar cheese
-Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot

-You can use white pasta, we just prefer whole wheat in our household
-Any shape of pasta will work just fine, but egg noodles are so pretty in this casserole
-You can use tuna, chicken, or turkey as the meat in this dish
-Feel free to experiment with adding different vegetables

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grilled Cinnamon Peaches

The local farmer's market has some delicious peaches right now. We have been going every week and buying some from a local farmer. Naturally I had to find different ways to use them. This recipe is one of those ideas. I am a huge fan of cooking on the grill in the summer. We probably grill out several nights a week when the weather is just right. I am also a big fan when you can cook your entire meal on the grill. This recipe was cooked on the grill, along with some kabobs and grilled potatoes. No indoor cooking required, which was wonderful. Grilled Cinnamon Peaches are one of my favorite grilled desserts, so I thought I would share the recipe that I use. Also, these would go well with just about any meal you prepare.

Grilled Cinnamon Peaches
Serves 4

4-6 fresh peaches cut in half and the pit removed (make sure you wash and dry them before cutting in half)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of brown sugar or brown sugar substitute (we use Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Nonstick cooking spray
Optional - Honey

-Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat
-In a small bowl, combine your cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt together
-Place each of your peach halves, skin side down, on a plate
-Squeeze lemon juice on top of each of the peach halves and then sprinkle some of your cinnamon mixture on top of each
-On your grilling surface, make sure to spray nonstick cooking spray or brush some olive oil on the grates to prevent peaches from sticking.
-Place peaches skin side down on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes (lid needs to be closed to the grill)
-After 3 minutes, turn the peaches and grill the other side for roughly 2-3 minutes
-You want there to be some grill lines on the peaches. This way you know they are done.
-Remove from the grill and serve on a plate
-Optional: Drizzle some honey on top of each of the peaches or serve with some vanilla frozen yogurt

Enjoy! :)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Oven Roasted Vegetables

Anytime I have a bunch of fresh vegetables that need to be eaten fairly quickly, I throw together roasted vegetables. Roasted vegetables are great because you can change up what veggies you use every time you make them. Also, you can spice them differently as well. It doesn't hurt that they are super healthy for you! Tonight, we had some leftover smoked chicken breasts from this weekend, so I decided to roast some veggies to go with the chicken.

Oven Roasted Vegetables
Serves 4

Baby Bliss red potatoes - we only had 5, so I cut them in half and used them
1 medium red onion - chopped in large chunks
1 green bell pepper - chopped in large chunks
1 red bell pepper - chopped in large chunks
1/2 pound whole carrots - peeled and cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pepper and garlic salt for seasoning

-Preheat oven to 450 Degrees
-Chop up all your vegetables and put in a large bowl.
-Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir together until all veggies are coated
-Season the vegetables with pepper and garlic salt (feel free to season with whatever seasonings you prefer)
-On a nonstick cooking tray, spray some olive oil spray to prevent sticking
-Pour all veggies on to tray and spread out evenly
-Roast in the oven for 20 minutes
-Take the tray out of the oven and flip over the veggies
-Roast for an additional 10 minutes

Enjoy! :)

Such a simple side dish and it goes with almost anything you would want to cook with it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My version of Chicken Broccoli Divan Casserole

I am a huge fan of casseroles, but I really don't know how to make that many, so my goal is to learn how to make some new casserole dishes. Next week, I am going to attempt to make a southwestern tator tot casserole. Tonight I made my version of Chicken Broccoli Divan Casserole. It was very good and my husband couldn't stop giving me compliments. It goes very well over some brown rice or just by itself.  We had it by itself tonight with some wheat rolls and salad.

Chicken Broccoli Divan Casserole
Serves 5

-12 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut in chunks
-Teaspoon of olive oil
-14 oz bag of fresh or frozen broccoli florets
- Sun Dried tomatoes - chopped up (I used quite a few but use as many or as little as you like)
-1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
-1/2 cup diced sweet yellow onion
-1/3 cup of skim milk
-1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
-1 tablespoon butter - we use light stick butter
-pepper for seasoning
-1/4 -1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

-In a nonstick skillet, head up olive oil and cook seasoned chicken chunks until fully cooked.
-In a 9 inch pie dish, spray nonstick cooking spray.
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Steam broccoli in microwave or cook broccoli according to directions on package
-Once broccoli is cooked, put it in the bottom of the pie dish.
-Put sun dried tomatoes on top of the broccoli.
-On top of the tomatoes, add the chicken chunks.
-In a small bowl, add onion, milk, and cream of chicken soup and combine well.
-Pour over the broccoli and chicken.
-Sprinkle swiss cheese on top of everything in the pie dish.
-Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl and stir it together with bread crumbs. It will become a crumbly type texture.
-Sprinkle the breadcrumbs mixture on top of the casserole.
-Sprinkle black pepper on top of the whole casserole
-Bake for 20 minutes in the oven until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Enjoy! :)

-Feel free to use any kind of cheese you prefer (I think swiss, cheddar, and maybe provolone are the best kinds to use for this particular casserole)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers

I found this recipe a few months ago and have been meaning to make it ever since. The website I found this recipe at is I absolutely love slow cooker recipes because after a long day at work, it's great to come home and dinner is pretty much done. Also, it means I don't have to use my stove or oven, which makes the house hot. With it being summer, my slow cooker gets used a lot.

This recipe is very versatile because I think you could use boneless skinless chicken breasts or a boneless pork tenderloin in place of beef. You just have to modify the cooking times. The chicken would take less time and the pork tenderloin would probably be about the same amount of time, as long as it was a bigger tenderloin.

I heated some brown rice in the rice cooker just before this was done and everything came out perfectly.

Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers
Serves 4-6

28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 red bell pepper - cut in thin strips
1 green bell pepper - cut in thin strips
1 large red onion - cut into 8 wedges
2 teaspoons McCormick dried Oregano
2 teaspoons McCormick ground Cumin
Black pepper for seasoning
1.5 pounds flank steak - cut into 3 smaller pieces
suggested toppings: avocado, sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, lime wedges, mexican shredded cheese
Rice - brown, white, or jasmine will work (cook according to directions on rice bag)

-In a large crockpot, add tomatoes, peppers, onion, oregano, cumin, and pepper. Stir together to blend well.
-Add the beef on top of the tomato mixture
-Cover and cook 7-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high (recommend slow and low heat)
-Beef will be fork tender and easily shred when it is completely cooked
-Shred all beef and combine well with the juices and tomato mixture before serving.
-In a bowl or on a plate, add some rice.
-Add your beef and pepper mixture on top of your rice and add any toppings you desire.

See...I told you this recipe is very easy. Minimal effort in getting it ready and tons of flavor to enjoy when its finished. YUM! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mexican Spiced Chicken Tenders with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

If you look on my blog, you will notice I have been cooking with jalapenos a lot lately. This is because we have so many from our garden and I am trying to use them up rather than give them away. Plus, we love spicy foods in our household. This recipe came from the Mommie Cooks cooking blog (

Bryan and I really liked this meal and hope you do as well. We served it with some fresh roasted corn on the cob and sliced apples.

Mexican Spiced Chicken Tenders with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
Serves 4

1 pound boneless chicken breast tenders (or chicken breasts)
Chili Powder
2 cloves of garlic or 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
3 jalapenos seeded and chopped (would recommend you leave the seeds in one jalapeno for added heat)
4 oz reduced fat or fat free cream cheese
3/4 - 1 cup of Lower Sodium Chicken Broth
3 slices of Lower Fat bacon
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped up
3/4 cup of reduced fat or fat free shredded cheese

-In a nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet, cook up 3 slices of bacon until crispy and done.
-Remove bacon from pan and drain all the grease except about 1 tablespoon worth
-Season all the chicken with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper (season well but use salt sparingly)
-Saute the chicken until they are completely cooked and then set aside on a plate to stay warm in the oven or microwave
-Now, we are going to add the diced jalapenos to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes
-Add garlic and cook an additional minute
-Add approx 3/4 to 1 cup of chicken broth to mixture
-Add 4 oz cream cheese and melt completely in the mixture
-Add shredded cheese and melt completely in the mixture
-Add crumbled bacon and cilantro the mixture and stir well
-Add additional chicken broth if mixture is too thick
-Put a few chicken tenders on a plate and top with the creamy jalapeno sauce

-We used fat free cream cheese and fat free shredded cheese. Next time, I think we will do reduced fat cream cheese and shredded cheese. The mixture was very thick but still flavorful.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lower Calorie Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a huge sweet tooth, so anytime I make dessert, I try to make it healthier than the original recipe. I found this recipe the other day and decided to try it out for dessert last night. These cookies were really good and they didn't take long to make at all. I also like this recipe because it only makes about 26 cookies rather than 4 or 5 dozen that the usual batch of cookie dough makes.

Lower Calorie Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serves 26 (1 cookie per serving)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar or sugar substitute equivalent
1/2 cup of brown sugar or brown sugar substitute equivalent
1/4 cup of butter - melted
1 egg or egg substitute equivalent
1 cup of white whole wheat flour (we use King Arthur)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (we used dark chocolate)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined thoroughly. If the dough is a little dry, add an additional egg white to make it more moist.
Drop by teaspoonful onto a nonstick baking sheet
Bake 8 - 11 minutes

-I used Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, which only calls for 1/4 cup of brown sugar rather than the 1/2 cup originally required
-I used light stick butter to reduce the fat and calorie content of these cookies
-I used EggBeaters instead of eggs
-My oven only took 9 minutes to cook each batch of cookies.
-Using the modifications that I used, these cookies come out to approx 50 calories per cookie!

My dad, my brother, and my husband liked them, so I would say these were a hit in our house.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken, Edamame, and Bell Pepper Rice Bowls

I am always throwing together "stir fry" meals in our household. I throw in different meats and veggies every time. Stir fry is a great meal idea because it generally includes a lot of nutrition and doesn't require a lot of prep or cooking time.  At restaurants, stir fry is usually high in fat and calories, but at home you determine how much of each ingredient to use and what you put in it. This is a recipe I just threw together tonight because it was quick and sounded delicious. I served salad and mandarin orange slices with this dish and it was incredibly yummy. 

Teriyaki Chicken, Edamame, and Bell Pepper Rice Bowls
Serves 4

1 cup brown rice (1/4 cup is one serving dry, so 1 cup equals 4 servings) - cook according to instructions on bag/box
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into small chunks
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 cup shelled edamame - cook according to directions on package (we used frozen VIP shelled soybeans)
1 medium red bell pepper - sliced into thin strips
1 medium green bell pepper - sliced into thin strips
1 medium onion - sliced into strips or chunks
pepper for seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup Kikoman Lower Sodium Teriyaki Sauce

-Cook rice according to instructions on bag/box - once finished, set aside and keep warm
-Cook edamame according to instructions on bag and set aside once finished cooking
-In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat to medium high heat
-Add chicken, red and green bell peppers, and onions to the skillet and season with pepper
-Cook until chicken is finished and the peppers and onions are cooked to your preference
-Once the chicken is done, add garlic, edamame, and teriyaki sauce to the mixture and stir well
-Place some rice in a bowl or on a plate and top with the chicken and veggie mix

-You can use any kind of rice. We only use brown rice in our house because it is healthier and made of whole grains. Our favorite brown rice is Lundberg's Eco-Farmed Short Grain brown rice.
-You could use lean sirloin beef or pork loin chops in place of chicken if you desire
-We added a splash of low sodium soy sauce on top of the dish.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Recipes Coming Soon...

Some recipes that I will be attempting later this week.....

Teriyaki Chicken, Edamame, and Bell Pepper Rice Bowls
Southwestern Style Turkey Sloppy Joes
Mexican Chicken Breasts with Spicy Jalapeno Sauce

Of course I will be trying some new desserts out as well, just haven't decided which ones yet.

Stay tuned and have a great week! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Garlic and Red Pepper Flake Steamed Broccoli

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables of all time. I could eat it every single day. It's a very healthy vegetable and there are so many ways to change it up each time.

This recipe is very simple and quite delicious. It takes only a few minutes to prepare, which is great for a weeknight side dish.

Garlic and Red Pepper Flake Steamed Broccoli
Serves 3-4

1 pound of fresh broccoli
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 clove garlic - diced finely
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (depending on your preference)
2-3 tablespoons of water

-Cut broccoli florets into small pieces
-In a microwave safe bowl, add all the broccoli pieces and 2-3 tablespoons of water.
-Cover with saran wrap and leave a small vent in one corner
-Microwave for 3-4 minutes, depending on how crisp or soft you want your broccoli
-In a skillet on the stove, add the olive oil and garlic to a pan and saute for just a few minutes
-Once the broccoli is cooked in the microwave, throw it in the pan with the olive oil and garlic and stir together.
-Add red chili pepper flakes and stir again

Enjoy! :)

Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

In our household, we have Mexican food a lot! It is quite possibly my
favorite type of cuisine. It can be so unhealthy at restaurants, so we
try to make it at home instead. These stuffed poblano peppers are a very
delicious meal and can be quite nutritious, if you don't load them with
unhealthy things. I found this recipe on the "For the Love of Cooking"
blog. It is one of our new favorite Mexican dishes to make.

Chicken Stuffed Poblano PeppersServes 4

4 medium to large sized poblano peppers (you can use red, yellow,
orange, or green bell pepper if you don't like poblano peppers)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts thin-sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15oz can organic black beans drained and rinsed (doesn't have to be
1/2 to 3/4 cup of reduced fat mexican shredded cheese (we use Weight
Watchers Mexican blend)
3 tablespoons chopped red and yellow bell pepper
3 tablespoons diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno seeded and diced finely
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin


For the chicken-

-Cut chicken breasts into small chunks and season with salt, pepper, and
-Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet and cook chicken breast chunks until
cooked through

For the peppers-
-In a medium sized bowl, combine the chicken breast chunks, black beans,
red and yellow bell peppers, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic,
salt, pepper, cumin, and 2 tablespoons of cheese and mix well.
-Clean the poblano peppers and make a slit down the middle of each one (make sure not to cut all the way in half)
-Remove all seeds
-On a foil-covered baking sheet, place the peppers on it
-Broil in the oven until all sides of the peppers are roasted/blackened
-Once they are done in the broiler, set aside for 10 minutes to cool
-Once cooled, remove the blackened skin of each pepper very carefully or you can eat the peppers with the charred bits on them - we don't remove the blackened char because it adds to the flavor of the pepper
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Coat a 9 x 13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and place the peppers (opened up) on the dish
-Stuff each pepper with the chicken/black bean mixture and top each with some cheese
-Place in the oven uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken mixture is heated through.
-Serve these peppers with fat free sour cream, guacamole, or salsa on top

*These peppers are very filling, so a simple salad or some fresh cut up fruit would be sufficient to eat with this dish.

Enjoy! :)