Friday, June 29, 2012

BBQ Chicken Southwest Pasta Salad

It has been extremely hot where I live and the thought of cooking for a long time in a hot kitchen is just not appealing to me right now. I've been doing a lot of simple meals and some nights we just make deli sandwiches on my homemade wheat bread. This bbq chicken pasta salad is a great meal when you want something filling and hearty but don't want a hot meal. You won't be disappointed in this dish. I am making this dish for a 4th of July potluck next week and I know it will be a huge hit.

I've changed a few things from the original recipe. Instead of using mayo, I use nonfat plain greek yogurt. You can't even tell the difference. I also use whole grain pasta shells to incorporate the use of whole grains. The last thing I change is that I use light ranch dressing instead of the full fat kind. If you are taking this to a potluck event, I would suggest you double the ingredients for a really large batch.

BBQ Chicken Southwest Pasta Salad
Adapted by:

3 cups uncooked pasta shells
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
green onions or red onions, chopped (I use red onions; about 1/3 cup diced)
8 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped bite-size
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup ranch dressing

-Wash and prepare all the vegetables.
-Cook the bacon in a skillet and drain off any grease. Chop up and set aside.
-Grill chicken breasts and cut into bite-size pieces. Make sure to season with salt and pepper before grilling.
-Boil water in a stockpot and add pasta. Cook according to instructions on the package. Drain and set aside. You want the pasta to be very cool before you start adding the ingredients to it. If you don't do this, the pasta will soak up the liquid ingredients and your pasta salad will be dry. If the pasta salad is a little dry, try adding additional bbq sauce, yogurt, and ranch dressing.
-In a small bowl, combine the bbq sauce, greek yogurt and ranch dressing.
-In a medium bowl, combine all the veggies.
-In a large bowl, put the cooled pasta in it and add the veggies, chicken, bacon, and the sauce. Stir the salad until all combined. 
-Cover the dish and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blackberry Pie Bars

Look, you are going to see this recipe and think "Becca, I thought you were only putting healthier recipes on this blog", but let me tell you this, every now and then you have to splurge and enjoy an indulgent dessert. These blackberry pie bars are absolutely divine and I think you should all try these out soon. These would be great for a 4th of July party.

Blackberry Pie Bars
Adapted by:

For the crust/topping:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour OR wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups, but 1 is sufficient in this dish)
1/4 teaspoon lite salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, chilled (I used 1 stick light butter and 2 sticks regular)

Fruit Filling for bars:
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour OR all purpose flour
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 16oz bags frozen blackberries, thawed and drained

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish
-In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 forks, cut in the butter in 1/2'' cubes and continue to cut butter into the mixture until it is crumbly and the butter pieces resemble small pea-like sizes.
-Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the crumble topping of the bars.
-Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.
-In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together, then add the sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon zest, and almond extract. Gently fold in the berries and spoon mixture over the cooled crust.
-Sprinkle the remaining crumble topping on top of the 9x13 baking dish and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
-Cool 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stuffing Topped Pork Chops

Sometimes you just need a quick, delicious dinner recipe. This is a great comfort food recipe that we recently tried and were surprised at how delicious it was, even though it was fairly simple. These pork chops were extremely moist and tasted wonderful. I served these with some buttered peas and fresh pineapple on the side.

The next time I make these, I will definitely make my own stuffing but I was glad to have StoveTop for this particular night because I was exhausted and just wanted to eat and relax.

Stuffing Topped Pork Chops
Serves: 4-6
Adapted by:

-1 pound boneless pork chops (3/4'' thick)
-1 box StoveTop stuffing mix - you can use the chicken flavored kind; I used their whole wheat stuffing for the whole grains
-salt and pepper, to taste
-onion powder, to taste
-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil OR canola oil
-1 can Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
-1/3 cup skim milk

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Make stuffing according to directions on the box and set aside.
-Season pork chops with salt, pepper and onion powder.
-Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork chops and brown on both sides. This will only take a few minutes.
-Arrange the browned pork chops in a 9x13 baking dish and spoon 1/2 cup of the stuffing mixture on top of each pork chop.
-Mix the cream of mushroom soup and milk together. Pour over the top of each pork chop.
-Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pork chops are cooked through.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cheesy Red Hot Rice

I love to cook rice because it is a great whole grain to include in a balanced dinner. However, plain rice can be quite boring. I am often in search of great, nutritious rice recipes and this is one that I tried out and was pleased with.

Cheesy Red Hot Rice
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

1 small sweet onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice OR white rice (we prefer brown)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can diced tomatoes (15oz)
3 cups water
1 teaspoon lite salt
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat Parmesan Cheese
chili powder, just a pinch - OPTIONAL

-In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion until soft. This should take no more than 2 minutes.
-Add the rice, oregano, tomato, salt, chili powder and water and stir everything to combine.
-Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is soft and cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed.
-Remove from heat and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes to absorb additional liquid.
-Stir one more time and top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zucchini & Vegetable Quesadilla

Looking for a good dish to use up some fresh veggies from your garden? I sure was and this is the recipe I decided to try. I had some fresh zucchini that needed cooked and I wanted to try something a little different with the green veggie.

Chicken, Zucchini, & Vegetable Quesadilla
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 zucchini, shredded (use a cheese shredder to do this)
1 cup shredded chicken, cooked (we used some leftover rotisserie chicken breast shredded up)
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 can diced green chiles
salt and pepper, to taste
Reduced-Fat Mexican Cheese blend, shredded
Whole wheat or Low Carb flour tortillas

-In a large mixing bowl, combine beans, corn, zucchini, chicken, red onion and green chiles. Season dish with salt and pepper.
-Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat on the stove.
-Take a tortilla and spread some of the mixture on one half of the tortilla. Top with some shredded cheese and fold over.
-Cook quesadilla over medium heat until golden brown and then flip over and cook until golden brown on the other side and cheese is melted and warm.
-Cut quesadilla into wedges and serve
-Serve with salsa or sour cream on the side

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana French Toast

Peanut Butter Banana French Toast...this needs no explanation. Just try it and you won't be disappointed!

Peanut Butter Banana French Toast
Serves: 2
Adapted by:

4 slices whole wheat bread OR whatever bread you prefer (try to use wheat for the whole grains)
2 - 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 large banana
2 eggs OR 4 egg whites (I use egg whites)
1/8 cup heavy cream or fat free half and half (I use half and half)
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt

-In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, heavy cream/half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and dash of salt. Whisk together.
-Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on each piece of bread.
-Drizzle honey over each piece of bread.
-Slice banana and layer in a single layer on 2 pieces of bread.
-Put sandwich pieces together.
-Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon light butter and melt over heat.
-Dip each sandwich in egg mixture and place in skillet. Fry each side in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
-Serve on a plate and drizzle more honey or maple syrup on top.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

White Wine Carrots

I absolutely love vegetables and I am constantly looking for new, healthy ways to cook them up to serve for our dinners. Sometimes I find myself making the same kinds of vegetables weekly and almost the same way every time. This was a new recipe for carrots that I have been thinking about trying. I was skeptical to try it because I just didn't think my husband would eat this at all. Boy was I wrong. We both were pleasantly surprised with this dish.

White Wine Carrots
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white onion, chopped
1 pound carrots, sliced and peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar OR 2 tablespoons regular brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

-In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onions and carrots.
-Once the dish is hot, reduce heat and let the carrots cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. This should take 5 minutes or so.
-Add the wine and bring mixture to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook. Stir occasionally. You will cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
-Add the raisins and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
-Stir in the herbs de provence, the brown sugar, salt and pepper and cook 1 more minute.
-Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Enjoy! :)

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry Rice Bowl

This is simply one of the best Thai/Asian-inspired dishes I have made. It is so simple but the flavors are so delicious and I just truly enjoyed this dish a lot.

This rice bowl is all you will need to enjoy a delicious and satisfying supper. I served this dish with some fortune cookies on the side.

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry Rice Bowl
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1'' cubes
1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
1 teaspoon minced Ginger
2 cups assorted bell peppers, chopped into cubes
1 red chili pepper, chopped (Optional or to taste)
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Pineapple and Chili dipping sauce
2 cups steamed brown rice (or whatever rice you prefer, i.e. Jasmine, White, etc)

-In a bowl, add the chicken and the fish sauce. Add the cornstarch and toss everything to coat evenly. Set aside.
-In a large, nonstick saucepan add 1/2 tablespoon oil on medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers, chili pepper, and pineapple. Stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp. Add the sauce and stir together and heat through. Remove all ingredients from the skillet.
-Heat remaining oil in the skillet and cool chicken until it is cooked all the way through. Add the other ingredients you set aside and stir all together.
-Meanwhile, cook rice and keep warm.
-Place some rice in a bowl and pour a serving of the chicken and pineapple stir fry over it.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Enchilada Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

I asked Bryan a few days ago what kind of homemade pizza he wanted this week. We always try to do different versions so we don't get bored with the same kind. Bryan surprised me and said "enchilada pizza".  This was my first attempt at making an enchilada pizza and we loved it!

Homemade pizza is one of our favorite meals to make. The reason I choose to make pizza at home is because I can control how it is made and what ingredients go into it, which allow me to make a healthier, more nutritious pizza, rather than ordering the high fat/low nutrition pizza from a delivery place.

The pizza was a creation of my own based on my research of other blog's versions of enchilada pizza. The crust is from a website that I found and wanted to try out.  The biggest difference in my pizza dough and the original website's recipe is that I used 100% wheat flour to get a good healthy dose of whole grains with my dinner. If you don't have the desire to make homemade dough, buy store bought pizza dough.

Enchilada Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust
Serves: 1 14'' pizza
Pizza dough Adapted by:

For the crust:
1 package (1/4oz) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon lite salt

For the pizza:
1 small can green or red enchilada sauce (I used medium red enchilada sauce)
1 small can diced green chiles - drained
1/2 pound lean ground beef OR ground turkey breast OR shredded chicken breasts (I used lean, grassfed beef)
1/2 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
bell peppers - diced (I did an assortment of green, red, and yellow)
1/2 onion - diced
shredded lettuce
reduced fat mexican shredded cheese
jalapenos - diced
banana peppers - diced
sour cream

For the crust:
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If using a pizza stone, preheat when you turn on the oven.
-In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Stir together until dissolved and let sit for 10 minutes.
-Add yeast mixture to a stand mixture and add the flour, olive oil, and salt. Mix together with a dough hook until smooth. This will take a few minutes. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes.
-This dough is enough to make a 1 large thick crust pizza or 2 thin crust pizzas. We did a thin crust pizza and I froze the other dough for another pizza night.
-On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pizza dough to desired size and thickness.
-Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on the pizza stone to prepare for baking the pizza.
-Once the pizza has been rolled out, it is time for your toppings.

For the pizza:
-In a skillet, brown the meat until cooked through. Drain any fat and return meat to the pan.
-To the cooked meat, add the diced green chiles and taco seasoning. Mix together.
-Place desired amount of enchilada sauce on the pizza dough (this acts as your pizza sauce); I suggest you use it liberally.
-Place meat mixture on top of the enchilada sauce.
-Next, add diced bell peppers and onions. Now, sprinkle desired amount of cheese over the entire pizza. If you are adding jalapenos or banana peppers, do so at this time.
- You can now place pizza on the pizza stone and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the pizza is finished baking, remove from the oven and top the pizza with shredded lettuce, sour cream, and/or salsa and slice.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beef & Spinach Lasagna Rolls

I love lasagna but it makes way more food than my husband and I can ever eat before it goes bad. I saw this recipe a while back and kept it on file for me to try soon. The original recipe doesn't call for any meat but I know my husband has to have his protein so I added some beef. This was my first attempt at making these lasagna rolls and we were very impressed. These lasagna rolls were a great new recipe because they are very simple to make. The added bonus to this dish is that you can freeze them individually and then just pull out how many you want for lunches or another supper later in the week.

Knowing that lasagna can be quite filling, I only served this main dish with some sliced oranges and a small salad.

Beef & Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Serves: 9 lasagna rolls
Adapted by:

1 pound lean ground beef OR 1 pound ground turkey breast
9 lasagna noodles, cooked (I used Healthy Harvest Wheat Lasagna noodles...gotta love them whole grains!)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of all water
15 oz light ricotta cheese OR fat free ricotta cheese (I used light ricotta)
1/2 cup reduced fat, grated parmesan cheese
1 egg OR 2 egg whites
salt and pepper
small yellow onion, diced
small green bell pepper, diced
1 large jar favorite pasta sauce (I used Muir Glen Organic Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce)
9 tablespoons part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper and stir together until blended well.
-In a 13x9 baking dish, place 1 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom and spread evenly.
-In a nonstick skillet, add the beef and brown until cooked through. Drain and return to the skillet. Add the onions and bell pepper and saute for an additional few minutes. Add the remainder of the pasta sauce to the skillet and simmer on low.
-Place cooked lasagna noodles on foil or wax paper in a single row. Make sure noodles have been drained well and are dry.
-Take 1/3 of the ricotta mixture and spread all the way down the cooked noodle. Repeat with remaining 8 lasagna noodles.
-Roll up each lasagna noodle, jelly roll style, and place seam side down in the baking dish.
-Ladle the meat/pasta sauce over the lasagna rolls and top each with some mozzarella cheese.
-Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy! :)

Homemade BBQ Sauce

This past Sunday was Father's Day and I wanted to cook something delicious for my dad to celebrate. My brother and I cooked him a feast of foods we thought were his favorite. The menu included smoked chicken, homemade bbq sauce (my first attempt), homemade wheat crescent rolls, oven roasted dill potatoes, and roasted fresh corn on the cob. For dessert, a homemade chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and a peanut butter buttercream frosting. He loved the entire meal.

I guess it was somewhat risky to try out a new bbq sauce on such a special day but we all ended up really enjoying this sauce. The reviews on the original recipe got rave reviews so I had high hopes it would turn out tasty. I know we will tweak it a little next time but I wanted to share it with you and let you come up with your own way to add something to it.

This sauce will be good on all sorts of meats. I plan on using the leftover sauce to make homemade bbq chicken pizza later in the week.

Homemade BBQ Sauce
Serves: approx 18 servings (2 tablespoons per serving)
Adapted by:

1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup local honey
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2 teaspoons all natural hickory liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 3/4 teaspoon because we like it a little spicy)
1/2 teaspoon lite salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon chili powder (I used 1/4 teaspoon)

-In a large nonstick saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Let the sauce cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use or serve warm fresh off the stove over your favorite meats, etc...

Enjoy! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Creamy Turkey Taco Mac

Who needs Hamburger Helper when you can make homemade meals that are very similar but so much better and tastier! I can honestly say I have not cooked Hamburger Helper since I was in college over 6 years ago and I don't think I ever will make it again. Not that I have anything against it, I just think you can make most of them from scratch and it's much healthier than the boxed version. This recipe is delicious. You get that Mexican craving fix in a pasta dish. What could be any better than that? :)

This dish is very filling so no side dish is necessary. A small salad would be a great addition if you felt you needed something else.

Creamy Turkey Taco Mac
Serves: 4 to 6
Adapted by:

20 oz ground turkey breast OR ground chicken OR lean ground beef
8 oz wheat or whole grain pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water (use any shape of pasta you desire; I used wheat penne pasta)
1 can Rotel tomatoes - I use the original but mild will be less spicy
4 tablespoons reduced sodium taco seasoning
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream OR 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt - I used greek yogurt
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup extra to throw on top
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream, for serving - OPTIONAL

-Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to directions on the box. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
-Over medium heat, use a saute pan and brown the meat until no longer pink. Drain and return to saute pan.
-Add taco seasoning and rotel. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat.
-Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed and the cheese is melted. Simmer on low for 2 to 3 minutes.
-Season with salt and pepper, as needed.
-Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Slow-Cooker Spicy Baked Beans

Summer is in full swing and summer just isn't summer if you don't have backyard bbq's. What is one staple recipe at most bbq's? Baked Beans! These baked beans are scrumptious and so easy to make. You won't want to buy canned versions again. One major reason why I wanted to find a delicious slow-cooker bean recipe is because when you have a bbq, you are typically busy trying to get so many things done and this is one way to have one less thing to worry about.

This recipe makes a large amount but I think you could 1/2 the recipe for a smaller portion. These will stay in the refrigerator for several days as well.

Slow-Cooker Spicy Baked Beans
Serves: 8
Adapted by:

1 pound great northern beans, soaked overnight
4 cups water OR vegetable stock - I use vegetable stock for more flavor
2 jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 vidalia onions OR 2 sweet yellow onions, chopped
1/2 pound smoked bacon, chopped - I use the lower fat, center cut bacon
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

-Place beans in a large dish and cover with water. Soak overnight
-Place bacon and onions in a saute pan and cook until onions are tender over medium heat.
-Place drained beans, bacon, and onions in a crockpot. Add all other ingredients and stir together well.
-Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until beans are tender.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cannoli Wonton Cups

I follow the blog that this recipe came from and when I saw this was posted today, I knew it was the perfect dessert to try out tonight. I am so glad I did! These little pieces of heaven were the perfect dessert. I love small, individual sized desserts because you get your sweet tooth satisfied but don't overindulge, unless you end up eating more of the bite-size pieces than you should.

These cannoli cups were extremely easy to make and they were well worth the time that you have to spend to get them ready to enjoy.

Cannoli Wonton Cups
Serves: 30 wonton cups
Adapted by:

1 package wonton wrappers
1 container part skim ricotta cheese (15oz)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mini chocolate chip morsels
powdered sugar, for dusting

-In a mixing bowl, slowly whisk together 1 cup of milk and the cornstarch. Whisk until the mixture is completely mixed and smooth. Let sit for 20 minutes.
-Transfer the milk mixture to a saucepan and add the additional 1/3 cup milk and powdered sugar. Whisk together constantly over medium low heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and add the vanilla and almond extracts.
-Let the contents of the saucepan cool for 20 minutes. This will make it room temperature.
-Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Take a mini cupcake tray or a regular cupcake tray and line each with a wonton wrapper. Press into the cupcake mold. They will resemble a cupcake liner almost.
-Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
-Once the milk mixture is at room temperature, add to a mixing bowl and add the ricotta and cinnamon. Use a hand mixer and mix all together until blended well.
-Take each wonton cup and either spoon some of the mixture into each of them or use a piping bag to fill them. Once all wonton cups are full, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and dust with powdered sugar.
-Serve immediately or refrigerate

Enjoy! :)

Korean BBQ Beef

My little brother will be departing this weekend for a 7 week trip to Korea for college and I thought it was only appropriate to cook something in celebration of him going there soon. This is probably not the most traditional Korean dish I could have cooked but it looked darn tasty and I knew my husband would love it.

We had this beef recipe with another new recipe we tried out, brown rice with grilled vegetables (recipe coming soon). A big wedge of fresh watermelon was served on the side. YUM!

Korean BBQ Beef
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
Adapted by:

1 to 1 1/2 pound boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup rice wine or pear juice (I used rice wine)
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

-Combine wine or pear juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the sliced steak strips and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator. Just make sure to cover if you are putting it in the fridge.
-Preheat the grill
-While grill is getting hot, take steak pieces and thread onto bamboo skewers or kabob skewers.
-Cook beef skewers over medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side. Do not let the meat get too cooked or it will be hard and taste like beef jerky more than korean bbq beef.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mustard-Herb Panko Crusted Chicken Breast

I have already posted a recipe very similar to this one before but I used pork tenderloin for it. This was a delicious way to enjoy it with poultry, which is what we had thawed out. This recipe kind of reminds me of Shake N Bake chicken but extremely better tasting and definitely healthier.

We don't fry foods in our house so panko crusted meats is a common thing because it gives us the illusion that we are eating something fried and crispy. :)

I served these tasty chicken breasts with some oven roasted veggies (zucchini, red onion, baby carrots, and red bell peppers) and some homemade wheat dinner rolls. We topped the meal off with some fresh cut pineapple chunks. Delicious meal!

Mustard-Herb Panko Crusted Chicken Breasts
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

1/4 to 1/2 cup italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley OR 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons grated, reduced-fat parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only - chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced OR 1 teaspoon minced garlic
nonstick cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
-In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs, parsley, grated cheese, and thyme and mix well.
-Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
-Mix the mustard and garlic together and rub all over the chicken breasts.
-Roll the chicken breasts in the crumb mixture and place on the baking sheet
-Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until meat is 170 degrees. Let rest a few minutes before serving to allow juices to redistribute.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Garlic Pork with Sugar Snap Peas & Carrots

Thursdays are always such a busy and hectic day in our household, so dinners have to be very quick. Even though I need the meal to be easy and fast to prepare, I still want it to be nutritious for us. This pork dish is the perfect dish for something in a hurry.

This dish took maybe 8 minutes to cook. I served this stir fry dish over some wheat lo mein noodles that only took 3 minutes to cook. We had a fortune cookie on the side. I didn't serve any other side dishes because this meal had the meat and vegetables and then the lo mein noodles are so filling. It was a delicious dinner that was enjoyed on our outside patio furniture. :)

Garlic Pork with Sugar Snap Peas & Carrots
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

1 pound boneless pork chops, fat trimmed and cut into strips
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
2 cups sugar snap peas
1/2 cup shredded carrot slices

-Cut the pork chops in thin strips and toss with garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
-Heat a large nonstick skillet or a wok with nonstick cookinng spray. Add the garlic coated pork and cook.
-In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch, water/veggie broth and soy sauce together.
-Once the pink is not visible on the pork strips add the sugar snap peas and shredded carrots. Continue to stir fry until the meat is cooked through and the veggies are crisp tender.
-Add the liquid mixture to the skillet and make sure to toss together to coat everything. The sauce will thicken because of the corn starch. If it is too thick, just add some more water or broth.
-Let the skillet simmer for a few minutes.
-Serve on top of lo mein or brown rice

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Skinny Oreo Chocolate Pie

I'm back from vacation and finally ready to post a delicious new recipe for all of you to try. I am not sure why but lately all I think about is sweets and so I wanted to post a recipe that is both delicious and a little less sinful. After eating way too much on vacation, it's time to get back to the way we usually eat and get rid of what I call "vacation tummy".

I think you will all enjoy this chocolate pie dessert recipe. It's simple and it tastes absolutely delicious.

Skinny Oreo Chocolate Pie
Serves: 8
Adapted by:

1 Nabisco Oreo Pie Crust
3 reduced fat oreo cookies
4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 cups skim milk
1 3.4oz box Sugar free vanilla pudding mix
4 to 8 ounces cool whip (lite or fat free)
1/4 cup Splenda or other no calorie sweetener

-In a medium bowl, whisk skim milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Pour into pie crust and place in the refrigerator.
-In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with splenda for 2 minutes on high.
-Fold in the cool whip to the cream cheese mixture and stir together.
-Remove pie from the refrigerator and top with cream cheese mixture.
-Crush oreo cookies on top of the pie
-Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until firm

Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 4, 2012


I'm back from an amazing week long vacation to Hilton Head, SC. I promise to add all kinds of delicious and healthy recipes in the coming weeks. I just needed a break from posting anything so I could enjoy vacation. Hope you all are having a fabulous start to the summer. :)