Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Patty Melts

My mom would be so proud that I now like patty melts. She used to make them when we were growing up and none of the kids would eat them because we couldn't stand rye bread. As I've aged, I have really changed in terms of what tastes good to me. I like to enjoy these every now and then. I find patty melts to be very filling on their own, but I imagine you could serve these with something light on the side.

Patty Melts
Serves: 4
Adapted by: http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2010/07/classic-patty-melt.html

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin or beef of your choice (1 pound is plenty for 4 patty melts)
1 large vidalia or yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon of butter, plus softened butter for the slices of bread
4 slices reduced fat swiss cheese, or your favorite kind of sliced cheese from the deli
8 slices of marble rye bread
garlic salt and pepper, to taste

-Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Shape meat into oval shaped patties and place in freezer for 15 minutes.
-In a large skillet or cast iron skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium high. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes, or until softened.
-Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until onions are fully caramelized. Remove onions from cast iron skillet and keep warm in the microwave.
-Sprinkle the oval patties with garlic salt and pepper.
-Return heat to medium high and cook patties until mostly cooked through. Flip, scatter onions on top and place cheese slice on top of those. Cover the pan with a lid and finish cooking the burgers.
-Butter one side of each slice of bread and in a medium skillet, cook on medium until the bread is well browned.
-Place a patty melt in between two toasted pieces of bread and serve.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crock Pot BBQ Pork Ribs

I love ribs but in the winter it is way too cold to go outside and grill or smoke them. I decided I would try putting boneless ribs in the crockpot and boy were they tasty. We had these pork ribs with whole grain macaroni and cheese and some steamed green beans.

Crock Pot BBQ Pork Ribs

2 pounds boneless pork ribs - most fat trimmed off
1 16oz jar bbq sauce of choice (I used kc masterpiece hickory brown sugar)
1 large yellow onion, sliced

-Trim almost all of the fat off the ribs and place in bottom of the crock pot.
-Pour bbq sauce on top of the ribs.
-Sprinkle the sliced onions all on top of the bbq sauce ribs.
-Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until pork is tender and cooked.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Almond Crusted Banana Treat Pops

I know it's winter and probably fairly cold where you all are, but these are really a great, healthier dessert option, that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Almond Crusted Banana Treat Pops
Adapted by: http://under400.tumblr.com/post/14170730609/eattonguyen-who-needs-ice-cream-when-you-can

2 bananas
Nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
crushed almonds

-Line a tray with parchment or wax paper
-Mix the greek yogurt and cinnamon together.
-Peel the bananas.
-Cut off an end of each banana and place a popsicle stick in them.
-Coat bananas in greek yogurt mixture and then sprinkle crushed almonds on top.
-Lay on parchment paper and freeze 45 to 60 minutes.
-The bananas will be creamy and firm, but not completely frozen.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Whole Wheat Chocolate Raspberry Baked Donuts

Yum...breakfast foods are my absolute favorite! I don't think I can ever enough of them, regardless of what time of day it is. These healthier donuts are the perfect indulgence because you get the chocolate sweetness, but the whole grains from the wheat flour, and they are baked, not fried!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Raspberry Baked Donuts
Adapted by: http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2012/06/whole-wheat-chocolate-raspberry-baked-donuts

2 eggs or 4 egg whites
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup hershey's dark cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

For Raspberry Glaze
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and pureed
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees or preheat your automatic donut maker.
-Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
-In a mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk, and olive oil.
-Add in remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
-Spoon batter into donut pan holes, filling just under 2/3 of the way full.
-Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to completely cool.

For the glaze
-Combine both ingredients until blended well.
-Dip donuts in the glaze and set on parchment or wax paper to cool and harden


Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crock Pot Cheesy Chorizo Chili

Brrrrr..........it definitely feels like winter where we live right now! Chili is one of our favorite go to meals when it's freezing and we want some good ole' comfort food.

This chorizo chili is phenomenal and always a big hit with my hubby. We serve this chili with some fritos on the side.

Cheesy Chorizo Chili
Serves: 4 to 6
Adapted by: http://sandralee.com/recipes/slow-cooker/cheesy-chorizo-chili/41

8 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed
3 15oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can campbell's cheddar cheese soup
1 can rotel
1 7oz can diced green chiles
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning  (we use McCormicks)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
Shredded mexican cheese, to top your chili
Finely chopped green onions, to top your chili

-In a large skillet, cook and stir chorizo until browned and crumbled up. Drain any grease.
-In a slow cooker, stir together chorizo, beans, cheese soup, tomatoes, chiles, fajita seasoning, cumin, chili powder, and ground chipotle until combined.
-Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.
-Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
-Spoon into bowls and top with cheese and green onions.
-Serve warm

Enjoy! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Healthy Holiday Fruit Salad

This is a delicious and healthy fruit salad that would be perfect for a holiday party or added to the menu for Christmas dinner.

Healthy Holiday Fruit Salad
Adapted by: http://www.food.com/recipe/holiday-fruit-salad-148966

16 ounces low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 to 8 red apples, cored and cut into 1/2'' cubes
1 cup green grapes, sliced in half
fresh pineapple, cored and sliced in small chunks

-Combine yogurt, nutmeg, sugar, and vanilla and mix well.
-Pour mixture over prepared fruit in a mixing bowl. Make sure to toss to cover entire contents of bowl.
-Chill in the refrigerator until time to serve.
-You can sprinkle a little extra nutmeg on top just before serving.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

A little advice to the ladies, when you become pregnant, use your crock pot as much as possible. I can't tell you how many times I've appreciated my crock pot and how I can put something in it in the morning and it's ready when we get home from work. Most days I am exhausted and not in the mood to cook. This keeps us from having to order takeout or go grab fast food, which is good because I  need to be eating more nutritional foods for my growing boy. :)

This orange chicken was delicious. We cooked some brown rice in the rice cooker and my husband steamed a bag of stir fry veggies that are fresh from the produce section at the store. It was delicious, balanced, and made my night.

Orange Chicken
Adapted by: http://team-t-adventures.blogspot.com/2010/03/crock-pot-orange-chicken.html

3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
6oz frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed or defrost in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds)
4 tablespoons brown sugar

-In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.
-Place flour in a small bowl and cover all chicken pieces with the flour.
-Place oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Place covered chicken pieces in the saucepan and brown all the chicken pieces until all sides are browned.
-Place chicken pieces in the crock pot and pour sauce over the mixture. Stir and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breasts

These chicken breasts are incredibly cheesy, moist, and tasty. We had these simple breasts with some peas and roasted carrots.

Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Serves: 4
Adapted by: http://jujugoodnews.com/garlic-lemon-double-stuffed-chicken/

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 oz light or fat free cream cheese, cut into 1/2'' slices
4 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2'' slices
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/3 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish with nonstick spray or thin coat of olive oil.
-Cut each chicken breast almost in half (butterfly). Place one slice each of cheddar cheese and cream cheese into the center of each chicken breast. Set aside.
-Pour milk into a small bowl.
-In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
-Carefully dip each breast into the milk and then the breadcrumbs mixture, to coat evenly.
-Place each coated chicken breast in the baking dish and tuck edges under to seal.
-Melt butter in the microwave and stir in the lemon juice and garlic. Drizzle over all of the coated chicken pieces.
-Season all chicken with garlic salt and paprika.
-Bake for 30 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center and cooked thoroughly.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chunky & Creamy Potato Salad

Perfect side dish for some smoked ham!

Chunky & Creamy Potato Salad
Adapted by: http://bookcooking.net/showthread.php?tid=5291

3 pounds yellow mini potatoes
12 slices center-cut, lean bacon
5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, diced or shredded
1 8oz bottle ranch salad dressing (I use light ranch)
2 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

-Place potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, or about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and let cool.
-Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook until browned and crisp, or about 10 minutes. Drain grease on a paper towel lined plate. Chop up cooked bacon.
-In a large bowl, combine cooled potatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs, broccoli, cheddar, ranch dressing, dill, salt and pepper until combined and serve.
-Refrigerate leftovers.

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Healthy Morning Muffins

Muffins are a great breakfast choice, when you make them healthy, because you can grab and go, which is usually how it goes for people on the work days. These muffins are simple but taste wonderful. I like to have one of these muffins with some scrambled eggs or turkey sausage.

Healthy Morning Muffins
Adapted by: http://www.marthastewart.com/339779/healthy-morning-muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil OR canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
4 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
-In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
-Stir in oats and raisins.
-Add milk, oil, egg, carrots and banana. Stir until combined well.
-Fill each muffin cup.
-Bake about 22 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
-Serve muffins warm

Enjoy! :)