Thursday, January 31, 2013

Banana Cream Pie with Golden Oreo Crust

I haven't had a terrible sweet tooth almost my entire pregnancy, but I would say the past two weeks, sweets is all I can think about. This banana cream pie was absolutely scrumptious and definitely hit the spot when I needed something sweet a few nights ago.

Banana Cream Pie with Golden Oreo Crust
Serves: 8 slices
Adapted by:

Lite Cool Whip OR 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for homemade whip cream
25 golden oreos
4 tablespoons light butter
3 bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon light butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 box (3.4 oz) banana pudding
1/2 cup milk
additional bananas, if desired

-For the crust, put golden oreos in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Stir crumbs with 4 tablespoons of melted butter to create a paste like substance. Press into a 9 inch pie plate to create the crust. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees and set aside to cool.
-If you are making homemade whipping cream, chill a medium sized bowl for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Add cold cream and powdered sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Chill until you are ready to use it.
-Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sized sauce pan. Add brown sugar and 3 sliced bananas and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
-Puree banana mixture in a blender or food processor.
-Pour banana mixture into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 3/4 cups liquid, or about 1/2 cup milk. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the pudding mix. Whisk until combined thoroughly.
-Fold half of the whipped cream into the banana mixture, or use half a tub of slightly thawed cool whip. Add additional chopped bananas, if desired. Add mixture to the cooled pie plate.
-Use additional whipped cream to decorate the top of the pie.
-Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Barley & Asparagus

I'm trying to use different grains in our house, so I definitely wanted to try out this barley and asparagus side dish. We had this dish with some italian turkey sausage and fresh pear sliced up.

Barley & Asparagus
Adapted by:

-3 1/2 cups Progresso® chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
-1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
-1 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
-8 oz asparagus (8 to 10 stalks), cut into 1-inch pieces
-2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
-1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme leaves
-1/8 teaspoon pepper

-In a saucepan, add chicken broth and heat over medium heat.
-In a large saute pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and saute for a few minutes.
-Add barley to the saute pan and cook 1 additional minute, stirring frequently.
-Pour 1 cup of hot broth into the saute pan. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed.
-Stir in asparagus and cook for 15 to 20 additional minutes, adding 1 cup of broth at a time and stirring often, until barley is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
-Add cheese, thyme, and pepper. Stir well
-Serve warm

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins are scrumptious! They are a "skinny" version, so I don't feel bad that we made these and ate them rather quickly. You can enjoy them for breakfast with some scrambled eggs or other protein, but we chose to just enjoy these as a midday snack each day for the week.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 10 muffins
Adapted by:

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 egg white, beaten
2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with baking liners.
-In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Set aside.
-In another bowl, mix the sugars and applesauce together with a mixer until no lumps remain. Add the beaten egg white and fully incorporate.
-Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined - do not overmix. Fold in strawberries and chocolate chips with a spoon.
-Divide batter into 10 muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are lightly golden and completely cooked through.
-Serve warm or cool

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simple Beef Stroganoff

Looking for a quick dinner to use ground beef or ground turkey? This simple beef stroganoff is the perfect meal when you want something simple and quick. We find this stroganoff to be very filling because of the pasta, so I usually just serve it with a small side of veggies.

Simple Beef Stroganoff
Adapted by:

8 oz package of egg noodles (I use Healthy Harvest Wheat egg noodles for the whole grain benefits)
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
1 can Campbell's Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup light sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste

-Prepare egg noodles according to directions on the package. Set aside.
-In a sauce pan, add the beef and cook until crumbled and cooked through. Drain any fat.
-Add garlic powder and cream of mushroom soup to the beef in the pan. Stir together well. Cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes.
-Remove the mixture from heat and add to the egg noodles. Stir together until blended well. Add sour cream and season with salt and pepper; stir together.
-Serve warm

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crock Pot Baja Pork Tacos

Again, you all know I am now well into my third trimester of pregnancy, so any meal that is simple and easy is the best right now for me. These pork tacos are scrumptious! They cook in the slow cooker all day, so dinner is ready within minutes. We had these pork tacos with some fresh fruit salad on the side and were very satisfied. Plus, this made a lot of leftover shredded pork that I put in freezer bags for other meals later on.

Crock Pot Baja Pork Tacos
Adapted by:

1 3-pound boneless pork sirloin roast, trimmed of most fat
4 cans diced green chiles
2 tablespoons reduced sodium taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon ground cumin
corn tortillas OR flour tortillas (we prefer whole grain corn tortillas)
toppings you desire, such as shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc...

-Place roast in slow cooker.
-In a bowl, combine chiles, taco seasoning, and cumin. Mix together and pour on top of the roast.
-Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
-Skim any fat after cooking and shred with two forks until you have all the pork shredded.
-Serve on corn tortillas and top how you prefer.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bacon & Pea Macaroni and Cheese

This dish may sound a little strange, but trust me it is absolutely delicious. It's incredibly filling, so you don't need anything with it and it is great comfort food.

Bacon & Pea Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted by:

8 oz penne pasta (I use whole wheat or whole grain varieties)
8 oz frozen peas
4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
dash of hot sauce
4 oz reduced-fat cheddar, shredded
4 oz fontina cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

-In a saute pan, cook bacon until crisp and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain grease off and set aside.
-Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water, according to directions on package.
-Add frozen peas to the pasta and water when you have one minute left to cook the pasta.
-Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta/pea mixture.
-Return the pasta and peas to the pot.
-Add 1/4 cup pasta water, the yogurt, a few dashes of hot sauce, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until cheese is melted.
-Stir in remaining cheese, a handful at a time, to prevent clumping. Stir until melted.
-Add addtional pasta water, as necessary, to thin and melt the cheese sauce.
-Season with salt and pepper
-Add bacon and stir well

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sweet Corn Risotto

Risotto has a reputation for being difficult to make and time consuming, but this recipe is actually quite simple and doesn't take a really long time to make, plus it tastes amazing. We had this sweet corn risotto with all natural cajun style chicken sausage and fresh pear slices on the side. It was the perfect meal after a long day of work.

Sweet Corn Risotto
Adapted by:

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 cup arborio rice
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn (thawed)
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 tablespoon herbs de provence

-Heat chicken broth in a saucepan on medium heat. Once warm, turn to low to keep warm.
-In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil and minced onion. Add rice and stir until combined well. Cook over medium high heat until rice is slightly browned/toasted.
-In the nonstick skillet, add 1 cup of heated chicken broth at a time, and simmer over low heat until all all the liquid absorbs. Repeat process until all liquid is used up and absorbed in the rice dish.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-When you add the final cup of broth to the pan, add the corn, cheese, and herbs de provence. Stir well.
-Serve when most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brown Rice with Chicken & Vegetables

This is a healthy and delicious meal that comes together quite quickly. You could substitute pork or beef in place of the chicken, but we had chicken thawed, so this is what I threw together. I love how many different veggies are involved. It always makes me feel better about a meal that is veggie loaded. It is hearty and filling, so we just had this in a bowl and some fresh orange wedges on the side. YUM!

Brown Rice with Chicken & Vegetables
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

8 oz chicken breast - diced
1 onion - diced
1 medium zucchini - diced
1/2 cup yellow corn
1 cup green peas
1/2 cup shelled edamame - cooked
2 cups broccoli- chopped and cooked
1 egg
2 cups leftover brown rice (preferably cold)
1 tablespoon sesame oil OR canola oil
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 cup green scallions - minced

-Heat a wok over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick spray.
-Saute diced chicken breasts until it is cooked. Make sure to season with salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from pan and keep warm.
-In the same wok, add onion and zucchini; cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
-Add corn, peas, edamame and broccoli.
-Stir fry all veggies for 3 more minutes.
-Move veggies to the side of the wok and add your egg. Quickly scramble it into tiny pieces.
-Add the brown rice, cooked chicken, and sesame oil to the wok. Stir until all rice and veggies are combined.
-Let it cook for a few minutes.
-Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and scallions. Stir well and serve hot.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves

These mini meatloaves are so adorable! I couldn't help it and had to try them out and we were pleased with how they tasted. We had these meatloaves with steamed fresh green beans and some oven roasted carrots. You will love these. Feel free to use beef or ground turkey for these. I used lean, organic ground beef.

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves
Serves: 4
Adapted by:

1 large sweet onion
1 tablespoon light butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, whisked
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bbq sauce, of your choice
2 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4'' cubes

-Cut onion in half and then slice halves into thin slices. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden and caramelized, or about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool when they are done.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons bbq sauce, panko bread crumbs, dash of pepper and salt, cheese cubes, and onions. Mix until combined.
-Divide beef mixture into 4 small loaves and place on a nonstick baking sheet.
-Spread 1 tablespoon bbq sauce on top of each mini loaf.
-Bake for 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.
-Serve warm

Enjoy! :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tropical Granola Bars

Yes, I am aware the grocery store has lots of options when it comes to different varieties of granola bars. However, they are so easy to make at home, that you shouldn't even buy the boxed kind, in my opinion. I need healthy snacks around the house for my pregnancy cravings, so I decided to make a batch of these. Boy I was not disappointed. These are perfect for a quick on the go breakfast as well.

Tropical Granola Bars
Adapted by:

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup macadamia nuts - chopped
1/3 cup raw honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons light butter, plus extra for the pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lite salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup craisins or raisins (I used craisins...yum!)

-Butter a 9x9 baking dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Spread the oats and macadamia nuts on a baking pan and toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once.
-In a saucepan over medium heat, add the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt. Cook until brown sugar is dissolved.
-Once the oat mixture is done in the oven, remove and reduce heat to 300 degrees.
-Immediately add the oat mixture to the brown sugar mixture. Add in the coconut and craisins. Stir until completely combined.
-Spread mixture into buttered baking dish and press down, evenly distributing all the ingredients and bake for 25 minutes.
-Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing.
-Cut into squares or bars and store in an airtight container or wrap individually in saran wrap.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans

I am so sorry that I don't post much lately. I am in my third trimester of pregnancy and honestly too tired or don't feel well enough to cook any elaborate meals lately. We've been doing very simple and quick dishes. With winter being in full force, this ham and white bean recipe is perfect. It's easy and goes into the crockpot, so you have minimal effort and a great dinner. We served this dish with some homemade cornbread on the side.

Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans
Adapted by:

1 pound dry northern beans (soak overnight in a pot full of water and drain well)
1 ham bone (or lean ham cut up; about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups vegetable broth OR water (broth will add flavor)
salt, to taste

-Add beans, garlic powder, ham, salt, pepper, and broth in crockpot.
-Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or beans are tender.
-Serve warm

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

My husband and I love cheese, so naturally we had to try out these skinny baked mozzarella sticks with dinner last night. I made a lightened version of baked chicken parmesan and served it on top of wheat egg noodles with some pasta sauce. These mozzarella sticks were the perfect addition to the meal. They would be great as an appetizer or along with any Italian meal.

Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Serves: 4 to 6
Adapted by:

6 sticks, mozzarella string cheese (reduced fat or the weight watchers brand)
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons italian seasoned breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried parsley
olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray

-Cut each string cheese in half, so you have 12 half size pieces. Place in freezer on a plate until almost frozen.
-Take three smalls bowls from your pantry. In the first small bowl, beat a large egg together with a fork. Set aside.
-In the second small bowl, add your flour to it.
-In the third bowl, add your breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and parsley.
-Once cheese is frozen, remove from freezer.
-Take each cheese stick and roll around in the flour, followed by the egg mixture, and then last in the bread crumb mixture.
-Place each coated cheese stick on a nonstick baking tray.
-Spray the tops of the finished, coated cheese sticks with nonstick cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil spray (my preference).
-Bake at 400 degrees on the lower part of your oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip over and bake an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until crispy but not melted.
-Serve warm with marinara dipping sauce

Enjoy! :)