Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mexican Layered Casserole (AKA Mexican Biscuit Pot Pie)

You know when you see a recipe you think sounds good, but, then there is one ingredient thrown in the mix that makes you go, "Huh? Shall I dare to try?" 
The thing that makes you want to try it just because it is odd?
Yep. This is kind of that recipe. 
Only, the odd ingredient, BiScUiTs, isn't odd in itself, its just odd in a MEXICAN dish. 
Biscuit and Mexican. They just scream of a marriage made in heaven. 
I know, shouldn't it be cornbread, chips, or something?
The other side of me thought...It's biscuits. It can't be bad.
And the verdict is...
DELICIOUS! I WILL make this again.
Yes, at first the biscuits were different. Not bad, just unexpected. But very yummy. 
Friggin' Awesome as leftovers. 

Next time, I am going to make this with tortilla chips or fritos in place of the biscuits to try it out and give it more of a "mexican feel."
The filling is what makes
 the dish. 
But, then again, I love Mexican!

Plus, got this from one of those good ol' church cookbooks. Aren't those the best?
Love 'em.

1)  1 lb ground beef (I used 93% lean)
2) 1 can Rotel (spicy is best!)
3) 1/2 jar salsa
4) 1 can corn, drained
5) 1 pkg dry taco seasoning
6) 2 small cans biscuits (I used the cheap ones!)
7) Shredded Cheese ( I used pepper jack and cheddar)
8) Sour cream, optional

Step 1: Brown ground beef. Drain if necessary. 
Step 2: Add in rotel, corn, salsa, and taco seasoning,
Step 3: Line a greased casserole dish with biscuit.
Step 4: Pour 3/4 filling over biscuits, top with cheese, then add the remaining 1/4 of filling
Step 5: Top with biscuits
Step 6: Cover and cook about 30 minutes on 375 degrees. 
Step 7: Top with sour cream and enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Over the Past Couple of Weeks....

Yeah, okay, I may have been a little MIA lately. Okay, fine, I have been MIA. To catch up, I decided to do a  roll-out of my recent cooking results. 

 I feel I am required to pass along this recipe. I know I really really like oatmeal, but this is one that is just very delicious-disregarding my own personal oatmeal bias. This is so, so good AND filling!    

Maple & Pumpkin Ginger Oatmeal  

 1/2 Cup oatmeal (I use old-fashioned)
4 Tbs Pumpkin Puree
3 Tbs lowfat Cottage Cheese
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 pkg Splenda
Cinnamon, pinch of Ginger, and pinch of Allspice
1 cup Water
2 Tbs sugar-free Maple Syrup

1) Mix all ingredients, except maple syrup, together until well combined.
2) Bake on 350 for about 20-25 minutes
3) Top with Maple syrup. 100% Yum!

About 240 calories, 10g protein, & 6g fiber! 
Awesome. I seriously recommend. 
Next Up:
This one was kind of an accident. Meant to grab the Basil...instead grabbed the Cilantro. Eh, just a detour to my yumminess. I really like this and it was ready...fast! Totally cheated with the Steamer bag of the broccoli mac'n cheese.

Is just me or does the steamer bags never taste quite right?
Lime-Cilantro Cod with Side Salad & Broccoli Mac 'n Cheese 

Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie
This is a dish in my normal dinner rotation. It can be made ahead, is tasty, filling, and most importantly, has NO pie crust!!!

And finally...

Holy, Moly...My New Sweet Euphoria
Yep. I have a new obsession. FROZEN YOGURT! I love it!!!
I have had 3 different chains' fro-yo:
1) Sweet CeCe's
2) Swirl's
3) Orangeleaf
Orangeleaf is definitely my favorite.
However, no OrangeLeaf Frozen Yogurt. 
I shouldn't really complain - both places are still delcious!!! 
I bug Aaron (hubby) like a 5 yr old every time we are near a fro-yo place.
"Hey, don't forget...", 
"When we gonna go?" 
"I want some frozen yogurt sooooo bad."
It's pretty pathetic.
 Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I have an addiction.

Cookies n' Cream with Oreos and Marshmallows
Not a good pic of me!

Hubby had Chocolate with Brownies, Whipped Cream, & Cherries

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baked Chicken Parmesan


Yes. It is Chicken Parmesan.
And, YES, it was delicious.

This is a definite keeper. Easy, simple, and very yummy. I was browsing Google for the "Best Food Apps" when I came across the reference to a site called... http://www.theskinnyskillet.com. Say what? Totally went to check it out. I can tell I will be frequently visiting this site. It's basic, easy, and delish recipes.

While I was perusing the Skinny Skillet site, I found "Chicken Strips Parmesan."
I have been totally craving Italian like crazy. (Actually really been in the mood for pizza.)
Also, quite a great coincidence that I had some thawed chicken in the fridge that needed to be used up. 
Coincidence or Fate? 
To be honest, my experience with baked "fried" foods has not really left me super-impressed. This recipe and my Mini Chicken Cordon Bleu's are exceptions. *smile*
Guess it has to be done just right!

Here's the recipe:
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless (Odd, since the original title says "Strips")
1 egg, large
1/3 cup bread crumbs, Italian herb flavored
1 cups marinara sauce, already prepared, jar or deli
1/2 cup cheese, mozzarella, low moisture and part skim milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. 
  3. Cut chicken breasts into strips about 1 inch wide. 
  4. Beat egg in a bowl. 
  5. Place bread crumbs on a plate for dredging. 
  6. Dip the chicken strips in egg, then bread crumbs and place on baking sheet. 
  7. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray. 
  8. Bake for 15 minutes turning once. 
  9. Spoon marinara sauce on top of each chicken strip. Top with mozzarella, then Parmesan and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Nutrition: Per Serving About: 300 calories, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 32 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates,2 g dietary fiber, 720 mg sodium; WW Points plus value 7

*Helpful note-Don't be afraid to "up" the garlic!

Oh, yeah, hubby liked it, too. Guess that IS important! We served with a salad and lima beans. 
(I know, where the heck did Lima Beans come from??? Not exactly "italian" food. But, what can I say, it just sounded good-we haven't had them in a very long time! Don't judge! *wink*)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Overnight Oats

Yee-haw! Oats!
I have now successfully made (and liked) overnight oats!
For those of you who know me personally, you, more likely, are aware of my love of oats. Like, I really, really like oats...a lot.
I have made oats using different methods: baked, stovetop, whipped, & microwave .
These include a long list of various add-ins, such as coffee creamer, fruits, maple syrup, milk, protein powder, and so on.
However, one method remains.
Until now...

I have attempted overnight oats on one previous occasion, one unsuccessful previous occasion. It kind of scarred me for a bit. My oats were too, liquid-y, cold, and just not good. Scratched that idea for a while. Then, I was reading http://www.pbfingers.com/ and seen she puts yogurt in her oats. Also, there were comments how some people really don't like the texture, or they are odd for folks at first, but then they like them, and so on.
Hmmm...yogurt would make my oats thicker. That would take care of my soup-y-turn-you-off constistency.
Okay. I shall be brave again.

So, I mixed up a carton of Kroger's CarbSmart  Vanilla Chai yogurt, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/2 Tbs of milled Flax Seed, and water (just eyeballed it). Just popped a lid on the container and stuck it in the fridge overnight. *Breathe* Here goes....

Okay..opened the container in the a.m......
My texture was great! I actually added more water 'cause I like my oats "loose." Sprinkled in some cinnamon ('Cause I LOVE cinnamon) and ta-da!
They were good!
Totally changed my previous "ugh" feelings of overnight oats. Now I know, I need yogurt for my desired consistency!
*Sigh* So happy to have another  new way to make my oats! Yippee!
Plus, these were great on the go! Just grab-and-go on the way to work! I will definitely make again...
AND with new yogurt flavors...Oh, the possibilities!!!!

Side Note: Kroger's CarbSmart yogurt is Cheap AND Healthy-60 cals, 8g of protein, 3g sugar, and 1.5g of fat...yeah. pretty great, I know-BUT the texture is definitely thicker and different than most yogurts. 

So Happy in My Oat Bliss.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

S.P.x2 & Brownies

Yep. Check it out. Salmon Patties and Sweet Potatoes (okay, so a can of collards greens is thrown in there, too). (S.P. & S.P...get it? *wink*)
I have been planningon/thinking about/almost making salmon patties for like a month. Well, I finally did it. I've the can of salmon for, let's just say, a few months. Just hanging out. When I would dig through my canned food stash, it'd be like, "Hey! mReember me? Good ol' salmon. I have a lot of Omega-3's...wait...don't go..." Okay. That may be a wee bit extreme (you think?). But you get the point.
I will add, the salmon was hanging out with the "about to go bad" sweet potatoes. Gotta do something about that. Shant waste a sweet potato!

Part Un: Salmon Patties, wee?
As for the salmon patties, I tried a different way of making them. I haven't made "S.P's" in a couple of years. Dunno way. Just haven't. Typically, I have baked them. Which left me with patties that feel a part and pale (no brown crust goodness). I didn't want to cook them the "in-law" way (while DELICIOUS, is not great for the arteries) and I wanted to add my yummy crust. Totally just said "What the Hey!" and tried a completely new recipe (plus, kind of couldn't remember the old one :)).

The result? Defintely was able to get a better sear ot the patty. Defintely the patties held together better. As a personal preference, I think I just need to revert back to the old recipe seasoning profile...the one with Old Bay seasoning. Don't get me wrong, these were good. and tasty - Old Bay is just better! (In our opinion.)

Part Deux: Sweet Potatoes (Another "S.P"...coincidence? or not?)
Wanted to try a slightly different way of making sweet potatoes. Primarly b/c I hate the time it takes to bake a sweet potato. I'm impatient. I know this. The first step is acknowledging, right?
These were simple, but oh. so. good. I think I can eat my weight in sweet potatoes. har har. But I did learn a couple things...
1)PEEL your sweet potatoes before cooking. The skin is more durable/thicker than white potatoes (usually I leave the skin on white potatoes for the texture & health benefits). Trust me on this one.
2) You do not need as much liquid as white potatoes. (And sweet potatoes need no salt! A MAJOR difference from white potatoes.) My texture was a bit looser than I desired.
End result? Yep. Would TOTALLY make these again. Just peel 'em first!

Salmon Patties
  •  one (14.75 oz) can of salmon, drained, bones & skin removed
  • one "fresh stack" Ritz (about 20 crackers), crushed
  • 2 eggs
  • parsely, to taste
  • red papper flakes, to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
1) Combine all. Form into patties.
2) Preheat Skillet on med-high heat. Add 1/2 Tbs of Olive oil. Cook on both sides until browned (about 3 minutes each). Voila! Easy-peasy!

Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs of sweet potatoes, cubed and peeled
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbs butter (I used light butter)
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup (I used sugar-free)
  • 4 Tbs brown sugar (splenda or regular)
  • cinnamon, to taste
1) Boil sweet potatoes until tender. Drain
2) Add remaining ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer. Voila! Double easy-peasy!

My Cooking Station

Salmon Patties

Brownies were made earlier in the day....I really love brownies! One of my favorite deserts. Totally used the box!

Oh. Yum.