Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Burger

250 calories each (w/o bun).


Check Out the CHEESE!!!
Nummer Nummer Nummers (Translation: Yum!)




Wrapped & Secured with a Toothpick
Hola!
A little Mexicano salutation for ya. 
I figure that is appropriate after tonight's dinner.
Spotted this deliciousness on http://www.dashingdish.com/
Enjoying this blog.  
Spiritual inspiration + Healthy Food = LOVE
Go check it out!




Ooey-Gooey Cheese
The recipe requires ground chicken. 
Ground Chicken is a tad unfamiliar to us. 
 I tried is once before- made chicken meatballs and was kind of "eh" about it.  
The texture is what makes us question our liking of ground chicken.
(Kind of odd that it is a little unknown to us, considering we gravitate more towards chicken for our home-cooked dinners. Anywho.)



I thought I'd give it a "go" again. Seems others I know personally really enjoy the chicken of ground. 
Maybe round 2?
Here goes...

The verdict? 
These were darn tasty.
I will totally make these again.
Yes, the texture was a bit different than ground beef, but not bad. 
The flavor was AH-MAZING.
This was quick, high protein, healthy, & to the point!

Additional Points:
-Served with a side of corn. 
-Hubby had his on a Healthy Life hamburger wheat Bun.
I took the suggestion of the Dashing Dish and ate mine low-carb style (aka wrapped in lettuce).
-Topped mine with Black Bean & Corn Salsa. 

Check out the Dashing Dish site for the recipe!
Oh, Yummers.
Even hubby liked it.  
I am totally passing this along. 


***Also, I OF COURSE didn't have the exactly correct ingredients. I substituted the 2 Tbs of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dry mix for 1 Tbs Ranch dry mix & 1 Tbs of the Fiesta seasoning from Tastefully Simple (which is Yummy!). 
I have no doubt this recipe would be just as good if I had used the correct Hidden Valley seasoning. 

Close enough.
Right?


Monday, March 26, 2012

Assembly-Style Greek Pizza




Hubby is baaaaack.
Back to making "dinner food."
Although, this recipe really doesn't require much cooking....

Before the hubby's vacations, he mentioned wanting some Greek pizza when he returned.
We first had Greek pizza at a local restaurant in our town.
We loved it so much, we decided we must re-create at home!
It's now a reoccuring meal in our dinner rotation.
This is fast (probably takes longer to assemble than to actually bake!), yummy, and defintely better for you than the standard "chain" pizza.

BUT...
*Problem* 
 I had yet to find the "perfect" pizza crust.
I have tried out different ones:
Pillsbury dough (requires dough to be pre-baked, then topped with pizza toppings)
Freschetta Crust (Already baked-just add toppings and bake.)
And, this week, Rustic Crust (already baked).

Previously, in my pizza undertakings, I found:
The Pillsbury dough didn't "hold up" against our massive amount of toppings (Crust was not cripsy!).
Freschetta was okay. Defintely crispier.
Progress made...
BUT, thus far, the Rustic Crust is the best!
(And cheaper than Freschetta, boo-yah!)

Nice & Crispy.

The Crust I used, courtesy of Wal-mart.

It seems I hardly make Greek pizza the exact same.
I mean, I have my always included ingredients, but it's never exact.
I mean, come on!

I always add:
Black olives, tomatoes of some sort, chicken, pizza sauce, feta, oregano
I sometimes add:
red pepper, mushrooms, onions, Mccormick red ppper and garlic seasoning
This time was our favorite!
Just keeps getting better and better!

Ingredients:
Pizza Sauce, jarred
1/2-3/4 cup Mozzerella cheese, shredded
 1/3 cup Feta, Cheese, crumbled
Parmesan cheese, to taste
Black Olives, small can
Sun-dried Tomatoes, about 6-7
2-3 Mushrooms, diced
6 oz shredded chicken, diced
Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, & McCormick Red Pepper & Garlic Seasoing-all to taste

Directions:

1)Top crust with Pizza sauce.
Add cheeses.
Add remaining ingredients.
Bake about 10 min on 425.
Enjoy!

Like to add, I think using Sun-Dried Tomatoes made a big difference!
(I generally had used plain Tomatoes).


What about you...do you have a particular brand of pizza crust you use or do you make from scratch?
I would love a good & healthy made from scratch recipe (or an awesome pre-made one)!
Feel free to share!

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Brinner" 2x!


Say hello to... 
BRINNER!!!
Breakfast fot DINNER
 Not uno, but dos.
(Practic-o mi espanol, si?)

Since I've been on my own for dinner this week, it's been kind of a "mixed bag."
Whatever I feel like!
Whatever is easy!
Whatever I have in the "stash."
Well, turns out my "stash" consists of pretty much no "dinner" food.
Thus, brinner. 
This week, I have had seafood 3x, chicken 2x, eggs 2x, oatmeal 3x, salads 2x, and lean pockets 2x (plus snackies-LOVE my snackies.). 
See a pattern?
Healthy.
Cheap.
Basic.
Easy.
No red meat.
No "dinner." 
(w/ the exception of 1 night of oh-so-delicious take out).
Been a bit out of the norm w/o my meat-eater hubby.

#1
Wednesday consisted of peach oats
Peach Oats have really "hit the spot" lately.  
 One of those things you make and you're like "Dang, making that again!"
So, I did. 
The next day.
Oh, yum.

#2
Thursday
I had totally scored some asparagus on sale for $1.99!
Whoohoo!
I usually don't by asparagus unless it is less then $3/lb. 
I mean, really! Any more than that is just too much!
What to do, what to do...
 For some reason, I keep thinking of Harrison Ford in the movie Morning Glory with Rachel McAdams. In the movie, Ford makes McAdams his famous frittata. (He only makes frittatas for people he likes.) 
Random, yes. 
Plus, frittata is waaaaay better than quiche. 
I'm not a big fan of quiche.
Quiche=pie crust=me no likey
So, made an Asparagus Frittata
Sounds fancy, huh?
Super easy, healthy, and fast!
Mine ended up having more asparagus than egg, and needed milk, but still yum!

Peach Oats:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup finely diced peaches
3 Tbs lowfat cottage cheese
1 packet sweetener (mine is splenda)
cinnamon, optional
1/4 tsp baking powder

  • Combine all ingredients in a greased, small dish. Bake for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. (I swear you do not notice the cottage cheese-the texture blends with the oats.)
Asparagus Fritatta
1/2 bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
Additional veggies: I used mushrooms and topped w/ a tomato
Salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, thyme, and onion powder, to taste.
 
  • Steam asparagus until bright green and tender. (dark green=overcooked!)
  •  Whisk eggs and seasoning in a cup.
  • Combine all ingredients in a non-sticket skillet.
  • Bake in over on 350 until set (about 10 minutes)
 
The "Zoom-In"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Going Toasty....Toasted PB & Banana Sandwich

Yummy Tummy 'Nanner Sandwich!
Who doesn't love Peanut Butter and Bananas???
Flippin' awesome.

I arrived home from work and wasn't quite sure what I wanted to eat. 
Seems I have almost no meat in the house with the exception of few cans of canned products (emergency stashes).
Plus, I'd been kind of  totally snacking quite a bit, so, I was hungry, but not in the mood for a big ol' dinner.
What to do?
Decided on a good and yummy PB&B Sandwich. 
I traditionally make an easy PB&B sandwich. 
No toast-just slap it together and go.
I got to thinking, "Hey, why not amp this baby up?!"
Going Toasty.

I do love this sandwich (when the mood strikes me). Plus, this is a reduced calorie version -about 320-360 calories depending on the amt of PB you use :). 

Leaning Tower of PB&B!
Ingredients:
2 Slices Light Bread (@ 35 cal each)
1 to 1 1/2 Tbs Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Banana
Cinnamon, to taste (LOVE cinnamon!!!)

Directions:
1) Preheat a skillet on med-high heat.
 2) Assemble the "Sammie"
3) Spray skillet with no-stick spray. Toast each side until lightly browned. 


YUMMY!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nantucket Cod with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

 Hubby was out of town...time to try some new foods!
When my hubby is home, I am less apt to try foods I know he isn't particularly fond of-even if I make them just for moi. 
I don't want a "hungry hubby," gosh, darn it!

Two of the hubby's dislikes were in tonight's dinner: 
Tomatoes and Brussel Sprouts. 

I LOOOOOVE tomatoes. In fact, I CANNOT WAIT for home-grown summer tomatoes. 
Oh. Yum.

I used the tomatoes to make a knock-off of Red Lobster's Nantucket Cod (which, oddly, I have never had). 
This was good! The tomatoes and seasoning were not overpowering, but really "added to" the dish.
I could really taste the fresh cod! 
I would make this one again!


On the other hand, I was a little scarred from a brussel sprouts "incident" from my childhood.
At my birthday party as a little kiddo, I was informed I could not have MY birthday cake until I had eaten brussel sprouts.
Oh. The. Horror. 
However, I lived barely
As an adult, brussel sprouts are "just okay."
I have heard that roasted brussel sprouts are quite good/better than usual.  
So, I thought I'd try.

Very Easy to Make!
I went simple with the brussel sprouts-just olive oil, salt, pepper, and dash of seasoning salt. 
Combined all ingredients and roasted on 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. 
The result?
They are okay. 
Yes, definitely better than steamed or boiled. 
I played it safe this time, but I want to make these again with different flavor add-ons (balsamic, garlic, etc).
                                    

Gosh, they look so delicious!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Errrr...Pizza Bake?

 
This dish was suppose to be crock-pot pizza. 
What did it turn out to be? 
Well, after my many adjustments, it was more like a pasta bake.
What did I change? 
More like, what didn't I change!
 
The original recipe calls baking the ingredients in a crock-pot - equal amounts of Italian sausage and ground beef, rotini, pepperoni, pizza sauce, mozzarella, yellow cheese, green pepper, onion, and mushrooms.
So, here goes the changes...
Due to hubby preferences, I used less Italian sausage pepperoni (causes the heart to burn), AND less veggies AND added Italian Seasoning to compensate. 
Due to my inability to read directions properly, I used spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce.
Due to not having all supplies on-hand, I omitted the mozzarella.
Due to laziness in prepping the night before, I baked mine in the oven (no crock-pot).
So, as you see. I really didn't make the crock-pot pizza.
I made a pasta bake.

Oh, how the story goes! 
This was still good!
I made a big 9x13 pan.
A lot for 2 people; we ate dinner last night, leftovers tonight, shared with a friend, and STILL have a serving left! 

This was a basic, good pasta bake.
Nice and filling!

1 lb ground beef
1 link Italian Sausage (Turkey)
Chopped onions & Mushrooms
1 1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper

1) Combine all in skillet. Cook until meat is browned. Set aside.

1 box rotini, cooked & drained
2 jars Spaghetti sauce
1/2 pkg Pepperoni (Turkey)
8-12 oz shredded cheese (Cheddar)

2) Combine the above ingredients with the meat mixture.
3) Bake on 375 for about 20 minutes.




Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Salmon in Creamy Dill Sauce with Boiled Pototoes, Roasted Asapragus, & Stuffed Crab Shells

Yummers!

Ever make a recipe, really like it, and think you've discovered a new favorite - only to realize you've "been there, done that?"
Yeah, totally been there and did that.
My re-visit was just as good as the last.
Okay, I lie.
This was probably better because I used Halibut last time.
I like Salmon better.
Plus, the Salmon holds the flavor better, in my opinion.

The last recipe consisted of halibut, parmesan, sour cream, dill, salt, pepper, & I added garlic.
This recipe consisted of salmon, sour cream, dill, salt, pepper, garlic, & lemon.
So this was no parm, add lemon, use different fish.
Confused, yet?

Either way, I like them both!
Even if this was an unaware repeat.
I guess I am consistent in what I like!

I served this with boiled potatoes, oven-roasted asparagus, and pre-made stuffed crab shells (I picked those up fresh from Kroger).

Creamy Dilled Salmon
1) Stir to combine 1/2 cup sour cream, dry dill, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon pepper.
2) Pour 3/4 of sauce over uncooked fish.
**Reserve some sauce for dipping.***
3) Bake on 375 for about 15-20 minutes.

Quick, Easy, & Delicious!


Flavoring my salmon with dill is one my favorite ways to eat salmon. It's an awesome duo!

 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weight Watcher Zucchini Pizza

Reminds me of Sand (Parmesan) and Driftwood (Zucchini Pizzas). Odd comparison, I'm aware.
 Howdy-oh! Hope your Sunday is nice and relaxing! I have been a bit lazy today. This day is now totally self-designated as my "rest day"! After working about Tues-Sat this week, I am a bit tired! Speaking of Saturday, I ran a 5k (2nd in my age group) and shopped for hours! Talk about my kind of day! I went shopping on a mission for 3 items-"unmentionables," a swimsuit, and shoes. Bagged the first 2 of the 3. Darn shoes. I am forever torn between my love of gorgeous, marvelous, high quality shoes and being a tightwad. *sigh* Shall I ever learn? Oh, I've found shoes I liked, but hate paying the $80-$120 per pair. Am I the only "tightwad" or do others share in my thoughts?
What is this post actually about? 
Oh, yeah. 
Food. 
Yum.

I spotted this recipe a couple of weeks ago on www.slenderkitchen.com. The blog's creator posts many Weight Watcher friendly recipes. While I myself am not participating in a WW program, I am always game for trying their recipes....they're healthy and almost always delicious.
Plus, I really like pizza and am always searching for a healthier way to go "ma' slice!" (See the related post: http://www.creationsofawannabechef.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html)

The result? This was yummy, but not "awesome." Would I make it again? 
Maybe. 
Would I eat it again? 
Yes. 
It was okay; not at all bad, but not really "pizza" either. But it was tasty and filling. 

I super-big bonus is....I ate all this (2 zucchinis, 'cause I don't know how to follow directions, AND all toppings) for about 250 calories!!!! Stinkin' awesome. I was worried the zucchini would leave me hungry later, but, nope, still stuffed 1 1/2 later! Yippee!

I've posted the link to the recipe below. I want to give props to the original post.

The Zucchini Pizzas did get my "wheels" turning about making stuffed zucchini boats of some sort......

Friday, March 2, 2012

Light & Buttery Goodness: Soft Snickerdoodles

Behold, a sea of snickerdoodles!
Oh, yeah.
These were my attempt to sweeten up the hubby.
Hope it works!

One of my hubby's favorite cookies is the snickerdoodle.
We both like soft cookies, so, the recipe "Soft Snickerdoodles" on www.food.com definitely caught my eye.
I've been thinking about cookies (oh, yum). 
I was out of chocolate chips at the time (but not any more! Muuahahahh). 
I whipped these babies up in about 30 minutes-they were mixed and baked!
Cooling took a bitter longer, of course. *smile*

I loved that these were fast and soft! They baked perfectly.
The only thing I will do different (easy-peasy fix) is to use less cinnamon or roll the cookies in less of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. The original recipe called for equal parts cinnamon and sugar. 
I'm thinking more sugar, less cinnamon.
The larger amount of cinnamon made the cookies more "french-toast-y" than "snickerdoodle-y". 
Yep. That sounds grammatically correct.
Or, like something tasting like french toast is a problem. Puh-lease.

FYI: These below are my first batch w/o refrigerating the dough for 2 hours. 
The other batches, so very soon to come, will be refrigerated as instructed. 




Yeah, I know. Check out that perfect texture. Probably from the copious amounts of butter. OH. YUM.
Light and buttery goodness.

Ingredients:

Servings: 24
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  5. Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
  7. Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
  8. Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
  9. Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from pan immediately.

Easy Ranch Chicken Strips

Howdy, y'all! I've been a little MIA this week or two. Something about a major exam really eats up your time!

Got an easy recipe for you...Ranch Chicken Strips! It's only 3 ingredients!
Well, 5 if you count the marinating. 

I've been craving chicken strips like crazy for a while. You know, the "gas station" kind. Oh, the good ol' crunchy, deep-fried kind. Don't judge, you know you've been there too. I totally almost "caved" to the fried chicken on a couple of occasions. I may or may not have given in to fried potato wedges.

Step 1:
Place 1 cup milk, 1 Tbs white vinegar, and 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Breasts (cut into strips) in a sealable bag in the refrigerator. Marinate overnight.

Step 2:
Combine 1 pkg dry Ranch seasoning mix, 1/3 parmesan, & about 2 cups panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. (Not going to lie, I totally "eyeballed" this.)

Step 3: Remove chicken from milk marinade. Let Drip dry a bit. Roll chicken in seasoning/crumbs.

Step 4: Spray chicken with non-stick spray (helps it crisp) and bake for about 20-25 minutes on 360.

Serve with your chosen dip-mine was Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce!
Yum!





Quick, tasty, AND easy!
Hubby was worried this wouldn't be crispy enough. But, alas, the panko makes it pretty crispy for being baked "fried" chicken. This one has his "seal of approval" and the nod to make again.