Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tasty Chicken Taquitos




Yet again, Another new recipe. 
I know. 
I just can't help myself. 

I found this on the blog, Taste and Tell. Deborah, the creator of Taste and Tell, gave this recipe a "10 out of 10."
Say what?
That is strong statement. 
So, got to try....suppose to be delicious and Mexican.
I am so. there.

I boiled my chicken the night before. And I am so glad I did. This recipe, while, yes, very yummy, took me a bit to assemble. 
Plus, this was my first time making and, if you're like me, it takes a bit longer to make a recipe the first time around. 

But, no fear, these taquitos were so worth the wait. 
Loved 'em!
And, the Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dressing is Ah-mazing! 
This recipe would just not be the same without it. The dressing is so good, I can only imagine what else you could serve it with. 

Hubby approved this recipe. He said, "Yes, make this again!"
I made a double-batch, so, we had enough left overs for the next day (or two!). 
I think this would be great to make then freeze for later dining...IF you can stand to not eat them all at once. 

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
from Our Best Bites Cookbook
makes 14-16 corn tortillas or 10-12 flour tortillas
total time: about 45 minutes
1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
6-inch corn or flour tortillas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, optional
nonstick cooking spray
kosher salt
Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dressing (recipe follows)

1. Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepper jack cheese.
3. Wrap 3-4 tortillas at a time in damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds so they are soft and pliable. If you find your tortillas are cracking when rolled, use damper paper towels and increase the microwave time.
4. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges, and then roll up.
5. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt on top. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dressing.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dressing
from Our Best Bites Cookbook
makes 2 cups
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons lime juice)
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup green salsa
hot sauce, to taste
Combine mayonnaise, milk, lime juice and the contents of the ranch dressing in a blender or food processor. Add garlic, cilantro, and green salsa and blend to thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Season with hot sauce, if desired. If possible, refrigerate for several hours to allow the dressing to thicken and the flavors to meld.


*Helpful hint*-be careful to put some space in between the taquitos on the baking sheet. I smooshed mine close together and the sides of my taquitos could have been a bit crispier. I was trying not to dirty another cookie sheet.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flatbread Cheeseburger Pizza!



Not going to lie...I wasn't 100% sure about this recipe, but it intrigued me. 
I first saw this recipe on the blog PeanutButterFingers.
I have not ordered a Cheeseburger pizza in my 25 years. 
I think I've taken a bite of someone else's cheeseburger pizza, like, one time
Well, since I am doing better and all with planning our meals (*pats self on the back*), I planned to give this recipe a go.  

Close-up!

The result?
LOVED IT!
I was pleasantly surprised. 
The sauce on the pizza reminds me of the "special sauce" from McD's. (Um...YUM!!!)
Except, a lot better for you. 

Served with a side of roasted sliced Parmesan zucchini.
This was a great, easy dinner. 
Plus, I need something easy and FAST after my workout class, 'cause we don't generally get to eat dinner until 7:00 p.m. or so on the workout nights...late for us (late dinner=starvin' marvin).
Also, cheeseburger pizza is not too hard on the pocket book either-4 pizzas for about $6-$7, maybe?
These babies have a little less than 400 calories each. When's the last time you had a BIG pizza for less than 400 calories?

Don't be scared of Cheeseburger Pizza, Be BrAvE!

Here's the recipe, b/c ya know ya wanna try it...

Makes 4 Pizzas

Ingredients:
4 St Joseph's Flatbreads ($2 each @ walmart)
5 Tbs Miracle Whip
3 Tbs Ketchup
1 1/2 Tbs Yellow Mustard
1 1/2 Tbs Relish (Mine was Dill, not sweet)
3/4 lbs Ground Beef, cooked (Mine was 93/7%)
1 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
Shredded lettuce
Tomato
Hamburger Pickle Chips



Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray.
2) Bake Flatbreads in oven until crispy.
3) While flatbreads are baking, make the sauce: mix together MW, ketchup, mustard, and relish.
4) Remove flatbreads from oven, top with mixed sauce, cooked beef, and cheese.
5) Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted.
6) Remove from oven and top with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.
Step 1

Step 2
Check out the Awesome nutrition of St Joseph's flatbread! Sweet!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Finally....Waffles {Protein-Style}




Yummmmm...Waffles!
Does anybody else think of Donkey from Shrek saying, "I'm making waffles!"
Maybe it's just me. 

Found this new-to-me recipe for protein waffles on the web, courtesy of Cara's Cravings blog. 
I haven't had waffles in FOREVER! 
(Or, so, it seems). 
I tend to shy away from waffles and pancakes, because, they just don't seem to keep me full. Something about white flour and sugar just makes me hungry with in an hour or two. And usually, if I go hungry too long, I get angry. 
Hungry + Angry = Hangry 
A good description of me w/o food, sadly.
I need something more substantial, like, protein? 
Yup. Protein.



Plus, I bought a cheap-y waffle maker, like, months ago and still hadn't used it. Grr.
Today was a new day.
I got my "butt in gear" and finally made those darn waffles, with protein, of course.


The result? 
These were darn tasty! 
I halved the recipe (due to low supply of ingredients). 
I had to use Chocolate protein powder rather than the vanilla or cake batter flavor the recipe asks for, but this was still delicious. 
Oh, and I only had 1 lone egg in the house, so, I used 1 whole egg rather than just 2 eggs whites.
So, let's just say this recipe is forgiving? Or just awesome that one could use different flavors of protein
Oh, the possibilities.


Another great part? I am about 95% sure one could make a batch and freeze for later toaster re-heating. Yep. Plan to do that.
The ONLY drawback? The Waffles were a bit flat. However, taht could be me, b/c I may or may not have exactly measured the baking powder. Tee hee. Used the ol' "eyeball" trick.


FInally, I can have my waffles now (and not be starvin' like a marvin later).


Protein Waffles
Makes four 4″ square waffles

4 egg whites, or 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (I promise, you do NOT taste the cottage cheese.)
1/2 cup plain instant oats
1 scoop vanilla or cake batter flavored protein powder
2 packets of Sweetener
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1) Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
2) Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions, to desired crispiness.


Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 102.0
Total Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 10.0 mg
Sodium: 194.6 mg
Total Carbs: 9.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 14.0 g

Friday, June 15, 2012

Oh, By Golly, German Chocolate Cake Frosting



It's no secret.
I like cake.
A lot.

My boss's birthday is today, and, by golly, we need cake!
I remember, many months ago, my boss commenting on how much she loves German Chocolate Cake. 
Since, I love all things food, I stored that little bit of information in my brain "food catalog" under the index "Cake."
I also remember how awesome German Chocolate Cake is when my in-laws make their own frosting.

Homemade German Chocolate Cake Frosting = Ah-mazing

I didn't have my in-laws' recipe on hand, so, I found a 5-star recipe on Allrecipes---->click here



My boss was super excited about the cake-which was awesome. 
Shouldn't we all get excited about cake?
You gotta make this. 
Stinkin' awesome. 


Once you make from-scratch German Chocolate Cake Frosting from scratch, you'll never go back to the tub stuff.
Never.
Okay, maybe if it is a cake for somebody you don't like.
Then, maybe. 

 ***

Ingredients:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter
3 egg yolks, plus 1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Directions:
1) Combine all except pecans and coconut in a cold, non-stick skillet.
2) Turn burner on medium and stir continuously (VERY IMPORTANT) for about 10 minutes, or until mixture thickens. 
3) Stir in chopped pecans and coconut. 
4) Pour on cooled cake.


****I strongly recommend making this as a bundt cake....all the gooey, yummy, frosting gets trapped in the bundt hole 

(Budnt hole...that sounds similar to.....)

Enjoy!!! (Trust me, you will.)





Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Glorious" Glazed Salmon



    'Twas at the in-laws' this week and got busy perusing granny's ol' recipe books.
I came across MidWest's Living magazine's "Best Dishes" of some sort. 
My eye spotted "Glorious Glazed Salmon.
Say, what?
Glorious. Glazed. Salmon.
Oh.
I Must Try.

The recipe is rather simple:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar or molasses
1 tsp soy or tamari sauce
1 1/2 salmon

1) Boil to reduce the 1/2 cup of balsamic in saucepan. Reduce until the b.v. is reduced by about half. (About 5 minutes)
2) Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar/molasses and soy/tamari.
3) Brush of Salmon with half of sauce. 
4) Grill 4-6 minutes per side, basting with remaining sauce. 
(We broiled in the oven about 8-10 minutes rather than grilling outdoors.)

Result:
Was it "gloriuos?"
Eh...nah. 
More like "uneventful."
Not bad, just not "glorious."

Would I make it again?
Probably not. 
We have plenty other salmon recipes we enjoy more.

Some are winners, some are just "eh."

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Wheewwweeee!
The balsamic is STINKY when you reduce. 
Hubby was not too happy to come home to the unexpected smell of vinegar wafting (strongly) in the air. 
We put a box fan in the winder (southern slang for "window") to air the apt. out. 
Yeah, was some strong funk at first.
On the other hand, fresh air is always so nice, yes? 


************



Tuesday night dinner ----------------------------------------------->
After a few weeks weekend of overeating, I have commissioned myself to more salads this week.
Just grilled some chicken and made a salad.
Mine: Yellow bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, chicken, bit o' bacon bits, and black bean and corn salsa
Hubby: Italian blend shredded cheese, bacon bits, croutons, chicken, and french dressing

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken Tenders


Recipe #5 of my preplanned menu...
Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken Tenders

This one was sort of planned....
I knew I wanted some kind of crispy baked chicken (panko breadcrumbs=extra crunch=yum!)
The "ranch" part was the "fly by the seat of my pants" part-luckily I had the dry ranch in my cabinet.

These are super simple and help suffice a craving for fried chicken tender.
They are ready in no time-serve with a dip of your choice.


Ingredients:
2 Tbs sour cream, lowfat
1-2 Tbs milk
1 lb chicken breast tenders, thawed
1 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 pkg dry ranch mix
1/4 parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) You'll need to separate bowls-in the first bowl, combine sour cream & milk. In the 2nd bowl, combine panko, parmesan, and dry ranch.
3) Season chicken with salt and pepper.
4) Dip chicken tenders first in sour cream mixture, then, in the breadcrumb mixtures.
5) Place on a greased baking sheet. (I usually spray the tops of my chicken with no-stick spray, too...it helps them get all golden and crispy).
5) Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned, turning once during baking.
6) Let cool, serve, and yum!!

*You could probably bake these, then freeze them, and take them out and cook as needed...hmmm...to ponder... :)

Monday, June 4, 2012





Nom. Nom. Nom.

I have found a *new* recipe that has earned a spot in my "RRR"
(aka Regular Recipe Rotation

It comes in the form of preplanned menu item #4-
Country Ham Alfredo

 This recipe was given to me by my co-worker, Barbara (Hey Barbara!!!
I'll be honest, part of my thought this recipe sounded flippin' awesome, and the other part of me was a bit nervous. 
I mean I love all of the individual components, but how would they all taste together?
Ridiculously good.

I used my own Alfredo sauce in this recipe, but, if you are in a pinch (or already have a great recipe), use another. 
But, of course, I am partial to my Alfredo sauce.
(Aren't we all partial to our own?) 

Add caption


Ingredients:
  • 1 box Rotini Noodles (I used Smart Balance
  • 2 (6oz) pkgs Country Ham, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • Onion (To be honest, I used onion powder.)
  • 1 (4 oz) jar Pimentos, drained
  • Alfredo Sauce (recipe follows):
    • 1 (8oz) Cream Cheese (lowfat)
    • 1 stick Light Butter
    • 1/2 cup Milk
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    • Seasonings, to taste: Garlic (equivalent of 3 cloves), dried Basil, Lemon Juice, Pepper, & Pinch of Nutmeg 
 
Directions:
  1. Boil Pasta according to directions. Add frozen peas to boiling pasta during the last 5 minutes of cooking pasta. Drain, reserving pasta water 
  2. In a skillet, saute country ham with onion/onion powder for 4-5 minutes.
  3. In a separate sauce pan, combine all ingredients for the Alfredo sauce. Season as desired. Cook on medium until combined. Then, simmer on low. 
  4. Combine drained pasta & peas, country ham, Alfredo sauce, and drained pimentos. Stir to combine.
  5. Add pasta water to dish, as needed, if mixture becomes too thick. 
  6. Serve & Yum! 

Just try this...come on! 
I dare you - you won't be disappointed!
 
 Side Note: I think we will use only 1 (6 oz) package of country ham.