Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vegan Oat Bars

 With all the cake and cookies I have been making, I guess I should share a healthy recipe with you all, courtsey of FoodLoveEat
Vegan Oat Bars (Sugar and Oil free)
Seriously, there is not an unhealthy ingredient to be found. 
All-nat-u-relle, baby.
How are they?
Good, I mean, relatively speaking. 
(relative to, let's say, a 5,000 dessert - ha!)
I'd make these again, yep.
Healthy, make-ahead, and tasty. 
Way better for you then store-bought with a crazy number of ingredients you can't pronounce. 
These ingredients are all "pronounceable."
To make them last longer, I stored mine in the freezer and re-heated when time to dine!

On they're own, they are a little "one-note" to me, but smear some peanut butter on these babies....GREAT!
I enjoyed mine most with Peanut Butter, Tart Apples, & Cinnamon. 
Oh yum!

Ingredients: 
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups of mashed overripe bananas
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
-Pre-heat the oven at 350 F.
-Combine mashed banana ground flax seeds, water and salt in a big bowl, stir well. 
Add the oats and mix everything. Fold it into a greased  shallow baking tray, spread and press well with your fingers.
-Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
-Cut them into desired shape,  flip it upside down on a cookie sheet. Put it back into the oven and bake it for another 15 minutes. 
-Turn the pieces over and bake for another 5 minutes for both the sides to be nice and brown.
-Let it cool completely and store it in an air tight container for up to a week.
The Bars before they went into the Oven.




Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baked Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach




I scored me a great deal on ground turkey last week at the grocery -  1.2 lbs of Lean Turkey (97%, I think) for  $2.50. 
Sweet!
Makes the meal that much better!

We enjoyed this very healthy and delicious meal. 
Plus, this recipe makes 8 servings, which is A LOT for 2 people. So, I followed the recipe and split the dish into 2 8x8 casserole dishes-baking one tonight and freezing the other for a later date. 
Great 2 in 1 dinner (for us, at least).
Really, though, 1 8x8 dish (the first "half" of the recipe) was dinner tonight AND lunch tomorrow. 
Yippee-ki-yay, little doggie!

This recipe is great because:
1) Healthy
2) Feeds a lot of people
3) Tastes Yummy
4) A Crowd-pleaser (no "weird" food for all the haters)
5) Can be a great Make-Ahead meal (Great for those busy nights.)

Come on and give it a shot! 

Baked Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach
Ingredients:
 1 (16 oz) box of whole wheat pasta (any shape, but I used Barilla Plus elbow-shaped)
1 lb of ground turkey (Mine was 1.2 lbs)
1 small onion
Garlic/Garlic powder, to taste ( I used about 2-3 tsp)
Italian Seasoning, to taste (I used about 1 1/2 - 2 Tbs)
Salt & Pepper
2 eggs
2 cups Spaghetti Sauce
1 (14.5 oz) of Diced Tomatoes (I used the Garlic flavor)
1 (14.5 oz) Tomato sauce
9 oz of fresh Spinach
12-16 oz of lowfat Cottage Cheese
2 cups Italian shredded cheese blend
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside in a large bowl. Combine cottage cheese and eggs; set aside.

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic over medium heat. Add turkey; cook until browned. Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano and basil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Combine the noodles, cottage cheese mixture, turkey mixture, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan with a wooden spoon. Pour into a 9x13 (or 8x8) baking dish. Bake at 400F for 35 minutes. Makes 8 servings.



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Strawberry Cake


Me making this cake was a product of the German Chocolate Cake I made last month.
As we ate the German Chocolate Cake at work, I mentioned that I made the cake for my boss because I had overheard her say German Chocolate Cake was her favorite and that I remember all things "food". Another co-worker then says to me, "Well, since you remember all things food, my favorite cake it strawberry." Duly noted. And....
TA-DA!
A strawberry cake was made.

To be completely honest, I didn't get to taste this cake. *sad face*
I had to leave work early that day and there was zero cake left the next day. That just let's you know how great everyone thought it was. Per those that enjoyed the cake (i.e. not me), this was a very yummy dense and moist strawberry cake. Several people told me it 'twas delish and it was a "keeper."
Guess I'll file this in my cake recipes folder.

I mostly followed the recipe...my changes are listed below:

Cake:
1 bx white cake mix
1 small bx strawberry gelatine (I used sugar-free)
1 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
4 eggs
1 cup mashed strawberries, sweetened and NOT drained (I forgot to sweeten mine w/ sugar)

Frosting:
1 stk butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, measured THEN sifted
1/2 cup mashed strawberries, drained
2 Tbs cream cheese (I added this, this was not part of the original recipe)

1) CAKE: Mix all cake ingredients together and pour into a 9x11 inch pan. (You can layer in 2 smaller pans if you'd prefer - Which I did make into 2 round pans.) Do not fill to the top of the pan, or batter will bake up too tall. 
2) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  
3) FROSTING: Mix together frosting ingredients. (It's very important that strawberries are drained.) If too thick keep adding strawberries until it is the right consistency.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Accidently Mexican Casserole



This is what happens when you just start throwing ingredients together...
Ha.
Hey, now, this dish was tasty.
Just a bit unexpected.

Well, let's be clear, I did intend to make Mexican (duh), I just didn't expect it to be quite so saucy.
I came home from the gym (cycling class) and was huuungry. 
I had only partially thawed some chicken. 
I had about 8 corn tortillas hanging out in the fridge from my Taquitos a couple of weeks ago. 
Plus, some green salsa, frozen peppers and onions, and corn on the cob. 
Mix it all together and what do you have?
A Mexican Casserole. 

My intention was to make a casserole bake (i.e. less liquid).
But, due to my rush of NOT thawing out the frozen onions and peppers, the dish was a bit watery. 
What to do, what to do....
Hmmmm...Cornstarch.
Yup, cornstarch will do it. 
Solution resolved. 


So, this accident was a "fly by the seat of my pants" recipe, but we liked it. 
Hard not to like Mexican, though. 
True 'nuf.


If you want to take a stab at the recipe:
Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb chicken breast
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
1 small bag of frozen onions and peppers (i.e. Kroger brand)
 1 Tbs of cream cheese,diced into chunks
3/4 cup green salsa
Spices to taste (yeah, you know I "eyeballed" it. My apologies and guesstimates): 
Salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic 
1 Tbs cornstarch + 1/4 cup cold water
4 corn tortillas

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2) Combine corn, onions and peppers, cream cheese, and half of spices. Mix together and place in a baking dish.
3) Place chicken on top of veggies. Sprinkle with remaining half of spices. Pour green salsa over chicken. 
4) Bake for about 40-45 minutes (IF using semi frozen chicken and veggies) adding cornstarch/water mixtures about 35 minutes into bake time. 
5) Meanwhile, spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place corn tortillas on baking sheet. Spray the tortillas with non-stick spray. Season with salt. Bake until golden brown. Use as a "dipper" for the casserole. 
6) Enjoy!

***Important: Cornstarch needs COLD water to mix properly, but it needs BOILING liquid to thicken a sauce...think COLD going in, but BUBBLING baking.




Sunday, July 15, 2012

I had a MAJOR Craving for....


Chicken Alfredo Pizza!!!
  The strength of this craving kind of crept up on me. I just didn't realize until I was racing through the store like a mad woman buying the ingredients how badly I wanted this pizza. 
You see, on Thursday, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I haven't made my Alfredo Pizza in a while."
On Friday, I said to Hubby, "You know what sounds good...."
On Saturday, a day I was especially hungry, (you know the days you wake up hungry and the hunger just. doesn't. stop.), I was running errands when the craving struck full-force. I went to the store to by my needed ingredients and whipped up the pizza in no time.
'Twas delicious.
Craving tamed.
This is a super easy recipe - pretty much assembly only.

Ingredients:
 Freshetta Thin Crust Pizza
1 can of chicken  (2/3 of large can)
1 cup fresh spinach
1/3 can of artichokes, drained and chopped
alfredo sauce** (see below)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt, Pepper, & Basil

Directions:
1) Top pizza with spinach, artichokes, and chicken. Season with salt, pepper, and basil.
 2) Make alfredo sauce (possible to use jarred sauce if in a hurry).

 3) Top pizza with Alfredo and mozzarella.



4) Bake on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
5) Slice and Enjoy!

**This is alfredo sauce is a scaled down version of my usual cream cheese Alfredo sauce. Simple add
2 Tbs cream cheese
2 Tbs light butter
3 Tbs grated Parmesan
2 Tbs milk
Dried Basil, Garlic, 1 Tbs lemon juice, and parsley.

1) Combine all in a saucepan on low to medium heat. Stir until combined.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Finally, I Cooked...

Yes! I finally cooked.
Yeesh. 
It's been like 2 whole weeks. 
I think I was having withdrawals. 
Really.

We've been so gosh darn busy lately-going out of town on weekends, 4th of July, weddings, etc. 
We have been running around quite a bit! And when we are home, we're busy and kind of take a break from all the "big" meals. 
'Tis summer!!!

So this was tonight's Din-nah!
Citrus Marinated Salmon (Courtesy of Tastefully Simple 29-Minute Marinade)
Corn on the Cob (Hubby brought me some home---Yay!)
Zucchini Casserole
Mashed Sour Cream & Garlic Potatoes

Yum! 
I haven't had salmon in what seems like forever. 
Ok...here's the condensed recipes for the evening. 


For the salmon---> Just marinade and cooked in skillet.

For the corn---> I tried a method of cooking a fab gal at work told me about...simple stick the whole un-shucked corn cob in oven on 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Take out of oven, let cool, and shuck. Season with butter, and salt, pepper. Seriously, super easy. The corn steams inside of the husk. You don't even have to clean up a dish!!! 

For the zucchini---> Add 2 shredded zucchini, one egg, 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, onion powder, and Ritz. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes---> Boil Potatoes. Add Sour Cream, light butter, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Blend with an electric mixer until fluffy.