Wednesday, October 19, 2011

*Halloween/Fall Happy's :-) *

Today I made Halloween/Fall Happy's on my day off for some of my favorite people.  The chilly weather is getting me excited for Fall & the upcoming Holiday's!  For my Happy's I made my families recipe, Chocolate Dot Pumpkin Muffins.  You can find the recipe here.  Here's the final product:


Very thankful for my family & friends!!!

Ranch Dressing without the guilt!!!

Sooo, most people LOVE LOVE LOVE Ranch dressing (like me), but we try to stay away from it b/c let's admit it ... a salad loaded with ranch is not a "good" choice for our waistline.  Well, ladies & gents, worry no more.  With this recipe it's a win win.  You get the ranch while still watching that figure.  That's what I'm talking about.

Ingredients:
1 pkg dry Ranch Dressing mix                
2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup water


Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Add more water if you don't want it slightly thick.  


Yes, it's that easy!  I know you're thinking "GROSS, COTTAGE CHEESE!" if you aren't a cottage cheese person.  But I definitely put it on Jay O.'s salad tonight without him knowing & he commented on how much he liked it :)  sneaky good! 

*Stuffed Bell Peppers*

Tonight we had Hatley over for dinner & I prepared stuffed bell peppers.  I had never made them before but came up with ingredients that would make it a healthy dish without leaving out the flavor.  We were big fans & I will definitely be making this again!  Easy peasy & delish :-)

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. marinara sauce 
3 Bell Peppers (I did 2 green & 1 yellow since Jay O. is kind of picky...yes, he is even particular about the color of his bell peppers.  ha)
Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash seasoning (0r seasoning of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste 
Shredded Cheddar

Directions:
Cook ground turkey over medium/high heat in a skillet w/1-2 tsp olive oil.  Season ground turkey with your seasoning of choice, salt & pepper to taste.  
Once the ground turkey is close to cooked, add in the diced onion & minced garlic.  Continue cooking until onion is browned. 
Stir in the marinara sauce.
Slice the bell peppers in half & remove seeds.  Lay the halved bell peppers into a glass baking dish.
Spoon the ground turkey mixture into each halved bell pepper until full.
Sprinkle Cheddar Cheese on top.
Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I served mine with a side salad & zuchinnii fries.  Enjoy!
 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sonoran Salad

I LOVE this salad.  It's very simple & will fit into almost any meal perfectly.  It is great as a side & would be great as an entree with chicken.  Let me know what you think! :-)
 
Ingredients:
Romaine Lettuce
Avocado, diced
Purple onion, diced
Bacon, crumbled
Blue Cheese, crumbled (or feta)
Tomato, diced

Salad Dressing Ingredients:
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or any oil)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. salt
4 t. sugar
Pepper to taste

Directions: 
On top of lettuce line up avocado, purple onion, bacon, blue cheese & tomato in rows.
Blend all salad dressing ingredients, refrigerate and toss salad w/dressing prior to serving. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

*White Queso & Onion Dip*

I got this recipe from Rachel's blog Reckless Abandon. I absolutely love this blog & especially this dip!  It is delish.  I took this dip to our friend Wes's 30th birthday party this past Saturday while we rooted on the hogs ... unfortunately our cheering & yelling at the television didn't affect the outcome of the game :-/

Ingredients:
2 blocks of light cream cheese
1/2 cup of chopped onions (can be frozen)
1/2 cup of light mayo
1 package of shredded monterrey jack cheese
1 package of shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:
Microwave the cream cheese for 1 min. in a microwaveable bowl.
Add the chopped onion, mayo, Parmesan cheese, & Monterrey Jack Cheese
Mix all ingredients with a fork until it's well blended & spread evenly into your baking dish
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes
Enjoy with tortilla chips or fritos!

Reckless Abandon has such good pictures for this recipe I just decided to add the link at the top for step by step photos :))

*Pizza Dip*

Pizza Sauce, cheesiness, pepperoni ... deliciousness ... what's not to love?  This is by no means a "healthy" dish (obviously), but I made it as light as possible.

Last night Jay O. & I had Hatley, Rebekah, & Chris over for dinner & I prepared this for an app & made my chili recipe that you can find here.  Every time fall rolls around I just can't wait for the weather to cool down ... I get to excited & have to break out the chili!  


Ingredients for Pizza Dip:
1 8 oz. package light cream cheese
1 14 0z. can pizza sauce (I used ragu w/tomato, garlic & onion)
~ 20 slices turkey pepperoni, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400 
Spray a 9 inch pie plate or oval dish w/non-stick spray
Spread cream cheese on the bottom of the dish 
Pour pizza sauce over the layer of cream cheese & spread evenly
Sprinkle diced turkey pepperoni's & diced onion over pizza sauce
Cover the top evenly with mozzarella cheese
Bake dip for 20-25 minutes
Serve w/fritos!  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

*Cheese & Sausage Fondue Dip*

I have always LOVED this fondue.  It has great flavor & is fun for something different!  You serve this with cubed french bread.  And, if you have a cute fondue set that never hurts :-)

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. sausage
6 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
6 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup beer (I used octoberfest)
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles 
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper
cubed french bread


Directions:
Cook Sausage.  Melt butter in skillet - saute onion & garlic.  Add flour - stirring until smooth then cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually add milk-stirring until thick then add cheese & stir to melt.
Remove from heat & stir in sausage, beer & next 3 ingredients.  
Then simply keep fondue warm in fondue set while serving.  I gradually added more of the dip mixture to the fondue pot so it stayed warm throughout the evening.


ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

*Green Chile & Cheese Rice*

Before I get to the yummy cheesy rice recipe I would like to apologize for totally neglecting my blog over the last couple of months.  I have missed updating it & still plan to continue adding recipes!  Lately it has been a lot of baking/grilling chicken, baking/grilling fish, throwing a steamed bag of broccoli in the microwave & toasting a piece of 40 cal toast around the Howe house.  So nothing very "blog worthy" lately & I am hoping everyone knows how to do all of the above ;)

I started a new job at Metabolic Research Center as a nutrition/sales consultant.  Loving it so far.  Sooo that has kept me pretty focused & motivated.  I've been trying out the diet plan & doing my best to practice what I preach day in & day out! 

Now for the rice recipe.  I made this a couple of weeks ago when we had a Mexican dinner at the lake.  Very tasty!

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked white rice
chicken broth
7 oz can diced chiles, squeezed dry
16 oz reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup grated monterey Jack cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
onion powder to taste 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large casserole dish.
Cook rice using chicken broth instead of water (use package directions). Remove from heat and fold in chilies and sour cream (reserve a little bit of sour cream for the top).
Layer half of the rice mixture and half of each cheese. Sprinkle with onion powder. Repeat layers. Spread reserved sour cream on top.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Servings: 10 
I got this recipe from www.recipegirl.com  Love that blog!

Our monthly supper club is at our house next week, so keep an eye out for new recipes! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

*Corn w/Chile-Lime Butter*

Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon chile paste (in the Asian section of the market)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
Crumbled cotija cheese, for topping

Directions:
Preheat a grill to medium high. Combine the butter, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, chile paste and cumin in a bowl. Add salt and pepper; mix well.
Grill the corn, turning, until nicely charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with a spoonful of the flavored butter on top. Sprinkle with more cilantro and cotija cheese. Recipe courtesy of Food Network. 

ENJOY!

*Watermelon & Blueberry Salad w/Mint & Lemon Zest*

My apologies for being MIA the past month or so.  I have mainly been grilling chicken, making salads, and steaming veggies.  So, I figured most of you already know how to do those things and I didn't want to bore you ;)  However, I did make some yummy recipes over the 4th of July holiday I wanted to share.  This particular salad was fresh, tasty & definitely perfect for any summer occasion.
  
Ingredients:                                            
1/4 cup sugar
1//4 cup water
mint
zest & juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
2 cups blueberries
3 cups cubed watermelon

Directions:
Bring 1/4 cup each sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, add 3 mint sprigs and steep 10 minutes. Discard the mint; add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt. Toss with 2 cups blueberries and 
3 cups cubed watermelon. Let stand 15 minutes. 
Top with chopped mint. Recipe courtesy of Food 
Network.

I hope all of you are enjoying your 
summer & staying cool!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

*Spicy Seared Scallop Salad*

This salad was one of my favorite salads I have made in quite some time!  The scallops were bursting with flavor & changed things up a bit from the typical grilled chicken.

Make sure to have your ventahood blasting.  Unfortunately we don't have one & when I placed the scallops in the skillet it got a little smokier than usual.  But, they still turned out great!  

At first glance, it looks like there are quite a few ingredients & it could get pricey...but, if you cook often you probably have most of these ingredients on hand.

If you don't like spicy, I definitely recommend toning down the cayenne pepper in the spices for the scallops just a touch ;)

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
12 oz. fresh sea scallops
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp light mayo
1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper (for dressing)
salt & pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
spinach
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded & sliced
1 avocado, seeded & sliced
cherry tomatoes, sliced
slivered almonds, toasted (@ 350 for ~8 min)

Directions:
Rinse sea scallops and pat dry with a towel. In a small bowl, mix together the cayenne, black pepper and garlic salt. 
Gently roll the scallops in the spices. 
Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Pour in the oil and heat until it just begins to smoke. 
Carefully place each scallop in the pan with scallops flat side down. Cook for ~2 minutes per side.
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, light mayo, Dijon mustard, cayenne, salt, pepper & garlic. 
Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Divide the fresh spinach evenly onto each plate.  Place the Avocado slices, red & yellow bell pepper slices, toasted almonds & tomato slices onto the salad.
When the scallops are done, evenly place them on the salads. 
Drizzle each salad with your dressing & serve.
Makes ~2 servings, possibly 3 but you might want to add a few more scallops!

 I served ours w/baked whole wheat bread.

Make sure to have a big glass of ice water handy! 
 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie!

You may make your own graham cracker crust (would be better), or just buy a ready made one to save on time (which is what my Mom did & it was still great!).  

Ingredients:
graham cracker crust
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice (~4 lemons) 
2 large egg yolks + 1 large egg
sliced strawberries
light whipped cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
 
What ingredients go in the filling:
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice
2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten.
1/4 tsp coarse salt


Directions:
Bake crust until firm and turning darker around the edges, about 10-11 minutes at 375 degrees.  Remove from oven and turn oven down to 325.  Whisk together filling ingredients and place in baked pie shell, cook until center is set, 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Combine berries with 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, let stand 30 minutes. 

To serve, spoon strawberries over pie and top with whipped cream.

This makes a perfect summer treat!!!

*Grilled Corn, Avocado & Cilantro Salad*

Last night we ate at my parents to celebrate Memorial Day & to get a chance to visit & hear about their Hawaii getaway (so jeal)!  My Mom prepared this grilled corn salad.  It was delish, healthy, & fresh so I just had to share.  It was a recipe from Martha Stewart Living.  I will also be sharing the yummy dessert recipe :)


Here's to the salad...

Ingredients:
4 grilled & shucked ears of corn
1 sliced Hass avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 tsp coarse salt

Directions:
Heat grill to medium/high, grill 4 shucked ears of corn, rotating often, until lightly charred, about 15 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Carefully cut kernels from cob. Gently toss with 1 sliced Hass avocado, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1 T. fresh lime juice, 1 T extra virgin olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt.  Serves 4.   
My Mom used 6 ears of corn & a little bit of extra lime juice & EVOO to serve 6.

Thanks for a delicious meal, Mom & Dad!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

*Spicy Light Version of Bang Bang Shrimp*

Have you ever had Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang shrimp?  If not, you're missing out.  It's a mouth watering kinda' good!  I looked up the calorie/fat content of it though (wish I wouldn't have) & although the calories weren't too bad, let's just say the g of Fat were terriblleeee.  But I won't tell you just in case it's your all time fav, I don't want you to hate me forever :))

This is a non-fried version w/only 215.7 calories per serving, 7.6 g of Fat, 23.8 g of Protein, 11.9 Carbs, and only 5 Weight Watchers Points.  Yeah, that's right, don't feel guilty about this one!  I got this recipe off of Gina's Skinny.

 

Sauce Ingredients:
5 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Siracha Hot Sauce (to taste)

Shrimp:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
2 tsp cornstarch (I used more like 2 Tbsp. to make sure shrimp were fully coated)
1 tsp canola oil
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
4 tbsp scallions, chopped


Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside.
Combine
lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates. Set aside.
Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands. 
Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. 
When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes.  
Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.  
Place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.

Some like it hot, hot, hot!
(yes, I just said that:)) 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

*Light Sesame Chicken*

Last night I prepared a light version of sesame chicken ... yes, I said light :)  And, it was very yum.  Cook this healthy recipe of sesame chicken instead of picking up the deep fried, ooey, gooey, fatty version at your local Chinese restaurant...even though it's tempting to take the easy route! This is another recipe from the talented Martha.



Ingredients:
3/4 cup brown rice (I will admit...I just bought the brown rice pouch that you warm in the microwave for 90 seconds to cut down on time)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced
 
Directions: 
Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch water; set aside for broccoli. Cook rice according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until golden and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Return all the chicken to skillet; add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, place saucepan with steamer basket over high heat; bring water to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice.

I hope you like this as much as we did :)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

*Asian Chicken Salad*

This is what I prepared for dinner tonight, we absolutely LOVED it!  Very light
& something different from your typical salad.  I highly recommend it. 

On another note, how about these AR storms??  I don't know about you, but I really wish I would have been on vaca ANYWHERE sunny the past 2 weeks.  I hope all of you & your families have stayed safe!!  

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup julienne/shredded carrots
3 cups shredded napa cabbage, frome 1 small cabbage
1 small red bell pepper, seeded & deveined, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 small rotisserie chicken, skinned & shredded
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted **
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
chow mein noodles for garnish
Romaine Lettuce 

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar OR white vinegar
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



Directions:
For the salad:  In a large salad bowl combine carrot, cabbage, red bell pepper, basil, chicken, almonds, & sesame seeds.

For the dressing:  In a small bowl whisk together the oil, low-sodium soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar until smooth.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad mixture & toss well.  Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce & garnish/lightly sprinkle with your chow mein noodles. 
(If you would like, you can shred the romaine & stir it in w/the salad mixture & then top w/the chow mein noodles)

**to toast your slivered almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for ~8 minutes until lightly golden.  Cool completely.

I also think this would be delicious with the same veggies & dressing on top of greens with seared ahi tuna if you want to try that!

*Italian Brunch Casserole*

I made this casserole awhile back when we had friend stay with us, it was a nice twist on the usual breakfast casserole and I really enjoyed it!  I thought I had lost the recipe, but came across it last night and just had to share :)

MAKES 8 SERVINGS                                                                    
Ingredients: 
1 (8-ounce) package sweet Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
8 green onions, sliced (1 cup)
2 zucchini, diced (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1 (16-ounce) Italian bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk

Directions:  
Remove and discard casings from sausage. 
Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until sausage crumbles & is no longer pink; drain.
Add green onions and next 3 ingredients to skillet. 
Sauté 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
Stir in roasted bell peppers, drain & cool.
Spread 4 cups of bread cubes in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. 
Top with half each of the sausage mixture & cheese. 
Repeat with remaining bread, sausage, and cheese.
Whisk together eggs and milk. 
Pour egg mixture over bread. 
Cover and chill 8 hours.
Bake, covered, at 325° for 1 hour or until bubbly and hot.
This recipe is a Southern Living Recipe & has been rated w/5 Stars.

I served mine w/fresh fruit & baked breakfast bread.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

*Firecracker shrimp w/spaghetti & homemade vodka marinara*

Tonight Jay O. made dinner for me & this is what he prepared.  It was delish!  I have been wanting to try this firecracker shrimp recipe for some time now, it is definitely a keeper. I got this recipe off of the PW blog.

Ingredients:
1 pound large (16 to 20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined.
2 tablespoons sriracha hot chili sauce                                  
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
5 cloves garlic, pressed

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. 
Add shrimp and marinate anywhere between 20 minutes & 3 hours.
Skewer shrimp and grill until opaque and brown, with black bits. We cooked ours for about 3 minutes per side.

 Vodka Marinara Sauce Directions:
Prepare this marinara sauce first & it will be combined w/the other ingredients for the vodka sauce:
Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden, about 6 minutes. Crush a 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes into the skillet with your hands; rinse the can with about 1 cup water and add to the sauce. Add a handful of torn basil leaves and season with salt. Stir in 2 Tbsp sugar & 2 tsp nutmeg.  Increase the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until thick, 20 to 25 minutes. Toss with 1 pound cooked pasta (makes 4 cups sauce).

Vodka Sauce:
Cook 2 chopped shallots in a skillet with 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 & 1/2), 2 cups perfect marinara sauce (see above) and a pinch of red pepper flakes; heat through. Stir in 1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1 to 2 tablespoons vodka; season with salt
 

Hoppy Easter!

These are some cute Easter treat recipes that I thought were adorable and just had to share!  The PW blog had a list of ideas from some of the blogs she likes and these 3 were my favorite.  I made a grocery list to get the ingredients for the chocolate Easter bark, but then decided against it :(  I figure the mac & cheese I am making for Easter lunch at my parents is indulging enough for one weekend!  Let me know if you decide to try any of them & how they turn out!

#1 Candied Popcorn 

#2 Easter Candy Bark 

#3 Easter Bunny Macaroons
click the blog titles to link to the recipes!

I hope all of you have a
VERY HAPPY EASTER! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Zuchinni, portobello, & feta quesadillas & a basic salsa recipe, too!

I made these quesadilla's last night for dinner.  They were tasty!  You can add or omit any ingredient you choose.  If you would like to add protein, this recipe would be really good with shrimp.  Considering the veggie tostada recipe called for the grill & the weather this week has been nothing short of miserable, I decided to whip this up instead!

Serving Size: 2 large Quesadilla's, serves 3-4 people
Ingredients:
4  burrito sized flour tortillas
2 zucchini sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic
1 6 oz. pkg sliced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup feta cheese
3/4 cup shredded Italian blended cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste
Serve w/fresh salsa, avocado (sliced) & light sour cream (all optional)

Directions:
Saute zucchini, garlic, and portobello mushrooms in a skillet on medium heat in your olive or vegetable oil until cooked through, season w/salt & pepper.  
Sprinkle your Italian blended cheese on the top of each of your tortillas.
Evenly spread your veggie mixture on top of the Italian blended cheese.
Sprinkle your feta on top of the veggies.
Put your top tortilla on to make the quesadilla.
Serve with light sour cream, avocado slices & fresh salsa from your local market, or you can feel free to make your own if you'd like :)


Here's a basic salsa recipe if you choose to make your own: 
3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced with seeds
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, peeled & minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (if you'd like, add a little less EVOO & add in a little bit of lime juice)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, divided
I used my quesadilla maker, if you don't have one & would like one you can purchase one HERE
If you do not have a quesadilla maker, bake in the oven on a baking sheet @ 400 for 4-5 minutes or until crisp.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Southwestern Steak Salad w/chipotle honey-lime vinaigrette

Last night my Aunt Kim stayed the night with us and this is what I prepared for din din.  We had smoked salmon with capers, crackers, and light cream cheese spread for appetizer, and this salad with garlic & herb focaccia bread for our entreeJay O. and I really enjoyed spending time with Aunt Kimmie!  Aunt Kim and I watched Idol after dinner and both love Casey Abrams...isn't he the best?!  This is actually the first season I have ever watched, it's kind of addicting!

Ingredients:
1 pound skirt steak or flat iron steak (1/2 in thick), trimmed
course salt & ground pepper
2 hearts romaine lettuce, torn
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled & diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced & halved (or you can dice them)
cherry tomatoes, halved (however many you want:))
1 small red onion, thinly sliced or diced
feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
1 to 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, minced + 1 Tbsp sauce from same can
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
excess liquid from cooking the steak

Directions:
*Heat a large skillet over medium-high; cut steak into 4 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 1/2 - 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer if you prefer. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice.
*Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together lettuce, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. 
*In a small bowl, combine chile, chili sauce, lime juice, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Gradually whisk in oil and any accumulated juices from steak. Pour dressing over salad and toss; add steak and toss again.
*We used about 1 Tbsp white wine when the steak was close to finishing so that there was more excess liquid & more flavor and added that to the dressing, too.
Original Martha Stuart Recipe here.
The only changes I made was adding 1 Tbsp of the chipotle sauce to the dressing for more flavor, feta cheese, and using white wine to add to the excess liquid from cooking the steak.
I chose to put together 3 individual salads instead of tossing it all together.  You can do whatever you'd like. If someone doesn't like tomatoes or a 
certain ingredient, this makes it a little easier to pick & choose ingredients 
for each one. The one thing I forgot was the avocado! I was going to wait & dice it when the salad was ready to serve so that it didn't brown 
while I was preparing the rest of the ingredients & I totally forgot :( 
Oh well, it was still yum!

Monday, April 18, 2011

*Baked Chicken Nuggets*

Tonight I made a healthy version of chicken nuggets, really not bad for you at all!  The recipe makes 4 servings & it is only 164.9 calories, & 4.6 g fat per serving.  It also has 22.1 g protein.  Jay O. & I ate half & there is still plenty for us to eat for another meal, too.  I got this recipe off of Gina's Skinny Recipe Blog.  And, for those of you who are on weight watchers or keep up with the points, 1 serving is only 4 points.

Ingredients:
2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bite sized pieces (16 oz.)
2 tsp olive oil
6 Tbsp whole wheat italian bread crumbs
2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Olive Oil spray
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425.  
Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
Put the olive oil in one bowl AND the breadcrumbs, panko, & Parmesan in another bowl.
Season chicken w/salt & pepper.
Put all of the chicken into the bowl w/the olive oil & evenly/lightly coat all of the chicken.
Put a few pieces of the chicken into the breadcrumb mixture at a time to coat, then place on the baking sheet.
Lightly coat the top of the chicken w/olive oil spray then bake for 8-10 min.
Turn the chicken over & then bake for another 4-5 min. or until cooked through.


I served mine w/baked onion & baked spicy sweet potato fries.  To bake an onion, just peel the outside of a yellow onion, evenly cut it down the middle 4 ways w/out cutting all the way through & place it inside aluminum foil. Season w/your ingredients of choice.  I used Worcestershire Sauce, season all salt & pepper.  Bake at 400-425 for 30-40 min (depending on how large the onion is).
Very yummy & light!
For those of you who have not tried these, I HIGHLY recommend them.  You simply bake them for 20-25 minutes & they're delish!
You can find them in the organic section of Kroger or at a health food store.