Wednesday, March 27, 2013

*Crab & Celery Salad*

This salad is great to prepare ahead for lunch because you don’t have to worry about the lettuce wilting.  It is very refreshing so it will be a great Spring go-to salad.  I am kicking myself though, because I had a fresh container of crab from the seafood market section in Kroger … & surely enough once I was walking down the nasty canned fish isle I decided to be a cheapo & go with the basic canned crab.  Bummer.  I will say the salad was still good, but it would have been worth the extra $4.00.  I will definitely purchase the fresh crab next time and recommend you do, too!                                              
What it took for 1 large salad:                                                                            

2 eggs, hard-boiled and roughly chopped

4 stalks celery, diced

1(6.5 oz) can jumbo lump crab, drained

1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large bowl combine the eggs through the parsley.

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the crab and celery salad. Toss & serve! 

How easy is that?!

Monday, March 25, 2013

*Zucchini Lasagna - hold the noodles*

I got this recipe from Skinny Taste (my fav).  This recipe only has 345 Calories per serving & makes 8 servings.  And, I ended up cutting mine into 9 servings and it was plenty!  I did, however, prepare my zucchini a little differently than Skinny Taste & used a method I found on another website that was a little less time consuming & it turned out perfectly.  Well … maybe not perfectly, but close.  I am definitely not an expert at slicing zuchinni into 1/8” slices, but I did my best :-)

1 lb. 93% lean beef

3 cloves garlic

1/2 onion
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
3 medium-large zucchini, sliced  1/8" thick
15 oz. part-skim ricotta
16 oz. part-skim shredded mozzarella 

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 large egg


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  

In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to remove any fat. Add olive oil to the pan and sauté garlic and onions about 2 minutes. 
Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.

Meanwhile, slice zucchini into 1/8" thick slices, place on cookie sheet.  Bake @ 425 degrees for 5 minutes on one side, then flip zucchini slices and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

After removing the zucchini, lower the oven temperature to 375°.  Set the zucchini aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well.

In a 9x12 casserole dish, spread a layer of sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then spread a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce and mozzarella and cover with foil.

Bake 45 minutes covered at 375°, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

I served mine with a side salad.

It was delish & you won’t even miss the noodles!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

*Lite but Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Soup*

So … it is the end of March and it is slightly frigid outside and I think Little Rock is trying to take over Chicago’s nickname the Windy City.  I don’t see much of a point in putting effort into any fixings of the hair this week and I definitely do not plan to go find a Spring-like dress for Easter this weekend.  As of now there is a chance of thunderstorms and the high is in the mid 60’s for Sunday. All I know is that SCREAMS humidity.  Who knows, maybe the forecast will change 10x between now and then like it usually does.  Only time will tell!

On a positive note, this weather can allow us to still pull off a good (and easy) cup o’ soup for an entree this week when we get home from work.  This is VERY low cal and VERY delish.  I recommend you try this before it’s too late!

You will need:                                                       

6 cups water

3 Tbsp. flour

1 celery stalk, cut in half

5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. baby bella, sliced

3 Containers Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock (comes in 4 small packs)click here to see what it looks like.

2 tsp. unsalted butter

7 oz. skinless chicken breast

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste


Place cold water and flour in a blender and blend until smooth; pour into a medium pot and set heat to medium.

Add celery, mushrooms, Knorr’s chicken stock and butter and bring to a boil. Add chicken and a few dashes of salt & pepper, cover and simmer on low 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken and set aside; continue to cook the remaining soup an additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft.  

Place celery and 1 cup of soup into the blender; blend until smooth, then return to the pot and simmer a few minutes. Shred or cut the chicken into small pieces and add back to the soup, garnish with fresh parsley.

I served mine as an entree with a slice of whole wheat bread on the side.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

*Sweet & Sour Cucumbers*

This recipe reminds me of summertimeEven though it is not that time of year yet (I wish ... lake time please!) it still makes for a refreshing side for lunch or just something to snack on :-)

2 English hothouse cucumbers (1 1/2 pounds total), unpeeled, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar                                                             

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons sugar (or splenda)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place cucumber slices in colander. Sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Meanwhile, for dressing, stir vinegar, dill, sugar (or splenda), and pepper in large bowl until sugar is dissolved.
Drain cucumbers well; pat dry. Add cucumbers to dressing and stir to blend.
 Refrigerate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours; serve cold. 

Recipe courtesy of Popsugar Fitness.

I packed mine for lunch with 1/2 a whole wheat pita filled with my Mediterranean Tuna Salad recipe (my all time fav). 

Monday, March 11, 2013

*Roasted Broccoli*

So ... I recommend you make this tonight.  By far THE BEST WAY I have ever made broccoli, and probably ever will.

1 Head Broccoli                                     
~2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Large Ziploc bag
Sea Salt 
Fresh Ground Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Minced Garlic

Put the broccoli florets & a few Tbsp of olive oil in a ziploc with added sea salt, fresh ground pepper, & red pepper flakes to taste. Shut the ziploc and shake until ingredients combine. Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and spread minced garlic over the broccoli.   Roast at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Be ready for your kitchen to smell like garlic.
I definitely wouldn't recommend making this on a first date ...or second ... or third. 

*Asian Glazed Drumsticks*

This makes for a very easy weeknight meal!  I am not sure why, but I have never cooked drumsticks until this recipe.  With the skin taken off, they are not fatty at all!  

For this recipe:
Servings:4 Serving Size:2 Drumsticks Calories:213 Fat:4.7g Protein:27.5g Carbs:12.7g 

Not gonna lie ... I had 3 drumsticks.  I'm pretty sure that everyone can afford a little more than 213 calories for dinner when you just have it with a side of broccoli! 

8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed                                                 

olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
1 cup water
1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste - my fav!)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.
Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe courtesy of skinnytaste 

*Shrimp Pasta baked in foil*

This recipe is easy peasy!  I have made it more than once and absolutely love it.  It is great to cook for just 2 (just reduce the ingredients slightly or save for leftovers) or would be great for a group.  If made for a group, I would suggest making the sauce and putting contents in foil package before guests arrive!

1/2 cup Olive Oil 
4 cloves Garlic, Minced                                                                                         

3 whole 14.5 Ounce Cans Diced (or Whole) Tomatoes 
1/2 cup White Wine 
2 pounds Jumbo Or Large Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined 
Salt And Pepper, to taste 
Fresh Parsley, Minced 
1 pound Linguine, Uncooked 
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
If you like creamier pasta, add 2 Tbsp light mayo to sauce mixture. 

Cook pasta for 1/2 the recommended cooking time. Pasta should still be very firm.
In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Dump in the tomatoes and wine. Stir the mixture together, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a large parcel of heavy duty aluminum foil. It should be large enough to hold the entire pasta dish.
Throw the shrimp on the top of the pasta sauce. Throw the drained pasta over the top, then pour the whole dish onto the foil. Tightly wrap the foil into a parcel.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm until serving.
Open the foil parcel right before serving. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the top. Squeeze on lemon juice, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman.

If you would like sides, I suggest a side salad & french bread.  I have never been a big fan of the carb on carb thing, though ... ;)

*Baked Pesto Chicken*

This recipe is another easy weeknight meal.  I am pretty sure Jay O. has gotten sick of my typical chicken w/broccoli or a random veggie so I've been looking for meals like this that have good flavor but don't take too much time!  
                                                                                                                def. not a pretty pic ... AT ALL.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
1/2 cup basil pesto (I just used store bought)
2 oz. (1/2 cup) grated low-fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces. (I cut the larger ones into 3 strips and the smaller ones into 2 strips.)
Spray a 9" x 12" (or 8.5" X 12.5") baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don't cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)
When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

Serve hot. There will be some flavorful juice in the bottom of the dish when this is done, so you may want to serve with rice, couscous, or quinoa to soak up the juice, but if you're eating this for phase one, just spoon the juice over the chicken
Recipe courtesy of Kalyn's Kitchen that I found on Pinterest.
I served mine over whole wheat angel hair past
& a side of grilled zucchini.