Wednesday, May 29, 2013

*Skinny Chicken Enchiladas*

I made this for dinner tonight & we loved it.  I will say, my other chicken enchilada recipe is still our all time fav.  However, this one was still great and I will definitely make this recipe more often because it is MUCH lower cal :-) 

Since Jay O. might be the pickiest eater I know (but I will admit he has gotten better since we have been marriedJ) I omitted the cilantro.  It was still great.  But, if you are a cilantro fan, I definitely recommend including it! 

For the sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

1-1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 cup fat free chicken broth

kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:

1 tsp vegetable oil

8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast

1 cup diced onion

2 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro

kosher salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup tomato sauce

8 (7-inch) reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas (la tortilla factory)

1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese

non-stick cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped scallions or cilantro for topping

In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll each tortilla. Place each enchilada on baking dish, seam down, and top with sauce.  Then top with cheese.

Cover enchiladas with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 8 enchiladas.  The original recipe came from Skinny Taste.        

I served mine with a green side salad & used Bolthouse Farms Ranch.  Bolthouse dressings are made with yogurt & a tasty healthy alternative to the typical regular dressing.  You can find these dressing in the refrigerated area in the produce section of your local market. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

*Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo*

Last night we had this for dinner & it was delish.  The original recipe came from The Comfort of Cooking.  However, my friend Laura Vick has tried it before & told me it was one of her all time fav’s!  Check out her blog, here. 

The only part I did not like about the recipe was having to get out the seeds.  Once you think you’ve gotten all of the seeds out … believe me … you haven’t.  And, I am pretty sure any recipe that says “gently” I am not great at because I tend to get a tad bit impatient.  I will say, looking back, it was totally worth it for this recipe staple.

I served mine with a small side of grilled chicken.  After all, I knew I couldn’t get away with just serving Jay O. spaghetti squash ;) 


1 medium-sized spaghetti squash                                                      

1 Tbsp butter

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 Tbsp flour (I used wheat)

1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)

1 Tbsp cream cheese - 1/3 less fat

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tbsp extra for topping

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, prep the squash. Cut spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with water. Bake until tender, about an hour.

Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center.  

For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute, while stirring. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.  

Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

P.S.  my pic was so ugly I decided not to post it :)  

Monday, May 27, 2013

*Mexican Coleslaw*

My Mom made this recipe over the Memorial Day weekend to go with Sunday night’s dinner.  The entire dinner was absolutely DELISH!  Jay O. & I aren’t very big slaw fans, but we loved this.  She served just a tad of the slaw on top of each fish taco & we also had it as a side item.

One BIG plus to the salad is that it calls for Jalapeno Ranch dressing that you purchase at the store.  Usually my Mom & I both are against pre-packaged dressing, but this recipe got away with it with flying colors.  You can typically find a Jalapeno Ranch Dressing in the refrigerated area in the produce section at your local market.

Jay O. & I had a 5 day weekend.  The first 2 days in New Orleans at a wedding (which was t-totally perfect), the 3rd day in the car, and the last 2 days at the lake.  We were dreading the 11 hour drive to the lake, but it was definitely worth it to be able to chillax for a few days before we came back to the real world.  Thanks, Mom & Dad, for the hospitality! 

1 package Slaw Mix 1 can corn {drained}                                                  
1 can black beans {drained}
1/3 cup diced green onions 
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced cilantro
avocado chopped
3/4 cup Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Garnish with cilantro.

Combine ingredients and toss with the Jalapeno Ranch dressing.  I would recommend chilling for at least 2 hours before servings.  Enjoy :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

*Orzo Veggie Salad*

I had never had an orzo pasta salad before, but had always wanted to try it out.  At our monthly supper club this month Nikki made orzo salad for a side which I absolutely loved so I had to give it a go!  You can pretty much add any ingredients that you would like, and this is what I chose :-)

1 (16 ounce) package orzo pasta
1 small green bell pepper, chopped  you can use whatever color of bell peppers you like best
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped                                                       
1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Fresh chopped spinach (however much you would like)  
salt to taste
pepper to taste
5 limes, juiced
6 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1-2 Tbsp Light Mayo to add creaminess (optional)

If you wanted to add in black beans, chickpeas, or possibly kidney beans that would be a good protein to add.  Unfortunately, Jay O. is not a bean fan so I didn't have that option :(

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is  still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain. 

Place the drained orzo in a large salad bowl, and fold in the green pepper, yellow pepper, green onions, red onion, corn, Serrano pepper, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the lime juice and oil over the salad, toss to coat, and refrigerate at least 2 hours to chill before serving (I prepared mine the night before and chilled overnight and the next day until dinner).  Stir in spinach before serving.  

I served mine with a Mexican Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe (I should post soon!) & grilled asparagus.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

*Baked Asparagus Fries w/Lemon Hollandaise for Dipping*

This recipe came from Closet Cooking.  Another one of my favorite go to blogs!  We had Hatley over for dinner Friday night and we had this for an app, and the pasta w/steamed mussels for dinner.  Hatley made the asparagus.  She was quite the little helper :-)  And, we of course had fun on our Friday night cooking date!   

This recipe is served with a lemon hollandaise dipping sauce.  We added about 1 tsp of siracha just because I like things with an extra kick o' spice!
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour (I used wheat)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
salt & pepper to taste. 
Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs, parmensan, salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.
Lemon Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
Siracha hot sause to taste (optional)
salt to taste
1/2 cup butter, melted & hot
Pulse the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne, siracha and salt in a food processor for 20-30 seconds. (I used a hand blender)
Slowly drizzle in the butter while processing until all the butter is incorporated and the hollandaise is nice, thick and creamy.

*Steamed Mussels with Turkey Sausage over Pasta*

I got this recipe idea from one of my all time fav blogs Reckless Abandon.  I recommend you check out Rachel's blog!  She is quite the talented cook.  And, her blog blows mine away with her wonderful pictures!  Maybe I could at least start not using my phone for my camera:-/  We will see, maybe her great pictures will motivate me to step it up a notch!

I had never cooked mussels before.  Turns out, it wasn't tricky like I imagined & I will definitely be cooking them again!  I recommend you try this recipe.  Very soon.

2-3 lbs fresh mussels
3 shallots, minced (or 1 white onion)                                   
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb turkey sausage
1 baguette french bread
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pkg buccatini, spaghetti or linguine pasta
1 handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

First, rinse and scrub your mussels in a colander

In a large pot heat the 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high. Saute the 3 chopped shallots and 6 minced garlic cloves with a little salt and pepper until the onions are clear and fragrant.

Now add the turkey sausage. If it came in casings, remove the sausage. Cook until no longer pink in the middle.

Once the sausage is cooked through, add the 1 cup white wine and 4 cups chicken broth. Also, add the few sprigs of thyme and 1 Tbsp tomato paste. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. 
While the broth is simmering, boil the pasta in another pot according to the package directions.   
At this time, prepare your crunchy French bread for dipping :-)
When you are ready to add the mussels, bring the broth back up to a boil. Add the mussels and put the lid on. Set the timer for 5-10 minutes or until the mussels open up.
A good tip that Rachel had was not to eat any mussels that didn't open because this means they weren't fresh.  Glad she mentioned that, because I would not have known better!  Kind of like if a crawfish's tail is straight, that means to not eat it b/c they were dead before broiled ... gross, I know.  But you've got to love you so crawfish this time of year!
To serve, place pasta in the bottom of large bowls.  Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the mussels and a ladle to add some of the broth and sausage. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with your crunchy bread for dipping!  YUM!