Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Steak & Pasta with creamy tomato sauce

First off, let me say one thing: make this meal. It's seriously amazing.

5 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 lb lean steak cubed (I used ribeye, it was on sale!)
16 oz whole-wheat pasta (I used wheat egg noodles)
Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 28-oz jar or can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
8 oz fat free sour cream

Prepare marinade: In a bowl, whisk together 3 cloves garlic, vinegar, Dijon, cinnamon and pepper. Pour marinade over steak cubes in another container, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can also leave steak to marinate overnight.)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Drain steak cubes and discard marinade. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-high, mist with cooking spray and sauté steak until browned on each side, about 4 minutes total. Remove steak from pan and set aside.

Mist same pan with cooking spray again, add onion and remaining 2 cloves garlic and sauté until brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low. Add seasoning, basil and sour cream and combine. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then mix in reserved steak and cook for 2 more minutes, until meat and sauce are completely warmed.

Serve 1 cup pasta with 3/4 cup steak sauce. Garnish with an additional sprinkling of Italian seasoning, if desired.

We had this with roasted asparagus (400 degree oven, 20 minutes - spritz of olive oil, salt & pepper before roasting), and fresh homemade pesto bread. This was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Make this, make it!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flounder & Black Bean Burrito Casserole

**The original recipe calls for Halibut, we had flounder -- so I went with that! Any flaky white fish will do!

Olive oil cooking spray
10 oz white fish - cut in 1/4 inch strips
3 tsp fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 tsp ground cumin, divided
1 cup cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup corn kernels (thawed, if frozen)
1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup finely diced roasted red pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
8whole-wheat tortillas - we used xtreme wellness tortillas
1 1/2 oz low-fat Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream or low-sodium salsa for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly mist an 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.
In a small bowl, toss fish with 1 tsp lime juice and 1/4 tsp cumin; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine remaining 2 tsp lime juice, remaining 1/4 tsp cumin, beans and following 6 ingredients; stir to combine.
Lay tortillas out on a flat work surface and mound 1/3 cup bean mixture onto center of each. fish in a single layer on top of bean mounds. Roll each tortilla to enclose filling but keep ends open. Arrange filled tortillas, seam sides down, in 1 layer in prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 10 minutes. Then remove foil and continue baking until burritos are crispy and cheese is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Serve burritos with sour cream or salsa, if desired. 

These were delicious!!! So fresh and flavorful! When Brian finished eating, he said "I look forward to having the leftovers tomorrow for lunch", so that's a great sign! We enjoyed them with fat free sour cream & salsa!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whoa, where did January go?

I cannot believe that January is almost over! Crazy! Today is the 29th, and I can proudly say that we tried 21 new recipes so far this year, and have significantly changed our eating habits! We are eating FAR less processed foods, tons more fresh vegetables, and have been eating a few vegetarian meals a week. I have really enjoyed searching for new recipes, and cooking all of these healthy meals!

Last week was a little off track - I wasn't feeling great, and we had friends come into town (yay!), so that threw off our meal plan some.

This week I still have three recipes left from last week to make:
Seafood & Corn Chowder
Steak Pasta
Halibut & Black Bean Burrito Casserole

I plan on making these, and then using up some of our pantry to make the rest of the meals this week! I will post what we try!

Thank you so much for everyone that has encouraged me to continue this blog. I love hearing that people have tried some of the recipes, and loved them! VERY encouraging!

Chicken Cheesesteak Panini Wrap

4 cups sliced yellow onions (2 lg onions)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 lg red bell pepper, sliced
2- 6oz chicken breast
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 oz low fat shredded cheddar

1/4 cup skim milk
4 whole wheat tortillas

Heat large saute pan on high. When skillet is hot, add onion and stir constantly for two minutes until onion begins to soften and release a bit of liquid. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook onion for 2 more minutes without stirring.

Add vinegar and 1/4 c. water, a bit at a time, stirring and scraping any brown bits from the bottom of skillet as liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to low and let onion simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until very soft, sweet and golden.
Meanwhile, heat a separate saute pan on high. Add red pepper and mushroom to hot, dry pan and saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly as vegetables soften and release some liquid. Reduce heat to medium-low and let vegetables simmer for 5 more minutes until very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Increase heat to high and add chicken to pan. Saute for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring often until chicken is cooked all the way through. Season with black pepper, cover pan and reduce heat to very low to keep mixture warm.

When onions are very soft, add cheese and milk to skillet, stirring as cheese melts into the onion

Place a quarter of chicken mixture and quarter of onions in a line on bottom third of each wrap. Roll like a burrito.

Very easy lunch idea -- just save a chicken breast from the night befores dinner!

Sweet & Sour Chicken w/ lo mein

Chinese night again! We love chinese food, so making it where we can have it - AND it not be bad for us - is wonderful! This was really great, especially the chicken! If you don't watn to use the "pasta" that is used in this recipe - replace it with wheat angel hair pasta. No problem! We baked egg rolls to go with this - frozen 80 calorie egg rolls -- nothing fancy :)

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp raw honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts), chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Place chicken in a large shallow dish. Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken, tossing gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade and sauté for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add bell peppers and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Carmelized Onion Paninis

2 tsp olive oil
4 cups sliced onions (4 onions)
4 tsp honey mustard -- you can buy premade. I made my own. Mixed equal parts honey & musatrd.
8 slices whole wheat bread
4 sliced cheese (I used provolone, could use any type you like!)

Heat oil in skillet, add onions, cook over low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally - until onions reduce and caramelize.
Preheat panini grill or sandwich maker (I used grill pan & panini press  - can also use flat pan & heavy pan on top). Spread 1 tsp of the honey ustard on each of 4 bread slices. Top evenly with carmelized onions & 1 slice of cheeese. Top with remaining bread pieces.
Place sandwiches on grill, press for 4 minutes until cheese is melted. Flip halfway through if using a pan & press/weight. Serve!

These were DELICIOUS!!! We had them with a salad - spring mix greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, fat free feta  & homemade balsamic! (dressing recipe below) We will be having these again! YUM!

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic
1 tsp raw honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon (I used my Pampered Chef juicer - works AMAZING!)

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, dijon mustard & lemon juice. (I shook it all in a mason jar, and stored remaining dressing that way!). Drizzle over salad. ENJOY!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week #4 Grocery list & plan!

Steak Salad w/ black peppercorn yogurt dressing
Seafood corn chowder
Chicken Cheesesteak Wrap Panini w/ potato wedges
Sweet & Sour Chicken w/ veggie lo mein
Steak & farfalle Pasta
Halibut & black bean burrito casserole

Please do not be intimidated by the grocery list! You probably have a lot of it in your house already. The grocery list has every ingredient you will use for the week including spices, meats, cheese, EVERYTHING! Last week I had about 80 things on the list, when I deleted what I already had, I bought 24 items. You can save money by stocking up on items when they are on sale - especially meats!

**I just deleted items I had on hand - this week I need 26 items from the store

Yellow onion -4
Lg red bell pepper -3
green pepper
zucchini -1
1 cup bean sprouts
russet potatoes - 4
Iceberg lettuce
Red onion
Chicken breast – 1.5 lb
Low fat grated cheddar
Fat free sour cream
Non fat greek yogurt
3 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti Shaped Noodle Substitute
Beef tenderloin – 10 oz
10 oz white fish
¾ lb sea scallops
½ lb shrimp
Lean steak – 1 lb
Frozen corn kernels
Whole wheat pasta (not spaghetti/linguine)
28 oz jar crushed tomatoes
1 bag (about 12 ounces) frozen Chinese-style stir-fry mixed vegetables
canned black beans
Brown rice
Frozen Corn
Roasted red peppers
Whole wheat tortillas

Pantry Staples
Chicken boullion
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Italian Seasoning
red pepper flakes
Lime Juice

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Chinese! Seasame Orange Chicken & Quinoa Fried Rice

Wow, this was GOOD! Really, really, really good! We have been wanting some Chinese food, and this was a perfect substitute.

I'm really tired, so I'm going to just post the link where I got the recipes from! :)

Quinoa Fried Rice & Orange Seasame Chicken

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seafood and sweet potato enchiladas -- WHAT?!

Seafood and Sweet Potato Enchiladas -- sounds crazy. I know. They were delicious. The sweet potato & fat free sour cream make a creamy base for the seafood, so they taste rich, without the calories! Make them, you won't regret it!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined, minced
½ pound cooked shrimp (I sauteed the shrimp with no additional seasoning)
1 cup diced cooked fish (I cooked flounder on the stove, in the pan after cooking the shrimp!)
1 cup cooked sweet potato, diced (Microwave or bake the potato as you would a normal sweet potato)
½ cup fat free sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
8 tortillas, preferably whole wheat
1 - 10 ounce jar or can red enchilada sauce
1 cup light cheddar shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm the oil and then add the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Cook 4-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the shrimp, fish and sweet potato, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  
In a large bowl, combine the shrimp mixture and sour cream, salt and cilantro.  Mix well.
Place one tortilla on a plate, and place ⅛ of the shrimp mixture on one end.  Roll up and place in a 9x13 baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat with additional 7 tortillas.
Pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.

Chicken Rollatini

8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
1/2 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 tablespoons egg whites or egg beaters
5 oz fresh spinach
6 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz part skim mozzarella
olive oil non-stick spray
1 cup  marinara sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp grated cheese in one bowl and 1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites in another.

Shred or finely chop 1.5 oz of mozzarella cheese and combine with remaining grated cheese, spinach , 2 tbsp egg beaters, and ricotta cheese.

Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down.

Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray with olive oil.
Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with sauce then cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 more minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side and grated cheese.

This was good. We had it with garlic cauliflower - which was a good match.You could add all kinds of vegetables into this chicken! Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Asian Turkey Meatballs = delicious!

1/4 cup panko crumbs
1-1/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
1 egg
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
Dipping Sauce
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp water
1 chopped fresh scallion

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Mix ground turkey, panko, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture. (makes 12-15) Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

For the dipping sauce mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a bowl. Add scallions.

We had these with brown rice & steamed broccoli. They were GREAT! These would also be great at a party! So good, quick & easy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baked Potato Soup! AH-MAZING!

2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
4 slices turkey bacon, cooked & crumbled

Pierce potatoes, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes. (Or you can microwave: Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender)

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. (If you DO NOT want pieces of potato, puree them as well. We wanted our soup chunky) Add potatoes, sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon. 

Oh this soup was delicious! You would of never known there was cauliflower in this. SO filling, and was an absolute comfort food! Owen literally SCREAMED when his bowl was gone, I was scrambling trying to cool some more off for him. Make this -- sooner rather than later!

Week #3! (And results of week 1&2!)

Today is day #16 of this diet lifestyle change. (I do honestly feel like we can do this forever!) We have cooked healthy wonderful meals, tried 14 new recipes so far, and feel amazing!! I've lost 8.6 pounds in 15 days, my skin looks better, and I feel great! That is 100% motivaion to keep going strong!

This week has the following in store:
Baked Potato Soup
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Asian turkey meatballs with lime seasame sauce
Chicken rollatini with spinach
Seafood and sweet potato enchiladas
Homemade take out night!!! Seasame Orange Chicken & Fried quinoa
Onion Paninis

And here is this weeks grocery list (I know at first it looks HUGE, but take in account of what you already have on hand, and it cuts back DRASTICALLY! My grocery cart is no more full than any other week!)
**Edited to add: After I deleted everything I had in the house from this list, we need 24 things for a full week of healthy eating. Not bad at all!

onions – 7
2 russet potatoes
 small head of cauliflower
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
cooked butternut squash
Orange -2
1 cup cooked sweet potato, diced
5 oz frozen spinach
Fresh broccoli
 light sour cream – 8 oz
reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Provolone slices
Egg Replacement
grated parmesan
Whole wheat bread
whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
8 tortillas, preferably whole wheat
Orange juice (I recommend simply orange, or an organic no sugar added juice)
fish sauce
1 - 10 ounce jar or can red enchilada sauce
24 wonton wrappers
Marinara Sauce
cups fat free chicken broth – 12 oz
Turkey Bacon
ground turkey (lean) – 1.25 lbs
½ pound cooked shrimp
8 oz white fish
Boneless Skinless chicken breast – 2.5 lbs

Pantry Staples:
sesame seeds
sesame oil
Soy Suace
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Canola Oil
Corn Starch

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cabbage beef in the crockpot!

Sunday night dinners are usually the hardest for us (as in, we usually order out!) So this week I decided to do a crock pot meal.

1 small head of cabbage, chopped
2 large onions, diced
6-8 ribs of celery, chopped
1 1/2 lb stew meat (you can also use ground beef)
2 cans low sodium stewed tomatoes
2 cans green beans
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cups of water

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker
Cook 6 hours on low

This was good. Amazing? no. Will I eat the leftovers tomorrow - yes! My husband liked it, and Owen ate the green beans out of it :)

Blueberry Almond Pancakes

Happy Sunday Morning! We are making some delicious AND healthy pancakes this morning!  They're from scratch - but e-a-s-y!

2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tsp of baking soda
1 tbsp honey
2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup of ground almonds (I used my bullet blender)
1 cup of fresh ( or frozen) blueberries
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1) In a large bowl, mix flour and baking soda with a fork.
2) Add in honey, milk, almonds and vanilla. If you want a light fluffy pancake, use an electric mixer to introduce some air into the pancakes. This will give you the fluffy texture of the familiar white-flour pancakes.
3) Gently stir in blueberries.
4) Cook on a griddle or nonstick frying pan, about 2 minutes per side. You will know to flip them when the first side gets bubbly.
5) Serve with additional fruit and (light) maple syrup.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dessert anyone? Gluten Free/Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Chocolate-Chip Cookies
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 T brown sugar (don’t sub!)
1 T plus 2 tsp white sugar (I used splenda)
2 T chocolate chips - I used minis!
1 T oil or pre-melted margarine
1-2 T  milk (start with 1)

Blend first 5 ingredients together. (I use a Magic Bullet.) Mix with other ingredients, form into cookie shapes, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cook 6 minutes at 375 F.

Chicken Parmesan with Pasta

Oh.my.gosh! This was seriously AMAZING! The chicken was as crispy as if it was fried. The sauce had amazing flavor for being so so simple! It's amazing how amazing real food tastes -- not eating all the processed foods, and falling in love with fresh, organic, healthy ingredients is wonderful. This one is a keeper, and will absolutely be a repeat dinner in our house!

Olive oil cooking spray
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 green bell pepper, seeded & diced
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, mincced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 28oz jar crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup whole wheat panko
1 tbsp grated reduced fat-parmesan
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 - 4oz boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1-inch thickness
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 oz cooked whole wheat penne (or your favorite pasta)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400, coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute three to give minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add one teaspoon oregano and stir to coat. Cook 30 seconds, until oregano is fragrant. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine panko, Parmesan, remaining teaspoon of oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper. Mix with a fork to combine. Brush both sides of each chicken breast with mustard. Transfer each breast to panko mixture and turn to coat both sides. Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet. Coat surface of chicken with cooking spray, bake for 20 minutes.
Top each chicken breast with two to three tablespoons of tomato sauce and two tablespoons of mozzarella. Return chicken to oven and bake 10 minutes, until crust is golden brown, and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with cooked pasta topped with tomato sauce. Garnish with basil.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chickpea & Winter Vegetable Stew

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) slices leek
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced $
  • 3 2/3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 
  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous 
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups Simple Vegetable Stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.
Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

This was a really good winter comfort food! We had a whole wheat baguette with the stew. It was VERY filling, I only ate about 1/2 the bowl. 

Orange Poached fish, baked fries & avocado ranch!

Orange Poached Fish
2 juicing oranges
1 lb white fish - skinless/boneless (flounder, orange roughy, swai)

Juice 2 oranges into large saucepan, heat until simmering. Add fish & cover. simmer 7-8 minutes until fish flakes with a fork. 
This was REALLY REALLY easy, and great! I thought it would be overpowering orange flavor, but it wasn't at all! I served this with baked potato wedges (russet potatoes - cut into 8 wedges, toss with a little olive oil, kosher salt & fresh ground pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, flip & bake 20 more) with a homemade (& healthy!) Avocado Ranch and sugar snap peas. Delicious!

Balsamic Chicken with White beans & Spinach

I used this recipe here, the only thing I changed was I added an onion to it at the same time you put the garlic in.  Owen inhaled this, he LOVED it! We did too!

Lemon Paprika shrimp with Zucchini & couscous

Lemon Paprika Shrimp with zucchini & couscous
1 cup Whole-Wheat Couscous
1 Lemon halved
1 lb Large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 tsp Paprika
2 Zucchini, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste

Cook Couscous according to package directions, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside
Thinly slice half of lemon and place in a large plastic bag (I use a big mixing bowl)
Add shrimp, oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and shake/toss to combine
Steam zucchini until tender in separate small pan
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour shrimp mixture into skillet, spread into a single layer and cook for 2 minutes per side until shrimp are pink. Add juice from remaining lemon half and toss to combine.

This was delicious!!! The shrimp had amazing flavor - we will be eating lemon paprika shrimp more often around here! Owen was really funny eating the couscous, lots of funny faces :)

Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 6-oz can salmon packed in water, without bones or skin, draine
2 egg whites, whisked
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 medium squash, peeled and grated (Could also use carrot)
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
Salt & Pepper

In a large bowl, mix together diced onion, salmon, egg whites, Dijon, bread crumbs, carrot and 1 tbsp cilantro. Using your hands, form mixture into 4 large patties, each about 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium-high for 1 minute. Mist with cooking spray. Place all 4 patties in pan and cook for 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned

We really enjoyed the salmon patties! They turned out great. I squeezed some fresh lemon juice over them. Delicious! We had them with steamed broccoli & rice.

Sweet & Sour Kale

Hot & Sour Kale
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1/2 bag pre-rinsed kale
sea salt & pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, tomato paste & chile flakes. Set Aside.
Heat a skillet, add oil & shallot - sautee for 1 minute. Add kale & saute for a couple minutes (if you prefer more done, sautee up to 5 minutes). Add salt, pepper & mixture you made previously. Cook together for 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens.

I'm not going to lie - I didn't like the kale. At all. A bag of steamfresh broccoli came to the rescue for me tonight.

Chicken, Spinach & Ricotta Quesadilla

Chicken, Spinach & Ricotta Quesadillas (Clean Eating)
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
2.5 tsp olive oil
sea salt & frsh pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 bag spinach (6 to 8oz)
3/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup navy beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh herbs (flat leaf parsley and rosemary) -- I actually used dried, a pinch of each
Juice of 1/2 lemon -- again, I used the pampered chef juicer, TOTALLY worth the money!
pinch of nutmeg
8 small whole grain tortillas

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly coat chicken with half teaspoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place chicken on parchment-lined baking sheet and roast 20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in large saute pan. When oil is hot, add onion and red pepper, stirring frequently until softened - 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach to pan and stir to combine, until spinach is slightly wilted. Remove mixture from pan, and pour into paper towel lined bowl, set aside and allow to cool.
In large bowl, combine ricotta and beans, mashing beans slightly. Add mozzarella cheese, herbs, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, dice into half inch pieces, and add to cheese mixture. Then add spinach into cheese/chicken mixture.
Lay out tortillas and scoop about 1/3 cup mixture into one side of tortilla. Fold over, pressing slightly. Bake 10 minutes at 350, until heated through.

The quesadillas were AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! Seriously, make them. You won't be disappointed. They were the perfect dinner to eat while watching the wildcard playoff games! :)

Well, week #1 is over. It was great. I loved trying all new recipes, and best of all, being healthy. Win-win situation! Onto planning next week!

Low Carb Spaghetti Squash

Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash (clean eating) 
1/2 (3 pound) spaghetti squash - halved, seeds scooped out
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch crushed red pepper
1 (10 oz) bag spinach
1.5 tsp pine nuts, toasted, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, place squash, flesh side down, on sheet and bake until easily pierced by fork, 50-60 minutes
When squash is about 10 minutes from being done, warm half tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook for one minute. Stir in broth, pinch of salt and red pepper (if wanted). Add spinach, handfuls at a time, stirring until it's all wilted. Cover to keep warm.
When squash is done, use a form to separate strands into a medium bowl. Add remaining oil, and salt - toss gently.
Transfer "spaghetti" to plates, top with spinach mixture. Garnish with pine nuts

This was VERY good! And VERY easy! It took about 5 minutes prep time, and 10 minutes to make the spinach mixture. The remaining time the squash was baking in the oven. Simple and delicious! (Owen loved it too!)

Cobb Salad with White Fish

Cobb Salad with White Fish
4 eggs
4 fillets white fish  - (Cod recommended, I used flounder)
1/2 tsp paprika
sea salt & fresh pepper
1 large bunch romaine
1 avocado, peeled & pitted
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 oz low-fat feta
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic
1 tsp raw honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon (I used my Pampered Chef juicer - works AMAZING!)

Boil the eggs - and chop (but eggs in cool water, boil for 10 minutes)
Prehead broiler to high. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place fillets on sheet. Sprinkle with paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Broil for 5 minutes, remove from ehat and let cool for 5 minutes. Then cut into half inch square chunks.
Divide lettuce evenly among four plates. Add fish, egg, avocado, tomatoes, and feta. 
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, dijon musard & lemon juice. (I shook it all in a mason jar, and stored remaining dressing that way!). Drizzle over salad. ENJOY!

Turkey & Chickpea Burgers

Turkey & Chickpea Burger (Clean Eating)
1 Can chickepeas - drained and rinsed
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
olive oil cooking spray

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, scallions, cumin, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse until smooth.
Transfer chickpea mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add turkey and mix by hand until combined.
Divide turkey-chickpea mixture into four equal portions, shaping each into a three-quarter-inch patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat skillet with cooking spray and cook patties for four to six minutes on each side.

We ate this with fresh spinach & tomatoes, a sauce I made (olive oil mayo, dijon mustard & lemon juice), 1/2 baked potato & roasted cauliflower. These were good, but ours were falling apart some - would of been a huge mess on a burger bun!

Ginger Soy Chicken & Edamame stir-fry

Ginger Soy Chicken & Edamame Stir-Fry (Clean Eating)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp unsalted almond butter
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp raw honey
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp cooking oil (I used olive)
1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2/3 cup unsalted raw cashews
4 green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
brown rice

Prepare sauce: in a medium bowl, whisk broth with soy sauce, almond butter, ginger, honey, and mustard. Set Aside. (I microaved the almond butter for 15 seconds to soften before mixing)

In a large wok or skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp oil, add chicken and garlic and cook until chicken is browned. Add pepper, casews, and edamame. Cook about 3 minutes. Add onions & sauce - cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve over Brown Rice.

Review: This is a keeper! So good, and VERY filling! We had it with Trader Joes Basmati Brown rice.

Hoppin' John - a southern Soup

Hoppin' John - a southern soup
1 lb turkey kielbasa
2 cans black eyed peas - drained
2 cans diced tomatoes (one regular, one with onions & peppers)
25 oz of chicken broth (save remainder of broth for other recipes this week!)
1 soup can of water
1 box wild rice with seasoning (I used Uncle Bens)
1 chopped onion
Dried Sage
Garlic Powder

Mix all ingredients in the crockpot - cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8. And Serve!

This was such a simple recipe, but was VERY filling and delicious!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's my blog, right?!

Well, one week in - and I've realized I need to edit my plan already. Sundays are leftover days now! We have leftovers from the weekend (since we don't need lunches packed), and I can't waste them! So, leftovers it is! For this week I will move all the recipes down one day - and keep on going!

Also, check out my friend Missys blog, You are what you eat. She is a meal planning, healthy eating mom & wife, and is sharing the journey on her blog! Another great site for recipes!

Here are some pictures of our breakfast yesterday (Banana Walnut Pancakes - your favorite batter, mashed banana & some walnut pieces). I think Owen liked them! :)

mmmm pancake!
"No more?"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week #2 Meal Plan & Ingredient List

Salmon Patties, Hot & sour swiss Chard OR Kale (whatever is available)
 Lemon Paprika Shrimp with zucchini couscous
Balsamic chicken with white beans & spinach
Orange Poached Fish, baked fries & fresh green vegetable
Chickpea Winter vegetable stew
Blueberry almond pancakes
Crockpot Casserole for Skinnies (cabbage & beef)
 Guiltless Chicken Parmesan

Grocery List:
onions – 5
Green Bell Pepper
2 baking potatoes
Extra vegetable* (Broccoli is what we are doing!)
Sliced Leeks
Lemon  -2
2 juice oranges
2 zucchini
Blueberries (1 cup)
Butternut Squash
Yukon gold potato - 2
1 pound turnips
Fresh spinach
Fresh cilantro
Squash (this is for salmon patties, you can use carrot or squash)
1 bunch swiss chard OR 1 bag kale
2 cans low sodium stewed tomatoes
2 cans green beans
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
Whole wheat couscous
3 2/3 cups vegetable Stock
tomato paste  - 2 small cans or one large can (used in 2 recipes – save remainder for later in week!)
1 can chickpeas 
1 can condensed cream of mushroom (98% Fat Free)
1 can white kidney (cannellini) beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Chicken Breast (2 lbs)
1 lb skinless fish fillets (catfish, flounder or orange roughy)
1 lb shrimp
1.5 lbs lean stewing meat
1 (6-oz) can salmon, packed in water, w/o bones or skin, drained
Panko Bread Crumbs
Whole wheat bread crumbs
Reduced Fat Parmesan
Skim Mozzarella
Whole Wheat Penne
Egg whites

Pantry Staples:
ground coriander
caraway seeds, crushed
Apple cider vinegar
Red chili flakes
ground cumin
ground red pepper
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Whole Wheat Flour
Baking Soda
Skim Milk
Vanilla Extract
Dijon Mustard
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Dried thyme