Chicken A La Gloria

Oh wow - this is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever made. I made it while home for Christmas for my parents and Will. It did not disappoint anyone and it was enjoyed by all! Everyone raved. And no, I do not know who Gloria is, like my Dad asked!

The only thing is that this is not the lowest cal or healthiest dish! In fact, sometime soon I'd like to make it again with some low-calorie adjustments, just to SEE how it tastes like that. I'd like to try it with skim milk, light butter, etc. I made some notes at the end of the this entry.

The sauce is amazing, so you'll probably want to make rice or pasta to go with it. I even put some sauce on my veggies!




3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and filleted in half lengthwise
1/3 c of flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp of butter
1 (8 oz) container of sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c of sherry wine (we used red wine)
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c whole milk
6 slices of Muenster cheese
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, dredge lightly in flour to coat both sides. Shake off excess. Add oil to frying pan and brown chicken in batches on both sides. You don’t need to cook the chicken completely.  It will finish cooking in the oven. Transfer the chicken to a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Add the butter to the frying pan and let it melt over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and brown mushrooms until golden.  Then add the sherry wine and cook for another minute or two. Add the creamy mushroom soup and milk and mix well.

Pour sauce over the chicken breasts, cover with foil and bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top each piece of chicken with one slice of Muenster cheese. You can fold the cheese in half if it is too wide for the breast.

Place chicken back in oven uncovered and broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Original recipe found here.

Lower calorie adjustments for next time - Experimental purposes only. :)
- skim milk
- light butter
- red fat cream of mushroom soup
- less oil
- lower cal or thinly sliced cheese


Asian Edamame Fried Rice

This fried rice is healthier than any you'd get out, and it's awesome! Highly recommend. I love SkinnyTaste.

I made this along with my Hibachi Soup, and Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls. Mmmm.




3 c leftover cooked brown rice
2 egg whites, scrambled
1 whole egg, scrambled 
1 tbsp Smart Balance oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced 
5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/2 c shredded carrots
cooking spray
1 c ready-to-eat shelled edamame
2 tbsp lite soy sauce
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Whisk eggs and egg whites, season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok, spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside. Let the wok get really hot. Add oil and cook onions, scallion whites, carrots and garlic for about 1-2 min, careful not to burn. Add brown rice and stir a few minutes to heat through. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, scallion greens and edamame, mixing well for about 3-4 minutes.  

Original recipe found here.

Lemon Orzo Shrimp

Wow! All of the ingredients for this dish can easily be kept on hand. It's easy to throw together and  very tasty!


1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
8 oz orzo pasta
2 c chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c frozen peas
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and oregano, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in orzo until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, peas, lemon juice and shrimp. 

Move to a 9x11" baking dish, top with Parmesan and bake until shrimp are cooked through, about 12-14 minutes.


Original recipe found here.

Bean Burritos Enchilada-Style

These were so good and the leftovers were even better. Yum, yum, and yum. This is a VERY easy recipe and you can add whatever you want to it!



8 red-fat low carb tortillas (I found 60 cal ones)
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can low-sodium black beans
1 can red enchilada sauce
2 c red-fat shredded mexican blend
green onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13×9″ casserole dish. 
Assemble your burritos by filling each tortilla with a couple heaping spoonfuls of refried beans, black beans, a small handful of cheese, and green onions Roll up and place seam-side down in the casserole pan. Line them up, side by side. Pour remaining sauce (as much as you’d like) over the top of the burritos. Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the sauce. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.




Original recipe found here.


Broccoli Cauliflower Quinoa Bites

These are the best! Super easy and delicious. I like to make good use of my mini muffin pan too!



16 oz frozen chopped broccoli florets
12 oz frozen cauliflower florets
3 eggs, beaten
½ c grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
⅔ c grated Parmesan cheese
½ c cooked quinoa
½ tsp salt/pepper, each
Steam the broccoli florets and set aside to cool. Steam the cauliflower florets then place into a food processor and pulse until the size of crumbs. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Toss in the cooled broccoli and cauliflower florets and mix until combined. Spray or grease mini muffin pans and press mixture into muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden. Makes 3½ dozen.

Original recipe found here.

Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

I've been making these freezer breakfast sandwiches since August 2013. I swear I had these everyday during the 2013-2014 school year. I STILL eat them every school day... well, except for the days I don't use self-control and go to Starbucks... but hey, I get the reduced-fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwich there anyway!

I have been asked SO many times for my recipe, and for some reason I never posted it. I always directed people to the JessFuel site, which is where I got the recipe from. But of course I've tweaked it and tried different meats, all of which are delicious!

I usually make 6 at a time, only because the English muffins come in packs of 6. But I've done 12 at a time when I make them for Will too!

With turkey sausage patties...




With turkey bacon...




English muffins (Thomas' Light/High Fiber)
Kraft Singles 2% Sharp Cheddar slices
eggs
Meat of choice - I've used turkey sausage patties, ham, turkey bacon - all delicious)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray ramekins with cooking spray and crack one egg into each ramekin. Use a knife to gently pierce the yolk. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until eggs are cooked. Let cool a little and remove from ramekins... they should fall right out if you used cooking spray. I have forgotten the cooking spray before... and it was a problem.

Cut your English muffins in half and lay out. Use 1 slice of cheese on each muffin. I fold the slice into fourths. On top of the cheese, put your meat. If using turkey bacon, cook it, then break each slice into thirds and place on cheese. If you use ham sandwich meat, just lay it on top, and if you use a turkey sausage patty, just lay it on top as well.

Top with the egg, then the top of the muffin. Wrap each breakfast sandwich in plastic wrap well. I put the wrapped sandwiches into a large Ziploc bag and let freeze.

To heat up, you'll just have to experiment with your microwave. Remove plastic wrap and wrap the sandwich in a paper towel. Microwave on one side for 45-55 seconds, flip, then microwave the other side for another 45-55 seconds.

Original recipe found here.

Fried Egg with Avocado & Tomatoes on English Muffin

This is something I made for breakfast (even dinner a couple nights!) during the summer. Just now getting around to posting. The combo of flavors in this dish is amazing!



1 light English muffin (I use Thomas' light/high fiber English muffins)
1 egg
a little bit of avocado (about 1/6th of an avocado)
cherry tomatoes, halved
sprinkle of 2% shredded cheddar cheese
green onions

Toast your English muffin, and fry the egg in a small skillet. Saute the cherry tomatoes for a few minutes in the skillet as well. Spread some avocado on the toasted English muffin, Top with fried egg, a pinch of cheese, tomatoes, and green onions. Heavenly!

Easy Coconut Shrimp

If a restaurant has coconut shrimp on the menu, I HAVE to get it. I love the crispiness of the shrimp, the spicy/sweetness of the sauce. This did not disappoint!


1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 c Panko bread crumbs
1 c sweetened shredded coconut
1 lb raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
vegetable oil or coconut oil

  • Start with 3 medium bowls. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in one. Beat the eggs in the second bowl.  Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl.

  • Dip the shrimp into the flour, then the eggs, and then dredge the shrimp into the coconut mixing, pressing gently to adhere. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp.

  • Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches - do not crowd them in the pan. I fried about 6-7 at a time. Flip after 2 minutes and fry the other side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. I like mine a little darker, so I fried each side for about 3 minutes.

  • Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest. Serve with your favorite sweet chili sauce!
Original recipe found here.

Spicy Sautéed Cabbage with Hot Sauce

We love spice. We love hot sauce. We love cabbage. Winner!

All of the ingredient amounts in this simple recipe will vary depending on your taste and the size of your cabbage.
½ head green cabbage, quartered, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick ribbons
1 tbsp canola oil
¼ tsp salt
1-3 tsp sambal oelek
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Heat a 12-inch not-nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the cabbage, oil, and salt. Add the cabbage mixture to the hot skillet and cook without stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the hot sauce and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is browned and wilted. Stir in the soy sauce; taste for seasoning, adding additional salt or soy sauce if necessary; serve.
Original recipe found here.

Sesame Glazed Cauliflower

I was slightly skeptical about this cauliflower recipe, but it is easily one of my favorites now! I can't wait to make it again. I could eat a big plate of these for dinner, no problem!



For the sauce:

½ c light soy sauce
¼ c honey
½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
¼ c rice vinegar
1-2 sliced scallions
1 tbsp sesame seeds
For the cauliflower:
One large head cauliflower
½ c flour
½ c milk
½ tsp garlic powder
Optional additional sesame seeds and/or scallions for garnish, if desired

For the sauce:
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
For the cauliflower:
Preheat your oven to 450°F, and spray a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray. Cut the cauliflower into florets. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook and softer they will get.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a bowl. 
Toss the cauliflower in the batter until thoroughly coated. Arrange the cauliflower on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly less done than you want them. 
Remove from the oven and pour the sauce over the cauliflower. 
Return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently flip and toss the cauliflower in the sauce on the sheet. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Place the cauliflower on a serving plate or bowl, and if desired, sprinkle with some additional scallions and/or sesame seeds. 
If desired, pour any remaining sauce off of the baking sheet into a bowl for dipping.

Original recipe found here.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

I LOVE Pad Thai. Chances are, if a restaurant has Pad Thai, that's what I'm going to get. So imagine how excited I was to find SPAGHETTI SQUASH Pad Thai! Yes, it is just as delicious as it looks!!


1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, cooked/shredded (
click here to see how I always bake my SS)2 cloves garlic, crushed1/2 red onion, chopped1/2 c mushrooms, chopped1/2 c carrots, chopped1/2 c sprouts1/2 c scallions, chopped2 eggs

Sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce2 tbsp oyster sauce3 tbsp rice vinegar1 tsp red pepper flakes1 tsp minced garlic

In a bowl, mix together sauce ingredients and set aside - I actually doubled the sauce. In a large pan, sauté 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil with 2 garlic cloves crushed, half of a red onion chopped, chopped mushrooms, carrots, sprouts, and scallions (and any other veggies you like). Once cooked down, add in spaghetti squash (approx. 3 cups) and sauce mixture, mix well to combine

In a small separate pan, scramble your eggs and add to Pad Thai. Mix everything together. Top with extra scallions and finely chopped peanuts on top! (optional)
Original recipe found here.

Brussels Sprouts Fritters

I have made quite a few fritter recipes (click here for my fritter recipes), but this is the first time Brussels sprouts have been the main ingredient. They were amazing!! My favorite fritters, seriously. The goat cheese is an excellent addition, and I love the crispiness of these. You won't even know you're eating Brussels sprouts!

I doubled the recipe below, so we would have lots and lots of fritters. :) (I think I ended up with 12-14)





2 c finely shredded Brussels sprouts (HEB carries bagged shredded Brussels, so I just bought that)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp flour
½ c shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c panko bread crumbs
4 oz soft goat cheese
salt/pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying
sour cream, finely chopped red onion/green onion for garnish


Finely shred the Brussels sprouts with a sharp knife. (Like i said above, HEB carries shredded Brussels sprouts, so I just bought those). Toss the green onions, flour and Parmesan cheese with the Brussels sprouts.


Add the eggs and combine partially, then add the Panko and mix well. Add the goat cheese. Season to taste. Mix until the Brussels sprouts form cakes that stay together. Make 6 fritters.

In a large nonstick pan, add ¼ c vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cakes and cook them for about 2 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Flip them and finish cooking on the other side. Serve them immediately or place them on a sheet pan in a 300 degree oven to keep hot until you serve. Top with sour cream, red onions, and green onions!

Original recipe found here.

Green Curry Lentils & Sweet Potatoes (Crock Pot!)

First new post in over 2 months! It's been... we'll just say "busy" since school started.

I am really into slow-cooker dishes at the moment. I've had the ingredients for this recipe for a while, but never an opportunity to make it. Will won't eat sweet potatoes. He'd probably really like the lentils though. He's out of town, so I decided to make it today.

I wish I had the fresh spinach to stir in at the end, but I didn't. Next time I make this, I'll be sure to have it. BUT I did have my mom's sweet potatoes and onions for this!



1½ c green lentils (rinsed)
4 c vegetable broth
1 onion (diced)
2 small sweet potatoes (cut into large chunks)
4 tbsp Green Curry Paste (I used this one)
2 c fresh Spinach (I did not have any spinach)
salt (to taste)
Optional toppings: Coconut milk and fresh lime juice

To the bowl of a crock pot add the lentils, broth, onion, sweet potatoes, and curry paste. Turn the crock pot to high and cook for about 3½ hours, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender. I cooked mine on Low about 6-7 hours. When the lentils are done, stir in the spinach, if you have it! Taste and add salt as needed. Top with some coconut milk and/or a squeeze of fresh lime. Dish up and enjoy!!

Original recipe found here.

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce

YUM! These are deliciously crispy and Will and I agreed it was one of our new faves. You can't have just one falafel sandwich!! I also made basmati rice and roasted squash/zucchini.




2 c roughly chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 c cooked chickpeas, drained
1 c lightly packed parsley leaves
1 c lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp baking powder
½ c all-purpose flour
canola oil, for sauteing 
pita bread, for serving
1¼ c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ c tahini (sesame paste)
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the tahini sauce:
Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside. Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.

Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour. While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.

Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 Tablespoons per ball). (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.

Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.

Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce. I also used a few red onions and sprinkled on some more parsley.

Original recipe found here.

Healthy Slow-Cooker Steak Fajitas

Well, I have a little over a week left of summer, so of course I'm starting to look for more healthy slow-cooker recipes. I knew I was going to be busy most of the day Tuesday, so I googled "skinny crock pot recipes" and found this "10 Skinny Crock Pot Recipes" from Texas Fit Chicks.

I did prep it the night before: I sliced up the onions & peppers, and Will went ahead and sliced the steak for me. I even mixed the marinade so it would just be ready to pour on. That made it really quick and easy to get ready in the morning. I was able to find my favorite 60 calorie low-carb tortillas, which made these a healthy, delicious dinner. This recipe will be utilized often during the school year!




3 bell peppers, any color (I used red, orange, yellow) (cut into 1/2 in strips)
1 onion (cut into 1/2 in strips)
2 lbs beef (cut into thin strips - skirt steak is perfect)
3/4 c water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
8 tortillas
1/2 c salsa
1/2 c shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
light sour cream (or plain nonfat Greek yogurt)diced green onions

Place the peppers & onion in slow-cooker. Top with beef. Combine the water, vinegar, lime juice, seasonings; pour over meat. Cover & cook on low for 8-9 hrs or until tender. I cooked mine on Low for about 6 hrs and it was perfect! Using a slotted spoon, place a little meat mixture down center of each tortilla. Top with salsa, cheese, light sour cream (we use plain nonfat Greek yogurt), green onions.

Original recipe found here.

I made Roasted Okra and baked jalapenos stuffed with Laughing Cow cheese. 






Spicy Eggplant Fritters

Yum!! I pinned these a while back, but just never got around to making them. I found myself with an eggplant in the fridge that I needed to use, and thought I'd give it a try. So glad I did! I never would have thought to make eggplant like this, and it was really delicious. I think the hot sauce is what makes these great, but if you don't like hot I'm sure you could leave it out and add some other good stuff.



1 lb eggplant, cut into 8 1/2" thick rounds
2 large eggs (I used EggBeaters)
1/2 tsp hot sauce of choice (I used WAY more)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 c + 1/2 tbsp minced basil
Cooking spray



Pound each eggplant slice on both sides with a meat tenderizer (using the rough side - see pictures from original recipe if needed). Set aside.

In a shallow large dish with edges whisk the eggs, Tabasco, salt, black pepper and 1/2 tbsp basil for 20 seconds. Dip an eggplant slice into the mixture on both sides and set aside inside the dish. Repeat the same step with remaining eggplant slices and set aside.

Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Saute the eggplant for 5 - 7 minutes per side. Discard the egg wash/marinade. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with remaining basil. 

Original recipe found here.

We had these along with Baked Portobello Parmesan and Balsamic Roasted Green Beans. DELISH.



Blueberry Pancake Squares

Now THESE are genius! Want to make pancakes for a group of people, but don't want to stand over the stove doing batches and batches of pancakes? THIS is the answer! These are thick, fluffy, delicious pancakes, but you make them in a casserole dish and cut a square (or two or three) however big you want. Adding fresh blueberries was absolutely delicious... they got all melty and syrupy. We also put some sliced bananas over the top with some sugar-free maple syrup. YUM!

The recipe below makes an 8x8" dish... just double it for a 9x13" pan!



3/4 c skim milk
2 tbsp light melted butter
1 large egg
1 tbsp sugar
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually beat the flour in. Carefully stir in the baking powder and salt. Add in blueberries and stir. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Original recipe found here.

Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

These were AH-MAZING!! The sauce is completely delicious and perfect over rice or noodles - I served it over brown rice, but noodles would be yummy too.





For Meatballs:
2 lbs ground turkey, extra lean
1 c zucchini, shredded & liquid squeezed out
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 c green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp basil, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated (I used minced)
1 tsp red curry paste
2 tbsp coconut milk, light (canned)
1/8 tsp hot pepper chill flakes
Cooking spray


For the Sauce:
1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk, light (canned)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp hot pepper chili flakes, or to taste

In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for meatballs, mix with your hands thoroughly. Make 28 meatballs by spooning heaping 1 tbsp of mixture and rolling between your hands. Lay on a cutting board or plate. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.

Preheat large, 12" or larger, skillet on high, spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs and cook until brown, for about 2-3 minutes. No need to cook the meatballs through. Add the sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Serve warm with brown rice or brown rice noodles. Add garnish like fresh cilantro and green onions.

Original recipe found here.

Asparagus-Spinach Pesto Pasta with Blackened Shrimp

Oh. My. I barely have the words to describe the deliciousness of this dish. I LOVE making my own pesto because I can control how much olive oil goes into it. This pesto is (obviously) made with asparagus and spinach... two ingredients I don't even usually like. But this is awesome. If you love pasta (seriously, who doesn't?), pesto, and shrimp... this is for you!!!




Pasta Ingredients:
1 lb (16 oz) dried pasta (I used Ronzoni Veggie Pasta)
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I buy frozen shrimp - peeled, deveined & caught in the US!)
2-3 tbsp blackening powder
1/4 c toasted pine nuts
asparagus-spinach pesto (see ingredients below)


Asparagus-Spinach Pesto Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 c baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/4 c toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil (or less)

To Make The Pasta:
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water al dente according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, add the shrimp to a small bowl and toss with the blackening powder until covered. Spray olive oil in a large saute pan and heat over medium heat. Add in the shrimp, and saute for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink and no longer translucent. Turn off the heat, and transfer shrimp to a separate plate and set aside.
When the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta. (I did not need to use this 1/2 c water). Return the pasta either to the stockpot where it was cooked, or to the saute pan (with the stove heat turned off). Add the pesto to the pasta, and toss until evenly coated, adding in a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin the pasta. Then stir in the shrimp and pine nuts, and serve immediately sprinkled with some extra Parmesan cheese.
To Make The Pesto:
Fill a separate medium saucepan or stockpot with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus spears and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking.
Add the asparagus, spinach, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until combined. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is incorporated. As mentioned above, if the pesto seems too thick, add in a bit of pasta water to thin it out.
Original recipe found here.

Spinach & Cheese Eggplant Rollatini

Hands down, AMAZING. Definitely a fave eggplant recipe, and this one isn't even pan-fried! I just love the recipes at SkinnyTaste, and this one is no different. It would be a recipe better saved for the weekend, since it requires more time - or in my case, a teacher who has all the time in the world during the summer. :) Full disclosure, I may have eaten half the recipe all my myself...

Also, if you don't like eggplant, you won't even know it's in this recipe... AND I really dislike spinach, but that didn't stop me from eating half of this!!

Be sure to check out some other eggplant recipes I've tried:
Oven-Fried Eggplant
Eggplant Lasagna
Eggplant Roll-Ups (similar, but these are pan-fried & no spinach)
Eggplant Parmigiana



2 medium Italian eggplants, cut lengthwise into 10 (1/4-inch thick) slices (21 oz total when sliced)
salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 c marinara sauce (just whatever is your fave)
1 large egg
1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 c grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
8 oz frozen spinach, heated through and squeezed well
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella

Cut the 2 ends off the eggplants. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/4-inch thick slices until you have a total of 10 slices about the same size. It's easiest to do this with a mandolin. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt to help remove excess moisture and bitterness from the eggplants. Set asidefor about 10 to 15 minutes. Pat dry with a towel.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Season the eggplant with a little more salt and pepper, then arrange on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover tightly with foil and bake until eggplant is tender and pliable but NOT fully cooked, about 8 to10 minutes. I only cooked mine 6 min.

Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, beat the egg then mix together with ricotta, Pecorino Romano, spinach, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.

Pat eggplant dry with paper towels. Dividing the ricotta-spinach mixture (about 2 generous tablespoons each) evenly and spoon onto one end of each eggplant slice, spreading to cover. Starting at the short end, roll up slices and arrange them each seam side down in the prepared dish. Top with remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and tightly cover with foil.

Bake until the eggplant is very tender, about 60 minutes. (I only baked mine 45 min & it was perfect). Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving with additional Pecorino Romano if desired.

Original recipe found here.

Burrito Bowl with Homemade Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Now this was easy and delish! You could easily add meat (shredded chicken, ground beef) if you wanted to. It's yummy and filling just like this though. This recipe came from The Garden Grazer blog, and I love the tip for mixing the rice with some salsa. Never thought of that!


1 c uncooked brown rice (or quinoa)
1/2 c salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 can corn, drained
1 onion, diced

Toppings:
tomatoes, diced
shredded lettuce
green onions
avocado

Creamy Chipotle Sauce:
1/2 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 chipotle pepper
1 tsp chipotle sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
(I added 2 tsp honey for a little bit of sweet)

Cook rice according to package directions. Mix in some salsa and a little cilantro & lime juice when cooked.

Make your chipotle sauce. Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Saute diced onion over medium heat for a few minutes. Add in your black beans & corn. Stir and heat through. Then, you can assemble your burrito bowl! Start with your rice, black bean/corn mixture, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, etc. Drizzle some delicious chipotle sauce over the top, and enjoy!

Original recipe found here.

Stir-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles

Cooking Light posted a recipe for Stir-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles. I love anything Chinese and anything noodles, so I knew I couldn't go wrong! Delicious!! You could easily add meat to this and I think broccoli would be yummy too. 





  • 8 oz Chinese egg noodles,
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 c sliced cremini mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bundle green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 c lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups spinach, trimmed
First, combine your sauce ingredients in a bowl: soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, sesame oil, ketchup, and chili paste. Set aside.

Go ahead and scramble your eggs in a small skillet, and set aside as well.
  1. Boil water for the egg noodles. Cook according to package directions.
  2. About the time you put the noodles in to cook (mine only needed 3 min), heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and green onions; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir soy sauce mixture into mushroom mixture; bring to a boil.
  3. Add noodles to pan; toss to coat. Add eggs;  Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Enjoy!

    Original recipe found here.
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