Southwestern Quinoa & Black Bean Casserole

Ok, so this is really yummy. I also love to make my One Pot Mexican Quinoa, but this is SO GOOD. It requires more prep time though. I chopped the onion, jalapeno, bell peppers, and green onions on Sunday. I also went ahead and cooked the quinoa. That took away a good amount of time right there. I also don't see why you couldn't put this together the night before, and pop it in the oven the following evening. I cannot even imaging someone not liking this dish.  Must make!










3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 tablespoon oil
4½ c cooked black beans, rinsed (I bought the large can)
1¼ c vegetable broth
2 c cooked quinoa
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
4 bell peppers, diced
1¼ c shredded Mexican cheese (I used 2%)
sliced green onions
Black beans: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and jalapeno, sauteing for 4 minutes and stirring occasionally. Stir in broth and black beans. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Mash beans to desired consistency. I like to make them a little more like refried beans while still leaving some of the beans whole. The mixture should be thick, not watery. If you still have a lot of moisture, let it cook out by keeping it on the heat for another few minutes. Taste and season with salt.
Quinoa: In a dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat, toss and toast the cooked quinoa with the cayenne, chili powder, cumin, and salt for 1-2 minutes. Taste and season with salt. Set aside.
Peppers: In the same dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat, place the diced peppers and do NOT stir. This allows the peppers to get a brown roasted look on the outside. Wait for 2-3 minutes before stirring, then let them "roast" for another few minutes before removing from the heat.
Assemble: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon black bean mixture into a glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with quinoa, bell peppers, and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese was golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with green onions and let cool 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, on tacos, on a salad, or just eat it plain!

Original recipe found here.

Chicken Tamale Pie

Words cannot... I mean it's just so good... I don't even know what to say. Blown away. BLOWN AWAY. The bottom corn/cornbread layer, the enchilada sauce, the shredded chicken, cheese... oh it was awesome. Make it... and make it it soon. 





⅓ c fat free milk
¼ c egg substitute
1½ tbsp taco seasoning, divided
¼ tsp ground red pepper
1 (14¾ oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
2 c shredded cooked chicken breast
¾ c shredded white cheese (I used 2% monterey jack)
cilantro
Preheat oven to 400°. Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just ½ tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done - it will be just barely set and golden brown - pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (it might stick a little bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. 
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. 

Original recipe found here.

Crispy Mediterranean Veggie Cakes

This recipe comes to you from SkinnyMs. I don't think it's a secret - I love fritters. When I saw these new and different veggie fritters, I knew I'd have to try them. I love the flavors... especially the kalamata olives!




2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c baby spinach
1 medium potato, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 c chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/4 c chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 c chopped artichoke hearts
1/4 c diced red bell pepper
1/4 c diced yellow bell pepper
1/3 fat-free feta cheese
2 eggs

1/4 c whole wheat flour
salt and pepper, to taste


Heat half the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, and cook for one additional minute. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Turn off heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the potato, oregano, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and peppers to the medium mixing bowl and stir. Add the eggs and flour, and season with salt and pepper.

Form the mixture into patties. 
Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet and cook the cakes until crispy and browned on both sides. I topped mine with light sour cream!

Original recipe found here.

Healthy Tuna Cakes with Chipotle Mayo

First time cooking with tuna!!! Does it get any easier? I opened a can. I mean come on! Anyway, these are delicious and we loved them. They got nice and crispy and the chipotle mayo is perfect with them. This is yet another recipe from one of my faves: SkinnyMom.

I doubled the recipe below because I wanted leftovers. I got about 9-10 patties out of it.



3 — 3 oz pouches chunk light tuna (I bought 2 large 10 oz cans since I was doubling)
½ yellow onion, chopped
⅓ cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
½ tbsp Old Bay® Seasoning (I used Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning!)
⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 egg whites


Chipotle Mayo:
¼ c light mayonnaise
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp lime juice


In a medium size bowl, fork out tuna from all 3 pouches (or cans). Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate tuna mixture for 1 hour before forming into patties (this helps the patties stick together better).

Form into 4 equal size patties, or however many you're planning on making. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Cook tuna patties over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes on each side or until both sides are golden brown.
For Chipotle Mayo: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

To serve, top tuna cakes with Chipotle Mayo.


Original recipe found here.


Skinny Eggs Benedict

I made this dish when my mom was in town in early March. Just now getting around to posting it. DELICIOUS - and Will loved it even though he claimed he doesn't like Eggs Benedict.



Ingredients for Eggs Benedict:
1 tsp vinegar
2 eggs
1 English muffin (whole wheat or multigrain), split
1 wedge Laughing Cow Light garlic and herb cheese or your favorite flavor
2 thin slices cooked ham
2 tomato slices

Ingredients for Skinny Hollandaise Sauce:
2 tbsp fat-free plain Greek yogurt
½ tbsp light mayo
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance light, melted in microwave for about 15 seconds (covered)
Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste


To Poach Eggs: Add enough water to the pot or pan to fill half full of water. Add vinegar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to simmering (bubbles should begin to break the surface of the water). Break one egg at a time into a measuring cup. Holding the lip of the cup as close to the water as possible, carefully slip egg into simmering water. Repeat with additional egg. Leave some space between each. Simmer eggs, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until the whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken a bit but are not hard. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove eggs to a plate.

I actually have a pan for poaching eggs. I had never poached eggs before. Truth: My mom did it for me.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast English muffin halves and set aside. Spread the cut side of each muffin half with ½ of the cheese wedge. Place muffin halves, cheese side up, in prepared dish. Top each with the ham pieces. Place tomato slice or slices on top. Add a cooked egg to each.

To Make Hollandaise Sauce:  In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, butter and a little salt and pepper. Divide and spoon Hollandaise Sauce over eggs. Spread over top using the back of the spoon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for about 10-12 minutes until heated through.

Original recipe found here.

Honey Mustard Chicken

This chicken is so yummy! I usually don't post regular chicken breast recipes, but the sauce for this is so good I have to! Yum and yum.

The site with the original recipe grills the chicken. But our grill was out of propane. It also has some really pretty pictures too.


4 chicken breasts
1/2 c whole grain mustard (I used this)
1/2 c honey
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve about 1/4 c of marinade. Then marinade the chicken in a bag or bowl with the remaining marinade for at least 45 minutes.

If grilling: Preheat the grill on medium- medium high heat, grill chicken for about 6 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is done.

Like I said, I didn't grill... I seared it in a pan with olive oil spray on both sides, then baked it in the oven until finished.

Pour the reserved 4 tablespoons of honey-mustard sauce over chicken and let rest under foil for about 5 minutes.

Original recipe found here.

Kale Pesto Stuffed Portobellos with Tomatoes

I'm really into making my own pesto these days. I can use a very small amount of oil and save a lot of calories... and I can use things like asparagus and spinach to make the pesto too!




portobello mushroom caps, stems removed/washed
1-2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

For pesto:
a bunch of kale (half of one of those big bags)
fresh basil
1/3 c shredded Parmesan
1/4 c pine nuts
2 tsp minced garlic
salt/pepper
olive oil

To make pesto: In a food processor, add all ingredients except olive oil. Pulse and stir if necessary until smooth. Add in the olive oil slowly through the top of food processor while it's spinning. Use as much as you like. I try to keep mine to a minimum.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake mushrooms, cap down, for about 5 minutes. Then, stuff them with the kale pesto, lay the tomato slices on top, then sprinkle some mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is browned.

Skinny Sloppy Joes

So one day, I asked Will what he wanted for dinner... Sloppy Joes. Well, of course I searched for a "skinny" recipe... and of course, I found one from SkinnyTaste! It was SO GOOD. Will even said the best sloppy joe he's ever had. Big deal, guys. I love that it uses so many minced up veggies!




1.25 lbs very lean ground beef
1 tbsp steak seasoning or seasoned salt
1 carrot, minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
4 oz mushrooms, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste


I minced all the veggies up in my Ninja.

Chop all the vegetables really fine, using a chopper or food processor. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat to the pan and break it up as it cooks. Season with steak seasoning and cook the meat until it browns, then add onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, cook 5 more minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan, stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes. Using a measuring cup, pile 1/2 cup of sloppy meat onto toasted buns.

Original recipe found here.


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