23 March 2012

Mini Lasagnas

These were so fun to make! AND super tasty.

12 oz lean ground beef
1 c chopped onion
14.5 oz can tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp dried oregano, divided
1 tsp dried basil, divided
1 1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
24 small square wonton wrappers (you can find them in the produce dept)
1 1/2 c red-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onions, and sprinkle some salt and pepper. After the meat has browned, add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 sec. Add the pasta sauce and 2 tsp oregano. Bring the pan to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 min.

In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta with some salt and pepper, 1 tsp of oregano, and 1/2 tsp basil. Stir together.

Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place one wonton wrapper in each of the 12 cups, pressing firmly in the bottom of the cup and up the sides. Using half the ricotta mixture, divide it among the 12 muffin cups. Next, using half of the meat sauce, spoon it evenly over the ricotta. Sprinkle a little mozzarella on top of that. Then press another wonton on top of the mozzarella layer. Repeat - ricotta, meat sauce, mozzarella. Bake for 15 min, or until the cheese has melted and wonton wrappers are crispy. Let cool in the pan, sprinkle a little basil on top, then enjoy!

Original recipe found here. Great step-by-step pictures.

Italian Cream Bundt Cake

I bought a bundt pan back in December so I could make sticky buns Christmas morning. So, when I saw a recipe for Italian Cream cake (which I love) in a bundt pan... I knew it was time to pull out the bundt pan for the second time. Glad I did. This is wonderful!

1 stick of butter
2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
1/2 c olive oil
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c low fat buttermilk
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 c finely-chopped walnuts
5 egg whites (beat until stiff peaks)

For the icing:
1 block red-fat cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream together sugar and butter, then add vanilla extract. Then, add the 5 separated egg yolks and olive oil, and mix and beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl, prepare the dry ingredients-  the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk - add about 1/4 c at a time. Next, mix in the walnuts and coconut.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they have stiff peaks - I had no clue what that meant so I googled it. :) Then, with a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter using the figure 8 pattern. Spoon the batter into a greased bundt pan as evenly as possible. Bake for about 1 hour.

To make the icing: Beat together all the ingredients, then drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Original recipe found here.

Jerk Grilled Chicken

Those of you that know me well, know that I don't like huge chunks of meat... unless it's a filet mignon. No matter how good chicken breasts are, I never eat the whole thing and I just don't like it. I also pick all the meat out of Lean Cusine-type dishes. Anyway, that being said, I ate ALL of this chicken. It was amazing! I usually wouldn't post a marinade/grilled chicken recipe, but I feel it's my duty to share this with everyone. ENJOY.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c wood chips (for smoking on the grill) - optional

For the marinade:
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2-3 habanero peppers, quartered with seeds removed
1/2 c lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1  tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp whole allspice berries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

For the marinade, place all the ingredients in a blender and mix well. Place chicken in a glass dish and rub both sides of chicken with marinade (the marinade will be thick). Transfer the rest of the marinade into a small glass dish, cover, and refrigerate. You can marinate the chicken 2-24 hours. We marinated ours for almost 24 hours.

Grill: Soak wood chips in a small bowl of water for 10-15 min. Fold a 12x20" piece of foil in half to create a double-sided 12x10" thick piece. Transfer wood chips to center of the foil, allowing as much water as possible to drip off. Create a packet with the foil by folding in the ends. Make some holes in the top of the foil.

Put the foil packet until the grill rack and on top of the burners. Close the grill and heat it to medium-high until the packet smells smokey and you start to see smoke come out from under the grill. Grill the chicken, turning and basting occasionally (with the rest of the marinade), until cooked through - about 20-30 min.

You don't have to use the wood chips, it's just an option and it added flavor. If you don't have a grill, there is a broiler variation on the original link to this recipe (below).

Original recipe found here.

21 March 2012

Slow-Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome. The chicken was juicy and the sauce was delicious.

1 lb chicken breasts (I used thinly-sliced)
1 c honey
1/2 c lite soy sauce
1/2 c diced onion
1/4 c ketchup
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 6 tbsp water
sesame seeds & green onions, for garnish

Season chicken with salt/pepper and place in crock pot. Sprinkle diced onion on top. In a bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, ketchup, canola oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and sesame oil. Pour over chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours. Remove chicken breasts from crock pot. Dissolve 4 tsp cornstarch in 6 tbsp water and pour into sauce. Cover and let sauce cook 10 more min. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces. After sauce has thickened, put shredded chicken back in crock pot and stir together with sauce. Serve over rice. Don't forget the sesame seeds and green onions!

Original recipe found here.

Chicken & Biscuits Alfredo Bubble Up

Ohhhh man. Now this was good. Obviously not the most healthy dish, but it would be amazing for a treat every now and then! Super easy, super delicious.

2 cans Grands biscuits
1 jar Alfredo sauce (16 oz)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 lb chicken, cooked and cubed
2 c mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces and place into a bowl. Mix seasonings with Alfredo sauce in a large bowl. Stir biscuit pieces into the sauce, then add the cooked and cubed chicken and stir. Add half the cheese and toss until well blended. Grease a 9x11" baking dish and pour mixture into dish. Cover with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35-45 min or until biscuits are done.

Original recipe found here.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these for St. Patrick's day... because they're green. But I would definitely make these anytime of year because they are delicious. I sent some with Will & the band on their trip to Shreveport and they really liked them too.

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 tsp mint extract
1 egg
green food coloring
1 c Andes baking chips (couldn't find these, so I just bought Andes mints and broke them up)
1 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together cookie mix, butter, extract, egg, and green food color until a soft dough forms. Stir in the mint chips and dark chocolate chips. Drop about 1 tbsp dough onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 min or until set. Cool and then move to wire rack. Makes about 32-36 cookies.

Original recipe found here.

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

For some reason, I'm always intrigued by smoothies that have oats in them. This is a delicious, filling smoothie that I could definitely have for breakfast during the school week. Just throw all the ingredients in your blender (I used my Ninja!) and it's ready. The oats will be really tiny, but you will be able to taste them in the smoothie, just an FYI. Yum!

7 frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
1/4 c dry oats
1/2 c milk
1 packet Spenda, or your sweetener of choice

Mix it all in your blender and enjoy. :) The ingredients above make one glass.

Original recipe found here.

15 March 2012

Cashew-Panko Chicken Tenders & Polynesian Sauce

These were so crispy and the sauce was delicious!

1 lb chicken tenders
1 c cashews, finely chopped in food processor
1 c Panko bread crumbs
1/2 c flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 c low-fat buttermilk

For the sauce:
1 c California French dressing
5 tbsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set up 3 bowls. In the first bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Put buttermilk in the next bowl, and then combine the chopped cashews and Panko bread crumbs. Dip each chicken tender in the flour, buttermilk, then bread crumbs. Place a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet and spray. Put chicken on the cooling rack (which is on top of a cookie sheet) and bake for 25-30 min.

To make sauce: Whisk together dressing, honey, and apple cider vinegar.

Original recipe found here.

Spaghetti Casserole

I first decided I needed to make this when Lynsey told me about it. I found this recipe on Pinterest for it and it's one of the best things I've ever tasted. I love that it makes a whole casserole dish and it's perfect for leftovers. Tastes even better the second time!

1 pkg spaghetti (12 oz)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 can pasta sauce (26 oz)
1 tbsp butter
1/2 c chopped onions
8 oz lite cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
French fried onions

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. While spaghetti is cooking, brown the ground beef, then add the pasta sauce and let simmer on low. Combine chopped onions and butter in a small bowl. Cover and heat in the microwave 4 min. Add cream cheese and milk to onions and stir. Spray a 9x11" casserole dish and add a thin layer of meat sauce. Cover that with the spaghetti noodles. Then, spread the cream cheese mixture over the spaghetti noodles. Cover with the rest of the meat sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella or Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Last, add the fried onions and cook 5 more minutes. Mmmmm.

Slow-Cooker Upside-Down Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe came to me via Pinterest, from Betty Crocker. You put it all over biscuits, hence the upside-down part. Some of the reviews said it was a little bland, so I used fresh onions instead of dried and also added several seasonings.  This is so easy and really good. I mean, who doesn't love biscuits?

boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
garlic salt, salt, and pepper
chicken seasonings
1 can chicken gravy
1 can red-fat cream of chicken soup
1 c chopped onion
2 celery stalks, cut into slices
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
biscuits (I used the frozen ones, way better than canned!)

Place chicken in the slow-cooker and the add bay leaf. Sprinkle chicken seasoning (I had Emeril's Original Essence or something), garlic salt, salt, and pepper over chicken. Not sure how much I used, but I used plenty. Mix together gravy and cream of chicken soup, then stir in chopped onion, and frozen veggies . Pour over chicken, and sprinkle sliced celery on top. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Serve over biscuits!

14 March 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

Oh man - so good! Will said it was pretty much the best Chicken Parmesan he's had. Super easy, and in a crock pot. Success!

chicken breasts (I used thinly sliced)
1/2 c Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper and salt, each
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
favorite jarred pasta sauce

Spread the 1 tbsp of olive oil into the bottom of the crock pot. Beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl. Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese, and seasoning. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. Layer 1-2 c (or 3-4 slices) mozzarella cheese on top of chicken, then cover with pasta sauce. Cover and cook on Low 6-7 hours. Serve with pasta!

Original recipe found here.