30 March 2013

"Skinny" Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Oh wow, now THIS is the best way to eat spaghetti squash! I had this for lunch today and it is so good. This could also be a side, but I like to use it as a meatless main dish.

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 c milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 tbsp 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tbsp extra for topping
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil and stab spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place in dish and bake for 1 hour. Let cool 10-20 min. Using a large knife, cut spaghetti squash in half and let cool. After it cools a little, spoon out the seeds and strands in the middle.

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

Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

Original recipe found here.

24 March 2013

Banana Oatmeal Cups with Chocolate Chips

These are great! The recipe makes 12, so I am going to have these for breakfast the next couple days as well. Yum!

3 mashed bananas
1 c vanilla Almond milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
3 c oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I used reg size)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips together, and let sit while you prepare the muffin pan. Spray a muffin pan and/or liners with with non-stick spray. Stir the chocolate chips into the oatmeal batter. Divide batter into 12 muffin cups. They should be just about filled. Bake 25-30 minutes, you’ll see the edges just starting to brown and they will be firm to the touch. The muffins may stick when hot but are removed easily when cooled for a bit. Store leftovers in fridge and pop in microwave for a few seconds as a quick breakfast!

Original recipe found here.

20 March 2013

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

WOW. I mean wow. If you're on Pinterest you've probably seen this floating around. I knew I had to try it but I waited until Spring Break so I'd have time to prepare and make it.

UPDATE 8/12/13: I have made these two other times, and both of those times I made a reduced calorie version! Instead of using the regular provolone cheese, I bought thinly sliced pepper jack (could not find thinly sliced provolone). Two slices of the pepper jack is equal to 1 slice of provolone. I also omitted the butter and olive oil completely and just used olive oil spray on the pan.
Still totally delicious and saving some calories!

1 pkg (16 oz) thinly sliced roast beef
12 slices provolone cheese
3 large green bell peppers
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
salt and pepper – to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with butter and olive oil. Add garlic, onions, and mushrooms - Add a little salt and pepper and saute about 20 minutes, until nice and caramelized.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Wash and cut your peppers. Once water is boiling, add peppers and cover - cook 2-3 min. Remove peppers, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Slice your roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture - let cook 5-10 minutes

Spray a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray and set peppers inside. Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese. Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing. Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown. 

Original recipe found here

19 March 2013

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Cream Sauce

I am not exaggerating when I say this is now one of my favorite recipes. The chicken southwestern egg rolls are amazing and the sauce... oh my gosh, it is heavenly. This is much like the southwestern egg rolls at Chili's but better! The tortillas get brown and crispy on the outside too. I may go have another one...

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts – diced
1 medium-large onion, minced
1 c frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 c fresh baby spinach
2 jalapenos, seeded & minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 c shredded pepper jack cheese
salt & pepper to taste
10 taco sized flour tortillas

Cilantro Cream Sauce:
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp sour cream
1 (7oz) can tomatillo sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp taco seasoning
6 cloves garlic
2-4 jalapenos, seeded (or leave the seeds in for extra heat)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
the juice of half a lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium. Add in the chicken, season with salt & pepper to taste, & saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the diced onions & cook until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the spices, jalapeno, black beans, corn, & baby spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat, and stir in the pepper jack cheese. 

Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling into the center of each taco sized flour tortilla, and roll up like a burrito. Brush each side with a good coating of olive oil, and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil spray. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy.
Serve with cilantro cream sauce!!

                                                  Before brushing with olive oil to go in the oven

Original recipe found here.

18 March 2013

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

These were easy to make and super tasty. All the cream cheese oozing out of the chicken... mmm, mmm, mmm. Great idea to cook the Panko in oil first to keep it extra crispy.

1 c panko
4 tsp canola oil
4 tsp taco seasoning or mixture below*
2 eggs
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 c shredded 2% cheddar cheese
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 chicken breasts

* Make your own taco seasoning:
1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. onion powder, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp. oregano, 1/8 tsp. paprika, and salt and black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 and place an ovenproof rack onto a rimmed baking dish. Spray with cooking oil. In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the panko with the canola oil. Cook, stirring often, until the panko is golden and crispy. Place in a shallow bowl or dish. Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine.

In another shallow bowl or dish, lightly beat the eggs. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños. I had to microwave mine for about 20 seconds to mix it. Using a small utility knife, cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, or horizontally slice the chicken through the center, until it is almost butterflied. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between each chicken breast’s pocket. Use toothpicks to secure, if necessary.

Dip the chicken pieces one at a time first into the egg, and then into the panko mixture, making sure to coat the chicken completely. Place the chicken on the prepared baking rack and cook for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Original recipe found here

13 March 2013

Crock-Pot Creamy Cheese Tortellini

This is another one of those couldn't-be-easier crock pot meals. This is comfort food for me! Pasta and creamy sauce... oh yes. Just throw it all in and come home to a delicious dinner. I could smell this in my garage when I got home!

1 bag of frozen tortellini
1 small bag of fresh spinach
2 cans of italian style diced tomatoes
1 box or 4 cups or vegetable broth
1 block 1/2 less fat cream cheese, cubed

Put all ingredients except spinach in crock pot. Cook on low for 5 hrs. Add spinach, stir, and cook on Low 1 more hour.

Original recipe found here

11 March 2013

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup in the Slow-Cooker

This soup is DELICIOUS! So were the grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches we had with it - I made sure to include the sandwich in my pic. I lived off GC&T sandwiches for lunch last summer. They are amazing. But this is about the SOUP... which is awesome, creamy, and delicious.

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 c finely diced celery
1 c finely diced carrots
1 c finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
4 c chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ c flour
1 c Parmesan cheese
½ c butter
2 c half and half, warmed
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. (I finely diced my carrots, celery, and onions in the food processor). Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. (This was new for me...) Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Original recipe found here.

10 March 2013

Easy Crock-Pot Meatballs and Gravy over Noodles

This is the easiest recipe ever, and my favorite thing about it is that you can keep all these ingredients on hand, and make this dish whenever you need a quick/easy meal. And obviously, by quick I mean 3-4 hours because that's the slow cooker cooking time. ;)

2 lb bag frozen cooked meatballs
1-2 cans cream of mushroom soup (Use 2 if you want more sauce for the noodles!)
1 c water
1 pkg turkey gravy mix
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
egg noodles

Place the meatballs in the crock pot. In a bowl, mix together soup, water, gravy mix, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours. Serve over egg noodles.

Original recipe found here.

05 March 2013

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

WOW this is good! I've been meaning to make this for a couple weeks now, but since it doesn't use meat I kept putting it off... so glad I finally made it tonight. Delicious! The sauce is also so good I would use this for spaghetti and any other time I need pasta sauce. I usually just use Ragu, but this is way better!

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil (I only used about half of a 1/3 c)
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced (2 tsp)
1 28 oz can crushed red tomatoes
1 14 oz can crushed red tomatoes

1 15 oz container low-fat/part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 c grated red-fat mozzarella
1 bunch of chives, minced

25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan and set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant - you don't want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and let cool.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.

Cook the shells according to package instructions in well-salted water - until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. I only cooked mine about 7 min. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.

Original recipe found here.

04 March 2013

Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup

Healthy and tasty! We had this with french bread.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3-15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1-15 oz can vegetable broth
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt (we use Chobani)
1 c cooked Orzo pasta

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves. Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir in the brown sugar and fresh basil. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, to taste. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup (or blend the soup in a standing blender and return to the pot). Stir in the Greek yogurt until well combined. Stir in the orzo pasta. Serve warm.

Original recipe found here.