Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Weight Watchers Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole

  • 1/2 cup raw brown rice
  • 3/4 cup raw lentils
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups broth (any kind)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Rinse rice and lentils
  3. In a baking dish, mix all ingredients except cheese
  4. Cover and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes
  5. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese and return to oven for 20 more minutes

My Thoughts:
I dont do Weight Watchers, but that doesnt mean that their recipes cant be good.  This is a very simple dish that you could easily add in veggies or other seasonings.  This is the first recipe I have ever used lentils in, I used green lentils, and it turned out good. 

Source:  WW Recipes

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cajun Chicken Stuffed with Pepper Jack Cheese & Spinach

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can use more, just need to adjust other ingredients)
  • 3 oz bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • minced garlic, to taste
  • 3 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • up to 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning (you may want less, 1/2 tbsp gives quite the kick)
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Flatten chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thickness; season with salt and pepper
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter
  4. Add garlic to butter, followed by spinach; once sauteed and wilted, remove from heat and allow to cool
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together spinach, cheese, salt and pepper; set aside
  6. In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning and bread crumbs; set aside
  7. Spoon spinach mixture over chicken; tightly roll chicken and fasten with toothpicks so the filling stays inside
  8. Brush each chicken breast with olive oil on all sides, followed by sprinkling breadcrumb mixture on all sides
  9. Place chicken on a parchment lined baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  10. Remove toothpicks before serving

My Thoughts:
Wow, not only does this main dish taste great, but it looks beautiful on your plate.  We really enjoyed these and I am excited for the next time I make them.  Be careful on how much Cajun seasoning you use, it can really overpower if you use too much and depending on the brand.

Source: adapted from Cooking Creation

Mashed Sweet Potatoes for Two

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp half n half
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until covered
  2. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until fork tender
  3. Stain liquid and put potatoes back into pot
  4. Mash with a potato masher, along with butter, half n half, and salt & pepper; serve warm

My Thoughts:
This is a pretty basic recipe with nothing fancy, just simple mashed sweet potatoes.  Even though my husband does not like sweet potatoes, he still ate these, so victory for me!  I more or less halved the recipe from the original to suite my small family.

Source: Table For Two

Monday, October 26, 2015

Cabbage Rolls

  • 1 large cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked rice (any kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup diced onion or 1 tbsp dry onion flakes
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  1. Bring a large pot to a boil
  2. Core cabbage and discard the most outer layer of leaves
  3. Place cabbage in boiling water and with tongs, carefully remove leaves with a pair of tongs, you will need 10 or 12; set aside
  4. Once you have all your leaves, boil them in same water pot for 3 minutes; place in collender and allow to drain excess water
  5. While cabbage is draining, in a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients for the rolls until mixed well
  6. Place mixture into the center of cabbage leaf, roll up and fold sides in and place in a large 13x9 glass dish
  7. In a medium bowl, combine all sauce ingredients
  8. Pour sauce over cabbage rolls; cover with foil
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes

My Thoughts:
I remember growing up with my mother making her rendition of these...and there was no way I would touch them.  But since I have been trying to broaden my horizons with food, I thought "what the hell".  Boy was I ever surprised!  I don't know if this recipe contains some voodoo incantation or what, but cabbage rolls are frickin' awesome.  Who would have guessed, huh?  These also make pretty good leftovers and I will make them again!

Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil
  3. Combine all ingredients in a medium-large bowl until mixed
  4. Evenly spread mixture onto prepared pan
  5. Roast for about 40 minutes or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork

My Thoughts:
This was my first attempt at sweet potatoes.  To be honest, I had trouble getting them down at dinner; the texture was just so odd for me.  But I had retried they for lunch the next day and I was actually starting to like them.  This is a very tame recipe, not a ton of crazy flavor so the sweet potato really shines through.  So these are worth trying again and maybe I will even venture into more recipes containing sweet potatoes.

Source: Teenie Cakes

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp dry parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced dry onion flakes
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 cups peeled potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked ham, chopped

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium
  2. Stir in flour, parsley, salt, thyme, pepper, and onion until smooth
  3. Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil, stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes
  4. Butter a 13x9 dish
  5. Make a layer of half the potatoes, half the ham, followed by half the sauce; repeat
  6. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 70 minutes; remove cover and bake for 15-20 more minutes longer

My Thoughts:
This is not the scalloped potatoes and ham i grew up with.  I always remember cans of cream of mushroom to make the sauce (and lets be honest, it was delicious with all those foreign chemicals) but now that we are grown ups (mostly), I thought I would take a shot at a legit home made version.  So, this is the one that I had found.  This recipe is quite 'simple' in taste and makes very good leftovers.  Does it remind me of Ma's recipe?  No, not really, horses of a different color...but we didn't have any leftovers either!  The original recipe has more butter, so if you don't mind the extra calories, I would suggest trying that one... I on the other hand, cannot excuse myself for using 6 tbsp in a dish that is meant for four servings

Source: adapted from Taste of Home

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Apple & Almond Butter Sandwich

  • bread
  • almond butter
  • apple, cut in slices
  • any other additions (dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.), optional
  1. Spread about 2 tbsp. almond butter on one slice of bread
  2. Add apple pieces and any other ingredients desired
  3. Layer on second slice of bread and enjoy

My Thoughts:
Just something I was threw together late one night when I was hungry.  My almond butter was raw with chia seeds already mixed in, it was enjoyable and hit the spot nicely.  There are many possibilities on what you could add inside this sandwich.

Source: midnight hunger