Monday, October 13, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Chicken & Spinach

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • seasoning blend or salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz of spinach

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. Stir in garlic and cook for about a minute
  3. Add in chicken and season as desired; cook until no longer pink in the center
  4. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted
  5. Add spinach and stir until wilted and everything is combined
  6. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or pasta

My Thoughts:
Healthy? Yes!  Boring? Maybe a little, but I enjoyed it.  This is a very simple recipe with simple ingredients but it has so much potential.  You can really play around with this dish, using different seasonings and other ingredients to make it the way you want.  Next time I think I may add a squeeze of lemon over the brown rice for a little zing.

Source: adapted from Simply Healthy Home

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread or Muffins

Pumpkin Batter:

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease loaf pans, line muffin pans, or prepare a combination of each **
  3. In a very large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and sugar
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
  5. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet, just til combined; stir in chocolate chips
  6. Beat the cream cheese filling ingredients together in electric mixer until smooth
  7. For loaf pans:  Pour a thin layer of batter at the bottom of the pan, then spread a thin layer of filling and repeat until desired amount of layers, or if you prefer just make one big filling layer in the center of bread.  Do this until pan is 3/4 the way full; sprinkle top with extra chocolate chips for presentation and bake for about 1 hour or until inserted toothpicks come out clean
          For muffins:  Fill each liner about 1/3 full with batter, spoon in a little bit of filling, then top off with a 
          little more batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpicks come out clean
    8.  Allow to fully cool before storing

** One batch of this recipe made me one loaf pan and about 15 muffins
**  For loafs, I prefer to grease the pan and then lay out wax paper that go up the sides, for easier removal

My Thoughts:
This recipe makes A LOT of pumpkin bread, so you have been warned.  I think this was the first time I have ever really had any baked good made with pumpkin, so this was exciting for me.  The more I ate it, the more I liked it and I think I will be making it again next fall.  My mother also was lucky enough to sample some, seeing as I had baked goods coming out of my ears over at my house.  She liked it, but she claims that the chocolate chips are not needed, so i guess those are optional lol.  To be honest, you probably don't really even need the filling either, the pumpkin bread alone is that good.  This bread is crazy moist and has all the flavors of fall and is really worth trying...even though it could feed a small village. 

Crock Pot Tender Roast and Veggies

  • beef roast, any kind or any size
  • seasoning, if desired
  • potatoes, red or Yukon gold work best, as many as you want
  • carrots, as many as you want
  • 10 oz beef gravy

  1. Place roast in bottom of crock pot.  Season if desired (I prefer a seasoning blend)
  2. Peel and chop as carrots and place over meat
  3. Cut potatoes and place over meat
  4. Pour gravy over all
  5. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 8-10 hours

My Thoughts:
This is a super easy way to prepare pot roast without any fuss.  You can season it up with whatever you would like or eat it as is.  Vegetables become very tender and the meat just falls apart!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 an apple, diced
  • 2/3 cup grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all in a medium-large bowl 
  2. Serve between two pieces of bread or over a bed of leafy greens
  3. Refrigerate leftovers

My Thoughts:
This was a very nice healthy rendition of chicken salad.  The sweetness of the fruit really gives this a juicy fresh flavor.  Don't go into this thinking that it is going to taste like your mom's chicken salad, because it wont.  Greek yogurt will never be mayo lol, but if you want to try to eat healthier, you should defiantly give this a try.

Source: adapted from Damn Delicious

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in small pieces
  • Morton seasoning blend or salt & pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced or chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp diced parsley, dry or fresh

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in stockpot over medium heat
  2. Add chicken and season with seasoning blend or salt & pepper
  3. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes; set chicken aside
  4. Add remaining olive oil to pot; add in garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and cook about 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally
  5. Stir in thyme and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant
  6. Add in chicken stock, 1 cup water, and bay leaves; bring to a boil
  7. Stir in orzo and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-15 minutes
  8. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with seasoning blend or salt & pepper to taste

My Thoughts:
This is a great summer soup!  It is light and fresh tasting with a delicate lemony broth.  You can use white meat, but the dark meat really adds more flavor

Source: adapted from Damn Delicious

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Zesty Italian Chicken with Red Potatoes and Vegetables

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 5-6 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 12 oz fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pouch zesty Italian dressing dry mix
  • salt & pepper, or seasoning blend
  • 1/2 stick butter, thinly cut

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place chicken in center of 13x9 pan
  3. Place potatoes on one side of chicken
  4. Place carrots and green beans on the other side of chicken
  5. Season chicken with salt & pepper or seasoning salt
  6. Evenly sprinkle Italian mix over all
  7. Evenly disperse pads of butter over all
  8. Bake for 1 hour

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this recipe.  Not only is it quick and easy, but its an all in one meal so you save on dishes!  I was afraid that the whole packet of Italian seasoning would overpower the dish, but it did not; it was perfect.

Source: adapted from Kaleidoscope of Colors

Monday, September 1, 2014

Turmeric Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes

  • 4 large red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups worth)
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 to 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika (smoked if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or grease pan liberally with extra olive oil
  3. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, and cumin; set aside
  4. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, half of the seasoning, and half the Parmesan cheese; until well coated.
  5. Spread potatoes evenly over prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes
  6. While potatoes are baking, in the same bowl used for the potatoes, toss green beans with remaining olive oil, remaining seasoning, and remaining Parmesan
  7. Once potatoes have cooked for 25 minutes, mix in the green beans and bake for an additional 20 minutes

My Thoughts:
Turmeric is not a spice that I use very often at all, I was rather surprised that I even had some lying around my kitchen.  We enjoyed this side dish and we will make this again.  The potatoes are really the star of the dish, but for heal purposes, we will allow the green beans to stay.  These little babies do have quite a bit of flavor and a little kick to them, so I would suggest fixing them with a more tame main course.