Friday, January 30, 2009

vegetable lasagna

I have been totally craving lasagna ALL week! I admit I only made it tonight because I didnt have what I needed in the house to make the chicken piccata...but this turned out wonderfully!! I halved the recipe to make 9 noodles, instead of the whole box. Yummm Yummm ;)

~9 whole wheat lasagna noodles (I like Healthy Harvest)
~2 c. low-skim ricotta cheese
~1 jar (26oz) pasta sauce
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 green onion; chopped
~1 small onion; chopped
~1 green pepper; chopped
~1/2 c. matchstick carrots
~1 tomato; chopped
~1/3 c. water (I used reserved pasta water)
~1 tbsp. dried parsley
~2 c. mozzarella cheese (I used 1/2 fat-free)
~pepper to taste
~parmesan cheese (if desired)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees:

Cook lasagna noodles according to package & lay out on wax paper to avoid sticking. In large saute pan, add olive oil to medium heat (I added approx 1 tbsp. of jarred garlic at this step). Add vegetables (except tomatoes) and saute until onions are translucent. Add pasta sauce, chopped tomatoes, water, parsley & pepper if desired. Simmer for 5 minutes.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese & chopped green onion; Mix well.

Take a 13"x9" glass pan & spread 1/3 of the pasta sauce on bottom of pan. Top sauce with 3 lasgna noodles, then spread part of the ricotta mixture. Repeat steps with pasta, ricotta mixture & pasta sauce. Top with mozarella & paremesan cheeses. (I used a handful of shredded parmesan to the top).

Cover pan with foil & place into oven; cook for 40-45 minutes. Wait for 10 minutes to let cool, before serving. Enjoy ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

crock pot orange chicken

Another crock pot recipe for the beginning of another busy week ;) This sounded really good, and I had bought all the ingredients awhile ago to prepare. I have never been that big of a fan of orange I thought I would try this out. This recipe is also from my Busy Woman's cook book. I added toasted sesame seeds & green onion to this. If I make this again...I will add some chopped tomato, onions, and green peppers to the mixture!

~6 boneless chicken breasts (I used 4 thin sliced frozen)
~1 packet dry onion soup mix
~1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate; thawed
~1/2 c. water
~2 tbsp. sesame seeds; toasted
~1 green onion; chopped
Coat bottom of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Add frozen chicken to bottom; combine frozen OJ, water & soup packet in small bowl. Pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I cook on low for 6 hours & set to warm until ready to eat.
When ready to eat, prepare rice. Meanwhile toast the 2 tbsp of sesame seeds over med-high heat in skillet. Toast until fragrant & brown (approx 3-4 minutes). Stir in toasted sesame seeds to crock pot & serve over hot cooked rice. Add green onion to top ;)

hot pizza dip


This recipe is from Molly's, My Happy Meals. I have gotten a few fabulous recipe's from her blog as well...Your guests will love this at a party! I made it on Friday & the whole thing was time I will buy 2 loaves of french bread! Sorry, I was too busy in the kitchen to take my own photo of this ;) lol

~1 (8 oz). cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
~1 tsp. italian seasoning
~1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
~¾ c. grated fresh parmesan cheese
~1 (8 oz) pizza sauce
~¼ c. diced green bell pepper or green onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cream cheese and seasoning mix; spread onto bottom of dish.

In small bowl, combine mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese mixture over cream cheese mixture. Top with pizza sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese mixture.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Top with bell pepper or onion.

Toasted Baguette slices:
~24 slices French bread, cut ¼ inch thick
~2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread slices on rectangle stone; lightly brush tops with olive oil. Back 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.

taco stuffed shells


I have to thank Lindsay for yet another AMAZING recipe!! I made these on Friday for my Premier Jewelry party, and they were loved by ALL my guests!! This recipe is similar to the Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells, but it is the Mexican yummy & perfect for dinnertime too!! I will be making this again...very soon!

~1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)
~1 package taco seasoning (I used the 40% less sodium)
~4 oz. cream cheese (I used non-fat)
~12 jumbo pasta shells (I used 16)
~1 cup salsa (I used a little more)
~1 cup taco sauce
~1 cup cheddar cheese
~1 cup monterey jack cheese
(I used 2 cups Kraft 2% milk mexican blend)
~1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I omitted)
~3 green onions (chopped)
~sour cream (if desired)

1. In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.
2. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.
3. While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don't stick together.
4. Pour salsa on bottom of 9x13 baking dish.
5. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9x13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes.
8. Add any condiments you'd like (onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

crock pot chicken delish

yes....I am ALL about the crock pot this week! Evenings are going to be pretty hectic now, so I really only have time for crockpot & simple recipes. I get home at about 6:15pm every night, and then I have an appt with my trainer M-W-F at 6:30pm! Chad also has flag football games on Thursday nights now, so this crock pot meal worked out fantastic last night! All I did was cook the egg noodles when I got home, and we were out the door by 7pm for his game.

~1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used the thin sliced, frozen)
~10 oz. can of cream of broccoli & cheese soup (I used healthy request 98% fat free)
~10 oz. can of cream of chicken soup (I used healthy request 98% fat free)
~1 tsp. chicken seasoning (I used a tsp of my Frankenmuth c. seasoning)
~1/2 c. white cooking wine
~black pepper
~egg noddles (I used Healthy Harvest wheat egg noodles)

Coat bottom of crockpot with non-stick cooking spray (I like the olive oil flavor). Place frozen chicken at bottom of crockpot; sprinkle chicken with pepper & add chicken seasoning.

Pour both soup cans + cooking wine into small saucepan & cook over med heat until heated thru. Pour of chicken.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I set for 6 hours & it automatically turns onto warm until we are ready to heat. Chicken cooks a lot faster in the crockpot ;) Serve hot over egg noodles or any other kind of noodles you wish!

Monday, January 19, 2009

crock pot chicken salsa

YUMMMMM, one of my fav crock pot recipes to date! I got this recipe from Lauren's food is love blog. This is soooo good wrapped in a tortilla, and it is healthy too! This only took me seriously 2 minutes to throw in the crock pot this morning before work!
~4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use 4 tyson thin sliced - frozen)
~1 cup salsa
~1 pkg. taco seasoning (I use the less sodium mild pkg)
~1 can of cream of chicken soup (I use healthy request); you can also use cream of mushroom too, but we have never tried it b/c we dont like mushrooms!
~1/2 c. sour cream (I use light)
~tortillas or rice (I like the Archer Farms wheat tortillas from Target)
Coat bottom of crock pot with non-stick spray. Place frozen chicken on bottom, and cover chicken with taco seasoning packet. In a small bowl, combine the salsa & can of soup. Mix well and pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours; (I usually put mine on the timer for 6 hours & then it automatically puts it on warm until we are ready to eat).
When ready to eat, add sour cream and mix well; shredding chicken as you stir with fork. Serve over warm tortillas with any toppings you wish , I just like them how they are...but I am sure shredded cheese would be good with this;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the perfect side salad!

Yes, I know it is just a salad...but it so good, and it goes perfect with any meal! I wasn't going to blog it, but since everyone asks me what is in it all the mom makes this with dinner, so of course I adapted it! You have to go get that 'Good Seasons' salad dressing mix with the free cruet! It is simply the best dressing have on hand. I just had this and a grilled cheese for dinner tonight, since I was on my own. I LOVE feta...feta in my salad, omlettes, pasta, chicken....yummm, cant get enough of it!

~romaine lettuce (I like the american blend that is pre-made at Nino's)
~feta (I like Atheno's regular reduced fat or fat-free sundried tomato & basil)
~red onion
~diced tomato
~matchstick carrots
~ground black pepper

Ingredients for dressing:
~good seasons italian dressing packet
~extra virgin olive oil
~garlic flavored red wine vinegar

Make the dressing in the cruet according to the directions on packet. This is where you get creative...Fill the vinegar (I use Garlic flavored Red Wine vinegar) to 'V' line, and either dont add water & add more vinegar or add water, more vinegar & less extra virgin olive oil. Shake & put aside. Arrange lettuce in large bowl & crack pepper over top, throw in about 1/3 c. of red onion & 1/2 c. of feta + just enough carrots & diced tomato. Pour dressing over top (careful not to saturate lettuce); mix with two spoons & cut lettuce with knife if needed before serving.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

where it all happens ~ my kitchen!!

Absolutely my favorite room in our house....the kitchen!! I just love it, and I think Chad did such a great job re-modeling it himself before I even came into the picture ;) The only thing is there isn't much counter all. We are hoping to sell this year, so maybe in the next house I will get a roomier kitchen...I will sure miss this kitchen tho, if & when we finally sell this house :(

I didn't make a new dish last night for dinner...but I did make my most favorite dish of 2008 for us to eat, 'Pepper Steak' located under 'beef' category & it is healthy too. It is pretty much my favorite dish to make and eat...and Chad agree's. I could probably eat it every night, and make it with chicken too! We make alot of our dinner's with Basmati rice. Recently we went to the grocery store together, and Chad mentioned we should start eating brown rice instead. Well, we compared the nutritional info and Basmati rice is still better for we will keep buying & eating it ;) yummy...I turned to eating it since my last trainer put white rice in my diet, and said that was the best rice to eat with your meal. So I thought I would share that tid bit of info with you today, since I have no new dinner recipe's to share ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

apple topped bourbon pork chops

My husband Chad, found this recipe in his Men's Health magazine last year. We have only made it twice before, & this recipe seemed perfect to eat on a lazy sunday with a baked potato! According to Men's Health you are supposed to add at least 6 of these powerfoods below to your meal plan each day...and since I am getting back into working out 3-4x a week, I thought this would be a great blog entry to start the new week off!

Almonds, Beans, Spinach, Dairy, Instant Oatmeal (I really like Starbuck's perfect oatmeal w/ brown sugar & mixed nuts), Eggs (see egg white omelette recipe under breakfast), Turkey, Peanut Butter, Olive Oil, Whole Grains (breads & cereals; see recipes with Barilla Plus pasta) , Extra-protein powder (whey), Raspberries (and other berries; see healthy smoothie under drink category, made with light apple juice).

apple topped bourbon chops
~2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
~1 small garlic clove, crushed (I used crushed jarred garlic)
~2 thin-cut boneless pork chops
~1 small red apple, such as Gala or Red delicious; cored & diced (we used honey crisp)

~2 tsp balsamic or red-wine vinegar
~1 tbsp bourbon (we use Knob Creek)
~1 tbsp grainy mustard; such as Grey Poupon)
~salt & pepper to taste

Serves 2: (we tripled this recipe to make 4-6 chops)

Combine the oil + garlic in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Place the chops in the center of the skillet. Toss the apple with the vinegar + bourbon, and then add the mixture to the skillet between the pork & the edges of the pan. Cook 6 minutes, turning the pork once and the apple pieces a few times.

When ready to serve, top the pork chops with the mustard. Season to taste with salt & pepper. We served our with a idaho baked potato + salad, enjoy ;)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

roasted red pepper + olive pasta toss

OMG OMG....don't walk, run & go make this dish right now!!
Yummmm & is it SOOO good!! I used fat free everything, so it's healthy too! Don't tell Chad there is olives in it, but you really dont notice they are in there! It just brings out some more flavor!

~1 1/2 c. fat free less sodium chicken broth
~1 lb. thin spaghetti (I used Barilla Plus thin spaghetti)

~2 med chicken breasts (I used 4 thin sliced); cut into cubes
~1 c. roasted red pepper (I used jar kind)
~1/2 block fat free cream cheese; cubed
~3/4 c. fat free crumbled feta cheese with sundried tomatoes & basil
~1/4 c. sliced ripe olives; drained (I used canned)
~1/2 c. parmesan cheese; divided
~1 tsp. parsley; dried
~pinch of salt to taste

Cook pasta according to directions; set aside.

In meantime, cook chicken in skillet with 1/2 of the chicken broth. Cook until no longer pink.

Blend together the olives & roasted red pepper & a pinch of salt in food processor; blend until well combined. Add roasted red pepper & olive mixture to skillet with chicken.

Add remainder of chicken broth, feta, cream cheese, & parsley to skillet. Mix in 1/2 the parmesan cheese. Heat until boiling. Cover & simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle pasta with parmesan cheese & enjoy ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

spicy creamy tomato penne

I made it to the gym after work today (yay)! So...I awarded myself with some carbs for dinner ;)
Atempt #2 at the Pasta Fra Diavolo...not quite, but getting closer I must say!! This was fab...a little spicy, but it was SO yummy & it definitely hit the spot! I LOVE pasta!! I topped it with a little bit of scallion. I mixed a few different recipes together to get this, but next time I make it I will add sun dried tomato & roasted red pepper instead of the crushed tomato! Also, chicken or shrimp would be very good added to this.

~1 lb. penne (I used Barilla Plus penne)
~1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
~4 garlic cloves, minced
~1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
~1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
~3/4 tsp salt (I used less)
~2 tbsp. vodka
~1/2 c. heavy cream (I used fat-free half & half)
~1/4 c. fresh chopped basil
~1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
~parsley dried, to taste
~1 green onion, chopped

Cook penne according to package; heat olive oil over med heat. Add garlic & red pepper & cook until garlic is golden brown.

Add tomatoes & salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 15 minutes.

Add vodka, cream, parmesan cheese, & basil to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss to coat for 1 minute. Top pasta with green onion & serve!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

fried rice: benihana style

Leftover rice = NO problem!! This was AMAZING!!!

We had about 3 cups of cooked white rice leftover from dinner last night. My mom mentioned, that I should use the leftover's tomorrow & make fried rice....great idea!! Super easy to!! You can also add diced chicken or pork to this recipe.
OMG OMG my mouth is watering typing this!!

~4 c. cooked rice (room temp)
~1 tbsp. vegetable oil
~1 c. frozen peas, thawed
~2 tbsp. finely grated carrot
~2 eggs
~1/2 c. diced onion
~1/3 c. green onion, chopped
~1 1/2 - 2 tbsp. butter (I used light)
~2 tbsp. soy sauce (I used low sodium)
~salt to taste (you just need a few dashes)
~pepper to taste

Cook rice following instructions on package (Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add rice and a dash of salt, reduce heat and simmer in covered saucepan for 20 minutes). Pour rice into a large bowl to let it cool in the refrig. (I used my refrigerated leftover rice)

Heat vegetable oil in skillet; add veggies to skillet & cook until onion & peas are cooked thru.

Heat butter over med heat until completely melted. Once veggies are done, add to melted butter skillet & add rice too. Make sure everything is coated in butter; add soy sauce & salt/pepper.

Push rice to the sides of the pan (making an empty circle in middle of pan); add egg to center of pan & cook until scrambled. Mix everything around for a few more minutes & enjoy!!

**This fried rice can be prepared ahead of time by cooking the rice, then adding the peas, carrots and egg plus half of the soy sauce. Keep this refrigerated until you are ready to fry it in the butter. That's when you add the salt, pepper and remaining soy sauce.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

easy spiced cabernet chocolate molten cakes!

I know...this pic doesn't do justice (my pics always come out too dark & dodgy!!
Yummmm....but these were fantastic!! My dad LOVES chocolate molten cake, so I wanted to make this for dessert tonight for him. This was really easy; I prepared everything before I started cooking dinner & placed the filled souffle dishes in the frig with plastic wrap. Before we were ready for dessert I placed them in the oven for 15 minutes! You should really give these a try if you like molten cake! I got this recipe from McCormick online.

~4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate (I used approx. 1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet choco chips melted)
~1/2 c. (1 stick) butter; melted
~1 tbsp. Cabernet Sauvignon or other red wine
~1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
~1 c. confectioners sugar
~2 eggs
~1 egg yolk
~6 tbsp. flour
~1/4 tsp. McCormick Cinnamon Saigon
~1/4 tsp. McCormick Ginger, ground
~1/8 tsp. McCormick Cloves, ground (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Butter (I used the PAM butter spray) 4 - (6 ounce) custard cups, ramikins, or souffle dishes. Place on baking sheet.

Microwave chocolate & butter until melted. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in wine, vanilla, and confectioners sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs & yolk. Stir in remaining ingredients including flour. Pour batter evenly into prepared cups.

Bake 13-15 minutes until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 minue. Carefully loosen edges with small knife. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Sprinkl with additional confectioners sugar. Serve immediately.
(we served ours with french vanilla ice cream;)

*Make ahead*: The chocolate mixture can be prepared ahead of time; up to 10 hours. Pour the batter into prepared custard cups; cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate. Bring to room temp for 30 minutes before baking.

chicken provencal

This is a great's healthy & low carb! Most of all I didnt feel a bit guilty eating a little molten cake for dessert after this meal ;) My parents came over for dinner tonight & we made them this is from my low-carb recipe cook book...we have made it quite a few times now!
~1 tbsp. evoo
~3-4 med boneless, skinless chicken breasts
~1/2 c. sliced green bell pepper
~1/2 c. sliced onion
~2 cloves garlic; minced
~1 pound eggplant, peeled & cut into 1/4" - inch thick slices
~2 med tomatoes, cut into 1/4" - inch thick slices
~1/4 c. fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley
~1/4 c. fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil leaves
~1 tsp. salt
~1 c. fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
~1/2 c. dry white wine
Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken ; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet
Add bell peppers, onion & garlic to same skillet; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until onion is tender.
Retuen chicken & place over the top of veggies. Arange tomato slices over chicken breasts (I used 2 on each breast); place 1 slice of eggplant over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with parsley, basil, and salt. Add chicken broth & wine to skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat after it boils; cover & simmer 45-50 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink & juices run clear.
Serve over hot cooked rice or with a side salad.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Patricia Field tote

I can't remeber for the life of me...but someone wanted my Pat Field tote that I got a few years back at Henri Bendel's in nyc....well I was just on her website trying to re-order a name plate necklace (my sis got me one for xmas & I already broke it), and I came upon a similar tote. It has the same graphic, but mine is canvas with black graphics. So if you are out there & still interested here is the link!
House of Field tote

Thursday, January 1, 2009

creamy chicken pasta

I needed something for dinner NY's eve, and I remembered this recipe from Molly's My Happy Meals blog...this was SOOO good! I had to adjust the recipe b/c I didnt have any spinach or tomatoes in the house, but I added fresh Parsley & some dashes of nutmeg. You should really try this - hubby said this should be in regular dinner rotation ;)!

~2 cups uncooked pasta (I used Barilla Plus penne)
~4 boneless chicken breasts (I used the 4 tyson thin chicken breasts)
~1 can of chicken broth
~1 package of cream cheese (I used low-fat)
~1 package frozen spinach, thawed & drained (I omitted, and used about tbsp of fresh parsley instead)
~1 tsp garlic, chopped (i just minced 3 cloves)
~1 tsp salt (I omitted b/c I only had regular chicken broth, too much salt)
~1 tsp pepper
~15 cherry tomatoes, halved; approx 2 cups (I omitted)
~1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (I stirred in approx 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan Romano cheese when adding the cream cheese - I highly recommend doing this!!)

Cook pasta and drain. Cube chicken breast (1" cubes), heat half the chicken broth in a large skillet and add chicken. Cook until no longer pink (5-7 minutes). Add cream cheese, spinach, remaining chicken broth, garlic, salt & pepper, and a few sprinkles of nutmeg (if desired). Heat for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts. Add tomatoes (I added parsley here). Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until tomatoes are soft. Toss with pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.
**Re-heating tip** the next evening I heated the leftover's in a small saucepan, and added approx 1/4 c. of chicken stock to the mixture. Keep stirring over med heat until chicken & noodles are heated thru (approx 10 minutes). The leftovers were delicious!!