Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teriyaki Asparagus

Once again I hit the produce department at the right time this weekend and got 2 bunches of asparagus for $1!
I am pretty sure I have never bought asparagus before because the hubs isn't a fan-- but I love it, so I wanted to make some for myself!   We were having Sesame Chicken for dinner... so I figured a Teriyaki sauce on the asparagus would compliment the main dish!

Teriyaki Asparagus
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp teriyaki sauce
Method:
  1. Wash & Trim the ends of asparagus.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent (approx 5 min.)
  3. Add asparagus and garlic to skillet and stir fry for approximately 8-10 minutes or until asparagus is desired tenderness.  (I like mine more done... so I left it on low for a while!)
  4. Once asparagus is done, drizzle with 2 tsp teriyaki sauce and toss.  
  5. Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken

The crock pot makes weeknight cooking SO.MUCH.EASIER.   What's better than having dinner ready when you walk in the door from work??

We love anything with an oriental flare and I came across this Sesame Chicken recipe on Me and My Belly Blog and came up with something similar with the ingredients I had on hand!    This was QUICK, EASY and when the hubs & the toddler like it... it will go down on the dinner rotation list!

Next time I make this recipe I will definitely DOUBLE it because there were barely any leftovers... and mama loves leftovers!!!

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (mixed in 3 Tbsp cold water)
  • Sesame Seeds (not absolutely necessary-- but it is Sesame Chicken!)
Method:
  1. Place cubed chicken in crock pot.
  2. Mix together honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, canola oil, onion powder and garlic powder.  Pour mixture over chicken.
  3. Cook on Low 3-4 hours or until chicken is done.    Remove chicken from crockpot- leaving sauce.
  4. Mix 2 tsp cornstarch with 3 Tbsp cool water.   Add cornstarch mixture to sauce in crock pot, mixing well.  Turn crock pot to HIGH and let cook/thicken for 10-15 minutes.  
  5. Add Chicken back to sauce/crock pot and coat well with sauce - let chicken warm 10 min.
  6. Serve over Rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve
    with vegetable of choice!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Healthy(er) Green Bean Casserole

I love checking out the "marked down" produce shelf at the grocery store because you can get incredible deals on produce that they are trying to get rid of but is still perfectly fine!
I scored (2) bags of fresh green beans for 50 cents each last weekend and was THRILLED.   I got home with them and was a bit baffled on what to do with them-- I had a shallot left from a recipe I ended up not making that week so decided to add that into the mix somehow and ended up making a "healthier" version of green bean casserole--- the hubs LOVED IT and so did the toddler so this was definitely one I had to share!
Inspiration came from Three Many Cooks with some adaptations to the recipe with what ingredients I had handy in my kitchen!

Healthy(er) Green Bean Casserole
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
  • (2) Ibs Fresh Green Beans (trimmed)
  • (2) Medium Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • (3) Tbsp Olive Oil
  • (1) small can sliced mushrooms *this is all I had-- next time I will use fresh mushrooms!
  •  (3) garlic cloves, minced
  • (3/4)tsp dried thyme leaves
  • (1) cup low sodium chicken broth
  • (3/4) cup lite sour cream
  • ground black pepper
Method:
  • In a medium skillet heat (2) Tbsp Olive Oil and add shallots.   Stir frequently and once they start to caramelize reduce heat to low to continue cooking.  Once shallots are done - set aside.
  • While shallots are cooking - place green beans and 1 cup water in a large skillet with lid.  Cook on high approximately 5 minutes or until green beans are tender.  *I burnt some of my green beans because I let them go too long so check frequently to make sure there is still water in your pot!  Once green beans are tender - place in serving dish or bowl.
  • Using same skillet - heat remaining (1) Tbsp of olive oil.  Add Mushrooms and saute until golden.   Add dried thyme and minced garlic.  Saute an additional minute.  Add Chicken Broth and let simmer for approximately 4-5 minutes or until a thin gravy is formed.  Stir in sour cream and heat through.
  • Pour mushroom sauce over green beans and toss.   Now put caramelized shallots on top of green bean mixture- Enjoy!
*We literally ate on this all week-- it reheated very well!!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chopped Buffalo Chicken Salad

I have been on a sort of "salad kick" lately... trying to eat a bit more healthy and also trying to re-create the "tastes" I crave (that are typically un-healthy) and transform them into a lower calorie version.   Last night I had all the ingredients for a salad-- plus chicken breast and some leftover buffalo wing sauce from when I had made Buffalo Chicken Dip.  PERFECT... I'll make a Buffalo Chicken Salad!!

Chopped Buffalo Chicken Salad
makes approx 3 servings

Ingredients:
  • (2) Small Chicken Breasts, trimmed (if the breast is large I usually cut it in half for (2) servings)
  • (1) Cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • (2) Hearts of Romaine Lettuce
  • Handful of fresh Baby Spinach (or any other kind of lettuce)
  • (1) Large Carrot
  • (1) Celery Stalk
  • (1) Green Onion
  • (1) Medium Tomato
  • Handful of Tortilla Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Ranch Salad Dressing
Method:
  1. Place chicken, wing sauce and brown sugar in saute pan.  Cook over medium heat, turning chicken frequently til cooked through (approx 15 minutes).
  2. While chicken is cooking, prep the salad.  Wash all veggies (lettuce, carrot, celery, green onion, tomato).  Peel carrot.   Place Lettuce and spinach in large bowl and chop with Pampered Chef Salad Choppers. (if you don't have them you can chop lettuce on a cutting board with a knife.)  Using a grater, grate the carrot & celery into the lettuce.   Dice the tomato and green onion and add to the bowl.  Crush the tortilla chips in your hands and add to the bowl.   Add the cheddar cheese and Ranch Dressing.   Mix Well.
  3. Cut the chicken into small pieces and add back to the saute pan and toss in the sauce.
  4. Place Lettuce mixture in salad bowls and top with chicken.
  5. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mustard Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts


We have the same old vegetables at our house-- broccoli and green beans!   I wanted to mix up the repertoire and decided to buy some brussels sprouts-- after looking at a handful of different ways to prepare brussels, I came up with a concoction I thought sounded like it would turn out the best!  I LOVE the way these turned out- and they will be on the rotation quite frequently.  I will also mention my 15 month old LOVES them too-- toddler eating brussels sprouts, I think yes!

Mustard Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
approx 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 16 oz bag of frozen brussels sprouts (you can use fresh also!)
  • 5 pieces of precooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small/medium mixing bowl mix together the chopped bacon, olive oil, whole grain mustard, honey, black pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika.
  3. Add frozen brussels sprouts to bowl and mix/coat well with bacon/mustard mixture.
  4. Transfer brussels to foil lined baking sheet, scraping the bowl to get all the mustard/bacon mixture on the brussels.  Distribute in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip (my way)

Buffalo Chicken Dip is a staple in the south for football parties I think!  Someone ALWAYS brings it!   The hubs says "I like the way you make it..." so he requested it not to long ago-- and I wrote down what I did so I wouldn't forget.

Buffalo Chicken Dip:
(makes approx 12 servings)

Ingredients:
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • (2) 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2-3/4 bottle of Buffalo Wing Sauce (I usually use Texas Pete Brand) *hotness is your preference
  • 1 1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Scoops (Tostitos)
  • Celery (optional)
Method:
  1. Preheat Oven to 400.   Wash & Trim Chicken Breasts.  Place chicken breasts in oven-safe dish with lid.   Cover chicken completely with water- cover and place in oven for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is done.
  2. Shred chicken with two forks.  Place in crock pot.
  3. Make sure cream cheese is soft (sometimes I will put in microwave (REMOVE FOIL WRAPPER) and get it really soft so it is easy to mix in).
  4. Add cream cheese, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese and buffalo wing sauce to crock pot and mix well.  At this point I usually "taste' how the mixture is on a chip to see if I need to add more of anything (usually wing sauce).  Keep adding wing sauce until the "taste" meets your approval-- I like a lot of wing sauce!
  5. Warm on high in slow cooker until hot & bubbly- stirring every so often. (approx 1.5-2 hours)
Enjoy!

Paleo-ISH Buffalo Chicken Pasta

A couple weeks ago I did a 7-day cleanse and lost 9 Ibs.  It was crazy to see how much you can lose by not filling yourself with processed food and dairy!  If you want to read more about that cleanse you can check it out here:  The GM Diet.  Anyways-- coming off that diet I researched the Paleo diet because it had some of the same characteristics--- I pinned some recipes on pinterest but haven't honestly gotten serious about it-- but a lot of the recipes looked YUMMY.

One of them I pinned was from PaleOMG.com for Buffalo Chicken Pasta because who doesn't love buffalo anything??   I used the "basis" of the recipe from the site but tweaked it a bit because quite honestly the Paleo mayo sorta freaks me out at this point and I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand!  So...in the end that is why I am calling my rendition Paleo-ISH because the basic concept is there but not all of the ingredients are strict Paleo (olive oil, mayo).

Here is what I did:

Paleo-ISH Buffalo Chicken Pasta
(makes 4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 1 Carrot, finely diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, finely diced
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of buffalo wing sauce ( I bought Wing-Time Brand bc it had no dairy in it)
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise (I used Earth's Balance Vegan Mayo)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.   Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Line a baking sheet (with sides) with foil and place squash open-side down on foil.  Roast 25 minutes (or until skin feels soft).  Let cool until easily handled.
  2. While squash is cooking-- heat 1 tsp olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add finely diced carrot, celery, sweet onion, garlic and cubed. (the more finely diced the veggies the better in my opinion for this recipe!  I used my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor and it did the trick!)  Saute, stirring frequently until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked (approx 10-12 min).  (at this point I did add some salt & pepper to the chicken/veggies while cooking.)
  3. By now your squash should be ready to handle- using a discard seeds.    Start using the fork to pull out the threads of squash making "spaghetti".
  4. Transfer squash threads to skillet with veggies and chicken.  Add buffalo wing sauce and 2tbs mayo.  Mix well and heat through.
  5. I sprinkled some parsley on there for some color -- If I would have had some diced green onions I would have used them as a garnish!
Enjoy!
~Melissa