Monday, February 27, 2012

An Everyday Salad That You'll Crave Everyday

I decided to post the ingredients for the salad I make most nights. Under the ingredients, I listed what you'll need at the store. You obviously won't use all of everything each time, but that was just the easiest way for me to share this recipe with you.

Either baby spinach, romaine, or butter lettuce. Want more info on these varieties? See my note below.
1 pkg Honey Roasted almonds (found in produce section at Albertson's and Tom Thumb)
1 avocado (this you will use up, so if you want to make this more than once in a week, buy more avocados)
1 pkg feta cheese
Flavored balsamic (see below for more details)
Flavored olive oil

Compose individual salads in bowls. Top with some almonds, half of a cut-up avocado, and some feta.

Here's what I have learned: Purchasing salad dressing is a waste of money. Regular balsamic vinegar works great. Regular olive oil works great. For some variety, I have change things up by using different flavors of balsamic and olive oil. In my pantry, I have pomegranite balsamic, fig balsamic, and apple balsamic, and I have lemon olive oil and basil olive oil. I use different combos of these to create exciting new dressings. A little dash of vinegar and a little dash of oil is all you need!

I do also make my own dressing often. Here's what I do: In a recycled jalapeno jar (good size for this application), I start with some olive oil. I add half as much balsamic. I add a scoop of garlic (the minced kind out of a jar...fresh is very potent in this case). I add about 1/4 palm full of salt. I put the lid on the jar and shake it up. Voila! Deliciousness. Oh, and when I make this dressing, I use plain balsamic and oil.

**Lettuce notes: Spinach is the best for you, but it lacks that salady crunch we all love. Romaine is a crowd pleaser, and is still pretty nutrient-rich. Butter lettuce is fancy, and is my new favorite-a very buttery (duh) flavor.

Herb-Roasted Chicken Cutlets

1 Tbsp minced fresh tarragon
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 325°F. Mix all herbs together in a bowl. Place chicken in a baking dish with 1 Tbsp olive oil, the herb mixture, and 1 cup chicken stock. Roast about 15 minutes. Serve with the herb sauce.

Pesto Chicken Caprese

Now that I have started this blog, I have gotten lots of emails suggesting new recipes! How exciting! I have not made this recipe yet, but I'll be fixing it tonight. Ill update the post tomorrow if I have any edits or thoughts. I have included several modifications, so skip over what you don't need.

1 lb of thin chicken cutlets (if you can't find these, or if you already have chicken breasts at home you want to use, see below for a note)
1 container pesto (or, if you're feeling fancy, see below for a homemade pesto recipe)
2 tomatoes (I HATE tomatoes, so I can't be very helpful regarding what kind to whatever vatiety you like) OR 1 jar roasted red bell peppers
1 ball fresh mozzerella (found near deli in the fancy cheese section at most grocery stores)

For homemade pesto: In a blender or food processor, purée 2 cups fresh basil, 1 garlic clove, a pinch of salt, 2 Tbsp pine nuts, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.

If working with chicken breasts rather than cutlets: Put 1 chicken breast in a large plastic baggie. Remove the air from the bag and seal it. Use a mallot, heavy pan, or other heavy, flat object, to pound out the chicken into a thin cutlet. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season 1 pound of thin chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Grill for about 4 minutes per side. If you'd rather not fire up the grill, saute the chicken in a preheated pan with a little swirl of olive oil, on medium-high heat, following the same time instructions.

Top each cutlet with a scoop of pesto as a slice (or two) of the fresh mozzerella. Put the pan in the oven for a few minutes to heat the pesto and slightly melt the cheese. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and top with a slice of tomato or a roasted red bell pepper.

Addicting Pesto Blue Cheese Dip

This recipe is courtesy of my mom, who I have already cited at the "Queen of Dips." I believe she got the recipe from another family friend-needless to say, I do not know the original source.

1 jar sundried tomatoes (need a jar because they need to be in oil)
1 container of blue cheese (for this recipe, I buy the cheap blue cheese found in the regular refrigerated cheese section-since it's mixed in with other things, you don't need anything fancy)
1 pkg of pine nuts
1 pkg cream cheese
1 container pesto (I like Buitoni)

"I'm taking this to a casual get-together" Directions:
Put pine nuts in a dry pan on medium heat to toast them. DO NOT WALK AWAY. :) Let them do their thing until you can smell them. The great thing about toasting nuts is that they tell us when they're done. Take the sundried tomatoes out of the jar and pat them dry. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with crudite (fancy word for veggies:)).

"I'm taking this to a fancy get-together" Directions:
Follow the steps above for the pine nuts and the sundried tomatoes. To make this dip fancier, mix the blue cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl. Line a bowl with plastic wrap and layer the ingredients as follows: blue/cream cheese mixture, pesto, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, repeat until you either run out of ingredients or the bowl is full. Make sure you finish your layering with the blue/cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate your dip for several hours. When you're ready to serve, turn the bowl over onto a plate and remove the plastic wrap. You should see fancy layers of ingredients, and your dip should stand up in a dome shape. Press the leftover pine nuts all over the outside.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Addiction: Feta Coleslaw with Radishes

We went out to dinner last night at a new burger restaurant. The service was terrible, but the food was delicious. I ordered a burger with blue chees and a bacon jam topping (working on how to recreate that recipe). On the side, I ordered "Feta Coleslaw." since I love and make the Zoe's recipe so often (recipe on another post), I was expecting it to be similar-how wrong I was. Feta and a light vinaigrette, yes. But the purple cabbage/radish/carrot combo, made it unique and amazing.

1 head purple cabbage
1 bag matchstick carrots
1 bunch radishes
1 container feta cheese
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar

Directions: Shred the cabbage. Thinly slice radishes and the cut each slice into quarters. Chop a handful of parsley. Put all of this, along with carrots, in a bowl and mix together. For the dressing, mix 1/2 c olive oil, 1/4 c red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, dash of pepper, pinch of sugar ( I love using old-fashioned words like pinch and dash :) not really sure what exactly those terms measure as, but still, it's fun). Taste the dressing for salt/sugar-it should taste like a slightly sweet vinaigrette. Pour dressing over veggies, add feta on top and toss to coat everything. Now for the hard part- put it in the fridge and let it do it's thing for a few hours-I hate recipes where I can't eat them immediately, but this is worth the wait.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss chickpeas with oil and spices until evenly coated. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking pan occasionally, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. From via Pinterest

Friday, February 24, 2012

Amazing Iced Coffee

This recipe is amazing! I found this on Pinterest, originally from thepioneerwoman blog. Her blog is a must read! I pasted the original link to her recipe below because her pictures are very helpful and she's hysterical to read. :)

1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
8 quarts Cold Water Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)
Note: Can Use Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Syrups...adapt To Your Liking!

Preparation Instructions: (Adapted from Imbibe Magazine) In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds. Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed. To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.

Asian Slaw

**I posted the entire recipe here in case you want to make your own dressing. I think an asian-style peanut sauce/dressing works just as well and it waaaaayyyy easier :)
Pinned ImageFor the Dressing¼ cup honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar*
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural No Need to Stir)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce…optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced

For the Slaw4 cups prepared shredded coleslaw
2 cups prepared shredded carrots (or grated in food processor)
1 red pepper, thinly sliced into bite size pieces
1 cup pre-cooked, shelled edamame (available fresh or frozen)
2 medium scallions, finely chopped
½ cup chopped salted peanuts (you can also leave them whole)
½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

1. Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in medium bowl. Stir until peanut butter is dissolved. Set aside.
2. Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss well. Let sit at least 10 minutes so vegetables have a chance to soak up the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt but go by your own taste). Serve cold.

Taken from via Pinterest

Lunch-Salad in a Jar

I found this on Pinterest, originally from

Use a Mason Jar to build your lunch salad from the bottom up. Put the dressing in first, followed by veggies, meats, cheeses, etc. with the final addition being your lettuce. When you're ready to eat, invert the jar onto a plate and everything is ready to enjoy; soggy-lettuce-free!

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce
2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely minced

1/4 c. cider vinegar

3 TBSP honey

1 TBSP plus 2 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika

2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp. dry mustard

1 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp. salt

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts, trimmed of fat (I used 1 1/2 lbs. of each)

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced


1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.

2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5-6 hours.

3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve. Serves 8-10.
Transform for Later in the Week:
BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Lettuce (whichever kind you like)-for this, I either buy shredded lettuce or cut it super thin into ribbons because I think it workes better in smaller pieces with the other ingredients
Toppings: black beans, corn, jalapeno, shredded cheddar cheese, jicama, avocado, ranch dressing
Pile some lettuce up with your leftover pulled chicken and whatever toppings you like. Enjoy! 

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Jalapeno Bites

makes 24jonpoppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 12 Jalapenos, halved & seeded
  • 24 – six inch pieces of bacon, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine cream cheese and spices in small bowl. Spoon mixture into each pepper half, until level. Wrap each in bacon, and place on baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove and enjoy!

From via Pinterest

Steamed Artichokes

This is an extremely simple recipe, but artichokes are addicting!
Artichokes ( 1 per person)
Either mayonnaise or melted butter

Fill a large pot with a steamer basket in it with enough water so it just touches the bottom of the basket. If you don't have a steamer basket, just fill your pot with a couple inshes of water.

Cut the stems off the artichokes almost all the way up to the base.

Put the artichoked in the pot and turn the burner on medium heat. Cover the pot, and let the artichokes do their thing for about an hour. You may want to check your water level at some point to make sure all of the water hasn't evaporated. If needed, add a little more water.

The artichokes are done when you can easily pull a leaf off. I use tongs and pull one of the leaves towards the center. The outside layer of leaves are tougher than the others, so they aren't the best ones to test.

Serve artichokes with mayo (sounds weird, but it's yummy) or melted butter.

Here's how to eat the leaves: Pull a leaf off the artichoke, dip it in whatever sauce you are using, and use your teeth to scrape off the meat on the tender side of the leaf.

Pecan Honey Mustard Chicken

This is a great weeknight recipe. My friend Whitney originally introduced me to a similar dish when I went over to her house for dinner. She used fancy mustard. Feel free to play around with that component.

**I really can't give exact amounts for these ingredients because it is very adaptable according to how many people you plan on serving***
Chicken breasts (enough for 1 for each person eating)
Honey Dijon Mustard
Pecan (finely chopped-I pulse them in a food processor until they are almost like breadcrumbs, but you can easily coat the chicken in larger pieces-you'll just need more of them)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Get your assembly line ready so you don't get ewwy chicken stuff on all of your ingredient bottles, etc.

Assembly line: Open package of chicken breasts; 2 plates, one with several tablespoons of the honey mustard, one with pecans; prepared cookie sheet.

Pick up a chicken breast, coat on both sides with mustard, coat on both sides with pecans (your hands will get very mustardy and pecany), put chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat for all of your other chicken breasts.

Bake chicken for about 30 minutes, or until no longer pink in center.

***Great with roasted vegetables, an artichoke, or a salad.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Salt-Roasted Root Vegetables

This is a great recipe from Bon Appetit! I have included the original recipe on this post, but I make it without potatoes.

7 egg whites
5 cups kosher salt
2 Tbsp. thyme leaves
2 lb. assorted medium sized root vegetables such as red and golden beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, large fingerling potatoes, and carrots, washed and thoroughly dried
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
1 Tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley leaves

Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 400. Combine egg whites, salt and thyme in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, using your hands, to create a texture resembling wet sand, about 2-3 minutes. Halve larger vegetables as necessary so that all are around the same size. Pack salt mixture onto each individual vegetable, making sure no skin is exposed. Arrange prepared vegetables on a rimmed baking tray so that none are touching. Bake until crust is deep golden brown, and vegetables are tender when pierced with a pairing knife, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking tray 5-10 minutes. Peel the salt crust away from the vegetables, then peel the skins while still warm. Cut vegetables into 1 1/2" pieces. Toss with olive oil, chives, parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange on a serving platter and top with parsley. Serve with roasted chicken, grilled steak, or toss with thinly sliced kale and eat as a salad.

Roasted Shrimp

2 lbs (12-15 count) shrimp
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in one even layer. Roast for 8-10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Edamame 2 Ways

Boiled with Sea Salt

1 (16 oz) pkg frozen edamame in shell

Put frozen edamame in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes, and you'll notice the edamame start to all float to the top. Take one out and test it. If you are easily able to get the pod open with your teeth to eat the bean, they are done. Drain and then toss with sea salt to taste.

Garlic Parmesan

Pinned Image1 (16 oz) pkg frozen edamame in shell
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste

Steam edamame in microwave until slightly warm and not frozen by throwing the edamame in a ziploc bag with about a tbsp of water, sealing it, leaving a small opening for steam, and heating it on high for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a small food processor, combine olive oil and garlic. Process until well-combined. Heat a wok (or any pan) over medium high heat. Add edamame and toss for a few seconds. Add garlic oil and saute for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan, and salt and toss until well coated. Serve immediately.

*I adapted this recipe from via Pinterest

Oven Roasted Carrots



2 lbs carrots, trimmed and peeled
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Balsamic vinegar
Coarse sea salt and fresh black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Roughly chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cut the carrots into bite-size chunks. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Then, splash on some balsamic vinegar, sea salt, black pepper and olive oil (amounts aren't important, just use enough so all the vegetables will be well seasoned and coated). With your clean hands, toss everything together. Then, spread the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Roast in the oven at 425F for 25 minutes. The carrots will have crispy edges and should be cooked through on the inside.
Serve hot. via Pinterest

Snack-Pears with Goat Cheese and Pistachios

2 pears, cored and cut into two dozen slices
1/4 cup goat cheese
2 tablespoons pistachio pieces
2 tablespoons cranberries
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice

Core pears and cut into slices. Toss in orange or lemon juice to keep from browning. Spread cheese on widest part of slice and then sprinkle cheese end with pistachio pieces and cranberries. Arrange on platter and serve. via Pinterest

Black Bean Corn Salsa

This recipe comes to me via my mom-queen of dips and apps. I make this dish weekly. I use it as a side dish, a dip, a taco topping-you name it.

1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado, diced
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
cilantro (optional)


Throw all of the vegetables together in a bowl. Add a few swirls of olive oil and a few of balsamic.

Try it on top of a burger patty or taco meat, or alongside BBQ chopped beef, chicken fajitas, or fish.

Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Cauliflower

Pinterest recipe, originally from

3-4 tbs olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower
kosher salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons crumbled Parmesan cheese (stuff in a green can a-okay!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds and set aside.
Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower head and trim into large florets. Slice each floret into 1/4 inch slices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and garlic mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Use clean hands to toss to coat. Add more olive oil if needed. Bake for 15 minutes and then toss with spatula. Bake 10 more and then toss with Parmesan cheese. Continue baking for 5-10 minutes until slightly golden brown on edges.

***Prepare broccoli the exact same way for another version of yumminess

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Green Beans

I adapted this recipe I found on Pinterest from Real Simple Magazine. The original recipe included potatoes, but since I'm not eating those, I edited them out.


6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound trimmed green beans
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices.  Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.
  3. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.

Fire and Spice Nuts-BonAppetit via Pinterest

  • 2teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2teaspoonsground cinnamon
  • 2teaspoonsground ginger
  • 2teaspoonsground cumin
  • 2teaspoonssalt
  • 1teaspoonchili powder (preferably chipotle)
  • 1/2teaspoongarlic powder
  • 2large egg whites
  • 2cupspecan halves
  • 2cupswalnut halves and pieces
  • 2cupsraw cashews
  • 1/4cupsugar
  • 1/2cupmatchstick-size strips crystallized ginger


  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in center of oven; preheat to 225°F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir first 7 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Whisk in spice mixture. Add pecan halves, walnut halves and pieces, and raw cashews; toss to coat completely. Sprinkle sugar over and toss to coat.
  • Divide nut mixture between prepared baking sheets; spread nut mixture in single layer. Bake until nuts are toasted and coating is dry, stirring every 20 minutes, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Sprinkle nuts with salt to taste, if desired. Transfer nuts to large bowl. Mix in crystallized ginger. Cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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Roasted Veggies

Most nights during the week, my husband and I enjoy some sort of protein alongside a version of the recipe I am about to share. I've included some modifications for you to try below.

1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 box of mushrooms (I like baby bellas or crimini, but it doesn't matter which kind your use)
Dried Italian herb mix (I use Herbs de Provence)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice everything. The key here is to cut everything close to the same thickness so it all cooks evenly. Toss all of your veggies with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and about a tablespoon of your Italian herb mix, on a baking sheet. Spread everything out in one layer. Roast until fork tender, about 15 minutes.


Throw some whole garlic cloves into the mix. Once they cook they get creamy and become spreadable. Yum!

Try squash. Cut a butternut squash into chunks. Toss it with salt, pepper, and olive oil (skip the Italian seasoning). Depending on the size of your pieces, squash may take a bit longer to roast.

I also love a pin I found for roasted cauliflower and broccoli. Look for another post with these recipes.   

Green Monster Protein Shake

This recipe is super simple. All you need is a blender and the following ingredients:
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • a couple handfuls of spinach
  • Protein powder (Whole Foods has some great options)
  • water
  • ice (if desired)
Add enough water to blend and enjoy, that’s it!

This recipe is super inexact. Add whatever fruit you have. Frozen berries work wonderfully. I don't like bananas, so I usually skip this ingredient and add a carrot instead.

Crockpot Love

On Sundays, I often cook up a huge batch of Crockpot goodness with the intention of transforming the recipe into other dinners at least one other night during the week. Bam! Two meals with one pot. For those who don't use a Crockpot often, here are some notes that I wish someone would have told me:

-The cook time really doesn't matter...Put your pot together in the morning, turn it on low, and go on with the rest of your day. Check on it whenever you're ready to eat, and it will be delicious.

-Measurements really don't matter...feel free to manipulate ingredients according to your taste

Chicken Fajitas

1 bag frozen chicken breasts (usually comes in a pack of 4-6) (fresh works also, it's just easier for me to buy/throw in the pot frozen)

2 packets of your favorite fajita seasoning (I buy McCormick)

1 yellow onion

2 bell peppers (whatever color you like-I use 1 red, 1 yellow)

Favorite fajita toppings (I usually use some combination or sour cream, cheese, guacamole, lettuce)

Cut the onion and peppers into slices or wedges. Throw all of the above into the crockpot on high 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8.

When you're ready to eat, pile up a huge helping of the fajita meet and veggies. Hold the taco shell. Instead, add more toppings, especailly the lettuce. Store the leftovers in an airtight container so you can transform them into recipe #2 (below).

Chicken Fajitas Transformed-Chicken (Hold the Tortilla) Soup

Leftovers from Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

2-3 cloves garlic, minced (can use the preminced stuff from a jar)

1 white or yellow onion, chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes (or you can use Rotel with the green chilis)

1 can of corn drained (can also use frozen corn)

Chicken broth or stock (The quantity depends on how much leftovers you have, and on how much soup you want to make. I would go ahead and buy 2 of those cardboard containers because it keeps well in the fridge in case you don't use it all)

1 avocado (for topping)

Saute the onion and garlic in the bottom of your soup pan with a little butter or extra virgin olive oil, and some salt and pepper, until transparent. Add all of the other ingredients to the pot, and add enough chicken broth to cover all of the contentc. Let it do it's thing for a while. You are essentially just heating up the rest of the ingredients, so bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for a while until you're ready to eat. Taste your soup before you serve it. We don't like/use a lot of salt, so I usually don't add much extra seasoning. If you find that your soup needs a little something, consider these options:
-seasoned salt
-hot sauce
-garlic or onion salt


Zoes Cole Slaw

I make this weekly. I use is as a bed for burgers, barbeque, tacos, etc.

1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced (or bag of coleslaw mix)
1 (6 ounce) package crumbled feta
6 -7 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I use a splash of white vinegar along with this)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 -2 teaspoon sugar

Combine shredded cabbage, feta and chopped green onions in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and EVOO.
Pour over the slaw and toss.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. It's best if you let it refrigerate for a few hours so you may want to make it the day before.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crimini Mushroom Sloppy Joes

I don't have a picture of this one, but I L-O-V-E it. I usually add a little ketchup and sometimes a touch of barbeque sauce to get the consistency/taste I like. Instead of using a bun, check out my post for "Zoe's Cole Slaw." Pile a mound of this deliciousness on top of the slaw, and you have a healthy, low-carb meal.

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces ground sirloin
2 (8-ounce) packages presliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup prechopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, toasted

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add beef; cook for 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.

2. While beef cooks, place mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to pan; cook for 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to pan; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates. Stir in pepper and hot sauce. Spoon about 1 cup beef mixture on bottom half of each bun; top with top halves of buns.

Zucchini Pizza/Lasagna

This recipe comes to me courtesy of a friend. I do not know where the original recipe came from, but this is a once-a-week dish for me.  Experiment! Use italian sausage or pepperoni in place of ground round/turkey.  And I apologize for the poor photo quality. I really don't take pictures unless it's with my phone.

 1/4 tsp. salt
 4-5 cups shredded zucchini (1 large)
 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
 1/2 cups grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of both)
 2 eggs, lightly beaten
 1-1½ lb. ground round or ground turkey
 1 onion, finely chopped
 14 oz. Prego or homemade tomato sauce
 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
 1/2 tsp. leaf oregano, crumbled
 1 sweet green pepper finely chopped
 8-10 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Grease (or spray with Pam) 13 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle salt on zucchini in small bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Squeeze dry with paper toweling. Return zucchini to bowl and stir in 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of cheddar, the Romano and the eggs. Press the mixture into the bottom of
pan. Bake in preheated hot oven for 20 minutes or until set.

Meanwhile, brown beef or turkey with onion in medium size skillet until no pink remains. Drain off excess fat. Stir in the Prego sauce, garlic and oregano. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Spoon mixture over zucchini crust. Sprinkle with green pepper, mushrooms, and the remaining cup mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Shake Romano/Parmesan over the top, if you like. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let set a minute or two before cutting into portions.

Roast Chicken-Ina Garten

Ingredients 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.