Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Enchilada Sauce

I was on the hunt for a good enchilada sauce recipe and came across one that was almost what I was looking for. A couple tweeks and it is perfect! No more canned sauce around here!! This stuff only takes about 10 minutes to make. The peanut butter sounds weird but trust me, it really helps bring out the flavor of the cumin and chili powder. For extra heat, use hot chili powder!

3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons of flour
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of oregano
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter
2 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Start by putting the flour and seasonings all together in a small bowl. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. When it's nice and hot add the flour and seasonings to make a roux. Cook for about 60 seconds to bring out the flavor of the spices. Add tomato paste, peanut butter and broth. Whisk well until lumps are gone. Bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from  heat and salt and pepper to taste and add apple cider vinegar.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Calabacitas con Elote

I have always struggled to find a go9s vegetable dish to pair with mexican/southwestern styled main courses (like my Santa few Turkey Meatballs or Green Chili Chicken). I was so excited to find this recipe, I of course made it my own but it's delicious nonetheless! I do not have exact measurements here. I used 3 medium sized yellow squash, 1 zuchinni, half an onion and two ears of corn and it made a ton! So, feel free to use as much or as little as you want, just remember the squash a zuchinni are the main ingredients followed by corn, tomatoes then onion. Enjoy!

Sliced zuchinni and yellow squash
Halved cherry tomatoes
Fresh or frozen corn kernels
Onion, chopped
Diced green chilis
Generous amount of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Cumin, chili powder and oregano  (amount will depend on how many veggies you have, just season to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheese to top

Saute onion in oil until soft. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds and then add zuchinni and squash. When nearly done add corn, tomatoes, chilis, tomato paste and seasoning. The juice from the veggies should thin out the paste a bit. Cook for a couple more minutes. Add a little cheese to the top, remove from heat and cover with lid so the cheese melts.

Such a delicious, healthy dish!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tangy Potato Salad

I found this little bag of tri colored potatoes at Winco today. They're these tiny little potatoes that come in yellow, red and blue (purple). They were so cute I knew I could come up with something to do with them! I used 1 of the 1.5 pounds bags to make just enough for dinner but it would be super easy to double to make a batch for your next BBQ! This salad is super BBQ friendly as it can be served warm, room temp or chilled and all of the ways are delicious!

1.5 pounds of tiny potatoes (the smelled tones I cut in half and the larger ones I cut into quarters)
1/2 cup of crumbled bacon
2 green onions, sliced

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2.5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme
3/4 teaspoon  of salt
3/4 teaspoon of sugar
Sprinkle of black pepper

Cook the potatoes in salted water until fork tender. While cooking, shake up the dressing ingredients in a jar. After potatoes are cooked and drained, toss them with the bacon, onions and dressing.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Classic Italian Meatballs and Marinara

I searched high and low for a classic Italian meatball recipe. However, I couldn't find one that was "it". I took a little of this and a little of that from several recipes and came up with these mouthwatering, juicy meatballs! My homemade marinara was the perfect touch. So delicious!

Do not skip soaking the breadcrumbs, that's what makes these so juicy!  I cooked mine in the oven to save time and the extra mess but you could always pan fry these. My meatballs were huge so adjust your cooking time accordingly! I doubled my marinara for this recipe.

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Put all ingredients into pan and simmer (at least 30 minutes)

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 slices white sandwich bread, crust removed and torn into tiny pieces
1/2 an onion grated (make sure you keep the juice that comes from the onion while grating it)
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup of milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

Preheat oven to 425° FARENHEIT Soak white bread crumbs and onion with its juice together in a bowl while prepping. In a separate bowl soak milk and seasoned dry bread crumbs. Mix all ingredients together. Mix thoroughly (with your hands works best). Refrigerate for an hour before forming meatballs. I made very large ones, adjust your cooking time according to size.

Place meatballs on cookie sheet and bake. I did mine for 25 minutes and then broiled at the end to brown the tops. After I removed from the oven I added it my sauce that had been simmering for about an hour and then simmered another 15-20 minutes.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Alfredo Sauce

I have had tons of Alfredo Sauce.  I've even made it a couple of times. Until I tried it this way, I didn't know what I'd been missing! This is a little twist on the classic Alfredo!

1 stick  (1/2 cup) butter
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4 Oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced or crushed
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

In a medium saucepan, heat butter, cream and cream cheese and seasonings over medium until butter and cream cheese are melted. Stir in parmesan and  mozzarella. Continue to stir until it's melted and sauce has thickened.

Serve hot!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Biscuit and Gravy Casserole

My husband absolutely loves biscuits and gravy. I figured why not try it in a casserole? This was a huge hit! It would be great for over night guests.

16 ounce can of flaky biscuits
8 eggs, beaten
1 pound of breakfast sausage, cooked
1 cup of shredded cheese
1/2 cup of milk
1 package McCormick peppered gravy, prepared according to package

preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan. Take your uncooked biscuits and chop into bite size pieces and layer in the bottom of the pan. layer the sausage on the biscuits and then top with cheese. Whisk the milk into the beaten eggs, pour over layers in the pan. top with prepared gravy. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the eggs are set. Enjoy!

Skinny Smothered Chicken

I found this recipe a few years ago but my family wasn't very keen on it. I decided to make a few changes. The changes were a success! My hubby loved it this time around!

1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken (beat with meat mallet until even thickness is acheived)
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 teaspoon of olive oil

Heat olive oil in pan. Once hot, saute veggies until crisp tender. add garlic and oregano. remove from pan and set aside. add chicken to pan and brown until nearly cooked through. put veggies on top of chicken, top with cheese and cover with lid. After 2 minutes remove from heat but keep the lid on. Let rest for 5 minutes with lid on before serving. Enjoy!

Marinated Mushrooms

I love mushrooms! I never thought about the fact that mushrooms are low in calories and could make the perfect snack! These are marinated in olive oil but most of the marinade is left in the bottom of the bag when you eat them. I recommend letting these marinate for 24 hours but a minimum of 6 is necessary.

1 pound of small white mushrooms, just the tips of the stem trimmed and cleaned
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of water
1 1/2 teaspoons of Worcestershire
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all of the ingredients, except mushrooms,  in a gallon ziplock bag. Add mushrooms. shake well to coat. Let chill in the fridge.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

I LOVE suddenly salad, the bacon ranch is my favorite! However, I do not love that it's so salty and full of junk. So, why not make a version that's just as tasty, minus the junk and packed with fresh veggies too? This recipe makes a lot of pasta salad, I usually cut it half when I'm making it as a side for dinner. Keep in mind, you are welcome to use fresh bacon, cooked and chopped or even real bacon bits, I prefer to just use the imitation ones to save time and money and think they do the salad justice by adding just the right amount of bacon flavor!

1 pound large pasta (I like large elbows)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
1 large cucumber chopped
1.5 cups frozen peas, thawed (I thaw mine quickly by tossing them in with my pasta just as it's finishing cooking)
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 package hidden Valley Ranch mix (or 3 tablespoons from the Costco container)
2/3 cup imitation bacon bits (or 1 cup of real bacon cooked and crumbled)

Cook pasta, add frozen peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a small mixing bowl, mix sour cream, mayo, ranch seasoning and bacon bits. In a large bowl mix pasta, peas, cucumber and tomato. Add dressing. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet

I've tried this dish several ways. The last way included rice. However, on my mission to eat better and keep track of my calories, I'm trying to avoid starches  (like rice,  pasta, potatoes, etc). I do still make a small pot of rice to serve this over for the other members of my family. This large skillet makes about 6 servings and comes in at under 250 calories for a large portion! So full of flavor!

1.5 pounds 93/7 ground turkey
1 small head of cabbage, cored and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded or chopped carrots
2 stalks of celery, sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 Oz can of tomato sauce
2 cups of shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or pot, brown meat. When half way through, add onion, garlic, celery,  and carrots. Continue cooking until meat is thoroughly cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add tomato sauce, cans of tomatoes and cabbage. Mix well. Cover with lid and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until cabbage reaches desired consistency, stir occasionally.
Now, I do not like mine soupy. So, I quickly dump this in a strainer for about 60-90 seconds and then return to the pan. Place it back on the burner, heat off. Top with cheese and replace lid until cheese is melted!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower

I was very skeptical to try this recipe but was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! I wasn't a big fan of the paprika shrimp but my hubby loved it! For this recipe you will need to "rice" the cauliflower. You can do this by pulsing it in a food processor or by using a boxed cheese grater (use the large holes ). I used the grater method and it was fast and easy! I simply cut the core out of my cauliflower and then cut my cauliflower into quarters. Don't grate too much of the core parts, use more of the florets.

1 small-medium head of cauliflower,  riced
1 pound of large cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons of lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp:
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

In a large zip lock bag or medium bowl combine the shrimp seasonings and then toss the shrimp to coat. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and toss for 1-2 minutes to warm. Remove from pan. Add a little more olive oil and heat up again. Sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 60 seconds. Add cauliflower and mix well. Cook the cauliflower for about 10 minutes over medium high heat, turning once or twice. Add cilantro, lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp in and serve!

I added a few more squeezes of lime juice to my plate while the hubby opted to top his with Sriracha. This was a delicious, clean eating meal. Low on calories and low carb. Delicious!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pasta E Fagioli Soup

This soup is a favorite!! I like to saute my veggies for a few minutes with the meat as it is finishing cooking but that's optional. This will make a ton of food. Be sure you are using a large crock pot. Feel free to freeze half after its cooled!
2  lbs ground beef or ground turkey
1   onion, chopped
3   carrots, chopped
4  stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3  teaspoons oregano
1/2  teaspoon pepper
5  teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8  ounces rotini pasta
Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
During last 30 minutes add pasta. Top with parm and serve!