Thursday, October 23, 2014

Turkey and Pepper Soup

So my love for soup grows every day so I'm trying all kinds of soups and tweaking here and there!  This is also made in the crock pot so it's a huge time saver :)  This soup is really high in protein and low in calories and extremely filling.  Makes for a great lunch or snack.

Turkey and Pepper Soup

*Makes 6 servings

1 lb. Ground Turkey
3 Bell Peppers, any color (chopped kinda big)
1/2 Onion (chopped)
2 cups Cauliflower (minced)
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3 cups Beef Stock
1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Brown the turkey in a pan.
2. Add all the ingredients to the crock pot.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mom's Texas Sheet Cake

My mother told me the story of how we came into the posession of this recipe.  It's pretty neat actually.  A lady called up my grandmother and asked if it would be ok to bring a cake to my parent's reception.  My grandmother agreed and so this kind lady brought a Texas sheet cake to the party.  It was a nice contrast so the guests had their choice of chocolate or vanilla wedding cake.  My mother fell in love with the cake and spent years trying to track her down for the recipe.  Once she got her hands on it, she made it as often as possible!  I rarely remember desserts unless it was this or her Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake sitting on the counter! :)

Mom's Texas Sheet Cake

*Makes 1 11X17 pan full of cake **cookie sheet for those who don't have their tape measures handy :P

1 Stick of Butter
1/2 C. Crisco
4 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1 C. Water
2 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Buttermilk
2 Eggs (slightly beaten)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla

1 Stick of Butter
4 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
6 Tbsp. Milk
1 lb. Powdered Sugar (sift!)
1 tsp. Vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour a cookie sheet.
3. In a saucepan, (for the cake) melt butter, crisco, coaco, and water.  Bring to a rapid boil.
4. In a bowl, add flour and sugar.  Pour the melt over this and stir.
5. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla and stir.  Don't over work it *don't want to activate the glutens*.  Just stir enough to get the lumps out.
6. Pour into the cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
7. **15 minutes into the cake baking**  In a saucepan, (for frosting) melt butter, cocoa, and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mix well, keep stirring until it's smooth.
8. At this point the cake should be just about done.  Pull it out and frost while the cake is STILL HOT.  This allows the frosting to melt more and seep into the pores of the cake!
9. You can stop here and let the cake cool or you can go one step further and sprinkle chopped pecans on top before the frosting hardens.

*fun fact, this cake is great for freezing!  Cut up and wrap individual size pieces in saran wrap and store in a Ziploc bag*

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Baked Taco Salad Shells

If anyone has EVER read this blog, you should all know how much I love Mexican food!  And let me tell you, taco salads are no exception!  (although I make mine more on the unhealthy side versus a REAL taco SALAD. :)  It essentially turns into a huuuuuuuuge tostada!  Anywho, to make them a touch healthier, I bake tortillas to make the shell rather than buying crap fried and packaged ones!  They come out great, nice and crispy with great flavor rather than tasting like oil!

**I do have to admit, I'd kill for the as seen on TV shell mold! But to save money, I just use wide mouthed bowls that are corningware.

Baked Taco Salad Shells

*makes however many you wanna make but I can only fit 2 in my oven at a time.

Burrito Sized Tortillas (I have used a ton of different types of tortillas and this brand is the absolute best.  They don't burn, they crisp up nice!)
Non-Stick Spray

1. Set oven to 275 degrees.
2. Spray both sides of the tortillas with the non stick spray and put in whatever dish you choose.  (I just use wide mouth corningware)

3. Put the dishes on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes.  Check regularly after about 20 mins because the time varies with ovens.

4. When it's browned to your liking, pull out and fill with all your favorite goodies!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Perfect Green Smoothie

Ah the smoothie...  What an intimidating meal when you don't have a worthwhile blender!  I must admit I went years without making them just because of that!  Between my lack of breakfast choices and my grumbly tummy every morning at work, I decided that it was probably time to get on the ball.  I asked the Shrinking Jeans community for tips, pointers, recipes, ideas, etc.  The diversity is endless based on your own personal preference!  This chart lays out the perfect ratio for a green smoothie, but you have to have quite a large blender of some sort for it, so below, I'm going to share my amounts that makes just the right amount for one person in a Magic Bullet (which is what I happen to have).  My smoothies are low in calories, gluten free, full of protein, and super tasty!  What's not to love?!

My Single Serving Formula:

*makes 16oz smoothie

1 C. Almond Milk
1/2 C. Spinach
1 Scoop Protein Powder (I go with Vanilla Whey Protein but you can go Soy for dairy free options)
1 C. Fruit

The directions are the same as the picture above and it comes out perfectly full every time for me :)

Different fruit combo choices:
*I'm a touch biased when it comes to fruits I like.  I also use frozen fruits because it's easy to portion and defrost the night before.*


(I like to add peanut butter and use chocolate protein powder in this one)




Go bust out your blender/Bullet/Ninja or whatever else you have and get some green in your diet! :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Green Chile Chicken Soup

When you're sick, soup is the staple of your diet.  I've been sick for almost a week now and man do I get tired of Chicken Noodle quick!  So instead of busting out my Chicken and Dumplings (too much work when I'm sick) I went into the kitchen with no thoughts or recipes in my head.  And here's what I ended up with!  It's got just a tiny kick (unless you know you're in possession of super spicy green chiles) and it's really low in calories but super filling.  It's also really easy to keep.  You can freeze it or seal it in jars using a pressure canner.

Green Chile Chicken Soup

*makes 12 2 cup servings

Allergen Tips:
Look for gluten free brands of enchilada sauce like La Victoria or Frontera.
Check the bullion for gluten to keep it a g-free recipe!

12 Cups of Water
7 cubes of Chicken Bullion
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Stalks of Celery (chopped)
2 Red Bell Peppers (chopped)
1 C. Chopped Onion
4 Fresh Roasted Green Chiles (chopped) **or 2-3 4oz cans of green chiles**
2 cans Black Beans (drained)
2 cans Corn (drained)
1 14-16oz Can Green Enchilada Sauce (size varies depending on brand)
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Cumin
1-2 Tbsp Corn Starch for thickening

1. Put the water and bullion cubes in a stock pot on medium heat until it starts boiling and the cubes are dissolved.
2. Throw in the chicken breasts, beans and veggies and the sauce.  Cover back up and cook for about 45-75 depending on if the chicken is fresh or frozen.
3. Once the chicken is done, pull it out and shred.  Add back to the soup along with the seasonings and simmer for another 30 mins to let the chicken soak up some flavor.
4. Serve!

*Tips on adding to this if you'd like a little more*
You can make some rice to pour this over or you can make some noodles to throw in but if you plan on keeping this in the fridge or freezer, I don't suggest adding these until you're about to eat it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Onion and Herb Squash

I LOVE squash and Zach hates it...  That means I almost never get to eat it unless I make it specifically for me.  (and I'm just not one to prepare two different meals for people)  That means, on the nights he's not home, I get to break out all the things I love!  This dish took quite a bit of time to put together and then bake, but it was SO worth it!

Onion and Herb Squash

*Makes 4 servings

3 Yellow Squash
2 Large Zucchini
2 Tbsp. Parmesan
Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb seasoning
1.5 Tbsp. Olive Oil (give or take)

1. Slice the squash with a mandolin or with a knife.  It's better if they're thinner but whatever you do works!
2. Drizzle the olive oil on them and mix well.
3. Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray.
4. Set oven to 375 degrees.
5. Start layering the squash.  If you're OCD like I am, alternate zucchini, yellow squash, repeat.

6. Once it's all laid out, season well with all the above.
7. Put it in the oven for 45 mins.  Add the parmesan when there's 12 mins left.
8. Pull out and enjoy!

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

In my journey to get healthy and eat healthy, I decided to revamp some of my recipes and this will be the first!  I love lasagna but for two people, a whole lasagna is just too much!  So I decided to go with little serving sized rolls that are easy to portion out instead of guessing how much you cut off!  These are still not "super healthy" but calorie wise they're ideal for those Italian food hankerings!

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

*Makes 3 servings

Allergen Tips:
Rice flour noodles are a great g-free option for any pasta dish!

6 Lasagna Noodles
3/4 C. Ricotta (I use low fat)
1/4 C. Mozzarella
1/8 C. Parmesan
1/2 lb. Ground Turkey
1/2 jar Favorite Marinara (I use Classico Italian Sausage)
1/4 C. Red Bell Peppers (chopped)
1/4 C. Onion (chopped)
2 tsp. Olive Oil
1/3 C. Raw Spinach
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasonings

1. Get the pot of water for the noodles going.  Make sure you add salt to help boil the water quicker (you'd be surprised how many people don't know this!)
2. Start cooking the bell peppers and onions in the oil.
3. Once the water is boiling, add the spinach to the water.  Boil it for 4-5 mins and then pull it out of the water and let it hang out in a strainer.  **DO NOT DUMP THE WATER OUT**  Separate it to the best of your abilities to help the water drain.  Add in the lasagna noodles to the same water.
4. Throw the turkey in the pan with the peppers and onions.  Season the meat and brown.  Once the meat is done, you can set aside until everything else is ready.\
5. Mix the ricotta with the parmesan and most of the mozzarella.  Save just a touch for the tops of the rolls.
6. Once the noodles are done, drain and lay out on the counter or on a cutting board.  Dab them with a paper towel so they aren't slimy where you'll be spreading out the cheese.
7. At this point, you need to squeeze out the spinach.  Use a bunch of paper towels or a potato ricer.  Chop it up and mix it in with the ricotta cheese mixture and start spreading on the noodles.  Start small and go from there.  You want to make sure there's an even amount of cheese on each!
8. Turn the oven on to 325 degrees.  Once the cheese is on the noodles, sprinkle the turkey on top.

9. Start rolling the noodles and place in a non-stick sprayed 6x9 baking dish.  (you can spread just a touch of marinara on the bottom to help prevent sticking as well)
10. Add the marinara to the remaining ground turkey and pour on top of the rolls.  Top them with the last of the mozzarella and bake for 25 mins!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lasagna Cups

I love Italian food and who doesn't love lasagna!  To be honest I can't remember the last time I had a real chunk out of a lasagna.  I occasionally make my Lasagna Rolls but today I wanted to make cups that we could pick up with our hands because finger food is fuuuuuun!!!  They turned out amazing and the nutrition facts are pretty sweet as well!

Lasagna Cups

*makes 12 cups, serves 4

24 Wonton Wrappers
1/2lb Ground Turkey
1/4 C. Onion (chopped)
1 C. Favorite Marinara (I use Classico Italian Sausage)
1/3 C. Ricotta (low fat)
1/8 C. Parmesan
1/4 C. Mozzerella
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasonings (to taste)

1. Brown meat and onions.  Season to taste with all of the above seasonings.
2. Add the marinara and simmer for a minute or two.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  spray muffin pan(s) with non-stick spray.  Line each with a wonton wrapper.
4. Mix the ricotta with most of the parm and mozzerella (saving just a touch of both for the top of the cups).
5. Spoon the meat mixture (I use a large spoon, about a heaping tablespoon?) into the wrapper.  Top this with about a teaspoon of cheese mixture.

6. Add a wonton wrapper on top of the cheese.  Pushing down to compact the ingredients.  Add another teaspoon of cheese to the bottom, then top it with another heaping tbsp of meat.
7. Top each cup with just a touch of the leftover mozzerella and parmesan.  Bake for 20 mins.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

BBQ Chicken Bites with Slaw

If any of you know me, I loooooooooove chicken!  I also love wonton wrappers!  Put them together and the possibilities are literally endless!  Today I wanted some BBQ flavor in my dinner.  So I put together a healthy version of a classic BBQ chicken with coleslaw!

BBQ Chicken Bites with Slaw

*makes 12 bites

12 wonton wrappers
1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (boiled and shredded)
1/2 serving of my BBQ marinade
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
Shred the following:
1/3 Head of Cabbage
1 Carrot
1 Jalapeno (make sure to remove seeds)

3 Tbsp Fat Free Italian Dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Boil your chicken for 35-45 mins.  Pull out and shred.  Set oven to 325 degrees and spray muffin pan(s) with non-stick spray.
2. Mix in the marinade, bell peppers, and salt and pepper.
3. Put wrappers in each muffin hole, pushing it down to cover the bottom.
4. Fill the wrappers with the chicken mixture and put in the oven for 20-30 mins.  Keep in mind, this recipe is a bit more wet than normal so baking a little bit longer will keep the wrapper more crisp.

5. While the bites cook, shred the veggies, add the dressing and seasonings.  Mix and refridgerate until the bites come out of the oven.
6. Put it all together and enjoy a classic bbq meal with a twist!

These NF are with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, not Bill Johnsons