Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Breakfast Pita

Whole wheat pita bread; sliced in halves
Almond butter
Slivered almonds
Bananas; sliced thin
Apples; cored and sliced
Strawberries; sliced thin

Mix together bananas, apples, strawberries and blueberries (or fruit of your choice.)
Toast pita slices in a toaster. Spread toasted pita with almond butter. Top with fruit, almond slivers and a drizzle of honey.

Easy, healthy and oh so yummy breakfast! I made this for family that was in town and they all loved it.

Recipe from Meijer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Asparagus, Snap Pea and Avocado Pasta

1 lb asparagus; ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 lb sugar snap peas; strings removed
1 lb whole wheat penne; 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 lb chicken breast; pounded thin
4 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 ripe avocado; diced
1/2 cup parsley; chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat till cooked through. Set aside.

Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and season with salt. Add asparagus and cook until bright green about 2 minutes. Add snap peas and cook for 30 seconds. Scoop out vegetables and transfer to a bowl.

Return water to a boil. Add pasta and cook till al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain noodles.

In a pasta pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, snap peas and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing veggies until crisp and tender about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, parsley, avocado, cheese, cooked pasta and reserved water. Toss to combine.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food.
This is a light and flavorful pasta dish. I never thought to add one of my favorite foods, avocado, to pasta. It was awesome! We both LOVED this dish. I can't wait to make it again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spinach Dip with a kick

1 box frozen, chopped spinach; thawed and drained of excess water
1 8 oz block cream cheese; softened
1 can (14-15 oz) Ro*tel tomatoes (diced tomatoes with chili's)
1 package Guacamole mix

Combine all ingredients together. Serve with chips, pita or veggies.

This recipe is so easy and the best spinach dip I have ever tasted. It has a great spice to it and is different from the norm. A co-worker shared this with me and I have been hooked ever since.
Excuse the picture quality - I forgot to snap a picture till there was only a little left. :-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cherry Bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 9 x 2- inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, pecans, lemon peel and baking soda. Stir in the applesauce and oil; mix well. If necessary, knead by hand to combine. Measure 1 cup of the oat mixture; set aside. Press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Carefully spread the preserves evenly over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the reserved oat mixture; pat gently into preserves. Bake about 30 more minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into squares.

Recipe adapted from a State Farm magazine. :-) Chad cut the page for me to make.
We both really enjoyed these bars!
Nutrition facts per bar: 147 cal, 4 grams fat (0 grams sat fat), 0 mg chol, 1 gram protein, 1 gram fiber.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Browned Butter Banana Bread

1 stick butter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 inch loaf pan.

In a medium saucepan over high melt the butter. Once it is melted lower the heat to medium and swirl the butter around the pan instead of stirring it. It will take about 5 minutes for it to brown. Occasionally swirl it. You will notice when it turns brown because it literally, turns brown. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while getting everything else ready.

In a large bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl whisk the eggs then add the mashed bananas, vanilla and the semi-cooled butter.
Add the liquid to the dry mixture. Mix just until incorporated, don’t over mix. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, until it is browned on top and a fork inserted comes out clean. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before cutting and serving.

Recipe adapted from Sing For Your Supper. 
Instead of throwing away my bananas (like I always end up doing), I decided to try a new banana bread recipe.  I am so glad I tried this one... loved it! 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italian Morgue Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic; minced
1 can 28 oz Whole tomatoes; I prefer San Marzano
1 1/2 teaspoons mint flakes
Salt and pepper - to taste

In a medium bowl, combine oil and minced garlic. Add can of tomatoes. Crush tomatoes with your hand. Stir in mint, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with fresh bread and cheese. Also great on steak and chicken!

I am not sure the exact orgin of this recipe, as it has been in our family for years. We love it!
**Spelling may be wrong, please correct me if you know.  :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breakfast Pizza

1 lb sausage (Bob Evan's or Jenni-O Turkey Sausage)
2 cans crescent rolls (Pillsbury Recipe Creations work best because there are no seams)
2 cups frozen hash browns; thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

A cookie sheet with edges that are larger than 9 x 13 works best. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Roll crescent rolls onto cookie sheet to cover bottom; leaving small edges on top and closing all seams. Cook and drain sausage. Mix with hash browns and cheddar cheese. Spread over crescent rolls.
Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour evenly over sausage mixture. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

This is a great recipe to make ahead and keep in the fridge till needed. Perfect for company!

Chad's rating: 10/10
Amy's rating: 10/10 - you really can't go wrong with this one.

Recipe adapted from a co-worker.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mushroom and Gorgonzola Pizza

1 container fresh mushrooms; cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup onion; diced
1 cloves garlic; minced
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts
Olive oil
Pizza crust; I bought a whole wheat already prepared crust

Saute garlic and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms. Saute a few minutes longer until the mushrooms are soft.

Drizzle olive oil over the pizza crust. Top with mozzarella. Then add the mushroom mixture; careful to drain off excess oil. Finally add the gorgonzola, parmesan and pine nuts.

Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

Chad's rating: 9/10
Amy's rating: 10/10 - YUM!

Recipe from my good friend, Ali: found here. She used fresh pizza dough (which I was too lazy to make) and asparagus.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Turkey Sausage Kabobs

1 lb. hot turkey sausage links
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow onion
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper

Prepare a grill or grill pan over medium high heat. Arrange the sausages and cook for 10-12 minutes; turning every couple of minutes. Remove them to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes; then cut them into bite size pieces. The sausage will not be cooked completely, it will finish cooking on the skewers.

While sausage is cooking, core and slice the peppers into bite size pieces. Do the same with the onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and Italian seasoning.

When you are ready, heat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread the sausage, peppers and onions onto the skewers. Brush them with the oil and vinegar mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the skewers on both sides or until they are cooked completely (about 6-8 minutes.)

Chad's rating: 9.5/10
Amy's rating: 9.5/10

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac

1 lb. ground lean turkey
8 oz whole wheat elbow noodles + 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 packet mild taco seasoning
3 oz light cream cheese
1 cup light sour cream
Salt and pepper
Cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according till al dente; drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. 
Meanwhile, brown ground turkey over medium heat till no longer pink; drain. Return to pan and add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes. Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, cream cheese and sour cream. Give it a good stir until cheese is melted and incorporated. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in cheddar cheese right before serving. 

Chad's rating: 10/10
Amy's rating: 10/10 - Easy weeknight meal that is a healthy take on Hamburger helper. :-)

Recipe adapted from Delish

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

3 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 8 hours).
Prepare grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Thread the chicken onto the skewers and discard excess marinade. Place the kabobs on the grill or grill pan; cover. (I used a grill pan and covered the pan with foil.)
Cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 8-12 minutes; turning once or twice during cooking.

Serve with tzatziki sauce and warm pita.

Chad's rating: 9/10
Amy's rating: 10/10 - I love tzatziki sauce and paired with these kabobs was delicious!

Recipe adapted from Annie Eats blog and William Sonoma.
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