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What I Made Monday

I’ve decided I will never have time to post what I made Monday ON Monday… but that is ok, because I like the title. For all you know, I could have made it Friday! Anyway, I made a very yummy, healthy & super easy recipe Monday.  SO easy.  If you can boil water and turn on the oven, you can make this.  If you trust your kid to handle boiling water, they can even make it.  E-A-S-Y.

I would say the recipe is courtesy of Emeals, but I have made this before I knew Emeals existed, they just put it in my recipe rotation for this week.  (I still love ya Emeals and truly appreciate the recipes you list that are just so easy I can replicate it from memory in the future.)

Baked Ravioli (made by me, re-inspired by Emeals)
1 package of frozen cheese ravioli (or meat filled, I have used both), about 24 oz.
1 jar of pasta sauce (I personally love a good garlicky pasta sauce)
1 package of shredded mozzarella, about 2 C.  If you want to make it skinnier, reduce to 1 C.

THREE ingredients – what is easier than that????

Cook the ravioli according to package directions.  Drain. Place in sprayed 9×13 baking dish.  Open jar of pasta sauce, pour over cooked ravioli.  Open package of mozzarella, sprinkle over pasta sauce.  Stick it in the oven. Bake about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbly.

If you wanted to get all wild & crazy, you could probably sprinkle on some extra Italian seasoning or fresh basil from the garden (which I just remembered we have in our garden… that would have been so good!) or add some chopped green peppers, fresh mushrooms, etc.  But the 3 ingredient version is pretty darn tasty!

I was enjoying making such an easy recipe that I forgot to take pictures until I was pulling the gooey cheesy yumminess out of the oven:

 

I served it with a simple lettuce & tomato salad:

I didn’t enter this recipe into MyFitnessPal to calculate nutrition info, but the entire recipe makes 6 servings and I estimate it to be about 325 calories per serving, depending on how much cheese you use!

Enjoy!

What was for dinner at your house?

Gluten-free Granola Bars

I have been wanting to make my own granola bars for awhile: they look like a simple thing to do, I would know what was in them and I knew I’d be able to make way more than 6 for $3, which is what I end up spending on some of my favorites. So I scoured Pinterest for something yummy and healthy. The result was a gluten-free recipe with lots of nuts and dried fruits. I just made the recipe for the first time and I can’t wait for them to cool enough to eat! Trust me, I already licked the spoons! That little preview was amazing!

I pinned the recipe on my pinterest profile. Or you can find the original recipe published here. Here’s how I made mine:

Gluten-free Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free)
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup raisins (or any combo of dried fruit to make 1 cup)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not that fake stuff that’s actually dressed up corn syrup)
4 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance soy free butter)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mix together all dry ingredients (oats, seeds & nuts) on the baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and toast the dry ingredients for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent them from burning. As soon as the ingredients are toasted, remove the pan from the oven.

While the dry ingredients are toasting, line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Next, place a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add in the brown sugar, honey, butter, cinnamon and salt. Bring the mixture to a strong boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Place the toasted ingredients in a large bowl, and stir in the dried fruit. Pour the honey-sugar mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are moist and well combined.

Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing down to evenly spread out the mixture. At this point I was ready to ditch the bars, grab a spoon and go to town! Set the baking sheet aside and let the bars cool for 2-3 hours until they are hardened.

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Once the bars are hard, remove them from the baking pan and turn the granola out onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment paper. Cut the granola into bars by pressing straight down with a long knife (don’t saw or they will crumble) – I cut mine into 24. The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature individually wrapped in plastic wrap for up to a week or in individual snack baggies.

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So I tried one… YUMMMMMMOOOO! And I’m looking forward to trying some variations, I’m thinking one with chocolate chips, one with peanut butter & banana chips, one with more almonds… Oooh the possibilities! What would you put in a granola bar?

Nutrition info per bar:
165 calories, 5.1 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbs, 4.8 g protein

What I Made Monday

Are you sick of me yet? 3rd post today!  A little late, but here’s what I made Monday.

Be proud of me.  I had to teach summer school Monday, had a headache, an “eh” workout, but I still came home and cooked!

Penne Primavera with Rotisserie Chicken and salad (courtesy of Emeals)

Ingredients:
16 oz. penne pasta (I had rotini so I used that)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
2 green bell peppers, diced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. water (my recipe looked plenty liquidy so I omitted this)
3 T. Worcestershire sauce (forgot I was out of this, so found out soy sauce can be substituted)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta as directed, drain and set aside.  I also made some Gluten Free Penne from Heartland.  Have you ever tried it? It tasted like real pasta! Very yummy.

Saute veggies and garlic in olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Add water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cooked pasta and heat for 4-5 more minutes.  My skillet couldn’t possibly hold the pasta too, so we just served the veggies on top of the pasta and topped that with Parmesan cheese.

We had the rotisserie chicken (pre-made from the grocery store) and a salad on the side.  I was so hungry, I completely forgot to take a picture of our plates, but it was delicious!

What I Made Thursday Instead of Monday

I haven’t cooked the last couple of Mondays, but I had made this quiche a week or so ago and people at work were asking me for the recipe.  I had all the ingredients and it’s super easy to throw together so I made it tonight for the blog (well, and of course to eat!).

Southwestern Quiche (thank you, Emeals!)

1 C Southwestern egg substitute – this is great! It already has the peppers and onions mixed in the eggs!
1/2 C FF evaporated milk
1 C shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp. salt (I omitted this and never missed it)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 deep dish frozen pie shell

(The egg substitute, evaporated milk, pie crusts and pre-shredded cheese I bought had enough in their containers to make the second quiche tonight – super easy & one shopping trip for two quiches? – double bonus!)

Let the piecrust thaw on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes while the oven preheats and you are mixing your ingredients.

Combine the egg substitute, milk, cheese, eggs, salt & pepper and pour into piecrust.

Bake 25-30 minutes at 325 (mine took more like 35 minutes) or until eggs become firm.  Divide into 6 servings.

Nutrition info per serving: 288 calories, 23 grams carbs, 16 grams fat, 13 grams protein

You could make this skinnier by omitting the pie shell and making it a fritata instead.  I served this with a simple salad. Mmmmm….. enjoy!

What I Made Monday – Slow Cooker BBQ

We’re having some crazy warm spring weather.  Last Monday – 80, this Monday – 85!  I decided not to repeat the soup route for this week.  Barbecue is much more my style for this weather! I loosely followed an Emeals recipe – very loosely.  Also took some suggestions from a friend’s recipe posted on Facebook.  The results? Yummmmmmm!

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Breasts (6 servings)

Ingredients:
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts – do not thaw!
1 cup water
1 cup favorite barbecue sauce
Garlic powder, onion powder, or whatever seasonings you might want

First, I lined my slow cooker with a Reynolds slow-cooker liner.  (Side note: these things are awesome!  If you don’t currently use them, you must – clean up is a breeze!)

Then I placed the still frozen chicken in the crock.

Poured in the water & barbecue sauce.

Then I sprinkled seasonings on top.

I popped the lid on and programmed my slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours.

When I got home from work, I shredded the chicken and mixed it back in the juicy sauciness in the cooker.

It warmed while I prepared the rest of dinner – corn and salad.  I served the shredded chicken on Orowheat Sandwich Thins with an extra tablespoon of barbecue sauce.

It was a hit with the whole family!  Hubby had seconds and lil’ man was over-stuffing his face (as usual). The only thing I would do differently next time is either drain the meat better or not use the sandwich thins as they got soggy bottoms.

Nutrition info for chicken only (per serving): 226 calories, 3.3 grams fat, 20 grams carbs, 26.7 grams protein

What was for dinner at your house tonight?

What I Made Monday: Turkey Vegetable Soup

Today it was 80 degrees! In March?!? And what was for dinner? SOUP. Nice, hot soup…  I so wasn’t feeling it, but it I had all the ingredients and the meat needed to be used, so we had soup.

Turkey Vegetable Soup (recipe compliments of Emeals)

Ingredients for 6 servings (1 1/2 cups each)

20 oz ground turkey breast
2 14 oz. cans fat-free beef broth (I also used the reduced sodium, but when I make this again I think I will try at least one can of the non-reduced sodium broth, because I ended up adding quite a bit of salt)
14 oz. can stewed tomatoes, original recipe
16 oz. bag (froze) mixed vegetables
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Spray a large Dutch oven with non-stick spray and brown turkey over medium heat stirring often to crumble turkey.  I used my great Mix n’Chop utensil from Pampered Chef, which made quick work of the crumbling.

Sprinkle flour over turkey, then slowly add broth to pot. Mix well.

Add tomatoes, vegetables, salt & pepper.  Cover & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. 

Nutrition info per serving: 205 Calories, 18 grams carbs, 1 gram fat, 27 grams protein

I served the soup with a simple green salad (thank you, bag o’salad!) and buy-it-in-the-frozen-section garlic toast.

It was pretty tasty, but soup is so flexible that I really should have played with it a bit more to improve the taste as it was a little bland.  The hubby suggested adding taco seasoning to the meat and making it a taco soup.  I thought using the Italian recipe stewed tomatoes (that has added oregano & garlic) would have been great in addition as well as throwing in Italian seasoning or a combo of basil, oregano, thyme, etc.

What are your go-tos for enhancing bland foods?

What I Made Monday

This Monday I made one of my most favorite meals in a long time.  It’s called Crispy Panko Chicken, served with Balsamic Green Beans and Skinny Potatoes, again all courtesy of emeals! Each recipe was 6 servings.

I totally forgot to take pictures until we had the chicken on our plates and lil’ man was asking for seconds.

You need:

1 C panko breadcrumbs
1/2 C shredded Parmesan
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast meat, pounded thin (I cut mine into strips instead and it worked quite well)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt (I omitted this and we couldn’t tell)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 C Dijon mustard
2 T water

In a shallow dish, toss together panko crumbs, cheese, olive oil, salt & pepper.  In another shallow dish combine Dijon & water.  Coat chicken in mustard mixture and dredge in panko mix.  Bake on sprayed (absolutely, or use parchment paper) baking sheet 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown. (Per serving: 225 Calories, 8 grams carbs, 10 grams fat, 27 grams protein)

I served this with Balsamic Green Beans (also from emeals) which consisted of microwaving a 16 oz bag of frozen green beans and tossing with 2 T balsamic vinegar, 1 T brown sugar, 1 t Dijon mustard, 2 t olive oil, salt & pepper.  Yum! (Per serving:  29 calories, 4 grams carbs, 2 grams fat, 0 grams protein)

We also had Skinny Mashed Potatoes.  Peel & dice 6 medium potatoes.  Boil until tender (mine took about 20 minutes) then mash with 3/4 C fat-free chicken broth and as much garlic powder as you want.  Salt & pepper to taste.

The family review went well!  Lil man even gobbled up the green beans and wanted more of everything.  Hubby & I also loved everything.  Ate the last of the leftovers today and I think I’ll have to make more.  It was super yummy!

What I Made Monday: Spicy Tilapia

I had put off making the Spicy Tilapia for awhile because one: I had other recipes with soon to be expired (or rotten) ingredients and two: I usually pick fish recipes as the last thing I make.  I am not a huge fish fan, unless of course it is deep fried with loads of tartar sauce.  So I guess I should say I am not a healthy fish fan (HFF) because it tastes like… fish.  So I reluctantly made this recipe knowing there would be leftovers we could eat on a Friday in Lent and because if I waited much longer the ingredients for this recipe would be composting in my produce bin.

Here’s what you need for this Emeals recipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia (I used Swai because my local wally world was out of tilapia)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled & diced (remember the compost comment? yeah, my potatoes were composting in the pantry, so I used some frozen diced potatoes)
  • 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (I used yellow squash because while I am not a HFF I am also not a zucchini fan unless we’re talking zucchini bread, then I’m all about it.)
  • 1 14 oz. can no-salt-added corn, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 3 limes (again, composting lime in the crisper meant I only used 2 limes)
  • garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • 6 large sheets foil (each of my sheets were big enough to line a cookie sheet and that seemed to work pretty well)

Steam or microwave potatoes until just tender.  I skipped this & I shouldn’t have.  I thought since I was using frozen potatoes they would thaw easily in the oven, but instead I had to increase my cooking time.

Place each fillet on a sheet of foil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top each fillet with zucchini (yellow squash)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…then with potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…then with garlic powder, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup salsa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally squeeze 1/2 of a lime over top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fold foil over fillet and tightly seal. Bake 20 minutes at 350 F or until fish flakes easily with fork.  (I ended up baking mine for nearly 45 minutes since I didn’t thaw my potatoes beforehand.)  Open packets carefully and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition facts per serving (6 servings): 165 calories, 21 g carbs, 3 g fat, 19 g protein

It turned out that even though I am not a HFF, this was pretty tasty.  Even the lil’ man scarfed it down and requested “more chicken!”  Whatever works for you honey… I will totally let you think it’s chicken and maybe you will one day really be a HFF.

What I Made Monday (er… Tuesday)

Welcome to a new series on my blog!  I want to share some of the yummy goodness our family eats each week.  I have said before I just love subscribing to Emeals!  They make my life so much easier with their delicious meals and pre-made grocery list.  Normally this will be the dinner meal I made on Monday, but this Monday I had dinner out with my dad, his wife and my aunt and uncle who were visiting from out of town.  So this installment is What I Made Tuesday, courtesy of my Emeals Portion Control Menu!

This week’s dish: Italian Smoked Sausage & White Bean Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

14 oz. package smoked turkey sausage (I used Hillshire Farms Turkey Polska Kielbasa)
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 C. diced tomatoes (since tomatoes are not in season yet, I used a can of Italian diced tomatoes)
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 whole carrots, chopped
15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed & drained
14 oz. can fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice sausage on the diagonal in 1/2″ slices.  Heat sausage & garlic in a large sprayed stock pot until browned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to boil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover, lower heat, simmer 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Add small amounts of water if needed.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition information (per serving): 201 calories, 18 grams carbs, 6 grams fat, 17 grams protein

Family thoughts: Hubby:  “This is really good, babe.”  Toddler: “More hot dog pwease!” (We told him the meat was hot dogs – hey, it worked!)  It was pretty delicious!  Of course, I welcome your suggestions and feedback, too. Enjoy!

Big Games & Skinny Snacks

My husband and I have different…. um…. tastes? when it comes to college teams.  I prefer to support the blue & red of KU, he the black & gold of MU.  Hence the Border Showdowns are always a big deal in our house.  Along with the Border Showndown this weekend is the Super Bowl!  I really don’t care about the Giants or Patriots, but I love the commercials and hope my little boy won’t make us miss anything (thank goodness for DVR!).  But one of the other highlights of all these fun sports weekends are the SNACKS!  Now, normally we would head on over to Wally World and peruse the frozen food snacks and load up our cart with pizza rolls, mozzrella sticks, loaded potato skins and then go find the chips and dip, maybe some cookies or brownies… <squealing tires> NOT THIS YEAR!!!

Enter… Pinterest!  If you are not yet a member of Pinterest, leave a comment below with your e-mail and I will be happy to invite you! So when I knew I was not going to allow myself to eat the frozen food fest, I searched on Pinterest for “skinny receipes.”  I found some fantastic sounding recipes (check out my Skinny Recipes To Try pinboard).  So for the big games this weekend I whipped up Skinny Seven Layer Bean Dip,  Salsa Roll-Ups,  Mozzarella Sticks and Crab Rangoon.  We haven’t tried the Mozzarella Sticks yet, but the recipe sounds A-mazing!  I also played with the Skinny Seven Layer Bean Dip and Roll Ups to make them even skinnier!  Here are the recipes with the calorie counts as calculated by My Fitness Pal.

Skinny Seven Layer Bean Dip

  • 1 (15 1/2 oz) can fat-free refried beans
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Kraft 2% Cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 tomato, chopped

Directions:
1. Mix beans, chili powder and cumin together; spread onto bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.

2. Top with layers of remaining ingredients and refrigerate several hours.

3. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Yield: 32 Servings
Serving Size = 2 tbsp per serving. 25 Calories per serving

Skinny Salsa Roll-Ups

  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. your favorite salsa
  • 4 flour tortillas (6 inch)
  • 1/2 cup mexican style 2% milk finely shredded cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder

Directions:

1. Mix  cream cheese and salsa; spread onto tortillas. Top with remaining ingredients.

2. Roll up tortillas tightly. Cut each crosswise into 5 slices

10 Servings (2 little roll-ups per serving) 78 Calories per serving.

Baked Crab Rangoon

They aren’t nearly as pretty looking as restaurant crab rangoon!

  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 14 won ton wrappers
  • 1 small green onion
  • 4 oz surimi imitation crab (I used one can of real crab)
  • 3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Stir in crab and onion.

Place 2 teaspoonfuls in the center of each wonton wrapper.

Moisten edges with water; bring corners to center over filling and press edges together to seal. Cover crab rangoon with damp paper towel as  you work to keep wontons from drying out.

Place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray or parchment paper.

Lightly spray wontons with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake at 425 °F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 14 Crab Rangoon (2 Per Serving) 78 Calories per serving.

Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

  • 12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (Sargento)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • olive oil cooking spray

Directions:

Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.

In small bowl, whisk the egg.  Place the flour on another small dish.  In separate bowl,combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley.

Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs. Repeat this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer until ready to bake (this is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).

When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet.  Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Turn and bake an additional 4 – 5 minutes watching them closely so they don’t melt.

Makes 24 pieces. 2 pieces per serving. 87 Calories per serving.

What yumminess (skinny or otherwise) are you enjoying for the Super Bowl?

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