Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Southwest Chicken Wontons

Southwest Chicken Wontons
Recipe inspired by Picky palate
Makes 4 Servings

1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup white onions, finely diced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tbsp minced garlic, jarred
1 12 oz. can chunk chicken, drained
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro, finely diced
¼ cup salsa (green or red)
2 tbsp light ranch dressing
32 wonton wrappers (half of pack)
1 egg white whisked with 2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and bell pepper for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic for 1 minute and remove from heat. In a large bowl (or food processor), add onion mixture, chicken, cilantro, salsa and ranch. Mix (or process) until well combined . Lay out all 32 wonton wrappers on wax paper. Place 1 tablespoon chicken mixture in center of each wrapper. Dig fingers in egg white wash, fold over filling and press edges together firmly, forming a triangle. Repeat with remaining wontons. Lay each on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Brush tops with remaining egg white wash. Bake for 10 minutes, flip each over (brush with egg white wash again), then bake for 5 – 10 minutes or until crispy. Serve with salsa or ranch if desired.

Nutritional information (for 8 wontons not including dips): 311 calories, 37 carbs, 7 fat grams and 24 protein grams. To freeze, prepare as stated above (even cook them). Place wontons in freezer bag and freeze. To prepare after freezing, bake from frozen at 350 for 15 minutes.

Review: Um, YUM. I’m a huge fan of wontons of course, so these didn’t disappoint. I used my processor to mix the whole filling into a spoonable dip, and then spooned it on to each one, dipping into a tbsp of ranch. Fabulous! We each had 8 for the serving, then froze the last 16 to test the freezing. It froze wonderfully and tasted just as good as the first time. I’ll be making these again! Love that all 8 make a little meal, but you could also serve as an appetizer of course!
Before folding!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sausage, Potato & Edamame Breakfast Scramble

Sausage, Potato & Edamame Breakfast Scramble
Recipe adapted from Slim Shopping
Makes 4 Servings

1 tbsp coconut oil
12 oz. sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely diced onion
5 links Chicken sausage, cooked
½ cup edamame, beans removed
4 eggs, cracked and whisked together
Siracha, salt and pepper (to taste)

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add onions and sweet potatoes, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and 2 tablespoons of water and cover for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened. Add the edamame and sausage. Cook for another 5 minutes, covered. Remove from the pan, wipe it clean and cook the egg mixture. Serve on the side of the hash.

Nutritional Information: 328 calories, 23 carbs, 17 fat grams and 23 protein grams.

Review: Very good! Different, not what I would think of when I think for breakfast. You could easily sub in a lima bean or a butter bean, but the soy beans were great with the sweet potatoes. The sausage was great too, and went well with the sweet potato and beans. Definitely an easy one and it reheated well at work the next day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stuffed Green Peppers

Stuffed Green Peppers 
Recipe adapted from Blog Chef
Makes 6 Servings

½ tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup onion (chopped)
1 pound 96/4 ground beef
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup uncooked long-grain rice
½ cup water
6 green bell peppers
salt ( to taste)
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
4 oz. shredded 75% fat-free cabot cheddar cheese, divided

In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Heat until fragrant, then add ground beef and onions. Cook for 5 minutes or until beef is browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, rice, ½ cup of water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove the seeds, discard the tops, and place the bottoms into the boiling water; boil for 5 minutes. (you may need to do in batches) Drain and sprinkle salt inside each pepper. Once done, remove meat mixture from heat. Stir in half of the cheese. Preheat oven to 350. Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour the soup over the peppers. Cover with foil (spray inside with nonstick cooking spray) and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, top with remaining cheese and bake for 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 323 calories, 36 carbs, 8 fat grams and 26 protein grams.

Review: Awesome! Loved the tomato soup topper and they reheated wonderfully - even brought them to work in a tub! I will say they take a while, between boiling the pepper to making the mixture to scooping it in, etc. - it can be a bit much. But I think it's worth it and fun for a weekend meal when you have a bit more time. We made it during the week and it took a bit too long for me! Regardless, great, yummy recipe and we'll absolutely have them again.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tortellini Arugula Salad with Balsamic-Tomato Vinaigrette

Tortellini Arugula Salad with Balsamic-Tomato Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Café
Makes 4 Servings

9 ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
8 cups arugula, divided
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
2 oz. crumbled fat-free feta cheese
¼ cup diced red onion
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic, jarred
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/8 tsp salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook tortellini in boiling water until al dente. Drain and let cool in colander. In a small bowl that has a lid, toss all the salad ingredients together. Shake until well blended (process in a blend if you prefer). Prepare 4 bowls; each with 2 cups arugula, 1 tbsp sundried tomatoes, 2 tbsp fat-free feta cheese and 1 tbsp red onion. Top each with 1-2 tbsp of dressing.

Nutritional Information: 377 calories, 36 carbs, 20 fat grams and 15 protein grams.

Review: WOW - this tasted like something I would order at a restaurant! I've never had tortellini in a salad but just love it, and the homemade dressing was AWESOME. I just truly believe that the feta, red onion, the tomatoes - it all just blended and went together perfectly. Note: the original recipe called for spinach as opposed to arugula  and a can of artichoke hearts but I went without that. And I think you could TOTALLY had chicken to this for more protein - yum!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mom's Lemon Chicken

Mom’s Lemon Chicken
Makes 4 servings

16 oz. chicken, raw, diced
1 can fat-free cream of chicken soup
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp tarragon leaves
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
Zest from 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
¼ cup water
2 cups white microwavable rice, cooked
4 cups green beans, cooked

Heat a large pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until brown, about 6 minutes. In the meantime, mix soup, salt, paprika, tarragon, lemon juice and water. Pour mixture over chicken and simmer for 1 hour covered. Stir occasionally. Serve over rice with green beans on the side.

Nutritional Information: 368 calories, 50 carbs, 3 fat grams and 30 protein grams.

Review: Yum - I grew up eating this gravy-like dish and just love it. I requested it so much as a little girl, and it was great to eat it again, albeit a healthified version of it. I thought it tasted pretty dang close to 'the real thing' - and was so glad that I pulled it out of the recipe archives from my mom! Thanks, mom, Austin liked it a lot, too! :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pork Sesame Noodles

Pork Sesame Noodles
Recipe inspired by Stacey Snacks
Makes 4 Servings

½ tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz. spaghetti
16 oz. raw pork medallions, sliced thinly
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp siriacha sauce
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, grated
3 green onions (scallions), diced
handful of fresh cilantro (optional)

Cook pasta per package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly. Remove from heat and put garlic in a bowl. Add sauce ingredients and stir together with a whisk. Set sauce aside. Put pan back on heat (will likely have garlic/oil remnants – that’s great!). Add pork to pan. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until no longer pink. Pour sauce over pork, and add veggies. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Then add pasta, stirring well with tongs, 1-2 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Nutritional Information: 463 calories, 55 carbs, 11 fat grams and 37 protein grams.

Review: Easy, spicy, simple and filling! Love them - will definitely use this easy sauce again, with any meat or with rice instead of pasta. I also loved the veggie blend, and thought it was plenty of sauce for the dish. The cilantro was a nice to have but definitely not a must have. I think this would be a fun one to make your own - thrown in other peppers or onions - cabbage would also be good! Great stir fry - we're adding to the rotation! And FYI - my new food processor was AMAZING for this dish - threw the pepper, carrots and cilantro in there together - easy peasy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Italian Wonton Bites

Italian Wonton Bites
Makes 12 Appetizers

12 wonton wrappers
24 turkey pepperonis
12 tbsp reduced fat spaghetti sauce (3/4 cup)
56 grams reduced fat mozzarella cheese (for inside cups)
28 grams reduced fat mozzarella cheese (for on top of cups)
4 tsp fresh, shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, diced, as garnish
Red pepper flakes to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Spray nonstick spray into muffin tins. Add one wonton wrap to each muffin cup and add 14 grams of cheese for each 3 cups/serving. Bake for 8 minutes – checking frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from oven, add 1 tbsp sauce and 2 pepperonis to each cup. Top with final ounce of cheese across each cup, 1 tsp of parmesan across each set of 3 cups and sprinkle each with basil.

Nutritional Information (per cup): 55 calories, 9 carbs, 2 fat grams and 4 protein grams.

Review: Yummy! These were saucy, so they were a tad messy! I'd suggest using less sauce to make them a little bit easier to manage, or doubling up the wontons so they can hold it better. Other than this, I'd make them exactly the same - great little bites, fun appetizer and flavorful. Good bites - LOVING making recipes with wontons!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Eggs & Sweet Potato Hash

Eggs & Sweet Potato Hash
Recipe inspired by Paleo Plan
Makes 4 Servings

2 tbsp coconut oil
12 oz. sweet potato, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 links Jenie-O Sweet Italian turkey sausages, sliced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
4 eggs
Dash of pepper
Optional side: mushrooms

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add onions and sweet potatoes, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the sausages and continue to cook until sausages are browned and sweet potatoes are slightly softened. Add bell peppers and 1 tbsp of water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are completely soft; stir frequently to ensure it doesn't stick. Meanwhile, cook eggs in remaining coconut oil. Season eggs with black pepper and serve on the side of sweet potato hash.

Nutritional information (per serving): 301 calories, 23 carbs, 17 fat grams and 15 protein grams.

Review: Amazing! Seriously - my first time using coconut oil and I will absolutely be using it again. It goes so well with sweet potatoes, and gave the hash an amazing, almost sweet, flavor. This reheated well, too - I just heated it for 1 minute on medium heat, then 30 seconds on high heat. I also had a steamed mushroom on the side, just for fun. :) Austins's mom gave me a steamer a while back, and i've been using it left and right for potatoes, veggies and more - good stuff.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

North Indian Style Chicken

North Indian Style Chicken
Recipe inspired by Sunset Magazine
Makes 4 Servings

3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms
2-in. piece fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ pound boned, skinned chicken thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
5 - 10 oz. baby spinach
8 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1/2 of lemon yields)

In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, mince ginger. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, coriander, cumin and salt to pan; sizzle a few seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until no longer pink on the outside. Add tomatoes and simmer, covered, 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer, covered, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, chop enough cilantro to yield 1 cup. Stir into pan, along with lemon juice.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 389 calories, 17 carbs, 19 fat grams and 39 protein grams.

Review: WOW. First of all, chicken thighs are awesome. I've never cooked with them as I've always gone for lean meats, but with paleo, fattier meats are on the menu! This dish made me not even miss the carbs - I loved all of the flavors, the spicy sauce, the mushrooms - just a great dish. I could easily see having this over cauliflower rice next time - having some "rice" would be great!