Saturday, March 27, 2010

Breakfast Cups

I am not a big breakfast person. In fact, I do not really like breakfast that is hot. Odd, I know. Dave loves weekend breakfast, and I am trying to find more recipes that I enjoy. I am slowly getting a craving for bacon or eggs every once in awhile, so I am not eating cereal or yogurt 365 days a year anymore. Baby steps, but it is working! These breakfast cups are another recipe from Annie's Eats. We enjoyed these on a sunny Saturday morning. I have had this recipe saved for a little while, and I didn't realize just how easy these are to make. If you have some extra time on a week day morning, (which I never do!) you could probably make these for breakfast.

You can alter the recipe to make as many cups as you want. I made us 4, so the ingredients indicate what I used for that amount.

You will need:
*4 slices of bacon
*4lices of bread
*shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
*4 eggs
*salt and pepper
*butter (for pan)

1) Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2) Grease 4 wells of a muffin pan with butter.

3) In a frying pan, cook bacon until partially cooked but not completely crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

4) Cut out rounds of bread with a the top of a drinking glass. Press the bread rounds into the greased muffin wells.

5) Curl a piece of bacon around each piece of bread, placing it between the bread and the muffin tin to help keep it in position. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese in the center of each piece of bread.

6) Crack an egg, remove about half of the white, and drop the remaining white and yolk over a piece of bread, being careful not to break the yolks. Repeat for all of your toast cups.

7) Bake until eggs are cooked through to your liking and bacon is crispy. Timing should be about 6-10 minutes. *I overcooked mine a bit because Dave will not eat runny yolks.

8) Run a knife around the edge of each muffin well and pop the egg cups out. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Another amazingly lightened Mexican recipe!
I found this on Stephanie Cooks, and I immediately knew we would love it. One of Dave's favorite things to order at a Mexican restaurant is an enchilada. Therefore, I have decided to start trying to make some healthier enchiladas at home. We both loved these chicken ones, and they are a tasty, filling, and quick weeknight dinner. I recommend that you try these very soon! They have instantly become one of our favorite dinners. I tweaked the recipe a bit so that it would make more. We each have one for dinner, and then enjoy a leftover for lunch the following day. As with many of our Mexican themed dishes, Dave made beans and rice as a side.

You will need:
*4 whole wheat tortillas
*1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
* 3/4 cup salsa
*1 cup shredded Mexican cheeese
*3/4 cup tomato sauce
*4 tbsp light cream cheese
*ground cumin
*garlic powder
*onion powder
*jalapeno slices

1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- In a small bowl combine the chicken and salsa; stir until coated.
3- In a small saucepan, heat the tomato sauce and cream cheese; stir until well combined. Season to your liking with cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder.
4- Spoon an equal amount of the chicken mixture onto each wheat tortilla. Roll and place side by side in a small baking dish.
5-Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas, make sure all are equally covered.
6- Top with the shredded cheese.
7- Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.
8-Top with jalapeno slices before serving.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Garlic Coconut Shrimp

I love shrimp, and I often order it when we are out to dinner. However, I do not cook with it, and I don't know why. Maybe this is the first of many shrimp recipes to come this spring/summer! This recipe is from Gina's WW blog. I have yet to try a dinner from Gina's blog that we did not enjoy.

You will need:
* 1 1/4 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
* 1/2 cup cilantro
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* kosher salt
* 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
* 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
* 14 oz can light coconut milk
* 1/2 lime, squeezed

1) Heat oil on low in a medium-sized saucepan. Add red peppers and saute until soft (about 4 minutes). Add scallion whites, 1/4 cup cilantro, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for another minute.

2) Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and salt to taste. Cover and simmer on low about 10 minutes to thicken the sauce and blend the flavors.

3) Add the shrimp and cook 5 minutes. (Mine needed a bit longer) Add lime juice.

4) Serve topped with scallions and cilantro.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Vanilla Cupcakes

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
I know that I am a few hours early, but I wanted to be sure to share these cupcakes in time for the holiday. I found this recipe on Picky Palate and was excited to see how easy these treats were. This past weekend was a rainy and windy mess. That did not, however, stop the fun tradition that is Boston's Southie Parade! I brought these cupcakes to my friends' apartment to enjoy during the Irish festivities. I used food coloring to add some green to these vanilla cupcakes. You could use a decorating paste to achieve a deeper green color. Even when March 17th passes, I still think these would be a tasty dessert.

For the cupcakes you will need:
*1 Box yellow cake mix
*4 eggs
*1/2 Cup water
*1/2 Cup vegetable oil
*1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
*1/2 Cup plain yogurt or sour cream
*green food coloring

For the frosting you will need:
*8 oz softened cream cheese
*1 stick softened butter
*1 lb powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, add cake mix, eggs, water, oil, pudding, and yogurt. Mix on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes.
3. Slowly beat in drops of green food coloring until you get your desired shade of green. (As mentioned above, decorating paste will make a richer color)
4. Scoop batter into paper lined muffin tins. Bake for about 18 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar until creamy and thick. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pepper Steak Pockets

This was a weeknight favorite in my house growing up. It is a simple pita pocket dinner that is much better for you than ordering a steak and cheese at a local sub shop! Although this is typically made with ground beef, you could easily swap it out for chicken or turkey. There are also many ways to season this, and we have experimented with quite a few ways. Here is our favorite.

You will need:
*1 pound ground beef (turkey or chicken will work too)
*green bell pepper
*yellow onion
*garlic powder
*Worcestershire sauce
*pitas, cut in half
*cheese, if desired

1) Saute the peppers and onions. *If we have time, we prefer to caramelize the onions.
2)Brown the ground beef; flavor with garlic powder and worcestershire sauce.
3) Combine the peppers and onions into the ground beef pan. Add additional flavors to taste.
4) Serve in pitas and add cheese if desired.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rolls

Sometimes, I think that we could eat Italian every night of the week. One combination I love is alfredo sauce mixed with tomato sauce. As soon as I saw this recipe on the Delish blog, I knew that they would be even better topped with some tomato sauce after baking. Alfredo sauce is tasty, but the overwhelming amount of butter and cream does not often sit well for me. I used a lighter alfredo sauce that I found on Stephanie Cooks. This made a filling, tasty dinner, and we had enough leftovers for lunch throughout the week. If I was to make this recipe again, I would not cook the lasagna roll ups as long because mine seemed to dry out a bit.

First, I made the alfredo sauce.
You will need:
*1-1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
*4 tsp. flour
*1/3 cup PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese
*3 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, divided
*1/8 tsp garlic powder
*1/8 tsp. pepper
*2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1) Beat the broth and flour in medium saucepan with a whisk until well blended. Add the cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, nutmeg, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until mixture comes to boil and thickens, stirring constantly. (This took awhile for me. Although, I think it is a fault of my own because that always happens with cream sauces!)

Now for the lasagna rolls...
You will need:
* 1 lb. chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
* 4 oz. softened cream cheese
* 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped fine
* 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped (omitted because I am an accommodating wife)
* 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. black pepper
* 2 tbs. fresh chopped Italian parsley
* 2 cloves minced garlic
* 8-10 lasagna noodles, cooked as directed and cooled slightly (I cooked these as I made the alfredo)
* 2 cups Alfredo Sauce
*1 cup of tomato sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, cream cheese, spinach, mushrooms, cheese, salt, pepper, parsley & garlic.
3. Spread a ladle or two of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
4. Lay out one lasagna noodle on cutting board, spread about 1/4 cup of the mixture along the noodle and roll up from one end to the other. Lay the roll seam side down in the Alfredo sauce.
5. Repeat with remaining noodles and filling, laying each in the sauce. Then, top the rolls with mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through and cheese is browned slightly on top.
7. Heat the tomato sauce and top as desired.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Buttermilk Bread

I had buttermilk on hand from a previous recipe. Buttermilk is not something I use regularly, and when a recipe calls for it I typically mix some milk and vinegar. I searched recipes to use up my remaining supply of this rare to my fridge product, and I found this on Stephanie Cooks (she found it in Cooking Light). It made a quick and tasty bread loaf. This is the first time I have made any loaf that was not banana bread! This was great with some jam on it for breakfast. Dave and I also enjoyed it plain as an afternoon snack. Then again, I think we could both eat any kid of bread at any time of day, so maybe not everyone enjoys that!

You will need:
*2 cups all purpose flour
*2 tablespoons sugar
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1.5 cups low-fat buttermilk
*1/4 cup butter, melted
*2 large egg whites
*cooking spray

1) Preheat the oven to 350.
2) Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; whisk to combine.
3) Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk, butter, and egg whites into the well. Whisk to combine just until moist.
4) Pour mixture into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
5) Bake for 45 minutes.
6) Allow to cool in the pan on top of a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
7) Remove the bread from the pan, allow to thoroughly cool before slicing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thai Chicken

I am sorry I have not updated this blog all week. We have had one of those unpredictable weeks where something seemed to pull one or both of us away from our dinner plans each night. There were a couple nights this week where a bowl or cereal was all I had time to make! I am really hoping that things settle down, so I can stick to next week's menu plan. This Thai Chicken was amazing. The sauce reminded us of a dish we both enjoy from the Thai restaurant across the street. I found this recipe on Kelly's Kitch (who adapted it from: Biggest Book of 30-Minute Meals by Better Homes & Garden) and knew that the peanut butter sauce would be a winner. Finally blogging about this recipe has inspired me to put it on our menu again soon.

You will need:
*4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I use cutlets)
*4 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk+
(+Market Basket does not carry unsweetened! Stop & Shop and Shaw's both do)
*1/4 tsp black pepper
*1/4 tsp ground ginger
*1 tbsp cooking oil
*1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts

1) In a small mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, peanut butter, ginger and pepper. Set aside.

2) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook chicken breasts until cooked thoroughly. (I then put the chicken in the oven at 250 to stay warm) Add green onions to warm skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. Stir in sauce mixture, stirring until bubbly. Remove from heat.

3) Place chicken on plate and spread sauce over top. Sprinkle with peanuts to serve.