Category: Recipes

Recipes & cooking

Easy Pasta with bacon, peas and lemon

pasta with bacon

Last night was another “clean out everything in the fridge” night. I was away this weekend at a conference and haven’t been to the grocery store in over a week so when I got home on Sunday night I was truly at a loss as to what to make for dinner. I debated calling for Indian take out but my checking account is verging dangerously close to a $0 balance. All my bills happen to come out in the first few weeks of the month and so I always have to be a little more careful in the beginning of the month. So, even though every fiber in my being wanted to call for take out or delivery I decided to open my almost empty fridge and see what I could scrounge up for dinner. (more…)

Turkey chili rice

turkey chili rice

I couldn’t think of what else to call this recipe. It’s sort of a combination of turkey chili and fried rice. Or maybe it’s just a chili recipe that I added rice to. Whatever. It’s not a very creative name but the recipe itself did turn out yummy and it comes together really quick too.

It was a last minute dinner, as many of mine are, and I came up with this recipe as a way for me to clean out my fridge and pantry. I used ingredients I always have on hand like rice, diced tomatoes, black beans, onions, garlic and spices. These kinds of dinners don’t always turn out well but in this case, it did. It’s pretty healthy too. Except I served mine with a generous helping of cheddar cheese and a big handful of crunchy tortilla chips. I wound up eating the “turkey chili rice” like a dip, using the chips as my utensils. So, if you eat it that way it’s not that healthy. It’s pretty good on it’s own too so the chips and cheese are optional. (more…)

Whole grain pasta shells with sausage, spinach and tomato

whole grain pasta

Pasta and portion control. Two areas of weakness for me. I’m actually going to try to make pasta less because I just can’t control myself around the stuff. This will be tough because pasta is so easy to make and it’s so versatile. On those busy days and nights it’s the perfect go to for a quick and tasty meal. But in an effort to eat less carbs and work on portion control I’m trying to branch out and make other things for dinner. That’s not to say I’m giving up pasta for good though (duh, I’m not crazy) as evidenced by the title of this blog post.

This particular pasta dish is actually quite filling which helps with the portion control aspect. It still requires some self control because it’s so delicious but the whole grain shells, the lean chicken sausage and the fresh spinach do help to fill you up. The wine adds another layer of flavor to the sauce and a pinch of red pepper gives the dish a kick. They say that spicy food helps make people feel more full. I haven’t found that to be true, but you may want to add more red pepper if you think you can handle the heat! (more…)

Asian turkey sloppy joes

asian turkey sloppy joes

Oh my gosh. You guys these turned out so good. I’m so excited to share the recipe with you. To be honest, I don’t cook with ground turkey all that often and I’m not sure why. It’s inexpensive, quick cooking, healthy and a blank canvas which means you can flavor it with almost anything. I was at Trader Joe’s the other day and the ground turkey was on sale so I bought a few packages even though I didn’t really have any specific dish to make in mind. I figured ground turkey was versatile enough I could find something in my pantry that would flavor it well. (more…)

Thai chicken and green bean stir fry

thai chicken and green bean

As part of my effort to stick to my New Year’s resolution to lose weight, eat more veggies, etc., I was browsing through the Weight Watcher’s website the other day looking through some recipes. I didn’t have any good ideas for dinner that night so I was looking for anything healthy that would spark my interest. I came across a chicken and green bean stir fry. The recipe sounded really good but I decided to change quite a few things. I made it spicier and I also put some crunchy peanuts on the top at the end. This makes it slightly higher calorie but it’s still very healthy. Plus, like most things, peanuts are good for you in moderation. (more…)

Fish tacos with chipotle broccoli slaw

fish tacos

Like thousands of other people in the world, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and eat healthier. These fish tacos are part of that effort. Many studies suggest everyone should try and eat fish twice a week. It’s low in saturated fat and high in protein and eating it regularly offers many health benefits. Fish is also fairly simple to cook. Some of my go to fish purchases include cod, tilapia, and halibut depending on what is on sale and what is fresh that day. I also buy salmon regularly but salmon has a really strong flavor and isn’t as versatile as the other white fish I just named. Cod, tilapia and halibut are blank canvases because they are so mild in flavor. In this recipe I happened to use cod. It’s fairly inexpensive and holds up really well in these tacos. (more…)

Buffalo Chicken Dip

buffalo chicken dip

There must be a thousand different recipes for buffalo chicken dip. This one is by no means healthy but it’s pretty much the most delicious thing you could eat and it’s incredibly easy.

On Christmas day my sister in law asked me to help her get some of the appetizers ready. She worked on the bruschetta and I worked on the buffalo chicken dip. I also made Ina Garten’s stuffed mushrooms which are to die for, just fyi. This is essentially my sister in law’s recipe for buffalo chicken dip. I may have changed some of the measurements but she is the true mastermind behind this dip. To be honest I was never that thrilled by buffalo chicken dip. I mean it’s good and all but there are definitely other appetizers I’d rather be eating. But for some reason I couldn’t stop eating this one on Christmas day. So, I decided to make it again for New Year’s Eve and just as I suspected, it went over really well. (more…)

Easy steak & black bean quesadillas

quesadilla 3

Mmm…Quesadillas. These quesadillas are my go to quick, easy and satisfying dinner. What’s not to love about a warm, crispy tortilla oozing with melted cheese and meat or vegetables? The awesome thing about quesadillas is that they are incredibly versatile. You can stuff them with just about anything as long as you start with a tortilla and cheese. You could leave out the cheese but why on earth would anyone want to do that? Plus its the glue that holds the quesadilla all together. So, scratch that. You cannot make a quesadilla without cheese BUT you can make them vegetarian or use chicken, shrimp, beef or any other kind of filling you prefer. (more…)

Eating light before turkey day with Asian flavored cod

cod 1

I started following weight watchers again about 2 weeks ago. I did it once before and lost about 20 pounds. Unfortunately, I’ve put all that weight back on in the last few years. I probably couldn’t have picked a worse time to start trying to lose weight. I mean Thanksgiving is two days away and there are often pre Thanksgiving events, like Friendsgiving, that are just as calorie heavy as turkey day itself. But there is always an excuse to NOT lose weight. In the summer there are barbecues and cookouts. In the winter, when it’s cold, it’s easy to load up on carbs and comfort foods like mac and cheese. Each season brings with it a number of holidays where food is involved. You have to learn how to navigate those holidays with moderation, balance, and eating well beforehand. This is one of the reasons why I love the Weight Watcher’s program so much. It’s not a “diet” in the traditional sense. It’s more of a lifestyle change. (more…)

Friendsgiving and an Old fashioned Green bean casserole

friendsgiving

In my family we like to try out new dishes and we often create unique twists on traditional recipes for Holiday meals. However, we are also suckers for the classics and one classic we ALWAYS, always have at the dinner table every Holiday, no matter what, is my grandmother’s green bean casserole (pictured on the right in between the mac and cheese and brussels sprout salad). However, there are no crunchy onions in this version. It’s also by no means healthy and it’s old fashioned because, yes, it does call for one of those Campbell’s cream of whatever soups (no judgement please), but if you can get past that I promise you this casserole is delicious and is always the first thing to go at any of our Holiday parties. I live by the motto, “everything in moderation” and so I treat myself to this delicious casserole on Holidays. (more…)

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