Archives for category: Meals

IMG_20140119_165356Part of a healthy diet is having your fair share of fruits and vegetables. They give you vitamins and nutrients that can ward off illness, provide all-natural energy, and keep you brain in top notch condition throughout the day. But some days it can be difficult to make sure that everything you eat throughout the day includes these super foods. Juicing is a great way to stay on top of your fruit and veggie requirements, without needing alot of time to prep or cook – or eat for that matter! Juicing has also become big in the dieting world to lose weight and detox your body. This particular recipe is great because it contains kale – a super food related to broccoli known for having high levels of beta carotene, vitamin k, vitamin c and calcium. And while it may not look like the most delicious drink to some, it has a surprisingly sweet and delicious flavor that may have you reaching for your greens more often. Simply throw all the items through you juicer, add ice and enjoy your veggies like never before!

5 large kale leaves

1 large cucumber

1 peeled lemon

1 apple

2 large ribs of celery

Do you juice? What’s your favorite green juice recipe?

 

 

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20140202_152851_resizedI just love munchy foods. Anything I can eat with my hands is usually my favorite. These delightful finger foods are so easy and delicious they have quickly become my go-to party food. I recently made these for our Superbowl get together with twice baked potatoes, baked beans, and all the dip you could possibly desire (recipes here). They only cook for about 40 minutes and are even easier to prepare, even if you decide to make your own honey bbq sauce – which of course tastes divine! I found and adapted this recipe from Food.com. Here’s what you do…

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take 18-20 chicken wings (I buy the freezer bag with wings and thighs from Safeway) put them on a greased baking sheet (or I like to use foil for easy clean up) and top with these spices and throw in the oven for 40 minutes:

1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne

While the chicken is cooking you can make your own honey BBQ sauce by mixing these ingredients over low heat:
1 c barbecue sauce
1/2 c honey
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp hot sauce
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
When the chicken is done cooking, take it out and dip the pieces into the sauce you made (or smother with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce). Make sure the pieces are covered and put back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes. All done! Super easy, super delicious, and easy to make alot of them. Happy cooking!!

As I go into 2014 with a new appreciation for healthier foods, I cannot say that I don’t enjoy cheating every now and then. And if I’m going to cheat with anything, it’s going to be one of two things – pasta or cheeseburgers. These two things are my pitfalls, my favorite things to eat anytime and anywhere. This particular pasta recipe is one of my favorites because of all the delicious cheese stuffed into each little shell. It’s also one of my favorites because it’s so incredibly easy to make. Seriously, it only takes me about 20 minutes and baking only takes 30, so you get a beautiful and delicious pasta dish without all the stress and hard work. It takes 3 kinds of cheese – ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan (or sometimes I use the parmesan – romano mixture) – pasta sauce (I usually make my own from scratch), and a box of pasta shells (or you can use the tubes, I just find the shells easier to stuff). Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my own stuffed shells to show you,  but I found this picture on Wikipedia, and it looks exactly the same LOL.

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Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you all had a safe – albeit fun – New Years Eve! And I hope that two days into the New Year, that you are still pumped on all of your New Year’s resolutions! I know I am. Although, I will say that when I had originally started thinking about resolutions, it was the beginning of December. I went to put on a cropped top and I was extremely dissatisfied with what was hanging out – my stomach. I’m not an overweight person by any means, however, I’ve never been one to stick to any type of fitness goals or lead a very healthy lifestyle. This year, I started my resolutions early in December. I started doing yoga daily (or some type of fitness oriented activity) and eating more healthy foods. I figured – why wait!? And so far so good. I actually just signed up for a gym membership as well, which I love, and I have been able to keep myself to a healthy diet rich with fruits and vegetables. One of those vegetables I was so recently introduced to is broccolini. When I first saw it in the produce section, I thought it was just baby broccoli, but after more research I realized it was so much better!! I have incorporated it into a couple different recipes this week, which I will post about later, but for now, I wanted to post my research on this mystery veggie and the best ways to cook it. Broccolini(Image from Wikipedia.com)

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Breakfast – quite possibly one of my favorite meals to eat as well as cook. Now this pancake recipe is easy as pie – forget the bisquick and krusteaz people!! It’s really as easy as just mixing a few ingredients together, and what’s better, is you probably already have the ingredients at home – which is always my favorite.

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Weekends are my favorite – well, I think most people would say that, at least those of us that work during the week. My favorite part about the weekends is breakfast or brunch. Waking up early and drinking my coffee or tea while making something delicious just makes my entire day. And although, I am not a morning person, I would like to think I would be if I had the time every morning to concoct a tasty jump start before hitting the road.

Back before I started this culinary journey, I would make pancakes from the bag – you know the Krusteaz or Bisquick bag of white dust. During that time, I was never a big fan of pancakes. The consistency was always weird, and the taste was bland unless it was flooded in butter and syrup – ick. But, in recent weekends, I’ve started making my own pancakes from scratch. I started simple at first with just regular old pancakes, and the first time I made them I was blown away. There are so many other ingredients besides powder and water to make these delicious, so it’s no wonder the bagged version tastes so boring! I will no longer be using the prepackaged pancake mix. Pancakes from scratch are so easy to make and use ingredients I generally have in my kitchen, so there’s really no excuse to go back.

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In the past, when I have made fajitas I would either grill or pan fry the chicken, and sautee in the bell peppers20131010_175115 and onions. It was always a labor of love standing over the stove to make sure nothing burnt. ugh! But for this version, I was able to cut everything up and bake it all together, which was so much easier! And the way it filled the house with it’s deliciously spicy aroma made it that much better. I found the recipe on http://www.recipesjust4u.com, but changed a few things such as more vegetables and actual diced tomatoes instead of canned. I will definitely be making this again.

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Time for another dollar saving dinner –

Right now I am currently saving for a trip to Hawaii, my  sister’s 21st birthday, fall semester (school is NOT cheap), my vehicle registration PLUS all my other expenses. During times like these it’s important to not sacrifice the quality of the food you eat just because it “feels” like fast food is cheaper.

This dinner has been handed down from my Dad for as long as I can remember (my parents were SUPER savers when it came to making sure their family was eating right). It’s a super simple recipe to conjure and only requires a few relatively low cost ingredients. My sister actually put the meal together this particular time, but it turned out exactly as Dad always made it – delicious every time.

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This will be the first Dollar Saving Dinner Day for this blog. Everyone goes through rough times, or in my case, money saving times when you can’t always just run to the grocery store and buy whatever your heart desires. But that doesn’t mean that you should run to the nearest Jack in the Box for $.99 tacos (although, I am guilty). As I have been continuing my cooking journey, I’ve learned that it’s just as important to be able to make something out of nothing.

So for the first Dollar Saving Dinner Day – We made Tuna Mac. This is one of our go-to staples for a quick and easy cheap dinner. My boyfriend usually makes it (he actually introduced me). It only requires 4 ingredients that most people have laying around (especially if you have kids – I’m a sucker for kids’ food). Let’s get started.

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Growing up my mom frequently made us our own personal french bread pizzas. They were great because the bread was

cheesy!

always nice and fluffy and they were easy to take as leftovers as well as easy to make. For this meal, I decided to make a Pesto Pizza variation. It took me only about 5 minutes to make and about 10 minutes to bake (broil).

I bought sourdough sandwich rolls which are pre-cut, and a small jar of pesto sauce. You could also make your own pesto with basil, olive oil and garlic, but since I do not have a food processor, this was the best option.

You simple spread the pesto over the tops of the separated sandwich rolls, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top, place in the oven for about 10 minutes on broil (I like to leave them until the edges are crispy. I then cut up two large tomatoes to place on top. And there you have it – a super simple yet delicious meal and something a bit out of the ordinary.

(Note: Also did a lactose free variety with Veggie Shreds in mozzarella flavor.)

one of my favorite meals - Personal Pesto Pizza