Friday, December 10, 2010

Chickpeas Please!~

Hello and Happy Friday! So here we are on the rapid countdown to Christmas! I wanted to share this recipe because it is easy to make and will curb your desire for crunchy salty snacks without harming your diet. I am just in the snack"y" mood sometimes and I want crunchy flavorful snacks. This recipe is perfect for those times. I got this idea from whole foods market and made a few small tweaks. I mean isn't everything better tasting when it's roasted?!? Have a wonderful Friday!

What you'll need to get your chickpea on:

1 can of garbanzo beans -- drained and rinsed *organic preferred
1/2 lemon - squeezed on top of the chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika - I used just regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper - (I used limon chili pepper)

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all above ingredients together in a bowl
and line on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40minutes but shake a 1 - 2 times throughout the baking process. Eat right out of the oven and Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coconut Cream Oatmeal!

So it's Hump day! I am glad that the weeks seem to be going by quickly. I think I have adjusted to the time change, but I admit I feel like hibernating once the sun drops down for the night. I hope that everyone is sleeping well, drinking plenty of clean water and trying to eat as balanced and healthy as possible. I wanted to share this oatmeal recipe with you. Not only is this delicious - if you heart coconut the way I do you will looove this - but it is packed full of good, healthy and beneficial things. Plus it feels like a little bite of the tropics on a cold wintry day. I used to just add the coconut butter into the oatmeal which is good too, but I saw this recipe for coconut cream here and had to give it a try!

Go ahead and prepare your oatmeal as directed according to the package and directions - however I do not use water I like to replace the water with unsweetened vanilla almond milk * only 40 calories a cup* and it makes the oatmeal sweet and thick.

Next you will prepare your coconut cream to mix into your oats.
You will want this for the coconut cream:
1 frozen banana
1/4 tsp pure vanilla
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1-2 teaspoons of almond milk

You will want to put the coconut butter/vanilla/almond milk in a small bowl and zap it in the micro for about 15 seconds to soften the coconut butter. Go ahead and toss your banana in the food processor and begin to break it up and add in your coconut butter mixture and whirl it away until it becomes smooth.

Add into your oatmeal and mix together. If it isn't sweet enough for you add 1 packet of stevia to the oatmeal and mix it up. You may want to pop it back in the micro for about 45 seconds or less just to heat it through. The frozen banana makes it thick and creamy, but will make it cool too, so if you want warm oatmeal just give it a quick reheat. You can top with a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut if you wish - and of course I always wish to :-}

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce!

Hello foodies! How are you today? I hope doing great. I wanted to share a simple and delicious spaghetti sauce with you today. It really is easy and smells so good while it cooks. You will be so ready to eat it by the time it's ready after smelling it all day (unless you are not home and you will be pleasantly surprised when you walk in to your house and smell it). This would also work great in a crock pot too. You can make this with lean ground turkey if you want and it is really good that way too. Today I used organic ground beef.

Here is what you will need:
1 lb. of organic beef or lean ground turkey
2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes - I have used all different kinds and Contadina is best in my opinion
1 onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 6 oz. (small) can of tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
about 1/2 tsp sea salt * or to taste

Saute your onion and garlic in a dash of olive oil & add in your seasonings too - for about 5-6 minutes and add in your meat. Brown your meat allowing it to cook through. Add in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir well. If you want to use a crock pot just brown your meat with the sauteed onion an garlic and add to the crock pot and then add in all your tomatoes, cover and cook on low. If you are cooking in a pot just turn it to low and cover. I like to cook mine for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to marinate together. If you like thicker sauce keep the lid slightly cracked, but if you want it saucy just keep the kid on. You may want to stir it about every 30 minutes or so, but even if you don't it will be OK. Cook your noodles and serve! I love whole wheat thin spaghetti
and a pinch of Parmesan cheese on top. This is even better left over so make sure you save the left overs!

OK, I will be back later. Have a fab night :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Because Man Cannot Live on Bread Alone.....It should Be Stuffed with Avocado, Tomato, turkey.....

Happy Monday! Hope that everyone had a good day today. I had a very productive day.

I was able to go to Whole Foods Market today to pick up a few specialty items and I grabbed lunch too. I mean my back was up against the wall; what's a girl to do when faced with all of that delicious food? I love the hot bar they have! So much great food to choose from. I ended up going with a sandwich and it did not disappoint! I love that their lunch meat is organic, nitrite and nitrate free!

I am hoping to be back tomorrow with some new recipes! I just wanted to stop by to say hi! Hope everyone has a good night. See you tomorrow :-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gingerbread Cinnamon Muffins!

Hello and TGIAF! How is everyone? I wanted to make something Christmas-y that wasn't too bad but would satisfy the sweet tooth, so I pulled out my old faithful Southaven Farms muffin mixes out. If you haven't tried these you really should! They are low in fat and made with whole grains and are unsweetened.They make wonderful bases for muffins, pancakes, waffles, and cakes. I mainly use these mixes for muffins and haven't tried one that I don't love! I used one box of the Ginger spice Southaven farm mix with unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup organic raw sugar, 1/2 cup of cinnamon chips and a mix of plain Greek yogurt and low fat organic vanilla yogurt. I just followed the recipe on the side of their box, but replaced the milk with almond mikl and cut back on the amount of sugar. That's it and these are so wonderfully delicious and nothing that will break your diet bank so-to-speak of! I can easily resist some of these more dangerous treats when I have a batch of these on hand. These also store in the freezer perfectly! Here is the Southaven Farms website. I am not paid or sponsored at all by Southaven Farms; I bought these mixes and am giving you my indepent review.

Ya tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Starting To Look Like Christmas! & Skinnychangas

Hello and Happy Wednesday! Whoa!!!!!! we are officially in the month of December. I guess we can start the official countdown to Christmas now. We got the tree and decorations up. The tree is a bit out of sorts...LOL...I need to go through and tidy it up a bit after the 5 & 7 year old. We let them do the majority of the tree decorations and then I go behind them and just straighten it up a bit :-) It is fun.

Today was a wonderful day. I love days like today. The kind of day where the air is cold and crisp, but the sun is warm. I try to get outside and stand in the sun for 10- 15 minutes a day (at least)or longer if I make it out for a nice long walk or run. There is just something about getting some nice sunshine everyday that will always make you feel better.

I have been thinking about burritos for a few days now so this recipe is one that I have had rolling around in my head. It didn't disappoint! It was a hearty and filling burrito and I think you will enjoy it too. You can use lean ground turkey, chicken, or even just the beans, but in my opinion the beef is what makes this burrito. If you have a Trader Joe's near by it is worth the trip for their black refined beans and their salsa verde! Seriously, good stuff. If you do not have a Trader Joe's nearby and cannot find refried black beans you can simply replace them with regular non fat refried beans that all grocery stores carry. I also love these whole wheat tortillas made by La Tortilla Factory. Take a look at the nutritional info:

Here is what you will want to make your burritos:

Makes 8 burritos
8 large burrito shells
1 lb. or lean ground beef (organic is preferred)
1 can of black refried beans
3 small tomatoes diced
1 jar of salsa verde - you will not use the whole jar
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried cilantro *optional
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
very small dash of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Brown up your beef and add in all of your seasonings. Cook through and add in your can of beans and stir well to combine. Allow this to cook for a few minutes and add in your chopped tomatoes. You will want to add about 1/3 cup of salsa verde into this meat mixture and stir. Now take your casserole dish and give it a spray with cooking spray (I like Pam olive oil) and place 1 tablespoon of salsa verde a tortilla and 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into the burrito shell and fold up. Place seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until all of the shells are stuffed. I had some meat mixture left over and will probably throw this on top of some lettuce with some salsa and make a burrito bowl type of lunch so that the leftovers wont go to waste. Spray the tops of your folded burritos and place them in the oven. You will bake them for 15 minutes and turn them being very careful because they will be hot and bake for an additional 6 minutes. I like mine with some low fat sour cream and a dash of hot sauce, but you can top yours with whatever you prefer.
Place 1 tbls of salsa verde on top of your tortilla

Next you will want 1/3 of a cup of your meat/bean mixture

Be sure you spray the bottom of your casserole dish before placing the burritos inside and also spray the tops - this will make them nice and crisp.

You can top them with whatever you like!

I will "see" all of you later. I am working on some healthy desserts because lets face it, we cannot make it through this month without some dessert! Have a good evening!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dinner Part II

Hello! How is it going today? I hope good! We are almost to the half-way mark of the week ;-}

What you need:
4 chicken breasts or 7-9 chicken tenderloins
1 jar of marinara sauce (1 lb 9oz.)
the rice crust casserole that you baked from yesterday's post.
Parmesan cheese
finely shredded Italian cheese

OK, so now for part II continued from yesterdays post. You have an almost full bottle of marinara sauce in the fridge and a casserole dish with a crispy cooked rice crust just waiting to be used. You are going to want to pull that casserole dish out of the fridge to allow the dish to come to room temp a bit before baking - so set it out on the counter while you assemble everything. Be sure to save your tin foil that you used to cover the casserole dish and you can use it to bake the dish in a few minutes. Preheat your oven to 375. Next grab your chicken - you will want about 4 chicken breasts or 7-9 chicken tenderloins. You will also need finely shredded Italian cheese
(or shredded mozzarella if you prefer) and some Parmesan cheese. Layer a bit of marinara sauce on top of the rice crust and spread it out. Next you will add a sprinkle of the parm cheese. Now lay your chicken on top and pour the remaining marinara on top. You will layer the Italian cheese and Parmesan cheese on top. Key here is a little goes a long way!Pop the tin foil back on and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the tin foil and allow the casserole to bake for an additional 15 minutes. This will allow all the cheese to melt and a little bit of a crust to form on the top. That is it! Your chicken will be moist and full of flavor. The rice crust on the bottom gives the dish such a nice flavor. It gives this meal a casserole kind of feel, but really has some great flavors. The key here is in the marinara sauce. So be sure to use a good marinara sauce. I prefer to use Trader Joe's organic marinara sauce or Barilla makes a really good one too! Find one you like and it can make the difference in a good meal vs. a great one!

I served this casserole a long side of beautiful greens with a homemade salad dressing that is one of the best I have tried so far.

I got the recipe from here, but made a minor change. Here is what you will need for this delish salad dressing:

1 tsp. mustard
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup (grade B)
1/4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of 21 salute seasoning from Trader Joe's * or Italian Seasoning*

Combine all of the ingredients and shake well...that's it! HOT TIP* If you want you can soak your glass marinara jar with hot soapy water and clean really well.
You can make your dressing in this jar and it allows for easy shaking whenever you make a salad dressing! These glass jars are so handy!

I will see you later!