Monday, September 28, 2009

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Oh how I love slow cooker meals! Especially when they call for minimal (and cheap) ingredients ;)


  • 4-6 chicken breasts/thighs (basically, 1-2 per person)
  • 1/2 c. your choice BBQ sauce*
  • 1/2 small/medium onion, chopped OR 1 T. dried onions
1. Place chicken in the crockpot and top with sauce* and chopped onion. Add a splash of water if needed. Cook on low for 6 hours.
2. Shred chicken before serving on buns.

*Use as much sauce as you deem necessary. This could mean half a bottle, slightly watered down... or a full bottle, depending on how saucy you want it. And of course it depends on what size the bottle of sauce is. Also, this recipe would go GREAT with some Spiced Fries - especially if those fries are sweet potatoes! *B

Greek Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Mmm, salad! Mmm, Greece ;) I can't guarantee this tastes as good as baklava, but it's still yummy - and I'm willing to bet lower in fat, too!


  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of spinach, washed and chopped
  • Kalamata olives (black olives are just fine, too)
  • feta cheese
  • red onion, sliced thin
  • grape tomatoes, cut in half (diced Roma tomatoes work well, too)
  • avocado, chopped
  • Greek Salad dressing
  • Rotisserie chicken, stripped
  • croutons (optional)

1. Toss all the ingredients, except the croutons, with the dressing until evenly coated. Add croutons and toss once more.

*This recipe is versatile in that you can add as little or as much of the ingredients as you want (surprise, surprise). Also easy to convert into a more vegetarian friendly meal - just omit the chicken! And as always, enjoy! *B

Grilled Veggies with Spinach/Cheese Ravioli

This is such a great summer dish... heck, it's a great year-round dish! But as far as pasta dishes go, this is won't leave you feeling heavy :)


  • asparagus, snapped
  • onion, chopped
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • red bell pepper, sliced/chopped
  • zucchini, sliced
  • broccoli, chopped
  • olive oil
  • garlic & herb seasoning blend
  • season salt (or salt & pepper)
  • bag of cheese/spinach ravioli, cooked
  • balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

1. Toss your prepped and chopped/sliced veggies with olive oil and spices. Grill* until done (tender with a smidgen of blackness).
2. Add veggies to prepared ravioli and toss with Parmesan cheese; add balsamic vinegar to taste (or leave it on the side for personal preferences).

*Note: First off, you can roast your veggies in the oven at 425 degrees. Just keep your eyes on them and make sure to toss every 5-10 minutes until done. Secondly, of course you could grill some chicken alongside the veggies and chop and mix it all together. But why go and ruin a good thing ;P Thirdly, cook as many (or as little) veggies as you want... although in my humble opinion, the more the merrier! *B

Monday, September 21, 2009

For Reals

You best be sitting down, because what you see before your very eyes is true! I'm updating this mess of a Mess :) I've been wanting to get back on here for quite some time now... in the past year or so I've been asked to teach/cook a couple of health food classes, which forced me to compute my tried and true good-for-you-foods so that others could recreate them, too. So, I've got a slew of recipes I've refined and just recently posted. I know, YAY! Finally.

Also, meal planning seems to be a real interest and need in families nowadays. In my personal experience, having a plan helps you save money by dining in rather than out, and it also helps you to "be the boss" of your food. Which is another way of saying "be the boss" of your body, and the bodies of your family. Meal time is also a great time for the family to get together and bond. I mean, who doesn't love food?!

I sure do! And that's why I'm here. I'm back. *B

Complete Chocolate-Chip Cookies

I LOVE these cookies! They definitely taste healthy, but that does NOT mean they taste bad. They're the perfect little sweat treat. Jam-packed with fiber and protein with the added joy and bonus of chocolate, these cookies are great as a snack or even as a quick breakfast! Give them a try; I bet you'd be surprised ;)

  • 1/3 c. unbleached white flour
  • 1/3 c. wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. wheat germ
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • scant ½ t. salt
  • ¼ c. rolled oats
  • 2 T. almonds
  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick), softened
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • ¼ c. white bean puree*
  • 1 handful chocolate chips
  • 1 handful chopped walnuts (opt.)

1.  Combine flours with wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.  Process oats and almonds in a food processor until fine; add to flour mixture.  Add chocolate chips and nuts and toss. Set aside.
2. Beat butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and white bean puree until creamy.  Fold in dry ingredients.  Drop cookie dough (about 1-2 T.), spaced 2-inches apart, onto nonstick or parchment lined baking sheets.  Gently press cookie dough so it's a little on the flat side, not rounded.
3. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes, rotate sheet and cook another 6 minutes (or until golden brown). Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for two minutes.  Remove cookies and allow to cool on a metal rack.

I will say (out of experience), that the butter is necessary.  But considering all the protein and fiber, I'm willing to overlook the "offending" ingredient ;)  Really, these little cookies are full of so much goodness!  They're my kind of treat.  *B

Breakfast Smoothies

Soooo easy and soooo good for you! A great quick breakfast or snack on its own, but also great alongside a good muffin or quiche -or all three for a true power-house bfast!

  • 1 c. milk, almond/rice
  • 1 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (opt)
  • 2 handfuls of frozen strawberries

1. Blend milk with protein powder, yogurt and banana until smooth.
2. Add frozen strawberries and blend until smooth. Slurrrrrp!

You might want to try sneaking some veggies in, too. Try a handful of baby carrots or raw spinach; whatever you can get away with, do it! *B

Quiche a la Queen

I am the self proclaimed quiche queen... Just in case you didn't know ;) These also freeze great and can be used as fillings for breakfast burritos. A very versatile and overall awesome recipe!

Ingredients: base
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 c. shredded cheese (Romano/Parmesan is amazing, but cheddar is good too)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • garlic & herb blend, to taste (opt)
  • dash of nutmeg (opt)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (opt)
Ingredients: fillers
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 c. prepared hashbrowns (reconstituted dehydrated ones)
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 c. ham, chopped (opt)

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Beat eggs in large bowl. Mix in cottage cheese and shredded cheese; add spices.
2. You can either throw in all your veggies raw, or you can lightly saute the onion, mushrooms and zucchini in olive oil.
3. Add the fillers to your quiche base and mix together.
4. Pour into prepared/DeMarle muffin pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until set. You could also pour into a prepared square baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until set. Serve warm.

*The first three ingredients are my base in any quiche I make. Vary the additional ingredients (fillers) according to your taste and pleasure. I like mine as a garden veggie quiche (so, minus the ham), but I also make a mean ham and cheese quiche (minus all veggies except potatoes and zucchini). It just depends on what you prefer that day! *B

The Mighty Muffin

These are my favorite of all muffins (even bought ones)! They taste like muffins should: a little sweet yet healthy breakfast alternative - unlike a cupcake ;) You can also make a large batch and freeze them; pull them out later as needed. Awesome.

  • 1 c. flour blend*
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 banana, pureed
  • 3/4 c. sweet potato puree*
  • 3/4 c. peanut/almond butter (but I HIGHLY recommend the almond butter rather than peanut butter)
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Mix dry ingredients together - add chopped nuts and chocolate chips and toss to coat; set aside
2. In a large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients (sugar is considered a wet ingredient).
3. Fold dry ingredients into wet, just until mixed. Don't over mix.
4. Add 4 T. per muffin cup - make sure to grease them beforehand. Very important. I use butter on my finger and lightly coat the cups. If you have some paper liners, then go with that. DeMarle also happens to make some bake ware that is pure awesomeness, and does NOT require cups, grease or flour... just FYI ;)
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes

*flour blend is equal parts non-bleached white flour, wheat flour and wheat germ. And you can either make your own sweet potato puree, or you can buy baby food! Pureed carrots or canned pumpkin would also work well. My favorite about this recipe is that there's no oil/butter. Yet they're still really moist, thanks to the goodness known as fruits and vegetables! *B

Coconut Chicken

This sounds yummy and simple enough!


  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. mayonnaise*
  • 1 c. honey mustard dressing
  • 2 c. toasted rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
  • 2 c. grated coconut

1. Pound out chicken to even thickness and slice into strips. Combine mayonnaise* and honey mustard dressing in mixing bowl; add chicken strips and marinate for 8 hours.
2. Place cereal in a plastic baggie and crush until texture resembles cornmeal; add coconut and mix together.
3. Add marinated chicken to bag and toss to coat; or, place cereal/coconut on a plate and dredge the chicken to coat.
4. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and coconut is toasted light brown.

*I'm thinking some plain yogurt might do the trick in place of mayonnaise. The taste may be slightly different; maybe a little tangy, but I don't see it tasting bad... I'll keep you posted! *B

Salmon Fish Tacos

These are THE best salmon tacos you'll ever have! Super easy, super tasty and super duper good for you :)


  • 3 salmon fillets*
  • lemon & pepper seasoning
  • olive oil
  • mango salsa
  • cabbage, shredded
  • 1 can. black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. frozen white corn
  • corn tortillas
  • toppings (sliced avocados, shredded cheese, and Ranch salad dressing)

1. Preheat oven to broil. Lay salmon in baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add lemon & pepper seasoning and rub into fish on both sides. Broil for 5 minutes on each side.
2. Mix shredded cabbage, black beans, and corn with the mango salsa.
3. Flake salmon onto tortillas and top with salsa mixture. Add toppings and enjoy!

*I buy my salmon frozen in individually sealed packages from Costco. There's about 7 individual packages per bag. For this recipe I use 3 packages... obviously, if I had fresh fish on hand, I'd use that! *B

Pizza Stoup

This stoup has everything you'll ever want or need in a pizza! Minus the crust. But the quick solution to that problem is to serve it with bread-sticks ;) Anyway, if there's a particular ingredient you would/wouldn't like on your pizza, then don't put it in the soup!

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can mushrooms OR 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 c. bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 c. pepperoni slices, chopped
  • 1/2 c. ham, chopped
  • 1/2 c. sausage*
  • 1 can Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 c. beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Italian Seasoning, to taste
  • brown sugar, to taste (depends on how sweet a sauce you want)
  • Dried Basil, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

1. Heat a soup pot to medium high. Add just a little (half T. at most) olive oil, and then add sausage and ham.
2. Brown meat and then add onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper.
3. Season with spices; add pepperoni and tomatoes.
4. Stir in broth and bring to boil; simmer 15-30 minutes.

*you can use ground Italian sausage, or slice sausage links. I like to use those specialty chicken sausages, like Amy's... low in fat but very high in flavor! *B