Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cheese& Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ok, so this is one of the tastiest things I have ever's so good. I have had this recipe since freshman year of college.

Cheese & Chicken Enchilada Casserole (one of our favorites!)
Serves 4 (it serves more like 6-8)
1c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I used lowfat)
1c chopped tomato
1 can black beans
1 c corn
3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1c cottage cheese (I used fat free)
1/3 c sliced green onions
2t chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
9 corn tortillas
1 c enchilada/taco sauce
1/4 c shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 T chopped green onions

Boil chicken and shred it with 2 forks.

Preheat oven to 375*. Combine 1st 9 ingredients.

Arrange 3 small tortillas or 2 large ones in bottom of greased 11x7 pan. Spread 1/2 of cheese mixture over

Repeat procedure w/ 3 tortillas and remaining tortillas.
Pour taco sauce over tortillas, sprinkle with Monterey jack cheese.

Bake @ 375 for 20 min or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with 2T of
green onions.

Some of you may want to copy & paste it, so here's the recipe without pictures:
Cheese & Chicken Enchilada Casserole (one of our favorites!)
Serves 4
1c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1c chopped tomato
1 can black beans
1 c corn
3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1c fat free cottage cheese
1/3 c sliced green onions
2t chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
9 corn tortillas
1 c enchilada/taco sauce
1/4 c shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 T chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 375*. Combine 1st 9 ingredients. Arrange 3 tortillas
in bottom of greased 11x7 pan. Spread 1/2 of cheese mixture over
tortillas. Repeat procedure w/ 3 tortillas and remaining tortillas.
Pour taco sauce over tortillas, sprinkle with Monterey jack cheese.
Bake @ 375 for 20 min or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with 2T of
green onions.

Texas Caviar

This is a yummy bean dip! Via my Grandma via my Uncle Bill. I made it for Easter weekend and it was very good. I cut back on the sugar and it was still good. Excuse the cloudy pic taken from my phone.

Texas Caviar

1 can pinto beans

1 can black beans (or black eyed peas)

Drain and rinse beans

2 11 oz cans shoepeg corn (or 1 can of white corn)

1 cup green pepper

1 cup diced celery

1 cup onion

Boil over medium heat and cool

¾ cup oil

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Marinate overnight: drain and serve with corn chips.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beef & Bell Peppers with Lemon Grass

Extremely Easy
Serves 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 lb lean beef tenderloin
2 T vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 lemon grass stem, shredded finely
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 onion, sliced thickly
1 T lime juice
boiled noodles or rice

1. Cut beef into long, thin strips, cutting cross the grain.
2. Heat the oil in large skillet or wok over a high heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 1 minute.
3. Add beef and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes, or until lightly colored. Stir in the lemon grass and ginger, and remove wok from the heat.
4. Remove the beef from the skillet or wok, and keep to one side. Add the bell peppers and onion to the skillet or wok, and stir-fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes or until onions just turn golden brown and are slightly softened.
5. Return the beef to the skillet, stir in lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper Serve with noodles or rice.

Saute of Chicken, Corn & Snow Peas

Madison & I both do not like baby corn, so we omitted it. This is from my low fat cookbook again. It was really good! I would have added garlic and maybe a little bit more sauce, but other than that it was great!
I halved the recipe and it was just a bit more than we could eat.

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
9 oz baby corn
9 oz snow peas (I just had a bag of them from the other day, I think I used more than it called for but it was good!)
2 T sunflower oil
1 T honey
1 T sherry vinegar
1 T light soy sauce
1 T sunflower seeds
rice or egg noodles to serve

1. Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts into long, thin strips. Cut the baby corn in half lengthwise, and trim the snow peas. Set veggies aside until required.
2. Heat sunflower oil in a wok or wide skillet, and cook the chicken over a fairly high heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
3. Add corn and snow peas and stir over moderate heat for 5-8 minutes, or until evenly cooked.
4. Mix together the sherry vinegar, honey, and soy sauce, and stir into the skillet with sunflower seeds. Season with pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Serve the saute hot with rice or egg noodles.

Difficulty: Extremely Easy
Serves 4
Prep: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Cook's tip: Rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar makes a good substitute for the sherry vinegar used in this saute.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pad Thai

Even if you're not incredibly adventurous, you really should try this pad thai. It is SO good! I love it. I make it every so often. This is day 1 of our diet. I planned all of our meals out of my diet cookbooks (I have low fat cookbooks, etc.). This one is from my sister. It is really good and under 300 calories per serving. Even Madison loved it! I highly recommend it.
A hint: do all prep work before you cook everything in your wok or skillet...otherwise you will be stressed, trying to do stuff while things are cooking. Get lots of bowls out and prep everything ahead of time and place in the different bowls. I have little silicone prep bowls, but even cereal or small mixing bowls work well.

All these ingredients were at Kroger - I found most ingredients at Dominick's and Whole Foods when I lived in Wheaton. I know Wal Mart wouldn't have everything, but just about any grocery store will. It may sound gross, but I promise it is good :-)

Yield: 4 servings
2 quarts water
3/4 lb. mung bean sprouts
6 oz Rice noodles

3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons katsup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce or fish sauce (I use soy sauce...)
3 tablespoons Peanut oil or vegetable oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (or 2 teaspoons minced garlic)
1 tablespoon fresh chile (I used a jalepeno pepper) or 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups carrots; grated
(I use a food processor grater, but you can grate w/ a cheese grater)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of s
2/3 cup peanuts, chopped
6-8 scallions; chopped (about 1 cup)
In a covered pot, bring the water to a rolling boil.  Blanch the mung bean sprouts by placing them
in a strainer or small colander and
dipping it into the boiling water for 30 seconds.
Set aside to drain
well. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the rice noodles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes,
until tender but firm. These noodles stick easily, so stir often and put salt in the pot.
Drain the cooked
noodles, rinse them under cool water, and set them aside to drain.
Prepare the remaining ingredients and have them near at hand before
you begin to stir-fry.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add
the garlic and chile, swirl them in the oil for a moment, and stir in
the grated carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the carrots to the
sides to make a hollow in the center. Pour the
beaten eggs into the
center and quickly scramble them. When the eggs have just set, pour in the sauce mixture
and stir everything together. Add the drained
rice noodles and mung sprouts, and toss to distribute evenly.
Stir in
the peanuts and scallions, and serve at once. Enjoy!!

Grating the carrots
Patting the carrots dry:

Adding garlic & chile with oil in wok

Boiling the noodles:

Adding everything to the wok:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The BEST chicken I have ever had!!!

This will be the dish I make on special occasions from now's a little time consuming, but not as bad as one would think.

Phyllo Dough wrapped stuffed Chicken

I revised a recipe I found here. I thought it had an excessive amount of cheese & the onions made it too crunchy, and I made it for 2 people. Just double or triple it if you are planning on making it for company.

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8" thick (I recommend covering in plastic wrap to pound)

3 cups fresh chopped spinach

1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 T olive or cooking oil

2 oz light/lowfat cream cheese, cubed

1 cup shredded mozz. cheese

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 egg yolk, beaten (just beat the whole one and pour approx half of it out)

1/2 T flour

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground cumin

6 phyllo dough sheets (found in frozen section usually)

1/2 cup butter, melted (you probably won't use all of it - it's hard to divide what they had though)

Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of heavy plastic wrap. Pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until 1/8" thick. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook spinach and onion in hot oil until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese until blended. Stir in remaining cheese, egg yolk, flour, artichokes, nutmeg and cumin.

Place about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture on each chicken breast half. Roll up jelly-roll style. Not necessary to seal ends. Place one sheet of phyllo on work surface. Keep rest of sheets covered with a damp towel. Brush with some of the melted margarine or butter.

Place another phyllo sheet on top of the first. Brush with margarine. Place one chicken roll near the short side of the phyllo. Roll chicken and phyllo over once to cover chicken. Fold in long sides, continue rolling from short side. Place in a shallow baking pan. Repeat with rest of chicken, phyllo and margarine. Brush with margarine. Bake, uncovered in a 350 F. oven for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. A very elegant entree.

Pink, red & yellow "rainbow cake"

For Valentines' Day, I took a spin off of omnomicon's ranbow diet cake shown here:

For Valentine's day, I made a regular box yellow cake mix and followed the directions. Then, I divided the batter into 3 bowls. I used gel food coloring (better for you than the old stuff - and brighter!) and dripped it into the bowls to make pink, red, and left the yellow cake as is.

I greased the pans w/ crisco and flour to make it easy to flip them out to decorate.
One cake mix = 2 heart pans. I poured the majority of the red on the bottom of the first one, half of the yellow cake mix on top, and about 1/3 of the pink on the top. Then with the other, I did the opposite. Don't mix the colors, just dump on top of each other.

I baked for the normal time on the box directions, they came out just right.

I flipped the first one onto the cake platter and iced it.

Then I set the second layer & frosted it.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Recipe of the day: Spinach Stuffed Chicken (I halved this recipe & it was still too much for Madison & I to eat)

It was funny, I went online to find a recipe that I could use a half of a bag of fresh spinach, some bacon, chicken, and sour cream (because these were all things I had to buy for our get-togethers this weekend) and I found this amazing recipe! I will definitely be making this again.

(note: this is not the halved recipe)
1 (10 oz) package fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup lowfat or regular sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch chili pepper
8 strips turkey bacon or regular bacon (uncooked)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Place spinach in a large glass bowl, and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so, or until wilted.

3. Stir in sour cream, cheese, garlic, black pepper, and chili powder.

4. Pound chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. (I put saran wrap on the chicken so the gross chicken juice doesn't spray everywhere!)

5. Lay the chicken breasts out on a clean surface, and spoon some of the spinach mixture onto each one.

6. Roll up chicken to enclose the spinach, then wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon. Secure with toothpicks, and arrange in a shallow baking dish. (I did not have toothpicks, hence the crazy skewer sticks!)

7. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, then increase heat to 500 degrees F, or use the oven's broiler to cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to brown the bacon.

I took the bacon off (we are watching our fat intake) but it didn't necessarily say that you can't eat it. I also only like extra crispy bacon. It keeps the chicken nice & moist, and gives it just the slightest hint of bacon taste. mm!
I highly recommend this recipe! We were going to make it this weekend as a special treat, then we realized we were busy all weekend, so I decided to make it tonight. It's relatively low-fat and really tasty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yummy salad

I am loving this salad from my friend Mary. I asked for the recipe and I'm going to make it for dinner.

Crunchy Romaine Salad (our favorite salad!)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles – do not boil
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, coarsely chopped
1 head romaine lettuce
2 cups fresh strawberries
(I also add a small amount of feta cheese)
For dressing combine all ingredients in an air-tight container and shake.
Break Ramen noodles into small pieces, discarding the flavor packet. Brown the noodles and pecans in the butter in a skillet.
Drain on paper towels and cool.
Combine the noodles, pecans, broccoli, romaine and green onions in a salad bowl and mix gently.
Add dressing to coat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My dad's AMAZING blueberry muffin recipe!

I made these for my 2 sisters-in-law last weekend...they are really tasty and keep very well for at least a few days. I highly recommend these!

RB's Blueberry Muffins
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS of finely grated lemon peel
1 egg
1 cup fresh blueberries

½ cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins with Crisco or line with muffin liners. Combine 1 ½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt, lemon peel, and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture. Mix the crumble ingredients with a fork before sprinkling on top of muffin mixture. Bake for 20-25 mins. Yield: 12 muffins

Our wedding featured in a Magazine!