Saturday, January 16, 2016

Taco Chicken and Quinoa Salad bowl

I have been doing the 21 Day Fix since last August... I have lost 20 pounds and last time I measured 16 inches over all. I FEEL better and have more energy and eating healthy has become a happy habit and exercising is my way to unwind after a day a work instead of vegging on the couch and eating.... My challenge is to come up with healthy recipes that are ok for the 21 day eating plan. I love making meals that aren't just meat and salad but a little more exciting. I came up with this recipe the other night and it's delicious! Feel free to substitute things that you have on hand... I just added things I thought would be delicious. Enjoy!

Taco Chicken and Quinoa Salad bowl
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 taco seasoning packet (your choice of brand)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Lime juice , optional
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I only used about 1/2 a can)
1 can corn, drained and rinsed (I only used about 1/2 a can)
Salt and pepper
Cumin, if desired

1 cup Quinoa, cooked according to package directions
   Salt and Pepper, Garlic powder, and onion powder for seasoning, unless you use an already       seasoned package of Quinoa

Salad mix
Grated cheese
Salsa
Ranch dressing

First- Mix the taco seasoning with 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a couple of splashes of lime juice in a large bowl. Slice your chicken into thin bite size strips and place in bowl with marinade. Toss to coat. Set aside.
In Large skillet heat a Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced bell pepper and onion and saute about 5-10 minutes until tender. Add the Black beans and corn and saute another minute or two, season to taste with a little salt and pepper and cumin if desired.
When veggies are tender remove to plate and heat another Tablespoon of Olive oil in your skillet and add the chicken-marinade and all to the pan. Cook over medium high heat until chicken is cooked thru and no longer pink. Your marinade should evaporate or become thick as well.
When chicken is done , add your veggie mixture and toss until combined and warmed thru.
While the veggies are cooking start your Quinoa. I followed the directions on the package and since mine wasn't already seasoned I added a dash or two of salt and Pepper and a little onion powder and garlic powder.  Could also add a little cumin to this if desired.
 When everything is cooked Assemble your salad.
I did this by placing 2 cups of my salad mix to a bowl. Then I added a 1/2 cup of Quinoa, then 1 cup of my chicken mixture. Next came about a Tablespoon of grated cheese, A Tablespoon of Salsa sprinkled around and A light drizzle of ranch dressing...
YUMMO!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Eggplant Involtini

Eggplant Involtini
The classic approach to these cheese-filled eggplant rolls—breading and frying—is tedious, and it obscures the signature ingredient. We ditched both steps for a lighter, less fussy dish.

Serves 4 to 6
Select shorter, wider eggplants for this recipe. Part-skim ricotta may be used, but do not use fat-free ricotta. Serve the eggplant with crusty bread and a salad.
INGREDIENTS
  2 large eggplants (1 1/2 pounds each), peeled 
  6 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  Kosher salt and pepper 
  2 garlic cloves, minced 
  1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
  Pinch red pepper flakes 
  1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved, chopped coarse 
  1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces 
  8 ounces (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese 
  1 1/2 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese (3/4 cup) 
  1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 
  1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese for topping



INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick planks (you should have 12 planks). Trim rounded surface from each end piece so it lies flat.
2. Adjust 1 oven rack to lower-middle position and second rack 8 inches from broiler element. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spray generously with vegetable oil spray. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on prepared sheets. Brush 1 side of eggplant slices with 2 1/2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Flip eggplant slices and brush with 2 1/2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake until tender and lightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using thin spatula, flip each slice over.
Heat broiler.
3. While eggplant cooks, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch broiler-safe skillet over medium-low heat until just shimmering. Add garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.
4. Pulse bread in food processor until finely ground, 10 to 15 pulses. Combine bread crumbs, ricotta, 1/2 cup Pecorino, 1/4 cup basil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl.
5. With widest ends of eggplant slices facing you, evenly distribute ricotta mixture on bottom third of each slice. Gently roll up each eggplant slice and place seam side down in tomato sauce.
6. Bring sauce to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and broil until eggplant is well browned and cheese is heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Pecorino  and 1/2 cup grated Mozzarella and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon basil and serve.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus


I got this recipe on the Food Network here. I am reposting because this recipe site is for me and my daughter and it's easy to go to and find recipes that we love rather than hunting on the internet. Loved this... but keep in mind with the jalapeño and the chipotle pepper it's rather spicy... you can use less if desired. Try putting in half the required jalapeño and chipotle then adjust to your taste. You can always add more but once added you can't take it out. This is a great healthy snack served with pita chips or I served it with sliced red and green bell peppers. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus

Ingredients:
16 ounces can chickpeas, drained
6 ounces jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves(or use the already chopped in a tube)
1teaspoon paprika 
3 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobo (I used 1 pepper)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Toasted pita bread, for serving

Directions:
Mix all ingredients, except olive oil and pita bread, in food processor until pureed, then slowly add in olive oil.
Let set up for 1 hour prior to serving.
Serve with toasted pita bread.


Cinnamon Syrup

I am reposting this recipe.. I made it again Christmas day and it was the consistency of camel snot...LOL. I decided to try without the flour. MUCH better. Enjoy!

After Christmas, while trying out my new Waffle iron, I decided I needed to find a Cinnamon Syrup recipe... I love Cinnamon and it just seemed like there should be a Cinnamon syrup to go with my waffles. I ran across a few recipes for Cinnamon syrup on random Internet sites, and looked them over, then took what I liked from some of them and made up my own. This one turned out YUMMO! and on a Hot Waffle on a Cold winter day it warms you right up! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons butter
In a small saucepan, whisk together your sugar, salt, and cinnamon. (you could sift together just to make sure you don't have any lumps of flour).
Add the water, and stir to combine. Cook  and stir over medium/high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn the heat down slightly and let boil until thickened slightly. (this takes about 3 to 5 minutes)
Remove from heat and add the vanilla and butter; stirring to combine and melt the butter.
Serve over pancakes, waffles or french toast! YUMMO!
This is what I woke up to that prompted me to make Waffles w/cinnamon syrup....