Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BBQ Chicken Salads

Is anyone else ready for summer? We are and with that comes salad season!! YUM!! I love salads for two reasons: 1. delicious, light, and tasty, 2: I feel that it is only appropriate to have a big chocolate dessert (post soon to come on chocolate desserts to die for) because I had a salad for dinner :) Around here we have salad night every Friday, switching it up with different salads, and what a good night it is....

Ingredients: (make a big salad for everyone eating dinner)

Romain lettuce, washed and chopped (enough to make a big pile on each plate)
bbq chicken, cooked and chopped (just coat your chicken breasts in your favorite bbq sauce and cook them up on the stove. Then chop them when cooled and toss in a bit more sauce)
tomatoes, chopped
carrots, sliced
1 can corn, drained
olives, chopped
bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
avocado, chopped

1. Plate each dinner plate with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, corn, olives, bacon and avocados. Then top each salad with chicken. Super easy and way too delicious to be so healthy. Top with your favorite dressing. Ranch is good, bbq ranch is better!

* I make bbq ranch by putting 1/4 cup low fat ranch dressing (I love hidden valley) and a tablespoon or two of bbq sauce. Mix that up and drizzle it over your salad....heaven.
* I serve salad with muffins, bread sticks, or rolls for dinner. Yum, can't wait for Friday!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CHEWY granola bars

YUM! This recipe is my mom's and it is amazing! These are the best chewy granola bars and soooo good for you. I make up a batch, cut them into bars and pop them in lunches and diaper bags. Super easy, super yummy!


2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup raisins or another chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light maple syrup
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 egg whites
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Ok, this is super easy, you will have these made in no time! Ready, set, go!
Combine oats, flour, soda and salt. Add in your dried fruit and walnuts.
2. In another bowl beat together sugar, syrup, peanut butter and egg whites. After nice and smooth pour into dry ingredients. Add those chocolate chips now!
3. Spread into a foil lined and sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Pat down. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. I know it sounds weird but it is a must!
4. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool all the way and then cut into bars.

* I melt a handful of chocolate chips in a zip lock bag and snip the end off to drizzle a bit of yummy chocolate on top.
* When I cut my bars I trimmed all the edges off first (they tend to be a bit harder becuase they are on the edge of the pan) So snack on those and then after cutting all your bars wrap them individually in saran wrap to stay fresh. Put the in the freezer then take one out when every you need one.
* You can add dried cranberries, apples, apricots, blueberries, anything!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pastitsio {greek pasta}

This pasta dish is creamy and full of flavor. This dinner comes together in no time and I love the hint of cinnamon, it really stands out to make this meal wonderful!


1 package {7oz} uncooked short pasta
1 lb. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can {8oz.} tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 teaspoons butter
3 teaspoons flour
1-1/2 cups low-fat/fat free milk
1 egg, beaten

1. Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes. While pasta is cooking, cook the ground turkey, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is cooked through. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, oregano, pepper and cinnamon.
2.Drain the pasta. Place half the noodles into a greased 9x9 pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Next layer with meat mixture and the remaining macaroni. Set aside.
3.In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the flour and remaining salt until smooth. Gradually add the milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
4. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the beaten egg. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove form heat and add remaining cheese.Pour sauce over the macaroni.
5. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

* Serve this meal with a fresh green salad or steamed broccoli or green beans. Add some toasted garlic bread and you are ready!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creamy Black Bean Soup

There have still been some chilly days here, so I thought I could squeeze in another soup dish before summer. I am so glad because this soup was sooooo good! It has great flavor and great consistency. You have to give this a try! Super easy and low in fat too! It's another great recipe from Our Best Bites.

1 T olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)
3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)
1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3.5oz can green chilies
2 cans low-sodium beef broth
1 t kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf

extras: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc

1.Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat. When pan is warm, add olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes.

2.Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

3.Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup.

4.Place soup in a blender. Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters. Puree soup until completely smooth. Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.

5.Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges. Makes about 8 cups soup.

Serve with buttered bread or warm tortillas! YUM!!