Saturday, August 28, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad

This recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. It makes for a nice light summer dinner. It's crunchy, flavorful and colorful and the dressing has a great peanutty kick to it, yum! here for the recipe!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family and are actually rather high in protein. This is a great way to prepare them and imparts a delicious smokey flavor. Give it a try!

Preheat oven to 500'F. Slice Brussel Sprouts in half lengthwise and spread out on a baking sheet.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 500'F for 20 minutes, tossing once half way through until cooked through. here for the recipe!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ravioli with Spinach, Tomatoes and Pancetta

This is a quick dinner idea. It's simply store bought fresh ravioli that has been glammed up with a tasty Italian sauce. Warm and comforting, savory and delicious, you'll feel like you're in Italy...well almost.

Recipe: (serves 4)
1-1 1/2 pounds cheese ravioli
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
4-5 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (~2 cups)
(If you don't have fresh tomatoes use 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup basil, julienned
1 tablespoon butter
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta, stirring often until it reduces down about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and let rest on a few paper towels to absorb the grease.
3. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook 1 minute less than the package instructions and drain out the cooking water.
4. To the skillet, add the tomatoes, olive oil and cook for ~2 minutes. Add the spinach and 1/4 cup of basil and cook until it wilts down, ~ 1 minute. Add the butter, ravioli and cooked pancetta and toss until coated and butter is melted. Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot, garnished with rest of the basil and some Parmesan cheese, along side a fresh green salad and warm crusty bread. here for the recipe!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pretzel Chicken with Cheese Sauce and Roasted Cauliflower

This is a fun recipe to do with the kids, they can smash up all the pretzels. We had some Cauliflower on hand so I roasted it to go along with the chicken. A little extra sauce on the cauliflower was delish!

(serves 4)
4 medium chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 cups pretzels
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Egg Beater's
2 Tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup sharp yellow cheddar
1/4 cup jack cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
non-stick cooking spray

1. Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet to about 1/4 inch thickness. Preheat oven to Broil 500'F.
2. Grind pretzels in a food processor or give the kiddos a chance to bam them in a plastic bag for fun. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish. Place Egg Beater's and water in a second shallow dish. Coat each chicken breast in pretzels then dip in the Egg Beater's, then dip in the pretzels again and lay them on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Broil chicken in 500'F oven ~ 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165'F.

3. While chicken is in the oven, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour to it, cook for ~ 1 minute to cook out the flour taste. Add the milk whisking constantly until the milk comes to a gentle simmer, stir in the cheese and mustard with a wooden spoon. Once the sauce is combined, remove from the heat. Serve chicken hot topped with the warm cheese sauce.

Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe: (serves 4)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil

1. To make this recipe a quickie, I steam the cauliflower first then finish it off in the oven. Fill a large pot with about 1/2 inch of water and steamer basket. Add cauliflower to steamer basket and steam covered about 5-7 minutes until knife tender.

2. Transfer cauliflower to baking sheet, toss with garlic, Parmesan and olive oil and broil at 500'F for about 5 minutes until just starting to brown and the garlic is fragrant. Serve hot. here for the recipe!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Minestrone Soup

Too hot outside for soup? Nah. Since we started this blog in May you all may not have yet realized my obsession with soup. I love soup and luckily the fam does too! Come the first sign of Fall weather get ready for some yummy soup recipes. Tonight I called upon my 3 year old son for a dinner idea and he requested "Basil soup". He is a budding chef of sorts and loves to learn about food and cooking. He loves to pick and sample basil and rosemary from our garden. So here is what we's basil soup...well kind of.
Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 cups water
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 cup Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup broccoli or zucchini, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup small pasta
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, julienned
1 Tablespoon fresh Oregano, chopped
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Parmesan Cheese for garnish

1. The KEY to great soup is starting out with big flavor, start by creating a "sweat" add the diced onion and garlic to the oil in a soup pot over medium heat, saute until onions are soft and translucent.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian Seasoning and vegetables, bring to a simmer ~5 minutes until vegetables softened slightly.

3. Turn up the heat and add your pasta, letting the pasta cook in the bubbling soup to absorb all it's flavors. Allow to bubble until pasta is cooked al dente ~8-10 minutes or per pasta package instructions.

4. Lower heat to low, add beans and spinach, stir to combine. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. We also added some leftover Croutons or you could serve with warm crusty bread. here for the recipe!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

These mushrooms are so yummy and a great substitute for meat. We marinated them and grilled them along with some fresh yellow corn for a light summer dinner outside in the backyard.
3-4 medium Portabello Mushroom caps
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup water
1. Place mushrooms top down in a baking dish. Whisk oil, vinegar, water and seasonings in a small dish, drizzle over mushroom caps. Cover dish with plastic wrap and let mushrooms sit at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

2. Brush alittle more olive oil on tops of mushrooms and place them top side down on a hot grill. Grill about 7-10 minutes until knife tender or internal temperature 180'F. here for the recipe!

Homemade Croutons

In our house we love salad, especially a fresh green salad with tons of yummy toppings! We had some leftover Italian Semolina bread my hubby made in the trusty bread machine so he cubed it up and made some awesome homemade croutons. They are so easy and really step up a plain salad to the next level. Enjoy!
Leftover bread, cubed
garlic powder
salt (optional)
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Olive Oil cooking spray

1. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet, sprayed with olive oil spray. Spray cubes with more olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle generously with garlic powder and pinch of salt(optional).

2. Bake @ 500'F for 4-5 minutes, watching closely until browned, turn them over, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and bake additional 4-5 minutes until golden brown and toasted. Add to your favorite salad and enjoy! here for the recipe!

Friday, August 13, 2010

{MYOTO} "Chipolte-esk" Chicken Rice Bowls

Tonight I had a serious craving for some take-out, Chipolte to be exact.  Now if we didn't have two little ones, we would have probably just dashed over there to get the real deal, but alas I set out to create a MYOTO "Make Your Own Take Out" dinner at home!  It was pretty good, and I'm willing to bet it has a whole lot less salt than the real deal.  Enjoy!

Recipe (serves 4-5)
2 cups chicken breasts (grilled, cubed)
    -1/4 teaspoon pepper
    -1/8 tsp Cumin 
    -pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups white rice (go ahead, you can try brown rice too)
     -3 cups Organic Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
     -1/4 Cilantro, chopped
     -juice of 1 lime
1 (15oz) can Organic Pinto Beans (or black beans)
2 garden fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups green leaf lettuce, shredded
1 cup Jack cheese, shredded
1 avocado, diced
fresh salsa

1. Grill chicken breast, season with pepper, Cumin and pinch of salt, cook until golden and internal temperature of 165'F, let rest 5 minutes then cube.  Prepare rice per package directions, substituting the chicken broth for water.

2. When rice is fully cooked, remove from the heat and add cilantro and lime juice to taste, stir to combine.  Warm beans on stove or in Microwave in their juices. 

3. Pile high, start with a scoop of cilantro-lime rice, then a scoop of beans followed by a scoop of chicken.  Pile on your veggies, cheese, salsa and whatever other toppings your family loves.  We used J's spicy salsa. here for the recipe!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana

This is one of my hubby's favorites! I lighten it up by baking the chicken rather than pan frying. It comes out tender and crispy. This dinner takes alittle more than 30 minutes but it's worth it. You can use homemade Marinara sauce or choose your favorite store bought sauce. This recipe is enough for us to have plenty of left-overs, which makes it doubly worth it! Enjoy.

Recipe: (serves 4-6)
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Egg Beater's (or 1 egg)
2 Tablespoons water
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
2 cups Marinara Sauce
1 1/2 cups part skim Mozzarella cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 500'F
2. Place chicken in resealable plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap and pound with flat side of meat mallet until ~1/4 inch thick.
3. Mix Egg Beater's and water in a shallow dish.  In another shallow dish, mix bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and Italian Seasoning. Dip chicken into egg mixture first, then coat with bread crumb mixture.
3. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 10-14minutes, flipping halfway through. Watch closely, don't leave the kitchen. Breading should be golden brown but chicken may not be cooked through yet.
4. Turn oven down to 350'F.
5. Spread 1/2 cup of Marinara sauce in a baking dish. Place chicken breasts on sauce in baking dish, it's okay if the chicken breast overlap slightly. Spoon remaining sauce over chicken. Sprinkle evenly with remaining Parmesan cheese and the Mozzarella cheese. Bake ~20 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown and chicken reaches internal temperature of 160'F. Serve immediately over whole wheat pasta! here for the recipe!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Garden Fresh Marinara Sauce

Our garden is bursting with tomatoes, but you can only make salsa so many times... Tonight we made a 30-minute marinara sauce that we put over semolina pasta. It turned out fantastic!

The recipe was made up on the fly- and with the distractions of a 6 month old and 3 year old. So I hope my transcription of the recipe is correct enough; here we go:

Recipe: (serves 4)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of Crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
9 medium tomatoes diced and seeded (I used 4 Roma tomatoes and 5 early girls)
3 oz of organic tomato paste
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Heat a large wide sauce pan on med-high. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Cook until tomatoes break down (~10 minutes) then cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot over pasta with some Parmesan cheese.

- J (Dad) here for the recipe!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adding more recipes

 I have heard some feedback that you all want more recipes!  So as we revisit some of our favorites I've been going back and adding in some more specifics.  Tonight we enjoyed Grilled vegetable ciabatta sandwiches again so I went back and added the "recipe".  Check it out!  This is a great way to use all the wonderful summertime veggies. here for the recipe!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

We just got home from a mini-vacation and our pantry was pretty sparse.  We did have fresh cilantro and avocado so I decided to make a quick go-to dish...Mexican Lasagna.  It's an idea that I got from Rachael Ray.  You can make it with whole wheat tortillas too.  I often add diced zucchini, squash, red bell pepper or corn, whatever we have on hand.  Modify this recipe and make it your own.

Recipe: (serves 4-6)
1 -1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with their juice
1 cup taco sauce
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
6-8 tortillas
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425'F.  Cook turkey in skillet, breaking up until cooked through and no longer pink, drain excess fat.  Add diced onion, chili powder and cumin, stir to combine.  Once onion is cooked and translucent, add tomatoes, taco sauce and beans.  Heat mixture through about 2-3 minutes.  Season to taste if needed.

2. Tear tortillas in quarters.  Spread half of the turkey mixture into the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish, spread evenly.  Cover with tortilla triangles, covering meat mixture completely.  Spread remaining half of the meat mixture over the tortilla layer and cover that with remaining tortillas.  Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden.  Top with cilantro and serve. here for the recipe!

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