Can you guess the hidden vegetables??

Looking at the picture below, can you guess what 3 vegetables went into making this??

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I ask this not because I try to find ways to convince my son to eat and try new things, but because I need to convince my….HUSBAND!!!

A few days ago, I was rather unsuccessful fooling him into thinking he liked crab meat. Tonight I was attempting to change his mind on a vegetable that he does not like.

I am sure you are wondering what this vegetable is…….CAULIFLOWER! I happen to love cauliflower, and I would probably eat it every day. I even like it just very simply steamed with a little salt and pepper. No cheese sauce. No butter.

Below is a recipe I developed with a little help from some online scavenging.

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Smash

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, washed, and cut into florets
3 to 4 small to medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the carrots and cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil (about 2 tbsp), enough to coat vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and herbs. Cook until onion is translucent. Be sure not to burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place roasted cauliflower and carrots into a food processor. Add the sauteed onion, garlic, herbs, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Process until smooth.

**Recipe inspiration: Multiply Delicious

I served this with a combination of chicken thighs and drumsticks that I marinaded in a store bought balsamic marinade for a couple hours and baked at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. I reserved some of the marinade to make a sauce.

Balsamic Onion Sauce

Ingredients:

1/3 cup balsamic marinade (I used Ken’s brand)
1/3 cup chicken stock
Half a large onion, sliced

Directions: In a small saucepan, I combined the reserved marinade, chicken stock, and sliced onion. Heated to a boil, then reduced to simmer about 5-10, until the onions are cooked.

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This time was a success!!! My husband really liked the carrot and cauliflower smash!!!

ENJOY!!

Chicken Corn Soup….simplified!

One of my fondest childhood memories is my grandmother making a huge pot of Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup or buying it from a Christmas church bazaar. It makes me smile every time I think about it!

About a year ago, I found a great chicken corn soup recipe online, but it tends to take some time to prepare and make it. Therefore, I typically only made the soup on a Saturday or Sunday. But….what if I want it on a weeknight?? There is no way I would have time, especially since I often do not decide what I’m going to make for dinner until I wake up in the morning and sometimes not until I’m at work.

Tonight I tried to recreate the delicious Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup that I’m used to, but with a few short cuts. Below is what I created. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Quick Chicken Corn Soup

Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
4 cups of water
4 cups of chicken stock
5 ears of corn, corn cut from cob
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, put in the chicken breasts and water. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling about 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken and place on a plate to cool. Strain cooking water and return back to pot. Add chicken stock.

While the water and stock come to a boil, cut or shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Add to stock and water.

Then add both the creamed corn and corn cut off the cob. Stir. Cook about 10 minutes.

In a continuous stream, add the lightly beaten eggs. (I actually had an extra egg white that I had added as well.). Cook about 5 minutes, until egg is cooked.

Salt and pepper to taste.

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With the soup, I served a grilled (baked) turkey and cheese sandwich as I had done previously.

Little man loved the soup as well, but could not get him to eat the grilled cheese!

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ENJOY!!!

Happy Monday!

I know it is hard to believe, but today truly was a happy Monday for me!! We survived the threat of a tropical storm and hurricane, and I got saw a great number on my scale this morning!!!

No one ever said losing weight was easy, but I have found that by simply making wise food choices makes it seem easy! Once I got serious about losing the extra baby weight in July, I began weighing myself daily, usually every morning as soon as I wake up. Since I had not weighed myself since Friday morning, I was not too thrilled to step on the scale this morning, but I knew it needed to be done! Much to my surprise, I had lost a bit more weight!!! Bringing my total weight loss to 12lbs!!! I was beyond excited because this was a weight I had not seen in more than a year!! 🙂

Seeing this weight only further motivated me to continue to make good food choices and eat healthy. Especially since it is difficult for me to incorporate exercise into my daily life. Eating smarts really is my only option.

So, this morning before walking out the door to head to work,I took a look in my freezer to see what types of protein I had in there. My choices were chicken and fish, and since we had chicken last night, fish it was! However, I still did not know exactly how I was going to prepare it. During my lunch break, I did a little searching and came across the recipe below. (NOTE: I did not have enough of 1 type of fish for dinner. So, I used 2 cod fillets and 2 tilapia fillets.)

Broiled Parmesan Fish

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt (I did not have celery salt. I used half celery seed and half regular salt.)
1 pound tilapia fillets(The cod was delicious too!)

Directions:

Preheat your oven’s broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery seed, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes.

Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan mixture on the top side.

Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork.

**Recipe credit: All Recipes

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I served the fish with a garden salad and steamed green beans. I was hoping for leftovers to take to lunch tomorrow, but it was so delicious my family ate it all!

**Please do not forget to participate in the challenge for your chance to win a FREE slow cooker. See my previous post, Seafood Lasagna, for details.

ENJOY!!!

So much flavor….packed into such a little bite!

My son’s new favorite word is “cookie”!!! I’m not even 100% sure he actually knows what he is saying and what it means. But…his repetitiveness caused me to have cookies on my mind!

The recipe below was originally intended to be made as individual cookies, but I wanted to make it a little different. Also, this is another recipe you can make your own, adding and changing to what suits you!

Oh…and I accidentally made a mistake when I was making these. I forgot to add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla that the original recipe called for. And thankfully, it did not matter.

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Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (I used Splenda sugar blend, 1/4 cup)
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract (unless you forget it, like I did!!)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned whole oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or another type of nut, butterscotch chips, etc.)
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter together over low-medium heat.

Add the brown & white sugar to the melted butter & peanut butter mixture and stir. Pour into a bowl, and Set it in the freezer for a couple minutes (I let it in there about 5-10 minutes. You want it to cool before adding the eggs.)

Remove from the freezer and add the egg + yolk , add the vanilla extract (if you want…LOL!) and stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and walnuts.

Add the white chocolate chips and stir.

Pour cookie dough into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish. Flatten and smooth to help it bake evenly.

Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting.

**Recipe inspiration: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com

They tasted so delicious, and my son finally got his…..COOKIE(bite)!!!

ENJOY!!!

Dressed Up Broccoli!

After breakfast, I spent most of the day trying to figure out what to make for dinner with what I had on hand. I knew I was going to make baked chicken, but I still needed something to serve with it. Initially, I wanted to have some corn, but I only had canned. And my mind just wasn’t coming up with any way to use the canned corn.

I then began brainstorming what I could do with frozen broccoli. When we lived in Philadelphia, and all I had was a 2 burner stove and a small toaster oven. I would often make this baked cream cheese broccoli dish, and I was wanting to make something similar to that tonight. However, I did not have any cream cheese. I then remembered the Parmesan sauce I made yesterday with the Seafood Lasagna. I thought this sauce, or one similar, would be delicious with broccoli! Below is what I created!

Ingredients:

2 bags frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
2 tbsp flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup grated/shredded cheese (I used 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup asiago)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Bread Crumb Topping:
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Let it cook a minute or so. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Watch it carefully, it will bubble and boil over quickly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add nutmeg as well as salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, combine the thawed broccoli and cheese sauce. Pour into an 8×8 glass baking dish.

In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Cook just enough to brown the bread crumbs. About 10 minutes.

Once bread crumbs are browned, sprinkle on top of broccoli and cheese mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

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ENJOY!!

Sunday Breakfast!

In an effort to make up for my husband not enjoying dinner very much last night, I thought it would be a good idea to make something other than eggs for breakfast.

I took to my Pinterest page, and went through recipes I had pinned over the past several weeks. I came across a delicious pancake recipe. These pancakes incorporated lemon, which has been one of my favorite favors lately, for both savory and sweet recipes.

To be honest, breakfast is probably the meal I could use the most improvement! Prior to having my son, I barely ate breakfast. Now I find myself eating it every day. Sometimes it’s just some fresh fruit or oatmeal. Other times, I will make eggs or pancakes, but never pancakes like these!!! I have only ever made pancakes that come from a box. On occasion, I would add some ground cinnamon to them.

I have another confession! I do NOT like syrup!!! So, when I found this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar (I used the Splenda sugar blend, which was 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp)
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 4 lemons
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted (I used Smart Balance light, and melted in the microwave for a few seconds)
Cooking Spray

Directions: (I preheated my oven to WARM, which is about 170 degrees, to keep pancakes warm while I finished all the pancakes.)

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl. (I sifted all the ingredients together.)

In another bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds.

Add the wet to the dry. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Be sure not to over mix. It will be a thick, somewhat lumpy, batter.

Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.

Using 1/3 measuring cup, pour batter into prepared pan.

Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

**Recipe credit: Picky Cook

I served the pancakes with some fresh fruit (peaches, strawberries, and pears).

These were absolutely delicious! My son enjoyed them as well!

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NOTE: Please do not forget about the free giveaway I posted yesterday. See my post below (Seafood Lasagna) for details.

ENJOY!!!!

Seafood Lasagna….and a free giveaway!

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For as long as I can remember, I have loved all kinds of seafood!! I know I told you before that scallops are my favorite, but all seafood is yummy!

With this recipe I was hoping to sway my husband’s negative opinion of crab. Unfortunately, it did not work. 😦

However, I absolutely loved it, and so did my son! 🙂

This is a versatile recipe. You can incorporate any combination of seafood that you and your family like. You could also use any vegetables or greens that suits your family. Below is the recipe for how I made it.

Seafood Lasagna

Ingredients:

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups lowfat milk
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 bag spinach
1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
12 no cook lasagna noodles
3/4 lb. deveined peeled large shrimp, cooked, cut into thirds
12 oz. crabmeat, drained, flaked
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour until well blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; simmer on low heat 3 to 5 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan; set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Once oil is hot, add spinach and grated garlic. Sauté until spinach is wilted.

In a bowl mix cottage cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, nutmeg, and sautéed spinach until well combined.

Spread 2/3 cup Parmesan sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Cover with 4 lasagna noodles. Layer with half of each of the shrimp, crabmeat and spinach mixture; top with 2/3 cup of the Parmesan sauce. Repeat layers, starting with the noodles. Top with remaining noodles, Parmesan cheese sauce and mozzarella.

Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, uncovering after 25 minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

I served it with a simple garden salad filled with my family’s favorite vegetables.

**Recipe credit: Kraft Recipes

In honor of my blog millstone, having reached 1000 total views, I have partnered with Slim Kicker to do a giveaway for you! Slim Kicker is an online website and app designed to help support you through your weight loss journey. They have different groups and support forums you can participate in, as well as, their weekly level-up challenges. By keeping track of your calories and completing challenges, you accrue points. You upload a picture of a particular reward, like a cheat food, and they will send you reminders when you have reached the points needed to indulge in your rewards!

Entering the giveaway is easy! Leave a short comment (1-2 sentences) below with a suggested weekly challenge, like give up soda for a week. Slim Kicker will then select one of the challenges posted. The person responsible for the selected challenge will receive a free slow cooker!!

Good Luck….and ENJOY!!!

Chicken Enchilada….a healthy version!

When I was completing my clinical fellowship a couple years ago, there was a Mexican restaurant near by that a coworker and I would go to often. And we always ordered the same thing….the chicken enchilada! They were so yummy!! For some reason, I thought they were really difficult to make and very unhealthy. Well, I was wrong on both!

Thanks to Pinterest I found a great recipe!

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Healthy Chicken Enchilada

Ingredients:

16 oz. fat free sour cream
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup water
1 tbls. fresh chopped cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken
1 can Rotel with green chilies
1 medium size onion, chopped
10-12 small corn tortillas
1 cup low fat shredded cheese
1 can diced green chiles
Cooking spray

Directions:

Combine sour cream, chicken soup, water, and cilantro in a sauce pan and heat through. Keep an eye on it, it will bubble quickly.

In a sauté pan with cooking spray, cook chicken, onion, Rotel, green chilies until onions are transparent.

Warm tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel for 45 seconds in the microwave.

Fill each tortilla with 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture. Top with a pinch of shredded cheese. Roll the tortillas tightly and place seam side down in greased 13×9 baking dish.

Repeat until the baking dish is full. For me this was about 12 small tortillas. If you use a bigger tortilla, it will be about 8.

Pour sour cream and soup mixture over tortillas. Making sure they are covered.

Top with desired amount of shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

**Recipe credit: Skinny Mom

Along with the enchilada, I served a black bean and corn salsa that I typically serve with tacos or make to have at a BBQ. I have been making this for a few years now, and I have not strayed much from the original recipe. Tonight (thanks to Pinterest), I made one change. I added edamame to make it more substantial. So it could be more of a side dish rather than just a salsa. I have now made my parents and many other family members fall in love with this salsa.

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Black Beans, Corn, and Edamame

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 pkg frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 pkg frozen edamame, shelled and thawed
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 envelope GOOD SEASONS Garlic & Herb Dressing Mix
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before serving. It’s even better if you make it the night before!

**Recipe inspiration: Kraft Recipes

Finally, I used some leftover corn tortilla to make some tortilla chips like I had done in a previous post, White Chicken Chili.

ENJOY!!

Quick tip!!

Always try to find a way to re-invent the wheel! Meaning, even if you buy some packaged foods, try to find a way to change it up and make it your own.

For example, I rarely have the time to prepare my own bread crumbs to make baked chicken. I often buy bread crumbs or coating mix already packaged at the store. Then when I decide to use it, I think about how I can change it and add more flavor.

Tonight I did just that! I took one package of coating mix, added about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper to taste. For me, that’s a lot of pepper! Then just bake it according to the package directions. Typically, that’s 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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You can serve it with any of your favorite side dish. Tonight I took a bunch of fresh vegetables from my refrigerator (broccoli, asparagus, zucchini), and quickly sautéed them in olive oil and crushed garlic. At the very end, I added the juice of half a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Yummy! It was the perfect compliment to the baked chicken.

But….you can add almost anything to bread crumbs or coating mix. As in previous posts, I have made a taco baked chicken by adding some taco seasoning. I have also made a buffalo ranch chicken by adding dry ranch dressing to buffalo flavored crumbs. That was my favorite!

Experiment with it, and add any spices or favors that suit you and your family!

ENJOY!!!

Note to self….

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….always look on the inside, outside, front, and back of food packages. You just might find a great recipe! That’s exactly the case for tonight’s dinner.

To be honest, I had no intention of doing another post today, but after finding this recipe, I had to share!

Broiled Sesame Cod

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs cod fillets
1 tsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat broiler. Line broiler pan with foil.

Arrange cod on prepared broiler pan.

Mix together the butter, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and pepper.

Brush over cod. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Broil until fish flakes easily, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Along with the fish, I served some shredded zucchini. I had a bunch I needed to use. This recipe is a combination of two different recipes I found online. Below is what I came up with!

Shredded Zucchini Sauté

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
4 large zucchini, shredded in food processor
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup fat free half&half
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Once the zucchini is shredded, toss with salt (about 2 tsp) in a colander and let it drain in the sink for 1 hour.

Rinse the zucchini very, very thoroughly. Drain on a tea towel or paper towels to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and zucchini and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat half&half over medium-low heat until warm.

Add lemon juice to half&half, stirring vigorously, making sure the half&half does not curdle.

Once the zucchini is cooked, pour half&half mixture over along with salt and pepper to taste. Add chives. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.

After eating, my husband said, “This is really good! Don’t forget these recipes!”

….noted!

ENJOY!!