Steak and Veggie Stir Fry

Another one dish meal… quick and simple…That tends to be the name of my game lately!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb New York strip steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (woody ends cut off, and then cut into 2 pieces)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch strips
  • 1/4 of a sweet onion, chopped

Instructions: 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat bottom of skillet with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the steak strips and cook until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Coat the same skillet with the other 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 20-30 seconds). Add the asparagus, bell pepper, and onions. Stir frequently and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Return steak to the skillet. Add sauce and stir frequently. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened (about another 2-3 minutes).
  5. Serve in individual plates/bowls over brown rice. For a lighter (lower carb) version, serve over cauliflower rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy and Share! 🙂

Chicken Florentine Skillet Meal

This is a new meal I came up with that the family loves! Perfect for a quick one dish weeknight meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 fluid oz of low Na chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 12 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles (cook per package instructions)

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the other 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and garlic to the skillet. Cook until fragrant (20-30 seconds).  Add mushrooms and cook until tender (3-4 minutes).
  3. Add broth to skillet and cook until reduced by half.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low. Return chicken to the skillet and add tomatoes, spinach, and basil. Cook and toss until spinach and basil are wilted.
  5. Add pasta to skillet and toss until mixed thoroughly.
  6. Stir in parmesan cheese until fully mixed in.

Serves 4

Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Pizza… It can be Healthy!

One of our favorite meals at my house is homemade pizza… LOVE family pizza night! We average this once every 1-2 weeks. Pizza? you say? I say, Yes, it can be healthy! 

 

Here is a customizable way to make it healthy:

  1. Start with the crust. I am fortunate to have a grocery store in town that has an amazing whole wheat pizza dough (and no, this is not a health food store) . I just purchase the dough ball, spray my pizza pan with cooking spray and roll it out. Easy peasy! Or you can make your own- check out this whole wheat pizza dough recipe. You can also purchase already made pizza crusts (including whole wheat) at most grocery stores, although I’m not a huge fan of the taste or texture of the ones I’ve tried. If you need gluten-free, some stores have gluten-free crusts/mixes (such as Bob’s Red Mill brand).
  2. Then the sauce. I’ll be honest… I don’t make my own fancy sauce, although making a homemade sauce can be a great way to go… here’s a recipe.  But I just use our favorite jarred marinara sauce (tomato basil), and spread it on top of the rolled out pizza dough… just enough to fully coat the dough but not too heavy (about a 1/2 cup). Sometimes to change it up, I will  add pesto (either a light coating before I add the marinara, or in place of the marinara). This will add a rich garlic flavor to the pizza.
  3. Lean protein- If you’d like meat on your pizza, go with a lean choice such as chicken, canadian bacon, ham, lean ground beef, or turkey sausage.
  4. Load on the veggies! This is where you can get really get creative.
    There are so many veggies that go well on pizza and in so many combinations. The more veggies, the better as they are a
    great source of fiber and can fill you up… plus, they can add a lot of flavor! Here are some good choices: bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, basil, broccoli, zucchini, olives, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, sliced jalapeños or banana peppers, etc.    
  5. Light on the cheese, please! Usually with pizza comes cheese, but that does not mean it has to be loaded or “extra” cheese. You can choose to sprinkle your pizza very lightly with cheese (in other words, it does not have to completely smother the toppings). Mozzarella (which is a naturally lower fat cheese) is the most common choice for pizza, and you can even look for a reduced fat version for a lighter option. I probably wouldn’t choose fat free though, as it will not melt all that well. 
  6. Practice portion control- Now, here’s a big point to remember: you could eat the healthiest foods ever, but if you eat too much, the calories, etc. can add up… and “healthy” pizza is no exception! Consider 1-2 slices (3 at the very very most!). You can practice portion control by starting out with just 1 slice first… take your time in eating it before going back for a second. Give yourself 20 minutes to eat 1-2 slices. That’s how long it takes for the brain to get the signal from your stomach that you’re full and satisfied. This will lessen the chance of overeating. Another strategy may be to include a salad you can fill up on along with the meal. 

 

Some Yummy ideas:

Chicken and veggies – This is our usual favorite! For sauce, I use marinara. I top with grilled or baked chicken breast (usually prepared ahead of time or leftover from another meal), fresh basil leaves, bell peppers (red, green, and/or yellow), red onions, and broccoli. I also add jalapeño slices to one half of the pizza (for the adults).  I top with a mixture of shredded reduced fat mozarella and pepper jack cheese.

Hawaiian- Spread on marinara sauce. Then top with cooked canadian bacon or ham, and pineapple. Optional would be to add some veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, and/or onions would go well). Then add shredded mozzarella and/or pepper jack cheese.

Green pizza- Use pesto for the sauce. Then add variety of green veggies including fresh basil leaves, chopped spinach, chopped broccoli florets, and/or artichoke hearts. Top with shredded mozzarella.

BBQ chicken- For sauce, mix 1 part marinara with 1 part of your favorite BBQ sauce. Add pieces of cooked chicken breast, choice of peppers (bell and/or jalapeños,), red onion, and chopped fresh cilantro. Top with shredded mozzarella.

Tomato Basil- Brush olive oil on the pizza dough. Optional: then sprinkle with small amount of minced garlic or garlic powder. Add fresh basil leaves and sliced roma or cherry tomatoes. Top with shredded mozzarella.

P.s. Not only will the kiddos love to gobble it up, but they will also love to help out!

So try making some homemade pizza this week! Please share your creation! 

 

 

Delish Chicken and Noodles Recipe

Who doesn’t love chicken and noodles? Perfect on a cold day, when you feel like comfort food, and can even hit the spot when you’re sick! Not sure about you, but when I think of comfort food, I tend to think “heavy” and “unhealthy.” But comfort does not have to compromise nutrition!

I first made this on a very cold Monday night after an exhausting day at work. I just WANTED chicken and noodles!  So I threw what I had together, and it turned out Ahhh…mazing! My husband gobbled up two bowls, and my picky 2 year old loved it! Luckily, I made enough to have leftovers, so it made for a couple good lunches that week.

Delish Chicken & Noodles

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 8 oz (1/4 of 12 oz bag) of whole wheat wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • black pepper to taste

Directions 

  1. In a large pot, bring broth and water to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken breasts, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  3. Continue to boil for about 10-15 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked)
  4. In the meantime, melt butter in a skillet on low-medium heat, and add minced garlic.
  5. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes (or until vegetables are tender).
  6. Once fully cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the pot and shred on a cutting board using a fork and knife.
  7. Add shredded chicken back to the pot with broth. Reduce to medium heat.
  8. Once vegetables are tender, transfer them from the skillet to the pot.  Cook on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes.
  9. Bring back to a boil, and stir in uncooked egg noodles. Boil for 6-8 minutes or until noodles are cooked to desired texture.
  10. Add parsley, and pepper to taste.
  11. Reduce to low heat, serve, and ENJOY!

Try this out, and let me know what you think! 

Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Chicken tends to be one of those foods that people commonly get tired of… but I say, there is soooo much you can do with chicken! If you like the flavors of garlic and basil… this chicken recipe is for you! And BONUS: what a flavorful way to get veggies in too!

Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into bite size cubes)
  • 2 cups fresh Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, choppedimg_3454
  • 1 Green (or Yellow) Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 of a Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced Garlic
  • 2  tsp Italian Seasoning (I use Mrs. DASH)
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions: 

  • Chop the chicken, and all of the vegetables as specified above.
  • Pour olive oil into a large bowl. Add garlic and italian seasoning. Whisk until combined.
  • Add the chicken, vegetables, and basil. Mix all ingredients with large spoon until the chicken and veggies are evenly coated with the oil/seasoning mixture.
  • Spray a 9×13 inch pan (or roasting pan) with cooking spray. Transfer chicken/vegetables into pan.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked).
  • Serve with pasta or rice. Enjoy 🙂

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Homemade Granola Bars… Customized for You!

Imagine yourself in the cereal/granola bar aisle of the grocery store… Do you ever  get overwhelmed by endless varieties of fiber bars, protein bars, energy bars,  power bars, breakfast bars, yogurt bars, fruit bars…. Ahhh! There are more BARS out there than ever, and many choices are no better than a CANDY bar!

Try out my homemade granola bar recipe! The best thing about it– you can customize the ingredients to meet your preferences and nutritional needs. Get creative, and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry oats
  • 2/3  cup crushed almonds (or other nut)
  • 2/3 cup crushed peanuts (or other nut)
  • 1/3 cup flaxseeds, ground
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  • Place oats, nuts, flaxseeds, and dried fruit in a large bowl. Mix together.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter and honey.
  • Pour the peanut butter/honey mixture in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well until dry ingredients are coated well and evenly.

FullSizeRender 80

  • Line an 8×8 inch baking pan/dish with parchment or wax paper, leaving extra on the sides
  • Press the mixture into the baking dish. Pack tightly and evenly.

IMG_3362 2

  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Pull the edges of parchment paper to remove the  intact granola from the pan.
  • Cut into 12 bars (3×4 cuts)
  • Best stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in refrigerator or 10 days at room temperature.

Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Burrito Bowl Recipe

When you think of the word “burrito”, what generally comes to mind? Maybe something along the lines of high fat, high starch, cheesy, loaded, smothered goodness? In other words, it’s bad for me, right? NOOOOO, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Here is my burrito bowl recipe that you MUST try! It has all of the goodness of an amazing burrito….minus the tortilla and the guilt! This is a common weeknight go-to meal that my burrito eating husband LOVES!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) of black beans OR 1 cup frozen corn
  • 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice, prepare according to package instructions
  • Desired toppings/add-ins (guacamole, low fat shredded cheese, etc.)

Directions:

  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, brown the ground turkey, breaking up into pieces.
  • Add the onion and bell peppers. Cook over medium heat until the onion/peppers are tender (about 10-15 minutes).
  •  Add the beans or corn, diced tomatoes, and salsa. Mix well, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked rice and stir until all ingredients are mixed well.
  • Sprinkle cilantro on top.
  • Serve in bowls and add desired toppings.
  • Enjoy!!

Do you have a healthier version of a dish that would otherwise be considered not so good for us? Please share!

Summer Corn Salad Recipe

It’s that time of the year for fresh veggies… and I absolutely love fresh corn on the cob! But eating it off the cob? Getting it stuck between my teeth? Not a fan! 

If you, too, want to enjoy fresh corn (but without the hassle of eating it off the cob) try out my tasty recipe! It’s perfect as a side dish to your summer BBQs!

Summer Corn Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 pint cherry or plum tomatoes, sliced into halves
  • 1 avocado, chopped into small cubes
  • ¼ of red onion, finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Fill a large pot about 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Place ears of corn into boiling water, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and let the corn cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer ears of corn into a bowl of cold water too cool down. Take each ear of corn one at a time, and stand  cob (flat end down) in the middle of a large bowl. Use a knife to slice corn off around the entire cob.
  • Add avocado, onion, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil. Mix all ingredients together with a large spoon, breaking up any large sections of corn as needed.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Chill for about an hour to let flavors combine.
  • Enjoy as is, or add to the top of a bed of salad greens. Yum!  🙂

 

 

Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe

Who loves fresh tomato salsa (or pico de gallo)?   I do! I do! I do! 

Here is my recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
  • Juice of 1 Lime (about 2 Tbsp lime juice)
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Mix tomatoes, jalapeno. onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Chill for at least 1 hour to let all of the flavors combine before serving.

Click on the infographic below for a quick reference, or print out as a recipe card.

Enjoy! 🙂

Fresh Salsa

 

 

 

Spice up your Summer with Fresh Fruits and Veggies!

Do you get bored with the same plain old fruits and veggies? Summer is a great time to experiment. Read on for ideas that will spice up your summer with fresh fruits and veggies!

  • Fruit and Veggie Kabobs- slide on to skewers a variety of vegetables and/or fruits (large pieces of bell peppers, zucchini, onion, plum tomatoes, whole mushrooms, cubed pineapple, melon, and grapes all work great!). Drizzle on some lemon or lime juice and sprinkle with spices/seasonings (such as pepper, garlic, chili powder, or chopped cilantro etc.) as desired. Grill kabobs for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad-  Place 2 bags of baby spinach in a bowl, add 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 2/3 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 of a thinly sliced red onion. . Toss some balsamic or red wine vinaigrette dressing into salad just before serving.
  • Pineapple Mango Salsa- Dice up 1 mango, 2 cups pineapple, 1 small red onion, 2 medium tomatoes, and 1 finely diced jalapeño. Mix together in a bowl. Then add 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, 1 garlic clove minced, and 2 Tbsp lime juice.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy by….
  • Serving with tortilla chips
  • Using as a topping on grilled chicken or fish
  • Adding to homemade tacos or quesadillas
  • Adding to a salad
  • Grilled zucchini and summer squash- Cut off the ends of the veggies and slice in quarters lengthwise. Drizzle/toss in olive oil, and sprinkle on salt and pepper, and minced garlic to taste.  Grill on all sides until tender. Serve at your next summer BBQ!
  • Enjoy some Jicama- Have you ever had this crunchy, sweet veggie?…. It’s delicious! Peel and thinly slice 1 jicama. Toss in a bowl with1 Tbsp lime juice, and add a light sprinkle of chili powder, salt, and sugar to taste. Spread out on a plate and chill for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy as a snack, appetizer, or side dish at a cookout.
  • Frozen grapes- For a cold treat, freeze grapes and serve! So simple, yet so good…

Have any good fruit and veggie ideas or summer recipes? Please share!!