Chicken Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots

stir fry sugar snap peas carrots
I tried a new recipe's a miracle :-)!!! With my photography business really picking up this fall and not dying down since, I have been cooking a lot less. I just needed to let something go, and most nights that is one thing that does. We have been eating a lot of dinners that are partially prepped already to cut down on my involvement, but I do miss trying new recipes so often. Last week I was in the mood for a fresh, light meal and turned to Skinnytaste for ideas. This stir fry was pretty quick to make and super yummy! (I served it on brown basmati rice)

For the sauce:
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or Tamari f or GF)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
For the Stir Fry:
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced thin
salt, to taste
1 tbsp rice bran oil, or canola
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 cup carrots, sliced diagonally
scallions for garnish

Combine soy sauce, lime juice, water and cornstarch in a small bowl, mix together and set aside.
Season chicken lightly with salt. Heat a large wok over high heat. When the wok is very hot, add half of the oil, then add the chicken. Stir fry, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and browned, about 3-4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.
Add the remaining oil to the wok; add the garlic and ginger, stir for 20 seconds. Add the sugar snap peas and carrots, stirring over medium high heat until tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Return the chicken to the wok, add the soy sauce-lime mixture, mix well and cook another 30 seconds to one minute. Serve immediately and top with fresh scallions.

Servings:4 • Size:just under 1 cup • Calories:179 • Fat:5.6 g • Carb:7 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein:27 g • Sugar:1.5 g Sodium:238 mg • Cholest: 0 mg

Chicken Chickpea Veggie Soup

chicken chickpea soup
I have not been cooking much lately, but I hope to get back with it soon! Here is a recipe in the mean time though :-). I made this one a couple weeks ago and really, really loved it! It was easy, healthy, soothing on a chilly day and so delicious! (recipe from Eat,Live,Run)

1 shallot, minced
2 large carrots, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
1 3″ knob ginger, peeled and minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 quarts chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, roughly chopped (I used about half of it)
1 14.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I only put half can)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

Saute the shallot, carrot, celery, ginger, garlic and jalapeno in the olive oil for about five minutes, until veggies start to soften. Pour in the broth and add the chickpeas and chopped rotisserie chicken. Bring to a simmer, then add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, swiss chard and parsley. Simmer until greens wilt (about five minutes) then serve.

Pork, Potato and Plantain Toss with almond-cilantro pesto

potatoes plantains pork
When I saw this recipe in Clean Eating I thought it looked good, but I also knew it was definitely a hit or miss kind of recipe. It was either going to be really yummy or completely gross. And guess what? It was delicious! I absolutely loved it! The almond-cilantro pesto was SOOO good! So feel brave and give it a try :-).

- 1 lb redskin potatoes, peeled and quartered (I never peel red potatoes)
- 1 1/4 lb yellow plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick slices (I used 2 plantains)
- 1 1/2 t olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
- 1 1/2 oz sliced raw unsalted almonds
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 3/4 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1/2-in thick medallions (I used loin chops)

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Add plantains and cook for 5 more minutes, until potatoes and plantains are easily pierced with a knife.
Drain and let sit in colander for 1 minute to cool. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 t oil on med-low for 1 minute.
Add garlic and saute stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, until softened and fragrant but not browned. Remove from heat.
Prepare pesto: In bowl of food processor, combine garlic, cilantro, almonds and salt. Process for 30 seconds, until cilantro and almonds are finely chopped.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 t oil on medium for 1 minute. Add pork and cook, turning occasionally for 6 minutes, until opaque and cooked through. Transfer pork and pesto to potato-plantains bowl and toss to coat.

Makes four 1 1/2 cup servings...Calories 426, total fat 9g, carbs 67g, fiber 7g, sugars 23g, protein 24g, sodium 298mg, cholesterol 55mg

Parmesan Knots

parmesan knots
So last week we made two recipes from the Friend magazine that Ella was excited about it. The pizza was fine, but everyone liked the Crazy Pizza we made a little while ago better and the recipes were very similar. These little rolls were definitely a hit though and they were really fun for the kids to help make.

1 can refrigerated biscuits
1/4 cup vegetable oil (we used less and used canola)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley

**We brushed the oil mixture on the rolls BEFORE baking**
1. Cut each biscuit into thirds. Roll each piece into a 3-inch (7-cm) rope and tie into a knot.
2. Place the knots 2 inches (5-cm) apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 8–10 minutes or until golden brown.
3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Brush or pour on the warm knots. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen knots.

My little helpers :-)

Garlic Cilantro Shrimp Rotini

garlic cilantro shrimp
I decided to try a new recipe for our Valentine dinner and since I don't make shrimp very often (I love it but I don't love preparing it), knew this would be a treat. The recipe came from Clean Eating magazine but you would never know it :-). It was sooo flavorful and we all loved it! Just be sure everyone eats some, because you definitely will have some garlic breath afterwards!

•2 cups fresh cilantro
•1 tsp dried oregano
•3 cloves garlic
•1 tsp red pepper flakes
•1/3 cup olive oil
•2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
•Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
•8 oz whole-wheat rotini pasta (I used gluten-free fusili)
•20 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1.Preheat broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
2.Prepare sauce: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse cilantro, oregano, garlic and red pepper flakes until combined. While food processor is running, add oil and vinegar. Stir in salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3.Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
4.Arrange shrimp on sheet; transfer to oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until pink.
5.In a large saucepan on medium, add pasta and garlic-cilantro mixture and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, add shrimp and stir to combine.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 420, Total Fat: 23 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 38 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 15 g, Sodium: 95 mg, Cholesterol: 45 mg

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

peanut butter chocolate cake 2
In the January issue of Parents magazine they had a little spread of cake recipes and since Addie's birthday was coming up I let her pick one of them to be her birthday cake. She went with the chocolate peanut butter, which I was very happy about :-). The beauty of this recipe is that you use a boxed cake mix so it is sooo easy! You make your own frosting, which is De-Licious, and then make it fancy with some chopped peanuts. It tasted amazing and wasn't hard to do!

•1 2-layer-size package chocolate cake mix
•1 cup butter, softened
•1 cup creamy peanut butter
•1/4 cup milk
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•4 cups powdered sugar
•1 1/2 cups lightly salted peanuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
2. Meanwhile, prepare frosting. In a large mixing bowl combine butter and peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add milk and vanilla and beat on low just until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating on low until sugar is just incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.
3. Use some of the frosting to fill and then crumb coat the cake. Chill the cake for 10 minutes to firm up the crumb coat. Generously frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
4. Make swirls in the frosting with the back of a spoon, using gentle pressure and lifting the spoon straight up at the end of each movement.
5. Cupping some of the peanuts in your hand, lightly press them around the sides of the cake. Once the sides are covered, use the peanuts that have fallen down onto the plate to press into any open spots.
Servings Per Recipe: 16; Amount Per Serving: cal: 598, Fat: 37, chol: 72, carb: 62
peanut butter chocolate cake 1

Gorgonzola and Bacon Stuffed Chicken

gogonzola and bacon stuffed chicken
I have had this recipe from Favorite Family Recipes saved for awhile now and having company last weekend finally gave me a good reason to make them! There is just something about stuffed chicken that instantly seems fancy and how can you go wrong with anything wrapped in bacon?! Even if it is turkey bacon :-). These were so delicious and definitely should be tried! I served them with a mushroom wild rice mix and green salad and it hit the spot!

6 chicken breasts
Cheese Filling:
6 slices thick-cut bacon, partially cooked (slightly browned but still soft) and chopped (I used turkey bacon)
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. sour cream (I used light)
1 c. gorgonzola cheese (if you can't find gorgonzola, you can substitute with blue cheese)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
6 slices bacon
Montreal steak seasoning
Optional Cheese Sauce:
1/4 c. gorgonzola cheese
2 Tbsp. sour cream

◦**Optional Cooking Tip: When I wrap chicken breasts with bacon, I like the bacon a little crisper. If you don't like it crisp, feel free to wrap raw bacon around chicken breasts. Either way works, it just looks better and I think tastes better when you partially cook the bacon first! You can partially fry the bacon or cook in the oven.
◦Oven Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon slices on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove partially cooked bacon and pat off excess fat.
◦Cheese Filling:
◦Chop up 6 pieces of bacon to use in the cheese filling and reserve remaining 6 slices to wrap around chicken.
◦In bowl, combine bacon, green onion, sour cream, gorgonzola cheese and garlic.
◦Cut a 1 1/2 inch slit (about 2 inches deep) into the thickest side of each chicken breast. Using a spoon make a larger pocket inside of chicken breast.
◦Spoon in equal portions of the cheese mixture into each chicken breast. Lay a slice of bacon on top or wrap around. Sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning.
◦Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear (or thermometer reads 165 degrees)
Optional Cheese Sauce:
◦Combine gorgonzola cheese and sour cream. Microwave about 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooked chicken.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

butternut squash enchiladas
I don't remember where I originally saw these enchiladas, but the recipe is from Yummy Mummy Kitchen. I only first tried butternut squash this last year and I have really grown to love it. Roasting it makes is crispy on the outside like a potato, but it still has a sweetness to it. The sweet is balanced out by the spicy salsa and creates a yummy enchilada that is filling despite the lack of meat. I ate all the leftovers of these over the course of a few days and never grew tired of them!

2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash (12-ounces, or about 1 small-medium peeled, seeded squash)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
15 ounces cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more cilantro for garnish
12 ounces jarred or fresh mild green salsa
1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (I used light sour cream)
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I used 2% Mexi blend)
10 corn tortillas
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cubed butternut squash on a large baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together roasted butternut squash, beans, chopped onion, and cilantro. In another medium bowl, stir together salsa and yogurt.

Pour a thin layer of the salsa sauce over the bottom of 10" x 7" casserole dish. The 10x7-inch dish is perfect for corn tortillas, but an 8-inch square baking dish would work as well. Place 1/3 cup of the squash and bean mixture into each tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese and roll up. Place seam-side-down in the baking dish. Continue until all the squash mixture is used up. Pour the remaining salsa sauce over the top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese has melted and starting to brown in places, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream and avocado.

Calories per enchilada (based on my best calculations): 190

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

black bean burgers2
I have been trying new recipes again and have been trying to incorporate more meatless and veggie filled dinners into our menu. I have had some misses (chicken sausage stuffed zucchini, seemed promising but flopped), but also some winners. These black bean burgers from Skinnytaste were AWESOME!!! I am planning to make up another batch this week to keep frozen for lunches. I didn't even make the mayo; the burgers were SO flavorful that I loved them with just avocado on top (and I didn't use a bun for mine either). Definitely give them a try!!! (I will say the kids did not love all)

For the Spicy Chipotle Mayo:
3 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise (Hellman's)
1 tbsp canned chipotle in adobo sauce
For the Black Bean Burgers:
16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jumbo egg
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup quick oats (I used gluten-free oats)
4 whole wheat 100 calorie buns (Martin's)*
1 small hass avocado, sliced thin
black bean burgers1
Combine mayonnaise and chipotle, set aside.
Dry the beans well after washing, extra moisture keeps the burgers from sticking. In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic, then add oats, then eggs and spices. Then stir into mashed beans.
Divide mixture into four patties (using slightly oiled hands helps) and place them onto a flat surface covered with wax paper. (If it's too wet, chill the mixture 30 minutes in the refrigerator or add another tablespoon of oats)
Freeze at least 2 hours before cooking or keep frozen until ready to cook.
Heat a lightly sprayed skillet to medium heat and cook frozen burgers about 7 minutes on each side.
If grilling, preheat grill over medium heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil; grill 7-8 minutes on each side or you can bake in the oven at 375° on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 burger w/ mayo bun + avocado • Calories: 362.6 • Fat: 14.0 g • Protein: 18.1 g • Carb: 50 g • Fiber: 15.1 g • Sugar: 7.1 g Sodium: 786.4 mg (without salt)