Category Archives: Dinnerz

Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

So the hubs and I tried to go Paleo the month of August. It made for a lottttt of interesting recipes. And to be honest, most were delicious. It’s not that hard going “Paleo”. Unless your a carb queen such as myself. But honestly, it felt good to take a break from the starchy, carby, heavy loves of my dietary world. It was also fun to switch up ingredients for all dinners where I use the most ingredients to cook. My BFF Sar and I were doing it at the same time and I got a TON of good recipes from her; we even started our own Pinterest board to keep track of things we could try out and see if we liked or not. Here’s one of them! Different yes, but husband approved and turned out very tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head cauliflower, grated (food processor if you have one)
  • 1 package, shittake mushrooms
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 shallots (or regular white onion), minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (I did without)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative)
  • 3 eggs
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil

(We didn’t, but you could throw your favorite protein in with it for a full meal. We just had as a side one night)

Step One:

Grate your cauliflower up. Easiest way to do this is for sure with a food processor. Takes no time at all, just cut your florets off into chunks and throw in to grind.

Step Two:

Heat up some coconut oil in a frying pan. Sauté your mushrooms and your white onion/shallots for a few minutes until softened. Add your grated cauliflower and your chopped green onions. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Kinnnnda looks like rice, right?

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Step Three: 

Push all your veggies to the side perimeter of your pan (yes owning a wok would’ve came in handy here) to form a well. Crack your eggs and place inside the formed circle/well. 

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Step Four:

Next, just mix it all up! And you’ve got yourself some Cauliflower “Fried Rice”. Super good, allllmost tasted like the real thing, just a healthier version. I’ll take it and will make again for sure. 

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Baked Ham & Swiss Sliderz w/ Sweet Poppyseed Sauce

These are some of the best sliders you’ll ever have. My BFF Sarah made them once and I’ll never forget the first time I had one ten. The *magic* is in the sweet poppyseed sauce. I’ll go on the record and say I enjoyed hers more than mine, but that’s pretty typical. I always enjoy food cooked FOR me rather than food cooked BY me. Anyone else in that same boat?

They’re easy and there are a million recipes out there on how to make them. I literally just pulled this great/simple one from google and it worked perfect. 

INGREDIENTS:

Sliders
1 pound thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 pound (or a package) of sliced swiss cheese
18 Hawaiian sweet rolls
Sauce
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Step One:
Get your oven preheated to 350 degrees Farenheit. Cut your rolls down the middle and layer your pieces of ham and swiss on top. I just bought some deli ham (thin I think is better for this recipe) and some regular swiss cheese. Place your sliders into a pan.
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Step Two:
Time to make your sauce. You can do this either in a saucepan or just mix it up in a bowl. I did the short version of just mixing in a bowl, but next time I’ll probably do stove top, it’ll give it a more sweet/sticky consistency which is goooood. Combine your butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and poppy seeds. If over stovetop, bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling take off and let cool a little bit then pour sauce OVER TOP of sandwiches, cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for about two more minutes.
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VOILA! They are so so tasty and you won’t be able to eat just one. I’ve heard you can make them in the crockpot too which would be convenient and portable if wanting to bring to a party. Try them out the next chance you get. Do it. 
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Honey-Balsamic BBQ Meatballz w/ Pesto Rice

This is one of my favorite things I have made to date! The meatballs turned out realllllly good. Super flavorful, super sweet and tangy at the same time. I’m pretty much the absolute worst when it comes to make a reduction sauce. Seriously. But I’m getting better at it. The pesto rice was more of an after thought, but if you’re like me and you LOVE pesto then you’ll love this simple combo. Which is literally just a tbsp or two of pesto mixed in with some cooked white rice. I was just trying to think of a decent side to serve with the meatballs and came across the idea on where else… GOOGLE. The meatballs were sweet and savory and I wish I had made like 30  more. Found the recipe on Iowagirleats.com. Her original recipe was Gluten-Free. She used quinoa instead of panko crumbs. I opted for the regular old panko crumbs cause I had some on hand. If you’re feeling creative and healthy go for the quinoa!

INGREDIENTS:

Meatballs:

  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (OR 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 small onion chopped up small
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned or minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (if you’re going GF with the quinoa – you’d need to check label to ensure GF here too – Lea & Perrins brand is)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme ( I left out, didn’t have any)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper

Honey-Balsamic BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (again, check label if you’re going GF)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Pesto Rice:

  • pesto and cooked white rice 🙂 (as much or as little as you want)

Step One:

Mix your pesto (1-2 tbsp) with cooked white rice (2-3 cups). Keep covered and warm up later if need be.

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NEXT,

Combine all your ingredients for the sauce in a sauce pan. Stir to combine and bring it to a boil over med-high heat stirring every so often, once boiling then reduce the heat and simmer for quite a while, continuing to stir every so often. The recipe said 45 min but that seemed way too long. I let it simmer until it looked like it was reduced pretty thickly for about 20 min give or take. Use your best judgement! I’ve definitely let it go too long or let it get too hot too quick and ended up with super thick and sticky barely usable stuff. You simply want it to be thick and solid and to have lost most of its vinegar bite. Once it has reduced let it sit. Stir it up here and there until you’re ready for the meatballs.

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Step Two:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl combine your egg, panko crumbs (or quinoa), onion, garlic, worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary. Next, mix in your ground beef.

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Step Three:

Form your meatballs and pop into the oven for about 15-17 minutes until they are no longer pink in the middle. You may need to sacrifice one to check. RIP test meatball. Once they’re done, take them out and let them cool for a bit, then place them in a bowl and pour your sauce over. Be gentle :). 

                            Before                                                                     After

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Step Four:

Serve them up and EAT your heart out. They turned out delicious and I was so proud of my sauce. This one is a must try for sure. 

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Shrimp & Arugula Salad Sandos

These were fresh and tasty. I cheated…. in that I used already cooked shrimp (it saves soo much time I couldn’t help it!). Pretty easy recipe that I found on cleaneatingmag.com. Great for a spring or summer night. Not too heavy but just right. And guess what? There’s literally only a few steps. It’s awesome.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz frozen cooked (or pre-cooked) shrimp (peeled, deveined and tails removed), defrosted, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Dash hot sauce, optional ( I didn’t use. Wanna know what I did use? Bacon. So there’s that.)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tomatoes (chopped up cherry or vine)
  • 2 lightly packed cups arugula or baby spinach
  • 4 whole-grain Kaiser-style rolls or whole-grain buns, split and toasted

Step One:

Chop up your shrimp and celery.

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Step Two:

Mix in your greek yogurt, your dijon and your dill, salt and pepper. And I may or may not have added in some bacon crumbles???

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Step Three:

Throw your mixture onto a roll and add some arugula.  And there you have a shrimp & arugula salad sando. YUMMO.

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Spinach & Mushroom Turkey Lasagna

I never make lasagna, but I looooove it; so I finally buckled down and did the damn thing. I opted for a semi-healthier version, if you can call it that. I found the recipe on Self.com  in which they call it “Tuscan Lasagna”. It turned out great. So great, that I couldn’t wait to get a piece and forgot to take a pic of the finished product. Doh! I promise though it was not only good, but pretty decent looking too. I tweaked the OG recipe a little bit.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb 90-percent-lean ground turkey (recipe called for 1 lb but I’d use more, I felt like it wasn’t enough for the layers)
  • 1 cup sliced bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion (I probably used more than that)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (used a little more, your own preference really )
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta
  • 1 package (8 oz) whole-grain lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz low-sodium marinara sauce (I used a vodka spaghetti sauce cause it’s what I had in the fridge)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim fresh mozzarella (or more?…always more)
  • 2 cups thawed frozen spinach
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Step One:

Thaw your spinach and chop up your onion and mushrooms.

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Step Two:

Heat oven to 375°. Put your noodles in a pot of boiling water and get them softened up. In a pan on med-high cook your ground turkey, mushrooms, onion, salt, basil, Italian seasoning, until turkey is browned; transfer to a bowl and stir in ricotta.

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Step Three:

Once noodles are done, drain water and rinse with cold water. Spray an 8 x 11 dish and put a layer of noodles down, then meat mixture and then your sauce.

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Step Four:

Sprinkle your mozzarella cheese on top and then repeat. You can repeat once or twice, depending on how many noodles you have to work with. When you get to your top layer of noodles, sprinkle on your spinach, meat mixture and some parmesan cheese. Layer with sauce and then one last layer of mozzarella.

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Cover with foil and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Easy right? Ugh, I’m bummed I seriously forgot to snap a pic of the finished product. But it was good. And it wasn’t as rich and cheesy as the normal lasagna that I adore, but it definitely did the trick!

Homemade Fishstickzz

I’ve always wanted to try making my own. Finally did it! Found a good and simple recipe at Cleaneatingmag.com. I used 2 Tilapia filets for the fish. I also made a fresh tartar like dill sauce for on the side. I can’t do fish sticks without a sauce. Found that on Martha Stewart.  

DILL SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 2 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (I added in a heaping spoonful of dill too)

Step One:

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, parsley (and dill), mustard, lemon juice, and horseradish; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

FISHSTICKS:

Step One:

Dice up your fish as finely as possible.

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Step Two:

Crack your egg into a bowl and put the fish pieces into it. Then mix in your 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (use more if you need it to solidify a little more, or use a 2nd egg).

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Step Three:

Form the “sticks” out of your mixture. Make it as solid as you can and then dip/roll them in your panko crumbs.

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Step Four:

Heat up about a tbsp of olive oil in your frying pan ( I cheated and added some butter too). Once fairly hot, put your sticks in and cook away to golden perfection. Honestly I don’t even know what time to tell you, I just cooked till they looked delicious. (Original recipe said about 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.)

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Pretty easy right? I think some people are grossed out by any form of “fish stick”. But I’ve always loved them?! And making them homemade… to me… isn’t gross at all. Taste much better than the frozen variety. Threw some mash potatoes and gravy on the plate, a little (a lot) bit of the dill sauce and we were chowing down in no time.

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Bacon Cheeseburger Calzonezz

These were majorly tasty and easy to make. I made them a while back and need to make them again. It takes very few ingredients, which is always a bonus. I found the recipe straight off of the Pillsbury website. They tasted just like a good ‘ol fashioned bacon cheeseburger…no lie.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1-2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 4 slices of bacon, crumbled (Or more. Always more)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • White onion
  • 1/4 c ranch dressing (optional)
  • Diced pickles (dill)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
Step One:
Preheat oven to 375 then start cooking up your ground beef. Once browned, add in your diced onion and diced pickles. Mix in your ranch dressing and mix all together then remove from heat.
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Step Two:
Unroll your dough and separate each can into 4 separate rectangle. You’ll have either 4 calzones if you use only 1 can, or a total of 8 calzones if you use both. Firmly press the perforations of each rectangle to seal up any cracks. Add your meat mixture to one side of each rectangle. I was a little overzealous with my serving :). I recommend around 2 tablespoons.
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Step three:
Sprinkle some cheese on top, then your bacon crumbles and then fold over your rectangles and press edges with fork to seal together. 
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Step Four:
Mix your egg up and brush on top of each calzone. Pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 
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Take out and chow down. Not bad right?
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Cheesy Monkey Bread Rolls

These little guys are amazing. My brother in law (shout out Christoff) makes this kind of monkey bread for us from time to time. Yum, I want some right now. I recently stumbled upon this “cheesy monkey bread bites” recipe a while back and knew I had to try it out. Sooo good. The perfect heavenly carb side to any meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of parmesan shredded cheese (less or more if you need)
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil 
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (optional) (I used minced)

Step One:

Heat your oven to 350°. Take your biscuit dough out from it’s package and quarter each biscuit. Melt your butter in a microwave safe bowl and set aside. Mix your cream cheese with the basil (I used dried cause I didn’t have any fresh on hand). 

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Step Two:

Put your parmesan cheese in a bowl. Spray your muffin tin. Take your cream cheese mixture and put about a teaspoon of it onto each quartered biscuit. Then seal it up as best you can. Place the dough in the butter and then dip into the parmesan cheese mixture. Then place into the muffin tin. Put about 3 of these into each muffin tin. 

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Step Three:

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until they are golden brown. Health conscious? Not so much. Taste amazing? Yes. Try them, they’re good.

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Chicken & White Bean Enchiladazz

These were pretty amazing. Original recipe comes from here. If you use the right light ingredients, they are a much healthier version of your favorite enchiladas, but still have all the great taste and creaminess you dream of. I didn’t go light this time, but I will next time. I swear.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
  • 8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 7 oz can chopped green chile
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 6-8 medium low-carb tortillas
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (or both)

(Also called for 2 jalapeños, chopped, which I omitted only cause I’m a wimp and not a huge jalapeño fan) 

Step One:

Cook/Shred your chicken however you please. We threw it in the crockpot with some chicken broth all day so it could easily be shredded when I got home from work.

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Step Two:

Preheat your oven to 375. Chop up your onions and cilantro either ahead of time or when you’re ready to get started.

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Step Three:

In a pan over medium-high, heat up your olive oil and sauté about 1/4 cup (I put in a little more) of your onions and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes. Add in your 4 oz can of green chiles, your can of beans, about 1/3 cup of water, your chicken bullion cube and cumin. Mix it all up and then cover and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. 

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Step Four:

While your mixture is simmering, get started on your sauce.  In a non-stick pan, melt your butter over medium heat. Add in the rest of your onion and cook until the onion softens about 3-4 minutes. Add in your flour and stir real well. It’ll seem chunky, that’s ok. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in your chicken broth until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add in your 7 oz can of green chiles, jalapeños if you got ’em, and salt to taste. Cook another minute and then remove from the heat. Immediately stir in the sour cream.

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Step Five:

Once your sauce is good to go, get back to your filling. Throw your shredded chicken into the mixture, mix it all around and then let it cook for a few more minutes (while this is happening just keep your sauce stirred, it should stay pretty fluid).

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Step Six:

Spread about 1/4 cup of your sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll up the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. 

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Step Seven:

Pour your sauce over the enchiladas and then sprinkle some cheese over the top. Pop in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

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Step Eight:                

Once out of the oven, throw your cilantro on top and boom. They’re done and ready for chowing down. 

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So good, so creamy, so tasty. Pretty easy too, right? Will make these again and again I’m sure. 

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Tortellini Soup

One of my college BFF’s posted this recipe a few weeks back and I knew I had to try it. It looked so good. It was super easy, few ingredients and tasted fantastic. She found it on Shutterbean.com. (The original recipe used some red pepper flakes of which I left out.) Thanks again Hanbone! Check her own blog out at Heart To Heart. Genuine, profound, thought provoking & authentic. Doesn’t get much better than that. Love reading about her life and her heart.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I used minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 10 oz. package cheese tortellini
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • grated Parmesan, for serving

Step One:

Dice up your onions. Heat up your olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté your onions, add your oregano, basil and garlic. Then slowly add in your diced tomatoes.

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Step Two:

Slowly add in chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil for 10-12 minutes.

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Step Three:

Add in your tortellini and cook for another 5-6 minutes.

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Step Four:

Finally, add in your spinach. Slowly stir it in. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

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Place in bowls and sprinkle on some shaved parmesan. YUM. A cozy dinner or lunch that takes barely any time at all.

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