Category Archives: Lunchez

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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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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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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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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Potato Soup!

This soup was seriously SO good. I was extremely stoked on it because #1 I’ve never made home made soup from scratch, well besides Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup. But that’s in the crockpot! So this was slightly different. The #2 reason I was stoked on it so much was because it turned out gooooood. Really good. So here’s the recipe. I found it on one of the best cooking sites out there, Pioneer Woman. She calls it the “Perfect Potato Soup” and it really is.

* I knew this recipe was gonna make A LOT of soup so I actually changed up the measurements a bit. It made about 2.5-3 servings which was perfect for us. If you want more, than you can just follow Pioneer Woman’s measurements!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces ( I just cook strips and crumble up)
  • 1 Half Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 3 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
  • 3-4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt, More To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley

Step One:

Cook up your bacon, get it crumbled and set aside. Pioneer Woman said try very hard not to eat it. I just barely succeeded. (But not without a few nibbles….that’s utterly impossible).

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Step Two:

Next, peel and get your onion chopped up.

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Step Three:

Skin and chop up your potatoes.

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Step Four:

Chop up your carrots and your celery. Pioneer Woman threw in these veggies and let them cook while she diced potatoes up but I just threw them all in together!

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Step Five:

Throw your veggies in a pot over medium heat to get them cooking. I realllllly need to invest in some nicer and newer pots. Bigger too. Throw in some salt ‘n pepper. Let cook for about 5 minutes.

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Step Six:

After you’ve let them cook a little bit, throw in your chicken broth. I used about 4 cups. If it looks like you need a little more then go ahead.

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Step Seven:

Bring it to a boil and let cook for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are nice and tender. While it’s cooking mix together your milk and your flour. Pour into pot after the 10 minutes.

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Step Eight:

Veggies should be niiiice and soft now. Here’s the part I had never known about. Grab a blender if you have one….or a food processor. Take about 2/3 to half of your soup and blend it or process it up. It expands a bit so don’t fill it up too much. Blend and then pour this back into your pot of soup. This gives it a perfect consistency. Who knew?! (Probably anyone who’s reading this haha).

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Step Nine:

Last main step! Seems like a lot of steps but…you could obviously put most of these “steps” together. I just like to take more pics :). Pour in your little bit of heavy cream.

Heavy Cream

Now throw some fresh parsley on top. Doesn’t this look GOOD? Even you don’t think it look good that’s alright…..just try making it! I promise you it is so good. We had giant bowls of it and took it all down in one sitting.

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The bacon on top was priceless. I mixed it in and was able to have some with every bite. So going to make this again ASAP.

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Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

It’s been a gorgeous fall week outside. I can slowly but surely feel the temperature become a little more cool and a little more brisk! Especially in the mornings….eek. When fall and winter hit I’m alllll about the SOUP. Good, WARM and hearty soup. I tried out this recipe from Skinnytaste. It turned out perfect. Great flavor and super easy.  We even ended up having to eat it for the first time the day after I made it cause that night last minute family birthday dinner plans came up. It tasted great even with having to wait 24 hours before digging in!

* Quick Tip: I’m sure most are already aware of this one BUT a few months ago as I was standing in the spice aisle looking like an idiot. A woman passed me by and told me if I’m looking to buy some spices try looking in the ethnic food aisle first, probably where the majority of Mexican food/products are cause they have a lot there and for wayyyy cheaper than the bottled spices. She was RIGHT. Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, etc. Like, over 50% cheaper than the bottled ones. So if you need to get some spices and don’t want to spend a ton (cause they can be spendy?) then try looking in that aisle first! They just might have what you’re looking for.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
  •  15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (I omitted cause I didn’t have any)
  • 2 8 oz skinless chicken breasts (16 oz total)
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • fat free or regular sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla strips (optional, but why not?!)

Step One:

Heat up your olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, maybe 3-4 minutes.

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Step Two:

Add in the chicken broth slowly, tomato sauce and chipotle adobe sauce. Bring it to a boil and then add it to your crockpot.

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Step Three:

Add your black beans (drained), diced tomatoes, corn (drained), cumin and stir.

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Step Four:

Add your chicken breast in, cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. (If you’re gonna be gone all day long and wanna get this started in the morning it should be fine to go longer if it’s on Low). When you’re ready to eat, take your chicken breast out, shred them with two forks and then put back into the soup.

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Adjust to taste with more salt or more cumin and you’re good to go! We of course garnished the heck out of it. Sour cream…yes please. Cheese….YES please. And don’t forget the tortilla strips! I made some cornbread too for good measure. Ugh I love that stuff. There you have it. Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup…. or basically Tortilla Soup :).

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Crab Cakezz

This was definitely a first. I was inspired by some phenomenal crab cakes I shared with my babeska when we went out to dinner for our 1 year Anniversary (woot woot). These definitely weren’t as good haha but I enjoyed the process and they turned out way better than I thought! I mean they were good…just not as good as professional crab cakes I’ll admit that. Found this great and easy recipe on All Recipes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12-16 oz of crab meat (I used about 12 and it made 7 crab cakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp old bay seasoning (if you have it? I didn’t)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz of crackers, crushed (ritz or saltines. I used almost one full bag of saltines crushed up)
  • 1 cup panko or bread crumbs (I used bread crumbs, use more if you need it)

Step One:

Combine crabmeat, chopped green onions, egg, mayonnaise, dry mustard, crushed crackers, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper. Looks great right? Ha.

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Step Two:

Form into 1/2 inch thick patties. Coat the patties with bread crumbs. Some of them WERE just a little bit fragile. I put a little more mayo and saltine crackers in.

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Step Three:

Heat half a cup of oil up in a pan over medium high heat. Cook the cakes until golden brown on each side. Only one broke apart on me! Not too bad. Once golden take out of pan and serve hot. YUM. I whipped up a basic lemon aioli to go with (1/2 c mayo, half a lemon squeezed, some dill, chives and minced garlic).

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BLT Chopped Salad (w/ corn, feta + avocado)

This was amazing. Aaaaamazing. I helped my GF Sarah (yes the Buffalo French Bread BFF, she knows my extreme love for food and finds the BEST recipes) make this a few weeks back. Her main squeeze grilled the corn for us, a luxury I didn’t have this time around with no grill on hand. She found it on this great site How Sweet It Is. It’s obvs way easy and has very few steps. But the ingredients all together are just SO good, so def worthy of a blog post. Also we threw in some chopped up chicken for good measure.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups butter lettuce, chopped (original recipe called for arugula too)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 cup sweet corn (I used canned, ashamed, but it was what was convenient!)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 2-3 chicken breasts

DRESSING:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Step One:

Fry up your bacon and get it chopped up. UGH, yum. I could stop here and be satisfied. Once bacon is done get your chicken cooked and chopped up and set aside along with the bacon.

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Step Two:

Chop up your tomatoes and avacado.

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Step Three:

Chop up your lettuce. In a large bowl combine your lettuce, tomatoes, corn and avocado.

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Step Four:

Mix your dressing together. Olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper. Add this to your bowl.

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Step Five:

Fold in your bacon, your feta cheese and your chopped chicken.

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Step Six:

Divide into two plates and serve! So good. I will make again and again. If you have the chance to grill your corn, do it! It totally adds to it. You’d think the simple dressing almost wouldn’t be “enough” but it was. Simple yet flavorful and great. Of course use whatever dressing you’d like if you prefer something different. Bye bye summer salads (sigh).

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Grilled Pesto Chicken & Tomato Kebabzz

YUM. These turned out great! Perfect for a summer grill out whether you’re eating for 2 or for 8. Made the pesto homemade (a phase I’m going through being obsessed with homemade pesto…I’m sure it won’t last) but feel free to save some time and get store bought if ya want. Only other ingredients is chicken breasts and tomatoes! 

Ingredients:

Pesto:

  • 2-3 cup arugula
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (any kind)
  • salt & pepper
  • 3/4cup – 1cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)

Kebabs:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 21 cherry tomatoes
  • 14 wooden skewers

So this is my own arugula pesto recipe… different from the one that comes with this kebab recipe on Skinnytaste!

Step One:

Place your arugula into your food processor and then place the parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper (just a tad) and pine nuts (optional, I only used cause I had and most pesto recipes call for them, but I’ve had without and it taste just fine!)

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Step Two:

Pulse your ingredients all together… if for any reason it seems thick just add a little more olive oil. I used the full 1 cup (but I flinch when I do cause I know it’s a lot). Boom. Look at that green goodness.

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Step Three:

Now it’s time to dice your chicken breasts and get them marinated in the pesto. I mixed it all in a bowl, covered it and marinated for a few hours (if your short on time just get them in for any amount of time). While this happens if you’re using wood skewers and not metal…soak them in some water for a little bit. 

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Step Four:

After your chicken has marinated….pull it out and start layering up with your chicken and tomatoes. Start with chicken and end with chicken.

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Step Five:

We don’t have a grill grill at our townhouse…accidentally left it at our old place when we moved, doh! So I actually just used a George Foreman believe it or not….worked like a charm. But I know it’s not the same as sittin out on the back deck in the sun, with an ice cold beer, smelling that authentic grill cooking. They were still really good though. Super light and super easy! Served them up with a side of rice….pasta or salad would be great too.

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Pulled (homemade) BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/ BLT Mac Salad

Here’s an easy 2 parter. Includes my fav. thing to use, rotisserie chicken! I’ve never made a homemade BBQ sauce before…it’s easy and has it’s own unique flavor to it.  It was good! Will probably make a again. Found the Sandwich recipe on Foodnetwork and the BLT Mac Salad (YUM) was on Skinnytaste. 

BLT MAC SALAD:

  • 8 oz uncooked elbows, low carb or whole grain (brown rice pasta for gf)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced small
  • 4 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise (I used Kraft light)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Step One:

In a skillet get your bacon all cooked up and crispy

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Step Two:

Cook your elbow noodles up…once done boiling, drain and rinse with cold water then set aside

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Step Three:

Chop up your tomatoes and combine along with any accumulated juice with mayonnaise and pepper in a medium bowl. I added a tiny bit of garlic powder too.

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Step Four:

Combine your pasta with tomatoes and spinach mixing well. Then toss in bacon right before serving. Voila! It was way better than I expected! Perfect for a potluck or a nice side dish to a summer meal.

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PULLED BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICHES: (could cut recipe in half if you only wanted to make a few sandwiches)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke ( I ommited cause I didn’t have any and didn’t wanna buy…might make a big difference though? I’m sure it’s good when added)
  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded into thin strips (about 4 to 4 1/2 cups)
  • 6 hamburger rolls

Step One:

Get your chicken all shredded up into pieces (skin removed)

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Step Two:

Heat your oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

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Step Three:

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke (if you have it) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Step Four:

Add chopped chicken, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

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Step Five:

Split rolls.  Pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll. Place some provolone (or whatever you fancy, if any cheese) and some spinach leaves. Way  good. Could even make extra sauce just to store up for a later time.

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