Archive | April, 2011

Thai Peanut Sauce and Thai Chicken Pizza

27 Apr

You MUST try this peanut sauce. It is SO versatile. You can put it on this delicious Thai pizza, dip chicken or beef in it, and even toss it with hot or cold spaghetti noodles.

The noodle idea really is a great one. You just take boiled spaghetti noodles, frozen peas, and shredded carrots and you mix them all together with the peanut sauce. The next day, you can eat your leftovers cold, straight from the fridge. De- freakin- lish.

Seriously, try it… But this post is mostly about the pizza. Jason absolutely LOVES this pizza. He had 3 1/2 slices tonight and tried to get another one before he realized that eating another slice would be eating over 1/2 of the entire pizza.

This pizza is chock full of veggies and the cabbage and crushed peanuts add a nice, unexpected crunch. I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Servings: 1/3 – 1/2  cup
Time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy

1/3 c. peanut butter, all natural
1 tbsp. soy sauce, low sodium
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Thai chili sauce, sweet, hot, or garlic
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients together.

Yum!

Tips
– This sauce freezes well. After thawing, just add a touch of water to help it become creamy again.
– You can leave out the Thai chili sauce if you want. Just add a little more of the other liquid ingredients.

Thai Chicken Pizza

Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
sprinkle of curry powder
sprinkle of ginger powder
sprinkle of cayenne, optional
pizza dough
1/3 c. Thai Peanut Sauce
1/4 c. peas, frozen
1/4 c. carrots, shredded
1/4 c. cabbage, shredded
1/4 c. onion, sliced (optional)
1/4 c. peanuts, crushed
1/3 c. cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°. Butterfly the chicken breast by slicing it in half lengthwise, making it thinner. Sprinkle curry, ginger, and cayenne over chicken breast. In a pan over medium-high heat, cook chicken breast until no longer pink. Set aside to cool and then dice it into bite sized pieces. In a baking pan, roll out dough and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with diced chicken and remaining ingredients, beginning with the Thai Peanut Sauce.

Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until crust becomes golden brown. Yum!

Tips
– I dip mine in extra Sriracha.
– You can also use hot peanuts.

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Quick and Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Butterless, too!

26 Apr

My mom substituted quick cooking oats for instant packets of brown sugar oatmeal once and the results were magnificent. I was totally, 100% inspired by her delicious cookies when I was coming up with this one. I looked around at a few cookie recipes, saw what they all had in common, combined one or two things here and there, and substituted a few ingredients with  instant packets of oatmeal and applesauce.

This recipe, although it contains brown sugar, is decently healthy for you, considering the health benefits that are in most cookies.

This recipe doesn’t make a lot of cookies, mine made 8. But isn’t that just the perfect amount? Now I won’t have cookies staring me in the face every time I go into the kitchen. If I did, my waistline would hate me because I wouldn’t be able to stay away from them!

These cookies turned out very dense and chewy, but still tasted great! They sort of had the consistency of granola bars, which I really enjoyed. It was a nice change from a regular cookie.

Quick and Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Servings: 8 cookies
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

2 packets of Brown Sugar and Maple Instant Oatmeal (I used the Weight Control kind from Quaker’s)
1 egg
1/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
handful of raisins, optional
handful of chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients together.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Yum!

Tips
– You can use 1/4 c. unsalted butter in place of the applesauce.
– Try using different flavors of instant oatmeal and different fruits.

BBQ Chicken and Bacon Mini Tarts

25 Apr

These little appetizers are delicious hot out of the oven and at room temperature so they are perfect for tailgating or entertaining. You can switch up the filling to include anything you want. I once used pizza sauce and pepperoni instead of BBQ sauce and chicken. The options are truly endless.

One filling I would like to try is cream cheese mixed with a little sugar and lemon juice topped with sliced fruit. Doesn’t that sound great?

BBQ Chicken and Bacon Mini Tarts

Servings: This recipe made 24 tarts
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Medium

1 tube crescent rolls
6 chicken strips, cooked and cut into tiny bite sized pieces (I used Tyson 100% white meat chicken nuggets… I keep them around to throw on salads)
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used turkey bacon)
1/4 c. BBQ sauce
jalapeños, sliced
1/3 c. cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a mini muffin tin. Unroll crescent rolls and smoosh together to make one big rectangle of dough. Cut into 24 small squares.

Stretch each square a little and press down into each muffin cup.

Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and fill each cup with a tiny amount of BBQ sauce, a piece of chicken, a few bacon crumbles, a piece of a jalapeño slice, and a little shredded cheese.

Bake for 2 more minutes. Yum!

Tips
– Jason likes to dip his in ranch dressing. Go figure.

Perfectly Hard Boiled Eggs – Deviled Eggs

24 Apr

Ever since I could eat solid foods, I have had a love affair with deviled eggs, well, boiled eggs in general. I used to call them doubled eggs and I thought they were the most delicious side item on the planet. I still really love them but I don’t make them as often as I should.

Big Family gatherings and deviled eggs just seem to go together. When I was younger, I would fill my plate with Brown and Serve Rolls, with Ketchup to dip them in… of course, a dollop of cornbread dressing, and a few (as many as I could get away with) deviled eggs. Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas meal of champions, in my opinion.

My sweet brother, who is 9 years older than me, would always give me a lecture on my cholesterol intake. Can’t you just imagine? Sitting at the dinner table with the whole family and my 13 year old brother hollering at me because all I will eat are eggs. Ah, the wonderful memories are flooding back to me…

I missed my family on Easter this year. It’s hard to be away. But, good news! My plate won’t be filled with little ketchup sandwiches this year. My tastes are all grown up… but one thing is for sure, my love of deviled eggs still remains and I hope my family enjoyed theirs together today.

You can’t really read the bible verse but how appropriate for Easter! Thanks Goldenhen. “This is the Day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

Perfectly Boiled Eggs

Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

eggs
water

Put eggs in a pot. Fill the pot with cold water until the eggs are covered, with about 1 in. of water above them. Add enough salt to make the water taste salty.

Put the lid on the pot. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil. As soon as it boils, cut off the heat. Leave the pot on the warmed burner and don’t take off the lid. Let sit of 12 minutes. Remove eggs from pot and place in a bowl of ice water.

Once cool, peel the eggs under running water. Yum!

Tips
– The salt can make the eggs easier to peel because the proteins coagulate and firm up, making the white easier to separate from the shell.
– Peeling under running water isn’t necessary but it seems to make things easier to me.
– These are great for breakfast with a side of fruit and maybe a piece of toast.

Deviled Eggs

Time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy

eggs, boiled and peeled
mayonnaise
mustard
various other toppings and mixtures, see tips below

Cut eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove yellow yolk.

Mix yolks with a little mayo and mustard, just enough to make the mixture creamy.

Spoon or pipe yolk mixture back into egg whites.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Yum!

Tips
– The options for deviled eggs are endless. You can add any combination of the following and they are all delish!!!
– pickle relish, salt, pepper, and paprika
– crumbled bacon or turkey bacon, chives, and shredded cheddar
– Sriracha, salt, pepper, a touch of curry powder
– switch the regular yellow mustard with hot  mustard or spicy brown                mustard and top with a slice of a pimento stuffed green olive
– celery, onion, and hot sauce

As you can see, the options are endless… and delicious! If you have leftover deviled eggs, boil some potatoes and make a deviled egg potato salad. That’s really yummy, too!

Pretzel and Pecan Tilapia

22 Apr

Happy Good Friday! This fish does NOT taste fishy… at all. If it did, I assure you, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.

The pretzel and pecan breading holds up nicely to the acidity of the mustard and the fish doesn’t get lost in their bold flavors. In fact, I had some of the pretzel and pecan breading left over and it worked so well that I saved it to try on chicken.

I wonder if honey mustard pretzels would work? Hmm… another recipe for another day.

Pretzel and Pecan Tilapia

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

1/2 of a handful of sourdough (or regular) pretzels
1/2 of a handful of pecans, fresh, saltless
2 tilapia fillets, thawed
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
1 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Worcestershire
1/8 tsp. paprika

In a food processor, chopper, or blender,  pulse pretzels and pecans until they become fine like breadcrumbs.

Blot tilapia with a paper towel to dry it off a little. Coat both sides of the fillets with pretzel and pecan mixture.

Put breaded fillets in the fridge for a few minutes, while the oil heats in your pan. (This helps the coating stick without the use of an egg wash.) Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cook fillets 4-5 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, mix together mustard, mayo, Worcestershire, and paprika. Spread mustard mixture over each fillet.

Yum!

Tips
– Try using chicken instead of fish.
– You can use regular pretzels if you want.
– I served this with new potatoes that were boiled in water, dill, thyme, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Yum!

BBQ Chili Meatballs

19 Apr

You know those little cocktail meatballs you always see at parties? I had a very random craving for those tonight. I didn’t have any grape jelly, packaged meatballs, or time to use my crockpot tonight. But I did have chili sauce, or as the bottle says… ketchup with a kick! Ha. Too bad it doesn’t really taste like ketchup. Anyway, this is my quick version and they more than satisfied my craving.

BBQ Chili Meatballs

Servings: 2
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

Enough ground beef to make 2 hamburger patties (I just eye balled it…)
1 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 tbsp. chili saice
sprinkle of chili powder
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of dry onion flakes, or finely diced fresh onion
1/4 c. BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix all ingredients together, being careful to handle meat as little as possible so it doesn’t become tough.

Roll meat into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls.

Place on a cookie sheet that has sides or in a baking dish.


 (Oh, hasn’t my cookie sheet been loved?)

Bake for 15 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. Remove from oven and set on a paper towel lined plate to help drain off excess oil. Roll or dip each meatball in BBQ sauce. Yum!

Tips
– Serve over brown rice.
– Serve along side Green Chile Cornbread
– Make a meatball sub with any leftovers. Just throw the meatballs, some provolone cheese, and a little mayo onto a hoagie  roll.

Green Chile Cornbread

18 Apr

This cornbread could not be any easier. With a little help from a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix and a can of green chilies, this cornbread is an easy side dish for any night of the week.

Green Chile Cornbread

Servings: 6-9
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

1 package of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 can green chilies, drained a little
1/4 – 1/3 c. cheese, shredded
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix all ingredients together.

Let batter rest for 3 – 4 minutes. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yum!

Bacon and Ranch Chicken… Well, Turkey Bacon and Ranch…

17 Apr

After  a long day of yard work, we deserved a little indulgence. Turkey bacon made this dish a little lighter but it is definitely not something I would serve everyday, no matter how much Jason begged.

His two favorite things to eat, ever, are bacon and ranch. He could LIVE off of bacon and ranch. Tonight, needless to say, he was a happy camper. And to be honest, so was I….

Bacon Ranch Chicken

Servings: 2 (but could easily be doubled, tripled, etc.)
Time: 40 minutes
Level: Easy

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp. cheese, any Italian blend, shredded
1 tbsp. mayo
1 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
4 slices turkey bacon

Preheat oven to 400°. Slice chicken breast in half, lengthwise. Mix together cheese and mayo.

In a zip-loc bag, toss chicken halves in dry ranch dressing mix until fully coated.

Remove from zip-loc bag and spread each chicken breast half with cheese and mayo mixture. Wrap each piece of chicken with 2 slices of bacon. Place in a baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Turn oven to broil and move dish to top rack. Broil for 3-4 minutes to help crisp up the bacon. Yum!

Tips
– Try using regular bacon.
– Serve along side a kitchen sink salad with tons of veggies, raisins, any type of nut, etc.

Chicken and Pesto Quesadillas

15 Apr

This is such a great recipe to whip up on a super busy weeknight or even as a super quick lunch when your sick and tired of PB&J. As I’ve said before, a store bought jar of pesto can save your culinary life when you’re in a pinch!

In this recipe, you can use really good lunch meat slices, like Boars Head Ever Roast, rotisserie chicken, or any chicken you may have leftover.

Chicken and Pesto Quesadillas

Servings: 1
Time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy

2 flour tortillas
1 tbsp. pesto
5-6 slices of chicken lunch meat, or 1/2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
onion, sliced (optional)
1/4 c. Italian Cheese (anything will do… Mozzarella, a blend… whatever you have)

Spread pesto on one tortilla. Top with chicken, onions,  and then sprinkle with cheese.

Place the second tortilla on top and heat in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, turning a few times to brown both sides. Yum!

Tips
– Try rolling these same ingredients into crescent rolls instead of tortillas and bake according to crescent roll package’s directions.
– Instead of regular pesto, try the sun-dried tomato version. It’s delish!

Baja Shrimp Tacos with a Corn and Radish Salad

14 Apr

My pictures aren’t very good tonight. The lighting is bad, the angles are bad, they’re all bad. But it is because we were so anxious to sit down and eat these yummy little tacos! I will definitely be making both of these recipes again and again. The tangy yogurt sauce really made this meal come together and we loved every bite. I made enough for Jason to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow but he ended up going back for seconds… big seconds… yum!

Baja Shrimp Tacos

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Medium (Just because of the timing. To have everything done at once is kind of tricky.)

10 frozen shrimp, defrosted, peeled, deveined
1/4 c. onion, thinly sliced
1 pinch of garlic powder
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1 pinch of cumin
1 pinch of coriander

In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onions until translucent. Add shrimp and all other ingredients. Heat until shrimp just turn pink, about 4 minutes.

Serve in warmed corn tortillas with Spicy Lime Yogurt Sauce, lettuce, and salsa. Yum!

Tips
– Warm the corn tortillas in a little oil, turning frequently, over medium heat. This will take the “raw” taste away.

Spicy Lime Yogurt Sauce

2 tbsp. plain non-fat yogurt
2 tbsp. sour cream
1-2 tsp. lime juice
1 pinch of cayenne
1 pinch of cumin
1 pinch of coriander

Mix all ingredients together. Can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Yum!

Corn and Radish Salad

Servings: 2
Time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy

1/2 c. corn, rinsed and drained
3-4 radishes, thinly slices
1 tbsp. jalapeños, chopped
2 tbsp. Spicy Lime Yogurt Sauce

Mix all ingredients together. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead of time if stored in the fridge. Yum!

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