Monday, January 31, 2011

Chili...kind of

It's always fun when you make up your own recipes and they don't fail, especially when you don't do it on purpose. :-)  Last week I went to make chili. Originally the recipe was for a white turkey chili but as you'll see the results were nowhere near that haha. I had chicken instead of turkey, no big deal. Never cook after a really hard spinning class if you want the recipe to come out exact.

In my post workout daze I grabbed curry powder instead of chili powder....yeah opps. It ended up like a curry chicken soup and we loved it! Below is the recipe and I hope you can enjoy as well.

Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 30 Min
Ready In: 45 Min

Servings: 8


1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
about 5 chicken breasts chopped
1 (4 ounce) can canned green chile peppers chopped
1 tablespoon ground curry powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
ground cayenne pepper to taste
ground white pepper to taste
3 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese


In a large pot over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic and ground turkey and saute for 10 minutes, or until turkey is well browned. Add the chile peppers, curry powder, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne pepper to taste and white pepper to taste and saute for 5 more minutes.

Add two cans of the beans and the chicken broth to the pot. Take the third can of beans and puree them in a blender or food processor. Add this to the pot along with the cheese. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Super Easy and healthy baked chicken

You have chicken, don't want to take time to cook but need dinner. That happens a lot in our house so we often turn to baked chicken. Throw the chicken in a casserole dish (we usually use chicken cutlets in a glass or stone baking dish) and put your favorite marinade on the chicken. I use just enough to cover but not soak the chicken. *Last night's marinade was a ginger soy dressing.

I bake (covered with foil) for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cook up some spinach or your favorite veggie and there you have a quick and healthy dinner option.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2 of planning

The first week of menu planning was somewhat successful. Things had to be moved around and 2 of the meals didn't get made because of our busy schedules. We have another busy week ahead of us so I have created a plan so that we hopefully can get the most of our evenings. 

Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: baked chicken leftovers
Wednesday: smoothies
Thursday: slow-cooker Moroccan chicken
Friday: Date night 
Saturday: leftovers and a concert
Sunday: slow-cooker corned beef

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Till next time...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ragu: stolen recipe :-)

This recipe is stolen from a blog written by Kate. I claim no originality only modifications. Here is a link to her original.

I used it with spaghetti and the fiancĂ©e and I loved it! We didn't actually use any cheese on top but it was still so yummy and it made the kitchen smell amazing. This recipe is perfect for an afternoon when you are busy but staying in the house. 

1 large onion
1 stick of celery
1 carrot
3 cloves of garlic (1 fat clove for 2)
1 bay leaf
about 1 lb of turkey meat
1 bottle of wine (1/2 bottle for 2)
1 small can of tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • Dice the onion and fry gently in about 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter to soften
  • Dice the celery and the carrot and add to the pan. Cook for about five mins until starting to soften (keep the heat low so that the onion doesn’t burn)
  • Grate in the garlic
  • Add the meat and stir with a fork to brown and break up a bit. Season well.
  • Add the tomatoes, the sugar (brings out the tomato-y-ness of the tomatoes), the wine and the bay leaf, put the lid half on, then simmer on a low heat for 2 hours (or put in the oven at around 180 / 200ish for an afternoon)
  • The sauce should be rich and thick. It can now sit in the fridge for a few days and be re-heated when needed (about 10 mins on the stove top).
  • Cook your favorite pasta according to the packet instructions
  • Stir the sauce through and eat, with parmesan to grate over

I hope you all find it as easy and delicious as I did!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lasagna virgin no more

Unless you are my sister, everyone loves lasagna. It's comfort food. The Italians will probably claim lasagna as theirs, but it is historically a British dish. I am neither Italian or British but I love it and have always wanted to make my own from scratch. I had turkey meat so I found a recipe online, modified it, and here it is.
    • 9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 3 cans tomato sauce
    • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic
    • 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
    • 2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey and garlic and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, stirring to break up any large chunks of meat. Stir in tomato sauce, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes and season to taste.
  4. Combine spinach, ricotta, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  5. To assemble, arrange 3 noodles lengthwise in the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread with 1/3 the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the turkey mixture, and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with remaining mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

A few tips to keep in mind:
  • make sure there are no bare noodles poking out the top or sides
  • You can add as much or as little spinach as you prefer. We love spinach so I used 6 full cups
  • This is not a spicy meal so you could easily add crushed red pepper for a kick

Enjoy with a glass or red wine or cold milk!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Game Night cookies!

  • Game night was a huge success! Everyone had such a great time and we may have going through a bit of wine and beer. Another thing we went through were my domino cookies that I found on the Country Living website. 

  • They were basically chocolate sugar cookies with whit chips placed to be the pips of the dominoes. 
chocolate domino cookies with glass of milk
Country Living Image

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3/4 cup(s) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup(s) large white chocolate chips

  1. Sift the cocoa, flour, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the cocoa mixture.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and cream and beat until a dough forms. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness, cut 16 2- by 4-inch rectangles, and place on baking sheets. Score each rectangle in the middle — the short way — and press in the chips to create dominos. Place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes. Bake for 13 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

I hope if you have a game night your cookies go over as well as mine did!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Yummy and Easy Breakfast casserole

My last post was about people who actually plan ahead. Well I am experimenting with that idea this week and included in the menu was a breakfast casserole that I could freeze part of for those mornings when you don't want to cook but need something warm. I cannot take credit for this recipe since I stole it from my mom. I did slightly alter for someone's dislike of onions but he seemed happy this morning eating 2 pieces :-) 

4 cups cubed day-old bread
1 lb. turkey sausage, cooked & drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. onion powder (didn't use the onion powder)
Black pepper to taste

Place bread in greased 13 X 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine milk, eggs, mustard, onion powder and pepper in bowl. Pour evenly over bread and cheese.  Sprinkle with sausage. Cover; refrigerate overnight.  Next morning, bake at 325 for 55-60 min. Cover with foil if top browns too quickly.

My goal is to slowly modify this to be healthier for the future by trying egg whites and a possible evaporated milk substitute. Since it is an egg casserole I'm not sure an egg substitute would work for those with allergies but if someone tries it please let me know. 


Friday, January 7, 2011

People actually plan menus?

Have you heard that there are people who actually plan ahead and plan a week worth of meals before they go grocery shopping? Ok so it might not be strange, but I don't normally plan my meals that far in advance. Life is always busy and I am always willing to trying something new...this time it is planning our meals ahead of time. I'm hoping it helps reduce post-work craziness of what's for dinner, and keep me on top of my resolution to post 1-2 new recipes a week.

My first step is to take into consideration what is already in the fridge and what needs to get used up. Then I look at our calendar and see how many nights we actually need to cook. From then I head to the internet to find something new that we haven't had in a while (or ever :-)  ).

This week we have some ground turkey I want to use. We only have 5 nights where we will be eating at home. I typed in ground turkey online and got some ideas. Also thank you to some great people on twitter for even more ideas.

Sunday: Ragu sauce with ground turkey and pasta (Thanks for the recipe @youcancookthis
Monday: Lasagna (will be my first homemade attempt)
Tuesday: Crockpot dinner- probably a chicken something (suggestions welcome)
Wednesday: Leftover night! (I have a meeting for Komen so I won't have time to cook)
Thursday: Fiance will be out for the evening with work so I will just snack on leftovers
Friday: White chili with turkey meat
Saturday: Date night out! No cooking for me!

I'll post each recipe (assuming it is delicious) after we do our taste test. I usually take a standard recipe and modify it either for food allergies or preferences.

Does anyone else plan meals like this? Does it work?

Monday, January 3, 2011

What a year :-)

2010 has been a busy year with many ups and a few downs. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Ups

  • I got Engaged!
  • Did my first road bike race in Colorado with my Dad
  • Ran my first (and maybe last haha) half marathon
  • Spent our anniversary in Phoenix 
  • Started taking dance classes again (a very exciting up)
  • Ran/biked (and completed) Muddy Buddy in Orlando
  • Bought a new car :-)
  • Joined the Race for the Cure board
  • Spent a weekend with friends at a secluded cabin
  • Spent a weekend in northern NY for a friend's bachelorette weekend
  • Dog sat my parents awesome service puppy for 2 weeks
  • Visited St. Augustine for the first time with the fiance and my parents (and the service puppy)
  • Spent Christmas with my sisters, parents, and the new service puppy
  • Started my blog!
The Downs
  • Diagnosed with food allergies
  • Decided running might not be my thing (not necessarily a horrible thing :-)  )
  • Spent 5 days in the hospital because of stomach infection and a yet to be diagnosed stomach problem

Overall I'm going to say this was an amazing year for me. I had a few down moments but I have such great support from people around me that it makes it all ok. I have my resolutions for the new year planned and I'm ready to hit the ground running with a busy 2011. 

Happy New Years to all!

Till next year!