Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creamy Taco Casserole

our friend Bob Towery made this for us for lunch and it was delicious!

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 pack taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
4 ounces taco sauce
3 ounces cream cheese
8 oz can corn kernels (I used a 14 oz can and it was fine)
4 ounce sliced olives
1 bag Fritos corn chips, 10 oz size--he used the chili cheese kind which was great
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar

green onion
sour cream

1. Brown beef with onion and garlic
2. Add seasoning mix, water, cream cheese, corn, olives and taco sauce.--let simmer for 4 minutes
3. Crush fritos
4. In an 8x12 casserole dish layer 1/2 the fritos, 1/2 the meat mixture, and 1/2 the cheese, repeat the layers.
5. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes
6. To serve you can top with lettuce, diced tomatoes, green onion, sour cream, or guacamole (like a warm taco salad).

Banana Muffins

2 bananas mashed
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup craisens
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk (we used regular milk and it was just fine!)

Mix together all ingredients and bake on a lower oven rack at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour for a lof and 25 minutes for muffin tins.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mom's Pasta Salad


½ of a 10 oz bag of colored pasta spirals

4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

4 slices Monterey jack cheese

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (small jar)

several slices of pepperoni or salami

1 small can ripe sliced olives

good seasons Italian dressing mix

vegetable oil

balsamic vinegar



1. Mix Italian dressing.

2. Cook noodles.

3. Dice cheese into small squares.

4. Cut up salami.

5. Combine everything. Salt the salad a little.

6. Add dressing 1 hour before serving and chill.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Salad Ingredients:

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

¾ cup your favorite BBQ sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1 bag romaine lettuce

2 ripe avocados, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups tortilla chips

Black Bean and Corn Salsa (for topping salad)

1 can black beans rinsed and drained

½ cup frozen corn kernels cooked, drained and cooled

½ red bell pepper finely diced

½ green bell pepper finely diced

½ red onion finely diced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoons EVOO

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:

½ cup buttermilk

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tabelspoon sour cream

¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives


1. Prepare dressing and refrigerate

2. Coat chicken breasts with BBQ Sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Grill 6-8 minutes per side until chicken is no longer pink.

4. Combine salsa ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Divide lettuce among plates. Drizzle with dressing and top with a spoonful of the salsa, avocados, tortilla chips and chicken breasts.

Meat Fondue


3 cups chicken stock

¾ cup white wine

2 Tablespoons chopped garlic

2 teaspoons rosemary (dry or fresh)

2 teaspoons oregano (dry or fresh)


Begin by sauteing the garlic in a splash of the chicken stock for about a minute, just to bring out the flavor. Add the white wine and deglaze any garlic on the pan, and let evaporate for about two minutes. Finally, add chicken stock and herbs and bring to a slow boil. The broth is ready to cook your meat! Use these time estimates for your raw meat and veggies:

  • Beef (steak) 2-3 minutes (Depends how rare you like it).
  • Chicken 3-5 minutes (Make sure ALL pink is gone from meat).
  • Seafood 1-3 minutes (Go easy on the lobster and salmon!)
  • Veggies: Broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms 2-3 minutes, potatoes 5-8 minutes (just dump them in and scoop them out with a slotted spoon).

Salami Roll Ups


1 pound thuringer (a type of salami—get sliced from deli counter)

cream cheese

dill pickles



1. Spread a line of cream cheese down the center of the thuringer. Place a wedge of the dill pickle on the cream cheese. Roll and secure with a toothpick.

Rachel Ray's Cheese Fondue


1 clove crushed garlic

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard—more if you want more spice/tang

½ cup apple juice or white wine

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup flavorful Swiss cheese (Gruyere or Emmenthaler)

Salt & Freshly ground pepper

Dipping stuff! Great with honey wheat pretzels, assorted vegetables, French bread cubes, and Granny Smith Apples.


  1. Rub the inside of a fondue pot with the crushed garlic clove and then discard.
  2. Add chicken stock to the pot, whisk in the mustard, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. While it’s coming to a boil, combine apple juice or wine and corn starch in a separate bowl and whisk until there are no more lumps. Once chicken stock has come to a boil add the white wine and corn starch mixture while wisking.
  4. Bring that back to a boil, let it boil for 1 minute whisking constantly. Remove pot from heat and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper, serve immediately.

Holy Guacamole


1 medium ripe avocado, cubed

1 medium tomato chopped

2 tablespoons onion finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

dash of pepper

juice from 1 lime


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth, serve immediately.

Cheesy Corn Bites


8 oz cream cheese at room temperature

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1 large egg

½ cup frozen corn kernels

48 scooped shaped tortilla chips

chopped chives or cilantro for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, corn and egg.

3. Arrange chips on a large baking sheet and place 1 tablespoon of corn mixture in each.

4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until filling sets.

5. Sprinkle corn bites with chives and serve warm.

Chex Party Mix


6 Tablespoons margarine

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ teaspoons seasoning salt

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

3 cups corn chex cereal

3 cups wheat chex cereal

1 cup mixed nuts

1 cup pretzels

you may substitute any cereal you like—mom always puts cheerios in hers


1. Heat oven to 250 and melt margarine in a large roasting pan in the oven.

2. Stir in the seasonings.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients until everything is evenly coated.

4. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

5. Spread on paper towels to cool

6. Store in Tupperware or large sandwich baggies—this will keep fresh for several weeks.

7 Layer Dip


3 ripe avocados

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

1 packet taco seasoning

1 can refried beans

1 small can sliced olives

grated cheddar cheese

1 small can green chilies

chopped tomatoes

Tortilla chips


1. Combine avocados, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mash until smooth. Set aside.

2. Combine sour cream, mayo and taco seasoning. Set aside.

3. Blend the can of refried beans to smooth them out and spread on a large plate.

4. Top beans with the first two layers.

5. Top with olives, green chilies, cheese, and tomatoes.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This recipe is from a Nutrition Action Magazine I used to have a subscription to.

Ingredients (to serve 4)

4 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow), halved lengthwise and seeded
3/4 cup quinoa well rinsed
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 15 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
10 oz baby spinach
1 small garlic clove
1 oz (about 6 TBSP) parmesan cheese
Pesto to top (make your own or buy a jar!)

1. Put the peppers, skin side up, on a lightly oiled baking sheet and broil on high until slightly charred and starting to soften, about 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and set aside.
2. While the peppers are roasting, simmer the quinoa with the broth and tomatoes in a medium pot for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach in batches.
3. Spoon quinoa mixture into the peppers.
4. Top the filled peppers with the pesto and garnish with crushed pistachios if desired.

Crock Pot Peanut Butter Chicken

This one is courtesy of Stephanie over at Crockpot365

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut in chunks *
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten free--La Choy or Tamari wheat-free)
1/2 cup chicken broth

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom of your pot and add the peanut butter. Toss in the vegetables and cumin. Squeeze in lime, and add soy sauce and chicken broth. Stir as well as you can to combine (the peanut butter will be clumpy, and that's just fine). Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Raspberry Crisp

This was incredible!

1 qt. raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
3/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash raspberries and put in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of white sugar over the berries. Stir butter into brown sugar, flour and oats and sprinkle the mixture over the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

French Dressing


  • 1 squirt of mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste (organic)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder or small chunk of fresh onion

How to Make It:

  1. Put all ingredients in a small blender and blend until smooth.

Great with: any type of salad (I like it on chef salads), kids like to dip things in this dressing.

Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • one clove of garlic, finely minced
  • small squirt of dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (optional)
  • salt, pepper and basil to taste

How to Make It:

  1. Mix all ingredients in small jar or blender.

Great with: any type of salad or as a marinade on beef, chicken or pork.

Raspberry Vinaigrette


  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons honey

How to Make It:

  1. Put all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Great with: salad with feta and cashews, grilled chicken salad, marinade on pork.

Sweet Asian Dressing


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • pinch of dried ginger or 1/2 tsp fresh zested ginger root (preferable)
  • spices to taste

How to Make It:

  1. Put all ingredients in small jar with lid and shake vigorously. You can also mix in blender or small food processor.

Great with: Sesame chicken (as a marinade and dipping sauce), on a spinach salad with cashews, on cauliflower fried rice.

Tangy Greek


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • small squirt dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp each of oregano and marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

How to Make It:

  1. Put all ingredients in small jar with lid and shake until well mixed.

Great with: dark lettuces, feta cheese, olives, and cucumbers. Also a good marinade for a cucumber and onion salad.

Zesty Italian Dressing


  • 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 small squirt of Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp each of thyme, basil and oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It:

  1. Pull all ingredients in small jar and shake vigorously.

Great with: any salad or as a marinade.

Healthy Caeser Dressing

Wellness Mama, a blogger I read, has a series of salad dressings on her blog, ways to make our favorite dressings a lot healthier than they come in the bottle.

  • One egg yolk at room temperature (very important it is not cold!)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard or mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper and spices to taste.

How to Make It:

  1. Whisk egg yolk with whisk or blender on low speed.
  2. Once creamy, add vinegar and other ingredients and blend until creamy.
  3. Slowly add oil, stirring constantly until incorporated.
  4. If it doesn’t incorporate well, your egg might still have been too cold!

Great with: Dark lettuces, chicken dishes, or on asparagus.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love artichoke dip of any kind, but I know it's made out of terrible things for our bodies (hello cream cheese!) Cooking Light has this recipe on their site that I've tried and is remarkably good, and a tiny bit healthier.


  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.

Bruschetta Chicken

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then in eggs; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.
  • Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Oh my word, this is AMAZING!

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups salad and about 1 tablespoon cheese)


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups bagged prewashed baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled and divided


Cook the orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; rinse with cold water. Combine orzo, spinach, and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Coarsely chop artichokes, and add artichokes, reserved marinade, and 1/2 cup feta cheese to orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle each serving with remaining feta cheese.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...