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Quick Dinner Ideas (and Cobb success!)

4 Dec

cobbsalad

I’ve been so busy recently, and outside of trying to fanatically plan my meals for the week and making something hearty on Sunday to last for a good part of the week, I’ve been trying to develop an arsenal of quick meals.

While hopped up on Benedryl last night after an unfortunate incident with an eggplant, I made an easy cobb salad. Now, the husband was categorically opposed to salad-as-dinner before last night. Another quick meal is fajitas, which I make pretty frequently as a two in one meal, meaning he gets fajitas and I get a salad — chicken sausage, quickly sauteed bell peppers and red onions, some shredded cheese, some romaine lettuce, some black beans, a little sour cream/greek yogurt… voila! He can make tacos, I can make a salad, and we are both content (plus it usually makes 4 servings with one package of chicken sausage). So, while I am fully a fan of salad for dinner, he believed that he would be hungry.

Not so, with this quick, easy and SUPER FILLING Cobb salad.

What you’ll need:
rotisserie chicken
1 avocado
cherry tomatoes
1 can pitted black olives
1 English cucumber
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 hardboiled eggs
blue cheese crumbles (mine had dried cranberries in them – yum!)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lime

1. Peel all chicken from the skin and put in a bowl. I usually get between 2-3 cups of chicken out of one rotisserie chicken (tip: get the kosher chicken; not sure why, but it always tastes better). There will be leftover chicken, you only need maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken per serving.
2. Rinse the tomatoes and rinse/drain the olives.
3. Chop: the cucumber, the avocado, the cherry tomatoes, the lettuce, the hardboiled eggs. Put them into their own little containers if you have a picky husband. (Chris dislikes olives and uncooked tomatoes, and is indifferent towards any avocado). Put the juice of half a lime over the avocado to prevent from browning.
4. Assemble! I put the romaine down first, and then make little segments with everything, as seen in the photo.

Husband’s verdict? He liked it and definitely said he would eat it again!

Love a good, quick meal that is so easy a girl hopped up on Benedryl can make it 🙂

Besides fajitas, I like to make a quick stirfry, breakfast for dinner (with chicken sausage and eggs), burgers or quick gyros. Any other ideas?

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How to Cook While Juggling

17 Nov

After I came back from our honeymoon, I started studying almost immediately. I am trying to get into grad school, so I started taking prep classes for the GMAT and working on my applications to school. Pairing that with a crazy work schedule, my husband having to work several weekends, and trying to get enough sleep every night, I have been neglecting not only my little blog but also my kitchen.

The first week of classes and studying, I was totally overwhelmed. We ate out most nights and I totally was transported back to college where I had the munchies and just ate whatever. Obviously I’ve gained a few pounds since my honeymoon, and it became quite clear to me that the goal this month should be to not gain any weight (and to be honest, that’s usually my goal around the holidays).

By my second week, I had some new ideas about what to do to eat well and not get carry out every night. We have been doing lunchmeat for some lunches (usually I cook enough that we have leftovers for lunch and I make something new for dinner) and eating leftovers for dinner. I’ve been making quick meals — chicken sausage fajitas, gyros, roasting some veggies while studying for a bit — and I started buying yogurt with fruit already in it to save me time in the morning.

(If anyone else has any time saving suggestions, I’d be happy to see them!)

One thing that has helped me immensely is my slow cooker. And with that, I give you my slow cooker cassoulet (inspired by a Cooking Light recipe).

*warning: this doesn’t taste like cassoulet whatsoever; picture a hearty and flavorful chicken stew and that’s what this realllllly tastes like

Serves: 6
10 WW points plus (but super filling!)

Ingredients:
2 parsnips, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1.1 lb of chicken or turkey sausage, mild flavoring, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

For breadcrumbs:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 oz Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a pot or pan (I used my trusty Dutch oven) and throw in parsnips, onion, garlic and carrots. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Take cut sausage and put into pot, cooking until browned (a few more minutes). Put into slow cooker.
3. Add thyme, bay leaf, canned tomatoes and beans into slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine everything.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
5. Melt butter in microwave and add cheese and breadcrumbs. Stir until combined.

Serve 1/6 of stew and top with 1/6 of breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

And some pictures:

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Cooking in my Creuset pot.

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Getting cozy in the crock pot.

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Deliciousness!

Easiest Salad in all the Land

24 Aug

When I get lazy (all the time) I make this salad. It’s filling, different, delicious.

I’m talking one bowl, baby. One knife, one cutting board.

Customize as you see fit:

Greek yogurt (I use one container of Fage 2%)
Tomatoes
Some red onion if desired
Cucumbers if desired
A little bit of fresh herbs (basil? Thyme? Possibilities are endless!)
A splash of white wine or balsamic vinegar
A little bit of olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

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First, cut your veggies and toss them with salt and pepper and oil and vinegar in a bowl.

Then, dump your yogurt and mix it up.

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Easiest salad ever. Never gets old. Big on flavor, little on effort… My kind of meal!

No Sugar Added Frozen Yogurt

21 Aug

Yummmm. Nothing I like more than ice cream or frozen yogurt during the summer time. But how to make it healthier? Simple! Use frozen fruit!

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Ingredients:
1/2 container of no sugar added jam (the key is in the ingredients– it should be fruit and juice!)
Some frozen berries
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Large container of Greek yogurt (my favorite is fage 2%)
Some vanilla for flavor — I use about a teaspoon
(Optional) some stevia

1. Mix your yogurt, vanilla, lemon, and stevia if using in a large bowl.
2. In a food processor, crush the frozen berries.
3. Add berries to the yogurt mixture and combine thoroughly.
4. Add it all to the ice cream maker and let it do it’s thanggg!

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Whip it reallll goodddd.

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And enjoy!!!! Here I used raspberry jam and frozen raspberries — but the possibilities are endless! Next I will try fig jam! Yum!

Salty Kale Chips

20 Jul

It is possible that I made two batches of kale chips in one day. I’m just saying, these babies are addictive.

Salty, full of fiber, and totally hitting the snack spot, I am so obsessed with kale chips.

Kale Chips
Inspired by Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe

All you need is:
a bunch of kale
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt
Garlic powder if desired

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. De-rib the kale and pull apart into chunks
3. Place kale on baking sheet (use two if you’re making kale for a crowd!)
4. Lightly mist with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder if using
5. Bake for 20 mins, tossing once.
6. Serve! Remake immediately. At least if you are a kale freak like me.

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Nomnomnoms

It sort of seems silly to post a recipe this simple, but I want everyone to experience the delish kale-ness I’ve been into lately!

Enjoy!

Bacon Guacamole — aka, the Meaning of Life

7 Jul

I’m sorry, I’ve been bad.  I’ve held out on you since Tuesday night with this recipe. 

This is seriously the most life-altering dish I have ever made.  But it isn’t my fault.  And I know, it’s not quite “diet.”  BUT IT IS WORTH IT. And if you haven’t noticed, it’s not like I can “indulge” in some ice cream right now – -so bacony avocadoey dip eaten with a fork will have to do.

A few months ago, Chris and I went to a local restaurant and had the most life changing guacamole — BACON GUACAMOLE.  Unfortunately, the rest of the food wasn’t that great, and despite my pleading, Chris doesn’t want to go to the restaurant to just order their guacamole (silly man).  “Why don’t you just make it yourself?” he asks.  I was convinced it wouldn’t be the same.

I was right. My version is better. 

And unfortunately, I didn’t expect it to be such a raging success.  Sorry for the poor picture.  I snapped this after Chris and I had eaten almost the entirety of the bowl.

Bacon Guacamole

Serves: 4 (2 if you are me and Chris…) Points per serving: 5 WW Points Plus

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices raw bacon
  • 1.5 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese (Israeli feta is what I used)
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 medium avocado, chunked and peeled
  • 6 small cherry tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp red onion, chopped finely
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste (if you have a saltier feta, watch the salt when adding more to the guac!)

Instructions:

  1. Bake in a 400 degree oven the bacon on a baking sheet for 15 minutes.
  2. Let bacon cool, and crumble the slices.
  3. Add the avocado, tomato, garlic, cherries, lime, onion, and olive oil together in a bowl, and mash together.
  4. Add the feta and mash a little more.
  5. Finally, add in the bacon and combine til everything is all bacony and lovely.
  6. Taste. Add salt or pepper if needed (we needed a little pepper, nothing else!).
  7. Devour.

Legitly, we ate this with a fork.  And moaned. (Normal people could eat this with veggies or some tortilla chips. I envision this with a fried egg for breakfast. Nomnomnom.)

The feta and olive oil gave it a creaminess, and the bacon gave it this meatiness. So good.  Even Chris, who basically does not like avocado or tomatoes (I know, what is wrong with him?!?!???), scarfed this.

Happy guac-ing!

 

Squash blossom frittata… Yum!

18 Jun

As a kid, my grandma used to fry up squash blossoms with eggs and it was the best once-a-summer treat. At the farmers’ market the other week, I found beautiful squash blossoms begging to be put in a frittata. Add some proscuitto, and you basically have my favorite meal ever.

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Squash Blossom and Proscuitto Frittata

Serves 2; 10 WW Points Plus each

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1.5 oz proscuitto, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp chives
1 tsp parsley
1.5 cups summer squash (I used pattypan squash)
6-8 squash blossoms, rinsed and stems removed
1 tbsp butter

Instructions:
1. Melt the butter in a large pan, and throw diced proscuitto, squash and onion into the pan. Stir until cooked and the proscuitto starts to crisp and the onions and squash are softened.
2. Meanwhile, beat eggs, herbs, a splash of milk if desired, and some ground pepper together until all mixed.
3. Add squash blossoms to the pan, and sautée for one minute.
4. Add eggs and let cook for several minutes until no longer runny.
5. When eggs are about cooked and set, sprinkle cheese evenly over the top and let cook for another minute. (If your broiler works, you can put the frittata under the broiler here… Mine doesn’t work).
6. Split in two and enjoy!

Perfect for brunch, and delicious with a tomato salad on the side.

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