About Me

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I am a stay at home mother of two young children and love making healthy meals for my family! I love fitness, playing tennis, cooking and traveling. Most of all I love spending time with my family!!! I hope you enjoy making these recipes for your family as well!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Rollotini

I have to say that I love pretty much any Italian food! Pasta, seafood, parmesan, and the list goes on and on. Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorites but not the healthiest to serve your family. I tried finding a better recipe that has the crunch but not the fried. A rollotini pretty much means a "roll" of food...whether its meat or pumpkin roll. I find that taking either chicken cutlets purchased at the store (more expensive) or cutting a chicken breast completely in half and pounding thin works best. This option actually is better on the wallet and makes a lot of food. Regarding the mozzarella cheese, you can use sliced, string cheese, block...whatever! We had a block of mozzarella and cut it up into thin layers. Rolled it up, coated with panko breadcrumbs and baked it! It was great and was fairly inexpensive. Always stock up on chicken breast when they go on sale...there's so much you can do to change it up!

3 chicken breasts (or however many you need...remember you will cut them horizontally in half)
6 pieces of mozzarella (like I said...whatever type you like)
2 eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 T Italian seasoning
1/2 jar marinara sauce
Salt. pepper, and garlic powder (SPG)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut chicken horizontally and pound between plastic wrap til 1/4 in thin. Season with SPG...lay cheese across chicken. Roll lengthwise and secure with toothpick. Dip rolled chicken in egg mixture (eggs and splash of milk or water) and then in breadcrumb mixture (panko, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning). Complete all pieces of chicken. Put in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 35 min...remove and cover the tops of chicken with marinara sauce and a little more parmesan cheese. Put back in oven for 10 min. ENJOY!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clams Casino Linguine

I honestly don't really care much for clams...their texture is a little off-putting. I don't care much for Clam Chowder either...so why would I want to make a clam pasta?! I have no idea...it just sort of sounded good. I know, strange :-)

I found a recipe on How Sweet It Is, which is a great food blog. I changed it ever so slightly b/c I don't care much for cooked peppers. It turned out quite delicious and pretty healthy...no cream, small amt of butter, and some cheese. I used whole wheat noodles to pump up the fiber. You could substitue turkey bacon if you'd like to cut down calories. Anyway, here is the recipe. It was fresh and light (and pretty inexpensive)!!


1 shallot. minced
3 cloves of garlice, minced
1 T olive or grapeseed oil
2 cans (6.5oz) clams, including their juice
1/2 cup white wine
2 T butter
3 strips of bacon
1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Boil water (add salt to flavor water). Add pasta and cook until al dente. Meanwhile cut bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp. Drain of paper towel. In a seperate pan, saute onion and garlic over medium heat until soft...be careful not to burn the garlic...it will taste very bitter and you'll have to start over. Add wine, both cans of clams with juice. Simmer for 5 min. Add butter, parmesan cheese, cooked pasta, cooked bacon, and parsley. Let flavors combine for 1-2 minutes. TASTE...season with salt and pepper if needed. Top with freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese...use the grated if thats what you have. ENJOY!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken N Dumplings

Chicken n' Dumplins is one of those very standard southern dishes. I've always been a little leary of making true dumplings but it actually was pretty easy...a little messy. Normally when I make chicken n dumplings I use Sandra Lee's recipe from the Food Network and use canned buttermilk bisquits as the dumplings. Even though there is nothing wrong with that (they are actually quite tasty) I wanted to make it a little bit healthier. I had some left over chicken from an earlier dish this week...sauteed some carrots, celery, garlic, and onion in a little olive oil...added chicken stock (I had homemade stock on hand from cooking the chicken but store bought is fine too), made the dumplings, dropped them in the pot and let them cook for 15 min...dinner is served! You don't need to add any cream to thicken the sauce b/c the dumplings are tossed in flour and thickens it for you.

All in all it was an easy, inexpensive, and healthy meal. I would imagine that the total cost for a family of 4 was under $5!!!! Can you believe that?!? I purchased 6 chicken breasts on sale for $8...I used only 1.5 breasts for this dish and with the homemade stock, 1 carrot stick, 1 celery stick, and the flour/milk for the dumplings...super cheap!

2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 carrot stick, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 quarts of chicken stock
2 cups flour
2 T butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (to cut calories use lowfat milk...I did and they tasted great)

Saute vegetables in 1 T olive oil over medium heat until soft (5 min). Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Meanwhile in medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt together. Add butter and use 2 knives or pastry cutter to cut butter into flour (want the mixture to look crumbly). Add milk and mix until dough forms. On a well floured board/counter roll dough into 1/4 inch. Cut dough into 2x2 squares...it doesn't have to be exact just cut into little bites. Toss individual pieces in flour so it doesn't stick. Drop each dumpling into boiling chicken stock and stir. Let cook for about 15 min and add shredded chicken. Cook long enough to heat up chicken. TASTE (always taste to adjust seasoning). Add salt and pepper if needed. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

I love black bean soup...its packed with so many good things AND its super inexpensive! I think for a 32 oz bag of dried beans it was less than $1.50...thats cheap. One thing that I don't like about dried beans is having to soak them overnight...however, I didn't do that for this recipe and didn't need to. I threw everything into the crock pot and let it cook. My brother actually asked if there was meat in it because it was so hearty...nope no meat. This served 5 adults and cost less than $5...you can't beat that! Here's the recipe...inspired by The Frugal Chef.

16 oz dried black beans, rinsed
1 can Rotel
1/4 cup diced onion
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 T salt (seems like a lot but needed)
1 T pepper
8 cups water
optional: jalapeno, cheddar cheese, sour cream, tomato, avocado, and cilantro

In a cold crock pot, put all ingredients through pepper. Add water...it may seem like a lot but the beans expand and absorb water. You could use half chicken stock half water for more flavor but I was all out. Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 7-8 hours. You can either use an immersion blender (handheld blender) or once cooled slightly put half of soup into a blender. You want to leave substance but blending half of the soup with make it thick. I highly reccommend purchasing an immersion blender!! I use it for soups...and you can find them for under $20! I topped mine with a little cheese, low fat sour cream, diced tomato, and cilantro. ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Enchilada Lasagna

My husband does not like lasagna...how was I going to get him to eat a Mexican Lasagna? I wasn't...so I decided to make an Enchilada Lasagna made with whole wheat tortillas instead. Publix had a sale on boneless skinless chicken breast so I stocked up on chicken! I decided that I could cook 3 breasts and shred it to have enough for two meals. Stay tuned later this week for the other dinner, Chicken N Dumplings!! Anyway, I cooked the chicken in a large stock pot with carrots, celery, onion, garlic and herbs...which also made homemade chicken stock! I shredded the chicken and put half of it in the fridge and the other half in a bowl for this meal.

When looking for a recipe I found quite a few different ones...spicy ones, vegetable ones, beef ones, etc. I ended up making my own by reading a few. The Hub can't eat spicy foods b/c of his ulcer issue (long story) so I had to modify so it wouldn't be spicy. Made a sauce out of cream of chicken soup (I typically don't use canned soups b/c of the nature of it, but I had it on hand and needed to use it), light sour cream, shredded cheese, chicken stock, and some cumin, chili powder, and SP. Mixed it all together, layered it up, tossed it in the oven and VOILA!!!

3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can Rotel
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 can enchilada sauce
1/4 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon SPG combo (I made an all around seasoning of salt pepper and garlic powder that I use)
6 whole wheat tortillas
Toppings: tomato, avocado, and cilantro

In medium bowl mix soup, stock, 1 cup cheese, Rotel, sour cream and seasonings. Once combined add shredded chicken. In a 8X8 greased baking dish, put 1/3 chicken mixture. Put one tortilla over mixture (I ended up tearing one into fourths so the corners were covered as well). Do two more layers ending with a tortilla on top. Mix enchilada sauce and cream in small bowl and pour over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover and bake on 375 for 30 min. Remove foil and bake 10 until cheese is golden. Serve with tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. *Modify for lower calories by using low fat cheese

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuscan White Bean Soup

During the cold winter months I LOVE a hot bowl of soup! I love any kind of soup...potato soup, broccoli and cheese soup, chili, vegetable soup, and the list goes on and on. I was trying to clean out my pantry and had some Cannelini Beans, diced tomatoes and chicken broth. I also had some smoked turkey sausage in the freezer. That sounded like a perfect soup...all I needed to buy was some Kale. Kale is so good for you and has so much fiber and nutrients...one of those super foods!! I sauteed some onion with the smoked sausage to get some color on it, added the drained beans and tomatoes, poured in the chicken broth and simmered. Near the end I added in the washed kale. It was delcious!!! I hope you enjoy!!

1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 pkg smoked turkey sausage
1 carton on chicken stock (I used the 'white wine and herb)
1 large bunch of Kale, stems removed, torn into bite size pieces, and rinsed WELL
Freshly grated Romano cheese

Sautee onions in 2 T olive oil on medium heat...add diced sausage. Once onions are translucent and sausage is warmed, add tomatos, beans, stock and enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Add seasoning to taste (salt pepper and garlic powder). Let simmer for 15 min. Add torn pieces of washed Kale and cover. Turn heat to low and simmer another 10 min. Serve with grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pizza Pasta

I'm always trying to make healthy meals for my family that they love. Its not an easy task...especially with a picky toddler and a picky husband! Everyone loves pizza, right?! I decided to make a pizza pasta using whole wheat noodles, low sugar tomato sauce, mushrooms, low fat mozzarella cheese, and turkey pepperoni. You can add any vegetable or any meat...I chose turkey pepperoni to keep calories down. It turned out really good and was very easy!!

1/2 pound whole wheat pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
1/2 cup heart healthy tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1 jar mushrooms
20 turkey pepperonis, quartered
Italian seasoning

Cook pasta. Drain. In separate bowl, mix tomato sauce, half of cheese, mushrooms (and any other vegetables), half of pepperonis, and salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta. Pour into a greased 8X8 baking dish. Top with remaining pepperonis and cheese...sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Cover and bake on 375 for 30 min...remove foil and bake until cheese is golden brown. You can adjust ingredients to double recipe or to your taste. Enjoy!!!