27 March, 2011

Recipe 13 and some bacon maple cupcakes

 Made the usual trip to the Leon Springs Farmers Market yesterday. Happy to see some signs of spring: strawberries that were all sold out (boo) and squash! I have to say, the coolest part about my "everything from scratch" resolution is seeing directly where our food comes from. Totally blows my mind every time I shake the hand of the man that slaughtered our chicken. Hah.
An added bonus with these resolutions is that I am now more fitness-conscious. And I'm not sure it's even a direct correlation. I think it's more of a "holy crap, I was in the kitchen for 3 hours Saturday maybe I should go run outside." Either way, the fact that my lazy butt is able to run for 5 minutes straight is an amazing achievement and all couch potatoes should bow before my un-laziness.

 Okay, so this week I had some repeats: spinach mushroom pizza and fish. The sides were good, though. Cooked down some fresh FM spinach with some shallots, olive oil, mushrooms and red bell peppers. Yum! The fish was more of a Lent-y Friday thing, but we had a special surprise Friday when we discovered that it was a rare occasion where Catholics were encouraged to eat meat. So, we made like carnivores and had some awesome burgers from a local favorite, San Antonio Burger Company and had the fish this evening.

Today was a long, lazy day of running, grading papers and... lazing around. So, It only makes sense that I finally decided to try the Maple Bacon Cupcakes I have heard so much about.
Two mistakes: next time, I will use REAL bacon and not turkey bacon (tasted absolutely NO crispy pig in there). And the second mistake: I had about 1/4 a cup of REAL DELICIOUS Vermont maple syrup (which actually comes from trees on my grandparents' property, how cool is that?!). But instead of saving it for the frosting, where you could taste it the most, I used it all in the batter for the actual cupcakes and had to use that crappy artificial stuff for the frosting.

Final score: meh. They were good because it was a carb covered in sugar and we were hungry after pumping iron at the gym, but it was hard to taste bacon or maple. There was a distinct fake maple scent, but no dice. Hope the Breakfast Club at school enjoys them tomorrow...

22 March, 2011

Hubby's fave: tacos in pasta shells

I really dislike that my husband's favorite dish is something that does not include any veggies whatsoever. Not to mention it's loaded with fat (but it's GOOD).

Hubby's Tacos in Pasta Shells (courtesy of my Momma) got a revamp. The original recipe calls for 3oz of full-fat chive cream cheese, 1 cup of cheese, crumbled tortilla chips, and regular jumbo pasta shells... not cool.

Here's the edited recipe (sans cheese, not for the fat content, but for the forgetfulness thing):
1 lb beef
8oz whole grain pasta
6oz cream cheese (1/3 fat)
3 chopped green onions
1-2 Tbsp chili powder (or more, if you have a Hubby that loves the spiciness!)
pinch of salt

-Cook the pasta as per the package directions.
-Cook the beef, drain, season with chili powder, salt and add the cream cheese & green onions.
-Stir until combined.
-Combine with cooked pasta, top with about 1 cup salsa (we use Texas-Texas Roasted Salsa- yum!) and serve.
If you choose to go ahead and add the cheese, it does make it super tasty! You'll need to bake it covered at 350F for about 10-15min and then uncover it, add the cheese and wait for bubbly deliciousness. You can also crumble tortilla chips on top, but again forgetfulness/healthiness.

20 March, 2011

Breakfast mini fritattas

Okay, calorie counters, you won't believe me after I tell you the ingredients that went into these babies and then how little they take up of a dieter's daily allowance. You can really have any kind of "filler," so long as you have eggs and cheese! I just listed below what I used this morning.

You will need:
6 slices turkey bacon
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
8oz baby swiss (shredded or finely cut into squares)

- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Beat together eggs, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. (Those not sensitive to salt can choose to add a small pinch- but I mistakenly added some, forgetting about the loads of salt in turkey bacon. Needless to say, Hubby loved it, I not so much.)
- Cook bacon and finely chop or crumble (crumbling was not possible for me with Butterball's thick turkey bacon)
- Saute spinach, mushrooms and shallot together with a smidgen of olive oil. Drain on paper towels to keep eggs from being runny later.
- In a greased mini muffin tin, pour about 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp egg mixture, followed by spinach/mushroom mix, topping with bacon and then cheese. If it looks too dry on top, add another 1/2 Tbsp egg mixture.
- Bake until brown and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy! According to my favorite calorie tracker (which allows you to enter recipes!!), if you go easy on the toppings and make 48, each one is only 31 calories! Awesome sauce!

01 March, 2011

Thai Chicken Pizza- sharing the recipe!

 Many of my FB friends have been asking about the Thai Chicken Pizza recipe from last week- so here it is! (Credit has to be given to Rachel Ray- but I have made a few edits that I think make it awesome.)

Now, for the pizza dough, you can get the Pillsbury, but we made 2 pizzas with some FM pre-made whole grain pizza crusts. They were awesome! But the buttery taste from the Pillsbury was definitely something I missed :(

- 1 pizza dough
- 1/2 cup Hoisen sauce
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 10 oz Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 BIG Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp hot sauce (I recommend Sriracha sauce- the red sauce with a rooster on the bottle & a green cap)
- 2 tsp McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips (or 1/2 pound cutlets)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 scallions (I always go overboard, with green onions and garlic, we used 6 scallions for this)
- about a 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- (Optional- 1 cup bean sprouts)

Preheat oven to 425. Form the pizza dough on a pan. Top with hoisen sauce (this is your pizza sauce), sprinkly with red peppers and top with cheese and red bell peppers. Bake about 15min until cheese is bubbly.

While baking, combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, hot sauce and grill seasoning in small bowl. (Zap for about 10sec in the microwave if it doesn't mix well. Another hint- use the same Tbsp from the oil for the peanut butter, it will come off easier!) Coat chicken with mixture and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through.

While chicken cooks, mix honey and vinegar in medium bowl, coating cucumbers with the mix.

When pizza is done baking, top with chicken, scallions, cilantro, cucumbers, and peanuts. Add bean sprouts if desired. Cut and serve!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

Besides the fact that I am probably the WORST vegetable chopper ever (notice the not quite chopped strips of onions)- I love making this soup. It is chunky, and it makes about 6 servings, with each serving only being about 200 calories. Awesome!
All you need is chicken stock, an onion, a sweet potato, 2 carrots, about 3 chicken breasts, some cilantro and green onions, and chipotle chili powder. Chardonnay gives it a better taste (especially for lunch the next day!) but I've made it without the wine before and it still tasted great.
We are enjoying 70 degree weather here right now, but to me, soup is always good, even if it's the middle of the summer (because, let's face it, you're probably already sweating by the time you finish cooking anyway).

Now, if I can remember to put the FM chicken in the crockpot, Thursday should be Walnut-crusted chicken with quinoa. Nervous about making quinoa, but I'm sure it will be delicious!