Chicken Lettuce Wraps

lettuce wraps 2lettuce wraps 1

Lettuce wraps! Love this idea and there are endless combinations you can prepare! Make it fun, think outside of the box…make them your own!

I used :

1 lb cubed chicken breast

1 c corn

1/4 c each onions, celery, carrots, silvered raw unsalted almonds

Seasoning for the mixture:

lime juice, cumin, Badia complete seasoning, cilantro,  parsley, ginger, crushed red pepper, pepper, garlic, 1/4 c lite sodium soy sauce (I would have made it spicier for sure with wasabi, Sriracha  and Red Hot if my son wasn’t eating it too-he handled the above flavors great though!)

I sautéed the chicken first with all the seasonings/juice/sauce and slowly added in the veggies and then spot checked for taste and added more of whatever I thought it needed. Total cook time 20 min. Wrap in iceberg lettuce and serve-I need a little help on my wrapping skills but that will come! Enjoy!!! xoxoxo-Alettuce wrap 3

Healthy Whole Grain Penne Pasta w/ ground lamb smothered in pesto garlic lemon sauce

penne with lamb and pesto
penne with lamb and pesto

What you will need:

8 oz Whole grain penne pasta

3/4 lb ground lamb-hard to find but so worth it!

1/2 c feta cheese

2 c spinach leaves

1/3 c pesto paste

1/4 lemon juice

1 cup pasta water

1/2 c skim ricotta cheese

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 c chopped onion (white or spanish)

salt, pepper to taste

pine nuts to garnish

Optional: 1 c beef stock-mine was homemade from left over short ribs (celery, carrots, onion, basil, oregano and burgundy wine) I am pretty sure this contributed to the awesomeness but you should be fine with low sodium store-bought beef stock or without it at all. Lamb has a very powerful taste all on its own!!

Cooking Directions:

Cook lamb in skillet over med heat and drain fat

Cook pasta and set aside to cool-saving one cup of the pasta water for sauce

Add beef stock, garlic, onion, ricotta, feta, seasonings, pesto paste and  lemon juice to the lamb and mix together well

Let cook for 8 o 10 min on low to med heat then add in pasta water and pasta giving it all a good mix again

Lastly,  add spinach and pine nuts until all melted down and in together then serve

Warning!!! This smells divine from the minute you start to cook the lamb and you will want to taste it several times throughout the cooking process….its just so good!

(p.s. great for kids too! My 3 year old had 2 helpings!!)

(p.p.s remember portion control-you can eat this and not feel guilty about being what feels like  indulgent but remember to save some for lunch the next day!! )

Makes about 5 total servings and I served it with a tomato and feta salad dressed in olive oil and red wine vinegar!

Enjoy!

xoxo-A

 

Labor of Love LASAGNA!

 By now I think you are starting to understand that I believe you should LOVE your body and therefore want to feed it better with awesome good for you ingredients. This Lasagna is a labor of love but well worth the time put into it! There are  many healthy benefits to cooking it this way vs the traditional way and as always I promise it is just as delicious!!!

Ingredients:

1 to 1 and a half packages of lasagna noodles-WHOLE WHEAT (using whole wheat won’t make you feel all icky and full after like white pasta does)

1 lb lean ground turkey meat

2 sweet sausage links or about 5 oz total

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 and a half cups chopped mushrooms

1 and a half jars of sauce-I used fire roasted organic

24 oz container of 2% cottage cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded skim mozzarella

Italian seasonings-I used basil, rosemary, garlic and red pepper flakes

I whole zucchini-peeled and shredded to use as  a layer

Step 1:

Cook ground turkey and sweet sausage over med heat in skillet for 10 to 12 min. Add in seasonings, onions and mushrooms for another 5 to 6 min.

Step 2:

Mix cheese mixture-cottage, parmesan and mozzarella in a bowl so it is ready as part of the lasagna assembly line……That is the fun part-putting it all together!!!

Step 3:

Cook your noodles or not depending on what the package says you can do then start to build your lasagna in this order:

noodles

sauce

cheese

meat

zucchini

Repeat ending with noodles and sauce on top. Sprinkle with a little bit more cheese-but remember this is “healthy lasagna” not “good old-fashioned lasagna” so easy on the cheese on top!!! Bake at 375 for 45 min.

This is great for dinner and then even better for leftovers the next few days!!!!

ENJOY!!!

XOXOXO-A

Baked Black Bean Pita Pockets

I love black beans! These can be made vegetarian if you like.  I added hot sausage to ours.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pita pockets

1 can black beans

1/4 c chopped onion

1 c yellow pepper-or color of your choice

1 avocado

1/4 c shredded cheese

lime juice

olive oil

6 oz chopped meat-if you wish (chicken, pork or sausage)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Combine all ingredients except for avocado and cheese in skillet. Heat in skillet for 12 min with lime juice and olive oil-tsp of each. Season with pepper, red pepper flakes, cilantro (and whatever spices you want)  Line the pockets thinly with smashed avocado and fill with the bean, veggie and meat mixture. Bake for 10 min then add hot sauce (if you wish) and cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.

Makes 3 servings or 6 half pockets

Total time 30 min-15 prep-15 bake

Enjoy!
xoxoxo-A

 

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Santa Fe Chicken Salad-loaded with goodies-loaded with flavor-loaded with protein and veggies!

The other night I made a delicious Santa Fe Chicken Salad! I want to share it with you!

I marinated the chicken in lemon juice, lime juice and salsa just for an hour. Once I put everything together in the giant salad bowl  I baked it for 25 min at 350 degrees turning it at the halfway point- just like this in this pan.

Marination-makes it more moist and delicious!

Next I chopped up peppers, red onions, asparagus, tomatoes, green onion, lettuce, basil and cubed some cheese-cheddar and mozzarella blend. I let the chicken marinade for a while as I chopped everything up…..

Last, I made my own dressing using the ingredients pictured below…..

Make your own dressing-it is so easy!!!

Jambalaya Recipe

JAMBALAYA!

I started with this recipe I found from Emeril when I got the notion that I wanted to make a jambalaya:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2/index.html

Then I saw that I had on hand already “baby salad size frozen shrimp” and “spicy chicken sausage” so I bought the chicken and went from there….Protein is most important to me so that is what I tend to focus on the most and then let the rest fall into place.

Step 1: cube about 1/2 lb. chicken breast and cook on med  heat with the following seasonings:1 teaspoon each paprika, oregano, blk pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder and dash of cinnamon (place together in a small bowl and stir as you will need half of the mixture for the shrimp/sausage in a min)  for about 10 to 12 min using a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the pan prior.

Step 2: cook the shrimp and sausage (use about 1/2 lb combined of both) with the same seasoning mixture you used on the chicken (you should have about half left over) on med heat for about 6 to 8 min.

 Step 3: chop 1/2 c each spanish onion, green onion, green pepper and sautéed those in a deep skillet on low to med for about 8 min with a little bit of olive oil.

Step 4: chop 3/4 c tomatoes and 1/4 c fresh parsley and add to the veg mix, stirring for another 4 min.

Step 5: add all protein to veggies in deep skillet along with 2 cups rice (brown or jasmine) and approx 3 cups hot water. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer on low for about 15 min until the rice is cooked-but has not soaked up the liquid….you need and want some liquid when all said and done! Feel free to add hot sauce to kick it up a notch here…mine was only med spice temp.

I took his recipe and tried to make it budget (I didn’t use all of the Emeril suggested ingredients) and a little more health friendly!

Try this with all recipies…..you can see from his picture in the recipe and my picture they don’t look the same but it still tasted incredible!!!

Enjoy!

xoxoxo-A

Mini Meat Muffins!

I got this idea from this recipe: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/video-jamie-eason-turkey-meatloaf-muffins.htm

I changed it just a little!

I added chopped asparagus and used flaxseed meal and oat bran instead of oats.

I added hot sauce and crushed red pepperflakes and did not use cumin. I used fresh thyme because I have it growing in my window.

Don’t be afraid to use what you have on hand already, substitute or omit some ingredients….you do not ever have to follow recipes exactly! I think it’s boring, I like to make it my own…so go make these your own!

These are great for you and I promise they are delicious!!! These are also great for your kids!  Mini so they are appealing to little ones-like meatballs and like mini muffins! I made 1 batch of the mini and 1 batch of the full size. I ate some, refrigerated some and froze some.

That’s how I do what I do-Enjoy!!!! xoxoxo-A