Baked Fruity Oatmeal Bars

Any recipe whose directions are simply “Mix together all ingredients and bake” is my idea of a dream recipe! I have been wanting to try new breakfast recipes for a while now because while cheerios are yummy and good for you I am getting tired of the breakfast monotony. I made this dish last night and it was perfect and sticky on top this morning. It tastes like an oatmeal cookie but you know it is much better for you without the flour and butter. I am still working on cutting the sugar by at least half so when I am successful I will edit this post with the healthiest ingredients I can muster up. Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6 ….. 1 serving (about a cup) is only 297 calories!

Ingredients:

– 1 egg lightly beaten

– 1-1/2 cup cooking oats

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup milk

– 1/3 cup canola oil

– 1/4 cup chopped nuts

– 1/4 cup fresh fruit of your choice (We used strawberries and will try blueberries next)

– 1 tsp baking powder

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.) Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.

3.) Pour the mixture into a greased 8-in square baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

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4.)Let cool, cut into squares, indulge ๐Ÿ™‚

**All photos are originals taken by me**

Baked Mac-n-Cheese (My childhood and adulthood favorite)

As a kid my mom would ask us what our favorite dinner was so she could make it on our birthday. Year after year my favorite never changed, and on November 10th everyone in the house knew that we’d be having baked mac-n-cheese for dinner. This recipe is amazing in its original form and I am happy to say that my changes to it have not taken much away. It is a healthier version with whole wheat pasta, less cheese, spices, and less salt. My mom used to also make stewed tomatoes to put over the mac-n-cheese but I have come to love the herbed taste and don’t want to smother it. This dish is so good for left overs that when we make it my husband is pretty much set with lunch at work for the week… I hope you love it as much as I do โค

Serves:ย  9

Ingredients: (You will notice I did not put measurements for the spices. We do this recipe in 2 layers and you top each layer with the spices so it’s really just a sprinkling of the spices.)

2-13.25oz packages of whole wheat pasta (We like to use penne, my mom liked to use elbows, you decide what you like best ๐Ÿ™‚ )

– 1 tsp olive or canola oil

– 2-8oz packages of shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese blend. (My mom used to buy a 16oz block of each and dice it up. That is twice as much cheese and you get “cheesy” spots which are awesome but can pack in the calories. That was how I always loved it but I’m learning to use less cheese and more spice to kick up the flavor. Very worth it.)

– black pepper

– salt

– dried parsley

– garlic powder

– onion powder

– thyme

– 1 cup of milk

– 1 can of stewed tomatoes *OPTIONAL*

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.) Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of oil to aย  large pot of water. Bring to a boil. (I like to boil with a little bit of oil to keep pasta from sticking together.)

3.) Cook pasta.

4.) When pasta is cooked strain and add half into an oiled 14.5x11x2in pan.

5.) Sprinkle one bag of cheese over the pasta and lightly season with spices/herbs.

6.) Put the rest of the pasta over the first layer and sprinkle second bag of cheese ontop. Lightly season with spices/herbs. Pour 1 cup of milk over the whole dish

7.) Bake in the oven for 25mins if you don’t want it to be too crispy or for 30 minutes if you are like me and love the crispy top.

8.) Dish and enjoy! (Optional- dish stewed tomatoes on top of mac-n-cheese for even more flavor)

**All photos are originals taken by me.**

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Bake with Whole Wheat Pasta

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Last night we had a couple of friends over for an early dinner. I decided that they would be my guinea pigs and taste a new recipe. This dish was a hit and the best part was that they had no idea they were eating hearty vegetables. My husband, the avid cauliflower hater, licked his plate clean and was shocked when I told him that he just ate a serving of cauliflower. What’s more shocking was his response saying “And I’d do it all over again!” Even our 16 month old son cleaned his plate.ย  I’m sure this would be awesome for left overs but the problem is that it is so good that I can almost guarantee it will be gone in one night.

***As always remember when cooking raw meat to be careful about cross contamination. It is very easy to get someone sick by not sanitizing the utensils used to handle raw meat (including your hands.) You want to enjoy your food, not spew it. Wash your hands and kitchen tools!***

Serves: 8 ย  ย  Carbs: 530 per serving

Ingredients for Chicken Seasoning (You can buy Montreal seasoning in the store or make it with seasonings you already have like I did.):

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Dish:

  • 1 pkg whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • chicken seasoning
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 cup yellow squash, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (TIP:I chop onions with sunglasses on and oven fan on high to avoid tearing up)
  • 1 cup of cauliflower, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of store bought Alfredo sauce (Vicky Bryant gave us a great tip to make this dish even more healthy. Make your own Alfredo! I have never tried it but when I do I will update this post to include the recipe and directions. Stay tuned!)
  • Parmesan cheese (to coat top)
  • Breadcrumbs (to coat top)

Directions:

  1. Move oven rack to top, preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 13 X 9in dish with cooking spray.
  2. Boil a large pot of water to cook spaghetti.
  3. Trim and dice chicken
  4. Coat a large skillet with cooking oil. Season chicken and cook until it starts to blacken. Set chicken aside.*** If you make your own seasoning with the recipe above be aware that you will have some left over. Do not feel like you need to use the whole batch of seasoning b/c that will just make it REALLY spicy and unless you like that it will ruin the recipe. Save what is left over for the next time you make the meal***
  5. Place chopped cauliflower in a microwavable dish, add 2 tbsp of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 minutes on high.***The dish will be EXTREMELY hot. Please take precaution when removing dish from microwave***
  6. In the same skillet you cooked the chicken in add 1 tbsp of oil and saute the onion until it clear. Add squash and cook until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add chicken to casserole dish with all the vegetables. Pour Alfredo sauce over the chicken and veggies. Top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Don’t go too crazy with the cheese because the sauce is pretty rich by itself.
  8. By this time your water should be boiling. Cook pasta while dish is baking.
  9. Put dish on top rack in your oven. Bake for 20 minutes and then broil for about 10 minutes until top is browned. Keep an eye on the dish while broiling because the only thing you want blackened in this recipe is the chicken ๐Ÿ™‚
  10. Strain pasta and toss with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
  11. Dish pasta onto plates and top with the blackened chicken alfredo bake.
  12. Indulge ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the face of a happy eater :

**All photos are originals taken by me**

Teriyaki Meatballs with “Clean Out Your Freezer” Brown Rice

Last year we decided to cut as much red meat out of our diet as we could. Nowadays if we eat red meat it is hormone free or every once in a blue moon we will get the leanest ground beef at the market as a treat. We were craving some beef this week so I decided to try a new meatball recipe. These meatballs have a tasty oriental twist and save great for leftovers. We paired the meatballs with brown rice and frozen vegetables that we needed to get out of the freezer. This is a good “spring cleaning” recipe for your fridge ๐Ÿ™‚

Serves: 4

Ingredients for Meatballs:

– 1lb. Lean Ground Beef (The leanest you can get at the market. It is a little more pricey but definitely worth it. My husband claims to have less heartburn with a leaner cut.)

– 1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onion (I love green onion so I usually use 1/4 cup additional chopped green onion)

– 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder

– 1/3 Cup of Teriyaki Sauce

– 2 tsp Chopped Ginger Root

Ingredients for Rice:

– 3 Cups of Cooked Brown Rice

– 1 Egg

– Any frozen vegetables you like (I usually have some peas and corn around which are very tasty in this rice)

– Low Sodium Soy Sauce to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2.) Boil a pot of water to cook rice

3.) Mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl.

4.) Form the balls however big or small you want to make them but try to figure for at least 8 balls.

5.) Bake for 30 minutes (If you like the tops to brown a little bit leave in for approx 3 more minutes)

6.) While your meatballs are baking cook your rice, vegetables, and scramble your egg.

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7.) When all of the rice ingredients are cooked mix them together while adding low sodium soy sauce to taste.

8.) Once meatballs are cooked spoon rice onto your plate and place balls ontop.

9.) Indulge ๐Ÿ™‚

*** You can also make these balls for an appetizer without the rice****

**All photos are originals taken my be**

Quinoa Cakes

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I try to find recipes that are yummy, satisfying, and have added bonuses like protein and fiber. Quinoa is a super-seed that has all of the above including iron, magnesium and many other important things to include in your diet. In short eat quinoa and be happy ๐Ÿ™‚ This recipe is great as a side and I have also heated up a patty for lunch with a small salad so it is very versatile.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of COOKED quinoa, cooled (I have made the mistake of cooking 2 cups of raw quinoa.. Remember that 1 cup of uncooked quinoa equals 2 cups cooked. Unless you want to make a double batch of course ๐Ÿ™‚ )

– 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

– 2 tbsp all purpose flour

– 2 green onions, sliced (I love green onions so I usually use more)

– 2 cloves of garlic, minced

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)

– 1/2 tsp black pepper

– Pinch of cayenne pepper

-3 tbsp olive or canola oil.

Directions:

1.) Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT the oil.

2.) Heat the oil in a large skillet.

3.) Using 1/4 cup-1/3 cup measuring cup to form patties. (I like to pack them into balls and when they are in the skillet I use the underside of the measuring cup to flatten it just a little bit. Do not flatten too much or else it will be really hard to flip.)

4.) Put up to 4 patties in the pan and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes.

5.) When browned to your liking transfer to a plate and lightly top with salt.

6.) Indulge ๐Ÿ™‚

Chicken Enchiladas

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This is one of my go to recipes. Great for leftovers and my hubby loves it! We’ve cut out some carbs by microwaving the tortillas instead of pan frying them to make them roll-able. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

– 1 medium onion

– 1 tsp canola or olive oil

– salt

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 4 tbsp chilli powder

– 1 tbsp cumin

– 2 tsp sugar

– 28oz can tomato sauce

– 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

– ground black pepper

– 10 oz cheddar cheese (I like to use the Mexican mix)

– 1-4oz can pickled jalapenos, chopped

– 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

– 12-6in corn tortillas

– cooking spray

– lime

Directions:

*****Remember when cooking with chicken, or any raw meat for that matter, do not cross contaminate the tools you use when cooking. It is very easy and awful to make those eating your meal sick. Keep uncooked meat away from everything else until cooked.*******

1.) Adjust oven rack to middle and preheat oven to 400.

2.) Heat oil over medium in large saucepan. Add onion and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until soft. (About 8 minutes)

3.) Stir in garlic, chilli powder, cumin and sugar. Cook 30 seconds and add tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened (About 5 minutes.)

4.) Add chicken to sauce. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.Transfer chicken to a plate and shred with two forks.

5.) Toss together shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of the sauce, 1 cup of cheese, jalapenos, and cilantro.

 

6.) Stack tortillas on a microwave safe plate and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 50 seconds. Spread chicken mixture in middle of tortillas and wrap. Place in an oiled pan.

7.) Cover with sauce and top with cheese.

8.) Cover dish with foil and cook for 25 minutes.

9.) Take foil off of pan and cook 5 minutes longer until cheese is browned.

10.) Enjoy!

*All photos are originals taken by me

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chickpeas

This snack is not only healthy or cheap but it is savory and crunchy. These little poppers are also packed with fiber and protein making it a super snack – great for afternoon “pick me ups.” There are many recipes out there for roasted chickpeas ranging from sweet to savory. I am new to the world of roasted chickpeas so whenever I find a yummy concoction I’ll be sure to share.This one is just downright delicious!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

-1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-Juice of one lemon
-1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-ยฝ teaspoon salt
-freshly ground pepper to taste
-ยฝ teaspoon granulated garlic
-1 teaspoon dried herb of your choice. We like Thyme byt you could also use parsley, rosemary, basil, etc.

Directions:

1.) Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic in a bowl.ย  Mix well and allow the chickpeas to marinate for an hour. The more you let the chickpeas marinate the more the lemon/garlic flavor will be infused so feel free to marinate for more than an hour if you like.

2.) Preheat oven to 400

3.) When you are finished marinating drain the chickpeas but do not rinse. Spread chickpeas across a lightly greased baking sheet. Make sure they are in one layer. Season lightly with oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs. Shake pan gently to coat chickpeas with seasoning. Repeat however many times you feel it takes to coat the chickpeas. Don’t overdo it though because they will just come out really salty. I try to limit it to two shakes.

4.)Roast the chickpeas for 35-40 minutes.ย  Every 10 minutes roll the chickpeas around for an even browning and less burn. Some of the chickpeas may pop like popcorn as they cook, so be careful when you are stirring them. When the chickpeas are a nice brown with caramelized spots they are ready to come out.

5.) As tempting as it will be to just eat them off the pan, please wait until they cool a little bit before popping a few. These suckers will be hot and it is not worth the risk of singeing your taste buds. Trust me… you are going to want to be able to taste these ๐Ÿ™‚

6.) If you do not finish the batch you made and want to save what is left, keep them in a tightly sealed container at room temp. They will go soggy if not kept air tight.

7.) Enjoy!

*Warning-these are highly addictive!

*All photos are originals belonging to me.