The Pizza Alternative

I just made this for dinner and apparently none of my friends like mushrooms! Why do mushrooms get such a bad rep?! They’re the bomb! I’m going to start sneaking them into recipes to trick people into converting so that I can force them to eat these dishes with me.

I had to go food shopping tonight and decided to make things interesting rather than a boring old tilapia fillet and head of lettuce (which is my usual dinner – balsamic on both). I went to my fave site for healthy recipes, http://healthyrecipesblogs.com/, and via her recipe index chose the 30 min recipes. I figured I just wanted something easy and smaller tonight so I went with her portobello mushroom pizza http://healthyrecipesblogs.com/2013/06/24/portobello-pizza/.

Portobello Mushroom Pizza
Ingredients


– 2 large Portobello mushroom, wiped clean, stem removed
– Olive oil cooking spray
– 1/2 cup of your favorite no-added-sugar marinara sauce KB Note: You don’t necessarily have to use sugar-free, I went with a cheap store brand
– 2 oz part-skim Mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
– 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
– 4 basil leaves, torn to pieces, or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves

Directions

1. Preheat broiler, setting temperature to high. Set oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
2. Spray the mushroom caps with olive oil spray on both sides. Broil 5 minutes on each side, or until just tender.
photo 1 3. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, keeping the broiler on. If the mushrooms have released some of their water content, drain them briefly on paper towels and wipe the baking sheet dry, then return the mushrooms, gill side up, to the baking sheet.
4. Fill each mushroom cap with half of the marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Scatter a few torn basil leaves, or a few oregano leaves, on top.
photo 2-1
photo 3 5. Place back under the broiler until cheese is browned, 2-3 minutes.
photo 4 6. Serve immediately.
photo 5

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The First Slow Cooker Meal

This past Friday I planned to make my first slow cooker meal at my boyfriend’s house for everyone. I drove out there before work, stopped at the Food Lion so I could work straight through the day without having to grocery shopping, and when I came out with my bags my truck had a bunch of emergency lights on! It was an ordeal of a day which I won’t deny, had some tears involved, and thus the dinner went unmade. I had bought the shrimp in the morning and while I waited for my tow truck it started defrosting so I threw it into the fridge when I got back, so I had to make the dish before the weekend was over. So I made it for everyone before I left on Sunday! I have been wanting to experiment with slow cooker recipes more but most recipes aren’t much into clean eating or paleo. But I’ve found a few like this one, luckily! http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/quick-recipes/dinner/seven-easy-slow-cooker-recipes/?page=6 This one was outrageously easy. It made soo much, too.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice
Makes: 6 servings
Ingredients
– 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
– 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
– 1 cup chopped onions
– 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
– 1 6- to 6-1/4-ounce package long-grain and wild-rice mix, such as Uncle Ben’s
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
– 1 pound cooked, shelled and deveined shrimp
– Hot-pepper sauce (optional) KB Note: I didn’t do this, but I think it could use it!

Directions 

1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, onions, bell pepper, rice mix with seasoning packet, water, garlic, and Cajun seasoning.
photo 1 2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
3. Stir shrimp into rice mixture.
4. Cover; cook for 15 minutes longer at high-heat setting.
photo 3 5. Sprinkle with hot-pepper sauce if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: 223 calories, 21g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 2g fat (0g saturated), 3g fiber

The Friday Night Friend Dinner

I do a lot more cooking for multiple people now and it’s a nice change from cooking for one! Trying to make healthy items for everyone is difficult but luckily the group is pretty open to most recipes I want to try. This one was a hit, and I was having trouble keeping everyone away from the mixture before I could get it into the wrappers! Definitely something you could put on a salad as well. I adjusted the recipe for myself since I do not like frozen corn and didn’t want to add spinach to the egg rolls. I added peppers per the note in the original recipe found here http://www.nutritiouseats.com/baked-southwestern-eggrolls-meal-planning/. I forgot to follow the recipe and saute the pepper though, and next time I’ll try that. I tried to compensate by extended the cook time in the oven but that just made them too crispy.

Baked Southwestern Eggrolls
Ingredients:
– 2 red peppers
– 1 green pepper
– 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
– 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
– 4 green onions, chopped
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
– 1 package (21) egg roll wrappers

**1 egg beaten for sealing egg roll (can substitute water)

Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers.

big bowl of goodness

big bowl of goodness

Look at all those colors!

Look at all those colors!

Place ~1/4 cup mixture in the center of one egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold sides toward center over filling and continue to roll tightly to seal (see directions on egg roll wrapper). Using your finger, moisten remaining corner with egg. Repeat.
2. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush tops of egg rolls lightly with olive oil.

I wasn't so great at the rolling...

I wasn’t so great at the rolling…

3. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. Turn them halfway through baking. Don’t over cook or the crust will get too hard.
4. Serve warm with salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream.

The Comfort Cooking Dinner

I’ve been dying to make good down home Southern chicken and biscuits, but I don’t have the time to be making some crock pot recipe that takes over 2 hours to cook on top of the prep time, but I finally found a recipe that didn’t look too difficult or too time consuming. http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/11/homemade-chicken-and-dumplings/  One day I’m going to learn to use hyperlinked text on here.

Quick n Easy Chicken n Dumplings
Ingredients
– 2 cups flour
– ½ teaspoons baking powder
– 1 pinch salt
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1 cup milk, a bit less than a full cup
– 2 quarts chicken broth (64 oz) KB note: I used a little bit more than called for, around 77 oz
– 3 cups cooked chicken (1 rotisserie chicken) KB note: I chose to use a normal sized rotisserie chicken and a second smaller one as well. We had three to four people eating with us.

Directions
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.
2. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.
3. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with, a knife or pizza cutter. You may want to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.
4. Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″. It’s okay for them not to be exact. Just eye ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, some shaped funny.
photo 1 (1)
5. Use the floured spatula to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.
photo 2 (1)
6. Bring the broth to a boil while cutting the pieces. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. I plan on adding just a little more flour to make it thicker. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting.
7. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and you’re done! I let it sit on low for another 15-20 minutes before we were ready to eat and it was great!!!
photo 3