Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Whipped Feta Bruschetta

Holiday parties are in full effect. I wanted to make a "walking appetizer" for my most recent party, since most people are known to stand and eat. I came up with a Mediterranean spin on bruschetta.

Whipped Feta Bruschetta

Ingredients (makes about 30 pieces):
1 Baguette, sliced into 1/2 thick pieces
4 Medium tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Fresh basil (I cut thin strips of 1 package, so about 1/2 cup)
3oz Whipped cream cheese
8oz Feta cheese
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil (I used extra light but you can use EVOO)

Whipped Feta Directions:
Crumble the feta by hand and add to a food processor with the cream cheese. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Bruschetta Directions:
Preheat oven to broil. Spread a bit of whipped feta onto each piece of bread so it forms a thin layer (you don't want to see the bread through, but you don't want to go overboard). Add 1/2 of a tomato piece to each. Put under the broiler until the bread starts to get golden and the cheese spread starts to turn brown and bubble, about 5 minutes. As soon as you take the bruschetta out of the oven, drizzle each piece with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and basil (make sure each piece has a few strips of basil).

Enjoy!  :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf

Meatloaf has a bad reputation. Most likely because it's literally a bread-shaped meat monstrosity that became popular in the US during World War II. I'm sorry meatloaf, but I must make you delicious, creative, and proud. I basically used my recipe for southwest turkey burgers with a little twist.

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf
Sorry about this. I got hungry so I cut the loaf in half to take a picture.

Ingredients (Serves 6):
1 lb ground turkey (I used 93% lean since it tastes better than the 99%)
1/2 of a red onion, diced
3 Tbl diced pickled jalapenos
8 cherry tomatoes, diced (or 1 small tomato)
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used GF panko since I had it on hand)
2 tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp hot sauce (I used original Cholula)
1 Tbl cumin
1 Tbl paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 350º. Mix everything except for 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese into a large mixing bowl. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Form meat mixture into a large log shape on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. When you have 10 minutes remaining, take the loaf out and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 

Enjoy :)

Nutrition Facts (per 1/6 of a loaf):
Calories: 285
Fat: 16.6g
Cholesterol: 101.7mg
Sodium: 295.2mg
Carbohydrates: 13.5g
Protein: 18.6g

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Greek Salad Soup

Oh look, another soup.

I have an obsession with Greek salad, and clearly also with soup. I decided to combine the two. It's better than I thought it would be!

Greek Salad Soup

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
4 cups chicken stock (can use vegetable if you want the soup vegetarian)
1 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15oz can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 Tbl dried oregano
1 Tbl garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp dried basil
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl Olive Oil
Crumbled feta (to top)
Diced Scallions (to top)
Diced cucumber (to top)

Add olive oil to a large pot/dutch oven. On medium high heat, add onion, celery, bell pepper and carrot. Cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add fresh garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the chick peas with all of the dried seasonings. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, turn heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. After this time has passed, add the lemon juice.

Option to serve with toppings listed above; diced pepperoncini would be great too. You can also add chicken or ground lamb if you want meat, I would have done lamb but it was too expensive at the store!

Enjoy :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Salsa Verde Soup with Spinach and White Beans

It's cold.

It snowed yesterday, on November 2nd, and I was NOT happy about it! I would have stayed in my bed where it was warm, but I had to get out to save the children of America. No really though, I coach at a learn to skate program on Sunday mornings.

As soon as I left the rink I went straight to Hannaford's (which, let's be honest, is the best grocery store ever...even when they run out of scallions) to get ingredients to make ZUPPA. I had read a few "white chicken chili" recipes and I combined all of the ideas in my head with a few on Pinterest and came up with this delicious and easy masterpiece!

Salsa Verde Soup with Spinach and White Beans
Straight up crockin'

Ingredients (serves 6ish):
6 cups chicken stock
2 15.5oz cans of white beans, rinsed and drained (I found mini white beans and they are SO CUTE)
1 10oz bag frozen chopped spinach
2 whole uncooked chicken breasts (either frozen or thawed, it doesn't matter)
2 cups salsa verde (I used Goya, but you can always use this)
1 cup frozen corn
1 Tbl cumin
1 Tbl garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
S+P to taste
2 large or 4 small jalapenos, chopped (optional)
Fresh cilantro, avocado, and scallions/chives work as great toppings!


Crock pot:
Put everything except your toppings into the crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours, shredding the chicken within the last hour. Serve a bowl and top with fresh ingredients.

Stove top:
Add the chicken stock and seasonings to a large pot with the chicken. Bring up to a boil, cook for 10 minutes, and bring down to a simmer. Add everything except your toppings and bring down to a simmer. Cooke for about 30 minutes, shredding the chicken in the last 10. Serve and top with fresh ingredients. Feel free to start with fresh onions and garlic too!

If you want a thicker soup, make a slurry and add in the last 30 minutes of crockin' or the last 10 minutes of cooking on the stove top. A slurry consists of equal parts corn starch and water, finely mixed together with a spoon. I usually do 1 Tbl of each, but this is a large recipe and can handle 2 Tbl.

Enjoy :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Puff Cups

Wow, I have't posted a recipe in almost 3 months? I'm the worst! So I moved to a new apartment, and we had our housewarming party this past Saturday. I wanted to make something new, delicious, and easy to just grab and walk around with. I love puff pastry, so I decided to make puff pastry cups with buffalo chicken and whipped feta! They were SO good and a huge hit. Definitely a new staple to add to my repertoire.

Buffalo Chicken Puff Cups
I took a close up for the full effect

Ingredients (makes 48 cups):
2 boxes of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups (you can also use regular puff pastry, cut 2"x2" squares, and insert them into mini muffin tins)
1-1.5 cups of shredded chicken
1/4 cup of Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce
8oz Feta cheese
3oz Whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup diced scallions

Buffalo Chicken Directions:
Cook chicken however you prefer: grilled, pan seared, boiled. Wait for it to cook and using either two forks or your hands, shred the chicken. Add 1 Tbl of butter to a saute pan and add the shredded chicken and buffalo sauce. Cook on medium for 5 minutes and then take off the heat. Let the chicken sit in the sauce for about 20 minutes until it has cooled down and thickened.

Whipped Feta Directions:
Crumble the feta into a food processor and turn it on for 1 minute. Add the cream cheese and let it rip for 3 minutes or until smooth and combined. 

Cook the puff pastry cups according to the package directions. I recommend doing this ahead of time so they have time to cool. After you make the holes for the food to go in, add a small amount of chicken to each one. The chicken should reach the top of the pastry without overflowing. Using a piping bag or a sandwich bag with a hole cut in the bottom, pipe the feta in a circle to cover the buffalo chicken. Finally, top each one with about 3 or 4 scallions.

Cook the puffs in the oven at 350º for about 10 minutes, or until they are warm throughout. You might not use all of the chicken, but leftovers are good!

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Taco Pasta Primavera with Ground Turkey

It was 91º yesterday but I still managed to cook hot food. I wanted something substantial but not too heavy, and I didn't want to go grocery shopping. I also wanted tacos but have been eating way too many lately. I decided to combine all of my hopes and dreams and made a pasta primavera dish that incorporated tacos. It works, I  promise.

The wine makes the picture better

Ingredients (serves 6):
1 13.25oz box of Dreamfields Pasta (I used Rotini)
1lb Ground Turkey
2 Zucchinis, sliced and quartered
1 cup Frozen Corn
1 Red Onion, sliced
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4oz (half a block) of 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese
1 1/2 cups of reserved Pasta Water
2 Tbl Taco Seasoning, divided
2 Tbl Butter or Oil, divided

Cook pasta according to box, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the starchy water. Heat one skillet on medium and add either 1 Tbl butter or 1 Tbl oil, as well as the ground turkey. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the taco seasoning over the turkey and cook through.

In a separate skillet, heat the other 1 Tbl butter or 1 Tbl oil. Add the onions, frozen corn, and zucchini. When the onions start to become translucent, turn the heat to medium low and add the taco seasoning. Let cook for 2 minutes, then add the pasta waster and cream cheese. Cook for about 5 more minutes until the sauce is well mixed. Add the turkey and pasta to the skillet and mix to combine, 

Last, but not least, add the sharp cheddar cheese and mix well. 

Enjoy :)

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 520
Total Fat: 17.3g
Cholesterol: 97.5mg
Sodium:: 457.7mg
Carbohydrates: 56.6g
Fiber: 7g
Sugars: 6.4g
Protein: 39.1g

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spicy Chickpea Soup

I recently had a spicy chickpea and black bean soup from Flour Bakery. It was amazing. I wanted to try to recreate it as closely as possible and I think I did a pretty great job! I dipped pita in it but I wish it was grilled cheese. Maybe tomorrow when I eat it for lunch!

Spicy Chickpea Soup

Ingredients (serves 6):
1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of frozen corn
1 14.5oz can of petite diced tomatoes
4 cups of vegetable stock
1/4 cup of diced red onion
1-2 cloves of diced garlic
1 diced jalapeno/Serrano pepper with seeds
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat a large pot on medium and add oil, butter, onions, and your pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the onions are relatively translucent. Add your garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Turn heat to simmer. Add your spices, stir, and let sit for another minutes. Add your beans and corn, stir, and let sit for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and canned tomatoes with the liquid. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

I added a bit of fresh cilantro to mine in the end since cilantro and black beans are best friends.

Enjoy :)

Nutrition facts (for 1 serving):
Calories: 185
Total Fat: 5.4g
Cholesterol: 5.1mg
Sodium: 984mg
Carbohydrates: 30.4g
Fiber: 6.5g
Sugars 3.3g
Protein: 7.5g

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Asian Quinoa Bowl with Sweet Potato and Avocado

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually like sweet potatoes now! I tried some sweet potato fries at The Fireplace in Brookline, MA when I was there for my future sister-in-law's bridal shower, and they definitely made me a fan. Now I am trying to come up with different ways to enjoy them since they are good for you and so easy to make.

Asian Quinoa Bowl with Sweet Potato and Avocado
Photo Credit (I was too hungry to take a picture)

Ingredients for the Bowl (Serves 4):
2 Ripe Avocados (not over ripe, you don't want them too mushy)
4 Small/Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup of Cooked Quinoa, cooked (directions here, minus the freezing part)
4-6 Scallion Stalks, depending on how much you like

Ingredients for the Asian Dressing:
1/2 Cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tbl Agave Nectar (or 2 Tbl brown sugar)
1/2 Tbl Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard
11/2 Tbl Garlic Powder (or 2 tsp Garlic Powder and 2 Minced Cloves of Garlic)
2 tsp Powdered Ginger
1 Tbl Olive Oil

Directions for the Bowl:
Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork a few times all over. Place them on a sheet pan/roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them at 425º for 45 minutes to an hour, until you can easily slide a fork all the way through. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together right after the potatoes go in so they can marry in the fridge. 

When the potatoes come out, open them up so the steam releases and they cool down so you can handle them. Heat your sauce in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa, potato, and some fresh black pepper. Mash it together until combined well. Turn heat down to low and let sit for 2 minutes. 

While it sits, dice your scallions. Cut the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Using a knife, make a checker patter inside of the avocado by lightly slicing (as to not break the skin) a few times vertically and a few times horizontally. Using a spoon, remove the avocado from its shell and it should be in nice pre-cut pieces.

Place the quinoa, potato, and dressing mixture into a large serving dish. Add the sliced avocado and scallions and mix well, careful not to mash the avocado. You can also add sriracha, which I obviously did.

Enjoy :)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Calories: 430
Total Fat: 19.2g
Sat. Fat: 2.7g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 1,285mg
Carbohydrates: 61.1g
Fiber: 13.2g
Sugar: 17g
Protein: 8.6g

Monday, April 7, 2014

Best Steak and Cheese Ever

I try to eat red meat once a week since people say it is good for you. I missed two weeks of red meat and I was craving a delicious, juicy, melt in your mouth steak and cheese. Instead of playing the guessing game with the delivery places around me or driving somewhere to get one, I made my own! Results: Never getting takeout steak and cheese again.

Steak and Cheese with Onions and Roasted Garlic Mayo
It was so hard to not dig in, hence the terrible picture

Ingredients (serves 2):

For the steak and cheese:
1lb of shaved steak, or ribeye cut super thin
2 Tbl oil
1 white onion, chopped into thin strips
Either 1 Knorr Homestyle Sock in beef flavor, or 1/2 a can of french onion soup
1 Cup cheese (I did 1 slice of american, as well as shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella)
2 torpedo/sub rolls

For the roasted garlic mayo:
1/4 cup light mayo
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions for the mayo:
Take 2 cloves of garlic and keep the paper shell on. Cut off the tip of the smaller part. Place in a 450º oven inside of a tinfoil ball with a little bit of oil for 30 minutes. When the garlic comes out, dice/mash it finely and combine with powder and mayo.

Directions for steak:
Turn on your broiler. Heat 2 Tbl oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add the steak and onions, as well as some cracked black pepper. Cook until the steak is cooked through and the juices have reduced (about 10-15 minutes). Add the stock/soup and cook for another 10-15 minutes until you have really melty, tender meat. 

Spread mayo on either side of the sub rolls. Add half the meat and onions to each sub. Lay on as much cheese as your heart desires and make sure to cover allllll that steak. Place in the broiler until the cheese is melted and the roll starts to get golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Again, not doing nutrition facts because this is a freebie. 

Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich

I'm really picky about breakfast when it comes to dining out. I only go to places that have huevos rancheros since my pallet likes to be awakened by strong flavors in the morning. I got a hankering for my favorite breakfast the other morning and decided to make a sandwich out of it since I had no tortillas.

Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich
I'm getting better, right?

Ingredients (for 1):
1 English muffin (I use Thomas's 100 calorie)
1 Tbl butter, separated
1/2 of a ripe avocado
1/2 cup black beans
1 egg
1/4 cup of cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 Tbl salsa or diced tomatoes
Hot sauce (optional)

First comes the beans. Heat 1/2 of the butter in a skillet and add the beans. Cook on medium high for a few minutes until the shell part starts to fall away from the bean. Blend with an immersion blender/food processor/regular blender until it becomes more of a paste. Add a dash of cumin as well as some salt and pepper to the beans. 

Toast your English muffin. While it is toasting, smash your avocado with a fork and add your salsa/tomatoes, hot sauce, and a bit of salt and pepper. 

Heat the remaining butter in a skillet on medium high and add your egg. I prefer over easy, so I cook it until the edges are no longer translucent (about 30 seconds) and then flip it with my super skills (no spatula). Melt the cheese on your egg and remove from heat after it is melted. 

For assembly: Spread the bean mixture on the bottom of the muffin. Place the egg on top of the beans. Spread the avocado mixture on the top of the muffin. Assemble sandwich and put pressure on it for a lava flow of delicious yellow yolk.


No nutrition facts because 1. I'm scared to know and 2. who cares, it' weekend brunch!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chipotle Turkey Burgers

I have finally figured out how to make turkey burgers without the egg and breadcrumbs! I was craving chipotle in adobo the other day so I decided to do chipotle turkey burgers. I served mine with some melted cheddar and a Greek yogurt "aioli" on top, as well as some baked asparagus on the side.

Grilled Chipotle Turkey Burgers

Ingredients (serves 4):
1lb 99% fat free ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 white or red onion, diced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced
1Tbl adobo sauce from the peppers
1/2 of a 4.25oz can of diced green chilis
1/4 avocado
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and let sit in fridge for at least 4 hours (I recommend overnight). Score into 4 patties and make a thumb indent in the middle of each. Grill on medium high heat, thumb side down, for 5 minutes on each side. Top with cheese one minute before they are done if you wish.

Greek Yogurt Aioli:
Combine the following
1 heaping Tbl Greek yogurt
1 tsp light mayonnaise
1 tsp adobo sauce
1 tsp garlic powder

Grilled Asparagus:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus spears on a sheet tray and toss with 2 tsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. Bake for 10 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Nutrition facts for one patty:
Calories: 153 (so healthy!)
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated fat: 0.3g
Cholesterol: 70mg
Sodium: 106.5mg
Carbohydrates: 3.5g
Fiber: 1.3g
Sugars: 1g
Protein: 28.7g

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fresh Salsa with Cucumber

I've always preferred pico de gallo to that soupy type salsa you get at most restaurants. Some grocery stores make a packaged salsa very similar to pico de gallo, but unfortunately mine does not. I had some leftover jalapeno from a sauce I made and decided to make my own!

Fresh Salsa with Cucumber

6 Roma tomatoes (or 3 beefsteak, or 1 package or cherry tomatoes)
2 jalapenos, seeds removed
1/2 of a cucumber
1/2 cup red onion
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbl fresh cilantro (optional)
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Cayenne/hot chili powder for spice (optional)

Dice everything (or cut to your liking) and mix well in a bowl. Refridgerate overnight. Boom that's it. For extra spice, you can keep the seeds in one (or both!) of the jalapenos. The cucumber really adds a new element to the salsa!

Enjoy :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PB&J Oatmeal

I never realized how easy it is to make your own oatmeal until today. I actually don't think I'll ever buy store bought again! The possibilities are endless too- you can add fresh fruit, granola, and all different types of flavors. Today, per usual, I wanted peanut butter and jelly in my oatmeal! 

Ingredients (makes 1 serving, very easy to make for more than 1):
1 cup of water
1/2 cup quick oats (I used Quaker)
I/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl peanut butter (I used creamy Jif)
1 Tbl jelly/jam (I used Welch's Grape)
1/2 Tbl brown sugar

Bring water to a boil and add oats. Turn down to low and stir occasionally for about 1-2 minutes (or until desired consistency is achieved). Add in the remaining ingredients and it's as easy as that!

Enjoy :)