Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Sweet Potato Recipe...

This is probably one of my favorites and yes, it's with sweet potatoes again! What can I say? They're sooo good!

Anyway, this one is super simple and goes great with anything. We had it with our grilled shrimp last week and it was good.

Preheat oven to 375
Peel and cube a sweet potato and place in mixing bowl
Cut raw turkey bacon strips into small pieces and place in bowl (you can do however much you like--for one big potato I think I did about 4 pieces)
Add about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to bowl.
Add some salt or season salt (opt) to taste

Drizzle vegetable oil over ingredients--probably about a teaspoon or so, maybe more (sorry, I am HORRIBLE at writing recipes!!)
Just enough to lightly coat everything.

Spread everything onto a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sweet Potato Fries

I made these a long time ago but have been recently craving them so we've had these fries twice in the past week or two! Super easy!

2-3 sweet potatoes
olive oil
garlic powder
season salt (opt.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel potatoes. Cut into fries (about 2" long and 1/4-1/2 " wide) (not like potato wedges, they get too mushy when they're too big). This is a time-consuming process so plan ahead. Sweet potatoes are also very hard to cut so be careful! My dad said he heard that you can bake the potatoes for a few minutes to soften them up and then cut them. I've never done this so if anyone tries it, let me know how it turns out!

Put potatoes in ziploc bag or a bowl and drizzle with olive oil until they're "glistening". Shake/move around to coat well. Add seasoning/spices.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Line fries on sheet as evenly as possible.

Bake for 15 minutes, then flip as many as you can with a spatula :) Bake for another 15-20 minutes.

I like to broil mine for a minute or two. Keep a close eye on them though because they burn very easily!!

*Don't be afraid if some potatoes come out black or very dark. Because of the sugar in sweet potatoes, they're going to burn a little bit easier. I kind of like burnt stuff so it doesn't bother me :)

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

I can't remember where I got this recipe from and I know I've posted it on our blog before but it's one of our favorites!


1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
feta cheese crumbles (I like the Athenos Garlic and Herb brand)
teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 T. light mayo
olive oil
focaccia bread

Slice squash and zucchini length-wise. Slice onion into rings. Slice bell pepper into strips.
Brush all vegetables with olive oil. Place on hot grill and grill until tender.
In a small bowl mix garlic, lemon juice, and mayonaise.
Cut bread into quarters and slice, brush with olive oil then grill for 20-30 seconds on each side. Spread mayo mixture (if too runny, add a little bit more mayo) on bread, add some feta cheese crumbles onto the bread (to help the crumbles stay on, you can put the cheese on the bread while it's grilling to help it melt some) then top with veggies!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Baked Sesame Chicken

Okay, this is NOT your panda express sesame chicken but it's still super delicious! I would definitely recommend using fresh chicken breasts though if you can get them on sale. It makes the chicken much more moist. Anyway, here it is. I'm doing most of these recipes from memory so if I go back in and change something, it's because I forgot an ingredient or put in a wrong measurement but for the most part, it's not going to be anything that ruins the recipe!

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2" pieces
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 T. sesame oil
2 T. canola oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. light soy sauce
1 T. water
1/4 c. sesame seeds
oat bran--I can't for the life of me remember how much you need but it doesn't really matter. I ended up using an entire package of sesame seeds and probably 1 cup of oat bran because I was really covering the chicken breasts in it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a shallow bowl mix egg, sesame oil, canola oil, pepper, salt, water, and soy sauce. In a separate shallow powl, mix sesame seeds and oat bran.

Dip chicken in egg mixture then dredge in oat bran/sesame seed mixture.
Place in non-stick pan and bake for 30 minutes.

We served it with some fresh green beans and both loved it!! I'm super picky about baking chicken because it can tend to be dry and chewy but this one was very moist.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Creamy Chicken Paprikash

I really liked this recipe. I tried it on Monday. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary--just a healthy alternative to alfredo really.


8 ounces whole wheat linguine
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces
3/4 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 c. broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 c. fat-free sour cream
2 tsp. paprika

Cook linguine according to package directions, set aside.
Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook chicken for about 7 minutes or until slightly brown. Remove and set on plate.
In large skillet or pan (I use a pan since I don't have a skillet big enough to hold a lot of stuff), add 3 T. chicken broth, onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add paprika and cook for an additional minute. Add remaining broth, chicken and broccoli and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
Add sour cream and cook until heated through (do not boil).

Serve over linguine. Enjoy!!

Easy Shrimp Dish


brown rice
2-3 strips turkey bacon (I did 4 because I love the taste of turkey bacon)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 can chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce (if you don't like spicy food, leave this out or maybe cut it in half)

I start my rice before I begin cooking because brown rice takes longer than white. I made about 2 cups cooked rice for Steven and I so we'd have leftovers.

Cook bacon until crispy, remove from pan and place on paper towel. Crumble when cool (I found an easy way to crumble bacon. Just take the paper towel the bacon's on, wrap the paper towel around it and make a ball of the paper towel. You crumble the bacon without getting your hands greasy!)

With bacon "grease" (there's not a whole lot) still in pan, add onions, bell pepper and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until veggies are soft. Add garlic, cook for an additional minute. Add canned tomatoes, with juice, worchestershire sauce, hot sauce and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Add crumbled bacon and shrimp to mixture and continue cooking on low-medium low for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve hot over brown rice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Carmelized Onion Lasagna

This is a rather lengthy recipe so I'm just going to post the link. I made this on Monday and really liked it! I discovered that there's not quite enough of the white sauce so you may want to make a bit more or just deal. I didn't mind it how it was but I knew Steven might think it was too dry (he was at school when I made it) so I bought some cheap Alfredo sauce and put a little bit on it for him and that seemed to do the trick!

Don't be afraid of the walnuts on top--they just give it a little crunch which is good! I've never done well with the texture of lasagna or especially ricotta cheese!

Anyway, it's delicious and a healthy alternative to regular lasagna!

An Easy Substitution

Plain, non-fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Now I have never tried this baking so I'm not sure how well it'd work but one of our favorite uses for it is in chicken salad sandwiches. I love chicken salad sandwiches but would feel guilty for all the mayonnaise that's in it. I started doing half mayonnaise, half yogurt and then switched over completely to yogurt and I can't even tell a difference!

Simple but a tad bit healthier!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer Salad

1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 mango, pitted and cut into large dice
1 red onion, sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt to taste
3 tablespoons cilantro

1. Place the cucumber, mango and red onion in a medium bowl

2. Season to taste with the lime juice and salt.

3. Garnish generously with cilantro leaves.

I chilled my bowls for a few minutes in the freezer before using to keep the salad nice and cool

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pita Pizzas

whole wheat pita bread (not pockets)
raw spinach
pizza/spaghetti sauce
2 T. pine nuts per pizza
1/4 c. feta cheese crumbles per pizza

Heat pita bread in oven @ 360 for 5-6 minutes. Take out and spread sauce on bread, then top with cheese, pine nuts and LOTS of spinach (it will shrink quite a bit).

Put back in oven for another 10 minutes or so. I usually just watch it until the spinach starts to wilt. If you like yours crispy leave it in longer. Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Substitution

I know a lot of you have probably already tried these or heard of them at least but I'm just throwing them out there anyway for those of you who haven't tried!

I'm a pork-lover. I love sausage, bacon, you name it :o) An easy substitution that's "healthier" is turkey bacon and chicken sausage. There's a LOT less grease but these two things are just as delicious!

An easy meal is to buy some chicken sausages, grill them or just cook on the stove-top, cut them up and throw them in with some wheat pasta noodles and homemade pasta sauce or a low-sodium spaghetti sauce. Enjoy!!

Once Again

I've posted this recipe before on our other blog but thought I'd do it here since it's one of our favorites!

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 (4-x6-inch) focaccia bread pieces, split horizontally
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
  3. Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside.
  4. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place on the grill cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don't burn. Remove from grill, and layer with the vegetables. Enjoy as open faced grilled sandwiches.

I've found you don't need a whole lot of mayonnaise (if you're going for low-fat). The vegetables provide enough moisture as well as the lemon juice. Enjoy! If you don't have the time to grill, just saute the veggies or if you have a George Foreman, throw them on there!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Where To Start

When I started trying to cook/eat better, I started with one small substitution:

Replacing white/processed flour w/ whole wheat or whole grain

It's really so easy to do. I still keep regular flour around for when Steven wants to bake cookies or something like that but even then, you can do 50/50.

Start by looking for whole wheat spaghetti noodles, pasta noodles, wheat bread, wheat tortillas and brown rice. I can tell no difference whatsoever!

You do have to be careful with labels though--just because something says whole grain doesn't mean it's 100%. When looking at labels you should never see the word "processed", "refined", or "bleached". A lot of things (including pastas/noodles) claim to be whole grain but if you look at the ingredients it usually contains the words durum or semolina somewhere in there which means the entire grain isn't used. I still haven't found a 100% whole wheat pasta so if you find one, let me know! Whole grain includes the bran, the endosperm and the germ!

Anyway, it's just a start and just a suggestion!

A Place to Start

I created this blog because I wanted to pass along some of the things I've learned about eating and trying to cook healthy. When I got married I was determined to NOT gain weight like many people do. I knew how to cook but didn't really know how to cook healthy. Bit by bit I've learned substitutions and easy ways to cook healthy, delicious meals and I wanted to share these recipes with people!
I do NOT like "diet" food and I insisted on still having food that didn't taste like cardboard. I always see recipes that claim to be healthy but they're usually nasty so here are some tried and tested recipes that I (remember, just me) think are good.
I'm not a dietitian or a professional, just a regular person who wants to eat better.