Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tangy Sweet Plum Spiced Chicken or Pork

BSI Pork!!  Post your pork recipe over at Slim Shoppin' this week!  I was going to make this will all chicken but the BSI came up and pork was on sale this week so it all worked out good! 

I actually made this with pork and chicken.  I was cooking for us and then was planning to take food to a friend so I make 2 pans of the stuff.  I had 2 1/2 lbs. of chicken tenders and then a little under 2 lbs. of boneless pork chops that I cut into tenders.  Both were excellent and we ended up eating WAY too much of it!  I took a bunch to a friend and I still have a little bit in the frig for tomorrows lunch!

This was SO good! I'm glad I chose this to deliver to my friend and their family.  It was delicious and super easy to make. 

While I liked the variety of the pork, I am a chicken fan. I tend to overcook pork causing it to dry out.  So the pork was a bit dry but still certainly tasty.  I think putting it BACK in the sauce to cook some more made it dry.  It might have been better just to serve immediately.  I'm used to chicken that I can leave on the stove for awhile until I'm ready to tackle it.  The pork didn't like to be ignored and dried up on me. Oh well.

The original recipe calls for Chinese 5 Spiced Powder. I somehow don't have that anymore so I just used cinnamon and cloves and pepper.  That seemed to be the main things in it and it turned out good. I liked the cinnamon taste with it. It contrasted nicely with the plum. 

I also made a really big batch so I increased the proportions quite a bit, go ahead and link to Noble Pig and get the original recipe if you'd like.  Mine is basically the same but I added some sugar, it just needed a bit. 

This is linked with:

Tangy Sweet Plum Spiced Chicken or Pork
Adapted from Noble Pig

2 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders (or pork) (I used a bag of frozen tenders)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt (I'm sure I used more)
Lots of pepper
3 - 4 green onions
1 cup chicken broth
1 jar plum sauce
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar

Coat chicken with spices. Heat pan with cooking spray and cook chicken getting a nice sear on all the sides.  When done, remove and stick on a plate and cover. 

Cut green onions and cook in the same pan that you just cooked the chicken, put a splash of the chicken broth in there to scrape up the browned bits while you cook the onion for a few minutes.  Put the rest of the chicken broth in the pan along with the plum sauce, balsamic vinegar and sugar and heat until boiling. Add the chicken or pork into the sauce and cook until it's coated and slightly thickened and syrupy.  (is that a word?)  Serve over broccoli and/or rice.  Garnish with more green onions if desired.  This made it really pretty when I delivered it to my friend! 

I just made this a few nights ago and it's been super busy so I haven't calculated the calories but I will this weekend and get it in here! I just wanted to post this now as I don't make pork often and I wanted to submit to the BSI this week!! 

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Avocado Ranch Black Bean Dip

Dip for dinner! I love it!

This wasn't the most low calorie dip in the world but it sure was delicious!! 

I didn't measure everything exactly but this is approximately what I put in it.  I only had one avocado but I would totally put 2 in next time, it was fantastic!

I got the recipe from Tricia from Once a Month Mom.  She said to use either ranch or italian dressing.  My original plan was to make 1/2 of it with ranch and 1/2 with fat free zesty italian dressing.  I loved the ranch so much that I ended up using it in all of it.  I'll make it again with the italian. It would be way less calories with the italian too!  

I made homemade tortilla chips with this and ate way too much. It was very filling and it lasted several days in the frig just fine for future lunches and snacks.  

This is linked with:
Cooking Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


Avocado Ranch Black Bean Dip
Adapted from Once a Month Mom

2 avocado's diced
1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups. frozen corn
1 red pepper, diced
1 1/2 cup onion, diced
1 medium tomato
3/4 cup ranch dressing, light

Mix all ingredients together.  Serve with chips or with lettuce as a wrap.

Total calories = 1935 calories for dip

Homemade tortilla chips

2 - 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas
Cooking spray
Salt, pepper and garlic powder

Cut tortillas into wedges. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes at 400.  Watch carefully, they go from almost done to burnt really fast! Experiment with different spices! Cumin, ranch powder and chili powder are all good alternatives!

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower

I like cauliflower in salads and with dip.  But I've never had it hot before.  I've seen recipes with it smothered in cheese but of course anything is good smothered in cheese!

But then I saw on Simply Recipes how simple and wonderful her cauliflower was with her amazing pictures.

Then another blogger, I can't remember who, had a post with roasted cauliflower and she was surprised how incredibly tasty it was. 

That's all it took, I was sold.

I enjoyed it but would add some different seasonings next time to give it more of a punch of flavor. 

This is linked with:

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp. olive oil
Sprinkle of lemon juice
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Lay cauliflower on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices.  Roast in oven at 450 for 25 - 30 minutes until browned on top. Flip 1/2 way through.

Check out my recipe for Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce on Our Krazy Kitchen!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with Pesto Hummus

Have you ever been to Panera?  Heard of it? 

I don't know if they are nation wide or not.  It is basically a coffee bagel shop.  The bread place is what we call it.  We meet there with friends several Saturdays a month. Usually we just get their bagels.  They seriously have some awesome bagels and pastries.

This time, my friend ordered the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich.  She shared it with me. It was amazing.  We found out it was a pesto hummus.  I thought,

"I can recreate this!"  So I set out to make my copy cat version of Panera's sandwich.

The bread was really sweet, we decided it must be a tomato basil bread.

So at home, I googled tomato basil bread and pesto hummus.  I found several recipes, I altered them to my tastes and voila!  My sandwich was created!

This was amazing.  Seriously amazing. Like I could eat it every day for a month kind of amazing. 

The bread wasn't as fluffy and sweet as Panera but it was still very flavorful and delicious.  There was feta on the sandwich and I did NOT put it on my sandwich but adds a nice tang to it.

The pesto hummus would taste good on my shoe.  Wow.  It was SO GOOD.  I didn't miss the meat at all. Nope, not a bit.

Go make this. You won't be disappointed.

This is linked with:
Just Another Meatless Monday at Hey, What's For Dinner
This is also my submission to Souper Sundays over at Kahakai Kitchen.
This is also linked with Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family. MUCH cheaper than going to Panera and hopefully more healthy!  Works for me!

Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with Pesto Hummus
Inspired from Panera sandwich

Pesto Hummus:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. tahini
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted and cooled
2 tbsp. water (more or less as desired for consistency)

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients.  Add water slowly until desired consistency is reached. 

Spread tomato basil bread with Pesto Hummus on both sides. Top with lettuce, red onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Add feta (optional, I didn't use this but it was on the original sandwich)  Enjoy!

Calories for pesto hummus = 1100

I don't have an exact calorie count for this but it's very healthy !!

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Menu Plan Monday - September 27 - October 3, 2010

Sunday's are unpredictable around here. We have meeting at 1 so I often will stick something in the crockpot before we leave.  My goal is to do something fun afterwards.  Sometimes it means we go out to eat, so while I try to plan for Sunday, it doesn't often go as scheduled. 

Tuesday:  Plum spiced chicken, broccoli & rice

Wednesday:  Tacos

Saturday: Leftovers

Recipes will be posted on my blog in over the next few weeks!  Sorry for the teaser, it just takes me that long to get them on the blog!

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tomato Basil Bread

I made bread. I haven't made bread for a LONG time.  Seriously long. 

I no longer have a bread maker.  We had one about 7 or 8 years ago and made several loaves.  But that seemed like almost cheating. 

This was fun. I got to knead it, roll it, punch it and watch it rise.  Clearly I get amused easily.  :-)

I actually ended up making 2 loaves.  The first didn't rise as much as it should. I forgot that it really needed a warm place to rise and it was a cool day and the window was open.  So the first was really sort of an experiment.

I baked it and it was good.  Not as fluffy as it should have been but still good. 

I felt it needed a bit more flavor so I added a bit more tomato paste and basil to the second loaf. 

This one rose nicely and turned out awesome. Except THAT one, I forgot to make the X on top so it wasn't as pretty.  Not sure if there is another reason for the X.

I made a fantastic Panera copycat recipe with this bread, the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with Pesto Hummus. It was SO GOOD. Seriously, my favorite sandwich in the world. No joke.   

Tomato Basil Bread

1 package yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. tomato paste (bit heavy on this)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 - 1/5 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Stir in basil, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups of flour.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough. 

Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 - 5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Punch down dough, knead for 1 minute.  Shape into a round loaf.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled about 1 hour. 

With a sharp knife, cut a large X in top of loaf.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Total calories = 1460 calories

More you might enjoy!

Cheddar Garlic Drop Biscuits

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Apple Cheddar Muffins

This is linked with Ultimate Recipe Swap:Bread at Life as Mom

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Amish Friendship Bread

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts.  I especially love fruit with cheesecake.  It somehow makes it more healthy!  :-)

I'm always afraid that the cakes won't cook well if I add too much moisture.  So I was slightly fearful in using a whole can of pie filling. 

It cooked fine though. If I remember correctly, I had to cook it for about 5 - 10 minutes longer.

This was a very pretty cake!

While we enjoyed this, it didn't have as much of a strawberry flavor as I had hoped.  I think that I would recommend making a homemade strawberry sauce using real strawberries.  I wasn't overly impressed with the canned filling.

Week 1 - Cinnamon Bread
Week 2 - Almond Joy
Week 3 - White Chocolate Almond Craisin
Week 4 - Pistachio Pineapple Coconut
Week 5 - Butterscotch Chocolate
Week 6 - Lemon Raspberry or Blueberry
Week 7 - Banana Cream
Week 8 - Oreo
Week 9 - German Chocolate with Coconut Pecan Frosting
Week 10 - Chocolate Covered Cherry
Week 11 - Peaches and Cream
Week 12 - Chocolate Coconut Cream

Strawberry Cheesecake Amish Bread or Cake

About a cup of starter
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 small boxes of cheesecake pudding
1 can of strawberry pie filling

Spray cooking spray on 2 - 8 x 8 pans.  Mix all ingredients but the pie filling together and pour into the pans.  Gently drizzle and 1/2 can pie filling on each pan and swirl into the cheesecake batter.  Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

This is linked with Ingredient Spotlight:Strawberries at Eat at Home

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saturday Stumbles

Here are some things that I've stumbled upon this week!! 

If you're looking to lose a few pounds, here is an awesome Weight Loss Challenge.  Focus on the last 100 days of this year!  It started the 23rd but you can still be a part of it until October 1st.  Check out the Hot 100.

Hot 100 - Log My Loss


Check out this Pizza Pot Pie!  Can you think of anything better?  Seriously?  Who would even think of take out when this could be an option!

Pizza Pot Pies - Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Check out these amazing ooey gooey oozing cream filled cupcakes!  Not the best way to start a diet but hey, I can look can't I?

Boston Cream Cupcakes - Full Bellies, Happy Kids


How about this for a perfect fall dessert!  She serves it with a vanilla caramel bourbon sauce! 

Caramel Apple Brioche Bread Pudding - There's Always Thyme to Cook


So we all make apple crisp in the fall.  But here's a version with peanut butter!  How awesome does THAT sound! 

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp - TUTUSANDRAINBOOTS


Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce - Indigo's Sugar Spectrum


This is linked to Saturday Stumbles from It's Come To This & Share Your Faves from It's a Blog Party.

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I admit. I have never made homemade pizza dough. I've made it from a pizza kit or a mix but I've never done it completely from scratch. 

Then Biz from My Bizzy Kitchen showed me the error of my ways. 

She also eats a lot of hot sauce so what better way to break in a new crust by whipping out the Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce!

This was good.  First I smothered the bottom with ranch dressing.  The a layer of hot sauce.  Then some green onions.  (it needed more onion, sorry Biz)

Then I added chicken that had been cooked in the same hot sauce and shredded, a pile of cheese and more onions. (it still needed more onions)

What a pretty pizza! Okay, so who knows what the shape is!  It still tasted good!!  (did I mention that it needed more onions though?)

It was delicious but still needed a tweak more flavor so I smothered it with more hot sauce. This was some rockin' pizza! 

This is linked with:

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Crust from My Bizzy Kitchen

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 packet of yeast or 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water

Mix the warm water and yeast and let sit for a couple of minutes.  Add the flour and salt and mix. Add more flour until it isn't gooey sticky and is easy to spread or roll.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and spread your crust on it.  Prebake for about 5 - 7 minutes at 400.  Add toppings.  Cook for about 8 - 10 minutes. I take it off the baking sheet for a few minutes at the end to crisp up the crust. 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

1/2 cup ranch dressing, light
1/4 cup Franks Buffalo Wing sauce
4 - 5 green onions
1/2 lb. cooked chicken (this is approximate, I can't remember exactly how much I used.)
1/4 cup Franks Buffalo Wing sauce (for cooking chicken)
1 1/2 cups mozzerella cheese

Cook chicken in hot sauce until done.  Shred and set aside.  (use as much hot sauce as you want with this, I think I used about 1/4 cup, not sure)

Make crust.  Cook for about 5 minutes at 400.  Take out of oven and spread with ranch dressing.  Then spread wing sauce over the ranch.  Cut some onions on top.  Then add shredded chicken and cheese.  Then add more onions. You can't have too many onions.  :-)  Cook for about 8 - 10 minutes at 400.  I took it off the tray for about 3 - 4 minutes after.  The cooking time will vary depending on your oven. I don't time things well. 

I made this a couple of weeks ago.  I no longer remember where I wrote down my exact measurements.  I am pretty sure about most everything but the chicken, I don't remember exactly how much I put on the pizza. I made like a pound but used the extra for salads throughout the week. 

I do remember that the whole pizza came to right about 2000 calories so 1/4 pizza, which is pretty big, was 500 calories.  This with some fruit was a nice meal. 

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apple Poppyseed Chicken Salad Wrap

I kept seeing the giveaways for the Girards Dressings.  They all intrigued me but I couldn't find them at the grocery store.  I would find maybe one or 2.  The one I really wanted was the apple poppyseed, but it was no where to be found!

I finally won these awesome Girards Dressings!! I have Chaya from Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog and My Sweet and Savory to thank!!  If you haven't checked out her sites, do it now. 

I'll wait.

So the first thing I made was a chicken salad with the apple poppyseed.  I pretty much love chicken salad and could eat it every day.


I went to their website and pretty much used the recipe that was on the site.  I made a couple of changes though.  I actually made this a couple of weeks ago. I think I used extra apple, I don't remember.  You can pretty much throw in what sounds good to you.  Raisins or craisins would be good.  I think I would add less walnuts next time as they are really high in calories.  But they sure were tasty!

It turned out super good!  Not a super low calorie chicken salad but one that I would make again.  I could cut calories by dropping the tortilla and just having it as a lettuce wrap.  I think I ate the whole thing. Not in one night but over the week with lunches. Chicken salad this good isn't something that you share! 

Don't forget to enter my Sunglass Warehouse Giveaway!

This is linked with:

Chicken & Waldorf Salad Wraps
Adapted from

1 lbs chicken
1/2 cup mayonaisse, light
1/2 cup Girards Apple Poppyseed Dressing
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 large apple, I used Fuji (I MIGHT have used 2, I don't remember)
2 ribs celery
1/2 cup grapes, halved
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
8 - 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and combine in a baggie with 1/4 cup Apple Poppyseed dressing.  Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes or several hours.

Cook chicken and shred or cut into chunks and cool. 

Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple poppyseed dressing, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Toss with apple, celery, grapes, green onions and walnuts.  Mix with chicken and serve on tortillas with lettuce.

Total calories = 3138 calories
8 servings = 392 calories per wrap

2, oh yes 2 Apple Poppyseed Chicken Salad Wraps = 784 calorie dinner

More chicken salad recipes you might like!

Zesty Adobo Chicken Salad Wraps

Tropical Chicken Salad

Sweet Asian Chicken Salad Wraps

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cilantro Rice

We're not big rice eaters.  So when I do make it, it better be good. 

I love, love, love cilantro so when I saw this recipe on Tiffanee's blog, I knew I wanted to try it. 

This was good, very good.  I liked the flavors and it went perfect with this Aztec Chicken with Pico de Gallo that I posted on Our Krazy Kitchen.

Only one problem.. 

...I can't make rice!!

Seriously, I either overcook it, burn it, or don't cook it long enough.  This time I didn't cook it long enough or something but it was crunchy.  I THINK I added the right amount of water but who knows. 

Seriously, this always, always happens with rice.

If we ate rice more often, I'd buy a rice cooker.  I'm sure I'd find a way to screw that up too though!!

It was still fine and it DID taste awesome, despite the inefficient cook!

Don't forget to enter my Sunglass Warehouse Giveaway!!

This is linked with:

Cilantro Rice
Adapted from One Crazy Cookie

3 cups water or chicken stock
3 cups rice, rinse and drain several times
3 bouillon cubes (if not using chicken stock)
1 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 can green chiles (small can)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 cup onion, diced

Boil water or stock.  Add rice and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, simmer for about 30 minutes covered.

Total calories = 2170 calories
8 servings = 271 calories

Aztec Chicken with Pico de Gallo + Cilantro Rice = 456 calorie dinner

This makes a lot of rice! I am not for sure how many servings, but I'd estimate about 8 big servings. 

More to enjoy!!!

Lemon Quinoa with Broccoli

Italian Zucchini with Tomatoes

Carrots with Maple Balsamic Browned Butter

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Italian Sausage Pasta with Zucchini & Broccoli Alfredo Sauce

This started out as one recipe and quickly was morphed into something completely different. It started out as an alfredo sauce with grated zucchini in it.

I LOVE alfredo sauce but hardly ever make it as it is usually pretty high calorie with pasta.

My meat eating brother said he thought it needed meat.  I disagreed.  However, I aim to please, so I caved.  I wasn't in the mood to add chicken. I then remembered a sausage link buried way back in the freezer that needed to be found.  So here I was all of a sudden adding MORE calories!

I soon decided that it needed more veggies.  Enter broccoli. 

It turned out really good.  Not like I had planned originally but still very good.  I don't eat pasta a lot and I love a good white sauce. This was super simple and didn't require a roux or anything.  Just a brick of melted cream cheese and a bunch of veggies. My kind of meal.

Don't forget to enter my Sunglass Warehouse giveaway!!

This is linked with:
Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Bellini Valli from More Than Burnt Toast and Ruth from Once Upon a Feast
Tuesday at the Table from All the Small Stuff
Tasty Tuesday from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tasty Tuesdays from A Beautiful Mess
Tempt My Tummy at Blessed with Grace
Delicious Dishes from It's a Blog Party

Pasta with Zucchini Alfredo Sauce

1 (12 oz) pkg. egg noodles, I used whole wheat noodles
1/2 lbs. Italian sausage link, cut up
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
4 cups shredded zucchini and/or summer squash (I had a combo)
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup milk, 1%
8 oz. cream cheese, reduced fat
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook noodles until done. 

Cook Italian sausage and onion in a pan for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook for about 2 minutes.  Mix in zucchini and broccoli and cook for about 8 - 10 minutes until some of the moisture has evaporated. 

Turn heat way down, pour the milk into the skillet.  Stir in cream cheese until melted. Mix in basil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over cooked pasta. 

Total calories = 2683 calories
6 servings = 447 calories per serving

Italian Sausage Pasta with Zucchini & Broccoli Alfredo Sauce = 447 calorie dinner

More pasta recipes you might like!

Macaroni and Cheese

Cheesy Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey Primavera

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.