Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Gratin w/ Tarragon Lemon Mustard Sauce

When Saucy Mama asked me to create a recipe using their delicious flavored mustard, the first thing I thought of was spaghetti squash.  I know, squash and mustard aren't usually a usual combination.  Well, Saucy Mama Tarragon Lemon Mustard isn't your usual mustard. 

Saucy Mama was kind enough to send me a bunch of delicious flavors to try.  I've made a delicious dipping sauce for chicken tenders with the Garlic Mustard.  I made a fantastic chicken salad using the Chipotle Mustard.  But this spaghetti squash creation is my favorite. 

This is everything I could possibly want in a meal. It is gluten free, vegetarian, low calorie, low carb and healthy.  Oh, did I mention that it tasted fantastic?  The Tarragon Lemon Mustard made a scrumptious sauce that paired beautifully with the squash and the other vegetables. 

I made a version later in the week without the beans but I think I prefer the beans. It makes more of a complete meal and was very filling!

Spaghetti Squash Vegetable Gratin with Tarragon Lemon Mustard Sauce

1 large spaghetti squash
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. oil
2 zucchini, sliced and halved
3 oz. fresh spinach, rough chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper

1/3 cup sour cream, light, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, light
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tbsp. Saucy Mama Tarragon Lemon Mustard
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook spaghetti squash.  I put mine whole in the microwave for about 6 minutes.  Remove and cut in half when you're able to handle it.  Place back in microwave on a plate, cut side up, with a splash of water on the plate.  Cook several more minutes until softened.  Using a fork, scrape the insides out into a large bowl.  
Heat oil in large skillet and saute onion for 4 - 5 minutes until softened.  Add chopped zucchini, spinach and black beans and cook for a few minutes.  Add salt and pepper, stir and remove from heat.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, Saucy Mama mustard and eggs in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Add sauce to spaghetti squash.  Add vegetable/bean mixture to spaghetti squash and combine thoroughly.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 in. pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until bubbly. 

Total calories = 1790 calories
8 servings

Calories per serving 223.7

Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 4.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 67.4 mg
Sodium 308.3 mg
Potassium 424.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.1 g
Sugars 4.4 g
Protein 13.1 g

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cashew Chicken Salad Wraps

This is my lazy weekend meal. I keep cooked chicken in the freezer just for reasons like this.  This isn't a fancy chicken salad but it is so good. I love the crunch of the cashews and celery.  If I had dried fruit, I would have added it but this time I just made it pretty basic.

I love eating chicken salad on corn tortillas. I also ate some over lettuce but didn't snap a picture of that.

Go lazy, go fancy; make chicken salad. 

Cashew Chicken Salad

1/2 cup sour cream, light
3 tbsp. light mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. curry powder
13 oz. cooked, shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. chopped cashews
1 green onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
Buns or wraps (I used corn tortillas)

Combine sour cream, mayo and curry powder. Stir until blended.  Add chicken, celery, cashews, green onions, salt and pepper.  Stir well to combine. Serve on buns or tortillas.

Additional add ins if desired: Chopped red pepper, craisins, grape halves, dried cherries or chopped apple.

Two Years Ago...

Cheese Ravioli Bake

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ February 27 - March 4, 2011

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas, Smashed Pintos

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Bites and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday: Rootbeer Sloppy Joes, sweet potatoes

Thursday: Leftover sloppy joes and Pumpkin Fried Rice,

Friday: Bean and Honey Burrito Casserole

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday:  Country Captain Chicken in the Slow Cooker


For more menu ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie and Gluten Free Menu Swap at Celiac Family.

One Year Ago...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Orange Pecan Granola Bars

I have a problem with granola bars.  I will buy them from the store to keep on hand for those mornings that I need something quick. I usually buy the ones that are somewhat healthy but have quite a bit of sugar.   However, late at night, on the weekends, they call to me and I tend to eat them.  Too many of them.  I love them.  They are like my candy bars.  I will rationalize they are healthy but they really aren't THAT healthy. 

Imagine my delight when I found a truly healthy granola bar that is free from refined sugar.  These are delicious and satisfying but they don't invoke the uncontrollable desire to eat 4 of them in one sitting.

I've made these twice now and I truly love them. I plan to play around with them a bit to try to make some different versions.  No more sugary, unhealthy, store bought bars for me.  These are my go-to bars now!

Orange Pecan Granola Bars
Adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen

3 cups quick oats
3/4 cups chopped pecans (3 oz)
Juice from one orange
1 tbsp. orange zest
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. honey
2 oz. chopped dates
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 350.  Spray an 8 x 8 in. pan with cooking spray.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.  Press mixture in the pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until top is brown.  Cool completely.  Cut into 12 servings.

Total calories = 2060 calories
12 servings = 172 per bar

One Year Ago...

Mini Pizza Burgers

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Casserole Recipe

I've been trying to eat less meat. I'm trying to eat healthier and I've been making changes in my diet.  I just don't think the we need to eat meat with every meal.  I still eat meat, I'm not going completely vegetarian but I only like to eat meat 2 - 3 times a week. Tops.  I would probably eat less if it weren't for my meat eating family. 

This was an interesting recipe.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out as I was making it. 

It was a casserole, yet kinda like a thick soup.  It had the flavors similar to chili, yet the next day, it thickened so I use it as taco filling. Big shock, I stick everything on a tortilla. 

However it was served, it was delicious.  It was flavorful, pretty, super healthy, gluten free and meat free.  All that I love in a meal.

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Casserole
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan

2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder (or to taste)
2 - 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, drained, LIQUID RESERVED

2 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into thin slices or cubes

1 cup milk or almond milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. paprika

In a large bowl, combine the black beans with the next 8 ingredients and set aside. 

Spray a 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray.  Lay 1/3 of the squash (or pumpkin) in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Cover with 1/2 of the bean mixture.  Repeat layers with another 1/3 of the squash and the remainder of the beans.  Finish with the final 1/3 of the squash slices. 

Combine the reserved tomato juice with the milk, cornstarch and spices.  Stir well and pour over pumpkin.  Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake for about 20 - 30 minutes more until sauce is thick and bubbly and the squash is tender.

Total calories = 1850
8 huge servings = 231 calories per serving

One Year Ago...

Apple Cider Beef Stew

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe

Ah, chicken salad.  One of my favorite foods in the whole wide world. 

The flavor in this chicken salad was so great.  Seriously amazing. The hint of cardamom with the tartness of the dried fruit, along with the sweet cream cheese sauce provides for a flavor explosion that you wouldn't believe. 

The family ate theirs on mini crescent rolls.  I chose corn tortillas to put mine because I love anything on a tortilla.

Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe
Adapted from Kitchen Parade

2 tbsp. mayo
4 tbsp. buttermilk
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. cardamom
Zest of an orange
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1 lb. roasted chicken, shredded
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 tbsp. red onions, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used a combo of dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries)

Cranberry Cream Cheese:
6 tbsp. cream cheese
3 tbsp. cranberry sauce (I used homemade cranberry salsa)

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl.  Stir cooked, shredded chicken into dressing.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, at least.  The flavors really do change so please leave it overnight, it makes a huge difference.

Mix cream cheese and cranberry sauce together.  Spread sandwiches with cream cheese, lettuce and chicken salad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes

Who's says you need buns for sloppy joes?  Of course, it's not so sloppy on a potato. Still, they are sloppy joes. 

My family ate theirs on buns.  Plain old white hamburger buns.  Mine? On a delicious, hot sweet potato.  Not so sloppy this way.  Mine tasted better too! 

I know, I've been putting a lot of food on top of a sweet potatoes.  Get used to it. It's good. 

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. ground turkey
2 medium onions
12 - 15 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. brown sugar

Brown ground turkey in a pan. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic, cook until onions are tender.  Add chili powder, cocoa powder, paprika, allspice and pepper.  Stir together and cook for a few minutes.  Add ketchup, worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.  Stir until medium heat until it is heated through.  Serve over a potato or sweet potato if gluten free. 

One Year Ago...

Southwestern Butternut Squash

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chickpea Potpie with Cornbread Crust

I have a bad habit of missing an ingredient when following recipes.  I tend to double and triple check recipes before completing them.  This time? I forgot to check.

I was excited about this recipe.  Sweet potatoes and chickpeas are two of my favorite things.  I was super eager to get it in the oven. 

As I was pouring the cornbread topping on the top, I found myself thinking, "Wouldn't this rise better if it had some baking powder in it?"  Then proceeding to look back at the recipe, seeing that I missed the tablespoon of baking powder.


So the topping came out a bit flat due to my baking powder error.  It still tasted great.  I do think that it needed to be seasoned a bit more but for sure it will be made again. 

Next time, WITH the baking power in the corn bread crust!

Chickpea Potpie with Cornbread Crust
Adapted from Eats Well with Others

1 1/2 lbs. chopped sweet potatoes
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup flour 
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour 
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 egg yolk

Boil the potatoes and carrots until tender but not super soft and set aside. Spray a 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray. 

For the filling, cook onions in cooking spray and saute until they are soft, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Sprinkle in the 1/4 cup flour and mix.  Slowly pour the vegetable stock, whisking well until thickened and bubbly, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, peas, cooked potatoes and carrots.  Season with salt, pepper and tabasco.  Cook on medium heat until the mixture is heated through.  Pour into the 9 x 13 in. pan.

Preheat the oven to 400.

For the crust, in a bowl, combine the cornmeal, 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil and egg yolk.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until uniform but a bit lumpy.  Spoon the batter evenly over the filling.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. 

Total calories = 2871 calories
8 servings = 360 calories

One Year Ago...

Chocolate Chip Banana Amish Cupcakes

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ February 20 - February 26, 2012

Monday: Mexican Breakfast Scramble, add chiles, maybe avocado, corn

Wednesday: Something with spaghetti squash  :-)

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Spaghetti & Meatballs


Look for more menu planning ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

One Year Ago...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I used to eat the Au Gratin potatoes from a box. You know, the kind that can sit in your cupboard for like a year until you decide to mix it up and cook.  Then you find yourself eating the unnatural orange colored potatoes in a matter of minutes.  Yea, those potatoes.

I have been trying to eat more real food lately.  I hardly have any boxes in my cupboard and most of the stuff is fresh.

I know that these were so much healthier than the boxed version and they sure tasted a whole lot better too.  Yes, I used processed cereal for the topping.  I said I'm trying to eat more real food, I'm not completely there yet though.  I'm a lot better than I used to be though!

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
Adapted from Permanent Posies

6 - 7 potatoes
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp. butter
7 oz. cheese (I used Dubliner which was awesome)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup crumbled rice or corn chex

Slice the potatoes into thin rounds. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Drop the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for about 6 - 8 minutes, until tender but not falling apart.  Drain and set aside.

In a pan, melt butter.  Add flour and cook for a minute or so.  Add the milk and stir until smooth, cooking to thicken.  Add cream and both kinds of cheese.  Add the chicken broth and stir.  Let it simmer for a couple more minutes.  Add the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. 

Put the potatoes in a 9 x 13 in. pan.  Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes.  Take the foil off, top with the Chex crumbs and cook for another 15 minutes to brown the top. 

One Year Ago...

Aztec Chicken with Fresh Pico de Gallo

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

All the taste of pizza without the heavy crust?  Sounded good to me. I've never been much of a crust fan. 

This casserole tastes like pizza.  The "crust" is zucchini and is absolutely delicious.  So you can't pick it up like pizza, who cares? It is healthy and delicious!  Because I didn't use my calories on the bread, I put more cheese than I usually would. 

Cheese is good and makes me happy.  :-)

I made this again with black beans instead of meat and it turned out fantastic.  Great way to make it vegetarian!

Zucchini Pizza Casserole Recipe
Adapted from Finding Joy in my Kitchen

4 cups shredded zucchini (I used about 5 small zucchini's)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 oz. cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
1 tsp. italian seasoning

1 lb. ground turkey (or can of black or white beans)
2 oz. pepperoni, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
4 oz. cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)

Shred zucchini.  Mix the zucchini with 2 eggs, parmesan cheese, 2 oz. of cheese and italian seasoning.  Press the zucchini mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 in. glass baking dish.  Bake the crust uncovered for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the crust bakes, brown the ground turkey in a large pan.  Add in the onion, pepperoni and spaghetti sauce and cook until onion is soft, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Remove the crust from the oven. Pour the meat and sauce over the crust.  Top with peppers, sprinkle with 4 oz. of cheese. 

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 or until the pizza is heated through and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.  Allow the dish to stand for 2 - 3 minutes before slicing and serving. 

Total calories = 2200 calories
8 servings = 275 calories per serving

Vegetarian version: Sub the ground beef for black beans, I made one the following week this way and it was awesome!

Two Years Ago...

Apple Juice Pork with Squash & Golden Raisins

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry sauce has never been one of my favorites.  Although, my vision of cranberry sauce was the gel in the can.  Now, I know that some swear by that and love it but I never got into it.  So even when presented with a homemade cranberry sauce, I would pass.

My tastes have expanded and I have used cranberries in a number of recipes.  After seeing a number of sauces and salsa's, I decided to make one.

This homemade cranberry salsa turned out wonderful.  I used it for several things. The family ate it with ham. I ate it over my eggs the next morning.  I used it in a Cranberry Chicken Salad that was fantastic!  It would be fantastic over cream cheese and used as an appetizer. 

I am incredibly glad I tried this and I know it will be made again. 

Cranberry Salsa
Adapted from The Teenage Taste

12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
3 tbsp. orange juice
1/2 cup sugar 
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cranberries and about 4 cups of water in a sauce pan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 - 3 minutes.  Drain.

In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, onion and cranberries.  Mix by hand, squeezing some of the berries to a pulp and leaving some whole.

Add the orange juice, sugar, salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

One Year Ago...

Sweet and Savory Roast

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Green Chile Chicken Cordon Bleu

I cheated yet again on a cordon blue recipe. These were breaded and rolled and baked in the oven and the picture looked oh-so gorgeous!  I super simplified the recipe yet it came out delicious! Not as pretty but wonderful to eat. 

Green Chile Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe
Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen

2 - 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (I had 3 big breasts cut into half for 6 portions)
1 small can of green chiles
6 pieces of ham
6 pieces of provolone
Salt and pepper

Separate chicken into 6 even pieces. Brown in pan on medium high heat with a bit of oil or bacon grease.  Turn over and cook until cooked and browned on both sides.  With a spoon, spread green chilies on each chicken breast.  Cover with ham and top with cheese.  Cook until heated through and cheese is melted.

One Year Ago...

Banana Bread Waffles

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

I don't think I could ever get sick of pumpkin. Or smoothies. This sounded like a fabulous combination. 

The timing for the Pumpkin Smoothies was perfect as I had just opened a huge can of pumpkin for some oatmeal that I didn't know what to do with.  Plus the huge bunch of bananas on the counter made for the perfect recipe for the Pumpkin Smoothies.

These were delicious.  I made several batches for the family and they all loved them. 

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 banana sliced
1/2 cup milk
a dash of pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon honey
about 5 ice cubes

What you do:
Blend and Enjoy!!  This serves one, I tripled it for the family to enjoy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pizza Steak Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker

There is truly nothing easier than throwing food in a crockpot in the morning and coming home to an awesome smelling house and dinner DONE!

I didn't feel the need for a bun but I enjoyed this over sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes have much more flavor than a plain old bun anyways.  The flavors of the sweet potatoes and the pizza flavored meat went well together.

The only thing I would change would be to add a bit of red pepper flakes to bolden the flavors a bit.  It was delicious but a bit mild. 


Pizza Steak Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker
Adapted from Eat at Home

2 - 2 1/2 chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat
6 oz. pepperoni
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 - 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Provolone or mozzerella cheese slices

Place meat in slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cheese.  Cook on high 5 - 6 hours or low for 7 - 8 or until meat can be shredded. Serve on buns or over potatoes if you're gluten free.  Top with cheese slices.

One Year Ago...

Pumpkin Chili