Thursday, December 9, 2010

Easy Cheesy Quesadilla!

I finally made dinner again. We are trying to save a little money this winter by putting off using our heater as long as possible. It is now December 9th, and we haven't used our heater once.
All that to say, I was in the mood for something warm. Being pregnant has its up and downs in the food department. Right now I'm having to force-feed myself to keep from losing weight because food just doesn't appeal to me anymore. But these quesadillas...mmmm. I didn't have any trouble eating these at all.

So, I had this plan to make an extravagant meal complete with side dishes and everything, but as I put these quesadillas together that I now affectionately label "Easy Cheesy Quesadillas" I realized they were going to be quite filling by themselves.

To start:
I wanted to buy inexpensive ingredients, so here was my grocery list:
1 bag of BestChoice Taco Blend cheese
1 package of large flour tortillas
1 red bell pepper
1 jar of Picante sauce

Things I had on hand:
Easy Turner breaded chicken tenders
Skim milk
Dried oregano
garlic powder
a dash of white cooking wine

To begin cooking:
In a medium sauce pan I combined about 1 cup of skim milk (it was too much), a big handful of the Taco Blend cheese, a dash of white cooking wine, about a tbsp of dried oregano, and garlic powder to sight (I would say taste, but everyone measures garlic powder by sight), a large dollop of Picante sauce, and 1 tbsp of butter and I let it all thicken together beautifully. (I apologize for the quality of my pictures, I was using my phone)
Next, I sliced up the chicken tenders (about two per tortilla) and the red bell pepper. I added the sliced ingredients to the tortilla, spooned the cheesy sauce over said ingredients, and then added a small handful of the leftover Taco Blend cheese to bind it together. I folded the tortilla in half, and after adding the slightest amount of oil to my skillet, I fried the quesadilla lightly on each side until the cheese was melted, and the tortilla was a golden brown.

I served it with a small bowl of picante sauce, and my husband ate them up! I have to admit, I did too. This fattening meal was a welcome respite to a plummeting scale. I woke up today at the same weight I weighed yesterday morning--a welcomed result.

This whole meal took me about 20 minutes to prepare. I think it would be much quicker if one had a plan instead of making up the recipe as you go. Enjoy! We did!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Holidays Are Approaching

Now I know what you are all thinking; I have made some delicious treat to share with you? I'm sorry to tell you that you are mistaken.
I am here, however, to tell you that soon and very soon I will be posting some delicious holiday recipes.
Tonight, for my weekly family dinner with my parents and siblings, I am in charge of making a salad. Now, usually that would mean something relatively uneventful and boring, but we have a theme this week: Thanksgiving.
My family has a very rigid Thanksgiving food tradition, and although I don't consider myself a picky eater perse, I am very particular about what is had at holiday meals. I ate a delicious thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family this year, but I did feel as though something was missing. Therefore, since all of my siblings spent the day with their significant others, we are having another Thanksgiving dinner.
My menu: Pistachio Pudding. This is an extremely easy, extremely inexpensive dish that takes about three minutes to prepare--perfect for my busy schedule today. It is a congealed salad that sounds and looks disgusting (it's green!), but tastes wonderful. It is one of my favorite holiday dishes.
So, for you (all of my avid readers, haha), I will post this delicious yet unappealing salad for you in the near future.

I am also here to tell you that after December 18th, I will be cooking again! For the next several months (as I try to save money for the new member of our family we will meet soon), I will be on a mission to find the cheapest, yet healthy recipes that I can. I will begin posting breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert recipes. Since I'm trying to keep myself from gaining eighty-five pounds with this pregnancy, these meals will be as healthy and calorie-conserving as I can make them. I will search for healthy (and tasty) substitutions, and find deals on groceries to help you save money as well.
So, all that to say: STAY TUNED!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Life These Past Few Months

To all of my seven followers:
You must have realized that I haven't posted in quite a while. Let me tell you why.
I'm 23 weeks pregnant now, and my cravings are hitting me from every side! Though sometimes that would enable amazing gourmet masterpieces to be created, for me my cravings come in a form of the convenient. I have been good about not giving into my crazy cravings (those artery-clogging meals no one should ever eat, let alone someone carrying a growing child), but last night I indulged. The menu for dinner last night: Four cheese pizza with garlic, oregano, and parsley (I wish I could take credit, but it was a frozen pizza. All I did was add the herbs), french fries (I had been craving these for weeks, but I only ate two, and one giant Hershey bar. These items are not exactly the culinary creation of the century, nor can I claim any culinary credit for any of these items--aside from the fact that I DID preheat the oven.
No, my dinners have been uncreative to say the least. My dinner usually consists of two apples with cottage cheese and the occasional cookie.
My life is busy. From trying to get thirty minutes of cardio everyday, trying to pass all of my seven classes so I can graduate in December, and trying to spend time with my husband and family it's a miracle if I can even get to the stove for all of the dirty dishes that accumulate. Creative dinners have been the last thing on my mind. Oh, I guess I did make chocolate chip cookies with my nephews on Sunday night--whoops, I guess I have created something.

All that to say, I'm hoping in December--when things have slowed down just a bit, I will return with vigor to my blog... but for now, I guess everybody is trying not to pile on the pounds before Thanksgiving anyway.

The next time you "see" me I might be many pounds heavier.

Friday, August 6, 2010


So, a lot has happened in my life since I last posted. I moved, my sister got married, I went camping in the wilderness of Montana for 11 days, and I found out I will soon have an addition to my small family!
But nevertheless, I baked this meal before all of this, I just never posted it.

This meatloaf recipe was a last minute invention. It tasted heavenly too!

I mixed all of it together and pressed it into a loaf pan.
Now for the sauce. I didn't have any idea how to make the sauce, but I had a blast of genius. I mixed some marinara sauce with a little bit of vinegar and sugar. Voila! I had my sauce. I spread it over the meatloaf and baked it on 350 for 1 hour. It was beautiful!
I recommend this recipe to everyone! I am a huge meatloaf enthusiast, and this really hit the spot!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sloppy Joe. Slop, Sloppy Joes!

I disappeared from this site for a while, my apologies. It's been a busy couple of weeks for my family, but I have still been cooking. So, this might take awhile to log all of these meals, but I will start with Sloppy Joes.
I used to love Sloppy Joes when I was younger. It's not the most healthy recipe, however, so I found a recipe for a healthier version in my Healthy Meals cookbook.
This recipe calls for a lot of veggies. I chose to use onion, squash, and zucchini. I have to tell you that I love slicing zucchini! It has such a smooth feel to it. The knife just goes right through like I am slicing my hand through water, or cutting through a banana that is perfectly ripe.  I would eat zucchini every day if my life allowed for it. They are so beautiful.
Okay, okay. Back to the recipe. First I thawed some ground beef. I browned it in a skillet with half of an onion and a clove of garlic.
Next I added the cut veggies.
I covered the mixture and let it simmer for about five minutes. I added 16oz of Mild Salsa.
I served it over a toasted Hawaiin rolls, and enjoyed it with my husband. He liked it too!
It had a very "garden" taste to it. I loved it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas!

This recipe is from Healthy Meals, and calls for:
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ one ten ounce package frozen chopped spinach
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 8-oz carton Light dairy sour cream
¼ cup plain fat free yogurt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup fat free milk
1 4/12-ounce can diced green chile peppers, drained
6 7-inch flour tortillas
1/3 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
chopped tomato or salsa.

    I was skeptical of this recipe when I first read it. This was due mainly to the fact that my mom makes some of the best chicken enchiladas I’ve ever had. But I decided to try this out for fun. It’s much healthier than my mother’s recipe. This dish is about 248 calories per serving.
    First I placed the chicken in a saucepan with enough water to cover. I simmered the chicken for about 15 minutes. After the chicken was tender, I shredded it with a fork into bite size pieces.

    In a large bowl I mixed the chicken, spinach, and green onions.

    For the sauce, in another bowl, I combined the sour cream, yogurt, flour, cumin, and salt. Add the milk and chile peppers (I didn’t add any chile peppers because I don’t like spicy food).

    For the filling I mixed half of the sauce and the chicken-spinach mixture.

     I divided the mixture among the tortillas, and rolled them up before putting them in the casserole dish. I had extra filling, so I used it to fill in the spaces in the pan, and I covered it with the rest of the sauce. I sprinkled cheese over all of it and baked it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. I topped mine with salsa. These enchiladas tasted so good! It tasted so clean, and I didn’t feel guilty for eating it. The leftovers made an excellent lunch for my husband the next day. Enjoy!

Friday Night Pizza

Though I am almost always watching my weight, I do enjoy a Friday night pizza every once in awhile. I tried “recipe” after “recipe” for a good homemade pizza with no success. I even tried to make my own whole wheat crust that ended up too big of a taste for the pizza. I persevered, however, and finally, after months of attempts, I found a recipe that my husband said was the best I had ever made.
    Now, this recipe is not exactly healthy, but it’s not expensive. This is, however, one of the easiest homemade pizza recipes I’ve ever made. I believe that the whole preparation process took about 11 minutes (including cooking time).
    I call this Friday night pizza because since I’ve been married, Fridays are the nights we like to stay at home. I’m usually so tired from the week that I don’t want to spend an hour making dinner. We usually grab a bite, a movie, and are in the bed by 9:30. So this recipe is dedicated to all of those women who want “fast food,” but don’t want to spend $20 at Panera (our fast food of choice).
    The way I make it easy for myself is to buy an already made crust. I buy a Bomboli pizza crust, or I get a crust that needs to be rolled out and baked.
    Today, I used the already baked crust. I used to buy smoked Gouda and Havartey cheeses to make it a richer flavor, but my tastes have changed.
    The most important ingredient, I would say, is smoked turkey sausage. It has a very strong taste, and I love it (I would put it in everything if my husband didn’t object). I start by chopping up a turkey sausage link into thin quarter-size pieces. I do ‘em up right in the skillet with a little white cooking wine, garlic, oregano, and my secret ingredient: SUGAR! I like a little bit of a sweet taste to my pizza, but I used to put the sugar in the sauce. But I’ve found that if I sweeten the toppings instead of the base of the pizza it adds a more subtly sweet taste. So, in the meat, I put half of a tablespoon of sugar, garlic to my heart’s content, and oregano (probably my favorite herb).
    On the other side of the stove, I cook the sauce. Now, just use the $0.99 jar of Prego three cheese tomato sauce. I add a couple of shakes of Rosemary, oregano, and salt.
    While those are heating up, I lightly salt the crust with garlic and parsley. When all of that is complete, I top the crust with sauce, spread Mexican three-cheese blend over the sauce and top with Turkey sausage. Tonight, I was not in the mood for veggies, but I usually cook red pepper and onion with the turkey. I bake it for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees, take it out, and enjoy! I'm sorry there are no pictures. There was a glitch with my camera.