Friday, April 29, 2011

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Wow, life has been busy!! Which means dinner usually isn't too exciting around here. I did make this new recipe on Monday night and they were very good. I saw it on Lauren's blog, it is originally a Rachael Ray recipe.

Next time I will take Lauren's idea of adding some green pepper for color and flavor, and probably use provelone cheese instead for the sauce.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray


1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1/4 cup steak sauce
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper
4 dinner rolls (or 8 finger rolls), toasted if desired
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 cup desired cheese, shredded


In large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, brown the ground turkey, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the onions start to get tender. Stir in the steak sauce and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, bring up to a bubble and cook about 2 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir the cheese in a figure-eight motion until it is all incorporated.

To serve, place a scoopful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll.

ZACH'S RATING - *** 1/2
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Graceland" Eggplant Panini

I was thrilled to find out that this week's theme for the recipe swap was sandwiches. Quick weeknight meals is what I am in need of the most since I am now teaching every evening during the week except for Tuesdays. Healthy sammies and wraps are the perfect fit for our family right now.

I was assigned Elisha's "Graceland" Eggplant Panini and it was great! I lightened it up by baking the eggplant instead of frying and also skipping the oil on the sandwich itself. I actually cooked the eggplant in the afternoon and all I had to do was assemble and cook the panini after putting the kiddos to bed.

Here is Lishie's original Recipe. I shared our go-to recipe for French Dip Sandwiches, one of our family favs.

Eggplant Panini
Recipe adapted from DeLish

1 Eggplant
1 egg, whisked
1/2 cup Bread crumbs
Italian Sub Rolls or full Italian Bread, sliced into sandwich sizes
1 Jar of Roasted, Sweet Red Peppers or 1 Fresh Red Pepper, Roasted
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
Fresh Basil
Approximately 2-3 tsp Balsamic Vinegar


Clean, peel, & slice the eggplant length-wise. Set up a mis en place: Whisked egg in one shallow bowl, Bread Crumbs in another. Heat oven to 400. Dip the eggplant slice first in the egg then coat the slices with bread crumbs & place on a baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

After the eggplant is breaded & cooked, assemble the sandwiches... Bread, eggplant, peppers, mozzarella slices, basil leaves (I leave them whole) & finally the splash of balsamic vinegar.

Close the assembled sandwich & cook it either on a panini maker OR on a grill pan with a weight on the sandwich (another pan or heavy plate) until the mozzarella is melted.

ZACH'S RATING - *** 1/2
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crockpot Smashed Potato Soup

I follow my cousin Katy's awesome blog, Tangerine Hearts, and came across this recipe the other day. She blogs about Fashion, recipes, and life in general. My favorite posts are her "What the Fug" segmants that highlight interesting (hideous and ugly) new trends in fashion. Definitely check her out!

This crockpot soup caught my eye because it looked so easy and yummy, plus it was easy to make this typically heavy soup on the lighter side. We really enjoyed it!

Smashed Potato Soup
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Slow Cooker Family Dinners cookbook by way of Tangerine Hearts


3 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 chopped yellow pepper
1/2 chopped red pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used fat free half and half)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
4 strips low sodium bacon, diced (I used turkey bacon)
additional sliced green onion

In crockpot, combine potatoes, peppers, garlic and black pepper. Pour chicken broth all over.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours. Meanwhile cook chopped bacon until crispy, set aside.

After 8 to 10 hours mash potatoes slightly with a potato masher. Stir in cream, cheddar cheese and the 1/2 cup green onions.

Top individual servings with additional sliced green onion, bacon and cheddar cheese.

This recipe makes 8 servings; 243 calories per serving (without toppings).
Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

This week's recipe swap theme was chicken. I had so many good ones to choose from for this category, and ended up submitted my chicken pizza burgers. They were so yummy and thought it would be different than some other chicken dishes in the swap.

In return, I received Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki sauce from DeLish. This is the perfect example of a recipe taking me out of my comfort zone. I do not do well with white sauces at all. If I saw this in a restaurant, I would avoid it. BUT, knowing that the sauce is made with greek yogurt (which I love) and cucumbers (yum) I was actually excited to give it a try.

It ended up being a very yummy, super healthy dinner that both Zach and I enjoyed. Next time I think I will add some sliced onion.

Thanks Lishie!!

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
Recipe from DeLish


Chicken -
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs fresh dill
1 tsp dried oregano

Tzatziki Sauce -
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tbs fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic

Whole Wheat Pitas
Grape tomatoes, halved
chopped cucumber


Chicken: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, dill & oregano. Arrange the boneless chicken on a foil lined baking sheet. Brush the olive oil & herb mixture onto the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Dice the chicken.

Tzatziki Sauce: Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the sauce topped on the chicken in the pita. Add desired amount of tomatoes and cucumbers

ZACH'S RATING - *** 1/2

Skinny Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Friday mornings are my weigh in days for weight watchers, and I lost another pound this week. I am officially ONE pound away from my pre-pregnancy weight! So what do I do to celebrate? Bake cookies!!

These are not just any cookies, they are from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes. You would never know that these are low fat cookies, they are absolutely delicious. Think I can eat just 2? Probably not. Hopefully I'll burn it off at Hot Yoga tomorrow morning, my newest fitness obsession!

Low Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes
2 cookies per serving, 5 weight watchers points +

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed.

Add the egg, followed by the applesauce and vanilla extract.

Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls (approx 3 tbsp each) of the dough onto prepared baking sheets, flattening each cookie slightly (I forgot to do this). Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.

Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container so you don't eat them all in one sitting!

Makes about 30 cookies roughly 3 tbsp each.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mushroom Spinach Risotto

After a week of quick weeknight dinners, I was excited to take my time and make this for our Friday night dinner. I absolutely love risotto, and this one was totally worth the half hour of stirring!! I used my go to recipe for risotto and tweaked it a tiny bit. It was really good and the perfect compliment to london broil, which I simply season generously with Laury's and broil for 20 minutes.

Mushroom Spinach Risotto


1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
8 oz package sliced cremini mushroom
1 shallot, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
a few dashes of red pepper flakes
1 c arborio rice
1/4 c dry white wine
5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version), heated on the stovetop or microwave
1 c fresh baby spinach
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese


Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat remaining olive oil and butter in a large saute pan
Add shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes; stir until tender, about 2 minutes.
Add arborio rice and stir until coated
Add the white wine and stir until absorbed
Add the hot chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Add more broth only when all of the broth in the pan has been absorbed by the rice. This entire process takes anywhere from 17 to 25 minutes.
Near the end, stir in the mushrooms and spinach
When you add your final ladle of broth, add the cheese.
Serve immediately
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