Monday, August 25, 2014

Creamy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

These potatoes are amazing!!!  They melt in your mouth and are so super creamy.   I'm trying not to eat butter often, but made these for a special dinner party - it was less than 2 tablespoons, which isn't bad at all.  But if you would like to avoid butter, then try substituting olive oil.   So next time it's not too hot to turn on your oven, give these a try!  So simple and delicious!

Happy Cooking!

Creamy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
my version was inspired by
1.5 lbs of fingerling or baby potatoes, scrubbed clean
chicken stock (enough to go 1 inch up side of dish, so it depends on the size of your potatoes and dish)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 T butter, very cold and thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large oven proof dish, (I used my dutch oven), place potatoes in a single layer.  Pour enough chicken stock to go 1 inch up the side of your dish.  Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place one very thin slice of butter on the top of each potato.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of your potato.  Test their tenderness with a fork.  Continue to bake until tender and browned to your liking.  Delicious!!!  I served the potatoes with roasted brussel sprouts and this steak au poivre:
A dinner combination to impress any guest!  Enjoy!!!

Taco Soup

Ever have leftover taco meat and not feel like eating tacos again?  Run out of taco shells?  Or have a spouse and kids who refuse to eat leftovers?  Then how about a recipe that uses taco meat from the dinner before and re-invents the 2 meals-in-1 concept?!?!  

One cold evening in the early spring, my husband was working late and I was trying to be creative with leftovers while making a healthy dinner that my children would be excited about.  Then it hit me - they love soup, so why not take my leftover taco meat and make a taco soup?  And what could make it even better?  How about a cheesy quesadilla dipper?  They could dip it in their soup of just eat it along side for some extra calcium and protein.  It was a HUGE hit!  This was so simple and you could really use it  to sneak in vegetables and any leftovers you want to hide.  Love it!

Happy Cooking!

Quick Taco Soup
original recipe by Sarah to serve a family of 4 for dinner
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup of leftover ground turkey taco meat (any kind would work, as long as it is already seasoned with taco seasoning)
1/2 cup of leftover brown rice or beans (or both - whatever you have and know your kids will eat)
1 cup of vegetable juice
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock  (you can add more liquid if you prefer more broth - just keep the same ratio of 1 part vegetable juice to 3 parts chicken stock)
1 cup of frozen spinach or kale
extra hot sauce for seasoning, served on the side
shredded cheese and flour tortillas to make quesadilla dippers (optional)

In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, carrot, and celery with 1 T of olive oil.  Stir frequently and continue to cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.  Add the vegetable juice and broth, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Add the frozen vegetables and the leftovers, stir to combine.  Bring back to a boil and continue to cook until heated through.

Serve with quesadilla dippers should you so choose!  My kids loved dipping them into the soup.  Just smack some cheese between two flour tortillas and place in a frying pan or panini press over medium heat (be sure its sprayed with cooking spray).  Watch it carefully as the tortilla can easily burn.  Once browned, flip over and brown the other side.  Remove from the pan and cut with a pizza cutter into triangles.  I also served the adults some extra hot sauce for the soup to make it a little spicier.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad with Shrimp

I love this salad!  It's so light, refreshing and delicious.  Plus it's 21 day fix friendly and perfect for a clean eating lifestyle.  It's easy to put together and great for a quick weeknight meal.  I usually make extra shrimp and corn for the kids and give them some avocado, shredded cheese, and beans on the side.  Serve all that up with some fruit and my kids are super happy at dinner time!  And mommy's happy too because I'm not making 2-3 different meals at dinner time.  Woo-hoo!  

If you are doing this for the 21 day fix, just measure out what you want or need to eat for that meal (i.e. 1 red, 1 yellow, 2-3 green, 1 blue) and toss it with 1-2 T of dressing.  That way, people in your house on different calorie plans can portion out their allotment.  

So you have to give this one a try - I hope that you guys like it as much as we do!

Happy Cooking!

Tex-Mex Cobb Salad with Shrimp
original recipe by Sarah that serves 2 very hungry adults for dinner

For the Cobb Salad:
12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and chilled (6-8 per person...I usually buy a big bag of cooked frozen shrimp, thaw them and lay them out on paper towels in fridge until I'm ready to eat.  That way I can avoid any special trips to the grocery store - I just always have frozen shrimp in my freezer).
6 cups of lettuce, chopped - use your favorites...I used romaine
1/3 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup black beans (from a can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup of fresh corn, cooked on the cob and cut off - I like to grill mine
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 avocado, diced

For the Creamy Tomatillo Dressing:
1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
2 T salsa verde
2 T fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 large lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 small jalapeƱo, seeds removed (depending on how spicy you like it)

First combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small food processor or blender (I use my ninja).   Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.  Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  This recipes makes way more dressing than you will need for the salad.  I found that it's also yummy as a sour cream substitute on Mexican favorites such as tacos or burritos.

Place all of your salad ingredients in a large bowl (except for the shrimp and avocado).
Add about 4 tablespoons of dressing (for 2 servings) or more if you desire.  Toss until well combined.  The trick here is to start with a little dressing and add more if you need to.  Top with the shrimp and avocado.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weeks 31, 32, and 33 - The Fix

I know that some of you love those hot August days and are probably upset by this unusually cool summer, but I am enjoying every minute of it.  Mostly because I've been able to go out and explore my own city, the beautiful city of Boston.  There is so much to do here and so many things to see!  We've had lots of company and play dates, so many that I've been to pre-occupied with everything else, including our 21 day fix lifestyle, to post all the yummy recipes I've been making.

Below you will find this week's fix friendly dinner plan along with the meal plans from the Healthy Home Revolution 2013 for weeks 31, 32, and 33.  I wish you all a wonderful week...take advantage of these last two weeks before the end of summer smacks us in the face!!!

Happy Cooking!

Week 33 - August 17, 2014

Sunday -  Turkey burgers with grilled eggplant and salad

Monday -  Shredded chicken, black bean, and spinach enchiladas with green salad

Tuesday -  grilled chicken sausages with chopped salad

Wednesday - welcome picnic for Owen's school (it's BYO picnic dinner, so I'll probably grab something easy from Whole Foods)

Thursday -  neighborhood event (eating out or bringing picnic dinner)

Friday - pizza night

Saturday - grilled steak, sliced tomatoes w/basil, corn on the cob

From last year, Healthy Home Revolution meal plans:
Week 31:

Week 32:

Week 33:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Balsamic Wheat Berry Salad with Basil

Another wholegrain, healthful salad for you!  It's simple and so yummy!  And it's that perfect picnic dish that can be served at room temperature.  The whole idea behind this salad is to make the dressing and the wheat berries, then add any seasonal veggies or whatever is on sale at your local grocery store or farm stand.  Make it your own and just watch your friends and family enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

Balsamic Wheat Berry Salad with Basil
1 cup wheat berries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (this is your preference, depending on how much you love garlic)
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces, and roasted (set them aside to cool down).
10 kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil

In a large pot, (I usually use my pasta pot), cover the wheat berries generously with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and simmer for 60-70 minutes, or until the wheat berries are tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing - you will add the hot wheat berries to the dressing once they are cooked.  In a large bowl, whisk together the balsamic, olive oil, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper.  

Once the wheat berries are cooked, drain them and immediately add the hot wheat berries to the dressing.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Now to the asparagus...wash, trim, and cut the asparagus.  Place on a foil lined cookie sheet (sprayed with cooking spray) and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until tender-crisp.  You can season them with salt and pepper if desired (I ALWAYS do).  Set aside until cool.

Meanwhile, chop all the tomatoes, basil, and olives.

Once everything is at room temperature, combine it all, and mix to combine.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you would like.  Eat immediately or place in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!!