Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sausage Hash (the good stuff)!

So when Ryan and I first moved to PA, there was a weekend that I was determined to use what we had in the fridge.  I said "how about I make hash?"  He turned up his nose so quick and said "ewww, no!"  Well, if any of you know me, I made it anyway.  When I served it, he said "mmm... this looks good, what is this?"  I just started laughing and said "It's Hash!"  He explained that was not his understanding of hash - what he knew of hash was that it came out of a can and resembled dog food.  I didn't believe him until he took me to the section in the grocery store that has Hash... and yes, he was right.  So whatever you think of Hash - give this a chance.  My dad made something similar growing up, but there were NO veggies in his.  I've changed that for ours - it's a great dish with a lot of color.

2 large or 3 medium red potatoes (cut into small pieces)
1 stalk of celery (chopped)
20-25 cherry tomatoes (Sliced in half)
20 baby carrots (chopped into pieces - not pictured from our meal tonight, we didn't have that in the fridge)
2/3rd's of a red or orange, yellow and green pepper (about 2 cups total chopped)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 roll of sausage (This is what we use)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Badia All Spice Seasoning (Info found here)
Reduced Sugar Ketchup (optional.  I like mine with it, Ryan likes his without)
You'll also need a medium ziploc steamer bag (Example Here)

Cut carrots and potatoes into small bite size pieces.  Put into steamer bag and pour in 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1/2 tbsp. all spice seasoning.  Shake and microwave for 5-6 minutes.  Let sit in microwave in steamer bag until later.  Saute peppers, tomatoes and onions in 1 tbsp. of olive oil for 6-7 minutes on medium high heat.  Season mixture with remaining 1/2 tbsp all spice seasoning.  Brown sausage in separate large skillet or wok, break up so it resembles ground beef.  Once it is browned through, pour in contents of steamer bag and the onion/pepper/tomato mixture.  Let cook together for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Add in chopped celery in the last 2 minutes and serve.  Reduced Sugar Ketchup is optional.

Chicken Spaghetti

I don't think I've mastered this recipe yet, but we're getting there.  This is another one that I adapted from my new magazine - Clean Eating.  When I say adapted, I got the idea from them and basically used tomatoes, chicken and pasta.  The rest is whatever I added or subtracted from them!

2-8oz. chicken breasts (grilled or sauteed and cut into bite size pieces)
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tbsp. italian seasoning
6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 large or 3 medium roma tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Season chicken breasts with 1/2 tbsp of Italian seasoning and 1/2 tbsp of dried basil. Grill or saute chicken breasts until cooked through. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.  Prepare spaghetti according to package directions.  Saute onions and minced garlic in 1 tbsp. of olive oil for 3-4 minutes.  Add diced Roma tomatoes to onions and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Add chunks of chicken and 1 tbsp. of dried basil and Italian seasoning and cook on med-low for another 3 minutes.  In another sauce pan, heat tomato sauce.  To serve, place 1-2 oz. of whole wheat pasta on plate, top with 1/4-1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cup chicken mixture.  Top with 1/4-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.  (Ryan had about double what I listed above for his serving.  I couldn't eat it all, but it was good and the emphasis of the dish was on the chicken, not the pasta.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicken and Peppers - YUM!

I made up this recipe about 2 months ago and Ryan keeps requesting it... so the word on the street is, it's good!  Adjust to your tastes and use different veggies to change it up.  I've added chopped yellow onion and spinach to this too.

1/2 cup white wine
1 cup cherry tomatoes - cut into quarters
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
4-4oz. Chicken breasts
4-2oz. slices of mozzarella (1/2 of mozzarella ball)
olive oil
kosher salt
4 tbsp whole wheat flour
cooking spray
2 tbsp. margarine
Preferred flavor of Uncle Ben's 90 second whole grain rice

In large skillet, combine 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of margarine and heat on high heat until melted.  Season all 4 chicken breasts with kosher salt and ground pepper - coat lightly in whole wheat flour and drop into skillet (be careful of splatter).  Cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side turning once.  Transfer cooked chicken into glass baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (Chicken will look golden brown). Cover each 4 oz. piece of chicken with a thick slice of mozzarella.  While chicken is cooking, saute peppers and tomatoes in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.  At the 4 minute mark, add 1/2 cup of white wine and bring to a simmer.  Let mixture simmer for 5 minutes.  Pour pepper and tomato mixture over chicken and cheese in baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with brown rice (we prefer uncle ben's 90 second instant rice).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chicken with asparagus tonight!

I found this recipe in a new magazine I've subscribed to - Clean Eating.  We have about 5 recipes we're going to be trying in the coming week, and this is the first.  I changed it around to fit our needs and tastes, but it's essence is still the same from the magazine.

2 - 8oz. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into 4, 4oz. sections (pound thin if necessary)
1 bunch of asparagus (end snapped off)
1 chopped medium onion
1 package of bacon (use turkey bacon if you prefer, 10-15 slices)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
Cooking spray
sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Snap ends of asparagus off.  Lay flat on a baking sheet that has been covered in tinfoil. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp. of olive oil over asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes.  While asparagus is baking, caramelize chopped onions in small skillet by cooking on medium heat in 1 tbsp. of olive oil for 15 minutes.  At the 10 minute mark, add bacon to the same skillet and cook together for the remaining 5 minutes.  Take skillet off of heat and let sit for 2 minutes before adding to dish.  Prepare chicken by pounding thin and season with sea salt and pepper.  While onions and bacon are cooking, saute chicken in large skillet over high heat.  Spray skillet with cooking spray and cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side for 8-10 minutes total.  Make sure chicken is cooked through so there is no pink in the center.  Serve 1/4 of chicken and 1/4 of asparagus covered by 1/4 of bacon and onion mix. 

Ryan's favorite part of the dish was the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the tartness of the asparagus.  Definitely a hit at our house!  (The original recipe called for unsweetened cranberries and no bacon).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Retirement Party Pics!

Remember how the title of my blog is WLS and then some... well this is "and then some"!

Last night Ryan and I went to a retirement party for one of the lady's in my office.  She's an absolutely amazing person and I truly admire her ability to work with students (and also her mouth =)  We have that in common!

There are 2 pics of us from the night - they are posted below.

Asparagus and Bacon Cheesy Omelet

The final picture of this looks HUGE!  Don't worry, it's not really that big, I just got up nice and close =)

We were running low on some groceries, but I wanted to use as much of our fresh veggies as possible (from our amish produce run last week).  The ingredients below are for 1 omelet - but I only eat 1/3rd to 1/2 of this.  To make this meal, you might need this handy little kitchen item: Microwave Omelet Maker.

2 large eggs
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 pieces of asparagus - cut into small pieces and steamed. (I steamed using these: Ziploc Steamer Bags)
1/4 cup diced red and green pepper (combined)
2 tsp. Badia AllSpice Seasoning (or seasoning of your choice) We live on this stuff - Find a Store Near You!
2 slices of turkey bacon, torn into bite size pieces
5 cherry tomatoes
2-3 spinach leaves - torn into small pieces
(Optional, small orange and slice of whole wheat bread with sugar free jelly.  I like: SF Smuckers!)

Mix all ingredients in small bowl.  Whisk so egg is well mixed with all ingredients.  Pour into microwave omelet maker and cook on high for 3 minutes.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Shrimp and Bacon Salad

Wow, this week has been crazy!  Ryan and I are going on very little sleep and unfortunately, his weekend hasn't started yet.  He's currently taking a final for his last class of the semester.  He's in need of a big break - and I fully intend to take one with him tomorrow!  So while he's testing, I thought I'd post - because it's been awhile.  I've been taking pictures of new recipes I'm trying, but just haven't had time to post.  So here you go!

I don't have the "before" ingredients for this - but it's pretty simple.

Ingredients for 1 serving:
Sauteed or grilled shirmp seasoned with chili powder or old bay seasoning (approximately 8 medium)
1 cup of fresh spinach
1/8 cup of sliced almonds
2 pieces of turkey bacon, crumbled

Dressing ingredients:
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp/1 packet splenda or equal

Cook turkey bacon and set aside to cool.  Saute or grill shrimp and season with spice. To make dressing, combine vinegar, sugar substitute and mustard.  Slowly whisk in olive oil.  Once mixed, add in salt and pepper. 

To put together, mix spinach, almonds, crumbled bacon and shrimp together. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta Bake

This was my attempt at using some of those yummy fresh veggies that I got yesterday.  I would rate the end product as a 3 out or 5.  I think it needed a lot more seasoning and more chicken to truly pull it off, but for my first attempt and making it up as I went - not too bad.  For the ingredients and the directions below, I already up'd the chicken content - but I didn't adjust the spices.  I figured anyone else trying this would be able to season to their liking.  The whole wheat pasta has a different flavor than the white pasta, so I think you'll appreciate the need for extra seasoning.

1 can of diced tomatoes (partially drained)
15oz. container of part skim ricotta cheese
15-20 grape tomatoes (sliced)
4 - 4oz. baked chicken breasts (cut into chunks)
Kosher Salt
Ground Pepper
2 cups of part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups of fresh spinach (pulled into small pieces by hand)
1 cup marinara sauce (I used Prego Traditional)
Italian Seasoning (season to taste - I used 1 tablespoon and wish I would have used more)
1 pound box of whole wheat rotini pasta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Season chicken breasts with kosher salt, pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.  Bake in oven (I did mine for 30 minutes at 375 degrees).  Cut chicken into chunks after it's done baking.  While chicken is baking, cook pasta on stove following package directions.  Drain pasta and mix with all ingredients except mozzarella cheese in a 9x13 pan.  Cover dish with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Serve to with garlic bread if desired.  (This makes A-LOT, so be prepared for left overs!)