January 16, 2011

What's cookin' this week? January 17, 2011

This week I'm keeping things simple. Everything I need is already here, so no grocery shopping! Yay! Healthy doesn't always have to be complicated.

So here it is!

Pasta with marinara
Garlic bread
Side salad

Tacos (with ground turkey instead of beef)
Fresh peppers and hummus

BBQ chicken (Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce)

Pork Loin (didn't get to make it last week)
Broccoli and cheese


January 8, 2011

What's cookin' this week? - January 10, 2011

Week two of tasty healthy meals for your family this year. This week comes from three different cookbooks – the two from last week plus the Betty Crocker Quick Fixes cookbook. This week is full of new meals and new tastes.

So here’s the menu! Pick at least one night this week to make a healthier meal for your family. Own what your family eats one meal at a time.

Bon Appetit!

Black bean burgers
Sweet potato fries (just cut up some sweet potatoes into strips, put some olive oil and a little seasoning and bake in the oven)
Fresh fruit

Stir fry (a meal in itself)

Herbed pork loin roast
Brown rice

Fettuccini with ricotta, tomato and basil
Garlic bread
Side salad


Black bean burgers (Start to finish – 25 minutes)
1 can black beans undrained
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles undrained
1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 tsp chili powder
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
6 hamburger buns, toasted
2 Tbsp. mayo or salad dressing
1 ¼ c. shredded lettuce
3 Tbsp. chunky salsa
Avocado slices (optional)

In food processor or blender, place beans. Cover and process until slightly mashed. Remove from food processor to medium bowl. Stir chiles, bread crumbs, chili powder and egg into beans. Shape mixture into 6 patties, each about ½ inch thick. Coat each patty with cornmeal. In a 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook patties in oil 5-10 minutes, turning once, until crisp and thoroughly cooked on both sides. Spread bottom halves of buns with mayo. Top with lettuce, patties, salsa, avocado and tops of buns.

Stir Fry
(Use whatever you have left over in the fridge, but here are some of my favorite options)
1 lb. chicken cut into cubes
Pea pods
Green peppers
Red peppers
Stir fry sauce (I use Tastefully Simple’s stir fry sauce)

Heat oil in Wok over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers, pea pods, zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from Wok. Add 2 more tsp. oil to Wok and cook chicken 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Return veggies to Wok and add stir fry sauce. Cook about another minute until heated through. Serve over rice.

Herbed Pork Loin Roast
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper
1 (2 1/2-pound) pork loin roast, trimmed of visible fat
2 tsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, mix rosemary, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper. Rub the roast with olive oil, then herb mixture. Let stand 15 minutes.

Preheat a large non-stick ovenproof skillet to medium-high heat. Add pork and sear on all sides (including both ends) until just browned. Transfer to oven and roast 30-35 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center registers 158F. Cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Slice into thin slices, pour any pan juices over top and serve.

Fettuccini with ricotta, tomato and basil
2 pkgs. (9 oz.) refrigerated fettuccini
6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 ½ cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (2 cups)
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook and drain fettuccini as directed on package using 4-quart saucepan. Return to saucepan.

In small bowl, mix butter, ricotta cheese and ¾ cup of parmesan. Toss with fettuccini.

Serve fettuccini topped with tomatoes, basil and remaining ¼ cup parmesan cheese.

January 1, 2011

What's cookin' this week? January 3, 2011

Santa made it pretty clear this year that he wants me back in the kitchen. J I’ve been combing through new cookbooks to create menus for the next few weeks. I hope you can find some meals your family can enjoy. These are just inspiration so take it and make it your own.

As usual, I make dinner Monday – Thursday and Friday is usually leftover night or dinner out with the family.

This week’s menu comes from two cookbooks – Better Homes and Gardens – Fast and Fresh Family Dinners and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.

Rosemary Chicken with Veggies and Pasta
(A full meal in one dish so no need for sides)

Salsa, Bean and Cheese Pizza
Veggies and hummus

Roasted Tilapia with fire-roasted tomatoes and olives
Mixed fruit

Blue cheese and chops with rice
Green beans

I hope you enjoy this week's recipes and take the first step this year to owning what your family eats one meal at a time.


Rosemary Chicken with veggies and pasta (start to finish – 30 min.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. plain or spinach linguine (we are using cheese tortellini)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 med. zucchini and yellow squash cut into ¼-inch slices
½ cup apple juice
2 tsp. fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 Tbsp. chicken broth or dry white wine
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning. In a large skillet, cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Add garlic to skillet. Cook for 15 seconds. Add zucchini, squash, apple juice and rosemary. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together broth and cornstarch. Add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes. Serve veggies and pasta with chicken.

Salsa, Bean and Cheese Pizza (start to finish – 20 minutes)
4 6-inch corn tortillas (or use flour tortillas if you already have them)
4 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 jalepeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes
4 oz. shredded cheese (Mexican, cheddar, Monterey jack)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 425F. Place tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet. Lightly brush tortillas with 1 tsp. olive oil on both sides. Bake for about 3 minutes on each side or until light brown and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook onion, chile pepper, and garlic with remaining 3 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is tender. Stir in black beans and tomato. Heat through.

Sprinkle tortillas with half of the cheese. Spoon bean mixture over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Roasted tilapia with fire-roasted tomatoes and olives
2/3 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
12 small green olives with pimientos cut into quarters
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 pound tilapia fillets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

In medium bowl, combine the tomatoes with juices, olives, onion and garlic until mixed.

Lightly mist fillets with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in an 11”x7” glass or ceramic baking dish. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Roast until the fish flakes easily and is no longer translucent in the center – 10-12 minutes.

Blue cheese and chops with rice (start to finish – 45 minutes)
2 ½ cup cooked brown rice
4 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup apple juice
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional) – we’ll be leaving these out
½ tsp. salt
¼ + 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
4 boneless pork chops (1/2 – ¾ inch thick)
1 red pear, cored and chopped
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 2-quart square baking disk and a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, green onions, 2 Tbsp. of apple juice, walnuts, ¼ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spoon rice mixture into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together the thyme, ¼ tsp. salt and the ¼ tsp. pepper. Rub onto both sides of chops. Cook chops in skillet over medium-high heat until browned, turning once. Arrange browned chops on top of rice mixture. Pour remaining apple juice over chops.

Bake, covered, for about 30 minutes (or less if chops are thinner) or until no longer pink inside and juices run clear. Transfer chops to serving plates. Stir chopped pear and blue cheese into hot rice mixture. Serve with chops.

1.1.11 - What's #1 on your list of resolutions this year?

Happy New Year healthy taste budders! It’s time to get back in the kitchen and take control of what our families are eating. Thanks to Santa, I have some new tools to make delicious meals that are tasty and healthy for my family this year. New pots and pans, new knives and new cookbooks…I’m armed and dangerous!

For the new buds, the purpose of this blog is to share my journey of preparing healthy and tasty meals for my family. You’ll find weekly menus, recipes, interesting articles and other tools to help you do the same for your family. I’m a working mom and wife, so I need meals that are quick and easy. You won’t find meals that take hours to prepare on this blog!

So what’s your #1 resolution this year? I’m making the same commitment I did last year.

Own what my family eats one meal at a time.

Stay tuned for the first of many healthy and tasty menus of the year!