Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers – without the guilt

Oh. My. Gawd. You guys are going to absolutely love these stuffed peppers. Look at this beautiful, edible piece of art! wpid-20150630_164829-1.jpg

It’s almost too pretty to eat…but I ate it anyway.  And I’m not gonna apologize. And, I’m not ashamed to tell you I had a fleeting thought of eating a second one. But,  I didn’t….one word,  Leftovers!

Let’s take a look at another angle of this beauty, just for grins and giggles:wpid-20150630_164747-2.jpg

Drooling, yet? OK, OK,  on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz thinly sliced roast beef
  • 8 thinly sliced slices of provolone cheese (I used Sargento)
  • 2 large green bell peppers, sliced in half
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 6 oz baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic,  minced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1.  Slice peppers in half,  lengthwise. Remove ribs and seeds.
  2. In large skillet, over low-medium heat, add butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and caramelized. About 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.
  4. Slice roast beef into thin strips. Add to skillet with onions and mushrooms.  Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Arrange pepper halves in a shallow baking dish.
  6. Line each pepper half with 2 slices of provolone cheese.
  7. Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.
  8. Top each pepper with 2 more slices of provolone cheese.
  9. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until cheese on top is golden brown.

NOTE: Prebake the peppers for 10 minutes for a softer pepper)

Courtesy of Peace Love Low Carb 

Grilled Sweet Chili Lime Chicken – easy summer dinner

Hello summery people!

It was warm today,  by Minnesota standards, a whopping 84°! And of course, or air conditioner needs to be serviced- Ugh! I must say,  I am not a warm weather girl.  Give me cool days and even cooler nights. Autumn,  now there is a wonderful season! wpid-20150629_173904-1.jpg

Thank god for grilling dinner and microwave ovens to warm some bread to go with dinner.

Dinner tonight comes together in a snap. Make the marinade in the morning, let chicken soak up the marinade-goodness throughout the day,  and then grill those birds up!

This chicken turns out a little sweet with an underlying grill taste. Pair it with a cool salad and some homemade bread…Shazam, a light summer meal that tastes like you slaved all day.

ENJOY!

Courtesy of The Recipe Critic

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce  (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl,  whisk together sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, orange marmalade, lime juice, brown sugar, and minced garlic. Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce to brush on chicken once finished cooking.
  2. Marinade the chicken in the rest of the sauce for 30 minutes up to 8 hours.
  3. Put the chicken on the grill and grill on each side until no longer pink and is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Brush the tops of the chicken with remaining marinade and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

low carb vegetarian lasagna – my lunches this week

Hello happy people!

Hope your Sunday finds you well. Just a quick hi and wishes for a productive and speedy week!  I’ve been sick all week, but I’m finally on the mend. Hope you enjoy the vegetarian lasagna as much as I do!

adapted from What Runs Lori – Paleasagna

wpid-20150628_151726-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion,  diced
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes,  low sodium
  • 1 green bell pepper,  chopped
  • 6 oz can no salt added tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp Italian spice blend
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic,  minced
  • 1 pound of zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 head of broccoli,  roughly chopped
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and lightly grease 13 x 9 casserole dish.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and add diced onions.  Sauté on medium-high until softened,  3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomato,  tomato paste, spices,  salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Cook for 10 minutes and then set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese,  Greek yogurt, broccoli, and egg. Mix thoroughly.
  5. In casserole dish,  arrange one layer of zucchini slices on bottom.  Spread 1/2 the tomato mixture on top of the zucchini.  Top with 1/2 the Greek yogurt broccoli.  Repeat.
  6. Top the lasagna with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
kung pao chickpeas

Kung Pao Chickpeas – my lunches this week

Hello happy people,  it’s almost the start of a new week, hopefully it’ll be a productive one! Well, at least my lunches are going to be something to look forward to! Here’s a classic Chinese favorite made vegan.

courtesy of She Knows

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Ingredients:

for the marinade

  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder or corn starch

for the chickpeas

  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 14.5 oz can chickpeas,  drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup bottled all-natural kung pao sauce (or homemade)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (1 inch) know fresh ginger,  grated
  • 1/2 tsp  red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade.  Add chickpeas to the marinade, and stir well to coat.
  2. Cover the chickpeas and allow them to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. In large pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil,  the marinated chickpeas and the remaining ingredients.
  4. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until the chickpeas begin to caramelize and brown slightly.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Skinny Beef Lombardi

Buongiorno, friendly people!

You know that feeling when you finally get around to doing something you’ve been wanting to get done? Well,  I finally cleaned my car.  I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal,  but it is to me. Seeing that I spend, on average, 2 hours a day commuting to and from work,  this is monumental.  We’re talking on the scale of bliss…a triple chocolate cake kind of bliss.

What better way to celebrate a clean car… Italian food! I found this recipe on my recipes and then changed it a little to make it a smidge healthier and with a few less calories.

Beef Lombardi-made light

adapted from my recipeswpid-20150620_181410-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean turkey
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 6 oz can no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 oz Multigrain egg noodles
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese,  shredded
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese,  shredded

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink and is crumbled. Drain.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes and chilies,  sugar,  salt,  and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste and bay leaf.  Stir until thoroughly combined. Let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Cook egg noodles according to package.  Drain.
  6. Stir together cooked noodles, chopped green onions, and greek yogurt until well blended.
  7. Place noodle mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 casserole dish.Top with beef mixture. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top. 
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.

Italian beef sandwiches

Hello friendly people!

I love slow cookers! I love being able to throw everything in one pot in the morning and to come home at night to a house full of wonderful smells.

Tonight’s meal is so simple,  yet tasted so exquisite  – Italian beef sandwiches with sautéed onions and peppers, topped with mozzarella and swiss cheese on a lightly toasted hoagie bun. I’ve already eaten and my mouth is watering.

wpid-2015-06-17-18.06.51.jpg.jpeg

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb chuck roast
  • 1 envelope of Italian dressing mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • Mozzarella cheese or Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red (or green) bell pepper,  thinly sliced

Instructions:

  1.  Place chuck roast in slow cooker.
  2. Mix together 1 cup water and envelop of Italian dressing.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Preheat broiler oven.
  5. Saute onions and peppers over medium-high heat, until onions are translucent.
  6. Slice hoagie bun and arrange flat on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Place a sprinkling of cheese on bun.
  8. Place 1/2 cup of cooked meat on top of cheese.
  9. Top with 1/4 of onions and peppers.
  10. Add a bit more cheese.
  11. Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

vegan chana masala – my lunches this week

Hello happy people! I hope this Sunday finds you well.

As my husband and many of my coworkers know,  I am a part-time vegetarian. “What does this mean?”, you might ask. Well, during the week, and sometimes on the weekend, I don’t eat meat for breakfast or lunch. I eat a small portion of meat for dinner. wpid-20150614_151232-1.jpg

It all started when my step-daughter decided to become a vegetarian. My husband and I love having her come to visit,  which usually includes a meal or two. Along with our dinners,  I also would make her a vegetarian meal.  After a while,  I started liking some of the meals I made for her, and in time,  I decided to make the for my lunches.

This vegan chana masala is one of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Vegan Chana Masala

courtesy of Cookie and Kate 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow onion,  chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 green Serrano pepper,  minced (seed it first,  for less heat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14 oz) chickpeas (3 cups) drained and rinsed

Instructions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan,  heat oil over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles upon hitting the pan,  reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cumin seeds.  Toast the seeds for a minute or two, stirring frequently, until seeds are golden and fragrant. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  2. Raise the heat to medium and stir in the onion,  garlic,  ginger, and Serrano.  Cook for five minutes,  stirring often.  Stir in spices and cook for two more minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices.
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas.  Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes or longer to allow flavors to develop.

Chipotle Cheddar Cornbread

To me,  cornbread is one of those comfort foods.  Especially right out of the oven…with melted butter dripping off. Here’s a cornbread recipe that takes cornbread to the next level….Bam! … may I introduce chipotle pepper and green onion.  With each bite,  a warm heat overtakes your mouth and lingers waiting for the next bite of corny goodness.

courtesy of The Curvy Carrot

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup  shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Generously spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk egg and milk together.
  5. Add melted butter,  Chipotle peppers, green onions,  and cheese to go the milk/egg mixture. Stir to combine.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

tamale pie

Tamale Pie

I just want to say this is one of those recipes that I love to make, but forget I have until I dive deep in the recipe stack.  I love the ease of making the polenta. I love the way the chili and the salsa dance together, exploding in a Mexican bliss in my mouth!  Ayiiiiiiee!

To make this vegetarian,  omit the turkey and use meatless chili.

serves 6wpid-20150613_174258-1.jpg

Ingredients:

for polenta

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal

for tamale mix

  • 2 cups low calorie prepared chili (I used Amy’s Organic)
  • 1 cup corn salsa (I used World Market Sweet Corn Salsa)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb ground turkey, browned

Instructions:

for the polenta

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan.
  2. Add sea salt.
  3. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, whisking constantly (About 15 minutes).
  5. Turn out and spread evenly in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

for the pie

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spray 8 x 11.5 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Brown the ground turkey into crumbles.  Drain thoroughly.
  4. Using 6 polenta squares that have been sliced lengthwise to make 12 pieces,  layer the bottom of the baking dish with polenta.
  5. Evenly spread prepared chili over polenta.
  6. Evenly spread the browned, crumbled turkey over the chili.
  7. Evenly spread the salsa over the turkey.
  8. Use the remaining polenta slices to layer on top of the salsa.
  9. Evenly spread the cheese on the top.
  10. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately.

grilled chicken with spinach and melted mozzarella

Hello happy people!

I hope your day finds you in good spirits.  Good days should be cherished and reflected upon; and then acted upon to make a string of good days.

This meal was so easy to make and tasted wonderful. In my book,  tasty + easy = victory! wpid-2015-06-11-17.47.37.jpg.jpeg

courtesy of skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut into 6 cutlets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 3 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, sliced into steps
  • Non-stick spray

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill chicken until no longer pink.  I used my George  Forman grill.  Make sure not to overcook the chicken or it will be dry.
  4. Meanwhile, heat saute pan on medium heat.  Add oil and garlic, saute for a few seconds. Add spinach, salt and pepper.  Cook a few minutes until heated through.
  5. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  6. Evenly place the chicken in the baking dish.
  7. Divide spinach evenly among chicken.
  8. Top each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese and slices of red pepper.
  9. Put dish in oven and bake for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.