Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Lasagna

Luke and I are continuing our training for the 5K on September 10, so this means I need to start finding healthy meals for us.  I found this recipe at  It's fairly easy to prepare, just a little time consuming assembling the lasagna.  Of course I made substitutions and changed the recipe a bit as I went along, but it tastes great and makes a lot of food.

1  teaspoon  olive oil
1  pound  ground white-meat chicken
1  teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes
    Salt and pepper, to taste
1  garlic clove, chopped
1  tablespoon  dried basil
2  eggs
2  15-ounce containers  part-skim ricotta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
    Nonstick cooking spray
3 1/2  cups  prepared marinara sauce
12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 bag baby arugula, steamed and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the ground chicken with the red pepper flakes and salt and black pepper to taste. Add chicken and the garlic to the skillet; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Combine the basil, eggs, ricotta and Parmesan in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
3. Mist a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange 4 cooked noodles over sauce and top with half of the ricotta mixture, half of the chicken mixture and half of the arugula; top with 1 cup marinara. Repeat layers, ending with noodles and remaining marinara.
4. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes.

Here is what I did differently:
I didn't have ground chicken, so I roasted some chicken breast and shredded that.  I then added the red pepper flakes, garlic and salt & pepper to the shredded chicken.  I had a really hard time finding arugula so I used baby spinach instead.  I also did not cook the spinach before putting it in the lasagna.  I used the oven-ready noodles, to skip the time needed to cook them.  Everything else was the same.  This is a really good recipe and there are only 408 calories per serving.  Serve with some garlic bread!  ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I love breakfast.  I could eat it for every meal if need be.  Last night we decided to have breakfast for supper, so I made pancakes and bacon.  I never seem to remember to pick up bisquick at the store, so I don't have it on hand very often.  This posed a problem when it came time to make pancakes or waffles, so I came up with a recipe that doesn't require bisquick at all.

2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 C milk
1/4 C vegetable oil
couple dashes of cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and drop 1/4 cups of batter onto a hot griddle.  Cook until golden brown on both sides.  Serve with butter and your favorite maple syrup.

These are quick, easy and delicious.  Have a good breakfast for dinner!  ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A take on Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I got a new cookbook a few months ago for my birthday.  This cookbook is from the Gooseberry Patch Series and I absolutely love all of their cookbooks.  I have about 6 of them right now and I hope to continue to add to that collection.  My cookbooks are definitely going to need their own bookshelf some day.  I like cabage, depending on how it's cooked, so when I found this recipe I thought it would be something yummy to try

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 C. instant rice, uncooked
1 head cabbage, shredded
2 C. tomato juice, divided

In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef and sausage with onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Drain and set aside.  Combine undrained tomatoes and rice.  Add beef mixture and mix well; transfer to a greased 13"x9" baking pan.  Place shredded cabbage on top.  Drizzle with one cup of tomato juice over cabbage.  Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; add remaining tomato juice if needed.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake an additional hour, or until rice and cabbage are tender.

This is a really yummy supper and it makes a ton, so if you make it, be sure to have lots of people around or enjoy lots of leftovers.  I used V8 juice instead of tomato juice and one of my cans of tomatoes had italian seasoning in it so that added a lot of flavor to the dish.  I think that if I had only used diced tomatoes with no additional seasoning the dish would have been a little bland.  Also if you don't have ground pork, you can use 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef.  If you like cabbage and tomatoes, I hope you ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fruity Red Smoothies

Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than an ice cold, creamy smoothie.  After working out today, I was really craving one.  I received this recipe at one of bridal showers before Luke and I got married.  I have always wanted to try it, so today I whipped up some smoothies.

1 8 oz. carton strawberry yogurt
1/2-3/4 C cranberry juice
1 1/2 C frozen strawberries
1 C. frozen raspberries
1-1/2 tsp sugar

Blend the yogurt and juice together.  Then add fruit and sugar.  Blend until everything is combined.  Serve in tall glasses with a strawberry and raspberry as garnish.

These were delicious and they are fairly healthy too since yogurt is used instead of ice cream.  Hope this recipe helps you beat the heat.  ENJOY!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Turkey Manicotti with Chive Cream Sauce

Luke and I have decided to run a 5K in September and today marked our first official day of training.  Our big reason for doing this is to get healthier and permanently change the way we live our lives.  So along with working out 5 days a week, we also need to start eating healthier.  This is a recipe I found that only has 381 calories per serving and 1 serving is 2 shells.  This makes 6 servings.

12 dried manicotti shells
1 8 oz. tub cream cheese with chive and onion
2/3 C milk
1/4 C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 C chopped cooked turkey or chicken
1 10 oz. pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1 4 oz. jar diced pimientos, drained
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Cook manicotti according to package directions, drain.  Rinse with cold water; drain again.  Cool manicotti in a single layer on a piece of greased foil.
2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a heavy small saucepan heat cream cheese over medium-low heat until melted, stirring constantly.  Slowly stir in milk until smooth.  Stir in cheese.
3. For filling combine 3/4 cup of the sauce, the turkey, broccoli, pimientos, and pepper.  Using a small spoon, carefully fill each manicotti shell with 1/4 to 1/3 cup filling.
4. Arrange filled shells in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish.  Pour remaining sauce over shells.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition info:
381 cal, 17 g total fat (10 g sat. fat), 78 mg chol, 256 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein.

I was unable to find the chive and onion cream cheese so I used the Philadelphia Cooking Creme-Italian Cheese and Herb.  This is a really good meal and it fills you up as well.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Classic Macaroni Salad

Nothing says summer like a nice cold pasta salad to go with your barbeque.  This is a recipe for macaroni salad I found a few years ago.  It is super easy and extremely delicious.  My friends and family cannot get enough of this whenever I make it.  This recipe does make a lot so make sure you have lots of people to feed it to.

4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup grated carrot

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion, carrot, and macaroni. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.
I don't have any pictures of the salad yet, but as soon as I do I will get it uploaded.  I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!  Enjoy!