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Enjoy the first flipogram to make an easy dinner
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Enjoy the first flipogram to make an easy dinner
Happy Monday Readers! I could eat Pasta everyday, but then, well… I’d look like I eat pasta everyday. Spaghetti Squash is what they serve in Carb Rehab. You can cook it and eat with EVOO & Parmesan or with Meatballs & Marinara. It’s truly amazing and takes on the flavor of whatever it is topped with. You can also cook a few ahead of time and refrigerate them to make dinner time quick and easy. I hope you love my Fall Favorite as much as I do!
MUSHROOM & PESTO SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a baking sheet either lay down aluminum foil or your Silpat, mine is from Martha Stewart for $24.99. (You can really find these anywhere that baking/kitchen gadgets are sold, they are awesome and every kitchen should have one.)
Cut your Spaghetti Squash horizontally in half. Using a large spoon scoop out all the seeds and stringy flesh. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil OR spray with your Misto. Sprinkle Salt & Pepper all over, then turn them over so the inside is faced down. Cook for 35-40 Minutes.
Turn them “Spaghetti Side” up and let them cool for 5 Minutes. While it’s cooling turn your oven to BROIL.
Using a fork, flake up all the Spaghetti.
In a Medium sized skillet, over Medium High heat add 1 TBSP of EVOO, Minced Garlic and your Sliced Mushrooms. I prefer to slice by hand so that I can make sure they’re thin and cook quickly. Sauté for 4-5 Minutes.
Then add your Pesto Sauce. You can add Alfredo Sauce or Avocado to make creamy. Cook for 3 Minutes.
Divide the Mushroom/Pesto Mix on the 2 Squash halves.
You can top with Mozzarella or not, either way is delicious. Place in the Broiler for 4-5 Minutes.
Top with your Fresh Basil. You can either cut in half…
…or scoop out to plate either way is great.
This spaghetti squash can be topped with anything that you would put on regular spaghetti. Red sauce, meatballs, sausage, other vegetables… Anything you want, without the carb guilt 🙂
Happy Meatless Monday!
It’s starting to actually feel like Fall here in Northern California. As soon as it gets cold I want soup it’s delicious and easy to make. Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorites, there’s so much flavor, you can make it spicy (add diced jalapeño when sautéing vegetables :)) and like chili you get to add avocado, chopped onions and cheese too. Oh, and it’s really healthy so fill yourself up and don’t feel guilty 🙂
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
In a Large Stock Pot over Medium High Heat, add half of your EVOO. Add the Diced Onion, Red & Green Bell Peppers and Minced Garlic sauté for 5 Minutes.
In a Large Skillet over Medium High heat add remaining EVOO and Chicken Breasts. On both sides of the Chicken sprinkle the Ground Cumin, Chili Powder, Granulated Garlic, Salt & Pepper. Cook for 4-5 Minutes on both sides.
Using your handheld mixer, Shred the chicken breasts.
In your Large Pot, add Diced Tomatoes, Diced Green Chiles, Chicken Stock, Black Beans, Corn Kernels and Cilantro. Cover the Pot, bring to a boil and then reduced heat to low. Simmer for 40 Minutes. Before you serve it add more Salt & Pepper to your taste.
Put together a plate for all your Toppings so that everyone can easily personalize their bowl.
This can also be made in your Slow Cooker so that you can have dinner ready when you get home from work. Enjoy! Stay warm!
Have a Safe & Happy Halloween Everyone!
I can’t believe HOW long it’s been since I’ve blogged… I was in wedding hell… I mean bliss for so many months. 🙂 Working 3 jobs, planning a destination wedding and at home reception is apparently enough to keep you busy. Then, when I thought I was going to be bored with all my extra time after the wedding, my husband got a job that required a move in 4 days. Now, I’m finally bored again. Thank you Jesus! And now I can share with you all things wedding/planning/moving to a studio… ETC. YAY!
I love to entertain for any amount of people, but it can be quite expensive once you and your friends make the leap from Coors Light with pizza to good wine and 5 star restaurants. I love the movie Father Of The Bride, one of my favorite quotes ever is while picking the wedding menu and going over budget Steve Martin yells out, “We’ll take the cheaper chicken!” Chicken is always the best go to when budgeting. However, flavor should NEVER be a compromise. I would cancel a dinner party before I ever served mediocre food and wine. Chicken Piccata has amazing flavor, easy crowd pleaser. It’s not spicy and it’s not overwhelming. The squash is sooooo yummy and easy to find at Trader Joe’s.
While making this dinner last night I realized that I got so many great new kitchen gadgets as wedding gifts that I need to put together a post entirely about essentials to ask for on your registry or from Santa.
Lets get started…
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS buy your chicken in bulk, wait until it’s on sale and stock up. Immediately separate into smaller Ziploc bags and freeze.
Prep- In a large skillet add your Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Peeled Garlic. If you don’t have a Garlic Peeler… Get one NOW! This one is from Crate & Barrel for $6.95. It’s a kitchen must have. Also, Slice your lemons into 1/8″ thick slices. Then using a Reamer juice your lemons. This is my favorite Reamer from Crate & Barrel for $3.95.
Now, grab your chicken friendly cutting mat (Yes, if you have one kosher element to your kitchen it should be cutting mats) my favorite are the Martha Stewart Set of 4 Color Coded with Pictures 🙂 on SALE now $11.99. You need to cut off any extra fat or cartilage. A bite of either will ruin your meal, take the extra minute. Make a horizontal cut through the middle of the width. Salt and pepper each side. These can be done a day or two in advanced and kept in the refrigerator to make meal time faster. Mix the 1/3 Cup of All-Purpose Flour with your Bread Crumbs. Cover both sides of the breast and tap off excess. (NOTE: If you leave too much flour or bread crumbs they will burn in your oil.)
Next, heat your Oil over Medium High heat. Add your garlic cloves, this helps to add flavor to the oil and garnish to your serving platter later. Cook each side of the chicken breasts for 4 Minutes. Set the cooked breasts on a plate. DO NOT clean out your skillet, leave the goodness in there 🙂 Add the 1 TBSP of All-Purpose Flour, Lemon Slices, Lemon Juice, Chardonnay and Capers. Mix over heat for about 2-3 Minutes when it starts to bubble, add your Chicken Breasts and continue to heat for 2-3 more Minutes.
Lastly, plate your meal. I usually use tongs to plate all the chicken and then pour everything in the pan on top.
You can add a wide variety of side dishes to this meal. You should always pick your sides by what is on sale. I love all the different squash you find everywhere this time of year. When I walked into Trader Joe’s they had Delicata Squash for 99 Cents… DONE & DONE. This is another one that can be completely prepped the day before and refrigerated until you’re ready to cook.
Pre Heat your oven at 375 Degrees. Then using your Vegetable Mat Slice the Squash horizontally. Using a spoon scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff (technical term). 🙂 Lightly drizzle the EVOO, I used my favorite little Martha Stewart Misto. Then, sprinkle with Salt & Pepper. You can add cheese or stuff with meat. Place them face down in a Pyrex or other Oven Safe dish, cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for 35 Minutes.
It has a buttery corn-like flavor. The peel is soft enough to eat as well.
I threw together a little Simple Salad to keep more Vegetables on the plate than meat 🙂 Organic Baby Greens (Costco has the best prices), Red onion, Avocado, Salt & Pepper, Oil & Balsamic.
As a recovering Carb-oholic I know my limits. I never buy bread to just have in the house. But for special meals like this I buy EXACTLY how much I need. Since this dinner was just for my husband and I… I got a sandwich size roll for 50 Cents, sliced it and had EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar for dipping. This way I can’t “Over Do It” 🙂
Lastly, October always brings the new release of my favorite cheap Red Wine to Trader Joe’s… . It’s a blend of different Reds each year the percentages always change but it includes Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. It’s WONDERFUL!
So there you have it another meal that I hoped to have broken down to make a quick and easy dinner for 2 or 20. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions at all.
It’s the first week of Spring and in Northern California its been 80 Degrees and gorgeous outside as we’ll as freezing and raining… So I wasn’t sure which way to go for Meatless Fridays. I made my Vegan Chili yesterday & we’ve been eating that to stay full and warm 🙂 But now it looks like its going to be nice out….? I’m not sure what the weather is doing but I’m ready for a bit of a guilty pleasure… 🙂 Portion control has been my biggest savor in my indulging while on my
beach bride diet I mean lifestyle change 🙂 Also, trying I’m to make more “Skinny” Italian dishes so I don’t feel the need to cheat on my new “lifestyle”. I made the Mac & Cheese Cupcakes for Super Bowl which were such a HUGE hit… They still get daily hits on the Blog 🙂 So next Italian favorite in a perfectly portioned cupcake… Lasagna! This is kid friendly, easy, CHEAP and Delish! Also because of the size, these would be great appetizers for a party or Pot Luck. You could easily turn these into a carnivore delight. Add cooked Italian Sausage instead of Mushrooms & Zucchini. Lets get started…
Lasagna Cupcake Recipe
PRE HEAT Oven to 375 Degrees.
These are the Won Ton Wraps I found at Safeway (On sale for $2.00)
Slice your Mushrooms VERY thin and sauté over Medium heat with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a couple of minutes.
Slice your Zucchini thin, but not paper thin… Like, 1/8″ thickness.
Using your MISTO (Because you ALL better have one by now) spray your Cupcake pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
You will need 2 Won Ton Wraps per cupcake.
Add 1 1/2 TBSP of Marinara to the bottom of each wrappers, then place a Zucchini slice on top.
Then, add 1 TBSP of Alfredo or Pesto Sauce on the Zucchini. Top your Sauce of choice with Sautéed Mushrooms (Or Meat for those who wish).
Top Mushrooms with a “Healthy” Pinch (One of my favorite measurements) of Italian Cheese Blend. Then, top your Cheese with a TBSP of your Marinara, Alfredo or Pesto Sauce (Whichever you prefer most).
Top Sauce of choice with Parmesan-Romano Blend and Dried Oregano.
Place a piece of Aluminum Foil on top of this, don’t tighten and secure around the edges, just lightly set on top. Place on the center rack of your Pre-Heated oven for 15 Minutes. Then, remove foil and continue to bake for 5 Minutes.
This is the rough part, because now they’ve filled your house with a yummy smell. But, you need to let them cool for about 10-15 Minutes… 😦
This is what the wonderful goodness looks like inside…
So easy, so quick and lets you get some DELISH in without all the guilt. I make a big green salad or steam a bunch of veggies as my main dish and enjoy one or two of these. Makes you feel naughty, but you still fit in your Skinny Jeans 🙂
We’ve only got one more Meatless Friday after this. It’s Good Friday and I know many of you will be hosting Easter at your house, so you don’t want to spend a lot of time or have a mess Friday night… I’ll have a great recipe for that. Don’t you worry!
Here are the other Meatless Friday Recipes for you to try if you need other options:
ENJOY MY TRAINEES!!!
Major shout out to CANADA!!! Canadian’s you were all showing Mrs. Training the most love & traffic this last week. Even more than the USA! I apologize for talking about our good weather this week! 🙂 And to EVERYONE who stopped by, Thank you and I hope you enjoyed!
Meatless Fridays continue with lettuce wraps! If you haven’t seen the last 2 weeks recipes click on these links for the Mushroom Risotto Feast and Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry. YUM & YUM! Ever since my first trip to P.F. Chang’s (a million years ago) I’ve been lettuce wrap obsessed. They are famous for their Chicken Lettuce Wraps and customized dipping sauces (Also, right now, still have deals for Chinese New Year). Since giving up breads, pastas, flour, etc for Lent (NEVER again) I’ve had to get really creative with my dinners. I’m trying to balance the Wedding Diet with my love for food and flavor. Lettuce wraps have no breads and these ones will have no meat. These can be made as an appetizer or entrée. Mushrooms naturally have the most “meat-like texture” for a vegetable, so they are a great alternative. The mushroom mixture saves great so make extra and use as an easy grab-and-go lunch for a couple of days.
The rice noodles are cheap and easy to cook with. This 6 ounce bag cost $0.99… DEAL! Even better that they’re so easy to make. They will take on a flavor you addd. For the G-Frees out there’s, use these noodles as a pasta substitute as well! 🙂
Any Rice Noodles will do (I went for the cheapest I could find). In a bowl filled with water add your Noodles and let sit for 20 Minutes.
Drain Noodles. In a Medium Pot, add Noodles to boiling water. Boil Noodles for 15 Minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a Medium sized pot, over Medium heat add Sesame Oil, Onion and Garlic.
Stir until Onion is translucent, about 7 Minutes.
Add Portobello and White Mushrooms. Mix well and add Rice Vinegar, Cracked Pepper and Kosher Salt. Stir over Medium Heat for 10-15 Minutes.
While that cooks… In a small bowl, Mix Ginger, Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts.
Stir Mixture into the Pot after the Mushrooms have Sautéed.
Reduce Heat to low and cook for 10 Minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in Green Onions.
Then add whatever Sauces you prefer. These are some of my favorite… House of Tsang Peanut Sauce, Sambal Oelek Chili Paste, Kikkoman Soy Sauce (Low Sodium), Sriracha (Rooster Sauce) or ANY OTHER SAUCE! Spicy Mustard is great too!