Monday, June 29, 2009

Smoky Broccoli Casserole

This is one of the recipes that I used my left-over chipotle chiles in. It was definitely a good call. The original title from CookingLight was "Zesty Broccoli Casserole", but I don't know where they think they found "zesty" in their version unless their cheese was SUPER sharp. They used frozen broccoli, but I used fresh. It was still a bit crisp, but I don't like mushy food. We decided that this would be really good as a main dish with (1 1/2 lbs) chicken added in. We used the chipotle pepper in adobo left over from the sloppy joes, and it added a nice flavor.

Smoky Broccoli Casserole
Serves: 4-6 Time: 40 min


2 medium heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded pepperjack cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened (or neufchatel)
3/4 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium)
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and sliced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
3/4 cup breadcrumbs


- Preheat oven to 375°.

- Chop broccoli and arrange in an even layer in an 11x7 or 8x8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.

- Combine milk, flour, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheddar and cream cheese; stir until smooth. Stir in onion, chipotle pepper and water chestnuts. Spoon cheese mixture evenly over broccoli.

- Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over cheese mixture. Lightly spray breadcrumb layer with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble and breadcrumbs brown.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flavored oatmeal

Here's another one from my family. As my sister said, "With quick oats they don't take that long and have real fruit compared to the packaged stuff." I think it's a good point. She tops hers with white or brown sugar or honey with cinnamon if she uses apple.

Nan's flavored oatmeal
Serves: 1 Time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick)
water (according to oatmeal package, or your taste)
1/2 apple or banana (eat the other half with your breakfast!)

Apple version:
- So for the first one you chop up half an apple (if you use a food chopper it's quick) and you add it just after you have the oatmeal stirred into the water.
- Then you add some brown sugar/honey/sugar and cinnamon when it it done cooking.
- And you eat the rest of the apple.

Banana version:
- For the other one once it is done cooking you add a sliced banana (or half depending on how big it is/# of serving) and some maple syrup/honey/sugar/brown sugar and maybe seeds or nuts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yogurt Pancakes

This one is from my mom and sister (yay, for other peoples' recipes!) Well, we all know that pancakes from mix don't generally have a lot of nutritional value. But my mom found a way to add some calcium and protein, along with flavor. My sister reports that they are really good and don't need any additional toppings.

Mom's Yogurt Pancakes
Serves: 2-4 Time: Depends on how big your pan/griddle is!

1 cup pancake mix
6 oz flavored yogurt (most containers now)
6 oz (one yogurt container) water (If you use Bisquick, reduce water to 1/3 cup)

- Preheat frying pan or griddle to medium high.

- Combine all ingredients in a bowl until mix is damp, don't overmix!

- When pan is hot enough, (water drops fizzle and evaporate right away) spray pan with cooking spray and ladle 1/4 to 1/3 cup of mix onto pan

- When bubbles form, flip and cook til pancake is the color you like.

*Update* I tried these out on Sunday and liked them a lot! I even used pina colada yogurt and threw in a handful of coconut for fun, and it was really tasty. I used Bisquick. I think that they are harder to flip than regular pancakes, so I made them smaller and it worked great.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Favorite - Cheese Steak Sandwich

My husband loves cheese steak sandwiches so for special occasions like his birthday and Father's Day I make his favorite despite the kids complaints.

This meal can be as inexpensive as the meat you choose to buy. I made enough for 7 people (5 of which chose to have slice cheese and lunch meat instead) for about $9.

Cheese Steak Sandwiches
What I used to feed 7.

3 lbs. semi frozen roast/chuck roast/tri-tip /what ever you found in the quick sale bin at the store. Slice this while it is still semi frozen and it comes off in smaller pieces, a plus for this recipe.
1 bell pepper thinly sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
about 7 medium mushrooms thinly sliced.
(any or all of the ingredients besides the meat are optional)

I have a Pampered Chef Ultimate Slice and Grate that I slice my veggies on and I use an egg slicer for the mushrooms. (You can also slice olives and strawberries super quick with an egg slicer too)

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. I let mine set and get yummy for a day or two but it can also be cooked right away.

Heat 3 Tblsp oil in a wok or large frying pan. Cook until meat is no longer pink.

Serve on various hard rolls, hoagie buns, hot dog or hamburger buns. My husband loves his with cream cheese which I was really doubtful about at first but it's good. Any kind of cheese can be substituted. The original cheese steak was served with provolone but I understand you can get one with cheese whiz in Philly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chipotle Sloppy Joes

This recipe is from Cooking Light again, but I changed it. This is their picture, though - I would never make nasty coleslaw! The main flavor-giver here is the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. DO NOT skip it. They are awesome, and have a lot of heat. They also store for a long time in the fridge, and are a great addition to a lot of things. Soup, quesadillas, soft tacos... I know I've put them on other things, because they're hot enough that a little is enough. If you'd like to see the original recipe, it's here. The main thing I did was up the pepper and use turkey instead of beef (it's what we had.)

Chipotle Sloppy Joes
Serves: 2 Time: 20 min (I think, it was a while ago!)

Cooking spray
1 medium/small sweet onion, sliced into rings.
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/3 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 small (3 oz?) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole-wheat Kaiser rolls, toasted

1. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

2. Remove 2 chipotle chiles from can; chop really well and set aside.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook turkey 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in everything else other than the buns, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/2 of meat mixture over bottom half of each bun, and top evenly with onions and top half of bun.

Nutrition Info: The Cooking Light link above has nutritional info for the original recipe, but mine is pretty close to the same.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

After-workout Peach Treat

Dan made this - it's really good. He would like to point out that I came up with the name. I didn't think it was a bad name. Anyway, after working out it is nice to get something in your system so you don't just feel all worn-out, and this is one option for doing that. I'm sure it would be good for breakfast or a fresh snack any time of day. Works well with strawberries, nectarines, berries or most any soft fruit that has a lot of flavor. Probably not grapes, watermelon, or citrus (the acid might curdle the cottage cheese even more.)

After-workout Peach Treat
Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 min

2 small peaches (may need less if peaches are large or in better condition)
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup granola
2 tbs sunflower kernels

- Chop up the peaches into bite-size pieces. Put in a bowl
- Add cottage cheese
- Top with granola and sunflower kernels, drizzle top with honey
- Mix if you want and eat!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cheater Salad with Chicken

One of the dinners we like to have when we feel lazy is salad topped with chicken strips. They're usually fried, so not super healthy, but when there are only 2 or 3 on top of a salad shared by two people, it's not so bad. If you want to be *really* lazy, just grab a bag of Fresh Express (I recommend Caesar Lite or Fiesta) and just open up all the pretty packets.

Cheater Salad with Chicken
Serves: 2 Total time: 15 min (not including trip to store)

- Go to the store and grab a few chicken strips. If you live near a healthy place, you might even be able to get grilled chicken. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Rinse and rip up lettuce. Spin or shake to remove excess water, and place in a large bowl.
- Add red onions, carrots, bell pepper, pepperoncinis, soy nuts, sunflower kernels, radishes, or whatever else you have that would be tasty.
- Pour on a little light dressing and top with chicken.