Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  •  4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 4 slices ham
  • 4 slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. seasoned bread crumbs  
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7x11 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Using a meat tenderizer, pound chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thickness (basically, as flat as you can without the chicken breasts breaking into pieces).
  3. Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt, paprika, and black pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with toothpicks. Don't be afraid to use the toothpicks liberally. Place in baking dish, and lightly sprinkle chicken with bread crumbs.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven. Let cool 2-3 minutes before serving.
For a complete meal, serve over brown or wild rice with a side of your favorite vegetable (asparagus maybe?).  

Delicious leftover too so consider making a couple extra. Remove the toothpicks as you eat to keep them together.  

Much simpler than one would think and much more impressive than chicken topped with a ghetto slice of ham and cheese. Really into the idea of rolling flattened chicken breasts so expect more .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Broiled Grapefruit

I ordered a box of assorted fruit from a local fundraiser and decided to jazz up the grapefruit. Simple and delicious. Trust me?

  • grapefruit 
  • cinnamon 
1. Preheat your oven's broiler.
2. Slice grapefruit in half and place cut side up on a cookie sheet.
3. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Broil 4-6 minutes, or until top of grapefruit appears caramelized and slightly golden.
5. Enjoy warm.

Heating the grapefruit brings out the natural sugars and softens the grapefruit.  Now it's easier to eat and sweeter!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Veggie Tray

I put this cute little guy together for a family thanksgiving celebration.  Since it needed to be large enough for about 40 people, I made some alterations and piled the veggies pretty high. This could really be done with any variety of vegetables and and size. The face of the turkey is the butt-end of the green pepper.  Using toothpicks, I pierced chocolate covered raisins (it's just what I had on hand, anything small and black will work) and small pieces of peppers to make the face. Have fun with it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baked Butternut Squash

A fabulous harvest-season side dish to complement nearly any meal. Ask around, people who grew squash this year are likely looking to share.
Lightly seasoned so you can enjoy the true taste of fresh squash!

1 butternut squash 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg 
1/8 tsp. black pepper 
6 tsp. brown sugar 

1. Clean surface of squash and cut in half lengthwise.
2. Remove and discard seeds.
3. Brush squash halves with olive oil.
4. In a small bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper; sprinkle over squash halves.
5. Place 2 teaspoons brown sugar into each half. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over cut sides of squash.
6.  Place in an 11x7 glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
7. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 30 minutes longer or until squash is tender.
8. Allow squash to cool for 10-15 minutes (or until cool enough to handle).
9. Scrape squash from outer shell into medium bowl and mash. Serve immediately or refrigerate and heat in microwave before serving.

If the baked squash isn't mashing very easily with a fork, use a hand-held mixer or stand-up mixer if you're awesome and have one. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Greek Yogurt Fruit and Chia Seed Parfait

My almost daily go-to breakfast. It's quick, it's inexpensive and it's satisfying. Using plain, fat free Greek yogurt reduces the sugar and subsequently, Calories. The addition of chia seeds (and whole fruit) increases the fiber content and nutrient density of this yummy concoction. I use frozen fruit as I think the extra cold fruit pieces taste better and are easier to keep around the house but fresh works too. Prepare a couple at a time for added convenience or to share (aside from being delicious, they're pretty cute)! Packed with protein and fiber, this breakfast treat will easily keep you satiated until lunch.

1 cup Plain 0% Greek Yogurt
1 tsp. Chia Seeds
1/8 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (no sugar added)
1/8 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (no sugar added)
2 packets artificial sweetener (I use Truvia)

1. In separate bowl, mix yogurt and sweetener.
2. Fill bottom of small glass with a spoonful of sweetened yogurt.
3. Sprinkle small amount of chia seeds and place blueberries around the perimeter of the glass.
4. Place another layer of yogurt on top of blueberries.
5. Sprinkle with chia seeds and add a layer of raspberries around the perimeter of the glass.
6. Continue to repeat layering of chia seeds, fruit, and yogurt until you are out of supplies.

Don't be alarmed when you notice the chia seeds have gelatinized. They're supposed to. That's what contributes to their feel-full effect! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins (and purée how-to) not the healthiest, but nothing short of delicious! I used a pie pumpkin and made the pumpkin purée myself (time consuming, but simple). One could opt to omit the cream cheese frosting, but I just couldn't...

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract. 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners (or spray with nonstick cooking spray if you don't have any).
2. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.
3. Add pumpkin and egg and beat to combine. Add milk and vanilla and continue to beat until well mixed.
4. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, and add to sugar mixture. Stir by hand just until combined.
5. Fill muffin tin wells 3/4 full, making sure batter has an appealing flat-ish top, as it won't change while baking. Combine topping ingredients and top each muffin with mixture.
Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on wire cooling rack.

Yields 20 regular sized muffins.

Word to the wise- if you're using a muffin tin with 12 wells, 4 will be empty on the second round. Fill the empty wells with water prior to baking to keep the muffins from baking uneven. Trust me, you'll be happy you did. 

While baking, beat together frosting ingredients and store in refrigerator until muffins are cooled and ready to frost.

Pumpkin Purée
If interested in making the pumpkin purée yourself, simply get your hands on a pie pumpkin and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
1. Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy stuff (I baked the seeds for a little snack!).
2. Coat the inner pumpkin with a small amount of olive oil and place cut side down in a baking dish. Add 1 cup water.
3. Bake for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to handle. Gently scrape the pumpkin from the shell and place in a medium bowl. The outer pumpkin shell will practically fall off.
4. Mash pumpkin with a fork and place on a paper towel to remove excess water.

The finished product has a much lighter color than canned pumpkin so don't be weird-ed out when it doesn't look like what you're used to. Stores well frozen in a freezer safe ziploc bag. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

Ok, clearly I love fall...and fall related food items. A naturally sweet and delicious side dish or snack. Depending on the apple variety you're working with, you may need to reduce or increase the sugar. I used about 4 honeycrisp and 6 sweet sixteens. I left the sauce a little chunky, largely because making it homemade allows me to. Turned out fantastic with a lot of natural apple flavor and sweetness coming through. After giving this a whirl, you'll probably wonder why you ever purchased applesauce pre-made.


10 apples (approximately; peeled, cored, and diced)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (more if you like more)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar (or 3-4 packets artificial sweetener, if you'd prefer)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
lemon peel (2 swipes with peeler)

1. Combine all ingredients into a large pot.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium and cover.
2. Let simmer at a low to medium heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring consistently.
3. When apples are soft, remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove lemon peels.
4. For chunkier sauce, mash with a fork or potato masher. For smoother sauce, mash through fine metal strainer using a wooden spoon. 

final product!
The lemon juice and peel actually enhances the natural apple flavor so don't leave it out if you don't have to.

Serve warm or chilled, however you'd prefer.
Makes about 3 pints.