Monthly Archives: October 2011

Slow-cooked, Pulled Chicken Sandwiches – Crock Pot Tuesday

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So I have made this exact recipe but with pork. The sauce comes out soooo good! This is my healthier take on it.

Chicken Prep Time: Approximately 15 minutes

  • 3.5 – 4 lbs. skinless/boneless chicken breast, fat trimmed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (smidge more for sweeter)
  • 1 @ 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP Paprika (or 2 TBSP sweet paprika) – I didn’t have sweet paprika – couldn’t find it in the store, so improvised, again.
  • 2 TBSP Worchestershire Sauce – have an issue with pronouncing this…
  • 2 TBSP mustard – I did yellow and spicy
  • 2 TBSP A-1 Steak Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • I also added a few shakes of garlic powder (I love garlic)

In your crock pot, pour in all ingredients from onion through pepper or garlic powder depending on your preference. Mix with a wire whisk. Trim fat from chicken breasts. Place the chicken in the pot getting each piece good and saucy. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Remove chicken and shred apart with a fork. Place in large serving bowl and re-add sauce from pot as you would like. Enjoy on a crusty roll with 2 slices of sharp picante provolone cheese and prepared broccoli rabe. Serve with a salad! YUMMY!! And leftovers are such a wonderful thing! Portion and freeze the rest for another night you don’t have time to prepare dinner. You will thank yourself. It is so good even after you freeze it!

  • Sandwich Rolls – use whole wheat crusty to get the whole grain
  • Picante Sharp Provolone cheese slices
  • Broccoli Rabe

Easy Broccoli Rabe

This is an awesome vegetable for you, packed with many good nutrients! It definitely has a bitter taste and would be more of an aquired taste to many. But I love it!

  • 1 bunch, Broccoli Rabe (also called Rapini in produce department near Kale)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSPExtra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Organic Chicken Broth (I use Nature’s Promise, best price and no hydrogenated oils or MSG – look at those cans, they are usually filled with it! Boullioun cubes are too.)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Rinse the broccoli rabe with cold water. Trim the ends off and cut the thick ends with kitchen shears, actually splitting the stem in half working your way up to the top – this helps cook those thicker pieces so they are not chewy. You can either leave the pieces long or cut into small pieces. I like them longer – easier to situate on the sandwich. Place the broccoli in a medium pot filling the bottom with water about 2 inches high. Blanch the broccoli until you can get a fork through it pretty easily and you can tell it won’t be chewy – just be careful to not overcook. Keep a close eye on it because it can cook within 5-7 minutes. Drain the water out and add the minced garlic, EVOO, S& P, and broth. Let simmer on super low for about 20-30 minutes.

Our house smells awesome! Enjoy Crock Pot Tuesday!!!

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Steak, London Broil – Monday

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An oldie but goodie! Here is a super simple recipe:

Preheat oven to Broil.

  • 1.5 – 2 lb. London Broil Steak (on sale at Giant this week, Buy One Get One Free)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Cooking Spray
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Dried Thyme, Dried Rosemary, Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Garlic Powder

Tenderize both sides of the steak. Lay on a foil lined baking sheet covered with a few shots of cooking spray. Drizzle EVOO on the steak (a few drizzles around does the trick) and lightly cover the steak with the remaining dry indredients. Flip it over and do the same to the other side. Broil for approximately 20 – 30 minutes until your preferred done temperature. We go for less pink here so that is what is recommended. Once you remove the steak from the oven, be sure to let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting it. This will help retain the tender and moistness.

Top with sauteed mushrooms. Serve with mashed potatoes and broccoli (we have the frozen florets – boil in water for a few minutes (until the fork gets through the stem easily – don’t over cook!) top with a little smart balance and a shake of sea salt). Frozen veggies are not only fast to prepare but packed with vitamins and nutrients. All of those good healthy nutrients are retained in the freezing process. So in most cases (unless buying from a local market that grows their own) you are gaining more nutrition from frozen as opposed to fresh in the grocery store.

Quick Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 1 8 oz. pack already sliced mushrooms (usually same price as buying them whole)
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Smart Balance Butter
  • Sea salt, pepper and garlic powder – all according to tasteC

Cook all together in a saute’ pan on medium heat. Cook until onions are soft and translucent and mushrooms are soft as well. Top over your steak! And a few parsley sprigs to dress it up.

Enjoy!

Sneak Peak Planning For This Week, Week of 10/24

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What a weekend! So busy and couldn’t get on here yesteday to post my week’s menu. I will be posting it later today but must get to Giant first. Here is a sneak peak…

London Broil – They are BOGO at Giant – stick one in the freezer for a later date

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (Crock Pot Tuesday) on whole wheat buns, sharp picante provolone cheese and maybe some yummy broccoli rabe – Value pack of chicken breast is on sale for $2.99 lb (usually comes in 4-5 lb.) but you can cook the entire pack in the crock pot, portion it out and freeze for a later date!

Pork Chops (may have to check in with my mom on a good recipe) Boneless, center cut pork chops on sale $2.99 lb.

Whole roasted chicken – Giant brand on sale for $1.29 lb this week – I have the most simple recipe ever for this! I was always intimidated to roast a chicken and couldn’t believe how long I waited to do this…

Chicken tortellini soup – Yes, we eat alot of chicken in this house and I find it’s pretty common with most families. This is a healthy and easy soup! I got the idea from Rachel Ray – just made some changes (to  make it more simple)

Some other items on sale worth noting at Giant:

Green’s Ice Cream – 3 for $6 – that is a deal! And my total weakness! I walk to eat my ice cream.

Giant Whipped Cream 2 for $3 – a must have with the ice cream!

Barilla Pasta $1

Atlantic Salmon $6.99 lb. ( have  a great and simple recipe but will  most likely make next week)

Giant Whole Pork Shoulder $1.49 lb.

English Muffins 2 for $4

Giant cooking spray $2

Avocadoes $1

Maxwell House coffee 3 for $8

Giant shredded or block cheese (8 oz.) 3 for $5 (stock and freeze at this price – they have gone up to $2.49 now, used to be $1.99)

Keep an eye out for my post later today. Have an awesome Monday!!!

“Better Than You Know What” Peanut Butter Brownies

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Ok, so I don’t claim to do everything from scratch – even though alot of people think I do. But these brownies are so yummy! Your friends and family will be thanking you. I can guarantee it! I love the really rich, super moist type of brownie and this is exactly that.

* Also, this is a great throw together quick dessert to bring over to someone’s house that will be a huge hit!

  • 1 Box Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge Brownie Mix with fudge packet included (or any brand with the extra fudge pack will do)
  • 1 egg (this is according to above brand’s recipe)
  • 1/4 cup water (this is according to above brand’s recipe)
  • 1/4 cup oil – I do go over this amount with a longer pour – makes them moist! (this is according to above brand’s recipe)
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel sauce (found right near the chocolate syrup or with ice cream toppings
  • White chocolate chips and dark chocolate (or semi-sweet) chips
  • Cooking spray

I really think the pan I use has a lot to do with how these brownies come out. If you have a stoneware 9×9 pan, use it! I got one from Pampered Chef over 10 years ago and swear by it!

Coat the 9×9 pan with cooking spray. Then mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl according to box ingredients (don’t forget the fudge packet). I add a couple squeezes of chocolate syrup too. Throw in a few handfuls of dark or semi-sweet chips. Pour mixture into greased pan. Then with a teaspoon make small dollops of peanut butter resting right on top of the batter. As much or as little as you want. Take a peak at the pic to get an idea. Then drizzle the caramel sauce horizontally and vertically. Lastly sprinkle the top with white chocolate chips. Bake according to directions on box but may take longer or short depending on your oven. I always set my timer for 5-7 minutes before what they call for. The key to these brownies is to NOT overbake them. Put a toothpick in and you want some brownie morsels sticking to it. You don’t want to get to the point of the toothpick being perfectly clean because then they get dried out. I read that this is the key to making great, moist brownies.

So I do like to indulge and take a square, warm it up in the microwave for about 12-15 seconds and even add some hot fudge on top. Then scoop on the vanilla or peanut butter swirl ice cream on top. Oh my word!! So ridiculous! Enjoy!

I also have a “from scratch” recipe that I will post at a later date. Need to experiment with that more first…

 

 

Food Photos!

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Ok, so I think I have it figured out now. I have some photos of the finished meals. Well, I have Tuesday and Wednesday. A picture is worth a 1000 words and appetite as well! Both super easy meals! Maybe I can add a fun dessert in here for the weekend too! If you don’t know me, I love, love to bake! Think the pumpkin cheesecake is next – and it’s light!

Thanks for following!

Finally, Friday – Chicken Quesadilla’s!

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Chicken Quesadilla’s

Most likely you will have leftovers from last night’s chicken salsa dinner. Here is a way to get a 2nd meal out of the first! So easy and still healthy!

  • Leftover chicken salsa
  • Shredded cheddar and or mixed Mexican cheese (8 oz. bag)
  • Cooking spray
  • Whole wheat tortilla’s
  • Green & red peppers & onions (optional) or spinach, mushrooms, etc. – really your preference – sauteed lightly
  • Salsa
  • Light Sour Cream
  • Refried or black beans
  • Rice (we do the boil in a bag, brown rice)

Spray the bottom of a medium sized pan or griddle pan. Warm to about medium and add one whole wheat tortilla. Sprinkle a good amount of the cheese to cover most of the tortilla. Add the chicken and any of the above veggies. Sprinkle a good amount of cheese on top and place your 2nd tortilla on top. Wait until the bottom starts to become a little crunchy and then carefully flip with a spatula. Let that bottom become crunchy. If using a griddle, you can do more than one at a time.

Serve with sides of salsa, sour cream, beans, and even some rice too! Enjoy and happy weekend to you!

Thursday, Chicken Salsa, Another Crock Pot Night!

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CROCK-POT CHICKEN SALSA, Courtesy of Mardee

*Doing 2 crock pot meals this week because Tuesday, I have a meeting in the evening. And on Thursday, I will be out all day on my daughter’s school field trip. Love the crock pot!!!

Most brilliant recipe ever! So simple and versatile and of course, healthy! Mardee shared this one with me on the beach and it was instantly a hit with the family. Thanks Mardee!

  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.5 lb) – on sale this week at Giant, Giant brand
  • 1 16 oz. jar Salsa (we use mild because Jack isn’t into spicy yet) *used Utz’s medium sweet salsa – note the sweet – it was so good!
  • Box of taco shells (I prefer organic because no hydrogenated oils) or use whole wheat flour tortilla’s – I put both options out for the family to choose
  • A bowl of shredded cheese for toppings – we use 2% sharp cheddar
  • Light or fat free sour cream
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Black Beans – optional
  • I serve with a salad and a side of broccoli for the kids

Pour the jar of salsa into the bottom of your crockpot. If necessary, clean and or trim the chicken (removing any fat) and then place in crockpot.

Cook on low all day – say about 7-9 hours. The chicken will just pull apart, so tender. Drain some of the juice, if desired or just leave it in there. Then everyone gets to make their own soft or hard tacos! Yummy!