GREEK BEEF AND MUSHROOM ORZO

Greek-Beef-and-Mushroom-Orzo-OR

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound sirloin tip steak, cut into this strips
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
14 1/2 oz can chicken broth
1/2 c water
1/4 tsp dried basil (fresh is always better!)
8 oz orzo pasta
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add steak and brown 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes more. Add next 6 ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and serve.

GREAT WITH SALAD AND WHOLE GRAIN ROLLS! HEARTY AND TASTY!!

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TWICE BAKED POTATO

TWICE BAKED POTATO 1

HAPPY THANKSGIVING – HERE IS AN EASY SIDE FOR YOUR BIRD!

1 large white potato
1/3 cup 1% milk
2 Tbsp butter or sour cream
1/3 cup mashed potato flakes
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Oscar Meyer real bacon pieces
1 slice American or Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Cut potato in half; place face down in microwave dish with 1/4 inch water in bottom; cover and microwave on high 7-10 minutes.  Rinse in cold water.  Scoop out middles and place in mixing bowl.  Mix in next 5 ingredients until smooth.  Scoop back into skins.  Place strips of cheese over tops.  Microwave on high 3-5 minutes just before serving.

These are a great meal by themselves or a side dish for TURKEY!  meatloaf, grilled steak, barbequed pork chops or chicken!  Enjoy!

VEGETARIAN THANKSGIVING

 

 

VEGETARIAN THANKSGIVING

THREE SISTER’S SQUASH

The sisters in this recipe are the native American staples beans, corn and squash, which together offer a delicious main course for vegan diners.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 1 (15 oz)can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, diced
  • 1 ½ cups cooked wild or brown rice or quinoa(optional)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Put olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Remove stem from squashes, and cut each in half, from top to bottom. Scoop out seeds and discard,
  3. Brush inside of each squash with the garlic oil, place flesh side up on a microwavable plate, cover with waxed paper and cook on high 7-10 minutes.
  4. While the squash is cooking, you can prepare the filling ingredients.  Heat a pan, add olive oil, and sauté onion and chile for about 2 minutes, over medium-low heat.
  5. Add garlic, black beans, corn, broccoli and rice. Cook for 3-5 minutes, keeping corn  bright yellow and broccoli  bright green. Stir in parsley, paprika, salt and pepper and continue to cook for about a minute. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  6. Scoop corn and bean mixture into center or squashes. Serve right away.

IF YOU ARE NOT A STRICT VEGAN I WOULD ADD SOME SHREDDED PEPPER JACK CHEESE OVER THE TOP!

USING QUINOA AND RINSING THE BEANS VERY WELL, MAKE THIS A GLUTEN FREE DISH AS WELL!

LAKE EFFECT SNOW STORM “KNIFE” HOMEBOUND SOLUTIONS

SOUTH BUFFALO, NEW YORK HAS CERTAINLY MADE THE NATIONAL NEWS RECENTLY WITH LAKE EFFECT SNOW STORM “KNIFE”.  I AM IN THE HEART OF THIS STORM AND HAVE BEEN “STUCK” INSIDE FOR THE LAST 4 1/2 DAYS.  THE ROADS REMAIN IMPASSABLE AND PEOPLE ARE REALLY BEGINNING TO GET CABIN FEVER. 

BOTH OF OUR SNOW BLOWERS WERE UNABLE TO HANDLE THE SHEER VOLUME OF SNOW DUMPED IN OUR DRIVEWAY SO WE HAVE GOTTEN OUTSIDE AND HAD PLENTY OF EXERCISE SHOVELING (ABOUT 6 HOURS EACH DAY)!  STILL HAVEN’T SEEN A PLOW DURING THE ENTIRE EVENT.

WHILE I DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO DO ANY EXTRA WORK OUT (I FEEL IT IN MY ABS, BICEPS, DELTS, PECS, GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS AND EVEN MY FINGERS!), THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE TO SHOVEL – THEY HAVE A PLOW SERVICE OR LIVE IN AN APARTMENT OR CONDO OR COMMUNITY THAT DOES MAINTENANCE.  IN ANY EVENT, THERE ARE ALWAYS TIMES WHEN YOU CAN’T HIT THE GYM AND NEED A WORKOUT AT HOME OR IN THE OFFICE.

HAD SOME TIME ON MY HANDS TO LOOK AROUND FLIP BOARD WHILE STRANDED.  IT WAS PERFECT TIMING THAT USA TODAY POSTED THIS ARTICLE The Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube

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THERE ARE 21 VIDEOS FROM 7 MINUTES TO ABOUT AND HOUR FROM A VARIETY OF GENRES: YOGA, KICKBOXING, MARTIAL ARTS, PILATES, DANCING, ZUMBA.  WHILE I HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO TRY THEM ALL I WILL DEFINITELY WORK THROUGH THEM OVER THESE WINTER MONTHS AND LET YOU KNOW HOW I LIKE THEM.  I LIKE VARIETY SO THIS IS A GREAT FIND FOR ME.

I HOPE YOU LIKE THESE VIDEOS  AND WILL LET ME KNOW YOUR FEEDBACK AS YOU TRY THEM!  PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS!

CHICKEN ALFREDO LASAGNA

 

creamy white chicken alfredo

Ingredients
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 cup  1% milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 oven ready lasagna noodles

Directions
HEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.

SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.

BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

PERFECT MEAL FOR THE THIRD BLIZZARD OF 2014 IN BUFFALO, NY!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH – THE MIGHTY WINTER SQUASH!

I recently read an article in bon appetite where the author clearly did not like spaghetti squash – his article entitled “5 Creative Ways to Cook with Spaghetti Squash” involved deep fat frying it and frittering it (also in deep fat fryer).  He even stated that spaghetti squash had a “blah” flavor and that his favorite was acorn squash.  So why did he write the article?

I find spaghetti squash to be a super food that most people seldom, if ever eat!

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Spaghetti squash, a type of winter squash, gets its name from the pale-yellow flesh that can be fluffed into stringy, pasta-like threads. It has a very mild flavor and, unlike other winter squash, does not have much sweetness. So you can use spaghetti squash in both savory and sweet dishes. Consider eating it warm, topped with pasta sauce or tossed with a small amount of olive oil and fresh herbs, or serve it chilled with sun-dried red peppers, olives and feta cheese.

Calories and Fat

Most varieties of winter squash contain almost twice the calories per serving of spaghetti squash, which has only 42 calories per cup.  It’s also very low in fat, with less than 0.5 grams of fat per cup. (So why would you deep fat fry it?)  Spaghetti squash contains about 92 percent water by weight, which may account for its lack of calories. These qualities make spaghetti squash a good choice for weight-loss or weight-management plans. It will fill you up without adding a lot of calories or fat to your daily total.

Carbohydrates

Spaghetti squash also fits well into a low-carb or diabetes meal plan. It contains only 10 grams of total carbohydrates per cup, whereas most types of winter squash have at least 18 grams. Of the total, 4 grams come from natural sugar in the squash, and 2 grams come from dietary fiber. Eating a diet rich in fiber may regulate digestion, reduce constipation, lower your cholesterol and help you manage your weight.

Vitamins

You’ll get small amounts of almost every essential vitamin from eating spaghetti squash. Vitamin C and vitamin B-6 are the vitamins found in highest concentration in the squash. Vitamin C plays a role in the growth and repair of body proteins, aids in wound healing and supports your immune system. It’s also an antioxidant that helps defend your body against harmful free radicals. Vitamin B-6 is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions in your body, including energy metabolism and hemoglobin production.  The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content.

Minerals

Every essential mineral is found in trace amounts in the flesh of spaghetti squash. The mineral potassium plays a part in building muscle, metabolizing carbohydrates and maintaining proper muscle function in your body. It also functions as an electrolyte, helping to regulate fluid balance and the acidity, or pH, of your blood. Replacing electrolytes is essential any time you sweat heavily or lose body fluids. Without enough potassium you may experience weak muscles, an abnormal heart rhythm or an elevated blood pressure. Spaghetti squash also contains the minerals calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium.

Spaghetti-Squash-Salad-700x700

Ingredients

Servings: 4

I think I would add some black beans that have been drained and well rinsed!

  • Pierce squash all over with a knife to vent. Place on microwavable plate and cover with waxed paper.  Microwave on high 5 minutes.  Turn squash over and microwave on high about another 5 minutes until the squash is tender enough to pierce easily with a knife.
  • Let cool slightly. Halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds; discard. Scrape flesh with a fork to remove in long strands. Spread out on paper towels to drain, then transfer to a bowl and chill until cold.
  • Just before serving, whisk lime juice and ranch dressing in a large bowl. Add chilled squash, avocado, cucumber, and chicken and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve topped with basil or parsley leaves.

CRESCENT ROLL TACO BAKE 

crescent roll taco bake

Crescent Roll Taco Bake

2 crescent roll tubes
1 LB 96% lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce
1 or 2 diced tomatoes depending on size
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/2 small can sliced black olives
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream optional (low fat)

Lay out the two tubes of crescent pastry on a round pizza pan or cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, thick sides in. Use some of the left over crescent rolls to to make the center a bit thicker. Brown beef and add taco seasoning. Lay beef in a circle inside of the laid out crescent rolls Add cheese to the top Pull over crescent rolls and tuck in under meat and cheese. Follow cook time on the pack of crescent rolls, and once it’s done, you’re good to go! Add lettuce, tomato, onion, green pepper, black olives, cheese, sour cream or whatever you desire for your tacos, in the middle.

I like it with some medium salsa too!

SO EASY SHRIMP RECIPE

Easy Shrimp Recipe

Melt a stick of butter in the foil lined baking pan in a 350 degree oven.   Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Put down fresh shrimp, then sprinkle one pack of dried Italian seasoning (for Italian dressing). Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 min, nice and easy!
TO MAKE THIS RECIPE HEALTHIER, I CUT THE BUTTER IN HALF AND ADDED 1/2 CUP CHICKEN BROTH.

I ALSO USED FROZEN SHRIMP INSTEAD OF FRESH TO AVOID ALL THE PREP.

SERVE OVER A BED OF NOODLES (WHOLE WHEAT), RICE, COUSCOUS,  OR QUINOA WITH SOME STEAMED VEGETABLES!

SWEET POTATO PEANUT SOUP 

sweet-potato-peanut-soup-recipe-wdy1012-xl

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) pepper
  • 4 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) (about 2 large) sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can(s) (14-ounce) crushed tomatoes (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup(s) creamy peanut butter
  • Cilantro  or parsley, for serving
  • Chopped roasted peanuts, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the cumin and cayenne and cook 1 minute more. Add the sweet potatoes and mix to combine.
  3. Add the tomatoes, peanut butter, and 4 cups water or vegetable broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the sweet potatoes are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve with cilantro or parsley and peanuts, if desired.

I REALLY LIKED THIS RECIPE BECAUSE IT WAS SO EASY AND THEY DIDN’T BLEND THE SOUP.  THE SWEET POTATOES WILL MUSH UP IN TIME ANYHOW!

I USED MY CROCK POT – ELIMINATED OIL (TO CUT DOWN ON FAT, THREW EVERYTHING IN EXCEPT THE SPICES AND PEANUT BUTTER (WHICH I ADDED IN THE LAST HOUR OF COOKING)  AND COOKED ON LOW 4-6 HOURS (HIGH 2-3 HOURS).

VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE RECIPE-ALTHOUGH PEANUTS MAY HAVE SOME CROSS-CONTAMINATION SO READ YOUR LABELS OR ELIMINATE THE ROASTED PEANUTS IF YOU ARE THAT SENSITIVE TO GLUTEN.

SAUSAGE AND POTATO STEW

SAUSAGE AND POTATO STEW

 

ANOTHER SUPER EASY DISH COOKED IN THE CROCK POT THAT SERVES UP PLENTY OF FLAVOR!

3 potatoes cut into quarters
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1# green beans, cut into thirds
1# hot sausage links (Use a low fat variety if desired)
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste (I did not use any)

Place vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot with the sausage links on top.  Pour the diced tomatoes over the top and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Cut the links into chunks and serve in bowls with some shredded Italian blend cheese or Parmesan.

I LOVE EASY – ONLY 5 INGREDIENTS – AND COOKING IN THE CROCK POT KEEPS THE HOUSE COOL IN THE SUMMERTIME!