TORTILLA AND RICOTTA LASAGNA

THIS RECIPE WAS FOR A PIE BUT THERE WAS TOO MUCH FILLING AND IT WOULD HAVE MADE A MESS IN  MY NEWLY CLEANED OVEN SO-O-O-O I MADE IT INTO LASAGNA!

Tottilla and Ricotta Pie (2)

24 oz jar (or homemade) salsa
15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 1/2 cups frozen corn (fresh is good too!)
15 oz ricotta cheese
16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (fresh is even better!)
8 oz shredded Italian blend cheese – divided
5 large Azteca tortilla shells (whole wheat shells would be healthier)

Lightly coat 13″ x 9″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients plus 1/2 of the Italian blend cheese. Place two and a half tortillas in bottom of pan slightly overlapping. Add layer of cheese mixture, another layer of tortillas and cheese mixture. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the rest of the Italian blend cheese on top. Bake an additional 5 minutes.

This is such a quick and easy meatless meal and if you forget to thaw the spinach you can always nuke it slightly until it is easy to blend.

Serve with salsa and tortilla chips.  I also had fresh salad and corn on the cob!

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NEW TWIST ON TACOS

TACOS (7)

SO FAST AND EASY! THESE TACOS WILL SATISFY YOUR TASTE BUDS AND KEEP YOUR CHOLESTEROL AT BAY!

1 lb 96% lean ground beef
1 (15 oz) can lentils, drained slightly
1 pkt taco seasoning
1 jar of your favorite salsa
lettuce, chopped
grape tomatoes, chopped
red onion, chopped
baby peppers, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar or taco cheese
8 large Azteca soft tortilla shells (I would use whole wheat if on hand)
8 oz low fat sour cream, optional
tortilla chips, optional

In a large skillet over medium high heat brown ground beef and add lentils, taco seasoning, 1/4 c water and 1/4 cup salsa.

TACOS (1)

Chop up your lettuce, tomato, onion and peppers.

TACOS (8)

Create your taco!  I like mine open like a taco salad but my husband likes to wrap his.

THESE ARE DELICIOUS AND NO ONE KNOWS THERE ARE LENTILS IN THERE.  THE LENTILS HELP DECREASE TOTAL FAT AND ADD FIBER.  USING 96% LEAN GROUND BEEF AND LOW FAT SOUR CREAM ALSO KEEP THE MEAL HEALTHY – THEN I DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT HAVING A FEW TORTILLA CHIPS WITH IT!

CHICK PEA AND WALNUT BURGERS

Chick Pea nad Walnut Burgers (10)

These burgers take less than 45 minutes to put together and are full of the kind of goodness your body craves after a stressful day.

Chick Pea nad Walnut Burgers (11)

They make the perfect evening meal choice as one of the ingredients is especially fantastic for improving your sleep – that ingredient is walnuts!! Walnuts naturally contain melatonin which helps control your sleep cycle. This means that eating them a few hours before bed can really help you to get to sleep. As we get older our natural melatonin levels will decrease, making it all the more important to get it from dietary sources.

Using chickpeas in these burgers is great for the consistency as well as the overall nutrition of your meal. One cup of chickpeas contains an impressive 15 grams of protein as well as 13 grams of dietary fiber and just 4 grams of fat. Add to that that there is no bad cholesterol in chickpeas but there is a fantastic range of much needed vitamins and minerals.

INGREDIENTS

½ an onion, diced,
1 cup of walnuts (I used walnut “topping” in the baking section – finely chopped already!)
1 (15oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup of whole-wheat flour (I used all purpose baking mix)
1 cup of mushrooms, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ a cup milk
A dash of sea salt
1 tbsp of basil (I used gourmet gardens basil paste)

 

DIRECTIONS

IF YOU HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR YOU CAN ADD EVERYTHING GRADUALLY AND BLEND.  IF YOU DON’T HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR MASH THE CHICKPEAS AS WELL AS YOU CAN AND ADD THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS. The mixture doesn’t have to be totally smooth. If you find it is too dry then add in milk as necessary or if you find it is too moist then feel free to add in more flour.

Take a handful of the mixture at a time and make into patties.  I USE THE GEORGE FORMAN GRILL AND COOK ABOUT 8 MINUTES BUT YOU CAN BAKE THESE IN THE OVEN OR OUTDOOR GRILL – YOU JUST HAVE TO COOK TWICE AS LONG.

THIS RECIPE MADE 6 LARGE BURGERS!

ADAPTED FROM:  https://theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/chickpea-and-walnut-burgers/

HUMMUS WITH PEPITA TOAST FOR BREAKFAST

toast wth hummus and seeds (2)

1 slice whole grain bread, toasted ( I used Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Oatmeal bread with 1 1/2 oz whole grains = 1/2 or your daily recommended amount. It also has 4 gm. fiber.)
2 Tbsp roasted garlic hummus
1/2 tsp sunflower kernels
1/2 tsp pepitas

JUST TOAST, SPREAD AND SPRINKLE!

THIS BREAKFAST IS ONLY 200 CALORIES PACKED WITH 25 GM CHO; 7 GM PRO AND 9 GM OF FAT. A NUTTY ALTERNATIVE TO PEANUT BUTTER ON TOAST WHICH WOULD HAVE 100 MORE CALORIES AND NEARLY DOUBLE THE FAT!

PEPITAS ARE a very good source of beta carotene, Omega 3, protein, minerals magnesium and manganese, iron, zinc and copper and vitamin K.

I WAS THINKING MAYBE A FEW RAISINS OR CRAISINS MIGHT BE GOOD ON IT TOO!

MEXICAN STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

stuffed-squash-beef-beans-18

Ingredients
  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (I used 96% lean ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion^
  • 1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper^
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans*, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (rinse if needed)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (I used frozen, thawed)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • Shredded Cheddar* cheese, for topping

^I used thawed frozen pepper stir fry mix (Birds Eye) to cut prep time

*Rinse and drain beans well as they may have some gluten cross-contamination and Kraft shredded cheeses are all gluten free.

Preparation

Cut squash in half; scoop out seeds and membranes then place, cut side up, in slow cooker.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Stuff the squash and add a small amount of water (1/4 cup) to bottom of crock pot.  Cook on LOW 4-5 hours until the squash is tender*.  Serve with cheese on top.

*You can also bake in a 350 F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours – just place squash in a baking dish with a cup of water on the bottom.

A GREAT GLUTEN FREE MEAL WHICH CAN ALSO BE MADE WITHOUT GROUND BEEF FOR A VEGETARIAN TWIST.

Adapted from the Original Recipe http://southernfood.about.com/od/wintersquashrecipes

CHICKEN SALAD ON CIABATTA

CHICKEN SALAD ON CIABATTA

WHAT TO DO WITH A LEFT OVER CHICKEN BREASTCUBE IT UP AND ADD:

1/4 c sunflower kernels
1/4 c diced orange, red or yellow pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced grape tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp diced jalapeno pepper

MIX WITH 1/4 c MAYONNAISE + 1/4 c PLAIN NONFAT YOGURT

IF I HAD AVOCADO I WOULD HAVE ADDED THAT AND PERHAPS SOME OLIVES THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

I SERVED MY WARMED ON CIABATTA ROLL WITH A SLICE OF PEPPER JACK CHEESE AND ADDED A LETTUCE LEAF!

BEEFY TOSTADA PIE

Enchilada Pie (3)

1 lb 96% lean ground beef
1 1/2 c chopped onions or 1 (14.4oz) pkg Birds Eye frozen Pepper Stir-Fry
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1 c sliced black olives
4 flour tortillas ( I used Azteca 10 inch)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Cook first 5 ingredients in skillet over medium heat until meat is browned. Stir in tomato sauce; heat through. Stir in black olives. Coat 9X9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Lay one tortilla on bottom of dish. Top with layer of meat sauce then cheese. Top with another tortilla and repeat layers ending with cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve with salsa, low-fat sour cream and whole grain tortilla chips and a big salad.

THAI PEANUT QUINOA SALAD

thai-peanut-quinoa-salad_654

Ingredients

Dressing

1/4 cup  soy sauce
1/4 cup  peanut butter
1/8 cup vinegar
1/8 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp hot sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp ground ginger

Salad

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups cole slaw or broccoli slaw mix
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cucumber,diced
2 green onions chopped
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped (unsalted or lightly salted)Optional add-ins: cooked chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu

Directions

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small microwavable mixing bowl with lid.  Cover and cook on high 1 minute.  Stir or whisk until well blended.  Microwave another 30 -60 seconds if needed to blend well. Set aside.Prepare quinoa according to directions listed on package. To assemble salad layer cooked quinoa, cabbage,  bean sprouts, cucumber, green onions and peanuts. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley if desired. Drizzle with dressing to taste and serve.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

I ADJUSTED THIS RECIPE TAKING OUT A FEW INGREDIENTS I JUST WOULD NEVER HAVE IN THE CUPBOARD!

MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD

mexican-quinoa-salad

Ingredients

1 cup of white quinoa
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 pepper (green or yellow), chopped
1 can of black beans, drained/rinsed*
2 avocados, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup of hot or mild Salsa*

Optional: 1 cup of chopped cilantro and cheddar cheese (or vegan alternative)

A little bit of squeezed lime

Preparation

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
When quinoa is cooked, set aside and let cool.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the quinoa, add the seasoning and mix well.

Note: This recipe can be served hot or cold.

*Both the black beans and the salsa may contain gluten.  If you rinse the beans very well most people can tolerate them.  If you prepare your own salsa  that can also be gluten free.

Recommendations: Can we be served in (corn) taco shells or with tortilla chips.

CollageMexQSalad

Adapted from http://www.gogoquinoa.com/recipes

TUNA AND HUMMUS WRAP

TUNA HUMMUS WRAPS 001 (570x428)

CUCUMBER DILL HUMMUS

1 (15oz) can chick peas, drain and rinse
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 Tbsp dill weed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

I placed the last 6 ingredients in the blender and begin to puree.  Add the chick peas a little at a time and continue to puree until your hummus is a nice smooth consistency.

TUNA MIXTURE

2 (5oz) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Italian Dressing
4 cups Romaine or mixed lettuce
4 large tortillas (I used Azteca flour tortillas but whole wheat would be a healthier choice!)

Spread one side of a tortilla with hummus, fill with tuna mixture and lettuce and wrap!

I OVER FILLED MY TORTILLA AND MY WRAP SPLIT OPEN SO AVOID OVER FILLING OR SERVE THE TUNA AND HUMMUS OVER A BED OF LETTUCE AND HAVE SOME PITA ROUNDS ON THE SIDE!