• Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

    This muffin recipe is so darn good.  The original recipe is vegan but I use milk instead of nondairy milk, and I also use a dairy based light margarine.  But if you want to make it vegan go right ahead.  Everyone loves these muffins!!!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 c. skim milk
    • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 c. whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 c. light country crock margarine
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. white sugar
    • 3 ripe bananas
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
    • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*; line muffin pan with baking cups and spray with cooking spray.
    2. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar.
    3. In a large bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
    4. In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugars; then add the bananas, vanilla, milk mixture, and pineapple.
    5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; then mix in chocolate chips.  Stir until just combined.
    6. Pour batter in the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes (if making a loaf instead, bake for 60-70 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    7. Remove pan from oven and let cool slightly; then remove muffins and let cool on a cooling rack (if making a loaf, remove the pan from the oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes; then transfer the bread from the pan to the rack and let cool completely before slicing-preferably overnight).

    Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:

     

     

  • TT’s Salsa

    We had some friends over the other night for taco/nacho bar, and TT (9 yo) wanted to make a salsa, so he researched online and printed out a recipe.  We adapted the recipe to what we had on hand, and it was so good, and we’ll definitely make this one again.  This recipe makes a lot of salsa, so you might want to halve the recipe.

    Recipe adapted from Food Network.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of fire roasted tomatoes
    • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of Mexican stewed tomatoes
    • 1/2 c. cilantro
    • 1/2 onion
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed
    • 1/4 tsp. cumin
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp. sugar
    • 1 lime, juiced

    Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are combined and the salsa is at a consistency you like.
    2. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
    3. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

    TT’s Salsa:

     

     

  • Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

    This quinoa salad was a big hit (even the kids liked it!) and a crowd pleaser.  Recipe is adapted from the July/August 2013 Splash magazine.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. uncooked quinoa
    • 2 c. water
    • 1 shallot, diced
    • 1 lemon, squeezed
    • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 c. cucumber, diced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 c. crumbled feta
    • 20 kalamata olives (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Bring water to boil; then add the dry quinoa.  Place lid on pot and reduce heat to a simmer and heat for 12 minutes, or until done.
    2. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
    3. Combine shallots through salt and pepper with the cooled quinoa.  Top with feta and olives.

    Mediterranean Quinoa Salad:

     

     

  • Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

    This hearty and healthy dinner was enjoyed by everyone, and it’s easy to make which is always a plus.

    Adapted from Taste of Home Casseroles, 2011.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp. oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. dried basil
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 2 1/2 c. skim milk
    • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 16oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
    • 2 c. cooked chicken, cubed (can use rotisserie chicken)
    • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese

    Biscuit Ingredients:

    • 1 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/3 c. skim milk
    • 3 TBSP oil
    • 1 TBSP fresh parsley, minced

    Directions:

    1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; then add the onion and cook until tender.  Stir in the flour, basil, thyme, salt and pepper until blended.  Gradually stir in milk and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened; then add the vegetables, chicken, and cheese and reduce to low.
    2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine four through salt. In a small bowl combine milk, oil and parsley; then stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
    3. Transfer hot chicken mixture to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Drop biscuit batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture.
    4. Bake uncovered at 375* for 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.

    Chicken and Biscuits Casserole:

     

  • Black Beans and Rice

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    Black beans and rice are a great winter food.  They are warming and very filling.  They are also very healthy.  The key to this dish is to soak the black beans in water over night.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. dried black beans
    • water
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 1-2 jalapenos, diced (can omit)
    • 2 TBSP dried oregano
    • 6-7 c. chicken or veggie broth
    • Hot cooked Rice
    • Pico de gallo to top the dish (simply mix some tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and lime juice together)

    Directions:

    1. Place black beans in a pot and cover them with water and soak overnight.
    2. Place soaked beans, onion, garlic, jalapenos, oregano, and broth in a slow cooker, and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or until beans are soft and tender.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    3. Serve over hot rice and top with pico de gallo.

    Black Beans and Rice:

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  • Southwest Chicken Taco Filling

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    This chicken taco filling is quite good, and it’s made in the crockpot.  It’s important to use a flavorful salsa (I used Arriba! Fire Roasted Mexican Chipotle Salsa), and DO NOT use a mild salsa as there just isn’t enough flavor.

    After the dish is cooked squeeze some fresh lime juice to give the dish a nice bright flavor, and then adjust the seasoning.  Since all salsas are different you may need to add some additional salt.

    Next time I think I’ll try adding some ground cumin to the crockpot.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 bag of frozen corn
    • 2 large frozen chicken breasts
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 16 oz jar of medium salsa
    • 1-2 limes, juiced
    • salt to taste
    • Top tacos with: avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, sour cream guacamole etc.

    Directions:

    1. Spray your crock with cooking spray; then add the frozen corn; then add the frozen chicken breasts; then add the black beans; then top with the salsa.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour and then turn to LOW for 4 hours.
    2. Shred the chicken and then add the lime juice and salt and any other seasonings you like.

    Southwest Chicken Taco Filling:

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  • Mango Jicama Salsa

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    I’m always will to try a great new salsa to top chicken tacos or fish tacos.  This salsa is so summery and refreshing, and it went great as a topper for fish tacos.

    I saw a recipe for jicama salad in the March 2009 issue of Cooking Light, which was the initial inspiration of my mango jicama salsa.
    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. jicama, julienne-cut
    • 2-3 mangos, sliced or cubed
    • 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced
    • 1/2 of a red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 to 2 jalapenos, chopped
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 1 tsp. sugar (more or less depending on how ripe the mangos are)
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

    Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    2. Top your tacos, and enjoy.

    Mango Jicama Salsa:

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  • Asian Chicken Salad

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    This salad is delicious!  So refreshing, tasty, and filling.  The dressing is so flavorful, that it’s now our new favorite salad dressing.  Great salad for a warm summer day.

    Adapted from Prudence Pennywise.
    Ingredients:

    • 8 fresh won ton or 6 egg roll sheets
    • cooking spray
    • 8 c. chopped romaine lettuce
    • 2 c. chopped cooked chicken
    • 2 large oranges, peeled, or canned mandarin oranges
    • 2 large avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
    • 2 c. sugar snap peas (either raw or blanched)
    • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
    • 4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1/3 c. roasted salted peanuts
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Ginger Soy Dressing:

    • 4 TBSP rice vinegar
    • 4 TBSP sugar
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
    • 2 TBSP canola oil
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • pinch of salt

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat won tons with spray and cut into strips. Bake on foil lined cookie sheet until crispy, turning once, about 8 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, chicken, oranges, avocado, sugar snap peas, cilantro, scallions, peanuts, sesame seeds, and won ton strips.
    3. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl; then drizzle the salad with dressing and serve.

    Asian Chicken Salad:

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  • Honey-Ginger Salmon

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    This salmon dish is so easy and so tasty.  It’s great for entertaining too.  The dish has been approved by our family (even the kiddos) and every guest we’ve served it to.  This recipe is adapted from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living.
    Ingredients:

    • 1/3 c. orange juice
    • 1/3 c. honey
    • 1/4 c. soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP minced garlic
    • 1/4 c. minced fresh ginger
    • 1 lb. salmon
    • Hot rice

    Directions:

    1. Marinade: in a saucepan, cook orange juice through ginger over medium heat, for 1 minute; let cool slightly.  Reserve 2/3 c. marinade.  Pour remaining 1/3 c of marinade in a zip top bag and add salmon to the bag.  Refrigerate and marinate the salmon for 15 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375.  After salmon has marinated for 15 minutes, discard the marinade and bake salmon for about 20 minutes, or until done.
    3. While salmon is cooking, cook the reserved 2/3 c. marinade over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until sauce is thick and syrupy.
    4. Serve salmon over hot rice and drizzle with the cooked sauce.

    Honey-Ginger Salmon:

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  • Quick Turkey Chili

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    This chili recipe comes from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living, and is one darn good chili! The chili went really well with the extra cheesy grilled cheese too and a tossed green salad!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP   vegetable oil
    • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1  lb.  ground turkey
    • 2  TBSP chili powder (I used 1 TBSP chili powder and 1 TBSP ancho chili powder
    • 2  tsp. ground cumin
    • 3  TBSP  tomato paste
    • 1  (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
    • 1  (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2  c.  chicken broth
    • 1  tsp.  salt
    • 1/2  tsp. pepper
    • 1/4  c.  chopped fresh cilantro
    • Garnish: sour cream

    Directions:

    1. Sauté chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
    2. Add turkey, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Garnish, if desired.

    Quick Turkey Chili:

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