Sunday, September 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cajun Chicken Pasta & French Bread

Tuesday: Taco Joes & Corn

Wednesday: Spaghetti alla Carbonara & Salad

Thursday:  Whole Wheat Buttery Crab Cakes & Potatoes

Friday: Taco Night

Saturday: General Tso's Chicken, Steamed Rice, & Egg Rolls

Sunday: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Breakfast Extras:
*Cereal Yogurt Bars
*Steel Cut Oats 

*Soft Pretzels

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Old Posts Updated with Nutritional Information

Hi!  As I have been sharing with you, I am on a quest to shrink my waist-line.  Now, I LOVE to eat GOOD food, so I find it is best if I tweak old favorites and watch portion sizes.  I have update these 3 favorites with nutritional information that I ran through the Spark People recipe builder.  Hope this helps some of you that might have tight jeans, like me!

Penne alla Vodka

My Very Favorite Pizza Crust

BBQ Meatballs

Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowl

So sorry I haven't been around much lately!  I have been trying to step up my exercising along with healthier eating and I seem to have let it cut into my blogging time.  Well, no more!  I will try to be better!  I think one of the most important ways to eat healthy is to cook your food yourself!  I have always been proud of the fact that I try hard to stay away from boxed and overly processed foods.

Now, when I say this is a healthy recipe, that doesn't mean it is fat-free and uses all non-fat fake ingredients (can you sense my bias??).  For me, healthy cooking means using GOOD stuff, in moderation.  I am not going to fill myself and my family full of chemicals instead of butter.  When I use bacon, I will use REAL pork bacon.  None of that turkey bacon (does anyone actually think that is a suitable replacement?).  In other words, I would rather eat a smaller portion of tasty food than fat-free cardboard or mystery food.

Without further ado, here is what you will need to get started:    

Simple Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowl
Serves 8

16 oz. Spaghetti Noodles
16 oz. Stir-Fry Vegetables, frozen
1 lb. Chicken Breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp. Hot Chili Oil
4 Tbsp. Canola Oil, divided
2 Tbsp. Hot Pasta Water
4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions.  During the last 3 minutes of cooking time, add the frozen vegetables.  Drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. Canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Quickly saute the chicken until browned and cooked through.  

Combine the remaining ingredients, minus the green onions, to make the sauce (soy sauce, sugar, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, canola oil, & hot pasta water).

Combine the chicken with the noodles/veggie mixture in a large serving bowl.  Pour sauce over it and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with green onions and toss again.  

Serve in a bowl with chopsticks!

Nutritional Info Per Serving:

Fat: 10.3g
Carbohydrates: 50.4g
Protein: 21.1g

Menu Plan Monday

Monday:  Simple Sesame Noodles, Chicken Breast, & Stir Fry Veggies

Tuesday:  BBQ Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, & Green Beans

Wednesday:  Penne alla Vodka & Salad

Thursday:  Panko & Herb Crusted Tilapia,  Cheddar Brushetta, & Salad

Friday:  Homemade Pizzas

Saturday:  BWW Night & Onion Strings

Sunday:  ABC Meatball Soup

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup, Updated

Recently, it has been brought to my attention (by my evil bathroom scale) that I need to start being more attentive to the number of calories that I am ingesting.  Since I already exercise plenty, I know that I will need to cut back on my goodie eating for a bit.  Since I'm sure there are others out there in the same boat, I will post my recipes with nutritional information when I figure it out for myself.  I cannot guarantee that the nutritional information is accurate, but I do my best using the Spark People recipe calculator.

Tonight I made Italian Wedding Soup, which I put on my blog some time ago.  I did tweak the recipe a bit to make it more flavorful and healthy, and I think it was even better than last time I made it.  My entire family just adores this soup.  Give it a try!  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Easy Calzones

In the same forgotten file that I discovered the Pizza Rolls, were these delicious Calzones.  How could have I forgotten to post two recipes that my family enjoyed so much?  Well, I can tell you how, they were taken in the days leading up to the first day of school, so we were very busy.  This recipe comes from one of my best friends.  I also posted her recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Dip recently and I am starting to think I will have to create an entire category on here with her delicious recipes.  

Easy Calzones

1 can (11oz.) refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough
8 oz. ground Italian Sausage
1/2 c. pizza sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 c. Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 c. Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 c. Red Onion, diced
4 oz. can Black Olives, sliced
1 c. Pizza Cheese, shredded

Place sausage, peppers, and onion in a large skillet, saute until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are crisp-tender.  Take the pizza dough our and spread it to fit cookie sheet.  Cut into 4 large rectangles.  Mix the pizza sauce and Italian herb mix with the meat/veggie mixture.  Divide the mixture amongst each dough rectangle, top each with 1/4 of the slice black olives and 1/4 c. of the shredded cheese.  Seal them shut and bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.   

Source: Jen

Menu Plan Monday

Monday:  Johnny Carino's Bowtie FestivalOlive Garden Breadsticks, & Side Salad

Tuesday:  Runzas & Veggie

Wednesday:  Italian Wedding Soup

Thursday:  Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package & Veggie

Friday:  Taco Night

Saturday: Slow Cooker Buffalo Sandwiches & Veggie

Sunday:  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

I was just browsing through some photos from last month and I found the photos of these Stuffed Pizza Rolls. I can't believe I forgot to post them!  I made them one day for my kids for lunch.  My kids are forever wanting me to buy the prepackaged pizza rolls, but I know those are so incredibly bad for them.  These might not be health food exactly, but I feel much better about serving them.  I think that they taste oh so much better too.

Here is what you will need:

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

1 roll Refrigerated Pizza Crust (thin crust)
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Pizza Toppings of you choice- I kept it simple this time with just pepperoni that I diced up per my childrens' request
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Warmed Marinara or Pizza Sauce, for dipping (I used my homemade pizza sauce)

Preheat oven according to refrigerated crust instructions, usually 400 degrees.  

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Pat or roll the dough so it is about 12" by 8".  You are going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to.  Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square, just eyeball how much.  Keep in mind that you will need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough.  Note: Do not put pizza sauce on squares!  It is for dipping!

When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully life up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings.  Pinch to make sure that each ball is sealed shut and then place them, seam side down, in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).  

Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the rolls lightly with Olive Oil and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with the Parmesan cheese.  

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Keep an eye on them!  Doughs vary, so you might even want to check them after 10 minutes.  

Serve warm with pizza sauce on the side for dipping.  


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Borscht is a true comfort food for me.  I think I can speak for many members of my family that would agree.  My grandmother made borscht often.  She made it without measuring anything, like so many cooks in her day.  I have been experimenting with it for a while now, and I decided to update my previous borscht post, because I have much improved my technique!  If you try this, let me know what you think!

Here is what you will need.  You may notice that I have coleslaw mix in the picture.  I substituted coleslaw mix for the cabbage and carrots which worked out great.  I used about 5-5 1/2 cups of coleslaw mix.

Borscht Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2-1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. onion, minced
3 Qts. water
4 c. chopped cabbage
2 small carrots, shredded
3-15 oz. cans diced beets, drained
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2-1 c. peas or green beans, fresh or frozen is fine
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (can sub fresh)
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
4 Tbsp. beef bouillon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. dill weed
Sour Cream

Heat your large pot with 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once it is nice and hot, add the beef stew meat and onion.  Quickly sear the meat and onion until browned.

Add water and bring to a boil.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until tender, about 30-45 minutes.

Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and mix in.  

In my opinion, this is even better as leftovers or after it has been sitting for a while.  The flavors just come together better!  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tortellini & Ham

Hello!  It has been a while since I shared a recipe!  Things have been very busy around here, as they always are when we are trying to establish a new routine.  Not only have the kids started school, they have all started up with new activities which is keeping us very busy.

Today I am going to share a recipe that I have been making for about 10 years.  It is one of my husband's favorites that his mother used to make for him.  The original recipe though, comes from his mom's twin sister, I believe.  This recipe is EXTREMELY rich.  I have actually made it quite a bit healthier than it was in it's original form.  Some of my changes are significantly less butter, more broccoli, and I also use some reduced-fat ingredients.  It is still very rich and delicious.

Here are the ingredients you will need to get started:

Tortellini & Ham

1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, softened
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (reduced-fat is fine)
8 oz. Cream Cheese (I used reduced-fat), softened
1 c. half & half 
2 c. grated Parmesan
20 oz. package Cheese Tortellini (I use the ones in the freezer section but dried or refrigerated are also fine)
3 c. cooked ham, diced
16 oz. frozen broccoli florets 

Cook tortellini in boiling water according to package directions.  Add frozen broccoli florets during the last minute of cooking time.  Drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine butter, seasonings, mayo, cream cheese, & half & half in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Fold in Parmesan cheese, tortellini, ham, & broccoli.

Spoon into a greased 9x13 inch casserole.  Bake for 30 minutes.  

Make Ahead Tip:  If you would like to prepare this ahead of time, you can do everything but bake it.  Cover it up and put it into the refrigerator until you are ready for dinner.  At that point you can bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hope yo are having a great Labor Day!  We are having a quiet, relaxing day around here.  It is looking like it is going to be raining all day, which is fine with me.  It is a perfect day to regroup and get organized.  Here is my menu plan for the week:

Monday: Leftover Day (Our fridge is FILLED with leftovers so we really need to clear some out)

Tuesday:  Tortellini & Ham, Salad

Wednesday:  Borscht Soup

Thursday:  Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package

Friday:  Homemade Pizza: Buffalo Chicken & Pepperoni

Saturday:  Cheesesteak Subs & Fries

Sunday:  Cheese Buttons, Sausage, & Peaches


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