Sunday, April 29, 2012

Black & Pinto Bean Enchiladas

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fiesta corn, drained
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup diced can tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp. dried cilantro

7 flour tortilla (I used 4 whole wheat shells and 3 flour shells)
1 cup Mexican cheese
1 can enchilada sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray. Combine black beans, pinto beans, corn, salsa, diced tomatoes, onion, cheese, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl. Stir until completely combined.

2. Spoon 1/7 of bean mixture into tortilla shells, roll and place fold down. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with enchilada sauce and Mexican cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from One Lovely Life

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken

All the crunch of fried chicken, without the extra calories, and a zesty sauce for a punch of flavor! 

2/3 cup light honey mustard dressing
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried dill
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine dressing, salt, pepper, and dill; remove 1/3 cup and set aside.
Coat chicken in mustard sauce, then dredge in breadcrumbs; place in prepared pan.  
Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
Drizzle remaining sauce over chicken to serve. 

*Modified from Weight Watchers

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mom's Southern-Style Banana Pudding

My mom’s banana pudding has been one of my favorite treats for practically as long as I’ve been able to eat solid foods. It’s the bring-to-a-potluck, make-for-holidays, good-day-for-a-barbecue dessert staple. The technique changes a bit depending on variables like the flavor pudding we have on hand or how many boxes of Nilla Wafers are in the cabinet, but the essential Southern-style spring-is-in-bloom flavor remains untouched.

1 pkg. banana cream pudding mix 
1 pkg. French vanilla pudding mix
4 cups milk
1 lg. container Cool Whip
2-3 bananas, sliced
1 box Nilla wafers

In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding mixes and milk; whisk until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip to pudding mixture until completely combined. Layer Nilla wafers on the bottom of a large serving bowl. Pour a layer of pudding over the top, and then add a layer of bananas. Continue layering in this fashion, ending with pudding at the top. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. 

Simple Strawberry-Balsamic Salad

Spice up a spring dinner with the simple, flavorful salad. 

Green or red leaf lettuce (or your favorite), torn into bite-sized pieces 
Balsamic dressing
Strawberries, sliced
Blue cheese crumbles
Chopped walnuts

Toss all ingredients together in desired amounts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chicken Vegetable Risotto

1 pound chicken thighs, cooked and chopped
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I used frozen chopped bell peppers)
2 cups broccoli cuts
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
parmesan cheese

1. Saute onion, green pepper, and broccoli until tender. Add rice to saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Heat chicken broth to boiling; add 1 cup of broth to rice. Cook and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed. Add chicken and cook until hot. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Recipe from 1,001 Low Fat Recipes

Quinoa Fajitas

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp. dried cilantro
Tortilla shells
Avocado, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, sour cream (for toppings)

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa, return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with fork.

2. Add black beans, lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro to quinoa. Mix until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve on tortilla shells with toppings.

Recipe from Three Many Cooks

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sock Bunny

I had the pleasure of volunteering in my daughter’s class a few weeks ago and got to help out with their adorable spring craft. Try it with your kiddos!

You will need: 
1 sock
Rubberband or string
Permanent marker
Cotton ball or pom-pom
Googly eyes
Hot glue

Fill the sock with about a cup of rice. Gather the sock together and tightly secure with a rubberband or string. Fill sock with another 1/3-1/2 cup of rice. Secure the top with rubberband or string. Cut the remaining top of sock in half to form ears. Tie a ribbon around the neck portion and trim to desired length. With hot glue, secure eyes, button nose, and cotton ball tail to the face and back of the bunny. Draw on whiskers and mouth. 

Balsamic Pasta Salad with Chicken

As a main course or side dish, this rich pasta is sure to please your family or a whole crowd!

1 pkg penne pasta, boiled per package directions 
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup minced basil
2 T brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked (Try broiling)
¼ cup grated parmesan

Prepare pasta per package instructions; drain and place in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours, until chilled.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, basil, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; pour over pasta and stir to coat. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized cubes and add to pasta(Tip: This is a good way to use up leftover chicken, but if you don’t have any on hand, try broiling raw, seasoned chicken breasts for 8-9 minutes per side). Stir in parmesan. Chill until ready to serve.

*Inspired by Life with Lissy

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa

For years, I was under the common preconceived notion that food that was good for you could not possibly taste good and was probably too expensive to make on a budget. Websites like Skinnytaste have convinced me that I was wrong. I ran across Gina’s website while blog-stalking one day and have made or been inspired by many of her recipes. They are always full of flavor, reasonably priced, and appealing to my whole family. Thanks to Gina for helping me enjoy eating better.

1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
1 lb pork tenderloin
¼ cup Sweet Red Chili Sauce
1 T honey
1 tsp Sriracha

1 large mango, peeled and diced
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T minced jalapeƱo
2 T lime juice
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, salt, and ginger. Rub evenly over pork and place tenderloin on a sprayed broiler pan. Mix chili sauce, honey, and Sriracha together in a small bowl. Brush sauce liberally over pork during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Roast pork for 40-45 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove pork from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

While pork cooks, combine salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top sliced pork with salsa for serving.

*Recipe modified from Skinnytaste

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bunny Bait

Happy Easter! I hope that everyone has a great weekend and is able to catch the Easter Bunny with this yummy snack mix. It is super easy to make and requires NO BAKING! One of the best things about this snack mix is that you can add in or take out any ingredients that you wish. If I were to make this again I think I would replace the popcorn with peanuts, however that would take away the "cotton tail" look of the bait. Recipe is from the blog Bloom Designs.

2 cups of rice chex mix
2 cups of pretzel sticks
2 cups of popcorn (I used pre popped kettle corn so it would not go stale)
1 cup white chocolate chips
spring sprinkles
Spring M&Ms

Spread the chex, pretzels and popcorn out on a cookie sheet or in a cake pan and mix together. Melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips with about one tsp of vegetable oil in the micro wave and drizzle over the mix. With a spoon mix the chocolate into the mix. Add sprinkles to the top of the mix and let the mix cool/set. Once the chocolate has hardened break up the  mix and add a desired amount of M&Ms.

DIY Moby Wrap

This DIY Moby wrap was fairly easy to make and it was fun to personalize the colors. There are several differences I have noticed between the DIY version and the actual version that might make it harder to use this wrap for all of the different "holds" that an actual Moby can do. Please make sure you review the blog this came from, her instructional video and the Moby website for instructions on how to properly use the wrap. You can find the tutorial on the blog A Load of Craft.

I used 5.5 yards of jersey knit material and a 22 x 22 inch piece of fabric for my wrap. Right now the wrap will not tie in the front but that could be because I am 39 weeks pregnant! I can't wait for the baby to get here to try it out. If I remember I will try to post an update to let you know how the wrap is working! The hardest part for me was cutting the 5.5 yards all the same width. I think I got it fairly even in the end!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crockpot Honey-Sesame Chicken

Craving some flavor? Try this simple Crockpot meal that’s bursting with taste and tempered with the perfect amount of spice. It’ll lure your family to the kitchen with heavenly smells.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
1 T canola oil
1 T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 T cornstarch
2 T water
Sesame seeds

Trim chicken thighs and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker; season both sides with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oils, garlic, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Remove chicken from the pot and shred with two forks. Combine cornstarch with water and stir into the hot liquid. Return shredded chicken to the pot, stir into thickened sauce, and and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice and garnish with additional sesame seeds.

*Recipe modified from Table for Two