Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scrambled Omelette

1 egg
1 T red bell pepper
1 T cilantro
1 T pepper jack cheese

This has been my favorite breakfast lately. I dice about a quarter of the pepper and a pinch of cilantro, then keep it in a baggie for the next few days to use. 

I scramble the egg then put all the goods in while the egg is still runny. 

I know this isn't a new invention or anything but it is mmmmmm so yummy. The crunch of the pepper, the yummy cilantro, then the spicy pepper jack? Delicious. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spaghetti Pie

This was good! My kids really liked it too. I used less pasta bc I always think she has too much pasta, not enough goods. This amount fit perfectly in my pampered chef dish mom gave us a few years back.

12 oz thin spaghetti. (I used 8-9 oz)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey (I used 91% lean gb)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 16-ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened (I used the Neufchâtel cream cheese stuff..1/3 less fat stuff)
  • 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  1. Lightly coat a deep 9 or 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente according to package directions. While the noodles boil, heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef or turkey, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up the meat, until the meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the excess grease, if any. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano. Simmer the sauce over medium or medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. When the noodles are done cooking, drain and return to the pot. Immediately stir in the cream cheese and toss the noodles by lightly lifting them up and over with tongs until the cream cheese is mostly melted. Stir in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Toss until the noodles are evenly coated. Stir in 2 cups of the red sauce. Keep the remainder of the red sauce warm on the stove.
  4. Scrape the noodles into the prepared pie plate and using a flat spatula, press the noodles evenly into the dish so they are tightly pressed together and evenly flat across the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese across the top.
  5. Bake the spaghetti pie for 20-22 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly and the cheese is golden on top. Let the dish rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with remaining red sauce.

Correct me if I'm wrong:

Entire pie=2280 kcal
1/8 of pie = 285 kcal
1/4 cup of sauce = 50 kcal

This is with my changes.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

So, I love cut oats, but don't make them as often as I'd like bc I'm too impatient to wait for them to cook in the mornings. If i do make them, I make enough at one time to last a few mornings. Anyway, I decided to try overnight oats and I LOVE THEM...Even better than just making them fresh in the morn. There are a few variations that I found, but this is the one I mostly used and it was perfect. Super fluffy, but still a bite to them in the middle. --- original recipe (I halved it and don't toast them in oil either).

This much lasted me 3 mornings + Andy and the kids ate some in there too:

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup cut oats
1/2-1 cup milk

Combine oats and water. Bring to rolling boil. Remove from heat, cover with tight fitting lid. Let sit over night. In morning, uncover and place over medium heat. Add milk to desired consistency. I think I added 1/4-1/2 cup of milk the first morning and just add a little more each morning to reheat.

My toppings include any of the following: honey, almonds or walnuts or peanut butter, bananas or blueberries. I just started adding vanilla extract to them too. Yum! This morning I added 1/2 scoop of protein powder. It made it taste like a shake to me, so I didn't really like it, but Andy did.

Sometimes I cook quinoa in with the cut oats. My friend was telling me the other day that when hers are about done cooking, she whisks in a few egg whites really quick. She said you can only see small white specks of egg, but I guess it makes them really fluffy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mary's Last Five

1. Country Ribs
2. Lettuce Wraps- We don't do the wraps any more. We just do it like a salad. Easier to eat, and I don't have to try to find Butter Lettuce.
3. Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin that Net posted with twice baked potatoes
4. Tikka Masala and Naan the leftovers are even better
5. Spinach Salad Wraps. These are great. And pretty healthy. I found them from a Better Homes and Garden magazine a few years ago.

Spinach Salad Wraps

Prep 35 mins ∙ Cook 6 servings ∙ Source


  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 ounce fresh baby spinach (about 5 cups) (I pile on as much as I can fit)
  • 6 inches flour tortillas (I like the kind you buy that you can cook yourself)
  • 6 mozzarella cheese, torn in half (Or any other cheese you want. Provalone is good too)
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 bacon, crisp cooked and drained (optional)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  • Deli turkey


1. For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, sour cream, sugar, parsley, salt, garlic, and dry mustard until combined. Whisk in the olive oil; set dressing aside.

2. Divide spinach among flour tortillas. Top with cheese, mushrooms, bacon, red onion, and sliced eggs. Drizzle with dressing.

3. Roll up tortillas. If necessary, secure with toothpicks. If desired, wrap in waxed paper and cut in half to serve.

Country Ribs

I don't know if this is on here, but I thought I would add it. I love the sauce. We eat them with roasted potatoes most days. I got the recipe from Kim. Is this how you cook yours Kim? I bet you could crock pot this baby too.

  • 3/4 c. Brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T. Dry mustard
  • 2 t. Salt
  • 1/4 t. Pepper
  • 1 t. Ginger
  • 8 oz. canned tomato sauce
  • 1 c. Orange juice (add extra if needed)
  • 2 T. Minced onion
  • 3 T. Parsley
  • 2 T. Soy sauce
  • 5 lb. country style pork ribs- These are boneless pork ribs. They'll say "country style" on the package. I've done ribs with the bone in too and it works. 


Cook in Dutch oven at 250° 3-4 hrs.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quinoa with Kale, Raisins and Chickpeas

I have been trying some healthy recipes - maybe we need a tag for super healthy food. . .  I haven't made this, but tried it as a sample.  It was yummy.  But deep down I still just want a big plate of nachos!

Quinoa with Kale, Raisins & Chickpeas
2/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
1/3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 19 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon good quality sea salt
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
nutritional yeast (optional)
chopped walnuts (optional)

Serves 4
Calories: 344 per serving

Fiber 8.3g

Place the quinoa and broth in a large pot, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. In the last couple minutes add the kale on top and stir. Cover and let cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
While waiting for the quinoa to cook, heat a large pan over medium heat. Heat the coconut oil, add garlic and chili flakes. Sauté 2 minutes until golden and fragrant. Add chickpeas and lemon zest and cook until warm, about 2 minutes. Add the quinoa, kale, raisins and salt and stir to mix well. Add the cherry tomatoes last, and stir over heat for 1 minute. Serve with some nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. 

Lentil soup

My kids liked it the first night but wouldn't really eat the leftovers.  It was good, it needed some sausage or something in it.

Lentil Stew
Serves 3
Calories: 345 per serving      
Fiber 13.2g
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s 5 cups vegetable broth
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cups brown lentils
5 cups water
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; add garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and potato. Stir in half the seasoning mixture and soy sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes. Add 5 cups of water, the broth, tomatoes, and lentils. Bring to boil then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add remaining seasoning mixture, and cook for 20 min longer or until lentils are soft. 

Potato Cheese Soup

Potato Cheese Soup

prep 6-8 servings ∙ source


  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 6 diced potatoes
  • 1 rib celery finely chopped
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 grated medium onion
  • 1 pint cream
  • 2 cups grated cheese


Cook all vegetables in broth until tender.
Thicken vegetable mixture with flour and water (3-4 Tbs flour with a little water).
Add 1 pint cream and 2 cups grated cheese.
Season with salt, pepper and parsley flakes, to taste.

Kim's last 5

1. Lentil soup
2. Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Pasta sauce  - this had potential.  I didn't do the eggplant and I couldn't find zucchini so I used broccoli and cauliflower.  It was too bell pepperish for our family and I think it would have been good with the eggplant.
3. Chili and cornbread
4. Baked Southwest Egg Rolls
5.  Potato Cheese Soup

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

baked fish sticks with tartar sauce

My neighbor brought us some fresh halibut, so I made these.  I think they are great.  Pretty simple, and I bet you could find halibut at costco and it'd be even easier, no skin to remove.  All my kids liked it, Morgan and Ginger loved it.  Halibut is soooo mild.
1 lb white fish such as cod, halibut, or tilapia
1 Tbs canola oil (I didn't use this, I just cooked it on parchment)
1-2 eggs
6 Tbs flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C unseasoned breadcrumbs
Tartar Sauce
1/2 C mayonaise (to lighten this up, I used 1 tbs of mayo and the rest greek yogurt and we liked it, I think it worked out to be about 20 cal/tbs).
2 Tbs sour cream
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 Tbs finely minced onion
1 T minced dill pickle
1 pinch seasoned salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Tartar Sauce: Mix all tartar sauce ingredients and stir well to combine. Chill for at least one hour before serving. (The longer the better, make ahead if you can!)
Fish Sticks: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush canola oil on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Crack egg(s) into a shallow dish and beat lightly (start with one egg and crack another if you run out). In a separate shallow dish combine flour, seasoned salt, pepper, and paprika. In one more shallow dish combine panko and bread crumbs.
Cut fish into sticks about 3-4 inches long and 1/2-1 inch tall.
Working with a few pieces of fish at at time, dredge first in flour and then shake off excess. Then dip each piece in the beaten egg, and finally the bread crumb mixture. Make sure all sides are well coated with bread crumbs and then place fish on the baking sheet.
When all pieces are on baking sheet, place in oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with tartar sauce for dipping.

Friday, January 10, 2014

sauteed sugar snap peas--easy side dish

thought I'd share a super easy side dish we like.  I love sugar snap peas raw, but sometimes with dinner you just feel like a warm veggie.  There's a restaurant Jeff and I used to eat at (cannot remember where), that always served sugar snap peas sautéed in butter and topped with salt and pepper.  They are really yummy, and take about 5 minutes.

Melt butter in pan (you really don't need much.  Last night I did a tsp, but it could've used less and still been good).  add peas (I'm lazy and don't wash them.  I know lots of people don't trust the pre washed veggies, but I don't ever feel like washing).  Toss them in and season with salt and pepper.  stir 3-5 minutes until they are bright green.  Should still be crunchy.

They are great.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

lunch salad

I'm sure you have all had this salad, but here's a reminder, I like to have this one for a low cal option.

Here's what I put on it, but feel free to add whatcha like.

Lettuce or spinach
feta or blue or gorgonzola (don't go crazy with cheese or your low cal salad won't be low cal anymore)
fruit, anything--apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, today I used pomegranate seeds
nuts, I usually use pine nuts, just a few.  Easy, no chopping, but almonds and walnuts are good too, even pecans.
hard boiled egg.  I like to use 2.  Don't skip this, or you will get hungry.  I usually only use 1/2-1 yolk.  I used to only do whites, but if I add some yolk I stay full longer

top with poppy seed dressing.  I prefer mine homemade.   If I am calorie counting, or trying to drop pounds, I always measure my dressing.  I usually use about 1 tablespoon.

here's a recipe:
Poppy Dressing (I always half this recipe)
3/4 to 1 cup olive or canola oil
½ cup raspberry wine vinegar (this is hard to find.  I used red wine vinegar for a long time, but I just recently found it again.  It really is yum with the raspberry)
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. poppy seeds
¼ cup green onions (optional)

To make this an easy option for lunch, I hard boil about 3 days worth of eggs.  I also cut up a whole bunch of lettuce or buy the spring mix at the store.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jamie's last 5

These are the last five that I can remember. I need to go to the store. I've been making stuff with what I got lately, so I don't really remember what we've had.

Taco Soup. I love taco soup. So easy and so good. And healthy. (1cup=145 kcal)
Grilled chicken with roasted red pepper sauce/pasta. From Pioneer Woman. It was ok.
Creamy Chicken Taquitos. Mel's.
Pasta alfredo with chicken and veggies. Mel's. I think Mary posted it on here too once.
Tomato Soup.

I'm going grocery shopping this week. Here's my upcoming menu items (in no particular order)...just in case you want some ideas:

Pot Roast + roasted potatoes and veggies.
Smothered Pork Chops + ?veg and brown rice. Mom introduced me to these. SOOO good. I leave out the bacon because I hate dealing with bacon. Costco has really good pork chops. I've always meant to do a post for these.
Pasta Fagioli.
Sloppy Joes + salad.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos (never tried these, but Nettie you said you liked them).
Spaghetti Pie (never tried this) + ???. This looks fun.
Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake (never tried this, but looks really easy) + quinoa, roast broccoli. This looks easy and good enough.
White Chicken Chili. Never made this, but had it at Kelli's and it was good.

I'm also going to make homemade refried beans. I never use them, but if I make my own, maybe I will. Plus, my kids will just eat them plain with cheese on top I'm sure. Easy lunch.

Kellis last five

1. Mac and cheese too! Jim requested no weird stuff in it, so no cauliflower. 
2. Cafe rio for New Years in Fallon. 
3. Breakfast casserole. I used leftover Christmas ham and it was yum. 
4. Potato tacos. Always. 
5. Rick Bayless tortilla soup
I'm gonna keep going...
6. Hawaiian haystacks
7. I'm making butternut squash and chicken and quinoa soup tomorrow. Can't wait. 
8. Chipotle chicken and roasted garlic, lemon juice, and parmesean broccoli. 
9. Creamy chicken soup. Avery always requests that. Actually i might make that tomorrow. I haven't in a while so it will make her happy. 
10. Popcorn and fruit and dip. Dip = two key lime yogurts, a brick of cream cheese, a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt. 

calling all recipes

Come On People, there's got to be something new you've made and love.

I challenge you to list the last 5 meals you made (new blog post or comment).
1.  Pasta Fagoli
2.  Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin
3.  Turkey Sandwiches
4.  Macaroni and Cheese, homemade (I always substitute half the noodles with roasted cauliflower, it has been life changing for me.  I no longer dread mac and cheese when my kids ask for it).
5.  slow cooker parm chicken.  ( I recommend NOT cooking this as long as it says).  I say 3 hours max on low.  This one is so good, I want to put it back on my menu right away.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Breakfast Casserole

from Our Best Bites

4 c. Southern/country-style hash browns (cubes), completely thawed (if they’re not thawed, they won’t cook correctly)
1 12-oz. package bacon
1 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 eggs
1 c. milk*
about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
about 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
*For high altitudes, reduce milk to 2/3 cup and sauté the potatoes in rendered bacon grease until partially cooked before baking.
Begin cooking bacon.  While the bacon is cooking, place the potatoes in a 9×13″ baking dish. Mix the cheeses together and sprinkle it over the potatoes. When the bacon is done cooking, drain it on a paper towel and reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Cook the onions in the drippings for 2-3 minutes or until they’re tender and fragrant. Spread the onions over the cheese mixture and then sprinkle everything with the crumbled bacon.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and, whisking constantly, pour the egg mixture evenly over the potato mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 7-8 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350.  Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly but not brown. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with fresh fruit.

We had this Christmas morning with cinnamon rolls (from a can) and fruit. It is perfect and easy because all the prep is done the night before (and it's easy prep!). I also used left over ham instead of bacon on another night for dinner.

I love a meal that is prepped ahead of time, then whipped out to heat just in time for the hectic hours preceding dinner.

Perfect Frosting

6 T Flour
 1 C milk (whole milk is best, but I use non-fat when it’s all I have and it’s actually fine)

 1 C real butter (I prefer salted, but you can use also unsalted and add salt to taste)
 1 C sugar (that’s granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
 2 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring with a rubber spatula, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan.   Continue to cook until mixture has the consistency of thick pudding or paste.

Put  mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. As it’s cooling, feel free to stir it occasionally to speed up the process and keep it from forming a crust on top.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer if you have one, instead of the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Mixture will separate and look messy, keep beating!  Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, about 7-8 minutes, but time varies.  Take a sample of frosting between your fingers; frosting is done when light and fluffy and sugar granules are dissolved.

From Our Best Bites

ps I changed the numbers on here to double their original recipe. This frosting will forever remind me of Ashley and Kailyn's fancy cupcakes they brought to the new years eve party, 2013-2014.