Harvest Stew (ala @pghfoodbank)

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Last week while at BlogMob, I got to taste the delicious Harvest Stew (recipe above) that was being demonstrated to patrons. It smelled AMAZING and tasted even better.

On Monday night, we made this for dinner. Yup, I cooked collards and didn’t do a bad job of it.

Since tomorrow is the first day of fall, you should try it, too!

Buffalo Chicken Couscous and Cheese

In my pursuit to lose weight, there have been a few things I’ve had to put aside in exchange for deliciously natural foods. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t crave delicious foods (like while writing this blog about a recipe, I really want some ice cream, a bad previous-life nighttime habit). One of my favorite homemade recipes was my buffalo mac n’ cheese. Even with using whole wheat pasta, I couldn’t bring myself to sacrifice those precious calories. So, enter my brilliant idea … Buffalo Chicken Couscous and Cheese

Last weekend, we took a trip to Brookville and had a chance to do some bulk shopping. When I saw couscous for just a ‘lil over $1 for just a ‘lil over a pound, I pounced. I can’t buy bulk couscous at my local grocery store, and I don’t always get to go out to the store that I can buy it, so I chose to snag a bag while on this trip. Without a plan for it, I let it sit on my brain for a few days before I got to thinking I could substitute the couscous for the macaroni! And just like that, I was craving my old favorite.

With no chicken in the house, I picked up a rotisserie chicken. This is my favorite because it’s already cooked, and Greg always pulls it for me. Win, win…I don’t have to mess with raw chicken OR bones, and we usually get 2-3 meals out of one chicken.

buffalo chicken couscous

Buffalo Chicken Couscous and Cheese

Into the pan went half the chicken, with about 3/4 c buffalo sauce (we love it spicy) like this one, Sweet Baby Ray’s –affiliate link). Once it was nice and buffalo’ed, in went a cup of couscous to brown and then a cup of water to “make it rise”. Once everything looked good and mixed, I tossed in 3/4 cup cheddar. I let this bake in a casserole dish for about 20 minutes on 425 and called it dinner. Don’t ask me the serving size or calories, all I knew was it was 100 times healthier than my other version, and just as tasty.

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Ingredients

1/2 of a Rotisserie Chicken (cooked and shredded)

3/4 c. Buffalo Sauce (like this one, Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 c. uncooked couscous (yields about 3 c. cooked)

1 c. water

3/4 cup cheddar

Steps

Saute the chicken in the buffalo sauce. Cook the couscous (see package instructions – though I highly suggest doing it in a sauce pan (this one, available on Amazon, will revolutionize your kitchen – with pour spots, a straining cover and a stay cool handle). Add to the chicken in a casserole dish (our go to is a Pyrex one with a lid for the leftovers, then add the cheese. Bake in a 425-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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Disclaimer: Posts on my blog may contain affiliate links. This helps me bring a few extra groceries into the house. 🙂

BBQ Chicken Crescent Pizza

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One of my favorite late night haunts in college was half price at Fuel n’ Fuddle. There was this pizza, the hen?, and it had BBQ, chicken, and corn. The other night, I decided to give my own version a try.

Leftover chicken isn’t a term in our house. We have been in the habit of buying a rotisserie chicken each week or so JUST to use it as “leftovers”. So, Mr. Burgher pulled the chicken and I added BBQ sauce. I peeled a can of crescent rolls and laid them in a rectangle on a cookie sheet. I covered that in 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce then spread out the cheddar. This was topped with BBQ Chicken, onions, and corn, then in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

A yummy, quick dinner. It basically serves one healthy eating Mama and one hungry Mr. Burgher. “It was pretty sweet,” said the Mister, “and really good”.

If you’d like to try it, here’s the “recipe”:

BBQ Chicken Crescent Pizza

1 tube of Crescent Rolls
1 c. Shredded chicken
5-6 Tbsp BBQ sauce (to taste)
1 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/8 large onion, diced
1/2 c. Frozen corn

Make into a pizza as described avove, baking it for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy!

What to Do With Leftovers (Christmas Style)

If you are like us, you open the fridge and are staring at a big ‘ol hunk of ham and wondering, what in the world am I going to do with that? There are only so many ham sandwiches one can down before it gets boring. Tonight, I want to share with you what we did with some of our leftover ham (and I hope in return, you will tell me what to do with the rest of it!)

When I planned meals, I wanted stir fry tonight. It is full of veggies, and definitely something we needed after all the goodies. Mr. Burgher’s mom affirmed it would be good as stir fry, and I got to thinking, it would be great to add in some pineapple with the veggies. Here’s how it went down:

First, I put the ham in the wok to brown.

Next, drain and add the crushed pineapple. Let the juices cook off–it seasons the ham nicely.

Add in the frozen veggies, and let this cook about 10 minutes, or until brown. Toss in the teriayki sauce and let it cook through (about 4-5 minutes).

Finally, serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Hawaiian-Style Stir Fry

Several slices of leftover ham (cubed)
2 cans of crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups of frozen stir fry veggies (I used a Kyoto Blend from Market Day–they are a fundraising site that our daughter’s school participates in)
1-2 cups frozen broccoli
3 Tablespoons Teriayki Sauce

Serve over brown rice (we added salsa to the end result just because we love spicy). Have to say, this was quite delicious, and could end up being tomorrow’s meal, too!

This recipe was inspired by the one found here, but I made it my own way without the sauce they make, which would probably taste like sweet and sour sauce.

A New Favorite: Corn Casserole

It’s about time for me to share with you one of my new favorite recipes. For Thanksgiving, I made Skinny Taste’s Make-Over Corn Casserole. It was a hit, and will definitely be part of our Christmas meal. Healthy, yet oh, so good. I can’t help but demand that you give it a try.

‘lil Miss A helping Mama out…the only bad thing about this casserole is that I didn’t make it with dairy free alternatives!

A New Dining Experience

Disclaimer–this post is a personal experience review of a restaurant and is not a paid or prompted advertisement…just my personal thoughts and recommendations!

One of the things I like most about going away on vacation is trying new things. We were tandem driving to Virginia with my parents on a Sunday afternoon and left the dinner choice up to them as to where we would eat dinner. They told us to get off in Woodbridge, Virginia and meet them at a place called Zoes Kitchen. We stepped inside the “fast casual” restaurant and took a peak at the menu board while my parents used the restroom. I wasn’t really sure it was a place they’d love–the dishes didn’t offer our typical “meat and potatoes” options–but we decided to stick around and give it a shot.

The first thing I always do is worry about what ‘lil Miss A and her peanut/milk allergy will allow her to eat. The menu led me straight to a “roll up” which was basically a chicken taco and I’d ask for no cheese. Easy enough!

Next, I worried about my not so exotic palate husband, but he was pretty excited about some of the options on the menu, so I started to decide what I might want. Frankly, I wanted it all. Our eating habits as of late have sort of changed as we are trying to make healthier choices, and I was pretty excited about the “Mediterranean-inspired” vegetable rich dishes. While I was struggling with narrowing down my ideas, my parents had decided what they wanted.

I asked Mr. Burgher about what he would do–I was torn between the Spinach Roll-ups with Chicken and the Veggie Kabobs (following an AMAZING experience with a portobello mushroom at Carraba’s in Denver). He threw a loop in my choices by telling me he was between the Spinach Roll-Ups and the Chicken Pita Pizza (which came with a side Greek salad–yay, veggies!). I read the description and knew I’d love the pizza, too. Our decision ended up being to split the pizza and roll-ups and get Fresh Squeezed Limeade to drink.

Can I just say that this food was amazing? For the fast-casual atmosphere and being an un-ordinary choice for us, I was VERY pleased. Part of me worried that we might be hungry before we went to bed, but that wasn’t a problem. ‘lil Miss A loved her roll-up, especially getting to dip it in her sauce. The spinach in our roll-ups was tasty and perfectly complimented by the chicken and feta. The pizza? Something I am going to make at home (but know for darn sure I won’t be able to completely recreate the amazingness)! My mom also got the roll-ups and my dad’s turkey sandwich with slaw hit the spot, too. As for the limeaide, I really wish I had been able to get a refill (but I don’t like to drink too much while on the road).

The only thing that I regret about this stop is that I didn’t allow myself to indulge in a house-baked chocolate chip cookie (but I felt like it would negate the goodness that I was eating at the time). Oh, and that there isn’t a location closer to us! Definitely will stop back next time I get a chance.

Perfect Pesto

Sunday was a perfect day and we spent most of it out by the pool. When it came to dinner, I wanted something quick and easy. I had a huge bag of spinach in the fridge and for some reason, I wanted to eat most of it for dinner. The problem I have with spinach (in a salad, for instance) is that it has a “fuzzy” feel to it. I am a huge texture person, so that’s major for me. If I taste even the littlest bit, I throw the bag out (awful!). So before I got that far, I got an idea to try to make pesto with it.

First, I took 2 tablespoons of EVOO into a pan and added a tablespoon of chopped garlic, letting that brown up.

Next, it was time to add that glorious bag of spinach. It took almost the whole bag, and we honestly could’ve had a lot more added in!

‘Cause see? It cooked down to this.

To make it more sauce like, I added in 2 tablespoons of margarine. It seemed “stringy”, so I felt like I needed to “process” it a little more. Into the small food processor it went, plus some Romano cheese and Italian herbs.

After a few chops, it got creamy and more like sauce.

It was less than I expected, but plenty for Mr. Burgher and I to split for our pasta servings. We took it from the pan and put it on a mix of whole wheat and regular pasta.

It was quite the perfect mixture for us, and really hit the spot. Next time you crave pasta, why don’t you give this one a try?

“Perfect Pesto”

2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 Tablespoon choppped garlic
1 bag of fresh spinach
2 Tablespoons margarine
1 Tablespoon Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
1 Tablespoon Italian herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro)

Be ready to say “yum”!

Chicken Stir Fry

I promised you Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posts, but on Friday I was too exhausted to blog. On Wednesday night, I decided to try to make healthy stir “fry”. Using brown rice was my goal, but it takes way too long to cook and I was already late. Instead, I chose to use white rice, just used less of it on my plate. While the rice steamed in our handy dandy rice cooker, I threw some very delicious chicken egg rolls (4 for under 200 calories, win!) into the oven and got to “frying”.

Into the wok went Pam cooking spray, a can of chicken breast, and a bag of frozen stir fry veggies. I let that simmer (covered) for about 10 minutes on high.

Since sodium is not one my dietary concerns, I was ok to add in 2 servings of soy sauce to give the dish some flavor. The kitchen smelled absolutely delicious. I prepped my plate with the rice and the egg rolls. They look fried, but I promise you that they were baked and amazing. I didn’t dip them in anything because I didn’t need to!

And finally, the stirfry itself!

With the egg rolls, I had 2 servings total, 638 calories. BAM!

Enchiladas

It is no surprise that I am a huge fan of all things spicy (have you read about my experience with the Ghost Pepper Marshmallow?). So, I am pretty excited to share with you a Mexican dish I made without a recipe the other night–Enchiladas. I will try to tell you step by step what went into making it, but I really just started grabbing things and throwing them together. I really feel that’s the best way to cook (shh….don’t tell my nutrionist!).

1. In a frying pan, heat a can of chicken (or shredded chicken from a rotisserrie chicken from your favorite GrocEry store *hint hint*) in a little bit of EVOO.

2. While it is heating, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray Pam into a 9×13 baking dish.

3. Once the chicken is heated, toss in some hot sauce, a can of corn, and a most of a can of crushed tomatoes (save enough to throw some on top). Cook until everything is nice and tender.

4. Scoop the contents of the pan into burritos (they sell some that are sized specifically for Enchiladas) and sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of the chicken mixture. Roll the burritos up and place into the baking dish.

5. Cover the top of the enchiladas with the rest of the crushed tomatoes, more cheese, more hot sauce, and some jalapenos (or hot peppers).

6. Place the dish into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. I broiled for 3 minutes at the end to “crisp” the cheese…I have to admit, I also love burnt cheese. If you don’t, I suggest not broiling!

7. Let the dish cool for a few minutes, then dig in and enjoy! (I suggest more hot sauce!)

Yum!