Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Broccoli

Swedish Meatballs

Ah, Swedish meatballs.  What a satisfying meal these make.  They are definitely a European flavor.  I want to say it’s because of the garlic glove that goes in it, but so do regular meatballs.  So I’m not quite sure where that flavor comes from.  Well, wherever it does come from, I don’t care, because European flavors make me feel like home again and I welcome any of these scrumptious dishes.  I found this recipe on emeals when I was subscribed to it a while ago, but the funny thing is, I made it slightly unhealthy because I’m using beef instead of turkey, BUT, it’s LEAN beef, so I’m ultimately not going to feel that bad about my choices!

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Broccoli

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper (divided into 1/4 tsp each, plus extra dash for broccoli)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 12 oz. pkg uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, minced garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.
  • Heat EVOO in a large deep skillet over medium heat; brown meatballs for about 8 to 10 minutes or until done.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • To the same skillet, add beef broth and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 pepper; scrape pan to loosen browned bits.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water; add to skillet.
  • Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Return meatballs to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until meatballs are hot.  Stir in sour cream and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
  • Cook pasta according to directions.  Add broccoli to pasta during the last 5 minutes.
  • Drain pasta and broccoli separately.  Add butter and salt and pepper to broccoli.

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

What’s more fun than having some good friends over in the summertime and enjoying good food?  I don’t know about you, but I happen to really, really like shrimp.  And I’ve been really, really craving it lately.  This recipe is quick and easy, so that makes it a perfect appetizer on a hot day!  I found the recipe in Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes.  Yum!

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Oil or melted butter for grilling
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley (leaves and some stems)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Preheat a grill pan on medium-high.  Toss shrimp with just enough oil or butter to coat lightly, then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Grill shrimp until they just curl and are translucent, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.  Squeeze lime juice over the shrimp and serve warm or at room temperature with dip.
  • For the pesto, combine the cilantro, parsley, almonds, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add about 1/3 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.  Add the salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Serve immediately with the grilled shrimp.

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

Summer Vegetabls with Sausage and Potatoes

Summer is here and I think it’s time for a refreshingly light meal.  I found this delicious recipe over at skinnytaste.com and am so glad I did.

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

  • 1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 14 oz Italian chicken sausage, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of the knife
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb such as thyme)
  • 2 cups zucchini, 1/2 inch thick and quartered

Directions

  • Heat a large, deep non-stick skillet on high and add EVOO.  Add potatoes and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Once the potatoes start to sizzle, reduce heat to low; place lid on pan and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent potatoes from burning.  Remove from heat; let sit 5 minutes with lid still on.  Set potatoes aside on a dish.
  • Heat the same skillet on medium-heat and add the sausage to it.  Saute the sausage and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until browned.  Season the chopped vegetables with salt and pepper.  Add onions, peppers, garlic and rosemary to the skillet and stir until vegetables are slightly browned.  Add zucchini until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Return potatoes back to skillet and mix everything up well.  Add salt and pepper as needed.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.

 

Chicken with Lemon and Thyme Pan Sauce

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Here’s another recipe I found in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook.  I made a few tweaks to it to make it more custom to my taste.  And oooooh my goodness, this was SO good!

I opted for about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice versus the 2 teaspoons and am so glad I did because it adds just a little bit more of that lemon flavor.  I also cooked my chicken differently because I’m not a fan of just pan frying chicken.  I enjoy throwing it in the oven for a few minutes after the pan fry.

Chicken with Lemon and Thyme Pan Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallot or onion
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut up
  • Juice from half of fresh lemon (2 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp snipped fresh thyme

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pre-heat the oven to 430 degrees.
  • For the chicken, clean it by running it under water for a little bit, and bringing it to your chicken only cutting board, and cut away any fat pieces.  Pat it dry and sprinkle both sides of chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.  Place chicken in a glass pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • In the same skillet the chicken was cooked in, add the vegetable broth and onion; scrape up any chicken bits from the bottom of the skillet into the sauce.  Bring to boil.  Boil gently, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.  Reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Stir in whipping cream.  Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until butter melts after each addition.  Sauce should be slightly thickened.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.  Serve sauce over chicken.DSC01092

Chicken Parmigiana

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I found this classic recipe for chicken parmigiana in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook that I love so much!  Sometimes you just want to go back to the classics, ya know?

Chicken Parmigiana

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Dash of black better
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • For sauce, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.  Stir in basil at the last minute.  Set aside and keep warm.
  • For the chicken, place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly to about 1/4 inch thick.  Discard plastic wrap.
  • In a shallow bowl, stir together bread crumbs, 3 tbsp of the Parmesan cheese, and the oregano.  In a second bowl, stir together the egg and milk.  Di[p chicken into egg mixture and into crumb mixture to coat.
  • In a very large skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden.  Transfer chicken to platter.
  • Spoon sauce over chicken.  Top with mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese.  Let stand about 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Fiesta Chicken and Rice Bowl

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I was looking for a healthy meal to bring to work for the week and stumbled upon this great recipe from julieseatsandtreats.com.  Instead of making it in the crock pot, however, I made the rice on the stove because it’s quicker for me to do it that way.

Fiesta Chicken and Rice Bowl

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/2 cup quesco fresco, crumbled
  • 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHICKEN

  • Clean your chicken by running it under water for a little bit, bring it to your chicken only cutting board, and cut away any fat pieces
  • Place the chicken in a pot and add cold water to the pot until it’s about halfway full
  • Add ½ tsp salt to water, then cook for 15 minutes
  • Take chicken out with tongs and place on a clean surface and shred it with one hand holding the chicken down with your tongs and a fork in the other hand actually doing the shredding

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place a large skillet on the stove on medium high heat and add EVOO
  • Add the chopped yellow onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent
  • Add the white rice and cook for about 30 seconds to one minute
  • Add the enchilada sauce, chopped green chilies, chicken broth, cumin, and salt
  • Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium low and cover the pan with the lid.  Let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice has soaked up all of the liquid and it no longer looks crunchy
  • Top with the pico de gallo, queso fresco crumbles, avocado, and lime

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Turkey Taco Salad

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This salad is perfect for a full work week of healthy goodness.  It’s got the veggies, protein, and flavor to make you forget that you’re eating a salad.  If this salad didn’t have the protein, I would be very sad and would be getting an order of a sandwich and fries instead at the cafe downstairs.  Since everything is so healthy in this meal, I don’t feel so bad about the dressing that goes in it at the end.  You can always swap it out with something healthier, so that’s no problem!

Turkey Taco Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp southwest seasoning
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 Romaine lettuce heart, shredded
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • Southwest chipotle dressing

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat, adding ground turkey, minced garlic, southwest seasoning, and salt and pepper.  Cook until meat has browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk together lime juice and garlic salt until blended, then gradually add to skillet.
  • In a separate bowl, add lettuce, turkey, avocado and tomato, drizzling with dressing.DSC00812

Individual Chicken Pot Pies (Healthy)

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Hey Guys!  I know, I know, I’m just the worst.  My last post was in January and it’s already the end of the year now, trying to pick up where I left off.  Who does that?  Me!

I do apologize.  School has been insane.  I’m about finished with this semester – I’ve only got 1 1/2 months left, and then I take a two month vacation, and then it’s my LAST semester!  Woo hoo!!  I’m so excited!  What am I going to do with all of that free time?!

Since it’s been so difficult for me to add cooking to my list of responsible adult things to do while in school (and working full time…gotta get as much sympathy as I can here), I haven’t been eating well.  In fact, oh my gosh, I’ve been eating so poorly lately.  I’ve gained quite a bit of weight, my skin hasn’t been doing so hot, I don’t feel great, and my credit card is HURTING from how much fast food I’ve put on it!  I’m so embarrassed.  BUT I am getting back into the swing of things now.  Scott and I just moved to an awesome apartment in an awesome part of town, which has an awesome gym!  I attempted that and since I’m so out of shape right now, I couldn’t hang.  I want to start cleaning up my diet first at least, taking baby steps, and then I’ll be able to respect myself a little more and get to the physical work!

So here we are, let’s start off with a DELICIOUS healthy chicken pot pie!  Yes, healthy and delicious can co-exist.  I kid you not, you guys, this is both tasty and good for you.  I don’t get how, but it just works.  So many recipes out there call for cream of chicken and I’m like WHAT?  But you don’t even need it.  All you need to do is to thicken up the sauce with some flour and oh my gosh, voila!  It gives it that consistency you’re looking for.  Wow…knowing that you can eat this dish and not feel guilty afterwards is huge for me.  Let’s go!

Individual Chicken Pot Pies (Healthy)

INGREDIENTS

  • One large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped medium yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Frozen pie crust

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake chicken 30 minutes or until thermometer says it’s reached 160 degrees.  Cool and chop into little pieces.
  • Heat oil in a deep skillet on medium heat, adding garlic and onion, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in frozen mixed vegetables and cook for 3 minutes or until hot.
  • In a bowl, whisk together broth, milk, flour, salt and pepper and add to vegetable mixture.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  • Stir in chicken and mix it all up.
  • Spoon mixture into greased individual baking dishes.
  • Place pie crust on top of each baking dish, tearing off pieces to fit, crimping edges to seal.  Cut a few slits in crusts to vent.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until browned.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

I am TELLING you, God is trying to teach me a lesson right now, but I am not getting it, whatever it is.  Maybe it’s to slow down and chillax?  I don’t know.  Remember Monday morning when I fell down the stairs, hurt my tailbone for days and have a nasty rug burn on my arm?  Yeah, that happened.  Then tonight, after preparing this lovely dish, I added all of the leftovers to a container and JUST as I was about to place it on the counter, I have no idea what happened, but it ALL fell down!  It fell on the counter, on the cabinets, and on the floor.  I gasped loudly and thought again, “of course!  Just my luck!”  This has been reoccurring to me lately and I don’t know why!  Waaaah!!

Okay, so moving on. . .

It’s chicken fajita time!  This is a REALLY easy recipe, so it’s great for days when you’re too exhausted to prepare an elaborate dinner.  Not only that, but this is a clean eating recipe.  There’s nothing in here that’ll fatten you up, so you can have seconds!  But I’ll be honest with you, I was full halfway through the fajita.  And mmm, I couldn’t do without the lime.  SO good!  I don’t know why, because I was starving tonight!  I got home late from the office and needed something quick to whip up, so here is this yummy meal!

CHICKEN FAJITAS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • packet of fajita seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced
  • 2 tortillas
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • fresh salsa

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.  In a bowl, add fajita seasoning and salt and pepper to the chicken; mix with your hands (wash hands after touching chicken!)
  • Saute 3 to 4 minutes or until browned; place chicken on plate
  • Saute onion and bell pepper for about 5 minutes or until tender
  • Return chicken to skillet for 1 minute
  • Spoon chicken into tortillas and serve with lime wedges and salsa

So easy, so good…enjoy!

Walnut Crusted Chicken

Walnut Crusted Chicken

Today’s the first day the girls and I are starting our challenge.  No one is thrilled about it, but we all know it’s what’s best for us.  I did well until after dinner.  I can’t help myself, I love dessert.  I had ice cream.  It makes me so happy!!  And…I didn’t work out today.  I’m in a LOT of pain, okay?!  My tailbone hurts and my calves hurt from walking on the stairs yesterday and my little chicken wing hurts.  I’m a mess today!  So I’m taking today off, but don’t let me get away with it tomorrow!  Well, I need to tell the girls this so they can whip me back into shape!

So today we have another deliciously healthy meal.  Nom, nom!!  And I absolutely love these “true baby carrots” (that’s what they’re actually called…how cute!).  I’ve only ever seen them served at fancy restaurants, so when I saw them at the grocery store this weekend, I quickly threw them in my cart.  Just like a hot potato.  Nobody is allowed to take my carrots away!

WALNUT CRUSTED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

  • egg
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

INGREDIENTS FOR TRUE BABY CARROTS

  • 6 or so true baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pulse walnuts, Panko breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper together.
  • In a shallow dish, add an egg and a pinch of salt and pepper; whisk together.
  • In a separate shallow dish, add the walnut mixture to it.
  • Dip chicken in egg, then dredge in the walnut mixture.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet; cook chicken 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Heat oven to 400 F.  In a baking dish, combine carrots, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and toss with honey.