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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Easy! Quick Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls

Ok, so this was really good and I promise, it took minutes to make.  The original recipe, however, was pretty vague, so feel free to modify amounts to your liking; the posted amount also only serves two, so adjust accordingly.  

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small cubes (This is about one SMALL breast each.)
  • salt and pepper
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I hate ground ginger, and I know a lot of people hate dealing with real ginger.  Grating 1/4 tsp. fresh ginger would be totally fine.  I used one drop of Ginger essential oil.  Omg, amazing.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • Rice (Cook according to package directions.  I cooked 1 cup, which was 3 cups when finished, so understandably, we had tons of rice left over in comparison to the broccoli and chicken.  If you want lunch for the next day, double the chicken and sauce amounts, and steam more broccoli.  The leftover rice will be the perfect amount for tomorrow!)
  • Steamed broccoli (I steamed about 2.5 cups.)
  1. In a small bowl or a measuring cup, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk together until there are no cornstarch lumps.  Set aside.
  2. Dice chicken, add salt and pepper to both sides, and set aside.  Heat non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. (I added the smallest little drizzle of EVOO to the pan.)
  3. Chop broccoli and place in steamer.  Do not start cooking yet.
  4. Begin to cook rice according to instructions on packaging.
  5. With about 8 minutes remaining on rice, begin to steam broccoli and cook chicken until done, stirring often.
  6. Add sauce to chicken and cook stirring constantly, until it thickens into shiny glaze.
  7. Remove from heat and serve immediately with rice and steamed broccoli.


Lightened-Up Chicken Bacon Broccoli Alfredo


  • 1.5 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken {rotisserie or left over grilled chicken}
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 2.5 cups 1% milk (2% or whole will work, NOT skim)
  • Seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chicken seasoning {optional}
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese {at room temperature}
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese separated
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 12 ounces UNCOOKED broccoli, chopped
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 8-10 slices turkey bacon
  • Optional: 1 lemon, fresh parsley, freshly ground pepper, red pepper flakes {for a kick}


  1. Prepare the chicken (rotisserie or left over) by chopping into small, bite-sized pieces.
  2. Fill a pot with a few inches of water, add a large pinch of seasoned salt, and put a steamer basket over top. Be certain the water does not touch the bottom of the basket. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add in chopped broccoli florets and cover. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove broccoli and add more water to the same pot, bringing the water to a boil.
  3. Cook the linguine and drain.
  4. Place the turkey bacon in a large, dry skillet and cook until crispy, flipping occasionally. Coarsely chop.
  5. Using the same skillet you cooked the bacon in (wipe out any grease), add in the olive oil. Heat to warm and then add in the minced garlic and stir until fragrant. Add in the flour and briskly whisk until a thick dough forms. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat.
  6. VERY slowly pour in the chicken broth while vigorously whisking. Whisk until completely smooth.
  7. Again, very slowly add in TWO CUPS of milk (at room temperature preferred) whisking constantly. Save the last 1/2 cup for later.
  8. Add in 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, chicken seasoning, and pepper (I add about a heaping 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Allow to slightly thicken.
  9. Stir in the room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, pinch of nutmeg, and if desired 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice.
  10. Add the chicken, pasta, bacon, and broccoli to the cream sauce. Toss and add the extra 1/2 cup milk if needed to thin. Add remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  11. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little touch of heat.
  12. Enjoy immediately.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Easy! Cheeseburger Cups

I have an idea for next time, but until then, these were super easy and yummy!  
(See notes for idea...)

- 8 refrigerated biscuits
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire 
- 1 Tbsp. mustard
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 8 small slices of cheese (The pre-cut cheese squares {the ones that you pair with crackers} fit perfectly and were super easy to use!)
- Toppings of your choice

Crumble and cook the beef in a skillet. Drain. Mix in ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, and brown sugar. Grease a muffin tin, and line 8 cups with the refrigerated biscuits. Divide the meat mixture among the 8 cups, and bake at 400°F/204°C for 10-15 minutes, until the biscuit dough is brown. Top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes.

*Next time: The biscuits were a little "thick," so next time, I am going to slice them in half horizontally, which will then double the amount of cups.  Keep the same amount of meat needed, only instead of about 2 tablespoons of meat for each biscuit, use 1 so that you have enough meat for 16 biscuits!  Also, try ground turkey for a "leaner" meal!

*Tasty Cookbook, 2016

FRESH Green Bean Casserole

*This recipe makes 8-10 servings, so I halved the amount of GREEN BEANS ONLY.  

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 (6-ounce) cans French's Fried Onions, divided
1 1/2 pounds frozen green beans, thawed and drained (I halved.)

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and to 325°F.
  2. Cook the mushrooms: Melt the butter in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Make the gravy: Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Cook until the flour is no longer dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk, chicken broth, tamari or soy sauce, pepper, and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add some of the onions and green beans: Remove the sauce from the heat, add the green beans and half a can of the fried onions, and stir to combine. Transfer the green bean mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  5. Top and bake: Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cans onions. Bake until golden and bubbling, 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Cool before serving: Let stand 10 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it cools. 

Recipe Notes:

  • Make ahead: Assemble the casserole without the crisp onion topping and store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Remove from the refrigerator while the oven preheats. Top with the fried onions and bake.
  • Storage: Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Egg Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used half an onion.)
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes or 1½ large sweet potatoes, cubed  (I cubed mine smaller than pictured.  They cooked faster, and they didn't need cut when eating.)
  • 1 lb. grass fed ground sausage (Next time, I am going to try half turkey and half regular sausage.  One pound was a lot of meat.  If you don't want a super meaty meal, try 3/4 pound.)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup almond milk (or coconut milk) (or...I used 2% because that's what I had on hand and it was perfect.)
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of EVOO oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and red bell pepper, season with salt and black pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender (about 3 minutes). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add sausage to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned (about 5 minutes), crumbling the sausage with a spoon as it cooks. Transfer to the same large mixing bowl.
  4. Add sweet potatoes to the skillet, drizzle some olive oil on top, and cover with a lid. Let it cook for about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Transfer them to the same large mixing bowl.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cheese, and spices. Pour over the veggie and sausage mixture in the large bowl, and stir to combine.
  6. Pour the mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish (I sprayed a thin coating of cooking spray) and bake covered with foil for 20 minutes.   After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top of the potatoes begin to brown. Remove and let the casserole rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions (optional) and serve!
  7. *This recipe turns out best if baked in a regular 9 x 13 " baking dish. If baked in a deeper dish, it may require additional baking time for the eggs at the bottom to set.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Easy! Peanut Butter Pie


Oreo Crust
  • 20 peanut butter Oreos (or regular, Double Stuf is ok!)
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Peanut Butter Filling
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Reese's Pieces, crushed (I didn't think it needed this much.  I used about 3/4 cup.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick spray or grease lightly with butter.
  2. Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together, then press into the pie dish. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the rest.
  3. Make the ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to boil, immediately remove from heat then pour over the chocolate. Stir gently until the ganache is smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. During this time, it will slowly thicken as well.
  4. Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Spoon the whipped cream into a bowl and set aside. Using the same mixing bowl (no need to rinse clean!), beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until combined. Mixture will be thick. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth. be gentle, you don't want to deflate that cream.
  5. Sprinkle half of the Reese's Pieces on top of the cooled crust. Spread peanut butter filling evenly on top, then spread ganache on top of filling. Sprinkle the rest of the Reese's Pieces on top.
  6. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or even overnight. Slice and serve cold.
Notes: This pie can be frozen up to 3 months. It's tasty frozen or you can let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Easy! Crock Pot "Ravioli" Casserole

I'm not sure why this blogger calls it "ravioli casserole," but who cares?  It's easy, and I was able to hide veggies for the picky eaters, and it's yummy.  This serves about 8 people, so prepare for leftovers if you're not feeding a large crowd.  Win win!!


1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (I have used both ground turkey and ground chicken, but feel free to switch up your choice of can even do a combination!)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

(I also food processed a heaping handful of baby carrots.)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes (Supposedly these break up while cooking, but they were huge and scary to me.  I food processed them before adding to crock, however this step is not necessary.)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed (I used one HUGE heaping handful of fresh spinach and chopped.)
16 oz. bowtie pasta, COOKED (Don't forget to salt your water!)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (Grate your own!)
1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded (Grate your own!)


Brown meat with onion and garlic (and I seasoned with salt and pepper while cooking). While meat and onions are cooking, cook pasta according to package directions.  Once meat is cooked and onions are translucent, transfer to crock pot and add (carrots if you're using them), tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for 6-7 hours on low.  For the last 30 minutes, add the spinach,  pasta, and Parmesan to crock pot and stir.  Finally, sprinkle the mozzarella on top and turn crock pot on high.