Thursday, February 27, 2014

Red Sauce--for spaghetti, pizza, and *anything*

spaghetti sauce

When one of my brothers was tiny my mom was trying to explain to him about Thanksgiving. She said, "It's a special day where we are thankful and we get to eat our favorite things."
I hear that my brother looked at her and said, excitedly, "You mean we get to eat spaghetti?"
Sorry, there is no spaghetti in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but we get to eat red sauce year round, which is even better.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Baked Potato--low-fat option

My mom has never met a potato she didn't like, and I'm her daughter. Even simple potatoes are worthy of a meal.

Growing up in a family of nine, my mom would make baked potatoes in the oven. I remember scrubbing and wrapping them for my mom, as she prepped the rest of dinner.
But now that I'm living with just my husband it doesn't always make sense to heat up the entire oven for 2 baked potatoes.
My father-in-law showed me this trick: Use plastic wrap to steam your potato in the microwave.

Trivia question for you:
What has more potassium, a banana or a baked potato?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sausage Cornbread Muffins

jalapeno topped

These are a version of grown-up corn dogs. Inside isn't a regular hot dog, but nice sausage in casings, and they're topped with jalapeno. I won't tell anyone if you want to use regular hot dog, though!

This comfort food is helping my husband get through long hours at the office. I'm glad to help.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tortellini Soup


Wonderful, cool days call for warming soups. Here's a new one: tomato based soup with seasoned ground turkey, delicious cheese-filled tortellini pasta, spinach, carrots, and even some red bell pepper.
This soup isn't super-full of tortellini or meat or vegetables, but has a balance between them.

I served this with my recipe for Golden Rolls, so we got some extra hidden vegetables and whole wheat from the bread.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Easy No-Sugar-Added Cinnamon Applesauce

Chunky-style applesauce
Applesauce sometimes get a bad rap--it's too processed, it has too much sugar. Personally, I think making it yourself is the perfect solution, especially if you have another problem: that you have some soft or bruised apples around the house. It's actually a healthy, easy choice!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bulgur Banana Parfait

breakfast healthy

Why reserve your dessert cups for just dessert? I decided I wanted to eat breakfast in style, so I did. This parfait has layers of bulgar--which is like cracked wheat. It also has cinnamon, greek yogurt, walnuts, and bananas.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Protein Bites

Today is a good day for chocolate chips in your breakfast. I'll bet you agree!
This simple breakfast is whole grain and protein packed. 

oatmeal, chocolate chips, whole flax seed, peanut butter, honey

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hot Wing Pizza

This is the story of the Chicken Hot Wing that wasn't.
Here's what it wasn't: It wasn't deep fried, full of bones, containing chicken skin, and it wasn't overly greasy.
My husband asked me to make a pizza with wing sauce instead of tomato sauce with chopped chicken on top--and I of course use lean chicken, usually chicken breast. I even managed to add a few vegetables! And I love this spicy new take on pizza.

And if you have somebodies eating with you who don't like spicy foods, I also made a Supreme Pizza, one of my favorites.

Pizza Crust

I don't know about you, but we love pizza at our place! I make pizzas with specialty sauces, tinker with red sauce recipes, find great toppings, but mostly I feast on pizza with my husband. We may love Dominos, but homemade is healthier and cheaper, as well as lots of fun.
With a bread maker friendly recipe (that you can also do by hand), it's also not hard. When I choose easy toppings, I can make a pizza with only about 30 minutes of hands on time (with a bread maker) or 40 minutes hands on time without. It does need an hour for the crust to rise and another 25 minutes to bake both pizzas, but I'm good at leaving it alone to do that!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I had the honor of meeting and cooking with my husband, Jay's grandma a few summers ago. I was impressed by her cooking as well as her English--she is from Japan, with Samurai heritage.
The curry we made was so good, even the 4- and 2-year-old kids were begging for it. Somehow being made into such a thick dish made even the picky kids not realize how many veggies were in it. They just knew it all tasted good and came with rice.

Today I made a version of curry which was similar to the one we enjoyed together.
ground turkey, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper

Curry is a very strongly seasoned thick, stew-like dish. It's traditionally served over rice or noodles.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Easy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato

savory salt and pepper and butter

What to do when your spouse hates a certain food and for some reason you have got to have it? You find an easy way to fix it and eat it all yourself!
Sweet potatoes/yams are that food in my house.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Creamy Spinach Bake

Spinach is the best tasting of the dark leafy green family. Cooked well, it's worth the risk of getting some caught in your teeth. And doesn't it look appetizing in it's own little dish? That's actually a silicone muffin cup.

Italian Tomatoes

no oil or sugar added

When I took French in high school my teacher Madame Kelly, a beautiful French lady, tried to explain many things about France, especially its food! One thing she told us is that in France salads are very different. You wouldn't have a side salad with lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, etc., but usually would just have one vegetable in your salad.
Years later at college I was at a party and one girl brought a tomato salad--slices of tomato with seasonings. I can see what the French like about it!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins

cream cheese filling

Before I start my introduction about how good these are and how they're not too bad for you, I want to make a confession:
After buying carrots I forgot to cross them off my shopping list, and so bought them again. That explains all the carrot recipes!
Now back to the introduction:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Healthy Chili--Tips and Tricks

Beans are known as a Super-food, with antioxidants, fiber, a high water content, and protein. According to WebMD, they may even help fight cancer and diabetes!
Chili not only has the Super-food beans in it, but is well loved by so many people, especially my husband. But did you know there are other ways to make your chili even healthier than just including beans?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Coconut Fudge No Bake Cookies

My mom always made no bake cookies growing up. In fact, they're one of my dad's favorites to this day. Sometimes when my siblings and I were teens and needed our dad to help us fix something or give us a ride, we'd use no bake cookies to sweeten the deal.
Last Father's Day I even combined his love of no bake cookies with coconut, which is this recipe.
This recipe is also friendly to those with milk allergies! The chocolate taste is so strong, I've never known anyone to notice when I sub milk free ingredients.

Banana Spice Smoothie

This smoothie is delicious with lots of flavor, but no added sugar. It gets its sweetness from the banana in it.
It's also great for an upset stomach. The ginger and cinnamon are natural remedies to help with stomach issues and bananas are naturally easy on the stomach.