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I’ve been bored with just basic zucchini recipes, so I thought I’d try something I saw online where you slice the zucchini in ribbons using a peeler.  Make sure you buy small zucchini to make the peeling easier.  I paired this with grilled chicken marinated in white balsamic vinegarette dressing and a small salad.  Joe couldn’t wait to try this new dressing I bought at the grocery store today, so he requested I make a salad.   ALso, I’ve been hungry all day and came home from personal training with Katie with a grumbling stomach.

 

Zucchini Ribbons with Tomatoes

4 servings ~ 70 calories per serving

Ingredients

2 zucchini cut in ribbons with a peeler

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic (or as much as you prefer)

10 cherry/grape tomatoes sliced in half

2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

 Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan and add the garlic.  Saute the garlic for a few minutes and add the zucchini ribbons, tossing with tongs to coat with the garlic/oil mixture.  Continue to toss until zucchini warms and appears to be tender.  Add the halved tomatoes and cook another minute or two.  Transfer to serving dish using the tongs since this produces a lot of liquid when cooked.  Top with shredded parmesan cheese.

 

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We spent Saturday moving one of my friends and Joe fell asleep on the couch for about 3 hours when we got home, so I was able to pull together a really nice meal and not worry about how long it took to cook.   I made cheeseburger sliders with Joe’s favorite roll (Martin’s Potato Rolls) and “Baked Tomatoes, Squash, and Potatoes”.

A friend of mine made this for Joe and I when we visited for dinner over a year ago and it was one of the best side dishes I’ve ever had.  The recipe was only posted to Whole Living’s website in September 2011 and, thanks to Pintrest, I finally found it!!!   Since it takes well over an hour to make from start to finish, I figured this would be a great time to test out the recipe on my own.

I used a pie dish thinking it would be the right size for the potato, tomato, and squash I had sliced, but as I started filling the dish, it quickly ran out of room.  I would recommend the 9×13 dish they mention in the recipe.  I think it would allow everything to cook quicker.  When I made it in the pie dish, it took nearly 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes to cook.

6 Servings ~ 91 Calories per serving

Ingredients

  •                                         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  •                                         1 onion, thinly sliced
  •                                         2 small tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  •                                         1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  •                                         1 medium Yukon Gold potato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  •                                         Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  •                                         1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  •                                         2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil over medium and cook onion until tender and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Arrange the onion on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Overlap tomato, squash, and potato on top of the onion. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with thyme and Parmesan, and drizzle with more oil.
  3. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, 30 minutes more.

I’ve been looking for a good make ahead breakfast recipe and haven’t been very successful….until now.  These Insanely Good Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins from skinnytaste live up to their namesake.  I had to distract myself with sorting laundry to stop myself from opening the oven door every few minutes to check on them because even the batter smelled delicious.  These do not disappoint and are worth the extra 30 minutes you have to wait to let the quick oats soak.  My only frustration is that they stuck to my paper wrappers.

The recipe made 12 regular size muffins and 10 mini-muffins when I made them.  My only deviation from the original recipe is that I had no brown sugar.  I used 1/2 white sugar and added a tbsp of maple syrup.  Thank you Google!

Skinnytaste’s Insanely Good Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

12 muffins = 127 calories

  • 1 1/2 cups Quaker quick oatmeal
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk) I used skim milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed, or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp agave (or sugar, honey) I used honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • baking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with oil.  Now I realize I forgot to spray the paperliners with the cooking spray!
Place oats in a food processor or chopper and pulse a few times. Soak oats in milk for about 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, agave, apple sauce, vanilla, egg whites, oil and mix well. 

In a third bowl combine whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to combine.

Combine oats and milk with sugar, applesauce mixture and mix well. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes.

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At work today, my team had a discussion about how much we all love chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), so I thought I would share a great recipe I found that would be a terrific addition to the Fourth of July meal.

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 25 large basil leaves, chopped (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt

Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

 

In honor of Joe being done with his summer class today, I decided to make him a meal I know he loves.  Ever since I started my healthy lifestyle, we haven’t ordered chinese food which is one of his absolute favorite things to eat.  He’ll have it if I’m out of town, but never do we order it together.  I had been looking for something I could make healthy and still enjoy chinese food.  I stumbled across this recipe on TheWayToHisHeart .  I stick with the recipe because it’s pretty darn good!  I use brown rice and top it with the sesame chicken.  The first time I made it, I didn’t have sesame seeds, but I splurged and bought some.  Believe it or not, the sesame seeds make it even better!   Enjoy!!!

Healthy Sesame Chicken

4 servings – 252 calories per serving (does not include the brown rice)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into medium sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce, use less if you have a sensitivity to salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh scallions (both green and white)

In a gallon-size plastic bag, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Add chicken, seal bag, and shake well to coat.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skilllet and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Combine soy sauce and sugar in skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes max. Add sesame oil and sesame seeds. Add chicken and scallion. Toss and serve immediately.

I know I’m a little late with the weigh in post.  Joe was in his last week of his online class and has been on the computer each night, but today he submitted his final assignment and is finished until August 27th!!!

So weigh in was good this week.  In this extreme heat, I have no idea why I decided to make a casserole for dinner on wednesday, but I’m so glad I did because it was fantastic!!  I seem to be getting my inspiration from Pinterest recently.  I found the original recipe at EatLiveRun, but I switched out some ingredients to make it healthier.  The best food exchange was taking out the regular cheddar cheese and replacing it with Cabot 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar cheese.  The heat from the jalapeno really added to the flavor of the recipe.  Also, if you’re going to make this ahead of time and reheat, I would steer clear of using the Panko bread crumbs.  They just add calories and end up mushy when you reheat.

 

Spinach & Cheese Quinoa Casserole

4-6 servings ~ Calories

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa

3 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

bag of fresh baby spinach

Cooking spray (I like the kind with Olive Oil)

1 cup skim milk

2 cups grated Cabor 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar cheese

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (optional)

1/2 cups grated skim mozzerella cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray large sauce pot with cooking spray and heat pot on medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped bell pepper, scallions and spinach and saute for about four minutes—just until bell pepper has started to soften. Add the garlic and continue sauteing for another 30 seconds.

Add dry quinoa to the pot, followed by the chicken broth, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir well.

Now, add the grated cheddar cheese and milk. Stir to combine then pour into a greased 9 x 13″ casserole dish. In a small bowl, combine the Panko (optional) and the mozzerella cheese. Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake for about 30 minutes until golden.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving for the sauce to set up.

           

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