Thursday, June 27, 2013

Avocado Tuna Melt


Simply delectable. 

This dish is a clean meal, so easy to prepare, full of protein, fiber, and good fats, and will have your mouth craving it's creaminess when it's gone.

I am not a seafood fan, but tuna? I love the stuff, especially warm and sprinkled with cheese.

Cut open that avo and get started.

1/2 medium avocado
1 can of tuna, in water
1 cup of lettuce, chop
1/6 tsp garlic powder (optional)
shredded cheese
diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Place a cup of chopped lettuce on a plate and garnish with diced tomatoes.
In a small bowl mix tuna, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 
Gently peel avocado half.
Gently scoop out a bit of the center of the avo to make a larger hole.
Place mixed tuna inside the avo crater  and sprinkle with cheese.
place in a microwave save dish/bowl with sides to prop up the tuna filled avocado and microwave for 45 sec, or until cheese is melted.
Gently place heated tuna filled avo on top of the prepared lettuce plate.



Monday, June 17, 2013

Cereal Chocolate Muffins


It all started with a cereal.

A hot cereal, named Coco Wheats.

Maybe you've heard of it, maybe you've even eaten it.  For me, it was a disaster turned good fortune.

You see, I bought Coco Wheats from Walmart in the uber mark down section. You know, that section where they put a pile of "stuff"" that was either returned and the box is ripped, or the plate has scrape, or maybe, in my case, they just have too much product; Coco Wheats was one of them.

Now I am not the fan of hot cereal. Now don't get me wrong, I do love me some oatmeal, but other than that, I'm an decadent omelet type girl for breakfast. So why did I go for this hot cearl that was on mark down for 2 dollars? We,ll it's becuase I read the label.

Simple, readable incrdients that included chocolate; A health-nut's dream.
Ingredients: What Farnia, Cocoa, calcium Phosphate, artificial flavors, vitamin C, Niacin, iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, B6, B2, and B1. Done. 

No enriched flour here.

I was quite hopeful for this cearal and was excited to try it.Unfotrunaltly it didn't turn out so good.
I followed the directions for the most part;
It states 3 tbs of the cereal for 1 serving, plus one cup of milk or water. I choose to do half cup almond milk, half cup water,  and added a scoop of protein powder just for kicks, then microwave for 1 min, stir, and continue microwaving, and stirring until desired thickness (mine was about 4 min).

Maybe it was the protein powder that through this cereal off, but I highly doubt it, but it turned out aweful! Taste, texture, overall look. Gross.

I was quite sad as I dumped the bowl of mush in the trash and starred at the box for fear that it was now going to be that one thing in your pantry you know you should just throw out because no one in your house likes it and it's been there for ages type of thing.

Then a lightbulb hit. On the side of the box was a recipe for chocolate brownies using the coco wheats. And I got to thinking, that hey, I've read that wheat farnia* does well used as a whole wheat type flour subsitute....and I have 2 overripe bannas, and one needs-to-be-used today zucchini in the I'll MAKE MUFFINS!!!! (Didn't think that was coming did you?)

And that's exactly what I did. And guess what?
They are wonderful, very filling, chocolate, healthy, muffins! Miracles do happen.

*(Wanna know what the heck Wheat Farnia is? Click HERE)

1 1/2 cup Coco Wheats (or regular What Farnia)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 bannanas, very ripe
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs coconut oil
3 tbs butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
3tbs chocolate chips
1tsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 425 F. (YOU WILL BE LOWERING THE TEMP)*
Mix the coco wheats, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.

Beat together the banans, zucchini, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, butter, and honey in another bowl.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix very well. The mixture will be thick.

Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and evenly scoop the mixture into the muffin cups. Fill the cups all the way to the top.

Place your filled pan in the oven for 5 min at the preheated temperature and then reduce the heat* to 325 F. and bake for another 10-12 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and let cool for 10 min.

while, cooling, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 sec intervals until fully melted.

Drizzle chocolate over the top of the muffins.

*(starting the cooking temp high and then lowering flash cooks the mixture

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Mex-I-Can Casserole


Love Mexican themed food?--MEX 

Believe in yourself?--I  

Have some canned beans and corn? CAN  

(get the title now?)


I've made this several times for group gatherings because of its simplicity and unbelievably short prep/cooking time.  So far everyone seems to really enjoy it.

10 min prep 15 min bake. Done. 

Feel free to double the batch!
(doesn't it look delicious!?!)
Adapted from Panning The Globe
12 corn tortillas
1 can of rotel*
1 can of black beans--drained and rinsed (reduced sodium)
1 can of corn (no salt added)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice (I used a mexican blend)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (depends on your heat tolerance)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

* any flavor of  or spice preference or rotel--I've made with original, mild, and lime!
* feel free to add in a hot sauce if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with a non stick spray of choice.
Layer 6 tortillas down in pan--is okay if they overlap and they bend up the side of the pan.
Mix rotel, black beans, corn, onion, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Evenly top the 6 tortillas with half the mixture. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of cheese over the mixture.
Lay out another 6 tortillas on top of that and repeat, ending with sprinkled cheese on top.

Bake for 15 min, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Cut into 15 portions or 9 if you want them bigger. 

Serve with some a side of your favorite salsa and guacamole!



Monday, June 10, 2013

Balsamic Pineapple Chops

Pineapple is a terrific fruit.
 It has a distinct sweet and tangy  flavor that really stands out to my palate.

I admit however, that I usually only bake with fruit, not cook with it. Now, I have make some amazing sweet and sour chicken with pineapple, and that was a huge hit; but to me, thinking about pairing meat and fruit together--no pun intended--just doesn't cross my mind when I think of dinner.

And I know, there are some pretty amazing dishes out there that add fruit to the main course--peaches especially-- so I hope this recipe can be the start of a new way of cooking for me.

To fruit!

4 center cut pork chops,
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can pineapple, diced

Trim any fat off the pork chops as desired.
Whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic powder salt pepper, and chopped onion. Place the marinade in Ziploc back along with pork chops. Seal and then shake/mix everything together so that pork chops are well covered.
Let sit in the fridge for 15-30 min (this can marinate overnight, if desired)
Heat a large skillet on medium high heat.
Take out the bag of marinated chops and dump the entire contents of the bag into the skillet.

Sear each side of of the pork chop for 2 minutes so that each side has  a nice browned edge.

Reduce heat to medium low and add the entire can of diced pineapple along with juices over the pork  chops. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 min. (During this time you can make some amazing side  dish!)

Remove the chops from heat and let rest for 3 min.

Plate chops and top with extra juice from the pan and some pineapple .


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Apple Chicken Salad

Have a pita
Fill it with this, your taste buds will thank you. 

Something you may not know about me is that one food motto I hold strong too is anything "white" and/or "solid" generally at room temperate I don't allow into my diet. Food items in these categories include: mayonnaise, white bread, ranch dressing, butter (now, I'll bake and/or cook with it every now and then but you wont see me putting it on my daily bread), crisco or any cooking agent that is in that category, velveeta....(I still don't really know what it is, but sorry all you nacho lovers my cheese dip will NOT include that solid in a box "cheese"). 

So with mayo out, let's say hello to plain greek yogurt. The healthy, high protein, extremely versatile yogurt.  I chose to buy plain greek yogurt and then season/sweeten it up myself to keep as many preservatives out of my diet. So far so good! 
Check out this Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken: it will rock your world.

thanks to  The Gracious Pantry  I have been inspired to create yet another wonderful and easy to make work lunch. 

Bonus, it's high in protein, clean eating, and low in fat! Feel free to double, triple, quadruple as needed.

4-6 oz chicken breast
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1tsp garlic powder
2 tbs chopped red onion 
1/4 cup granny smith apple, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt 

Optional: add chopped celery, exchange the apple for grapes, and/or add chopped nuts.

Shred/chop your chicken as desired. 
Mix everything together and....



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