Bell Pepper Nacho Boats

Bell pepper nacho boats make a great appetizer or dinner. I served mine with avocado slices.

To make appetizer boats, make sure you pick peppers that have 4 bumps. It will make for smaller servings.

This recipe is great for a make ahead meal too. I pre-cooked my turkey and added the spices and salsa. I put the turkey mixture into the fridge until ready to assemble.

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1 pound lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup salsa, no sugar added
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced fat
3 bell peppers

1. Remove seeds, core, and membrane from bell peppers then slice each one into six vertical pieces where they dip down. Set sliced bell peppers aside.
2. Cook ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Cook until the turkey loses it’s pink colour and is cooked through. Drain off any fat.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Combine cooked turkey with spices and salsa. Evenly distribute mixture into the bell peppers boats, top with cheese.
5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are hot. Optional ingredients: sliced jalapeño peppers, diced avocado, fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream, or sliced green onions.

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Broccoli Apple Salad

This salad is sooooo good! I found it on Pinterest which lead me to the website therecipecritic.com.

I halved this recipe since I am the only broccoli lover in the house. I served it with dinner and had the leftovers for lunch. I highly recommend leaving out the pecans as they get soft the next day. If you like that added crunch then I would suggest adding the pecans to your salad when you serve it. Also, the apples did not brown, so you could make this as a make ahead dish.

For the dressing, I did use half mayo and half greek yogurt. Next time I would use just greek yogurt.

broccoli salad

4 cups fresh broccoli florets, (about 2 medium heads)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 large apples, finely chopped (I used gala apples)
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans and dried cranberries.
2. To make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Herb and Garlic Potato Stacks

We loved this recipe! I can’t wait to try it with yams!

My only tip is that you pick tall skinny potatoes so that they stack well in the muffin tins. I used a 1.5 mm thickness on my mandolin.

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1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 small white or Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Melt butter in a glass measuring dish. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt.
3. Slice potatoes to a 2mm thickness using a mandolin.
4. Brush the bottom of a standard-sized muffin tin with the butter mixture.
5. Layer 2-3 potato slices, then brush again with butter.
6. Repeat until the muffin tins are filled to the top. Brush the tops with the butter mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

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Mary’s Best Ever Salad

Mary makes a great salad! I served this for lunch with friends and everyone had seconds.

I made my bacon ahead of time and kept it in the fridge until serving. I also cut up my apple just before serving as well to keep it from going brown. I also served my blue cheese on the side so that everyone could put on the amount they desired. I toasted my pecans in a skillet on medium high heat.

You can add more or less of one ingredient. Adjust to your liking.

The dressing makes a lot. I used a small amount and it was enough on the salad. When making the dressing. I did not add all the sugar. I used 1/4 cup.

The next time I make this salad, I would add chicken to make a fabulous dinner.

I found this recipe on Pinterest which lead me to the website sweetlittlebluebird.com.

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1 bag spring salad mix
1 bag romaine
3 oz bacon
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans or almonds
5 oz Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled

1. Clean lettuce, place in large bowl and top with ingredients and toss.

DRESSING:
1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp dry mustard (or a little squeeze of yellow or Grey Poupon Mustard)
Few twists of fresh cracked pepper, or use 1/8 tsp of ground pepper

1. Whisk all the ingredients together until sugar and oil are blended. It takes a few minutes for the oil and sugar to blend.

Chicken Lasagna alla Bolognese

Looking for a great comfort food recipe? Make this one! It is simple to make….especially when using the no cook lasagna noodles. A great make ahead for your busy week too.

I did not use the white wine, I replaced with chicken broth. I also used 1 1/2 pounds of ground chicken with great results. I bought my pancetta at my local deli and just asked them to cut me 2oz. It worked out to about 56 grams.

I found this recipe on Pinterest which led me to the website http://www.jocooks.com

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1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz pancetta, chopped
1 lb ground chicken (I used 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese (500 ml)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg
9 lasagna noodles uncooked

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and pancetta to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent.
2. Add the ground chicken to the pot and break up using a wooden spoon so that it crumbles. Cook it for another 5 minutes until the ground chicken is no longer pink.
3. Add the oregano, chili flakes, tomato paste and stir. Add the wine and basil and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally add in the chicken broth and crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper as needed. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
5. In a bowl combine together the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese and the egg. Set aside.
6. Spread a couple of ladles of the bolognese sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over the bolognese sauce;top with a couple more ladles of the sauce, then top with 1/3 of the cheese mixture, trying to spread it around a bit. Repeat with another 3 lasagna noodles, sauce, cheese, 3 more lasagna noodles, sauce and last of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top.
7. Bake for about an hour until the noodles are cooked though. If you are using fresh lasagna noodles, it will take less cooking time, about 35 to 45 minutes.
8. Let the lasagna cool for a few minutes before cutting into it. Feel free to garnish it with fresh parsley or basil and Parmesan cheese.

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Italian Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes and Mushrooms

We eat a ton of chicken in our house, so it’s always great to find an awesome new recipe. This one is super tasty and only takes 30 minutes to prepare.

In this recipe, make sure you pound the chicken thin so that it cooks quickly. I did not drudge my chicken in flour. I just seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano and browned it in olive oil. I also did not use the white wine. I replaced with chicken broth.

Add the spinach! This recipe suggests it as optional….but get it in there! It adds great colour plus it’s good for you.

I served my chicken with a masked sweet potato, but you can certainly serve this with orzo, rice, spaghetti or crusty bread.

I found this recipe on Pinterest which lead me to the website themediterraneandish.com.

Mediterrenean

4 large chicken breasts (pound to 1/4-inch thin)
1 Tbsp dried oregano, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, more for later
Extra virgin olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
14 oz grape tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup white wine (I used chicken broth)
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
3/4 cup chicken broth
Handful baby spinach (optional)

1. Pat chicken dry. Season on both sides with 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour;dust off excess. Set aside briefly.
2. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet with a lid. Brown the chicken on both sides (3 minutes or so). Transfer the chicken to a plate for now. (I put my chicken in a 9×13 casserole dish and continued baking it in a 375F oven)
3. In the same skillet, add more olive oil if needed. Add the mushrooms and saute briefly on medium-high heat (about 1 minute or so). Then add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 tsp flour. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, stirring regularly.
4. Now add the white wine (or chicken broth), cook briefly to reduce just a little;then add the lemon juice and chicken broth.
5. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the chicken back in the skillet. Cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 8 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and its internal heat registers a minimum of 165 degrees F. (I kept my chicken in the oven cooking while the sauce reduced. I then poured the sauce over the chicken and served)
6. If you like, stir in a handful of baby spinach just before serving. Enjoy hot with your favorite small pasta like orzo and a crusty Italian bread.

Quinoa Spinach Power Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

The kids are almost back in school after the winter break…..time to get back to routine and prepping lunches for myself.

I found this salad on Pinterest which brought me to the website aheadofthyme.com.

I changed this recipe slightly. I pre-cook a bunch of Quinoa to use during the week, so I just took out a measured cup of Quinoa to make this salad. I find this easier than making a cup every time.

The best part about online recipes is the user feedback. I highly suggest that if you come across a great recipe…make sure to take a look at what people said about it. In this Quinoa salad recipe, lots of people swapped out the raisins. I did too. I added red onion. Other highly suggested options where pine nuts and feta. Someone also swapped out the spinach with kale with great results.

Make this salad your own! However, do not change the dressing! It is wonderful on this salad. I made the dressing and used it all on one cup of Quinoa with all my veggies and it was perfect. If you double this recipe, make sure you double the dressing too.

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1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
1/4 cup raisins
DRESSING:
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. In a medium bowl, rinse the Quinoa a few times
2. In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of salted water. Add the Quinoa and continue to boil for about 10 minutes until the Quinoa is tender.
3. Drain the Quinoa and let it cool.
4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins and cooled Quinoa.
5. In a small bowl, make the lemon vinaigrette. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto the salad and toss to coat.
6. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Sautéed Garlic and Parmesan Mushrooms

I made these fabulous mushrooms as a side to our New Year’s Eve dinner. They went beautifully with my husband’s steak and my salmon. We saved a few (it was hard to do, since I could have devoured them all) for my husband’s omelet in the morning. He said they were so good with eggs.

I found this recipe on Pinterest which brought me to a wonderful website jocooks.com. Check it out! So many other great recipes!

I didn’t use the whole 1/4 cup of Parmesan. I sprinkled 2 pinches of freshly grated Parmesan on mine. I also used cremini mushrooms instead of white.

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Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 8 mins

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Parsley for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium to high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms to skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally making sure the mushrooms cook on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
2. When the mushrooms are done to your likeness, I like mine a little more done so I sauté mine for more like 7 to 8 minutes, remove from heat, sprinkle with the Parmasen cheese and parsley.
3. Serve warm.

Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats

This recipe is so good! This recipe can also adjusted as well…however….it’s great as is!

I used brown rice, but you could also use quinoa. I filled the zucchini halves with the rice mixture, but I don’t see why you couldn’t fill bell peppers as well. I used a medium salsa, but use hot if you want your boats to be spicy. I didn’t use the full cup of cheese. I just added shredded cheese as needed on top.

I filled 4 small zucchinis and had about a cup and a half of the mixture left over. If you are planning on filling peppers, this recipe will make enough to fill them.

I found this recipe on makingthymeforhealth.com

zucciniboats

4 large zucchini
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup salsa (use your preferred level of spiciness)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese

1. Start by greasing a 9×13 inch casserole dish, then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
2. Warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Stir 1/4 cup of the cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, into the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each one with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
4. Allow the boats to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
YIELD: 8 boats

Blueberry and Mango Spinach Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

I am so glad I found this salad recipe on Pinterest. I love the ingredients in this recipe, but I also love the dressing by itself. I will definitely use it other salads.

I used half spinach and half salad greens. I also toasted and added sugar to my pecans. I diced my cucumbers and red onions since I do not have a spiralizler.

If you can not find a ripe mango, you can also use an avocado.

This recipe is from wholesomelicious.com.

blueberrymango

For the salad:
6 cups spinach (or your favorite greens), rinsed
1 cup blueberries, rinsed
1 mango, skinned and chopped
1/2 large red onion
6 inch cucumber
1 cup chopped pecans

For the dressing:
1 cup fresh loose basil leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Layer your salad beginning with the spinach (or greens)
2. If using a spiralizer, spiralize cucumber and red onion, and place on top spinach.
3. Top with blueberries, mango, and pecans. Set aside.
4. Prepare dressing: Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth.
5. Toss salad dressing with salad, extra dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

6 SERVINGS