Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spicing up Store Bought Pasta Sauce

I have 2 recipes for home made pasta sauce- on from my grandma, one from Nicole's Nonnie.  As much as I would love to make either of these when Pasta Sauce is needed- 99% of the time I don't have time! And Prego, Safeway Sauce and Ragu plain just don't do the trick!

Tonight I'm making Ravioli from Costco- Roasted Vegetable Ravioli to be exact and was in need of a quick fancy sauce!

I hope you like!

What you'll need:

  • 1 Can of regular pasta sauce- go cheap- whatever is on sale! 
  • 1/2 onion, yellow or red, either will do!
  • 2 Zucchini's skinned and thinly sliced
  • 1 spoonful of Sea Salt
  • 1 spoonful of Thyme
  • 1 spoonful of Basil
  • 6-7 fresh garlic cloves chopped
  • 1-3 TBSP butter (depending on how much butter you like!)
  • a few splashes of Chicken Broth or water
  1. Saute the Garlic, Butter, and Spices for 1 minute, then add onion saute 1-2 more minutes
  2. Add in the sliced Zucchini 
  3. Add in the store bought pasta sauce
  4. Cook for a few minutes, since we've added so many ingredients to the store bough already thick sauce it may get a bit too think, that's when you add the chicken broth a splash at a time until you get your desired consistency.
And there you have it, a quick easy way to spice up store bough sauce when you don't have time to cook grandma's sauce!!!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Delicious Cheeseburgers

My good friend Kim from high school was in town this weekend and tonight she and Jare stopped by for some dinner and catching up!

I figured I'd make something easy, fun and delicious, while keeping it healthy and light!

What you'll need:

  • Oroweat Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins (buns) (Costco)
  • 2 LBS Organic Ground Beef (Costco)
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Spinach
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion + a little olive oil
  • Cheese- Provolone, American, Cheddar- YOUR choice
  • Relish
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard

  1. Slice up the onion and grill in Olive Oil. 
  2. Mince 2-4 cloves of Garlic.
  3. Mix ground beef with Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Oregano.
  4. Split into individual amounts (divide by the number of people or desired burgers).
  5. Roll into balls, about the size of your palm.

Flatten the rolled meat into thin patties and grill!  I usually use a griddle over my stove- only because I don't have a BBQ Grill right now! 
Toast the Sandwich thins (these are 100 calories, whole wheat, and pretty delicious!)
Once the meat is done, top with your favorite cheese, your desired toppings and ENJOY!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crispy Chicken with Artichoke Heart White Wine Sauce

A dish inspired by a bag of frozen Artichoke Hearts at Trader Joes.  This meal was enjoyed with Irene who is visiting for the night!  

  • 2 Chicken Breast Pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • Palm full of Parmesan Cheese
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Splash of Chicken Broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Cups of Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs

Mix the egg, cheese, lemon juice, chicken broth, salt and pepper into a shallow bowl.  Place chicken in the mixture and coat both sides of the chicken.

Place the Bread Crumbs in a shallow bowl and coat the chicken.

Place the chicken on a cookie sheet, drizzle the chicken with Olive Oil and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  I accidentally broiled them for the first 10 minutes and this made the chicken very crunch which turned out great!!!

If you regularly cook for kids, you could make the chicken until this point and serve with your child's favorite dipping sauce. I think my niece and nephew Sara and Sam will enjoy this!!!

For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 yellow Onion chopped.
  • 4 cloves of Garlic chopped.
  • 1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup of Spinach
  • 3 Mini Lemons- juiced
  • Palm full of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 bag of Frozen Artichoke Hearts 
First cook down the Oinon, Garlic and Mushrooms.  Once tender, add a dash of Olive Oil, then Chicken Broth, Whipping Cream, Lemon Juice, Cheese... simmer until thickened.  If the sauce isn't thickening add a spoonful of flour. Add the Frozen Artichokes and Spinach leaves just before done.

Enjoy!  Also, we served with a side of Chicken Apple Sausage!  Delicious!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Super Smoothie

I've always loved smoothies.  I remember making fresh fruit smoothies with Grandma Meloney and my Mom.  I also loved trips to Jamba Juice after soccer or volleyball practice / games with Mom.

This Super Smoothie is delicious and healthy.  Adding or subtracting fruits and veggies is up to you!  Put in what you like... after all my motto is "no smoothie should ever taste exactly the same as the one before!"

What you'll need:
  • Kale- about 15-20 individual leaves, take the stems out. 
  • Juice from 2-3 Lemons (depending on size).
  • Juice from 1 Lime.
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Pomegranate Juice. (good substitute: soy / almond or hemp milk)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 4 heaping spoon fulls of ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 of a large cucumber sliced
  • 1 Banana
  • 5-6 Strawberries
  • 2 Kiwis
Additional ideas: Blueberries, Grapes, Apple, Sprouts or even Beats.

I like to make these just before bed, and have it ready to go in a mason jar, or to go cup for breakfast on my way out the door! 


Healthy Granola

Inspired by Kate at work, I decided I'd try to whip up my own personalized granola bars.  A few things to note: 
  1. These are no-bake bars
  2. There MUST be a "sticky" ingredient... which I lacked the first run!
What you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Oats- Red Mill has a great bag of these
  • 3/4 Cups Brown Rice Cereal
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Unsalted Peanuts
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds
  • 2 Cups Dried Fruit- I used a mixture of Blueberry Infused and Pomagranite Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries 
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  • 2 TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sun Butter (or natural organic peanut butter)
  • 3 TBSP Almond Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Rice Syrup (I didn't have this the first time)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the Brown Rice Syrup and the Butters... Only cook until warm and evenly combined.  Be sure not to boil or simmer.

Mix the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and pat into a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Let sit for about an hour- until the butter mixture has cooled.

The purpose of the Brown Rice Syrup is to make everything stick together- when I made these without the Brown Rice Syrup, it crumbled and flaked very easily and made a perfect "cereal snack".  Don't use Corn Syrup as that will take away from the healthiness of these delicious treats!  You can add some miniature chocolate chips if you like to make a bit sweeter, however, with the coconut and the sun butter / almond butter they come out quite sweet!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Taco Tuesday

Hello everyone!  Taco Tuesday is a great excuse to enjoy a few Corona's, Pacifico's or your favorite Mexican Brew with good friends and family!

During the summer when Nick and I lived in San Francisco we had dinner with close friends of ours, Nicole and Kevin, every Tuesday after work.  Occasionally we made tacos, experimented with new recipes, and cooked some old family favorites! 

Since We moved to Burlingame, and work hours haven't been "so regular" Tuesday night "family dinners" have been few and far between until tonight!!!

Below is my recipe for amazing Tacos- enjoyable any night of the week!!!

What you'll need:
  • Your Choice of Tortilla: I prefer whole wheat corn, Nick likes the standard Corn Tortilla
  • Avocados
  • Lettuce, spinach, or cabbage (choose 1)
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese Mix
  • Salsa: I prefer Fire Roasted Spicy.  You can substitute hot sauce: Valentina is great! Or home made Salsa.
  • Lime
  • Choice of meat: Carne Asada, Shredded Chicken, Ground Beef
  • Brown Rice- Quinoa is a great substitute for the brown rice.
  • Black Beans
  • Canola Oil
  • Sour Cream
  • Paper Towels
  1. Cook the rice or Quinoa according to package instructions
  2. Heat the beans 
  3. In a small frying pan, fill 1/4 inch with Canola Oil and put on Medium heat.  (This is for crisping the tortillas)
  4. You can tell when the oil is ready by sticking the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, when you see tiny bubbles form, the oil is at the right temperature. 
  5. Fry each tortilla individually, about 20 seconds on each side (or until lightly crispy) lay on a paper towel to soak up extra oil.  Repeat.
  6. I usually create a "salad bar" style for all the toppings for easy serving.  
  7. Layer the hot tortillas with cheese first, then meat (this will ensure the cheese gets nice and melted.) 
  8. Then add all the toppings you like and drizzle with a squirt of lime! 
Enjoy!!!  Food is meant to share, Taco Tuesday is am awesome excuse to share 2 hours of your day with amazing people!!! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Post Work Out Protein

Hello All!

Lately, I've been working out at Equinox 3-5 times a week.  I'm getting ready for the 100th Annual Bay to Breakers foot race in San Francisco with my mom- 12K.

With a little inspiration from the traditional "eggs rancheros" and Eggs over toast I've created a delicious healthy pre or post work out snack!   Today I made this late in the afternoon and cut all the ingredients in half so I wouldn't be full for dinner!

What you'll need:
  • 2 slices of Wheat Toast
  • 2 eggs or 4 Egg whites
  • 1/2 Avocado sliced
  • Spinach
  • 1 Spoon full of fire roasted salsa
  • 1 Spoon full of Sour Cream
  • 1 Spoon full of shredded Mexican cheese mix
  • 1 Spoon full Olive Oil 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Put the bread into the Toaster.
  • Heat Olive Oil in frying pan
  • Cook eggs- to desired consistency. (I prefer egg whites, or over medium eggs)
  • Once the eggs and toast are done, layer toast with: spinach (raw or lightly sauteed), eggs, cheese, sour cream, Avocado then Salsa. 

Enjoy!  Today I enjoyed this with a serving of O.N.E Active Lime Coconut Water.

This meal gives you the protein needed after exercising and is light enough for a snack or breakfast!  It really has become one of my favorite quick fixes!!!