Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sweet BBQ Turkey Meatballs

Looking for an absolutely easy recipe to bring to your next summer cookout? This is the one! The crock pot does all  the work while you can sit back, enjoy the sunshine and drink a cold beer :)


(1) 32. oz bag of frozen turkey meatballs
(1) 18 oz jar of grape jelly
(1) 18 oz container of honey BBQ sauce (I used sweet baby rays)
Green onion if desired for garnish


Place the crock pot on low heat. Add the meatballs, grape jelly and bbq sauce. Mix well. Cover. Let them cook for at least 3 hours.

If you are cooking them ahead of time, after 3 hours, turn the dial to "keep warm." When you are ready to serve, garnish with chopped green onion!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cheesy Ritz Chicken

My parents came over last night for the first dinner I made them at my new place. I wanted to make something tasty, but easy since I didn't want to spend the entire night in the kitchen. This recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight and makes for a very easy clean up. The total prep time for this meal is about 5 minutes - my kind of cooking!


1.5 lbs of thin sliced chicken ( you should get about 6 pieces or so)
8 oz sour cream ( you can substitute light or low fat sour cream)
2 sleeves of reduced fat ritz crackers
1 bag of shredded cheese ) I used a mixed cheddar variety
Non-stick spray
Parsley for garnish
Greek seasoning (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Lay out the chicken breasts evenly on the casserole dish. Sprinkle them with greek seasoning, or any other desired seasoning. Spread a thin layer of sour cream on each slice of chicken.

Top each slice of chicken with an even amount of the shredded cheese and pat the cheese down lightly on each chicken breast.

Next, take the two sleeves of Ritz Crackers and mash them up until they are crumb sized. Use a heavy tool to do this (I used my garlic slicer.) Sprinkle the ritz on top of the chicken, covering completely. Place the dish in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Some ovens cook faster than others, so be sure to cut into the chicken first to make sure it is cooked through. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with your favorite sides. I served this dish with a side of baked scallops and a garden salad. Delicious!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

125 Calorie Cinnamon French Toast

French toast is by far one of my favorite comfort breakfast foods. But at 464 calories and 16 grams of fat, Ihop's french toast is NOT worth it! Not to mention, they usually top it with sugar infused "fruit" and fatty whipped topping. It's so simple and easy to modify this recipe, and the best part is that it only takes a few minutes out of your busy morning routine!


- 2 slices of Pepperidge Farm Light Oatmeal Bread (I use this bread and only this bread in my diet, it's magic at only 45 calories a slice!)
- 1/4 cup of fat free egg scramblers (you may need a little more, I just eyeballed it)
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- a drop or two of vanilla extract


Place a frying pan on a stove jet on medium heat and allow it to heat up for about 2 minutes (be sure to spray the pan with PAM.) Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl (excluding the bread) and mix well. Dip both of the sides of bread in the mixture then place in the frying pan. Repeat for the other slice of bread. Allow each side to cook for around 1 minute and flip. Allow around 1 minute for the other side. If both sides still aren't crispy, allow a little more time on both sides. Serve! You can top this with "I can't believe it's not butter" spray butter and light syrup... yum! Another idea is to top it with fruit (maybe strawberries) and fat free cool whip! I did the nutrition facts for 2 slices of french toast without any toppings. 

Nutrition Facts for 2 slices of French Toast without any toppings

Calories - 125
Carbs - 19
Fat - 1
Protein - 12
Sodium - 267
Fiber - 1

Pesto Chicken with Bruschetta Angel Hair Pasta

Angel hair pasta and Bruschetta go together like peanut butter and jelly. So don't me and Trader Joe's. If you don't have one in your area, find one and make a road trip out of it and stock up! I just love their products and their customer service! This recipe is based off of a few Trader Joe's ingredients, so if you are unable to get them, substitute with similar store products.


1 tablespoon of basil ( I used the chopped basil cubes pictured below)
1 tablespoon of EVOO
1 lb of thin sliced chicken breast
1 lb of angel hair pasta
1 container of Bruschetta 14.5oz ( I used the Trader Giottos Bruschetta)
Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
Fresh parsley for garnish


Fill a large cooking pot half way with water and place on high. Set your oven on 350. In a medium sauce pan, heat up the basil and olive oil on medium heat. Once it is ready for a sear, add the chicken. Below are pictures of the chopped basil that I love from Trader Joe's, its so easy to use and great to keep on hand!

Add the chicken to the sauce pan and allow it to sear on one side. Once it is well seared on one side, flip it and begin to sear it on the other side. Now that both sides are seared, place in a casserole dish that is sprayed with non-stick spray and place it in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Next, your water should be boiling by now so add the angel hair and stir occasionally. Rinse out the frying pan that you used for the chicken and add the whole container of bruschetta and place on low. Once your pasta is fully cooked, drain and rinse with hot water.

Add the pasta to the bruschetta and mix well with tongs like the picture below. Your chicken should be ready at this point.

Plate up with the pasta, then add the chicken on top and garnish with parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Italian Mushroom & Onion Calzone

My boyfriend and I are starting "meatless Mondays" as of last night. I could probably become a vegetarian but I love meat too much, so this is a stepping stone! I decided to make a calzone last night because I haven't had one in probably 10 years! They're easy to make and taste delicious! Feel free to use your own ingredients for the filling and be creative!


Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough
1 bag of your preferred shredded cheese (I used the pizza blend)
1 package of mushrooms
1 medium white onion
Italian seasoning
Non-stick spray
1 tablespoon of EVOO


Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop up the mushrooms and onion to small diced sizes. Place in a medium sized frying pan with 1 tablespoon of EVOO. Place on medium heat. Stir well as they begin to cook. Once they are all finished cooking, set aside. Take a large sized cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Lay out the pizza dough. Top the center of the dough with cheese (about the same amount you would use on a pizza), be sure to set some cheese aside for the topping. Next, evenly add the mushroom and onion mixture on top of the cheese. Fold up the edges of the dough to seal like the picture below. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until you start to notice it browning on the top.

Once the calzone is lightly browned on the top, take it out and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and a dash of Italian seasoning.

Place it back in the oven for 1-2 minutes. Now change the oven to "broil". Make sure you watch it like a hawk! With the broil option, if you leave it in too long, it will burn. Take it out once the top is crispy looking.

Let the calzone sit for 5 minutes. Slice up and serve with your favorite sides. I served ours with a side of Trader Joe's Creamy Tomato Basil sauce for dipping and Trader Joes Arancini Bites (Rissoto and Fontina cheese filled balls...yum!)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mexican Pasta salad

Pasta salad has always been one of those sides that you can easily throw together with what ever you have in your pantry. I always make sure to keep a few boxes of pasta laying around for those last minute sides or party dishes. I had my first ever ladies night at my new place recently and had a tiered buffet server for 5 appetizers. I only had 4 on hand and thought that a pasta salad would be a great fifth addition. 


1 cup of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of chipotle ranch (if you cant find this, take 2 tablespoons of regular ranch and add 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning.)
1 box of pasta
1 bunch of green onions
5 eggs
1 tomato
1/2 white onion raw
2 celery sticks
*Feel free to add black beans, corn or other ingredient in this! I was just using what I had on hand


In a large sauce pan, fill half way with water and place on high so you get a boil. While your water for your pasta is boiling, begin cooking your hard boiled eggs. There are many techniques for cooking hard boiled eggs. If you do not know how to hard boil eggs, here is a link on how to hard boil eggs. While you are waiting for the water to boil for the pasta, begin chopping your other ingredients to your desired size. Chop the green onion, white onion, tomato and celery and place in a mixing bowl. By now, your water should be boiling so go ahead and add the pasta to the boiling water and stir well. Also keep an eye on your hard boiled eggs. Next, mix together the mayonnaise and the chipolte ranch in a mixing bowl. Cover the chopped vegetables with this mix. Once your eggs are done boiling, chop them up and add to the mix as well. Lastly, when the pasta is finished cooking, drain and add to the mix and stir well. Let this sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours covered.The pasta might absorb some of the mayonnaise mixture so if it is too dry, add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of the chipotle ranch to coat the mixture. Stir well and serve with a garnish of green onion.