I’m sure you’ve heard of ramen noodles. In the US, it seems like ramen noodles and mac & cheese are college student staples, or at least that’s the stereotype (I never did like macaroni and cheese out of a box). But ramen noodles aren’t just for broke college kids. Growing up, my mom always had ramen noodles on hand for chicken soup. Of course, she pitched the sauce packet and used real (homemade) chicken broth instead, then we added shredded chicken, onions, hard boiled eggs and other steamed veggies to make a chicken noodle soup. It was one of my favorite meals growing up, and I think it was one of hers too. She knew we all loved it, it was easy and it was healthy. I used carrots, bell pepper and green onions in mine, but you can add any vegetables you want to it, or serve your steamed vegetables on the side. Give it a try with some leftover roast chicken, it’s simple, quick and delicious and the whole family will love it.
Sometimes it’s really nice to just pull out an old favorite. You know it’s going to be delicious every time and you know that it’s simple and everyone likes it. For my family, one of those recipes is Salisbury steak. You can use the minute steak for it, or tenderized round steak, but I usually just use hamburger. It’s easy and I’ve always got it on hand. Make up your patties and fry them in a skillet, then make up a beef gravy with onions (and mushrooms if you’re so inclined) to top the patties. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes, corn and green beans and you’ve got a simple, delicious and well-loved meal ready to go in no time.
I was craving some Oriental inspired food the other day, and this cashew chicken fit the bill perfectly. The chicken breast is coated with just a dusting of cornstarch (you can also use arrowroot starch or tapioca starch if you can’t have cornstarch). This gives it a crisp coating and helps to thicken the sauce. Since the chicken is cut into small pieces, it’s easy and fast to cook in a skillet. In order to keep the amount of oil down, I just added a little water (a couple of tablespoons) and a lid to the chicken to keep it from sticking. I also stirred it frequently. If you like your sauce to be a little spicier, add some more red pepper flakes, or omit them if you like it mild. You’ll fall in love with this tasty and easy cashew chicken. Serve it with some marinated cucumbers and a side of stir fried vegetables for a filling, delicious and beautiful meal.
Curry is one of those dishes that is simple and delicious. This curry is even more simple and tasty – and it’s vegan, gluten free and dairy free. Chickpeas are a great food. You can make flour with them (garbanzo bean flour), add them to soups and stews and salads. They’re full of fiber and are a great source of protein. I typically use canned chickpeas, since they’re easy to have on hand and they’re ready to go. I just rinse and drain them and toss them into whatever I’m making. Curry is one that can be a little tough if you’re not careful. Some people like their curries hot enough to light their hair on fire, others prefer a little more mild. If you’re someone (like me) that doesn’t like really hot curry, you can start with half of the curry paste, and then season it to taste. If you accidently add too much, add a little plain Greek yogurt to your curry. The yogurt will help to tame your curry without altering the flavor. This curry is great for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
I love using the crockpot for meats and soups. It’s a great way to cook things without my having to attend to them every second. The meat that is cooked in the crockpot is tender, moist and delicious. Crockpots are my favorite way to cook up a chicken that I’m going to debone and then chop up and freeze. This fabulous beef taco recipe is another one that’s perfect in the crock pot. Sure, you can simmer it on the stove in the sauce for about 2 hours until it’s tender, but it’s so much easier to just stick it in the crockpot, turn it on and walk away. The meat turns out delicious and tender every time. Once you’re ready to eat, serve these with your favorite toppings. I love to pile on the veggies (especially since they’re zero points plus) and a dab of sour cream and cheese.
Have I mentioned before how much I adore one pan meals? With 2 young kids, 3 cats, and a husband who acts like a teenager, they just make my life SO much easier. This One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe was a HUGE hit and I’m really excited to share it. I used extra lean ground beef in this, but you could easily substitute ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. The tender, perfectly seasoned meat is cooked in one skillet along with whole wheat macaroni noodles, and then it’s all topped with gooey, melty Mexican cheese. Try this recipe, and I’d be surprised if your family didn’t love it as much as mine.
Fall is a perfect time to enjoy rich and delicious soups and stews. This wild rice and chicken soup is hearty and creamy, it’s perfect to finish a cool fall day. I love creamy chicken and rice soups, they have such a rich and wholesome flavor. This one is no exception, the wild rice adds a wonderful color and texture to the soup that makes it’s a delightful meal. It’s an easy one to stick in the crockpot too. Just saute the veggies, thicken the broth and stick it all in the crockpot. Add the milk 20 to 30 minutes before serving. This warm soup is comforting, delicious, simple and beautiful. And the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day. [Read more…]
As much as I love cooking, there’s nothing more I hate than doing the dishes and cleanup afterwards. Most of my cooking tools and pots and pans need to be hand washed, so depending on the complexity of my recipe, that can lead to a LOT of post-cooking work. Which is why I have become a huge fan of one-pan/pot meals – they are super easy to cook, and require a lot less cleanup. This One Pan Quinoa Taco Skillet Recipe has become a recent favorite in our home. Made with quinoa instead of rice and lean ground turkey instead of ground beef, it’s a lot healthier and absolutely delicious. Top with shredded cheese, red onion, avocado, roasted corn, shredded lettuce – or whatever your taco-loving heart desires. Just make sure to count the extra Points Plus you may incur. Enjoy!
I love salads, but I like variety in my salads. As a result, I’m always looking for delicious new salad recipes. This one definitely fits the bill. Roasted beets, carrots, alfalfa sprouts and tuna fish – it’s a great combination, packed with nutrients and beautiful to eat as well. The dressing is simple and easy to make up. It’s one of the dressings that you can stick in a half pint jar to mix it (just screw on the lid and shake) and any leftover dressing, leave in the fridge for the next round. You’re welcome to use canned beets instead of roasting your own, just make sure you drain them well and pat them dry before slicing them. You can typically find alfalfa sprouts in the produce section of your grocery store, or you can get a kit to make your own sprouts. Sprouts are great in salads and sandwiches as well, so it’s not a bad thing to have on hand. Toss this salad together and enjoy it for lunch or dinner!
Stuffed peppers are something that I really enjoy, especially when I make them with pepper jack cheese. The spicy cheese adds a little spice and makes them delicious. The downside of my original stuffed pepper recipe is that it’s not healthy, not with all the meat and cheese in it. So, I went about trying to make a healthier, vegetarian version of these peppers. Well, it’s not exactly the same, but they’re delicious all the same. I used couscous, since it’s a light and fluffy way to fill these, and since my husband doesn’t like quinoa. The lemon juice, olive oil and parsley provide additional flavor in these peppers. And once you’ve got them in the oven, you can take the time to finish the rest of dinner, not to mention the leftovers are perfect for lunch.
Talk about a complete meal in one bowl! This incredibly delicious Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad is absolutely packed with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Not only is mouthwateringly good, but it is very filling and loaded with enough energy and nutrition to last you a long time. I love making this salad for lunch, and I have no problem not getting hungry until dinner time. Or, I will make this salad for dinner when I want to avoid snacking in the evening (which is my biggest problem). The flavor combination in this Weight Watchers salad recipe is outstanding….peppery arugula topped with smoky salmon, tangy balsamic coated tomatoes, filling whole wheat couscous, and wonderfully nutty toasted pine nuts with sweet raisins. All covered in a creamy, tangy dressing that will leave your tastebuds doing backflips. My husband and I are absolutely in love with this Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad Recipe, and I highly recommend all of you giving it a try! It’s one very complete, and satisfying dish for just 9 Points +.