Super Bowl Eats!

So I’ve totally failed and been MIA the last month! Eek! Sorry for to lack of posts but I promise this month there will be a bunch!

To start off the month right I decided to post a delicious recipe that would be perfect to have while cheering on the Steelers on Sunday for the Super Bowl!! I borrowed/stole this recipe from How Sweet It Is (as usual! Her recipes are so great I can’t help it!) It is semi sorta healthy.. I figured it’s the Super Bowl and everyone will be pacing around in nervousness that you’ll probably burn some calories! So this weeks posts will be all yummy food you can make for a Steeler Super Bowl Party! Next week, I’ll show you some exercises to burn off all those calories you will be eating on Sunday!

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Everyone has more than likely had buffalo chicken dip, you know the dip filled with chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce and bleu cheese. Well this recipe I think is a tad healthier than than and is so delicious everyone will love it!

Here’s what you will need:

  • 8 whole wheat tortillas & olive oil for spritzing
  • 4-5 ounces of shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1- 2 ounces crumbled gorgonzola (bleu cheese crumbles work as well)
  • 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (or more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • avocado for garnish
  • sour cream

The first thing you will need to do is to make the chips from the whole wheat tortillas. You could also just do what I will be doing on Sunday and buy a bag of corn chips. I don’t think my shaking hands from excitement/nervs will be a good combination with a sharp knife to cut tortillas!

But if you are making them, cut the tortillas into wedges and spritz with olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

Next step is the chicken! Now you can cook the chicken any way you want but roasting it would work really well! You could even just do what I’m probably going to do which is to buy one of those roast chickens from GE and just shred the meat from it. Its quick and easy!

Now for the buffalo sauce. I’m sure that you could use just hot sauce or buy pre-made buffalo sauce but it’s not hard to make at all! All you need is 1/3 cup of Frank’s Red Hot and 1/3 cup of melted butter. You may need more butter depending on how thick you want the sauce but if you use to much the sauce will get kind of oily so watch out!

Now the best part, putting it all together!

Start by adding a layer of the chips to the bottom of a baking dish, then top with chicken, cheese, buffalo wing sauce and your other toppings.

Continue layering until the chips and other ingredients are gone.

Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Drizzle with additional wing sauce over top and garnish with more scallions, sour cream and avocado!

So there it is! A great and semi/sorta maybe healthy dish for Sunday’s Big Game!!

Check in tomorrow for more great recipes and ideas for Sunday!!

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My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Made Healthy

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and it is not complete without my favorite dish. Green Bean Casserole (GBC). I know your probably thinking ‘That is your favorite dish? What about the turkey and stuffing?’ Don’t get me wrong I love both of those as well but I love GBC! The only problem I have is that my mom hates it and refuses to make my beloved GBC.

So this year I am taking it upon myself to make it and hopefully with this healthier recipe my parents will allow it to sit on the table with all the other delicious side dishes! I found this recipe for a healthier GBC on Yahoo! and it seems like a very suitable replacement for the traditional recipe made with cream of mushroom soup which is filled with sodium, calories and saturated fat.

Green Bean Casserole
Active time: 30 minutes | Total: 45 minutes

This healthy revision of green bean casserole skips the canned soup and all the fat and sodium that come with it. White sauce with sliced fresh mushrooms, sweet onions and low-fat milk makes a creamy, rich casserole.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion (half diced, half thinly sliced), divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1 pound frozen French-cut green beans (about 4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk powder (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and sherry and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and buttermilk powder. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
3. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup flour, paprika, garlic powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add sliced onion; toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Spread the onion topping over the casserole.
4. Bake the casserole until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Makes 6 servings, about 3/4 cup each.
Per serving: 212 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 533 mg sodium; 259 mg potassium.

Ingredient Notes:

Don’t use the high-sodium “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets. Instead, purchase dry sherry sold with other fortified wines.
Look for buttermilk powder, such as Saco Buttermilk Blend, in the baking section or with the powdered milk in most supermarkets.

 

So there you go, a healthier version of my favorite Thanksgiving side dish! Though I won’t lie I probably will still get the canned onions for the top. I don’t really have a lot of patience and they are super tasty! What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish that you can’t live without?!

 

Healthy Fish Sticks

I was reading some of my favorite blogs the other day whenever I found a recipe from a Pittsburgh blogger who made delicious looking fish sticks! Now these aren’t your normal gross looking frozen fish sticks you normally would find in the grocery store. I’m going to give you the recipe but I suggest you also go to this blog, How Sweet It Is and look at it, it goes a little more step by step and it’s a great blog! I visit it at least once a day!

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks

makes 12 fish sticks

  • 3 tilapia filets
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450.

Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray it with non-stick spray.

Cut the tilapia once down the middle, then in half, creating four “sticks.” Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, beat the 2 egg whites. In a separate bowl, add the panko, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Dip each fish stick in egg whites, than in the panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and spritz with olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve hot!

Speaking of blogs do you visit any on a regular basis? Here’s a list of my favorite blogs to visit for health, fitness and food!

How Sweet It Is

Eat Live Run

Choosing Raw

The Wednesday Chef

 

It’s Rainy and Cold Outside, How About Some Pizza!!

I was checking out my twitter feed today and I saw a tweet from Eat This Not That (great books and website!!) and in 140 characters they gave a recipe for the perfect homemade pizza. Those three words automatically made me want to have homemade pizza for dinner! When I was in college my roommate and I would make pizza all the time, it was easy, cheap and delicious! Anything is better than the processed pizzas from the freezer section or the greasy pies you get from your local pizza shop! The only time I felt like I wasn’t eating a piece of pizza filled with grease and fattening toppings was when I was in Italy and had homemade pizza (practically every day) with fresh ingredients and unprocessed cheese on top! But here in the states we rarely see pizza shops with those kinds of attributes and it makes me want to fly 9 hours to Rome to get the best slice of pizza I’ve ever had in my life! Sadly that will not be happening any time in the near future so the next best thing I can think of is to make some pizza myself for dinner tonight! I found a bunch of recipes with some unusual and regular toppings on them that will definitely be perfect on any pie!!

When I’m feeling motivated I’ll buy one of those packages that you add water to and it makes dough or I’ll get frozen dough.  When I’m being lazy or my packet of dough fails (I can never get it just right!) I’ll buy a precooked dough in the pasta/pizza aisle. Now you might have your own secret pizza dough recipe (and I encourage you to share :) ) and that’s great! Next is the sauce, sometimes I don’t use the canned pizza sauce but instead use spaghetti sauce! If you get a kind that has more vegetables in it really brings a lot of flavor to your pizza! But let’s look at the best part of pizza… the toppings!! What are you favorite toppings?

My Favorite Toppings (Never all on one pizza!)

  • Pepperoni
  • Mushrooms (I won’t lie I prefer canned mushrooms!)
  • Spinach (frozen works well but fresh of course is preferred!)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Pineapple
  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Buffalo Chicken

Now enough about what I like! Here are some recipes I found that you can try and make tonight!

Chicken Gorgonzola Pizza w/ Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • Pizza Sauce
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 chicken half-breast (about 6 ounces), cut lengthwise into strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 12-inch store bought crust

Directions

1. For the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan; add red onion and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

2. In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion slices, cover, and cook 3–4 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are dark brown. Remove from pan.

3. Using the same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat and add chicken. When chicken begins to turn white, sprinkle with basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat.

4. Preheat oven to 400º. Roll pizza dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Coat a round pizza pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Transfer dough to pan.

5. Spread 1/2–3/4 cup sauce over crust, leaving 1/2 inch of crust showing around the edge. Spread caramelized onions and mushrooms evenly over sauce. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, then top with cooked chicken. Bake another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Turkey Alfredo Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  shredded cooked turkey breast (left over Thanksgiving turkey maybe? Well in a couple weeks!)
  • 1  cup  frozen chopped collard greens or spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 2  teaspoons  lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  garlic clove, halved
  • 1  (1-pound) Italian cheese-flavored thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
  • 1/2  cup  light Alfredo sauce (such as Contadina)
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 450°.
  3. Combine the first 5 ingredients; toss well. Rub cut sides of garlic over crust; discard garlic.
  4. Spread Alfredo sauce evenly over crust; top with turkey mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and red pepper.
  5. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until crust is crisp. Cut into 6 wedges.

Pizza Del Sol

Ingredients

  • basic pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound feta cheese
  • 6 artichoke hearts (in brine), drained and quartered
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata (Greek) olives or ripe California olives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475deg.F. Coarsely chop spinach and steam 3 to 5 minutes until wilted. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough into desired size and place on a pizza screen or baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Turn outer edge under 1/2 inch to form a rim. Brush crust with olive oil.
  3. Cover pizza with spinach and top with feta cheese, artichokes and olives. Bake until cheese melts and crust turns golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Malaysian Chicken Pizza

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup  rice vinegar
  • 1/4  cup  firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  water
  • 1  tablespoon  minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2  tablespoons  chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2  to 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1  (12-inch) Basic Pizza Crust
  • 1/4  cup  chopped green onions

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 500°.
  2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
  4. Pour rice vinegar mixture into pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook mixture 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. (Mixture will be consistency of thick syrup.)
  5. Sprinkle cheeses over prepared crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and top with chicken mixture. Bake at 500° for 12 minutes on bottom rack in oven. Sprinkle with green onions. Place pizza on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.

So all of those recipes sound really good right?! Hopefully you will try these out and find some new favorite toppings to your pizza! Remember to keep some of these pizzas healthy stick with fresh ingredients, make your own sauce, use low fat meats, low sodium, and don’t load on to much cheese!!

 

It’s Getting Colder Out! Soup Anyone?

Yesterday it was cold out. Well colder than it has been at least and all I wanted to eat was soup or something that would just warm me up! So I searched for some soup recipes and found a couple that are perfect because they use some fall vegetables that are very abundant right now! Here’s a few from MSN that sound so good and I can’t wait to try!

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Croutons

Ingredients

  • 2 large (1 3/4 pounds each) heads broccoli, stems peeled
  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart(s) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 cup(s) water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream (I’m sure you could use less of this and it would just be less creamy since it is high in calories!)
  • 1/2 cup(s) milk
  • Bite-size croutons, for serving

Directions

1. Separate the broccoli stems from the heads. Measure out 3 cups of small florets and reserve. Coarsely chop the remaining broccoli. In a large pot, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped broccoli to the pot along with the broth and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes. Add 2 cups of the reserved florets, cover and simmer until barely tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the remaining 1 cup of florets and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat until richly browned, about 6 minutes.

3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and milk and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring a few times. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the sautéed florets and croutons and serve!

Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart(s) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 quart(s) water
  • 2 pound(s) carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 6 large scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 teaspoon(s) poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup(s) milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

1. In a large pot, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and water along with the carrots and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallions and poppy seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the scallions are softened, about 1 minute.

3. Working in batches, puree the carrot soup in a blender until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and milk and simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the scallions and poppy seeds and serve.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

First you need roasted fall vegetables so heres a recipe for that! You could also grill these as well since it’s still a little bit warm out!

Ingredients

Roasted Fall Vegetables:

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 6 red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 pckg. Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss all ingredients with olive oil, garlic and kosher salt and pepper. Bake for one hour or until tender.
Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

  • 5 C Swanson’s chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Roasted Fall Vegetables
  • 3 T butter

Directions

Melt butter in pan. Add onion and garlic (season with a little salt and pepper). Once they are tender/translucent, add the all ingredients except lemon juice. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve. You can use an immersion blender and make the soup less chunky, but or you can leave it chunky and have the vegetables pretty big. Add the lemon juice at the end.

Theres three recipes that I think would be really delicious right now, well maybe not today since it’s supposed to be warmer but it’s getting cooler out!

Have a Healthier Tailgate!

In honor of the Steeler’s season opener on Sunday (1:00) I decided to give you some tips on how to eat a little bit healthy at your tailgate! I know you’re not at a tailgate to worry about what you are eating and making sure it is healthy. But here are just a few little things won’t make a big change in taste just in healthy factor!

Make Turkey Brats instead of Pork Bratwurst

Now I’ve never eaten a bratwurst so I’m not sure how one is supposed to taste but switching it from pork to turkey helps a lot in nutrition! It’s a difference of 450 calories and 37 grams of fat for the pork, versus 160 calories and 9 grams of fat for the turkey. You can still boil in beer and soak in mustard and they’re really quite tasty.

Chicken Sandwiches instead of Burgers

I normally switch out ground beef for ground turkey when I would make anything with ground me because it is so much better for you. But another great thing is to switch burgers for chicken sandwiches instead! A regular 6 oz. angus beef patty yields 500 calories and 43 grams of fat, whereas a 6 oz. grilled chicken breast yields 281 calories and 6 grams of fat. Season any way you like, and still add a slice of reduced-fat cheese!

Salsa instead of Cheese Dip

I know everyone loves cheese dips for chips but you can easily switched it out for salsa! Choose a baked corn chip and feel free to dip into fresh homemade or store-bought salsa. Just two tablespoons of cheese dip has 40 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Hearty salsas offer about 10-15 calories and zero fat per two tablespoons. Also consider guacamole or hummus (my favorite kind of hummus is roasted red pepper!)

Light Beer for Regular Beer

Beer for some people is a staple when tailgating but drinking can add up to be a lot of calories. You never want to drink your calories, but if you’re going to have a few cold ones while tailgating, make them light beers. The average light beer has 103 calories, compared to 153 in your average regular beer. Also, alternate a bottle of water between beers to stay hydrated and avoid filling up on empty calories.

Whole Grain Buns instead of White Buns

You want to limit white, processed foods anywhere you can, so start with swapping your burger and hot dog buns. You’ll be adding some essential fiber, vitamins and minerals that get stripped in the processing of white breads. Plus, they taste pretty good, too!

Include Some Fruits and Veggies

This one is super easy! You can get a premade veggie or fruit tray or make your own. This also can be accomplished in a number of other ways and won’t feel like a tea party. Throw bell peppers, corn on the cob,  onions, asparagus, and zucchini on the grill and serve with your entree. Make fruit kabobs by alternating grapes, strawberries, melon, and kiwi on skewers. Grilled pineapple complements grilled chicken well, and grilled peaches with honey make an irresistible dessert. In the colder months, serve thick vegetable soups or stews loaded in veggies.

Healthier Snacks instead of Junk Food

One of the fun things about tailgating is the junk food, I won’t lie. Everyone wants those finger foods and snacks, and it’s okay to oblige. But if you put out cheddar cheese crackers, choose the whole grain variety. If you put out a bowl of nuts, make them fresh, raw nuts, rather than the over-salted canned variety. If someone wants chocolate, make it a dark chocolate low in added sugar. The compromises are there, you just have to find them.

Here are also a few recipes for some great healthier tailgate foods!

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Ingredients

  • 10 oz spinach
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 dash Tabasco
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 bag whole wheat pita chips

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain 1 can of artichoke hearts, and chop them into small pieces. Place in a bowl.
  3. Chop 1 bunch of green onions, and mince 1 clove of garlic. Add to bowl.
  4. Chop 10 ounces of spinach, add to bowl, and mix.
  5. Blend in 1 cup of fat-free sour cream, 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 dash of Tabasco, and salt and pepper (to taste).
  6. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, then transfer them to a food processor, and pulse until blended.
  7. Put mixture in an oven-proof dish, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes (or until bubbling around the edges and browning on top).
  8. While dip is baking, chop 1 tomato.
  9. Take dip out of the oven, and garnish with tomato pieces.

Serve with whole wheat pita chips (a single serving of dip with a chip is 3 ounces).

Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Ingredients

  • 1 packet lite cream cheese
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 16 slices turkey
  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup salsa

Preparation

  1. In bowl, whip together 1 packet of lite cream cheese and 1/4 cup of salsa.
  2. Spread the mixture on the bottom layer of each whole wheat pita.
  3. Layer pitas with sliced turkey and leaves of romaine lettuce.
  4. Roll up tortillas and slice.

Place toothpicks in the roll-ups and serve.

Rosemary Skewered Chicken with Orange Glaze

Ingredients

  • Juice of 3 oranges
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 large sprigs of rosemary about 10 to 12 inches long, with half the leaves removed

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium high heat.
  2. Place the orange juice into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the orange juice has the consistency of a very thin syrup. Add the Dijon, honey, garlic, and ginger and continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat to allow flavors to meld and reserve.
  3. Evenly divide the cubed chicken among the rosemary sprigs and skewer the chicken onto the exposed part of the rosemary sprigs.
  4. Lightly brush the grill with oil and grill chicken for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
  5. Remove skewers from the grill to a serving plate, drizzle with the orange sauce and serve immediately.

Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C. red onions, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 C. fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl and mix well
  2. Serve immediately

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar free raspberry preserves (or apricot, or cherry)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup high gluten flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch pan
  3. Set aside
  4. Combine Splenda and cocoa
  5. Gradually add eggs and preserves, beating on low-speed with electric mixer
  6. Add vanilla, salt, and almond extract and beat briefly to mix
  7. Combine flour and baking soda and stir in with a spatula
  8. Do not over mix
  9. Turn into prepared pan
  10. Bake at 325F for 30-35 minutes
  11. Brownies should be slightly under-baked but not runny in the center
  12. Allow to cool and cut into small squares

So there you go! Some things to keep in mind when you’re planning your tailgate for this weekend and some easy healthier recipes to try!

Having a Labor Day Picnic this Weekend?

So today I’m giving everyone a few great recipes to make for your Labor Day picnic this weekend! I tried to put a bunch that I haven’t seen before so everyone can try something new! My favorite one is the grilled corn! Yum! Has anyone done that? I think it’s the best way to make corn on the cob and we don’t make it any other way at my house! So try some of these recipes this weekend and let me know how it goes!!

Balsamic Grilled Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 red potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cooked
  • 2 red onions, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, cut into 2˝ strips
  • 1 sweet red pepper, cut into 2˝ strips

Directions

  • In a shallow baking dish, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and pepper.
  • Add the chicken, turning to coat with the marinade. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, onions and peppers to the marinade.
  • Coat the grill rack with cooking spray.
  • Preheat the grill on medium heat for 10 minutes. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on the grill, reserving the marinade.
  • Cook, turning the chicken and vegetables occasionally and brushing with the reserved marinade, until the chicken is no longer pink inside (test with a sharp knife) and the vegetables are tender.
  • Makes 4 servings

Chili-Lime Grilled Corn

Ingredients

  • 8 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 3 Tbsp butter
1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbsp high-quality chili powder, plus more to taste

Directions

  • The grill should be moderately hot and the rack no more than 4 inches from the heat source.
  • Peel back (but don’t remove) the husks of the corn and remove the inner silk.
  • Smooth the husks back into place.
  • When the grill is ready, cook the corn, turning occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • As the ears start to brown, remove the husks.
  • Coat the corn with the butter and return to the grill, turning occasionally, until the ears are nicely browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Squeeze lime juice on the corn, sprinkle with chili powder, and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 2 lb green cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
  • 2 tsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Quarter the cabbage and remove the core, and cut the carrots and onion into chunks. Grate the vegetables in a food processor, using the large-holed grater attachment. Then toss them together in a large bowl.
  • For the dressing, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  • Toss the dressing with the vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste, and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

For the Pork:

  • 6 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Scant tablespoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 10-to-12-pound boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, rinsed anddried
  • 12 soft hamburger buns, split
  • Coleslaw, for serving

For the Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions

  • If using a gas grill, preheat to high on one side; put soaked wood chips in a smoker box. Once smoking, reduce the heat to maintain a temperature of 275 degrees F and cook the pork, covered, on the cooler side of the grill.
  • Make the Neelys’ go-to barbecue seasoning: Mix the paprika, sugar and onion powder in a bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons seasoning to a separate bowl, add 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons pepper, and massage onto the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. (Reserve the remaining barbecue seasoning.)
  • Soak 6 cups wood chips in water, about 15 minutes, then drain. Don’t oversoak, or the wood will snuff out the fire.
  • Fill a smoker or kettle grill with charcoal and light. (Pat uses lighter fluid; you can also use a chimney starter.) When the coals are mostly white, spread them out with tongs. Spread 1/2 cup of the wood chips over the coals (use 1 cup for a kettle grill). The temperature of the grill should be about 275 degrees F.
  • Place the pork fat-side down on a rack in the smoker or on the grill. Cover and cook, rotating the pork every hour or so, until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees F, about 6 hours total.
  • As the pork cooks, add more charcoal and wood chips to keep the temperature between 250 degrees F and 275 degrees F and to maintain the smoke level.
  • Meanwhile, mix the ketchup, 1 cup water, both sugars, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, the onion and mustard powders, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon of the reserved barbecue seasoning in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours. Let cool, then reheat on the grill when ready to use.
  • Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet (you’ll want to catch all the flavorful juices) and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred into bite-size pieces, pile on a platter and pour any juices from the baking sheet on top.
  • Mound the pork on bun bottoms, paint with a little barbecue sauce, top with slaw and cover with the bun tops.

Chili Glazed Pork Ribs

Ingredients

  • 2 racks pork spareribs (about 6 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • Make shallow cuts between the ribs on the bone side with a sharp knife, piercing just the membrane.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon salt, the brown sugar, garlic, thyme, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the ribs.
  • Place the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan, loosely cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Meanwhile, combine the cider, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  • Preheat a grill to low heat on one side.
  • Cook the ribs bone-side down on the cooler side of the grill, covered, until tender, about 2 hours 30 minutes. (If using a charcoal grill, add more charcoal as needed to maintain the temperature.)
  • Continue to cook, uncovering every 10 minutes to baste with the sauce, until the ribs are glazed, about 40 more minutes.
  • Remove from the grill and cut into pieces.

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • 5 hard-cooked eggs
  • 3/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Directions

  • Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool for 30 minutes.
  • Slice eggs in half (discard yolks or save for another use). Cut the whites into 1/2-in. pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, egg whites, onion, celery, green onions, red pepper and parsley; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.