How delicious does a breakfast casserole sound? Not to mention the convenience of it already been prepared. All you have to do is pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and enjoy for the remainder of the week. Perfect if you’re like me and prefer to prep your breakfast and lunches for the week on Sunday. Afterall, if you “fail to plan, plan to fail” and I refuse to fail with just a little over fifty days left until summer!
So of course, a casserole is the way to go if you want a little bit of everythin’, There really is no wrong ingredient. I used turkey sausage for mine to keep the healthy factor still there. I basically use turkey for everything though..
Eggs, Sausage and Potatoes Breakfast Casserole
A delicious breakfast casserole that can be prepped and enjoyed for an entire week, or served at brunch.
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ cubes
- 1lb turkey or italian sausage, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Well-grease a 9x13 baking pan.
- Over medium-heat, boil a medium sized saucepan until water is boiling. Add diced potatoe cubes and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until lightly browned. When sausage appears done, add onion, red pepper and garlic to skillet. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add to greased baking pan and set aside.
- Using a large bowl, add eggs, milk, 1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, and black pepper. Whisk well. Next add your egg mixture to the potato and sausage mixture in baking pan. Make sure to stir so that all ingredients are combined well. Sprinkle additional ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese ontop and cover with foil.
- Add baking pan to oven and cook for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes are up, remove foil and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cook off momentarily before serving.
I enjoy fried chicken just as much as the next person. Problem is, I’ve always had a problem with not burning the chicken when attempting to fry using my stovetop and a skillet pan. For some time, I used the avoidance route and would “fry” my chicken tenders in the oven by slicing them thin and preparing them with bread crumbs, butter and egg. It worked just fine, but I knew at some point I would have to correctly teach myself how to fry something without taking the easy way out and counting on the oven to help me get it done. Besides, I’d appreciate a good piece of breaded chicken more knowing I hadn’t cheated to get it that way.
So when you hear the phrase “practice makes perfect,” know that it also applies to cooking. And so after a few different tries and figuring out what amount of oil works best, I figured out how to not burn fried chicken. And let me tell you, it tastes so much better than oven-fried and I’m no longer hesitating to try out new recipes that require frying chicken; such as this fantastic Lemon Romano Chicken recipe I found via Cooking Classy. No one should miss out on cooking something so delicious!
Lemon Romano Chicken
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup Romano cheese
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fresh coarse black pepper
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare chicken breasts by cutting each into two horizontal halves. Set aside on a plate.
- In a medium size shallow dish, combine all-purpose flour and 1 egg. Whisk well so that the mixture is thick and smooth. Set aside.
- In a second medium size shallow dish, combine Romano cheese, panko breadcrumbs, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, lemon zest. Whisk well so that all ingredients are combined. Set aside.
- Place each chicken breast, individually, in egg-flour mixture; turning onto each side so that it is well coated. Next, place chicken breast in romano cheese mixture; again turning onto each side so that it is well coated and fully breaded. Repeat with each chicken breast. Return chicken breasts to plate.
- Add vegetable oil and olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Allow oil to heat, using a pair of tongs to place each chicken breast in skillet. Cook 2-5 minutes, checking to make sure it's browned before turning to cook other side. Return each chicken breast to plate when fully cooked through.
- Line a cookie-sheet with foil, lightly coating with cooking spray. Add each chicken breast, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and place in oven for 14 minutes or until cheese appears well melted.
- Squeeze a lemon wedge onto each chicken breast and serve with lemon slices.
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Two weeks ago I bought a donut pan anticipating the thought of baking a patch of protein donuts. I’ve seen friends post pictures of them and I’ve browsed past them while looking on Pinterest. They seem like a fantastic breakfast or even post-workout snack.
I’m not a real big fan of protein powder for the most part, so I wanted to try something a little less tasting like a recipe made with it. Because a lot of my past breakfast recipes have consisted of oatmeal, I thought why not incorporate it into a donut? It works with muffins!
Now oatmeal baked alone doesn’t necessarily have that great of a taste. You need to add something else to adjust the flavor and usually fruit is your best bet on doing so. I love blueberries, so of course, those are my first fruit pick 🙂 They are always bursting with flavor and also give the donut a more ‘pretty’ look. You can also eat it with or without a glaze. The glaze just happens to give it a little more of a sweet taste so that your tastebuds aren’t confusing it with a round muffin.
Frosted Oatmeal Blueberry Donuts
A healthier take on donuts with fruit.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1½ cup skim milk
- ¼ cup natural applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ skim milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Well grease a donut pan. Set aside.
- Using a medium size bowl, add old-fashioned oats, milk, applesauce vanilla and butter. Whisk until combined.
- In a large size bowl, add all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk until combined.
- Add blueberries to old-fashioned oats mixture. Gently fold.
- Pour old-fashioned oats mix into large bowl, combining liquid ingredients with dry ingredients. Combine well, but try not to over mix. That takes away from the donuts taking on a more "fluffier" look.
- Add mixture to donut pan, filling each to the top. Bake in oven for 17 minutes, or until they appear a light golden color.
- While donuts are baking, start glaze frosting by adding confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until well combined. Remove from heat and place over a medium-size bowl of water to keep glaze from thickening.
- Remove donuts from oven, gently adding each donut to a cooling rack momentarily. When cooled off enough, dip donuts into glaze and return to cooling rack.
A lot of households, including my own, participate weekly in “Taco Tuesday” or “Taco Thursday” if you’re running behind on schedule and refuse to miss out. I don’t want to say that eating tacos grows old, because quite frankly I don’t see any truth in that. It is nice however to mix it up a little here and there. You can still use your taco shells and taco seasoning. Just think of it as “dressing your taco up differently.” Change is OK. It’s not permanent unless you like it.
Beef Tostadas are basically just an open taco.
Quick Beef Tostadas
An open-faced taco on baked tortilla.
- 1lb ground turkey
- one taco seasoning packet
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- shredded colby jack cheese
- romaine lettuce, shredded.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Heat a well greased large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until brown. Drain excess grease in a strainer. Return ground turkey to skillet and add taco seasoning with 1/3 cup of warm water. Mix well.
- When meat and taco seasoning have been well combined, add black beans. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Using a cup, trace the cup's edges on top of a tortilla, carefully cutting around with a knife. Add each tortilla cut-out to a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove tortillas, add ground turkey mix to each. Top with a fair sprinkle of colby jack cheddar cheese and return to oven to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or when cheese appears melted.
- Top each tortilla with diced tomatoes, romaine lettuce. Add salsa or sour cream as well if desired.
Crockpot Meal Alert! Who else loves the meals you get to throw into a big ol’ pot and leave to simmer until it’s dinner time? The easier the assembly on a busy week day, the better.
Burrito Bowls are pretty come and serve as you please. You can use other meats aside from chicken, add as many vegetables as you like and top with whatever else fits your pleasure. Because I’m watching what I eat more closely, I prepared this burrito bowl using ingredients that were healthy and that I could stand to eat consecutively for a few days.
Chicken Burrito Bowl in a Crockpot
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 3/4 cups of instant whole grain brown rice
- ½ cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon lite sour cream
- 1 tomato, diced
- Prep a large crockpot and set on low heat. Add chicken breasts.
- Pour low-sodium chicken broth overtop chicken breasts, followed by taco seasoning. Mix well.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts from crockpot with a pair of tongs and place in a covered container to preserve heat.
- Add instant rice and black beans to crockpot and turn heat to high. Cook for 30 minutes, or until rice appears cooked thoroughly.
- Add chicken breasts to crockpot again, cook for an additional 20 minutes on high.
- Serve with additional healthy toppings.
Chicken Caesar Salad, or just a side caesar salad, has always been one of my go-to choices when I’m eating out or needing a quick throw together lunch for the week. But salads get tiring after so many and sandwiches are nice but let’s be honest; half of the time they’re not the healthiest choice you can make. Ugh, carbs.
So while trying to fix the solution, I scanned through the bread section at our local Market District and found this fantastic loaf of bread; Aunt Millie’s 35 Calorie Whole Grain. I’m still trying to limit my bread intake, but if I’m craving a sandwich now I know I can enjoy one that’s not to the roof in calories.
OK. So since salad is getting a break, now it’s time to give chicken a break. I’m sure it’s probably the one source of protein/meat that you eat most per week. Luckily, turkey is just as good (especially for a sandwich) simply because of the similarity and it can be bought with low sodium. You can keep the caesar dressing though. It’s extremely easy to make, uses a few ingredients you may already have on hand and tastes GREAT with turkey.
Now you have a sandwich that’s as close to a caesar salad as you’re gonna get. And it may infact be healthier. Cheers to that!
Turkey Caesar Sandwich
Give Chicken Caesar Salad a break. At least for one meal.
- 2 slices whole grain low-calorie bread
- 2 leaves of romaine lettuce
- 3 ounces low-sodium turkey, thinly sliced
- 1 slice of tomato
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- dash of Worcestershire sauce
- black pepper
- Combine Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, mixing well. Lightly sprinkle black pepper. Spread onto slices of bread.
- Add romaine lettuce leaves, turkey and tomato.
You’ve heard of a burrito bowl, chicken bowl, bowl of spaghetti. But who gets credit for thinking up a fantastic idea like a “teriyaki meatball bowl?” Maybe it’s more common than I think but this was my first time cooking one for dinner and boy, am I happy that I did. I love homemade meatballs! I’ve made them so many times that I could do it blindfolded. OK that’s a slight exaggeration, just know I know my way around the basic meatball mixture.
Teriyaki meatballs are mildly different from the meatballs you may make for your spaghetti dinner though. I found that the soy sauce added to the meatball mixture helped to create a more juicy flavor as opposed to an italian meatball. I imagine these meatballs would taste just as good over a plate of linguini noodles but we’re going to use whole grain rice to create a more “light” meal.
Teriyaki Meatball Bowl
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup planko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- black pepper
- 2 packages of white, or whole grain rice
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly greasing with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, green onions and black pepper into a large mixing bowl, using clean hands to fold and mix over until well combined.
- Roll meatball mixture into small balls, placing each on foil-covered cookie sheet. When you've finished rolling all meatballs, bake them for 35 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Boil and cook rice according to package directions over medium-high heat. When finished, drain water and fluff rice with a fork. Set aside.
- While meatballs and rice are cooking, combine all teriyaki glaze ingredients (EXCEPT for cornstarch) together in a small-medium size bowl. Whisk together well. Transfer to a medium size pot over med-high heat for a few minutes. Add cornstarch, mixing well constantly to help thicken glaze. Once it appears thickened, add sesame seeds.
- If/When meatballs are done, add to teriyaki glaze. Stir so that each meatball is well covered with glaze.
- In individual bowls, divide rice. Add 5 meatballs and drizzle extra teriyaki glaze overtop.
Mondays are never easy, but rainy Mondays are even less. I had prepared this lunch dish last night in-between waiting for our pork tenderloins and twice baked potatoes to cook and it looked and smelled so delicious that I was looking forward to photographing it in some great natural light. I should have known better. I regularly look at the weather forecast and I knew rain was headed our way all day today. It’s OK. Considering that I am going to be eating this as my lunch for the next several days and we have sunshine the remainder of the week; I will have plenty of opportunity to take a better photograph and edit this post with it. And you after Monday readers will never know!
I’m trying to ease more dairy free recipes into our menu. This is officially my first, purposely at least, and can also be seen as Whole 30 and Paleo friendly as well. Everyone cheer!
I’m not sure if you already know this or not, but the secret to preparing a quick and tasteful chicken salad is rotisserie chicken. It doesn’t make a difference if you buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery or if you slow-cooker some chicken breasts for 4 hours with broth; chicken salads taste best with shredded, juicy chicken. You can also add and mix things as you go, accordingly to what flavors you like. I like my chicken salad quite often, so I am always trying to think of new ways to differ it up.
So why not add some ranch? There are so many great things you can do with a dry packet of ranch seasoning. I use it for a handful of recipes as it adds a nice little tangy taste that can or cannot be similiar to the ranch you use for salad dressing depending on just how much you use. If you’re leaning more towards creating your own ranch seasoning rather than buying one from the grocery, a great dairy-free recipe can be found here.
Ranch Chicken Salad
A new and tangy twist on your typical chicken salad recipe. Just as easy to make, even more delicious.
- 3 cups of rotisserie, or finely shredded chicken breast
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
- Combine shredded chicken, mayonnaise and ranch seasoning in a medium sized bowl. Mix well.
- Add celery, bell pepper and onion to chicken mixture. Combine well.
- Serves best after being chilled for a half hour in refrigerator.
Move over, plain buttery popcorn!
Popcorn is mostly associated with movies and sporting events, but can be an enjoyable light snack at anytime in the day depending on the kind of popcorn you have and the kind of toppings you add. Next time you’re in the mood for popcorn, try it one of these ways:
Healthier Popcorn Brands:
Smart Balance Light Butter
Newman’s Own Organics Pop’s Corn, Light Butter
Quinn Popcorn Olive Oil & Herbs
Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter
Black Jewell Kettle
Optional Popcorn Toppings:
Dark 85% Chocolate: Simply place two squares of chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave for under a minute. Use a spoon to break up chocolate and drizzle overtop popcorn. Add nuts as well, if desired.
Cinnamon: It works on just about everything, including popcorn. Sprinkle a light helping overtop for some cinnamon flavor.
Cool Ranch: Those dry packets of dressing have so much more use to them other than just for salads. Ranch fan? Use half a tablespoon of dry ranch dressing to sprinkle over your popcorn to create a tangy taste.
Buffalo Sauce: Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce in a microwavable bowl, combining well. Microwave slightly and immediately drizzle overtop popcorn.
Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil: Adding a slight amount of olive oil and sprinkling paprika adds a little bit of kick to your popcorn.
I like granola. I like that it’s convenient for those week days when your morning is rushed and you don’t want to wait in the long line at Starbucks for a muffin. I also like that it doesn’t take a chef in the kitchen to make a batch of it. Infact, you really don’t need to have any kitchen skills; it’s pretty foolproof. You just need a few ingredients and an oven.
Some like it plain.
Granola is just like most other recipes; you can tweak the ingredients to your liking or to what you already have in the pantry. I like to add a little flavor to mine by using dried up fruit. Both cherries, cranberries, bananas and apple chips do wonders for a batch of granola. If you’re not the fruit-kind, simply sprinkle some cinnamon ontop to add a little more.
Some like it with a little extra sweet flavor
Homemade Maple Granola
Easy to make granola that goes great with a side of yogurt or as a mid-day snack.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup pecans, shopped
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ stick of unsalted butter
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- handful of dried cranberries
- handful of dried cherries, optional
- Heat oven to 300. Place parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
- Combine old-fashioned oats, pecans, almonds, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swoosh that pan around a bit, it helps the butter melt a little faster. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
- Pour butter mixture into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well until all dry ingredients are covered and layer thinly on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until granola is golden brown. Make sure you stir granola around every 10-15 minutes.
- Add dried cranberries after removing granola from oven and letting cool off slightly. Package when granola is completely cooled off.