Monday, June 27, 2011

Lime and Mustard Baked Chicken

Adapted from: The Skinny Taste

We thought mustard, garlic, and lime sounded like an interesting combination, but our doubts dissolved as this flavorful dish smelled up our kitchen. This chicken is packed with zesty flavor! Enjoy it with a side of boiled okra or your veggie of choice and a glass of ice water with the leftover slices of lime.

  • 6 chicken breast tenderloins
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed, and lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • salt
  • dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Place chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt. In a small bowl, combine mustard, mayo, lime juice and zest, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour mixture over chicken; toss well to coat.

Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken in dish in a single layer and sprinkle dried parsley over the tenderloins. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Drizzle juices from pan over chicken and serve.

Yield: 3 servings

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Adapted from: Skinny Taste

If you haven't discovered chicken patties yet, you should really go buy some and try out this great recipe. 4 ingredients! Can you get much simpler? The roasted chicken patties from TJ's are delicious, then paired with marinara and mozzarella on a fresh roll and you've got chicken parmesan in minutes - burger style!

  • 4 lean chicken burgers, we used roasted chicken patties from Trader Joe's
  • 4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 rolls, such as kaiser rolls

In a saucepan, heat marinara sauce. In a nonstick skillet, heat patties over medium heat on the stove until warm throughout. If using uncooked patties, cook patties on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Top with mozzarella slices. Once cheese is melted, put on a roll and top each burger with 1/4 cup marinara.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, June 17, 2011

Zucchini Sticks with Marinara

Adapted from Skinny Taste

Do you have an abundance of summer vegetables and don't know what to do with all of them? We have a LOT of squash and zucchini, so in looking for creative recipes, we came across zucchini sticks- a healthy and delicious snack, appetizer, or side dish. A homemade marinara sauce makes them even better!


For zucchini sticks:
  • 1 large zucchini or (2 small), cut into 3 inch sticks
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For marinara:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. splenda or sugar


For zucchini sticks:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, beat egg white and season with salt and pepper. In another small bowl, mix bread crumbs, garlic powder, and cheese. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Dip zucchini stick into eggs, then into the bread crumb mixture, then set on cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For marinara:

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, splenda, and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Yield: 2 servings (as a side dish)

Shrimp and Couscous Paella

Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish served with rice, vegetables, and optional meat or seafood. This recipe uses couscous in the place of rice, which creates a delicious form of paella. The recipe also calls for turmeric, which is the spice that gives paella its special flavor. Beware that the spice can stain your kitchen counter or clothing if spilled. Special thanks to one of my best friends, Elisa, for the beautiful plate on which this meal is displayed. She heard we wanted to start collecting fun plates to make our blog pictures more unique, so here's the start of our collection.


  • cooking spray
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 bag frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tbsp. light butter
  • sliced almonds, to garnish
  • dried parsley, to garnish


Coat a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Saute red pepper until softened. Then add onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Next, stir in broth, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and add shrimp. (If shrimp are cooked, cook for a minute or until shrimp are heated. If shrimp are uncooked, cook for 2-3 minutes.) Leaving broth at a simmer, stir in couscous, peas, and butter. Once butter is melted, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.

Fluff with a fork if needed. Garnish with almonds and parsley, and serve.

Yield: 5 servings

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shrimp Quesadillas with Tomato Avocado Salsa

Adapted from: Skinny Taste

Summer, how we love you! There is nothing like a meal made with fresh fruit, vegetables, and lots and lots of cilantro! These quesadillas were nothing short of amazing. Let's just say if they were on a menu at Mi CabaƱa By the Hospital, prepared just this way, I would order them every time! But isn't it all the more satisfying when you can whip them up yourself?

  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely minced
  • 12 medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 small tortillas

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, avocado, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Season shrimp with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat and lightly coat with cooking spray. Add shrimp and scallions. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimp is cooked though. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lightly spray skillet with oil. Add one tortilla, top with 1 1/2 tbsp cheese, 6 shrimp, and tomato avocado salsa. Once cheese is melted and the bottom of the tortilla is slightly crispy, place the other tortilla on top. Put a plate on top of the quesadilla and flip it over onto the plate. Then slide the other side onto the skillet. Cook another minute and remove using a spatula. Repeat for the second quesadilla. Cut into wedges and top with remaining tomato avocado salsa.

Yield: 2 servings

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tomato Pie and Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Tomato pie adapted from: Food Network
Garlic biscuits adapted from: Skinny Taste

I had heard of tomato pie, but had never had it before this meal. If you love tomatoes, you will most definitely love tomato pie. As a side dish or a meal, make use of delicious, summer tomatoes. And just the name "garlic cheddar biscuits" tells you these are amazing!


Tomato pie:
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (9 inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
  • 1 cup grated part skim mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated low fat cheddar
  • 1 cup non-fat mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
Garlic biscuits:
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick
  • 2 tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup skim milk


Tomato pie:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place tomatoes in a colander in one layer. Pat dry with paper towel (pie will be soggy if tomatoes aren't drained). Sprinkle with salt and pepper on each layer and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in the pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Garlic biscuits:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

In a small skillet melt butter on low heat, add half the garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add parsley.

In a large bowl, combine bisquick, cheese, and remaining garlic. Stir in milk and mix without overdoing it. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet (it should make 7 biscuits, so drop batter accordingly).

Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle biscuits with melted butter. Return to oven until lightly browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Tomato pie, yield: 8 slices
Garlic biscuits, yield: 7 biscuits

Caprese Pizza

Adapted from: Culinary Cory

We finally figured out perfect success with a pizza stone! Put the stone in the oven then preheat the oven (the stone needs to heat up with the oven). Use a cookie sheet without an edge or a large cutting board that has a slide edge to prepare the pizza. Cover the cookie sheet or cutting board heavily with corn meal. Spread the dough on top of the corn meal and prepare your pizza. When ready to bake, slide the dough off the sheet/board and onto the stone. Then wait for the perfect crust!

  • corn meal
  • 16 oz. pizza dough
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


To make balsamic reduction:

Bring balsamic vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan while stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until the volume is reduced in half. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put pizza stone into the oven at this time. Spread corn meal and then dough onto cutting board. Layer dough with spinach leaves, basil, and tomatoes. Top with mozzarella. When oven is hot, carefully slide dough onto pizza stone. Bake for approx. 15 minutes.

Drizzle balsamic reduction over cooked pizza. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 3 servings

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Okra & Chickpea Tagine

Adapted from: Eating Well

This Moroccan dish was unique and tasty! A tagine is like a Moroccan slow cooker used to cook Middle Eastern food, allowing the ingredients to steam and thus, enhance the flavor and keep the food moist. Since most of us don't own this cookware, you can use a large coverable skillet instead, which is what we did. This recipe made for a great dinner and was enjoyed as leftovers for lunch (cold and hot), too. We discovered the bunches of fresh cilantro they sell for a surprisingly low price at Food Lion this week, so we were excited to use so much in this dish. Special thanks to my dad, who picked out and gave me these cute "vibrant vibration bowls" from Anthropologie for my birthday in March. They have such fun colors and designs, I love eating out of them!

  • 1 lb okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ginger, zested
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • kitchen string, or sewing thread
  • 1 tsp harissa or hot sauce, optional

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. While waiting, fill a large bowl with ice water and place next to stove. Add okra and boil for 2 minutes. Spoon the okra over to the bowl of ice water. Drain.

Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.

In the saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in bell pepper and cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon over to a small bowl and set aside.

Add onion, garlic, ginger, and ground pepper to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, okra, tied cilantro sprigs, and half of the bell pepper. Cover partially and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. When okra is soft, stir in chickpeas and salt, cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard cilantro sprigs. Optional: stir in harissa (or hot sauce). Top with the remaining bell pepper and sprinkle with cilantro leaves for an extra garnish.

Yield: 3 servings (6 as a side dish)