September 27, 2014

Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

I am not a fan of oatmeal. In fact, I kind of hate it. Something about the texture just gets to me, which is sad because its such an easy go-to breakfast idea. So instead, I made these oatmeal breakfast muffins. They're great for when I'm running late to my 9am and need something to grab something fast on my way out the door. Plus they're completely customizable so you can make them exactly how you want them!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 Eggs $0.49
  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil $0.23 
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar $0.42 
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce $0.25
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fat Free Milk $0.48     *You can use any milk you want (soy, almond, 2%, etc)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt $0
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon $0.19 
  • 3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats $0.52 
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder $0.08 
  • Your Favorite Toppings! 

Serving Size: 1 Muffin
Total Servings: 16
Price Per Serving:  $0.15
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 162
      Carbs: 26 g
      Fat: 5 g
      Protein: 4 g

**Price and Nutrition calculated for 1 plain muffin

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then line a muffin tin with muffin liners. If you're not using muffin liners then spray your muffin tin with plenty of non-stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, brown sugar, and eggs. Make sure to pack your brown sugar, which basically means to press it down in to your measuring cup so its really compact. Mix it together really well until all of the sugar lumps are gone. 

Next, mix in the applesauce, milk, and cinnamon. If you're like me, then the cinnamon is going to end up all over the sides of the bowl, so do your best to scrape down the sides and combine everything. 

Then, mix in the baking powder and oats. 

Pour 1/4 cup of the oat mixture into each muffin tin. 

At this point you can top each muffin with whatever you want! I added dark chocolate chips and pecans. Other good topping could be cranberries, blueberries, almonds, or coconut flakes.  Using the back of a spoon or your finger, press each topping into the muffin so it floats right at the top. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes

Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight container or freeze to eat them later. Pop one in the microwave for 20 seconds and its ready to eat! 

Happy Cooking!

September 24, 2014

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup

Its officially Fall! And as the weather gets cooler, soups become my go-to meal for the week. I just love soups. They're easy to make, keep in the fridge, you can freeze them if you want, plus they're delicious, warm, and perfect for dinner on a cold evening. The soup that I'm going to share with you today is absolutely perfect. Healthy, easy to make, and with only a few ingredients, this is sure to become one of your favorites!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts $5.56
  • 8 Tomatillos $1.38
  • 8 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock $2.98
  • 2 Leeks $2.49
  • 2 Jalapeños $0.11
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro $0.50
  • Juice of 1 Lime $0.25
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic $0.50
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin $0.60

Serving Size: ~2 Cups
Total Servings: 6
Price Per Serving: $2.39
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 209
      Carbs: 11 g
      Fat: 9 g
      Protein: 23 g

Preheat your oven to 375.

The first thing you'll notice is that the tomatillos have this weird sticky papery skin on the outside, so go ahead and get rid of those skins and give the tomatillos a rinse to get any dirt off. Then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with some nonstick spray. Place all of the tomatillos and your Jalapeños on the tray and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes flip over the tomatillos and jalapeños and keep them in the oven for another 15 minutes. (30 minutes total)

Next cut up your leeks. If you've never seen or tasted leeks before, they're basically really big scallions. Cut off the green tops because you're not going to need them for this recipe. Next cut off the very ends and cut them down the middle. Leeks are very dirty, so make sure you take this opportunity to rinse between all of those layers to get all the dirt off. You don't want dirt in your soup!

Then just cut them up like you would celery. Heat some oil in a pot over medium high heat and add your leaks to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks soften.

After the leeks have softened add the chicken stock, garlic, cumin, and chicken breasts, then bring to a boil. Im using bone-in skin on chicken breasts because they were cheaper, but if you don't want to deal with that feel free to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Cook your chicken until its done. If you're using bone in skin on chicken breasts, this should take about 30 minutes. If you're using boneless skinless chicken breasts then it will probably take around 20. When you think its done, take your chicken out and cut it down the middle to make sure there is no more pink! 

When your tomatillos and jalapeños are done roasting, take them out of the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. I like my soup a little spicy, so I leave the seeds in the jalapeños, but if you want it a little more mild then this would be the time to take them out. After they've cooled a little, transfer the jalapeños and tomatillos to a blender or food processor and add in the cilantro. 

 Blend everything until its the consistency you want. I like mine a little chunky so I don't blend it for too long, but do whatever you want! then transfer it to a separate bowl.

When your chicken is done, set it aside. If some leeks stick to it thats fine. If you're using bone-in skin on chicken breasts then take this opportunity to remove the skin and take out the bones so you just have the meat of the chicken left. Then, shred all your chicken using two forks, one to hold the chicken and the other to shred. 

Now take your leeks, garlic, and chicken stock, and add it to the blender. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches. Blend until smooth. ***Be careful when blending hot liquids.

 Finally, add the blended tomatillo mixture, the leek mixture, and the shredded chicken back to the pot and stir to combine everything. Squeeze in the juice from your lime and you're done!

Easy, Delicious, Spicy, and Healthy! 

Happy Cooking!

September 14, 2014

Eggplant Lasagna Stacks

I don't know about you guys, but theres nothing I love more than eating a hot, bubbly, and cheesy lasagna. Theres something very comforting about melted cheese and tomato sauce, and if you're anything like my family, half of it usually ends up somewhere on your shirt.

Now lasagna isn't something you should eat all the time, but with this recipe, you can eat it a little more often. filled with eggplant, mushrooms, and cheese, you wont even know its vegetarian!

If you're cooking for more than 2 people, just double or triple the recipe and bake it in a larger dish! 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 an Eggplant $1.50
  • 3-4 Mushrooms $0.43
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce $0.33
  • 1/2 Cup Low Fat Ricotta Cheese $0.53
  • 1/4 Cup Mozarella $0.34
  • 1/8 Cup Shredded Parmesan $0.24

Serving Size: 1 stack
Total Servings: 2
Price Per Serving: $1.68
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 277
      Carbs: 15 g
      Fat: 19 g
      Protein: 14 g

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Place your eggplant on your cutting board and cut off the end, then make 4 slices about 1/4 of an inch thick as shown below. 

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray, then place your eggplant on it. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. 

While your eggplant is roasting, cut your mushrooms into 3-4 slices each and cook them in a pan over medium-high heat until soft (about 5 minutes).

When your eggplant is done, take it out of the oven and set aside. Take a small baking dish and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Then take 2 pieces of eggplant and lay it in the bottom.

Top with half of the sauce and ricotta cheese, then add all of your mushrooms and half of the mozzarella. 

 Repeat the same process (except for the mushrooms) and then top with your parmesan.

Bake the lasagna for 15-20 minutes until warm and bubbly.

Serve with a fresh arugula salad and a crusty piece of bread! 

Happy Cooking!

Creamy Zucchini Soup

If you're looking for an easy recipe, this one is for you. All it takes is 5 ingredients, a pot, and a blender. It's creamy, fresh, and incredibly healthy! Serve it with some crusty bread or a fresh arugula salad, or just eat it on its own! You can make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. Add some fresh herbs, different vegetables, whatever you want!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1/2 a Medium Yellow Onion $.68
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic $.50
  • 3-4 Medium Zucchini $4.44
  • 32 oz Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth (or vegetable) $1.99
  • 1/3 Cup Light Sour Cream $.33
  • Parmesan Cheese $.20

Serving size: About 2 cups
Total servings: 4
Price per serving: $2.04
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 110
      Carbs: 11 g
      Fat: 5 g
      Protein: 8 g

The steps for making this soup are pretty simple. Nothing needs to be really uniform because its all going to be blended in the end, so don't worry about cutting everything perfectly.

Cut your onion into three large chunks and set aside, then peel your garlic

Next, Wash your zucchini and cut off the ends, then cut into large chunks. (its normal for the zucchini to feel a little slimy on the inside, don't worry)

Add the zucchini, garlic, onion, and chicken stock to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once its boiling, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes to let everything cook.

Once everything has softened, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in a couple of batches. then return everything to the pot.

Stir in the sour cream and make sure everything is well combined.

Serve hot, and sprinkle a bit of parmesan over the top.

Happy Cooking!