November 15, 2014

Apricot Cream Cheese Danishes

Everyone needs to treat themselves every once in a while, and what better way to do that then with a flaky cream cheese danish? These danishes are delicious, easy, and you can use whatever type of fruit preserves that you want! Bring these to share the morning of thanksgiving, or bring them to a midnight study session.

These should definitely be enjoyed as a treat though, if you're not careful, you may end up eating all 9 by yourself!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 Puff Pastry Sheet $2.50
  • 4 oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese $1.00
  • 1/4 cup sugar $0.25
  • 3 Tablespoons preserves $0.10
(You can use whatever preserves you'd like, I chose apricot and raspberry)

Serving Size: 1 danish
Total Servings: 9
Price Per Serving: $0.42
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 174
      Carbs: 21 g
      Fat: 9 g
      Protein: 3 g

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Set your puff pastry on the counter to begin to thaw, this should take about 10-15 minutes

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of milk to thin it out a bit. stir until the sugar is completely incorporated in the cream cheese.

Unroll your puff pastry sheet, if it breaks at the creases its okay, you're going to cut there anyways. Cut the pastry into 9 squares and then lay them on a baking sheet.

Using a toothpick, or carefully with your knife, mark a square in the middle of each section. Be careful not to cut all the way through though. This will help the puff pastry to expand around the filling, making a nice little pocket.

Then top each section with a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture and then one teaspoon of apricot preserves.

Place the whole sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow the cream cheese to freeze a little bit. This will keep it from running off the sides before the pastry puffs up.

After 15 minutes, pull the sheet from the freezer and place directly in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

After taking the pastries out of the oven, swirl the warm cream cheese and apricot together.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy, (in moderation).

Happy Cooking!

Taco Zucchini Boats

I love tacos! They're simple and delicious, but its so easy to eat 2-3 for one meal, and that really adds up. This is my recipe for taco zucchini boats. Just as delicious without all the guilt. Substitute in your favorite salsas and toppings to make them your own!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 6 Large Zucchini $4.32
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey $5.00
  • 1 Yellow Onion $0.63
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper $1.00
  • 1 cup Salsa $1.50
  • 2 Tomatoes $2.63

Serving Size: 2 Zucchini Boats
Total Servings: 6
Price Per Serving: $2.51
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 168
      Carbs:  13g
      Fat:  2g
      Protein:  17g

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start off by heating a pot or large skillet over medium high heat, then add in your turkey and cook until its done. Then set it aside and put your pot back on the heat.

Dice your onion and bell pepper, and then add to the pot. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes until the onions and peppers have softened.

Add your cooked turkey back to the pot and then stir in your salsa. Use whatever kind of salsa you want, its completely up to you! Reduce the heat to medium low and let cook for an additional 10 minutes.

While that's cooking, go ahead and get your zucchini ready. Slice each one in half, and then using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the insides so you have a place to put the turkey. Save the insides of the zucchini to add to a pot of chili or soup! Lastly, drop the zucchini in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes.

Carefully remove the zucchini from the water and place face up in a baking dish. Fill each zucchini with filling. If you want, you can top with some shredded cheese, but this is optional. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

While the zucchini is in the oven, go ahead and dice up your tomatoes, and any other toppings you might want to add, like green onions or cilantro!

Take the zucchini out of the oven, top with your desired toppings, and serve! I had some black beans on the side. Delicious! 

Happy Cooking!

Autumn Salad

It's getting pretty cold outside, and as the cooler weather comes in, so does the cravings for fall flavors. This salad is perfect for when you want a hearty snack or a light meal. Juicy Honey Crisp apples, candied walnuts, peppery greens, sweet dried cranberries, all topped off with a light raspberry and walnut vinaigrette, yum! This simple salad is sure to be a hit.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 4 cups Baby Kale $1.00
  • 4 cups Arugula $1.00
  • 4 tablespoons Lite Raspberry & Walnut Vinaigrette 0.44
  •  2 Honey Crisp Apples $2.28
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries $1.33
  • 1/4 cup Glazed Walnuts $1.33

Serving Size: 1/4 salad
Total Servings: 4
Price Per Serving: $1.84
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 178
      Carbs: 30 g
      Fat: 6 g
      Protein: 3 g

First, cut up your apple into small sticks by slicing into 3 sections, and then cutting those sections lengthwise. you may want to sprinkle with a little but or lemon juice to keep them from browning, but thats optional.

Combine your greens, half of your apples, walnuts, cranberries, and dressing in a large mixing bowl. Be sure to measure your vinaigrette, its easy to just pour it on, but you have to watch the quantity. Then mix everything together until it is all covered with the vinaigrette.

At my grocery store, they sell a package of cranberries and candied walnuts combined in one small bag. This is great because you don't have to buy them separately, and also you'll use most of it so you wont be tempted to eat a whole bunch of those walnuts.

Separate the salad into 4 bowls and top with the remaining sliced apples, and you're done! 

Happy Cooking!

November 2, 2014

Chicken Broccoli Parmesan Bake

I didn't really feel like doing too much cooking this weekend, so I decided to stick with this really easy chicken bake. The only thing that really takes any time is baking the chicken, and all you do is put it in the oven and forget about it for an hour. If you wanted, you could just buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and cut that up instead! Serve this alongside some pasta or veggies for a fantastic, easy dinner. 

Here's what you'll need:
  • 2lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs $6.28
  • 1/2 lb Broccoli $0.84
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce $1.33
  • 1 cup Fat Free Mozzarella $1.42
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan $0.83
  • 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs $0.21
  • 2 teaspoons Parsley $0.14
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano $0.19

Serving Size: 1/8 of the pan
Total Servings: 8
Price Per Serving: $1.40
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 219
      Carbs: 7 g
      Fat: 9 g
      Protein: 29 g

*Forgot the broccoli in the first picture, oops!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken thighs on the sheet and cook for 1 hour until there is no pink in the center. Then chop into about 1 inch pieces. 

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, then add your chicken to the bottom of the dish. Add your broccoli on top of the chicken.

I used about half a bag of frozen broccoli spears that I thawed in warm water, cut into bite sized pieces, and dried with a paper towel.

Next, spread the sauce over the top. Try and distribute it evenly, and make sure to get the sides. I highly recommend Eating Right Garlic and Herb tomato sauce. I sometimes just eat it out of the jar with a spoon....

Cover with both cheeses, and then top with the breadcrumbs, parsley, and oregano. Make sure to measure the cheeses, I know its tempting to just dump on the whole bag. 

Bake for 20 minutes (still at 350) and you're done! serve alongside some pasta or veggies.

Happy Cooking!