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Monday, January 26, 2015

Skinny Slow Cooker Enchiladas ♥

Here is a perfect healthy version of enchiladas, in the slow cooker! Pop this in in the morning, come home and you have a healthy, filling dinner enjoy! ♥

Using my fave sponsored product Cacique Cheese! 

For the Chile Gravy Enchilada Sauce:

2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch allspice
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 tbsp ancho chili powder
2 cups light sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste

For the Chicken Enchiladas:

1 recipe Easy Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken ( see below for recipe)
1 dozen  tortillas
1 cup shredded Oaxaca Cheese* Cacique Brand
1 cup shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese* Cacique Brand 
Toppings: cilantro, black olives, Roasted Tomatillo ,Guacamole,light sour cream

Directions ♥

Prepare the Easy Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken as directed in the recipe. Set aside.

Crockpot Tex Mex Chicken Recipe

Ingredients ♥

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped
2 limes
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions ♥

Heat the oil in a medium sized sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika and garlic and sauté two more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth making sure to scrape up any browned bits. Turn off and set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to crock pot. Squeeze the lime on top, add the cilantro, jalapeno, and pour the onion and garlic mixture over top.

Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) and tender. Remove chicken breasts from the crock pot, shred and place in a bowl. Scoop out the onions and add to the chicken. Depending on the amount of juices produced, you may want to add some or all of the juice back to the shredded chicken.

For fast and easy soft tacos, add this chicken to taco sized flour tortillas with shredded lettuce, avocado, tomato, cilantro, red onion, and cheese (I like cheddar, pepper jack, or feta best). Add a dollop of sour cream and salsa, too, if you like.
Note: You could also prepare this recipe in a pressure cooker. Cook for about 20-30 minutes on high pressure if chicken is thawed, 40-45 minutes if chicken is frozen.

For the Chile Gravy Enchilada Sauce:
In a medium sauce pan, add the butter and oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, whisk the two to combine. Add the flour and whisk in to form a roux. Add the remaining spices and whisk to combine. Let cook for a minute or two until fragrant.

Then, slowly add the chicken broth making sure to whisk as you pour so as to eliminate any lumps. Add the tomato paste and whisk in to the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

If the sauce begins to thicken too much, additional broth may be added. It should be the consistency of gravy that you would pour onto a roast or mashed potatoes.

To Assemble the Enchiladas:

Place a small amount of shredded chicken in the center of each fried tortilla, careful not to overstuff. Roll the tortilla up and place it seam side down in a greased baking pan.

You can use a 9x9 baking pan and assemble 2 rows of 6 enchiladas or a 9x13 inch pan and assemble one row of 12 running down the middle of the pan.

Once you have rolled all of the tortillas, pour the sauce on top. Top the sauce with shredded cheese. If desired you may add cilantro leaves before or after baking.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubble and the enchiladas are heated through.
Serve with your choice toppings, such as: cilantro, black olives,  Tomatillo Sauce, Guacamole  and/or light sour cream. enjoy! ♥

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Copycat Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps ♥

Want a healthy dinner tonight?I LOVE Pf Chang's especially their lettuce wraps! Here is my recipe to make your own chang's chicken lettuce wraps at home! Low carb and oh so healthy and tasty! enjoy! ♥  

Ingredients ♥

    8 dried shiitake mushrooms   ( you can use regular if you can't find them)  
    1 teaspoon cornstarch    
    2 teaspoons dry sherry    
    2 teaspoons soy sauce    
    2 teaspoons water    
    Salt and pepper    
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts    
    5 tablespoons vegetable oil    
    1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced    
    2 cloves garlic, minced    
    2 green onions, minced    
    2 small dried chiles (optional)    
    8 ounces can bamboo shoots, minced    
    8 ounces can water chestnuts, minced    
    1 package Chinese rice noodles, prepared according to package    
    Iceberg lettuce leaves    

Cooking Sauce:

1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions ♥

    Cover mushrooms with boiling water, let stand 30 minutes then drain. Cut and discard woody stems. Mince mushrooms. Set aside.
    Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in bowl, and set aside.
    In medium bowl, combine cornstarch, sherry, soy sauce, water, salt, pepper and chicken. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil and let sit 15 minutes to marinate. Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil, then add chicken and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
    Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Add ginger, garlic, chiles (if desired), and onion; stir fry about a minute or so. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir fry an additional 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Add mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and hot.
    Break cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour chicken mixture on top of noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and roll.enjoy! ♥

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Frank's Red Hot Skinny Buffalo Wings ♥

Here is the best recipe for skinny baked buffalo wings! Perfect for game day!Using my fave product Frank's Red Hot Sauce! ♥ 

Ingredients ♥ 

3 lbs (about 18) chicken wings
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp oregano
4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
salt and fresh pepper
2 celery stalks, sliced into strips

Directions ♥ 

In a large bowl combine chicken, 2 tbsp hot sauce, vinegar, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder salt and pepper. Mix well and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Place wings on a broiler rack and broil on low, about 8 inches from the flame for about 10-12 minutes on each side. 

While chicken cooks, heat the remaining hot sauce until warm. Toss the hot sauce with the chicken and arrange on a platter. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping. I am obsessed with blue cheese!  See my recipe link  for homemade skinny blue cheese dressing below!

Homemade Skinny Blue Cheese Dressing/Dip

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ice Skating Party for Tweens and Healthy Winter Bento Box ♥

I am so happy to be approached again by OMGirls Magazine here is my featured article! 
Ice Skating Party for Tweens and Healthy Winter Bento Box

Do your tweens have the winter blahs? Well get them out there and get active! My step niece Lucia loves ice skating so her and her friends had an ice skating party! I also came up with cute ideas for healthy bento boxes they could take to the skating rink! ♥

Ice skating can provide a good cardiovascular workout and will help to increase your endurance and strengthen muscles. In addition to these physical benefits, ice skating can also enhance your mental fitness and self-confidence. In one article I read just recently, medical experts ranked 30 minutes of ice skating third among 12 forms of exercise based on its contribution to stamina, flexibility, muscle definition and digestion. Assuming a body weight of 150 lbs, skating at 9 mph or less, burns approximately 374 calories per hour.

So go ahead grab your girlfriend’s and get out to your nearest ice skating rink! ♥

Ingredients ♥

1 Orange (Lil Cutie’s)
2 slices Mozzarella or Swiss Cheese
1 cup Popcorn
1 tbsp Sprinkles ( Snowflakes)
2 slices Wheat bread
1 Cookie cutter circle
1 Cookie cutter snowflake

Directions ♥
It’s so easy to make your healthy winter bento box, put in fruits and veggies like oranges, grapes, then cut circles out of wheat bread, and with a snowflake shaped cookie cutter cut out cheese to resemble supercute snowflakes! Then pop up some popcorn and add snowflake sprinkles! ♥

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce ♥

Here is an authentic  italian recipe for traditional italian tomato sauce. It fills the house full of beautiful aromas! I use my favorite product Cento
Great for any italian dish as a base, this sauce is sure to be a family favorite in your own house! I love freezing the extra that way you have some available on those busy nights, but don't miss out on the authentic taste! Who needs store bought tomato sauce after you try my recipe! 

Ingredients ♥

4 large 16 ounce can  Cento San Marzano Tomatoes
olive oil
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled, left whole ( see below) 
3 garlic cloves, peeled left whole
fresh herb such as fresh Italian parsley or fresh basil
sea salt
black pepper

 Directions ♥
Squeeze all the juice out of the tomatoes. Either using a mesh collander or large food mill, separate the puree from the pulp and seeds. Set aside.
Put enough olive oil in pan to cover the surface. Add in onion, garlic, saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove garlic.
Add in tomato puree, and one can of water if it's extra thick. Some tomatoes are more watery. Skip the water if you think it's too liquidy.
Add carrot. Remove at the end. It adds a little sweetness.
Cook on low heat, semi-covered with lid, for two hours, stirring every twenty minutes. Adjust cooking time. If sauce thickens quickly, cut cooking time. Take out the onion and any herbs before serving.

Freezing Instructions:
Cool sauce to room temperature, and ladle into plastic containers, I always use plastic quart containers with a lock on top or you may use  zip-top freezer bags. I recommend freezing in 3-cup portions, which is equivalent to 6 servings of sauce, or in 1-cup portions for a smaller household. Store in freezer up to 4 months.
Thawing and Reheating Instructions:
Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, place frozen sauce in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir occasionally until sauce comes to a simmer. Sauce can also be thawed in microwave until heated through.

Healthy Diet Plan and my Lemon Water Cleanse ♥

All this past week I have been doing a cleanse along with my healthy calorie diet.
Here are some tips for a healthy cleanse diet plan. One of the little known benefits of lemon juice is its anti-aging properties. The acid from the lemon juice contain concentrated levels of antioxidants, which help flush out toxins and free radicals from the body. The process of detoxing allows proper cell regeneration, which then manifests by way of glowing and younger looking skin. 
  Drinking fresh lemon juice with water aids in keeping the immune system alert and strong against malaldies such as common colds and the flu. Lemon juice simply brings countless health benefits, such as lowered cholesterol levels, normalized blood pressure, reduced blood sugar level, and improved blood flow. Drinking a glass of water mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice provides a number of benefits for the body, so go ahead..drink up! ♥

Lemon Water Cleanse ♥ 

Ingredients ♥

2 quarts water
Juice of one lemon
2 lemons, thinly sliced

Directions ♥

Combine all ingredients and and place in fridge for a bit to allow flavors to infuse. Once pitcher is chilled, serve and enjoy! ♥

Healthy Diet Tips 

Foods to avoid
Milk products
Sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners
Grains: wheat (bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta), rye, barley, oats, spelt and rice 
Dried fruit

Foods to enjoy
Fruit: any and all fresh fruit
Vegetables: any and all fresh vegetables
Fish: fresh, canned in water or olive oil
Lean red meat, chicken (without the skin). Limit to two serves per week.
Legumes: dried or canned, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils
Eggs: preferably organic
Olive oil (preferably extra virgin), Coconut oil (unprocessed)
Nuts: raw unsalted almonds, walnuts, macadamias and cashews
Seeds: raw unsalted sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Green tea, white tea, weak black tea (decaffeinated)
Water: from one to three liters of water per day

Now for some of you that have the willpower, here is my lemon cleanse diet.
I started with the lemon cleanse I did for 4 days straight, then followed above with a sensible eating plan. 

Following this diet is quite challenging as you cannot have any solid food during the duration of the diet. The lemon diet drink is to be consumed for around 3 to 7 days. You need to consume around 6 to 12 glasses a day, every two hours. This detox diet is a very restrictive diet and it is seen to cause extreme tiredness, headaches and constipation.

Lemon Cleanse Diet Plan   Ingredients
The main ingredient of the lemon detox diet is freshly squeezed lemon juice. Other ingredients include organic maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. You can substitute the maple syrup with natural tree syrup and the cayenne pepper can be substituted with ginger root. You also need to have a natural laxative, such as salt water or herbal tea. 

How Does the Lemon Detox Work
The diet helps to cleanse the colon and the digestive tract of toxin build up. An accumulation of toxins reduces the ability of the body to carry out its functions at an optimum level. Lemon juice, which is the most important ingredient in this diet, contains vitamin C, which helps in eliminating toxins from the body. Cayenne pepper, helps in boosting the metabolism of the body, aiding weight loss. Water hydrates the body and flushes out toxins from the body.

Of course if you don't want to do the lemon cleanse diet this is still a great way to have that water every day with a twist of lemon! ♥ 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Grandma Katrina's Russian Borscht ♥

Here is a traditional russian borscht recipe my Grandma Katrina used to make,  I made a healthy version of it, on a chilly night like tonight ( a balmy -1 )for dinner  it's perfect!  ♥

Ingredients ♥

2 quarts beef stock
3 tablespoons margarine
1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup potatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
1/2 cup juice (from can of beets)
1 cup cooked or canned beets, diced
a pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
chopped dill or parsley (for garnishing)
sour cream ( light ) 
1/2 sliced hard boiled egg

Directions ♥

In a large heavy pan, melt margarine and lightly sauté cabbage, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion for approximately 5 minutes. Add beef stock. Blend canned tomatoes or press through a sieve until fine. Add pureed tomatoes and beet juice to stock. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are firmly tender but not soft.
At this point, add the chopped beets and vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar  and remove from heat before the beets begin to lose their color.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill or parsley, add your sliced hard boiled egg over each bowl and enjoy!  ♥

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Healthy Green Smoothie ♥

 My popular recipe per request from my readers, Here is a way to keep up a healthy you, try my healthy green smoothie recipe! ♥

My Healthy green smoothie is packed full of Kale. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Kale has been compared to beef, which is known as a “go-to” food for iron, protein, and calcium. Kale’s anti-inflammatory capabilities are unrivaled among leafy greens, especially relating to the prevention and even reversal of arthritis, heart disease, and several autoimmune diseases.

Omega-fatty acids are called essential because your body needs them to remain healthy, but they need to come from sources outside the body; kale is an excellent source of these healthy fats. Benefits of these often-talked about but little understood compounds include their ability to help regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes in your brain, and protect you against heart disease and stroke. They may also help combat autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
kale is becoming better known in the U.S., not just for the distinctive flavor it brings to soups and salads, but because of the many health benefits it provides. Loaded with vitamins, eating this green vegetable helps you fight cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and even macular degeneration. With all these good things, it could be what’s for dinner.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. So make sure to try my healthy green smoothie it's perfect for a pre workout or run! ♥

Ingredients ♥

1 handful baby spinach
1 leaf of  kale (discard the stalk)
1 organic banana
3 pieces of  mango
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup of water

Directions ♥ 

Mix this all up in your smoothie machine or blender until fully blended serve chilled and enjoy! ♥ 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Menu 2014 ♥

Happy Christmas Eve! Here is a last minute menu idea for you, hope everyone has a blessed holiday! ♥

Italian Antipasto Wreath Appetizer ♥

Skinny Holiday Shrimp Cocktail Dip ♥

Baked Knorr Spinach N' Artichoke Dip ♥

Kicken' Cranberry Punch ♥

Roast Turkey For Christmas Recipe ♥

Mamma's Christmas Sweet Bread ♥

Merry Christmas!  ♥