Cooking Light’s Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This Cooking Light recipe was a great Pinterest find!

Click here to find the recipe for Cooking Light’s Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Per usual I made this recipe a little my own with some quick (and simplifying) changes! I eliminated the sherry (I just didn’t have it/didn’t think I would use it enough to buy it). I used a tablespoon of rice vinegar instead of a teaspoon. After dropping my fresh ginger in the trash can while peeling it (butterfingers), I replaced it with a teaspoon of ground ginger from my spice cabinet. Subbing iceberg for butter lettuce saved over a $1. Morgan opted to have his filling in flour tortillas instead of lettuce cups. This idea was fitting (and a little more filling) since mu shu is typically served in crepe-like pancakes in restaurants. Oh, and I couldn’t resist a little squirt of sriracha to top it off. The alterations didn’t change the flavor and the hubs gave it rave reviews!

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Lemon Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

I love tasting food, reading recipes and making them my own! This recipe was inspired by a soup my brother-in-law, Logan, has made and a few that I saw on Pinterest. I found it to be a warm hug in a bowl, but the hubs thought it a little bland…so, adjust the seasoning as you see fit.

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 bag baby carrots, chopped
7 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb shredded chicken (I baked some earlier in the day, but you could totally use a rotisserie)
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
3 lemon rinds
2 eggs, beaten
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 pint mushrooms, sliced
4 cups prepared brown rice (I used instant brown rice)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Sauté the veggies in the olive oil on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and deglaze the pan with the chicken broth. Add the water, herbs and lemon rind. Turn up the heat and bring to a slow boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove lemon rind. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the lemon juice. Add 3-5 Tbs of the broth to temper the eggs/lemon. Add the egg mixture and mushrooms to the pot of soup. Stir in the brown rice. Taste and season accordingly. Enjoy!!

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Mexican Flatbread

This is a healthy way to get your Mexican fix! I was inspired by Menu Musings’ blog (http://menumusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/skinny-mexican-pizza.html?m=1), but switched it up to reduce the calories and sodium.

1 whole wheat flatbread wrap (like FlatOut or Fit and Active)
Olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup Mexican spiced refried beans (recipe below)
1 oz Mexican spiced ground beef (recipe below)…I have also used pulled chicken and it’s yummy, too!
2 Tbs salsa (I prefer a fresh, pico style)
1/4 2% cheese (I used a combo of cheddar and mozzarella)

Your choice of toppings (I used baby sweet peppers, mushrooms, pickled jalapeños, 100 cal pack Wholy Guacamole, fat free Greek yogurt, Valentina’s Mexican hot sauce)

Turn the oven on low broil. Spray both sides of your flat bread. Toast on each side for 2 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Spread the beans on the flat bread and top with salsa. Scattered on the beef and your choice of toppings (that should be cooked). Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Reduced fat cheese doesn’t melt as “pretty” as other cheeses, but is a good alternative/way to save some calories. Top with the rest of your fresh toppings.

Mexican Spice Blend:
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle rub (I had this on hand, but it can be omitted)
1/2 tsp red chili flake

Mexican Spiced Beans:
1 can fat free refried beans
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
Mexican spice blend

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pot and cook on medium low heat until warm.

Mexican Spiced Beef:
1 lb lean ground beef (I like 95/5 for this)
1/2 onion diced
Mexican spice blend

Brown beef with onion and spices on medium high heat.

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Smoky Braised Baby Kale and Spinach

This recipe was a happy accident! So, I asked my sweet husband to pick up a few ingredients from the market this afternoon. One item on the list was kale for a side dish to my steamed rice and jerk pork. Instead of just regular kale, he grabbed baby kale. Then, he generously decided to go back to the store and accidentally got (large leaf) spinach. After talking him out of going to Kroger for a third time, I decided to mix the greens and try my recipe.

2 strips bacon, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 bunch spinach
1 container baby kale
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

On medium heat, render the fat from the bacon and brown the onions in it. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (so it doesn’t burn). Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2-5 minutes. Add the broth and deglaze the pan. Dump all your greens in (I ripped the spinach up to a similar size as the baby kale) and stir. Turn to low. Cook the greens for about 10-15 minutes. Right before you are ready to serve, add the balsamic vinegar. Serve over steamed rice.

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English Muffin Pizza Casserole (a la Plain Chicken)

Throw it all together and go! This one pan casserole was a perfect meal after a long work week and broken dishwasher. Gotta give credit where credit is due…this recipe was adapted from Plain Chicken (http://www.plainchicken.com/2014/01/english-muffin-pizza-casserole.html#_a5y_p=1164436).

1 package English muffins (I only had four left in my package and it worked😃) split in half and cut in fours
1 jar pizza sauce (I used half a jar of left over pizza sauce and some homemade marinara I had in the freezer)
1/2 a bag of frozen turkey meatballs, cut in half
1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella

In a large bowl, combine English muffins, pizza sauce, meatballs, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Spray a Pyrex with nonstick cooking spray. Dump the bowl in the Pyrex. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cook at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It almost tastes like a savory, pizza bread pudding. Enjoy!

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Chorizo, Zucchini, and White Bean Soup

A good bowl of soup and crusty bread is one of my favorite meals in the winter. I like to mix and match combinations and flavors. This one has some spice to warm you up on a cold night.

1 package chorizo (Mexican sausage)
1 onion, diced
2 zucchinis, chopped (mine were super large…so, I cut in half. Cut the halves in thirds and then chopped)
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 large can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 box of veggie broth (4 cups)
1 Tbs dried oregano
1/2 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper

Brown the chorizo, breaking it up with the back of a spoon as you go. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for 3 minutes. Dump in the beans and tomatoes. Mix all ingredients while adding in the broth and spices. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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Red Wine and Onion Pot Roast

This is my take on a simple, classic recipe my mom (and many others) make in the Crockpot.

3 lb beef roast (I typically see what is on special)
3 russet potatoes, unpeeled and chopped in 6 pieces each
1/2 bag of baby carrots
1 onion, chopped in half and then half again
3 stalks celery, chopped in 3inch pieces
5 mushrooms, cut in half
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup red wine (one that you would actually drink)
1/2 cup water

In a Crockpot, add the ingredients as they are listed above, staring with the roast in the middle and the veggies around it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

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