Microwave Mashed Cauliflower

I first started my love affair with mashed cauliflower during a random Ruby Tuesday dining experience. I was looking for a healthy side item to go with my sliders and it was love at first bite. I decided I had to recreate the recipe at home.

1 frozen package cauliflower florets
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs milk
2 Tbs instant potatoes (I like to use butter flavored)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a microwave-safe bowl, add the frozen cauliflower with 1/4 cup of water. Microwave for 12 minutes (might depend on your microwave). Using a potato masher, mash the cauliflower with the remaking water and milk. Add the instant potatoes and seasonings and mix. You can also add any herbs or a pad of butter at this point also. If they have gotten too cold during the mashing, nuke them for a few minutes and serve.

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The Lemon Bowl’s Szechuan Green Beans and Ground Turkey

“Don’t eat this…it’s totally my dinner tomorrow night!” You can def tell if a meal was super yummy if you are calling dibs on leftovers 24 hours in advance. The Lemon Bowl’s Szechuan Green Beans and Ground Turkey might not look like much, but it delivers a takeout flavor punch! As I told y’all last week, I have a weakness for Asian food and have to feed my craving at least once (or twice) a week. This recipe was fast…I mean on the table in 30 minutes, fast. All of the ingredients were either on hand or easy to find. I used veggie stock in place of chicken because I had it in the pantry. The only other change I made was using 1 tsp of ground ginger for the fresh. Not only is this meal delicious, it’s nutritious ;)! For just over 300 calories you can have a huge portion of Chinese veg and protein with a 1/2 cup of jasmine (or whatev is your fav) rice. I call that one tasty meal with leftovers to covet.

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Cooking Light’s Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie

Remember those frozen chicken pot pies that your mom kept on hand just in case a week got busy? They are delicious, but def not the healthiest of choices. Cooking Light’s Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie isn’t a solution for a busy night, but it is the perfect Sunday dinner. It’s filling, nutritious and nostalgic. And now, how I made it my own…I subbed some dried herbs for some of the fresh called for in the recipe. I added a 1/2 tsp each of dried sage, poultry seasoning, marjoram and tarragon. I had some fresh rosemary on hand and chopped that up. To make it even healthier, I used more carrots and celery than the recipe called for. I also added sliced mushrooms. The sauce didn’t thicken as much as I liked. So, I added 2 Tbsp of corn starch to help it along. Baking is not my specialty. I am just not that precise and don’t enjoy it as much as other forms of cooking. Instead of making my own dough, I got some help from a tube of biscuits at 100 cal a piece. Just make sure to keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven. This chicken pot pie is a better way to get that comforting meal without all the added fat and calories of the frozen alternative.

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Martha Stewart’s Baked Eggplant Parm

Eggplant always reminds me of my grandmother, Cornelia Love. I have a vivid memory of thinking what a silly name eggplant was as I was eating it for the first time in her dining room. From sleepovers with “browndy” night caps to lounging in her living room telling stories to watching “I Love Lucy” to holiday curry suppers, I was lucky to spend so much quality time with her. I am deeply thankful for all of the memories and gifts passed down, especially her love of food and cooking.

Martha Stewart’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a health twist on an Italian classic. I decided to halve the recipe since it was just me and Morgan tonight (and we already have a ton of leftovers this week). To add texture, I chose panko breadcrumbs. I used 2% mozzarella and egg beaters as healthy substitutes. Instead of a jarred sauce, I made a quick, homemade tomato sauce. Overall, this proved a very tasty dish that I am sure my Grandma Love would have enjoyed.

Weeknight Tomato Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
Handful fresh parsley, chopped (I had some on hand) or 1 tsp dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red chili flake (I like some spice)
3 small cans tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

On medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the herbs and spices and cook for about a minute. Pour in the tomatoes and sauce. Bring to a simmer. Turn down to low and let the flavors combine for about 10 minutes.

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Bev Cooks’ One-Pan Coconut Shrimp Noodle Bowl

I am obsessed with all Asian food!!! I could seriously eat it every day and had the opportunity to do so when I spent a month in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia during 2005. Since then, my cravings and cooking adventures have only grown. I am constantly on the look-out for tasty Asian recipes to try at home. This delish dish would have been buried in my massive (I have an addiction) Pinterest folder if not for my sister-in-law, Carrie, who reminded me of it on Saturday. And I am soooo glad she did!!! Bev Cook’s recipe for One-Pan Coconut Shrimp Noodle Bowls was easy to follow with familiar ingredients and minimal prep.

By now, y’all know that I tend to move into recipes and make them my own. In that spirit, I subbed light soy sauce for the fish sauce and parsley for the cilantro. I LOVE cilantro, but accidentally picked up parsley instead at Kroger. My bad…but the parsley still gave an herbaceous flavor. When I make this again, I might use both herbs. I did use chicken broth (the recipe said it was acceptable) because I had some open in the fridge. For the coconut milk, I chose the light option. Also, I added a splash of rice vinegar for additional acid to cut the richness of the coconut milk.

This creamy, slightly spicy, subtly sour, filling recipe hit the spot and will calm my Asian cravings…at least for a few days!

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Inspired Dreamer’s Maple Dijon Baked Chicken and Roasted Carrots

The blog where I found the recipe for this chicken claims it is the “world’s best chicken”. While it was SUPER moist and had good flavor, I wouldn’t say it is the best I have ever had. Morgan, on the other hand, loved it and has already planned when to eat the leftovers. I made a few slight changes. Instead of maple syrup, I used some lite pancake syrup I had on hand. This might have altered the flavor a little bit, but it added the desired sweetness. I added chopped rosemary in the sauce before cooking to infuse more rosemary flavor. I cut my ginormous breasts in quarters before tossing them in the sauce. I would def give this recipe a try for a simple weeknight meal!

Roasted Carrots
1 bag peeled mini carrots (these are in between reg and baby carrots…if you use baby carrots you will have to watch that they don’t get too roasted)
Cooking spray
Sprinkle garlic powder
1/2 Tbs chopped rosemary
Salt
Pepper

The oven will already be on 425 degrees for the chicken. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spray the carrots themselves as well. Sprinkle with seasonings and herbs. Place carrots on the top rack. Roast for 10 minutes. Flip. Cook for 10 more minutes. Check for doneness…they might need 5 more minutes. Enjoy!

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Weight Watchers’ 8 Can Soup

My first year out of college I joined Weight Watchers. I went to meetings every week and learned to think about food/nutrition in different ways. It was a very positive experience. Over the years, I have made (and remade) many of the recipes I learned during that time. Weight Watchers 8 Can Soup is a super convenient and cost effective take on healthy. Whip it up in minutes, let it simmer and enjoy!