Monday, March 26, 2012

Skinny Taco Salad


This was SO yummy, ya'll. I made an entire recipe for myself and ate it for days. I just kept the beef and corn mixture in separate containers already measured out. It was filling and tasted just like a taco!

I should also mention how easy this was to throw together. It was great to make on a night when I had no one to cook for.

-Ingredients-

1 lb extra-lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
low sodium taco seasoning
1 cup frozen corn kernals, thawed
1 cup salsa, divided
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese- 2% (any kind you'd like. I used colby/jack)
4 cups chopped lettuce
green onions, chopped

-Directions-

1. Brown and drain the beef. Add the taco seasoning and cook according to package.
2. Mix in 1/2 cup salsa and the corn. Cook until heated through.
3. For each salad use 1 cup lettuce, 1/2 cup beef mixture and top with 2 tbsp each of salsa, sour cream and cheese.
4. Top with chopped green onions and enjoy!
(For lunch I would halve this recipe and use only 1/4 cup of the meat mixture)

(According to myfitnesspal.com: Calories- 313, Carbs- 21, Fat- 12, Protein-30, Fiber- 3. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 8)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Some Facts About Me...

It has been brought to my attention that more and more people are reading my blog that I may not know personally, I LOVE this! I mean, that's the reason I'm blogging.. is for people to read it, right?

I wanted ya'll to get to know me a little bit. I want to get to know you too, so follow my blog so I can see you! Or leave me a comment when you try a recipe and let me know how it turned out. I would love a little feedback. It would make my day in fact. Wouldn't you like to make my day?

Sorry for the non-food related post.. we will return to your regularly scheduled program in a moment. ;)

A. Age: I'll be 26 in June.


B. Bed size: Queen. I got it in 8th grade. It is totally being held up by college textbooks that I never sold back on one side. Might need a new one?

C. Chore you dislike: All of them, really. But if I had to choose one it would be laundry. I hate putting laundry away. Like with a passion. I will find any excuse to NOT put my laundry away, which in turn makes my mornings chaos and make me hate laundry even more.

D. Dogs: Lucy. My sweet little pitbull rescue. She has no ears and her teeth were filed down but I swear she is the sweetest little pup ever. She is just kinda a nut job. Okay. She is a complete and utter nut job.


Def. Naughty



E. Essential start to your day: When I did my internship teaching 2nd grade it was TOTALLY coffee. Now that I just sit at a desk I don't find it to be something I need every day. I don't really have something I NEED to get the day started, I just start it. (While complaining the entire time...)

F. Favorite color: Purple

G. Gold or silver: silver

H. Height: 5′ 4"

I. Instruments you play(ed): The recorder in the 5th. What what. I would REALLY like a keytar.

J. Job title: Right now I am a temp. office assistant at the Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I start at VZW at the end of April for customer service.

K. Kids: Not yet.

L. Live for ______: the weekend.

M. Most embarrassing moment: Ummm... my life? Lets just say if something awkward could potentially happen in a situation, it WILL happen to me. My sister's work collegues get a real kick out of it. They are excited for me to start my job at Verizon because they know the stories will start rollin' in again. Oh well.

N. Nicknames: Boo, Slobbo (whoops), Jugs

O. Overnight hospital stays: Never.

P. Pet peeves: people who complain about situations they can do something about. When my boyfriend says "we'll see." I guess when anyone says "we'll see".....that is SO not an answer.

Q. Quote from a movie: Anything from Grandma's Boy.

S. Siblings: older sister, Heidi and older brother Sean

T. Time you wake up: it SHOULD be at like 6:30 but this is me we're talking about... I wake up at 7:30. (And have to be at work at 8... I'm a morning wizard.)

U. University attended: UNCW

V. Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, corn, green beans, onions, peppers

W. What makes you run late: waking up late. (See answer for time I wake up.) I always have these wonderful ideas while I'm hitting the snooze button. I'm like.. constantly late. Whoops.

X. X-rays you’ve had: just of my teeth. No bigs.

Y. Yummy food you make: Pretty much everything. I mean.. have you SEEN my blog?! (oh duh. you're here!)

Z. Zoo animal favorites: I have not been to the zoo since middle school. I'd say monkeys but they smell. Like really bad. So probably polar bears or something.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Delectameals! Celebrate with the Best Macaroni and Cheese


I don't know if you have noticed yet, but I have somewhat of an obsession with macaroni and cheese. And cheesy potatoes. I love carbs and cheese okay?

I realized that last Saturday marked the 1 year anniversary of Delectameals! Even though I am just now kind getting it on a roll, we have been around for a whole year!

I wanted to make one of favorite dishes to celebrate such a momentous occasion. I have made this macaroni and cheese recipe probably half a dozen times and I am NEVER disappointed. Neither is anyone else who eats it. It is sooo creamy and cheesy. The secret is using Velveeta in your cheese sauce. I know, I know. But it REALLY makes for the most creamy homemade mac and cheese you will ever eat. So get over it and go buy you a slab of cheese product, ya'll. You'll thank me.

Plus, you wouldn't want to disappoint Delectameals on it's birthday, would you?
-Ingredients-

1 lb cavatappi (or elbow noodles)
1 stick light butter
1/2 c flour
4 c milk (I used Fat Free Smart Balance milk- which is a little thicker than regular FF milk.. the higher the fat % the creamier it will be though)
1 lb 2 % Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
3 c 2% Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
pepper, to taste (I used white pepper)

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour slowly. Cook the mixture (called a 'roux') for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Slowly pour in milk. I always start by just barely covering the bottom of the pan and fully incorporating the roux. Add a little more and whisk vigerously until you cannot see any lumps. Then add the rest of the milk.
5. Let milk mixture thicken. Once thick, add Velveeta and 2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir until just melted then remove from heat.
6. Stir in pasta and mix until well combined.
7. Pour mixture into a greased 13x9 glass pan. Cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
8. Top with remaining cheese and cook 5 minutes more, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Allow 5-10 minutes to cool.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Leprechaun Bites


Are these not the cutest stinkin' things you've ever seen? I don't know... but when these little guys came out of the oven I was freakishly happy. I think I asked my bf (who does not eat sweets) how cute they were a dozen times.

I was trying to think of something to do with those adorable sprinkles I bought like a month ago at the craft store. I am trying to eat healthier and I did not want to make cookies or cake or anything. I was stumped for a bit. Then I remembered meringues. They're low in fat and oh so yummy.


My first go at making meringues turned out horribly. When I was a nanny I was always trying to find SOMETHING to do in that house with what was already there. We made meringues one day. I don't know WHERE the recipe came from but they turned out horribly. Gritty and there was way to much sugar in them and I cooked them at to high of a temperature.

Little did I know how simple they really are. Leave it to me to make a simple job seem like it is impossible. Anywho I figured it out and with a stand mixer you really don't have to do anything but wait.

Meringues take a lot of patience. Not because they are tedious to construct, they just take a looongg time. But they are sooo perfectly worth it. Melt in your mouth sugary bites and with only 1 Weight Watchers Points+ a peice, why not have two? :)


-Ingredients-

4 egg whites
1 c superfine sugar (if you only have regular sugar, just buzz it in a food processor for a moment)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or mint would be yummy!)
green food coloring
adorable shamrock sprinkles

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 200*. In a stand mixer, beat your egg whites on medium-low until they start to look foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Keep beating until very stiff peaks have formed. (Patience!) Stir in the vanilla. Beat your sugar in 1 tbsp at a time.
2. Mix for several minutes until the mixture is very stiff and no longer gritty. If you can still feel the sugar in there you need to keep beating.
3. Put a little bit of meringue mixture on the four corners of some parchment paper cut to fit your baking sheet. This helps hold it down. Pipe out your meringues however you would like. They can be fairly close together as they do not spread. Add your sprinkles on top.
4. Bake in the 200* oven for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off, crack the door and let the meringues sit and harden for several more hours. I left mine in overnight. (More patience! So worth it.)

Weight Watchers Points+: 1




Monday, March 12, 2012

Homestyle Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of recipe posts lately. I would give you an excuse but I don't really have one. Time got away from me, I suppose.

Anyways, my *boyfriend* (yes, it's official now...insert cheesy smile) was sick last week and I wanted to make him something that would make him feel better. I remembered making this soup a couple of months back when it was cooolllldddd out and I loved it! But I didn't write down any quantities or take any pictures. I tried my best to capture the soup I made that night and I think I did a pretty dern good job.

The thing I love about this soup is the doughy egg noodles. They're like little dumpling strips.(Actually, the first time I made this recipe I cut up frozen dumplings into noodles and that's where I got the idea. The premade noodles are MUCH easier though!) We slurped this soup right up and "sick" boyfran went back for seconds.

I served it with a nice hot ham and cheese crescent and it made for a perfect dinner on a cold night. I know its getting warmer out there now but soup can make you feel good any time of the year. :)


 
-Ingredients-
3/4 c onion, chopped
3/4 c carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp butter
4 cups Chicken broth or chicken stock
3 cups water
1 lb chicken breast (I used two LARGE frozen breasts)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dry oregano
1 (10 oz) can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 bag frozen noodles (I used Reames) - I found them in the frozen bread area
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

-Directions-

1. In a large Dutch oven or other soup pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour in the water and chicken broth. Add the oregano and bay leaf. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
3. Remove the chicken from the broth and chop or shred into bite sized pieces.
4. Whisk in the cream of chicken soup. At this time, add more water or broth to reach desired consistency.
5. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Add the chicken back to the pot and heat through.
6. Stir in the fresh chopped parsley and serve hot.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Delicious Product Alert: Oscar Mayer Carving Board Roast Beef


This stuff is so good. If you have to buy packaged deli-meat, this product is the way to go. It was flavorful, juicy and tasted like leftover roast beef you had cooked yourself earlier in the week! I have not tried the other varieties but I am excited to try the turkey out. I hope it is like leftover Thanksgiving Turkey! I made some quick French Dip sandwiches with this and I enjoyed those. To be honest though, I thought the meat was best when it was cold.

Plus, it's low fat. What's not to love?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spaghetti and Mini Meatball Casserole

If you are looking for a comforting dinner to warm you up on a cold night, look no further. This spaghetti and meatball bake was so easy and I literally ate leftovers every day for a week at lunch.

These little meatballs were very different! I got the recipe from Martha Stewart. They actually have bacon mixed in with them. Yeah, I said they were different. Feel free to use a frozen meatball or your own favorite meatball recipe. I just loved the fact they were mini meatballs. Anything miniature is a winner in my book.


-Ingredients-

For the Meatballs:
1 lb lean ground beef
2 slices of bacon, finely chopped
1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp italian breadcrumbs
1 large egg
course salt
ground pepper

For the spaghetti:
1 lb (16 oz) package thin spaghetti
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
pepper (to taste)
2 (28 oz) jars spaghetti sauce (or make your own)

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 400*. Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl, mix until just combined.
2. Use a teaspoon and scoop the meat mixture out, using 2 teaspoon scoops for each meatball. Place on a foil lined baking sheet or on a broiler pan (to allow fat to drip).
3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 350.
4. Meanwhile, boil your spaghetti noodles according to package instructions for "al dente" pasta. Drain and place into a large bowl. Toss with the oil. Add 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 cup parmesan cheese, the eggs, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. (Using your hands makes this process much quicker/easier!)
5. Place spaghetti in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Scatter the meatballs over the top of the pasta. Pour sauce over the meatballs and make sure to cover everything thoroughly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minute or until hot and bubbly.
6. Remove the foil, top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, and some more parmesan if desired. Bake 5 minutes more.
7. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Adapted from: Martha Stewart, Food.com