Friday, March 30, 2012

Ruined Leftovers

I was told not to post this because I am probably the only idiot that would do something like this! However, I figured there is at least one of you that could learn from my stupidity.

Remember last week when I made that Beef, Bean and Barley Stew and I said I froze a few jars of it because there were so many leftovers? Well, it was a major failure on my part. I overfilled my glass jars and look what I found in my freezer....
My husband said I must have been absent in the third grade when they taught us that liquids expand in the freezer. Anyways, lesson learned. Make sure you leave at least 1" head space from the top of the jar. Pin It

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pulled Pork Sliders

I made these with the leftover pork from yesterday! The pork tasted just as good as it did when I first cooked it. I simply reheated it and made a slider out of it. These sliders would be the perfect appetizer for any party! You will definitely impress your guests if you serve these. There really is nothing to putting these together besides cooking the pork, of course. I was going to make a slaw for the slider but I think it would have made it too creamy and taken away from the flavor of the barbecue pork.
1 Package of King Hawaiian Rolls
Jar of Kosher Dill Pickle Slices (half each slice to assemble your slider)
Carrots (I like the matchstix carrots that are already cut up for you)
Sliced Red Onions
Lightly toast your rolls and reheat your pork in the microwave (if you are using leftovers).
Pile on your pork and red onions on one side of the roll and the pickles and carrots on the other side. 
That is it! You now have one tasty appetizer or entree! I am addicted. I have already eaten way too many of these.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3 Ingredient Pulled Pork

If you have been reading my blog the past few months, you know that I am not a huge fan of the crockpot. I have ruined countless meals with this pot. However, my best friend, MMB, convinced me to try this recipe. To my surprise, it was fabulous and I will definitely be making it again. I chose to use pork tenderloin instead of pork shoulder or pork butt because it is more lean. Some people advise against this but my meat turned out just as tender so don't bother with that fatty stuff!
Adapted from Tablespoon
1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin (pork shoulder or butt can also be used)
1 (18 ounce) bottle of root beer (you just need enough to cover the meat)
1 (18 ounce) bottle of barbecue sauce (KC Masterpiece is my favorite)
Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker and pour the bottle of root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
DO NOT open the slow cooker before 6 hours. It may be hard to do but you will lose the effect of the slow cooker if you open it before this time.
After the pork has cooked, drain and discard the root beer. I know this picture does not look appetizing but I did not want you to be surprised if you cooked the tenderloin and it looked like this after you drained it. I promise it is still good. Don't judge a book by it's cover!
Shred the pork and place back in the slow cooker.
Here is what it looks like all shredded!
Pour the barbecue sauce over the pork and stir to combine. Serve immediately or keep warm in slow cooker until ready to serve.
For last night's meal, I used the pulled pork for tacos! They were so delicious. I made my own taco bar with fresh whole wheat tortillas, diced tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, carrots, scallions and diced red onions.
We savored every bite. Tomorrow, I will share with you what we did with the left over pulled pork.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pinterest+Healthy Chicken Spaghetti

I am happy to announce my blog is now Pinterest-friendly!!! It took me over 3 hours to figure out how to install this tiny button to my blog but I am so excited! You can find the Pinterest button at the end of every post. Just click on it and it will allow you to pin my pictures to your boards on Pinterest! FYI-You have to have a Pinterest account to use this feature!

This recipe is definitely Pinterest-worthy! I used Pioneer Woman's recipe as the base and changed it to my liking. My version of her chicken spaghetti is heartier and healthier. My husband kept asking me, "Are you sure this healthy?" I posted another chicken spaghetti recipe a few months back which is also worth checking out if you like your chicken spaghetti really cheesy!
Semi-Adapted from Pioneer Woman
2.5 cups of Cooked Chicken (I buy the rotisserie chicken and cut it up)
3 cups of Dry Whole Grain Spaghetti, split in thirds (3/4 package)
2 cans of 98% Fat-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup of Finely Diced Green Pepper (1 pepper)
1/2 cup of Finely Diced Onion
1 jar (2 ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained (I bought a 4 oz. can and used half)
1-14.5 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes, No Salt Added, Drained
1.5 cups of Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (OPTIONAL)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup Additional Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Grated Cheese (for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After cutting your chicken into pieces and dicing your onions and green peppers, saute your onions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cook until translucent and do not brown. Set aside.
Boil a large pot of water and cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Do not overcook the spaghetti as you will be cooking it again in the oven. Drain and add to a large bowl.
Mix the chicken, cream of mushroom soup, onions, green peppers, diced pimentos and diced tomatoes together.
Add your grated cheese last and then slowly add the chicken broth to the mixture and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste as well as your cayenne pepper if you like it spicy!
Spray a pyrex casserole dish with PAM or nonstick cooking spray. Add your chicken spaghetti mixture to the dish and top with grated cheese.
Cook in the oven, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. If the cheese starts to brown within this time, cover with foil.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Balsalmic Tomatoes

This is the perfect side to any entree. Not only is it healthy but it is full of flavor. I realize there is not much to this recipe but I promise you that you will not be disappointed. We got the idea to make these tomatoes after eating a similar version at a very fancy restaurant in New York.
Serving Size-2
3 Tbsp of Balsalmic Vinegar
3/4 container of grape tomatoes
Wash your tomatoes and add to a small saute pan. Then add your balsalmic vinegar. 
Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
Serve hot! This picture may not look appetizing but AGAIN I must assure you they are delicious.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Bake Healthy Lemon Pie

Lately my husband and I have been craving something sweet after dinner. I do not like to bake because neither of us have self-control and I know we would eat more if I just had cookies and cake sitting around! In an attempt to satisfy our sweet tooth, I made this "No Bake" pie. I made this recipe healthy by substituting the fat-free versions of some of the ingredients listed below. You would never know either! It was light, airy and the perfect amount of sweetness that did not make me feel guilty after eating it. I will definitely be bringing this to cookouts this summer!

Semi-Adapted from Very Best Baking
Graham cracker pie crust (9")
1-14 oz. can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (5 lemons)
1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel (1 lemon)
2 cups fat-free, frozen whipped topping (thawed)
Grated lemon peel or lemon slices for garnish (optional)
Grate your lemon peel and juice your lemons.
Mix lemon peel, lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk until combined. You do not need a mixer to do this.
Fold in the whipped topping; pour into the graham cracker crust using a spatula.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Garnish with lemon peel or lemons.
Slice and Serve!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beef, Bean, and Barley Soup

My grandmother gave this recipe to my mom when she first got married and now my mom passed this recipe down to me! This is a great soup and the perfect comfort food. This recipe feeds at least 8 people so we froze 2 jars of soup to have for a later time!
2 lbs. lean beef stew meat
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
32 ounces beef broth (50% less sodium)
8 cups warm/hot water
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1-14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (use juice)
1 lb. package baby lima beans
1 heaping cup of pearled barley (found in the grocery store next to the rice)
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt (add slowly to taste)
Garlic salt
Wash and chop your onions, carrots and celery.
Then, slice your already cubed meat in half or in thirds. The chunks that they prepackage are too big!
Add onions, garlic and beef stew meat to your 8 quart soup pot. Sprinkle with a dash of garlic salt for extra flavoring!
Saute these ingredients until meat is brown. You do not need to add any oil to the pan as these ingredients will make their own liquid once heated. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
Add the rest of your ingredients to the soup pot including beef broth, water, carrots, celery, tomatoes (with liquid), baby lima beans, barley, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and cover with lid.
Then simmer on low for 3-4 hours until lima beans are soft. Stir every 30 minutes or so and make sure it does not boil over. You also want to make sure the liquid is moving...very slow boil. It becomes thick on its own.
I served this soup with biscuits and it was a delicious combo!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Best Squash Casserole

I got this delicious recipe from my mother-in-law and this was my husband's favorite growing up! If you need to bring something to a dinner party, this is a great option. This recipe serves 8 so half the recipe if you are only cooking for a few people! I made the entire recipe so we will be eating squash casserole all week (but I don't mind because it is so good)!!!
7-8 large squash (maybe yellow, zucchini or mixed)
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp of light Butter
4 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
12 ounce fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 1b LIGHT Velveeta Cheese (1/4 large block)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Chop your onions and slice your squash and/or zucchini.
Saute cut squash in onion and margarine until soft.
Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl. Then, add the cottage cheese, melted velveeta cheese, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the mixture.
Finally, add your squash and onions and mix everything together. Your mixture should be semi-thick. If it is still runny, add more bread crumbs.
Spray a casserole dish with PAM and add your squash mixture to the dish.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until the casserole is firm in the middle. You can test with a cake tester or just see that everything solidifies and does not jiggle!
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Ginger and Cilantro Baked Tilapia

Tilapia is a mild white fish and can be very bland if not seasoned the right way. I found this recipe very easy to make and also a nice change to our usual fish dinners because this was more Asian-inspired. I did make a few adjustments to the original recipe because the ginger was very overpowering! However, if you do not like ginger then you will not like this marinade.
Semi-Adapted from The Kitchn
2 large tilapia filets
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tsp of grated ginger (you can use the minced ginger in a jar)
2 Tbsp of Less Sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1/3 cup cilantro
Scallions, chopped for garnish
Extra cilantro, to garnish
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Season both sides of the tilapia with salt and pepper and place in a glass baking dish.
Grate your fresh ginger if you have not already done so.
Place your ginger, minced garlic and a dash of pepper in a mini food processor. Add the soy sauce, white wine, sesame oil, and cilantro and blend on low until well-mixed.
Pour the sauce over the fish. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the fish flakes and is cooked all the way through.
Serve immediately over brown rice or long grain wild rice. Garnish with cilantro and scallions. After I scooped the tilapia from the pan, I did not use the excess sauce that remained in the pan because the tilapia already had enough flavor. I also did not like the sauce on its own.
This recipe is definitely different from your usual baked tilapia but if you like asian flavors, then you will enjoy this recipe!
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Friday, March 16, 2012

SXSW Fashion

My plan to cook a blog-worthy meal failed. To replace my cooking post, I am going to share with you my favorite trends for this spring and summer. With SXSW in town, there has been some great people watching! Trends that I have loved seeing around town are the NEONS, PASTELS and FLORAL PANTS!

I decided not to photograph the randoms who I saw wearing these trends. Instead, I found some pictures online that resemble some of the street trends I loved!

Below is a look from J.Crew that is so cute! I love the chambray shirt paired with neon pink shorts!
3" chino short
J. Crew

Gap has large variety of pastel-colored jeans that I suggest you check out if you want to be "in" this season!

If worn right, I love both of these pastel-colored, floral pants! I doubt this trend will stay around which is why I posted two versions of almost the exact same pant. One is significantly cheaper than the other so I would be hesitant to splurge on something so trendy!

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