Skinny(er) Scalloped Potatoes

Skinny(er) Scalloped Potatoes - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

Non stick cooking spray
10 medium peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thinly. I used my food processor attachment at 2mm
2.5 tbsp butter
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic, or if you are a garlic lover (like me) 2 cloves minced or microplaned (if you don’t have cloves, 1/2-1 tsp garlic powder)
1 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar or Gruye cheese or a combo of both
1/4 cup large grate parmesan cheese
2 cup fat-free milk
1 bay leaf
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3 tsp thyme
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
 
 
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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl add potatoes, salt, & fresh cracked pepper. Toss well so everything is coated.
  3. The placement of the potatoes will happen in 4 different batches. First batch take 1/4 of the potatoes and layer them on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add 1/4 of the cheese on top, repeat until all potatoes and cheese are in pan.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring milk, butter, dijon mustard, thyme, bay leaf and nutmeg to a boil over medium heat stirring very frequently so it does not scaldpour over potatoes (remove bay leaf)
  6. Top with the Parmesan cheese and green onions.
  7. Bake uncovered, for 40 – 50 minutes (depending on how thick your potatoes were) or until potatoes are tender. 

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Broccoflower Fritters

Normally when you hear the word “fritter” you, or at least I, think of a nice warm gooey apple fritter! Sadly not much nutrients in one of those, but in my veggie fritter, you will get a ton of them. From cancer fighting agents to helping fight those nasty cold buggies searching your immune system for a place to live. There is no end to the wonderful benefits of broccoli. You can make this recipe with just broccoli, or just cauliflower, I used a combination of broccoli and a broccoflower I found at the store that looked beautiful. This cross-breed between broccoli and cauliflower is it’s sweeter counterpart. You can eat it raw as is, or cook how you would broccoli or cauliflower. I love the taste of both so I decided to have the best of both worlds 😀

The crispy exterior of these fritters mixed with the tender interior with the nutty parmesan cheese and rosemary flavors really blend well together. Bringing a well-rounded side dish to your meal or just to eat as a snack.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 stalks rosemary, toasted and chopped
1/2 c flour
2 stalks brocoli
1/2 broccoflower
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
rosemary oil to cook in

DIRECTIONS

Steam your broccoli or broccoflower until fork tender.

In a medium sized bowl combine; eggs, parmesan cheese, cornmeal, rosemary, flour, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper (if using).

Add steamed broccoli or broccoflower and mash away. Using a potato masher works wonders for this process. You don’t want the consistency of mashed potatoes, you want a chunkier mixture with pieces of the vegetable throughout. 

In a skillet heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of rosemary. Heat on medium low to infuse the oil with the rosemary flavors. About 5-7 minutes.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 1 tablespoon of fritter batter into the hot rosemary oil and flatten with spatula.

Cook until brown on edges about 3-4 minutes, then flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel and give a light dusting of parmesean cheese & salt (optional). I omit the salt from the recipe and use it here instead.

Recipe makes approximately 15 fritters depending on the size you make them. They can be stored in an airtight ziplock or container in fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Best served warm.  If re-heating, warm oven to 375 degrees F. Take a cookie sheet with a wire rack and place on cookie sheet, place fritters on rack and bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through. 

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday

Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf

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I am entering a contest in the The Mr. Food Test Kitchen for the ultimate weeknight meal…Since I hated meatloaf for so long, I thought I’d share my newly found love with everyone. Hope it wins!!

I am not a meatloaf fan, I am not sure my kids are either. I don’t make it that often to really know. I decided to try a new way of approaching how I made it. In previous attempts I changed different additives to the meatloaf, bread crumbs here and Worcestershire there, ketchup this time, tomato sauce the next. Nothing ever resonated enough for me to sit up and say HEY this is good…UNTIL…I decided to stuff a meatloaf. Yes you heard me, STUFF it, not in my mouth, but stuff the inside with goodies I knew my kids would eat and with some veggies that I am always trying to stuff down their throats! So anyway, this was the best meatloaf in the entire world, maybe I should have named it that? There were no leftovers and you won’t believe how easy it is to make. You could even have change-out ingredients to your own liking! Change out the cheeses, omit the spinach and use arugula, the possibilities are endless. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did, this was a real accomplishment for me. although I wouldn’t say I HEART MEATLOAF, I would say, I HEART my stuffed turkey meatloaf! This is the only meatloaf that will ever be made in this household 😀

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lb ground turkey 80% lean
1 lb cooked bacon, chopped + reserve 1 handful
2 cloves crushed minced garlic
2 tbsp oregano or Italian spice blend
1 egg
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 C bread crumbs
1 c. grated Romano cheese + 1/4 cup reserved
1 c. grated Parmesan  cheese + 1/4 cup reserved
2 c. loosely packed fresh spinach leaves
Salt/pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook off bacon and drain fat on paper towel. When cool crumble into bite sized pieces.
  3. In large bowl, mix ground turkey, egg, 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, bread crumbs, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Spray foil covering a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place turkey mixture onto baking sheet and form a rectangular shape.
  5. Sprinkle the bacon evenly over the meat mixture, pressing firmly into meat.
  6. Sprinkle cheeses evenly on top of bacon.
  7. Place the spinach leaves on top of cheese evenly.
  8. Starting at short end, start rolling up tightly, using foil to start the rolling process. You may need to tuck in spinach leaves as you roll. Seal ends when rolling is complete.
  9. Spread remaining pizza sauce over top, add the remainder of the cheese and any left over bacon. Bake for around 1 hour or until juices are clear or until thermometer inserted in meat loaf reads 160°F. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  10. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

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oops, looks like i left a piece of garlic uncut, hope I get that bite!!

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make sure to press the bacon into the meat

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stuffed meatloaf

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rolling meatloaf

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top of the meatloaf

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while it cools…STOP and get your drool on!

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Crunchy Quinoa Chicken Strips

Quin, who? Quinoa! I know, it’s a weird word, but a delicious whole grain which is really considered a SEED! At any rate, I try to get my family to eat different foods to heighten their pallets, if they know about it, likely they won’t try it! If I tell them about it AFTER they have tried it sometimes the result is better. But most importantly if I disguise it or hide it, they never know and I know they are getting good nutrition and their pallets are being exposed to new foods. Quinoa is a bland grain which is good because you can add to it whatever you want sweet or savory. It is very versatile this way. In order to disguise it using my trickery methods for my family I decide to encrust in on some chicken strips. Yet, that wasn’t enough nutrition for me in this meal. I had to take it 1 step further. Normally when you make any type of cutlets you dip in flour dip in egg, then dip in breading. I decided to add some pureed veggies to my egg mixture instead of just using an egg. Remember the ends of asparagus you throw away? I keep them in the freezer for experimentation… experimentation’s such as this! I used them to create a pesto that will go on top of the finished dish and can be used in helping the quinoa stick to the chicken. Getting those extra nutrients into my kids bellahs!  Yes it is doable…and here is how!

PESTO INGREDIENTS
½ c fresh basil
2 cloves minced garlic cloves
¼ c olive oil, good quality (may require more depending on consistency, add more or less as needed)
2 asparagus stem bundles
Juice of ½ a lime plus zest
1 handful frozen peas
¼ c parmesan cheese
¼ c. toasted whole pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste

PESTO DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until a smooth consistency. Taste test before continuing, you may need to add more olive oil or salt and pepper.

CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
4 chicken breast halves, sliced into strips and pounded thin
1 1/4 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
¼ c Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
2 T garlic powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon paprika
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

CHICKEN DIRECTIONS
1. Place quinoa in a sauce pan with the chicken stock, salt/pepper, and cumin, and bring to a boil. 

2. Cover and simmer over medium low for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Cook 1-2 more minutes uncovered, stirring, until quinoa starts to stick to the pan. 

3. Remove quinoa from heat and spread out in a thin coat on a plate to cool.

4. Place the flour, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, s/p (if using), and paprika in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle over cooled quinoa 4 T at a time as you coat the chicken pieces adding more to the dish. I do it this way so I can reserve the flour mixture for later use. Once it touches the raw chicken, you cannot reuse it.

5. Beat  1 egg and add ½ cup pesto mixture and place in another shallow bowl together. 

6. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. 

7. Season the chicken pieces lightly with s/p. Dredge each piece of chicken first in the pesto/egg mixture, then in the flour/quinoa mixture patting the quinoa onto the chicken to coat.  NOTE: this is a bit of an acquired technique. If quinoa falls off, you are not alone. I find it best to hole the chicken tender in my left hand and press the quinoa firmly onto it. Add it immediately to the heated oiled pan. Once it is in place, LEAVE it until time to turn.

8. Place as many chicken pieces that will fit into the skillet and cook, turning once carefully with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.  NOTE: You need to use a spatula, the quinoa tends to stick and if you use a different utensil, you will take the coating off the chicken.

9. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding a little more olive oil to the skillet as necessary. 

10. Serve warm and drizzle with additional pesto on top

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Good quality chicken stock or broth works great in recipes

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Stock being added to quinoa

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cooling quinoa

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asparagus stems un-thawing

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pesto ingredients in food processor

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DON’T FORGET THE LIME!

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Pesto and egg mix

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quinoa and flour mix

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chicken strips cooling

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Pretzel Crusted Chicken Cutlet

INGREDIENTS

4 Chicken Cutlets
2 c. Pretzles
1 c. Parmesan Cheese
1/2 c. Bread Crumbs (see recipe)
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
1 Egg
1 c. Flour
4 T. Extra Virgil Olive Oil

Hot Wing Sauce:
1/4 c. Butter
1/4 c. Tabasco Hot Sauce
Melt butter and add Tabasco sauce. Keep warm while serving for best results.

Honey Mustard Sauce:
1/4 c. Mustard
2 T. Mayonaise
1/2 c. Honey
In bowl combine mustard and Mayonaise, add honey and whisk until combined.

DIRECTIONS
Pound chicken cutles out to a thin consitency. In food processor combine pretzels, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and salt/pepper. Grind mixture until a course ground mixture forms.  Add olive oil to frying pan and heat on medium. Place flour in 1 dish, egg in another dish, and the pretzel mixture in the third dish. Dip 1 cutlet in to flour mixture coating both sizes liberally, then dip in egg mixture coating both sides, lastly dip i n pretzel mixure coating both sides. Add cutlet to pan and repeat steps above with remaining cutlets. Cook cutlets until thouroughly cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side depending on thickness of cutlet.