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The Perfect Baked Potato

The Diva LOVES a great baked potato! It truly is an art and a science! Try these recipes out for size!

Oats for Breakfast- Two Quick And Easy Recipes That I love!!

cupcakesandbakes:

Awesome idea! I want to introduce YOU to my bloggers! I love your work~

Originally posted on apuginthekitchen:

Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes

When I first started my blog I tried every month or so to feature another blogger and one of their recipes, I really enjoyed doing that and it was a great way to introduce those who read my blog to someone they may not know. I don’t really know why I stopped doing that and I am going to start again. So to start out 2014 here is my first entry, I’m sure many of you know both and if you don’t you really should visit their blogs.

One of the blogs I love and follow is  Shashi the “Runninsrilankan“, she is a super fit Mom writing about fitness and food,   her recipes are delicious, healthful and easy to prepare from ingredients most of us have in our pantries. I saw her most recent post, Oatmeal Pancakes, read the ingredients and directions and thought WOW…

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400 Calorie (and under) Meals for the New You!

I love being in the DollHouse! It’s amazing how you can reach your goals with a group of positive, motivated, like-minded people! Here are some recipes to help all of you reach your New Year, New You goals! Healthy eating is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to taste like sawdust! When food tastes great, you’ll want to eat it! Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

 

Whole Wheat Garden Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole-wheat rotini, (6 ounces)
  • ¼  cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • ½  cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped basil (substitute ½ tsp dried)
  • 2-4 carrots, grated
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced (leave out for vegetarian meal)

 

PREPARATION

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
  2. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper, carrots, scallions, olives and basil; toss to coat well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for the next day’s lunch, or eat alongside a green garden salad.

 

MAKES 6, 1-CUP SERVINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cREAMY JAMBALAYA PASTA

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli, rotini, OR bowtie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon canola or EVO oil
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s, McCormick, etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼  cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ½ cup sliced scallions for garnish

 

PREPARATION

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, bell pepper, garlic, Cajun seasoning and pepper. Cook stirring, until the onion and bell pepper are beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir to coat. Add tomatoes and their juice; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is bubbling and thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in sour cream.
  4. Stir the pasta into the sauce. Serve sprinkled with scallions, if desired.
  5. Pairs well with steamed asparagus, green beans, or broccoli.

 

MAKES 6 –1 ½ CUP SERVINGS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian chickpea and Spinach Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces Italian sausage, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (feel free to use Turkey)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 cups baby spinach OR kale
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

  1. Cook sausage in a large pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat melts out, about 5 minutes. Set aside to drain on paper towels; discard fat.
  2. Add oil to the pot and place over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft, 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes (or puree) and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add broth, chickpeas, nutmeg, and paprika; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Add spinach, pepper and the reserved sausage; cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes

 

Makes 4—1 ½ cup servings

 

 

 

 

Blackened Tilapia

 

Ingredients

• 1 pound Tilapia fillets (4 -6 ounces, each fillet)
• 2-3 teaspoons blackening seasoning
• 2 teaspoons canola oil

 

1. Preheat skillet to high and add canola oil.

2. Rub Tilapia on both sides with blackening seasoning. Sauté until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

 

3.That’s it!!

 

 

 

 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

 

Ingredients

• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• ½ cup plain yogurt
• 1 tablespoon butter
• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar

 

Preparation

1. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook 10-15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Drain and place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
4. Mash with yogurt, butter, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar.
5. Serving size should be ½ cup.

 

 

Not Your Grandmother’s Collard Greens

 

Ingredients

• Smoked turkey necks or wings
• 3 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
• 1 small onion diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 2 – 3 bunches of collard greens
• salt and pepper to taste
• Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

 

Preparation

1. Rinse collard greens in the sink under running cold water and pick away stems
2. Stack collard greens into several leaves on top of each other.
3. Using a cutting board and knife, roll the leaves together and cut collard green leaves into 1 inch thick strips.
4. In a large pot, sauté diced onion, garlic and olive oil.

5. Add equal amounts of water and chicken broth to large pot.
6. Add greens and smoked turkey pieces to pot, bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
7. Cover with lid and continue to simmer for 1 hour.
8. Once greens are tender, add salt and pepper to taste.
9. Add red pepper flakes if you want a little heat.

 

 

 

Lemon Pepper Asparagus

Ingredients

1 pound of asparagus, trimmed
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 teaspoon of ground pepper

½ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.

3. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes or until asparagus is tender and browned.

4. Squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon over the asparagus and enjoy!

 

 

FB Cookie Swap! One Less Lonely Glass of Milk

I just had to include these cookies in my boxes for the Food Bloggers Cookie Swap 2013! I am so honored and privileged to be able to participate in the 2013 FB Cookie Swap for Kids Cancer! I can’t wait until next year!!

The hubby and I went to Earthfare for our favorite creamery milk–you know, the kind in the glass bottles. Well, I grabbed a creamline version and it was so creamy and lush that I just had to bake a cookie to eat with a glass of it.  I mean, why should a perfectly good cold glass of milk go alone without a warm cookie to snuggle up against? So, you concur? Exactly! Let’s get to the cookie! Remember those bags of no name brand crunchy oatmeal cookies with the hard frosting from the grocery stores? Well, these are WAY better!! Don’t believe me? Get to baking and find out!

Chewy, buttery, goodness!

Chewy, buttery, goodness!

oatmeal iced cookies

The Diva’s Iced Oatmeal Cookie

Ingredients

For the Cookie:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, slightly packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cup quick oats
  • 2 cup flour

For the Icing:

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In mixing bowl, blend together butter with sugars. Mix 1-2 minutes until combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in remaining cookie ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined.
  2. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 14-16 minutes. Remove and cool.
  3. To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with heavy cream and cinnamon until smooth. Frost each cookie and allow to harden.

Clean Teeth after the Sweets!

I was privileged to receive a VoxBox from Influenster to test out the New Colgate SlimSoft toothbrush, and I love it! The bristles are strategically placed and the design was perfect for cleaning around and under the permanent retainer I have in my mouth. I am very, “it’s just a toothbrush,” but after brushing with the SlimSoft, I realize that this toothbrush is far beyond ordinary!

colgate1

Apple Pie Oatmeal: Fall’s Harvest in a Bowl!

Fall is here! And with the crisp, cool breezes and bright colors come juicy crisp apples–including my favorite, the Honeycrisp!

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Apple pies make several appearances with The Domestic Diva during the fall as do many other apple themed dishes and desserts. Apple pie is so American, why shouldn’t we start the American day with apple pie? The Diva decided to take a bowl of ordinary healthy oatmeal, and transform it into a bowl of apple pie!

ImageOh yes, your heard me correctly! What’s that you say? How unhealthy can I get? (Side note, I can get pretty unhealthy–think Belgian waffles layered with thick cut applewood bacon, soft scrambled eggs, and warm spiced maple syrup OR melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi in a Parmasean cream sauce, with buttery mushrooms, and crispy pork belly). First of all, I’m your Domestic Diva/cook/baker NOT your doctor. Point second, this apple pie oatmeal is actually pretty good for you! Don’t believe me? Check this out:

1/3 cup regular oats
1 cup milk (dairy, soy, or almond)
1/2 tbsp flax seeds (optional)
1 apple, cored, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks (now, apples in season will be best. Stay away from those dreadful red delicious apples at all cost! If they’re in season, Honeycrisp or Gala apples are pretty tasty in this!)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, a pinch of kosher salt, and a splash (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract

  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Once it begins to boil, reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally
  3. Cook until it thickens, about 10 minutes
  4. Serve in bowls and top with extra cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, and walnuts or pecans, if you’d like.
  5. Around this time is when I add some brown sugar and a dollop of fresh whipped cream and dig in!

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Let me know what you think!!

Make your own Chipotle Burrito Bowl at Home!

Make your own Chipotle Burrito Bowl!

Chipotle has amazing food! Many times I crave it and my craving is not aligned with my fitness and nutrition all the time! I came up with the Diva’s version of a copycat recipe! The nuttiness of the brown rice makes you forget that it’s not white rice! Fresh corn salsa that you make yourself will make you forget the absence of the fattening sour cream topping! Add your own lettuce and shredded tomatoes and this meal will please both your palate and wallet! Let me know what you think!

 

 

Chipotle’s Copycat Marinated Chicken (or Beef)

 Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce (the sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 3 Tbs. lime juice, fresh if possible
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½  tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper

 

Cooking Directions

-       Mix all ingredients together and marinate chicken pieces for 2 hours ( 3o minutes at minimum)

-       Grill chicken on outdoor grill for a more similar flavor. If you desire, simply cook in skillet with a little olive or vegetable oil, stirring often until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked.

-       Chicken is ready to serve in your very own burrito bowl!

 

Corn Salsa

  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • ½  jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼  tsp. salt

 

Stir all ingredients together. That’s it!

 

 

Burrito Bowl Assembly

Mix some cooked brown rice with 1 tsp chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.   Add the marinated grilled chicken and top with a couple tablespoons of vegetarian black beans and the corn salsa. For a little extra heat, add some of your own salsa! Sprinkle with some shredded Monterey Jack cheese and enjoy!

 

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