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Zucchini Lasagna

11 Aug

My veggie lasagna is my most requested recipe from people.  I think the one thing that scares people the most is the long ingredient list, but it really is easy to put together. Here is a simple recipe that is a bit healthier than your normal lasagna. I just emailed this recipe to someone so I thought I’d copy and pasta it as a blog post as well.

4-5 zucchini’s depending how big or small they are, sliced lengthwise
1 container of low fat ricotta cheese
16 oz shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1 jar of pasta sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
dried Italian herbs seasoning (optional)
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
2. Thinly slice your zucchinis lengthwise. Make sure they are uniform slices and not too thick since they’ll need to cook evenly
3. Mix 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp Italian herbs, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and ricotta cheese
4. In a 13×9 baking dish, spray cooking oil on the bottom and sides. Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom, enough to coat.
5. Put a layer of zucchinis, enough to cover the bottom, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
6. Spread 1/2 ricotta mixture across the zucchinis. Then sprinkle half your bag of mozzarella cheese
7. Put another layer of zucchinis, don’t forget to sprinkle the zucchinis with salt & pepper.
8. Spread the rest of the ricotta cheese, then pour all your sauce on top. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top and put a dash of the Italian herbs across the top
9. Spray aluminum foil  with cooking spray and cover the baking dish loosely.
10. Cook for 50 minutes, more or less depending how cooked you want the zucchini.
11. Remove aluminum foil and broil for 5-6 minutes on high

Enjoy!

Homemade Chipotle Bowls

28 Jun

It is no secret I love Chipotle. Maybe it’s the convenience or maybe it’s the delicious cilantro rice.  Thanks to Kristen over at Iowa Girl Eats, I decided to make my own Chipotle bowls at home.  It seemed easy and I had most of the things on hand already.

Here is what you need to feed 4 people:

Cilantro rice:
4 cups cooked rice
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
lemon

Mix everything together

Filling:
2 chicken breasts diced into small pieces (or whatever meat you want)
1 packet taco seasoning
green bell pepper-sliced
onion-sliced

Marinate the chicken with the taco seasoning and cook in an oiled saute pan. Set aside. In the same pan, cook the veggies

Corn Salsa:
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
2 tomatoes -chopped
1/2 onion- chopped
1/2 red bell pepper-chopped
cilantro
lemon

Mix together

Other accompianments:
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
salsa (preferably Trader Joe’s garlic chipotle sauce)
sour cream (or Greek yogurt for a healthier option)

Now turn this..

 …into this…

..and enjoy! Quick, easy, and delicious.

Crab Cakes

28 Jun

I was craving for salmon cakes, but found a can of crab meat in my cupboard instead.  I looked up a couple of recipes and decided to combine all of them and make my own.

This is an approximate measurement of everything, since I never measure my spices.

Crab Cakes

1 can crab meat (6.5 oz)
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 juice of lemon
lemon zest
1/4 cup green onions-chopped
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian herbs
S&P to taste

Mix together the egg, mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, Italian herbs, and S&P.  Add into crab meat, mix in panko crumbs and parmesan cheese. Mix all together, be careful not to break up crab meat.

Oil up a pan and drop in a quarter sized ball of the mixture and cook on each side for about 3 minutes.  It should be golden brown on both sides.  Taste to see if you got all the seasonings right.  If so, this makes about 3 medium sized patties.  Cook at medium to high heat for the first 3-4 minutes on each side. Then change it to low heat so the inside heats through.

I whipped up a simple dip with what I had on hand.
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
a pinch of Italian herbs seasoning
a squeeze of lemon
lemon zest

Whisk together and you have a simple dip made in no time.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

23 Jun

The boy loves BBQ chicken pizza, so in an effort to make him happy, I scrapped together something easy.  It’s cheaper than any pizza you can get from a restaurant and customizable to your liking

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Pizza crust (I used the Boboli thin pizza crust)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 sliced red onion
1/2 cup corn (I buy the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 chicken breast- shredded (cooked however you want, I had left over roasted chicken)

Preheat your oven according to the packaging details on the back of your pizza crust.
Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray.
Spread the BBQ sauce on, sprinkle with cheese
Pile on the rest of the toppings and stick in the oven for about 15 minutes

Enjoy!

How to: Roasted Vegetables

20 Jan

Over the past several years, I’ve really grown to like vegetables.  When cooked perfectly, I can eat them by the pound.  I’ve found that the best way to cook them is by roasting.  It is the easiest, but take so long to cook.  It is a set it and forget it way of cooking, easy enough for me. 

How to go from this…

 ..to this

Chop up whatever vegetables you want to roast. Make sure you chop them all about the same size so they cook evenly.  Coat them with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Toss them in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees.  Half way thru, stir them around. 

Feel free to get creative with what you toss the veggies in.  Sometimes I do garlic salt instead of regular salt, Italian herbs, chili powder, or whatever you have in your spice cabinet.  

In the picture above, I roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper.  Feel free to toss in any veggies you like.  If you live in Orange County, be sure to stop by Grower’s Direct in Costa Mesa.  They have a ton of fresh produce at insanely low prices.  I’ve never found any bad produce there. 

Enjoy!

Recipe: Easy Bruschetta

28 Dec

This recipe is so easy to throw together. I took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Easy Bruschetta:
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of basil, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
S&P to taste
Combine the first 4 ingredients and mix.  Then mix with the rest of ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  To make it even better, you can reduce a cup of balsamic vinegar and drizzle it over the top when you’re serving.  Serve it with toasted French bread.  It makes for a easy appetizer to throw together.
Enjoy!
xox,
C

Recipe: Balsamic Cream Chicken Pasta

27 Dec

I had dinner at Mona Lisa’s in Huntington Beach a couple weeks ago and absolutely loved their Rigatoni Con Petit De Pollo.  It was a rigatoni pasta with a light balsamic cream sauce.  The sauce had the perfect tang to it that I fell in love with.  The boyfriend also raved about the dish so I knew it was something I wanted to recreate.  I searched high and low for a good recipe and came across one from AllRecipes.com.  I used it as a guide and adjusted it to my liking.  The recipe is just for the sauce, but I made it to put over pasta and chicken.  I’m sure it would be good over a variety of things.

Balsamic Cream Sauce:

2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, minced or chopped
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil and butter in a saucepan.  Add onions and saute on low/medium heat for 10-15 minutes. You want to caramelize the onions, not saute them. Make sure you’re stirring it constantly so you don’t burn them
2. Add the balsamic vinegar and let simmer for about 1-2 minutes.  You’ll see it slightly thicken up.
3 Add heavy cream and chicken granules.  Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes until you see it thickening.
4. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir around until it all melts.  Freshly grated parmesan will give you the best results.  The canned and pre-shredded stuff will make your sauce lumpy.
5. Add salt/pepper to your liking

All done! This sauce was an easy 20 minutes.  The only long part is waiting for the onions to caramelize.  This was the perfect serving for 4 people.

Here is my go-to easy chicken marinade:

1 big piece of chicken breast, sliced or however you plan to serve it
1/2 cup of Italian salad dressing
2 cloves of garlic-minced
a dash of Italian herbs
S&P

Combine it all and let marinate for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes depending how big your pieces of chicken are.

I served this with some roasted broccoli, I prepared it the same way from my Beer Can Chicken post.

It was a very delicious dinner and boyfriend approved.  This is definitely going on my monthly rotation of meals