Category Archives: Recipes

Shortcut to Fabulous Two Night Meal: Stuff Bell Peppers and Easy, Peasy Healthy Burrito

bp final

I have been trying to get a little normal back in my life lately and this weekend, I thought to myself, “What could be more normal than being all Rachel Ray and cooking a meal” So, I started with a base recipe from Clean Eating Magazine and added my own spin and shortcuts to it.

Here is what you need:

1.5 cups of a lean protein (I used lean ground beef sauteed in olive oil, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon minced garlic [from jar], salt and pepper, but you can use lentils, canned beans, etc)

1 half a medium onion chopped fine (use a mini chopper..under $15 from Target)

1 half a jalapeno chopped fine (throw this bad boy in the chopper with the onion)

1 handful of cilantro chopped (you guessed it…in the chopper with the onion and jalapeno)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 medium zucchini diced

1 medium tomato diced

1 half cup frozen corn (thawed)

1 cup of cooked rice (brown or white, your choice…if you are too lazy to make rice from scratch get the boil in a bag or steam in a bag kind from the freezer section)

1 half a teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 half a teaspoon crushed black pepper

2 bell peppers (for meal 1)

2 tortillas (for meal 2)

1 can of refried beans (for meal 2)

1 and a half cups of four blend mexican cheese (divided in half for meal one and meal two)

1 teaspoon of Olive oil

Pam to coat a baking sheet

A small oven safe dish to cook the excess taco filling

Tinfoil

To Prepare:

1. First start by chopping up the onions, jalapeno and cilantro in your little chopper. Also preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. If you are cooking up meat, put some olive oil in a skilled and use some of the chopped up mixture along with the cumin, salt and black pepper and cook up the meat until about three-fourths cooked.

3. After your meat is mostly cooked, combine the rice, corn,  garlic, zucchini, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, tomato, chili powder and olive oil in a bowl. Then add your protein (drained canned beans or cooked meat)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Next, cut the top off of your two bell peppers and take out all of the seeds and white “guts” inside…you can just use your hands.

5. Fill each bell pepper with the mixture you have from the bowl. Take your leftover mixture and place it in an ovensafe dish. You can either refrigerate the oven safe dish and bake on the day you will make your burrito or bake with the bell peppers placing it in the oven for the last 30 minutes of cooking and then you would reheat the mixture in the microwave on the day you are serving it. Place the filled bell peppers on a baking/cookie sheet sprayed with Pam, cover it with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the bell peppers and return to the oven uncovered for ten minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

 

7.  The next day you can use your excess rice, protein veggie mixture with your favorite tortilla and make a burrito. Open the canned refried beans and warm them per the instructions on the can. Warm the rice, protein, veggie mixture in the microwave. Warm the tortilla (I actually use flat out low carb tortillas) in the microwave for 20 seconds. Then spread a layer of refried beans on the tortilla, follow with the rice mixture and sprinkle some of the cheese on top. You can add other fillers such as salsa or avocado.

Two meals. Easy prep time. Perfection.

 

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Shortcut to Fabulous Summer Cocktail and Easy BBQ recipes

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I recently attended a fete sponsored by my friends at Stoli and had one of the best cocktails ever, aptly named Stoli Summer Punch. I begged the mixologist for the secret how-to and I have been on a liquid diet ever since. Here is how you make it:

Stoli Summer Punch

2 parts Stoli Vodka

1 part Pineapple Juice

½ part Grapefruit Juice

½ part Cranberry Juice

½ part Club Soda

½ part Lemon-lime Soda

 

Now that I have your signature cocktail taken care of, I will point you three oldie but goodie blog posts for your BBQ menu. Perfect grilled Churrasco (skirt steak), Easy Peezy Grilled Veggies and my 10 minute Semi-Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Trifle which can be made more festive for 4th of July by adding some blueberries on top.

10 minute Semi-Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Perfect Summer Grilled Veggies

Grilled Skirt Steak

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Shortcut to Fabulous Low Cal Cocktail….while you’re out on the Town

crystal light

A fab lawyer I know shared her secret to staying slim and trim….and she is fabulously slim and trim. She keeps crystal light packets in her purse at the ready for an impromptu happy hour. She orders vodka and club soda and adds her favorite Crystal Light flavor packet to the drink, stirs and voila…a low calorie cocktail at her favorite watering hole. I am so in LOVE with this tip, I have been scheduling happy hours all over town. Who’s up for a low-cal cocktail?

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Shortcut to Fabulous Mashed Potato Fake Out

cauliflower-mashed

This past weekend I spent some time with my cousins in NYC. One of my cousins in married to a total renaissance man who can pretty much do anything from cooking to putting together a fabulous NYC apartment. I came back to their apartment one evening to find the most fabulous thing on the stove…cauliflower and potato mash. My cousins hubby made it and told me how he did it.  I tried it and fell in love. As soon as I got home, I had to make it with my own spin. It is so easy, versatile and such a great alternative to tradional mashed potatoes which aren’t exactly figure friendly. Here is what you need:

  • One half a head of Cauliflower
  • 4 Medium Sized Yukon Gold potatoes (to peel or not to peel…that is the question…you have the answer my friend)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic salt
  • Sea salt to taste
Here is what you do:
Boil the cauliflower and potatoes together in the same pot until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Mash them with the butter, garlic, garlic salt and butter and Voila! You can add other things like cheese or hot sauce to make things interesting. For 2 cups of these fab Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes you are looking at 250 calories! You can serve these as a side or put some beans or lentils on top for a complete meal. In fact my inspiration for this (we call him the Urban McGyver) served his version with Black Beans and Peas. Nothing better than something quick, easy and figure friendly! I would say this serves four.
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Shortcut to Fabulous Comfort Food-Dumpling Soup

IMG_0760This weekend I felt the need for some comfort food and I tinkered with a recipe I found online and found a quick and easy way to make dumpling soup.

Here is what you need:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ribs celery with leafy tops from the heart, diced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and diced not more than 1/2-inch
  • 8 new potatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • About 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock-in-a-box
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • Packaged Biscuit mix prepared to package directions (I used Bisquick)

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat with olive oil, 4 turns of the pan. Add the diced onion to the pan and let the onion sweat for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the minced garlic and let the mixture cook for 1-2 minutes. Chop the vegetables and keep adding to the pot as you work to keep your cutting board clear – add the diced celery, carrots and potatoes. Then add salt, pepper and thyme. Sweat the vegetables 8 to 10 minutes covered, stirring fairly frequently, then add wine. Add chicken stock and 2 cups water and bring to a boil.

Put a separate skill on medium heat and heat the butter over medium heat to melt, then whisk in the flour 1 minute to make a roux. Scrape the roux into the soup and then add the frozen peas and dill. Bring the pot back up to a boil while you make the biscuit mix according to package directions (Bisquick only requires you to add water and stir). Form 8-10 balls with the biscuit dough and drop them two spoons into the pot of boiling water.Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Simple, 10 minute Appetizer.

imagesIf you are throwing a party for Superbowl Sunday this recipe is for you! If you are not, bookmark this page for your next party…this recipe is so easy and make an appetizer that is soooooo good!

Crabatizers


2 cans crab meat

2 5 ounce jars of Old English cheese spread (you find it by the cheese whiz)

1/2 cup butter

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons seasoned salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 packages of English muffins

In a medium bowl mix together everything except for the English muffins until smooth. Spread the mixture on each English muffin half. Put them on a baking sheet and broil 4-5 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbly hot and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cut each muffing into wedges with a pizza cutter.

If you cut it into fourths it makes 96 little wedges. You could divide the recipe in half to make a smaller serving.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Christmastime Cookies

cookiesIf you are looking for some cookies to leave for Santa, bake for a friend or neighbor or chow on yourself this holiday, these cookies are for you! The recipe has been tested and perfected for over ten years ever since we got our hands on this fabulous little concoction.

Here is what you need:

12 oz package of semi sweet chocolate morsels (Nestle Toll House or Ghirardelli work well)

2 sticks of butter softened (either salted or unsalted depending on your tastes or what you have)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar (regular white sugar, you could substitute white baking Splenda)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups whole oats (do not get instant oats)

Cookie sheets

Cooling rack, but if you don’t have one have a plate handy to transfer cookies

How to make fabulous cookies:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl. Mix with a fork or whisk to combine. Beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an electric mixer you can do this by hand with a rubber spatula (be prepared for an arm workout). Add the eggs and beat well. The mixture should take on a grainy texture. Add the bowl of dry ingredients gradually. Stir in the chocolate chips and oats. The mixture is going to become almost crumbly. You may want to mix with your hands at this point.  Place rounded teaspoons on an ungreased cookie sheet and pop into the oven for 7 to 9 minutes. You want the cookies to be  a light golden brown on the edges and the center will still look slightly uncooked. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Then transfer to a wire cooling rack. If you do not have a cooling rack, leave the cookies on the cookies sheet for five minutes and then transfer to a plate to continue cooling. Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies. Other variations for a twist:

  • add 1-2 cups of pitted, chopped dates
  • change out the chocolate chips for butterscotch chips
  • use Splenda for a lower calorie cookie

So, put on your apron, buy some organic milk and some cookie tins and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous chocolate chip oat cookies!

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