Friday, January 09, 2015

Onion Rings

Tonight I am trying Hungry Girls onion rings. I will update after they come out of the oven. They smell good!!!  **Ok, these things are amazing!**  I was a bit worried because I tried the bran cereal and much to my surprise it was sweet so I thought it may make the onion rings taste funny- nope!  I should have known better everything I have made from HG is ahhhhh-mazing, that is way better than just amazing just so you know.  So here is the link that I forgot to add last night to the recipe, if you haven't checked out Hungry Girl be sure to add that to your list of things you must do!  

http://www.hungry-girl.com/show/think-fast-food-lord-of-the-onion-rings-recipe

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Introduction

So if there is one thing I know how to do really well it's eat.  I also like to think I cook really well.  Here is the thing, I might cook well but its bad for my body!  This year, 2015, my loving husband and I decided to be consistent about logging our food into MyFitnessPal in order to attempt to make healthier choices.  This meant changing my cooking style dramatically.  I also quickly realized that it would also be a bit more time consuming in regards to planning ALL of our meals!  So I decided to revamp my cooking blog and post my weekly menus and shopping lists.  I know that I spend hours scouring the web and pouring over cooking magazines (I actually like doing it!) so why not share what I make for myself with others FOR FREE!  I will feel very honored if I can help someone make better choices for a healthier lifestyle.  I am NOT claiming to be an expert in nutrition, I leave that to MyFitnessPal- however I do think that I follow directions like a champ.  Therefore I let MyFitnessPal do all the hard work and I just follow along!  My diary is public so feel free to friend me if you want BrookRene is my user name.  Also the cool thing is I am going to try to track my meals a week ahead of time so then anyone making the same thing can log into my diary for that day and just copy over the meal! So easy.  Feel free to leave me comments, questions and share this blog.  Again remember I have NO credential here- I am simply tracking my calories.

My plan is to share my weekly meals that I import into MyFitnessPal and my weekly shopping list created from those meals.  Keep in mind that right now the shopping list on this blog is only for items that will be my dinner.  Lunch and Breakfast will come later...maybe!  I will also try to work on formatting and all that extra stuff along the way.  Baby steps.

Week of 1.11.15


Lasagna Cupcakes

1/3 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
24 wonton wrappers
1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
1 3/4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Muir Glen™ pasta sauce
Basil for garnish (optional)

1.                     Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
2.                     Brown beef, and season with salt and pepper. Drain.
3.                     Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes (about 2 1/4- inches) using a biscuit cutter or the top of a drinking glass. You can cut several at a time. Note: For a more rustic look, no cutting necessary!
4.                     Reserve 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese for the top of your cupcakes. Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese in each. Top with a little meat and pasta sauce.
5.                     Repeat layers again (i.e. wonton, Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella and pasta sauce). Top with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
6.                     Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove, use a knife to loosen the edges, then pop each lasagna out.
7.                     Garnish with basil and serve.

Filet Mignon with Fresh Herb and Garlic Rub


  •  2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; rub evenly over steaks.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to the pan, and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.


Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 cup boiling water $
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped shallots, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar $
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese $
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves $
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth $
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water

Combine boiling water and tomatoes in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and finely chop.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup shallots, sugar, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Spoon into a bowl; stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar.
Combine chopped tomatoes, shallot mixture, cheese, basil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well.
Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm. Add broth, remaining shallots, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and thyme; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thick, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over chicken.

                


Tuscan Pork Meatballs

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fennel
  • 1/4 cup slivered soft sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
1.       Finely chop mushrooms, onion, celery and garlic in a food processor. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
2.       Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
3.       Add breadcrumbs, fennel, tomatoes, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to the cooled vegetables; stir until combined. Add pork and mix gently to combine (do not overmix). Form into 30 meatballs (a scant 2 tablespoons each) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
4.       Bake the meatballs until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 15 minutes.


Asian Beef Meatballs
·                                 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
·                                 1 small onion, chopped
·                                 1 stalk celery, sliced
·                                 4 cloves garlic
·                                 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
·                                 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
·                                 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
·                                 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
·                                 2 tablespoons Shaoxing or dry sherry
·                                 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
·                                 1/2 teaspoon salt
·                                 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
·                                 1 pound lean ground beef

 

1.                               Finely chop mushrooms, onion, celery and garlic in a food processor. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
2.                               Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
3.                               Add breadcrumbs, water chestnuts, scallions, Shaoxing (or sherry), ginger, salt and pepper to the cooled vegetables; stir until combined. Add beef and mix gently to combine (do not overmix). Form into 30 meatballs (a scant 2 tablespoons each) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
4.                               Bake the meatballs until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 15 minutes.


 Spinach & Sausage Gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 links hot Italian turkey sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces), casings removed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 12-ounce bag spinach, stemmed
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very tender, about 10 minutes more. Increase heat to medium and add sausage, garlic and pepper. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring up any browned bits, until the water has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add spinach a handful at a time and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir the gnocchi into the spinach mixture. Top with mozzarella. Broil until the cheese starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.


 Hawaiian Chicken

1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves $
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Combine first 5 ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Chill 4 hours.
2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade in bag. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes.
3. Combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cilantro.


Shopping List

Produce Pantry Items
8 oz mushrooms cornstartch
bag of mixed onions low sodium chicken broth
celery balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup scallion EVOO
1/2 c fennel 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup sun dried tomtoes 8 oz water chestnuts
carrots (for roasting) 1 tsp marjoram
4 cloves garlic 1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp ginger 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
cilantro Muir Glen pasta sauce
12 oz bag spinach 1/4 c pineapple juice
sundried tomatoes ketchup
basil low sodium soy sauce
thyme sugar
rosemary balsamic vinegar
basil 
shallots Meat
basil  4 6 oz chicken breasts
thyme  4 6 oz chicken breasts
wontons 1/3 cup gr beef
cherry tomatoes 1 lb lean gr beef
baby bok choy 1 lb gr pork
pineapple 2 links hot turkey sausage
4 4 oz beef filets
Dairy
2 oz goat cheese
1 3/4 parm cheese
1 3/4 mozzarella cheese
3/4 c ricotta
16 oz gnocchi (may have to buy in pasta section)
2 oz fresh mozzarella
Sunday
Lasgna cups
Salad
Monday
Herb Crusted Filet
Steamed or Roasted Veggie
Sweet Potato
Tuesday
Chicken with Goat Cheese
Roasted Tomatoes
Rice
Wednesday
Asian or Tuscan Meatballs
(I am making one to freeze)
Fried Rice
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy
Thursday
Spinach Sausage Gnocchi
Salad
Steamed or Roasted Veggie
Friday
Hawiian Chicken
Broiled Pineapple
Steamed or Roasted Veggie
Saturday
leftovers