Friday, July 27, 2012

Blueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal

The Yummy Life has several healthy recipes, including this easy no-cook breakfast that will definitely get your day started in a healthy way.  This recipe is high in proten, fiber, and calcium and low in fat and sugar.  Apparently this type of yogurt and oatmeal mixture is also called "summer porridge" or "muesli."  She recommends making these in individual mason jars, so they have grab-and-go appeal if you don't have time to eat until you're in the car or at work.  Of course, you could make them in any container that holds one cup. 

I followed her recipe and added chia seeds, which are evidently rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.  If you can't find any at your local health-food store, you can substitute ground flax seeds or omit them.

Blueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp dried chia seeds
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup blueberries

In a jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup.  Put lid on jar and shake until well combined.  Remove lid, add blueberries, and stir until mixed throughout.  Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.  Eat chilled.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Amazing Tomato and Onion Pie

Our tomato plants are making one last push before the heat officially kills them, so I looked through several tomato pie recipes, settling on one before amping it up on my own.   It was SO delicious.  I served it baside a salad topped with grilled chicken, and it was the perfect summer meal.

I broke with tradition and used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonaisse, which was incredibly un-Southern of me, but I needed to cut fat where I could (since I did add bacon and two types of cheese!). 

In other tomato pies I've made, the crust tends to get soggy, but I found a solution.  First, get rid of as much moisture as possible in the tomatoes.  Second, before prebaking the crust, mist it with cooking spray.  Then, once it comes out, spread 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on the bottom of the crust before adding the tomatoes.  The crust in the finished product wasn't soggy at all.

Amazing Tomato and Onion Pie

1 (9-inch) deep dish pie crust (or feel free to make your own!)
Cooking spray
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 large Vidalia onion, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
Zest of 1 lemon

Place tomato slices in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let stand at least 30 minutes, and pat dry with more paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 400.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat, and add sliced onion, cooking until soft and light brown, 15-20 minutes. 

If pie crust is frozen, allow it to thaw on the counter for 10-15 minutes.  Poke bottom and sides of crust with a fork, and mist the crust with cooking spray.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over bottom of crust.  Arrange tomato slices over cheese in crust.  Lower oven temperature to 350. 

Combine the Greek yogurt, the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, the softened slices of sweet onion, lemon zest, green onions, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits.  Spread yogurt mixture over the tomatoes. 

Bake at 350 for 34-37 minutes, covering edges with foil to prevent burning, if necessary.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Teak, ever vigilant, waits for Buck to get home from work.  I love this dog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

This is a really good marinade that makes for some really good grilled shrimp.  The longer you marinate the shrimp, the more flavorful they'll be!  We ate them with a baked potato and a salad.  Feel free to scale the recipe up or down as you need to.

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce (or ketchup)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large zip-top bag, combine all ingredients, making sure the shrimp are evenly coated.  Close bag, and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat, and lightly oil grill grate.  Using skewers if desired, cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until opaque. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Honey Pecan Chicken Breasts

This was so delicious!  It was even better because I had everything I needed already at the house.  It would be great over rice that could soak up some of the extra sauce.  We'll definitely make this again soon; it was easy, quick, and such a treat!

Honey Pecan Chicken Breasts

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans

Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne.  In a large nonstick skillet, brown chicken in butter for 3-4 minutes per side or until juices run clear.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.  Add garlic, honey, and pecans to the pan, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.  Top chicken with honey/pecan sauce, and serve warm.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Teak kept me company as I cleaned up our guest room, but he tucked his little face under the covers during a nap.  So stinkin' cute.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

5-Minute Tomato Sauce

Need a good tomato sauce to go with those Oven Toasted Ravioli from yesterday?  Try this! 

I know it's the summer, and a plethora of beautiful tomatoes are available.  However, I didn't have time for all that.  I needed this sauce quickly, so I used a can of crushed tomatoes, and it turned into a solid, easy, tasty sauce.  Yum.  (And don't be afraid of the red pepper flakes; it really isn't hot.) 

5-Minute Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
zest of 1 lemon

Combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan.  Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat.  Saute about 45 seconds, or until everything is fragrant but before the garlic browns.  Stir in the tomatoes, and heat to a gentle simmer, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, and add more salt if desired.  Stir in lemon zest.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oven Toasted Ravioli

I love toasted ravioli, and I'm so glad to discover how easy it is to make at home!  You can use thawed frozen ravioli or refrigerated ravioli, which is what I used.  It can easily make a main course for me, but it's great as an appetizer.  I'm sure you'll love it!  Thanks to Steph at Plain Chicken for sharing! 

Oven Toasted Ravioli

12 refrigerated ravioli
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
6 Tbsp Italian bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk together egg and milk in shallow bowl.  In another bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Dip ravioli in egg mixture first and then in bread crumbs.  Place on baking sheet.  Repeat until all ravioli are coated.  Spray ravioli with cooking spray, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with warm marinara or pesto.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Turkey, Bacon, & Avocado Sandwich

Taking notes from the Sandwich King's show on Food Network, we wanted to create our own masterpiece.  There isn't anything too fancy about a sandwich, except, of course, when there's bacon and avocado involved.  This has been a new favorite around our house, so I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we have!

Turkey, Bacon, and Avocado Sandwich

1 whole wheat sandwich thin (you can use sliced bread, too)
2 slices bacon, cooked
1 slice cheese (I used American)
1/4 small avocado
4 slices deli turkey
2 slices ripe tomato
1 Tbsp light mayonaisse
Salt and pepper, to taste

Toast bread or sandwich thin.  Spread top half with mayonaisse.  On the bottom half of the bread, pile turkey, cheese, tomato, bacon, and avocado.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Put top half of sandwich thin on top, and enjoy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Egg McMuffins

Yum!  I have never ordered an Egg McMuffin from McDonald's, and I've apparently been missing out.  This homemade version is really good!  (I especially like them with a little smear of strawberry jelly.)  

Who doesn't want a hot, protein-filled breakfast?  The Canadian bacon is really good and good for you, but you could substitute ham or bacon or whatever other meat you want. 

You'll be baking the eggs for these, so make sure you have the right equipment.  I used my handy muffin-top pan, which worked perfectly.  However, you could use regular muffin tin pans (the size just may be a little small) or ceramic ramekins.

Another reason we've really loved these is that they can be frozen.  That way, when I'm short on time in the mornings (which is just about every morning during the school year), I can just pop one of these in the microwave or oven.  The recipe below is for 6 Egg McMuffins, since Canadian bacon and English muffins tend to come in packs of 6.  However, feel free to scale it up and freeze as many as you'll need.  If you're making one batch, you might as well make several.  It's just a big assembly line.

We highly recommend these!  You'll be so glad you have them on hand! 

(For even more detailed instructions and pictures, see this post on The Yummy Life.

Egg McMuffins

6 whole wheat English muffins
6 eggs
6 slices of cheese (I used American)
6 slices of Canadian bacon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the muffin top tins or ramekins with cooking spray, and add an egg to each one.  Break the yolk with a fork or spatula so that it flattens and spreads with the egg white.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on each egg, and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. 

While the eggs bake, split open the muffins, and add the slices of cheese and Canadian bacon.  Add the baked eggs when they're ready. 

If you plan on reheating these in the microwave, wrap them in wax paper or parchment paper.  After they're all wrapped, put them in freezer ziplocs and freeze them.  It takes less than a minute to reheat a thawed McMuffin and about 3 minutes at half power for a frozen one (turn it over after each minute).

If you'll reheat in the oven, wrap them in aluminum foil.  Frozen ones will reheat at 350 for 30-40 minutes or 15-20 minutes for thawed McMuffins.  This is especially helpful if you're feeding a crowd and need to reheat several at a time.  They'll also get crispier this way.