Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sloppy Joes, Sloppy Sloppy Joes

i'm not a big fan of sloppy joes, never have been.  mr d, however, is.  so while perusing my bill phillips eating for life healthy cookbook, i came across a recipe for sloppy joes that didn't look too bad.  well, i'll give these a rating much higher that just "not too bad."  they're actually pretty good, and again, they are healthy too!  so whether you do or don't like sloppy joes, this recipe is for you.  i ate mine with a side of chips, and mr d had his with a side of green beans.  he also doesn't have the top bun because he doesn't want all those processed grains.

Sloppy Joes
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c BBQ sauce
8 oz tomato sauce
dash of tabasco sauce

Cook turkey, onion and pepper until turkey is no longer pink.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 mins.  Serve on a whole wheat bun with your favorite side.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Turkey Burgers with a Twist

last week i made turkey burgers one night for dinner.  only these are turkey burgers with a twist.  "what is the twist?"  i can hear you asking.  well, these turkey burgers have flavor!

just look at those yummy veggies (red onion, red pepper, and jalapeno) added to the patties to give them some kick.  another twist to these burgers is to serve them on cornbread muffins rather than burger buns.  the cornbread adds a hint of sweetness and down home flavor that makes you feel like you're eating comfort food, but this is an exceptionally healthy meal!  for more about the nutrition stats of these burgers, check out

Turkey Burgers
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
3 egg whites
provolone cheese
your favorite cornbread recipe/mix

Make cornbread muffins using your favorite recipe.  While they are baking, mix together all veggies, turkey and egg whites.  (You can try using a spoon or fork of some kind, but in the end, your hands are going to be the best way to get it all combined.)  Shape into patties about the size of muffins and throw them on the grill.  Cook until no longer pink in the center and top with cheese.  Serve by placing a patty between 2 halves of a cornbread muffin.

you'll notice that there are no muffins in the picture.  that's because i was feeling unambitious and didn't want to make any, so we just ate the patties like a slice meatloaf.  and there is only one patty with cheese because sometimes mr d will eat cheese and sometimes he says he doesn't like it.  the night i made these turkey burgers with a twist he said he didn't like it.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Black Bean Chicken Taco Salad

this.was.amazing!  i kept seeing a chicken taco salad pinned on pinterest, but much to my dismay, the link to the recipe would not come up, something about it being an unsafe link.  but the salad looked so good, and i was intrigued by the idea of a "taco ranch dressing made with greek yogurt" as the pin described.  not being creative enough to just create my own dressing or figure out the proportions and ingredients to the salad i'd been seeing, i did some soul searching, but then i turned to my trusted friend Internet, and i did some google searching.  i found this:  and the search was over.

Black Bean Chicken Taco Salad
2 c chicken, shredded
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can sweet yellow corn
1 roma tomato, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1 head lettuce, chopped
1/4 c cilantro
1 avocado, diced

1/2 c mayonnaise
2/3 c greek yogurt
1 Tbsp ranch seasoning
1 Tbsp taco seasoning

crushed tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients thru avocado together.  In a small bowl, combine mayo, yogurt and seasonings.  Pour about 1/2 of the dressing on the salad and toss to combine.  Gradually add more dressing until it is dressed to your liking.  Top with tortilla chips.

i ended up only using just over 1/2 of the dressing, and after tossing the dressing with the salad ingredients, everything had a gray tinge to it, likely because i didn't do a superb job on the rinsing my black beans step.  but the overall taste was so good!  and the crunch of the tortilla chips added a great texture, and a great salty flavor.  when i was eating the leftovers at work the next day, i had forgotten to pack some tortilla chips, so i bought some nacho cheese dorritos out of the vending machine and crushed those on top.  so good!  when i make this again, i will totally just use dorritos :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012


so awhile ago i made taquitos for dinner.  these have become a regular on the menu at our house because i generally have all the ingredients, and they're pretty stinkin' good.  and as an added bonus, they're relatively healthy.  the recipe comes from  these ladies are simply amazing, and i love their blog, although their taste in friends i seriously call into question (yes, t.mel.o, i'm talking about you) always, their picture is much more appetizing than mine, so definitely check out their site.

Baked Chicken Taquitos
3 oz cream cheese
1/4 c green salsa
1Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 c shredded cooked chicken
1 c grated pepperjack cheese
flour tortillas
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
Place a scoop of chicken mixture in tortilla, roll up as tight as you can, and place seem side down on the baking sheet.  Spray the taquitos with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, and bake 15-20 mins, or until edges are browned.

if you noticed the asterisk for the title of this post, it's because when i brought my delicious leftovers to work the next day and announced that i was having taquitos, many colleagues started giving me a hard time about the size of my taquitos, saying that instead i was eating burritos.  i do make my taquitos a little larger than average to increase the protein to carb ratio you get between the filling and the tortilla.  so they are even healthier!  only matt took my side, of course, and agreed that they were taquitos.  although now that t.mel.o knows the origin of the recipe, he might be singing a different tune.  and if you're wondering how my green onions are growing, here is the picture i took right before i cut them down for the taquitos.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Soup Nazi

about a week and a half ago, our lunch hour took us to another healthy lifestyles event further south than we would normally venture for lunch, so matt and i decided to have lunch at one of our favorite local establishments, the soup kitchen.  if you like soup or if you like sandwiches, but especially if you love them together, you need to go to the soup kitchen.  the soup kitchen is an older restaurant, set up like a school cafeteria.  you walk in (watch your step!), grab a tray and utensils, grab some crackers and breadsticks, order and get your soup, pay, and wait for the fine folks to bring out your sandwich.  they have 3 kinds of breasticks:  cheese, garlic, and wheat.  these come free when you order soup, generally 2 per cup or 3 per bowl.  this trip i got a cheese and a garlic.  both were very good, but i would recommend the garlic.  the soup kitchen has a wide variety on their menu, but i have only ever had one meal there:  grilled cheese and tomato soup.  a classic.  and delicious.

you get your choice of bread and cheese, but nothing says grilled cheese like good ol' white bread and american cheese.

this meal cost about $5.00.  delicous food, at a great value, served by friendly staff, in a fun atmosphere.  hurry and go to the soup kitchen!  say matt and mikelle sent you, and they will look at you confused and do nothing differently.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crockpot Pepper Steak

this is another great crockpot recipe from the slow cooker bible.  after spending all day in the crockpot, the steak is so tender, and the sauce creates such a great flavor that balances so perfectly with the onions and peppers. 

can't you just see the flavor?  if only this crazy thing we call the internet had scratch and sniff picture options.  wait, that could get creepy, nevermind, good call on not having that option, internet.  you won this round.  i change the original recipe a bit by doubling the amount of peppers and using red, orange, and yellow peppers rather than green because i love the bright colors of the finished dish.  also, i omit the teaspoon of salt, because the soy sauce, even the low sodium soy sauce, adds enough salty flavor for my taste.

Crockpot Pepper Steak
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs steak, cut into strips
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 onion, cut into chunks
1/2 c soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 peppers, cut into chunks

Warm oil in skillet (or your AllClad Crockpot insert!) and brown steak.  Add garlic and cook for 2 mins.  Add to crockpot insert, add onion, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and pepper.  Cook on low 8-10 hours, adding peppers during last hour of cooking.  Serve over rice.

Monday, December 3, 2012

BBQ Chicken Sandwich and Potato Salad

i guess i was feeling nostalgic for summer when i decided to make BBQ chicken sandwiches and potato salad for dinner.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
4-6 chicken breasts
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1 c water

Place all ingredients in the crockpot.  Cook on low 6 hours.  Shred chicken and mix back in with sauce.  Serve on buns.

easy peasy.  and the perfect side dish, of course, to any BBQ sandwich is potato salad.  my mom makes the best potato salad i've ever had, and i can't believe it's taken me until now to learn how she does it.  when i decided i wanted to make it, i sent her a text asking if she had a recipe.  she replied that she doesn't, but that she could find me one.  clearly she didn't understand that i wanted to make it just like hers!  so she finally texted me her "recipe."  i used to think that potato salad was easy to make, but mostly it was a pain, and mostly because it was time consuming.  waiting for the eggs to cook, waiting for the potatoes to cook, then chopping both, etc.  mine didn't turn out quite as good as mom's, i'll just have to keep practicing.

Potato Salad
6 eggs, hard boiled
3 potatoes
1/2 onion, grated
1-2 tsp celery salt
1/2 c mayonnaise

Boil potatoes with peel on until fork tender and cooked thru.  Peel potatoes with a knife, chop into bite-sized pieces and chop eggs into small pieces.  Mix potatoes and eggs together with onion, salt and mayonnaise.  Chill before serving.

if you're making the potato salad to serve more, the rule of thumb is to use as many potatoes as people you are serving, and then twice as many eggs as potatoes.  what meals will you make this winter when you're wishing it was summer?