Friday, August 30, 2013

141.6…Enchilada Casserole

Thursday nights my daughter has soccer practice now. By the time we get home, it’s almost 6pm. I need something I can whip up fast for dinner. Last night’s recipe fit the bill perfectly. And it tasted great to boot!

August 2013 282

Enchilada Casserole (Serves 4)

Slightly adapted from


  • 1  pound lean ground beef

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • salt to taste

  • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas

  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a deep dish pie plate; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and onion until beef is no longer pink; drain fat. Return to the heat and push the meat and onion to the sides of the pan. Add the garlic to the center of the pan and cook briefly. Stir the beef and onion together with the garlic.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and salt to taste. Mix well and allow to thicken slightly.
  4. Spoon a thin layer of the beef mixture onto the bottom of the pie plate. Begin layering the tortilla, beef mixture, then cheese, ending with a final layer of cheese on the top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Printable Recipe

August 2013 283

We really enjoyed this! I served it with a salad with cilantro dressing which went perfectly with it.

August 2013 285

Dinner on Wednesday was early and fast. I no sooner got home with the kids from school than had to turn around and go back for Back to School Night. I quickly heated up the leftovers from the Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan.

August 2013 275

It reheated quite nicely!

Breakfast yesterday morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Gluten Free Granola, strawberries and blueberries.

August 2013 276

I took the kids to school, went to the gym, then to my nail appointment, then to Luna Grill for lunch.

August 2013 277

Greek salad with a chicken kabob (aka crack chicken).

This morning’s breakfast was a toasted English muffin with half a grapefruit.

August 2013 278

I dropped off the kiddos then grabbed a latte at Starbucks.

August 2013 279

I made my way over to Rancho Valencia to help my friend Tami celebrate her birthday. We had massages then hung out by the pool for lunch. Chips, salsa and guacamole:

August 2013 280

Followed by a tuna wrap with house-made chips.

August 2013 281


After relaxing for a bit, it was time to pick up the kids and head home. Tonight we are headed to a friend’s house for dinner and I’m bringing the appetizers so I need to get on that! Have a great weekend!

Any fun Labor Day plans?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

141.4…Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan

Since I’m on a “chicken roll” lately, here’s another chicken recipe for you!

August 2013 267

There’s nothing I don’t like about chicken parmesan. Fried, breaded chicken covered with marinara sauce and cheese. Well…almost nothing. Sometimes I don’t want to eat fried food (shocker!) so this recipe fits the bill. It’s a cheater recipe of sorts… tastes fried but most of the cooking was done in the oven.

August 2013 268

Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan (Serves 4)

Original Recipe: Cooking Light, September 2009


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup jarred tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish; place egg whites in a bowl. Place panko in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 breast half in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour mixture, egg whites, and panko.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Coat chicken with cooking spray; place pan in oven. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; top each breast half with 2 tablespoons sauce, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, and 3 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake 6 minutes or until chicken is done.

Printable Recipe

August 2013 270

I paired the Chicken Parmesan with pasta with marinara and green beans. Perfect!

My breakfast this morning was a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and half a grapefruit.

August 2013 271

After dropping the kids off at school, I volunteered for a few hours and then met some friends at Wahoo’s for fish tacos for lunch.

August 2013 274

It’s “Back to School Night” tonight at the school so I will quickly be enjoying some Chicken Parmesan leftovers between getting the kids home from school and racing back over there again. :)

What’s your favorite way to lighten foods up? 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

142.0…Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken

Last night’s dinner was super easy to prepare. Part of the reason was because I had some help from Trader Joe’s. The other reason is because the chicken recipe I made was pretty simple!

August 2013 259

This recipe wasn’t as good as other parmesan chicken recipes I’ve tried but it was good nonetheless.

August 2013 257

Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken  (Serves 4)

Recipe slightly adapted from


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, parmesan, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken in the egg, then dredge in the flour mixture. Place in the baking dish, and pour the melted butter evenly over the chicken.
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese has browned, and the chicken has cooked.

Printable Recipe

August 2013 257

To go along with it, I tried Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potatoes. I had heard they were good. They were super easy to prepare and turned out pretty good for frozen mashed potatoes. My husband wasn’t a big fan…he said they were too thick. I also used Trader Joe’s microwaveable asparagus. That I’ve used before and really like.

The sun coming in this morning at breakfast was so bright that I couldn’t get a good picture of my breakfast but it was scrambled egg beaters with asparagus and salsa as well as half a grapefruit.

August 2013 260

I took the kids to school then stopped at Starbucks for a latte on my way to cooking class at Great News.

August 2013 261

Today’s class was entitled “Hot Off the Grill” by my favorite instructor, Phillis Carey.

The first recipe was Bacon Wrapped Grilled Tuna with Lemon Butter Baste.

August 2013 262

While it was good, I found it to be surprisingly bland. Maybe I would just add more of the lemon butter baste.

The second recipe was Bacon Beef Burgers with Bacon Balsamic Onions.

August 2013 263

This was AMAZING!!!! There was ground up bacon mixed INSIDE the ground beef. With the bacon balsamic onions and the chipotle mayo that went on top….it was mind blowing!

The next recipe was Kansas City-Style BBQ Ribs with Sweet Spice Rub and Honey Spice BBQ Sauce.

August 2013 264

These ribs were pretty good but I found the sauce a bit sweet for my taste. I did enjoy learning the super easy technique to make them.

Next up was Spiced Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Quick Chipotle BBQ Sauce with Celery Seed Slaw.

August 2013 265

The chicken was delicious! I didn’t care for the slaw. Again…too sweet for me.

The last recipe was Chili-Rubbed Top Sirloin with Corn, Poblano Chili and Sun-Dried Tomato Ragout.

August 2013 266

So good. I loved the corn and chili ragout. It would be great on chicken too!

Off to make another new recipe  for dinner tonight…

What are your favorite frozen sides/dinners?

Monday, August 26, 2013

142.0…Same Old, Same Old

So….here’s some pictures of meals you’ve seen before….

Last night’s dinner was the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce leftovers.

August 2013 253

I just had to make a salad and dinner was ready within minutes.

August 2013 254

Breakfast this morning was the same “yogurt parfait” I always have: pineapple Chobani yogurt, Gluten Free Granola, strawberries and blueberries.

August 2013 255

I took the kids to school, went to a couple of meetings, then hit the gym for hour. Lunch was my usual favorite: fish tacos at Wahoo’s.

August 2013 256

So there you have it….a pretty boring 24 hours of eats. Here’s to a more exciting day tomorrow! :)

Do you eat the same old, same old thing often? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

143.6…Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

As much as I love going out for dinner on Friday night, sometimes it’s nice to be home cooking up a comforting dinner. What’s more comforting than Spaghetti with Meat Sauce?

August 2013 242

This one is rich and hearty and perfectly comforting. 

August 2013 241

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Serves 6)


  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 3 teaspoons pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Place ground beef in a non-stick,  large deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Add onion, and cook until soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Season with Italian seasoning, sugar and bay leaves. Cover, and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Printable Recipe

August 2013 243 

Pair the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce with a salad and some garlic bread and you’ve got a great comforting meal!

August 2013 244

After picking up the kids from school on Friday, I took them to meet some friends at Yogurtland for some frozen yogurt. I had never been so I had to try it. Peanut butter and chocolate swirl:

August 2013 240


Breakfast yesterday morning was a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and half an orange.

August 2013 245

I rested a bit in the morning and began to feel a bit better than the day before.

For lunch I made a tuna sandwich and green bell peppers with ranch dressing.

August 2013 246

Last night I went out to celebrate my friend Nicole’s birthday. The first stop was Cinepolis to see “We’re the Millers.” It was SO funny!! Stop number two was Rimel’s for drinks.

August 2013 247

Stop number three was Mia Francesca for dinner. We all shared a few plates of their delicious bruschetta.

August 2013 248

For my entree I ordered the halibut with roasted Brussels sprouts and balsamic glaze.

August 2013 249

So good! We had such a fun night!! I didn’t take a ton of pictures but here’s a couple…..Alicia and Dina:

August 2013 251

Lisa and I:

August 2013 250

Happy Birthday Nicole!!

After sleeping in a bit this morning, we all went to our club for Sunday brunch. I ordered the “Skinny Breakfast Burrito” (egg whites, black beans, avocado, pico de gallo) and fruit.

August 2013 252

It was delicious!!

The rest of the day will be spent doing some projects for the school PTO, catching up on emails and getting ready for the upcoming week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

When you want a comfort meal, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Friday, August 23, 2013

143.4…Garlic Chicken

If you want a super simple chicken recipe, I’ve got one for you. It was a hit on our table last night.

August 2013 235

Garlic Chicken (Serves 4)

Recipe slightly adjusted from


  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup dry Italian bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Pound the chicken to an even thickness.
  3. Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Printable Recipe

August 2013 237

I served the Garlic Chicken alongside a baked potato (with sour cream and green onions) and green beans. It was a filling, satisfying meal.

This morning’s breakfast was pineapple Chobani (have you figured out that this is my favorite flavor?), Gluten Free Granola and mixed berries.

August 2013 238

After dropping the kids off at school, I attended a couple of different events at the school. I was supposed to go to the gym afterwards but I’ve been feeling very run down and exhausted since last night. I decided to give my body a break and skip, although I felt really guilty.

I ran a couple errands and then came home to throw an easy lunch together.

August 2013 239

Turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing.

Here’s to hoping I feel better soon! There’s a birthday party I don’t want to miss this weekend!

When do you know that your body needs a break from the gym?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

144.6…The Art of Reheating

As you may know, I’m not the biggest fan of leftovers. There are some times, however, when it’s nice to just reheat something quick. Last night was exactly that night. My husband was working late and everyone was tired from the first day of school, even me. I liked how I was able to reheat leftovers from my Chicken Cacciatore that I made the other night.

August 2013 231

All I had to do was make a quick salad to go with it. Dinner was done.

August 2013 232

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with turkey and salsa and an orange on the side.

August 2013 233

I dropped the kids at school and hit the gym for an hour.

Lunch was as easy as last night’s dinner was. I reheated the beans and taco meat from a couple of nights ago, add lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, Cholula hot sauce and tomatoes. Taco salad!

August 2013 234

I just got back from getting groceries and need to leave soon to pick up the kids from school. The new school year has definitely begun!

What are your favorite leftovers? Mine usually involve some sort of sauce for pasta. They freeze and reheat really well usually.