Monday, September 30, 2013

144.2…Classic Light Bolognese Lasagna

Friday night I wanted to make a delicious comforting meal. Lasagna has always been one of my favorite foods but I don’t always like the fat and calories that come with it.

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I found a recipe from Cooking Light for a lightened-up version of lasagna and decided to give it a try. I’m SO glad I did. It was PERFECT.

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Classic Light Bolognese Lasagna  (Serves 8)

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, March 2013

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 cooked lasagna noodles

Directions:

  1. Place first 4 ingredients in a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add turkey, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add tomato paste; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook for 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add onion mixture, salt, and next 4 ingredients (through black pepper) to pan, and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°.
  3. Combine ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and egg in a small bowl.
  4. Spread 3/4 cup turkey mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over turkey mixture; top with half of remaining turkey mixture and half of ricotta mixture. Repeat layers once, ending with ricotta mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over top. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat broiler to high. (Keep lasagna in oven.)
  6. Broil lasagna for 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Printable Recipe

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This was a huge hit. It was easy to put together but tasted like it took me all day. This recipe is a keeper for sure!

Saturday morning’s breakfast was Cascadian Farm’s Cinnamon Crunch cereal with almond milk.

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My son went to his tennis lesson, then it was off to my daughter’s soccer game. There was no time to eat lunch before or after so I brought a turkey sandwich and jalapeno Popchips to eat at the game.

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When we returned from the game, my brother in law and his kids arrived for the weekend. We took them to our club for dinner. I split a Southwestern Caesar salad with my husband.

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We also split a pizza with onions, bell peppers and garlic. It’s the best!

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Let’s get real. I had another 1 1/2 slices after that one.

Breakfast yesterday morning was the last of the Cinnamon Crunch cereal. I really enjoyed it. It may get purchased soon!

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Then it was off with the whole family to the Chargers game. We were in a luxury box for a work event. I ate a couple of sliders, hot wings and chips and dip.

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It was a great game against the Dallas Cowboys…..fortunately the Chargers won! I ran into one of my friends, Rachelle, while I was there!

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By the time we got home it was dinner time but I wasn’t hungry after all the crap I ate so I skipped it. Probably best.

Breakfast this morning was a pineapple Chobani yogurt, the last of the Gluten Free Granola and strawberries.

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After I took the kids to school, I went to Cardio Muscle class. Then it was off to Wahoo’s for my favorite fish taco lunch.

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So far my Monday is off to a great start….hope the rest of the week follows!

Do you have a favorite comfort food that you’ve lightened up?

Friday, September 27, 2013

142.6…Slow Cooker Taco Dip

There’s a certain dip that I usually make for parties that is always a hit. And I’ve never shared it with you. Shame! The best thing about it is how addictingly delicious it is. The second best thing is that it’s easy to make: just dump all the ingredients in the slow cooker and turn it on.

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Slow Cooker Taco Dip

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese

1 pound Velveeta

2 cups jarred bean and corn salsa

1 (1.25 oz.) envelope taco seasoning mix

Directions:

Use a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Put all ingredients in it. It will not look pretty and that’s ok. Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours or on high for 90 minutes or until the cheeses have fully melted and are heated through. Stir well and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Printable Recipe

Wednesday night my mom and I went to Mijares for dinner. I ordered the Bistec Picado a la Raul (thinly cut sirloin steak, gently simmered in a mild red chile sauce with sliced onions, bell peppers and tomatoes):

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I put hot sauce all over it and went to town. It tasted pretty good. The food at Mijares used to be very good but it hasn’t been very good recently.

Breakfast yesterday morning was toast with peanut butter again.

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My mom and I cleaned some more then went to lunch at Corner Bakery. I had the chopped salad and chili. Excellent!

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After lunch I drove back to San Diego and took my daughter to soccer practice.

Dinner was leftovers of Mexican Rice Casserole that I pulled out of the freezer.

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It defrosted pretty well and tasted great with lots of Cholula hot sauce. :)

Breakfast this morning was Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch cereal. I’m really enjoying this cereal!

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I went to Cardio Muscle class and then took the kids to their dentist appointment. No cavities! Yes!

To celebrate, I took them to McDonald’s for lunch. I had the grilled chicken McWrap with a side salad with ranch dressing.

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The kids have play dates that just arrived so I need to run…..making a new recipe tonight! Excited!

What’s your favorite slow cooker recipe? 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

142.2…Cleaning Away

Before I left for Los Angeles last night, I reheated the last of the sauce from the Chicken Picatta and cooked up another chicken breast for dinner.

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The sauce darkened a bit but it still tasted amazing. I made some spaghetti, marinara and Caesar salad to go with it.

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I drove to my mom’s house after dinner then went right to bed.

This morning’s breakfast was toast with peanut butter. 

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Then we got to work cleaning, organizing and getting rid of stuff before she puts her house up for sale. Somewhere in the middle of all that, we ran a couple of errands at the mall, stopping at Nordstrom for lunch.

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I had a tuna sandwich that hit the spot!

We are going to do some more work around here and then head out for some dinner.

Do you have any big cleaning projects planned? 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

144.2…Chicken Piccata

Recently I’ve discovered that one of my favorite dishes is Chicken Piccata. Now I know I just shared a Chicken Piccata, but I have been craving since so I had to make it again.

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When I was going through the most recent Cooking Light magazine, they had a recipe for Turkey Piccata that looked pretty good so I decided to give it a try, substituting chicken for turkey! It turned out FABULOUS!

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Chicken Piccata (Serves 4)

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light, October 2013

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. 
  2. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 1 minute.  Add wine; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine chicken stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add stock mixture to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, juice, and capers. Pour sauce over chicken; sprinkle with parsley.

Printable Recipe

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I served the Chicken Piccata with pasta, marinara sauce and broccoli. It was insane. I think my craving for Chicken Piccata is worse now!

Breakfast this morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Gluten Free Granola, strawberries and raspberries.

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I dropped the kids off at school, went to a meeting, then to Great News for a cooking class.  Today’s class was taught by my favorite instructor, Phillis Carey and was titled: “Salmon Specialties”.

The first recipe was Wasabi Salmon Patties with Ginger-Wasabi Aioli.

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These were really good! I loved the Asian flavors in it! The ginger-wasabi aioli really made it.

The next recipe was Maple-Orange Glazed Salmon with an Almond Crust.

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I thought this one was a bit boring but really enjoyed the almonds on it. It was simple to make…would be an easy weeknight dinner.

Next up was Mascarpone Spinach Stuffed Salmon Fillets with Butter Crumb Topping.

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What’s not to like about this one? The salmon was basically topped with creamed spinach. I’m a fan.

The next recipe was Pecan Crusted Salmon with Sweet Pepper Aioli.

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This was delicious! The pecan crust on the salmon was excellent and went really well with the aioli. You really can’t go wrong with aioli on anything. :)

The last recipe was Salmon Pinwheels with Lemon Dill Beurre Blanc.

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It’s only part of a pinwheel but was tasty nonetheless!

After class I ran some errands and came home. I’m going to pick up the kids from school soon then tonight I’m driving to Los Angeles to visit my mom and help her get ready to put her house up for sale.

What food are you craving right now?

Monday, September 23, 2013

145.4…Double Burgers

To say my weekend eats were indulgent is putting it mildly. I ended off things last night with an especially big bang by going to The Hamburger Factory. We went with Alicia and her family. Of course we had to have hot wings!

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Next up was my second burger of the day.

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Beef burger with jalapeno jack cheese and fries.  Then I went to bed feeling like I ate two burgers in one day. :(

Today is a new day. Time to start fresh. (I feel like I say that every Monday morning). Breakfast was the new Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch cereal with almond milk. I was out of fruit so it didn’t feel complete.

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After I took the kids to school, I volunteered for a bit. Then it was off to the gym for an hour of cardio and weights.

Lunch was Wahoo’s fish tacos. I always feel back on track when I eat these.

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Next up is my dentist appointment, then off to the school to get the kids. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Are you trying to “get back on track” today or have you been behaving yourself?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

144.4…Gone Fishing

Friday proved a successful shopping trip. My son got his first suit! We grabbed some dinner at Rubio’s before leaving the mall.

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Two fish tacos. Good, but no Wahoo’s. :)

Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a new cereal that Cascadian Farms sent me to try: Cinnamon Crunch!

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One of my favorite cereals ever is Cinnamon Toast Crunch. This cereal tasted just as good but without all the extra junk in it. Score! Cascadian Farms is now packing their cereals in an inner bag made of up to 57% bio-based material. Double score. I really enjoy their products!

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Thanks Cascadian Farms!

We went to a family picnic/event for one of the groups my husband belongs to. They had tons of games for the kids, great music and yummy food. My lunch was a delicious Cobb salad.

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Afterwards we went to my daughter’s soccer game, then came home to get ready for the “Tribute to the Rat Pack” event at our club. I made best efforts to dress the part.

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Alicia, Annette, me and Lisa:

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My husband and Joe:

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On the dance floor….I love the music from that era:

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Dinner was a buffet of turkey, pasta, salad, veggies, rolls with butter and the best part of all: the mashed potato bar! I loaded my mashed potatoes with sour cream, bacon, grilled onions and cheese.

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I decided that plate was so big that I should definitely skip dessert. 

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Such a fun night!!

This morning it was up bright and early to take the kids fishing with a couple of other families.

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This was my first time fishing and I had a blast!  Loved rolling up and parking next to all the pelicans and sea lions.

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While fishing we enjoyed burgers, quesadillas and chips.

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I caught my first fish!

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It ended up going back in the water but we did enjoy some halibut that was caught earlier.

Tonight we are headed to the Hamburger Factory with Alicia and her family for dinner. More burgers!

Have you ever been fishing?