Macro friendly weekly Frittata

Happy Easter!

Meal prep is such a buzz word all over the internet, it seems there are hundreds of ideas out there that people are sharing. I do like the idea behind it but I don’t think one size fits all and are you going to plan/eat the same thing every single day? Probably not! Could you for a couple or a few day I think so!
IMG_2700My daughter and I have made several versions of mason jar salads, my all time favorite was the orzo, mozzarella, tomato spinach salad but there is only so much of it one can eat in a week. Variety is the spice of life or so goes the saying.  Though the convenience of having lunch already made and my upbringing to not waste food, the saying when I was a kid growing up was there were people starving in Africa eat your meatloaf – yuck! Meatloaf is still my nemesis!
IMG_2692Working on being a little more self conscious of what I put in my mouth I find it a whole lot easier to prep at least my breakfast, lunch and snacks for the work week. I try to do this on a regular basis, when I don’t I actually miss it so I am getting better at it.
IMG_2693IMG_2694My staple for breakfast is the frittata I make every Sunday and once cooled I put 5 pieces in a container and bring it to work with me.  It solves a few problems; one I’m not a morning person, so making a healthy meal every morning just not going to happen, two I am never hungry when I wake up, I generally don’t eat till around 9:30, three is the portions are already pre-set and I have already calculated out the macros – if you are watching them.  
IMG_2695IMG_2696This has been going on for months now and I am have not once been like ugh more eggs! Which is saying something because i’m not a huge fan of eggs I generally only like them poached but this is working for me, so I thought I would share it with those people who might need a little help for at least the morning.
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My Macro Friendly Frittata

16 ounce container of egg whites – or 8 large eggs – 1 container of egg substitute – you be you!
1 Large or Extra Large egg – it does make a difference
3 ounces cubes ham
1 small onion diced
1 ounce fat free feta cheese
5 florets broccoli chopped
1 green onion diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
6-8 grape tomatoes – halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
Sriracha sauce – a must if using egg whites
IMG_2699I heat the olive oil in my cast iron pan, saute the onion and ham.  Add the broccoli for another minute or so. In a small bowl I combine the whites with the egg and season with salt and pepper plus the hot sauce.
IMG_2698Pour the eggs over the ham, onion and broccoli then add the cheese and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the scallions, salt and pepper and let it cook the bottom of the frittata for about 3-5 minutes on medium low heat. Finish off under the broiler till set and browned.

Let it set up for about 5 minutes before you remove it from the pan. I run a spatula around the edge and try to lift it off the bottom of the pan, just so it won’t stick. It’s happened. Slice it and enjoy!
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Serves 8
Approx Macros – for the egg white and 1 egg 
80 Calories – 2 Fat – 2 Carbs – 12 Protein

Chicken Divan – a little lighter

Last week I unfortunately ate WAY too much of the Texas sheet cake I blogged about; it was SO good I’m going to have to hold off on making it again anytime soon, eventually it is going to be shorts season again; once all this snow melts.
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My husband has a childhood memory of chicken divan, he never calls it chicken divan it’s always my mom’s chicken and broccoli casserole so when I made my first divan he was like yeah that’s it. Wel after making it for several years now I have come to realize even though it’s filled with broccoli the other things around the broccoli are kind of crazy bad for the waistline if you know what I mean. Cream of chicken soup, cubed bread, shredded cheese and butter. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the old casserole but I wanted to try to lighten it up just a bit.
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I am all about flavors and was a little nervous to change it too much that it is unrecognizable. So I stuck with building layers of flavor so I wouldn’t miss all the richness of cream of soup, bread and cheese.  I hope you like this “lighter” version of my husband’s’ childhood chicken divan.
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Chicken Divan

Ingredients
2-3 heads of broccoli, chopped
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bulbs shallots, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cut fat free milk
¼ cup white wine
6 oz shredded low fat cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions
Steam or blanch the broccoli just till slightly tender and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350’F and grease a 13×9 baking dish

Chunk up chicken into bite sized pieces.  Season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
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Heat a medium skillet on medium high heat, add some of the oil and cook the chicken till it is slightly browned and just cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside.
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In the same skillet add more oil if needed and saute the shallots and garlic; saute till soft and translucent. Sprinkle with flour and the curry powder whisk till smooth.
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Stir in the broth, milk and wine and bring to a boil allowing the flour to help thicken the sauce.
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Remove from the heat and add half of the shredded cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill the bottom of the casserole dish with the broccoli, pour half of the sauce over the broccoli, cover with the pieces of chicken and then the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese, the grated Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Spray a little cooking spray on top and bake for about 30 minutes.

Serves 6
Approx Macros
340 Calories – 13 Fat – 20 Carbs – 34 Protein

Texas Sheet Cake

I briefly looked into why this is called Texas sheet cake but there was no evidence to where or when this originally got it’s name that I could find. I did share this recipe a few years ago but I thought it needed to make another appearance. 
IMG_2673.JPGI honestly do not care what it is called or where it came from but thank you to whoever started it. It is very moist, tangy, chocolaty, easy to make and just plain delicious! I strongly suggest you make this cake at least once in your life, though if you do, you will be making it again!
IMG_2656.JPGThe only ingredient that I needed to grab from the store was buttermilk. I do wish I could find a pint of buttermilk but all I have ever seen is it by a quart. Since I don’t love wasting food I will find some other uses for it, like buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk biscuits or buttermilk fried chicken. I was actually thinking of trying to make an Irish Soda Bread since this weekend it St Patrick’s Day and I have never made it before.
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I usually make this cake in one sheet pan and add nuts but I was invited to friends for dinner and wasn’t sure how the nuts would go over and I wanted to make it a little festive so I added green and white sprinkles. I used two sheet pans just cuz no reasoning. I hope everyone likes it!

Preheat oven to 400’F

In a Saucepan add the next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes
1 Stick of Butter
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
4 TBS Cocoa
1 Cup Water

Sift together and pour the chocolate sauce over and mix well
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar

Add to the above
½ Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
Mix well and pour into greased jelly roll pan
IMG_2664Bake for 20 minutes
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While baking make the frosting as it needs to be poured onto the cake while it is still hot.
In a saucepan – you can use the same one just clean it while the cake is in the oven
1 Stick Butter
1/3 Cup Buttermilk
4 TBS Cocoa

Bring to a boil for a minute or two
IMG_2665.JPGAdd the following
1 Box of Confectioner’s Sugar (roughly 2¾ Cup)
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
¾ Cup Chopped Walnuts or pecans or sprinkles be creative
IMG_2669.JPGOnce cooled – slice and store in airtight container

Cabbage Soup – EASY

I don’t know about you but I have already been thinking about the plants I am going to put in my garden this year.  It might have had something to do with the warm February we had but them mother nature had a different plan and decided we really needed another foot of snow. If nothing else it was absolutely beautiful around here.

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I added the Edamame as I had a small bag in the freezer – cleaning out the fridge kind of soup

I literally made this soup because I had a hunk of cabbage left in my fridge since harvesting it in from my garden sometime in the Fall or Autumn whatever you call it. I needed the space but I would never throw away perfectly good food. It’s not in my nature to waste but we don’t really eat a lot of cabbage but I grow enormous ones and they last once wrapped in plastic wrap for a VERY long time.

IMG_2592Believe it or not I still have some red and yellow onions, shallots and garlic that we are still using from my garden. If you have never grown any vegetables or herbs you should try; at least grow some herbs in a pot, or a patio tomato. It doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming a little soil, sun and water and you are good to go.
IMG_2629Cabbage Soup with ingredients on hand

2 stalks Celery – diced
2 Carrots – peeled and diced
2-3 Tomatoes – chopped
1 large Onion – diced
Head of Cabbage – chopped
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 cup Edamame
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt & freshly cracked black Pepper – to taste
Sriracha – to taste
Chicken Stock – enough to cover veggies

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I added a little sweet Italian Sausage that I browned and added at the end – Just a little more love

In a slow cooker I chopped and added it to the pot, set it on high and left it for about 4 hours.
You can make it on top of the stove as well using the same method.

Honey Oatmeal Cookies – Healthy?

The recipe I found said Healthy Honey Oatmeal Cookies and while the recipe uses whole wheat flour and more oatmeal than anything else. I have become a bit of a skeptic and here is my reasoning. There are SO many diet trends out there, healthy in a recipe all depends on what you are counting. Calories, Carbs, Fat, Protein or whatever else you might be watching. img_5768.jpg

You can also tweak a recipe results just by the portion size. Say you make a recipe that tells you it make 30 cookies but when you go to make them your lucky to get 15 maybe 20 out of it and I am not saying you make yours gigantic just a regular 1 inch ball sized cookie. Is that too much to ask for a regular size cookie. I use the same small ice cream scoop for pretty much everything I make that needs to be in a ball.  I literally just used my scoop to make Arancini aka fried risotto balls.
IMG_5758The point I am trying to make is don’t get hung up on the title of a recipe, I feel confident if you are following a food blog, you already have an idea what works for you. So you do you and be happy!
IMG_5759I do have a little funny to share. I have made this recipe a few times now and I realized that the first time I made them I forgot to add 1 tablespoon of water. I totally understand that baking is based on science – I get it!  So I had to laugh at myself that the next time I made them I added 1 little ole tablespoon of water and my cookies ended up spreading out more on the flat side than the chunky ones I had before.  It didn’t change the taste just the look and I for a split second was baffled, well maybe that’s a strong word it was more like hmmm? Yes Donna the water will react with the butter and even the egg to make a flatter cookie.
IMG_5760I hope you try these or some form of them, use your own imagination add nuts, currants, dates, chocolate chips, raisins. Replace the sugar with another sweetener, use an egg beater instead. Replace the butter with apple sauce. 

Ingredients

3 tablespoon butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon water – or omit for a chunky cookie
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups rolled oats

Directions
By hand or a mixer, mix the butter, sugar, honey, egg and water thoroughly.
Sift flour, soda and salt then add the oatmeal. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. If you are adding anything else do that now.

Drop by scoop or teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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sorry for the blurry picture

 

Approx Macros = 2 Cookie – roughly 20 cookies
166 Calories – 5.56 g Fat – 31.54 g Carbs – 4.2 g Protein


Recipe adapted from geniuskitchen

Quick and Easy Turkey Chili

There is nothing really too exciting about ground turkey; It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, once cooked it isn’t pleasing to the eye but the health benefits mean it has become a staple in my home and I need to figure out how to use it.

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I traded the red kidney beans for a can of black soybeans to lower the carbs a little in mine

I recall my mother trying to pass off ground turkey in her “ground beef“ shepherd’s pie when I was a either a picky teenager or young adult I can’t remember how old I was – I’m sure she’ll chime in here if she reads this.  I remember it NOT tasting or looking like her “normal pie”. I am fairly certain I didn’t finish my plate that night.

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My husband was a little take a back by the look of the kale at first but really liked the chili 

While I am not AS picky as I used to be, I have come to appreciate that there are ways to cook and eat a little more healthy and NOT lose flavor or eye appeal. I don’t know about you but I know I get excited to eat when my plate looks and smells delicious!

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The spices helped liven up the color of the turkey

In this recipe towards the end of the browning of the turkey I added the spices to the pot so to help “color” the ground turkey it changed it from drab to fab.
IMG_2601.JPGIngredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons chipotle powder – I used 1 leftover chipotle pepper from my fridge chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 cups water
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed – I used black soybeans instead
2 cups kale, ribs removed, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

In a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the turkey to the pot breaking up the turkey into small pieces. Season with salt, cook till browned, push turkey to the side of the pan and add the chili powder, cumin and chipotle into a little of the olive oil, add another tablespoon if needed. Finish cooking the turkey while working in the spices.

Add the onions and pepper season with salt and pepper. Cooking till they are soft and the onions translucent.  Deglaze the pan with the water scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chili thickens a bit.

Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper, cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Approx Macros = 2 cups per serving – recipe feeds 4
717 Calories – 39g Fat – 41g Carbs – 57g Protein
Recipe: Clinton Kelly on the Chew

Portuguese Paella

I know I’ve mentioned a few times in the last three years of writing this blog that I google my blog when I want to make one of my recipes. While this is not how I started out saving recipes, it really is faster than looking through the hundreds of printed pieces of papers or trying to decipher my terrible handwriting. Even though I do try to keep the papers organized, it truly is organized chaos.

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My daughter said Anne Burrell would be proud of my Misen en Place!!!


Last week New Orleans celebrated Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras – here in NH it was going to be just another day or so I thought! We had dinner with some friends who had a master plan to throw a Fat Tuesday party right here in the North. Well of course we are always up for a party – even on a school night.
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It’s funny how plans can change super quickly. We held ours on Monday night, it was supposed to be at our friends house but was changed last minute to mine and the number of people kept growing. In the end it all worked out beautifully. Fun was had by all, the food was excellent and the wine was flowing the only thing we didn’t have was mardi gras beads.
img_5783.jpgThe initial menu was a case of oysters and my daughter was going to Beignets – I contributed by making a Paella; it is a Portuguese Paella and I really love making and eating it. So back to my initial statement I googled me for the recipe and it didnt pull up, how could I have not shared this with you yet? I hope you enjoy it!
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Portuguese Paella
Ingredients

8 Boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and Freshly cracked black pepper
Vegetable oil
1 link Portuguese chourico, sliced into rounds
1 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper chopped
2 cups arborio rice
2 plum tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound large, peeled and deveined shrimp
Bunch of asparagus, cut diagonally
½ cup frozen peas, thawed

Pre-heat oven to 400’ F

Season chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary
Heat oil in a large oven proof pan over medium heat
Add chicken and cook on each side until lightly browned
Remove chicken from the pan
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Add Chourico, brown on each side, add onion and the pepper cook stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron and garlic. Cook for a minute or so; return the chicken to the pan add broth, season with salt and pepper. Cover pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Stir in shrimp, asparagus and peas. Replace cover and make for an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through.

Approx Macros = 1.5 cups per serving
336 Calories – 5g Fat – 47g Carbs – 23g Protein

recipe adapted from food.com