Eggplant and Chicken Casserole

I sort of just threw this together and it came out so good.  First I was looking at a recipe called Roasted Eggplant Salad with smoked almonds and goat cheese.  I didn’t have all the ingredients so I did NOT follow the entire recipe.  I will definitely try it some day.

What I did do was follow the first section of the recipe and along with a few other things put together an Eggplant and Chicken Casserole. FIRST SECTION of  the recipe that I followed is below. Than I took our favorite Crushed Red Pepper Chicken  left-overs and mixed it in with the roasted Egg Plant.   That recipe is also below.  After that, I thought it would probably be yummy if someone incorporated tortilla’s and cheese like I do when I make Mexican Lasagna. So I tore up ONE big flour tortilla and put it on the bottom of a glass casserole dish. I than poured the Roasted Egg Plant/Chicken mixture on top and than shredded Sharp Cheddar and Grated Parmesan on top of that.  Any cheese will do I’m sure.  than back into the oven for about 15 minutes.  SOOOOO good.  You can see the missing row in the picture. I was hungry. : ).  Also, note* I only had one eggplant so I scaled the ingredients down just a tad.

FIRST SECTION OF RECIPE that I incorporated into my recipe.

2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
Kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped  (or minced garlic from a jar)

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.

Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar,  smoked paprika, and cumin.  Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast at 400°F for 20-40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir every 15 minutes and check after 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly.  You can also lightly spray a baking sheet if you don’ t have parchment.

CRUSHED RED PEPPER CHICKEN

Ingredients
1. Pastene Crushed Red Peppers or another example would be the B&G Sandwich Toppers Hot Chopped Peppers
2. Chicken (salt and pepper the chicken)
3. Worcestershire sauce
4. Cinnamon
5. Butter
6. Tomato sauce

Put about 2-4 tablespoons of butter in pan and melt.
Add about 2-4 tablespoons of the wet crushed peppers.
Cut chicken into strips and put into the pan.
sprinkle generous amount of cinnamon and some worcestershire sauce on top of the chicken
mix just a little tomato sauce in – just a little – I think 1/4 cup should be good.
Cook until done. I usually simmer or cook on low. *Note*. I’ve been making this recipe for so long that I don’t really measure.

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I’m having a healthy day what about you?

IT’s I’M HAVING A HEALTHY DAY WHAT ABOUT YOU THURSDAY again?  Well one thing is for sure, writing these posts motivate me to eat healthy on Thursdays.  I’m just poking fun, I do try to eat healthy most days.  There is a sense of motivation as I can’t let me readers down and blog about a big ole Junky Food Day Thursday. LOL.  The picture is the left overs from a wonderful Lunch Party I had with the girls I grew up with.  The little plant in the background that says MOM is something my 4-year-old daughter Chaunda made in school for mother’s day.  Awwww. : )

LUNCH:  Today was an IF day so lunch was my first meal. It was Roasted Pork Loin and a side bean salad.  The bean salad recipe is below. I made it for a cookout I had on Sunday and invited my friends over to finish the left overs. It makes a lot. They loved it. I have already gotten a few emails asking me for the recipe. It really is delicious.  It comes from luckychim over at my favorite cooking site discusscooking.com.  I can’t tell you how many times the wonderful people over at discusscooking.com helped me over the years.   As far as the Pork Loin is concerned.  1/3 cup of Honey plus a lot of salt and pepper got mixed into a bowl and then I rubbed it all over the pork loin. I seared it on the stove and then cooked it in the oven at 375 until done. I have made this before without searing and it still came out good.  I had some left over honey mixture so I brushed it on the pork loin after it was seared.

DINNER:  Yesterday I made a very delicious Mexican Lasagna. I had some leftovers for dinner tonight. You basically brown 1lb of ground turkey and season with cumin, chili powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt. Remove from pan and set aside. Cut up a decent size zucchini into little pieces. Season with same seasons.  Let it  cook for 5 minutes. Add small jar of sliced pimentos, a can of black beans, and can of corn. Add 14oz can of stewed tomatoes and a 14oz can of tomato sauce.  Cook for a few minutes.  In casserole dish – Layer torn tortillas, big scoops of the mixture and shredded cheese. Layer again, make sure cheese is final layer. 400 degrees, 30 minutes. I like to serve mine with a little sour cream.

Lastly,  I also decided to try a few healthy deserts for my lunch party.  This voluminous vanilla ice cream was a hit.  I also thought the fudge babies were very good, but some of my friend didn’t like them.  Both recipes come from a very popular site called chocolatecoveredkatie.com.  She is so popular that editors are contacting her to write a book.   I did as suggested and used both unsweetened almond milk and the canned coconut milk for the ice-cream.   I doubled the recipe and added a lot of blueberries, 1 small banana, and a little peanut butter to my mix. Since I don’t have a vita-mix nor an ice-cream maker, I took it out of the freezer a few times the first day. I  kept mixing it with a big wooden spoon and an immersion blender.  The next day (today), prior to serving, I let it defrost a little. I than used the immersion blender one more time before serving.

Company Picnic Bean Salad

2 (16-oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15-oz) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed and drained
2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes with Jalapeno’s, drained
1 1/2 c. frozen peas
1 1/2 c. frozen corn
1 c. chopped sweet onion
2/3 c. chopped red pepper
2/3 c. chopped yellow pepper
2/3 c. red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1/2 c.extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBL balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 TBL dried red pepper flakes
In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients.

In a separate, small bowl, combine the last 8 ingredients, whisking until well blended. Pour over bean mixture, tossing gently to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.

I’m having a healthy day what about you?

It’s “I’M HAVING A HEALTHY DAY WHAT ABOUT YOU THURSDAY?”

7:30am – Small Shake consisting of Green Kale, Blueberries and Unsweetened Almond Milk.

Plus 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil mixed into an espresso shot from Dunkin Donuts

12:30PM – I tried something new today. It’s called Quinoa, Pear, Zucchini and Red Onion Salad.   I had half of it for lunch today.  It’s also what you see in the picture.   It was refreshing and I’m always excited to have new things to add to my rotation of healthy salads. No wonder why people don’t continue to eat salad’s. Who wants to always eat the typical lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes etc…garden salads we are all famous for making.  I love a garden salad and I love adding things like olives, cheese, cut up peppers etc. in them.  There really is a lot you can do with a garden type of a salad. However, when I realized there are so many different variations of salads, I knew my eating healthy life style would become easier and fun. Lastly, I had one homemade Banana Nut Bread Protein Muffin and 1 Regular Chocolate Chip Cookie. My friend Darleen made them and I couldn’t pass up having at least one of them. : )

3:300 PM –  I had some left over Granola in my car.  I made it a few weeks ago.  The recipe is actually called Healthy Fudge No-Bake Power Bars. I froze it for too long and when I tried to cut it, it broke. I broke it all up and turned it into granola.   You can see from this recipe link that it is a VERY healthy bar.

5:00PM –  For supper I had a left over chicken drumstick and a cold Kale salad with feta cheese.  It was one of my favorite salads last summer.  I would like to take a picture some day and post it in a separate post with the recipe of course. So keep checking back.  I also had a few slices of yellow pepper dipped in Ranch dressing.  OK I admit, I took it off my 6 year old’s plate. : ). The Kale salad was one of the first recipes I put into my mini photo album I talked about in my first post.

What healthy foods did you eat today?

I’m having a healthy day what about you?

IT’S THURSDAY “I’M HAVING A HEALTHY DAY WHAT ABOUT YOU day!!!!  I think I can safely say that I ate healthy today. Sometimes I think it depends on a persons version of ‘healthy’. You can see from my posts that I eat healthy. I try to especially incorporate vegetables into my daily routine. When I drink milk, most of the time, I drink the unsweetened almond milk. As I have mentioned before and probably will again – I try to use oatbran, flaxseed, wheat germ, millet, quinoa in my eating lifestyle. I moderately eat pasta, rice, potatoes etc. I try to be fair with my portions. I believe in moderation for the most part. I try very hard to keep the processed stuff and junk food down to a minimum.

BREAKFAST:  Omelet with left over sausage, swiss chard,  some of the swiss chard stems, potatoes and cheese for the filling.  There was plenty of filling left over so looks like more omelets might be in the near future. : ).   I also had a blender drink consisting of peeled apple, kale leaves, and 1/2 of a lemon. I got this idea from Mrs. Buena  Vida over at http://mrsbuenavida.wordpress.com/.  However, I don’t have a juicer anymore. I had to add water to the blender.  It was refreshing and different from my normal unsweetened almond milk, spinach, and frozen banana blender drink I like to make.

LUNCH: Spinach, 1/2 of  Pita Pocket with Hummus spread on it and in the pita – Kale & Quinoa Salad.

SNACKS: I wanted to try making this dip. See if it was party worthy. : ). It is. I snacked on it a little today. It’s called creamy tapenade spread. I used Blue Corn Chips to dip. My 4 year old daughter really loves this dip. My husband also gave it a thumbs up.

SUPPER: Meatloaf, Spinach

*Meatloaf – The meatloaf recipe comes from a friend I went to school with. I call it Heidi’s famous meatloaf.  It has gotten a lot of great reviews by many. See below for recipe.

HEIDI’S FAMOUS MEATLOAF RECIPE:

1lb of lean ground beef (I sometimes like to do 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 ground beef)

2 eggs

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1-16oz package of shredded cheddar cheese (I sometimes do less)

1 T worchestershire sauce

1 package of pre-cooked bacon crisped and chopped (I have also cooked bacon from scratch)

1/4 cup of each mustard & ketchup (mixed together)

1 T mayo

salt/pepper

1 small can of French’s Fried Onion Strings

Pre-heat oven to 350. Blend all ingredients except for onion strings together (using only 1/2 of the mustard/ketchup mix in the meatloaf). Form into a loaf and spread remaining mustard/ketchup mix over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked. Top with fried onion strings and cook until golden.

I’m having a healthy day, what about you?

I decided to have a “I’m having a healthy day, what about you?” day every Thursday.  Let me know your thoughts about doing this?

Today is one of my IF (intermittent Fasting) days.

MEAL #1 – NOON  – Parsley salad, 1/2 slice of pizza, cookies:

I had the parsley salad talked about in an earlier blog.I also added 1/4 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds and some broccoli sprouts  in the salad.  In addition to the salad, I had the last 1/2 of a slice of pizza left over from last night. I had made a small pizza with an almond meal/cauliflower crust. I’ll talk more about this pizza in another post.

I also had 2 small cookies. Keep in mind that the cookies I had have no flour or sugar in them other than a very small handful of chocolate chips that were put into the entire batter. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Quick Oats were the main ingredients.  I’ll be posting about these cookies at a later time.

MEAL # –  FOUR PM – Greek Pasta and Shrimp Dish, Silky Spinache Soup:

My husband and I have a favorite little greek pasta and shrimp dish that I make. I used to have a blog called maryskitchenadventures.blogspot.com. The dinner we are having now is on that site.   The picture is from the other site also.

*Note* I normally would have waited until 5 or 6pm. I knew I was going out from 4:30pm until 7:30pm and didn’t want to eat that late.

Link to recipe is here:

Unfortunately, I  forgot to buy mushrooms for the greek pasta and shrimp dish.  I added onion and kale tonight.

I also had a small bowl of silky spinach soup with a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and some parmesan cheese.

Pasta isn’t something that I should be eating on IF days, but sometimes it just happens that way. I have been trying to stay away from a lot of carbs  – so I don’t mind so much when I do have them. I’m trying to stick to things like oat bran, quick oats, and quinoa to name a few. I also have the following on occasion: rice, potatoes, and breads.

I did exercise today. If there is a day to eat carbs, exercising days would be the best days to do that.

My kids favorite silky spinach soup

imageSay hello to my 6 year old daughter Chayse. She is eating some silky spinach soup. This soup is so awesome. My kids absolutely love this soup. Chayse is a very picky eater so I’m always very happy when she eats this soup.   The recipe is from Tami over at runningwithtweezers.com… You can find the recipe in this link:

I also put the recipe below, with a few minor notes from myself. The recipe happens to be the first recipe in my mini cookbook I discussed in my very first post.

Silky Spinach Soup – serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into even 1/2″ chunks.  *I sometimes use a large potato.
  • 4 cups good quality vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth & 2 cups water. *chix broth is good to use too
  • 1 6 or 8 ounce bag of prewashed & dried baby spinach leaves
  • 1 small pinch (1/8 tsp) cayenne pepper or dried red chili flakes
  • 1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg – this was about 6 or 7 grates of fresh nutmeg on a microplane grater *can use dry
  • 2 tbsp. dry sherry *can use any dry white wine
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, flat leaf parsley, watercress – for optional garnish

– In a large soup/stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes – you want the garlic to soften but not brown. To that mixture, add the peeled potatoes. Stir to coat and begin softening them for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth (or water) and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook the potatoes until fork tender – around 12 to 15 minutes. Add in the spinach and cook until just wilted. In a Vitamix/blender (you’ll have to do this in 2 to 3 batches but the texture is amazing when using a Vitamix or high powered blender) or using an immersion blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. Return to the soup pot and stir in the sherry, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste. Before serving, bring the soup back up to temperature over medium heat. Garnish with parmesan cheese and other desired greens and serve immediately.

I’m having a healthy day, what about you?

I”m having a healthy day today. What about you? What healthy things did you eat?  Breakfast was a 3 egg omelette with left over steak, spinache, and cheese inside.  Lunch was a shake made out of spinache, unsweetened almond/coconut milk, and a big frozen banana. I also had some left overs from last night for lunch. It was originally called Baked Halibut with tomatoes, capers and olive vinaigrette and was adapted by Gourmet Magazine.  I like to call it Baked Fish with tomatoes, capers and olive vinaigrette.  I’ve tried it with haddock, tilapia, and halibut. Heck, sometimes I don’t even have all the ingredients and sometimes I add other ingredients. You can’t really go wrong.   If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, cut up regular tomatoes.  Add some greens if you want. Last night, I added a LOT of parsley into it. Parsley has a lot of healthy benefits. Something I’d like to talk about more in another post. See below for recipe.  I love kalmata olives, but unfortunately last night I was out of them. The meal still came out great.  Serve alone, over rice, or over Quinoa.  Since I’m talking about my healthy day, tonight I’m having  soup.  I had a left over ham bone from a spiral ham and some left over ham. The broth is brewing on the stove now. I’ll probably make some kind of soup with potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, and ham.

image

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
quartered 2/3 cup kalmata olives
2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed
salt and pepper
1-2 lbs of fish cut into bite size pieces.

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Whisk together lemon juice, and mustard.
3. add oil in a slow stream whisking until emulsified.
4. stir in tomatoes, olives, capers, salt and pepper.
5. Put fish into a glass baking dish and pour everything in with the fish.
6. Cook until finished. Anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes.

I have also halved the vinaigrette, as it makes a lot!

Mini Photo Album turned into Mini Cookbook

I decided to make mini-cook books using mini photo albums I found at the dollar store.  I don’t consider myself a very crafty person, which is why the front cover is rather lame. ha ha. I wanted to get busy typing and printing out the recipes, cutting them to size and getting them in the cookbook.  I will probably at least spruce up the front cover some day.

The purpose of doing this:  I wanted to have something very small that I could store a bunch of my super healthy recipes.   The goal is to hopefully only have recipes that are short and fairly quick to make.   It’s not really for main dish recipes like beef stew, lasagna, etc.  It’s more for fairly quick soups, many different kinds of salads and so on. You will get to see some of these recipes in my blog posts on here I’m sure. I’m already loving it. I want a quick reminder on how to make something and there is my convenient little cook-book.

Each book holds 40 recipes.  I’m almost done with one of my cookbooks. I found a cute little program that I use to enter each recipes to print. You can pick from a few different formats and it’s free.  http://www.skiptomylou.org/recipe-card-maker/