Pizza Buns

I love these.  One thing I have been really focusing on this past school year is cutting out as many processed foods in our house as I can.  I found this recipe, and I knew I needed to try it.  One, it looked like something I could hide some veggies in.  Two, they claim they freeze great. (My kids ate SO many this first go around that I didn’t have any to freeze – that good people.)  Three, they looked easy enough.  I went with the original recipe this first time just to make sure my kiddos liked them.  Next up, pureed veggies in the sauce!

Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

In a bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast.  Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Add salt and stir.  Add half your flour and mix well.  Gradually add more flour until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl when mixing and it isn’t sticky.  Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, voce, and let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.  Remove dough from bowl.  Separate into three equal parts.

Prepare your pizza ingredients.  This time around I just used bacon and cheese.  I will be creative the next time!

Take one portion of the dough and roll out on a lightly greased surface.  Roll into a long skinny rectangle.  Once rolled, spread pizza sauce over the dough leaving the very edge of one of the long sides free so it will seal when rolled up.  Layer meat, cheese, and other toppings.  Begin rolling up starting at the long side where the sauce is to the edge.  Pinch edges to seal.  Now slice off equal sized rolls.

Place rolls in a greased baking dish.  Cover and allow buns to rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pureed veggies are definitely being mixed with my pizza sauce next time.  The kids won’t notice at all!  My kids love cold pizza so I could see these in their lunches next school year!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I HAD to try it immediately. And while the portion is definitely not in the “cooking for 2” category, this was the perfect meal for Matt and me to cook just for us last Saturday night…and left us with delicious leftovers for several more meals after!

My kids don’t like sweet potatoes yet (I keep trying!), but this would make a great dinner for company coming over…big portion, and really unique.

Original here, my few small tweaks to use less oil and enhance the flavors we prefer here:

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 cubes (smaller cooks faster)
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
2 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5) oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed and drained
2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Corn or flour tortillas
Baby spinach or Romaine lettuce, cotija or feta cheese, diced avocados, fresh salsa or pico de gallo and hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil; place sweet potatoes on foil. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil OR spray well with a Misto of olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Mix together cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper and sprinkle evenly over sweet potatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste then toss to evenly coat. Bake in preheated oven 15 – 25 minutes until tender, removing from oven and tossing once halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until caramelized (golden brown on edges and tender), adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in drained black beans, corn, honey and lime juice. Heat until warmed through. Toss in roasted sweet potatoes and cilantro. Serve over warm tortillas with desired toppings.

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Tortellini Vegetable Soup

So, I added this recipe a long time ago with a link.  I just went to find the recipe and realized the actual link was the title…but, it took me forever to figure that out.  Knowing that I will forget that the next time I go to look at this recipe, I just decided to repost and type the recipe out.  This is so good.  It freezes really well also.

2 tbs olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 small zucchini, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

5 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried basil

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

8-9 ounces fresh torellini

Heat olive oil in saucepan.  Add the onion, zucchini, and carrot.  Saute for 8-10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes, and salt to the pot.  Bring to low boil.  Add the tortellini and bring back to low boil.  Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce to simmer for 5-6 minutes longer.

My changes – First, I double this recipe.  The original would be great for just a couple people.  But, there’s 6 of us.  I need more.  ha!  Second, I always add more tomatoes – usually tomato sauce or paste – because I like more of a tomato flavor to this recipe.  That’s something you can decide for yourself and add what you’d like.  Also – I add frozen corn to this soup.  The more veggies I can get in it, the better!

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

These were just so good and different…I only made these as a main dish for Matt and me, not the boys, because this just really isn’t up their alley. But we’ll have them again. I loved it! My version is if you’re making it for 2…bump up as needed for more, or to make it a side dish for company!

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Ours took so long to bake (read below – I bought a huge sweet potato) that we didn’t let them get to the crispy stage because we were pacing around the kitchen, waiting for them to be done. It didn’t matter…they were still delicious.

Original here, my few changes below:

1 large sweet potato
3/4 – 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (I used rotisserie)
1 Tbl olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 1/2 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo), minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper
1 1/2-2 cups ((half a 10oz bag) spinach
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 60-70 minutes or until fork tender (a very large sweet potato like I used takes this long…lesson learned. Maybe I’ll use smaller ones next time).

In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach – this takes about 5-7 minutes, stir as needed. Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium size layer of flesh inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (save the remaining flesh for another use) and place in a baking dish. Brush the skins with with a little of the chipotle sauce and bake for 5-10 minutes until crisp.

While the skins bake, mix the spinach, chicken and chipotle sauce together. Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp.

**Suggestion: use your leftover chipotles in adobo for this Black Bean Chili!

Crunchy Stuffed Chicken Wraps

I don’t know why it never occurred to me to cook up stuffed tortillas like this, but it didn’t. I’m so glad I found this recipe!

The original is here. You can follow her directions and make an absolutely delicious dinner!

My takeaway from this recipe, though, was that this method is the perfect way to fancy up what’s leftover in your fridge. And, you can make as much or as little as you want! Several times now I’ve used leftover chicken from various other recipes, leftover rice or quinoa that I seasoned, some shredded cheese, and voila! Tomorrow I’ll be mixing together scrambled eggs, shredded cheese and some leftover turkey sausage to make breakfast wraps.

To assemble and cook: put the mixture down the center of a tortilla, roll it up, flatten it a bit, and then spray the seam side of the wrap with some canola, coconut or olive oil spray.

Cook them in a non-stick skillet on medium until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Cook them seam-side down first to seal the edge.

Serve with any kind of dip that would go with however you’ve flavored the inside of the wrap! Sour cream, ranch, hummus, salsa, whatever!

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Avocado Egg Salad

Green egg salad looks a little funny, but tastes so good!

And it fits into my diet well (fat is a little high, but it’s avocado and egg, so a good source of fat at least!). This quantity makes 4 servings.
Calories: 155
Fat: 12g
Protein: 8g
Sodium: 138mg

5 hard-boiled eggs (but only use 2-3 of the yolks), chopped
1 1/2 – 2 Tbl light mayo
1 avocado, mashed
finely chopped red onion
Salt & pepper
A little squirt of mustard
Dill – I love dill, so I use a lot, but use what you like

Mix together.

I love this on any kind of Flatout bread!

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I’ve been making these simple, low-cal wraps for lunch sometimes since starting my diet, and they are SO good!

Literally, 3 large leaves of lettuce filled with this mixture is only approximately 150 calories.

Here’s what I do:

3-4 oz rotisserie chicken breast pieces* (chopped or pulled into small pieces)
Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce (NO CALORIES!!)
1/8 cup (at most) crumbled gorgonzola or feta cheese
finely chopped celery
Iceberg lettuce

Just mix the sauce in with the chicken (heated), divide among the lettuce leaves, top with cheese and celery, roll up and eat!

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*I usually buy 2 rotisserie chickens at a time, and pull all of the white meat off and put it into meal-sized portions for our family. However, I also bag up a couple bags of 3-4 oz and stick them in the freezer for my lunches. Dark meat goes into a separate bag, and since no one in my house prefers to eat it plain, I use that for soup when there’s enough.

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