Category Archives: Healthy

Broccoli Salad

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You know those recipes that just instantly remind you of your childhood, family gatherings and summer BBQ’s?  Well, this is one of those for me.  I hadn’t eaten this in years and actually had never made it in my own kitchen, until a while ago, one of my girlfriends hosted a summer BBQ and served this salad.  I went nuts for it and ate WAY more than my fair share.  Since then, I have been making batches of this salad to keep in the fridge for weekday lunches as it is so satisfying and nice to have on hand for a quick and easy lunch.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the caloric value in the recipe, because lets face it…mayo, bacon, cheese…three delicious items, but when put together, not exactly the healthiest when consumed together in a “salad”. So, I wanted to revamp it a little.  First things first, there was no way I was going to eliminate the bacon…well, because bacon is delicious.  BUT, I could attack the mayo and omit the cheese.  So, I tweaked the mayo by using 2/3 greek yogurt and keeping 1/3 the mayo.  This still gave us the mayo “taste”, but allowed me to add a good source of protein in the form of greek yogurt, not to mention reducing the calories and fat.  Omitting the cheese is a case-by-case decision – if you are serving this for company, I suggest including it, but if it is a weekday lunch salad, I don’t think the salad absolutely needs it to be delicious!

I can’t wait to whip-up another batch of this salad soon…and I know it won’t last long!

Enjoy.

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Broccoli Salad

Yield:  6 servings, 1 cup each
Prep Time:  15-20 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes for the bacon

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt (or fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup  mayo/Miracle Whip Spread
  • 2 TBSP sugar (you can also substitute Splenda for the sugar – just use a touch less)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 6-8 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 6 slices bacon (whatever your family favourite is!)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups of raisins or craisins, whichever you prefer
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

Prepare bacon according to package directions or using your favourite method (I love baking my bacon in the oven, on a baking sheet.  So easy to do and clean-up is a breeze!)  Once bacon is cooked and cooled, crumble bacon into bite-sized pieces and set-aside.

In a bowl, mix together the greek yogurt, mayo, sugar and vinegar and stir well.

Wash and dry the broccoli florets.  Cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl/container (with a lid is a great option, to make storage/clean-up easier!) mix together the broccoli florets, the dressing, bacon, onion, raisins and cheddar cheese (if you are using it).  Mix well.

Place the salad in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, or longer, to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve and keep cold.

Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Kraft Kitchen (and from my friend NP!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Side Dishes

Barbacoa Beef for Burrito Bowls

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As I mentioned in previous post, our past 10+ months have been…well…different.  They involved a lot of cross-country flights (mostly on CH’s part), lots of Facetime, emails and phone calls.   But the biggest downside for CH, was not eating home cooked meals. His survival rested on one particular restaurant chain – Chipotle.  Thankfully there is one 2 blocks from his office and I am fairly certain they know his name and order by heart.  As his wife, I am grateful he eats so healthy and I won’t complain about his frequent visits here.  However, now that I am home and back in action, I need to fend-off the competition.  Thankfully, I have this ace of a recipe up my sleeve – Chipotle, you are no competition for me.

I’ve been making this for a while now – we hosted a fun summer party last year and had a build-your-own-burrito-bowl party.  I’ve made this for my Dad, my girlfriend with a new baby, my Mom and many more.  Every time I make it, it comes out with rave reviews and barely any leftovers.  I remember I even made it when we went camping – it was perfect because all you needed to do was re-heat the beef and you had an instant, delicious, non-camping food dinner.  CH and I disagree about the ratio of lettuce to rice to meat, mine being more of a salad bowl, his being more of a meat bowl, but hey, it works.

I am actually wishing as I write this that a giant burrito salad bowl was in-front of me…alas it is not, but it will be again soon! Definitely add this to your recipe roster, you won’t be disappointed (and Chipotle, well, CH says it was great while it lasted!).

IMG_1051 Barbacoa Beef 

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time:  45 minutes
Cook Time:  5.5 hours (mostly hands-off time)

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, most of the fat trimmed*
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce (4 makes it quite spicy!)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper  (generous amounts of both!)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 2 cups water

For Serving:

  • lettuce
  • cilantro-lime rice
  • black beans
  • pico de gallo
  • cheese
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • lime wedges

*Skinny Taste called for removing all of the fat – but I followed Sunny Side Up’s recommendation and left a little of the fat, as I agree it maintains the moisture in the beef better. 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Add garlic, onion, lime juice, chipotles, cumin, oregano, cloves and water to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until liquified.

Heat oil in a dutch oven over high-heat. Cut beef into 4 large chunks and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the dutch oven and brown each side.

Add the liquified seasonings and bay leaves. Put a lid on the dutch oven and cook in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the meat easily shreds.

Discard the bay leaf and shred the beef in the dutch oven. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.

Place the dutch oven over medium heat and cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

As stated above, serve with lettuce, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Recipe slightly adapted from SunnySideUp, originally from SkinnyTaste.

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Mexican

Chicken Fajitas

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Oh Summer.  The months of constant running around here, there and everywhere.  Dinners out on patios with friends, wedding events galore, time spent at the beach and at parks…sometimes it feels like we are rarely home during the summer, let alone home for dinner.  But on those quiet summer nights, we fire-up the grill and enjoy the best of the seasonal produce, and this meal was everything a summer meal is meant to be.

Not to mention this is a quick dinner to get on the table and would be well received for those summer dinners with friends.  I served it up with some cheddar cheese, sour cream, tomatillo salsa and those made it top-notch.   The only changes I made to the recipe was using chicken thighs (my go-to) and adding a few more peppers to the mix.  I also don’t have a charcoal grill, so we just used our gas grilled and it tasted perfect.

Another great recipe from Annie’s Eats and one that will be on our table many times over the next few months (and I am sure even over the winter too!)

Enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Yield: 4-6 Servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes, plus 15 for marinating
Cook Time:  20 minutes, give or take

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 6 TBSP vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, ribbed and diced
  • 1½ TBSP minced fresh cilantro (or more!)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ lbs)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into ½-inch thick slices, rings not separated
  • 1 large red bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1 large yellow bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1 large orange bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1 large green bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 8-12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Sour Cream, Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa and extra cilantro for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade; set aside.  Place the chicken thighs in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Brush both sides of the onion rounds and peppers with the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

For a gas grill, light all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.  Leave one burner on high and turn the rest down to medium. (see here for charcoal directions).

Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and transfer to the hotter side of the grill; discard the left over marinade.  Cook the chicken until it is well browned, 3-4 minutes.  Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue grilling until it is no longer pink inside (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160˚ F.)

Place the onion rounds and peppers on the cooler side of the grill.   Cook the onions and peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice as needed.

When the chicken and vegetables are done, separate the onions into rings and place them in a medium bowl.  Slice the bell peppers lengthwise into ¼-inch strips (discard the inside bits!) and then slice the chicken into ¼-inch strips (or, as I did, just dice the chicken into pieces).

Add the chicken and the reserved marinade into the bowl with the onions and toss to mix.

In 2 or 3 batches, transfer the tortillas in a single layer to the now empty grill on the cooler side.  Cook until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side.  When the tortillas are done, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or foil.

Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a large platter, serve with the warmed tortillas and cheese, sour cream, salsa etc.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Mexican