Monday, May 27, 2013

Strawberry Lime Water

There is something about fruit infused water that makes the hot summer days bearable.  

I'm always in search of new recipes as soon as the 90 degree days hit.  

I've made tons of water infused recipes before and this is one of my favorite. 

For this pitcher, I squeezed 4 limes in first.  After that, I fill the pitcher with water.  

To top it off add fresh mint leaves and strawberries cut in half.  I used about 7 large strawberries.  


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad

Last month my Sister In Law came to visit us.  She's a vegetarian, so I wanted to plan a meal that we could all eat (and enjoy).  I remembered pinning this recipe a while back and decided to give it a go when she was here.  I love sweet potatoes and can eat corn salsa every night.  Aside from baking the potatoes, this recipe was an easy fix.  There was even some left over corn and bean mix, which we enjoyed with guacamole and tortilla chips.  

Results: The husband wasn't a fan of this dinner at all.  He ate a few bites making ridiculous faces with each bite.  When I finally told him he didn't have to eat it, he exhaled and pushed his plate over. Dramatic much?  But the SIL and I really enjoyed it.  I loved the freshness that the cilantro added to it and how filling it was. I'll definitely make it again, probably for lunch since hubs won't eat it.  Enjoy!  

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad
Courtesy of Alaska from Scratch

  • 4 small sweet potatoes or yams, baked
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn*
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. In a bowl, add the black beans, corn, onions, and cilantro. Stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, oil, honey, adobo, salt and pepper. Pour over the black bean mixture and toss to combine. Slice open the baked sweet potatoes. Stuff potatoes with the Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad. Serve.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Clean Eating Stuffed Peppers

Lately, the husband and I have been eating much healthier.  We've been cutting carbs as much as possible and making healthy substitutions to some of our favorite meals.  

Every other week our outdoor mall has a farmer's market.  I always go and stock up on produce.  Peppers are the number one thing I go to get.  They are 2 for $1.50.  You can't beat that price!
I usually plan my menu before I go so that I know what to buy.  
Since I knew I was going to stock up on peppers, I searched for recipes using them.  
I've made stuffed peppers before, but they had rice and cheese on them 
They were delicious but not the healthy, dairy free recipes I was looking for.  

So, I went to one of my favorite places to find clean eating recipes, The Gracious Pantry.  
We made this one tonight and loved it. 
I didn't miss the rice or cheese and was full afterwards.  
We will definitely be adding this to the menu rotation.  

Stuffed Peppers
Courtesy of The Gracious Pantry


  • 6 bell peppers – any color. I just happened to have green peppers.
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey meat
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans of low sodium tomato sauce, no sugar added
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice the tops off your peppers and remove the cores. Reserve the tops.
  3. Place your peppers in a baking dish (preferably one with a lid – but don’t panic if you don’t have one). Make sure the dish is small enough to fit the peppers snugly so that they can stand upright.
  4. Pour 2 of the 3 cans of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pot so your peppers have a nice little pool to swim in during baking.
  5. Pop out the middles of your pepper tops and chop them, as well as the onion and mushrooms.
  6. Put your veggies in a pan with the olive oil and sauté until they are nice and soft.
  7. Put your cooked veggies into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  8. Using the same pan you cooked your veggies in, cook your turkey in the 1/2 cup of broth.
  9. Add your spices.
  10. In the last 3-5 minutes of cooking, return your veggies to the pan. Mix well.
  11. Return the entire mixture to the mixing bowl. Add your tomato sauce. Stir well.
  12. Fill your peppers with the meat mixture.
  13. Cover with a lid. If you don’t have one, cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  14. Bake for approximately one hour, or until the peppers are very soft.
  15. Cool and serve with a little sauce poured over the top.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Strawberries & Cream Pudding Cookies

I'm always looking for new cookie recipes to try.  
I chose these because of the strawberry jello. 
I thought these would be perfect for spring. 
And they were. 
Fresh and fruity with the perfect amount of chocolate.  

Strawberries & Cream Pudding Cookies
Courtesy of Lil Luna


1 cup softened butter
2 packages of strawberry jello (2 tbs)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 package of white chocolate pudding
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and jello together. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to butter mixture. Mix well. Add vanilla. 
  4. Stir in white chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. ENJOY!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cinnamon Glazed Banana Bundt Cake

I love to have baked goods out and ready to eat when we have guests over.  I made this cake last month when my sister in law came to visit. I was able to throw it together quickly and we enjoyed it for the few days she was here.  

Cinnamon Glazed Banana Bundt Cake

Adapted from My Recipe Magic 


1 box yellow cake mix
1 box banana cream pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup cinnamon applesauce
3 eggs
2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350. 
Grease a 10 inch bundt pan. 
Mix all ingredients (add bananas in last). 
Pour into prepared pan. 
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.  Flip onto a cooling rack until the cake is completely cool.  


*The original recipe includes a glaze to pour over the top.  I didn't want to add the extra sugar and calories, therefore eliminated the glaze.  I didn't feel like the cake was missing anything*

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Corn Salsa over Grilled Salmon

I hope you all are enjoying these easy salmon recipes as much as I am. 
I knew this one would be a hit because hubs and I love corn salsa. 
We make it once a week over the summer, usually on Friday nights.  
That way we can enjoy the leftovers all weekend. 

And after making this recipe, I think we've found our new Friday night favorite. 
If you're serving 2, make the corn salsa recipe as directed.  
Enjoy half of it as an appetizer with corn chips and maybe a margarita {or two}.
Then, turn on the grill and enjoy this fresh and healthy salmon. 
It was enough served without sides, but I'm sure it would be good with jasmine rice as well. 


Corn Salsa over Grilled Salmon
Adapted from


    • *Corn Salsa Ingredients*
    • 12 -ounce bag frozen sweet corn
    • 1 - 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 tomato, seeds removed and chopped
    • 1 avocado, removed from its skin and cubed
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • Fresh squeezed lime juice from 1 large lime
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • *Salmon Seasoning Ingredients*
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dill
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 - (6-ounce) salmon fillets


    • Gently mix the corn, black beans, red bell pepper, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
    • Generously coat a grill (or grill pan) with non-stick spray and preheat to medium heat.
    • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, paprika, kosher salt, coriander, dill, and pepper together.
    • Rub 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over each piece of salmon followed by 1 tablespoon of rub.
    • Grill the salmon, flesh side down, for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the salmon and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
    • Place each piece of salmon on a plate and top with a generous serving of corn salsa.
    • *Leftover salsa can be used for dipping chips.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Island Pork Tenderloin

Hands down one of the best pork recipes I've ever made. 
I think I professed my love after each bite I took.  
The cinnamon and brown sugar paired with savory spices. 
Just amazing. 

Add this to your menu today.  

Notes: The only change made was finishing the pork up on the grill pan after the suggested time in the oven.  It wasn't completely done, so hubs threw it on the grill pan for a few minutes on each side.  

Island Pork Tenderloin
Courtesy of Cooking Classy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 4 Servings
  • 1 (2 1/2 lb) pork tenderloin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together salt, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper and paprika. Press and rub mixture around all sides of pork tenderloin.
  • Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil just begins to smoke, transfer pork to skillet and cook for 2 minutes until bottom has browned, then rotate and cook opposite side until browned, about 2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, minced garlic and hot sauce. Spread mixture over the top of browned pork. Transfer pork (in oven safe skillet) to center of oven and roast until center of pork reaches 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer (about 20 minutes, I actually cooked mine about 15 minutes longer because I had a thicker roast and I don't like rare overly juicy pork). Allow pork to rest in skillet, loosely covered with aluminum foil, 10 minutes at room temperature (temperature should rise to 155 degrees while standing). Carve and serve warm.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cookies & Cream Cookies

I made these bad boys a week or so ago.  I had pinned the recipe a while back and finally remembered to get the candy bars while at Target. I also just so happened to have Oreos in the pantry.  Since these are titled cookies and cream cookies, I couldn't not add them! 

Results: White chocolate paired with the crunch of Oreos in a bite sized cookie....unbelievable. 
If you make these, I would plan on bringing them somewhere to share with others. 
Otherwise, you will end up eating them and won't be able to stop.
 I was thankful when hubs brought these to work and for them out of the house. 

Cookies & Cream Cookies
Adapted from Lil Luna


  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup smashed oreos
  • 1 cup cookies and cream bars chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter, oil and sugars. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes.
  5. ENJOY!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas 
Courtesy of Very Culinary 

Results: Such a quick meal and healthy too.  I used brown instead of white rice because it's what we had at home.  I bought medium shrimp and will definitely buy large shrimp next time.  I used a few different spices to work with what I had at home.  Next time, I will look for the chili garlic sauce as I think it would take this dish up a notch.  I would still make it again, as is.  Enjoy!
My picture doesn't do this meal any justice.  
Boy do I miss my DSLR camera! 

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas 
Courtesy of Very Culinary 

Shrimp Stir-Fry with Sugar Snap Peas
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
• 8 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed
• 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
• 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium or gluten-free)
• 3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• salt and pepper
• 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
In a bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chile garlic sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Rub the ginger, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper all over the shrimp.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan or wok over high heat. Add the white scallions and saute for 30 seconds. Add the snap peas, sprinkle with a touch of salt and stir-fry until they’re crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pan and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Whisk the soy sauce mixture and add it to the pan. Cook until the shrimp are opaque and the sauce has thickened, about 1 more minute. Toss the scallion greens in and remove from the heat.
Serve over white rice with some of the pan sauce.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Baked Potatoes with Sausage and Arugula Sauce

Hubs was watching Food Network this past Sunday and this was the highlighted recipe on Giada's show.  He looked over at me and asked me to make it this week.  He doesn't often request meals, so I was happy to oblige.  I added the ingredients to my grocery list and I made it last night.  

Results: This meal was very filling and good.  Due to my no dairy diet, I left out the cheese.  I was worried that it would take away from the dinner, but thankfully it didn't.  It was quick to throw together and even though we didn't have left overs, it would probably be pretty good left over.  Hubs suggested that next time we make mashed potatoes with the meat on top instead of baked.  He thought that would be better.  Overall, a hearty weeknight meal.  

Baked Potatoes with Sausage and Arugula Sauce
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time:15 min
4 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
1/2 pound sweet or spicy Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil or marinara sauce
3 cups baby arugula or spinach leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 baked russet potatoes, 8 to 10 ounces each (see Cook's Note)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage and break up the meat into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and arugula. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the arugula has wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture forms a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut a slit in the top of each baked potato and gently squeeze the ends to form an opening in the top. Spoon the sausage sauce into each potato. Garnish with parsley.

Cook's Note: To bake the potatoes: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a fork, prick the skins of the potatoes all over. Wrap each potato in foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. To cook the potatoes in a microwave: Using a fork, prick the skins of the potatoes all over. Place 2 potatoes at a time on a dinner plate. Microwave on high for 8 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and microwave until soft, 6 to 8 more minutes.

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