Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chicken Parm - Light and Easy

Want a meal that you can prepare in less than an hour with little effort and taste like you spent all day in the kitchen?  Well this recipe is for YOU!


3 boneless chicken breasts
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (don't skimp here - use a good one!)
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper and Garlic powder to taste

What to do-

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, then add 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce to bottom.  Spread around to coat.

Place each chicken breast between wax paper, and using a meat mallet (I prefer a small cast iron skillet) pound each breast down to flatten about a 1/2 inch thick.

Salt, pepper and apply garlic powder to each breast.

In a skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil and saute the onions.  Add onions to the bottom of the casserole dish.

Add a little more olive oil to the skillet and then brown the chicken breast on each side. (The middle of the breast will still be well under cooked.)

Add the breasts to the casserole dish, then cover all three with another 1/2 cup or so of sauce.

Place in oven and cook for 35 minutes.  When the time is up, add parmesan chees to the top of each breast and return to oven.  Switch from bake to broil for two to three minutes.

I had some left over egg noodles from some soup over the weekend, so I added the chicken and sauce to a portion of noodles.  This is great by itself also.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Chicken Alfredo - LIGHT!

A healthy, filling  dinner for TWO nights in our house! It's not as hard as one may think!


3 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 jar of Bertolli Light Alfredo sauce
3 cups of fresh broccoli
1 – 2 stalks of celery, chopped
8oz package of fresh sliced mushrooms
½ sweet onion, chopped
A little white wine (or water if necessary….)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
(I did have some left over Kale that I chopped fine and added to the veggies.  You can add chopped spinach too, or none at all)


Over Med-High heat use ½ the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet or a dutch oven.  Brown the chicken, adding salt, pepper, and basil.  When all chicken is browned and cooked through, remove from skillet.  Add remaining olive oil and onions, celery, mushrooms, (Kale, spinach optional here).  Cook until celery and onions are softened.
Return chicken to the skillet and reduce heat to low.  Add Broccoli and a little wine or water to keep from drying out and to break the brown goodness off the bottom of the pan.

Pour in bottle of Bertolli Light Alfredo sauce.  Stir often, add wine as needed to keep moist.
In another pot, boil pasta of your choice. (I like to use Penne myself, but ANY kind will do) Use directions on the box.  Rinse and drain.

Once the broccoli is softened to your liking it’s done!
Add a serving of pasta to a bowl and add the chicken mix. 

Box of Penne pasta makes 8 servings, the chicken mixture is divided into 7 servings.  Each serving is about 430 calories, but a light salad or green beans tops it off as a delicious, healthy dinner.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

       My sweet bride loves oatmeal, but doesn't like to make it herself unless it's instant on the way out the door.  Sunday mornings she always gets up before me, so Saturday night I prepared her a special breakfast.  When she came to wake me on Sunday morning, she whispered into my ear what every man wants to hear his woman say in bed- "You're so good!"  Of course she had oatmeal breath as she had just finished her surprise breakfast......


3 cups water
2 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats ( Steel-cut will work too)
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

** Next time - I will add:
        1/2 cup of raisins and a 1/4 tsp ground cloves


Prepare your slow-cooker
      (liner bag or cooking spray)

Add all ingredients to the cooker and stir well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

Serving size is 1 1/4 cup for around 130 calories.  I added a teaspoon of honey to garnish my serving!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Candy Cane Christmas Kiss Cookies

      The most wonderful time of the year can also be a very stressful time of the year - shopping, cleaning, decorating, wrapping, children underfoot, traffic, should I go on?  These simple cookies will help with the baking stress!  These scrumptious treats are simple and fun to make which makes a great combination when you have a sweet helper like I do!


1 box of Devil's Food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of oil
30-40 Hershey Kisses (Candy Cane striped are the best, but the dark chocolate were good as well)

Yes, that's right - just four ingredients.  I told you simple and easy.


Dump the box of mix in a large bowl.  Crack and beat the eggs in a small bowl then add to the mix with the oil.  Using a spoon, mix until blended smooth.

Take little pinches in your hands and roll into balls the size of a walnut.  Place the cookies on a baking sheet with either parchment paper or silicon baking mat.

Bake in preheated oven (350 degrees) for 5-7 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two, then top with a Kiss and allow to cool completely.


** Sorry about the picture quality... we didn't pull out the good camera for this baking.  :)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baked Fish A Simple Dish

       I don’t like fish, it tastes so…fishy!  I’d eat more fish, but it’s so hard to cook.   I like fish, but I have no idea how to cook it.   The only way I know how to cook fish is to fry it.    Anyone else hear these comments from time to time?

     Many, many moons ago, when I was a younger man, these were also comments I made.  The only fish I liked back then was those stick fish found in the frozen food section in a box called Gorton’s or Mrs. Paul’s.  That was then, this is now.  Now, I like fish.  I like fish cooked many different ways – except fried.  I also found that fish is not only easy to cook; it is also a quick fix for a week night meal.
     Tilapia is my inexpensive fish of choice for a quick, healthy weeknight meal.  I usually get mine from my favorite local grocer when it is on sale.  I purchase it by the case. Each filet is individually wrapped, which makes defrosting fast in a sink full of water.  Three filets in a sink of cold water will thaw out in about 12-15 minutes.

Here’s how simple it is.

Ingredients –
3 - Tilapia filets; thawed, rinsed and patted dry   
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Tony’s Creole Seasoning
Non-stick cooking spray

What to do-

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray.
Drizzle a little olive oil in the dish, then add the filets.

Drizzle just a bit of oil on the fish and rub in to cover the fish.

Add salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle the Creole Seasoning to taste.  (This creole seasoning is not hot.  It may cause a slight tingling on the lips, but so will black pepper.  The creole seasoning is a perfect match for this light fish)

Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

When the timer goes off, turn the oven to BROIL and crack the oven door open.  Allow the fish to broil for about a minute or two, but keep a close eye on it.

Remove, serve and ENJOY!!