This is a blog of my adventures in the kitchen. I always like to try new things, and I'm looking up different recipes constantly. Some recipes on here will be my own, some will be found recipes. Some will work, some won't. Trial and error, right? I'm no professional and I don't claim to be, I just enjoy cooking. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

This was one of those panic meals. You know, the ones that you frantically run around the kitchen trying to find anything that you can mix together to call a meal. It turned out surprisingly delicious.

I started with a plan of chicken, spaghetti squash and spinach but I didn't have spinach like I thought I did. Instead, this is what I did. This is more of a meal for one sorta thing, but if you add some more chicken to it you could easily feed two with it.

What you'll need:

Spaghetti squash
1 chicken breast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 roma tomato, diced
1/4 C grated zucchini - completely optional. I just wanted something green. lol.
1/8 C grated parmesan - Yeah, I used the weird powder stuff in the green canister, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. lol.
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
salt and pepper to taste

First, start with the squash. Slice it down the center with a really sharp knife, and be careful! They're sometimes a pain to cut. Scrape out the seeds and gunk (technical term, I swear), and place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. I lined a baking dish with aluminum foil, so I didn't have to wash it. ;)

Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes.

When that's finished, carefully scrape out the "spaghetti" with a fork. Set that aside.

In a pan heat up the oil. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the oil. Add some salt, pepper, thyme and sage.

Next time I do this, I'll start with sauteing some chopped onion and garlic.

Cook until the chicken is cooked through.

Throw in the rest of the ingredients and cook until it's all hot and delicious. ;)

Serve it up!

Calories: 484
Carbs: 26
Fat: 16
Protein: 49

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fizzy Sangria

Since this blog is called "Bread & Wine" I figured I should probably post at least ONE wine drink, eh? :) So, here it is. I really have no idea what to name this. lol... I actually got the idea from a pin I saw on pinterest (love pinterest). The one I saw there had different types of fruit in it, but I was in a very strawberry mood tonight, so I just used strawberries.

How do you say strawberry? My husband always teases me for the way I say it. I pronounce it "Straw-Brie", he says "Straw-Bear-EE". *shrug* Side track, sorry... ;)

Anyway, here's what you'll need:

Red wine (I used merlot -- just because I love merlot.)
Fruit (I used strawberries)

I guessed on amounts, so just play around with it to your own liking.

First, slice the fruit and place in a glass.

Next, add some ice.

Add the sprite and wine (I used about 6oz sprite, 4 oz merlot.)

Stir it up, and drink! Cheers!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grilled Muenster and Tomato

So, I fell off of the "health wagon" tonight. :)

I'm not even sure why I'm posting this, because it's just a basic grilled cheese sandwich. lol...

Anyway, what you'll need:

Bread (homemade or something similar - so you don't get a flat sandwich)
salt and pepper

Okay, get your griddle or pan heating.

Butter the your bread.

Layer sandwich like this:

Bread, butter side down
Two slices of cheese
One of two tomatoes, depending on bread size)
Salt and pepper
Two more slices of cheese
bread, butter side up

Now grill. Keep an eye on it. You don't want to grill this at a super high heat. The tomato slows down the cheese melting just a little. If it starts getting too dark on one side, flip it over. Continue until the cheese is melted. :)

Like I said, basic grilled cheese -- but OH SO DELICIOUS! ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Okay, this is actually a spin off of a family recipe from my aunt, "Sweet and Sour Meatballs." I love, love, LOVE her recipe, but I was looking to make a lower calorie version. I'll share my version. This is extremely low in fat, if you're watching your fat intake. :)

Seriously, this is SO good. It tastes SO sinful, but it's really not that bad. :) The sauce is really low calorie, it's the rice that gets ya. lol... I used brown rice, for the nutrition factor. It's not any lower calorie but it does have more nutrition in it. :)

And before anyone comments and says, "this isn't authentic sweet and sour," I just wanna say, "Yes... I know..." :P

What you'll need:

Brown rice (as much as you need for your family)
Boneless, skinless, chicken breast (2 or 3)
1 large can pineapple tidbits (drain but SAVE juice)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C splenda**
1/2 C distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp corn starch (give or take)

**The recipe actually calls for 1 cup brown sugar, but I wanted to lessen the calories a little. I didn't have splenda brown sugar, but still wanted that brown sugar taste, so I did a half and half.

Start your rice, as per the package directions. Brown rice takes at least double the time that white rice does. I'm always boasting about how awesome having a rice cooker is, but it doesn't work for brown rice, so you'll have to do this on the stove. ;)

Dice up the chicken and brown it in a pan with deep sides. Season it as you wish. I just used salt and pepper.

While that's cooking, mix the sugar, splenda, pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger together in a bowl.

Add the onion and pepper and cook that until the vegetables begin to soften a bit.

Add the sugar mixture to the pan and bring it to a boil.

Make a slurry of cornstarch and water, and pour it into the sauce to thicken. You can add less or more, depending on how thick you'd prefer it. Add the pineapple last.

Now just let it simmer on really low until your rice is done. Serve over the rice.

The sauce easily makes 6 servings. The nutrition information I've added is for the sauce only -- it does not include the info for the rice.

Per serving:

Calories -- 204
Carbs -- 39g
Fat -- 1g
Protein -- 9g

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Creamy Salsa Dip and Baked Tortilla Chips

I was in the mood for some kind of snack, and I truly am obsessed with chips and dip. lol... Only problem, chips and dip are usually high in calories and fat. If you use the right tortillas for this you can make the entire snack (chips AND dip) for less than 100 calories a serving. :)

Things you'll need:

Cooking spray
Light sour cream
Fat free Greek yogurt, plain
chili powder

You could use any tortillas for this recipe but I used 70 calorie whole wheat tortillas. Slice the tortillas anyway you like and spread on a cookie sheet that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Do a quick spritz over the pieces and sprinkle salt on them. Bake at 400 - 450 until they brown a little and get crispy.

And that's all there is to the tortilla chips. :P

For the salsa dip mix maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup salsa with a tablespoon of plain fat free greek yogurt and 2 or 3 tablespoons of light sour cream. Add a little chili powder and cumin and stir it up. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guilt-free Blondies!!

Who said dessert can't be healthy?! Of course, if you were to read the ingredients you'd probably question whether this was even a dessert at all! Of course it is, I wouldn't lie to you! :) Are they as sinfully sweet and delicious as REAL blondies? No. But at only around 100 calories a square I'd say they were pretty darn good. :) (more calories if you follow her recipe exact.)

I got this recipe from an awesome blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. It's full of healthy vegan snacks. :)

I used her recipe but made a few alterations to make it my own. :) I've posted her recipe, but in parenthesis wrote my exchanges.

Things you'll need:

1 can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed (I used chickpeas)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 brown sugar and 1/2 C splenda)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup peanut butter, or other fat source (I used 1 Tbsp veg oil and enough unsweetened applesauce to make 1/4 cup. I didn't want peanut butter bars.)

optional: 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used 24 guittard milk chocolate chips - melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients (except chips) until very smooth in a food processor (not a blender).

Mix in chips, and scoop into a greased (or tinfoil-lined) 8×8 pan. (I melted my chips and spread them over the top after baking.)

Bake for 38-40 minutes. You want the blondies to look a little undercooked when you take them out, because they’ll firm up as they cool, and you don’t want them to get hard.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." -Mark Twain.

Okay, so the photo isn't the most appetizing of photos in the world, but I promise the food WAS delicious! :P My husband ate half of the pan (and even eating half of the BIG pan, it was only 780 calories.) lol...

This is a bit of a combo of my usual jambalaya and a healthier version I found online. My usual jambalaya is full of white rice and it has andouille sausage in it. I cut out the sausage and used brown rice. :)

This made 4 to 6 servings. The bowl in the picture is the size if it's split into 4 servings. Nutrition info at the bottom.

Things you'll need:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 large bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 to 2 tsp creole seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Add oil to a large nonstick pan (I used my electric skillet. It's HUGE!)

Over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery until onion is translucent.

Add chicken, bay leaf, cayenne pepper and creole seasoning. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice), tomato sauce, and 1 3/4 cups cold water.

Gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Pour rice into the pan** and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until rice is cooked and absorbs most of the liquid. (**I simmered for over an hour and the rice never finished. I've never had that happen with white rice. Next time I make this I will cook the rice before adding it.)

Stir in shrimp and cook 5 minutes more. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste.

If the meal is split into 4 servings the facts are as follows:

Calories: 396
Carbs: 42
Fat: 7
Protein: 40

If the meal is split into 6 servings:

Calories: 264
Carbs: 28
Fat: 5
Protein: 26

These are based off of the recipe calculator on :) It could be a little different depending on brands used and such...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baked Onion Rings

I looooove onion rings!! I was skeptical about baked onion rings at first, but wanted to find something yummy for my husband to have with his burger. These were PERFECT! I love them just as much, if not MORE than the greasy, fried rings I've become accustomed to. Plus, I didn't finish them feeling sick and guilty. :)

Things you'll need:

Onion (I used a large white onion)
egg whites
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350-400F, depending on your oven. Mine runs hot, so I had mine on 350 convection.

Slice your onions and separate them into rings.

Mix the bread crumbs with seasoning of your choice. I used Tony's Creole Seasoning. If you've never had it I suggest you try it. I seriously use this for practically everything! lol... Steaks, burgers, chicken, fries, chips, etc.

Put the bread crumbs in a bowl, or on a plate.

Put egg whites in a bowl and beat them with a little bit of water.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Dip onions in egg and then in crumbs and layer in a single layer on cookie sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Oh, and btw. The ENTIRE dinner pictured here was less than 650 calories, and the majority of that was the burger. lol... :)

Baked Potato Chips with Onion Dip

Another comfort, chips and dip!! Can't live without them, but they're so loaded with oils, salt, creams, etc.

The potato chips recipe I sort of made up on my own, but the onion dip I found on the snack girl website which stated it came from the nutritionist from the Biggest Loser. :)

First, chips!

What you'll need:

Potato (red, russet, sweet, etc)
cooking spray, such as Pam
seasonings (my favorite so far being garlic salt and parmesan)

This is done easiest with a mandolin, so you can get thin slices and slice them evenly.

Preheat your oven to 350 - 400F. I had mine set to 350 convection.

You want to slice your potato, peels on or off - your choice. Slice thin. No thicker than 1/8 inch.

Pat them dry with a paper towel.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and layer the potato slices on it. Sprinkle with seasonings and put in oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, then rotate your pan and bake another 10 minutes. You'll want to watch them closely the first few times you make them, to get the right baking to suit your oven. It took me at least 5 trials to get them where I like them. :)

That's it. Let them cool and you have chips! My husband says he likes them more than Lay's. ;)

I don't have the nutritional info for these, sorry.

Okay, now the onion dip. This one is a bit time consuming but it makes quite a bit.

Click here for the onion dip recipe on the snack girl site.

Things you'll need:

2 1/2 pounds yellow onions, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Halve the onions lengthwise and then slice them crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick half-rounds. There will be about 4 cups.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft and beginning to release their juices. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the onions are lightly browned and caramelized. Allow to cool. There will be about 2 cups.

Place the onions in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Remove half of the onions and transfer them to a bowl. To the remaining onions in the food processor, add the onion powder and process until pureed. Add the cream cheese and yogurt and process just until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the bowl and fold into the chopped onions.

Taste and season as needed. Chill for at least 1 hour. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.

Per 1/4 cup serving: 80 calories, 3 g total fat (1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 11 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars), 1 g fiber, 3 g protein, 2 PointsPlus

Portabella Pizza

Okay, so in my new adventure on trying to become healthier I've decided to challenge myself to make healthy alternatives to normal comfort foods. First one: Pizza!!

Now, I believe that the unhealthiest part of a pizza is the crust. With this, there is no bread crust but rather a portabella mushroom cap turned upside down. This was more filling than I expected. I had this for lunch along with a protein shake. :)

I actually made this recipe from an idea I found online.

Things you'll need:

Portabella mushroom caps
1 can dice tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese, grated (1/4 cup per pizza)
truvia (or sugar, if you would rather)
italian seasoning

First, make your sauce. In a sauce pan add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add the salt, truvia, and seasonings to taste. Let it simmer until it reduces by half and thickens.

Wipe caps with a paper towel. Remove stems. Add the sauce and cheese and bake at around 350 for 20 minutes. Seriously, that's it! And totally satisfied that "pizza" craving I was having. ;)