Salmon with Pineapple and Salsa

Sometimes, I wish I could just post a recipe and not have to say anything about it. Sometimes, I wonder if people even read whatever it is I’m writing about and just look at the picture and recipe and that’s it? I know I’m guilty of that with other blogs. I’ll just look at all the yummy pictures and pin it to read it later.

I was trying to think of something to say about this salmon recipe. It felt like I was back on a tropical island again with the pineapple salsa. I served mine with some left over cilantro lime orzo from the weekend. Very tasty.

Calories 240, Fat 12g, Protein 22g, Carbohydrates 11g, Fiber 1g

Points Plus: 6

Servings: 8

Recipe from Lawry’s.com

Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds salmon fillets
  • 3/4 cups p Lawry's® Hawaiian Lawry's Marinade With Tropical Fruit Juices
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple or canned
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper

Directions

Step 1
Place salmon in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add 1/2 cup of the marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
Step 2
Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons of the remaining marinade, pineapple, bell pepper, cilantro, onion and jalapeno pepper in small bowl until well blended. Set aside. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
Step 3
Grill salmon over medium-high heat 6 to 7 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork, brushing with remaining 2 tablespoons marinade halfway through cooking. Serve salmon with pineapple salsa.

Chipotle inspired Rice Bowls

 

I was finally able to make it to Chipotle after I’ve heard my brother talking about it for years. After I told him that I went there, he said to me “Welcome to the real world.” The real world is obviously a restaurant where you stuff your face with burritos about the side of your head. It was really good and everything, but I didn’t care for the portion sizes. I liked the flavor combinations of everything, it was just too much for me to eat.

I made my own Chipotle inspired meal and it turned out pretty good. There’s a lot of food to prep if you do everything yourself, but there are some short cuts that you can take. Like for instance… you can use a bottle of store bought marinade from Lawry’s or Mrs. Dash. The grocery store has pico de gallo at your convenience too. All I did was make the corn salsa, rice, and chicken and I made the corn salsa and rice all while the chicken was cooking. Too change it up a bit, I used orzo instead of rice and I really liked that. I put everything into a bowl and it was very filling. I’ve got one extra serving to have and it will be all gone. It would be nice to see my town get a Chipotle, and a Panera, and a Trader Joe’s… but we will see if that ever happens.

Also, Mrs. Dash has a salt free chipotle marinade which I like to use. There’s a lot of sodium in one burrito at Chipotle around 1500 mg! Crazy. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting this down to 10 points per serving, considering the fact that a whole burrito there is 32 points. Yikes.

Chicken and Rice:

Points Plus: 10

Servings: 5

Nutrition Info (without salsas and extra ingredients on top)

Calories 377 | Fat 11.65g | Carbohydrate 39.2g | Fiber 1.6g | Protein 28.77g

Corn Salsa:

Points Plus 1

Servings: 10 (1 to 2 tablespoons)

Calories 36 | Fat 0.98g | Carbohydrate 7.13g | Fiber 1g | Protein 0.92g

Southwest Rice Bowl

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large chicken breasts (without skin or bone)
  • 1 cup Southwest Chipotle Marinade (Mrs Dash)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon butter ((light) if desired )
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 small jalepeno
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Pico de gallo
  • cheddar cheese (light )
  • sour cream (light )
  • 1 can black beans (drained)

Directions

Step 1
Marinade chicken for an hour or over night in the fridge. When chicken is ready cook on grill until done. Cut up into bite size pieces.
Step 2
While chicken is cooking. Boil the orzo. About 8 minutes. In a bowl add the orzo, butter, 3 tablespoons of cilantro, half of a lime: juiced, salt and pepper (to taste).
Step 3
While the the orzo is cooking, make the corn salsa. Mix together defrosted corn, 3 tablespoons cilantro, onion, jalapeno, lime juice (the other half) in a bowl.
Step 4
Once everything is made and ready, place about 1/2 cup of orzo, some chicken, beans, corn salsa, and pico de gallo into a small bowl and top with whatever other Mexican ingredients you like.

Candy Bar Cheesecake

My husband was out of town this weekend and I thought it would be a good time to make a cheesecake. He doesn’t like cheesecake at all. I also made a lot of food with cilantro in it this weekend since he doesn’t like that either. It’s always nice when the husband goes away for the weekend so I can make foods that he doesn’t like. However, there are some draw backs of him leaving too. Like… loud scary noises coming from the heater that won’t go away. That kept me up all night long….

I wanted to make something for Halloween and normally if it’s a type of food that’s supposed to look like something gross, I normally don’t have any of the ingredients on hand. Everyone has leftover Halloween candy or has eaten a ton of it already before they have to go back to the  store and get some more. I just decided to top my cheesecake with chocolate candy bars and caramel sauce. I used 4 snicker’s bars, 4 Milky way’s, and 4 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (the fun size kind). It’s a good way of getting rid of that left over Halloween candy in your kid’s trick-or-treat bag. I had the girls over Saturday night and they loved it. Hope you do too!

 

Candy Bar Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 fun-size assorted candy bars
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramel sauce (for topping)
  • 1 package oreos
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Directions

Step 1
In a food processor pulse the oreos until crumbly. Add in melted butter and pulse a few more times until well combined. Place oreos in bottom of a cheese cake pan.
Step 2
In the same food processor (clean) combine cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the cheese cake batter on top of the oreo crust.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 325. Bake cheese cake for 55 minutes or until the center is no longer wobbly. Let cool.
Step 4
Cut up candy bars into small bite size pieces and sprinkle them on top of the cheese once cooled. Drizzle cheese cake with caramel sauce and enjoy.

Queso Smothered Chicken

Wow, I can’t believe how good and super easy this was! I’ve never tried Lawry’s marinades until now, but I’ve always used their seasoned salt in recipes. The marinade makes the chicken so moist when it’s cooked on the grill. To save even more time, I had a jar of queso cheese dip in the fridge and all I had to do was warm some of it up in the microwave. Ben doesn’t like cheese sauce on top of anything so that was really nice and I could just portion whatever of that I needed to use.  The cheese sauce on top of the orzo and chicken almost made me think I was eating some kind of nacho pasta. So delicious. I will definitely make this again, and now I want to try more of Lawry’s marinades.

Thank you Plain Chicken, this was an awesome recipe.

Queso Smothered Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Lawry's Baja Chipotle Marinade
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (without skin or bone i)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder or Southwestern Seasoning
  • 8oz velveeta cheese
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup orzo

Directions

Step 1
Pour Baja Chipotle Marinade over chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready, grill chicken until done (165 degrees).
Step 2
While the chicken is grilling prepare the orzo.
Step 3
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add orzo. Cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Stir in Southwestern Seasoning or chili powder, tomato paste and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Step 4
Combine Ro-tel and Velveeta in a medium bowl. Heat on HIGH in the microwave in 30 second intervals until cheese is melted.
Step 5
To assemble the Queso Smothered Chicken - place 1/4 of the orzo on a plate, top with grilled chicken. Pour 3-4 Tbsp cheese dip over chicken and orzo.

 

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

I’m just going to say, I wasn’t a fan of Subway’s Meatball sandwich. It just wasn’t good to me. One of the girls at work brought meatball subs for treat day one time and they were just fantastic and changed mind. I made this recipe really simple.And yes, you can have a turkey meatball sub and still stay on track!

Go to the store, pick up a bag of 24 oz Turkey meatballs from Jeanie-0. There are a couple brands out there that do make lean turkey meatballs like Foster Farms. I couldn’t find them at all. Or if you’re feeling ambitious make your own turkey meatballs at home.  Come home, turn on the slow cooker. Dump the marinara sauce into the slow cooker and meatballs. This is best to do on the weekends since they only take about 4 to 5 hours to cook. If you come home during the lunch hour like I do, then by all means do it then. I’m not stopping you. :) When the meatballs are done, place 4 of them with the sauce on top of some bread and some cheese. Turn on the boiler and toast the bread until they’re brown and the cheese is melted. Don’t walk away from your boiler too, or else you may have some burnt meatball subs when you come back. Enjoy!

Servings:8 (3 Meatballs per sub)

Points Plus: 11

This was hard trying to figure out points plus for. fatsecret and weight watchers are giving me two different points plus for this.

 

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

Ingredients

  • 1 bag 24 oz Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 jar Marinara sauce (your favorite)
  • 1 loaf french baguette
  • 8 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

Step 1
Place the marinara sauce and frozen meatballs into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Step 2
Preheat broiler.
Step 3
While the boiler is preheating, cut equal slices of the french bread and once down the middle of it. Place 4 meatballs and sauce on the bread and top with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese.
Step 4
The meatball subs are done when the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly brown on top.

Weight Watchers – Better than Sex Cake

 

I’ve decided to start making some of my recipes I’ve previously had on my blog that were full of fat, lighter. Yay! Better than Sex cake was really easy to make lighter. The only thing I had trouble with was the toffee candy on top. There’s no way to make that lighter, but is there? Ever heard of Skinny Cow candy? It is heavenly. They have different flavored candy bars and chocolate covered caramel, I believe their called turtles for only 110 calories. They’re so good too. They had this one candy bar that almost reminded me of a Nutter butter. I was walking down the candy aisle trying to find something to put on top of the cake, and saw these. It’s been awhile since I’ve had them and I thought they would make a great topping for the cake and they did. Thank goodness.

The one thing I didn’t like about the full fat better than sex cake, was that it was really sweet. This version cuts back on the sweetness. Is it better than sex? That is up for you to decide. :) I tried making the cool whip frosting orange for Halloween. It turned out more like a peach color.

Servings: 15

Points Plus: 4

Calories 131; Fat 4.87g; Carbohydrate 20.05g;  Fiber 0.9g; Protein 2.28g

Better than Sex Cake

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 can diet soda (any kind)
  • 1 package sugar free instant cheese cake pudding
  • 1 container cool whip light
  • 2 cups milk (1% or fat free)
  • 4 bars Skinny Cow (Heavenly Crisp Bars)

Directions

Step 1
Make cake according to directions on the back of the box. Use the diet soda in replace of the other ingredients.
Step 2
While cake is cooling, make the cheese cake pudding.
Step 3
After the cake has cooled, poke holes in the cake, with the back of a wooden spoon.
Step 4
Pour the pudding over the cake so the pudding gets into the holes.
Step 5
Spread the whole container of cool whip over the cake.
Step 6
Cut the candy bars into bite size pieces and sprinkle them over the cake. Serve cold.

Fun with Puff Pastry

I recently bought a box of puff pastry at the grocery store. Puff pastry is really expensive and I think I paid 4.99 for the entire box, but the price is well worth it in my opinion. Puff pastry is so flaky and buttery and you can do a lot of different things with it. I went a little too wild I think.

The first thing I made with puff pastry was Ina Garten’s recipe for French Apple Tart. I remember her saying on the show, that it’s ok if the edges burn. We tasted it, and the outer crust was pretty nasty. Other than that, we ate around the crust. This was really good and so simple to make. See how burnt my edges got? I decided to drizzle some caramel sauce on the top. The recipe calls for apricot jam, and some apple flavored liquor which I didn’t have.

The second thing I made with puff pastry is what I like to call Mac and Cheese Dog Pockets. Yesterday, I was craving the boxed mac and cheese and I love adding cheddar wursts or hotdogs in with it to get some protein. Not the healthiest thing to eat. I decided to make it even less healthier by stuffing the mac and cheese inside some puff pastry. What a great idea this was. All I did was make the box of mac and cheese according to the package directions. Added the cooked sausage to the mac and cheese, and then cut two pieces of puff pastry about the size of pop tarts and spooned about a 1/4 cup of mac and cheese on top. I placed the other layer of puff pastry on top of that. I crimped the edges and shut them with a fork. I brushed some egg wash around the edges of the puff pastry to help the top layer stick more. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden. Look at my creation!

You can also make homemade churros. These are delicious and way better than the ones at Taco John’s. I just melted some butter (1/4 cup),  and mixed together 1/4 cup of white sugar, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Cut the puff pastry into long strips and dunk them in the butter. Then in the sugar and cinnamon mixture next. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 t 12 minutes.

Homemade parmesan bread sticks are next. This is pretty much the same method as the churros. In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of oregano. Cut into strips, dunk in butter first, and then the parmesan cheese mixture. Bake at same temperature (400 degrees) for 10 to 12 minutes. These are just as delicious as the churros. I actually should have made more churros than breadsticks when I made these. The husband was disappointed that there weren’t any more churros. :(

 

 

And there you have it folks. Fun with puff pastry!

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Yesterday was a good day. Made an excellent soup for dinner, found a black pair of boots for Winter, and got $20.00 in Kohl’s cash. I ended up getting some items for Fall and Winter. Mustard color jeans, a purple sweater that came with a scarf, a Viera Wang scarf, and  a new top. I had some extra spending money so I went a little wild yesterday. In case most of you don’t know…. I’m really into fashion now. I never used to be either. Kohl’s is a good place to do that to find the newest fashion for not a lot of money. I’m almost thinking about having one blog post a week on different clothes that I find. I’ve been looking for a good pair of mustard jeans for a long time now and finally found them. Yay!

Anyways, enough on clothes. I made a really fantastic chicken and dumpling soup with leftover rotisserie chicken that we had. It was in Martha Stewart’s magazine from the October issue. There were 3 different ways to re-make chicken pot pie and this was one of them. They took one recipe and just did it 2 different ways. Kind of cool. To save time on chopping vegetables, I used about a 1/2 bag of mixed frozen veggies from the freezer section. The only vegetables I chopped were the celery and onions.  I want to make 5 other recipes from that magazine too. This soup was really good and only came out to 7 points plus per serving.

Points Plus: 7

Servings: 6

Calories: 273; 12 g fat; 15 g protein; 27 g carbs; 3 g fiber

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup green beans
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 + 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3` cups chicken broth

Directions

Step 1
In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until onion is translucent. 4 minutes
Step 2
Add flour (1/4 cup and save the other 1 cup for the dumplings) and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add broth. stirring constantly, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in chicken an season with salt and pepper.
Step 3
To make dumplings: Whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour. 1 teaspoon baking power and course salt. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley. Cut in 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Stir in 1/2 cup whole milk. Drop heaping spoonfuls batter on top of chicken mixture.
Step 4
Cover and simmer dumplings until they are cooked through. About 12 minutes. Top with additional chopped parsley.