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.

Honey Dew Ice Pops + Winner annouced

Awhile ago, I had a giveaway on my blog… which not a lot of people signed up for. Only 5 or 6 did. Next time, I promise to have something better to giveaway. The winner of my ice pop cookbook was Kay Peters Swederisk, Congrats! Hope you enjoy your new cook book.

I can’t believe it’s August already! This summer is going by fast and it’s STILL stinking hot outside. I’ve been hiding in our air conditioned house lately. I have this feeling that Fall is also going to semi hot here for a little while. We need rain here, and lots of it.

Honey dew is one of my favorite summer melons next to watermelon. I can never really tell how to pick a good honey dew melon either. I just kind of smell it, and if it smells sweet, I take it. I don’t know if there’s any other way to tell if a honey dew is ripe. Does anyone else know? Since honey dew melon was only 68 cents a pound this week, that was going to be the flavor. The green color makes it real fun too. Add in some mint leaves or lime zest if you wish to this recipe. These ice pops were very refreshing.

 

Points Plus: 1

Servings: 10

Honey Dew Ice Pops + Winner annouced

Ingredients

  • 1/2 honey dew melon (seeded an choppe)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Note

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 42 , Fat: .1g , Carbs: 11g, Protein: .38g, Fiber: 0.6g

Directions

Step 1
Boil sugar and water together until blended together. Let the sugar syrup cool for awhile.
Step 2
Cut up half of a honey dew melon, into small chunks, and puree in the food processor.
Step 3
Add sugar syrup to pureed honey dew mixture.
Step 4
Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Deviled Eggs

I have found the perfect method to making hard boiled eggs, thanks to Alton Brown (and pinterest). He is a genius. There was a really popular pin going around on pinterest awhile ago of some eggs inside an oven. I clicked on it, and couldn’t believe what it was. Someone had made hard boiled eggs in their oven. If making deviled eggs ever seemed intimidating to you, it shouldn’t be any more after you try this method. The egg came out perfect! You set your oven rack in the middle of a 325 degree oven, and bake the eggs in there for 30 minutes. Once they’re done baking you take them out in soak them in an ice bath for awhile until they cool down. So easy, and I’m going make hard boiled eggs using this method all the time now.

These deviled eggs are really light and creamy. I changed the spices up a bit and added in some fresh thyme instead of green onions and used some Worcestershire sauce to give them a little more flavor. They’re only 34 calories an egg too, so enjoy!

If you use Google+ feel free to add me. I’m going to start using it more for this website. Link is on the right sidebar or can be found here. Google + account.

Recipe from Eating Well

Servings: 24

Points Plus:  1

Nutrition Info:

34 calories; 2 g fat; 1 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber;

Ingredients

12 large hard-boiled eggs , (see Tip), peeled
1/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives , or scallion greens
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Paprika , for garnish

Preparation

Halve eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently remove the yolks. Place 16 yolk halves in a food processor (discard the remaining 8 yolk halves). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), relish, mustard and salt; process until smooth.
Spoon about 2 teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

Tonight, I’m sharing a meal with you that we had while in Jamaica. I had more fish while we were there, but we had some chicken in the house so we used that. For lunch one time, they had blackened fish which was really spicy and well… black. Still very, very good though…. Ben said the chicken kind of reminded him of blackened fish, and he said he wished that the chicken hadn’t turned black. Not sure whether or not to call this Blackened Chicken or just Jerk Chicken. While there, we bought a bottle of Jerk Seasoning blend by a company called Island Spice. I’m going to give you recipe to make your own Jerk Seasoning, or you can just go out to the grocery store and see if they have a bottle of Jerk Seasoning. I really haven’t looked for one yet. Let me know if you can find them.

It was also nice out tonight so we grilled. One night while we were there, they had a barbeque on the beach and I’d like to find a recipe for Jamaican barbeque sauce as well. To go a long side the chicken, I made rice and peas. We also ate that a lot while we were there. The locals called the rice dish, rice and peas, and Ben and I thought that was odd because we’re used to the peas being called beans. Who cares though, it was all good anyway!! The chef at the restaurant where we had the cooking class at said Jamaican food uses a lot of onions, green onions, garlic, and fresh peppers like Scotch bonnets. He also said that they use coconut milk in pretty much everything too.

Jerk Seasoning Blend from Food.com

Servings: 6
Calories 19.9 | Fat 0.2 g | Carbohydrate 4.6 g | Fiber 0.8 g | Protein 0.5 g
Points Plus: 1

1 tablespoon onion flakes
2 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried chives

Directions:

1.Mix together all the ingredients.
2.Store leftovers in a tightly closed glass jar.
3.It will keep its strength for over a month.
4. 1- 1 1/2 tablespoon of seasoning for each pound of meat.

—————————————————————-

Rice and Peas Recipe
Calories 219 | Fat 5.04g | Carbohydrate 37.55g | Fiber 4.7g | Protein 6.43g
Servings: 10 (1/2 cup)

Ingredients from Jamaican Food.net

2 cups of rice
1 can of tinned or 1 cup of fresh red peas (either kidney beans or pigeon peas)
5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 uncut scotch bonnet pepper (1 jalapeno pepper may be used as a substitute)
3 Scallion (spring onions may be used as a substitute)
1 tin (or one cup) of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (2 teaspoons of dried thyme may be used as a substitute)

Directions:

1.Drain juice from beans, add coconut milk + sufficient water to make 5 cups of cooking liquid.

2.Put beans, “cooking liquid” and garlic in a pot and bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Add scallions, thyme, and black pepper and salt to taste, simmer for a further 2 minutes.

4. Add scotch bonnet pepper (as this is not cut up it will not make the rice spicy, it will just add a subtle Jamaican flavour).

5. Add rice and let boil uncovered for 20 minutes (or until all liquid has been absorbed if this is sooner). Remove scotch bonnet pepper then serve.

Chocapocalypse Cookies

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you know what that means. CHOCOLATE! Alton Brown’s very last episode of Good Eats was on Friday night and he made these cookies. I’m very sad to see him not making any more shows anymore. He’s one of my favorites on Food Network. My husband and I knew we had to make these the next day after we saw that episode. Getting all the chocolate was kind of expensive, but it’s well worth it in the end.

There’s 4 different kinds of chocolate in these cookies, well 5 actually. We couldn’t find cocoa nibs at all so I just threw in some extra dark chocolate. I thought I wouldn’t like the bittersweet and dark chocolate together but I did. These were fantastic. If you’re craving chocolate or need something to make for your sweetie on Valentine’s day these will hit the spot. Who care’s if your on a diet right? Valentine’s day is the day to indulge, especially with chocolate! ;) If you’re wondering where to find the different kinds of chocolate we found them in the organic section of our grocery store.

On a side note, I tried making some Jamaican food tonight. It didn’t turn out quite like the chef’s did in the cooking class I attended. Something was missing and I’m pretty sure I put all the right stuff in there. I don’t even know what the recipe was called either. I’ll try making something easier that has a recipe for it. :) We were supposed to get it before we left for our trip home, but we never did.

This was supposed to be Johny cakes, which are Jamaican dumplings and a fish soup with onions, green onions, garlic, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, and coconut milk in it. I think maybe I should have used fresh thyme too because I just had dry in the house. The johny cakes were good but needed more salt.

Servings: 55
Calories 38.7 | Fat 2.0 g | Carbohydrate 4.9 g | Fiber 0.2 g | Protein 0.5 g
Points Plus: 1 per cookie

Ingredients:

6 ounces 54-percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces 40-percent milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces cocoa nibs

Directions

Place the 54-percent bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in a medium glass mixing bowl and microwave on high for two 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. If still not smooth heat for 10 additional seconds at a time and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to 90 degrees F, approximately 15 minutes.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together, transfer to a paper plate and set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined and looks like wet sand, about 2 minutes.

Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until integrated. Add the 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, 40-percent milk chocolate and the cocoa nibs and mix until combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop the dough using a 1 1/4-inch-diameter disher or ice cream scoop onto parchment-lined half-sheet pans, placing 2 inches apart, 12 cookies per pan. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. Do not over-bake; the cookies may look wet and doughy.

Cool the cookies on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer on the parchment paper to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Still looking for something to bring, to that last minute new year’s eve party? How bought some bacon wrapped shrimp? This is so easy to make all it requires is bacon, shrimp, and tooth picks. You can spice it up by adding some brown sugar on the bacon or some barbeque sauce. Someone on my facebook page told me that her dad marinades the shrimp and bacon in beer for awhile. Doesn’t that sound good?

I think if I were to do things differently the next time, I’d use thinly sliced bacon and larger pieces of shrimp. Thick cut bacon don’t work really well with medium sized shrimp and the bacon kind of over powered the shrimp. It still tasted good though. I served mine with some cocktail sauce. I calculated the nutrition info for these made with real bacon and turkey bacon.

What do you do on New Year’s Eve night? We don’t go out on New Year’s Eve, we stay in. We do however plan on making a gourmet-ish type dinner with lobster tails and steak. Last year, on New Year’s Eve Ben grilled some steak during a blizzard. Kind of crazy, since this year we don’t even have any snow on the ground yet. :)

(made with real bacon)

Calories 133.4 | 10.6 g | Carbohydrate 0.4 g | Fiber 0.0 g | Protein 8.3 g = 4 points Plus

(made with turkey bacon)
Calories 54.8 | Fat 3.1 g | Carbohydrate 0.4 g | Fiber 0.0 g | Protein 5.9 g = 1 points plus

Servings:  12

Ingredients

12 jumbo shrimp , 12-16 count per pound, peeled and deveined
12 slices thin bacon
kosher salt

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2.If your shrimp are not deveined when you buy them, use kitchen shears to cut down the back of the shrimp (the top or longer side) and remove the shell. You can leave the tail on or off, your preference (I remove it). With a pairing knife, slice into the shrimp along the backside and remove the vein if you see one.
3.Also do not forget to remove the second vein along the bottom of the shrimp! You won’t have to make a very deep cut there, just a slight score and you can scrape that smaller vein out. Note that if your shrimp did come deveined from the market, it will still have this smaller vein everytime so do remove it. Then rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
4.Lay a slice of bacon out on your cutting board and start wrapping the tail end of the shrimp at the small end of the bacon. As you tightly wrap, overlap each layer of the bacon until you get to the end. If you get to the end of the shrimp when you’re halfway through the bacon, you’re wrapping it too wide, try again.
5. I like to sprinkle a tiny bit of kosher salt on each side, but that is my preference.
6.Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. If you use a cast iron skillet, you won’t need any oil as the shrimp will not stick, otherwise add just enough to coat the bottom. Sear the shrimp on each side for maybe 30 seconds and then finish them in the oven for about 6-8 minutes.

 

 

Weight Watcher Recipes – Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Meringue cookies are hard for me to make for some reason. The last time I tried making them I used agave nectar and the cookies ended up being these soft sponge cookies. I’m thinking about trying some baked goods using agave nectar and did some research on baking with the sugar substitute. Turns out, meringue cookies are not a good cookie to make with agave nectar. Should have read up on agave nectar first before trying to work with it. Thought it was just like honey so I thought I didn’t need much. Oh well.

I even tried making macarons and I can never seem to get them right. I didn’t know that you could buy almond flour until I had watched some lady on the Cooking Channel make macarons and she made it look so easy. Wish I was that good at baking. Almond flour is really expensive and it’s about 13.99 a bag for Bob’s Red Mill brand at my grocery store. Macarons are not a cheap cookie that’s for sure.

So, I finally got my first batch of meringue cookies to turn out. Yay! Practice makes perfect I guess? I want to try making meringue cookies with Stevia instead of agave nectar and see if they turn out then. These have chocolate chips in them and are 1 points plus a piece.

Don’t know if this is exactly how it’s supposed to look, but it turned out.

 

Points Plus: 1

Servings 24

Ingredients from Weight Watchers

1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 tsp all-purpose flour
4 large egg white(s)
1 cup(s) sugar
1/2 cup(s) mini chocolate chips, semi-sweet
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200ºF.

Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray; coat with a light dusting of flour and shake off excess.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form; gently fold in chocolate and vanilla extract.

Drop mixture by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart, making 24 cookies.

Bake until lightly golden and no longer sticky on the surface, about 1 hour. Turn oven off and let cookies sit in oven for 1 hour. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.