Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Healthy Pasta Salad

Hey everyone! It has certainly been a LOOONNNNGGG while! Life has been busy lately and I didn't have time to blog. But I realized recently how much I missed it. It's therapeutic and I enjoy recording the bits and pieces of my life. I'm still happily married with 2 {spoiled} little pups! I'm still working as a NICU nurse and I'm actually almost finished obtaining my bachelor's degree (WOOOO!). My best friend is having a sweet baby boy ANY DAY NOW and I'm so excited! I'm hoping to be able to update this blog more often so be looking for new stuff coming soon!

Now... on to the good stuff. My friend and I are trying to eat better and lose a little weight before a cruise we are taking in September. Eating healthy is hard for me because I would much rather eat the unhealthy stuff. So I get really excited when I find a good, healthy recipe that I actually enjoy. Anyways... last week, I ate lunch at my friend's house and she made this pasta salad and it was SO. GOOD. I knew I had to make it again so that's what I did today. And what's so great about it is that it actually is really good for you. It's made with brown rice pasta (so gluten-free!) and contains lots of veggies.



It's so pretty and colorful! And it tastes so amazing. It's crisp and fresh, with a slight tanginess that stays on your tongue. You could serve this at a picnic or pot-luck lunch and no one would ever know it was so healthy!



I served it for lunch today with THESE Portabella Veggie Burgers over at The Kitchen Whisperer. They're seriously one of my new favorite things. And I normally hate mushrooms but I could eat these burgers all day long!

If you try it out, let me know what you think in the comments! There's so many possibilities and you can customize it to what you like... I think it would be good with squash, corn, olives... the possibilities are endless!

Healthy Pasta Salad

makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup brown rice pasta
  • 1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 12 marinated asparagus stalks, diced
  • 4 tbsp lite balsamic vinaigrette
  • olive oil spray


Instructions:

Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile, add zucchini and onions to a skillet and spray with olive oil spray. Cook until tender, allow to cool. Drain pasta, allow to cool. Toss all ingredients. You can serve it warm or place it in the refrigerator until chilled. Enjoy!





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

4th of July Breakfast

I love breakfast. Specifically I love pancakes. And bacon. Because BACON.
Today I want to share with you how you can make your own 4th of July Pancakes and Smoothies!


I recently guest posted this over at Sugar Bee Crafts and this is the recipe I shared. When I first was thinking about what I wanted to share as my post, I asked a few friends for ideas (I needed a red, white, and blue theme). And everyone gave me the same ideas that have been done over and over... burgers, BBQ, etc. But then I thought to myself, "You know what hasn't been really done? BREAKFAST!" Why not start celebrating our country's freedom with the most important meal of the day?

Let's start with the pancakes!

You'll need the following ingredients:
-prepared pancake batter- use pancake mix or make it from scratch {try this recipe}
-fresh strawberries and blueberries
-white chocolate chips
-pancake syrup

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First, get your pancake mix prepared in a bowl. I'm all for saving time so I used Bisquick but feel free to use your favorite pancake recipe! I made a 1 and a 1/2 batch of mix (enough for 21 pancakes) since I was cooking for several people.

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Next, you'll want to prepare your fruit. Simply wash your blueberries and remove any stems. Try really hard not to eat the blueberries. You'll need about 1 cup.

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Wash your strawberries and dice them up. You'll need 1 cup of diced strawberries.
They smelled HEAVENLY while I was chopping them up! I may or may not have eaten a few strawberries in the process. No shame here. 

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Add the blueberries, straweberries, and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (or more if you want!) to your pancake batter.

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Carefully laddle your batter onto a heated griddle and cook for a few minutes then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

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And here you go! Red, White, and Blue Pancakes!

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Talk about delicious! It's all my favorite things, tucked in to a pancake!

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Now on to the smoothies!

You'll need:
 4 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water

Toss all of these ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth! You can adjust the ratio of apple juice and water if you want it more or less sweet.

I added a few drops of blue food coloring to make it a little more blue colored. Originally I had planned to layer the smoothies with a strawberry layer, a banana layer, and a blueberry layer but it didn't quite work out the way I wanted so I just blended it all up together.

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This smoothie is so good! Want to add more nutrition? Add some kale to it! It still tastes DELICIOUS and can squeeze in some veggies for those picky eaters!

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So there you have it! A patriotic themed breakfast to start out your 4th of July!
 It was a big hit with all my friends and they enjoyed being my guinea pigs for this project!

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I hope you enjoyed this post!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

My husband loves chicken sandwiches. Grilled, crispy, it doesn't matter. Just put some chicken between 2 buns and he's happy.

Usually the only chicken sandwiches I make are the premade breaded ones. But recently I decided to make homemade grilled chicken sandwiches. And let me tell you... it was a huge success!


What you'll need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins per sandwich
salt and pepper to season
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried minced garlic


Pound chicken thin and season both sides with salt and pepper.


Mix remaining ingredients together to make a basting mixture.


Baste the top of the chicken and place it basted side down on George Foreman grill.


Baste the top of the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.


Serve on a kaiser roll (or bread of your choice).


These sandwiches are very moist and full of flavor!


 The first time I made these, the husband devoured it and told me I could made this every week! That's a big complement from him since he normally is a picky eater.





Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins per sandwich
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried minced garlic


Instructions:
  1. Pound chicken thin and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together to make a basting mixture.
  3. Baste the top of the chicken and place it basted side down on George Foreman grill.
  4. Baste the top of the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Serve on a kaiser roll (or bread of your choice).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta

Today I'm going to share with you a recipe that will change your life!
Seriously.
This recipe for Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta is mind-blowing delicious.
And very easy to make!


What you'll need:
1 cup of pasta (I used penne)
3 chicken tenderloins
1 tbsp oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
4 oz cream cheese
1 packet (or 2 tbsp) of taco seasoning
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded cheese


Boil the pasta according to package directions.


Cook the chicken in the oil in a large pan (you'll use the pan to cook everything in later).


Remove chicken to the side and shred. Want to shred your chicken in 30 seconds or less? Toss it it a mixing bowl and use your hand mixer to quickly shred the chicken. It's a lifesaver!

Add black beans, corn, and cream cheese to skillet. Stir until cream cheese is melted.


Add in taco seasoning and chicken. Stir well.


Add cooked pasta and shredded cheese. Stir well and serve.


  Doesn't this look delicious?!?
 Both the husband and I went back for seconds. There wasn't a single bite left!


 Mmmmmmm!


It's sure to be a hit with your family! If you try it, let me know what you think!




Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta

makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of pasta (I used penne)
  • 3 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 packet (or 2 tbsp) of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese


Instructions:
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Cook the chicken in the oil in a large pan (you'll use the pan to cook everything in later).
  3. Remove chicken to the side and shred. Want to shred your chicken in 30 seconds or less? Toss it it a mixing bowl and use your hand mixer to quickly shred the chicken. It's a lifesaver!
  4. Add black beans, corn, and cream cheese to skillet. Stir until cream cheese is melted.
  5. Add in taco seasoning and chicken. Stir well.
  6. Add cooked pasta and shredded cheese. Stir well and serve.










Wednesday, May 13, 2015

8 Cleaning Hacks for Your Kitchen

This past week I began the dreaded task of cleaning my kitchen.
And I don't just mean cleaning my kitchen but CLEANING my kitchen.
You all know what I mean.
Deep scrubbing.
Reorganizing.
Decluttering.
The WORKS.

And I've come across a few AMAZING cleaning hacks that I wanted to share with you.
You've probably heard of some of them.
But maybe there's a few that can help you jump start your kitchen deep clean.
And all of them contain at least one of my new best friends...
Baking Soda & Vinegar.
We're besties now.
They help me clean EVERYTHING!



The dishwasher.
More precisely, cleaning the dishwasher.
Ew.
This tutorial over at One Good Thing by Jillie was a LIFESAVER.
I will confess that I made my husband clean the gunk trap.
I just can't even.
But it was so easy and definitely freshened up my dishwasher!




I can't tell you how many times I have cleaned my cooktop with this next method.
You can find it over at Tidy Mom.
Can you hear the hallelujah chorus?
Cause this is WONDERFUL and makes my cooktop SHINE!
It really helps get that caked on stuff off from when your chicken boils over.
{Which I do on a weekly basis.}




Here's another method for cleaning your cooktop over at A Step in the Journey.
I haven't tried this one yet but it looks promising!
And it includes my new BFF Vinegar.
There's also a tutorial for an easy way to clean your microwave!
Yes please!




Do your dish towels need a freshening up?
Or even your bath towels too?
Fear not because Vinegar and Baking Soda are here to rescue them!
Check out this how to over at Classy Clutter.
I tried this on my bath towels and it really worked!
I was a little hesitant at first because Vinegar and I were just getting to know each other.
But it didn't fail me! 
My towels smell so much better!




Now you can't neglect your kitchen sink when deep cleaning.
It needs some TLC too.
And that's where this guide over at Spend With Pennies comes in handy.
So simple.
Yet so effective.
Your sink will shine!




Oh kitchen cabinets.
How do you get so grimy?
I'll be using this cleaning hack over at Pinching Your Pennies to tackle those bad boys.
Simple and easy.
And uses stuff I already have!




*sigh*
The oven.
And I've got double the trouble since I have a double oven.
Oh, get the double oven- you can cook twice the stuff.
More like you can make twice the mess.
Seriously, how does it get so gross up in there?
Anyways, I'll be forced to face them soon.
And I'll be using this tutorial from Made From Pinterest to help me!
Just check out this before and after!



And lastly.
The fridge.
Can there be a cleaning fairy that can magically clean this for me?
No?
Are you sure?
Fine.
Cleaning the fridge is the worst.
But I really think these tips over at All She Cooks can make the experience a little less painful.
Vinegar hasn't failed me yet so I have high hopes!




Ok there you have it!
8 kitchen cleaning hacks to make your life a little easier.
And it's cheap.
So that's always nice!

Do you have any kitchen cleaning hacks?
Let me know in the comments!

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest by clicking HERE!
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