I’m not sure where this “bug” came from, down the aisle (Leslie…Corneliu perhaps) or by my innocent cubical neighbor (Hobbs) however the office bug is out and about attacking weak immune systems.
We have to make sure that we give our bodies a fighting chance and with that said I present my coworkers with a great bug fighting soup for the soul.
Do me a favor, make this and eat it so you wont make me sick again 🙂
Soup for the Soul and for my health:
1 large carrot
1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked
1 tbsp olive oil
1 med onion
1 med zucchini
2 garlic gloves
1 vegetable bouillon cube + 7 Cups water ( or 7 cups veggie broth)
1 can 15oz diced tomatoes
1 can 15 oz reduced sodium black beans, drained
curry powder to taste, I like a lot
pinch or two of cinnamon
2 cups spinach or kale
salt and pepper
Pinch of saffron
Start by heating up the veggie broth. Peeling and chopping the carrot, chop veggies and garlic, add to pot and bring to a boil.
Add pretty much everything to the pot except the quinoa, spinach and saffron. After about 20 minutes of simmering add quinoa, spinach and saffron. Cook for about 15 to 20 more mins.
Pretty simple, thats it!!!!!
Enjoy with a crusty piece of french bread and a big glass of water, maybe even a vitamin C for desert – McKenna
Oh this Mac and Cheese recipe is a must try especially if you are trying to add more veggies in your diet without feeling like you are eating salad every day. Today we are thickening our cheese mixture with butternut squash and Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream or butter.
Ok lets get started:
1 small butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 1/4 cup fat free reduced sodium (organic if possible) Chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1 1/2 cups fat free organic milk (or soy milk)
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
Boil the above ingredients for about 25 mins and then blend with an immersion blender or high speed blender but be careful because the mixture will be hot.
Add 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (or fat free sour cream) and 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice.
Add 1 pound under cooked pasta of your choice to the cheese mixture, I used shells.
Spray/oil your large casserole dish and pour in the goodness. Cover with panko bread crumbs (try not to used the seasoned panko because of the sodium levels. Add your own Italian herb blend to jazz it up )
Cover and cook at 375 for 30-45 mins.
This makes a ton of pasta, enough for a large crowd. I re-used the pasta throughout the week by adding a can of rotel to a portion of the pasta. Another night I added different veggies like olives, broccoli, tomatoes and sausage…you know get crazy…
Enjoy with MGD 65 🙂 after all this meal is about light indulgences – McKenna
Most nights I really like to get fancy in the kitchen and end up using a thousand ingredients and a million dishes but then there are other nights when I really just want something easy and fast. I find the meals with minimal ingredients and few dishes seem to taste the best.
I was flipping through a magazine the other night and came across a recipe for enchiladas and I’ve been thinking about it so much that I finally had to make them last night and they were incredible!!!
Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 jar Salsa I used Pace Picante Sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 cups cooked chicken
1/2 cup cheese, I used shredded Monterey Jack
6-8 flour tortillas
For toppers ( Mix the below in a bowl and set aside until the enchiladas come out of the oven)
Diced red onion
chopped green onion
salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
splash of lemon or lime juice
Ok so lets get started!
I started by poaching the chicken in white wine and chicken broth but water would work as well. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the can of cream of chicken, salsa, sour cream and chili powder. Shred the cheese and set aside.
Once the chicken is cooked and cooled, shred or chop into small pieces. Add the cheese and about a cup of the sauce. Warm the tortillas up for a few seconds in the microwave so they fold with out breaking.
Its very important to spray or oil your dish before you add the enchiladas. So do that now….
Fill the tortillas with the chicken and cheese mixture placing the seem side down. Make between 6-8 depending on how much you stuff each one. Then top with the rest of the sauce and cover. Cook about 40 mins and then remove the cover and cook for 5-10 more mins.
Top the enchiladas with the toppers and enjoy with a big margarita or a Mexican beer – McKenna
And can you believe this is made with TOFU instead of the ricotta filing which is normally in lasagna.
Recipe adapted from http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/stuffed-shells/
For the cheezy mixture:
1 package 16oz extra firm tofu, drained
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Blend all of the above ingredients in a food processor or blender until it resembles ricotta cheese. Then mix in the spinach.
10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess liquid
Stir in 1/2 tbsp dried basil into your choice tomato sauce
Layer a spoon of tomato sauce on the bottom of the 9 x 13 casserole dish. Place the first layer of the lasagna noodles on the bottom and spoon on some of the cheezy spinach mixture. Continue layering with the cheeze and sauce.
Cover and cook at 350 for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve with a side of warmed Italian bread and enjoy with a nice glass of wine – McKenna
When I read the recipe for the creamy mushroom sauce I knew I had to make this ASAP. J and I love flank steak and usually always have some in the freezer for an easy meal. We are constantly trying to do new things with it. If you love steak and mushrooms, you will LOVE this recipe and you should make it tonight for dinner. This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light 2008.
1 package gourmet mushrooms (in produce section, any mushrooms would do)
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup sliced shallots
2 tsp Dijon mustard (add more to your taste)
1 tbl white wine
1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup water
1 Lb flank steak
Salt and pepper the room temp steak and grill on med high heat for about 5 to 6 mins on both sides depending on the thickness of the steak.
While the steak is on the grill sauté the shallots for about two mins and then add the mushrooms. Cook until tender.
Flip the steak
Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. In a small bowl whisk Dijon, water and worcestershire and add to the pan. Let reduce.
Take the steak off of the grill and let sit for about 10 mins! This is critical for juicy steak. You have to let it sit.
Add the sour cream to the mushrooms and add salt and pepper if desired.
Slice the flank steak against the grain into long strips and cover with creamy mushroom sauce!!
I served with broccoli and a spinach salad.
On Friday my friend Natalie showed me a blog post for chicken burgers with spinach and feta and I couldn’t stop thinking about it because it looked so good. When I was a Publix picking something up for dinner last night I knew I had to pick up the ingredients to make the burgers for lunch. I picked up some ground turkey instead of chicken, just because 🙂 .
1lb ground turkey
1/4 to 1/3 cup feta cheese ( I used the garlic and herb flavor)
1/2 cup defrosted spinach (squeezed of liquid)
salt and pepper.
Combined all ingredients and form into 4 patties. Heat a skillet to med high heat and spray with oil. Place the burgers in the skillet and saute for a few minutes on each side to brown and then cover. These burgers need to cook completely!!! very important. Slice into the thickest part of the burger to check if ready.
I toasted the buns, added a slice of tomato and fresh spinach. Mayo and ketchup.
If you love tofu, or even if you are a tofu beginner, this recipe is a MUST try!!! I fell in love with the easy and tasty meal. I have to start out with introducing some key ingredients that can transcend throughout every day meals. These three ingredients are:
2. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3. Sambal Oelek
Many recipes call for fresh ginger. For some reason, I just cannot use a large fresh piece of ginger before it goes bad. I have tried freezing it to keep it fresh like many chefs have advised however the constancy just is not the same once defrosted. I find that ginger paste works as the best alternative to dried ground ginger.
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a vegetarian protein and has 16 essential amino acids with far less sodium than soy sauce. This is a great alternative to soy sauce and it taste just like it!!. If you are about to add some soy sauce to a stir fry or to your pan of veggies, go for Bragg’s.
Sambal Oelek is one of my favorite finds ever! Sambal Oelek is a chili paste and is found in many Asian and Indian dishes. I love spicy food and the taste is great. Be warned though, just the right amount of the chili paste is perfect but you may need a few glasses of milk if you add a little too much.
I made this easy 1, 2, 3, 4! tofu dish for dinner tonight and my left overs are coming with me tomorrow for lunch!
Easy 1,2,3,4! Tofu stir fry.
1 tsp ginger paste (or fresh grated ginger)
2 tsp sesame oil (or peanut or canola oil)
3 tsp honey (local honey helps with allergies)
4 tsp Bragg’s Amino Acids (or reduced sodium soy sauce)
1 14oz firm tofu
1 cup brown rice (cook according to package directions)
(Any chopped veggies would work. I bought a pre-chopped veggie stir fry mix for an easy dinner) I recommend:
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini and yellow squash
Start by draining the tofu and place on paper towels to get out the excess liquid. Slice, cube or chop the tofu into which ever shapes you’d like. Combined the first 4 ingredients and whisk, set aside about 1 to 1 1/2 tbls sauce. Add the rest of the sauce to the tofu. Once coated, broil on low in the oven until crisp.
while the tofu is in the oven, add all of the veggies to the pan and saute until tender. Then add the remaining 1 to 1 1/2 tbls sauce.
Add the rice to the saute pan and incorporate to have the rice soak up all of the good sauce.
Plate and enjoy!
As a kid I always loved having breakfast food for dinner. I always thought it was special and fun. My father worked the night shift so when i visited him, his breakfast was my dinner. He would always whip me up scrambled egg whites and whole wheat toast. (health nut and exercise enthusiast) I remember that he always added a little ketchup on top of his eggs. I always thought this was weird but if you think about, egg whites do not have a lot of flavor. Sometimes I catch myself adding ketchup to my eggs here or there and it reminds me of our late night breakfasts.
In college it was cheap and easy to scramble up some eggs or eat cereal for every meal. Now that I am out of school, I think my breakfast dinners should be slightly more refine but still cheap, fast and easy.
I stumbled across great flavorful sausage and grits recipe. This recipe was slightly adapted from Cooking light 2008.
McKenna’s cheesy grits with breakfast sausage and spinach.
1 package reduced fat Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage
1 small onion chopped
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1 bad spinach
Pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 cup of instant grits
1 cup 1% organic milk
1 cup reduced sodium organic chicken broth (or water)
Start by browning the sausage. After most of the sausage is fully cooked, add onions and green pepper. Cook until tender. Pinch of salt/ dash of pepper.
Add the bag of spinach to the pan. This might look like a lot but it wilts down. This took me a few batches to get all of the greens in. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Bring the milk/ chicken broth to a boil and add the grits. Stir to incorporate. Reduce heat and lightly summer for five minutes.
Stir in reduced fat cheddar cheese to the grits.
Layer the sausage mixture on top of the grits. I would suggest adding a fried egg on top of the sausage mixture! I would have but hey it was Monday night and I was lazy 😉
I think I have found a new favorite go to week night recipe! For a few weeks now I have been craving red beans and rice with a nice spicy Cajun flare and boy did this satisfy my craving. This meal took me a max of 30 minutes to complete and it was full of flavor. I worked in a Cajun restaurant a couple years back and I never craved red beans and rice but I for some reason recently I absolutely needed it. I lucked out when the turkey kielbasa was on sale and I just found a coupon in the mail today for it again…must be fate.
A healthy and fast McKenna version of red beans and rice with turkey Kielbasa
(No extra oil or salt)
1 Turkey Kielbasa cut on a diagnol
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can original Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
1 tbl brown sugar
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
1 can red kidney beans with half of the liquid from the can
2 bags of white boil in a bag rice or instant rice
Corn Starch or Wondra
Start by slicing the kielbasa and add to a heated non stick pan sprayed with a little Pam.
Chop onions and bell peppers and add to pan after the kielbasa has a nice brown (about 5 min)
Then add the can of Rotel and heat through. If you don’t like the heat, add a can of regular diced tomatoes. I wanted the heat but I still wanted to taste all of the great flavors so I added a tablespoon of brown sugar. This is completely optional but I thought it was a nice complement and balanced out the heat.
Add the seasoning (Thyme, Oregano, Paprika) and the can of beans and lightly simmer.
Add the rice to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes (its usually 10 min rice but follow the directions of the rice you are using)
When you put the rice in, sprinkle the sausage/bean mixture with the corn starch or Wondra to thicken up. (stir and add to you desire of thickness)
Everything should be done around the same time.
Place the rice on the bottom of the plate and top with sausage and beans!!!!! MMMmm I enjoyed 🙂
I hope you make this soon!!!