Mexi Mac n Cheese

I love mac ‘n’ cheese.

Well pretty much anything with cheese and you can sign me up :)

But unfortunately most mac ‘n’ cheese is not very diet-friendly.

We are talking butter, lots of lovely butter, add to that a ton of cheese, buttery breadcrumbs and bake it until everything is melty, gooey and ahhmazing.

Doesn’t that sound lovely?

But unfortunately just thinking about it and I went up in pants-size.

But this mac ‘n’ cheese is actually pretty light.

It’s still as fab as the full-fat version except you won’t want to run on the treadmill for an hour afterwards.

And it has a slight spicy kick that I definitely appreciate! As you might know I love anything and everything spicy :)

Mexi Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups macaroni shells
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Rinse the shells under cold water for a second.
  2. In a saucepan combine the milk, shells and butter.
  3. Bring to a medium heat, but not a boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Once reached medium heat, turn to low and cook stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened and the pasta is cooked al dente.
  5. Turn the heat off and add the cheese and taco seasoning.
  6. Stir until cheese is melted and serve :)

Source:

Cheddar Steak Quesadilla

One of my guilty pleasures is Taco Bell’s steak quesadilla.

I love it. I don’t care if it’s not real meat and how it has a thousand calories. I just love it.

But since it’s horrible for my diet, I decided to make a lighter version to satisfy my cravings.

There’s 3 reasons why I love their steak quesadillas:

1) Steak. Love it. Can eat it every day and could never be a vegetarian.

2) Cheese. Melted. Gloriuos cheese.

3) Their mild sauce. Perfect in this. Just perfect!

So for my steak quesadillas I used lean beef filet, low-fat cheddar and for the sauce a simple fry sauce (lite mayo+ketchup+a pinch of cayenne) and well it turned out ahhmazing! For the tortillas I found 100 calories whole wheat tortillas in the store and they worked and tasted great!

So if you’re craving some quesadillas but don’t want to ruin your diet, go ahead and make these I promise they’re just as good!

And did I mention they take 20mins to make? Yep, do it.

Cheddar Steak Quesadillas

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean beef filet
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar, shredded
  • 4 whole wheat 100 calorie tortillas
  • 3 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Spray a heavy skillet with cooking spray and heat up over high heat.
  2. Season the steak with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet.
  3. Cook on each side until browned and rare to medium-rare.
  4. Let rest on a cutting board for 10mins. Slice thin.
  5. In a small bowl combine the mayo, ketchup and cayenne.
  6. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.
  7. On half of the tortilla spread 1 tbsp of mayo spread, top with sliced steak and 1/4 cheese. Fold over. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  8. Cook the quesadilla in the preheated skillet until golden brown on both side and the cheese melts.
  9. Slice and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Today it’s all about burgers.

Chicken Burgers that is!

But not dry and bland chicken burgers, that’s booring!

Moist, delicious, slightly spicy chicken burgers! Add some BBQ sauce and some cheddar and you have probably the yummiest chicken burger there is!

Yum! Now I’m not saying that these burgers are better than beef because well that’s really not possible, but they are wonderful in their own way and definitely a great leaner, healthier alternative :) A great change from the ordinary!

And even my beef-loving husband really enjoyed them! He loves anything BBQ really so I knew it would win him over! ;)

The only thing that was missing for me was bacon because let’s face it bacon makes the world a better place but hey for a hot beach bod sometimes you have to make sacrifices :)

Jalapeno Cheddar BBQ Chicken Burgers

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 4 slices super thin cheddar (45calories)
  • 4 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • burger buns*
  • pickles*
  • light mayo*

Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine the chicken, egg, panko, bread crumbs oregano, jalapeno, salt, pepper and garlic salt.
  2. Mix until everything is incorporated and shape into 4 burger patties. Do not overmix.
  3. Grill until the burgers are cooked through.
  4. Melt the cheese on the burgers.
  5. Top each burger with 1 tbsp BBQ sauce.
  6. Serve on burger buns lightly coated with light mayo and pickles.

*Nutrition Facts do not include this items.

Ohmygosh you guys.

You know what I just realized? It’s been a year since I started this little blog.

A whole year! How time flys!

During the year, I had a lot of successes and just as many if not more failures.

I have spilled more flour on my counters than you can imagine, have become a professional dishwasher, burnt myself countless times and have become much more confident in the kitchen.

So what are my faves of the past year you might ask? Well that’s really hard to answer….

Here are my top 10 recipes of the year!

10. These are cute and totally fab, yet soo easy to make :) Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

9. : I’m a meat and potato kind of girl so steak is one of my fave meals. And creole spice? Deelish! Over pasta- Yes, please :) Fancy and easy dinner, perfect for a stay-at-home date night :)

8. No-Bake Dark Chocolate Biscoff Pie: Probably Mr. Picky’s favorite dessert :) Oh-soo-good! Dark chocolate and Biscoff – ahhmazing combination! And no-bake! Win-win!

7. Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs: Umm that says it all. Cheese. Meatballs. I’m done here.

6. Chocolate Lover’s Cupcakes: So I think it’s a very well-known fact that I am a chocolate addict. So when I saw this recipe on my favorite food blog I had to make it right away! These cupcakes totally satisfy all my chocolate cravings :) They are rich, decadent, a chocolate overdose and a party in my mouth all at the same time! Thanks Jessica for creating this fabulous recipe :) !

5.This is what got me into cooking! A long time ago, when me and the hubs were still dating there was an Italian girl in the picture too. Well he claimed that she made the best lasagna ever and so of course, challenge accepted, I had to beat it. So I did some research and came up with this recipe. I’ve made it in the old-fashioned layered way and in the rolls-form and although they’re equally tasty, I personally prefer the rolls better! I love how easy it is to serve and absolutely adore the individual servings :) And since I got the man, I think I won the lasagna war ;)

4. BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes: In our house, we live, eat, breathe BBQ. Totally obsessed. Super easy and super yummy!

3. Caramel Apple Stuffed French Toast: Not the prettiest picture, I know. But boy is this good! Once I discovered it, I made it every day for a week straight and it did not get old. My favorite fall breakfast by far! Easy, sumptuous and if you have guests for brunch they will be soo impressed I promise!

2. : To. Die. For. One of my first posts on this blog and definitely one of my faves. My go-to super quick and delicious dinner that totally satisfies. Cheese. Bacon. Garlic. Cream cheese. Lemon. What’s not to love???

1. Chocoholics Cheesecake: Mind-shattering delicious! Heaven on Earth! Seriously! I couldn’t get enough of this! It was my first time venturing into the real baked cheesecake thing and I went in kind of terrified. And oh gosh how wonderful it turned out!!! Definitely would make over, and over, and over again! My favorite of the year! :)

Taco pizza.

In less than 20mins.

With basic, affordable ingredients.

And sort of light.

What’s not to love!?

So you’ve probably noticed that lately I’ve been trying to lighten up everything I’ve been eating?! And well I have.

I few weeks ago I blogged aabout trying to eat healthier and that’s precisely what I’ve been doing! I’m still indulging in my dessert but I try to balance it out by eating a lot of healthy stuff during the day. So when I sawon Pinterest I had to make it right away.

And try to make it lighter without sacrificing flavor.

So I swapped out the ground beef for lean ground turkey, for the crust I used light crescent rolls, I also used no fat refried beans, part skim cheddar cheese…

The end result was fa-bu-lous!

The crust it light, yet crispy, the ground turkey is packed with flavor, yet not too spicy and the tomatoes add a nice sweetness to balance it all. Just a great, easy, weeknight dinner that will delight your family! :)

Lighter Taco Pizza

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz lean ground turkey
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2 cans light crescent rolls
  • 1 16oz can no fat refried beans
  • 2 cups park skim cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives, more of less to taste
  • chopped cilantro and sour cream for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 375F.

Unroll the crescent rolls into triangles. In a jelly roll pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray, press the crescent dough to cover the bottom of the pan. With your fingers go around the edge to form a thin crust. Bake for 11-13 mins or until golden brown.

In a saute pan over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of EVOO. Add the ground turkey and brown the meat, breaking it up as you go. Add the taco seasoning.

Place the refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1min. Stir.

Once the crust is done baking, spread the refried beans all over it. Add the seasoned ground turkey on top, the shredded cheese, tomatoes and black olives. Bake for another 3-5mins or until the cheese is melted. Serve with chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Adapted from:

This is one of the side dishes I made for Thanksgiving :)

Thanks Nicole for the beautiful baking dish :)

But you can enjoy it any day of the year!

It involves some of my favorite things: potatoes, butter, bacon, cream cheese and cheddar…

One of my favorite side dishes :)

And it couldn’t be easier to make!

And it’s a crowd pleaser- I mean is there anyone out there who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? I think not!

Baked Mashed Potatoes

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions: Put the cubed potatoes in a pot and cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook until fork-tender (10-15mins).

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a saucepan, combine the milk and butter and cook over medium heat until the butter is completely melted.

Drain the potatoes and mash in a bowl. Slowly add the butter mixture and stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese and let it melt. Stir in the garlic powder. Taste and add seasoning accordingly. Pour the potatoes in a cooking spray sprayed baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Top with crumbled bacon.

Bake for 30mins and serve immediately.

 

Easy Ham and Cheddar Omelet

More breakfast food :)

Omelets are great when you want a delicious and a little fancy breakfast, but are short on time.

They are super easy to make, you can get creative with the toppings and if you’re trying to watch your diet you can even make them healthy :)

Some of my favorite toppings are bacon, tomatoes, steak, salsa, mushrooms, spinach and parmesan. But you can use whatever you want!

So we should be moving into our house next weekend! I can’t wait!

Right now we are pretty much living out of boxes….

and since we bought new furniture already and have nowhere to put it

it’s just sitting randomly in the middle of the living room, it’s like a obsticle course…

Our apartment looks more like showroom then a home!

And I should really start packing all my kitchen stuff…

all the random appliances I use once a year but I just gotta have.

And all my spices and canned goods.

And all my baking supplies…

ahhh!

Wish me luck :)

Easy Ham and Cheddar Omelet

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
  • salt and pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • cubed ham
  • about 2 tbsp butter
  • chopped green onions

Directions: In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk some salt and pepper. Give it a good whisk, you want to incorporate a lot of air into the eggs so whisk, whisk, whisk!

In a nonstick pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When hot, pour in the egg mixture. Don’t stir!!! Just let it cook for about 90 secs, you will notice the bottom starting to set.

Using a spatula, lift one side of the omelet, tilt the pan and let all the liquid egg to go to the bottom. Repeat with the other side of the omelet until there’s no liquid left.

With a spatula, loosen the omelet and make sure it hasn’t stuck to the pan. Now with the help of a spatula, flip the omelet.

Don’t be intimated of the flipping, just take a deep breath and quickly flip it!

Put some shredded cheese and ham in the center of the omelet in a straight line.

With the spatula, fold the omelet over to cover the filling.

Turn the heat down to low, top the omelet with some more shredded cheese, cover and let the cheese melt.

Serve with chopped green onions.

 

Awesome Ham and Potato Soup to Welcome Fall


Alright so I might be a bit early,

but I love fall!!!

As much as I love summer, I am absolutely sick of it and ready for the colder weather, comfy clothes, rainy days and soup :)

And I don’t have to worry about fitting in a bikini so that’s definitely a plus!

And I am finally allowed to eat soup. Without feeling like a complete weirdo! I mean cmon soup in the middle of summer? When It’s 110F outside?

Yes, I love me some good soup.

It’s comforting, easy-peasy to make, only 1 pot needed! and super tasty :)

And this soup definitely does not disappoint!

It’s light yet creamy, packed with ham, potatoes, a little cheese and some veggies!

The perfect soup for fall (or summer)!

Ham and Potato Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup ham, cubed
  • 4 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

In a dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the oil. When hot (but not smoking) add the onions. Cook for 3 mins. Add the garlic and celery and cook for another 2 mins. Add the ham, potatoes, broth and crushed bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15mins.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 1 min. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, breaking up any lumps.

Add the milk mixture to the potato soup and stir to combine. Cook for 20mins.

Add the peas and cook for 5 mins.

Turn the heat off and add the cheese. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with toasted bread and extra cheese sprinkled on top.