Monthly Archives: September 2017

Stuffed Meatloaf with a Bacon Blanket

It’s a beautifully Saturday here.  I’m loving this amazing weather.  This morning I went to get some groceries to do some cooking this weekend and then met up with a friend.  We grabbed a quick breakfast and went to a craft fair at our old high school.  It was a fall craft fair with so many things.  It made me feel optimistic that maybe the fall weather will stay past this weekend but I don’t think that’s the case after my Alexa read me the 10 day forecast.  Oh well! Today it feels a little like fall and I decided to make a comfort food for dinner.

I made a meatloaf with a bacon blanket.  Sounds like heaven right??  I never have been a fan of meatloaf, honestly.  It always seemed like an odd concept.  You mix together ground meat some other ingredients and form it into a loaf and bake it.  Doesn’t really sound super appealing.  However, over the years I’ve learned to tweak it and make it how I like it.  Now I don’t think of it as just a lump of baked meat.

I made the meatloaf today with a mixture of ground beef and ground turkey.  When I’m trying to keep it healthier I usually opt to go with all ground turkey.  I haven’t used ground beef in a while and decided I’d use that today.

Once I made the meatloaf I covered it up in a bacon “blanket”  if you will.  Just last week I tried the woven bacon for my BLTs so today I did the same thing on a larger scale.  It came out pretty well. I’m not sure I’ll ever make bacon any other way again.  I hope you enjoy this dish.  (Btw, can we change the name from meatloaf to something more appetizing?  I’m not sure what, but I’ll start brainstorming.  You do the same and report back. 🙂 )

Stuffed Meatloaf with a Bacon Blanket

MeatLoaf

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, seasoned
2 eggs
10 oz mozzarella cheese
3 T Worcestershire
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T Onion Powder
2 t oregano
2 t parsley
1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/2 cup tomato sauce, no salt
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper

Bacon:
1 lb bacon

Glaze:
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 T Worcestershire
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T honey
1 T ketchup

Directions: Mix all ingredients above for the glaze in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Make 1 lb of bacon in the oven.  I made mine woven. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, it will be under cooked. If you just cook regular slices of bacon, watch the time because it may not take as long.  You want it to still be flexible when you remove it.

Add all above ingredients for the meatloaf  to a large bowl minus the mozzarella.  Mix it very well.  Form into 2 even loafs.  I do measure out the meat to make sure it’s as even as possible. You don’t have to do this but it’s just a good way to make sure the meat is evenly divided. Once you make the loafs remove the top section of the meat and add in 5 oz of mozzarella to each and then add the top back and reform the loaf.  Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Then remove meatloaf and add the glaze, recipe below.  Put back in oven for 10 minutes.

After remove from oven then top with the partially cooked woven bacon.  I just lay the bacon over the top. You can make more bacon and wrap the meatloaf fully.  However, remember the bottom of the bacon won’t crisp up and will remain soggy.  This is why I just lay the woven bacon on the top.  Then place back in the oven for 10 minutes.  Your meatloaf may take longer to cook. I made mine a little smaller  in width so they cooked quicker.  Remove from the oven and cut with a serrated knife to make sure the bacon stays in place.  Enjoy!

Note:   You may want to use 2 different pans to make the meatloaf.  Once it’s baked it will produce some fat so before you put back in the oven with the glaze and bacon I’d change to a new pan.  This is why I use disposable pans.  I may double the glaze next time. Also, if you bacon comes off when you cut the meatloaf just top on top of your slices.  One of my pieces the bacon came off and that’s what I did.  Tasted just as good.  This makes 2 meatloaf.  You can just add the bacon to 1 of them and freeze the other one just don’t add the bacon.

 

wp-image-1280339093

Finished!

wp-image-795075475

Woven Bacon

wp-image-161157127

Baked loafs prior to glaze

wp-image-1298331904

After adding the glaze

.

wp-image-646013575

Baked after glazed

Advertisements

Mediterranean Chicken Bowl Meal Prep

Meal prepping although may be tedious can really make your life easier.  It will keep you focused and makes life so much easier.  Take a few hours this weekend to make some amazing dishes to have throughout the week.  The key to making meal prep successful is making sure you do what you know.

You don’t need to make a chicken dish with 72 ingredients that takes hours to prepare.  Just so something simple.  Marinade chicken and toss on the grill or in the crock-pot.  I am the first person to say I don’t like basic meals.  However, when it comes to meal prepping basic is really the best way to be. It will be much quicker for you if you just do simple recipes.  This recipe has chicken with Mediterranean flavors topped with a tomato salad and served with  couscous

Mediterranean Chicken Bowls

Ingredients:
6 chicken thighs or breasts, boneless and skinless
3 T Greek yogurt
1 T Olive Oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 t red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 T oregano
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper

Directions: In a bowl mix all above ingredients together minus the chicken.  Once well mixed add in the chicken and refrigerator for 1 hour.  Once ready to cook you can either cook it in a saute pan or on the grill. Either way will work fine.  Make sure regardless you let the marinade drip off before putting on the grill or in the pan.  Cook until done.  Set aside.

Salad:

Ingredients:
4 campari or roma tomatoes, chopped
5 mini cucumbers, cut into half moons (you can use regular cucumbers as well)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 1/2 T Olive Oil
2 t oregano, dried
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper
3 T Feta (optional)

Directions: Add all above ingredients minus the feta to a bowl and mix well. (The feta will be added once you are ready to eat.) Refrigerate.

Extras:
Prepared Couscous
Tzatziki sauce (homemade or store bought)

When I make this meal I use a 2 opening container. I chop the chicken up and add that to the container and then on the other side I add in the couscous.  You can decide the amounts you choose to have. I usually add about 4-5 oz of the chicken and only about 1/2 cup of the couscous.  I add the salad to a separate container.  Once ready to eat, I heat container with the chicken and then I top the chicken with the salad and 1/2 T or so of crumbled feta.  If you want to add the tzatziki sauce to the top it off you can also do that.  Just makes for a nice finish but definitely isn’t needed.  This meal is very filling and has lots of protein and vegetables.  And you’ll feel satisfied after eating it. Who doesn’t like a light healthy lunch that’s ready to go?

wp-image-581269963

 

 

 

 

Happy Friday! The weekend is finally here! Is everyone as excited as I am?  I plan to do some cooking this weekend and try a few new things so stay tuned for the latest.  Tonight it just going to be something quick and easy.  I’m taking my Mom for her titration study today for her new CPAP machine.  She was just recently diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.  So, that’s what I’m doing tonight so no cooking for me! What are you up to tonight?  More to come this weekend! Hope everyone has a great Friday Night! Cheers!

 

 

 

Beef and Broccoli (Better than Takeout)

Two recipes in one day!! No way? 🙂 Yes way!!  Tonight’s dinner was better than take out.  By that I mean healthier than traditional Chinese food.  It tastes very delicious but I won’t say it’s better than that greasy goodness that comes in those awesome white take out containers.  I just won’t! However, it’s still very good and healthier.  So put away that take out menu and keep reading for the recipe!

I love Chinese food and unfortunately once I get the craving for it it’s like I have to have it within 24 hours or I’ll go crazy.  Not really, well maybe a little! Beef and Broccoli is one of my favorite Chinese meals.  I always feel like it’s healthier than my other favorite dishes that are fried.  I’m not sure that is the case but I like to tell myself that.

With trying to be healthy and make healthier food choices I decided to make Beef and Broccoli tonight.  I had all the ingredients and felt like making something new.  Below is my recipe for it.  Like I’ve said before probably not an authentic take on it, but it’s my take on Beef and Broccoli.  Get your chop sticks ready!!

Beef and Broccoli

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs flat iron steak cut into strips or chunks
4 cups broccoli, steamed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 T cornstarch
2 T honey or brown sugar
1 T Sesame oil
1/2 T olive oil
1/4 cup & 2 T beef broth, no salt
2 T Scallions, sliced
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
4 cup, cooked white rice

Directions: In a bowl whisk together 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 T cornstarch, 2 T honey, 1 T Sesame oil, 2 T beef broth, minced garlic and onion and garlic powder.  Set aside till ready to use.  In another bowl whisk 1/4 cup beef broth and 1 T cornstarch then mix with the cut up beef.  Heat a wok or large saute pan on high heat. Add in the olive oil then add in the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes then add in the beef and cook about 5-6 minutes or until the meat is done to your liking.  Whisk the sauce up again to make sure the cornstarch didn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl.  Add half of the sauce into the the wok with the meat.  Mix well and constantly.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Next add in the steamed broccoli and the remaining sauce.  Again, mix well and constantly and cook about 2-3 minutes.  Serve immediately and with white rice and top with chopped scallions.

Note:  If you like ginger feel free to add ginger to the sauce either fresh or the spice.  I don’t care for ginger so I leave it out.  When cooking the broccoli I do steam it before hand to it’s tender when I finish the dish.  You will want to under steam the broccoli as it will be cooking a little in the wok as well.

wp-image-937904218wp-image-254082430wp-image-1417932816

Caprese Chicken

The weather is finally changing here in Chicago.  I’m so glad.  Maybe fall has arrived.  I’m ready for the leaves to change and the temperatures to drop and to see pumpkins all over the place.  Let’s hope it stays like that.  So, It’s Thursday and as promised another chicken dish. I eat a lot of chicken and probably make it a few times a week so get ready to enjoy a lot of chicken recipes from me.

This is an Italian inspired dish.  My Dad was Italian and I grew up with so many amazing Italian dishes and so many delicious flavors.  This recipe is a mix of a classic Italian salad and an Italian seasoned chicken breast.  A simple dish with great flavors and a pretty presentation.  Check out this outstanding chicken recipe!

Caprese Chicken

Ingredients :
4 Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 Large tomato, sliced
4 slices fresh mozzarella
1 T Olive oil
1 T Extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t Italian seasoning
2 t dried basil (or fresh)
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper

Directions: Heat a sauté pan on high heat.  Season the chicken breasts on both sides with  salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  Add 1 T olive oil to the pan and add chicken breasts.  Cook for 7 minutes and flip over and cook another 7 minutes.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Cooking times will vary depending on your chicken thickness.  Once chicken is fully cooked, lower the heat and top each piece of chicken with a slice of mozzarella and cover the pan with a lid. Cook 2-3 minutes until the cheese starts to soften.  Remove the lid and top with tomato slice and drizzle each tomato with the extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with basil (Dried or fresh) and smidge of salt.  Serve immediately.

Note: You can make this ahead of time up till adding the tomato slice.  Keep in the pan covered.  When ready to eat, heat the chicken up on low slightly and finish it off with tomato slice, olive oil, basil and salt.  If you’d rather you can add the tomato to the top of mozzarella right away. I just don’t do that because I’m not a fan of warm or cooked tomatoes. I prefer it to be cold with a burst of freshness.  Similar to a piece of chicken with a caprese salad on top.

Don’t forget to follow my page in the bottom right hand corner to subscribe to posts! You don’t want to miss anything, do you? 🙂

wp-image-186354539

 

 

Ranch Chicken

Last nights dinner was super simple and easy.  I must say I love meals like that.  As much as I like to make complex recipes there is something so satisfying about making a quick delicious dish.  It’s been a bad couple weeks eating wise.  So, I’m back to fully measuring out my food and keeping track of what I’m eating.  Just because a dish is healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be tasty.  That’s my goal with healthy eating…to make it taste delicious.  So, here’s a rather healthy take on chicken.  It’s so quick to put together and you may have these ingredients in your kitchen right now.  The recipe is perfect for a week night and is sure to please!

Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
10 small chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
1/4 Cup and 2T Lite Ranch Salad Dressing
1/2 T water
3/4 Cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 t Italian seasoning
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1/2 packet of ranch seasoning
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°.  In a bowl mix breadcrumbs, spices and ranch seasoning.  In a second bowl add the 6T of lite ranch dressing and 1/2 T of water and stir.  Take chicken and lightly coat with the ranch.  Rub around on the chicken to give it an even coating. This amount of ranch should lightly coat all these chicken thighs, so make sure not to put to much on each piece.  Then dip in the breadcrumbs and add to a greased baking sheet.  Continue with the rest of the chicken thighs.  Bake for 30-35 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.  Serve with your favorite sides.

Note: This is great for left overs and is very tasty and so simple to make.  I used smaller chicken thighs but you can use bigger ones as well.  That will change the cook time and your ingredients for the breading may fluctuate.  This is very lightly breaded as you can tell from the picture. I tried to keep as healthy as possible.  If you aren’t watching your figure feel free to go nuts with the dressing and breadcrumbs! Enjoy!

Don’t forget to follow my page in the bottom right hand side of the page!wp-image-1447351666

 

Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce

Guess what day it is????????? Taco Tuesday!!  I wanted to share with you one of my favorite taco recipes, pork carnitas.  Please note that this is my take on pork carnitas and probably far from authentic but I love them.  I am a huge taco fan and I’ll tell you right now you’ll see a lot of taco dishes from me. I started making these tacos a few years back and I just love them.  In my book tacos are like their own food group just like bacon! LOL Maybe I’ll try the Taco Diet.  Is there such thing?  Haha! But really, I love making tacos.

So this is my pork carnitas recipe.  There is 2 ways you can make these pork carnitas. You can make them in the oven or in a pressure cooker.  I’ve done it both ways.  Check out the recipe below.

Pork Carnitas

Ingredients:

The pork:
3lbs -boneless pork shoulder, cut in bite size pieces
1T Oil
1/2 C Chicken Stock, no salt
2 Jalapeño , diced
1 large onion, cut in chunks or diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cilantro bunches, chopped
2 oranges, juiced and cut into chunks
2 limes, juiced
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Directions: In a large bowl mix all above ingredients together well. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 2 -3 hours.

To bake: Preheat oven 300°.  On a large cookie sheet lay out the pork mixture. Bake for 1.5- 2 hour turning every 30 minutes. Depending on the oven it may take longer to cook. Once completed turn on broiler and cook for 5-7 minutes. Turning once.  This will give a slight crispy texture to the pork. KEEP AN EYE ON IT or it will burn!  Feel free to omit that step.  I don’t use the broiler in my house often because it makes my dogs very upset. 🙂

To use a Pressure Cooker:  This step is a lot easier in my opinion and I feel like the meat comes out better.  Add the mixture to a pressure cooker and let it come up to pressure and cook 55-65 minutes on medium heat.  Make sure there is plenty of liquid in the pot as you don’t want it to burn off. (And it will happen)  Add extra orange juice and chicken stock.   Once done, remove from the heat and let come down to pressure.  (I prefer the pot that goes on the stove and doesn’t have a quick release. Maybe I’m old school! lol) Once you open the lid you should have perfectly tender meat smelling so amazing.

Once meat is cooked, give it one last mix and remove any big chunks of the orange pieces and then it’s ready for the tacos.

8-12 Tortillas (flour or corn) (Amount will vary)

Toppings:
Chopped Onion
Chopped Cilantro
Queso Fresco
Chopped Avocado
Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce (See Recipe Below)

Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup lite mayonnaise (or regular)
1/2 cup pickled Jalapeños or 2 fresh
2 T lime juice
1/2 -3/4 powder Ranch packet
2 T milk or buttermilk
1/2 t salt

Directions: Add all items above to a food processor or a blender and mix till smooth.  You can add more of an ingredient to taste.  If you want it spicier add more jalapeños or less spicy use less jalapeños.

Notes: You can omit the milk if you’d like.  When I put on tacos I always try and thin the sauce out slightly.  I’ve had family make this with Greek yogurt and sour cream which still had a great taste.  I’ve made this less fat with light sour cream and mayonnaise it comes out just as well and is a little more guilt free.  It’s great on tacos and can be used as a dip if you omit the milk.  It will thicken up as it sits in the refrigerator.  If that happens you can add in some extra milk or lime juice.  It’s great on anything actually.  I’ve used it for a taco salad and used as the dressing.

To assemble tacos add meat to your warmed tortillas, add your preferred toppings and sauce. Then enjoy!!

Note: This will make plenty of meat. It’s great for left overs!

Go to the bottom right hand side of the page and hit “Follow” to subscribe via email so you don’t miss a thing!

wp-image-2045122299wp-image-1612677424wp-image-1940808773wp-image-475749821

 

 

 

1 2 4