Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower Casserole

Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower Casserole is one of my favorite go to side dishes and you have got to try it! It's like mashed potatoes on steroids except like way better for you because it's made from cauliflower and not potatoes. It's a great side dish with grilled chicken or meat, or a main course with a salad, or as leftovers -- it's delicious rolled up in sliced turkey lunch meat. 

4ft loves it and asks for it all the time. Even the husband who hates all things cauliflower says it's not bad and will eat it if it's there. The Littles thumb their noses up at it but they don't like mashed potatoes at all either and that's what they think it is.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Banana Nut Bread Granola

I had bananas dying a slow and agonizing death on my counter. Since Bear, it's not very often that bananas get that level of disgustingly ripe (I can't eat a banana unless the yellow peel has some green tint to it, the second they get totally yellow and brownish spots I can't eat them), she usually eats them all. So I was excited I actually had two really gross bananas crying to be put out of their misery to play with. I thought about bread but it was kind of a meh idea. I decided to make some banana biscotti with it but when I was getting the ingredients I saw the oats. And that is how they say is that.

OMB people! This stuff is like crack. I'm completely addicted. It's splendiferous all by itself but add it to some yogurt with fruit (my favorite being vanilla greek yogurt with fresh blueberries) and it's magically splendiferous. I can't get enough of it. It smells and tastes like banana bread with a crunchy granola texture. It's an entire mouth feel extravaganza (yeah, I've been watching cooking shows again...so?).

You should absolutely try this, but know up front you will be addicted. I've already hidden a couple bananas from Bear so they can get super gross ripe so I can make it again and I haven't even finished this batch yet. That's how good it is.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pineapple-Ginger Chicken

I had planned on just throwing some barbecue sauce onto a couple chicken breasts and grilling them. Nothing fancy. Super easy. I really didn't feel like cooking anyway and calling for pizza for the family and drinking a protein shake was sounding better and better. Then...

My sister called. She started raving about this Bruschetta Chicken recipe she was going to make and how she'd been marinating grape tomatoes in balsamic and something else since the night before and how fabulous it was going to be. And to top it all off the selfish brat wasn't going to bring me any. Can you believe that? We won't talk about how she lives over an hour and a half away. An awesome sister would've said, "I'm on my way." I don't have an awesome sister. I have a selfish selfish selfish one. So no splendiferous Bruschetta Chicken for me and now just plain ol' barbecue chicken wasn't good enough.

It's all her fault. See what I have to live with?

Unfortunately, I didn't have any of the Bruschetta Chicken ingredients and really it wouldn't have done me any good if I had because the grape tomatoes wouldn't have been marinating overnight to be extra delicious (I'm not bitter) so out of what I had in my fridge and cupboards -- I threw together this chicken dish. And while it's not Bruschetta Chicken, it was pretty splendiferously delicious.

I am still waiting for that Bruschetta Chicken though...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mexican "Hot" Chocolate Protein Popsicles

Who wants a normal fudgesicle when you can have a Mexican "Hot" Chocolate one? I mean a regular one will do in a pinch but why settle when you can throw these together in no time at all. Sure it takes at least 4 hours to freeze but that doesn't count -- you can watch tv or read a book to distract yourself long enough for these pops to set up. And trust me, they're worth the wait.

I love Mexican Hot Chocolate -- the beverage -- with the cinnamon spice and a soft kick at the end. I don't like a lot of cayenne pepper but a little really wakes up the chocolate especially with the cinnamon. It's too hot in the summer for hot chocolate. I'm ridiculously OCD when it comes to when it's appropriate to drink hot chocolate. I know people, like 4ft, who would drink it all the time if they could but when it's 90+ degrees outside no one should be drinking hot drinks (not even coffee -- I switch to iced as soon as it's past 70 degrees out) even if they are chocolate. No one. Especially me. No matter how badly I want it. Which is what led me to create a hot chocolate popsicle.

All the flavor and fun of Mexican hot chocolate and the bonus of having it cool you down on a hot day or after working out or while you're sitting watching tv or just out of a shower, just waking up, before going to bed...you know...whenever.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grilled Ham & Cheese Chicken Roll-ups

Every once in awhile I jones for a grilled ham & cheese sandwich. The problem with them is now they give me "bread belly" which I try to avoid when all possible. So I wondered if I could feed the craving with a substitute. I gotta say, this came pretty close. My new favorite thing is putting a filling inside chicken (I get on these kicks and every recipe includes them til I find the next thing to rev on). So, when the sandwich craving hit, I filled the chicken with ham and cheddar. It was surprisingly delicious with little fuss and a short list of ingredients.

Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: turkey noises as they gobbled it up and went back for seconds!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Eggplant Parmesan

Yay! Excitement. My box came.

Once a month I get a Farm Fresh To You box delivered to my front door with locally grown fruit and vegetables. It's wonderous. And this month was a total winner -- they sent me a couple eggplants. I love eggplant. I forget how much I love eggplant, and never notice it in the usual produce areas I haunt so I never get any. Well, I have some now!

So, I had to make eggplant parmesan of course. You can't have eggplant in your house and not make eggplant parmesan. Well, okay, maybe you can, but this girl can't. It's one of my favorite dishes and I always get it when I go to Italian food. So, it being me, I had to healthy it up a little. No deep frying for this girl. And let me tell you, it turned out splendiferous.

The breading was crunchy and flavorful. (The trick is to put the seasonings in the dredging flour and egg wash. It also makes dredging in panko easier because you don't have to worry if you didn't measure enough, you have to make more than you need to match your spice ratios.)  I wished I had a full stomach so I could eat more than two eggplant steaks it was that good (so it's probably a good thing I don't). 4ft thought it was fabulous and inhaled his and tried to horn in on mine. I had to stab him with my fork. It was a vicious battle but I'm proud to say I won and the eggplant on MY plate went into MY stomach.

It makes quite a bit and since 4ft and I were the only ones eating it we had quite a bit left over. I let it cool completely to room temperature and then put it in a ziplock (without sauce -- just the oven-fried eggplant steaks). Let me tell you, it's just as good reheated, IF you bake them to reheat. I had the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and baked them for about 10 minutes. They were just as crispy and wonderful. I'm totally stoked because it was so delicious for lunch. Especially cuz I have mine with meat sauce -- hooray for protein!

Coming soon... Sesame-Crusted Eggplant w/ sticky dipping sauce and eggplant pizzas (I have a whole other eggplant to use)