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Do you ever have those kinds of weeks that everything seems to be crazy and hectic and something like the earthquake in Haiti happens and you stop and realize that nothing compares to what those people are going through?  Haiti, just one hour from the U.S. by plane, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. More than 80 percent of Haiti’s people live in abject poverty. It has been battered by hurricanes, wracked by political violence, food insecurity and neglect. Even before the earthquake, many of Haiti’s children lived without the most basic necessities: clean water, adequate food, health care and the opportunity for an education.  I know everyone has seen the news and the heart wrenching pictures.  It’s all so sad, but seeing people reach out to help them during this time has been encouraging in so many ways.  Today I saw Pioneer Woman’s post as she is asking her readers to provide not only thoughts and prayers but suggestions of organizations that are helping Haiti during this time.  Every comment she receives today she will donate $0.10 and an additional $500 to the charities we suggest.  I left my comment today and my charity of choice was UNICEF. In any disaster, children are the most vulnerable. Undoubtedly, with a disaster of this magnitude, threats will be particularly grave for Haiti’s children.  Please go and over to Ree’s post and leave a comment or consider donating to an organization of choice. Even the little amount counts.

Staying on the charitable theme, Newman’s Own has given up to 280 million to various charities since 1982.  What could be better than to be posting about the recipes that use the products that help allow them to give to charity.  The 5th of my Newman’s Own Family Bites challenge is Chicken Cranberry Enchiladas.  This recipe came about after having leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving and chicken in my refrigerator.  You could easily use turkey if you have leftovers of that as well.  The cranberries add a slight sweetness to the dish but doesn’t overwhelm the flavor.  The cranberries are also jammed packed with antioxidants so you’ll feel even better adding them.  I prefer homemade cranberry sauce over the can version, but do what is best and easy for your family.  These are also great without the addition of the cranberries.  Actually, this is my regular recipe for enchiladas but I added the cranberry to add a little different dimension.  My family loved these so hopefully your family will love them too!

 

Cranberry Chicken Enchiladas

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup homemade cranberry sauce

1 – 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa

1 cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese

½ cup 2% Greek yogurt or sour cream

3 green onions, diced

¼ cup fresh cilantro

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

8 – 7 to 8 inch whole wheat tortillas

Instructions:

1.)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a rectangle baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.  For filling, in a large bowl stir together chicken, black beans, ½ cup salsa, ¾ cup cheese, sour cream (or yogurt), 2 diced green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Spoon about 2/3 cup filling on each tortilla.  Roll up tortillas around filling.  Place, seam side down, in prepared dish; set aside.

2.)    For sauce, in bowl stir together cranberry sauce and salsa.  Spoon over filled tortillas.  Cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover; top with remaining cheese.  Bake 5 to 10 minutes more until heated through and cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with additional cilantro and green onions. 

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Pizza Night!!

Ok, I’m out of gas!  Today has been a long, crazy and very busy day so I’m going to keep this post short.  I promise with all my heart I will make it up to you tomorrow….promise!  Ok, I say this but hopefully tomorrow won’t be a repeat of today.  Even if it is, tomorrow will be as I promised, a more interesting and information packed post.  Thanks for understanding and onto the recipe…..

Number four of the Newman’s Own Family Bites recipes is all about Pizza Night!  Pizza night is a favorite around this house.  It’s very common that you’ll see me in the kitchen on Friday nights making individual pizzas for my husband and I.   Friday is our mini date night, of course this happens after the girls are snug in their beds and down for the night. 

The Chicken Alfredo Pizza is a favorite on my husband where I prefer the Chicken Pesto Pizza.  Both are delicious and very easy to make for your very own Pizza Night!

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza and Chicken Pesto Pizza

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients for pizza dough:

1 ½ pounds bakery pizza dough

 

Ingredients for Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza:

¾  cups chopped cooked chicken

½  cup  Newman’s Own Alfredo Pasta Sauce

½ cup fresh baby spinach, chopped

½ cup shredded mozzarella

½ Tbsp fresh parmesan, grated

1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Ingredients for Chicken Pesto Pizza:

¾ cups chopped cooked chicken

½ cup homemade or store-bought pesto sauce

½ cup fresh baby spinach, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions.  Shape each portion into 6-inch rounds.  Carefully transfer pizza dough rounds to a baking sheet.  Place dough into oven for 5 to 8 minutes to cook slightly.  Don’t let the dough brown.
  3. On two of the pizza rounds, spread evenly the Alfredo sauce and top with spinach, basil, chicken, and cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. On the other two pizza rounds, spread evenly with pesto sauce and top with basil, spinach, tomatoes, chicken, and cheese.
  5. Place pizza rounds back in oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until pizza crusts are cooked.  Serve immediately.

Ok, number 3….here we go!  I thought today’s Newman’s Own Family Bites recipe would be another favorite of my 2 year old twins.  I often wonder why kids love chicken nuggets so much?  I remember growing up I had one friend who ate them all the time.  I would go over to her house and it was 100% chance her mom would either make us chicken nuggets or go out and get them at the nearest fast food.  In college, I played soccer and one of my teammate was the same way.  Every time we were on a road traveling to our next game she ordered chicken nuggets and nothing else.  Weird I often thought?  Then I had the girls and I now have two little ones that love chicken nuggets.  It’s almost comical!  Since they have a strong love for those little nuggets I often find myself thinking of ways to change up the recipe.   I also have a strong feeling about fast food so I do not feed the girls fast food.  Even those nights when I’m so tired after a long days of work, no fast food!  This means the recipes are usually made up in my kitchen, which is great because then I know what they are eating. 

When I was sent the box of goodies from Newman’s Own and Foodbuzz and saw the Light Honey Mustard dressing I knew this was the one that would be a perfect option for a chicken nugget recipe. 

I have to say it was really a test and see recipe and it turned out great.  What was even better is the honey mustard dressing is light, but don’t be scared away because it doesn’t take away from the flavor!  Then you add the honey flakes and it all comes together to make a crispy and sweet chicken tender.  I recently saw at my local Whole Foods that Newman’s Own has a Honey Flakes with Flax Cereal which I didn’t see in time to use for this recipe, but I’m sure it would be a great option.  So here we go….Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders.  I hope your family finds them as tasty as we do.

Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings:  4 to 6

Ingredients:

10 to 12 chicken tenders

1 ½ cups Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard Dressing

2 cups Honey Toasted Cereal Flakes, ground

Natural Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

1.)    Preheat oven to 425.  Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.)    In a small bowl, place chicken tenders and Honey Mustard Dressing and let sit about 10 minutes.

3.)    Place the cereal flakes in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Place the cereal in a small shallow bowl.

4.)    Take chicken tender out of dressing and dredge in the honey toasted cereal.  Once all chicken tenders are coated with the cereal place on prepared baking sheet.

5.)    Bake 10 minutes or until bottom is golden.  Gently, flip chicken tender over and bake another 10 minutes until chicken is golden and cooked through. 

Special Notes:

Great served with apple slices and honey mustard dressing.

I have to admit; in college I had a secret crush on Paul Newman.  I went to art school and for one of my film classes I had to write a report on an actor of my choice and I chose Paul Newman.  I watched movie after movie and read as much information as I could about Mr. Newman.  In the end I discovered that Paul Newman was many things.  He was an actor, producer, director, race car driver and humanitarian, husband, and father.  He was a fascinating human being.  He was talented, analytical, grounded, private, compassionate, and involved. Though his stunning, blue-eyed looks set him apart, it was, in fact, his humility, intelligence and humanity that ultimately made him the class act so many people knew and loved.  All of these things also made the decision to enter the Newman’s Own Family Bites challenge unquestionable.

For my 2nd post of the Newman’s Own Family Bites challenge we have a Chicken Apple Quesadilla.  This is a favorite in my household.  This recipe is great for the little ones in the house and is perfect for lunch or dinner.  In this recipe I used Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa.  It adds a lot of depth to the recipe and it’s also great served on the side for dipping.  Enjoy and join me tomorrow for another Newman’s Own Family Bites recipe.

I

Chicken Apple Quesadilla

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

Servings: Makes 12 quesadilla triangles

 

Ingredients:

1 cup shredded cooked chicken

1 cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

¼ cup Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa, plus more for topping or dipping

4 – 7 to 8 inch whole wheat tortillas

Natural Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

1.)    Preheat oven to 400.  Line baking sheet with foil.  Spray one side of a tortilla with non-stick cooking spray and place that side down on baking sheet.  Sprinkle about ¼ cup cheese on tortilla, then place ½ cup cooked chicken, ½ tbsp cilantro, 3 to 4 slices of apple, 2 to 3 tbsp salsa, and remaining ¼ cup shredded cheese.  Spray another side of a tortilla with cooking spray and place that side up onto of the already prepared side.  Press down slight.  Continue process with remaining two tortillas.

2.)    Place in oven and bake about 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and press down slightly again.  Carefully flip the tortilla over and cook another 5 minutes until golden and cheese on the interior is melted.

3.)    Transfer the quesadillas from baking sheet to a cutting board.  Cut into triangles as if you were cutting a pie. 

Great served with additional salsa and toppings of choice.

I have been lucky enough to be asked to participate in the first family challenge put forth by Newman’s Own® and Foodbuzz.  If you’re not familiar with Foodbuzz, it is a great site for food bloggers to connect and share their recipes, restaurant reviews, and so much more.  And if you’re not familiar with Newman’s Own, it was started in 1982 by the beloved and late actor Paul Newman and his good friend and write A.E. Hotchner.  Newman’s Own is now a major brand in supermarkets and health food stores, and has given all its profits to charity along the way.  They established the Hole in the Wall Gang, camps for kids with serious diseases.  Newman’s Own is not only a great company with wonderful products, but gives a great deal back to the community.

Foodbuzz sent me a delicious assortment of selected Newman’s Own products to inspire convenient main dish and salad recipes.  The challenge was to create a total of 9 recipes which consisted of 3 lunch recipes, 3 dinner and 3 salad/snacks.  My goal was to create recipes that were convenient and family-friendly.  I am happy to announce that I was chosen to be the launch blogger for the Family Bites Challenge.  This week I will be posting a recipe a day using some of the following delicious Newman’s Own products:

Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Sockarooni Pasta Sauce

Light Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Medium Chunky Salsa

To start off the week, here is one of my husband’s favorites of the recipes I submitted.  It uses the Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. 

 

Another thing I forgot to mention, all their products are all-natural!  Another great benefit about Newman’s Own product line.  In this recipe, I marinated the chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette and also used the dressing to toss the finished pasta.  The pasta is a great dish which has been eaten in my house as a side dish and as a main dish.  I hope you find it as delicious as my family does!  Enjoy and stay tune to the other Newman’s Own recipes of the week!

 

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Pasta Salad

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini

1 pound  skinned and boned chicken breasts

1 ½  cup  Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, divided

1 teaspoons  Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 ½ cups fresh cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2  cup yellow bell pepper, diced

Instructions:

1. Place chicken in a zip-lock bag and pour 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette in bag with chicken.  Marinate for at least 2 hour, but best if marinated overnight.  Take chicken out of zip-lock bag and discard marinade. 

2. In a grill pan, grill chicken breasts, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Place yellow bell pepper slices in grill pan and grill about 2 minutes on each side.  Once cooled, dice chicken up in small bites.

3. Whisk together remaining ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing and mustard in a small bowl.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Let cool 10 minutes.

5. Toss together pasta, chicken, balsamic mixture, spinach, and remaining 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve immediately, or, if desired, cover and chill 1 hour before serving

Breakfast Cookie

My first week of the 10 in 10 Challenge has gone really well.  I successfully worked out 5 days this week with three of them being 5:15am wake-up calls to head to the gym.  I have to attempt the early wake up calls were a little difficult this week due to the cold weather we’ve been having.  On Wednesday morning when I got in my car the temperature was 36!!  That is not normal for South Florida!!  We’ve had a full week of cold weather and today we even had “winter storm” warnings.  Which for us South Floridians we never hear of such warnings. 

Anyways, this week was successful in getting back to a normal workout schedule.  I ran about 15 miles this week too.  All on the treadmill due to the cold weather but it felt good.  Most of my workouts this week consisted of cardio and weights.  Monday – cardio and weights, chest and back.  Tuesday – weights – chest, back, triceps, biceps, legs and abs!  Wednesday – run and abs.  Thursday – day off.  Friday – cross training cardio, 20 minute run and 20 minute elliptical and abs.  Saturday – weights – chest, back, triceps, biceps, legs and abs!

Now to this breakfast cookie!  Since I’ve been getting up so early to head to the gym I wanted to have something quick to grab to give me a little energy before starting my workout.  This delicious cookie has plenty of protein, fiber and complex carbs and perfect not only to start the day but to give me a little something before starting my workout.  For one of my goals, I mentioned clean eating.  I’ll go into this soon but this cookie fits into this category and what’s better is it tastes good!  I hope everyone else’s resolutions, or as I like to call them goals, are going well!  I have a busy week next week so I’m hoping I can stick with everything.  Stay tune….

 

 

Breakfast Cookies

Print Recipe

2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about ¾ cup)

½ cup natural peanut butter (chunky or regular)

½ cup organic honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder

¼ tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl stir together banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla.  In a small bowl combine oats, flour, flaxseed, milk powder, cinnamon and baking soda.  Stir the oat mixture into the banana mixture until combined. 

Using a quick-release cookie scoop, drop mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.  Carefully flatten and spread each cookie. 

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months; thaw before serving.  Makes about 12 cookies.

On the weekends I try to think of ideas for my lunch for the week.  Sometimes this can be difficult and sometimes not at all.  I have to admit I’m that person that is ok with the same thing for lunch several days in a row.  Not sure if that’s a good thing or not?  Anyways, I pack my lunch every day.  Which is great for many reasons, it saves money, and it’s healthier than the alternative of going out to eat.  Which is great for my goals for the 10 in 10 healthy challenge!  So on my weekend runs to Whole Foods I try to plan accordingly.  That means planning for my lunch, the girl’s meals, and of course dinner for the hubby and me.  If I don’t have ideas by the time I get there I usually pick up a rotisserie chicken.  It’s amazing all the things you can do with them!  This wrap came about by accident, but it has since been my favorite lunch time meal.  The homemade pesto is great because it has great flavor and has the added nutrient benefits of the spinach.  The whole wheat wrap/tortilla adds your whole grains and the chicken your protein.   If you want, you can use the many varieties of wraps that are on the market these days too.  It’s amazing how many are out there!  The chicken mixture if easy to mix together and can be stored in the refrigerator until your ready to make your wrap.  So here is one of my lunch time favorites.  What’s yours?

Chicken Tomato Pesto Wrap

Print Recipe

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¾ cup shredded mozzarella

Homemade Pesto (recipe follows)

1 cup fresh baby spinach

4 Whole Wheat Tortillas

Homemade Spinach Sundried Tomato Pesto

2 cups tightly packed baby spinach

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil

1 garlic clove, minced

4 to 5 sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

To Make Pesto:

Place spinach, basil, garlic, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, and olive oil in food processor.  Pulse until mixture is well combine and resembles a paste texture.

 

To Make Wrap:

In a large bowl mix chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and pesto together until well combined.

Lay one tortilla out and lay some of the baby spinach evenly down the center of the tortilla.  Scoop some of the chicken pesto mixture and place evenly on top of the spinach. Fold the left and right edges of the tortilla over about an inch, towards the center of the tortilla, then starting with the edge of the tortilla closest to you, roll up the tortilla. Cut the wrap in half with a sharp knife, in the center.  Enjoy!!