Monday, August 29, 2011

Perfect Cornbread

This recipe may not be as healthy as the rest on our blog but it is sooooo...yummy!! I have tried a lot of cornbread recipes and they are always too dry or not sweet enough but this one is perfect in every way! My hubby LOVES cornbread and always asks me to make it and so I finally did (and not out of a package or box)! This recipe is inspired by Marc Forgione on the Food Network. As always, I made a few tweaks to make it a little bit healthier than the original recipe. I made baked barbeque chicken and okra & tomatoes to go with the cornbread. It was a perfect southern meal and reminded me of our vacation in Savannah, Georgia. Hope you enjoy!!

  • 1 stick of unsalted, light butter
  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Splenda
  • 3/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour, Splenda, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

2. Heat the skim milk and 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Once the butter is melted remove from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, add the eggs and buttermilk and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly add the butter/milk mixture and continue to whisk until the mixture is well incorporated.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients and whisk until smooth (a few small lumbs are okay).

4. Pour the cornbread batter into the baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Stick a knife into the middle to check if it is done (if the knife is clean, it is done). Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

*The picture at the top is not a picture of the cornbread I made. Forgot to take a pic.*

Monday, August 22, 2011

Greek Salad Topped With Crispy Polenta And Grilled Chicken

I can't quite remember if it was my sister or I who came up with this recipe, but we started to make this salad when we lived together in Dallas. We loved to make big salads for dinner because they are filling and they don't leave you feeling deprived! Polenta is basically cornmeal and it can be prepared many different ways.  In this recipe, the polenta is drizzled with olive oil and baked until it is crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. I think you will find this salad to be one of your favorites!!

  • 1/2 bag of leafy romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 18 oz. of San Gennaro Polenta, basil & garlic flavor (this can be found in the pasta section of the grocery store, it is packaged and held at room temperature)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thawed and cubed into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 1/2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup of jared roasted red peppers, diced
  • 3 oz. of crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese 
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup of Light balsalmic vinaigrette or vinaigrette of your choice  

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the polenta into small cubes or triangles and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the polenta and mix together with your hands. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping them half way through (make sure they are browned and crispy). 

2. While the polenta is baking, saute the chicken in a skillet on medium to medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The chicken should be lightly brown on the outside and no longer pink in the middle. Set aside when it is finished cooking.

3. In a large bowl add the lettuce, spinach, red onion, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Add the dressing to the salad (make sure you don't over dress) and mix well until the ingredients are well incorporated.

4. Portion the salad onto plates and top with cooked chicken and crisy polenta. Enjoy!!

Tips: You can serve this salad as an entre with the chicken or you can serve it as a side salad without the chicken.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Last Sunday my hubby and I spent the evening with some of his family to send off all of his cousins who were leaving to go to different colleges. They grilled burgers outside on the grill and had a bunch of yummy sides and desserts. So, with all of this said we got sent home with leftover burgers, which we thoroughly enjoyed! Last night we ate leftover burgers with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and a fresh green salad. Here is my recipe for roasted rosemary sweet potaotes which by the way goes great with just about anything (steak, chicken, turkey, burgers, etc.)!

  • 2 large sweet potaotes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped into very fine pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in a large baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the top along with the pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and fresh rosemary and incorporate all of the ingredients together with your hands. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping the potatoes half way through with a spatula. Enjoy!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grilled Lemon Chicken Sandwich

So as many of you know I am on a 11 day break from school and for me that means more sleeping, more relaxing, more blogging, and more time with friends and family. So, hopefully the abundance of new recipes over the next week will make up for my slacking off the week before! This next blog post is inspired by a recipe in a magazine called Southern Favorites. One thing I love about cooking is that I can make any recipe my very own by substituting or adding ingredients that I love. In this recipe I used Flatout Flatbread, which by the way is one of my favorites for making wraps, tacos, pizza, etc., and it is healthier than a regular flour tortilla or pita bread. This sandwich is very refreshing and has tons of flavor! Hope ya'll enjoy, God bless!

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of grated purple onion
  • 3 Tablespoons of Splenda granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 4 all natural boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Flatout Flatbread (Healthy Grain)
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon, cooked in the microwave and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of fig preserves (in the jelly section of the grocery store)

1. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, grated onion, Splenda, salt and pepper. Place chicken breast in a large plastic freezer bag. Pour lemon mixture over the chicken and seal the bag. Marinate this mixture in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes (no longer than 1 hour).

2. Spray the grill, or grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade (throw the remaining marinade away) and place on the grill. Grill the chicken for 10 minutes per side, flipping frequently until it is no longer pink in the middle. Once it is finished cooking, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips.

3. Make sure the grill is cool. Rinse or thoroughly wipe off the grill with a paper towel to grill the flatbread. Once it is clean, spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray and place the flatbread on the grill. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until you can see the grill lines. Repeat with remaining flatbread.

4. Assemble: Cut the flatbread in half horizontally. Place the sliced chicken on one half and top it off with the baby spinach leaves, crumbled blue cheese, and turkey bacon. Spread the fig preserves on the other half and use as a top for the sandwich. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 sandwiches

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of light butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of Splenda granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vailla bean extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup of butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. of Bakers semi-sweet chocolate for drizzle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, Splenda, sugar, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixer. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats and mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Lastly, stir in the butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. With a cookie scooper or a small spoon, scoop the dough balls onto a lighly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are lightly brown on top.

Once the cookies are finished baking place them on a cooling rack. In a small bowl melt the Bakers semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave according to the directions on the back of the box. Lightly drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. Enjoy!!!

Makes about 34 cookies.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thai Chicken Pizza

  • 5 oz. of bean sprouts (come in an 8 oz. bag - use a little more than half)
  • 5 oz. of shredded carrots
  • 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3 green onions, diced into small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. of shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of thai peanut sauce, such as Archer Farms
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of peanuts, chopped
  • Pizza dough ingredients & recipe

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large non-stick skillet add 2 tablespoon of canola oil along with the bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and green onions. Saute this mixture of ingredients on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and reduced in size by about 1/3.

2. Once the vegetables are cooked down, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and ginger. Lastly, add the shredded chicken to the vegetable mixture and stir all of the ingredients together until they are well incorporated.

3. Roll the pizza dough out onto a large greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread the thai peanut sauce along with the chicken/vegetable mixture evenly over the top of the dough. Top the remainder of the pizza with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

4. When it is finished cooking, add the chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish. Enjoy!!