Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Recipe Round-Up

Before I share the recipes I've tried my hand at for the last 6-8 weeks, I wanted to explain a bit about the kitchen I work in currently. Back in October I moved out of my parent's house so I could spend more time with my boyfriend since our schedules were very different so we could see each other more often. My mom has the best kitchen ever filled with spices, pots & pans, appliances of every kind, and more. (My mom's a great cook -- she ran a kitchen at a daycare for over a decade then eventually taught culinary at a high school; she knows her way around a kitchen obviously!) When I moved out and left her awesome kitchen, I was left with few resources compared to what I was used to being available when I lived with my mom.

With all of that being said, the recipes I'm going to share tomorrow have a few things in common:

  1. They require very few spices. I'm still building up my spice collection, one spice at a time.
  2. They are really easy to make. I never really took the time to learn how to make food. I just wasn't interested in learning to make anything. I'm learning culinary skills slowly thanks to Google (example: how to halve a chicken breast).
  3. They make more than one serving. I love making bulk meals. I love making recipes with 5-6 servings so I can split them up into microwave-safe containers to make them easy lunches I grab throughout the week.
  4. They don't require fancy kitchen tools or appliances. The most complex appliance used for these recipes is a crock-pot. Otherwise I don't own many fancy kitchen tools or appliances. I don't even own a vegetable peeler!

So, now that we've gotten all of that out of the way, I can share the recipes I've been trying to make these past few weeks!

  • Hungry Girl's Cheeseburger Mac Attack → I substituted the pasta with gluten-free pasta and added brown rice any time I ate this meal so I could get in a healthy whole grain. I had actually made this recipe before but it had been well over a year since I had made it.
  • Hungry Girl's Crock-Pot Cinna-Apples 'n Oats → I didn't have vanilla soymilk on hand for this recipe and I didn't feel like buying it since I wouldn't use it for anything else. So I used regular soy milk with a teaspoon or so of vanilla. This recipe made our house smell great!
  • Weight Watcher's Cranberry-Maple Slow Cooker Oatmeal → I didn't use maple syrup, I used Aunt Jemima's Lite Butter Syrup. I also didn't add the almonds.
  • Hungry Girl's Hungry Chick Chunky Soup → This is the recipe I had to learn how to halve chicken breasts. I learned that thyme can be found in the produce section (it's cheap -- only $0.99!) and that bay leaves can come in a jar! Once the recipe was done, I ended up throwing in the rest of the frozen peas, stirring them in, and letting them thaw out a bit before dividing the soup for future lunch/dinner meals. I also added brown rice to this recipe any time I eat it so I can get in a whole grain.

The other recipe I've been done a few times since January is just one my friend shared with me -- chicken stir-fry with vegetables. It's pretty simple:

  1. Coat a large pan or wok with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I only use 1 tablespoon because I divide it into 3 servings at the end and this counts as one of my two WW Good Health Guidelines oils)
  2. Cut up 6-9 ounces of chicken into cubes or strips and add to the pan/wok (I cheat by using Tyson's Grilled & Ready Chicken Strips -- it may be too processed for some people but it just makes my life easier)
  3. Cook the chicken for about 3-5 minutes or until it browns up a bit
  4. Add a variety of chopped or sliced or diced veggies to pan (my favorites are broccoli with orange & yellow bell pepper for a variety of color!)
  5. Let veggies and chicken cook for a bit (1-3 minutes) while you stir them together
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce to entire pan/wok
  7. Continue to let chicken & veggies cook with the add sauce, mixing all ingredients together in the pan/wok
  8. Turn heat off and serve!

As I said before, it's a super easy recipe that doesn't take too long to cook! I would say between cutting up the veggies, chicken, and cooking the meal, it takes about 20 minutes to make. This is another recipe to which I add brown rice every time I plan to eat it for lunch or dinner.

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