Sunday, February 9, 2014

Coconut crusted chicken with Mango Salsa

This is my favorite recipe thus far!
Of course I found it on Pinterest and adapted it from Rachael Ray- Love her!
Click here to be re-directed to her recipe.
I found mangos on sale at Sprouts and since we live right across the street, I walked right over there and picked up a few fresh produce items for this recipe.

Coconut Crusted Mango Chicken with Mango Salsa

  • 1 whole fresh mango, chopped or 1/2 lb frozen chopped mango, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • tablespoon rice vinegar- I didn't have rice vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar. Still tasted great!
  • Salt and pepper
  • egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts- I used 6 chicken tenders because that's what I had thawed
  • tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place the coconut in another shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the egg, then in the coconut. Press to coat.
  3. In large, ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve the chicken with the mango salsa.
*Note: I wanted the salsa warm, so I mixed all the salsa ingredients in a small sauce pan and warmed it over med-low heat while the chicken cooked. 

YUM! The more colors the better!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dark Berry Smoothie

Dark Berry Green Smoothie
1 c. Kale
1-2 bananas
1-2 c. berry blend frozen berries: 
         strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
2 c. liquid- 1/2 Blue Machine Naked Juice and 
      1/2 unsweetened Almond Milk. 
(Usually I only add almond milk with a little water but I had some Naked Juice on hand I needed to get rid of!)

Gather all ingredients. I always blend the greens with the liquid first, then add berries.

I only had 1/2 a banana left so I threw in some pineapple as well.

This smoothie turns out very dark and has A LOT of seeds! Check your teeth after drinking!

Taste Tested: I did not like this smoothie as much as others I've tried mostly because I realized I really don't like the taste or texture of Kale! I tried it again with spinach and really enjoyed it more. You decide what you like best!

If you want to try my FAVORITE Green Smoothie recipe, click here for the recipe for the Tropical Peach Mango green smoothie

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Few Recipe Ideas

Grilled Chicken Taco Salad
Adapted from:
Grilled Taco Chicken Marinade
  • 1/2 medium sized yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup canola (vegetable) oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tobasco
  • 1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
Place ingredients in food processor. Process until becomes a paste. Dump marinade and 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into freezer bag and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight. Grill chicken 6-8min per side.
We compiled regular green leaf and romaine lettuce, corn, black beans, salsa and chicken for our salads.
It was great!

Turkey Meatloaf

My Mother has the most amazing meatloaf recipe. And probably like most of our mother's's not the healthiest. I used her recipe and many others I found online as a base for our meatloaf.

1 1/4 lb ground turkey
diced veggies: green and red peppers, onion, garlic, grated carrot, about 1 cup spinach.
1 egg
1/4 c. dried bread crumbs
1 tsp sage

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute veggies 3-4 minutes adding spinach the last 45 seconds to allow it to barley wilt, mix all ingredients: ground turkey, cooked veggies, egg, breadcrumbs and spices-with your hands! After all ingredients are incorporated, make into a loaf and transfer to a foil lined 9x13 pan or loaf pan.
Ok, I have to admit, there's a catch to this meatloaf. I did make the topping, because I love it. So, I know, shame on me.
about 1/2 c. Ketchup, 1/8 c. mustard, 2 TB brown sugar, 2 TB Worcestershire. Mix well and spread on meatloaf.
Bake 50-55 minutes.
This was NOT my meatloaf, but one the the recipes I followed from Pinterest and mine looked similar.
Breakfast Burritos
Who doesn't like breakfast for dinner? Of course for it to be filling enough, there needs to be lots of substance to the burrito. I complied the ingredients below:
-1 lb sweet italian turkey sausage (regular turkey sausage probably would have been better but this is what I had)
-diced veggies: 1/4 onion and 1/2 green and 1/2 red peppers
- about 8 eggs
- 1TB almond (or regular) milk
- tortillas

(Cook tortillas if needed.) Brown sausage on med-high heat, drain and remove from pan to a bowl lined with paper towel. Use sausage grease to cook diced veggies in same pan. Saute veggies on medium high heat until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and wisk eggs w/ few TBs of almond or regular milk, salt and pepper. Place pan back on medium heat and add eggs to veggies, scramble until cooked, add sausage.

It may be difficult to tell from the picture you may notice my scrambled eggs look a little white.  When I crack my eggs, I remove the yolk in at least half, maybe more of the eggs. If I'm using 8 eggs, I'll crack in 3 yolks and 5 egg whites. As I've mentioned before, we buy the raw tortilla dough from Costco and cook those up before I start the meal. We top off our burrito's with fresh salsa from Sprouts. Because there's only two of us, we had enough left-overs from lunch tomorrow and it re-heated very well! 

Slow-cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

Some days, I am able to come home from work on my lunch. This is perfect because I can grab a bite to eat, and start dinner in the crock pot! This time of year in AZ, the citrus trees are in full bloom and my sweet friend brought me over some oranges, tangerines and lemons from her trees. They were delish! I decided to use the lemons she brought for one of my favorite crockpot recipes: Lemon Garlic Chicken. I adapted this from a website that used a whole chicken and other ingredients but I liked mine better!

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon
4-5 garlic cloves (we love garlic so this may be a little excessive)
1 small onion

Slice onion in half and lay cut-side down and slice length-wise. Peel apart slices and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Peel garlic cloves and press with the side of a knife so the cloves flatten, place on the onion. Slice half the lemon and put it on top of garlic. Salt and pepper the chicken well and place chicken breasts in the cooker. Use other half of the lemon and squeeze some of the juice on the chicken, then slice the lemon and place it on top of the chicken. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 6 hours or high heat for 3 hours. After cooking, remove lemon skins, shred and enjoy!
We ate this with a side of plain roasted sweet potatoes. 
In the old days, I would have cooked up a batch of rice to eat this with, but since we are trying to cut down carbs, I withheld. :)  No judging if you eat it with rice, it's wonderful!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cliché green smoothie

Ok. I know green smoothies have all the hype right now so it's a total cliche to post about it but here goes.
The other day at lunch, I didn't do so well and ate stuff I was mad at myself for eating. So, I decided for dinner we would have green smoothies to make up for it! My sweet hubby was totally fine with it!
The smoothie I did below was more of a tropical smoothie with fresh pineapple, banana, strawberries, almond milk and of course, SPINACH!

Gathering all the ingredients.
Also, I buy our spinach in a big batch, unwashed, then I take it home, wash and rinse it well, spin it and store it in MASON JARS in the fridge. It lasts soooo much longer!

Tip: place spinach and juice of choice in the blender FIRST, blend well, then add fruit.

YUM! WE also added a few scoops of protein powder and it was yummy!

Tropical Smoothie
1 to 1 1/2 cup packed spinach
1 c. unsweetened almond milk
3/4 c. pineapple
2 bananas
1 cup strawberries
Place spinach and almond milk (and protein) in blender, blend. Add fruits, blend well.

Makes about 36oz.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 - New Year, New us!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I have set new years resolutions for many years and for the last few years, I have set the same resolution: 
- To eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle (to help us lose weight)
This resolution is mainly geared toward a healthier lifestyle because T and I feel strongly that the food we put into our bodies affects all aspects of our life now (eating this way has cleared up our skin) and will affect our future selves (lowers our risk for many diseases: heart, diabetes, etc.)
I love to cook... and bake. The baking part is an issue because I also have a sweet tooth so I will be learning how to substitute the sugary, buttery sweets with naturally sweet foods.
Since I love cooking, I have found all sorts of recipes to make that taste good and are mostly healthy! 
I have researched a lot about the Paleo diet. Although I would LoVe to follow that diet exactly, it's expensive, so I have used it as a base for the way we eat: lean meats, lots of veggies, moderate in fruits and very little refined sugars and grains. 
I wanted to document the meals I make because it keeps me in check and reminds me the meals we liked and didn't like so much. Hopefully this can give others ideas because if you're like me, some of the hardest things as a wife is the dinner dilemma
Below is our spread for this evening. I go all out on Sunday's because I have time and it was always a meal that growing up, was a special meal with foods we wouldn't normally eat during the week. 
Today's meal was:
-marinated tri-tip steak from Costco, skewered with onions and peppers and grilled
-organic 50/50 salad mix with roma tomatoes, chopped almonds and dried cranberries
-fruit plate with grapes, apples and oranges

I completely splurged on the steak for this week and I've done this recipe many times with skewered boneless, skinless chicken breasts marinaded in a teriyaki sauce. I marinated the meat only, then chopped the veggies fresh and skewered.
 The marinade I used today is called Savory Garlic Marinaded Steaks I found here at I love that site because I also read the comments and suggestions of others who have made the recipe and I usually tweak it to our liking. I made the marinade early this morning and threw the steaks in the fridge to marinate all day.
I grilled the meat and veggie skewers for a few minutes on each side only turning them once. Since we live in sunny AZ, the weather permits us to grill all year long. YAY!

The fruit I find is usually whatever is in season and was on sale that week. Sprouts had all three of these items on sale this week! EXCITING!

We love our greens and the 50/50 mix of salad. The roma tomatoes were also on sale at sprouts and we eat the salad with a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I like to add "yummies" to the salad such as the almonds and dried cranberries. I buy whole almonds (because it's cheaper to buy them whole than already chopped) and use my food processor to chop a bunch then store the leftovers in the freezer.

All-in-all, a very successful meal. My hubby kept raving about how much he loved it. I think anything with a good red meat he always appreciates.
We love leftovers- so I always try to make enough dinner to allow for another meal for both of us to take to work the next day. Sometimes, I don't plan correctly... or T was more hungry than I thought and we don't have leftovers for the next day at work. This is a problem because we are trying not to eat out and tuna gets old fast. To hopefully prevent this problem, I also try to take Sunday's to make another meal to store in the fridge or freezer for lunches or a weekday that I get home from work late and don't want to make dinner. 
Today I made a bunch Chimichangas to freeze for a later time. I placed 6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (from Costco) in the crockpot with chicken stock and water. Cooked for 6 hours on low. I then shredded the chicken, then heated a large saucepan to medium-high and sautéed diced onion, minced garlic, threw the chicken in with a bunch of fresh salsa (I'd say about 3 cups), 1-2 Tbls chili powder, few pinches of cumin and salt. Stirred it well and made a bunch of those awesome and delicious raw tortillas also found at Costco and spread a tablespoon of refried beans and the chicken mixture in the tortilla. I then baked it at 425 F for 15 min, flipped them and another 15 min. Nice and crispy!

*Note: I used to also add cheese on top of the mixture before folding them up but since we are trying to stay away from cheese/dairy, I omitted the cheese. It's very good with cheese though!

I will be posting our happenings and other meals I make and enjoyed with the recipes. Any questions, let me know! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Long time gone

I was recently informed by my sweet sister-in-law that it's been almost a YEAR since I last blogged! My how time flies.
I guess I also didn't think anyone read my blog so I'll just post things as a journal for my family. Here you go Laura! :) 

Labor Day 2013
Drove 4 hours from Chandler, AZ north to Tusyan, AZ to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Absolutely amazing! Beautiful scenery, country and wonderful people to spend time with! Thank you Courtney and Tyson for inviting us!
Tanner showing Addy and Colter how to build a fire!

Tyson on the quad and Tanner on the dirtbike. Those boys were in 7th heaven. I'm surprised I was able to get Tanner to put the bike down.

Us girls and the kids followed along in the Rino

The Grand Canyon. I now see why it is know as one of the seven wonders of the world. It HAS TO BE SEEN to comprehend its awe.

The whole gang. So fun!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall is here!

Kristy came for the weekend and we decided to do something fun so we drove south to Santaquin, Ut to the Big Red Barn at Southridge Farms. They have fun activities such as a hay ride up to their pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin and little activities (mainly for kids...) but we had fun!

They had a little maze made with crates. The rule was we couldn't look over the crates and cheat but you know Tanner, he's not very good at following the rules.

"Take me for a ride on a big green tractor"

Kristy: the horse whisperer

Look at all those pumpkins! So many to choose!

After much deliberation we all three finally found decent pumpkins to take home and carve.
I didn't get any pictures but after the hay ride and picking out pumpkins, the Big Red Barn was full of fun things! They make delicious homemade fudges, carmel apples, apple donuts, fresh-pressed apple juice, they have an apple tasting station so you can buy freshly picked apples and pears, lots of crafts and cheeses and all sorts of things! We definitely couldn't leave without some souvenirs... too bad our souvenirs were all edible. ;)
Later that night, Tanner & I went to our ward's annual Halloween costume party and chili cook-off. I entered in some chili found on pinterest... It didn't win anything but it was still good. I recommend it!

YeeHaw! :)
Gotta love FALL festivities! More pictures of our pumpkin's all carved to come!