No Fry Sweet Potato Fries

There’s nothing better than enjoying a burger or afternoon with a plate of salty and crunchy fries. We try to stay healthy and order sweet potato fries and even attempted to make them ourselves. However when cooked in the oven the fries tend to get soggy or limp. Then finally on Pinterest we found the perfect sweet potato fry recipe from La Kocinera. By mixing the fries with cornstarch and healthy olive oil the outside of the fries gets nice and crispy. Yum! See below for full recipe details.

No Fry Sweet Potato Fries

  • Servings: 4
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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place aluminum foil on baking sheet, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Clean and peel sweet potatoes, then cut in half length wise and proceed by cutting into thick rectangular shapes similar to steak fries.
  3. Place half of fries in gallon zip lock back with 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix the fries then add 1 tbsp cornstarch and mix again.
  4. Place fries on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Ensure the fries have enough space between them to ensure they get cripsy.
  5. Bake 15 minutes then flip and bake another 5 – 10 minutes depending on your preference for crispiness. When finished remove from oven and repeat other batch of fries following same steps as before. Enjoy with a side of ketchup!

 

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Kale Salad Made the Right Way

When kale became a trend I was not a fan. Why is it curly, stiff and unappetizing when raw? I thought kale resembled seaweed you’d find in the ocean after a storm. Yuk! I could not have been more wrong about kale. Once we learned how to handle and cook kale it become a staple in our weekly menu. First of all if you plan to create a kale salad make sure you massage the kale. Yes I said massage, this breaks down the gritty texture and you can even see the kale turn a deeper shade of green during the rub down. Also ensure that you use a creamy dressing for salads or plenty of oil, salt and pepper for seasoning. If you follow each of these tips when preparing kale I swear you will convert just like us.

This recipe is a great detox after the heavy foods we have enjoyed over Super Bowl and Valentines Day.

Simple Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
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KALE SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of Kale
  • 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp pickle juice
  • 2 Tbps ketchup
  • dash of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Rinse and massage kale for 2 minutes or until kale turns a deeper shade of green.
  2. In a large bowl combine kale, celery, apple and craisins.
  3. Then combine dressing ingredients and taste to ensure enough seasoning.
  4. Pour dressing over kale and toss to ensure all ingredients are combined. Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

We love to use this salad as a side dish to Skinny Tastes Slow Cooker Maple Dijon Drumsticks !

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Valentines Day Ideas: Steak Oscar Dinner for Two

You know the phrase “house poor”? We are here to tell you after you buy a home, decorate and renovate you will feel poor but in a good way! While creating the space of your dreams feels amazing it is important to be mindful of your budget. One great way to stay on budget is to reduce the amount of times you eat out. I know that doesn’t sound exciting with grand Valentines day ideas floating through your head but we have created an inexpensive version of Steak Oscar that will make you feel like you’re at a fancy restaurant. Perfect for fulfilling your Valentines Day ideas your significant other will be thankful for this amazing combination of steak, shrimp and velvety smooth béarnaise sauce. Did I mention it only takes 30min!! We find this dish comes together even faster when one person grills the steaks and the other creates remaining sides 🙂

Steak Oscar for Two

  • Servings: 2
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INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 NY Strip Steaks about 16oz
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 Knorr bearnaise sauce packet
  • 1/2 lb of shrimp
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. Season the steaks on both sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Preheat the grill one side on high and the other side on low. Place the meat on the high side for one minute flip over for another minute then put on low side for 4 minutes each side. When finished remove the steaks from grill and let rest covered on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
  2. For the asparagus preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash asparagus throughly and trim off the tough bottoms off. Layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
  3. To create béarnaise sauce follow directions on back of packet. In saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 cup butter; whisk in packet contents until blended. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in 1 cup milk. Whisking constantly, bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute whisking frequently.
  4. Meanwhile clean and remove tails from shrimp. Heat 1/4 cup of butter and 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat in saucepan with chopped garlic. Once garlic is aromatic, about 1 minute, add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook shrimp two minutes per side and finish with one tablespoon of lemon juice.

Plate steaks on two individual plates, top with asparagus, shrimp, béarnaise sauce, dash of paprika and parsley. Enjoy!

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Favorite Bloody Mary Ingredients

You wake up in a beautiful hotel where you acted like an adult for 50% of the evening but the other 50% you got your grove on with your college friends and their spouses. It was a good wedding! Now time to be an adult, head to brunch and pretend you don’t wish you were still in college. My husband and I have been on the wedding circuit for three summers and the morning after we swear by a good Bloody Mary. We have tried Bloody Mary’s all across the U.S. and we think we have finally found our favorite Bloody Mary ingredients. Sundays for us tend to be football, buffalo dip and our arsenal of Bloody Mary ingredients. Some ingredients may seem strange but trust us its sooo GOOD!!

You will need McCormick Steak Seasoning , Vodka (we prefer Titos), Tabasco Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, steak sauce, ,and green olives.



Add the Vodka, steak sauce, steak seasoning, olives, and top with Tabasco mix. Mix well for best results!

Here’s the handy print sheet so you never forgot the best Bloody Mary Ingredients 🙂

Best Bloody Mary Recipe

  • Servings: 1
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp McCormick steak seasoning
  • 1 shot of Titos Vodka
  • 2 Cups Tabasco Spicy Bloody Mary Mix (Tabasco makes a mild version as well)
  • 1 tsp Steak Sauce
  • 1 tbsp green olives

DIRECTIONS

Fill cup with crushed ice. Mix in vodka, steak seasoning, steak sauce and olives. Pour Tabasco Spicy Bloody Mary Mix on top and stir. Serve with celery and straw.

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Pigs in a Blanket

When hosting a party it is important to prep as much as possible. Prepping allows you to be an easy breezy host. We found this Pigs in a Blanket recipe on Martha Stewart and it is a huge hit!! Every time we make this recipe at least 5 people from the party ask for details! Rather than use fatty smoked sausages I like to find either a smoked turkey or chicken sausage for a less greasy pig. What makes this recipe even better is you can freeze the pigs in a blanket a week ahead of time!

Pigs in a Blanket


INGREDIENTS

  • Flour for dusting
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • Honey Dijon mustard
  • 18 fully cooked sausages either smoked turkey or andouille chicken
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • Poppy seeds for sprinkling
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
  • Mustard or Ketchup for serving

DIRECTIONS

On a lightly floured work surface, roll each pastry sheet out into a 12-inch square, then cut into 4-inch squares. Lightly brush lower half of each square with mustard, center a sausage on mustard-coated edge, and brush top inch with egg. Roll sausages in pastry, pressing seams to tightly seal. Brush tops with egg, then sprinkle with poppy seeds or flaky salt. Cut each at an angle into thirds. Freeze pigs in blankets, uncovered, on a parchment-lined baking sheet until firm.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place frozen pigs in blankets 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with mustards.

*Recipe from Martha Stewart Living 

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Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Trying new recipes has always been a hobby of mine. I have memories after school of microwaving different dips together then anxiously awaiting the outcome! Sometimes I pick strange recipes to experiment on my friends and family. When I introduced this barbecue chicken pizza recipe my husband bought Funfetti cake mix pretending it would be fun to make when in reality he had low confidence in the dish and created a back up plan to avoid hurting my feelings. He was wrong!. Our Barbecue Chicken Pizza recipe is delicious, fast, and easy to make. The combination of the rich rotisserie chicken, sweet barbecue, creamy blue cheese and sharp red onion is addicting. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or side dish for Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

  • 1 Boboli 12” 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread sauce over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with chicken and remaining ingredients. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is crisp. Cut into 12 wedges.

*This recipe is based on Cooking Light’s BBQ Chicken and Blue Cheese Pizza

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Fast Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

Most Chicken Noodle soup recipes require a bit of time. First authentic recipes will require you boil the bones of the chicken to make flavorful stock. While this does make an excellent batch of soup I would like to know who has time to create their own stock! I sure don’t so when my husband or I get sick and crave a homemade batch of chicken noodle soup, I have to move fast to satisfy the craving. Our chicken noodle soup recipe is a combination of Pioneer Woman’s chicken noodle soup and this super fast version we found on allrecipes.com. We promise our fast chicken noodle soup will stick to your bones and soul.

Fast and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 32oz cartons of low sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
2 cups whole wheat egg noodles
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup of water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh pepper
1 tsp fresh parsley

Directions
In a dutch oven over medium heat melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook until soft about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broths and stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime create a slurry whisking the flour and water in the small bowl. Add to the soup when there is 5 minutes remaining. When time is up season with more salt and pepper to taste and serve in soup bowls topped with parsley and bread on the side.

*Every Sunday we either roast boneless skinless chicken breasts in the oven or slow cook in a crock pot, this helps speed up the cook time of our favorite lunches and dinners through out the week 🙂

 

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork and Broccoli Cole Slaw

My plan was to save this recipe for Super Bowl Sunday but my husband woke up this morning and told me he wanted pulled pork. Not only did he tell me he wanted pulled pork but he went out and bought all the ingredients! That is the ultimate compliment to my semi homemade recipe. We use this recipe for many cozy football Sundays and probably anytime we have a big house party. This flavorful recipe feeds a lot of people on a small budget. Sometimes I get frustrated since I always serve pulled pork for parties but everyone loves it so why stop! We like to serve with my skinny broccoli cole slaw, pioneer woman’s mac and cheese and fresh cornbread.

Ingredients

BBQ Pulled Pork 

  • 2lbs Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 McCormick Slow Cooker Chicken seasoning packet* 
  • 1 large onion, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce

Skinny Broccoli Cole Slaw

  • 1 bag store bought broccoli cole slaw
  • 3/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbps milk
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper

*Why are you buying the chicken packet for pork?! We know it seems strange but trust us it’s soo good

Clean and trim pork tenderloin of fat and place in slow cooker. Place onions and garlic on top of pork.

Mix sauce ingredients together by combining McCormick seasoning packet, ketchup, brown sugar, and cider vinegar (the sauce will be very thick).

Then pour sauce over pork and turn slow cooker on low for 6 hours. When the crockpot has 10 – 20 minutes left on cook time remove pork and shred with two forks. Place pork back in slow cooker with sauce and add BBQ sauce. Mix well and cook on low for last 10 – 20 minutes.

In the meantime mix broccoli slaw with sour cream, milk, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sugar and cayenne pepper. Taste to test and add more seasonings if desired. Do not use a metal bowl when mixing as ingredients will not stick.

When complete take pork out of crock pot and serve on potato rolls topped with cole slaw. Yum!


Let us know below if you have any questions or comments, would love to hear from you 🙂

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Easy Butternut Squash Soup and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Sorry friends its another Butternut Squash recipe but what did you expect me to do with the bottoms of those squashes from those delicious noodles! My husband tells me soup does not make a meal but we can both agree that this butternut squash soup and rosemary bread recipe does indeed make a hearty meal.

The combination of the two recipes is so elegant we thought it would be fun to serve in our china tea cups for a new years eve cocktail party. Our friends just loved the savory combination of the soup and bread, and serving on our china just made the meal extra special.

Easy and Hearty Butternut Squash Soup 

2 butternut squashes

32oz chicken broth low sodium

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese

1 tsp dried ground thyme

1 tsp dried sage

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave each butternut squash for 1 minute, then peel, remove seeds, and cube into 1 inch pieces. Place butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until cubes are soft. While the butternut squash is roasting heat a large pot over medium heat with olive oil. When oil is hot add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the cooked squash and chicken broth to pot with onions and simmer for 15 minutes. Then use an immersion blender to blend the squash till smooth. Add the cream cheese, thyme, sage salt and pepper. Blend all ingredients till smooth with the immersion blender. Taste to ensure enough seasoning and serve with rosemary focaccia bread.

We were inspired by the Pioneer Woman to use the leftover rosemary from our rosemary skewers for focaccia bread. The bread is very sticky so we recommend adding extra flour than the recipe calls for. Enjoy!

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Skinny Butternut Squash Noodles

The holidays brought a lot of delicious cookies, cakes, and cheese plates. Yum! We just couldn’t resist and have leftovers we proudly took home to prove it. When scrolling for new recipes I found this post from Skinnytaste which detailed how to make butternut squash noodles. We always have butternut squash around the house so I thought why not give it a try! They were delicious. We used our inspiralizer larger blade to cut the noodles, then baked them in the oven with olive oil salt and pepper. I found if you put the butternut squash in the microwave for one minute it made the squash easy to peel and cute. Then we paired the butternut squash noodles with Giada’s classic marinara and turkey meatballs, topped with cheese and parsley. We even had some butternut squash and marinara sauce leftover that to freeze for a future weeknight. What are your favorite post holiday skinny meals?

Butternut Squash Noodles

Inspiralizer balde B

2 large Butternut Squash

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the larger bottom off the butternut squash, we can only make the top portion into noodles. Microwave the top portion of the butternut squash for one minute. When complete let cool and peel the butternut squash. Then spiralize with blade B.
Cut the noodles into desired length and place on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over noodles and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.

Top butternut squash noodles with classic marinara, turkey meatballs, parsley and grated cheese.

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