Monday Munchies_27

Photobucket

Today’s Recipe: Stuffed Pizza Slices

 

There’s a place that sells Italian food on my college campus. It’s not what you’d call authentic or even all that great, but there’s nowhere else to get a slice of pizza if you don’t want to order out. The best thing they have is this great stuffed pizza, two crispy crusts filled with cheeses and veggies. Unfortunately, one slice costs almost $5! I decided there had to be a better way, and I was right.

It turns out that a pita, sliced and baked in just the right way, tastes as great as the crust of this overpriced stuffed pizza. For this recipe, which makes one slice of stuffed pizza, you will need one piece of pita bread, two or three tablespoons of tomato or pizza sauce, around 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, and any other pizza toppings.

First, slice the bread so it’s the shape of a big pizza slice, with the crust end closed and the sides open:

You can stuff the leftover edges too, or slice them up and bake them along with the rest to make pita chips.

Heat the pita in the microwave for ten seconds. This will make it easier to open without letting it get crispy too early. Slide a spoon between the two halves at the tip and the pits should open.

Then, put in the fillings in any way you’d like. I used a little plain tomato sauce, slices of mozzarella rather than the shredded kind, spinach, and olives. Put your slice on a baking sheet or a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle the top with parmesan if you have it. Bake at 250 degrees for about five minutes, or until the cheese all melts but before the pita gets too brown.

Although I expected this recipe to be an imitation that just wouldn’t quite hit the spot, it tasted so much like those big slices that I don’t think I’ll ever waste the money on one again!

—> Health-friendly Tips
-Use a whole grain pita instead of plain white.
-Sprinkle sesame seeds on top instead of extra cheese.—> Kid-friendly Tips
-If your kids don’t like veggie toppings, sneak finely chopped or pureed veggies into the sauce.
-Don’t tell them they’re having pizza for a snack. Although this recipe is completely picky-eater approved, it is probably very different from their image of a delivery pizza with a thick crust and the cheese on top.—> Budget-friendly Tips
-Instead of cooking up a separate side dish, serve with more of the veggies you used to stuff the slice and a tasty dipping sauce.
-Want to use extra meats or cheeses but don’t want to pay for a large amount? If you ask for just one slice of anything at your grocery store deli, you’ll probably get it for free.As a little bonus to today’s post – remember when I suggested last week that you can make the jello recipe inside a watermelon half? Well, I picked up a fresh watermelon at a roadside stand this week, and my kitten is sure enthusiastic about the idea!

Garlic Parmesan Stuffed Chicken with melted Strawberries
 border=

GARLIC PARMESAN STUFFED CHICKEN with MELTED STRAWBERRIES*
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves minced garlic, jar
1 large bunch green onions sliced
1/4 cup seedless strawberry or raspberry jam*
3 1/2 cups strawberry pieces*
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Whisk together the jam, lime juice and vinegar.
  • Pour over strawberries and onions toss together.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread into a 3 quart baking dish.
  • Toss garlic and Parmesan cheese together.
  • Cut a pocket in the side of each chicken breast and fill with garlic cheese mixture. Secure with toothpicks to close or use these cool loops or band! Salt and pepper each side.
  • In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute’ onions. Add chicken and brown on each side.
  • Transfer chicken to a baking dish and put into the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Add the strawberry baking dish to oven and bake both another 15-20 minutes until chicken is no longer pink, the berries have softened and the jam mixture has thickened.
  • Serve chicken with the berries over top and with Herb Rice Pilaf.
Save room for dessert: peach ice with regal raspberry sauce recipes

Welcome to The Krazy Kitchen’s first weekly Save Room for Dessert!

I was brainstorming for a catchy name, and I’m so glad Tamy of 3 Sides of Crazy came up with a real winner.

I always save room for dessert because it’s my little secret for not gaining too much weight! Yes, you read that right!

Medical and scientific research proves that:

  • Not depriving ourselves keeps us from both overeating other foods and binging on the “forbidden” foods later;
  • Learned responses help us stop eating after dessert or wanting bigger helpings if we don’t eat dessert;
  • Sugars found in desserts actually send satiated messages to the brain, literally telling us that we are full;
  • Desserts trigger cheery thoughts and memories of comfort for most people, which helps in preventing depression and from just moping around, promoting a more active lifestyle.

That’s why I’m such a big advocate for eating dessert — always in moderation — as part of a balanced diet and appropriately active lifestyle. It all works together so that we can eat our cake and stay fit too.

This week I have two recipes for you. They are perfect served together and for celebrating July’s National Ice Cream Month and National Berry Month. I offer you Iced Peach with Regal Raspberry Sauce.

It is a variation on the classic Peach Melba, created by French Chef Auguste Escoffier in the 1890s at the Savoy Hotel in London to honor opera soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The classic Peche Melba is made with vanilla ice cream, fresh peaches and a raspberry sauce.


Peach Ice
1 medium can (28-29 oz.) or 2 small cans (15 oz.) peaches in heavy syrup (reserve syrup)
1 cup of the reserved peach syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light-colored, light-flavored honey
1 cup peach schnapps or peach brandy
juice of 1 lemon

Combine reserved peach syrup, sugar and honey in a saucepan, and bring to a slow boil while stirring. Sugar should dissolve completely, but not caramelize. Add alcohol and simmer for a few minutes and let cool.

Puree peaches in blender with lemon juice. Add syrup mixture and blend well.

Pour into a freezer-safe pan and freeze.

To serve, scoop peach ice into wide-rimmed glasses and nap with Regal Raspberry Sauce (below).

Optional Decorations:

  • Top with a few fresh raspberries or peach slices and a sprig of mint
  • Top with edible pansy (available at farmer’s markets or organic grocery stores)

Regal Raspberry Sauce
1 small basket of fresh raspberries (or frozen, about 2 cups)
1/4 cup raspberry or red currant preserves
1/2 cup Chambord liqueur (raspberry)
1-2 Tablespoons diluted cornstarch (only if needed — usually if too thin when using frozen berries)

Combine all ingredients, except cornstarch, in a saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat while stirring. Do not bring to a boil.

Continue to simmer while stirring until thickened. If sauce is too thin, add diluted corn starch to the sauce, and stir.

Optional: Strain sauce to remove raspberry seeds.

Let cool and serve with peach ice.

Can also be served:

  • Over vanilla ice cream
  • Over peach pie
  • With fresh fruits
  • With chocolate cake
Enjoy! See you next Wednesday for another Save Room for Dessert.
Don’t forget to visit the other participants and to comment on their blogs.
(Stop by Joy Of Desserts to enter my latest giveaway, too!)
Chicken Apple Puff Bundles – Dinner and Dessert All in one

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.
~La Rochefoucauld
Personally, I like to go a step farther and eat creatively which is what inspired this recipe!

CHICKEN & APPLE PUFF BUNDLES
3/4 pound chicken tenders
1/4 cup chopped Vidalia onions
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 ounces orange juice with pulp
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden raisins
puff pastry*
cinnamon sugar
egg, beaten

  • Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature until they’re easy to handle (about 45 minutes).
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
  • In a skillet melt butter and saute’ chicken and onion until golden.
  • Whisk the orange juice, apple pie spice, brown sugar and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
  • Add apple pieces and raisins.
  • Add to chicken and onion mixture.
  • Simmer until moisture is absorbed.
  • Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 10-inch square. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 (5-inch) squares. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.
  • Spoon 1/4 cup of apple mixture into center of square.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg.
  • Fold each pastry in half over the apple mixture and press the edges to seal.
  • Place the filled pastries onto the baking sheets.
  • Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastries are golden. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove the pastries to a wire rack and let cool.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Simple Supper Saturday – Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Welcome to Simple Supper Saturday! You know it doesn’t get much more simple than letting your slow cooker do the work for you! I originally found this recipe at Problem Solvin’ Mom. My version is adapted just a teeny tiny bit.

What you’ll need
Pork loin, cut into large pieces to fit into your slow cooker
Beef broth, enough to cover the meat
BBQ sauce (optional)

How to make it
Place pork loin into slow cooker – go ahead stuff it full! (I usually use about a 5 pound loin). Cover with beef broth. Cook on low heat 6 hours. Remove pork and shred using 2 forks. Place your shredded pork into a baking pan(s). Add some beef broth if you are serving it plain or add BBQsauce – if you’re like me you’ll make a lot and make a pan of each! Bake at 350 uncovered for 20minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Note – The pulled pork freezes great for some quick BBQ sandwich nights! Serve with coleslaw and corn on the cob – or even just with some chips on the side for a great quick and easy meal!

I’m also linking this to Debbie’s all new Crock Pot Wednesdays. Check it out for lots of great slow cooking recipes 🙂

Healthy Helpings – Stuffed Chicken with Vegetables and Lemon Basil Pasta

I tried this recipe last week, and it got a thumbs up from my mom and my 12 year old. Tara had her pasta the “normal” way, but she loved the stuffed chicken.

Stuffed Chicken with Vegetables and Lemon Basil Pasta
From Clean Eating
Serves 4, Hands on Time: 20 min, Total Time – 1 hour

Ingredients

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 c onion, chopped
  • 1 c loosely packed spinach, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded, cored & diced, divided
  • 2 tbps bread crumbs
  • 1/2 pkg whole wheat spagetti (I used Barilla Plus Angel Hair)
  • 4 4 oz boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 4 tbps fresh basil, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp parm cheese grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste… I found it needed salt when I served.

Instructions
Heat a large non stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Mist with cooking spary and add onion, spinach ONE garlic clove and ONE tomato. Saute for 5 min or until just cooked. Remove from heat, mix in bread crumbs, set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat and cook pasta according to package directions.

To stuff chicken, place 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp vegetable-bread crumb mixture in the middle of each piece of chicken. Fold chicken over filling and secure with toothpicks.

Heat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat for 2 min. Mist with cooking spray. Place stuffed chicken into pan and cook until golden brown on each side (about 3-4 min per side)

Drain pasta when finished cooking, then put back in the pot and toss with basil, oil, lemon juice and zest, add remaining 3 cloves of garlic.

To serve garnish pasta with remaining tomatoes and parmesean cheese.

(my rolls are a little “messy”, I had picked up chicken tenders instead of breasts, so I was working with small pieces of chicken!)

Do you have a healthy recipe to share? Post it to your blog, and be sure to come back here and add it to Mcklinky! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday Munchies 13

Photobucket

Sorry for the lateness again, everyone. I’ve been preparing for a big test that’s over tomorrow, so you’ll see a lot more of me this week!

Today’s Recipe: Bento Veggies with Triple Yogurt Dips


What’s so special about a veggie tray? Well, this isn’t any old veggie tray, it’s tailor-made with inspiration from Japan to make eating veggies fun for anyone, guaranteed! The one I made is very simple and doesn’t include all the dips, but you’ll be amazed to see how customizable this recipe is.

First of all, what does bento mean?

It’s a type of boxed lunch eaten in Japan, and mothers are known to often spend hours every morning trying to make their children’s lunches as cute and colorful as possible with a variety of fruits and veggies. Here are a few examples. I didn’t make any of these, of course, just found them online. 😉

https://www.ourkrazzykitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2378108086_ae5739c383.jpg

Veggie trays are traditionally used for big parties, but I like to borrow the idea of these adorable little bento boxes and make personal-sized trays. Who wouldn’t rather eat a variety of veggies and dips than a boring bag of plain carrots?

The instructions for this recipe are very simple, though I’ll include my favorite healthy dip recipes a little later on. Just take at least three varieties of veggie or fruit, preferably of different colors, and serve them together. Optionally, cut them into cute shapes, put them in an interesting container like the round bowl in the top picture, or garnish them with your favorite spices and herbs.

Be creative! I love cutting yellow bell peppers into star shapes. Make a space-themed lunch with star peppers, tomato planets, and grapes for comets with shredded carrots for their tails. This recipe can be anything from a simple adult snack to a game for kids.

As fun as it is to eat cute, colorful veggies, we all know that dips are what make them great. Here are my three favorite healthy dip recipes. All use plain yogurt as a base.

Tzatziki Dip

Tzatziki, which is pictured on the veggie tray above, is a Greek cucumber dip. It’s a healthier alternative to creamy dressings like ranch.

Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup plain yogurt, Greek yogurt if possible
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1/4 cup or less diced cucumber
– 1/4 tsp olive oil

Just mix all the ingredients and you’ll have the perfect serving for one or two people.

Dessert Dip

This dip is great for fruit. You could just use your favorite store-bought flavored yogurt, but this version comes without added sugar or artificial flavors and colors.

Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup plain yogurt
– 1 or 2 drops vanilla or almond extract
– 2 tbsp any fruit, chopped

Stir them together, or blend in a food processor if you want the dip to take on the color of your fruit. Frozen fruit works great in this dip.

Black Bean Dip

Ingredients:
– 2 tbsp plain yogurt
– 1/4 cup black beans, cooked
– 1/4 cup salsa
– Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Smash the black beans with a fork or blend them until smooth. Mix in the salsa and yogurt. You can use a fruit salsa with mango or pineapple for a different flavor. Garnish with cilantro.

—> Health-friendly Tips
– Use fat-free yogurt in all three dips if desired.
– To make your veggie box a very healthy meal, add cheese cut into cubes or other shapes and rolled slices of deli turkey. Or take more inspiration from Japan and add rice or pasta and hard-boiled eggs.

—> Kid-friendly Tips
– Including a variety of veggies ensures that they’ll at least eat some. If they don’t like one, they can eat the others.
– Use your kids’ favorite colors when you make the box. Is one of your kids a little princess who loves to eat berries with pink strawberry dip? Do you have a sports fan who would love to have a snack dressed up with his or her team’s colors?

—> Budget-friendly Tips
– Use fruits and veggies that are in season to save money.
– Don’t have any containers to pack the dip in? You can make a condiment packet out of tightly wrapped aluminum foil, or plop a spoonful of dip into a muffin pan liner and seal it with a rubber band. Aren’t broke college students creative? 🙂

Monday Munchies

Photobucket
 

Welcome to Monday Munchies, where you’ll find fast and delicious snack recipes that appeal to kids and adults of all ages! First of all, I’d like to let everyone know that I’ll usually be posting earlier, with more pictures. You all know I’m a busy, easily distracted college student, and between homework and holiday plans, I didn’t notice that my cat decided to hide a part from my camera! For today, I’ll be using pictures from an old camera. I think the fact that I managed to fit these recipes into my schedule shows you just how easy and fast they are. 🙂

Today is a two-for-one – one savory snack, one sweet. Together, they make a great little meal, and both are guaranteed kid-approved.

Recipe #1: my favorite Veggie Nachos

Photobucket
 

It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Spray a pan with your favorite cooking spray (I used canola), plop down a tortilla (whole wheat for me) and slice it into six triangular pieces before baking in a 350 degree oven, two minutes on each side. Once the chips are crispy, pull them out and top them with any shredded cheese and your favorite precooked veggies. I used broccoli and yellow bell pepper in the photo above. Put the chips back in the oven for another minute or so, just until the cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, lettuce, and tomato, or your favorite salsa.

—> Health-friendly tips
– You can use low-fat or light cheese with this recipe.
– To make this snack a healthy meal, add cooked leftover chicken.

—> Kid-friendly tips
– Let kids put on their own toppings so they’re excited about the veggies
– Do your kids prefer their veggies in big chunks or tiny slivers? You might be surprised at how many they eat if you slice them up the right way!
– Salsa is a great way to add veggies to a kid’s diet. Try different kinds, like bean or fruit salsas.

Recipe #2: Fake Baked Apples

Photobucket
 

Don’t get me wrong, the fruit in this recipe is definitely real, but there’s no baking involved! Just thinly slice a small apple into a microwave-safe bowl and top with cinnamon (about 1/2 tsp), sugar (2 tsp), and butter (1 tsp). Microwave for a minute and a half, pausing every thirty seconds to stir. Top with whipped cream and serve.

—> Health-friendly tips
– The butter is optional. Butter and sugar substitutes can also be used.
– This is still a delicious snack or dessert even without the whipped cream!

—> Kid-friendly tips
– If your kid won’t eat the apples plain, serve over vanilla ice cream.
– The apples can be peeled before cooking for picky eaters.

Thanks for reading this week’s Monday Munchies, and please play along with your own quick, tasty snack ideas!

Simple Summer Suppers

Welcome to Simple Summer Suppers!

During the warm summer months there are usually other places I’d rather be besides in the kitchen – like at the beach or in the pool! During the summer I make a lot of main dish salads, subs or sandwich style meals, but that doesn’t have to be boring! Simple Summer Suppers will focus on quick, easy, inexpensive and generally even healthy summertime meals.

Chicken Caesar Pitas are one of my family’s favorites, and talk about easy! Just grab that leftover chicken out of the fridge and slice or shred, mix up a quick Caesar salad – you can even buy it ready to mix in the bag these days if you choose. Throw your pita bread in the oven right on the rack just long enough to warm, about two minutes (I use the whole grain pitas, but that’s up to you)…

 

Pile the salad and chicken on the pita bread, add a bit fresh grated Parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, fold and enjoy! This meal tastes even better on paper plates 😉

Note – sliced steak or shrimp are also great in place of the chicken.

I hope you’ll join us with your own Simple Summer Supper ideas!

Chocolate Upside Down Cake
Magazine Mondays is hosted by Ivonne over at Cream Puffs in Venice.

CHOCOLATE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
CAKE
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, minced

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Sift together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and cocoa.
  • Mix in buttermilk, butter and vanilla.
  • Fold in walnuts.
  • Pour into 8×8 or 9×9 prepared pan.

TOPPING
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water

  • Whisk together and pour over unbaked batter.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Cool and invert onto a platter.
  • Enjoy.