Category Archives: Recipes by Brittany

His and Her Meals

When I started writing this post, I had no idea how appropriate it would be.

Initially, this was going to be your basic “how to keep meals balanced while in a relationship” especially if you’re trying to stay healthy. WELL, as of December 16th I will have to create his and hers meals for the rest of my life!  I’m getting married to my best friend, my partner in crime, my better half, my puzzle piece, my soul mate.

I’m OVER THE MOON! It was a special surprise proposal; he really did his best to throw me off cause I’m very sneaky and curious! I always joke that I got a bachelor’s in Nosiness (or Journalism if you prefer) And I’m a VERY hard person to surprise!

I’m overjoyed! And I can’t wait to transition from recipes for one to recipes for 2 different tastes! In the meantime, here’s my original post:

It’s been well documented that while in relationships, women tend to gain weight. And I’m sure there are many women who can attest to this fact! Myself included!

One of the hardest things to do is create a meal that is healthy, delicious and nutritious! Especially when you have to make something that appeals to someone with VERY different taste buds.

I’m totally happy munching on nothing but vegetables, whereas Military Man would not be happy crunching on cauliflower and cauliflower alone.

So how do you transition your significant other to eating healthier foods and, by proxy, keep your own health in check?

Start simple!

Military Man loves Italian food so I’ve been making the switch from white pasta to whole grain and veggie pasta. The taste difference is minute. Now there are different pasta sauces out there that contain a “hidden” serving of vegetables, and they taste just as good as the regular non-veggie sneaking sauce. Plus Low Fat Ricotta Cheese is all the flavor with half the calories and fat!

More examples of his and her meals:

  

His: two eggs over medium, 1 biscuit, and a strawberry banana smoothie

Hers: 1 egg and 1 egg white, scrambled with spinach & mushrooms, with a dash of Texas Pete and Nature’s Seasons! (not pictured: 1 ginormous smoothie with spinach, banana, berries and protein powder)

Smoothies are a great way to sneak in veggies and fruits for even the pickiest of taste buds! For Military Man, the key is a smoothie that matches the taste and consistency of a milkshake. And with ripe fruit and a tasty protein powder, it is easy to create a sweet smoothie. (But if your fruit lacks ripeness and you find your smoothie lacking, add 1 TB of agave nectar or honey!)

If you’re in a relationship, do your eating habits match up with your significant other’s? If you’re single, how do you create a menu for dinner guests?

Have a great week!

-Brittany

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Filed under Creative Concoctions, Gratuitous Boo, Healthy Living, Recipes by Brittany

A Lunch to look forward to

Now that I’m EMPLOYED(!!!!!), I get to make healthy lunches every day. I have some requirements for any lunch, it has to be portable, delicious and filling. I want a lunch that I’m excited to eat. If you pack yourself a good, quality lunch, you’ll be less likely to hit up the vending machine or scrap the whole thing for fast food.

When it comes to midday meals I prefer a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner. In my excitement of being employed again I decided to prep my lunch for Monday.

Before I get to what I prepped for myself, here are a few lunch ideas that are filling, delicious and travel well:

-Tuna Fish salad

-Waldorf Salad

-Chicken Salad

-Egg Salad

-A sandwich version of any of the aforementioned salads

-A regular MEGA salad (a salad with your favorite fixins)

-Taco Chicken Salad

-Tacos (easy to assemble and eat!)

-Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich (Or PB&J)

-Turkey (or other deli meat) sandwich

-Veggie Wrap (meat can easily be added)

-Leftover Pasta (Italian food always gets better overnight!)

-Leftover Lasagna

-Fried Rice or Stir Fry

-Grilled Chicken (in sandwich or tenders form, just cook up a breast or strips the night before and reheat!)

Great Sides/Snacks: potato salad, almonds, crackers, hummus (with cracker or veggies), celery and PB, baked chips, popcorn (with assorted toppings, Salt, butter, chocolate chips, nutritional yeast), rice, pudding cups, trail mix, granola bar, any fruit or veggie!!

Mondays are usually the bain of the workweek, but a delicious and filling lunch can make any Monday brighter!

I’m looking forward to a delicious Tuna Salad! I love tuna because it can be made in SO many ways. I like my tuna salad with lots of flavor and crunch! Definitely not your traditional tuna salad.

Brittany’s Favorite Tuna Salad

-2 cans of tuna (in water, NEVER oil!)

-1 cup of grapes (I slice mine lengthwise, cause I’m picky)

-2 stalks of celery chopped up (any way you prefer, I prefer mine in slices)

-Nature’s Seasons

-Garlic Powder

1. Slice celery and grapes

2. Drain tuna and add

3. Mix well and season to taste

You’re probably wondering, “Where’s the mayo?! The relish?!”

Well remember, this is for a lunch! And it’s enough for several lunches! So my suggestion to you, wait to add the mayo until you are packing up everything to take with you.  Add mayo as you prefer (I don’t have an exact measurement)

Mix it well and add a TB of mustard. The mustard gives it a nice kick and makes up for the lack of relish. The celery adds a great crunch, and the grapes add a burst of sweetness.

If you are hesitant to stray from your standard Tuna Salad recipe, this is a great “gateway” recipe.  I’ve got another Tuna Salad recipe that involves honey and cinnamon…..but that’s another fish for another day!

Wondering what to do with the tuna water?

Midnight will be HAPPY to take it off your hands!! (Military Man’s kitty cat, pretty much the nicest cat I’ve ever met!)

Bon Appetit!

-Brittany

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MVP

In my opinion, chicken is one of the most versatile meats. Or poultry, Most Versatile Poultry, if you like.

You can dress it up or dress it down, brine it, bake it, fry it, stuff it; the possibilities are endless!

This weekend Military Man and I went on a little trip to visit his family. And I managed to convince him that a trip to Trader Joe’s was in order (and his sister-in-law totally agreed) 🙂

Saturday night we whipped up Parmesan chicken (following Giada’s recipe) and made spice cake with cream cheese icing. Talk about a delicious dinner! I didn’t take any photos cause I was too busy chowing down. It was so nice to be able to just relax and hang out with great company! We’re going to try and make it a more regular event.

But I digress, the chicken recipe I will be sharing today involves a fantastic ingredient…Panko bread crumbs! We stopped at The Fresh Market and I grabbed some up along with one lovely Meyer Lemon. This is so easy and….you guessed it…versatile!

Flax & Panko Breaded Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

Ingredients:

-4 boneless skinless thin sliced chicken breasts

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp pepper

-2 eggs

-2 TB ground flax

-1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In 1 bowl whisk eggs, in another mix the panko, flax, and saltNpepper.

Dip chicken breasts into egg mixture and then put them into the bread crumb bowl and coat.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (I am adding the cooking spray suggestion now because when I made this I did not spray the foil…and the results could’ve been better!)

Pop those bad boys in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

(I cooked mine for 35 minutes and when I pulled them out I nuked them for 1 minute in the microwave, cause I’m paranoid like that)

The chicken was juicy and tender….with a little bit of crunch! I’m betting adding garlic powder to the batter would be awesome…I’ll test it out another time.

The best thing about this recipe is the versatility (word du jour I’m tellin’ ya!) You can cut the chicken into strips and make chicken tenders, dip in ketchup or mustard, top with marinara and cheese for a twist on chicken parmesan. Or you can do what I did and make this fantastic glaze.

Maple Mustard Glaze

Serves 2

-1 3/4 TB maple syrup

-1/2 tsp mustard powder

-1/4 tsp yellow mustard (I used French’s)

-1/4 tsp lemon juice

– pinch of salt and pepper

Mix the maple syrup and mustard powder in a small bowl and microwave for 10 seconds (this will help the powder dissolve into the maple syrup) Then add the yellow mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and drizzle over the chicken.

**This glaze would also be delicious on pork loin!!**

I gobbled mine up with corn and peas on the side…and a little extra glaze. This was a light and healthy meal that was easy and fast to whip up! The glaze starts sweet but definitely has a spicy kick (putting the POW in powder!) Similar to honey mustard, but lacking the floral sweetness that is honey. This glaze is all about feisty flavor, enjoy!

And I have 3 more pieces for 3 more meals! I’m all about making enough to have leftovers and figuring out how to revamp leftovers is one of life’s little joys!

Hope you have a great rest of your week!

If you try this recipe, be sure to let me know what you think! What is your favorite poultry? Do you think any others are more versatile than my dearest chicken?

Bon appetit!

-Brittany

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Filed under Creative Concoctions, Healthy Living, Recipes by Brittany

Souped Up

I’m all about making things from scratch and trying to rely, mostly, on fresh foods. However, I know that sometimes life gets in the way and we have to rely on shortcuts. But that doesn’t mean that those shortcuts can’t taste homemade!

I know grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic…but the great thing about classics is that you can remix them!

So here’s my take on the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese. Trust me, once you modify the soup it will taste homemade!

**Initially, Military Man intended to have some of his leftovers for dinner. I had him do a taste test on the soup to see if I was right on with my additions and after trying it he asked, “Can I have grilled cheese and soup for dinner too??”**

“Can’t Believe It’s from a Can” Zesty Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

-1 can of Zesty Tomato Bisque soup (I’ve only amped up this soup before so I can’t say whether this particular mix of spices would work on a different brand or flavor)

-4 shakes of Hot Sauce (I recommend Texas Pete!)

-1/2 tsp of Nature’s Seasons (AH-mazing spice blend…I put it on everything. Fries, peas, spinach, chicken, etc)

-1 tsp Gahlic Powdaaa

1. Pour one can of soup into a blender or food processor.

2. Add hot sauce, Nature’s Seasons and garlic powder and pulse until combined.

So now that you’ve got your soup how about some grilled cheese to go along with it?

Great Grilled Cheese

~If you choose to use regular bread over sandwich thins then this recipe will not be as low cal, but if you’re worried about flavor, don’t be. This may be a low cal version of grilled cheese but it tastes nothing like cardboard. PROMISE!~

Ingredients:

-1 sandwich thin

-2 heaping TBS shredded cheese of your choice (I recommend shredded because it melts easily)

-1 TB garlic hummus

-1 pat of butter

Recipe Note: This is pretty low cal but I’ve included real butter. If you wish to cut calories non-stick cooking spray would work as a substitute. Frankly, I need that buttery, crispy crunch on my grilled cheese. Plus, I live in close proximity to Paula Deen and if I don’t use butter at some point I’m fairly certain she can expel me from the South.

1. Melt butter in a pan on medium/high heat and add the sandwich thin. Move it around so it soaks up the buttery goodness.

2. Add cheese and distribute between both sides. Leave on the skillet until melted, then remove from heat.

3. Spread hummus on one side and press both sides together.

4. ENJOY!

The soup tastes phenomenal and crazy close to homemade. The touch of hot sauce adds a warmth which makes the soup even better for cold, crisp fall evenings. The hummus takes the grilled cheese from mundane to extraordinary! A quick, healthy meal! And the hummus adds more protein for filling power! (Not to mention crazy good flavor!)

-This was a delicious meal for me, however, Military Man needed a little more food. I used regular bread for his sandwich and included crackers to go with his soup.-

Bon Appetit!

-Brittany

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Filed under Creative Concoctions, Healthy Living, On the Menu, Recipes by Brittany

White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette

Panera Bread is home to my favorite restaurant salad.

The Fuji Apple Chicken Salad.

Apple Chips, sliced chicken, tomatoes, pecans, gorgonzola cheese; there is nothing about the salad that I couldn’t recreate at home except for the dressing…until now!

It is SO easy!

White Balsamic Apple Vinagrette

makes about 7 ounces of vinaigrette

-1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

-3 TB apple cider vinegar

-1 whole apple (sliced)

-1 TB olive oil (add more if you desire)

Recipe Notes: If you have a juicer I would recommend juicing your apple if you prefer a thinner, more liquid dressing. If you juice your apple you may need to add an another half of an apple for volume. Just whisk or mix all ingredients until combined.

DISCLAIMER: A true vinaigrette has more oil, but I added just a little bit to cut down on calories and fat. For me, it’s all about the flavor, not so much the oil/consistency.

1. Puree 1 apple in a food processor

2. Add in both vinegars and continue to pulse

3. Add in oil and pulse until combined

4. Drizzle over salad and pour the rest in an airtight container and store in fridge

(Shown with Freaky Fast Pasta)

This dressing, if made with a food processor, is slightly chunky but 100% delicious! (Closely reminiscent to applesauce)

I’m betting if you strained it through a cheesecloth and squeezed out the excess you’d have a more “vinaigrette-y” consistency. You’d probably have to add more oil/vinegar…maybe one day I’ll try that method. If I do I’ll be sure to post my results for your viewing pleasure!

I’m so happy I was able to recreate this dressing. I will absolutely be making my favorite restaurant salad in the comfort of my own kitchen.

Bon Appetit!!

-Brittany

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Freaky Fast Pasta

I’m a lover of Italian food. Giada de Laurentiis was the first “celebrity chef” whose show I watched religiously. I am enamored with her! But that is another post for another day…for now I shall give you my super fast and pretty darn healthy pasta dish.

Usually, I try to make most of my food from scratch but with this dish the pre-made foods have “hidden” veggies, upping the health factor!

I can whip this up in less than 20 minutes. No more excuses for fast food, people! Healthy food can be delicious AND fast!

Freaky Fast Pasta

Serves 4

-1/2 jar of Prego Veggie Smart Pasta

-3/4 of the container of skim milk ricotta cheese (In my opinion, in this dish, you can’t tell the difference between whole milk and skim milk ricotta cheese, so why not go with the skim milk and cut down your calories?!)

-3/4 of a box of Ronzoni Garden Delight Pasta

-1 TBS of oil (pref. Olive Oil)

-A small palm full of salt

-SaltNPepper+ Garlic Powder

1. Add salt to water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.

2. After pasta has cooked, scoop 1 cup of pasta water and reserve.

3. Drain pasta and pour into a bowl

4. Add ricotta cheese and sauce to hot pasta and mix. If the sauce is too thick, add tablespoons of pasta water until you reach the desired consistency.

5. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste and serve immediately

You can add fresh basil or top it with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This dish is also vegetarian but you could easily turn this into a meat sauce using ground beef, chicken or turkey.

It’s fast and surprisingly healthy! I recommend it for any night that you need a healthy meal, fast. It also refrigerates well and is easy to reheat and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

-Brittany

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Superfood Smoothie

Vanessa has mentioned how amazing smoothies are and I feel it needs repeating!

When made properly, smoothies can be very healthy meal replacements. OR they can be calorie bombs.

It all comes down to ingredients. And some machinery (a very good blender or food processor)

Today’s smoothie was strawberries and bananas. This is a very basic, beginner smoothie. Military Man had an interest in trying a strawberry banana smoothie, but I knew he’d be expecting it to taste more like a milkshake. My goal is to make healthy food that TASTES like it should be bad for you. And this recipe totally succeeded.

Strawberry Banana Superfood Smoothie

-1/2 to 1 cup mix of sliced strawberries and bananas

-1/3 cup of milk

-1 scoop protein powder of your choice, I used vanilla flavored

-1 TBS of vanilla extract (you shouldn’t be surprised at this point)

-1 TBS Cacao Nibs (this is what makes it a “superfood” smoothie)

-3-4 ice cubes IF YOU DIDN’T USE FROZEN FRUIT

RECIPE NOTES:

-You can use any type of liquid in smoothies (fruit juice, soymilk, almond milk, regular milk, water) it just depends on your taste preferences

-I usually add spinach to my smoothies for an extra veggie boost, blended up, you can’t taste it at all!

1. Throw all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until well pulverized.

2. Pour into a glass and ENJOY!

What’s up with Cacao Nibs? What makes them so “super?” No, Marvel Comics doesn’t endorse them (but they totally should!) nor will consuming them give you the power to walk through walls.

But they will help you achieve a healthier body. And, in the end, if you have a healthy, well nourished body then you might as well be a superhero!

According to the bag: “The bean of the cacao plant is the nutritional and flavorful source for all chocolate and cocoa products. Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and it is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium and possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities.”

They smell like chocolate, but they are bitter tasting. Which is why I recommend blending them into smoothies or grinding them down to a powder and incorporating them into brownies or other chocolate baked goods.

Bon Appetit!

-Brittany

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