Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baked Mac N' Cheese with Turkey


16 oz. whole grain pasta
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 oz. Lipton onion soup mix (1 packet)
15 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
1.5 cups non-fat milk
4 large eggs
2 cups shredded cheese (I used one cup sharp white cheddar and one cup medium yellow cheddar)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup original or Parmesan bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Coat 9 x 9 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Boil pasta according to directions for al dente, drain when cooked, and rinse.

In a large saute pan, brown ground turkey.  Once completely browned, add packet of Lipton soup mix and stir in well.  Set aside to let cool.

Mix ricotta cheese, 1 egg, salt and pepper, set aside.  Whisk together the remaining eggs, milk, and paprika in a bowl.  Add 1 cup of ground turkey to the ricotta mixture to temper eggs.  Once done, add the remaining ground turkey to the mix and stir well.

Stir together ground turkey mixture and cooked pasta.  Pour ground turkey mixture into pan and spread evenly.  Layer 1.5 cups of cheese on the top.  Pour milk, egg and paprika over everything in pan.  Top with remaining cheese, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs as the top layer.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until mixture is set in the middle.  Serve with steamed broccoli or asparagus, mmm.

This dish is very hearty and cuts like a thick slice of lasagna.   A satisfying idea for a warm meal in the everlasting winter.

Rotisserie Chicken


1 whole chicken, raw (Costco sells in two pack and they are massive)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Sweet Mesquite dry rub (or your favorite rub)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
18 inches twine or thick string, soaked in water at least 20 minutes


Preheat your bar be que's rotisserie setting.

Clean out the chicken cavity.  Thoroughly rinse raw, whole chicken and then pat dry with paper towels.  Completely coat chicken with olive oil, working the oil on the chicken with your hands, and then coat very well with dry rub.  Toss garlic into chicken's cavity and rub around.  Bind the chicken legs with the soaked twine, and then do the same with the chicken wings - going around the body.  Cut off any excess twine when finished tying.

Place the prepared chicken on your rotisserie rod and affix to your bar be que's rotisserie, close lid.  Approximate roasting time should be 1.5 hours.  Check your chicken's temperature - a whole chicken should reach 180 degrees when completely roasted.  Serve with roasted veggies and whole grain rolls, yum!

This recipe comes to you courtesy of my husband, Greg.  He is the rotisserie master in our home!

Soy Lime Chicken

* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
* 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
* 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
* 1 small onion, sliced
* 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth


1. Whisk first 5 ingredients to blend in 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add chicken and onion. Cover and let marinate at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate up to 3 hours, turning chicken occasionally.

2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade. Strain marinade into medium saucepan; add broth. Boil until sauce coats spoon, about 14 minutes.

3. Grill or broil chicken until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter.

4. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

I served this dish with rice. For each cup of rice, I added 1 cup of water, 3/4 cup chicken broth, and 1/4 cup lime juice in my rice cooker. It gives the rice some of the same flavor as the chicken.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Apple Quesadillas


  • 4 flour tortillas (approximately 8-inches wide)
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded or chopped, chicken meat (I used rotisserie chicken meat)
  • 1/4 lb cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, sliced or grated
  • 1 apple, sliced (I like Fuji or Jazz apples - something crisp)
  • 1/4 cup mango chutney OR salsa
  • Optional: spinach


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1 Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Place one tortilla in the skillet. Flip it a couple of times with a spatula, then let it sit in the pan heating up until air pockets form and parts of the tortilla begin to puff up. Flip it again.

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2 Place cheese slices on half of the tortilla, at least 1/2-inch from the edge of the tortilla. Add chicken pieces on top of the cheese. Fold the tortilla over like an omelette, and press down on the folded tortilla with the spatula. Lower the heat to medium. At this point, if you have enough room in your skillet, you can add a second tortilla to the pan to begin to heat it up.

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3 When the cheese inside the quesadilla has melted, remove the quesadilla to a cutting board. Open it wide and layer on apple slices, salsa or chutney, and optional spinach. Fold the tortilla back again, and cut it into 3 triangles, as if you were cutting a pie. (You don't have to cut the quesadilla into triangles, it just makes it easier for kids to eat.)

4 Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

I got this recipe idea from and modified it just a bit.  I think the chutney tastes amazing with it and I really like the spinach addition as well. (Easy to leave out if your kids don't dig it) My favorite tortillas in the world are the homemade wheat tortillas from De Leon Mexican Market (on Francis and Division for you Spokanites). Dinner prepped and on the table in 10 minutes.  LOVE!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brown Sugar Brownies


1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
2 ounces of unsweetened or German chocolate, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 8x8x2-inch baking pan.  In mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Beat in chocolate, then flour.  Stir in walnuts.  Pour batter into pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan and cut into bars.

These brownies are lighter in color and chocolate flavor, but very sweet and delicious, with no need for frosting!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Roasted Chicken Layered Pie


1 rotisserie chicken, breast meat
1-14 oz. can organic three beans (pinto, black, kidney)
1/2 cup medium salsa + 1 cup salsa
1/3 cup light sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt
3 soft taco size, whole wheat flour tortillas
2/3 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup frozen white/yellow corn
1 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
1 fresh avocado
tortilla or corn chips of your choice (optional)
non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat the bottom of a round or square 8 inch pan with non-fat cooking spray.  Cut up chicken breast meat into bite sized pieces.  Open and drain can of three beans.  Mix together sour cream + 1/2 cup salsa, then add and stir in chicken and beans to salsa/sour cream mixture.  Begin layering the ingredients of the pie in this order from bottom to top:  1/4 cup salsa, 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1/2 of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup corn, 1/3 cup spinach and then 1/3 cup grated cheese.  Layer again one more time the same way.  Finish the pie by topping with a tortilla, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/3 cup cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Then uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes.  Garnish with sliced fresh avocado and chips, if desired.

This recipe is from my dear friend, Karen!

Monday, April 18, 2011

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps


*16 Boston, bibb or butter lettuce leaves (or head of lettuce, rinsed, using large leaves)
*1 pound ground turkey breast
*1 large onion -- chopped
*1/2 cup pine nuts, chopped or crushed
*2 tablespoons minced garlic
*1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
*1/4 cup hoisin sauce
*2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
*1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
*2 teaspoons Asian chili pepper sauce (see Note)
*1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts -- drained, finely chopped
*1 bunch green onions -- thinly sliced
*2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil


1. Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain.
2. Cook ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts, pine nuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in sesame oil. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.

*Note: Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead.

*Per my husband's request, I served this dish with some rice to add to the wraps to make them a bit more filling. I also bought some frozen egg rolls to add to the meal as well.

I got this recipe from my friends, Jake and Katie Sprute. They made it for Eric and I after we had our baby. It's really easy to make and absolutely delicious!