Sunday, August 26, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

So, I wanted this week's food to be super easy, since we're going to Dragon*Con and leaving on Friday morning.(I'm SO EXCITED!!!) During typical weekdays, we'll have one thing for breakfast all week, and then I'll make two different dishes to alternate between for lunch and dinner. It makes things REALLY easy when you cook everything on Sunday, and it ends up being cheaper too.  The great thing is, as long as it's different stuff every week, me AND the hubby are quite content having the same thing every day for 5 days. Sounds weird, right? LOL

This week is tuna casserole and taco casserole...figure out the theme yet? Casseroles are easy to put together, easy to serve, and they reheat really well. So without further ado, here's the recipe for the really yummy breakfast casserole. :)

4 cups frozen hashbrowns
1 tube sausage
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 eggs
1/2 cup baking mix, such as Bisquick
1 cup 2% or skim milk
1/2 pack of mushrooms (about 4 oz)
1 diced green pepper
1 diced medium yellow onion
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 cup salsa (optional, but I will use it next time)


1) Put hashbrowns and spinach in a large bowl with warm water to thaw.

2) Cook sausage until no longer pink. Drain and return to pan.

3) In the same pan, add mushrooms, green pepper, and onion and cook until onions start to caramelize.

4) While the sausage/veggies are cooking, drain the hashbrown/spinach mix and return them to the bowl.

5) When the sausage/veggies are done, drain them and add to the large bowl with the hashbrowns. (If you're using salsa, add it now.)

6) Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and spray a deep pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.

7) Add 3/4 cup cheese to the mixing bowl.

8) Also add 9 eggs to the mixing bowl.

9) Add a pinch of salt and a good pinch of pepper (we love pepper!)

10) Mix WELL. The mix will not look appetizing, lol, but it will taste great once cooked.

11) Pour the mixture into the greased dish, and use a spatula to spread it evenly.

12) In a bowl, mix together the baking mix, milk, and the 1 leftover egg.

13) Pour the mix over the casserole, making sure it's even.

14) Bake for 40 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean.

15) Top with 3/4 cup cheese and bake for 5 more mins. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Nutrional info (for 1/10th of the recipe):
Calories - 375
Protein - 19
Carbs - 19

Monday, August 6, 2012

Egg, Sausage, and Gravy "Buffins"

What is a "buffin", you ask? Why it's a biscuit/muffin, of course!!!

After last week's mini chicken pot pie success, Mike had a stroke of genius, and it went a little something like this: "Hey, you could make a version of these with eggs, sausage, and gravy and we could have them for breakfast!!!"

So I obliged, and after eating one, he actually called himself a genius, lol. (and me a "master chef", haha...yeah right!)

1 cup bisquick
1 cup 2% milk
6 large eggs
6 large egg whites
8 oz sausage, about 2/3 of a tube (whatever flavor you like)
1 cup white gravy
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican four cheese bc I had it on hand)

For the bisquick mix:
In a bowl, mix together the bisquick, milk, 2 eggs, and 2 egg whites. Mixture will be runny, that's ok. :^)

1) Preheat oven to 375.

2) Spray 18 muffins cups with cooking spray.

3) In a large microwavable bowl, scramble 4 eggs and 4 egg whites. Microwave them, stirring every minute, until they're done but not rubbery. Mash the eggs with a fork to break them up in the bowl.

4) Cook your sausage, tearing it apart like you would "brown" ground beef. When it's cooked through, drain it and then add it to the bowl with the eggs.

5) Add the gravy to the sausage/egg mixture and stir until well combined.

6) Put 3/4 tbsp Bisquick mix in the bottom of each muffin cup.

7) Fill each cup with 1/4 cup of the egg/sausage/gravy mixture.

8) Sprinkle just a bit of cheese on top of each muffin cup.

9) Pour 1 tbsp bisquick mix on top of each muffin cup.

10) Bake for 30-40 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean. I bake mine for 35 mins, then broil for a couple of minutes to get them nice and browned on top. :)

They really do make a great breakfast paired with some yogurt!

Nutrional info per "buffin":
Cals - 93
Protein - 6
Carbs - 6

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

My mom used to make a really good chicken pot pie when I was growing up. I haven't had it (or any other chicken pot pie) in over 4 years...

I miss it!

Really never knew how much until I found this recipe on Pinterest. It looked super easy, so I made it yesterday and YUMMMMY!!! Mike said it was really great, and different from the Mexican/Italian that's my usual standard, lol.

1 cup bisquick
1 cup 2% milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1.5 lbs chicken breast
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (I used peas, carrots, and corn)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 can cream of chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican four cheese bc I had it on hand)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme

For the bisquick mix:
In a bowl, mix together the bisquick, milk, eggs, and egg whites. Mixture will be runny, that's ok. :^)

1) Preheat oven to 375.

2) Spray 20 muffins cups with cooking spray. 

3) Boil chicken about 15 mins, till it's almost done, then add mixed veggies and cook for about 5 more mins.

4) Drain chicken and veggies, dice chicken, and put in a large bowl.

5) Mix chicken, veggies, cheese, spices, and cream of chicken.

6) Put 3/4 tbsp Bisquick mix in the bottom of each muffin cup.

7) Fill each cup with 1/4 cup of the chicken/veg mixture.

8) Pour 1 tbsp bisquick mix on top of each muffin cup.

9) Bake for 30-40 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Nutrional info per mini pot pie:
Calories - 87
Protein - 7
Carbs - 6

P.S. - Sorry there's not many pics. I made the filling ahead of time, bc I was super busy yesterday, and forgot to snap any! Oops!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Granola Bars: Second Attempt (better!)

Ok, So....I wasn't GOING to make granola bars this weekend, it just kind of happened. So excuse my crappy cell phone pics, haha.

Bc it was spur of the moment, I didn't have any raisins, which I think would have made them better, but that's ok!

These were chewier than the first batch, which made them yummier in my opinion. If I were to do anything different next time, it would be to mix everything together and add the rice krispies at the end to try and keep them "krispie". ;-)

So here we go!

2 & 2/3 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup no sugar added applesauce
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 & 1/4 cup crispy rice cereal (I used store brand)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)

2 cups mix-in's of your choice: (below is what I used)
3/4 cup flake coconut
3/4 cup nuts of your choice (I used peanuts and walnuts)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
10 extra chocolate chips (saved to use for topping)


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Put oatmeal and coconut on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 12 mins, tossing twice. (If you choose not to include coconut, still toast the oatmeal. It gives the flavor depth.)

3) Put applesauce and peanut butter in a large bowl and microwave for 30-40 secs, until the peanut butter starts to melt.

4) Mix the applesauce, peanut butter, and cinnamon together.

5) Dump in your mix-in's and mix well. But do NOT mix in your rice krispies yet. Learn from my mistake, lol.

6) Next mix in your oatmeal/coconut mixture. If it's still warm, it will melt some of the choc chips as you mix. This gives the bars a nice chocolatey flavor, yum!

7) It's at THIS point that I would mix in the rice krispies. :-)

8) Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, spray with cooking spray, and press the mixture into the pan.

9) Crush the 10 extra chocolate chips and sprinkle over the top of the pan. I didn't get a picture of this, but it's self explanatory! :)

10) Bake for 20 mins, then remove from the oven and "spread" the chocolate chip topping with a spatula. This just gives you an extra chocolate flavor without TOO many extra calories. 

11) Let the pan cool for 10 mins before cutting into 20 bars. Wrap individually in tin foil to freeze, or place in plastic storage container.

Nutrional info for one bar: (red is nutrional info from first attempt)
Calories - 185  (257)
Protein - 4        (4)
Carbs - 16         (43)

I'd say that's a pretty big improvement!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Granola Bars: First Attempt

Mike & I are going on vacation over Labor Day weekend, and we're going to try to save as much money as we can while continuing down the road to improving our health.  So when I found this recipe for granola bars on Pinterest, it seemed too easy not to try! We could eat these for breakfast while on vacation. :^)

I tweaked the recipe a bit, but this is what I tried:

2 2/3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup honey
2/3 cup peanut butter (creamy is easier to mix)
1 cup flour
2 cups of whatever mix-in's you like (below is what I used)

1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 tube mini m&m's (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (2 boxes) raisins


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) On a sprayed baking sheet, toss together the oats and coconut and pop them in the oven to toast for about 10 mins, just until them become really fragrant. This will just enhance their flavor. (If you're not using coconut, still do this with just the oats.)

3) In a large bowl, microwave the honey for 30 secs. This will make it much easier for mixing.

4) Add the peanut butter to the honey and mix well.

5) Remove the oat mixture from the oven and add to the honey mixture. Also add the flour and all your mix-in's. Mix until you think your hand is going to fall off, haha. If your mixture is not incorporating well, add a tbsp of water at a time until it comes together. I used about 2 tbsp. Keep in mind, this mixture is meant to be very thick, but should stick together well.

*Note: I sprayed my hand lightly with Pam and dug in to make SURE it was mixed well.*

6) Line a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray, or you can just use parchment paper. Then press the mixture into the pan, so it's about 1/2 inch thick. Use the sides of the pan and really press it in there.

7) Bake for 20 mins. Let them sit about 10 mins before cutting into bars, then wrap in foil. These will keep for about a week in a food container, or you can freeze them. That's what I did with the majority of them.  (recipe made 21 bars)

Nutrional info for each bar:
Calories - 257
Protein - 4
Carbs - 43

Really blurry, but you get the idea...

Now.............these taste good and everything, but to me, they're almost TOO sweet, and they're very dense. So the next time I make them, I'll make the following changes:

~instead of 1 c honey, I'll use 1/4 c honey and 3/4 c no sugar added applesauce
~eliminate the flour
~add a cup of rice krispies (to make them lighter)

With those changes, the nutrional info will be:
Calories - 178
Protein - 3
Carbs - 21

I like those numbers a lot better. I'll be making these again with the changes sometime in the next month, and I'll let you guys know how they turn out! Enjoy!!!

Breakfast this morning - a yummy granola bar paired with hard boiled egg whites and light cranberry juice - yummm!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Philly Cheese Roll-Ups

So, as you guys know, I'm always asking Mike what he thinks of the food I make.

"How is it?"

"Could it use something else?"

"Does it have enough salt?"

etc, etc, etc....

However: tonight, I said "Here, try this!" and put a piece of one of these in his mouth. Then I sat down beside him and waited for it.

Him: "Holy crap..."

Me: "I KNOW!!!"  :^)  :^)  :^)

1 can crescent rolls (8 rolls)
8 oz deli roast beef, sliced pretty thin
3/4 cup shredded provolone cheese (swiss would work too)
4 oz mushrooms
1/2 of a large onion
1 tbsp minced garlic


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Slice mushrooms and onions pretty thin.

3) Sautee the mushrooms, onions, and garlic *with water* until they're nice and soft. Then set them to the side and let them cool.

4) Cut the beef into 16 sections....then measure and make sure each section is 1/2 ounce.

5) Spread the crescent rolls out on some wax paper dusted with flour. Dust your knife with flour, and then cut each roll in half.

6) Fold the rolls in half, so that they make a kind-of-rectangular shape, and then put 1/2 ounce of beef on each one.

7) Put an equal amount of the veggie mixture on each roll.

8) Put an equal amount of cheese on each roll.

9) Roll them up, making sure you attach the end well, and put them seam side down on a baking sheet lined with foil (sprayed WELL with cooking spray).

10) Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

We each had three of these with some steamed veggies for dinner, and it was FANTASTIC!!!

Nutrional info is for one roll-up:
Calories - 88
Protein - 5
Carbs - 7

Monday, May 28, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza Muffins

Omg, these were sooooooooooooooooooooo good! When thinking about dinners for the coming week, I thought....bbq chicken pita pizzas? But I'm kinda over "pita pizzas", we got burnt out a few months ago... So instead: bbq chicken pizza muffins.

They're "delicious". Or so I've been told! :-)

The recipe below makes 24 muffins, so you can half it if you need to. That's actually what I did. I have the other half of the dough wrapped in wax paper, in a plastic baggie in the fridge to use on Wed.....and half the chicken mix in a plastic container, lol.

8 chicken breast tenders, or 4 chicken breasts
1 package pizza crust dough (you can find this near the biscuits in the grocery store)
2 cups diced red onion
3 tbsp light bbq sauce
3 tbsp honey bbq sauce (I like the combo of the two - a little sweet, with part low cal)
2 cups chopped frozen spinach
2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup flour


1) Boil the chicken, let it cool, and then shred it. (Can I just say that there are few things I hate more than shredding chicken? Haha, if you have kids, make them do it. It's not hard, just time consuming, ugh.)

2) Sautee onion and spinach in some water, add to the shredded chicken in a large bowl. Pour in the bbq sauce, and mix WELL. It won't look like there's a lot of bbq sauce, but it's enough to give it great flavor. If you want to add more, you can, but the cal count will vary from mine. :^)

3) Preheat oven to 425.

4) Lay out a large sheet of wax paper, sprinkle with the flour. Cut pizza dough into 24 equal pieces. (Cut in half, then in half again, and again, and again until you have 24.)

5) Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray.

6) Push a piece of the dough into a well of the muffin tin, making it flat along the bottom, and then pulling up along the sides a bit. Fill with about 1/5 cup of the chicken mix. Do this for all the muffin spaces.

Yes, I realize my muffin pan LOOKS dirty, but it's not. I just use it a lot, haha.

7) Top each muffin with a sprinkle of cheese, distributing the cheese evenly among all 24 muffins.

8) Bake for 15 mins. Remove from oven, and let cool for 3-4 mins so they'll hold their shape. Then enjoy!

Each pizza muffin:

Calories - 96
Protein - 8
Carbs - 10

Three of these with a side salad is perfect! :^)

Zucchini Bites

So I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a shot, but I made it way simpler and it still worked great. :^) Hubby said, "wow, these are really good". I love telling you guys what he says, because I'm always concerned he's gonna hate new recipes. He's pretty dang picky sometimes, lol.

2 medium zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 c Italian breadcrumbs
1/8 c water


1) Preheat oven to 425.

2) Slice zuchinni pretty thin (no more than 1/4" thick pieces)

3) Scramble two eggs with a splash of water, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

4) Put breadcrumbs in another small bowl.

5) Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

6) Dip each zucchini bite in the egg, then coat in the bread crumbs, and place on the baking sheet.

7) Bake for 15 minutes, flip the bites, and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.

8) Enjoy with dipping sauce of your choice. :^)

We split the whole batch in half, and the calorie count for half the batch is:

Calories - 126
Protein - 8
Carbs - 18

Please note: for the calorie count, I only counted 1 egg and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, because about half the eggs and breadcrumbs were left in the bowls after breading.