veggie quasadila2

Garden Veggie Quesadilla’s with Black Bean & Corn Salsa {skinny recipe}

I’m always on the lookout for new quick & healthy weeknight meals. By now, you probably know that I have a major soft spot for Mexican food (like my yummy Mexican lasagna!)…which unfortunately isn’t always the healthiest option. So one simple meal I like to make a lot is quesadillas. Of course I (usually) try to include healthy ingredients and very light cheese, this makes me feel like I’m splurging without the guilt ;)

Today’s recipe is a great example of exactly that. I love a good veggie quesadilla, but this recipe is truly a favorite. It combines simple and fresh ingredients with the authentic Mexican flavors that we’ve all come to love. Here’s the recipe, Garden Veggie Quesadilla’s with Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Garden Vegetable Quesadilla’s with Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Recipe serves 2-3 as a meal (4-6 as an appetizer)

INGREDIENTS (for the quesadilla)

4 large flour tortillas (I used plain but any flavor will work)

one medium onions, cut into strips

one green bell pepper, cut into strips

one red pepper, cut into strips

one large zucchini, diced

one summer squash, diced

two ears of corn, cooked then kernels removed

one tbsp. olive oil

two cloves of minced garlic

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. paprika

salt & pepper to taste

3/4 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese

METHOD

Add olive oil to medium skillet then bring to medium heat, add olive oil, then add onion, pepper, zucchini and squash.  Saute for 4-5 minutes, then corn kernels and spices.  Sautee together for 2 minutes.  Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.

Bring a medium skillet (large enough to fit your tortillas) to medium heat, add a bit of olive oil.  Lay your first tortilla on the skillet, then top the tortilla with half your vegetable mixture, then sprinkle half of the shredded cheese.  Lay the second tortilla on top of the cheese.   Cook on one side for 1-2 minutes (until golden brown), then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat, cut into slices and serve warm.  Repeat these steps to make the second quesadilla using your remaining ingredients.

INGREDIENTS (for the Black Bean & Corn Salsa)

1 cup of black beans (I used canned)

one ear of corn, cooked then kernels removed

two medium-large tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup of minced green bell pepper

one clove of garlic, minced

2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced

salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

Blend all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Chill before serving.

Enjoy!

 

chicken sausage pizza

Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Naan Pizza [recipe]

I love pizza…of course, who doesn’t!?  Sadly, pizza is not exactly on the list of healthy dinner options =(  So after a serious pizza craving the other night, I decided to make up a healthy pizza option (well, at least a MUCH healthier option)  I grabbed a package of naan bread, which seemed perfect since it’s already in the pizza shape…and made up a mixture of toppings, starting with sweet potatoes!  I was amazed at how delicious my healthy pizza turned out, the naan was perfectly crispy and the mixture of toppings blended just right! Of course I had to share, so here it is, the Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Naan Pizza

Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Naan Pizza

Recipe Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS:

1 package of naan bread (usually contains 2 pieces, this recipe requires 2 pieces)

1 large sweet potato

2 links of pre-cooked chicken sausage, diced (I used Al Fresco All Natural Sweet Italian)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 cup chopped spinach

3 tbsp. skim milk

1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped

3/4-1 cup shredded cheese (your choice, I used a mixture of mozzarella and brie)

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Using a fork, pierce raw sweet potato several times.  Bake on rack for approx. 45 minutes or until soft.

While sweet potato is baking, heat olive oil on a low heat in a medium skillet.  Add onion and a dash of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until onion has caramelized. Add spinach and cook until wilted, approx. 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a small skillet to medium heat, add a dash of olive oil and diced chicken sausage.  Sausage should already be pre-cooked, so just lightly saute it for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.

Once potato is soft, scoop out the insides into a medium bowl.  Add skim milk, sage and salt, mix until smooth.  Keep oven heated to 400 degrees, the pizza’s going in soon!

Now it’s time to prepare the pizza!  Lay out the two pieces of naan bread on a large baking sheet.  Cover each piece with a layer of sweet potato, add onion and spinach mixture on top of the sweet potato.  Last, add the chicken sausage to each piece, then sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

chopped mushroom phyllo bundles

Chopped Shroom Phyllo Bundles {recipe}

Football season has arrived! Sometimes there’s nothing better than cheering on [insert your team here!] and lounging around on a Sunday afternoon amongst a smörgåsbord of food :)  Sometimes I burn out on the usual chips and salsa, wings, and pizza…so last weekend I figured, why not switch it up a bit?  I came across a great recipe for Phyllo Mushroom Bundles some time ago and it was an instant hit amongst a crowd of picky palets.  So I decided whip these up for last weekends (GO PATS!-sorry, I have to!) game.  Although these may not look like the typical football fare, I can assure you that no one will complain after biting into one of these.  The beauty of this dish is that they look great, so they can be served at any function!  Here’s they are, the Chopped Shroom Phyllo Bundles

PS. If you like working with phyllo, you’ll love m Phyllo Wrapped Asparagas too!

Chopped Shroom Phyllo Bundles {recipe}

Slightly adapted from the Pioneer Woman

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (1 Roll) Phyllo Dough
1/2 stick Unsalted Butter
3 cups Chopped Mushrooms (chopped small)
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/3 cup Dry White Wine
 Salt To Taste
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

METHOD:

Melt 1/4 stick butter in a bowl. Set aside.

Melt 1/4 stick butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and sautee for 1-2 minutes.  Pour in wine, stir to coat well, cook on medium heat for five minutes, until all liquid is cooked off. Add salt & pepper to taste.  Turn off heat and set aside.

Roll out phyllo dough. You should have one a large (approx. 10″ x 10″) piece of layered phyllo. Separate the sheets.  Working quickly, place 1 sheet on a flat (dry) surface and brush very lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush with butter. Repeat this until you have four to five sheets of phyllo. Do not brush top layer with butter.

Cut the buttered stack of phyllo into four equal squares.  Place a spoonful of mushroom mixture in the middle of each square. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of each mushroom.

Arrange each square into a little bundle, pinching the tops of the phyllo dough so that it remains as closed as possible when it bakes. Place bundles on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, pressing very lightly so that they’re flat on the bottom.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once golden brown, pull these babies out of the oven and serve immediately. 

 

garden turkey roll ups

Garden Vegetable Turkey Roll-ups {recipe}

In my opinion, gatherings should feel uncontrived and casual, this way people feel free to relax and enjoy themselves. In fact, some of my best get-together’s have been thrown together at the last minute with just light bites to eat made from ingredients I already had at home.  Whenever I find myself in this position, one of my go-to dishes is usually a tray of garden vegetable roll-ups with sliced turkey.  These are so simple to make, and they look beautiful too!

Garden Vegetable Turkey Roll-ups [recipe]

Recipe makes 18 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

one package of six 10″ tortilla wraps ( I used wheat)

one pound of roasted turkey breast

head of romaine or green leaf lettuce

three carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

one English cucumber, not peeled, cut into julienne strips

one red pepper, cut into julienne strips

optional: strips of celery (I added to mine)

8 oz. light cream cheese

one clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp green onion, minced

dash paprika

dash of salt

METHOD

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, green onion, paprika and salt.

Lay out your first tortilla, spread 2-3 tbsp of the cream cheese spread all over the tortilla.  In the center of the tortilla, lay down 3-4 slices of turkey, then a couple slices of lettuce, then some of the vegetables.  Roll up the tortilla into a wrap then slice the wrap into three pieces.  The cream cheese spread should keep everything stuck together, if the wrap is lose in some spots, just apply a bit more spread.

Repeat this with the rest of the wraps, then arrange nicely on a platter.

Enjoy!

phyllo wrapped asparagus

Phyllo Wrapped Parmesan Asparagus {recipe}

Phyllo dough is a wonderful thing.  If you’re not familiar, it’s basically paper thin sheets of unleavened flour dough (used in a lot of Middle Eastern dishes).  Until recently, I hadn’t had much experience working with it, so I was a little weary when I finally decided to give it a whirl.  I knew I liked the taste and texture of this unique dough as I’d tried it in many yummy Greek dishes in the past.  I found a few great appetizer recipes that called for it, and I’m always stumped when it comes to appetizers…so this was the perfect time to give it a shot!  Working with the phyllo dough was a bit time consuming, but it was worth it in the end.  These Phyllo Wrapped Parmesan Asparagus came out delicious, and the presentation isn’t too shabby either, here’s the recipe…

Phyllo Wrapped Parmesan Asparagus {recipe}

Adapted from Big Oven

Makes 20-24 pieces

INGREDIENTS:

20-24 asparagus spears

one package of phyllo dough sheets (thawed)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

salt & pepper

FOR THE MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE:

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1 teaspoon capers, minced
2 teaspoons whole seed mustard
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Cut the white ends off the asparagus and submerge in boiling water for approx. 3 minutes, just until they become vibrant green (not soft).

While the asparagus is boiling, you can whip up the mustard dipping sauce.  In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, capers and horseradish.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

This dipping sauce is delicious, there are tons of other things it can be used on.

Roll out the phyllo dough.  On a dry (lightly floured) surface, lay down one sheet of dough.  Use a pastry brush to lightly dust with the melted butter, sprinkle Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper. Lay down another layer of dough, repeat.  Do this 3 times until you have three coated layers of dough.  Continue this process until you have enough for all of the asparagus spears.

Cut the dough into approx. three by five inch by rectangles.

Wrap one rectangle of dough around each asparagus. Roll on a diagonal so that you have the most amount of coverage.

Arrange asparagus on a non-stick baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until phyllo is golden brown.

Arrange on a platter with mustard dipping sauce and enjoy!

chicken parm wraps.jpg 2

Chicken Parmesan Wraps

Egg roll and wanton wrappers are unbelievably versatile. From buffalo chicken rolls, to petite lasagnas to pastry puffs, the list goes on and on!  I don’t know about you, but I always seem to draw a blank when it comes to new and different appetizers, so this week, I’ve discovered an amazing recipe for Chicken Parmesan Wraps on Can You Stay For Dinner-who doesn’t like chicken parmesan?  Best part about this recipe, it’s a total crowd pleaser, and most importantly, it’s so simple!

Chicken Parmesan Wraps

Gather Up:

8 oz raw chicken breast

1 cup marinara sauce, plus more for serving

6 egg roll wrappers (each 7 inches squared)

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Place the chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil on your stove top, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat. Mix the meat with the marinara sauce in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface. Layer each with a few leaves of spinach, then chicken, followed by mozzarella and Parmesan.

Lightly brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper with water and fold the upper left corner downward, covering the filling, and press to seal on the bottom right corner. Press to seal each of the sides. Repeat with remaining wraps.

Place all 6 filled wraps on a greased wire rack set over a cookie sheet, coat each in cooking spray or a light brushing of olive oil, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown.

Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.