Mother’s Day Mexican feast

Todd’s parents are in town visiting us for a few days, and while they’re here we’re celebrating Mother’s Day (today) as well as their 50th wedding anniversary (tomorrow).

Today’s been a tough day for me…so many reminders that Addison is not here with us. She’d be about 15 months old by now. So hard to believe. So, it’s been really helpful that Todd’s parents came in town. Lots of fun time with them to distract me from the sadness.

Tonight Todd and I made a slightly modified version of Gwyneth Paltrow’s fajitas, roasted tomato + chipotle salsa, and guacamole (Todd has recently mastered the art of making the perfect guac!)

When we had the fajitas for the first time a couple of weeks ago they were really messy, so tonight we served the fajita mixture over rice instead of in tortillas.  It was not only much less messy, but really good!

mother's day fajitas 2013 3

Chicken fajitas over rice
Serves 4
A delicious chicken and vegetable fajita mixture served over rice.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
230 calories
6 g
73 g
10 g
28 g
2 g
164 g
138 g
2 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
164g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 73mg
24%
Sodium 138mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 28g
Vitamin A
15%
Vitamin C
45%
Calcium
3%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  2. Coarse sea salt to taste
  3. Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
  8. 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  9. Your favorite rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the chicken with large pinch of salt, the black pepper, the chili powder and the cumin. Set the chicken aside while you get your vegetables started.
  2. Heat the olive oil over high heat in the largest nonstick skillet you’ve got. Add the peppers and onion, and cook, stirring now and then, until they’re beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and cook on medium heat, stirring now and then, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked though and nicely browned, 15 minutes,
  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice.
  4. Serve topped with the chicken and vegetable mixture, and all the toppings (we served with salsa, guac, and organic sour cream) and let everyone mix and match.
beta
calories
230
fat
10g
protein
28g
carbs
6g
more
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/
Fresh + easy guacamole
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
116 calories
8 g
0 g
10 g
2 g
1 g
103 g
32 g
1 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
103g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116
Calories from Fat 83
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 32mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
22%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 ripe avocados
  2. 2 tablespoons diced white onion
  3. 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  4. 1 lime
  5. 1 vine tomato with seeds removed, diced
  6. Coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Cut each avocado in half, remove and discard the pits, and score the flesh inside the shells. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork - you don’t want it to be completely smooth. Stir in the onion, tomato, and cilantro. Cut the lime in half and squeeze in the juice, cut side up so as to prevent any seeds from falling in. Season the guacamole to taste with salt, and serve!
beta
calories
116
fat
10g
protein
2g
carbs
8g
more
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/
Gwyneth Paltrow's roasted tomato + chipotle salsa
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
62 calories
7 g
0 g
4 g
1 g
1 g
156 g
47 g
4 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
156g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 62
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 47mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
38%
Calcium
2%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 vine ripe tomatoes, cores removed and roughly chopped
  2. 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  3. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 chipotle pepper (or more or less, depending on your heat tolerance - a whole pepper makes this salsa quite hot!) from a can of chipotles packed in adobo sauce
  5. 3 tablespoons cilantro
  6. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  7. Coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler to high, placing the rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and toss, directly on the sheet, the tomatoes and onion with the olive oil. Broil, stirring now and then, until the tomatoes have collapsed and the onions have softened a bit and everything is slightly charred, about 10 minutes. Place the tomatoes and onions in a food processor with the chipotle, cilantro and lime juice, and blitz until everything is puréed. Remove the salsa to a bowl and season to taste with salt.
Adapted from It's All Good
beta
calories
62
fat
4g
protein
1g
carbs
7g
more
Adapted from It's All Good
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

Stephanie’s white bean hummus

hummus 042313

We made our own hummus for the first time today! It took all of 5 minutes and was fresh and delicious. I used our food processor but you can definitely do this in a blender, as well.

Stephanie's white bean hummus
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
17 calories
3 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
33 g
27 g
1 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
33g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 17
Calories from Fat 8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 27mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
25%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cans (organic) white beans, drained + rinsed
  2. The juice of 2 lemons (squeeze cut side up so the seeds don't fall in)
  3. 2 T minced garlic
  4. 1 T olive oil
  5. 2 T water
  6. 1 T cumin
  7. 1 T paprika
  8. Salt + fresh ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender mix the beans or chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and water until smooth. Stream the olive oil in as you are pulsing/mixing. Add S + P to taste.
  2. Transfer to your serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika and cumin. Serve with fresh cut vegetables and/or pita bread or crackers.
Notes
  1. Optional: 1-2 T tahini
  2. This is a basic hummus and you can add in anything you'd like: roasted peppers, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes; just about anything depending on your preferences.
  3. Enjoy!
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calories
17
fat
1g
protein
0g
carbs
3g
more
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

Fusilli with spinach + asiago cheese

I made this tonight for the first time and we absolutely loved it!

fusilli with asiago and spinach

As much as I liked the pasta with fresh tomato sauce we made last week, I like this much, much better. It tastes just as fresh (well, it is) and it has a lot more flavor.

Here is a link to the original recipe, and below is my modified (recommended) version:

Fusili with spinach + asiago cheese
Serves 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
401 calories
49 g
21 g
15 g
19 g
5 g
224 g
703 g
4 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
224g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 401
Calories from Fat 130
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 5g
26%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 21mg
7%
Sodium 703mg
29%
Total Carbohydrates 49g
16%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 4g
Protein 19g
Vitamin A
99%
Vitamin C
41%
Calcium
33%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound Jovial GF fusilli pasta
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 12 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  5. 6 tomatoes on the vine, sliced in half, then quartered
  6. 5 ounces grated asiago
  7. 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  8. 1 teaspoon ground sea salt (or whatever you have on-hand)
  9. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the pasta and cook until al dente' (tender but still firm to the bite), stirring occasionally, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, then the cooked pasta, and toss.
  7. Add the grated parm and half the asiago, the salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.
  8. Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve, topped with the remaining asiago.
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calories
401
fat
15g
protein
19g
carbs
49g
more
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, The Food Network
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/
 

Our first married Easter!

We are settling in here nicely. After two weeks of getting organized in the house, we’re finally ready to get out and enjoy our new neighborhood. :-)  So, we are going to brunch at Kaleidoscope tomorrow…perfect for Easter brunch.

And, we’ve decided to get back to enjoying Meatless Mondays, and this week we’ll be trying this recipe for the first time: pasta with fresh tomato sauce. I have a feeling this will become a new staple for us…can’t wait to try it.

pasta w:fresh tomato sauce

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

We’ll let you know how it turns out!

Oven roasted vegetable dinner

This is quickly becoming our favorite dinner – oven roasted parmesan vegetables.

For those of you who know Todd – a meatless dinner was absolutely unimaginable at one point in his life. But, as we both continue to up our game in terms of running and working out, we’re finding that we’re more interested in a good, healthy breakfast and lunch, and much less hungry at the end of the day.

Tonight’s dinner was oven roasted parmesan squash + broccoli.

SO good! Click here for the recipe.

We’ve found, so far, that broccoli, squash, and zucchini work best – but we are sure to experiment with other vegetables going forward.

Before…

After!

Updated 08.02.12

A friend messaged me on Facebook tonight to let me know that, inspired by our blog post, she made the same veggies for her family last night and that they thought they were oh-so-amazing. :)

She said that at first she saw our three trays for two people and thought that seemed like a lot, but after making them herself realized how much they shrink up, and also how important it is to spread them in a very thin layer, therefore necessitating multiple cookie sheets or tin foil trays. And, not to mention, that since that was the *only* thing we had for dinner we had last night, it made much more sense.

I buy the half-size of these disposable catering trays at Costco in bulk, and our rule of thumb is generally two trays of vegetables when Todd’s grilling something, or three trays when we’re having just vegetables.

I thought this information would be helpful to share as sort of a rule-of-thumb, as they really do shrink up quite a bit upon roasting.

Watermelon salad

Last night we had three very special guests – family members – for dinner, and we decided that we (meaning: Todd) would grill steaks and corn. I wanted to serve something summery and refreshing along with that and remembered a simple recipe I’d seen on a cooking segment recently.

Three simple ingredients: watermelon, mint, and feta.

Layer…do not stir.

I cut up half a watermelon in to bite-sized pieces, and then chopped up some mint leaves.

I put half the cut watermelon in the serving bowl, then sprinkled half the chopped mint leaves and one-third to half a container of crumbled feta.

Repeat the three layers and serve! It was absolutely perfect and couldn’t have been easier.

Serves: 4-6

Roasted vegetable lasagna

Yesterday was Todd’s birthday, and again he requested my roasted vegetable lasagna. 

This is adapted from a recipe I found many, many years ago in Self Magazine. Surprisingly, of all the things I have ever made for him, although this is meat-free, this is Todd’s absolute favorite. 

gorgeous vegetables going in to the oven…

roasted vegetables

roasted vegetables…

layering the lasagna 

Roasted vegetable lasagna
Serves 12
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
367 calories
55 g
18 g
10 g
16 g
4 g
302 g
444 g
11 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
302g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 367
Calories from Fat 85
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 18mg
6%
Sodium 444mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates 55g
18%
Dietary Fiber 4g
15%
Sugars 11g
Protein 16g
Vitamin A
18%
Vitamin C
105%
Calcium
21%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound plum, roma, or vine tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices and then quartered
  2. 1 pound zucchini, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  3. 1 pound yellow squash, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  4. 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  5. 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  8. olive oil cooking spray
  9. 1 egg white
  10. 2 containers (15 oz each) reduced fat or skim ricotta cheese
  11. 2 tablespoons bottled pesto sauce (I typically use sun-dried tomato pesto; any pesto you like will work)
  12. 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  13. 2 14.5 oz cans organic diced tomatoes, drained
  14. 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  15. 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  16. 1 cup shredded italian cheese blend
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. Toss plum tomatoes, zucchini, squash, peppers, salt, and oil in a bowl. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place vegetables on it; roast 30 minutes.
  3. Note: be sure to roast your vegetables in a thin layer. You may need to spread them over two cookie sheets. I use two half-size roasting tins (I buy them in bulk at Costco - they are awesome for roasting broccoli and so many other things - and then you can just toss them!) and place them both on the top rack and it works perfectly.
  4. In a bowl, mix egg white, ricotta, pesto, and parmesan.
  5. Coat a 9 x 13 (or larger) baking dish with olive oil or other cooking spray.
  6. Spread one can tomatoes on the bottom. Top with noodles.
  7. Spoon half your ricotta mix over noodles, then a layer of half your roasted vegetables, then of your cheese(s). Repeat this layer, starting with diced tomatoes. Top with the rest of your cheese(s).
  8. Cover with foil.* Bake 30-35 minutes on 475.
Notes
  1. *Don't forget to do this! I have burnt the top layer twice. :-(
  2. NOTE: I am gluten-intolerant so we maintain a gluten-free home. I use DeBoles gluten-free rice lasagna noodles (no need to pre-cook!) which I find at Whole Foods.
Adapted from Self Magazine
beta
calories
367
fat
10g
protein
16g
carbs
55g
more
Adapted from Self Magazine
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

dinner is served!

Spinach mozzarella balls + marinara

Todd and I were in a mood for a snack this evening rather than dinner, and I had just stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest (imagine that…) We had everything we needed so I decided to just go ahead and make them.

before going in to the oven...

Aside from substituting Pamela’s (gluten-free) Baking Mix for the Bisquick, I followed the recipe almost to the letter. (I did sprinkle in some dried, minced onion…I also subbed 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan for 1/2 cup of the mozzarella.)

They turned out really well, and we ate them all!

the finished product!

When I make them again I’ll make a few minor changes. I thought the oregano and garlic salt were a bit overwhelming, so I’ll pull back on those next time.

Here is the recipe I’ll follow the next time I make them:

  • 1 10 oz. box Cascadian Farms organic chopped spinach (thawed, and squeezed to thoroughly drain)
  • 1/2 C Pamela’s Baking Mix or 3/4 C gluten-free Bisquick
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 T dried, minced onion
  • 1 1/2 T italian seasoning
  • 1/2 T garlic salt or 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 C shredded parmesan

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix all ingredients, except pasta sauce. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve with pasta or marinara sauce.