Category Archives: Dinner

Tuna Noodle Casserole

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When I was a kid, my family (mom, dad, and I) only ate dinner together about once a week.

The rest of the time it was just “fend for yourself,” so when we did eat together, I always looked forward to it.   Don’t worry, I wasn’t deprived, and I was actually grateful for it when I didn’t gain the “freshman 15” when I went to college.

We mostly ate steak (and now I don’t like steak anymore… my wallet appreciates that) but every once in a while my mom would make Tuna Helper and I loved it.

So, when she wanted to make Tuna Helper the other day, it brought back fond memories from childhood…. but, as I’ve gotten older, I’m not so fond of boxed foods, sooo I jumped at the opportunity to make some from scratch.

It tastes even better than Tuna Helper and it’s pretty dang good for you!  Even my mom, who is Ms. Picky/Anti-Healthy, agreed. I’ll definitely use this recipe again.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole
Adapted from: Food.com 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry whole wheat rotini
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 (3 ounce) cans solid white tuna, water packed, well drained (can use 3 cans)
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup skim milk or 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk 1
  • (5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, well drained
  • 1/2 tablespoon season salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese (or to taste)
  • 1/8 cup jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 cup broccoli

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 11 x 7 or 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray (or use a casserole dish large enough to hold the mixture).
  3. Boil the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente; drain then transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add in onion and tuna; toss to combine.
  5. In a saucepan heat soup with milk until smooth.
  6. Stir in mushrooms, broccoli, season salt, garlic powder and black pepper until combined; pour into the bowl and toss to combine.
  7. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven then sprinkle with cheddar cheese, return to oven for 2-4 minutes to melt the cheese.

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Ground Turkey Meatballs

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I’ve mentioned this before, but when I’m not eating dessert, I do my best to eat healthy foods.

Ground turkey is one of my favorite “replacements.”  You really can’t tell that big of a difference between turkey and hamburger meat, or at least I think you can’t.

I’ve never made meatballs before, so for my first time, I thought these turned out pretty well.  I just couldn’t tell when they were finished, so good luck with that. I finally decided they were done when they started getting crispy, but I’m sure there’s a more scientific way to tell.

What’s your favorite “healthy” meal?

turkey

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Ground Turkey Meatballs
From: All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with the olive oil, and place it in the oven while preheating.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, and bread crumbs using your hands. Using an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside. Serve with pasta and sauce or however you’d like.  I stored mine in pasta sauce and really liked the flavor afterward.

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Avocado Basil Pesto

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When I was in 3rd grade, I got 3rd place in a spelling bee contest.  I remember, I lost on the word “calendar.”  I spelled it with an e instead of an a: “calender.”

I cried.  Isn’t that silly?  I should have been happy that I got 3rd place, but I cried.  I didn’t feel so bad anymore, though, when the boy who got 2nd ran to the corner of the gym and started bawling.

I guess the moral of this story is…well, I’m a pretty good speller but there are a few words that trip me up.  Avocado, for example.  I want to spell it “avacado” every. single. time.  Those vowels man, I tell you what.

Anyway, I just felt it necessary that I tell you guys that story.

I don’t care how you spell avocado, all I know is that you should make this pesto.  It seriously takes 5 minutes to make, and if you put it on pasta, you’ll have a healthy and delicious dinner served up in 20 minutes flat.  Do it.

What words do you have trouble spelling?

 

pesto

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Avocado Basil Pesto
From: A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon sliced almonds
  • 1 lemon, for zest and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium avocado
Directions:
  1. In a food processor or blender, add the basil, garlic salt, almonds, zest from 1/2 of the lemon, juice from the whole lemon, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend until chopped, scraping down the sides, if need be.
  3. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the avocado and blend once more. If the mixture is a bit too thick (mine was), add a few tablespoons of water and blend one last time.

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Creamy Corn Soup

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I’m so glad everyone loved Rach’s post as much as I did.

To keep it savory, I’m giving you a delicccious creamy corn soup recipe.  Creamed corn is delicious.  Probably because it’s the bad-for-you form of regular corn.  I’m okay with that.

If I can make an excuse to turn it into soup and make it into an acceptable meal, I will…and I did.

This is so good, especially with sweet cornbread (if you click on this link, please excuse the terrible pictures.) If you’re looking for a quick, but yummy meal, this is the one for you.

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Creamy Corn Soup
All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans whole kernel corn
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic, parsley and butter or margarine. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until onions are tender.
  2. Add the flour, stirring well, to make a pasty mixture. Whisk in the milk and the broth. Add the corn and the cream cheese and allow to heat through. Add the garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Stir together and serve.

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Healthy Chicken Taco Salad

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Just Tell Me What to Eat!  I received the PDF file and was excited about that, but then I received the hard cover copy in the mail and cannot express how excited I was!

Needless to say, I started reading it and was surprised to find 8 whole weeks full of healthy meals.

The book isn’t one of those “lose weight fast” books, it’s one that tells you how to eat healthily.  The right way to lose weight.  I’m not looking to lose weight, but this book has taught me how to eat healthy.

The book just came out and it already has 5 stars on Amazon.

I’ve already tried 2 or 3 of the recipes and they’ve all been amazing!!!


You should buy this book even if you’re just looking for some good and healthy dinner recipes.

I’ll be posting them sporadically, but I’m not going to post the recipe.

This taco salad is so delicious.  It doesn’t taste healthy, and it’s chock-full of things that are good for you.  And it’s made with chicken instead of beef.  Buy the book.  Try it.  You won’t regret it. 🙂

Chicken Taco Salad


Dinner, Dessert, and a Snowstorm List


3 blog posts in 3 days… I’m on a roll!

Tomorrow will be my 3rd snow day in a row…I’m going InSaNe!!

All I want to do is bake, but I can’t even take the finished products anywhere since I’m snowed in, so that is a very, very bad idea.  But I never said my ideas were good, so I’m currently stuck in a house with chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip bars, baked oatmeal, granola, and potato nachos.  Ugggh, someone come eat with me!!

I’m feeling super accomplished today.  I made an actual breakfast (baked oatmeal), did a workout video (from Netflix!! so cool- thanks to the discovery made by my friend Hillary.), cleaned my room, cleaned the bathroom, did the dishes, made dinner, made dessert, and now a blog post.  Woooo, feelin’ pretty good.

Being stuck inside has forced me to come up with:


26 Things to Do Inside During a Snowstorm

1.  Watch Netflix.  Catch up on every single episode you’ve missed.  If you don’t have Netflix,
2.  Purchase Netflix.
3.  Make some crafts with Martha.
4. Jordan’s doodle.
4.  Doodle.  (Photo courtesy of my best friend. Haha! Love her.)
5.  Play video games.
6.  Play board games.
7.  Read.  I found out I’m able to get free books from Kansas Library with my college library account.  Sweet!
8.  Facebook.  (Not happy about this one, I’m officially checking myself into Facebook Rehab.)
9.  Take pictures.
10.  Edit pictures.  I just found a cool new photo editing software.
11.  Start a blog! 🙂
12.  Make some coffee and just relaxxxx.  Oprah says that having “silent time” every day is an important part of being happy.  Oprah is never wrong.
13.  Play games online.  (My fav.)
14.  Clean (Not a fan of this one either. Just throwin’ out some ideas!)
15.  Organize your junk drawers and cabinets.
16.  Online shop.  (Bad idea, but still an idea)
17.  Dye your hair.
18.  Paint your nails.
19.  Find new music.
20.  Nap.
21.  Create your own dinner.
22.  Talk to your boyfriend on the phone since you can’t drive to him.  😦
23.  Start a fire.  In the fireplace, of course.
24.  Put off doing homework.  I’m really good at that.
25.  Eat.  I’m really good at that, too.
26.  Make Loaded Potato Nachos and Chocolate Chip Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting. 



Loaded Potato Nachos
adapted from:  HowSweetEats  (Can you tell I like her?)
Ingredients: (Serves 3)

3 large potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon season salt, or to taste
*Toppings are versatile, but I used:
1/2 cup refried beans
1/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salsa

You could also use chicken, banana peppers, sour cream, cottage cheese, feta cheese, guacamole, beef, etc.  Get creative

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wash potatoes, peel off any bad parts, and slice into wedges (however thick of thin you would like). Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Lay on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, flipping once.
Remove potatoes and top with whatever toppings you would like.
Stick back in the oven to melt cheese and refried beans.



Chocolate Chip Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting
bars from:  Food.com
frosting from: AllRecipes

These would be good plain, but of course, I had to add frosting.

Ingredients


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375* Grease a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan. 
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. 
3. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl. 
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. 
5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. 
6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. 
7. Spread into prepared pan. 
8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Let cool, frost with recipe below. 
Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes.

    Dinner, Dessert, and a Snowstorm List


    3 blog posts in 3 days… I’m on a roll!

    Tomorrow will be my 3rd snow day in a row…I’m going InSaNe!!

    All I want to do is bake, but I can’t even take the finished products anywhere since I’m snowed in, so that is a very, very bad idea.  But I never said my ideas were good, so I’m currently stuck in a house with chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip bars, baked oatmeal, granola, and potato nachos.  Ugggh, someone come eat with me!!

    I’m feeling super accomplished today.  I made an actual breakfast (baked oatmeal), did a workout video (from Netflix!! so cool- thanks to the discovery made by my friend Hillary.), cleaned my room, cleaned the bathroom, did the dishes, made dinner, made dessert, and now a blog post.  Woooo, feelin’ pretty good.

    Being stuck inside has forced me to come up with:


    26 Things to Do Inside During a Snowstorm

    1.  Watch Netflix.  Catch up on every single episode you’ve missed.  If you don’t have Netflix,
    2.  Purchase Netflix.
    3.  Make some crafts with Martha.
    4. Jordan’s doodle.
    4.  Doodle.  (Photo courtesy of my best friend. Haha! Love her.)
    5.  Play video games.
    6.  Play board games.
    7.  Read.  I found out I’m able to get free books from Kansas Library with my college library account.  Sweet!
    8.  Facebook.  (Not happy about this one, I’m officially checking myself into Facebook Rehab.)
    9.  Take pictures.
    10.  Edit pictures.  I just found a cool new photo editing software.
    11.  Start a blog! 🙂
    12.  Make some coffee and just relaxxxx.  Oprah says that having “silent time” every day is an important part of being happy.  Oprah is never wrong.
    13.  Play games online.  (My fav.)
    14.  Clean (Not a fan of this one either. Just throwin’ out some ideas!)
    15.  Organize your junk drawers and cabinets.
    16.  Online shop.  (Bad idea, but still an idea)
    17.  Dye your hair.
    18.  Paint your nails.
    19.  Find new music.
    20.  Nap.
    21.  Create your own dinner.
    22.  Talk to your boyfriend on the phone since you can’t drive to him.  😦
    23.  Start a fire.  In the fireplace, of course.
    24.  Put off doing homework.  I’m really good at that.
    25.  Eat.  I’m really good at that, too.
    26.  Make Loaded Potato Nachos and Chocolate Chip Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting. 



    Loaded Potato Nachos
    adapted from:  HowSweetEats  (Can you tell I like her?)
    Ingredients: (Serves 3)

    3 large potatoes
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon season salt, or to taste
    *Toppings are versatile, but I used:
    1/2 cup refried beans
    1/4 cup black olives
    1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    Salsa

    You could also use chicken, banana peppers, sour cream, cottage cheese, feta cheese, guacamole, beef, etc.  Get creative

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    Wash potatoes, peel off any bad parts, and slice into wedges (however thick of thin you would like). Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
    Lay on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, flipping once.
    Remove potatoes and top with whatever toppings you would like.
    Stick back in the oven to melt cheese and refried beans.



    Chocolate Chip Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting
    bars from:  Food.com
    frosting from: AllRecipes

    These would be good plain, but of course, I had to add frosting.

    Ingredients


    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 375* Grease a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan. 
    2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. 
    3. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl. 
    4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. 
    5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. 
    6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. 
    7. Spread into prepared pan. 
    8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
    9. Let cool, frost with recipe below. 
    Peanut Butter Frosting

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
    • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes.