Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quick and Easy Bruschetta

One of our favorite restaurants in North Liberty, Iowa has the BEST bruschetta. Kyle and I always crave it and are tempted to make the 4.5 hour drive there from Minnesota just for the appetizer (don't worry, we haven't gotten to that point....yet). We have however found a recipe for at home! We made it as simple as possible. 


  • 1 loaf of wheat french baguette (or french roll)
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with garlic, onion, and basil (no salt added), OR 1 container of Pico de Gallo  (your favorite flavor) 
  • Balsamic Vinegar 
  • Mozzarella Cheese 
  • Parmesan Cheese (I bought the fresh Parmesan that comes in a round container, we call it the fancy Parmesan, haha) 
  • Heat oven to BROIL 
  • Slice bread about the width of your pinky 
  • Place bread on a greased baking sheet 
  • Heat bread until it is just starting to brown (about 2 minutes depending on your oven) 
  • Drain pico de gallo or tomatoes (depending on which you use) so that you only have the tomato chunks and no extra juice (it will make your bread soggy otherwise)
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on bread, lay on tomatoes, sprinkle parmesan 
  • Cook for about 3-5 minutes (you want the edges to just start turning) 
  • Drizzle on balsamic vinegar 
  • Voila! 
Optional: add garlic and onions, olives, etc, all to your preference :) 

Simple Skillet Lasagna With Healthy Substitutions

Sometimes you just need a dish with ooey gooey cheese and pasta! Well we made some healthy modifications to this dish and it was great! Kyle and I had a fun time making this together and we had plenty of leftovers! Will definitely be on our list to make again! :) 

Serves: 6-8 hearty servings 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (we left this out due to the picky eater...)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (for more of a kick use anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2)
  • 1lb lean ground turkey (93/7)
  • 8 wheat lasagna noodles, broken
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce (no salt added) 
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added) 
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 6 oz part skim mozzarella cheese (we bought the tube, pre-sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free cottage cheese
  • optional: Parmesan cheese for topping 
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. If using onion, add in the chopped onion and cook until translucent (4-5 minutes). Stir in the garlic and ½ tsp salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Add in the turkey and brown
  3. Layer the lasagna noodles over the turkey and pour the tomato sauces and water over the pasta.  You can stir your sauces on top at this point so all of the tomatoes aren't in one spot. Cover and bring the dish to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is done. Season the lasagna well with more salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Take the lasagna off the heat and ROUGHLY stir in the cottage cheese, breaking up your noodles at this point. Top with big chunks of mozzarella and let sit covered for 5 minutes or until cheese it melted.
  5. If desired, top with Parmesan and basil.
<-- before the cheese melted! :) Yummmy 

Have a happy, healthy, positive, active, day! :) 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Guilt Free Chicken Parmigiana Slow Cooker

I saw this recipe on pinterest a while ago and always forget to make it! BUT since Kyle and I are planning our meals weekly, it makes it easy for me to plan in new recipes and make sure I have the ingredients without spending 150 dollars every time we go to the store (which was the case before). Soon, I will make an entry on how weekly meal planning is working for us, maybe after we have been doing it for about a month :). ANYWAY, back to the meal! Let's be honest, who doesn't love chicken, gooey cheese, tomato sauce, AND a simple recipe? I know I was ALL over it! It was as good as it sounds, easy, and loaded with flavor! Next time though I will add the onions only to my dish because they were too much for kyle (big baby) :)

  • 29 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes (no salt added) 
  • 12 ounces canned tomato paste (no salt added)
  • 2 cups sweet yellow onion, finely diced (or any onion you choose)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped (about 2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (about 6 leaves)
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I am putting mine in frozen, you could do thawed)
  • sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional: rolls or buns 
  • Start the slow cooker on low heat. Either spray with cooking spray or use liner to avoid a messy crock pot cleaning process. 
  • Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and stir until combined.
  • Add onions, garlic, stir.
  • Add parsley, oregano, bay leaves, basil and stir.
  • Set chicken breast on top of the sauce, sprinkle generously with salt/pepper, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. 
  • Shred the chicken using 2 forks after it has cooked for 6-8 hours 
  • Top with your favorite cheese, serve on buns, or as a main dish and serve with a side salad! :)
Over a salad
Or as a sandwich :) 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crockpot Salsa Chicken!

Salsa Chicken

This is a staple in our house. So easy, quick, effortless, and YUMMY! Kyle eats his with a tortilla like a burrito (sometimes he adds rice) and I put mine on top of lettuce. It's just as yummy by itself :)


  • 4-6 boneless chicken breasts (I throw mine in frozen) 
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa (we use pace medium salsa) 
  • 1 can 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup 
  • 1 packet of your favorite taco seasoning (low sodium, we use the target brand and it tastes great)
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream 
  • OPTIONAL- Tortillas 
  • OPTIONAL- Fat free cheese 


  • Place chicken in crock pot 
  • Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken 
  • In a bowl, combine soup and salsa 
    • Pour over chicken 
  • Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4 hours 
  • Shred chicken with two forks and add back to crock pot 
  • Add sour cream 
  • Pour into tortillas if desired