Sunday, December 28, 2014

Prosciutto & Chèvre Open Faced Sandwich

If you want a quick, delicious, savory and sweet lunch, look no further. I have for you an open faced sandwich that looks and tastes so fancy, but I promise is extremely simple. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pork Chops with White Wine & Peach Sauce

This is yet another dish that was done over the summer that is slowly making its way onto the blog. Dan and I made this dish many times this summer. We tried hard not to ever turn on the oven and to only use the stove top very, very quickly.  Cous cous is super fast to make and these pork chops don't take too much longer. So if you're looking for a fast meal or a meal that can help keep your house cool during a hot summer, this is your dish. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Over Rice

I can feel the weather slowly starting to change here in Phoenix. Saturday night actually got into the 60's. I know this sounds strange for people who don't live here, but it hasn't gotten to the 60's since probably May so this is a big deal. I actually have my window open right now, which again, is a big deal. Summer lasts much too long here. This is the time of year that I love here, 80's during the day and 60's at night. Perfect. I'm happy that the weather will be good for the next 6 months before we have to endure another deathly hot summer.

Chocolate Mascarpone Tart with Berries

Who doesn't love a nice creamy cheesecake on a chocolate crust with sweet berries on top? If you said you don't love that, then you should leave. Cheesecake has always been in the top of my favorite desserts. Today I made little cheesecake tarts with fresh raspberries & strawberries. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beer Cheese Soup

Wow, has it really been 3 MONTHS?!?!? I don't know what happened all summer, but I apologize for the absence. I managed to get back to Oregon twice over the summer and enjoyed all the yummy food, beer and wine that goes with it. I definitely cooked less all summer (Phoenix summer does that to you), but I have a bunch of delicious recipes to share with you. Might as well jump right in with one of mine and Dan's cheese soup. We made a delicious beer cheese soup a few years back with bacon, cream and butter. I decided to try the unthinkable and make a healthy beer cheese soup, well as healthy as you can make it I suppose. Dan was skeptical, but it turned out better than imagined. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Orange Chicken

I absolutely LOVE orange chicken. I always remember going to the mall in middle school and high school in Eugene, OR and getting both orange chicken and bourbon chicken. Yum!! The one thing I never really cared too much for though was the amount of batter on the chicken. Here is a healthier version of this delicious meal from Skinny Taste. I altered it just a little bit, but check out her blog too, so many amazing recipes.

Garlic Chicken with Israeli Couscous & Butternut Squash

I know it's summer and our houses are heating up, but this dish does require some baking. The good news is, you can cook a big batch and have left overs for the week. I even think the left overs were delicious cold. My friend Holly would agree with me, but she also eats literally ALL left overs cold. That's right, not just pizza, she likes cold fried chicken, cold mac and cheese, cold Chinese food...she's a little odd, but that's why I love her. Today is Garlic Chick with Israeli Couscous and Butternut Squash.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Seared Scallop & Apple Salad

Wow, it sure has been awhile since my last post. I have had a VERY busy past two months though and it just keeps getting busier...which is great by me! I had my dad and step-mom come visit in April, followed by my mom, my friend Holly and my sister in May and a little weekend trip with Dan to Tucson. We all had a blast drinking by the pool and traveling around Arizona. 

It's starting to heat up here in the valley of death (also known as Phoenix) and it's only going to get worse. You know you've been living in Phoenix for too long when you say the sentence "It's only 100 degrees". Ha! Needless to say, I haven't been too gung-ho to do too much baking. Here is a perfect summer dish that only requires a few minutes of having the stove top on. Perfect for those hot summer days...which never end here. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Broccoli & Swiss Stuffed Chicken

It's been slowly heating up here in Phoenix...reached our first triple digits for the year a few weeks ago. Luckily right now we still have cool evenings to give us a break, pretty soon that will go away too. I'm not ready for another summer in the desert! Cooking anything becomes an enormous task during the summer. I need to start cooking one day and having left overs for the week to limit the oven and stove time. Here is a perfect leftover recipe today, Broccoli & Swiss Stuffed Chicken (as seen on Skinny Taste).

Friday, May 2, 2014

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let me just start by saying that this is NOT at all a healthy recipe. Actually, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this recipe is...

...gotta love the Wilford Brimley cat. But seriously, this is by far the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever found. I wasn't even going to try to make this one healthier because it's just too damn good. These cookies are chewy and buttery and fluffy...mmm. I did end up only baking six the first night and freezing the rest of the dough into pre-formed balls. This was a great idea because we devoured those six that first night. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Orange Spice and Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Who doesn't love a moist, crumbly coffee cake? How about an orange spice coffee cake topped with an orange and ginger cream cheese? This couldn't possibly be good for you, right? Your average coffee cake is around 250-350 calories for one slice...this one though is 134 calories per slice. Did I mention that it is so delicious we even had it as a dessert? 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chinese Lettuce Wraps

I just realized that I have posted 50 blog posts! How fitting is it that my 50th post was being featured on another website. I can't believe I've already done this many recipes. Thanks for following and hopefully tryig out some of these recipes for yourself.

I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I ate at PF Chang's, but I do remember LOVING their lettuce wraps. I also remember loving that you can get shot glass size desserts, just enough to satisfy that sweet craving. The desserts will have to wait for another post, but today I made some Chinese Lettuce Wraps.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Featured On...

I am super pleased and excited to announce that I have been featured on Upwave. They did an article on pasta alternatives and were kind enough to ask to use my Broccoli "Pasta" recipe. Check out their website which contains everything from recipes to exercises to anything health and wellness related. Thank you again Alia Hoyt.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Healthy Choices

I recently went to the Western Regional Dental Convention and took a few classes that spoke a lot about healthy choices. One was about the connection between inflammation in the body and inflammation in the mouth with one of the biggest contributing factors being overweight and struggling with diabetes. The other two classes were by Dr. Low Dog, she spoke about cancer prevention and the connection between the environment and human health.

I noticed a recurring theme in these classes...making healthy choices. This included in your diet, exercise and chemicals we put into our bodies. I got to thinking about choices I make and how I can change some. One of the best resources I found on this subject is Environmental Working Group. There are articles about new findings and recommendations, databases on household cleaners and cosmetics, and tips for creating a healthier diet.

You don't have to eat 100% organic, but it is beneficial to avoid pesticides when you can. The classes I took informed me that it is most important to eliminate pesticides if you're pregnant and in young children. This list shows you which produce has more pesticides on them, those are the ones that you should try to buy organic. Even some on the dirty dozen list you can scrub really well, so you may not need to buy organic, like apples, cucumbers, bell peppers & potatoes. Now berries and lettuce are very difficult to scrub without destroying, so those are better to get organic.

My other favorite parts of the EWG website were the databases for Cosmetics and Cleaning Products. You can either browse the top rated products or you can type in the products you currently use and see how they rate.

I'm not trying to say that you need to go and change everything that you are eating or putting on your body, I'm just trying to make people aware. I am sure I will still use a product that isn't top rated and I'll still eat plenty of non-organic food, but I have noticed that I'm thinking more about it and making slow changes. The most important thing is to educate yourself and make your own decisions. 

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Some of my friends like to pronounce cilantro cil-ANT-ro instead of cil-on-tro. It cracks me up every time, especially when they do it while visiting me in the Southwest. Here's a simple a yummy cilantro lime chicken recipe, feel free to pronounce it any way you please.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Beef & Vegetable Noodle Bowl

One of my favorite easy and healthy dinners is some sort of meat and rice or rice noodle bowl. You can change it up so easily with sea food, beef, chicken or tofu. You can use rice noodles, brown rice, jasmine rice. You can put in virtually any vegetable you have on hand, fresh or frozen. You can use teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce, red chili sauce. The possibilities are endless! For today, we have beef & rice noodles in teriyaki sauce.

Biscuits and Gravy

What's better about weekends than sleeping in? Having a delicious home cooked breakfast that you never have time for during the week. One of my favorites is biscuits and gravy. This was a VERY tricky one trying to make healthy. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that some meals cannot be made 100% healthy, but I found a way to at least lighten it up a bit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baked Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal

I don't know about you, but right when I wake up I'm hungry. I have never been able to skip breakfast, which is good since it's such an important meal. Usually I'll have something simple, but I almost always crave a hearty meal. I have seen many recipes out there for crock pot steel cut oats, but have been afraid to try it since no one can agree on the amount of time so you don't wake up to burnt oatmeal. Instead, I did a baked steel cut oatmeal that can very easily be reheated for the rest of the week.

Mix together steel cut oats, chopped nut of choice, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.

Peel and slice one large apple, I used a Braeburn.

In a large bowl mix together almond milk, egg, honey and applesauce. Then combine wet & dry ingredients and stir until fully combined. You can bake this right away, or let the batter sit over night and bake it in the morning (if you have the time).

Place the chopped apples at the bottom of a baking dish and pour batter over top. The apples will float up to the top.

Bake for 50-0 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The top will be lightly browned and crispy and the inside will be ooey, gooey and delicious!

I top mine with some Greek yogurt. Feel free to play around with different nuts or fruit for your favorite oatmeal combination. What's your favorite oatmeal combination?

Baked Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal
3/4 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
3 Tablespoons honey
1 large apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl mix together oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl mix together milk, egg, applesauce and honey. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix well. You can bake right away, or let mixture sit overnight. Place peeled and chopped apple at the bottom of a baking dish and pour mixture over top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool and serve with Greek yogurt. 

*Can use a 8 x 8 inch baking dish, individual ramekins, or a 8 inch round baking dish (what I used).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sweet Potato & Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Since Saint Patrick's Day is right around the corner I thought I'd whip up an Irish dish made healthy. Sweet Potato & Turkey Shepherd's Pie.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Broccoli Salad

One of the dishes that I always looked forward to around the holidays was my step-mom's broccoli salad. It is creamy and rich and SUPER yummy! I've helped her make it before though, and realized why it tastes so good, and why we only had it around the holidays. It's loaded with sugar and either sour cream or mayonnaise. I decided to try to make a broccoli salad that you can eat throughout the year and not feel guilty about doing so.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Coconut Chicken Curry

Mmm, Thai food. Dan and I found an amazing Thai restaurant here in Phoenix called Pete's Thai. The food is amazing and it's BYOB! We've been taking all of our friends and visitors there and can't get enough. We decided to try out some Thai curry at home served over jasmine rice. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Apple Roasted Pork Tenderloin

After several times cooking pork tenderloin in the crock pot, I decided to try it out in my dutch oven. The nice thing about the crock pot is you can go to work and come home to a delicious dinner, but the meat will be sometimes a little too tender. I think this is a great way to cook pork if you are wanting to shred it. My new favorite method is in the dutch oven. You can get a nice sear with only using one dish and the meat stays together. The only thing you need to be careful about is making sure not to over cook the pork, or it will dry out.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lentil Salad with Sweet Potato & Pomegranate

I know it's supposed to be winter for another 6 weeks (damn you Phil!), but it's pretty much summer here in Phoenix. High 70's and mid 80's all week, now I remember why people live here, the amazing winter and spring. Since the weather is already warming up for me, I was craving a refreshing, cold salad. This salad is so fresh and full of nutrients, and did I mention absolutely delicious?!?!? I hope you enjoy my cold lentil salad with sweet potatoes and pomegranate seeds.

Monday, February 3, 2014

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

One thing that Dan is ALWAYS craving is BBQ food. I think he needs to move to the South. If he could, he would eat BBQ ribs or BBQ pulled pork or BBQ chicken every, single night. Don't get me wrong, I love it too, just maybe not every night. 

We made some BBQ pulled chicken in the crock pot. I stuffed it into a sweet potato and Dan made little BBQ chicken sliders. You could easily do pulled pork, chicken is just a cheaper option.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Individual Nutella Peanut Butter Deep Dish Cookie

I don't know about you, but I am always craving dessert. My crazy boyfriend, however, is not. So when I bake 3 dozen cookies, guess who eats them all? Yep, me. Which wouldn't be that big if a problem if I didn't consume them within 2 days by having them with breakfast, lunch and dinner. My solution? An individual cookie made in a ramekin. Problem solved!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Favorite Trader Joe's Finds

It's no surprise by looking at photos of my recipes that I love Trader Joe's. I do most of my grocery shopping there and love it. I love how small the store is, how they offer products without artificial preservatives and dyes, how delicious their food is and, of course, the great prices. I compiled a list of some of my favorite Trader Joe's finds so far, I'm sure I'll be creating a part 2 or 3 or 100.

Fig, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Basil Pizza

Hello, my name is Danielle, and I love pizza. I know the first step is admitting your problem. I could eat pizza most days, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love anywhere from the frozen (I know, not the best) to the fancy Italian restaurant pizzas. So it's no big surprise to find out that Dan and I have pizza on a regular basis, as do most people I assume. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Caprese Sandwich

It's so crazy how fast your body can acclimate to different temperatures. When we first moved from Oregon to Arizona we were dying, it probably didn't help that we moved here smack dab in the middle of July when the high is 110 degrees and you're lucky if the low drops below 90 degrees. Now while half of the country is suffering way below freezing temperatures, I'm somehow cold with our 55 degree weather. Pretty ridiculous, I know. Back to's a simple and delicious vegetarian dish, a caprese sandwich!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Meal Planner (free template)

I don't know about you, but I tend to get stuck in a rut sometimes on what to eat. Dan and I either wait until we're starving to figure out what to eat (which usually ends in ordering food or going out) or we feel like we have the same thing every night.

Awhile ago we started making a menu for each week. It helped us eat healthier, save money and not waste food. We usually plan on having the same meal twice in a week, which really cuts down on ingredients needed. We also try to make meals that use some of the same ingredients.

As for keeping meals fresh and not eating the same things every week, I also created a list of dinners we have. Our list has about 30 different meal ideas. So each week when we create the menu for the week, if we can't think of what to have, we can simply look over a long list of ideas. I continue to add to this list whenever we find a new favorite recipe.

I created a free template you can download here. The first page has the dinner menu and a place to list lunch and snack ideas. This page can be laminated so you can change the menu weekly. For me, lunch and snack ideas don't change very often, so I would write those in before laminating personally. The second page is the long list of dinner ideas for you to have on hand and add to. This page is one you might be adding to, so I would leave it as is to write on.

I hope you enjoy the template and that it's as useful to you as it is for me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chicken Fajitas

Mine and Dan's go to meal is tacos or fajitas. It's cheap. It's delicious. It's mostly healthy. One way we love to make chicken tacos is in the crock pot. We put a few chicken breasts in the crock pot with taco seasoning and a little bit of water. Turn it on low for 4-6 hours. During the last hour I shred the chicken and put it back in to soak up all the juices. These are so delicious and are great for feeding a large amount of people. I'll probably put these up at some point, but for now...Chicken Fajitas!

Healthy Apple Crisp

Happy New Year! I can't believe 2013 is over. One year ago I was celebrating New Years in Sweden at a ball, what a magical night.  I hope you all had a great night and weren't too hung over... Now for those New Years Resolutions! I very popular one is either working out more, eating healthier or losing weight. Today's recipe will help with that, plus it's a dessert! I made a healthy apple crisp!