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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a classic family recipe that I grew up with. It has also been my favorite pregnancy food. A bowl of this stuff can make even the worst pregnancy days alright again. And with the extremely cold weather we have been having lately this is a great way to warm yourself and your family up.


1 1/2 lbs. noodles (we like the thick egg noodles)
3 chicken breasts
1 package baby carrots
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3-4 cubes chicken bouillon
Onion powder to taste or one onion cut into thick pieces and separated

Cook chicken breasts in approximately 8 cups water with carrots and shake a bit of onion powder in. If you use the real onion you will take out the onion pieces (they don't go in the soup they are just for flavor). Start noodles cooking in a separate pan. Cook until carrots are soft. Take out chicken breasts and carrots but KEEP THE WATER. (Use a strainer on top of the pan). Add chicken bouillon and cream of mushroom soup to "juice." Cut up chicken and carrots to add to soup. Add noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.

*This recipe makes a HUGE pot of soup. If you have less people to feed cut the recipe in half, or even in fourths.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Variation on a Favorite - Chicken Stir Fry Wraps / Pasta!

Quite a while ago I posted a recipe for Chicken Stir Fry Wraps from Delectable Dining. I told you then that this dish is very versatile and cuold be done a number of different ways. Well, we tried a different way this time! Instead of serving the chicken mixture in lettuce leaves (which is delicious) I tossed it with Vermicelli noodles and topped with feta cheese. It was SOOO good. Light and spicy - it is defintiely one of my new favorite pasta dishes. Give it a try, or try the original - you can't go wrong!

From Delectable Dining

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves; halved horizontally and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you prefer)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout (about 2-4 minutes). Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, along with the onion and the bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is tender and golden. If the onion is browning too quickly, reduce the heat.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture. Remove from the heat. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in the lettuce cups.

New Year's Recipes

My mom and I made a bunch of things for our New Year's Eve celebration and they were all delicious! We were so full and I was wishing I could have a couple of extra stomachs for the night. My favorite recipe was the Greek 7 layer dip. We are huge Greek food fans at our house and it hit the spot perfectly! Thanks to Our Best Bites for the recipes and pictures. Please visit their fabulous site by going here.

Adapted by Our Best Bites from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat)
1 tsp. dill weed or Greek seasoning (salt free--go for a mix that just has herbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. hummus
1 c. seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c. seeded, diced tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c. chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
1/2 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1/8-1/4 c. minced fresh parsley

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta cheese, and parsley. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, and/or flatbread.


7oz jar roasted red peppers (about 1C diced)
4 C grated pepper jack cheese (3/4 lb)
8oz cream cheese (I use low-fat)
3/4 C mayonnaise
2 T minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Remove peppers from jar and blot excess water with paper towels. You want to make sure they are dry so they don't add moisture to the dip. Then dice 'em up.

In a bowl, soften cream cheese in microwave so it will be easier to stir. Add in mayo, onion, garlic, and dijon. Stir to combine and then add in grated cheese and the diced peppers. Place in an 8x8-ish dish (pie plate works). At this point you can pop it in the fridge if you're going to cook it later and you can even make it a couple of days ahead of time. Place in the oven and cook for 30-45 minutes. Baking time depends on the dish. It will start to bubble and brown on the outside edge, and you want it to be bubbly all the way through to the center. It will be nice and golden brown on top, especially around the edges. Mine usually takes 40-45 min.


recipe by ourbestbites.com

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (make sure it is big!)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
sharp cheddar cheese (I used a 50/50 mix of mozzarella and cheddar)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
about 1 C shredded, cooked chicken.
3/4 C mayo
3/4 C milk

First take 1 teaspoon of your ranch dressing mix and combine it with 1 1/2 T parmesan cheese. Set aside. Combine the remaining ranch mix with 3/4 C mayo and 3/4 C milk and place in the fridge to chill.

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400-425 degrees.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square.

When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings.

I grab the four corners first and then squeeze the seams shut. Then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish). Brush with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle with the parmesan-ranch mixture.

Place your rolls in the oven. I've noticed baking time really depends on the type of dough I'm using. Whether it's different brands from the store, or homemade dough, they all take different amounts of time. Set your timer for 10 minutes and check on them after that. They may take up to 15 or 20 to be done. Take them out when they're lightly golden on top.

Serve them warm with a side of freshly made ranch dressing for dipping.

These can also be baked individually in a mini-muffin tin. This might work better for serving depending on the situation. You're making 24 rolls, so it fills up the pan perfectly. They cook quicker this way than in a pie pan so keep an eye on them. Mine only took about 8 minutes whereas the ones in the pan took about 13-15.