Tag Archives: easy cooking

Easy Cheesy Whole-Wheat Vegetarian Lasagna

The weather is getting colder (I actually saw little baby snowflakes today!) and the body wants warm food. What better to have on a cold night than a steaming plate of lasagna. Great comfort food with plenty of nutrients. This one has less fat than the average lasagna because you aren’t using ricotta. AND it’s whole-wheat! Can’t beat that. I got the recipe from here and then adapted it. Alright, let’s get to it.

Proved to be a wonderful dinner

Proved to be a wonderful dinner

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50-70 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz box whole-wheat lasagna 
  • 9 oz frozen spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan 
  • 3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • a few fistfuls shredded mozzarella
  • 2 cups red sauce of your choosing

Directions

  • Cook your whole-wheat lasagna until it is just al dente
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • Grease up a glass baking dish
  • In a bowl, mix the eggs, cottage cheese, and Parmesan cheese
Cheeeeeesayyyyy

Cheeeeeesayyyyy

  • Alright, now it’s time to layer this puppy up! Start by laying down the foundation: the first few pieces of lasagna so it covers the bottom of the baking dish
  • Next comes the spinach. Lay about half the spinach that you have on top of the noodles, somewhat evenly.

photo 2 (25)

  • Place another layer of lasagna noodle. Then pour all of the cheese mixture on top of that

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  • Then put a little bit more spinach on top of the cheese mixture. And then another layer of lasagna noodle!
  • We’re almost there, guys! Now spread the top of the noodles with your tomato sauce and then sprinkle the mozzarella on top.

photo 4 (15)

photo 5 (6)

  • Now it’s ready to bake! Put it in the oven for between 50 to 70 minutes. Mine took around 60. A good way to tell if it’s done is when the cheese on top is slightly browned. Another way to tell if it’s cooked all the way through is to stick a knife through the bottom and count to ten. If the knife is hot, then you’re good to go!
Chris' protein shake behind it...

Chris’ protein shake behind it…

This was a wonderful dinner. Perfect with salad or some kind of greenery–and don’t forget the red wine! It doesn’t leave you feeling too heavy since it’s a bit less fat than the normal lasagna. And we had leftovers for like 2-3 days! I’m always happy because it means packing lunches are easy! Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

Bon appetite!

Bon appetite!

photo 2 (26)

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photo 1 (14)

Product Review: Marukome Miso Soup

I’ve been wanting to buy some take-home miso soup powder from the store for a while. However, it’s usually expensive or has horrid ingredients. Both things I stray away from. And even ones that I have found before haven’t been good, I know my friends can attest to this. Guys…I’ve found it! I’ve found one that’s worth the money (though it wasn’t that expensive) and tastes just like from a restaurant. It may help that it’s directly from Japan too.

photo 3 (26)

The brand is called MarukomeIts ingredients are exactly what you would expect (or hope) a miso soup powder to be: powdered miso, rice, dried tofu, dried green onion, powdered yeast, bonito powder, etc. This was the first good sign (besides the price that stopped me to look at it). The next good sign was that it’s a “Product of Japan.” If I’m eating an “ethnic food” (I hate that phrase), then I want it right from where it was created. Miso soup should come Japan or a great chef. So being a product of Japan (and having a cool Japanese address too ^_^) gave it a huge plus. It also has a freaking awesome mascot, who wouldn’t want some miso soup from that guy?!

Perfect texture

Perfect texture

The directions are really simple. Pour powder into bowl, pour 1 cup of boiling water into bowl, stir and serve! That’s it! Dinner was awesome last night because it took all of 5 minutes to get everything on the table. And for the big package, you get 3 miso packet servings, so we have one left over! As you can see, I’m all about this product, and they’re not even paying me to say this! They also have a great “miso secret” about miso and your health (look at pic below). I found this at our standard grocery (no special, local, or organic grocery–just the plain main one) so you have no excuse. Use this product to stay hungry and fit!

photo 3 (28)

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Sajah enjoying the view

Sajah enjoying the view

Easy Chicken Parm Recipe [Made By a Vegetarian!]

This is my first time making Chicken Parmesan (or better known–Chicken Parm) and I think I did pretty darn well! I’m a vegetarian, so I can’t taste while I cook, which I don’t particularly like, but I was able to feel it out and follow directions and made ’em nice and tasty. I found this easy recipe here and changed it to fit what I wanted. This is a quick fix for any hungry meat-eater and boy did Chris like it!

photo 4 (8)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7-10 minutes
  • Serves: 2-3 people (or JUST Chris)

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (I used homemade)

Directions

  • Wrap the chicken breasts in some plastic wrap. AND BEAT IT! JUST BEAT IT! Really, smack the heck out of it until it’s around 1/3 inch thickness. Or just eye it.
  • In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, and oregano. In another bowl, combine the egg and salt.
  • photo 1 (26)
  • Now roll those smacked-up chicken breasts first in egg and salt mix, and then, once coated in that, roll it in the breadcrumb mixture. Really coat it.

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  • Heat up some oil and once it’s nice and hot, place those breaded-up suckers in. It should only need about 3 minutes on each side, but just keep an eye on them until they’re golden brown. The original recipe calls for putting mozzarella on top, but, ummm, I forgot to put it on and it was just fine without it.

photo 3 (20)

  • Heat up some marinara sauce (I made mine from scratch) and pour on top of the beautiful golden breaded chicken and serve!

photo 1 (27)

It was delicious and Chris literally ate all 4 chicken breasts. I served it with a broccoli-zucchini mix on the side. It’s the perfect meal for after work because it takes less than 30 minutes to make and it’s DELICIOUS. It feeds a whole family if you don’t have a freak like Chris who can eat the world (hi Vishnu). Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

yum!

yum!

photo 3 (21)

Homemade sauce

Homemade sauce

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Close-up

Close-up

Healthy Greek Yogurt Mini-Cheesecake Recipe

I’ve been wanting to make these for a loooong time. First, the problem was I couldn’t find one ingredient anywhere. Then, it was that I was prepping for the contest, so I stayed away from dairy. Finally FINALLY, both those problems are over. I found the ingredient (Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese) at Wal-Mart (unfortunately) and this past Monday, my contest was complete!

I can hear you saying, HEALTHY cheesecake?! Give me a break! Sure, it may not be better for you than a protein shake, but hear me out. This magical ingredient cuts half the normal fat of a cheesecake and deals twice the protein. Can you say SERVE ME ANOTHER?! I thought so. I got this recipe from here and cut it in half. It was very easy and so so good. Creamy, delicious, and light—and it doesn’t leave you feeling like you have a bowling ball in the tummy, which I appreciate. This is a recipe I will often go back to as Chris and I love cheesecake. You could do it with or without the lemon twist (we happen to like it).

You pretty thang

You pretty thang

  • Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

 Macros

  • Serves: 6 (you can always double it for a bigger party)
  • Calories: 182
  • Fat: 8.9g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Protein: 6.8g
^_^

^_^

Ingredients

  • 3 cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 8-ounce package of Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese & Greek Yogurt
  • 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners (I used ones that were waaaaaaay too big)
  • Ground your graham crackers finely—I used the bottom of a glass and a bowl…and eventually my fingers

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  • Mix in the butter with the graham cracker crumble
  • Put the crumble at the bottom of each cupcake liner, try to make it even

photo 2 (28)

  • Bake for about 5 minutes and let cool
  • Grate some lemon zest
  •  The recipe asks for a stand mixer, but we don’t have one of those. So I used a whisk! Mix all the rest of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Make it smooth.

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  • Pour into muffin liners about 2/3rds full. Mine definitely were not all even. Do what you can.

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  • Put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Mine were good at 23. A little cracked, but after refrigeration, they smoothed out.

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  • Make sure to let them cool. Then pop them into the refrigerator for about 3 hours before you serve.

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Oh so goooood

Oh so goooood

That’s it! You can garnish it if you’re feeling fancy, but I like ’em plain. These are just so good and mini…it’s perfect. And the macros don’t leave you feeling bad. It’s easy to make, easy to eat–what’s better than that? Use this delicious recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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A hot Sajah just chillin'

A hot Sajah just chillin’

5-Minute Healthy Snack Recipe

Before we went to bed last night, I was feeling a little hungry and I also knew that my macros were a little low too. However, I was also feeling tired and lazy, and didn’t want to do anything with too much prep. So what better to combine two of my favorite things? Avocado and egg. This is low in carbohydrateslow in calories, and medium-high in healthy fats! Perfect for a snack any time of the day, but mine just so happened to be around bed time. This recipe takes no longer than 5 minutes and is so delicious to boot!

  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cooking Time: 2-4 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small avocado
  • 1 egg (we are house-sitting right now and get fresh eggs from the chickens every morning!)
  • Frank’s hot sauce (optional)

Directions

  • Cut avocado in half
  • Crack an egg and put it in a small saucepan on medium heat
  • While the egg is cooking, scrape out the avocado and place it on a plate kind of in a pile

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  • When the egg is done (I like over-easy), simply place the egg on top of the avocado and let the yolk drizzle out
  • If you’d like, pour some hot sauce on top (Frank’s + eggs= heaven)
Yum yum yum!

Yum yum yum!

And that’s it! A healthy, quick snack any time of the day. High in nutrients and it won’t break the calorie bank if you’re worried about that. The textures are gooey and warm–a melt in your mouth sinful sort of feeling. I can’t wait to make this again. Simple is usually the best way to go. Cheers! Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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Even though he's taking my spot, he's so damn adorable

Even though he’s taking my spot, he’s so damn adorable

Quinoa Chia Bowl

I always like saying quinoa the wrong way (“kih-no-ah”) just to bug Chris, so it’s always great when it’s in my life more frequently. This is an easy (PEASY) recipe that is perfect for breakfast, but will serve as a nice refreshing snack anytime of the day. I was inspired by Happy Fit Mama when she instagrammed a picture of this dish. I had to try! It fit my clean-eating perfectly. After all, I’m getting close to the end of contest prep! She gave me the ingredients she used, but I went ahead and created the recipe with measurements and all. Kinda winged it, but it worked! Enjoy this perfect recipe for summer living.

Mmmmmm!

Mmmmmm!

Macros (for 1 serving)

  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 208
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: 33g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein: 8.3g

Ingredients

  • 3/8 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp drizzled honey
  • 1/2 cup Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almondmilk 

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Mix together the quinoa, cinnamon, chia seeds, and honey in a small dish that can be put in the oven
Mixed up and ready for bake-age!

Mixed up and ready for bake-age!

  • Put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (until well-bonded and kinda crisp)
THIS is the proper serving. If you eat the whole thing, double the macros at the top of the post

THIS is the proper serving. If you eat the whole thing, double the macros at the top of the post

  • Pour 1/2 cup almond milk over and enjoy!
Mmmmmm!

Mmmmmm!

Yeah it’s that easy. And I was able to have the other half for breakfast the next morning! Talk about a good deal. The texture of the chia seeds after baking and then drowned in almond milk is next to perfect. It feels like a truly wholesome meal whether you have it for breakfast or any other meal of the day. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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Sajah trying to help me with work

Sajah trying to help me with work

Easy Korean-Style Beef Bowl

If you know us, we love Korean food (as Chris spent a summer in South Korea and consequently fell in love with the culture he had already been into). So when I stumbled upon this fantastic easy (ridiculously easy) recipe by one of my favorite food bloggers, I had to recreate it (altered it slightly)! Mine may not look as pretty, mostly because it was all for Chris so he got the entire beef bowl (4 servings) so that you can’t see the rice (oops!). My version of the recipe has less sugar, less spice (Chris has a Geographic Tongue, so he can’t have spice), and brown rice instead of white. Makes it a little bit healthier, but it was healthy from the start.  He had worked a long day at work, and I was taking a rest day on workouts, so I decided to make him something that he would love and fill him up...Korean style!

photo 2 (16)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 3-4 normal people (Chris ate it all)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 crushed red-pepper flakes [you can use more if you like spice]
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • cooked brown rice

Directions

  • Mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame teriyaki sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. It’d be best to use a fork or a whisk to really blend everything together.

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  • Leave that to the side. Heat up the oil in a saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the chopped garlic to the oil

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  • Once you get that lovely cooking garlic smell, it’s time to throw the ground beef in. Cook it until it’s browned, breaking it up as you do. Could take 4-8 minutes depending on your stove. While it’s cooking, chop up your green onions.
So purdy

So purdy

photo 5 (6)

  • Drain the excess fat (ew). Stir in the magical mixture we created at the start, letting it get to all of the meat and soak up the flavor. Add the green onions as well. By this time, it will be smelling goooood. 

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  • And serve over rice! It’s smart to cook it beforehand so it’s ready there waiting for you.

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You won’t be able to see the rice in my dish, because it’s smothered by the beef! It was such an easy, quick recipe (perfect for summer days when it’s too hot to cook a lot), I would do it again in a heartbeat. Chris loved it and literally ate the whole pound of ground beef plus the rice. Guess it was alright. Thanks to DamnDelicious for the recipe and use it to stay hungry and fit!

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Sajah watching me cook

Sajah watching me cook

2-Ingredient Healthy Energy Rounds

Some of you may know that we are travelling to Iowa tonight (yes, we’re driving over night, 7pm-9am probably) for a 4th of July family reunion. Some may run screaming at the words, “family reunion,” but I always look forward to the chaos of it all…and the delicious food of course. I love family! And many of you know that I’m currently prepping for contest so I’m doing very clean eating. My meals mostly contain tuna, other fish, vegetables like spinach and peppers, almonds, oatmeal and brown rice. Sounds boring, but I’m alright with it (especially with hot sauce). OKAY GET TO THE POINT–I need healthy, clean food for the road trip there for my attempt to stay awake. Luckily I stumbled upon this blog for the idea.

Of course, we’re bringing fruit and fiber cereal to snack on, but I wanted to bake a little something so here we are. Basically, 2-ingredient rounds full of energy and electrolytes! I can’t even tell you how easy this was to make. Perfect and delicious for snacks on the go.

Simple and delicious

Simple and delicious

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Baking Time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup oats
  • 2 bananas (mashed)
  • almonds (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • You’re probably saying, “That’s IT?” to the above.  Yep.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • To start off, mash up your bananas really well, get it nice and smooth.
mash mash mash

mash mash mash

  • I had some almonds I wanted to use, so I decided to add it into the mix. Again, you don’t have to do anything more than oatmeal and bananers. If you want to use almonds, cut or grind them up.
Pathetic amount of almonds (I HATE cutting them)

Pathetic amount of almonds (I HATE cutting them)

  • Now you want to mix it all together in a big bowl. Start with a base of oats and almonds and then add the mashed bananas in and stir. 
Mixed up!

Mixed up!

  • Make sure you mix it all up really well. I added cinnamon to it because I LOVE cinnamon and put it in everything. Now line up a baking sheet with wax paper or you can use a cooking spray/oil. Plop those rounds on there. Should make about 12.
Ready to bake

Ready to bake

  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes (mine took 13). Let cool and then EAT.
Ready to be EATEN

Ready to be EATEN

They are so easy and delicious, it’s the perfect energy snack for on-the-go. And it is HEALTHY. No crap in it! And I’d imagine they’d be lovely with milk. Again, this takes no time at all, I did it while packing to show that it’s easy. Enjoy this quick, delicious, nutritious recipe to stay hungry and fit!

photo (2)

Simple and delicious

Simple and delicious

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Sajah sleeps for EVERY kitty pic...sigh

Sajah sleeps for EVERY kitty pic…sigh

Grandma Powell’s Iowa Casserole

I prompted my Grandma, who lives in Iowa, for a recipe called “Iowa Surprise.” However, she returned with a delicious, simple, very Iowan casserole recipe. I was definitely game to try it! I had most ingredients and the others I needed to buy only cost me $5. What a deal for a full casserole that is plenty to fill both of us! I made a few alterations, some by mistake and some on purpose. Big Note: I made half of this vegetarian for me, and half with meat.  Check it out and enjoy.

The Powell Family at our last reunion...you can find Grandma Powell sitting front and center

The Powell Family at our last reunion…you can find Grandma Powell sitting front and center

  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50-75 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1#bulk pork sausage
  • 1 cup cheese [only for vegetarian edition]
  • 1 (16oz.) can cream-style corn
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup panko [I used panko instead of said recipe’s bread crumbs because all the others had high fructose corn syrup in it]
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • red pepper

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Okay so I think I got this part wrong, but what I did is get raw pork sausage and just browned it, when I think I was supposed to get already-cooked pork sausage. Either cook the pork sausage, or start putting the cooked sausage in large mixing bowl[Note: If you’re doing the vegetarian step, ignore the meat and put 1 cup shredded cheese in, instead]

ground beef

  • Chop 1/2 white onion into finely diced pieces and throw them in with the meat.
  • Combine the salt + pepper, canned corn, panko bread crumbs, milk and eggs into the large bowl
  • Put mixture into casserole dish
half veggie/half meat. Doesn't look too appetizing at this point

half veggie/half meat. Doesn’t look too appetizing at this point

  • Cut the red pepper into rings and place upon half the casserole. At the same time, smear the ketchup across the other half

casserole rdy

  • Put into oven! Mine took about 65 minutes, just keep an eye on it after 50 minutes and test it for sturdiness
Hot n ready

Hot n ready

It was very filling and very enjoyable, and we have leftovers for tomorrow too! Thank you, Grandma!! Hopefully next she will send me her pie recipes…probably wishful thinking.

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sniper shot of Sajah asleep

Sniper shot of Sajah asleep

Getting Creative With Tofu

If you’re a vegetarian or you just like it, tofu is a big part of the diet. Usually, we just cube it and put it into the dish with whatever else we are making. But recently, a friend (from Bali) shared a new way of doing tofu. Well, the cooking method is typical for some, but the flavoring is different. Using nutritional yeastNow, I had no idea what this was before the couple brought the dish over to us. And it is delicious. It literally had me thinking I was eating fried chicken, that’s what it tastes like. So, I was in heaven. And then, I realized I needed to know how to make this for myself. Luckily, our friend left us a little tub of this magic nutritional yeast, so I was good to go. I will be showing you how to make this tofu dish, but also sharing what we had with it (though you can have it alone too).

Ingredients

  • 1 box tofu
  • knife
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • oil
  • peppers [optional]
  • udon [optional]
  • teriyaki [optional]

Directions

  • Drain the tofu juice out of the box and place the tofu on cutting board. Cut long-ways first, into thin 1/2 inch pieces
  • Cut short-ways, making little squares
  • Have a pan hot with a very light amount of olive oil and carefully place tofu on the pan, letting each have enough room to cook. I put the temperature on a little less than high (medium-high)
  • Takes about 5-10 minutes to cook, I use a fork to turn them over. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn on the outside, but get cooked on the inside. Turn them over one by one when the first side is done.
  • After both sides are ready, pop them onto a plate. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast flakes on top of each piece
Tastes like fried chicken!

Tastes like fried chicken!

  • And if you want to continue with our dish…slice up your peppers (or whatever vegetable) into thin long slices.
  • Put some more olive oil in the pan and this time garlic too
  • Throw the peppers in there
  • After the peppers have been in there for a few minutes, throw in your udon to heat up. At the time you put the udon in, put a good amount of teriyaki in as well, flavoring the udon and peppers, as well as giving some moisture to it all.
Yum...

Yum…

  • Once the udon noodles are heated and have absorbed the teriyaki and the peppers have cooked enough, plate them atop the already-cooked tofu!
Finished product

Finished product

And voila! There you have it–an easy, nutritious, delicious meal full of protein and fiber. Feel free to add or subtract any vegetable or addition to the stir fry, but seriously go for this tofu. It is absolutely delicious.

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Nymeria is 98% back to normal!!

Nymeria is 98% back to normal!!

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