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How-To Tuesday Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites

I have been a bit obsessed with quinoa lately. High in protein and fiber it leaves me feeling full for hours and has enough carbs to keep me going for after work runs. Tonight I made these cheese and broccoli quinoa patties that were pretty darn yummy-and they were really easy to make (because if it makes more than 3 dishes dirty to prepare...I'm out!). These were great on their own, but would also make a great side for grilled chicken or salmon!

This made 15 2.5" patties, I like to make enough to have leftovers for lunch/dinner for a day or two, but you can cut it in half if needed.

1c Quinoa
2c Water
3c Broccoli Florets
1/2c Sharp Cheddar
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Onion Powder (you could also use 1 small onion, but I'm not an onion fan)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray (I used an Olive Oil spray by Pam)

Add quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to low for 15 min until cooked. Remove from pot an put in large mixing bowl to cool.

Cook broccoli until slightly tender. Dice up broccoli florets into small pieces and add to quinoa along with cheese, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well, then add eggs last to hold the mixture together.

Add/Spray pan with oil and bring to medium heat. Scoop up mixture and roll into balls-mine were a tiny bit bigger than a golf ball, and place into pan, pressing them down into patties.

Cook on each side for 7 min or until golden brown on each side.




How-To Tuesday Stuffed Shells Recipe

In an effort to eat more like an adult and learn to make food I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve my friends I have been playing around in the kitchen. Generally I like to eat foods that are low in fat and carbs and high in protein, but am a really picky eater so it makes it hard to strike a balance. This dish definitely fits the bill packed with ground turkey and beans with just enough pasta to satisfy. It's pretty easy to make so that's a bonus too :)

First brown your meat. I like to use ground turkey or turkey Italian sausage. But ground beef or pork works well too. If you are not using sausage, add some seasoning for flavor-I used and Italian seasoning with basil, rosemary, garlic and thyme.

Next boil the pasta shells till they are "al dente", usually 8 min or so. Once they are cooked, transfer them to a bowl of ice cold water. It will keep them firm and make them easier to fill. Put them in the fridge while you do the next step.

With the pasta shells cooling in the fridge, finish preparing the filling. Combine the meat, veggies, ricotta, and pasta sauce in a large skillet and mix it while it is simmering. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 Remove the pasta shells from the fridge and start filling. Place the filled shells in a baking dish. Pour leftover pasta sauce over the shells and top with some shredded mozzarella and parm. Bake for 30 mins.

You will need:
1 box (12ozs) Jumbo Shells
1lb Italian sausage (casings removed) or ground meat of choice
1tbsp minced garlic
16oz Ricotta cheese (I like to use the reduced fat kind)
10oz package frozen spinach-thawed and squeezed dry
1c grated cheese (I used a 50/50 split of mozz and parm)
1 jar of pasta or marinara sauce-use half for the filling and half to pour over them to bake
Seasonings-either use a pre-made Italian seasoning, or use fresh chopped basil, rosemary and thyme