Skinny Taco Dip

The fact that this fabulous taco dip even made it to the tiny man’s 4th birthday party is a miracle. As people were arriving to the party (including people I’ve never met before who were the parents of some of tiny man’s school friends), one of the folding tables we had set up with the food collapsed as we were setting up (apparently the husband didn’t quite lock the legs of the table when he set it up…). Thankfully my sister-in-law, niece, and BFF were right there (and thankfully I was not as I was already a nervous wreck and spazing out about other things) and saved the day, and all of the food! And it’s a good thing, because the taco dip was far and away the most popular dish at the party, and I gave out the recipe to several folks as they were leaving! I threw this together about 20 minutes before the start of the party, it was that easy to make. If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, and delicious appetizer for a get together, give this one a shot! Just make sure you put it on a stable table.

8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese
8 oz reduced fat sour cream
16 oz jar mild salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
2.25 oz black olives, drained

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa and taco seasoning and mix well with an electric mixer. Spread on the bottom of a large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and black olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Source:  Skinnytaste

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Strawberry Orange Oatmeal Smoothie – Crazy Cooking Challenge #10

This month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge theme was fruit smoothies, which couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. I started a fitness boot camp on May 1st and since it falls during dinner time two nights a week and early on a Saturday morning, I’ve been relying on smoothies as a quick and healthy snack/meal about an hour or so before my workouts. I’ve seen oatmeal smoothies on Pinterest over the last few months, and when I saw this one on Bran Appetit, I knew I found the one I really wanted to try! I also got lucky and found another healthy living blog that I love and cannot wait to try more of her recipes!  Since I’m on a big smoothie kick, I REALLY cannot wait to see what everyone came up with this month…I imagine there are going to be a ton of great options!

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So, about this fabulous smoothie! It was very easy to throw together and is made with ingredients that I almost always have around the house, except for the chia seeds, which I found on Amazon. I actually really enjoyed the nutty flavor of the oatmeal in this, which was subtle but definitely there. It was very filling too, which is exactly what I am looking for prior to hard workout. The husband and tiny man were not as impressed with the oatmeal flavor, which was fine because there was more for me! I cannot wait to try some different oatmeal smoothie recipes!

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp chia seeds
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ice
1/4 tsp vanilla

Add the oats and 1/2 cup milk to your blender and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight, if you can, to soften the oats a little.

In the morning, add the strawberries, orange juice, milk, ice, and vanilla and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Source:  Bran Appetit

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Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts

Hello? Is this thing on? Anyone still out there? I have definitely been lacking with the blog posts lately. The husband started a new job 3 weeks ago (YAY!), but the downside is he has been working and traveling a lot as he’s getting started. I normally don’t cook much at all when he’s out of town, and if I do, it’s never a new recipe. We’ve been eating a lot of tried and true weeknight recipes lately. So, I may be a bit slow as we adjust to our new schedule, but I have some great stuff coming up as my tiny man is turning FOUR and we’re having his party on Saturday. I can’t wait to share his cake and cupcakes!

Enough about all of that, let’s talk about this dynamite chicken! I made this well over a month ago, and have thought about it multiple times since then. This was another Pinterest find (oh how I love Pinterest!), and I think I made it about 5 days after I pinned it. The coating on this chicken gets super crispy and the honey garlic sauce is divine…the sweet/salty combination really takes this over the edge. We could not stop eating it. I wish I would have made some noodles or rice or something to serve with the extra sauce because the sauce was that good. I will definitely do that next time. The only change I will make next time is to cut the flour mixture and egg wash in half…I had way too much left over (I reflected that change in the recipe below).  Delicious and on the table in under 30 minutes…this will be a repeat here soon!

4  large boneless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1.5 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs
4 tbsp water

Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, pound the meat to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Alternatively, you can slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally.

Sift together the flour, salt, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, paprika and cayenne pepper.  Make an egg wash by whisking together the eggs and water.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dip the meat in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the breast into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the meat to get good contact.

Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4 1/2 out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked breasts into the Honey Garlic Sauce. Serve with noodles or rice.

Honey Garlic Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
3 – 4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
¼ cup soya sauce (low sodium soya sauce is best)
1 tsp ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and garlic.  Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown.  Add the honey, soya sauce and black pepper.  Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

Source:  Slightly adapated from Rock Recipes