Tag Archives: recipe

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

20 Dec

Quick post today! First off, I will not be doing my usual #FollowFriday post tomorrow. Instead, I’ll be participating in Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook. Crazy for Crust has organized a way for the blogging community to show support and give tribute to those effected by the shootings last week. (I’ve copied and pasted part of her post from her blog below.)

On Friday, December 21, 2012, we are going to honor the victims, families, and community of Newtown by doing a post in their honor. Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook will be one way we can show support in the aftermath of this unimaginable event.

cookies-and-crafts-for-sandy-hook

On Friday, December 21, write a post sharing a cookie or a craft and a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There is no specific requirement…just do or make something to show your support. Maybe something you would make for, or with, your children.

Please spread the word about this united effort wherever you can. You can use the hashtag #BloggersforSandyHook.

Don’t have a blog? That’s okay. You can still share something for Sandy Hook. Take a picture and post it on your Facebook wall, your Twitter feed. Share on Instagram or your Google+ or wherever you can to unite us in our tribute.

So please come back tomorrow to see what treat I’ve made. I still have no idea what to do. I tried making cookies yesterday and it was a total epic disaster. I used to think it was my oven’s fault, but now that I see a pattern, it’s probably just me. 🙂

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich The Tasty Fork

Do you love turkey? How about turkey sandwiches? I sure do but doing the typical turkey, mustard and cheese thing gets pretty boring for me. I came up with a Mediterranean sandwich spread, almost like a tapenade, to switch up the everyday turkey sandwich. The spread consists of artichokes, roasted red peppers, onions, banana peppers, balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Add to a blender or food processor, and then you have a low-calorie and flavorful sandwich spread. You won’t miss the mayo or mustard with this sandwich!

If you’re having guests in town for the holidays, this sandwich is great for everyone and it’s a little different from what you can get anywhere else. Pair it with some sweet potato fries and you’ve got a filling meal.

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

  • 10 oz can artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/2 banana peppers, mild
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 8 sandwich rolls
  • 1 lb deli turkey
  • reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
  • lettuce
  • shredded carrots

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, add artichokes and the next 6 items. Blend until is a paste consistency.
  2. Warm sandwich rolls in the oven. Split and spread both sides of bread with the artichoke mixture.
  3. Top with turkey, feta cheese crumbles, lettuce and shredded carrots.
Advertisements

Recipe Makeover — Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

19 Dec

Christmas is less than a week away!!! I finished my holiday shopping on Monday. (Thank you, Amazon!) I had everything shipped to my in-laws houses, so fingers crossed all of the gifts will be there when I arrive this weekend.

I really do try to eat healthy during the week and get to the gym 5-6 days/week. It’s an active effort everyday and trust me, there are days when I think to myself, “It would just be easier to pick something up to eat.” Or, “Gosh, I have so much work to do. I should just skip the gym.” But I know that’s just my lazy inner self just getting the best of me. There are a few strategies I use to keep me on track.

  1. Packing a gym bag in my car prevents me from coming home and keeping me there.
  2. Find others who can be support you and help you to be accountable — Find a gym buddy. Sign up for classes. Write down in your planner when you’ll be going to the gym each day.
  3. Plan meals ahead of time and look for healthy substitutes.

I can’t help you with making sure to pack a gym bag everyday, but I can help you with a getting involved with a community and healthy meal planning. Emily from Sweet Bella Roos has started an online community called Counting Cupcakes. (How cute!!) This group is for anyone who wants to start (or continue) to live a healthy lifestyle. There will be a weekly newsletter which will feature a healthy recipe, a sweet treat recipe and a weekly meal plan. Click on the cute lil cupcake to sign up!

aqua150

When you look at your favorite recipes, try to find new ways to make it better for you. Add more vegetables so you get fiber and stay full longer, skip butter & cream and use olive oil & skim milk instead, use fresh herbs and seasonings instead of salt or fat. It takes some practice, but I know you can do it.

There is a local restaurant in town and they have the best chicken & rice soup I’ve ever had. It’s creamy and delicious. I really wanted to recreate it at home and make it a lighter option. I added vegetables & brown wild rice. Instead of cream, I used skim milk and reduced fat cream cheese to give it a creamy texture. It totally worked! And since I made it at home, it wasn’t loaded with salt and I wasn’t tempted to dunk a huge loaf of bread into the soup. (this restaurant gives you huge portions and a loaf of bread which every order. It’s a total calorie bomb.)

Recipe Makeover Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup the Tasty Fork

I know with Christmas & New Years right around the corner, you might not be in the mood for a soup makeover recipe, but pin it and come back when you’ve started your new years resolution to get healthy. It doesn’t taste like a “diet” meal, which is important to me! 🙂

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice (I used Uncle Ben’s and included the spice packet.)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 to 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. When cooked, set aside. 
  2. In a large dutch oven, bring the heat to medium and add oil. When the oil is warm, add onion & thyme. Stir & cook for 2 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; bring to boil. Cover pot; reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. Combine milk and flour; stir with a wisk and make sure there are no clump. Pour milk mixture into soup and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese. When all of the cream cheese has dissolved, add in rice & chicken. Let all of the ingredients fold into the soup and warm up. Taste and season with salt & pepper if needed. Garnish soup with parsley.

Brown Sugar Crock Pot Pork

13 Dec

Brown Sugar Crock Pot Pork The Tasty Fork

I only post recipes I love. And in this case I really really LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this pork recipe. There isn’t much to it. Excluding the pork, all of the ingredients I had on hand and you should too.

I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love using my crock pot. It makes my life so much easier. I like to put the meal together the night before so it hangs out in the fridge over night. In the morning after I walk the dog and make my coffee, it’s time to grab the crock pot and turn it on. I’m out of the house for the day but dinner will be ready when I get home.

crock pot brown sugar pork via The Tasty Fork

The first thing I do when I come home from work is take a deep breath — the smell coming from the crock pot fills the whole house. When I walked in on Tuesday, I was happily overwhelmed by the smell of brown sugar pork. I ran to the kitchen and took a little bite. I seriously almost melted. The pork was so tender! And the sauce, oh my… it’s a combination of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. All pantry items and it made the most divine tasting sauce. It’s sweet with a touch of acidity. Perfection!

To round out the meal, I whipped up some sweet potato mash. It’s super easy — peel and dice a couple sweet potatoes, boil for 15 minutes and drain, add some butter and brown sugar and skim milk, mash until you get the right consistency. This was an easy week night meal, but I’d make this any day of the week! It’s a great recipe to use if you have guests coming over for the holidays. It makes a lot and leftovers taste better the next day.

I really wanted to name this recipe “OMG Pork.” It’s all I could say when I was eating it. I hope you’ll love love love it as much as me.

Brown Sugar Crock Pot Pork

Brown Sugar Crock Pot Pork

  • 4 lb pork loin (or your favorite cut of pork for a crock pot)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Equal part cornstarch and cold water (slurry)

Directions

  1. Remove excess fat from pork. Using a fork, stab/make holes through out the pork. Season with salt & pepper. Spray crock pot with cooking spray and add onions. Place pork on top.
  2. In a bowl, combine garlic, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar. It will be a paste like consistency. Spread all over pork. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. When the pork is done cooking, take out of the slow cooker and let it rest for 10 minutes. (cover pork with foil) Strain the liquid in the slow cooker into a sauce pan. Save onions. On a medium heat, cook and stir in slurry. The slurry will thicken up the sauce. You may need to repeat this step a few times to get the consistency you want.
  4. Place onions on top of pork and cut into pieces. Serve with sauce drizzled on pork pieces.

Tomato Based Vegetable Soup

12 Dec

Tomato Based Vegetable Soup

Christmas is less than two weeks away and I’m already entering sugar coma status. Holiday lattes start off my morning. Everyday seems like a cookie swap party at work…and it’s rude to turn away treats people have baked, right?? And for the past few nights, I’ve been having these as dessert — they’re sooo addicting. I know I’ll have to make more once they’re gone.

Since I’m eating so much sugar, I’m really trying to balance out my diet with some healthy meals like this soup. It’s filled with vegetables and has a rich tomato base. If you like tomato soup, you’ll want to try this! By blending a can of diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, each bite you take is full of flavor. Not even a pinch of salt went into the soup!

If you’re a sugar addict like me, make this soup so you can enjoy all the holiday treats the season has to offer.

Tomato Based Vegetable Soup

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can small white beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes. Get the ones that aren’t packed in oil. They come packaged in a resealable bag, can be found in the produce section.
  • 8 basil leaves, torn plus more for garnish
  • 8 oz bag baby spinach

Directions 

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, and thyme.  Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  2. Add broth, 1 can tomatoes, and beans. In a blender, add remaining can of tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, torn basil leaves and 1/2 soup liquid. Purée until smooth. Add more soup liquid to get the consistency you want.  Stir mixture into soup, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add baby spinach and simmer 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat, and stir in basil garnish.

Follow Friday – Half Baked Harvest

7 Dec

Happy Friday! I’m totally looking forward to my weekend. Do you know what I have planned?? NOTHING! It’s going to be a weekend to relax because after this weekend, the holiday chaos will start. My work life gets busier. I’ll start my holiday shopping. Parties start popping up on the calendar. All great things but a weekend of relaxing is just what I need.

I’m super excited to share my #FollowFriday blogger with you. Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest is a very talented young lady! She loves cooking for her family and sharing their reviews on each dish. Teighan has to be pretty creative to keep everyone happy! Here are 5 of my favorite recipes.

1. Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls

IMG_9731

How cute is this?? I don’t think there could be a more perfect breakfast for the holiday season.

2. Cranberry, Brie Biscuit Appetizer 

IMG_9583This sounds like a great little appetizer. What a great combination of flavors & ingredients!

3. Pecan Pie Brownies

IMG_8133Pecan Pie & Brownies??!! YUM! I’d put in extra minutes on the treadmill (and not even complain!) so I could eat a ton of these brownies.

4. Gorgonzola Butternut Squash Ravioli

IMG_9189There really is nothing like homemade ravioli and the filling sounds amazing!

5. Baked Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

IMG_7663I pinned this recipe a few weeks ago. I’m thrilled that Tieghan came up with this recipe so I no longer have to buy the frozen taquitos from the store!

Thank you, Tieghan, for all of the great recipes! Be sure to check out Half Baked Harvest. She has some creative holiday treat posts you should make with your family. Here are some ways to keep up with Half Baked Harvest.

Have you missed my past #FollowFriday posts? No fear, I have a pin board with all of the past blogger’s recipes for easy reference. How can you be my Featured #FollowFriday Blogger next week? It’s easy! All I have to know is know about you! Make comments on my blog, get active in Link Parties or take drool worthy pictures. (I’m easily distracted by yummy looking food!) If you are featured, all I ask is for you to tell you fans & followers you were featured on The Tasty Fork.

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

Copy Cat Recipe – Taco Bell’s Meximelt (healthy option!)

6 Dec

Healthy Meximelt - The Tasty Fork

I have a secret…About once a month, usually on a Sunday night, I get a craving for Taco Bell. Yes, I know that stuff is just terrible for you but why does terrible taste so darn good?!! And why is terrible so cheap??!

I always order the same items. One of those items being a Meximelt. It has ground beef, pico de gallo and cheese all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. The cheese is melted and the pico de gallo has a lot of cilantro. There really isn’t much to it… which got me to thinking, “Why can’t I make meximelts at home?”

Healthy TB Meximelt --The Tasty Fork

You totally can. I made a few changes to make my at home Meximelt a healthy option. It was just as delicious! I’m not going to say I’ll never order a Meximelt again from Taco Bell, but knowing I can get my fix at home is pretty satisfying.

Do you have a favorite copy cat recipe? I’d love to know all about it! Head over to my facebook page and post your copy cat recipes. I’ll highlight the ones I want to try!

Taco Bell Inspired Meximelt

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced (no seeds)
  • 1 jalepeno, diced (remove white ribs and seeds)
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas, taco size
  • Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
  • Hot sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. In a warm skillet, add oil and ground turkey. Cook until browned, 8-10  minutes. Drain excess liquid. Add taco seasoning to the meat mixture. (I followed the directions on the packet by adding 2/3 cup of water along with the taco seasoning.) Cook with meat for 5 minutes.
  2. Make pico de gallo – combine tomatoes, jalepeno, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. When the taco meat is cooked, take 1/4 cup of meat and add it to the middle of a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted. Top with pico de gallo.  Add hot sauce, if needed.

BBQ Meatball Sliders

5 Dec

BBQ Meatball Slider The Tasty Fork

I may have a slight obsession with meatballs…but can you blame me? I have yet to meet a meatball I didn’t like.

Meatballs are easy to make. You can mix & match ingredients and know it’s always gonna taste good. My favorite part about making home-made meatballs — they bake fast and clean up is easy as long as you remember to line your baking sheet with tin foil. (please don’t forget this step!)

BBQ Meatball Sliders @ The Tasty Fork

I made BBQ Meatball Sliders for dinner the other night, but sliders are the perfect party sized snack! All of the prep work can be done before guests arrive and the meatballs go under the broiler for just 12 minutes.. so they’re super quick to pass around when guests are getting hungry. Not to mention, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of enthusiastic “oohs and aahs” when offering this slider to party goers. Let’s give two scenarios – The Everyday Slider vs. BBQ Meatball Slider.

Scenario #1

You – “Hi Uncle Bob. Would you like to try this slider?”

Uncle Bob – “Oh sure. Thanks.”

Scenario #2

You – “Hi Uncle Bob. Would you like to try a BBQ Meatball Slider.”

Uncle Bob – “BBQ Meatball Slider??!! I love meatballs! Ooohh my!”

Obviously, scenario #2 will generate the praise every party host wants and you can be happy you’ve made an amazing party snack people will talk about for years. Ok, “for year”s might be slightly over exaggerated but I’m sure you’ll get requests to make BBQ Meatball Sliders again.

Or you can be like me and eat BBQ Meatball Sliders on a random Monday just because they taste good. 🙂

BBQ Slider The Tasty Fork

BBQ Meatball Sliders, makes 12 meatballs

For the meatballs:

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & Pepper

Coleslaw Recipe:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage mix
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • Salt & Pepper

Additional Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray
  • You favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 12 dinner rolls or slider buns (I used Hawaiian Bread Dinner Rolls. Perfect size for a slider!)

Directions:

For the Meatballs: 

  1. Combine the bread, onion, parsley, and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the milk and Worcestershire, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beef, eggs, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and gently combine. Form into 12 meatballs (about 1.5  tablespoons each)
  3. To cook immediately: Place the meatballs on foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Broil for 10-12 minutes, or until no longer pink.

For the Coleslaw:

  1. Toss the cabbage and scallions with the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and celery seed; season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.

When you’re ready to assemble the slider, place meatball on the slider bun and top with BBQ sauce & coleslaw.

Inspired by Real Simple