Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chicken Tacos, grain and dairy free

I know.. I haven't posted anything in forever! I did a post for my husband's office so I figured I'd put it up here as well :) He does a diet in the office called Ideal Protein which is super strict. We started it Monday and it's tough but the results are SO worth it! Anyway, it can be hard thinking of ways to spice up dinner when every night is lean meat and vegetables (no dairy, grains, sugar..). But so far we've had some really good meals and we thought it might help out other dieters to have some new ideas. So I may be posting recipes like this a little more often.. at least on the facebook page. Either on a diet or off these tacos (I guess we'll call them those?) are totally worth making!! Or maybe that's because we haven't had carby, cheesey goodness in a few days ;) JK, I'd make them even when we are eating those things again! I really like the use of cauliflower tortillas here, usually we'd do a lettuce wrap, which isn't bad, but this was so much better. For some reason my pics wouldn't upload so visit my pinterest or facebook page to see them.

For the Tacos:
For the filling:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 large bell peppers, seeded and sliced...
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, sliced
½ bunch cilantro
Optional: top with tomatoes, salsa or hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9 baking dish. Mix chicken and peppers in the dish. In a small bowl combine the oil and spices. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and toss to coat. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Place filling on cauliflower tortilla or wrapped in lettuce. Top with chopped onion, cilantro and salsa.

For the cauliflower tortillas:
1 head of cauliflower riced, or about 4 cups (packed)
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Chop cauliflower and add to food processor and pulse until fine.
Place riced cauliflower in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stop and stir then microwave 2 more minutes. Let it cool to touch (putting in freezer for a few minutes helps) then place it in a dish towel and squeeze out excess water as hard as you can, being careful not to burn yourself.
Put cauliflower back in bowl and add eggs, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
The mixture will be slightly runny. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet into 6 circles and bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake another 5-7 minutes. Cool slightly then heat 1 at a time in a pan over medium heat pressing down slightly to brown.
Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

I absolutely love finding new recipes to add to my "go to" sash and these will be going in it. I had to practice some strong will power to keep from taking nipples off every time I walked by them. Ok..I didn't have any will power and ate WAY too many, but the thought to refrain did cross my mind. I used the triple double ones (the kind with white AND chocolate cream filling) but with all the varieties out there you could play around and mix it up. If you're an oreo fan you're sure to like these!
Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
6 cups Rice Krispies
14 triple double oreos or 20 regular
5 cups mini marshmallows
3 Tbsp. butter
Grease 9x13 pan. Chop oreos. I like the finely chop some and also leave bigger chunks. Place Oreos and Rice Krispies in a large bowl and stir to combine.
In a medium sauce pan, heat butter and marshmallows together over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they melt together.
Pour melted marshmallows over cereal and oreos and use a spatula sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to quickly combine all the ingredients.
As soon as all the cereal is combined, spread mixture into the prepared 9×13″ dish. Use the spatula to press the mixture around the dish, and flatten as needed.
Let sit until completely cooled.
Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Monday, June 3, 2013

Baby/Toddler "Cookies"

My kids have all really liked baby mum mums as babies. I haven't given them to Audrey yet, but was really excited to find a homemade version! We have so much of the baby cereal and I hardly give it to her, so I figured this would make good use of it. The verdict? Not only does Audrey love them but Rylee and Landon liked them too. Of course I told Rylee they were cookies, she's so skeptical of everything I try to feed her. They don't dissolve the way mum mums do, but they get soft and the baby can munch on it. Audrey's only 6 months and doesn't have teeth so I need to supervise her closely. Suuuper simple to make and Rylee liked that she could cut out shapes with the cookie cutters. Next time i'm going to try adding some cinnamon.

Baby/Toddler "Cookies"
2 cups infant rice cereal (you can sub. 1 cup for flour, I just don't want to give Audrey flour yet)
1 jar of baby food (I used peach, or a mashed up banana would work, too)
2 T coconut oil, melted
4-8 T water

Preheat oven to 425 deg F and line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper.
Start with 4 T of water and mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well until it forms a dough, adding more water as necessary. Roll out until about 1/4"-1/2" thick. Cut into squares or use cutters to make shapes.
Bake for 15 min. then let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cauliflower Spanish "Rice"

Hope you all had a great cindo de Mayo! We had a good, relaxing day. We made some pretty amazing fajitas and this 'rice.' I've made cauliflower rice before so figured why not a spanish version? It always surprises me how versatile cauliflower is and how good it is at imitating other things. This was no exception. The texture is almost spot on and with all the spices, most of the cauliflower flavor is masked. Oh, and not to mention that it's healthier and comes together in minutes.
Cauliflower Spanish "Rice"

1/2 head of cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor until rice-like or grated
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained lightly
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

In a skillet saute onions and garlic for 2 mins or until fragrant. Add cauliflower until slightly browned. Add can of tomatoes and spices and cook for 5-7 minutes. Fold in cilantro.
Season with salt according to preference if needed.
Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

M&M Sugar Cookies

It's starting to feel like summer out here in CA. And i'm a summer time girl. As much as I love Christmas, I get so excited for the sun to stay up until 9pm, picnics, beach trips, tan lines and watching the kids run around outside barefoot. And bbqs. Loove bbqs. We like having friends over and I have a problem about involving food. I always always need to have food with an activity. Something about food makes everything more fun. I mean, sure going out to a movie is fun..but it doesn't seem complete if you don't go to dinner too! Or atleast grab a snack :) Anyway, Saturday night we were at the grocery store thinking of what we were going to have for Easter dinner (talk about last minute) when I decided to see if the neighbors wanted to combine and have a potluck dinner. To my surprise everyone said yes. There was so much good food. Part of my contribution was dessert. Being that it was so last minute and I had a house to clean, I settled on these m&m sugar cookies. I may have had to make 2 trips to the grocery store, the 2nd was due to the  fact that I didn't realize I was out of sugar. And staying up until midnight to get them made, due to the 2 hrs of wait time in the fridge. But the're totally worth it.To make it more Easter-y I used the little chocolate cadbury eggs (love those!!) and they worked great. I should go stock up on those before they're gone!

M&M Sugar Cookies
Cook's Illustrated via. Tracey's Culinary Adventures

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/4 cups M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl. Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil then the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to start folding the dry ingredients into the wet. When the dry ingredients are partially incorporated, add 3/4 cup of the M&M's to the dough. Continue mixing just until a soft dough comes together.

Portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a cookie scoop, using about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. Working quickly, roll the dough into a ball with your hands then roll in the sugar set aside in the pie plate previously. Repeat until you've used all of the dough, placing 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls into discs that are about 2 inches in diameter. Gently press 2 or 3 more M&M's into the top of each cookie.

Bake the cookies, 1 tray at a time, for about 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are set. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies  Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Single Serving Baked Oatmeal

I always have a hard time finding home made snacks to make for my kids. They're tough ones. If it comes from a package they're all over it. I've made these with several different toppings including raisins, walnuts and chocolate chips. Our favorite so far is to toss some chocolate chips in. These are great because they're portable and also freeze really well! Landon devoured his. Rylee ate the chocolate out of hers and left the rest which Landon ended up finding and eating. She's not a fan of oatmeal but Matt and myself also loved them! AND there's no added sugar! How great is that?? Try out different mix ins and find your favorite :)

Single Serving Baked Oatmeal

Sugar-Free Mom
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. applesauce, unsweetened
1 banana, mashed
6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder or use 1/2 cup honey
5 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c. flaxseed meal, optional
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 3/4 c. milk
Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients. Then pour in milk and combine.
Spray a 12 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and eat or freeze.
Yield: 24
              Landon Approved
Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Hi. I'm still alive. Life with 3 is a whole different world- 3, 3 and under I might add. Going from 1-2 kids wasn't so bad (that is until my crazy boy became mobile), but with 3 there's always someone that needs something. Someone's diaper to change or sippy to refill. I have been cooking up new things but unfortunately i've been using my 'free' time doing other things. So this cheesecake I actually made a while back ago but have been on edge about posting. While it was really good, I just loved this brownie mosaic cheesecake so much and have held it to the stanard. While it's not quite as good as that one, it's still pretty good and worthwhile to try.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs

4 8 oz. blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Cookie Dough:
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoon water or milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
An additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips to fold into the batter with the cookie dough balls

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

For the cookie dough:
In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars for the cookie dough. Add the water or milk, vanilla and blend. Mix in the flour, salt and the chocolate chips. The dough will be fairly soft. Gently roll the dough into small balls and place them on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Place them in the freezer to harden while making the rest of the cheesecake.

For the crust:
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the chocolate cookie crumbs. Press onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the prepared pan.

For the cheesecake:
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Be careful not to overmix – incorporating too much air into the batter can contribute to a cheesecake cracking on top during baking.
Pour half the batter into the prepared crust. Gently stir in the cookie dough balls and the additional 1 cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining batter. Pour into the pan, spreading the batter to the sides of the pan and evening it out across the top. Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for one hour. Turn off the oven and prop the door open several inches. Let the cake sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled ideally, overnight. To serve, cut into slices and top with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter