Friday, March 14, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Review by Lyndee

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
8 oz. bacon, not thick-sliced
1 can pineapple chunks
Teriyaki Baste and Glaze (I like Kikkoman or LaChoy)
Kebab skewers or toothpicks

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can gauge about how many pieces you'll need by how many pieces of bacon you have; you probably won't use all the bacon, but you'll need about 8 oz. or 2/3 of a standard-sized package of bacon. So count the bacon pieces and keep that in mind when cutting up your chicken.

Drain the pineapple and set up a little work station with skewers, bacon, chicken, and a 9x13 baking dish (for big skewers) or a sturdy Ziploc bag (for toothpick skewers). Wrap a piece of bacon around a chicken piece, secure with toothpick/skewer, and top with a chunk of pineapple. Repeat twice if using large skewers.

When all chicken pieces have been sufficiently staked, pour Teriyaki sauce over everything, reserving about 1/4 c., and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, no longer than 8.

Preheat grill; when about 350-400 degrees, place skewers on grill and baste with reserved Teriyaki sauce. Cook about 7 minutes and flip skewers. Baste again and cook another 7 minutes.  If cooking in oven, preheat oven to 400 and bake about 20 minutes, turning once, following the same basting instructions.  If you use the oven, broil the kabobs for a minute to get the bacon crispy just before serving.

I was not a pro at wrapping the chicken with the bacon. So I ended up “weaving” the bacon along with the chicken onto the skewer. It tasted just as good and didn’t take nearly as much time.  These kabobs were awesome! Packed with protein and flavor you just can’t go wrong with these sweet little nuggets of fun. Note, my husband isn’t a huge fan of pineapple so I did a few skewers without the fruit for him but he said they were equally awesome.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spicy Pretzels

Review by Lyndee:

1 bag skinny pretzels sticks or knots
1/4 cup vegetable or popcorn oil
1 package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 teaspoon garlic salt (I used garlic powder instead)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Mix oil, ranch mix, garlic and cayenne together in a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Once mixed, add pretzels.  Shake well so that pretzels are completely coated.  Place in roasting pan a roasting pan or cookie sheet.  Bake at 200* for 1 1/2- 2 hours.  Stir every 20-30 minutes.

Super easy to make and a great snack for a party. 

Popcorn cake

Review by Lyndee:

2 bags butter flavor microwave popcorn
2 cups M&M’s
½ cup broken pretzel sticks
1 stick butter
16 oz bag mini marshmallows
½ cup creamy peanut butter

Prepare a large bundt  or 9 x 13 pan by spraying evenly with cooking spray.
Pop 2 bags of buttered microwave popcorn as directed on the package and dump into a large bowl. I used a butter flavored.  Pick out the kernels that didn’t pop.  Mix in M&M’s and pretzel sticks.  Melt butter over low in a large saucepan. Once melted add mini marshmallows and peanut butter. Stir until melted and smooth.

Remove from heat.  Let sit a minute or two so it doesn’t melt your M&M’s. Pour over your popcorn mix. Stir until all the ingredients are combined and then press into the prepared pan. Cover with foil and let your cake set for at least an hour to cool.

When you are ready to serve the cake loosen sides of your cake from the pan by running a butter knife around the edges. Flip your pan over onto your serving platter. I used a 9x13 pyrex pan that had a lid instead of bundt. I used butter to coat the pan instead of cooking spray. 

This was so yummy! It’s like a cross between a rice krispy treat and a popcorn ball.  It was a big hit at my nephews birthday party. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Broiled Salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze

Review by Lyndee:

1-1/2 pounds (or four 6-ounce pieces) salmon, skin on or off
6 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (best quality, such as Mae Ploy or Thai Kitchen)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 scallions, green parts only, finely sliced

Set oven rack 5-6 inches from top (in my oven, it's the second highest rung) and preheat broiler.   Make marinade by combining sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger in a shallow baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup marinade into a small dish and set aside (this will be the sauce for the cooked fish). Add salmon fillets, skin side up, to remaining marinade and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer salmon fillets to prepared baking sheet, skin side down, and drizzle a bit of the marinade over top. Go easy -- you don't want it to pool too much on the baking sheet because it will burn in the oven. Broil salmon for 6-10 minutes, or until browned in spots and almost opaque in the center. Transfer salmon to serving platter and pour reserved sauce over top. Garnish with scallions and serve hot.
I mixed my glaze together and used it on a pre-made salmon burger patty.  I put the patty in the pan on medium heat and put half the glaze on the top.  I flipped it after 3-4 minutes and cooked for another 3-4 minutes.  Then poured the rest of the glaze on and topped with green onions.  It was awesome! Easy to make, healthy and quick. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Peanut butter banana smoothie

Review by Lyndee:

I needed a post workout snack last night and proudly refused the temptation of girl scout cookies and ice cream that was in the house.  I decided to throw a smoothie together and it turned out pretty well for winging it.

1 cup almond milk
Ice cubes
4 baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp PB2
½ a banana sliced up
2 drops of chocolate syrup

I made this in my magic bullet.  Add all ingredients and blend.  Super easy, nutritious and you don’t even taste the spinach! 

Chili Lime Salmon

Review by Lyndee:

Most nights for dinner I have a salmon burger and sometimes, although I love them and the protein they provide, my tongue starts to get bored. Last night I tried this recipe for a chili lime salmon. I didn’t have a pound of fresh salmon on hand but I used it on my frozen salmon burger (thank you Costco) and it turned out really well. 

1 lb. fresh salmon filet
2 limes
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the salmon, scale side down in the baking dish. Squeeze the juice from one of the limes over the salmon. Season by sprinkling the chili powder and salt over the salmon. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until salmon flakes easily with a fork. 4. Serve with remaining lime, cut into slices or wedges.  Or, you can do what I did.  Prepare the salmon as directed and then cook in a pan on the stove top for 3-4 minutes on each side.  It was a nice change of flavor and super easy to do. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In-N-Out double double mini sliders

Review by Lyndee:

My favorite burger in the world is a double double from In-N-Out burger.  Unfortunately, now that I live in Iowa again, there isn’t one within 15 hours of me. Sigh. Insert sad face here.  I’ve been craving one so bad I can almost taste it…almost.  So I decided to try a copycat recipe.  But let’s face it, no one really NEEDS a double double, fries and a shake.  Right? So last night I attempted a double double mini, or slider, if you will.  Here is the link to the original recipe I found.  And below is my version as healthy as I could make it.  Note, I don’t eat onions so I didn’t do mine animal style but you can find those directions in the link. 

¼ cup mayo (I used fat free)
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
½ tsp white vinegar
¼ cup yellow mustard
4 slices of American cheese
1 pound ground beef (formed into eight 2 oz mini patties)
4 tea rolls (I used Hawaiian Sweet rolls)
Dill pickle slices

Mix the mayo, ketchup, relish and vinegar in a bowl; set aside.  Shape the beef into mini patties.  Cut the rolls in half and give a few squirts of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray, place butter side down into a nonstick skillet until lightly toasted.  Season the meat patties with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Dip a basting brush into your mustard and spread on the uncooked side of each patty.  Then flip and top with ½ a slice of cheese.  Continue cooking about 2 more minutes.  Stack on your bun and add pickle.  Dip in your “spread” mixture (rather than slathering your burger in it) and enjoy!!

This tasted amazing! Very close to the real thing and I didn’t have to wait in the drive thru line or travel to the West coast to get it.  Yum! My mini burger was super filling. And you wouldn’t have to do a double double.  You could do just a small single patty as well.