Lemonade – Homemade Style!

Summer is creeping up around the corner and I like to make home made lemonade that quenches thirst and is very low in calories – so it’s relatively guilt-free!

Here’s my take on lemonade:

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
6-ish lemons (1 cup lemon juice)
Lots of ice

  1. Boil water with sugar until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Fill up your 2 quart pitcher with ice (so the beverage will be ready to drink immediately)
  3. Pour juice from lemons into sugar mixture, stir
  4. Pour over ice
  5. Add water accordingly
  6. Drink it up!

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Tuna Noodle/Quinoa Casserole.

I have been searching through our pantry and freezer to figure out what is next on our food agenda.
What I found? Tons of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and cans of tuna.
So of course the first thing I thought to do: TUNA CASSEROLE!

Let me tell you a little story.
I have never been one that really liked any kind of casserole but I have found myself quite enjoying the taste of something creamy and “homey”, if you will.
My parents were never big on casseroles and I have maybe eaten 3 casserole dishes in my whole life prior to coming to college. With that said, once I started living on my own I realized how easy casserole dishes are. You can make the entire thing up the day/night before you actually want to eat it and you can just pop it in the oven for a short while and voila! you have an entire meal ready for you when you get home. The trick with casseroles is trying to make them healthy and delicious. This is something I have been struggling with, but of course, nowadays, we have our trusty Pintrest!

Off to Pintrest I went and I found this amazing, healthy dish:
4 cups pasta OR cooked quinoa (if you want the added protein)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 10 oz cans of fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2 6oz cans of tuna, packed in water, well drained
1 cup milk
1 10 oz can of sliced mushrooms (I used  1 cup freshly chopped)
1 bag of frozen broccoli/cauliflower medley
1 can peas
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated cheese

The original recipe: here.

Old Trusty.

My old trusty is my Crockpot. Between Jeff and I, we only have about 10 hours of free time during the week and we don’t want to spend those precious hours always cooking.

So today, I made a taco soup recipe that has been helpful to me in the past.

2 cans of new potatoes in water (no salt added)
2 cans of kidney beans (would normally use black but we were all out) (no salt added)
2 cans of corn (no salt added)
1 cup celery
1 cup onion, chopped
1 package of Taco Seasoning (low sodium)
3 cups of water

We are excited to be eating cleaner and vegetarian/vegan when we can. I hope you enjoy it too!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole.

Tonight we wanted to try something vegetarian since we loaded up on veggies for our stir-fry last night, so I found this next gem on Pintrest.

This next recipe is an adapted version of Linda’s recipe from “Eating Well… Living Thin-er“.

On her blog she calls it “Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole”.
Here, I have adapted a few things to make it fit more of my tastes. If you would like to try her original recipe, it is linked above!

To make the mixture:

1 10oz cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (I used colby jack, and I only used 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon stevia
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A dash of nutmeg

Add to the mixture:
2 cups broccoli (I left mine uncooked, her original recipe calls for cooked but I didn’t want them to be mushy)
1 cup celery (I added celery, so many green things in my fridge and I don’t want them to go bad, so hey, why not!)
1 1/2 cups  cooked quinoa (note that it will double in size from dry! Only need 3/4 cup dry to make 1 1/2 cups cooked)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a casserole dish (I used olive oil cooking spray).

Straight from her site: “In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli. Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 199,  Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg”

Instead of topping it with Parmesan (not a fan), I topped it with some Pepper Jack for some spice (I loooove spicy food).

Stir Fry.

For my debut I decided to make stir fry, as per my mom’s offhand comment about stir fry earlier that day.

I went online and looked at a few different recipes, and here’s my bastardized version:

2 chicken breasts (cut into thin strips, then cut in half)
2 tbs low-sodium Kikkoman soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic (can be powder or minced)

Combine ingredients in ziploc bag and marinate for 30 minutes (or longer if you want the chicken to be more potent).
After marinating, cook chicken in wok or 12-inch skillet (it’s what I used since I don’t own a wok) until cooked through.
Place chicken aside in a container to keep it warm until you are finished with the second step.

3 tbs olive oil
2 cups broccoli
1 cup chopped celery (1/2 in pieces)
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup green beans
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup water

In a large skillet/wok, heat oil and fry all veggies (4-5 mins) until they are just a little crispy. Add water. Return chicken to pan, cook and stir until all things are well incorporated.

We also decided to add some yakisoba noodles to ours just to give it a little something extra, and it was delicious.

Second came the peanut sauce, because I love dipping the chicken and whole veggies in it.

Peanut sauce:
1/2 cup crunchy PB
2 tbs low-sodium Kikkoman soy sauce
1 tbs minced garlic
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, stirring frequently, it will be finished when the mixture is thick and bubbly.