Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The BEST marinara EVER.

Jar Smar. DON'T DO IT. I know you are stressed, tired, poor and don't want to cook. I know you want to go to the store and buy pre-made marinara sauce thats BOGO.

I am telling you -this is not a short cut you want to take. I am all about staying in the merge lane until the last moment, ordering Net Flicks instead of driving to Blockbuster, and even making break apart cookies. I used to be a jar sauce girl. I tried once to make my own marinara sauce...lets just say lesson learned. It wasn't sweet and kinda tasted like rotten tomatoes. Not this one. This marinara sauce had my taste buds singing and asking for more!

The secret is...Tuttorosso Imported Canned Tomatoes. They are $1.87 at the grocery store. They are sweet and delicious. Trust me. You will never buy no name crushed tomatoes again.

Use this sauce to make this the next time you want to take a short cut.

Freeze it. Share it. Bathe in it? Make it!

Marinara Sauce
Makes about 8 cups of sauce

2 cans Tuttorosso Imported Canned Tomatoes
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup fat free chicken stock
fresh basil

1. In a large pot, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and carrot. Saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes on medium high heat.

2. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer for about 45 minutes.

3. Add basil in the last couple minutes to avoid bitterness.

4. Make sure you taste your sauce. Sometimes it needs just a spoonful of sugar :)

Enjoy :)

Diet Food? Yeah Right!

Who said when you diet you have to eat cardboard? I say you should eat the best you ever have on a diet. Eat cheese. Lots of it. Its good for you. They don't teach it to you in diet school...but it's true. My motto is eat that cookie now and you will die happy.

Well if you don't believe me that you can eat cheesy stuffed goodness and still be healthy then you haven't met this Chicken Rollatini. Chicken stuffed with spinach, mozzerella, and ricotta cheese oozing out of the middle. Then covered with the most delicious marinara sauce (super easy and cheap!) as well as a big whopping piece of mozzarella cheese?

I have died and gone to diet heaven.

This amazing moist, saucy, cheesy concoction is only 194 calories and 5 Points+! It is almost sinful when eating it. I felt guilty for all those other dieters eating horse food.

Put down the bran flakes and make this. You will not be disappointed.

Chicken Rollatini with Spinach and Ricotta
makes about 8 servings.

4 chicken breasts butterflied and halved (or use 8 chicken cutlets)
1/2 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs, whites only
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
6 Tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
10 oz part skim mozzarella cheese
olive oil non stick spray
1 cup marinara sauce

1. Wash and dry chicken breast halves. Pound chicken breast halves thinly. Spray a casserole dish with olive oil spray. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Combine bread crumbs and 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese together in a shallow dish and 2 egg whites in another shallow dish. (used for breading)

3. Shred 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese and combine the remaining parmesan cheese, spinach, 1 egg white and ricotta cheese. Mix together.

4. Lay pounded chicken breast half down and spread 2 Tbsp of spinach mixture on top of the chicken. Loosely roll the chicken breast up and place seem down in the casserole dish.

5. Dip in egg whites then in bread crumb mixture. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Then spray the top of the chicken rolls with olive oil spray.

6. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Remove and add marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Put back in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Enjoy :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Goat Cheese?

Goat Cheese has never been something I was dying to try. I found it odd to be honest. But last night the goat cheese gods were calling out to me because almost every cooking show I watched yesterday included it in their recipe. I used to think goat cheese tasted like old socks, but when it is melty and creamy over grilled chicken breast...its amazing.

My mom decided to recreate Carrabba's Chicken Bryan. It is one of the most popular entrees in my family at this local Italian hub. So after my mom had a nice 90 minute walk we decided to take a spin at a recreation of Chicken Bryan. How could I resist butter, garlic, white wine, and roasted red peppers all in one sauce? Truth is - you can't. It's like when my grandma would take me into an all glass figurine store. She would tell me not to touch anything and to put my hands behind my back. Oh boy did that make you want to touch those little glass dolls more than ever. That is how I felt about this lemon butter sauce simmering away on the stove.

If you get a chance to make this for dinner this week do it! Its really easy and not THAT bad for you. Lets just say as the chicken grilled my mom and I played every Queen song recorded and posted on You Tube. Chicken, cheese, and sauce. YUM. I hope you enjoy :)

Carrabba's Chicken Bryan
adapted from Food.com

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 6 sundried tomatoes chopped
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  1. 1. Brush chicken breast with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. 2. Grill or broil chicken until done (about 10 minutes on each side) and prepare lemon butter sauce while chicken is cooking.
  3. 3. Sautee onion and garlic in 2 Tbps butter until soft and translucent.
  4. 4. Add white wine and lemon juice, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes to reduce.
  5. 5. Add remaining 6 Tbsp butter, little by little, until it melts and mixture is emulsified.
  6. 6. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and basil, heat until hot (but do not overheat or sauce may break).
  7. 7. Top chicken breasts with 2 oz each of the goat cheese. You can leave in medallions or spread on chicken breast.
  8. 8. To serve, spoon lemon butter sauce over chicken breasts.
  9. 9. Enjoy!

Summer is here!

Summer means beach bodies, lots of fresh veggies and fruits, sunscreen, sand, and for my family packing and selling our house.

I have a very busy summer ahead of me BUT this is the first summer since freshman year in college that I will be home. YES, I will be relaxing but I will also be a busy bee in applying to Pharmacy school, packing, getting healthy, and organizing my crazy 21 year old life.

In getting healthy, my mom and I decided to start walking twice a day and trying Weight Watchers Online. I know what you guys are thinking...your 21 and NOT overweight, why are you going on a diet? Well its not really a diet...its a way to portion control and watch what I eat. Its also a way to have consistency with my eating and exercising habits. Having my mom as my buddy will really help both of us complete our goals. Beware...the freshman 15 came late for me...I call it the Junior 15. EEK.

I am also going to my old high school trainer this summer 5 days a week. He really knows my work ethic and will make sure I have a good sweat every time. He knows the perfect level to push me. But, I am pretty nervous about going back to my high school gym. Last time I came in I was at my prime and now...not so much. Lets just say you may look skinny and in shape, but when you can't walk up a hill or a flight of stairs without gasping for air...then you know its time. Time to get HEALTHY!

I will be recording my adventures this summer and really try and stay on top of this blog. Sometimes its hard because you don't know who is out there reading, but at the same time its a blank canvas for expression.