Monthly Archives: November 2012

Spinach, Feta and Mozz Chicken Roll-Ups

Standard

Yes, you read that correctly.  Spinach, feta, and mozzarella cheese stuffed chicken.  And yes, it’s wonderful.

As you may have read already, I’ve developed a slight obsession with spinach and feta, thanks to our wonderful friends Matt and Alison. They introduced me to feta cheese when they had us over for pita pockets one night.  Love at first bite.  Anyhow, at this point, I’m sure you’re ready for the recipe, so here it is, folks!

Spinach, Feta and Mozz Chicken Roll-Ups

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat removed

3/4 C fresh baby spinach leaves

2 T feta cheese

3 T shredded mozzarella cheese

salt

pepper

garlic

basil

Preheat oven to 350º.  Place each chicken breast seperately in a gallon-size zip top bag and pound each out with a meat mallet until about 3/8″ thick all over.  Remove from zip top bags and season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil.  Chop your spinach into small pieces.  I like to roll mine up and do a chiffonade cut, but that’s up to you.  Place about 1/3 of your spinach onto the center of each chicken breast.  Now top the spinach with about 2 t of feta cheese and 1 T of mozzarella cheese.

Image

Roll up each piece of chicken, tucking in the sides as you go, and pin into place with toothpicks.  (Try to do a better job than I did at keeping all of your filling inside your chicken roll)  Use as many as you need, but keep count so you can be sure to remove them all after cooking!

Image

Now heat some cooking oil (I use coconut oil) in a frying pan and sear both sides of your chicken rolls.  I cooked mine for about 3 minutes on each side.  If I hadn’t been rushing it, I would have let each side cook just a little longer, until a nice golden brown.  I was in a hurry.

Image

Remove your chicken roll-ups from the frying pan and place them into a foil-covered baking pan (I used a plain old 9×13 pan) and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting them open.  You can top them with a bit of colby jack cheese if you’d like.  Now enjoy!

Image

Breakdown of a Smoothie – Health benefits of it all

Standard

 

So today I made my very first attempt ever at making a smoothie.  While I found a few things I should have changed, I did do some research while I drank it about the benefits of each component I put in.  So I’d like to share some of my findings, but not my recipe.  Believe me, you’d understand why.  Flavor:  good.  Consistency:  bad.  Anyhow, on to my findings…

Strawberries

  • best fruit source of vitamin C
  • contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers
  •  help with cardiovascular health and help prevent cardiovascular disease
  • can decrease risk of Type II Diabetes
  • phytonutrients ellagic acid and ellagitannins have been shown to prevent breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer  (wow, right?!)
  • improve cognitive abilities and motor skills

Pears

  •  anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers
  • lower the risk of Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease
  • cinnamic acids lower risk of cancer, particularly stomach and esophageal
  • low acid and easy to digest
  • low allergy risk to those that may be sensitive to some fruits

Raw Honey

  • anti-viral
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-fungal
  • antioxidant
  • builds up the immune system
  • lessens allergies
  • stabilizes blood pressure
  • helps balance blood sugar levels
  • promotes good bacteria growth in intestines
  • soothes and heals skin injuries
  • calms and aids in sleep
  • cough suppressant, and can help with upper respiratory infections, asthma, etc
  • tastes amazing!

Almond Milk

  • low calories
  • glow glycemic, better for diabetics/preventing diabetes
  • high calcium, vitamin d, vitamin a, vitamin b
  • great alternative for those that have a dairy allergy

Plain Lowfat Organic Yogurt

  • boosts immunity
  • lowers bad cholesterol
  • increases loss of fat
  • helps prevent and heal arthritis
  • helps prevent ulcers
  • lowers risk of colorectal cancer
  • can freshen breath and reduce plaque

Oatmeal

  • lowers cholesterol
  • antioxidants
  • lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
  • boosts immune system
  • stabilizes blood sugar
  • lowers risk of Type II Diabetes
  • fiber helps prevent breast cancer
  • lowers risk of childhood asthma

Bee Pollen

  • reduces allergies (this is so true for me!)
  • reduces digestive issues
  • prevents anemia
  • helps with arthritis
  • helps with skin conditions like acne (my dry skin has improved!)
  • aids with depression (also true for me!)
  • boosts energy level (true!)
  • prevents/reduces hemorrhoids
  • boosts immune system

Ice… well, I won’t bother with explaining the benefits of frozen water.  🙂

There you have it.  Lots of info on what I had for breakfast/lunch.  It’s really intriguing to sit down and look at why you should eat what you eat.  Real food has so many healing properties, I find it ridiculous that all of these fake, packaged, frozen, fast food meals are pushed on us… but that’s a discussion for another day.

I hope you enjoyed learning as much about my breakfast as I did!  For more detailed information, please visit my sources:  http://www.whfoods.comhttp://www.draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/http://www.naturalnews.com/035493_raw_honey_health_benefits_antibacterial.htmlhttp://www.3fatchicks.com/6-health-benefits-of-almond-milk/http://www.naturalnews.com/027165_pollen_bee_health.htmlhttp://www.benefits-of-honey.com/bee-pollen-health-benefits.html

 

Some proof

Standard

Some proof that I really was a cake artist.  Notice that you see no cupcakes here… because, well.. I hate cupcakes.  😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cupcake’s Homemade Taco Seasoning

Standard

I love tacos.  But no taco is good without great taco seasoning!  After looking at the ingredients in the packets I used to buy at the store without thinking about it, I was mortified.  And thus, I set out to create my own taco seasoning.  Here’s what I came up with!

Taco Seasoning

Cupcake’s Homemade Taco Seasoning

For a single serving:

  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 2 t Onion Powder
  • 1 t Cumin
  • 1 t Garlic Powder
  • 1 t Paprika
  • 1 t Ground Oregano
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

Or if you’d like to make up a 12 oz jar like I do:

  • 1/2 C + 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1/4 C + 2 T Onion Powder
  • 3 T Cumin
  • 3 T Garlic Powder
  • 3 T Paprika
  • 3 T Ground Oregano
  • 3 T Salt
  • 2 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

Brown your ground beef, turkey, or chicken.  Also works well with shredded chicken!  Drain excess grease.  Add 3 T of Cupcake’s Taco Seasoning and 1/2 cup of water for every pound of meat.  Stir.  Simmer on med/low until water is gone, stirring occasionally.

I didn’t think to get a photo, but I must say this is gorgeous in the jar before you shake it all up – you’ll see lovely browns, reds, and greens in beautiful cascading layers… It would make a lovely gift for someone.  Just put it in a jar with a ribbon on top, add a label with ingredients and cooking instructions, and you’re all set.  🙂

As you can see, it makes a lovely taco salad… large bed of lettuce, black beans, ground turkey taco meat, freshly grated cheese… Yum!

Taco Salad