Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Crock Pot Chronicles - Shani’s Red Beans & Rice

With my full-time school schedule and full-time work schedule, I try to find ways to continue to feed my family home cooked meals. A crockpot is a great way to do so. I will start my Crock Pot Chronicles and share them with you. I do not do a lot of crockpot cooking but when I do I will share.

Shani’s Red Beans & Rice

Ingredients
1 bag of red beans, soaked
1 large turkey leg or 2 medium
4 cups of chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 whole red bell pepper, chopped
1 whole green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon of Shani’s Cajun Seasoning
1 teaspoon of pepper

Directions
The night before:
Soak complete bag of red beans overnight
Chop all vegetables and put in a container in the fridge
Mix all seasonings in a bag and set aside

The next morning:
Rinse beans and dump into crock pot, add veggies, chicken broth and seasonings. Place top on crockpot and plug it in, turn temp to low.

Allow it to cook while you are at work, when you get home it will be ready for dinner.
Cook rice per the instructions and enjoy

And…it is what it is!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Shani’s Chicken Tomatillo Avocado Enchiladas

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to make something for the family to commensurate the holiday. I decided to come up with this yummy enchilada dish. I hope you enjoy!

Shani’s Chicken Tomatillo Avocado Enchiladas

Ingredients
1 lb of Chicken Breasts
10 Tomatillos, chopped
3 Limes, juiced
1 large Onion
1 tablespoon of Garlic
1 bunch of Cilantro
2 Chiles
½ Avocado
2 cups Mozzarella
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 pkg of Tortillas
Mexican spices

Directions
Meat
Chop chicken, pan sear slightly.
Add chilies, onion, garlic and Mexican spices
Let simmer for 30 mins

Sauce
In a blender, mix tomatillos, lime juice, onions, garlic and cilantro.
Pour ¼ of mix into a separate bowl, set aside.
Add avocado to remaining mix in blender.

Drain broth from chicken.
Add 1 cup of cheese, mix
Fill each tortilla w/meat mix, roll.
Add tortillas to lightly oiled glass baking dish.
Cover with sauce from the bowl you set aside
Cover with remaining cheese

Cover with foil and bake 30 mins

Remove from oven

Dice remaining avocado and sprinkle on top

And...It Is What It Is!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lemon Butter Chicken, Artichokes and Cheese Tortellini

Lemon Butter Chicken, Artichokes and Cheese Tortellini

Ingredients
1 bag of grilled Chicken Breasts
1 bag of frozen Cheese Tortellini
1 can of Artichokes
1 jar of Lemon Butter Sautee sauce
Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Directions
Pour all contents into a large saucepan
Heat on medium high until it comes to a boil
Lower heat to medium low and cover, let simmer 20 mins

And...It Is What It Is!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chunky Veggie & Egg White Frittata


Chunky Veggie & Egg White Frittata

Ingredients 

24 egg whites or 6 cups Liquid egg whites
½ cup of red onions, chunky chopped
½ cup of red bell peppers, chunky chopped
½ cup of mushrooms, chunky chopped
½ cup of scallions (green onions), chopped
½ cup of spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl mix your veggies together so they will be well proportioned.
Spray a glass pie dish with olive oil and add in veggies, spread veggies evenly.

Pour in egg whites, do not overflow. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
Allow to cool for 25-30 minutes before cutting. Store in the fridge not the freezer. 
They only take about 30-60 seconds to warm up in the morning 

Meal Prep - Week of 04/19/15


I do not always share my meal prep for the week, but this week I wanted to share it with you.

Breakfast: Chunky Veggie & Egg White Frittata 
AM Snack: Small Salad with grilled Chicken Breasts
Lunch: 3 types of Chicken Breasts, steamed Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli and Stir-fry Veggies
PM Snack: Hummus/Turkey Muffins

I am having sweet potatoes for 2 days and I seasoned them differently during meal prep for each day, 1 day I have ginger and pumpkin spice day 2 is cinnamon and nutmeg.
My meat was seasoned three different ways as well to provide variety. I picked up a neat trick from Fit Men Cook

To make meal prep easier, I do not cook my veggies or sweet potatoes. I just wash and chop my veggies and I slice my sweet potatoes thin with a Mandolin so they cook thoroughly. When I microwave my food I leave the top on but vent it and the steam cooks the veggies and sweet potatoes.

And...It Is What It Is!

Shani's Turkey/Chicken Muffins (Healthier Version)


As if these could get any healthier! Well, they can; therefore, I am sharing an even healthier version of my turkey/chicken muffins. For the original recipe click here

Turkey/Chicken Muffins

Ingredients
1lb of Ground Turkey/Chicken Meat
4 Egg whites
1 cup of Quick Oats
½ whole Tomato
¼ whole Onion
½ whole Bell Pepper
¼ cup of sliced Mushrooms
¼ cup of cubed Butternut Squash (optional)
1/8 cup of Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon of Pepper
*add any additional seasonings you like
*try with Shani’s Everything or Shani’s Poultry seasonings

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl add ground meat and egg whites
Add oatmeal to bowl.
Add all veggies to a food processor and process until they are chopped fine.
Add tomato paste, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and any other seasonings.
Using your hands or spatula, Mix all ingredients until mixed thoroughly.

Using olive oil, spray or lightly oil a muffin pan (1 dozen or 2 six)

Grab mix and form into 12 balls and place into the muffin pan(s)
Bake for 25-30 minutes

Makes 1 dozen

And...It Is What It is!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Food Stamp Reform...I Am All for It!


With the recent news of the Missouri, Republican state lawmaker, Rick Brattin, pushing for a food stamp reform, everyone is bashing Welfare and food stamps; understandably, you have those that are very offended by this. Welfare was put in place to assist those who need it, NEED being the operative word. The issue is that this assistance has caused people to become dependent and lazy.  Somehow, they have found ways to get around the five year/sixty month cap on the program. Yes, there are those that are disabled, but if they are truly disabled, they would be on SSI not Welfare.

I am all for assisting those when needed, because there are times when the chips do not land in your favor and you find yourself in need of assistance. However, at what point do you decide that enough is enough? At what point do you desire more for yourself and your children? At this point, if you are currently receiving welfare, you are eligible to have your education paid for, for at least an Associate’s Degree. Instead, you have people who would rather abuse their benefits (i.e. housing, food, cash, etc), collecting free toys for Christmas to add to the collection of toys their kids probably do not even play with, taking from those who are truly in need. Some with a husband/wife or other non-reported individual who too does absolutely nothing; in some cases the other person has some kind of income but again, one of them is living off the state; sucking the tax dollars from those who choose to work hard for their families. If this is you, you cannot be upset with those who are not happy with your decision. You do not have the right to be upset with the hard working citizens who are funding your lazy, unmotivated, co-dependent lifestyle.

Again, I repeat, if you need the assistance, then by all means, I welcome you to it. But if you do not NEED the assistance, I personally have ZERO respect for you. I am always willing to assist those in need, but I have zero tolerance for those who choose to be the parasites and leeches of society.

Right now, we need more jobs, we need more doors opened for those who want more but are being rejected. I want to see more people starting businesses so that they can help others feed their families. But that cannot happen if people are not motivated, if people sit complacent, doing nothing, raising children who are not learning to be productive citizens of society. What they are doing is creating a generation of lazy children who may end up worse off if Welfare & Food Stamps are reformed by the time they are old enough to procreate, if they have not started already.

In regard to the Food Stamp Reform, I am all for it. I may not agree with every aspect of it, however I do agree with eliminating junk food from the list the same way liquor is. I believe that the benefits should only be used for nutritious foods like: meats, vegetables, fruits, legumes, bread etc. Not for Twinkies, donuts, soda, and the other sugar filled treats that are contributing to America’s obnoxious obesity rate.

I mean, considering my take of health and nutrition, would you have expected anything less?

And…It Is What It Is!