Tag Archives: simple

ROTEL TOMATO & MOZZA GRILLED CHICKEN

I wasn’t feeling up to par today, but I wasn’t up for take out either so I opted for something extremely simple, quick and easy. Here it is. Butterflied chicken breasts seasoned with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic. Grilled them on the bbq and topped them with mozzarella and some Rotel tomatoes and green chilies.
EASY! GOOD!
How cute are they, heart shaped and red!
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

Have any of you made these before? I’ve seen them around for a few years now I think, but I had yet to try them. Or try quinoa for that matter. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not or how to cook it so that I would like it. I came across this on one of my boards and immediately decided it was time. If you are a big quinoa fan please leave me a comment below this blog post or comment on the facebook post please. Turns out I do really like it and want to find more ways to make it.
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
20 minutes to cook the quinoa
30 minutes to bake the stuffed peppers
Makes 6
Done in less than an hour! OH Yeah!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
3 CUPS QUINOA, cooked
1 SMALL CAN DICED GREEN CHILIES
1 CUP CORN
1 CAN BLACK BEANS, drained and rinsed
1/2 CUP FINE DICED TOMATOES, remove the seeds,
1/2 CUP MONTERAY JACK CHEESE, grated
1/4 CUP LIGHT FETA CHEESE, crumbled
3 TBSP. FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
1 TSP. CUMIN
1 TSP. GARLIC POWDER
1/2 TSP. ONION POWDER
1/2 TSP. CHILI POWDER, or more to taste
GROUND SEA SALT to taste
GROUND FRESH PEPPER to taste

6 BELL PEPPERS, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Place parchment paper on the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients gently in a big bowl, except for the peppers obviously.
3. Spoon the filling into the pepper bowls. Tap them on the counter to get everything to the bottom.
4. Gently stuff.
5. Place them in the parchment lined baking dish.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes. I baked mine with the “tops” on but as you can see in the pics, they wrinkled. Bake them without the tops until the filling is hot inside.
7. Eat em up right away!

Quinoa is usually found in the same section of the grocery store that the rice is found in.
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1 cup of uncooked quinoa will equal 3 cups after it’s cooked
For every 1 cup of uncooked quinoa use 1.5 cups water or chicken broth
Rinse and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer
Bring liquid to a boil, and add in the quinoa, give it a stir and then reduce the heat to a med-low temp. Put the lid on it and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Put the lid back on it and remove it from the heat. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
Fluff it up with fork
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I recruited Hubby to help me out with the next 3 shots. It gets awfully challenging trying to hold that massive camera and operate a sharp knife. Here you want to cut the top portion of the peppers off to create the ‘tops’
Use a sharp knife and slice down the edge of the ribs of the pepper following down towards the base of the pepper but not cutting through!!
Pop out the seed pack in the middle and knock out any seeds.
Using that handy melon baller {I like it better than a spoon because it has sharper edges} scrape out the remaining bits of the ribs until you have some nice little pepper bowls!
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They are super cute. I think I can find other reasons to use this type of ‘vessel’ for dips and sides in the future.
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Ok mix up all those ingredient, minus the peppers, in a nice big mixing bowl. Toss it all together gently.
I think this is the first time I’m using feta cheese in something other than a greek meal. I find this highly intersting and can’t wait to see what it tastes like.
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Once you have the filling all together you can simply put it in a casserole dish with a lid on it and just bake it that way if you don’t want to go through the effort of the pepper. I think the next time I will omit the pepper bowl if it’s just Hubby and I, and maybe leave the quirky presentation to when I’m preparing it for guests. It’s just alot of pepper for us. I like my peppers much more tender. Too the point of fully softened mush. Mmmmmm nummy yummy
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Here’s where you get to fill the pepper bowls up with that yum yum quinoa filling. I sprayed my baking dish as I ran out of parchment paper at christmas time and never replaced it. This caused my filled pepper bowls to slide around. I’m thinking the parchment would keep them in place better. Scoop and stuff the peppers and put them in the lined dish. The original recipe that I saw did not seem to bake the peppers with the “tops” on. I did and the “tops” came out quite wrinkled. I think for a better presentation, I would bake them without the “tops” and then just pop them on after you take them out of the oven. I also added a few shreds of the monteray cheese to the top of the filling before baking. gives them a nice finished look. Then I meant to sprinkle them with fresh chopped cilantro but I forgot and had already taken the pictures…. LOL #foodbloggerproblems haha.
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I baked these in a preheated 350 F oven for about 40 minutes. Check them at 30 minutes. You want the filling to be hot throughout. I think they look cute with the wrinkled tops, but not that cute, oh well. They were absolutely scrumptious! Even Hubby liked them.
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I served these with butterflied, grilled chicken breast. Seasoned them with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic and a slight sprinkle of chili powder, with a side of a homemade chipotle dip {fat free sour cream, a wee bit of light mayo and as much chipotle puree as you can handle}
Yay for the second bbq this year! I just love the flavour that a bbq or grill can bring to the food and to the table 😉
Now I know it’s not a Green Egg bbq or anything like that or a nice old fashioned one but it does the job. It may actually need to be replaced this year. We’ve been saying this for the last 2 years so we’ll see.
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And since I’m suffering from severe post vacay depression….. I’ve posted a small collection of pics from House Of Haley Photography, from our time in Mexico a few weeks ago. You can find them at the bottom of this post.

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CRISP CUCUMBER SALSA

As promised yesterday, here is another super delicious recipe involving…. a cuke!
I saw this and it looked like a neat thing to try seeing as tho I just made a traditional salsa a few days ago. I already had all the ingredients needed in the fridge and I just love when that works out. Now, when I say, “this just may be the very best salsa in the world!” well, this is one of those times that you need to believe me! But you don’t have too. Give me just a few more minutes to tell you how to make it, then you give it a try and you be the judge. Seriously, if you like to cook or make stuff in the kitchen, heck ya you’re going to love it. If you’ve never made anything, then this is a perfect way to start. Regardless, please just try it.

Hubby had barely walked in the door yesterday and I had put it in front of him. He couldn’t stop eating it and he’s really not a big salsa guy. “Yes, success!”
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HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO NEED:
2 CUPS CUCUMBER, PEELED, DESEEDED, FINE DICED
1/2 CUP ROMA TOMATOES, FINE DICED
1/4 CUP RED ONION, FINE DICED
1 JALAPENO PEPPER, DESEEDED, MINCED
4-1/2 TSP. MINCED CILANTRO
1/2 A SMALL PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL {or 1 clove minced garlic}
1/4 CUP FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
1-1/2 TSP. LEMON JUICE
1-1/2 TSP. LIME JUICE
1/4 TSP. CUMIN
1/4 TSP. SEASONING SALT
ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE TORTILLA CHIPS, NO SALT

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HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO:
In a mixing bowl add the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic.
In a seperate bowl combine the sour cream, lemon and lime juice, cumin and seasoning salt.
Add the sour cream mixture to the veggie mixture and gently toss to combine.
Enjoy with organic gluten-free tortilla chips.
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Last but not least, low sodium YO! The is mostly cucumber rather than tomatoes like a traditional salsa. Sure there’s seasoning salt in it but there is salt in traditional salsa also so this is definitely a win win.
Can’t wait for summer bbq’s with this one.

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CUCUMBER & GARLIC SALAD DRESSING

Oh so many wonderful things you can do with a cucumber…… 😊
Head out of the gutter!
Here is 1 fun thing, and tomorrow I’ll share another! Thanks for visiting and please help me out by clicking LIKE and SHARE on Facebook

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
2 CUCUMBERS {PEELED, DESEEDED AND PUREED, I used my food processor, and include the juice from the cucumbers}
1/4 CUP CHOPPED PARSLEY
1/4 CUP CHOPPED CHIVES
1/2 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL {or 2 cloves minced garlic}
1 CUP FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
1/2 TSP. SEA SALT
1 1/2 TSP. GROUND PEPPER
WATER OR MILK TO THIN {optional}

WHAT TO DO:
I use a melon baller to deseed cucumbers but you can use a small teaspoon if you don’t have a melon baller. I then pureed the cucumbers in my food processor. Dump the pureed cukes and it’s juice into a mixing bowl.
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Add in the chopped herbs. Now if you’re like me and still learning to cook…. you might not use chives all that often. I bought freeze dried chives so that I don’t waste anything. Once you add them in they will soften and be just the same as if they were fresh so not to worry.
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Add the garlic to the mixing bowl. Cucumber, parsley, chives, and garlic. Starting to look like something the dog puked up? K then we’re on the right track. LOL
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Stir in the sour cream, salt and fresh ground pepper.
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Using a funnel and a rubber spatula, {how did I ever live without a funnel?} pour/scrape every drop of this easy, healthy homemade salad dressing into some type of pretty decanter. I picked up this glass beauty from my local $ store. 🙂 Garnished it with a cucumber peel twist 🙂
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Now, whip up a fresh salad with all those leftover veggies you have in the crisper drawer before they spoil and Hubby scowls at you….. not that that happens here or anything…. 🙂 JUST MAKE SURE TO USE UP ALL YOUR VEGGIES. I made up a great salad with romaine lettuce, mushrooms, cucumbers, celery, carrots, tomatoes and peppers.
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Serve this after it’s chilled up a little bit in the refrigerator. Then, sit back and enjoy clean eating and healthy living. Between my Chipotle Southwest Dressing and my Mom’s, MARIANNE’S HOMEMADE CAESAR SALAD DRESSING I doubt I will ever buy salad dressing again. Knowing exactly what we are putting into our bodies is comforting when it’s food like this.

I’m going to be completely honest and maybe a little vain but I am smiling…. I’m smiling because I’m proud of the change we are making. We were always conscious of the crap food we would eat but we let our tastebuds make the decisions. We can do this, we can continue this.
Today this blog passed 7000 views. I just can’t believe that it’s been looked at over 7000 times. Today my Facebook page, Cooking With Hay, reached a new high as well. Over 100 people have kindly LIKEd my FB page. Thank you Thank you Thank you. The higher these numbers grow, the more inspired and eager I get. I’m constantly browsing for new things to try and yet they are things that are quite basic, fairly common, and well, really good. But it’ real food for real people. When I start whipping up Crown Roasts….
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…then it’s a whole different kinda ballgame. {Although I hear they aren’t as hard as they look… 🙂 }
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This dressing came out with a thicker consistancy that most salad dressings. We like it this way but it was pretty thick. You can thin it with a little bit of water or skim milk if it’s too heavy for you. I’m going to leave mine as is and use it as a dip for the rest of the remaining veggies, as it’s just the perfect consistancy for a dip as well.

Found on Pinterest from Taste Of Home

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SIMPLE SALSA

Hello Everyone!! It’s been quite a while since I did a post. I apologize for the hiatus, my mind has been preoccupied with my trip to Mexico. Ok let’s be real. I spent some weeks going through the pantry and freezer putting together things, I had to create some meals…. It was time to clear out a bunch of those one off cans of who knows what mixed with a little of this and a little of that. Nothing pretty, a little weird, but it was food in the belly and that’s all that matters. Really tho my mind had been in the clouds counting down the days to our little vacation in the sun. We are home now and yet the spirit of Mexico lives on in our home. We purchased a wooden bowl set for salsa, guac, and chips and I just love them. I’ve wanted a set for a long time now. Ever since our first trip to Mexico back in 2011. I was so excited to pull them out of our suitcases that I hoped in the truck and took of to the market for supplies. Simple Salsa is up next.
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🌵 SIMPLE SALSA 🌵

3 ROMA TOMATOES (choose the harder ones over the soft ones)
1/4 WHITE ONION
1 SERRANO PEPPER
1 JALAPENO PEPPEER
1/2 LIME
1 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL {or 4 minced cloves of garlic}
CILANTRO
SEA SALT
20140306-193406.jpgStart with the tomatoes, hard roma tomatoes work best. I cut them in half lengthwise and then cut those in half lengthwise again. Scrape out all the seeds and juice. Dice them up really fine. Smaller bits are easier to scoop up.
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Dice up the onion really fine as well. Same size as you did the tomatoes.
20140306-154853.jpgWhen chopping up peppers be sure to wear gloves. Bell peppers, you’ll be fine but these hot peppers require gloves. I burnt my left thumb with burns from these peppers once before and lets just say I’ve learned my lesson. My fingerprint is not the same as it once was. These are the best ways to cut up peppers like these ones. For Jalapeno’s, cut off the top part with the stem and slice off the parts not attached to the ribs. See the first 2 pictures above. For Serrano’s, since these ones are even thinner, cut of the top part again with the stem and then cut the pepper in half lengthwise. With the tip of a sharp knife, carefully run it under the ribs of the pepper, removing them in one clean cut. Take a look at the 3rd picture above.
20140306-154859.jpgOnce again, dice up the peppers nice and fine…. I like these to be very very tiny. Mince them. That’s a more appropriate word.
20140306-154926.jpgSqueeze the juice from half a lime into the bowl and let the very merry tomato marinating party begin. Add in the thawed PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL
20140306-154933.jpgChop up a few fresh cilantro leaves or if you are one of those people that says “I don’t like cilantro” that I shake my head at well then simply omit the cilantro from your Simple Salsa. Easy Breezy…
20140306-154941.jpgThe whole thing comes together all quite quickly and look it’s even the colours of the Mexican flag.
20140306-154950.jpgLet this marinade together for at least a few hours in the fridge before serving in and airtight container. Don’t worry about it not being to ‘wet’ as the salt will draw out the liquids in the tomatoes, onions and peppers and mix with the lime juice. It’s to die for delicious and worth the wait.
20140306-154956.jpgWe opted for organic tortilla chips, gluten free and that had the lowest calorie content. Que Paso chips from the organic section of the grocery store. I just love how it looks in the new mexican salsa bowl we brought home.
Scarf it up and imagine a mariachi band playing, the ocean waves crashing and the sun beaming down warming your skin.
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Ahhh Mexico, we love and miss you already.
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ON TONIGHTS MENU ~ SHRIMP TACOS

I just posted 2 food blogs I figured I might as well put tonight’s meal on the board as well and make it 3 food blogs in one day.  I’m not sure why I’m in love with cooking these days but it’s become one of the fun parts of the day for me.  I’m always looking for something new for me to try and I’m storing all my recipes in a big binder so I can hold on to them forever.  Plus flipping through a book full of recipes that I’ve already determined would be a gooder is great for grocery shopping time and dinner time.

I’m actually made 2 different tacos tonight… the shrimp ones and then fish tacos, chopping up the fish and frying it the same as the shrimp, sub’ing the yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro, & salt dressing for a chipotle mayo.  I just mashed a chipotle pepper with some low fat mayo and added some of the adobe sauce from the chipotle can.  So 2 different tacos.  I’ve never made these before but they were SUPER SIMPLE just as the recipe claims.

I served them with guacamole & salsa on the side.  Hubby loves his guacamole!

SUPER SIMPLE SHRIMP TACOS

(source: http://cleananddelicious.com/)

Ingredients

1 lb of frozen shrimp, defrosted, peeled, & deveined

6 oz fat free Greek yogurt

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

½ a head of cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

8 corn tortillas

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat tortillas over medium heat in a dry skillet until warm and starting to form small brown spots.
  2. Set aside on a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Mix yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro, & salt in a small bowl, set aside.
  4. Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and add cabbage. Cook for about four minutes or until the cabbage is just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Cut shrimp into thirds, so you have little bite size pieces. Sauté in two teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper over medium heat just until done. They cook up in just a few minutes… so be sure to watch them!
  6. Build your taco! Place a scoop of cabbage on the warmed tortillas taco, then top with shrimp, and cilantro sauce… enjoy!

Serves 4.

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