Mom on the Run is a busy mom of three amazing girls and wife to an even busier husband. When she is not teaching or driving the mini-van, you will find her in the kitchen cooking, meal planning, and of course blogging about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a busy family schedule. Learn more here.
Sunday August 10th 2014, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Main Dishes
If you have been reading Mom on the Run (Hi) since the very beginning, you would know that I PUFFY HEART love one skillet dishes. For me one skillet dishes are some of the easiest dishes to whip up in a short amount of time. I will admit, I have had some one skillet flops in my kitchen. Recipes that lacked flavor and substance. When I stumbled across a skillet dish now, I over analyze the ingredients insuring that my skillet will have a great tasting ending.
Prevention Magazine featured many One Skillet recipes that peaked my interest. In fact I have flagged three different ones to try:
Skillet Chicken and Rice
Lemon Turkey Cutlets
Don’t these dishes all sound yummy. It was hard choosing which one I should make first, but I finally decided. Drum Roll please…….
6 oz fully cooked turkey kielbasa or sausage, cut into 1/4″-thick slices
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ pieces
1 pkg (14.4 oz) frozen sliced bell peppers and onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
3 C cooked brown rice
1 1/2 C frozen peas
1/2 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Add chicken and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Cook peppers and onions, stirring, until liquid evaporates, 6 minutes. Add garlic and seasoning and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in rice, peas, and broth.
Nestle chicken and kielbasa into rice. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is done, 5 minutes.
*Recipe makes 4 servings
Each Serving=8 Points + * PointsPlus® calculated by Mom on the Run; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc
This recipe was easy to make and amazing to eat. In fact this is going to be my number 1 go to One Skillet dish. So many great flavors and the kids LOVED it. I added a little chopped avocado for some extra flavor. DELISH! I could not get enough and thank goodness there was enough for lunch today.
Do you have a special skillet dish? Do you have a special skillet that use the most in your kitchen?
After a relaxing (as relaxing as you can running after a 3 year old at a pool) poolside on an extremely hot day the last thing this mom wanted to do was cook dinner in the heat. While constructing my weekly menu, I knew I had to include dishes that could be prepared on the grill. There is nothing like cooking with a warm breeze at your back.
I went simple with the protein. Grilled Chicken legs I found on sale at Whole Foods over the weekend. Cheap and easy to prepare.
Peaches were also on sale. My original purpose for the peaches was to use them for snacks at the pool. I than thought bigger and better. Why not throw them on the grill and have a sweet treat to compliment the chicken? With a few simple ingredients I created an amazing family friendly recipe that my kids were raving about. This mom loves when the kiddos eat more fruit :).
Grilled Peaches are a great compliment to any grilled protein on a hot sizzling day.
Olive Oil Spray
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (use Earth Balance if DF)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
5 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
basil leaves, for garnish
In a small bowl add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cinnamon , brown sugar, and honey mix until combined. I used my side burner to get a little bit of heat and combine the ingredients better.
Heat grill to high. Brush peaches with oil and grill until golden brown and just cooked through about 8-10 mins.
Remove peaches from heat. Brush each peach half with a few teaspoons of the honey butter mixture and garnish with basil leaves.
2 points + (Serving ½ peach) * PointsPlus® calculated by Mom on the Run; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc
Friday August 01st 2014, 1:59 am
Filed under: breakfast
Happy Almost Weekend!
I love the weekend because it gives me time to create MOTR’s family’s favorite meal…Breakfast. It is the one meal when done right I do not get one complaint from the food critics. There are so many possibilities with breakfast that my kids enjoy and leave the table with fully bellies. They are huge fans of pancakes, waffles, French toast, bacon, sausage, fruit salad, and eggs. When served as a breakfast buffet they are in foodie heaven. That is why I often serve brunch on weekend mornings because I can make lots of food and have leftovers for the week. It beats having oatmeal or cold cereal!
One of my favorite things to make for weekend brunch is frittata. When I first attempted to make a frittata I was overwhelmed with the thought. I envisioned a much harder dish to make. After I realized I was being a kitchen baby for nothing, I began whipping up different flavor combinations for the family to enjoy. This is a much easier process than making an omelet. Flipping the egg to make a perfect omelet is one cooking technique that I have not yet mastered. I usually end up with a scrambled mess out of pure flipping frustration. A frittata only requires chopping, sautéing, and pouring all skills that I have mastered in my kitchen. You can also create portion control frittatas by using the same recipe but a muffin tin as your cooking vessel (like for MOTR’s Paleo Egg Cups). Either way you will not be disappointed with this alternative way to prepare a family sized “omelet”. The blend of eggs, sweet potato, and Mexican Spices make this Southwest Sweet Potato Bacon Frittata a savory masterpiece.
Place the olive oil in a 10 inch cast iron skillet (if you do not have cast iron you are truly missing out) over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato, green peppers, Mexican Spice, and Canadian Bacon, cook for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked through and slightly crispy. Set aside.
Pour eggs and egg whites into a separate medium bowl. Whisk eggs together, season with the salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Pour eggs over the freshly sautéed veggies. Pop the entire skillet in the oven for 15 min at 425 degrees. Once the frittata is fluffy, remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with a side of organic bacon and prepare to be in breakfast heaven.
6 points + (Serving 1 slice) * PointsPlus® calculated by Mom on the Run; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc
“Focus on the Effort and NOT the Number”- My Weight Watchers Mantra
Why I chose Weight Watchers?
I have been through my share of diets. I am always searching and falling for the next best thing. Whether it is gluten free, Paleo, South Beach Diet, or the 17-Day Diet, nothing has stuck. After some deep soul searching and a brief reality check I have returned to a place that I found comfort and support. A place that I am not feeling deprived and is able to be used for the whole family. Having a plan that is family friendly is key to my healthy eating success. My kids are healthy eaters, but that does not mean that they are not picky. They are not huge meat eaters (do love beans), so Paleo was not a great fit for them. I have found a a program that solves my need for a healthy living lifestyle and it extremely family friendly, Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is a plan that I have been on before too many times to count. When I do it right (actually follow plan, weigh and measure, track food, and attend meetings) it works for me. The plan is easy to follow and offers a ton of support and guidance. I feel empowered and in control when I track using the points plus system. Joining Weight Watchers was actually a spontaneous decision back in October. I knew I had gained some weight from beginning of school due to lack of planning and stress. The holidays were right around the corner. If I didn’t take control at that point I knew my weight would only spiral more out of control. I saw the sign at my local Weight Watchers center and signed right up. I had lost 15 pounds in 12 weeks. Not bad for the holiday season.
Then I let life get in they way and I quit. Now that the summer is here and I have had made the time to recommit to staying focused with both eating and exercise. There are a few things I have done differently this time around. The one major change has been attending meetings regularly. I found a great support group in my 8 AM Saturday morning meeting group. Our leader Betsy is amazing guide and weight loss cheerleader. She is the reason why I have stuck with it and make time for me on Saturday mornings. The meetings always have a positive focus and times for us to set personal weekly goals for ourselves. It is nice to have a like minded group of people to share ideas with. I look forward to celebrating others successes and hearing that I am not alone in my journey. Now that I have recommitted to Weight Watchers, it has been easy to post recipes that have great point plus values. I want to use my blog to keep myself accountable and may inspire others to try a new recipe. A prepared Weight Watcher is a successful Weight Watcher. Here is a great Simple Start recipe that is great to eat on salad or freeze for a later occasion. This is even husband approved!
We have had some great summer days in New England. July has been one for the books. So many sunny days with a warm breeze blowing through the house. Dare I say that it has been perfect!
Tonight I finally had time to cook so back into my kitchen I went. As promised I am finally posting the recipe that accompanies my DIY Chicken Fajita marinade from a few days ago. So without further ado here is the MOTR version of chicken fajitas that my whole family enjoys. Even my picky eater had seconds. That in itself is a five star recipe.
Chicken fajitas are both family friendly and WW point friendly. Makes great leftovers for a fajita salad lunch.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin strips
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons MOTR Fajita Seasoning
⅓ cup water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium sweet onion, cut into strips
Tortillas of your choice
Toppings of your choice (we use salsa, shredded cheese, MOTR Guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce)
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot.
Add the chicken and cook until the strips are cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
In another large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining olive oil until hot. Add pepper and onions and until vegetables are lightly browned and tender about 7-8 minutes.
Combine the chicken and pepper/onions into one pan.
Add the fajita seasoning mix and water, mix well.
Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes
Serve by spooning about ½ cup of the chicken mixture over a bed of lettuce and spinach. Top chicken with salsa, guacamole, and a little bit of cheese.
5 Points+ (3 oz of chicken with peppers and onions) Make sure to additional points for tortilla and toppings of choice * PointsPlus® calculated by Mom on the Run; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Yummy! I try to make extra so I can freeze the mixture for a meal later in the month. I love having a great tasting dish that I can just pull out of the freezer for later. This is a busy moms dream come true.I have big things to come this week. Great new ideas and food perspective. Hope your family will enjoy them as much as mine did.
Have you menu planned for the week yet? I will be posting mine tomorrow :).
There is nothing like Friday night. I don’t know about you, but Friday nights in the MOTR are our family chill night. It usually starts out with a girls only Starbucks run (my current favorite is a SF Dolce Cinnamon Skinny Latte—at only 4 points +!!) , a Freaky Friday Dance Party, followed by eating some sort of comfort food, then catching up on shows that we have recorded throughout the week. There is nothing better than this.
One thing that I like to do on a Friday night is make a quick casserole dish that I can make the night before and just pop in the oven prior to the dance party. As my girls and I are competing with the Wii, dinner is being warmed in the oven ready for when we are worn out. This recipe is a Mom on the Run Household Favorite. I have many different versions that I make of this recipe (one that even includes a crescent roll crust). Basically what goes in this dish is whatever I have available in the pantry. I often use leftover rice from the Chinese restaurant or from a recipe that I over estimated my family rice intake. I always seem to make way to much rice.
This recipe was inspired by the Weight Watchers Simply Filling technique. I was very sad when Weight Watchers discontinued the CORE plan. The Core Plan helped me on my previous Weight Watchers journey because it helped me chose foods that kept me full longer. In my opinion the CORE plan was never given as much credit as it deserved. I was often the only one in my meeting room that used CORE. I was excited to see that Weight Watchers had renamed the program to Simply Filling. Simply Filling is based on choosing foods from the Weight Watchers Power Foods List. (Power Foods= Fruits and Veggies+Whole Foods). It highlights all the foods you should be eating. Danica from Danica’s Daily explains it all beautifully in her blog. When I build my own recipes I strive to use as many Power Foods as I can. This recipe is full of delicious Simply Filling foods that will keep you satisfied all night long.
Lately I have been on a DIY kitchen kick. It all started when I ran out of taco seasoning one night for tacos. Before the kids could stage a revolt and ask for me to order pizza, I did some quick thinking and threw some spices together. For a first try it was good, but I knew I could do better. When I began investigating what was actually in those convenient store bought packages I realized I needed to do better for my family. Here is what I found on a store brand fajita marinade package.
SPICES (INCLUDING CUMIN, CHILI PEPPER, AND OREGANO), CORN MALTODEXTRIN, ONION, SALT, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GARLIC, CITRIC ACID, CARAMEL COLOR, LIME JUICE SOLIDS, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, AND NATURAL FLAVORS.
Not horrible but not great. In a pinch it is not the worse case scenario. What I realized through some experimenting of spice combinations is that I could make my own containers of spice mixes and not have to worry about modified ingredients and unnecessary food coloring. Why not do it yourself! With a few experiment mixing I was able to create an amazing Fajita Marinade Mix that was very tasty and I knew every ingredient that was flavoring the chicken.
I know what your thinking…..It cannot be that easy! I assure you it is. So the next time you forget to buy your favorite seasoning packet that the grocery store being a kitchen hero and make your own blend .
Stay tuned for my version of Sizzling Chicken Fajitas that my family was raving about.
I know I have a total southwest theme going on this week…..Flavors that I truly enjoy.
In every store I have been entering lately there have been back to school specials all around. As a full time teacher these sales me me both sad and happy. Sad because I know my short stay at home mom time is almost over. Happy because I love getting new supplies for my classroom. It is a fresh start for everyone
With the back to school season right around the corner, I have begun making family friendly recipes that can be frozen and used for those busy nights that cooking a healthy meal is impossible. One of my back to school goals this year is to have healthy food choices on my finger tips. It is so much easier to grab take out somewhere, but I much prefer a home cooked meal that I control points and portions. That is why I love being on the Weight Watchers Plan because there are so many great food choices and recipes that I can fit within my daily points.
I have a lot of great meals planned to freeze, but one dish that is always a crowd pleaser in lasagna. Traditionally lasagna can be a point disaster. Thank goodness I have a lot of point friendly versions that I have made in my kitchen. Over the years I have been able to find some great Weight Watchers websites with collections of family friendly recipes that I have been able to find these great recipes. One of my favorite finds has been Aimee’s Adventures. Aimee’s inspirational story of her weight loss journey and the creation of recipes that have helped her along the way will get you right in the kitchen. I have made a lot of Aimee’s recipes but my families’ all-time favorite is recipe for Buffalo Chicken Lasagna. This lasagna is a unique twist to traditional tomato sauce and cheese yumminess. Easy to make and point friendly, this lasagna is comfort food after a long day at work and school.
Original recipe can be found at Aimee's Adventures (www.aimeesadventures.com). This recipe has been modified to meet Mom on the Run's Kitchen needs.
12 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles, cooked
1 lb. Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed
1 28 oz Can Hunt’s Four Cheese Spaghetti Sauce
1 Cup Very Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce
½ cup of Water
15 oz. Nonfat Ricotta Cheese
½ Cup Egg Substitute
½ cup of Low Fat Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook chicken over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until almost done. Stir in sauces and water.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg substitute.
Spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 Cup of sauce in the bottom of pan. Arrange 4 noodles over the sauce. Spread more sauce, then a layer of ricotta mixture. Add another layer of sauce, and repeat the whole process until you end with a layer of sauce.
Cover and bake 70 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top, then bake for another 15 minutes uncovered.
Breakfast can be a complicated meal in my busy house. We always seem to have something to do early in the morning or during the school year daycare to get to. Even this summer we have had mornings reserved for doctors appointments and physical therapy. I like to keep our afternoons free for pool time fun. I like to prepare a weeks worth of grab and go breakfast items. So much easier to eat healthy when you have things readily available to travel with you.
We had some extra time this morning and I declared today a family baking day. With the help of my girls and Dan, Social Media Coordinator we made some great tasting muffins for the week. Sometimes I can be a women of structure and routine. I often find myself eating the same thing for breakfast for 2 weeks straight (this month it has been egg cups) because it is easy and does not involve a ton of planning on my part. With some time on my hands I decided to make muffins. Muffins are a family favorite in the MOTR. They are portable and with a bit of tweaking can be a healthy way to start breakfast. This muffin was inspired by a recipe from Slender Kitchen. With a few modifications I was able to make these muffins only 3 pts plus* (*PointsPlus® calculated by Mom on the Run; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.).
Kale-How do I love thee. Let me count the ways– Kale Chips, Kale Saute, Kale Green Smoothies, and Grilled Kale are all excellent ways to enjoy Kale. Kale was top of my list of things to grow in my garden this summer. I am so excited that I did, because there is nothing better than fresh picked Kale from your backyard.
I do have another way that I have been enjoying Kale….Soup. Anything that taste great and can be created in one pot is always a winner in my kitchen. My mom got me the most amazing Christmas gift this year. Lodge Cast Iron cooking ware!! My favorite pot thus far has been this beauty the 7 qt. Dutch Oven.
This pot makes the best stews and soups. I am not even sure why but it just does. Makes a perfect chili pot as well. Thanks Mom!
This week I made another soup from my new favorite Weight Watchers Cookbook: Good Deal. When I first reviewed this new cookbook find, I raved about all the great recipes that it had to offer. I was not kidding. My meeting room and other Weight Watchers bloggers have raved about all the recipes they have recreated in their own kitchens. Here is my new weekly favorite with a modification that I felt was needed for a flavor boost.
Mom on the Run is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Mom on the Run's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Mom on the Run based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc.Mom on the Run does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining Weight Watchers and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight. You can read more about Mom on the Run and this blog by clicking here and for my full disclosure policy please click here.