Thai Lettuce Wraps

After my husband got back from Thailand he could NOT stop raving about the food.  I never thought much about Thai food but he insisted that it was delicious and that I should A. Learn how to make his favorites and B. Find an authentic Thai restaurant to go to. We went to a Thai restaurant and I very much enjoyed it!

In high school I used to enjoy lettuce wraps so I figured I’d recreate them!

Ingredients for wraps:

  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • Lime
  • Carrots
  • 1 package Ground Chicken
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
  • Rice paper

Directions:

  • Chop scallions, chop mint, chop cilantro, chop cucumbers and carrots into small pieces.
  • Add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder to the ground chicken, sauté.
  • Towards the end of the sauté, zest the lime over the chicken.
  • Soak each sheet of rice paper in a shallow container of water for a minute or two, I used a 9×9 baking dish. It is ok if they are still wet after taking out of the water as the water is absorbed quickly as the roll is made and becomes easier to fold.
  • Fill the rice paper with the ingredients and wrap it like a burrito! My rice paper wrapping skills are NOT stellar… but it was delicious nonetheless. You can dip it into the peanut sauce or line the wrap with peanut sauce before you add the ingredients to it…or do both because its yummy.

Ingredients for peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 drops of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Directions: Mix all together thoroughly until there is a creamy consistency.

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Summer Salad

If you’re looking for a DELICIOUS, refreshing, light salad  — see below!! This salad is full of color and full of flavor.

(Image is a different variation of this salad)

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR DRESSING:

1 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves

1 clove Fresh Garlic

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil

FOR THE SALAD:

Spinach

a handful of grape tomatoes, quartered

Any color bell pepper, diced

2 cups grilled yellow Corn (about 2 ears)

2 Avocados, diced

1 medium Red Onion, diced

1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw & Lime Crema

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This meal is delicious — it is not something I would’ve ever thought to make for myself because I’m generally very picky but I have to say this pleasantly surprised me!

Time: 40 minutes

Recipe makes enough for 2

*Nut Free & Spicy*

Ingredients:

– 2 chicken breast

– flour tortillas

– 1 lime

– 2 Tablespoons of sour cream

– 1 bunch cilantro

– 1 mango

– 1 avocado

-1 red onion

– jar of Chipotles in Adobo

Let’s do this:

Chop the cilantro, zest and halve the lime. Halve, peel and finely chop 1/2 of the red onion. Peel the mango, cut around the flat seed, then into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the slices into thin strips to create matchsticks.

Make the lime creme: in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the mango slaw: in a medium bowl, toss the mango, red onion,  cilantro, juice of remaining lime and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Halve, pit and scoop out the avocado flesh into a small bowl, mash with fork and season with salt and pepper.

Salt & pepper the chicken on both sides.

Rub or brush both sides of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of adobo (the sauce in the jar of chipotle peppers).

Heat olive oil in large pan, add chicken – cook until slightly charred.

Heat tortillas in the oven or microwave.

Thinly slice the chicken. Spread the mashed avocado onto tortillas and top with chicken, mango slaw and lime creme.

Serve tacos with the remaining mango slaw to the side. If you make it, let me know what you think. Enjoy! 

Bison Burger

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The last time that we were in Colorado we had Elk chili and Bison burgers. Now, if you know me you know that I’m not a huge meat eater, never mind meat that is ‘out of the norm’ but I cannot deny that both were good! Since we moved to the middle of nowhere in North Carolina without great grocery stores I have made even LESS meat… but then I found my new favorite store – Harris Teeter! Some people may think, ‘oh, just a Harris Teeter?’ but clearly you’ve never seen my other options- yuck! This place doesn’t have 19 year olds with 3 kids running around the store, you don’t find deodorant in the dairy section because someone just up and thought, ‘hmmm deodorant? who needs it’ when looking at yogurt. This place plays soothing music, has LED lit aisles to save $ and energy AND their produce is not only locally grown but SO fresh and beautiful.

Anyway, back to the Bison Burger. I found some very lean very organic bison and decided to try to reproduce the bison burgers I saw in Colorado- here it is!

1 pound Ground Bison*
4 Gluten Free Buns, split and toasted, try these: http://udisglutenfree.com/products/classic-hamburger-buns/
Salt and pepper

1. Shape Ground Bison into four 1/2 inch thick patties.

2. Heat your pan with olive oil, do not add your patties until the pan is hot.

3. Pan fry, turning once, just until the pink has disappeared.

4. Toast your buns in the oven.

**I added, two pieces of turkey bacon, a slice of tomato, provolone cheese and a small amount of chopped onion to each burger**. 

Serves 4.
Per patty: 156 calories; 9.1 g fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium.

Housewife + Army Wife + Rachael Ray + Katie Lee

Yesterday was a rough day for me. Nearing the end of a long separation from the hubby should be exciting and happy… yet the end seems to be just as hard as the beginning. Needless to say I sat on the couch and indulged in multiple hours of The Food Network. I then decided; stop watching and start doing. I picked this delish & easy recipe that was made by Katie Lee (Joel) on the Rachel Ray show!

HOT SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 9-ounce package artichoke hearts (drained jarred, or canned, cooked fresh or frozen, but not marinated)
  • 1 cup steamed spinach – well drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 large leaves fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Use a 2 quart baking dish. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.  Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.  Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or toasted rustic bread.

Recipe of the Day

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, which will fill you up and kick your unhealthy cravings to the curb. Plus, it’s easy to make.

Ingredients: Millet (can substitute for cous-cous or rice) Salt Onions Assorted vegetables Tomatoes Garlic Cayenne pepper Parsley Basil leaves

Steps:

1. Pour 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt into a pot and bring to a boil

2.  Add the millet to the pot and cook until all the liquid is absorbed In another skillet, sauté onions and your favorite vegetables in little olive oil until soft About 5 minutes before your vegetables are cooked, add fresh tomatoes to the mix for extra flavor

3.Then, mix the millet and cooked veggies together

4. For seasoning, add garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley and basil leaves

Now, go ahead and enjoy your healthy eats! This recipe is so simple and it’s a great option for lunch or dinner. Try making your vegetable millet the night before, refrigerating it, then packing it to throw over a salad at school or work the next day.

Ladies sure know how to put out a spread…

Sorry to disappoint… this isn’t a porn blog… Saturday night was the first of hopefully monthly ladies night dinner parties at Casa Manley. 12 chica’s arrived to Casa Manley and were welcomed by this: a very large spread of deliciousness. I’d like to point out one of my favorites were those balls… they are buffalo chicken balls. HEAVEN.

The recipe was found here > http://www.marthastewart.com/349216/mini-spicy-buffalo-chicken-balls-blue-cheese-and-hot-sauce good ol’ Martha…

the dinner table also looked fantastic if I do say so myself… 

The lesson to be learned to all ladies looking to entertain… invest in these items: 1. Cheese & Vegetable platters 2. Cute cheese spreaders 3. Fun napkins & napkin rings **a + if they are reversible**   4. Always have tooth picks 5. Create a pinterest account and 6. Find a liquor store that has great discounts for repeat customers 🙂

Aiming for Healthy

So anyone that knows me and knows my Italian heritage knows my daily food intake MUST include, A. salad, B. Pasta, C. Bread… its just in my chemical make up… as we grow older our metabolism changes I know … BUT I REFUSE TO GIVE UP MY PASTA AND BREAD. I’ve learned to love whole grain! Here is a great meal: *quick *easy *delicious

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the penne, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
  6. MIX it , serve it, enjoy it.

Bakers dozen

 

 

 

My pants are tight. Snugas a bug in a rug, people. And does pinterest show me carrot sticks or offer to run with me? Oh no. Instead, they call my attention to cookie recipes on pinterest involving Oreos stuffed inside two chocolate chip cookies.My advice to you – make these. But make them right before you’re meeting a friend, dinner party or work meeting. So you can pawn them off on other victims recipients.

Recipe: Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 3 1/2 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 cups chocolate chips
• 1 package Double Stuff Oreo cookies

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.In medium bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.With a cookie scoop, form balls with the dough.

Place one ball on top of an Oreo cookie, and another ball on the bottom. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is fully enclosed with dough.Place onto baking sheets and bake cookies for approximately 13 minutes or until golden brown.