Getting Healthy in an Affordably Delicious Way

Welcome to The Newlywed Chef! My goal and desire will always be healthy and budget-wise cooking. If you aren't a follower yet, please become one! Always feel free to e-mail me recipes that sound good to you, and I will cook them! Or, e-mail some family favorite that you want posted for others to try, and I can do that as well, as long as its healthy, AND budget-friendly.

Enjoy the site, cast a vote in the poll, and come back each day to check for new recipes!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin "TO DIE FOR" Cookies!!

Okay- allow me to preface with this. I don't eat cookies often. Actually, I cannot remember the last time I ate a cookie. UNTIL TODAY. Not only are these pretty low fat/calorie, there are 3 ingredients. You read it right. THREE INGREDIENTS! My husband and I both love them and have already consumed 6 of the 28 it makes! I was planning on sharing these, but maybe i'll share the next batch!?

Here's what you need: ONE box of spice mix (carrott cake mix supposedly works as well). ONE cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. ONE 15-oz can of pumpkin puree!

Yes, thats the extent of your grocery bill to make this treat! NO EGGS. NO OIL. NOT EVEN WATER!
First, pour the cake mix in a bowl and add the can of pumpkin:

Now, you want to blend it together until it looks like one big gob of pumpkin and no white cake mix is left!!

At this point, gently stir in your cup of chocolate chips. All you choco-holics, add the whole bag! BUT- I didn't, and I don't think it needs it!
Spoon heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.
Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 13-15 minutes. They won't look much different shape-wise! Here's a picture of mine just before I pulled the little guys out!

Now- at this point. EAT THEM AT ANY TIME. Since I've been typing this, Nick and I have each had about 2 more cookies. I was able to scrounge 28 cookies out, but I bet you could do 24 really. 2 batches, and be done with it! OH THEY WERE SO GOOD. I did let some of them cool before i plucked them off the tray and into my mouth...

There's no way you won't love these! I guarantee it! I'm guessing there won't be many of these left by the end of the day. Here's a close-up and I'm headed out to seal them up for the time being before they truly do disappear!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Greek Pasta Bake: With "Leftovers Salad!"

So, this was another success. With tons and tons of leftovers! We could have served this to a family of 8 i think! (As long as no one wanted seconds, which is highly unlikely!) I had taken an oriental ramen noodle salad to Nick's sister's house this week for a dinner, so I had tons of leftover pine nuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds to use up in a salad! (ORIENTAL SALAD WAS AMAZING! No pictures, but I've got the recipe if anyone wants it!)

Anyways, this dinner was a delicious Football Saturday stay at home meal!

So back to the bake. Here it was, right out of the oven! Oh so yummy and the smell was to die for in the kitchen!

I threw together a lose salad, like i said, of torn iceberg lettuce (99 cents!), leftover almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, remaining chopped onion and green pepper and olives from this dish, as well as the spanish chicken in the previous post. I added a little feta cheese leftover from this dish, some cherry tomatoes, and the salad was good to go!

I know, i know, but you want the recipe for the good stuff! Here it is!!

Greek Pasta Bake

1 package (12 oz) whole wheat penne pasta
4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast ( I bought about 2 lb of chicken, diced it, and cooked it myself- cheaper than pre-cooked chicken!)
1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cans (2.25 oz each) sliced black olives
1/2 red onion chopped
2 T chopped green bell pepper
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1/2 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

- If using raw chicken, dice and cook through
- Cook pasta according to package, drain
-Combine chicken, pasta, tomato sauce, tomatoes, spinach, olives, onion, green pepper, basil, and oregano in a large bowl and mix well
-Transfer to a casserole dish or a 9X13 pan coated in cooking spray. Sprinkle with the cheeses and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted.

Here she is peeking out of the oven!

Pull out, serve, and enjoy! SO SO good, and SO SO easy. Not pricy at all if you bargain shop on chicken! Here was Nick's plate: he added a little parmesan cheese to top it off!


Spanich Chicken

Okay- now this dish, was pretty good, if I do say so myself, and I usually don't brag about my own cooking! Spanish chicken- yum! If you don't like Mexican, don't be scared of this dish- its nothing like a Mexican Restaurant entree, I can guarantee that! So here's the recipe:

Spanish Chicken:
4 boneless skinless breast halves (I found some Perdue chicken that was THINLY sliced breast halves- PERFECT! I recommend these if you see them!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water
3/4 cups uncooked long grain rice (I used brown)
2 t chicken bouillon granules
1-3 t chili powder
1/8 t cinnamon
1/8 t cumin
1/8 t pepper
1/2 cup picante sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives, drained

In a large skillet, you brown chicken in oil for 2-3 minutes per side, until you get that good golden brown look!
 Remove the chicken and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute the onion, green pepper and garlic until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, rice, bouillon, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.

Then, pour everything into a greased 9X13 pan or any casserole dish you have. Top with the chicken.
COVER (I forgot to do this, and the rice could have been a LITTLE more tender!) and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until rice is to your desired tenderness. I took a picture at this point:

Uncover and spoon the picante sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer, just until the cheese is melted and then top with olives before serving. SOOO SOO GOOD! Here's a final picture:

PLEASE! Try this one. And enjoy :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry- IN THE WOK!

Okay, so this was delicious! We both loved it! Not too pricey, not too complicated. Pretty perfect if you are a garlic fan. NOTE: ALL THOSE WHO DISLIKE GARLIC... STEER CLEAR OF THIS RECIPE. 12 CLOVES REQUIRED!

Anyways, I made this dish in my new wok, which was awesome! I snapped a picture just because I was so happy to use another new kitchen appliance! Coming soon- THE PASTA MAKER! Thats besides the point though! You cook this dish without the lid, so be ready for your kitchen to smell like PARADISE (If China is paradise to you!) So, anyways, I marinated the chicken all day (it only requires about 30 minutes), but after that, i whipped this baby up in about 10 or 15 minutes!

I served it with brown rice, but I would recommend basmati or jasmine rice just due to the nature of the dish! Sometimes its worth it to bypass the healthy rice in a dish like this! I'LL DO IT NEXT TIME!

So, I realize this picture is a LITTLE blurry, but it was such a close up of the chicken, scallions, and mushrooms, I just couldn't resist!!! Here's the recipe:

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
1 pound chicken (I used tenders) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups water
3 T Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 T Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T cornstarch
10 scallions, biased cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup thin sliced fresh mushrooms
12 cloves of garlic, peeled, and minced (I ran them through a garlic press!)
You could throw water chestnuts in, but I chose not to!

2 cups cooked rice, whichever you prefer!

Whisk together water, soy sauce and vinegar. Pour over chicken. Marinate at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Drain and reserve marinade.  Add cornstarch to marinade, stir, and reserve.
Heat oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry the scallions, garlic, and mushrooms in the wok for about 3 minutes, remove and reserve.
Add chicken to the wok and stir fry until no longer pink. Push chicken away from the center of the wok, and add cornstarch mixture to center. Stir fry until thick and bubbly. Return veggies to the wok and cook together about 1 more minute.
Serve over rice.

YUMMMMMY! This is a keeper! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lime Pepper Chicken and Whole Wheat Couscous!

Lime Pepper Chicken and Whole Wheat Couscous

Our first real dinner, alone, at our apartment, since the honeymoon!!! This dinner was pretty good if I do say so myself! Nick seemed to enjoy it, but I still think its too early on for him to actually express any dislike of what I cook! Anyways, this was an easy marinade which only calls for 30 minutes in the fridge, but i gave it a good 10 hours since I had the time to plan ahead and do so! I just put some salsa in some condiment cups as a little dipping sauce (could be heated, but we ate it cold), and then I served some whole wheat couscous plain on the side!

The chicken was delicious! The marinade is the juice of one lime, a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of dried thyme, salt, pepper, and 1 large clove of minced garlic. Really easy, but really good! I baked it in the oven at 375 for about an hour, but I think it was done a little sooner! I need to purchase a meat thermometer with some of the gift cards we have to get better cooking times going, but it wasn't dried out at all! We loved it!

A pretty square meal indeed, here is a rough version of the recipe I used:

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Couscous

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lime, zested and then juiced
1 large clove of garlic, minced or crushed
1 T Olive Oil
1 tsp dried thyme or basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Any kind of salsa you prefer
1 cup whole wheat couscous

Put chicken in a tupperware. Mix all other ingredients together with a whisk and then pour over chicken. Keep in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better! When ready, preheat oven to 375, and bake 45 minutes to an hour in a shallow baking dish.

Wait until the chicken is about 10 minutes from being done and cook couscous according to box directions! Ouila! Easy, delicious, and cheap! Enjoy!