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!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Taco Soup and Homemade Corn Bread Muffins :)

This is an EASY, CHEAP, and delicious combination! Healthy cornbread, and healthy taco soup! PERFECT for a cold and rainy day! (Or foggy like today!)

First, the Taco Soup

Nick got this recipe from Brittany at his office. Brittany, if you're reading this, thank you!!

Whatcha need:

1 lb ground turkey (Yes, you could use beef or chicken!)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet dry ranch seasoning (Hidden Valley)
1 can Original Rotel
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chicken broth
1 can yellow corn, rinsed and drained

Any kind of cheese for sprinkling
You could get sour cream if you want
Tortilla tips to crush over the top

Really, there isn't much to the instructions.

Brown your meat in some olive oil (I seasoned the meat with cumin, chili powder in salt, but you don't have to)

Then, add your taco mix and ranch seasoning:

Now, add everything else!

Let this simmer as long as you'd like. Meanwhile.... why don't you make some cornbread!?

Healthy Whole Wheat Honey Corn Bread

Whatcha need:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 t Olive Oil
2 t Honey
1 egg
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Mix your batter JUST until all is combined, don't over-mix or you risk dry bread!

Heap about 2 spoonfulls of mix into muffin tins (or a bread pan if you rather)

Pop in the oven at 450 degrees

In they go.....

Cook them about 12-15 minutes (watching them constantly after the 10 minute mark) until they are done and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Try to get them out of the pan/muffin tins as soon as possible to prevent them from continuing to cook.

Immediately wrap them in foil and keep warm for up to 3 hours until ready to serve with the soup.

Thats it! Dress up your soup, add a cornbread muffin, and enjoy :)

We sure did!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chai Spiced Buttermilk Pancakes!

I found this recipe on As soon as I saw the title, I knew i needed to make these pancakes! Unfortunately, I didn't get an awesome picture for you that will make you NEED to try them the way I did, but, hopefully you trust me enough as a "Chef-Wannabe" that you'll know I wouldn't post a recipe on here if it wasn't good!


2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup brewed chai tea
1/2 t vanilla extract

Mix these wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Once blended, add the following:

2 cups of all purpose flour (I used whole wheat b/c it was all I had!)
3 T Sugar
2 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
3/4 t Cinnamon
A pinch of cloves
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 t salt

Allow batter to sit, and thicken, about 3 minutes. Preheat your griddle, or skillet. I also preheat my oven to about 170 when I make pancakes so that they can sit in there and stay warm!

Pour one ladle of batter into the skillet and wait for bubbles to form at the top of the pancake. Flip, and cook until golden brown. Repeat until batter is gone.

I ended up making about 6 large pancakes. But you could probably make any number you want depending on the size!

Add butter, syrup, or honey, and enjoy :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


For those of you who know me pretty well, you know that one of the staples in my cooking repertoire is Rachael Ray's famous Mexican Lasagna. This meal is fail-proof. I mean that. There is no special trick. You just layer a bunch of Mexican goodness and come out with a cheesy, delicious dinner! Try it, you won't be sorry. I prefer to serve Mexican Rice with this dish. Try out The Ultimate Mexican Rice earlier on this blog. GOOD MATCH!

Another thing- this meal is pretty healty. You can choose low carb/low fat tortillas, and skim cheese, and you've got a well rounded, HEALTHY meal. See for yourself!

2 pounds of lean ground turkey (you could use ground chicken or ground beef as well)
2 T Olive Oil
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 T Chili Powder
2 t Cumin

1 cup Frozen Corn Kernels (I prefer yellow over white for this recipe)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 cup taco sauce or 14 oz of stewed or FIRE ROASTED tomatoes! *I use taco sauce*
Salt to taste
8- 8'' whole wheat, or spinach tortillas *I prefer spinach tortillas, but used wheat this time*
2 1/2 cups shredded mexican or cheddar cheese (I use part skim)

Here we go. Don't blink, its so easy.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1. In a LARGE skillet, brown the turkey in the oil with the onions, chili powder, and cumin until turkey is no longer pink
2. Add corn, taco sauce, and beans. Salt to taste.
3. Once it has simmered about 3-5 minutes and warmed through, you're ready to layer.
4. Quarter your tortillas into wedges.
5. In a 9X13 pan, put a layer of the turkey mixture. Top with tortillas. Top those with cheese. Another layer of meat, tortillas, top with cheese. I usually only do 2 layers, but do whatever you have room for!
6. Bake 12-15 minutes in the oven until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Cut it up and serve it. I found a new trick for slicing it. PIZZA CUTTER. It worked SO well. Cut right through the tortillas and cheese without ruining the layers!

ALSO: If you have 2- 10X10 dishes, try following the recipe and making it in two separate pans. Put one in the oven, cover the second and put it in the freezer for future recipes! Especially if there are only 2 of you at home! That way, you just take it out one day, pop it in the oven for probably 30-45 minutes and its ready to go without all the prep work! ENJOY!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Slow Cooked Italian Chops!

Today I slow cooked some pork chops all day in some Italian homemade sauce. Pretty good if I do say so myself. The pork FALLS apart, and it requires minimum, CHEAP ingredients. EVEN THE PORK was on sale at Kroger!

I'll post the recipe at the bottom! Go through the cooking method with me first!

1. Salt and pepper 4 boneless, lean, pork chops. Brown in 1T of Olive Oil, about 3 minutes per side, in a skillet. Transfer to Slow Cooker

Now, in the SAME pan you started the pork in, saute a chopped onion, a minced clove of garlic, and 8 oz of mushrooms for about 2 minutes, just until they start to soften.

Now, add your veggies on top of your pork in the slow cooker.

At this point, take about 1/4 cup of the white COOKING wine and deglaze the skillet, pour wine and scrapings over the veggies.

Now, make your sauce to go on top in a separate bowl by combining 2-8oz cans of tomato sauce, the juice of half of a lemon, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t basil, 1/2 t oregano, and 1/2 t parsley.

Now, pour the sauce over the pork and veggies.

Here is your BEFORE picture

Let that cook about 8 hours on low

And then you'll get to walk in the door, after a long day of work to not only the aroma of the pork cooking in the spices, but this beautiful AFTER picture as well:

All you have left to do is cook up some spaghetti to serve it over and get out some parmesan cheese to top it off!

SOOOOOOO GOOD! We really enjoyed it, and i hope you will too! Just give it a try. A little work in the morning (less than 20 minutes) and a lotta work for the slow cooker all day long!

4 lean, boneless pork chops
Salt and Pepper to season pork
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup white cooking wine (dry)- cheaper than the real deal ;)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t parsley
1/2 basil
2- 8oz cans tomato sauce
Juice of half of a lemon

(Spaghetti to serve it over!) I hope I didn't leave anything out, but everything should be in the instructions as well :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Turkey Noodle Stew with Sweet Potato Dumplings

This was a delicious, homemade, and "loosey-goosey" recipe. I'll give you the ingreidents, but the measurements do NOT need to be exact. Also, the pictures aren't AWESOME just because it was hard to photograph, but this meal was PERFECT for a cold day. It was filling, it was hearty, it was TASTY.

It was supposed to be a "leftover thanksgiving ingredients" dish, but you don't have to have leftovers to make it (we sure didn't! We being... me and my mom! We made this together while the guys were at a football game)  Also- you could substitute ANY of the veggies you see, any of the seasonings... but I must say, were I to make this again, I wouldn't change A THING! Except, maybe I would half it! It could have served 8-10 people!

Now, this ingredient list looks long, but you'll have a lot of it on hand, so please dont' write this off yet! (Thanks!)

Ingredients for Soup:
1-2 pounds of turkey breast
1 onion
1 bag of sliced carrots, or 1 bag of carrots, sliced!
Celery (probably about 1 cup sliced)
1 can of peas, or frozen peas
About 4-6 oz eggless noodles (we used whole wheat eggless noodles)
fresh or dried thyme
fresh or dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
1 quart + 1/2 can of chicken broth

Ingredients for Dumplings:
2 small-medium sweet potatoes
1.25 cups flour
2 t baking powder
Salt and pepper
1.5 cups buttermilk

Note: This is some-what time consuming, but here's how we did it.
1. Place turkey breasts in a shallow baking dish filled with about 1/2 inch of water. Season with a couple sprigs of rosemary and thyme, as well as salt and pepper. We liberally seasoned the turkey with the herbs because they will eventually get thrown in the big pot. Cook turkey until done, about an hour. (Internal temp should be 165)
2. Cube and steam sweet potatoes. If your steamer stacks, steam carrots as well. Obviously you could boil both if you prefer to do that.
3. Cook eggless noodles according to package. Once they are finished, DO NOT STRAIN. Set aside, and let them absorb all liquid in the pot.
3. Once turkey is done, allow it to cool. Then, in a dutch oven, over medium heat (or large soup pot), add Olive Oil. Saute onions until soft. Add carrots and peas.
4. Meanwhile, mash up sweet potatoes, add the flour, the baking powder, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Whip until they are one consistency. Set aside
5. Shred turkey once it has finished baking.
6. Add all broth to the pot of veggies. Add in turkey along with the juice leftover from baking it in the oven. If using fresh herbs, pull off some rosemary leaves and toss into the pot. Add noodles.
7. Simmer about 20 minutes, covered, and bump oven up to 400 degrees.
8. In heaping tablespoons, scoop up sweet potato mixture and drop into stew. (Its okay if they touch each other!)
9. Place in oven, covered, and cook 30 more minutes.

You won't believe the delight you will find in this stew. It is savory and delicious. I cannot say enough good things about it. Its like chicken and dumplings taken to an ENTIRE new level!

ENJOY! And if you have questions, e-mail me! I know I was vague about a lot of the directions, but we really were just throwing things together and making it up as we went!

I tried to get a good photo with the dumplings in it, but, its nothing to write home about:

That big lump is a dumpling and they are AMAZING. You'll want to search the pot for another once you taste it!