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, October 4, 2010

New website

All new posts will be on

Become a follower :) Thanks!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Old Fashioned BBQ SECRET Sauce

I recently discovered this awesome BBQ sauce over labor day, thanks to my monther-in-law, or as I prefer to call her, MOG (Mother of the Groom!) I went nuts over it and called her once I got back home to get the recipe! It's so easy, but so great! I just want to make this stuff in bulk and store it somehow. That really isn't necessary, but you get the idea!

Put it on chicken, sausage, you name it! You'll love it! I promise :) We did chicken this week!


1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup oil
1 cup ketchup
2 T mustart
2 T worcestire
2 T sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper


Saute your onion in the oil until soft.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.

After letting this cool about 10 minutes, I dumped it all over our chicken breasts. You could refrigerate it for later use if you want!

Just a quick shot of these bbq beauties on the grill

Is your mouth watering yet?

Enjoy these :) Thanks Moet for this awesome recipe. Not sure mine was as good as yours but i tried!

Let's all say farewell to summer with STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE!

I have been wanting to make an easy and healthy strawberry shortcake for awhile now. I finally did it! I hope you will try it! But hurry! These strawberries won't be in season much longer, if at all!!


1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup oil (or applesauce which yields a sponge-like cake)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
4-5 cups fresh sliced strawberries
Light Cool Whip OR Vanilla Yogurt


1. Mix together flour and baking powder. 
2. Add in eggs, honey, oil vanilla, and milk. Stir well and then pour into a greased 8X8 baking dish. 

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean!
4. Allow cake to cool to room temperature (half an hour or so). See how sponge-like this is? I used applesauce!

5. Top with cool whip or yogurt and then strawberries

6. Serve it up and enjoy :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Inside out Feta Cheese Burgers!

Quite a tasty little treat these were! Change it up by using lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken. Any of them would work beautifully as the meat for this stuffed burger!

These are so easy to throw together! I have lately become a rather lazy cook and seek out those kinds of meals. After a full day of work, sometimes I just can't muster up enough energy to do a 5 star meal. Anyways, lets get to it!

Ingredients AND Directions:

Part One: For the Salsa Topping
3 roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons of sweet onion, diced
2 t fresh chopped oregano
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt 

Mix all ingredients together and let sit at room temperature until burgers are ready.

Part Two: For the Filling
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
A small handful of sun-dried tomatoes 
A small handful of sliced black olives
1 tsp Olive Oil

Mash all ingredients together with a fork.

For the Meat
1-2 pounds of ground meat (I only used 1 pound, but had enough filling for 2 pounds!)
1 T Garlic Pepper

Mix garlic pepper into meat and then form into 4-8 balls, depending on amount of meat. You have 2 options at this point. Mix a little topping throughout each ball and then form into patties. OR. Press your thumb into the middle of each ball and place about a tablespoon of filling in each hole.

Cover holes and form into patties

I went with option 2, but i think option one would give you move flavor throughout the entire burger.

Throw these guys on the grill until cooked though (Juices run clear)

Serve topped with salsa! You can serve these on buns/sandwich flats etc. I personally think they would taste great with a shmear of hummus on them as well!
Here they are:

Enjoy :) And feel free to leave out any of the stuffing if you aren't a fan! Take out the olives if you aren't a fan! Very versatile stuffing!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I chose the title of this post for a reason. It's an obvious one. This soup will literally last you for weeks. You can freeze it in bulk, or individual portions to get out one at a time! This is a slow cooker soup which is so great to come home to after a work day. Not only is dinner ready, but your house will smell delightful!

For those of you who don't want soup to last you through the winter, just half the recipe. However, I don't think you'll be sorry for having a plethora of leftover soup!

3/4 cup dry elbow macaroni (whole wheat if you can)
2 quarts chicken broth
2 large onions, diced
2 carrots, sliced
half a head of cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup celery, diced
1-lb can tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 T minced parsley
1/4 cup each frozen corn, peas, and lima beans (or 3/4 cup of frozen mixed veggies of your choice)
1/4 tsp pepper
Grated parmesan or romano cheese for "topping" soup at the end

1. Precook your macaroni according to the box/package and refrigerate while the rest cooks
2. Combine all ingredients except macaroni and cheese in your crock pot/slow cooker.
3. Cover, and cook on low 8 hours. Add macaroni to pot when you get home and cook an additional 10-20 minutes to heat through
4. Garnish individual bowls with cheese and serve!

Funny story. I asked my sweet husband to throw the refrigerated noodles in the crock pot because he was going to beat me home from work. He ended up throwing the remaining BOX of uncooked noodles in the pot.... perhaps that's why ours served 12??? Either way, the noodles only took about half an hour to soften up and we enjoyed it all the same!

Slice up a fresh baguette and serve alongside your soup! Enjoy :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Newlywed Chef Collection Cookbook

Hello all my faithful followers! Thanks to your feedback, the first annual cookbook is made and ready for pre-order!

Depending on how many orders I get, the book will cost between 25-30 dollars. It is currently a 75 page, softcover, book. Every recipe has a photo to accompany it. There are over 50 recipes in the book, including the regular tabs found on the blog (meatless meals... chinese take outs etc.)

2 things I need from anyone who is reading this:

1. Would you like to preorder, and if so, how many?
2. Is there a specific recipe that you want to make sure is included?

I have this posted on facebook as well, if you want to find the post there! Please only respond on facebook or on this webiste, otherwise I may lose track of how many we are ordering! Share this with your friends if you think they'll be interested... the more we get to order, the lower the price :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spice up your life! Cilantro Turkey Burgers topped with Chipotle Ketchup!

These were some of the easiest burgers to throw together, quickest to cook, and delightful to eat! If you aren't a cilantro fan, try substituting parsley or basil, however, I cannot guarantee the ketchup will pair quite as well- you may want to stick with regular ketchup in that case!

Anyways, here are the ingredients!

1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (or more really)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound ground turkey

For the Chipotle Ketchup (if you opt in):
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp of chipotle in adobo SAUCE (you could chop up one of the peppers if you dare!)

I would just like to say that I grilled these all by myself :) Nick was out of town, so I had the pleasure of cooking with my dearest friend, and Washington-bound, Marissa. We enjoyed these thoroughly with some baked sweet potato fries and grilled corn on the cobb! They were MIGHTY TASTY!

Anyways, for those of you who need instructions:

1. Preheat grill or broiler
2. Mix all ingredients for burgers together and form into 4-6 patties.
3. Grill about 5 minutes per side or until done
4. If you desire, serve atop a whole wheat bun and top with ketchup, maybe lettuce and tomato if you are in the mood!

Enjoy :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Spaghetti- Spaghetti Squash .... ITS AMORE!

Most of you probably won't even look twice at this post because it has the word squash in it. My own husband heard what i was making and said, "Is that all we're having?" HE LOVED THIS. I loved this. It's a GREAT way to switch up your normal spaghetti/Italian night of the week. Its HEALTHY, of course, but its GOOD. Different texture, different flavor, you'll enjoy this! You can add whatever you like in your pasta to this basic recipe, but here's how I made mine:

  • 1 medium-large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 small-medium zucchini, diced (chopped small)
  • 1 onion finely diced (red or sweet)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 can of any kind of tomatoes (stewed, diced, chopped, you name it!)
  • Basil if you have it, oregano if you have it, any fresh herbs you'd like!
  • Pepper (I never add salt to dishes with canned ANYTHING, but you can!)
  • 1/2 cup (Or more) of grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling on top

Now, those of you who are extremely loyal followers, you'll notice I made the standard beans... AGAIN. You must understand, these beans are like $2 for a huge bag. And they are my GO-TO vegetable for us. I will most likely force feed my children green beans in the future if I am still making them as frequently as I do now.

Anyways, back to the reason you are even reading this post in the first place! Here are your directions. Simple, I promise:

1. Cook your squash. You have options. You can bake it, you can nuke it (microwave it) OR you can do my personal fave: boil it for about half an hour in a large stock pot until fork tender.

2. Once you get the squash going, saute your onion and garlic in a little olive oil in a small skillet. Add your zucchini and tomatoes. Simmer over low heat until your squash is ready. At the LAST minute, add any herbs, seasonings, and pepper.

3. Drain squash and use a fork to get the squash out of the shell. Mix in a large bowl with sauce and add your cheese to your hearts content!

4. Serve and enjoy :) I promise you won't be disappointed with this meal! Your men will be pleasantly surprised. And so will your credit card at the grocery store.

If your husband is a meat only at meals type guy... you could easily mix ground beef into this sauce or cook some of my Chicken Parmesan to go alongside :) Just some quick suggestions!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Snack Bars

I made these AWESOME little treats last week for Nick when he was going to Ohio for a golf tournament. They were "pick me ups" for when the guys got hungry while on the course! He loved them! I shared them with a friend and of course my Mom and there was a resounding approval of them. This weekend, Nick asked for them again to take to work as a snack! So, since I got to make them again, I chose to post them! These are AWESOME. Lots of options, but here's the basics:


  • 1/2 cup organic peanut butter (only ingredients should be peanuts and salt)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 
  • 2 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 T Canola Oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dry rolled oats
  • 2 cups brown rice cereal ( I used some Kashi cereal)
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (used this the first time, not the second)
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (used this the first time, but Nick ate them all, couldn't use them the second time!)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
(Options, options, options: Try almonds instead of peanuts. Sub ANY dried fruit for the apricots and figs such as raisins, craisins, cherries, apples, dates etc. ANYTHING will work!)


1. Combine oats, cereal, wheat germ, peanuts, dried fruit, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Melt peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, oil, and syrup together. Add cinnamon. Once runny and smooth, pour into dry mixutre. Mix well.

3. Pour mixture into a WELL GREASED 9X13 pan. Grab a piece of foil, wax paper, or parchment paper and push mixture into a firm flat layer in pan. Pop in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, then cut into squares or bars!

*I individually wrap mine and then keep them in the refrigerator. They are pretty fragile, so the cooler they are, the better they hold together**


I did bars the first time, this time was squares!!


Chicken Dinner in a Foil Packet .... MEDITERANNEAN style!

So this is a tasty chicken recipe! It can go on the grill, or be popped in to the oven :) I found it on the Food Network and it was a keeper! The ingredient list may look extensive, but it's pretty cheap, and i had the majority of ingredients on hand! Here we go :)




  • 4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I only did 3)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions (1 whole onion)
  • 1 cup drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I used the non-oil packed)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespooons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
See? Nothing tricky in that list! Now comes the fun part!


1. Prepare a grill, or preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

2. Prepare 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil- obviously 3 if you do less chicken. Make the foil sheets pretty large- they will be STUFFED! Fold in half crosswise to crease, then unfold. Divide the spinach among the 4 foil sheets, placing it in the center of the bottom half.

3. Lightly coat both sides of each chicken breast with oil, then season with the Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Place one chicken fillet in the center of each spinach portion.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the onions, tomatoes, olives, garlic, wine, basil, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and stir to combine. Pile the tomato mixture on top of each chicken breast, spreading to cover evenly and allow any liquid to puddle around the chicken.

5. Top each portion with 1 ounce of cheese.

6. One at a time, fold the top of the foil over the chicken, and starting at the corner, fold the edges of foil over to tightly seal, each fold overlapping the previous one.

7. Place on the grill, or if using the oven, place the packets on a baking sheet and bake until the packages puff and the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. You may want to use a meat thermometer as cooking times will vary upon heat and coking method!

8. Remove from the grill or oven, and cut the tops of the packets open with a small, sharp knife. Serve immediately either in the foil packets, or by removing the chicken, toppings and sauce to dinner plates.

Enjoy :) These were so yummy and so flavorful! Like the title says, chicken dinner in one packet! Try this!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Taste of India Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt Slaw

I know the majority of you will look at that title and think I've gone out on a limb with the Indian cuisine, and that's okay. But, this is TAME. I've had some heavily influenced Indian meals, and this was not one of them. This is just a TASTE of Indian spice with turmeric and ginger (staple spices of Indian cuisine!)

I hope you'll try this! It's so easy, so healthy, and as always, so delicious. Don't skip out on the yogurt slaw!

Easy Shopping List:
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts halves (10 to 12 ounces each)
2 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
(Rice: Optional)
For your chicken:
  1. Preheat oven to 475°. In a large bowl, mix together 1/2 cup yogurt, garlic, turmeric, ginger, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; toss until well coated.
  2. Transfer chicken to baking dish and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 160° , 25 to 30 minutes. Mine was done at 30 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, peel apple; coarsely grate into a medium bowl. Add cilantro and remaining 1/2 cup yogurt; season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce alongside chicken, with rice, if desired!

Loved this yogurt sauce! We put it right on top  of our chicken, but you could just dip if you prefer!!

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Adobo Meatballs with Chunky Sauce!

These are absolutely incredible. I found this recipe about a year or so ago on They are a little involved, I just want you to know that up front, but they are well worth the effort! Please note, all herbs can be substituted with dry herbs as long as you HALF the amount I used! For those of you with herb gardens (cough cough AMY)- go for the real thing!

Now, let me also say, this is BEST served over spaghetti (duh, like spaghetti and meatballs!)- but I ran out of time and was too lazy to dirty another pot, so, we had them plain! MAKE THE PASTA! So worth the full effect! Here we go:

Start by making your sauce:
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find them)
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1 large chipotle in adobo sauce, minced (if you like it HOT, add 2: Amanda Tucker ONLY USE ONE)
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves 
Saute your onion for about 5 minutes, or until it turns translucent. Then add in your garlic and cook 1 more minute. 
Add remaining ingredients (except basil!) and cook for 10 minutes and let liquid get thick!

Meanwhile, work on making your meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (or chicken) meat
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread pulsed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Lots of fresh ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and form into small balls. It should give you about 12 if you make them the right size!
Pop them in the oven (ON BROIL) for 10 minutes.

Once they come out, well browned, and mostly cooked through, add them to your sauce!

*If you are making spaghetti, start it at this point!*

Let meatballs cook while pasta is cooking. Cover them. Remove sprig of rosemary and throw in your fresh basil.

Once spaghetti is done, drain, and then add to large pot with meatballs and sauce. Serve and garnish with fresh Parmesan and chopped parsley

Serve it up, and enjoy! These are to die for!

Peppered Pork Chops with Parmesan Spaghetti.... SQUASH!

This is a dinner that I made when we had our first house guests. I just got around to remaking it this week! It is actually from one of my Rachael Ray Cookbooks.. yes, I actually opened one of them! 
I actually added an easy spinach side dish to this meal when Amanda and Carter were over, but i was too lazy to go all out for just Nick and I, but I'll post the recipe if you want it!

First, let me walk you through the spaghetti squash! For those of you who have never heard of it, or seen it, it is an oval squash, yellow on the outside, and when you cook it, it SHREDS itself apart like spaghetti noodles!

First, you'll want to slice it in half and seed the squash. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and then place squash in the pot, flesh side down. Boil about 20 minutes and then remove. (For this recipe, reserve 1/4 cup of your cooking liquid)

Once its cooled enough to the touch, take a fork and shred the flesh out:

You should be able to get it all the way to the skin:

See that? You use it ALL! Then, just add to a medium sized bowl, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, your reserved cooking liquid, LOTS of fresh ground pepper, salt and 2 t of Olive Oil. Serve it up!

If you don't think this looks good, get an opinion from Amanda:

Onto the Peppery Pork Chops! These are awesome, and so easy!

All you need:

4 boneless pork loin chops, about 1inch thick each
Salt and Pepper
2 T Olive Oil
1 small-medium yellow pepper, sliced
1 small-medium orange pepper, sliced
3 sweet cherry peppers, sliced (find these jarred near the roasted red peppers)
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth (mainly used to de-glaze your pan!)
 2 T chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)

Salt and Pepper both sides of your chops

Cook in 1 T of your oil in a skillet over medium-high heat about 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet, and set aside

Now, add a little more oil to your pan and throw in your bell peppers. Saute about 5 minutes, then add your cherry peppers. Cook about 5 more minutes and then add your white wine, or chicken broth to get all the yummy parts stuck on the bottom of the pan!

Once most of the liquid has been re-absorbed, pour pepper mixture over your pork chops and garnish with the fresh parsley!

Enjoy :) This is a keeper! And, yes, I know you cannot see the pork in this picture, but its just because of all those healthy veggies covering it up :)

Fresh and Easy Asian Salad

This is a good one! Easy and quick to throw together! Not too much to it. Just throw and go! Now, of course, I didn't get a good picture, but I have a GREAT reason. I made this at 7am so that my husband would have dinner while I made the opening day of ECLIPSE. So, sorry if you are motivated by pictures, but believe me, this is EXTREMELY tasty!!

Combine the following:

1 bag (or head) of lettuce of your choice (romaine, butter, etc.)
1 8 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 pkg of grilled chicken strips (pre-cooked)
1 cup of Chow Main noodles
1 cup of snap peas, cooked to al dente
1.5 cups cooked and shelled edamame
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper chopped or sliced

(You could easily add almonds to this!)

Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing

Add dressing to individual servings, because you WILL have leftovers :)