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!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tomato-Balsamic GLAZED Mini Meatballs - Restaurant Quality!

These were EXCELLENT. To be honest, I over cooked mine a little, and would have prefered that I had doubled the glaze, but, STILL, they were delicious! Great flavor combination, great taste. The recipe calls for ground chicken (which would be great!) but I had ground turkey on hand, so, use either! Buy whatever is cheaper in my opinion, because both will work!

Ingredients for the Meatballs:

1 egg
2 T dried parsley
1 T tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup milk (I used skim- any kind will be fine)
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or regular)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese (I used a Kroger Brand Parmesan Reggiano!)
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I made my own out of plain wheat bread)

Ingredients for your Glaze:

1 T tomato paste
1 T Olive Oil
3/5 T Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar (I used a Truvia packet!)

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together youregg,  parsley, tomato paste, garlic, milk, salt, and pepper. Whisk until tomato paste is completely dissolved and there are no remaining "Chunks."

Add your chicken or turkey, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Mix well (using your hands) and shape into mini meatballs (A mini ice cream scoop would work, but I just eyeballed it)

Make your glaze by whisking together sugar, tomato paste, olive oil, and balsamic. Brush, or spoon, over each meatball. You may decide you want more glaze!

Pop these little guys in the oven 30ish minutes, or until cooked to an internal temp of 165 for turkey, 170 for chicken.

Remove and place on a plate. Drizzle with balsamic vingar.

Here's a close up of these yummy little meatballs!

They were FULL of flavor. Serve with couscous, orzo, pasta, whatever you like/have!

We devoured them!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One Pot Paprika Chicken with Potatoes ... It's yum!

This meal was pretty darn good if I can brag on my own cooking a little bit :) I used my kitchen aid attachment to make the potatoes SUPER thin, but, you can slice them if all you've got is a knife! The best part about this meal? One pot clean up!


2 chicken breasts
1 pound of potatoes, thinly sliced (I used Yukon Gold)
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 T paprika
2 T Olive Oil
1 t dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow or white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

In a small bowl, combine paprika, salt, 1 T of the oil, pepper, and thyme. Rub mixture over the chicken and set aside while you prep the potatoes.

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 tsp salt, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and 1 T of the oil.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the potato mixture. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add your chicken broth.

Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, nestle the chicken into the potatoes, cover, and cook about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.

This serves 2, and is absolutely perfect for a weeknight 30 minute meal!

Enjoy :) 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jamaica me CRAZY Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice!

With this gorgeous weather we've been having, as well as everyone else being on Spring Break, I found myself in the mood for a Caribbean meal! If you can't take a vacation, at least eat like you're on one! And thats what we did tonight! I found this jerk chicken recipe on Crepes of Wrath. The rice was fantastic. It thickened up almost to the consistency of a risotto which was just divine. Plus, the little dash of sugar makes this rice absolutely divine. Don't miss out on this meal!

Jerk Chicken:

*This list looks lengthy, but you most likely have ALL of these spices on hand and don't even realize it!*

About 1 pound of chicken (I used thinly sliced cutlets to cook faster)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup Orange Juice
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup + 2 T white wine vinegar (or rice wine)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 heaping tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp ground sage
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small white or yellow onion, minced
1 habenero chile pepper, minced (These are in the produce section near jalepenos!)

Here's how easy this really is:

1. Combine all spices in a medium sized bowl. Add liquid ingredients and mix together.

2. Add in the onions and habenero to the bowl and stir again. You don't need the next picture, but I was very proud of my mincing, so you must see it! Also, if you can find a habenero chile pepper that is red, go for that! I could only find green!

Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade to brush over chicken as it cooks.

3. Pound chicken thin, making each piece and even thickness to keep cooking time consistent.
4.Put chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour all but the 1/4 cup of marinade over it. Let it marinate at least 3 hours, or overnight. (I did 3 hours, and it was just fine!)

5. Heat your grill to medium-high. I had to use an indoor grill. You could use your broiler in your oven as well. If using a grill, cook about 3 minutes per side over direct heat, and then 5 minutes on indirect heat or until cooked through.
6. Brush chicken with marinade as it cooks.

*Optional: Don't discard remaining marinade and place in a small skillet. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is ready. Spoon over the chicken for additional jerk flavor!*

Cilantro Rice:

1 cup brown rice (or any kind you prefer)
1 cup water
1- 15 oz can chicken broth
1 tsp lime juice + 1 T lime juice, divided
1 tsp EVOO
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
3 T cilantro, chopped

All you do is combine rice, water, chicken broth, 1 tsp lime juice, Olive Oil, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook about 40-45 minutes (white rice wouldn't take as long).

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together sugar, remaining tablespoon of lime juice, and cilantro. Once rice finishes cooking, stir mixture into rice as you fluff it.

Serve it up!

Enjoy! This is such a tasty dinner. I also made a little side salad and chopped some of the leftover cilantro right into the salad (props to my friend Amy for the suggestion!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Eat your Veggies .... "Pasta Parmesan!"

To be quite honest, this meal was a pleasant surprise. I had cooked 4 meals this week, none of which had substantial leftovers for Thursday evening. Knowing i had endless options of pasta in the pantry (as always!) I started to brainstorm a pasta dish. I knew I had carrots to work with, and I had bought a bag of frozen chopped broccoli for $1 at Kroger for no intentional purpose whatsoever! It worked out mighty fine I must say. This is a simple recipe.

 Takes less than 15 minutes to get on the table. Nick LOVED it. I was pretty nervous to serve this up considering it was a conglomeration of leftovers and everything but the kitchen sink basically. We left NOTHING in the pan by the end of the night. I'll be making it again!

I'm sure you're thinking, okay - enough - get to the recipe already. And I will. But let me also emphasize, this is PRETTY DARN HEALTHY!


9oz pasta (Any kind you want- I used skinny whole wheat penne)
1 cup of shredded carrot
1 cup of frozen broccoli (mini or chopped) cooked 
1/4 cup light Italian Dressing
1 tsp sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions
2. If you haven't already, cook your frozen broccoli 
3. While pasta is cooking, add oil to a medium sized skillet. Once hot, add carrot, dressing, vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Cook about 2-3 minutes until soft.

4. Remove from heat. 
5. Drain pasta.
6. In a medium-large bowl, combine pasta, carrot mixture, and broccoli. Add cheese and toss together until well combined. Serve!

Enjoy :)

There's no way you COULDN'T enjoy this. SO fast. SO easy. SO yummy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chili Spiced Turkey over Fire Roasted Veggies

A perfect meal for the Spring/Summer. Healthy vegetables with a kick served under lean spiced meat- you'll want to try this!


1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp salt
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1.25 lb Turkey Breast Cutlets
3 T Olive Oil
1 pound zucchini (about 3-4 small), sliced in half LENGTHWISE (hot dog style) and then sliced into 1/4 inch slices
10 oz frozen corn, thawed
1 cup canned diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained


Saute onion and garlic in a large skillet until soft, about 4 minutes.

Add zucchini and cook about 4 more more minutes

Add corn and tomatoes along with 1/2t of the salt and simmer until zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium sauce pan and cover to keep warm while you cook the turkey. I kept mine on low heat.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T oil in a large skillet. Combine chili powder, cumin, and 1tsp of salt. Rub all over turkey and pan fry in the skillet.

I gave mine a good pan fry (about 4-5 minutes per side) and then I popped them in the oven at 400 degrees and cooked them about 20 more minutes until they were done. If you have a meat thermometer, cook to 175 degrees. Yours many cook all the way through on the stove, but I got impatient and transferred them!

Once ready, serve atop the veggies. (We had some sweet potato mash alongside).

We really enjoyed this! The meat had a great rub on it, and the vegetables were light and tasty!

You could use chicken to make this if you want, but- the turkey is a good choice if you have the option!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Spicy Chicken Schwarma

This was an extremely easy dinner. I was looking for something I could whip up that would be healthy, but most of all EASY after eating Easter dinners and desserts! We got back in town around 5 yesterday. We were home from the store by 6, and dinner was ready by about 6:30. Nick loved these. I LOVE the authentic ones that you'd find at Middle Eastern places, but this was a good makeshift version!

*Disclaimer: I could NOT photograph this in a way that made it look as appetizing/delicious as it was for us. I actually just split mine down the middle so you could kind of see the layers!


2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
5 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt, divided (or plain low-fat yogurt)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced (I honestly only used 2 breasts!)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
4 (6-inch) pitas, halved
1/2 cup chopped cucumber (I didn't add cucumber, only because I forgot)
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
1/4 cup prechopped red onion

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. 

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently.
2. While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well. 

Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini mixture inside each pita half; divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with 1 tablespoon cucumber(if you have it), 1 tablespoon tomato, and 1 1/2 teaspoons onion.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Orzo Stuffed Bell Peppers ... A NEWLYWED ALL TIME FAVORITE!

Eating Well nailed it on this recipe! Wow was it ever good! I mean, I could have JUST eaten the orzo filling, but the peppers were great too. And the best part .... MICROWAVE AND STOVE TOP. Skip the oven with this recipe. Oh, you don't want to breeze past this one. Its meatless- but you won't miss the meat! I PROMISE!


4 bell peppers of your choice (Red was cheapest- so we had red!)
1/2 cup whole wheat orzo 
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 T Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 oz baby spinach roughly chopped
1 t dried oregano
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed), chopped
1 T Sherry Vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt

So the first thing you want to do is slice your peppers in half LENGTHWISE straight through the stem. De-seed the peppers and remove white membrane. You can leave the stem attached for easy pick up, or remove it (I removed them). Place them face down in a baking dish and fill with 1/2 inch of water. Put in the MICROWAVE for about 9 minutes or until softened. (You are basically steaming them.) 
When they come out, drain the water out and flip them over.

Meanwhile, toast up your orzo in a medium sauce pan for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of boiling water (or really hot water). Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 8 minutes. Drain and rinse in cool water.

Mash chickpeas into a thick paste (leaving some whole) and set aside. 

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook 4 minutes until soft. Add oregano and spinach and cook 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted

Add sun-dried tomatoes, chick peas, orzo, vinegar, and salt. Cook until heated through.

This in and of itself could be a meal or side dish. SO good! Add 1/2 cup of your feta cheese and cook 1 minute more and remove from heat.

Stuff your peppers! Sprinkle remaining feta cheese over top each pepper.

Cover pan with foil until ready to serve. They will stay pretty warm for awhile! We, of course, served ours alongside the TJ's green beans, but chose any veggie you like!

We WILL be having the leftovers tonight. These were phenomenal!

Enjoy :) It'll be a favorite!