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, June 28, 2010

Super Simple Summer Chicken Salad!

This recipe was inspired by my lack of diversity in my lunch menu. Everyday I take the SAME lunch to work and it gets depressing by mid-week. I initiated the change at the grocery store by deciding I WOULD attempt to make a healthy chicken salad to put on a sandwich or on top of lettuce! I'd call it a success, but, see for yourself! I actually should say, TRY for yourself, because, my picture doesn't really do it justice!

Its healthy OF COURSE. Minimal mayo! Maximized on the benefits of Greek Yogurt which has multiple health benefits (and lots of protein!)

Here you go:

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken (shredded or cubed)
  • 1 T light mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (I use reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely diced granny smith apple
  • About 20 red grapes sliced in half
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1-2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Fresh tarragon (can use dried)
  • Fresh basil (can use dried)
  • Fresh parsley (can use dried)
  • You could add almonds (I forgot)
  • You could add about 1/4 tsp of ground corriander 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well! If there are other ingredients you would like to add, just go for it! Like i said, almonds would work great, maybe some finely diced onion!

Another option would be to send it through a food processor for a smooth consistency. If you do this, save the grapes and apples for last. You will want them whole :)

Enjoy :) I know I enjoyed a new lunch!

Brussel Sprouts Tossed with Pistachios and Dried Apricots!

Most of the ingredients are right in the title for you! No guess work involved! I got this recipe from a friend in the office! These were SO easy, but SO VERY delicious! Even Nick was surprised by how much he liked them!

Don't skip out on these! Great side dish option!

1.5 pounds of brussel sprouts (I got 2- 1lb bags of frozen)
2 T Olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup dried apricots finely diced
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped


If you are using frozen brussels, add about 1 cup of water and sprouts to a pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water immediately.

If you are using fresh, bring the water to a boil FIRST, then add sprouts and cook the same way until just tender.  Probably more like 3 minutes!

Then, heat your oil in a large skillet. Add all ingredients and toss together for about 5-6 minutes!

Serve up and ENJOY!

Don't turn your nose up at this until you try it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sweet Pepper Penne Pasta Pot! (How's That for Alliteration?)

This was a recipe straight out of a South Beach cookbook that I borrowed from my mom! The picture looked SO good in the book, that I had to make it!

You know... its that same way you feel when you see MY pictures, right!? HAH! Mostly kidding! But on a more serious note, this dinner is easy, its healthy, and its affordable. Are you sick of hearing that yet? I do need to showcase one of my newest Pampered Chef Items. You will see it after the "finely chopped onion" step!!


-8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 t Olive Oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-1/8 tsp black pepper
- 3 sweet cherry peppers, diced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
-1 large zucchini, shredded
- 3-4 oz feta cheese (goat cheese would work as well)
-1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced or chopped

And We're Off:

Here is my new chopper, and look at my nice evenly chopped onions!

Heat 1 tsp of your oil over medium-high heat. Add your onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often until onion is soft. 

Add the rest of the oil, your sweet peppers, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook. Remove from heat, but keep warm.

Now, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserving 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta.

Meanwhile, prep your tomatoes and zucchini (if you haven't already!)

Add pasta, reserved pasta cooking liquid, zucchini, cheese, tomatoes, and basil to skillet with peppers and onions; toss to combine. 

Cook over medium heat until pasta is just heated through and cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional pepper to taste and serve warm.

Serve it up, and do enjoy :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Healthy Chicken of the Greek!

So this is an easy GO TO recipe I got out of a Weight Watchers Magazine awhile back. It's pretty darn good. Very healthy. Very low calorie. Very delicious, as always! Is your mouth watering from the looks of this picture yet?

-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, UNDRAINED
-1/4 cup pitted kalamatta olives, sliced (or black olives if you prefer!)
-1 T minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese (I use ATHENOS)


1. Coat large skillet and chicken with cooking spray. Place chicken in the pan and cook on each side until well browned.

2. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes, olives, garlic, and pepper. Cover and cook 11 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat and sprinkle with feta cheese.

3. Serve. I prefer to serve it over fresh pasta, but, you can do whatever you'd like!

I also whipped up some baked green beans which were SO delicious. If you want the recipe, you better post comments to get it :) ENJOY!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sesame Stir Fry - You chose your meat!

So this is another recipe from Eating For Life! Such a great cookbook. Recipes are pretty simple, pretty cheap, but very tasty, light, and healthy! This recipe called for ground beef, but you all know me by now. I avoid red meat for the most part and go for the whites! I chose ground chicken because it was cheaper than ground turkey, but your options are endless! Have fun with this! I doubled the recipe (intending to have leftovers)-but if you half this, you would be JUST FINE!


1 pound ground meat
2 T Sesame Oil
2 cups Napa Cabbage, shredd
2 cups Broccoli Slaw
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked brown rice
One bundle of green onions
2 T Lite Soy Sauce
Ground Red Pepper to taste


First, cook your rice according to box directions. My brown rice takes about 45 minutes, so don't start the next step right away! 

Next, when rice is coming to a finish in cooking time, in a wok or large skillet, brown your meat until no longer pink. I used a WOK, of course :) Once finished, drain of any excess liquid and set aside.

Heat Sesame Oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and green onions. Stir fry constantly for about 2 minutes and then throw in the cabbage and the slaw. Cook again, for about 2 minutes. 

Drain rice. Add to veggie mix. Add soy sauce to entire combination. Continue to cook 2-5 minutes.

Lastly, add your ground meat to the rice and veggies and cook until flavors and components are well combined. Add red pepper to taste and serve!

We really liked this dish, and I know you will too!

Enjoy :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Pot Easy Gnocchi Dinner

This recipe was absolutely delcious! We loved it! For those of you who avoid buying grocery items you cannot pronounce, now is the time to branch out! It's a cheap, meatless meal, that is absolutely satisfying in flavor! Of course, I kept it health, but we all know that, so no need to elaborate!

What you'll need:

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 16-ounce package gnocchi (You could use white or sweet potato! Usually Trader Joe's has the sweet potato gnocchi if you are interested.)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 cups chopped green leaves, (about 1 small bunch)- spinach, chard, arugula will all work
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed (cannelloni or navy beans)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

The Process

First, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Next, add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Add in garlic and water. Stir, and then cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the leafy greens of your choice and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. 

Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Enjoy :) I couldn't get a great picture of this dish, but I do promise you it is worth a try! We truly enjoyed it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Whole Wheat Pita Pizzas!

Hello! Its been awhile and I'm so sorry. Work has been crazy. Went to the beach for the long weekend. And Ive been cooking off of my own blog. Can't blog my own recipes twice, you know?!

This has been a go to staple for us the past couple weeks. Trying to cut down on spending, cut down on calories, and cut down on prep time, this really did the trick! You can make these a million different ways! Here's what we did


Whole Wheat Pitas 
Pizza Sauce
Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil and Oregano (Dried will work too)
Sliced Tomatoes (Totally Optionals)

You can add any pizza toppings you like, but try and choose the healthy ones. We've also added pre-cooked diced chicken to ours!

Another option is to sub hummus for the pizza sauce. Its mighty tasty!

First, Doll them up

Here's a close up :)

You can either microwave individually about 2 minutes, or you can grill them about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. These, I've grilled, but we have microwaved others!

5 minutes later ....

And one more close up

I'm telling you, these are so yummy, but so easy! And so cheap, and mostly healthy!

Enjoy :)