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, 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!