Mini Turkey Pot Pies

These tiny pot-pies were born out of my recent acquisition of some tartelette tins. I am now obsessed with tiny pastries. Great for photos, not so great for skinny jeans. These little beauties were oh-so-delicious. Flaky pastry, and creamy gravy covered filling. They’re rich but not heavy, and their itty-bitty size is perfect for portion control. Plus – they’re super cute.

I got a little ambitious with this recipe and opted to make my own pastry dough. If you’re not inclined to do so, store bought pastry will do just fine. Also, if you’re not feeling the extra work that individual pies entail, this recipe easily converts to one large pot pie with 1/2 of the pastry for the bottom, and half for the top. Baking time may need to be adjusted accordingly.

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Babaganoush with Roasted Garlic – Creamy Eggplant Dip

Babaganoush, what can I say. It’s creamy, delicious and it’s good for you. The creamy texture, the nutty, tangy flavor – so many things to love on top of the fact that it’s low calorie. The eggplant is roasted until the skin is charred, flesh removed, and made into a thick spread. Traditionally, finely minced raw garlic is used, but I greatly prefer roasted. The roasted garlic brings the nutty smoky flavor out in the dish, and is much less harsh-tasting.

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Brown Rice Frittata with Dried Figs, Thyme and Parmesan

Frittatas are the perfect Sunday morning food, or afternoon if you’re a lazy Sunday kind of person like me. They’re easy, quick and can be made from pretty much anything as long as you have the requisite eggs and some kind of cheese.

The dried figs remind me a bit of molasses with their sticky exterior, and sweet flesh. They taste amazing with the Parmesan,  thyme and fluffy egg. They give the whole dish a delicate sweetness that balances out the salty cheese perfectly. I like to serve a slice on top of lightly dressed fresh greens. It’s a great meal for a lazy Sunday morning.

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Savory Crepes with Apple, Smoked Gouda and Roast Chicken

I love crepes. They are ever so versatile. You can fill them with almost anything. They’re like little buttery blankets for your favorite stuff. These simple little beauties are pretty easy to make, and can easily go from meal time to dessert time with a filling swap.

The filling I’m showing today was born out of necessity as I had some leftover roast chicken, but I’m oh-so-glad it was. These were delicious. The sweet and tart crispy apple paired perfectly with the decadent Gouda and savory chicken. It tasted decadent, but didn’t leave me feeling weighed down.

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Fatty Fast Food Rant + Makeover – Chicken Salad Sandwich

The Rant:

Have you ever been duped by clever fast food marketing? I have, and it pissed me off. This specific chain (**cough*Arby’s*cough**) had an ad around for a while touting “fresh deli sandwiches!” In need of a quick lunch, I grabbed one and tried it out. Long story short, this mother-shut-yo-mouth was nearly 900 calories. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Is the bread made of sugar and lard? Truly mind boggling.

I am generally very mindful of what I put in my body, and it seemed to me that an innocent looking sandwich on wheat bread was a safer call than the faux processed meat + liquid cheese options. After googling the nutrition, I found out how very wrong I had been. I began to wonder how many people before me made the same mistake assuming they had made a decent choice. A great many I’m sure, or they wouldn’t still be selling them.

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Indian Spiced Skinny Black Bean Burgers with Yogurt Sauce

I end up making black bean burgers about once a week, and they’re different every time. These burgers show a basic method that can be adapted to whatever you’ve got in the fridge. They’re low calorie, quick, and cheap! This particular variation has a spicy, slightly tangy Indian kick to it. I served them on thin style 100 calorie buns with shredded cabbage, feta cheese, and spicy yogurt sauce. There were also the typical burger fixings of ketchup and mustard on the bun. It was delicious, and full of flavor.

Crispy on the outside, rich and tasty on the inside – these vegetarian burgers are just good eats. They’re filling, delicious and nutritious. They keep me satisfied and full of energy for hours.

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Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

A baker, I am not. My last “baked goods” endeavor resulted in some very hockey-puck like biscuits. Luckily for me, and you other non-bakers out there, coconut macaroons aren’t exactly rocket science. Just mix, scoop and bake. No big deal, right? These lovely little haystack shaped treats are one of those awesome concoctions that seem much more complicated than they are. Delicate flaky mouthfuls of coconut goodness. I love them with a cup of coffee or tea and … well I just love them. If you’re a coconut loving, lazy baker like me – you’ll love them too.

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Roasted Chicken with Apples and Leeks

I’ve seen variations on this recipe around for some time, but have never tried it until today. Roasting the chicken with the fruit gives it a delicious sweetness, and a very different flavor from my usual rosemary and garlic combo. I’m glad I tried it, and you will be too if you’re so inclined. It was really good. It has a subtle sweetness from the apples, and a light onion scent from the leeks. Everything worked together beautifully. It’s also a one pot recipe, which wins major points in my book.

If you end up with some leftovers, roasted chicken is a great thing to have on hand for quick meals. You’re 30 seconds from a roasted chicken salad. Toss it in with some veggies and pasta for a 10 minute dinner. The possibilities are vast.

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Enchiladas Verdes – Lightened Up Green Enchiladas with Shredded Pork and Spinach

Enchiladas with green sauce are my absolute favorite thing to order at our local Mexican restaurant. That is, until I looked up the nutrition facts, SHEESH. Those things are not nice to the waistline. I suppose the mountain of cheese should have been an indicator, but me and cheese go way back, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. How a small enchilada can have a 4 digit calorie count, I have no idea, but that cheesy SOB single handedly undid 2 days of gym time.

This recipe is a first attempt to make a diet friendly enchilada that doesn’t forfeit cheese. I will never forsake the cheese! Instead, I made a tangy bechamel sauce with skim milk, and skim jack cheese. It was delicious, and pretty darn hard not to eat it straight out the pan. I also steamed (in the microwave) the tortillas to make them pliable instead of the traditional method of lightly frying. The enchiladas were filled with left-over carnitas (recipe here), spinach, and cheese sauce.

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Homemade Tomatillo Salsa – Salsa Verde

HGT has been celebrating Mexican food this week, entirely by accident. It’s hard not to fall in love with Mexican food growing up in Southern California, arguably, we have the best and most authentic Mexican food readily available to us anywhere outside of Mexico. Take that, New York! I scoff at your bagels. Just kidding guys….I love bagels, and public transportation, which both suck with great enormity in SoCal. I suppose I’ll call it a draw.

Salsa verde is made with tomatillos, which have a great resemblance to green tomatoes once removed from their papery husks, but trust me folks – they’re very different. Tomatillos are a cousin of the tomato and the gooseberry, but have their own distinct tangy flavor.

Salsa verde is very simple to make, and far superior to the jarred variety. The homemade stuff is thick and full of flavor that is impossible to get out of a store-bought bottle. It makes a great dip for chips and salsa, but my all-time favorite use is green enchiladas. YUM. Tomatillos have a light tangy, almost citrus taste to them that pairs great with lighter proteins like chicken, pork loin, and seafood. Oh man, especially seafood. A spoonful of this stuff on grilled fish is heavenly.

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