I really enjoy Cuban food, but this was not something I have tried before.  When I saw it on Skinnytaste, I thought perhaps it was worth a try, as it was pretty healthy when made with very lean ground beef (in this case I used 96%, but 93% would fine).  I checked out some other recipes and will modify a few things next time because we like a lot of flavor, but this was quite good!  Definitely a keeper recipe, and the great thing is that it can be made in the slow cooker!  Directions for both below.  We served this over brown rice with steamed broccoli on the side.




Ginger and Star Anise Chicken

This was awesome.  I always have really good luck with Serious Eats, but I think this might be my new favorite recipe that I’ve gotten there.  The flavor was great, and I was pretty excited to find a new use for the huge bag of star anise I have (besides pickling).  It took quite a bit longer to cook than the recipe suggested, but I think that is because the pan I used was a bit too deep, so the cooking liquid didn’t cover as much of the chicken as it should have.  I served this with a Soba noodle salad and bok choy.



Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers

I loooove stuffed peppers, any variety, including my friend Missy’s Inside Out Stuffed Peppers.  I found this recipe for chicken and white bean stuffed peppers on Skinnytaste and it looked like a winner.  I used yellow peppers for this, but any color will do.  Also, I had no cooked chicken hanging around, just chicken breasts, so I boiled one and a half chicken breasts in some stock and shredded it – worked out well, and was a good amount for a two-person size dinner.  The only thing I changed about this recipe was proportions – there are only two of us, so 5 peppers was a bit too many.  All in all, a bright, filling, and tasty take on stuffed peppers!



Lamb and Feta Lasagna

This month’s Cooking Light has a feature on lightened lasagnas.  Can’t beat low-cal lasagna!  Oddly enough, the lightest of the bunch was a lamb and feta.  Two things we both loved, lower-cal…that’s a winner!  I did not deviate from the recipe except to use my own tomato sauce instead of canned, and it was very good as-is…the only change I would make besides would be to add some spinach for some bulk and color.  I would stay to stick with an actual marinara/tomato sauce over just the canned crushed tomatoes – whether homemade or a jar, it will lend more flavor.  Definitely a great “light” lasagna!  This made a ton so plenty of leftovers for lunch, or a lazy cooking night…always a good thing!



Baked French Fries

A year ago I went on a business trip to Brussels (and London after), and I have definitely been thinking a lot about those nine days in Europe this weekend!  Beyond the fact that it was a wonderful, fun, life-changing trip, the food was awesome. 😉  So to celebrate this weekend, I made Moules Frites, or mussels and chips, served with some delicious Belgian beer and a baguette to soak up the broth from the moules.  Here is the recipe for the fries, which is a tried and true one for me.



Lentil and Chicken Soup

I spent a couple of weeks hemming and hawing over making this soup because I kept finding things I’d rather make instead.  Mistake!  This was awesome, filling, and very low cal.  I got this from Skinnytaste, where I consistently have good luck.  I tweaked this recipe to use chicken stock instead of water for cooking the lentils to give them some extra flavor.  If you have any homemade stock, that would be even better.  You could make this vegetarian, but I’d bulk it up with some potatoes or another root to give it substance.  This makes a TON of soup, plenty to freeze and take to lunch!



Corn Salad

A colorful and fun side salad, this is one I’ve served mostly with Latin or Mexican themed meals.  It has a lot of flavor and dresses up chicken and pork especially well, I have found.  This would be a good one at a picnic or BBQ.  If you can do fresh corn with this, great – about 3 -4 ears.  If not, a bag of thawed out frozen corn would be fine too.



Cuban Rice Cooked in Black Beans

This is one of my absolute favorite dishes, great as a main or side.  I usually make this with carnitas or fish tacos, and then take the leftovers to lunch for a week. 🙂  I got this recipe eons ago from Epicurious, originally from a book called “Latin Grilling,” and I love it exactly how it is written.  A very festive and flavorful way to make rice.  You could lighten this up by using some turkey bacon, and I have tried this with brown rice as well as white…brown rice was also excellent.  Just required more cooking time of course.


Asparagus with Lemon and Feta

This is a bright take on asparagus, a vegetable we serve a *lot* since it’s Shawn’s favorite.  I usually roast it with just a bit of salt and pepper, but this was very fresh and went well with chicken; I think it would do well with fish too.

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta

Roast or steam asparagus, whichever you prefer.  Slice into small pieces and toss with salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice and feta cheese.

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

This was a very simple dinner in the slow cooker that tasted like it was far more work than it actually was.  We really liked it; I didn’t make any changes to the original except to use split breasts only.  Next time I might throw in some thighs or drumsticks, but just the breasts were excellent – very tender and flavorful.  I think bone in is necessary to the flavor, and we just removed the skin before eating.  I served this with asparagus for a very, very filling dinner.  I originally got this recipe from a website called Recipegirl, and will definitely to back to see what else she’s got!