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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

breakfast for dinner: baked breakfast taquitos

we almost always each exclusively hot cereal for breakfast so sometimes real breakfast foods sound really good - for dinner. like scrambled eggs or cheesy waffles. so a few weeks ago i made these baked breakfast taquitos with lime chipotle dip for dinner. they were to die for! and besides, any meal that bakes something that is supposed to be fried is a winner in my book. :) these would be great for a breakfast or brunch with friends or family. very impressive, yet easy (and the main ingredient is eggs - cheap!!)!

baked breakfast taquitos with lime chipotle dip
recipe by our best bites
with a few very minor, healthy changes by yours truly

cooking spray
12 large eggs
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher/sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cup grated pepperjack cheese
1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 teaspoon hot sauce

16 6" flour tortillas
cooking spray or olive oil

dipping sauce:
1 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

preheat oven to 425 degrees. line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. spray with cooking spray and set aside.

heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. crack eggs into large mixing bowl. whisk in 1/2 cup sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. when skillet is hot, spray with cooking spray and add egg mixture to pan. using a rubber spatula, gently scrape bottom of pan and fold eggs over to scramble. remove from heat when slightly undercooked. add cheese, roasted red peppers, green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce to taste. gently fold to combine.

warm tortillas in microwave to ease rolling process. working with a few tortillas at a time, place a scant 1/4 cup egg mixture into the center of each one and roll up into a cylinder. place rolled tortillas on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down, so they are not touching each other. when all tortillas are rolled and filled, lightly spray tops with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil. bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and crisp.

while taquitos are baking, coming 1 1/2 cup sour cream, lime juice, chipotle chili powder and kosher salt. stir to combine and store in fridge. remove taquitos from oven , let cool for 5 minutes, and then serve with dipping sauce.

Monday, September 20, 2010

discovering your dollar store

when i moved less than a year ago some other frugal ladies from church introduced me to something i now rely on weekly for my cooking ventures: the 99 cents only store. this amazing dollar store sells nothing for more than 99c and they have some great fresh produce, some of which i definitely can't find cheaper anywhere else. here's a list of some of the things i've found there (over the course of time - not all in one trip):
  • 2 pack of red/orange/yellow bell peppers
  • container of mini bell peppers - multi colored and just red
  • 3 pack of green bell peppers
  • 2 lb bag of peaches/plums/nectarines
  • 2 lb bag of dole bananas
  • 6-8oz container of raspberries/blackberries/blueberries
  • 3 pack hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 5 lb bag of potatoes
  • 3 pack of mangoes
  • 3 pack of avocados
  • 3 lb bag red/yellow/white onions
  • 2 lb bunch broccoli/cauliflower
  • 2 pack of large cucumbers
  • 8 oz package of brown/white/baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 pack of portobello mushrooms
  • 2 lb bag carrots
  • 6 pack roma tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes
  • bagged organic spinach
  • 4 pack large bunches of cilantro
  • bag of green onions

i've also found some other non-produce items that i've been happy to find there too:
  • 1 lb lasagna noodles
  • bottle of oyster sauce (for asian cooking... see my asian label for more)
  • 4 pack unsweetened applesauce/berry applesauce (good baby food to go)
  • gerber meals for toddlers - 3 for $1
  • boxed gerber granola bars - 3 boxes for $1
  • wheaties fuel cereal
  • large bag twizzlers nibs (confession - i love these)
  • jelly flops (real jelly belly jelly beans that are funny shaped or stuck together)
  • 6 pack large pita breads

i've been really happy with the quality of nearly everything i've bought from my dollar store. my hearts of romaine are even fresher and last longer than the ones i buy at other stores.

and of course i love that shopping at my dollar store makes meals like the one below possible. we loved this salad at our house - and it is as beautiful as it was delicious. packed full of beautiful (and usually) expensive veggies, this one is a keeper as long as my dollar store keeps providing bell peppers. :)

thai peanut noodle salad
find recipe here at our best bites
(i left out about 1/3 cup olive oil, though!)

just for fun, a few other great non-food items i've found at the dollar store:
  • halloween costume stuff (including really cute wings - usually so expensive!)
  • nick jr and disney books (like diego, backyardigans, disney princesses, etc.)
  • awesome coloring books (discovery channel, disney)
  • silk flowers
  • picture frames

so discover what dollar stores are near you - you never know what you'll find!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

five ingredient fridays: creamy avocado pasta salad

i whipped this up the other night for a church function and it was a hit! just thought i'd share it since pasta salad is such a great warm weather food!

i know it's a few over 5 ingredients, but it's super simple. promise.

creamy avocado pasta salad
8 servings (main course, lots more as a side dish)
1 lb pasta of choice, i used macaroni
1 chicken breast, butterflied and heavily covered on both sides in taco seasoning, then pan-grilled and chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained.
1 green peppers, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, minced

kroger brand (from smith's) lite creamy avocado ranch with lime dressing, to taste
chopped fresh cilantro to taste
salt and pepper to taste

next time i'd also add sliced black olives. yum.

1. cook pasta according to directions and cook chicken.
2. combine pasta, chicken, beans, peppers, tomatoes and onion. start with 1/2 cup of salad dressing and stir to combine. continue to add 1/4 cup at a time until you are happy with the taste/consistency. stir in cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. chill in fridge until ready to eat.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

please cheat

please cheat on your diet with this to-die-for stack of simple carbohydrate goodness. i never imagined pancakes could taste so amazing. i'm not much of a pancake person, but i could eat these every day (but i don't... that would be a bad idea!). and don't drink the syrup... or do.

spicy apple pancakes with cider sauce
from my dear friend lulu (and family)
4 servings

2 cups bisquick
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup grated apple (1 apple)

mix all ingredients accept apples together until moist - don't over mix. fold in apples. batter should be fairly thick - do not thin! cook pancakes on griddle or stove as you usually would until cooked through.

cider sauce (enough for 2 batches of pancakes)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
put in dry ingredients first, add lemon juice & apple cider/juice, stir on medium/hot, boil for one minute while stirring, take off the stove and add butter. stir until melted.

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!