Baked Zucchini Chips

When you’re eating low carb food you quickly find that it’s kind of hard to come up with good snacks that won’t break your diet. Potato chips, candy, and ice cream is out of the question. So I’m trying out a couple of different things and read online that zucchini chips was a good alternative to regular potato chips (which I happen to love).

You Need:

  • 1 large zucchini (though my store only had tiny ones)
  • Pastry/basting brush
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

I cut my zucchini by hand, so I took my time making sure the slices were thin and even (a couple ended up too thick, and they didn’t taste very good). Then I spread them out on a paper towel and used another one to get some of the water out of them. You want them to get crispy, after all.
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Cover a cookie sheet in parchment paper and spread your zucchini slices out evenly. They can be close together as long as they don’t overlap. Use your pastry brush to cover the slices in a thin layer of olive oil. Don’t overdo it, though. I did, and even though my chips were still delicious they weren’t as crispy as I’d like them to be. Then you sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper onto each slice.
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Let them cook for 2+ hours on 225 degrees, checking on them towards the end. You want them to be crispy and golden. I thought they tasted better the darker they were, and the ones that were still fairly green I didn’t like much. Since mine had way too much olive oil on them I let them cool off on a paper towel before putting them in a bowl.
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And enjoy! They have a very distinct flavor that I hadn’t anticipated, but really, really liked. It also made me eat only one chip at a time, making them last for a couple hours instead of a couple minutes (which is how I used to go through regular chips, haha). All in all it was a success, and I’m excited to try it again.
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Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

I love all types of Indian food, and nothing beats making dinner in a crockpot, so when I found this recipe at Tablefortwoblog I just had to try it out. I’ve actually had it bookmarked for weeks.

Ingredients:

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 (29 oz.) can of tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

I made some necessary changes because I was missing a couple things. I used curry instead of garam masala, my can of tomato puree was only 28 ounces, and I skipped the cornstarch all together.

It’s such a great and simple recipe, but there is a bunch of chopping to be done. First you want to chop the chicken and onion, and mince the garlic and ginger.
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Then you want to mix together everything but the bay leaves, cream, and cornstarch. I have a big crock pot, so I mixed everything in there. If you don’t you might want to use a big bowl. After it’s all completely mixed, add the bay leaves and put it to cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
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After it’s done cooking mix together the cream and cornstarch in a small bowl and add it to the crockpot to thicken it up. Let it cook for another 20 minutes before you serve it with rice.
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PS: Pay attention to the measurements. I didn’t, and ended up reading “tablespoon” everywhere it said “teaspoon”… Needless to say it was a lot spicier than intended. So I added a bit more yogurt before cooking it, and I was surprised at how much I still liked the finished result. It will definitely clear out your sinuses, but if you love “Indian spicy” I would say to give it a try! (Although I only added one tablespoon of salt, not two!)

Birthday Festivities, Part 2

Yesterday was the second of a three to four day birthday celebration for Maren! It will (most likely) be concluded on Friday after her party. It really should be called your “birthday week”. Or month. Anyway. We went out for sushi at Utage, one of our favorite places in Athens.
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You can’t have a birthday dinner without a saki bomb! The waitresses even made us do the chant.
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Am I the only one who thinks sushi is automatically more fun when it comes in a boat??
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Me and Andy went with a more boring option and shared four rolls. But it was still delicious, and you never leave Utage without being uncomfortably full! I swear they were extra good this time.
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Taco and Movie Night

You don’t always have to wait til the weekend to plan a small date night and spend some quality time together. All that matters is that you take the time to do something fun together once or twice a week, just the two of you. So last night we went to Kroger to get all the makings of a great taco night, and then we rented Looper on the way home. We had heard so many good things about the movie, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. We spent about half an hour in the kitchen together before we curled up on the couch with way too much food.
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And for dessert we had cookie brownies! (Yup, we had dessert on a Wednesday.) I am almost ashamed to admit that we ate half of this pan in just one sitting. It was so delicious we couldn’t help ourselves!
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Cajun Jambalaya

Andy found this recipe on Foodnetwork.com for our Louisiana themed party yesterday. We doubled the recipe since the original is only 4 servings (the one I have posted here is NOT doubled, however). But, to be honest, this recipe has so many ingredients that I will probably just do the same next time too. It is easier to make a bunch and save the rest for later – and it’s so good that I bet we will end up eating way too much of it anyway. Keep in mind that this is a pretty spicy dish!

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped (we used a few extra)
  • 4 ounces chicken, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe at the bottom
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves (remember not to eat them!)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice (not cooked)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (we used chicken bullion powder)
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced (I’m going to use a little less next time)
  • Salt and pepper

First, mix the seasoning in a bowl (the recipe is at the bottom). You will end up with 2/3 cup of it even though you only need a tablespoon for this recipe. In another bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. Set it aside for later.
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In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery for 3 minutes.
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Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces.
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Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
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When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage.
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Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
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Ah, it was so delicious! We made a lot, but all of it was gone by the end of the night. We still have enough for another skillet of it, though, so we’ve been debating whether or not to make it again right away.

Creole Seasoning: (this will, unfortunately, yield 2/3 cup)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt (use 1, it is salty enough already)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
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Cauliflower Au Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • About 1/2 a tablespoon of straight chicken base or bullion
  • 1/2 a cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • A couple handfuls of grated cheese

Cut the cauliflower into pieces, and chop up the bacon and mushrooms. Let the cauliflower boil until it’s well done (10-15 minutes) – I added some chicken bullion to the water for flavor. While it was boiling I fried up the bacon and mushrooms in a pan. When the cauliflower is done, strain out the water and use a paper towel to pat it dry.
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Add the cauliflower to a pan and then mix together the sour cream, bullion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Spread the mixture on top of the cauliflower, using a spoon. The next time I will definitely be adding more of this – it was delicious.
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Top it all of with the mushrooms and bacon, and spread as much cheese as you want on top.
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Bake it for 10-15 minuted on 440 degrees, and it will come out smelling amazing. I’m suddenly starting to realize that I actually like cauliflower (when it’s not plain). There are so many recipes to try out!
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I served it with my ground sausage mix/sauce which, if you like sausage, goes really well along with any type of cauliflower. The last time we ate it with mashed cauliflower, but this was even better!
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Breakfast Burritos

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    Ingredients: For four burritos, using small (8 inch) tortillas.

  • Four tortillas
  • Three eggs
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • Four slices of bacon, chopped
  • Two sausages, chopped – preferably smoked (I used Kroger’s bratwursts)
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Cheese (I used Mexican cheese)
  • Any other ingredients you like in your burritos. We kept it simple, but bell pepper, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, and so on would also have been really good.

1: Scramble the eggs with as much pepper as you’d like and put them aside. 2: Fry up the bacon until it’s almost done and empty out most of the grease. 3: Add the sausage and fry for a few more minutes. 4: When everything is done add the eggs back again and mix it all together.
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Prepare your tortillas with all the toppings you like on it. We only used sour cream and salsa, but it was still really delicious! At least that way it’s a very simple recipe.
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Now just add the cheese and you’re good to go! (If you can close it all up.)
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On a side-note: I’ve added a page called “recipes” under my header where you can find an index for all the recipes I post on the blog. That way you won’t have to scroll through the categories to find anything!