WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

The Iceberg May 2, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Chicken,Favorites,One dish meal,Pizza,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:41 pm

Tonight’s post contains two new recipes, both featuring something I haven’t bought in… years??  That would be iceberg lettuce.  I have nothing against it, I just prefer romaine, spinach, or other darker greens that have more nutrients and flavor.  I have to say, though, the crunchy, refreshing iceberg played a crucial role in these recipes… and I might just be buying it more often now.


Saturday’s Dinner was my own creation, inspired by the delicious bar version… Taco Pizza!  Hooooly crap, this was really, really good!! 

Taco Pizza
a WannaBe Chef creation

1 pre-made, whole wheat, thin pizza crust such as Boboli
1/2 cup fat-free refried beans
2 Tbsp salsa
6-7 ounces cooked taco meat (mine was lean ground beef, leftover in the freezer)
1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded Mexican or taco cheese 
2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 large handul cilantro, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp light sour cream
juice from half a lime

– From the bottom up, layer the beans, salsa, taco meat, half the cilantro and cheese evenly on the crust
– Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes until bubbly, broil for the last couple minutes if top appears too “wet” and to brown the cheese if desired
– While the pizza is cooking, mix the sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl.  You might need a bit of water to thin the “sauce” enough to make it drizzle. 
– Let pizza rest for about 3-4 minutes then top with remaining cilantro, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Drizzle the sour cream mixture over the top.  Slice and serve.

Sunday’s Dinner was something I’ve been meaning to make for awhile now… chicken lettuce wraps.  Using the lettuce as the wrap instead of a tortilla saves tonsss of calories, so that means you can eat a lotttt more!  Hehe, love that.  These were also sooo, sooo good!  Sweet, spicy, salty and super healthy 🙂  

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Modified from Joy Bauer’s Slimming Chicken Lettuce Wraps, recipe HERE

3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small package sliced mushrooms
1 bunch green onions, sliced, with most of green parts too
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or very finely minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces chicken breast, cut into small cubes (about 2 med/large chicken breasts)
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste) such as Frank’s or siracha
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, cut in half (so you have 2 quarters of the whole head…)

– Saute all the veggies, ginger and garlic in a large skillet until they start to get tender
– Add the chicken to the pan and cook through, season with salt and pepper
– Mix the plum sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
– Pour mixture into skillet, stir to combine.  Bring to a boil then let simmer until thickened.
– Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and cashews.
– Let cool slightly and serve in lettuce cups.

I have to say, these two dinners are highly recommended!  Both dishes are very easy to make, highly customizable, FULL of flavor, and pretty darn good in terms of calories (if anyone wants the cal counts, let me know!).  Toodles for now, peaches.


Weekend Re-cap March 7, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Life,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 10:01 pm

Here we are, another Sunday night.  The weekend flew by, as they usually do.  This was officially our second-to-last full weekend in MI before we move.  Friday night, Wayne and I went to the mall to buy a cartop cargo bag, then we went to Lonestar for dinner.  The portions at that place kill me.  It’s just crazy.  I ordered the “Sidewinder Chicken,” which is two BBQ chicken breasts covered w/cheese and fried onions, andfor sides I picked the sweet potato and broccoli.  After some peanuts and pre-dinner bread, I could only stomach just-shy of half of my meal (I peeled off the greasy cheese and onions, too).  Wayne couldn’t even eat all of his pork chop meal.  We left uncomfortably full, ugh.  On the bright side, I had plenty left for lunch on Saturday, so much in fact, that I shared it with Wayne. 

The sweet potato was the size of a soft ball, not even joking...

To backtrack a little, I dabbled in the savory oats trend again on Saturday.  They turned out much better than the first batch, but I decided not to post the pic because it does not look very appetizing.  Next time, I won’t stir the salsa into the oats because it gave it a gross pink color, ha.  Aaaanyway… so Saturday night was our going-away party.  We had a really good turn out.  We had dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant of ours, bar-hopped, danced, and crashed at a hotel.  Denney’s breakfast was had this morning (mmm, hash browns).  It was a good time, and we’re so thankful to everyone who came from all over to hang out with us before we leave!! 

All the boys!

Amanda squared. Love this girl!

Today was spent getting some groceries and doing the usual household stuff.  I did end up taking a little snooze on the couch since the hotel sleep last night was hooorrible!  Wayne wanted pizza for dinner tonight, so I caved and made one.  I guess it’s a little better than ordering a greasy Hungry Howie’s, right??

Pre-made wheat crust, turkey pepperoni, sauteed mushrooms/broccoli/onions, ham on Wayne's side, and reduced-fat cheese. Deeeelicious!

That’s all the randomness I have for you tonight.  I’m gonna spend the rest of the night watching the Oscars, making multiple lists, and eating popcorn.  I have a new recipe planned for tomorrow night, but the rest of the week will be devoted to using up the scraps!  Toodles for now, loves.


More randomness November 29, 2009

Filed under: Breakfast,Holiday,Life,Oatmeal,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 8:22 pm

I know, 2 posts in one day… crazy right??  So, the weekend continued in a glorious way.  On black Friday, my mom, aunt, and I drove 2 hours to Ann Arbor for the sole purpose of going to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (who needs that 4 AM-wait-in-line-and-freeze-your-azz-off crap??)  Omg, it was like I had died and gone to heaven!  People may think that’s a little odd, but really, that was totally my idea of a fantabulous freakin’ day!  This was my first time at Whole Foods, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!!  *Sigh* 🙂  I got lots of goodies, and we also had lunch at Whole Foods’ amaaaazing hot/cold bar.  We did go to some other places and got a little shopping done, which made the trip a little more well-rounded haha. 

This morning, I was really excited to make a hearty oat mess and use some of my new goodies!  Trader Joe’s crunchy almond butter is waaaay better than the creamy. 

In the bowl:  1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 1 small Honeycrisp apple, 1 Tbsp flax meal, 1 Tbsp chopped almonds, 1 Tbsp crunchy almond butter, Splenda.  HOLY CRUNCHY, CHEWY YUM

After I savored this wonderful breakfast, I decided it was time to put up the Christmas tree.  I’m not a big Christmas person, which would explain why this is first time in the 5 years I’ve been with Wayne that we’ve set up an actual tree.  I figured it was time!  It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself!

This was taken before we got our sparkly, silver star topper this afternoon.

To round out the day, I made a lovely dinner.  I bought some whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe’s and turned it into some tasty eats.  And just because I was feeling particularly anal today, I measured everything and calculated the calories per slice… 191!  Not bad considering they were huge slices!

Yummy wheat crust with turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green olives, mozarella and parmesan cheese. I had 2 slices... with some veggies to fill up the plate!