WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Thai Sweet Chili Salmon and Spinach Salad January 11, 2012

Filed under: Fish,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 11:35 am

Here’s a healthy and yummy dinner for you!

Broiled Salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze
Recipe from HERE

Basically, I just combined some Thai Sweet Chili sauce and soy sauce, marinated the salmon in it for about an hour, and broiled it.  Then I topped the salmon with some of the same sauce after it was done.  Delicious!!

Spinach Salad
This simple spinach salad has been my go-to side dish lately.  All I do is put a ton of fresh spinach in a big bowl and top with balsamic vinegar, honey, and EVOO.  Then I toss it really well and let it sit for like 15 minutes so the spinach breaks down a little.  This salad is good on its own, or you can top it with whatever you want.  Last night, I used toasted pecans and shaved parmesan.  Simple and tasty!


Meatloaf and broccoli January 10, 2012

Filed under: Side dish,Turkey,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 11:39 am

Happy Tuesday!  It definitely doesn’t look or feel like January around here.  We actually went outside for a walk the other day!  Very strange.  Anyway, I’ve got two recipes to share.  First up is the best broccoli you will ever eat.  Really.  I could easily eat an entire pan of this.

Roasted Broccoli
Based on recipe HERE, found via Pinterest


  • 1 head fresh broccoli (I threw some cauliflower in, too)
  • EVOO
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon


  1. Do not wash the broccoli (the heat of the oven will take care of any bad stuff).  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut broccoli into bite size florets.
  2. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  3. Spread broccoli in a single layer on cookie sheet, do not overcrowd.  Use a second pan if you need to, as overcrowding will just cause the broccoli to steam instead of roast.
  4. Liberally drizzle EVOO on broccoli, and liberally season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Roast in oven 20-25 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender and starts to brown.  Keep a close eye on it, and toss halfway through.
  6. Remove from oven and squeeze some lemon juice over it and toss with a handful of shaved parmesan.  Serve immediately.

The second recipe of the day is a new (to me) twist on meatloaf.

Mozzarella and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Meatloaf
Recipe from HERE, found via Pinterest

I used turkey instead of chicken, and omitted the parsley and fennel seed.  I also used fresh spinach and wilted it in the microwave for a minute.  This meatloaf was very tasty, and it smelled like pizza while it was cooking!


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto January 4, 2012

Filed under: Meatless,Pasta — WannaBe Chef @ 12:07 pm

Hi, folks!  I’ve got a good one to share today.   As you know, I love roasted veggies.  Roasting concentrates the flavors, brings out the natural sugars, and gives them a nice brown crisp.  The base of last night’s pesto is roasted tomatoes, or maybe they should be called “candied tomatoes.”  I really enjoyed this vegan twist on pesto, and I highly recommend making this!

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
Copied and pasted directly from Oh She Glows


  • 9 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Your desired amount of cooked Pasta

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 mins at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

2. Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup into food processor and process until finely chopped. I left mine a bit chunky for texture. Remove and set aside.

3. With processor turned on, add 2 garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped.

4. Add in the oil, optional nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted almonds. Season generously with salt and pepper. I think I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more.

5. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Chop the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into pasta. Chop remaining almonds and Chiffonade the basil.


Hawaiian BBQ Chicken January 3, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Crockpot — WannaBe Chef @ 4:12 pm

Happy 2012!  I hope everyone had a great holiday; we did!  Macy did great on the plane, and we had a nice visit with family and friends.  Anyway, this is going to be a quick post since Macy is waking up.  I made this easy chicken recipe a few nights ago.  I found it on Pinterest, of course!

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken


4-6 boneless chicken breasts (still frozen, I used 4 large breasts)
1 bottle BBQ sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained


Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup!  Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce.  Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top.  Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce.  Serve over rice.


Soup and pie December 19, 2011

Filed under: Soup,Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 11:00 am

Hey, all.  This will probably be my last quick post before the holidays!  We are leaving at 6 am on Thursday for MI, and obviously there’s a lot to do to prepare for the trip!  Yesterday, Wayne, Macy and I had our little family Christmas so we wouldn’t have to pack and re-pack gifts.  Of course, Macy liked the wrapping paper more than the gifts, but that’s to be expected when your kid loves that crinkly sound.  I made a simple and tasty soup for dinner and Dutch apple pie for dessert.  I’m not usually a big pie-person, but I had a frozen crust leftover from Thanksgiving, so I figured why not make a pie?

Delicious soup, terrible photo

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

The only changes I made:  added about 1 Tbsp of Worchestershire to the meat/peppers while they cooked, omitted the marjoram, and let the soup simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hours instead of 30 minutes.  I also served it with parmesan cheese on top.

Dutch Apple Pie

Click here for recipe

I followed it exactly!  It turned out really well.


Santa Fe Casserole December 12, 2011

Filed under: Mexican-inspired,Rice — WannaBe Chef @ 9:23 am

Happy Monday, folks.  I’m even more sleep-deprived than when we last “spoke,” thanks to the two evil top teeth in my daughter’s mouth that, apparently, are scared to show themselves.  Well, one of them has actually cut through, but its neighboring tooth is a big ole tease.  Anywho, I made a quick and easy casserole last night.  It was good and cheesy, and I loved the chew from the brown rice with the creaminess of the kidney beans.  It was quite tasty, although the photo makes it look otherwise…

Santa Fe Casserole
Slightly modified from Healthy Tipping Point

I used one can of kidney beans instead of a half can of kidney beans + a half can of red beans.  I also didn’t add nearly as much black pepper as the recipe called for.  I sauteed the green peppers with the onions, too, instead of just stirring them into the rice mixture raw.



I got nothin’ December 9, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 10:47 am

I am running on about 4 hours of interrupted sleep, thanks to my beautiful, almost-7-month old daughter who still doesn’t sleep.  I can sleep when I’m dead, right??  Well, I just wanted to share one of our dinners with you while she’s taking one of her infamous 20 minute “naps.”  We’re still on Wayne’s menu for the week.  When he came home with these frozen, sliced steaks in a box, I was less than excited.  I was thinking, mmmm, processed, salty, mystery meat sandwiches!  Can’t wait!

But I was pleasantly surprised when I turned the box over.  Ingredients?  Beef.  Sodium?  25 mg.  Kinda high in fat, but it’s steak, what do you expect?

So I sauteed some onions and cooked the steak slices with some Worchestershire, steak seasoning, salt and pepper.  Then I toasted some sub buns under the broiler, piled them high with the steak/onions and some swiss cheese, and returned them to the broiler until nice and bubbly.  Omg, these sandwiches were SO good.  (I promise the sandwich wasn’t as monsterous in real life as it looks here!)