Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spicy Pesto

Whenever I have free time and watch TV the first station I usually tune into is the Food Network. Some of my favorite shows include Giada at Home with Giada De Laurentiis, Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten, and Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger.

Over the summer my parent's grew herbs outside in the backyard. We ended up with a ton of basil and made pesto in bulk to freeze. Basil is expensive to buy, especially for the amount you need to make a batch of pesto! About a month ago I was watching Giada at Home and saw she was making a pesto. It definitely was not your traditional pesto. The pesto did not involve basil. The greens used were arugula, spinach, and a jalapeno! It also uses asiago cheese instead of parmesan, and walnuts instead of pine nuts. The recipe on the Food Network
website is Fusilli with Spicy Pesto. The ingredients needed for the pesto are:


  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2-inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Just mix the ingredients in a food processor (or blender). If you don't want want it too spicy you just have to remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper. I ended up removing a majority in them since I don't like things to be too spicy- BUT I actually wish I left atleast half, if not all of the seeds in. There just wasn't enough kick! I also served it with a pasta called Cavatappi instead of Fusilli. You can use any pasta you want! I also used chicken. You can use shrimp, tofu, or any other meats, as well.

Best part about the meal is that it is simple and doesn't take long to make! Dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes!

Molly Jean

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I finally made Tuna Noodle Casserole for the first time today. It seems almost absurd that I haven't made it yet. I just used Campbell's Cream of Celery soup can recipe and voila!


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Celery Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Birds Eye® Sweet Garden Peas
2 tablespoons chopped pimientos
2 cans (about 6 ounces each) tuna, drained
2 cups medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted


Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the soup, milk, peas, pimientos, if desired, tuna and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tuna mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.

I didn't add the Peas. I'm not a picky eater by any means. I love my fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to peas.... I just don't like/care for them. I think they are pointless for any recipe. They just make recipes taste bad! Plus, they just remind me of baby food.

Tuna Noodle Casserole is definitely a staple for a cheap and quick dinner (less than 30 minutes!) and is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day! With the casserole I also made a garden salad and fresh steamed green beans, both of which I prepared while the casserole was in the oven!

You can make this dish healthier by using a 98% fat free Campbell's Cream of broccoli soup, skim milk, and less or no butter with the bread crumbs. Be sure you are using tuna packed in water.

Cooking Light also has a recipe. This one may take a little more time. Also, the calories are still up there at 422 per serving, as well as 756 mg of sodium. It might just be better to stick with Campbell's easy recipe and Just follow the tips to make it lighter than the original recipe!

Thanks for reading!

Molly Jean

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Frozen Meals

I'm not very big on recommending frozen entrees. They are usually very high in sodium, fat, unnatural ingredients, low in fiber, vegetables, and protein.
But lets face it-- sometimes you just don't want to cook. There are healthier frozen meal entrees out there. I just recently tried Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake

This was the first time I had tried Kashi's frozen entrees and I give it an A+! It was so full protein, fiber, and flavor. It is also low in calories (340). It's also lower in sodium than most frozen entrees (380 mg) and high in protein (9g)! Plus it had 2 of my favorite foods, sweet potatoes and black beans!! Here are the nutrition facts:

I also recommend Kashi's TLC granola bars for a quick and filling snack. You may have to try a few flavor's before picking out which one you like the most! Also, I'm not too keen on their cereals (Even though the commercial says it doesn't taste like cardboard, I think that most do!). But, I do enjoy Heart to Heart Cereal: Honey Toasted Oats. You can use it as a cereal with low-fat milk or vanilla soy milk, etc... or also use it to make a trail mix by adding some nuts, such as almonds, and dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cranberries! I'm looking forward to trying more of Kashi's frozen entrees!

Thanks for reading!
Molly Jean

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I always laugh about new years resolutions. Mostly because it seems as though 99.9% of them deal with working out more and losing weight, which makes my month of January very difficult when it comes time to go workout. As a future Registered Dietitian, I realize that this is a difficult task to keep up. If you are strong willed, you can make it happen. I don't ever remember making a New Year's resolution in the past and I would really like to make one for myself.

Currently I am still in grad school and completing my dietetic internship. I have one more year left. Or, according to my countdown on iGoogle, I have 347 days until graduation. As every dietetic undergrad student, grad student, and intern knows, we are constantly stressed out and barely have anytime to do things for ourselves. So far that has been about 6 and a half years of my life. Therefore, I would like to make a resolution for myself to do something I enjoy. That is when I thought of this blog! It has been about 5 months since my first two posts. Yes, I probably had time, but when I had that small amount of free time all I wanted to do was absolutely nothing, or for some reason I would find it necessary to continue doing school work so that I would be ahead.

Therefore, my new years resolution is to try 2 to 3 new recipes I have never made and blog about them. They could be timeless recipes such as meatloaf, tuna noodle casserole, chicken noodle soup, lasagna, or even newer recipes, such as recipes from the stack of Cooking Light and Real Simple magazines I have laying in my room. Some could be healthy (sticking with practicing what I preach) and some just good old comfort food (still practicing what I preach... You can't exclude everything from your everyday eating lifestyle- P.S. I hate the word "diet"). I will also include some of my opinions on food fads and nutrition in the news!

I have no recipes for you today. But I have a very delicious looking picture.
These are cupcakes from MainStreet Cupcakes in Hudson, OH. My mom and I got these for my dad's birthday. Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, Pink Champagne and Strawberrys, Chocolate Bubbly, Half Baked, and Cup of Java.

Happy New Year to all! Now I just have to think of which recipe I would like to try first!

-Molly Jean