French onion soup sandwiches!

French onion soup..sandwiches?! Do my eyes deceive me? Nope! It is true! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because You can get two meals out of one! I hope you love and enjoy this as much as I will 🙂 Happy and Healthy eats 🙂

French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese

makes 1 sandwich

Ingredients

1 tablespoon each grapeseed (or olive) oil and butter, for frying
2 slices of french baguette or french bread
1 tablespoon softened butter
enough shredded gruyere cheese to generously cover both slices of bread
about ½ cup wine-braised onions (see recipe below)
fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat grapeseed oil in frying pan over medium low heat. Add butter and allow to melt.

Spread each slice of French bread with softened butter. Add half the shredded cheese to one, pile braised onions on top, sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper, then add the rest of the cheese. “Close” the sandwich with the other slice of bread, and gently press together.

Place the sandwich in the hot pan and cook until bread is toasted brown and cheese has started to melt. Carefully flip the sandwich over in the pan and cook until the other side is toasted brown and cheese has completely melted.

Remove the grilled sandwich from the pan and serve.

Wine-braised Onions

about 1 small clove garlic per 2 onions
onions (cook about 3-5 at a time, as you will find many uses for leftover caramelized onions)
olive oil
butter
bay leaf
fresh thyme
salt and fresh cracked pepper
red or white wine
beef stock (optional)

Directions

Cut the onions in half lengthwise, then slice thinly again lengthwise.

For every 1 large onion, heat about 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the same amount of butter, allow to melt, then add minced garlic. Allow the garlic to soften (but not color), then add the onions. Stir to coat the garlic and onions in oil+butter, add a bay leaf and a small sprig of thyme, then turn down the heat to medium low (so onions don’t burn). Continue to cook the onions until they are soft and deep golden brown, 30-40 minutes (depending on how many onions you cook).

Add about ¼ cup red or white wine (doesn’t matter), and allow to cook down with the onions, another 5-7 minutes. You can also add beef stock, but I didn’t.

Remove from heat and set aside enough onions for grilled cheese sandwich. The rest, throw into a pot and make French Onion Soup.

 

Bon Appetit !

Chicken Parmesan – Made healthy!

Italian favorites made healthier so you can enjoy them without worry! Bon Appetit ! Recipe from the Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 jar good-quality marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed, about 25 to 30 seconds. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. (You will wind up with about 1 1/3 cups toasted crumbs.)

In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk together. In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish and spray on each side with cooking spray, about 5 seconds total per side. Bake breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

Per Serving: (Serving size, 1 piece chicken with sauce and cheese)

Calories 410; Total Fat 11 g; (Sat Fat 4.5 g, Mono Fat 2.7 g, Poly Fat 1.2 g) ; Protein 50 g; Carb 31 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 110 mg; Sodium 1200 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium

Good source of: Thiamin, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iodine, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc

Tortilla Soup!

I just tried this yesterday and it was just amazing – not to mention low cal and low cost. I hope you enjoy it!

What you need:

  • 4 chicken fillets
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can diced green chiles (optional)

Cook chicken in olive oil for a healthier twist. I usually season my chicken with garlic salt and pepper. It’s up to you what you’d like to do. It is very delicious!

While the chicken is cooking, add all canned ingredients into a pot. I started with the tomatoes first, working the beans, corn , and other ingredients to follow. Next add the spices. Put heat on simmer.

While the ingredients in your pot are heating up, take chicken out of the pan and shred it. I use two forks to pull the chicken apart. It’s very simple. Put two forks into the chicken facing opposite ways and pull. It will shred your fillets in no time!

As soon as your done shredding, add the chicken into the the pot and stir. As soon as the soup is warm to eat, dish it up!

Everyone likes to garnish in different ways. Here is how I did it :

After the soup is in a bowl, I add shredded cheese on top of the soup. Following this I add some crushed tortilla chips. I crush them by hand. If you’re feeling lucky, add a little sour cream on top. It’s delicious!! I hope you enjoy this great winter meal!

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Delicious drinks to ring in the New Year!

Most of the year, minus the holiday’s – (hehe) I try to eat clean and stay healthy. The holiday’s are mean’t to get together with friends and family to eat , drink and be merry! I thought I’d share some delicious alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages that I enjoy during the holidays.  They are great recipes all year round too – especially the Cranberry- Orange Vodka .

Needless to say – I’m a huge food network fan. These recipes and more are available at http://www.foodnetwork.com

1. Italian fruit punch ( Halloween themed drink – but so yummy!)

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • 1/2 cup maraschino liqueur

add together and mix!

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network

2. Cranberry-Orange Vodka

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 oranges, peels cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka

This one is a real commitment haha but worth it!!

Place cranberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries burst, about 5 to 6 minutes. Place orange peels in a large glass container with an airtight lid, or large mason jar with a lid ( I love to serve drinks in mason jars!) Pour vodka over orange peels.

Allow the cranberry mixture to cool. Pour the cooled mixture into the glass container(s). Cover tightly and set aside for 1 week. After 1 week, strain out the cranberries sand orange peels and pour mixture into a clean bottle, using a funnel. Store vodka in the refrigerator.

Recipe by Michael Chiarello of the Food Network

3. Snowtini

  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • 3 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 3 ounces chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)
  • 3 ounces Irish cream liqueur (recommended: Baileys)

Place the martini glasses on a designated, flat shelf in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, cut shavings off the block of chocolate and reserve for later.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the vodka, chocolate liqueur and Irish cream over the ice. Put top on the shaker and shake firmly.

Carefully pull out the glasses from the freezer taking care not get finger marks on the body of the glass. Pour into the chilled glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings in the middle and serve.

4. Michaels Italian Manhattan

  • 16 ice cubes
  • 4 orange slices
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 10 ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey (recommended: Maker’s Mark)
  • 4 ounces vermouth
  • 3 ounces Italian bitters (recommended: Campari)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, optional

Divide ice cubes between 4 tumblers. Garnish each glass with 1 orange slice and 2 maraschino cherries.

In a pitcher, blend the bourbon, vermouth and bitters and pour into tumblers.

Note: If you like your cocktails to be a bit sweeter, you can stir 3 teaspoons of sugar into the pitcher before pouring the drinks.

Recipe by Michael Chiarello of the Food Network.

For the kids:

If you have kids at your holiday parties, opt for something fun for them too. Include them in the mix. Make them a cookie and milk Martini! This one is real simple.

Fill a martini glass with milk and garnish with a cookie! Crazy delicious and fun!

Baby it’s cold outside! Nothing says holidays quite like hot chocolate – and its a great drink for party guests or for just hanging out with the family.

White Hot Chocolate:

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vanilla whipped topping, for garnish
  • Mint leaf, for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, and vanilla extract. Stir occasionally until heated through. Pour into mugs and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped topping and garnish with mint leaf.

Recipe by Paula Dean of the Food Network

Last but not least- The Virgin Daiquiri 

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 medium limes, juiced
  • Fresh strawberries, optional, for garnish

In a blender, combine pineapple, frozen strawberries, sugar, and lime juice and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses, garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired, and serve immediately.

The best part about this beverage is that you can opt to make it alcoholic too. Just add Rum to taste.

Recipe by Ina Garten of the Food Network

You can’t have new years with out a toast!

A toast at midnight calls for a glass of champagne or wine! I love Chandon. It’s always been my favorite. However, some of Chandon’s products are on the expensive side. If you’re on a budget try some of these :

  • Korbel Sparkling Natural Wine – $12.99
  • Martini and Rossi Prosecco – $12.99
  • Barefoot Bubbly California Premium Extra Dry – $9.00
  • Cooks Grand Reserve – $5.99

Also, markets like Fresh and Easy carry inexpensive white wines that taste pretty good .

I hope you’re New Year is wonderful and full of grand adventures, health and happiness!! Have a safe and fun evening!

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

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