Baked Mashed Potatoes

I’ve been cooking a lot lately (with new tools & appliances from Christmas!); I just haven’t been writing about it yet. I always have a hard time eating healthy this time of year because all I want to do is eat noodle soup or other forms of comfort food. A few weeks ago I found a healthier-ish potato recipe (nothing added other than protein). It was supposed to be stuffed potatoes with ham, thyme & cheese.

Apple Smoked Cheese is my favorite

Apple Smoked Cheese is my favorite

What I Used:

  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 slices of ham
  • half of the cheese
  • olive oil
  • half & half (calls for milk & butter, but I forgot the butter and milk always goes bad if I buy it for one recipe)
  • salt

Rub the potato with olive oil and pierce with a fork. Microwave on high (~10 minutes) until tender (I was starving and definitely didn’t microwave mine long enough).

Cooked Potatoes

Cooked Potatoes

This is where you’re supposed to scrape the potato out of the skin and put it in a bowl and save the skins for later. I, however, completely mutilated the skins at which point I just threw them away and started thinking about how I could salvage this recipe. Mash the potatoes and mix with the ham & cheese.

Ideally the cheese would be shredded, but cut into small pieces worked for me.

Ideally the cheese would be shredded, but cut into small pieces worked for me.

I preheated my oven as high as it would go (450 degrees). I mixed together the mashed potato, ham, cheese, half & half and salt. I wish more than anything that I had a potato masher, but I don’t, so I mixed it all together with a fork. (Also, how do you like my new collapsible mixing bowl?!) It should not be entirely lump free. This is where you’re supposed to spoon the mixture back into the skins. Instead I put everything into the pan and baked it for ~5 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

This was delicious. I cannot wait to make it again, and I have frozen broccoli waiting in my fridge to add to it next time.

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Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for unhealthy food, with a desire to be healthy. Finding healthy foods, that are simple and that I can cook sometimes makes life challenging. But I am excited for crock pot season to start. This casserole is healthier than what most likely first popped into your mind.

I started by cooking the quinoa earlier in the day at work. Qunioa adds protein and more natural carbs than rice does. (This is traditionally made with rice.) I only had tri-colored, but I don’t believe this changes the flavor.

Quinoa

Quinoa

If all was right with the world, I would have been able to make a “cream of anything” soup. However, when I cook, I tend to eat later than I’d like, so to add an extra step is not ideal. Someday I will be able to do this, but to use cream of broccoli soup on a rare occasion is not my worst dietary habit (IMO). I combined the soup, mayo, nutmeg, cheese, Truvia (that’s what I have, not Splenda) and milk. I only have soy milk now, because it does not spike my blood sugar like cow’s milk does. I decided not to add pepper. I have a cheap pepper mill, which does not grind it very well. I end up with giant chunks of pepper, and for someone who is not the biggest fan of pepper, this can definitely ruin a lot of bites of a meal.

Freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Soup Mix

Soup Mix

I bought frozen broccoli, so cooked that in the microwave, then added it to the soup mix with the quinoa. I would love to be able to use fresh broccoli, but I didn’t think of it during the day when I could’ve cooked it.

Broccoli

Broccoli

I put it all together in my pan, then added more shredded cheese to the top.

Ready to be cooked

Ready to be cooked

After cooking for 35 minutes

After cooking for 35 minutes

Avocado Chicken Enchilada Dip

Once again, my recipe is coming from Pinterest; I know you’re surprised. I cooked with tortillas once before, but I don’t use them a lot, so they end up going to waste. I still wanted to try this recipe because it combines so many things that I love.

Enchilada Dip - Briley style

Enchilada Dip – Briley style

I am going to warn you, this was not my favorite recipe. It tasted good, but the consistency was a little off. I think that has to do with cooking everything in the same place, rather than the ingredients. It is a recipe I want to try again, but in a kitchen. I started by cooking the chicken in coconut oil. I bought it for another citrus flavored recipe, and I think it’s healthier than other fats. However, it creates a lot of extra liquid when cooking chicken.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

I did not have garlic, so I warmed the butter and then added the flour. Keep in mind there was still some coconut oil in the pan. I cooked the flour, then added the chicken broth mix.

Chicken broth, cumin, salt & pepper

Chicken broth, cumin, salt & pepper

I added the sour cream to the chicken broth & flour mixture. I only had black bean salsa, and wasn’t sure how it would taste in this recipe, so I didn’t use salsa or cilantro (this seems to be one of the hardest things to find in the grocery store). I also couldn’t remove it from heat, but I did turn the heat off. I left the sauce where it was in the pan, then added the chicken and avocado. I stirred that together, then added the shredded cheese to the top.

Chicken, avocado & cheese added to the sauce

Chicken, avocado & cheese added to the sauce

I baked until the cheese was bubbling and then I used tortilla chips for dipping. Like I said before, the consistency was off. Maybe I’ll be able to experiment and find a recipe with the chicken, avocado & cheese, but without a flour based sauce. I think that is what made the consistency not something I enjoyed.

Cooked and bubbly

Cooked and bubbly

Chips and dip

Chips and dip

Orange Chicken

I am not on any strict diet, but I do try to focus on eating healthy, natural ingredients. I’m also a sucker for everything opposite. When I saw this orange chicken recipe on pinterest, I knew I needed to try it. Even if it wasn’t exactly what I order from restaurants, it was certainly delicious.

Diced Chicken

Diced Chicken

I had to adjust this recipe since I only have one place to cook. I do have two different pans though. I started by cooking the chicken first. Since I don’t have a traditional kitchen, AND my bathroom is currently under construction, I could not drain the chicken while cooking. It took me a little longer to cook it, but I don’t believe it affected the taste at all. Once the chicken had cooked, I started cooking the orange sauce. Also, I don’t like spicy foods, so I did not use the chili garlic sauce.

Orange zest, orange juice, ginger & soy sauce

Orange zest, orange juice, ginger & soy sauce

Thickening

Thickening

As the sauce started to thicken, I added the chicken to the sauce and let it all cook together. Once the chicken was coated, I poured it over rice I had cooked earlier in the day.

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Yogurt Oatmeal

I am trying to make my breakfasts much more healthy. I like making eggs, but that isn’t realistic every day, so I’ve turned to oatmeal. My friend Lorraine posted an overnight recipe in which her son didn’t have a blood sugar spike after eating. If you’re familiar with diabetes, you’ll realize this is incredible and rare. I knew that I had to try it. My friend Brian sent me some mason jars and off I went.

These are the ingredients I used this week. Other weeks I have made different flavors.

These are the ingredients I used this week. Other weeks I have made different flavors.

The reason my breakfasts are so important is because I’m training for a half marathon. I need a healthy breakfast packed with complex carbs and protein so that my blood sugar will not plummet while I’m on the road. ย When I bolus correctly, this is exactly what I need. I first tried the blueberry maple oatmeal which I loved, but am using the banana peanut butter one when I have long runs. My body is loving bananas right now.

Oats & Milk & Yogurt

Oats & Milk & Yogurt

Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup and Peanut Butter. Then Shake!

Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup and Peanut Butter. Then Shake!

Fit as much fruit as possible before putting the cover on.

Fit as much fruit as possible before putting the cover on.

It is quite simple, really. Put all ingredients (oats, yogurt, milk, chia seeds, maple syrup & peanut butter) into your jar and shake to mix it all together. It will become quite liquid-like, and you’ll be able to mix your fruit into it. I try to get as many banana slices as possible in the jar. The top goes on, it goes in the fridge and it tastes delicious in the morning. I hope that you enjoy just like I have!