Pumpkin Spice Mallow Cheerio Treats

img_20160912_133102Wow were these ever a hit!!! I always take pride in making my desserts easy and as gooey as possible and these perfectly carried on my tradition! Be ready to wash the stickies off after you eat these… they are messy and delicious and just perfect for the Fall season 🙂

You will need:

  • 8 cups Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
  • 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 stick unsalted real butter
  • 1/2 tsp Pampered Chef Cinnamon plus spice blend (or brand you prefer) if you don’t have this blend you can use just cinnamon or whatever fall spice blend you have 🙂
  • 7 oz container Kraft Jet Puffed marshmallow creme
  • Cinnamon (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)img_20160908_105259364_hdr

Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray

In a large non-stick pot melt stick of butter on low heat. After the butter is melted add the entire bag of marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted and blended with butter.

Turn off heat and add Cinnamon spice blend and stir. Add Cheerios and fold and stir until cereal is thoroughly coated with marshmallow mixture.

Transfer Cheerio mixture to baking dish. Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray and firmly and evenly spread.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes

When cool spread marshmallow creme evenly over treats like you would frosting.

Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the creme. img_20160908_113115792

Let sit at least 20 min before cutting into squares. Can be refrigerated to take some of the gooiness out of them.

Store with wax paper to prevent stickingimg_20160912_133102

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

 

Ginger Lemon Pepper Tilapia

img_20160908_132408Nothing better than light and flaky fish with good flavor and texture. As you can tell from my recipes I like EASY, FRESH, and DELICIOUS. So if I can make a recipe with a few shortcuts that still keep it healthy and fresh tasting, I’m all for it! I discovered Schwan’s LiveSmart line of products and LOVE them! Most of them have pretty good nutritional numbers and with our very necessary cardiac and diabetic new diet we are religiously following, these products most certainly make my life in the kitchen a lot easier. This is my favorite way to make their Tilapia. Hope you enjoy the flavor AND the convenience!

You will need:

  • 1- 17.6 oz. pkg of Schwan’s frozen tilapia loins (Or your brand of choice)
  • 1-TBS Lemon Zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon (save 1/2 for serving)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper (or 1/2 tsp if you like a little spice)
  • 1 tsp Olde Thompson orange lemon pepper grinder seasoning (or brand of your choice)
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray (preferably olive oil spray)

Remove Tilapia from plastic wrappers and arrange in baking dish in a single layer

Drizzle fish with a generous amount of olive oil

Evenly sprinkle remaining ingredients over fish and keep one half of lemon juice to the side for servingimg_20160817_153542257

Bake covered tightly with foil for approx. 45 min (ovens will vary)

Uncover and check doneness (fish should be flaky and white, bake an additional 10-15 min if needed)

Drizzle with more olive oil and lemon juice to serve.. Easy right??? 🙂

 

Serve with my Tomato & Pepper Cashew Brown Rice or any sides of your choice

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!

 

Tomato & Pepper Cashew Brown Rice

img_20160907_184651Super easy side dish.. but it won’t taste like it. A healthy one too! I like to pair it with anything but it’s really good with fish. This can also be made ahead and warmed in the microwave for a timesaver. Enjoy! 🙂

You will need:

  • 1- cup Orange or Yellow grape tomatoes halved (you can use any color tomatoes you would like or any combination of)
  • 1/4 c EV Olive oil (or a little more if you like a wetter rice)
  • 2- bags boil in bag brown rice prepared by pkg directions and warm
  • 1-tsp Ginger (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1-1/2-tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2-tsp Coriander
  • 2-TBS Parsley (Fresh parsley is even better)
  • 1-1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1-tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped salt & pepper cashews (depending on how much crunch you like)
  • 2-tsp Lemon zest  (if you like more lemon flavor add a little lemon juice as well)

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe dish except cashews until well blended

Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds (Microwaves vary check after 1 minute)

Add cashews and gently stir. If needed sprinkle a little more olive oil and fresh parsley

Serve and Enjoy!!!

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Pepper Medley Chicken Thighs

IMG_20160902_135513If you are like most people you go straight for the boneless chicken breasts every time you buy and use chicken. Well, I highly suggest if you haven’t already to consider boneless,  skinless chicken thighs. Yes, they are a little higher in fat but if you compare it to red meat you are still doing well in that dept. And the cost savings is amazing! The flavor is better than the white breast meat and so tender. You will be pleasantly surprised and I promise you will want to add them to your shopping list regularly 🙂 Enjoy!:)

Mix thoroughly and marinate covered in refrigerator at least 20 min. and up to 12 hours before:

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**I use and prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in all my recipes

  • 2-1/2 -3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 5 TBS EV Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dried Rosemary
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried Parsley
  • 3/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp All Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Have prepped on the side (and these can be done ahead of time for a time saver)

  • 1 lg. yellow onion sliced
  • 3 (any color) Bell Peppers sliced

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Spray a non stick pan or iron skillet on medium heat with olive oil cooking spray

Brown/sear chicken thighs approx 2 minutes on each side

Spray a 13×9 baking dish liberally with olive oil cooking spray

Move chicken thighs from pan to baking dish (wash hands thoroughly)

IMG_20160811_170326670_HDR

Top with peppers and onions and also with:

  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley (fresh or dried is fine)

Cover with foil and bake approx 45 min (Ovens vary)

Remove foil and gently stir and bake uncovered an additional 10 min or until thighs reach an internal temp of at least 170 degrees

Cover again with foil and let rest out of oven for 5 min.

I like to drizzle them with a little more Olive Oil before serving.

Serve with your favorite sides 🙂

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

 

S’mores Cheerio Treats

IMG_20160830_155410This recipe is sooooo easy and so good! Perfect for the kids to join in and help… and they are so gooey and yummy and taste just like S’mores! Enjoy!

You will need:

  • 7 cups General Mills Chocolate Cheerios
  • 1 stick unsalted real butter
  • 10.5 oz.bag mini marshmallows
  • 4-6 whole Honey Maid graham crackers crumbled (or more if you prefer)
  • 13×9 pan sprayed generously with cooking spray

*Follow the same old cereal treat recipe but with my embellishments 🙂

In a non stick pot melt on low heat the whole stick of butter. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Turn off heat and add cereal. Gently fold cereal in with marshmallow mixture until all the cereal is coated. Takes some muscle!

Spoon into 13×9 pan with a cooking spray coated utensil..makes it easier.. and spread and press until even in the pan.

Immediately sprinkle graham cracker crumbles on treats evenly and give crumbles a slight press with the utensil so you know they have stuck to the treats.

Let cool completely and then cut and serve.

Hint: serve or store with wax paper..they are gooey and sticky!

**If you are a chocolate nut add some chocolate shavings on top of the treats with the graham crackers.

**If you are a marshmallow nut add a layer of marshmallow cream to the treats BEFORE the graham cracker crumbs.

Enjoy!!!

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂IMG_20160830_155410

 

 

Char’s Chicken Chili

IMG_20160708_112048OK, I don’t normally put my name on my recipes but this one is special. Lots of blood sweat and tears went into creating this one. I have an original recipe for my chili that I had to completely revamp when my Husband became sick and had to follow a cardiac and diabetic diet. Can’t live without chili right? As you know I now adore ground chicken and I use it again in this recipe. This chili is low sodium and I think as healthy as a chili can get. If you want more salt just go ahead and add it. And please add all the fixins you like as well! I will have suggestions listed. Enjoy!!

In a separate small bowl combine and set aside:

**I use and highly recommend Simply Organic herbs and spices

  • 3 tsp Curry powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 TBS Onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 3/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 TBS dried Cilantro
  • 3 tsp Cumin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS Fresh Ground Pepper

IMG_20160824_121657626_HDR

You will also need:

  • At Least 3 TBS EV Olive Oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion chopped
  • Pepper Grinder and wooden spoon
  • 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. of Perdue ground chicken
  • Approx 2 TBS of your favorite Red Wine
  • 1/2 c of Taste of Inspirations Black Bean & Corn Salsa (any brand will do)
  • 1- 28 oz can Cento San Marzano Peeled whole tomatoes (this brand is a MUST)
  • 3- 14.5 oz cans No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
  • 2- 15 oz cans reduced sodium black beans
  • 2- 15 oz cans reduced sodium red kidney beans
  • 2-15 oz cans reduced sodium Garbanzo beans
  • 1-15 oz can reduced sodium Pinto beans
  • **I prefer to use NO SALT ADDED beans but they are not always easy to find
  • 1- 10 oz bag frozen corn
  • approx 1-1/2 c of water

On medium heat drizzle in the pot the olive oil and when heated add the onion. Grind the pepper a few turns over the onions and add 3 tsp of the seasonings you mixed earlier ( you will be adding the seasoning 3 tsp at a time) Saute until tender.

De glaze with the red wine for a couple minutes with your wooden spoon until most of the brown is scraped away. Add ground chicken and 3 more tsp of seasoning. Break up chicken with the wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink. Add the salsa and stir. (Wash hands thoroughly)

In a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl pour the can of Cento whole tomatoes. Save the can to the side.  Remove the basil leaves and discard. With a pastry blender or potato masher smash the tomatoes until they are broken up. Add them to the pot and stir. Add 3 more tsp of the seasoning, stir. Using the empty tomato can put 3/4 c of water and swoosh around to remove the remaining tomato juice then pour into pot, stir.

Add the 3 cans of diced tomatoes and stir. Sprinkle in more seasoning, stir.

Open and rinse all the cans of beans in a colander a couple cans at a time. Add the beans to the pot 2 cans at a time and gently fold them in. Add remaining water (if you like a thicker chili you can omit some of the water) and grind a few more turns of pepper over the chili.

After you have added all the beans add the frozen corn and the rest of the seasoning. Stir gently..the beans are very tender.

Lower the heat and let simmer for 30 min. stirring occasionally.

*This is a medium chili. If you like more heat add more Cayenne, ground pepper, or pepper flakes. You can also top with jalapenos or hot sauce. If you like mild, omit some of the peppers.

Remove from heat and let sit for about 15 min with the lid on.

Give it one more good and gentle stir and it’s ready to serve with your favorite ladle. 🙂

Makes 10-20 servings depending on serving size.

Recommended toppings:

  • black olives
  • green onions
  • avocados (YUM!)
  • shredded cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • crackers
  • corn chips
  • jalapenos
  • hot sauce
  • banana peppers
  • cornbread
  • red pepper flakes

*Recipe can be cut in half or it freezes WELL.

*Also try a take 2 meal the next day with the leftover chili… Nachos, Chili dip, Chili dogs, or whatever ideas you can come up with. The chili WILL get a bit spicier by the next day 🙂

Enjoy!!!!

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂IMG_20160708_112048

3 Bean Cilantro Chicken Burger

FB_IMG_1471195861321Again, I cannot say enough how good ground chicken is! And, I have to say I like it as a burger better than beef…YES.. I really do. And just knowing how much fat and cholesterol I am saving it makes it even better. The secret I have found with ground chicken is marinating it. Anywhere from 20 min to 24 hrs. in the frig and the flavor difference is amazing! Enjoy! 🙂

Makes 4 servings  *if you do not use cheddar cheese it takes a lot of the saturated fat and sodium out of this recipe and is still delicious! And if you eat it bunless it takes most of the carbs out and even more sodium 🙂

In a medium mixing bowl combine until blended…

-1 lb. Perdue ground chicken

** I prefer Simply Organic brand herbs and spices in my recipes. If you use another brand it may alter the sodium count.

-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

-1/2 tsp curry powder

-1/2 tsp paprika

-1/4 tsp coriander

-1/2 tsp onion powder

-1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

-1 tsp dried cilantro

-1 tsp cumin

-2 tsp EV olive oil

Marinate in frig 20 min to up to 24 hrs.

You will also need….

-Whole wheat buns or whatever you prefer

-8 tbs. Taste of Inspirations Black Bean and Corn salsa (warmed just a bit in microwave in a microwave safe dish) or whatever brand you prefer

-1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

-Chopped fresh cilantro (dry will work too)

Spray a non-stick grill pan or skillet with olive oil spray. If you are using a grill press spray that as well.

With clean hands form chicken into 4 patties. Wash hands thoroughly.

Fry burgers on medium heat flipping once until they reach an internal temp of at least 170 degrees and are no longer pink inside.

Place cooked burger on bun (you can toast buns if you prefer) and spread 2 tbs of salsa, sprinkle fresh cilantro, then top with cheddar cheese. Gently press top bun on burger and serve with your choice of sides. My Roasted Potato Wedges would be a good pairing. You can find the recipe on the thechew.com 🙂

*Recipe can easily be doubled

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

 

 

Avocado Spicy Mayo

IMG_20160812_103432 (1)I love this stuff!! It is so easy to make and can also be used as a dip (I like it with pretzels).  It is mild to medium heat. I thinks its more flavorful than anything. It can be used on everything so use your imagination! It is also cardiac diet and diabetic friendly 🙂

*Only drawback is that the main ingredient is avocado so it will lose it’s bright green color within a few hours or so. Still tastes good but if that matters to you I would make it closer to when you will serve it. Enjoy!

In a small mixing bowl combine with mixer on medium speed (or you can use a food processor, Nutribullet, or whatever you prefer)

-1/2 lg. avocado cut into small chunks

-1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

-1 tsp. Wasabi

-1 tsp. prepared horseradish

-1 tsp. lime juice

-1 tsp lime zest

-1 heaping tbs. Olive Oil Mayo

-1 tsp E.V. Olive Oil

Mix until smooth. If you like more heat increase Wasabi, pepper, and horseradish to 1- 1/2 tsp. each.

Put in small serving bowl and garnish with more lime zest.

Makes 1/2 c. 8- 1 tbs. servings

*Recipe can easily be doubled 🙂

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Roasted Basil Tomatoes

IMG_20160801_094241I love to roast everything! And I especially love to roast tomatoes. You can do so much with this tomato recipe it is endless. I wanted to get this recipe up because I will be referencing back to these delicious tomatoes as an ingredient in other recipes… but trust me, these beauties stand up just fine as a side dish all by themselves! Enjoy!

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a metal baking sheet or baking dish with olive oil cooking spray

You will need:

-10-12 Roma tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise

-Approx. 2-3 tbs. of EV Olive Oil (or I like to call it a good healthy drizzle!)

**I prefer Simply Organic brand herbs and spices in my recipes

-1 tsp. dried oregano

-1/2 tsp. dried thyme

-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

-1/2 tsp.crushed red pepper

-1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

-2-3 tbs. chopped fresh basil (depending on your taste)

**I do not remove seeds or the skin of the tomatoes. If you are on a special diet or prefer to remove the skin you can. I prefer not to because I like the flavor and texture better.

**I have not added salt to this recipe because my husband has to follow a sodium restricted diet. You may add 1/4-1/2 tsp. if you prefer.

Spread tomatoes out on baking sheet and drizzle with Olive Oil. One at a time sprinkle evenly over tomatoes all remaining ingredients. With clean hands gently toss tomatoes until ingredients are blended. Tomatoes should be skin side down and in a single layer.

Roast for approx. 30-40 minutes (ovens vary) until they are caramelized and wrinkly as I call it 🙂

Let them rest a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer them to a serving bowl, drizzle with a little more Olive Oil and garnish with more chopped fresh basil.

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

IMG_20160802_172859

 

 

 

Parmesan Encrusted Chicken Meatloaf

IMG_20160808_162834If you haven’t discovered ground chicken you need to!! This is a diabetic friendly recipe and it has so much flavor! With my Husband’s illness I have now discovered how to cook low fat, low carb AND low sodium. I have found lots of new ways to create flavor with very little or no salt. I will be posting these healthy recipes along with all my other favorites. Enjoy!!

*8 serving meatloaf  (per serving)  Sat. fat 3.2g \ Sodium 355 mg \ Carbs 8.6g \

*10 serving meatloaf (per serving)  Sat. fat 2.6g \ Sodium 284 mg \ Carbs 6.9g \

**Remember: Ingredients are very important to stay within the sodium, fat and carb guidelines. I have specified product brands to use. If you have no diet restrictions you can use ground turkey or ground beef and other brands you prefer.

This is a 13×9 meatloaf. The servings are pretty large. Recipe can be cut in half or you can cut the pieces smaller. It’s pretty hardy!

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees and spray a 13×9 baking dish with olive oil cooking spray

Combine in a large mixing bowl.. (do not over mix, just until blended)

  • 2 lbs. Perdue ground chicken
  • 1- 28 oz. can Furmano’s Italian style diced basil garlic oregano tomatoes/ drain slightly
  • 1 egg- beaten
  • 10 saltine crackers crushed (can add more if sodium isn’t a concern)
  • 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 tbs. E. V. Olive Oil
  • (All dry spices are Simply Organic Brand because they don’t add sodium and I love them!)
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp. Coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1\2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. of fresh chopped basil (you can also use dry 1 tsp.)
  • 1/4-1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Put mixture into baking dish and form into a meatloaf leaving about an inch open all the way around between meatloaf and baking dish. Meatloaf should be about 2 inches high.

** Wash hands thoroughly

Take approx. 1/4 c. of grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle evenly across meatloaf. If no diet restrictions you can use up to a 1/2 c.

Bake uncovered approx. (Ovens vary)  40-60 min or until internal temp reaches at least 170 degrees and top is golden brownimg_20160805_182930306

Cover with foil and let rest 10 min before serving.

Serve with sides of your choice

Is also great as a day 2 meal… like in spaghetti sauce or on a sandwich! 🙂

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂