Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal

Happy Almost Labor Day, Jillian’s Kitchen Fans. I hope you have all had a nice summer so far. I have obviously been taking a bit of a hiatus from posting and can’t guarantee that I will be posting tons and tons of recipes anytime soon but I will be trying to post more often then I have been. This fantastic recipe came from a friend of mine who wanted to modify her baked oatmeal to include Zucchini, which I know if you have a garden at home, you are probably overrun with! I thought this was a great idea and offered many possibilities. I think I’m seeing a cinnamon raisin version in my near future! For those zucchini haters, I promise, you won’t have any clue you are eating zucchini! Thank you so much Iris for this great recipe.

Zucchini Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal: Serves 12-18

4 Eggs
3C Milk (I use Fat Free)
3C Zucchini – Shredded and squeezed (discard excess liquid from squeezing)
2tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Salt
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2tsp Cinnamon
4TB Cocoa Powder
1/2C Brown Sugar (optional/change to suit taste)
6C Oats – Old Fashioned, not quick cook!
1C Mini Chocolate Chips – I used Semi Sweet

Mix the eggs and milk together then add all remaining ingredients. I let it sit for 5 minutes so the oats can absorb some of the liquid and stir again. Pour into a greased 13×9 or 10×15 pan and bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes until the top of the oatmeal is evenly cooked. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the counter, then slice into 12-18 slices, and refrigerate until you are ready to eat. I personally like to eat them plain, with a tsp of butter, a TB of cream cheese, some honey or some maple syrup, I really haven’t found a way that I don’t like baked oatmeal!

Other Baked Oatmeal’s to Try:

Cherry Baked Oatmeal
Blueberry Lemon
Strawberry Banana
Banana Bread
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

WW: 8 Points Plus / serving @ 12 servings
5 Points Plus / serving @ 18 servings

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Tortellini Pasta Salad

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As we remember all the wonderful men and women who have served our country many of us will be attending BBQ’s and get togethers. I was talking with my cousin the other day about the two BBQ’s I am going to this weekend and saying how I wanted to try some new things and she suggested doing a salad with Tortellini. I thought that was a great idea so I modified my normal Summer Pasta Salad to use the tortellini. I Love this salad, it is made with nice vibrant fresh ingredients, is extremely pretty and there isn’t much worry about it being outside as there is no mayo to go bad. Give this a try at your next get together and enjoy.

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad: Serves 10-12 (as an appetizer / side dish)

1.5lbs Frozen Cheese Tortellini
1 English Cucumber – Peeled & Chopped
3 Carrots – Peeled & Shredded
2 Bell Peppers (I used Yellow & Red) – Diced
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes – Halved
1C Kraft Fat Free Zesty Italian Dressing
2TB McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the tortellini and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, drain and toss in the fridge to cool down while you get the rest of the salad ready. Prepare all your veggies and place in a large bowl, take the cooled tortellini and place in the bowl – note they will probably all be stuck together, gently pull them apart so you don’t have one massive tortellini in the bowl. Give everything a toss then add the dressing and salad supreme seasoning and toss it all again. Take pleasure in the pretty rainbow in front of you, keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve, toss one more time then serve and enjoy!

WW: 6 Points Plus / serving @ 10 servings
5 Points Plus / serving @ 12 servings

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Recipe Flashback – Canadian Bacon Shrimp & Grits

Two years ago I wrote to you guys of my favorite ever Shrimp and Grits recipe, I found out the secret to grits….milk and lots of it! These grits are so creamy and wonderfully decadent that every time I have them I ask myself why it took me nearly 30 years to discover them. This recipe is one that I often go back to, it is comforting, filling and not too bad for you either, not to mention insanely tasty. I had this last night and switched up one ingredient – regular paprika for hot smoked which completely changed it and gave it some more pizzazz! If you like hot and spicy try this swap and let me know what you think, if hot and spicy isn’t you thing try the original recipe.

Canadian Bacon Shrimp & Grits

Canadian Bacon Shrimp & Grits: Serves 4-6

2C Water
1C Grits (not instant!)
3C Milk – I use fat free
1TB Butter
1/2tsp Salt
1lbs Shrimp – Peeled & De-veined
6 Slices Canadian Bacon
1 Onion – Chopped
1 Bell Pepper – Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves – Minced
1tsp Hot Smoked Paprika
1/4tsp Thyme (dried)
2tsp Flour
1/2C Milk
1C Chicken Stock
1TB Olive Oil

In a sauce pot bring 2C of water to a boil and whisk in the grits, bring up to a simmer and continue to whisk until the grits thicken – this will happen within a minute or two. Add the 3C of milk, butter and salt to the pot and whisk over medium heat until it comes up to a simmer. I know that it will look like you are making a pot of soup…believe me those wonderful grits will absorb all of that milk. Once the grits come up to a simmer, stir, turn down to low and cover with a lid, stir every few minutes as it slowly thickens.

While the grits are thickening chop your veggies and set to the side, peel your shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel, and cut the bacon into small pieces (approx 1/4″ x 1/2″ slices). Once everything is prepped place 1tsp of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add in the bacon – cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally to crisp up the meat. Add the shrimp with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir it around in the bacon – cook the shrimp flipping once until they are just cooked through. Remove the shrimp and bacon to a bowl and set to the side. Add the remaining 2tsp of olive oil to the pan over medium heat and add in the peppers and onions with another pinch of salt and pepper and stir fry for 6-8 minutes, add in the garlic, paprika, thyme and flour and stir to coat the vegetables then add in the remaining 1/2C milk and chicken stock. Stir to distribute the spices into the sauce and bring up to a simmer stirring often. Cook for 4-5 minutes allowing the sauce to thicken, add the shrimp and bacon back to the pan and allow it to heat through.

Your grits should be done by now, when you stir them you should be able to see the bottom of the pan because they don’t fall back into place immediately. Scoop the grits into the bottom of a bowl and then spoon some of the shrimp and vegetable mixture on top. Prepare to have your socks knocked off because I can honestly say mine were. Wow. I cannot wait until lunch when I can have some left overs :)

Serve & Enjoy!

WW: 11 Points Plus / serving @ 4 servings
7 Points Plus / serving @ 6 servings

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Grilled Cauliflower

If you were on the East Coast this weekend you know how absolutely wonderful it was outside! We had the house open, breeze blowing in and no worry about snow. Needless to say my grill was cranked up and ready to go last night. I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge that needed to be used and a grill basket saying “why not?!” I have roasted cauliflower in the past with great success and figured grilling wasn’t that different. This was a great addition to some grilled marinated chicken breasts and rice pilaf and super simple to make.

Grilled Cauliflower

Grilled Cauliflower: Serves 3-4

1 Head Cauliflower – Cut into Large Florets
1TB Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Break your cauliflower into large florets – I quarter, remove the core, then just pull apart and slice super large chunks into half so the pieces are all approximately the same size. Toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper and place in a grill basket. Place on your grill and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes tossing once or twice (I actually put it on the grill while it was heating up then once they were done just turned off the portion of the grill they were on while the remainder of my meal cooked!) Serve & Enjoy!

WW: 1 Points Plus / serving

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Creamy Cheesy Noodle Bake

I love the Pioneer Woman! Her Blog, her TV show, always makes me want to get in the kitchen and try her delicious looking food. While her family is physically working hard everyday on their ranch I sit behind a computer most of the time so I often try to lighten her recipes or add more veggies to stretch the deliciousness out to more servings. I have had multiple friends say they tried her Sour Cream Noodle Bake and loved it so I decided to adapt it for myself and I loved the results! This is a lighter version and while it is pretty darn good day 1 I actually enjoyed it even more as leftovers.

Creamy Cheesy Noodle Bake

Creamy Cheesy Noodle Bake: Serves 8

1C Sour Cream – I use Daisy’s Light
1.5C Cottage Cheese – I use Fat Free
8oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1-1/4 lbs Ground Beef – I use 93/7
12oz Egg Noodles – I used Whole Grain
15oz Can Diced Tomatoes – Drained
15oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Onion – Diced
1tsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and the onions with some salt and pepper, cook for 2-3 minutes then add the ground beef with salt and pepper and brown the beef. Once the beef is browned, drain the excess fat from the pan then add the tomatoes and tomato sauce with some additional salt and pepper to the pan and let it gently simmer while you assemble everything else.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente – make sure to not over cook them as they will bake and continue to cook in the oven. Once cooked drain and return to the pot.

This step is not necessary but I felt that it would allow the cottage cheese to melt better – I blended the cottage cheese until it was the consistency of the sour cream. You can do that or not, it is your choice, the next step is to mix the sour cream with the cottage cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 2oz of cheddar cheese (1/4 of the package) to the sour cream mix. Now dump all of this into the noodle pot and stir to incorporate.

The Pioneer Woman recommends layering creamy noodles, beef mixture, creamy noodles, beef and topping with the remaining cheddar cheese. I knew that my boyfriend would not be a fan of just the plain noodles so I chose to mix it all together and pour into a large greased casserole dish. You do whichever sounds best to you, I don’t think you could really make a mistake here. Whatever you do – top the casserole with the remaining cheddar cheese. Put in a 350° oven for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is nice and melted. Remove from the oven, let it sit for a minute then serve and enjoy!

WW: 10 Points Plus / serving

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Posted in Beef, Casseroles, Pasta / Rice | Leave a comment