Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fish Tacos

Amy had a great day of fishing, this beautiful rock fish was among her bounty from the ocean in this morning! I can't say the same for the rest of our family... the rest of our poles all came up empty. As soon as she pulled up her big 'catch of the day', I knew we would be making some delicious Fish Tacos for dinner.

One of my favorite fish tacos comes from a San Diego restaurant called the Brigintine. Tonight we set out to make a healthy replication of that original, famous Brigintine fish taco with our big rock fish. Instead of battering and frying the fish in a deep fryer, we coated the fish in olive oil and whole wheat panko breadcrumbs and baked it in the oven! 

Our 'healthier' fish tacos turned out GREAT, the panko-crusted baked fish was so crispy and tasty! I didn't even miss the battered and fried fish in the original restaurant version. These homemade fish tacos were the perfect way to enjoy our freshly caught fish... 

Fish Tacos
makes 4-6 tacos

For the fish -
  • 2 (10oz.) filets of whitefish, cut into 4-6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

For the taco - 
  • 4 - 6 corn tortillas
  • shredded cabbage
  • shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
  • Ranch dressing, light
  • cilantro, chopped
  • Sriracha, or other hot chili sauce
  • limes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. 

Coat with the pieces of fish with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasoning making sure the entire piece of fish is evenly coated. 


Dip fish into a bowl or plate of the panko bread crumbs, completely covering the fish with the panko.

Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the fish over and cook another 5-10 minutes.

Assemble taco to your taste!!! 

My tacos -----> start with tortilla, then cabbage, then cheese, then ranch, then fish, and top with spritz of lime, chopped cilantro, and a dab of hot chili sauce.


I can't wait to get back on the water and catch some big fish so we can make these delicious fish tacos again!!


- Janel

Monday, June 23, 2014

Kielbasa Corn Chowder

Life has been pretty crazy lately (in a good way)! I start a new job tomorrow, so I spent today doing some serious food prep since I have no idea what the week will hold! I decided to make a big batch of soup I could easily re-heat for hassle-free dinners the next couple days... 


I created a recipe for this colorful, delicious Kielbasa Corn Chowder from our 'go to' Slow Cooker Corn Chowder recipe.

I have to pat myself on the back for this one... this soup recipe turned out amazing!!!! The smokey flavors of the sausage really cuts through the sweetness of the corn and red bell pepper, the little bit of crushed red pepper flakes kicks up the heat a notch, and since the soup is packed with hearty veggies, it's very filling and satisfying! Yum.

Kielbasa Corn Chowder
based on a recipe from

  • 2-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 cans (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, fat-free
  • 15 oz. turkey kielbasa sausage, cubed
  • 2-3/4 cups frozen corn
  • 6-7 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 10 baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large slow cooker or crockpot, combine all ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Enjoy!!!!

This Kielbasa Corn Chowder is one of my new favorites... it's easy to make, full of flavor, and a great soup for any time of year! And since it's a slow cooker recipe you can just prep your soup and walk away from the kitchen, having a one-dish meal is great for those busy days (or weeks)!

Click here to check out our other yummy soup recipes.

- Janel

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sweet Potato Egg Rolls

Well, these Sweet Potato Egg Rolls took me two attempts to get the seasoning right... but it was worth the time and effort. Just look at how crispy, crunchy, and delicious they look! 

Amy and I have a new obsession with egg roll papers... we couldn't believe it's only 170 calories for 3 egg roll papers! Stuffing the egg roll paper with a healthy, low calorie filling like sweet potato, black beans, mushrooms, and spinach then baking them in the oven (instead of frying them) means you don't have to feel guilty enjoying this favorite finger food!

Don't be scared off by the egg roll papers, they are so easy to use and mold into beautiful egg rolls. Your family and friends will think you worked on them for hours!

These Sweet Potato Egg Rolls are a great, healthy dish to add to the weekly Meatless Monday rotation. Not only are they low in fat and calories, they are also packed full of nutrient-rich sweet potatoes and spinach. You have to try these delicious baked finger foods... you get flavorful, satisfying, and healthy all in one crunchy roll!

Sweet Potato Egg Rolls
adapted from
makes about 8 egg rolls

2 medium sweet potatoes 
3 cups baby spinach
8 oz. mushrooms (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 cup black beans (canned, rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoons cilantro (minced) 
1 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 egg roll wrappers

Preheat the oven to 400. 

Pierce potatoes and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from microwave, slice in half, and let cool.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Saute garlic in oil 2 or 3 minutes. Add mushrooms to pan and brown, then add spinach to the pan. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, combine black beans, cilantro, lime juice, salt, cumin. Mash the sweet potato and add to the bowl, then add wilted spinach and mushroom; mix well.

Working with one wrapper at a time, drop about 2 Tbsp. of filling onto an egg roll wrapper. Use the directions on the back of the package to see how to roll the egg rolls.

Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush the egg rolls with olive oil, or spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for about 14 minutes, turning over half way through baking.

Serve warm with sour cream or Ranch dressing.

These Sweet Potato Egg Rolls only take a few minutes to prep, and a few more minutes to finish in the oven... seriously, baked egg rolls are my new favorite! So easy and satisfying. Also try our Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Egg Rolls.

Stay tuned for more baked egg roll recipes... Yum :)

- Janel

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grilled Lingcod

As some of you know, we have a long tradition of fishing in our family.

Over the years, it has evolved from salmon fishing in the Columbia river (Washington) to now fishing for various kinds of fish off the coast of San Diego (California). We typically catch vermilion rockfish (pictured right below), but yesterday, we caught a different kind of fish. I caught a lingcod (pictured left below)! It put up a great fight and I was really proud of my catch. Remember, there are very strict regulations to the size and limits of the lingcod that you can catch, so make sure to read your fishing books!

My parents took home half the lingcod to make fish tacos. I took home the other half and decided to try a foil packet on the grill. I made up this recipe as I went so feel free to modify as you see fit. Also, this would be a great recipe for any fish, especially white fish.

Spicy Grilled Lingcod

Recipe based on half a fish
  • Lingcod (or any other white fish)
  • 2 teaspoons Creole or Blackened Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Diced jalapenos (about 1/8 cup)
  • Foil 


  • Preheat the grill.
  • Wash off the fish with water and dab dry with a paper towel.
  • Tear off a big enough piece of foil to wrap fish fillet(s) and to make a tent around the fish with the foil.
  • Coat the foil with olive oil or baking spray before putting fish on it.
  • Put the seasoning on the fishing first, then spread chopped up butter and garlic on top of the fish. 
  • Lastly, add the diced jalapenos (to your spice desired).
  • Fold up the foil to make a tent around the fish.
  • Grill for 20 minutes, occasionally rotating the position of the foil tent. 
  • Enjoy!!

You could season and cook any other white fish this way too!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Eggrolls

Another successful night of experimentation in the kitchen... 

This evening I found myself combining two recipes to create one super delicious dish! While flipping through a Cooking Light magazine the other day I saw a recipe for Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Chimichangas... I thought "sweet, those are like 3 of my favorite ingredients!" I couldn't just make the recipe as is, I had to put my own unique spin on it, so I decided I would use eggroll wrappers instead of the tortillas the original recipe called for. Plus, baking an eggroll just seemed healthier than frying a chimichanga.

These eggrolls taste as yummy as they look!

Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Eggrolls would be great as dinner, an appetizer, or a party finger-food. I am taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow... I just couldn't get enough of these crispy, flavorful eggrolls!

Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Eggrolls
based on recipes from and
makes about 12 eggrolls

2 cups chicken stock
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup salsa verde
2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces presliced mushrooms
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12-16 eggroll wrappers
1 cup pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Combine chicken stock and chicken in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until done. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon; let stand 10 minutes. Shred chicken; set aside. Drain cooking liquid through a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids. Set aside 2 tablespoons liquid.

3. Return remaining cooking liquid to pan. Add salsa verde; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 11 minutes).


Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese and cumin; stir with a whisk until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and 1/4 cup cilantro.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion powder, garlic, and mushrooms; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add kale, black pepper, and reserved 2 tablespoons cooking liquid. Cook 2 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring occasionally.

Add kale mixture to chicken mixture.

5. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Use a slotted spoon (to drain some of the extra liquid out) and place about 1/4 cup of the mixture on the middle of an eggroll wrapper, turned like a diamond. Top with about 1 Tbsp of the shredded cheese.


6. Fold the bottom corner up, over the filling. Fold in the two sides, then roll upwards. Put a dab of water on the corner to help it stick. Place on the pan seam down.

7. Repeat until you run out of the mixture, about 12 rolls. Eggrolls can be close, but not touching. Spray the tops with cooking spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with side of sour cream and avocado.

Whoa... these are some seriously delicious eggrolls. MUST. MAKE. THESE. AGAIN.

- Janel

Carrot Cake

While we aim to provide our followers with a healthy spin on most recipes, occasionally, we do like to splurge! I love to bake desserts: breads, cookies, and cakes (which is the opposite of Janel, i.e. Sister #1, who has the more culinary dinner touch). I have had a serious craving for carrot cake for the last couple months. So, here is my splurge carrot cake recipe. If you figure out a way to modify the recipe to make it healthier and taste just as delicious, please let us know!!

Carrot Cake

original recipe found at:

Ingredients- Cake:

  •  1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Ingredients- Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9x13 in. baking pan.
  • Grate the carrots.

  • In a stand mixer or large bowl cream together sugar, eggs, oil and applesauce. 

  • Then add in remaining ingredients, folding in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins last.

  • Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  • While the cake is baking, make the frosting by mixing together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Frosting should be nice and thick.

  • Once cake has cooled spread frosting over the cake.

  • Keep cake covered and it will stay fresh for a few days.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!!