9 Easy & Healthy Recipes to Pair with Soup! |

9 Easy Recipes to Pair with Soup!

Tracking PixelA collection of 9 Easy Recipes to Pair with Soup, all on the lighter side. Thank you to Progresso™ for sponsoring this post.

9 Easy & Healthy Recipes to Pair with Soup! |

Now that we have snow on the ground and have experienced sub-zero temperatures, it feels like a true Minnesota winter. This is the time of year soup was made for!  Especially after a fun holiday filled with cookies and treats, my body is craving foods with vegetables…and lots of them. Again…soup!…

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Pizza Grilled Cheese |

Pizza Grilled Cheese #SundaySupper

Pizza Grilled Cheese combines two classic favorites into a tasty sandwich, with a side of pizza sauce for dipping!

Pizza Grilled Cheese |

It just so happens that April is National Grilled Cheese month.  An entire month devoted to one of the greatest food inventions ever…the grilled cheese sandwich!  Whether it is a classic from your childhood or something a bit more gourmet, grilled cheese sandwiches bring people together in a way like no other food.  Well, no other foods except perhaps pizza. People are passionate about their grilled cheeses as well as their pizzas.  So it is only natural to put the two together and make a Pizza Grilled Cheese sandwich!…

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Pretzel Crusted Grilled Cheese |

Pretzel Crusted Grilled Cheese

Pretzel Crusted Grilled Cheese puts a tasty pretzel twist on everybody’s favorite childhood grilled cheese sandwich.  

Pretzel Crusted Grilled Cheese |

Throughout the month of April, we celebrated National Grilled Cheese Month with many tasty variations of the classic sandwich.  While I developed a delicious Parmesan Crusted Baked Grilled Cheese, that was not the original recipe I had in mind.  I wanted to make a grilled cheese with pretzels – in either the crust or the filling, it didn’t matter.  Pretzel-something grilled cheese was going to happen.   I tried mixing pretzels with cheese for a topping or crushed in the filling, and the results were just not satisfactory.  However I am very excited to share that finally on the last day of National Grilled Cheese month I discovered the secret…and it works!…

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Parmesan Crusted Baked Grilled Cheese | #recipes #grilledcheese #SundaySupper

Parmesan Crusted Baked Grilled Cheese #SundaySupper

Parmesan Crusted Baked Grilled Cheese is a simple grilled cheese sandwich sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and then baked to crunchy, melty, cheesy perfection.

Parmesan Crusted Baked Grilled Cheese | #recipes #grilledcheese #SundaySupper

After many experiments (and many nights in a row) of making grilled cheese sandwiches, I developed an appreciation for the art of the baked grilled cheese.  In fact, it has revolutionized my grilled cheese making endeavors – so much so that I may never use a skillet again!   The key to what makes this sandwich amazing is the Parmesan cheese topping that encrusts the bread when it bakes.  Parmesan cheese brings out the amazing flavors in the grilled cheese sandwich (kind of like salt when cooking or baking – inexplicable, but necessary)….

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Avocado Buffalo Chicken Wraps | #recipes #SundaySupper #WeekdaySupper

Avocado Buffalo Chicken Wraps #WeekdaySupper

 Avocado Buffalo Chicken Wraps are a spicy buffalo chicken salad packed with lots of vegetables and made with avocado and Greek yogurt instead of mayo.  Enjoyed warm or chilled, this wrap is healthy, quick and easy ~ perfect for a weeknight!

Avocado Buffalo Chicken Wraps | #recipes #SundaySupper #WeekdaySupper

Avocado Buffalo Chicken Wraps put a fun and unique twist on your everyday chicken salad.  Shredded chicken, drenched in a light, seasoned buffalo sauce, spices things up, while an avocado and Greek yogurt mixture replaces the mayo.  For the vegetables, I used shredded carrots and chopped broccoli (I’m not a fan of celery, but if you are, some chopped celery would be a tasty addition as well).   A little blue cheese crumble would be an excellent topping as well.  

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English Muffin Grilled Cheese

English Muffin Grilled Cheese

English Muffin Grilled Cheese

English Muffin Grilled Cheese sandwich is a fun twist on a traditional childhood favorite…and a clever solution for my picky eater! 

Kids’ tastes in food are one of life’s great mysteries. Take cheese, for example. For the first three years of Adam’s life, cheese was one of his favorite foods.  He had cheese broiled on an English muffin for lunch almost every day.  These days, he has a ‘thing’ about cheese.  He says he doesn’t like cheese, but sometimes he wavers.  He still loves English muffins though.  So I decided to try an experiment….

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Black Bean Nacho Burgers

Black Bean Nacho Burgers are a healthy, spicy, cheesy burger that tastes just like black bean nachos! {vegetarian}

As we all know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In honor and recognition of this, my friend Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts contacted me about joining a bunch of bloggers together this week to share pink recipes or healthy recipes that are helpful for fighting cancer.  What a great idea!  So this week I will be sharing 2 recipes ~ today’s being the healthy one ~ Black Bean Nacho Burgers.

Some studies suggest a link between red meat consumption and breast cancer.  While we don’t eat a lot of red meat in this house, I am always happy to find new substitutes for red meat standbys, such as a burger.  Sometimes a burger really hits the spot, right?  Even though it is an occasional indulgence, after having these Black Bean Nacho Burgers, I will be happy to never have a beef burger again!  They are super easy to make, with a simple list of ingredients, and really do taste like black bean nachos!   Made with black beans, crushed tortilla chips, some cheese, salsa and seasonings, these are a truly delicious healthy alternative to their red meat counterpart.  Even Mike, who as I’ve mentioned before is a bit of a burger connessieur, thought they tasted incredible and did not miss the red meat.

Black Bean Nacho Burgers
Yields: 4 patties
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup finely crushed tortilla chips
  • ⅓ cup salsa
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 scallion, white and green, finely chopped
  • black pepper, to taste
  • hamburger buns, lettuce, cheese, salsa, etc. for serving
  1. Using a potato masher, fork or a food processor, smash bean until chunky, leaving some partly whole.
  2. Stir in chips, salsa, cheese, egg, scallion and pepper. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, and then form mixture into 4 patties.
  3. Place patties on plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Place patties on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 on each side, or until browned and cooked through. (Note: Patties will be a little fragile when flipping).
  6. Serve on a bun with desired toppings.

Adapted from Fitness Magazine

Black Bean Nacho Burgers |

Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Shallots

When I started planning for the Drumstick summer celebration from Monday’s post, I decided on the menu immediately and was so excited!  The theme was going to be a Mexican twist on summer barbecue favorites.  It was, until I received the most recent issue of Cooking Light and saw the Cheddar Cheeseburger with Caramelized Shallots.  These looked so good, I shifted the menu to a more traditional barbecue.

These burgers are delicious, garlicky, and combined with the sharp cheddar, caramelized shallots and arugula, all result in one amazing burger!  I prepared the patties the night before, which helped intensify the garlic flavor.  Since we’re working with very lean beef, it is important not to overhandle the beef for the risk of it becoming tough/dry.  Cooking Light shared a helpful tip for working with leaner ground beef: when mixing the garlic and beef, use a [silicone] spatula, instead of your hands, so the heat from your hands won’t melt away the little fat there is.  It worked quite well, and the result was a perfect “lean-er” burger.  I enjoyed mine plain, while Mike and my dad enjoyed theirs with some ketchup.

With grilling season upon us, these Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Shallots are definitely a must-make!

Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Shallots
Yields: 4 burgers
  • 1 pound ground beef, 92% lean
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 2-3 large shallots)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted (I used onion buns from a local bakery)
  • Ketchup (optional, for topping)
  • Mayonnaise (optional, for topping)
  1. Prepare burger: Using a silicone spatula, gently combine beef and garlic. (Be careful not to over-handle meat).
  2. Divide beef into 4 equal portions, shaping into a ½" think patty. Press a small indentation in the center of each burger. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ teaspoon salt. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  3. Caramelize shallots: Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar, cook for an additional minute and the remove from heat. Keep warm.
  4. Grill burger: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. If needed, spray grate with grilling cooking spray or rub with oil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Top each burger with 2 tablespoons cheese and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese melts.
  5. Assemble: Place ¼ cup arugula on bottom half of bun; top 1 burger and ¼ of the shallots. If desired, spread ketchup or mayonnaise (or desired topping) on top half of buns, and place on top of burgers. Enjoy!

Source:  Cooking Light, June 2012

Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Cheese has always been one of my favorite foods.  As a child I remember sneaking some cheese whenever my mom was in the kitchen, or simply grabbing a Kraft Single on my way out to play.  I also remember my mom always made my brother a ham and cheese sandwich using Kraft Singles, but I liked my cheese plain.  That is…until I discovered the grilled cheese sandwich.  Melty cheese on bread?  So simple yet so delicious!

When I went to college and had my own apartment, I started experimenting with grilled cheese sandwiches.  It was around this time when I noticed Kraft Singles came in more varieties than American, and I was very excited to see they came in Swiss!  I made a tasty little combo with a slice of cheddar, a slice of Swiss, some sauteed onions, all on multi-grain bread.  Grilled cheese perfection every time.  Oh…the memories!

That was all many years ago, yet my love for experimenting with grilled cheese sandwiches continues to this day.  Mike and I like to mix it up with tomatoes, sunflower seeds, onions, bacon (for him)…really nothing too crazy, but always tasty.  This time, I thought it would be fun to experiment with guacamole and make a Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

For a while now, I have had a recipe flagged for a grilled cheese made on the stove top and in the oven, without any butter.  This sounded like the perfect method for the Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  The result?  Amazing!  The stove-to-oven method gives the bread a crispy exterior without any frying or being greasy.  The cheese is perfectly melted, and the guacamole can shine right through.  This Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a fun and tasty twist on a childhood favorite.

Do you have childhood memories or a family story to share about Kraft Singles?  You can share your story at Put your story on the map and join the conversation about Kraft Singles!

Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Yields: 1 sandwich
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons guacamole, any variety, such as Edamame Guacamole
  • 1 or 2 slices Kraft Singles 2% Sharp Cheddar
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  2. Spread guacamole evenly on one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Place a Kraft Single cheese slice on top of the guacamole on each slice of bread, and then flip to make a sandwich (so cheese on cheese).
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Place sandwich in pan for about 1 to 2 minutes or until bread is toasted. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  5. Transfer sandwich from skillet to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, cut in half and serve immediately.

Disclaimer:  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for free Kraft Singles and a stipend.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Our weather has been all over the place lately. We had a stretch of 80-degree days in March, yet just awe got some snow. It’s all a bit confusing, but we know summer is near.  This has me thinking about summertime eats, which led me to these Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  These healthy sandwiches taste like a summer barbeque, but can easily be enjoyed all year long.

Inspired from my Chicken Tostada Salad, I decided to poach the chicken breasts and then used 2 forks to shred the chicken. Actually, Mike shredded the chicken while I wiped out the pan and heated up the sauce. At that point, it’s just a matter of minutes until dinner is served.  The original recipe calls for shredded rotisserie chicken, which would be a great time saver (just skip to step 3).  Either way, these Pulled Chicken Sandwiches can be made in less than 30 minutes, making them a great weeknight dinner, or any time!

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Yields: 4 servings
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • Salt
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (or regular hot sauce), adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 whole wheat buns, toasted
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw (optional, for topping)
  1. Put chicken in a large sauce pan and then add enough water to cover the chicken. Add a couple pinches of salt. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Then cover, remove from heat and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Put cooked chicken in a separate bowl and, using 2 forks, shred chicken. Wipe out sauce pan to use for sauce.
  3. In sauce pan, whisk the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cumin until combined. Put over medium heat to bring the sauce to a simmer until slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add chicken to the sauce, tossing to coat and to warm up the chicken (about 1 to 2 minutes).
  5. Divide chicken evenly among buns and top with slaw, as desired. Serve immediately.
For a lighter alternative, use a low-carb tortilla instead of a bun and call it a taco!

Nutrition Info per serving of chicken/sauce
Calories: 200
Fat: 1.2g
Carbs:  21g
Fiber: 0g
Protein:  26.2g

Amounts for your bun or tortilla will be in addition to the above.  The whole wheat bun I used was 160 calories, which was average-sized.

Adapted from Cooking Light