Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Posts tagged ‘healthy sides’


Cauliflower Rice

Try cauliflower rice instead of actual rice! Perfect low carb or low calorie option!


Since we’ve been doing the Paleo/Primal inspired eating, we’ve looked for ways to still enjoy some of our favorite meals like stir fry with rice, shrimp-n-grits – you know – the good stuff! So we aren’t eating any grains, so rice is out of the question. Corn in moderation so grits aren’t all that great of a replacement either.

I stumbled across something called Cauliflower Rice and despite the fact I am not a huge cauliflower fan, I figured why not give it a try? I used it in one of my primal quiche recipes and the flavor wasn’t overwhelming at all, so we decided to go for it as the accompaniment to our shrimp stir fry meal this week.

It is SUPER easy to do, and even if you aren’t avoiding wheat and grains – it’s a great way to knock out a TON of extra calories and that crazy full feeling you get when you eat all that rice. This also works for vegetarians and vegans! So anytime you see a recipe that calls for serving your food on a bed of rice, couscous, grits, etc – just sub this instead! You can easily bring it to work and heat it up again – still tasty!


Put small roughly chopped pieces of cauliflower into your food processor. I did mine is several smaller batches to make sure I didn’t miss any big pieces!


The cauliflower should be like a grits/couscous sort of texture.

Once you have processed the cauliflower, put in microwavable bowl with lid and heat for 5-6 minutes. DO NOT ADD WATER! Once it’s done – season like you would regular rice and serve!


Summer Squash and Broccoli Casserole

We’ve been getting a lot of squash and zucchini in our Spring CSA box the last few weeks. So we decided to put it to good use as a side this week for our meals. We found a makeover recipe that sounded tasty and gave it a whirl. Obviously we are sharing it with you because it was super simple and delicious….and of course – healthy!

The recipe comes from Taste of Home and you can view the original recipe here.

We made a few changes so I’m listing the ingredients and showing you our changes:

This recipe makes 15 servings – we cut this in half, so please make sure you take that into account if you want to make this!


  • 3 pounds yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 medium onions, sliced (we used both red and yellow onion)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided (we used less better than this)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 reduced-fat butter-flavored crackers, crushed (we didn’t crush ours – see picture!)
  • We added about 1.5 cups (uncooked) broccoli (sans stems) to the very top of this mixture (well, right under the cracker “crust

Up close so you can see the yummy layers

We followed the directions provided on the website pretty faithfully other than reducing the amount of butter (since we didn’t make the crust “crushed” there was no reason to add the extra butter to the crackers) and adding broccoli. We actually added broccoli after we poured the egg/flour mixture on top of the squash/onions, but you could certainly add the broccoli before pouring the mixture over everything. I think it would taste good either way.

We had it on the side of our grilled hamburgers last night and it was super yum. We give this 2 dReJ thumbs up. At about 200 calories per serving this is a great side dish for a meal or a fun potluck dish to bring to share at a party.

RJ’s Soon to be Famous Blue Potato Salad

Colorful, interesting, and delicious!

So you’ve had a million potato salads over the course of your festival attending, church reception eating and picnic going lives. But I have to tell you RJ’s recipe is among my favorites. It’s simple to make, and always a crowd pleaser. And if you can’t find Blue Peruvian Potatoes – you can certainly sub red potatoes.

Here’s the recipe (again, nothing fancy, just deliciousness)

Blue Potato salad (Serves 10 – and people will want more!)
2 lbs purple potatoes (Peruvian Blue) diced and boiled until tender (you can use what ever potatoes you want, but blue ones are so much more fun)
1 diced red onion
1 diced green pepper
1 diced jalapeno (add more to spice it up or omit if you can’t take the heat)
4 strips of bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1.5 C cheddar cheese (2% skim or part skim, or to save more calories, use fat free)
3/4c Light mayo
3/4c fat free sour cream
2 T dijon mustard
1 T oregano
salt and pepper to taste

After you cook the potatoes and the Bacon, let them cool, then mix in a large bowl, and get let sit for 1hr for the flavors to meld.

Then – enjoy and let your friends think you came up with this delicious idea 🙂

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree


300 calories: Bay Scallops and Veggies, WOW!

Last night’s dinner felt like a nice night out – except we enjoyed it in the comfort of our own home. We pulled a recipe from Cooking Light magazine (we are subscribers – great magazine!). Here’s the link to the recipe.

We also served it with Tarragon Carrots & Peas to round out the meal – because with the Scallops and Puree ringing in at 232 calories – you are going to want something else to eat!


A little fajita in my life…

Sizzling & delicious!

So for anyone who knows me, I heart Mexican food. Fajitas, burritos, taco salad with crispy shell…oh my! The unfortunate thing about mexican food is that when you eat Mexican OUT, it’s usually pretty terrible for you even when you try hard to pick something healthier. Because, let’s be serious, who can pass up on chips and salsa?

I bought RJ this series of books from Eat This Not That for his birthday. And no, it wasn’t really me trying to encourage him to eat healthier – he just thought they had fun interesting facts and asked for them. I am not a mean wife! 🙂

So anyway – these books have some great recipe trades so you can make a healthier version of your favorite “eat out” meals at some typical restaurants. One of my fav things to get at a Mexican restaurant is the chicken fajitas.  The book had a recipe swap for the Chili’s chicken fajitas so I was immediately on board (even though I don’t really eat at Chili’s that often I felt good about my choice!).

All wrapped up and ready to go!

Homemade Guacamole - YUM!

I made some tasty homemade guacamole (never made it before) and it was delicious. To the right you’ll see our healthy fajita ready to be eaten!




So here’s the recipe for all those out there who just can’t live without mexican food in their lives:  (more…)

dReJ’s Thanksgiving Special

Are you panicking to find a great recipe for your family feast tomorrow? Or perhaps you’ve been tapped to bring a side but aren’t feeling very crafty.

RJ and I are smoking some turkey, making stuffing, baking a ham and bringing a delicious (and i mean OUT OF THIS WORLD) sweet potato casserole and a green bean casserole to my sister’s house tomorrow since we love to cook so much. Oh and we are making some delicious chili roasted carrots, too!

So if any of that sounds interesting, see below for details and links as we of course grabbed some healthier versions of SOME of these items so you can splurge on others that aren’t so healthy!

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing  (242 calories)


Green Bean Casserole (212 calories)

Sweet Potato Casserole (you don’t want to know how many calories!)

This is one that my sister in law’s step-dad makes….so I have no clue where the recipe is originally from, I just know that this is SUPER delicious and really easy to make. Promise it will be a crowd pleaser! Check out the post for it below to get the ingredients!

Chili Roasted Carrots (161 Calories)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chili Roasted Carrots (healthy but oh so delicious)

Okay my friends – I think i fell in love with carrots all over again when I made this recipe a few years ago. It’s been pretty much a staple in our lives every since. I’ve brought this dish for holiday parties, and we made it last year for Thanksgiving and I will make them again this year!

This is one of those SUPER cheap, SUPER quick, and ridiculously easy recipes to make that will taste like you really put a lot of effort into them. Be sure to make enough for everyone – this recipe makes enough for 4 servings. We are doubling the recipe.

Chili Roasted Carrots


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds carrots (10-12 medium), cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice



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