Thursday, February 11, 2016

Skinny slow cooker peanut butter cup blondies

Use your slow cooker to make easy, skinny peanut butter cup blondies, a healthier choice for dessert, snacktime or school lunchboxes.

Skinny slow cooker peanut butter cup blondies

This is getting sort of crazy, isn't it? Another slow cooker recipe: Maybe I should have made 2016 the Year of the Crockpot.

But come on: I'm giving you a dessert recipe. A skinny dessert recipe. A skinny dessert recipe made in the slow cooker.

You can't blame me for being pretty excited about this one.

Regular readers are by now aware of my penchant for using my slow cooker as a water bath for making yummy things like overnight oatmeal and bread pudding. This skinny peanut butter cup blondie recipe is similar in that it uses the slow cooker in a non-traditional way -- like an oven; all you need is a springform pan that fits inside your cooker.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Healthy slow cooker cashew chicken tacos

Whip up these easy, healthy cashew chicken tacos in the slow cooker as a weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing party appetizer.

Slow cooker cashew chicken tacos: healthy, easy, gluten-free

I know: another slow cooker recipe. But really, can you blame me? They're so good and so freakin' easy -- it almost feels like having someone make dinner for me for a change.

Almost.

And this slow cooker cashew chicken taco recipe is no exception to the so-good-so-easy theme. Simply blend up a five-ingredient sauce, pour it over chicken in the slow cooker and -- SHAZAM -- a few hours later, you've got tacos!

It's a pretty perfect healthy and easy weeknight dinner recipe. Plus, if you use corn tortillas instead of flour ones, it's a gluten-free dinner recipe, too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nutty vegetarian lasagna

Introduce more meatless meals into your weekly menu, starting with this nutty vegetarian lasagna, loaded with Brussels sprouts and kale.

Nutty vegetarian lasagna with sprouts and kale

Have you seen the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans that were all over the news lately? The new guidelines tell us, basically, to consume less meat and sugar and eat more veggies. What a shocker, right?

But, if you're a meatasaurus like I am, or if you have a picky eater in the house, it can be hard to introduce veggie-packed, meatless meals into the menu mix.

Good news: One easy and delicious place to start is this nutty vegetarian lasagna, loaded with good-for-you veggies like Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and kale with a nutty twist from pureed cashews. Yes, cashews -- in your lasagna!

If you're a lasagna purist, you might be skeptical. I promise you that this nutty vegetarian lasagna in no way misses the mark for comfort-food heartiness or flavor. Even I-Never-Met-A-Vegetable-I-Liked Mr. Ninj gave it two thumbs up -- and had two helpings.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Easiest slow cooker chicken tikka masala

You're going to love this healthy recipe for making amazing chicken tikka masala effortlessly in your slow cooker.

Easy, healthy recipe for chicken tikka masala made effortlessly in a slow cooker

Regular readers know I'm more than a little obsessed with slow cooker meals -- heck, with making anything in my slow cooker. And not simply the usual soup or chili but also the unexpected: oatmeal, cake, bread pudding -- nothing is off limits.

It's largely because I am all about recipes that are not only healthy and delicious but also easy or even downright effortless.

Which is why it drives me absolutely bananas when I see slow cooker recipes that require pre-crock stovetop preparation. What is up with that? The whole point of the slow cooker, for me, is to make meal prep easier, not add extra steps.

I just don't get it. Why put the effort back into something effortless?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Skinny taco soup

This skinny taco soup has all the flavor and crunch of a loaded taco but in a healthy, easy-to-make, comfort-food soup.

Skinny taco soup is healthy and really easy to make

Does anyone make soup in the summer? Or is it just a cold-weather comfort-food thing? Which it definitely is for me.

And I particularly love a good, hearty soup -- not quite as thick as a stew but still filling enough to be an entire meal unto itself.

This skinny taco soup is just such a soup. It's got all flavors of a taco -- spicy chilis, browned turkey, crunchy tortillas and sharp cheddar cheese --  in an easy-to-make soup. Plus there's a whole load of good-for-you beans and veggies thrown in to make it a healthy weeknight meal.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Thai green curry noodle bowl

Thai green curry noodle bowl: lots of sweet, tangy Thai food flavor in a lightened noodle bowl for a quick, healthy weeknight dinner.

Light and easy thai green curry noodle bowl

Yo, peeps: I'm back.

Sorry for being relatively incommunicado over the busy holiday season. It was extra extra busy for The Ninj because ... brace yourselves ... we moved. Again. To yet another state.

(I know, right?)

After bidding farewell to Kentucky, we are now happily ensconced on Maryland's Eastern Shore. (Job 1: I'm personally judging the crab cakes and shrimp salad sandwiches at every local establishment I can find. I mean, how else will I be able to identify The Best?!)

If you've read any of my previous adventures-in-moving posts, you know there's a lot of stress involved. And living in a house that looks like it's built out of moving boxes. And trips to the dump-I-mean-recycling-center. And inability to locate food photography props.

Luckily for you, that box was recently unearthed, which allowed me to photograph and now share this amazing Thai green curry noodle bowl with you.

Trust me, you are going to want to make this for a weeknight dinner ASAP.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Easy make ahead holiday breakfast recipes

Easy make ahead holiday breakfast recipes: the effortless way to feed a houseful of guests on Christmas morning -- or any other morning!

Easy make ahead holiday breakfast recipes: perfect for entertaining a houseful of holiday guests

If you're planning to have a houseful of guests for the holidays, the last thing you want to be thinking about is what to feed them all on Christmas morning.

Give yourself a break by choosing one or more of my easy, healthy, make-ahead breakfast recipes. Oatmeal, baked goods, yogurt partfaits and more -- prep or bake before the big day so you can enjoy the morning as much as your guests.

Happiest holiday wishes from The Ninj!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Easy holiday cocktail party recipes

You'll love all these quick-and-easy yet impressive recipes for cocktails, snacks and appetizers for your next holiday cocktail party.

Easy holiday cocktail party recipes: cocktails, appetizers, finger foods

If you want to spend more time enjoying your holiday party and less time preparing and fussing over the food and drink recipes, you'll love all my ideas for quick-and-easy yet impressive cocktails, snacks and appetizers.

Happiest holiday party wishes from The Ninj!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Southern bourbon holiday punch

Made with sweet tea, fresh lemon and good bourbon, this Southern bourbon punch is the perfect drink for a holiday party or any festive entertaining.

Southern bourbon holiday punch

I bet you've been wondering why it's been a little quiet around Yankee Kitchen Ninja lately. If you subscribe to my recipe newsletter, you may have noticed that I'm not posting as much. It's time to tell you why.

Hold on to your hats: We're moving. Again. Right before Christmas.

It's turned out to be a much shorter stay here in Kentucky than we planned, as work has called us back to the East Coast. To Maryland, more precisely -- which is the first place we ever lived together as a couple, so it's a bit like going home.

But moving is damned hard work. Which is why I haven't been able to devote as much time to you as I'd like lately. And this move is happening right smack in the middle of the holiday season, leaving me no opportunity for all the holiday decorating, baking and eating that I look forward to all year long.

But I've managed to sneak in some drinking. (Heck, I'm going to need more than a little drinking to get through all this!)

So my parting recipe upon leaving Kentucky is most apropos: Southern bourbon holiday punch, an homage to my brief return to the South and the home of the best bourbon anywhere.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday sweets and treats

Check out these 10 easy to make and ready to give recipes for all kinds of holiday sweets and treats: cookies, candy, nuts, snacks and more!

Easy to make and ready to give recipes for all kinds of holiday sweets and treats

I hope you had a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving (including all those fabulous LEFTOVERS!) and that you've now shifted gears, as I have, and are thinking about the upcoming December holidays.

Which for me are, of course, all about the food!

Since I can pretty much guarantee that the teachers, hairstylists, mail carriers and everyone else on your list already has all the crap from the mall that s/he could possibly ever need or want, how about making gifts this year instead?

If you're not up to even the easiest DIY project, The Ninj still has you covered with ten super-easy recipes for holiday sweets and treats that everyone will love: crunchy cookies, easy candy, my famous snack crack and even some no-bake treats.