Monday, November 30, 2009

Barbeque Turkey Sloppy Joes

I grew up eating sloppy joes. It was one of the rare homemade meals made amongst the sea of frozen meals and hamburger helper consumed at my home as a child. Meat, a can of tomato soup and some barbecue sauce. What's not to love, right? When I cook now, I try to pack as many vegetables in my food as possible. Sloppy joes are no exception. These babies are full of onions, peppers, carrots and tomatoes. I usually put celery in there too but I didn't have any today. I also love beans. So I throw a can of beans in here too. You can just add another 1/2 lb. of turkey if you don't want the beans. The beans are good though. Use the beans. Did I mention I love beans?
As usual, the bread of my choice is a tortilla. I took a picture of hub's sandwich on an Arnold Select sandwich thin. I personally think the tortilla wrap is easier to eat, much less messy. These are sweet, slightly zippy and super tasty joes even if they don't resemble the sloppy joes I remember as a kid.

Barbeque Turkey Sloppy Joes
1 lb. ground turkey
1 – 15 oz. pinto beans
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 – 10 oz. cans Rotel tomatoes with chiles, drained
1 – 10 oz. can tomato sauce
1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
12 splenda packets
1 tbsp. molasses
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 T – Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ t. pepper
13 - 100 calorie 8 in. tortillas or Arnold Selects 100 calorie sandwich thins

Cook the turkey, onions, pepper and carrots on stovetop until turkey is cooked. Transfer to a slow cooker and add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve on tortilla's or sandwich thins.

Total calories = 3015
13 - 3/4 cup servings = 232
2 servings Barbeque Turkey Joes = 464 calorie dinner*

*I enjoyed a cup of steamed broccoli with my turkey joe wraps for a total of 495 calories.
Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

The sauce on this pizza is absolutely delicious. Sweet and tangy and just the right flavor for this pizza. When I cook the chicken, I do add salt, pepper and garlic powder to it for flavor. It's hard to make a low calorie pizza that is big enough for a full meal. 1/3 of this pizza is a very fulfilling meal. Don't go too overboard on the cheese, the sauce is so flavorful that you really don't need a lot of cheese. If you want to keep this under 500 calories, you could enjoy 1/4 of the pizza with a small salad with fat free zesty Italian dressing.

Barbeque Chicken Pizza

1 Pillsbury Thin Crust refrigerated pizza crust
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. barbecue sauce
1/4 cup Catalina light, salad dressing
1 heaping cup shredded cooked chicken (6 oz)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar or Colby jack cheese

Spread refrigerated pizza crust onto large cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 6 - 8 minutes until light brown. In small bowl, combine BBQ sauce and Catalina dressing together. Spread BBQ mixture on warm crust all the way to the edges. Spread shredded chicken evenly over sauce. Cook chopped onion on skillet for about 2 - 3 minutes just to get them started cooking. Spread onion evenly over pizza. Last, sprinkle pizza with cheese. Cook in oven for about 10 - 15 minutes until crust reaches desired crispness. We took the crust off the cookie sheet for about 3 - 4 minutes to crisp the crust even more. Cut and serve.

Total calories = 1781
3 servings = 593 calories per serving
1 serving Barbeque Chicken Pizza = 593 calorie dinner*

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

This is a huge piece of lasagna. Enormous. I'm totally full. This recipes makes a LOT of food. It's a great recipe to freeze individual portions for quick lunches or dinners. Packed with protein, this cheesy, tasty sauce is full of flavor but isn't spicy at all. You do need a big baking pan for this, I think that I used an 11 x 17 in. pan. You probably could split it and use 1 - 9 x 13 pan and 1 - 8 x 8 pan and just freeze one. I might just do that next time.


1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can of corn or frozen corn
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chil peppers
1 (8 ounce) jar taco sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sour cream
12 whole wheat tortillas, toasted
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the ground turkey for 5 minutes. Add the onion, peppers and garlic, and sauté for 5 more minutes. Drain any excess fat. Mix in the tomatoes, green chile peppers, tomatoes with green chile peppers, taco sauce, corn, black beans and refried beans. Stir mixture thoroughly, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 11 x 17 pan. Cover with a layer of 3 tortillas followed by more meat mixture, then 1/2 of the sour cream. Repeat tortilla and meat layers, spreading sour cream on one more layer, until all the tortillas are used, topping off with a layer of meat mixture and cheese. I use 3 tortillas on each layer, 2 side by side and one cut in 1/2 spread over the open area. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.

Total calories = 3789
8 servings = 473 calories per serving

1 piece Mexican Lasagna = 473 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Zesty Adobo Chicken Salad Wraps

Isn't that pretty! This is a gorgeous chicken salad that tastes heavenly! I have several chicken salad recipes that I make but this is my favorite. The flavors all blend together and work perfectly.

You could certainly make this a bit lighter. You could use fat free mayo and not as much of the fiesta corn. All I had was the light mayonnaise and I LOVE lots of the corn in the salad so I put a lot.

I've also used this as an appetizer and put the chicken salad in the baked tortilla scoops.

Zesty Adobo Chicken Salad
3 cups shredded chicken (14 oz)
1/2 Cup light mayonnaise
1 Cup left over sweet fiesta corn or a mexican canned corn
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon Adobo sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 - 100 calorie 8 in. whole wheat tortillas

1. Combine first 8 ingredients into a large bowl until combined. Spread onto tortillas with lettuce.

Total calories with tortillas = 1839
6 - slightly heaping 1/2 cup servings = 307 calories
1 serving chicken salad with tortilla = 307 calorie dinner *

* Enjoy a side dish with your tortilla or eat a light lunch and eat a second tortilla wrap for dinner, for a total of 614 calories and leave super full and happy.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Garlic Ranch Turkey Burgers & Rum Maple Butternut Squash

This was some great squash! I love butternut squash as it is but sometimes I like to dress it up and make it feel special. Boy, did it feel special tonight. The maple syrup and the dark rum made a fantastic sauce. The only tricky part is peeling the squash but once you get used to it, it's not a problem. The burgers were delicious. They were quite wet so I froze them for a bit before I cooked them. They seem to stay together better that way. They have such a unique flavor that I almost don't want to put regular hamburger toppings on them but a BIT of ketchup, onion and lettuce worked well. For regular burgers, I use a lot of ketchup but these are so flavorful they don't need much at all.

Garlic & Ranch Turkey Burgers
1 lbs. ground turkey
1 package ranch dressing
3 tbsp egg beaters
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 Arnold Selects Sandwich Thins - 100 calories a piece

Mix everything but the sandwich thins together and form into 4 patties. Cook on stove top or grill until done. Place on sandwich thin and add toppings as desired.

Total calories = 1220
Hamburger patty = 305 calories with bun.
Garlic Ranch Burger + bun + Maple Rum Squash = 449 calorie dinner

Rum Maple Butternut Squash

1 medium squash, about 1 1/2 lbs.
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum

Peel, seed and quarter the squash. Cut in 1/2 in. pieces. In large saucepan, add squash, water, syrup, nutmeg and rum. Simmer about 15 minutes until squash is tender. With slotted spoon, transfer squash to a serving bowl. Boil remaining liquid until thickened. Pour over squash.

Total calories = 575
4 serving = 144 calories per serving
Garlic Ranch Burger + bun + Maple Rum Squash = 449 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Slow Cooker Spicy Chipotle Chicken & Fiesta Corn

I don't often make really spicy food. I really like the chipotle flavor though so I'm willing to go a bit spicier when I cook with it. With this recipe, I cut up whole chipotle pepper and added a bit of the adobo sauce. Normally, after I open a can of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, I puree the whole thing and put the sauce in ice cube trays and freeze it. It's about 1 tablespoon per ice cube tray. I add it to chili, tacos and fajitas. The corn is a fantastic complement to the chicken. It's buttery sweetness counteracts the spicy of the sauce. This is also a LOT of food, you'll leave the table quite full. Don't eat too much, save some of the corn for a delicious chicken adobo salad.

Slow Cooker Spicy Chipotle Chicken

1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp. ginger
1 ½ tbsp. canned chipotle chilies , minced
½ tsp. allspice
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 ½ lbs. boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders

Combine the onions and ginger in a food processor. Add all other ingredients to food processor, except for chicken, and blend. Place chicken in slow cooker and coat with sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Total calories = 810 calories
3 huge servings = 270 calories
1 serving chipotle chicken + 2 servings fiesta corn = 474 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Sweet Fiesta Corn

Cooking spray
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 – 16 oz. bag frozen corn
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. I can't believe it's not butter, light
2 tbsp. honey

Heat cooking spray in large skillet, sauté red and green pepper with the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in corn, salt and pepper. Cook for additional 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and honey until well combined and melted through.

Total calories = 815
8 - 1/2 cup servings = 102 calories per serving
1 serving chipotle chicken + 2 servings fiesta corn = 474 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

Oh, the many forms of an enchilada. This is a vegetarian version that is simply delicious. I love the contrast of the pineapple and green chilies and they totally work together!

I frequently make meals in larger batches and freeze them. Enchiladas freeze great. You can make this in a 9 x 13 pan or do what I do and make it in 2 - 8 x 8 pans. This would give you 6 big enchiladas per pan which is perfect for my family. If you do decide to make rice with your enchiladas, save the rest of the pineapple juice to add to the rice instead of some of the water. I personally would rather eat 2 of these bad boys rather than rice, but to each his own.

Cooking spray
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, 1/3 c. juice reserved
1 can (15 oz) Progresso black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso chopped green chilies
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese or Colby jack
1 can (10 oz.) Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce
12 whole wheat flour 8 in. – 100 calorie tortillas

Heat oven to 350.
Spray 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray or 2 - 8 x 8 pans.
Heat cooking spray and cook onion and pepper for about 4 – 5 min.
Stir in pineapple, beans, green chilies and salt.
Cook and stir until heated.
Remove from heat.
Stir in 1/4 c. cilantro and 1 c. cheese
Spoon and spread 3/4 tbsp. enchilada sauce onto each tortilla.
Spoon about 1/2 c. vegetable mixture over sauce on each.
Roll up tortillas, place in baking dish.
Mix 1/3 c. pineapple juice and remaining enchilada sauce.
Pour over top of enchiladas.
Sprinkle with 1 c. cheese.
Cover with foil, spray inside with cooking spray.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes, removing foil during last 5 – 10 minutes.

Total calories = 1625 calories
12 enchiladas = 236 calories per enchilada

2 Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas = 472 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slow Cooker Top Round Roast with Potatoes & Vegtables

There is nothing more comforting than coming home on a cool, dreary day to the smell of a roast in the crock pot. When the house smells good, it just makes me feel good! I did want to put some sweet potatoes in the crockpot but used what I had on hand this morning so only the baked potatoes went in. The gravy turned out perfectly and was delicious with the meat. There is plenty left so tomorrows lunch will be beef stew. Just refrigerate or freeze leftovers, when ready to eat, skim any fat off the top, dump it in a pan and heat on the stove until warm. Break up the meat into smaller chunks to make a wonderful stew. Add a bit of water or beef broth if it is too thick. Warm and comforting all over again.

Top Round Beef Roast
1 roast, trimmed of visible fat
2 cups beef broth (I used 2 cups water and 3 beef bouillon cubes)
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. steak seasoning
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 large onion, rough chopped
3 large carrots, sliced (or a couple of handfuls of baby carrots)
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 or 5 white potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Put roast trimmed of visible fat in large slow cooker. Add beef broth. Put Worcestershire, garlic and spices on top of meat. Add carrots, onion and celery around roast. Cook on low for 7- 8 hours total. Add potatoes about 3 hours into cooking. To thicken gravy, remove about 1 cup of hot liquid, using a separate bowl, combine ¼ cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Gently stir, turn crock pot to high and cook until thickened and bubbly. You may want to remove beef before thickening the gravy.

6 oz. beef = about 320 calories
1/4 of the veggies with gravy = about 160 calories
1 serving Roast with veggies and gravy = 480 calorie dinner

I approximated with the calories, a lot depends how much fat is on your beef and how large your veggies are. Just use common sense and eat sensible portions and you'll be fine.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Asian Turkey Broccoli Slaw Teriyaki Wraps

This is one of most favorite recipes. I could eat these every week (and often do!). I found this recipe first at Picky Palate, she takes the most amazing pictures! We've played around with the recipe a bit and below is how we like it here. I've noticed that the size of the bag of broccoli slaw differs depending where you shop. Cub has 10 oz. bags and Walmart has 16 oz. bags. I've even seen 12 oz. bags before. Just use what you find. I don't often mention brand names but I do believe that LaChoy teriyaki sauce is key here. I've tried Kikkoman which is cheaper (at Costco) and it's lower in calorie but it's much thinner and doesn't seem to taste as good or coat the broccoli slaw as well. I also use the jarred ginger and garlic for this recipe, it seems to work fine and I do put a lot of garlic in this. I usually wrap these with my tortillas but they are fantastic as lettuce wraps as well.

Asian Turkey Broccoli Slaw Teriyaki Wraps

Cooking spray
1 large chopped onion
1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. ginger
2 tbsp. garlic
2 - 10 oz. bags of broccoli slaw
1 small can of water chestnuts, rough chopped
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. LaChoy teriyaki sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil

8 in. whole wheat 100 calorie tortillas or lettuce leaves

Spray cooking spray into a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, when it is almost done, add onion. When turkey is completely done, add garlic and ginger and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in broccoli slaw, water chestnuts, teriyaki sauce and sesame oil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is wilted down and heated through. Serve in slightly heaping 1/2 cup portions on 8 in. tortillas or lettuce leaves.

Total calories = 1460
10 - 1/2 cup servings = 146 calories
2 servings broccoli slaw + 2 tortillas = 492 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spinach and Lentil Meatloaf & Scalloped Corn and Broccoli

I've seen people cringe when they hear the words meatloaf. It seems to be a running joke on TV shows about "Oh, we're having MEATLOAF!" in this disgusted tone.

I happen to love meatloaf. I also never had it as a child, it wasn't something that I ate until I was an adult. I now have several different recipes for meatloaf that I love.

This is a super healthy version with spinach and lentils packed with protein and fiber. Despite the odd looking picture, it is a pretty meatloaf too with all the colors of the vegetables. The scalloped corn and brocoli is delicious and you could make it a meal in itself with some added ham.

Spinach and Lentil Meatloaf

Cooking spray
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1/4 cup each finely diced carrots, red pepper, celery and onion
Salt and pepper
1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup egg beaters or 1 egg
1 cup cooked brown lentils
1/2 of a (9 0z) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained

Preheat the oven to 350. Heat cooking spray in pan and add all the vegetables except spinach and saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let cool for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, break up the turkey, stir in the cooked vegetables, broth and egg. Add lentils and mix. Add spinach and mix again. Season with salt and pepper. Spray meatloaf pan with cooking spray, place meat mixture in pan and pat down. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until temperature reaches about 150 degrees.

Total calories = 1050
4 servings = 263 calories
Meatloaf + Corn and Broccoli = 413 calorie dinner.

Scalloped Corn and Broccoli

1 (15 oz) can creamed corn
1/2 of a medium onion
1/2 cup egg beaters or 2 eggs
2 tbsp. sugar 
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
5 oz. chopped fresh broccoli or 1/2 of bag of frozen chopped broccoli

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the corn, eggs, splenda, flour and salt. Add the cheese and broccoli, mix well and pour into a 2 qt. casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Total calories = 600
4 servings = 150 calories

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BBQ Beef & Bean Sandwiches and Butternut Squash

We eat a lot of tortillas here. A lot. It really is the go-to meal around here. Whether it's a quick ham and turkey wrap or a quesadilla, tortillas are eaten almost every day. So when one would normally put a meal on a bun or bread, we often will choose tortillas.

My favorite are from The Santa Fe Tortilla Company, these are whole wheat, 100 calories, and they taste delicious! Another 100 calorie option for these beef and bean sandwiches would be Arnold Selects Sandwich Thins. I use these for burgers all the time.

This is one of two recipes from a single 3 1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast. I cook the meat in the crock pot and make a shredded beef master recipe, then separate and freeze it for 2 easy meals. The other meal is usually beef, bean and corn fajitas. I found these recipes in a crockpot magazine years ago and it is one of our favorites.
Today I paired these sandwiches with butternut squash. I kept it simple and didn't add anything to the squash, it's sweet and delicious with just some salt and pepper.

BBQ Beef and Bean Sandwiches

1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 can barbeque baked beans
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Mix everything in slow cooker on low until heated and ready to serve. Toast tortilla in skillet or use a 100 calorie sandwich thin and serve. 9 - 1/2 cup portions of meat.

Total calories = about 1840 (it's harder to guess with the meat but this is a pretty good estimate)

9 - 1/2 cup servings with tortilla = 305 calories per sandwich

Barbecue beef tortilla + 9 oz. butternut squash = 405 calorie dinner

Butternut Squash

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place on baking sheet with about 1/2 cup water on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours depending on size of squash. Add salt and pepper, enjoy!

About 10 calories per ounce of squash.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tomato Cream Cheese Chicken

I like flavor. If it means upping the garlic, adding an onion and spices to my dish then so be it. I don't necessarily like my food to be spicy but I need it to have a full, bold flavor. This is a recipe where the original is certainly good but with some revamping, turns into something that will knock your socks off. The original seems to be a pretty common slow cooker recipe and I've also seen it titled chicken stroganoff over noodles. Well, I try to avoid noodles as much as possible. Even my whole wheat pasta comes in at 180 calories for a cup. I can get a lot more for 180 calories than bland noodles. It's the chicken and sauce that tastes so good. THAT is what my mouth wants. I think we're just conditioned to just put sauce over noodles and if we're trying to cut calories, we often conclude that eliminating the noodles and the sauce altogether is the only alternative. Wrong, my solution is vegetables. I know we're all used to putting vegetables WITH our noodles but why do we even need the noodles at all? When I started my dieting adventure, I made the noodles and just put a small amout of noodles with my delicious sauce and veggies but soon realized that I don't need the noodles at all. Sure, it a texture thing, I LIKE noodles and I do carb out sometimes on them but on a regular basis, I'd rather just skip them. My choice of vegetable to accompany my sauce is broccoli. Occasionally I'll add zucchini or pea pods or something but then we get sort of a stir fry feel for it. I like to make a delicious, full flavor meat sauce and pour it over some lightly steamed broccoli. I get all the flavor of the sauce with delicious coated broccoli. I don't miss the noodles at all.

Tomato Cream Cheese Chicken

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup, Healthy Request
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1 packet Italian Season dressing mix
1 packet Garlic and Herb dressing mix (or another italian seasoning mix)
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 block of cream cheese, 1/3 less fat (regular is delicious too!)

1 lb. broccoli florets


Put chicken into crock pot. Pour tomatoes, chicken soup, garlic, onions and dressing packets on top of chicken. Cook on low for about 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and begins to shred. Shred the chicken with 2 large forks and mix in the block of cream cheese. Switch the crockpot to high and cook for another 30 minutes or until the cream cheese is fully melted. Add basil before ready to serve.

Place broccoli in pan with about 1/3 cup water, steam on medium high for about 5-6 minutes.

Serve cream cheese chicken over broccoli. Serve with pasta as well if desired. 

Total calories with broccoli - 1850
4 servings = 463 calorie dinner

4 servings with 1 cup of whole wheat pasta = 643 calories

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spinach, Artichoke & Cheese Dip and Homemade Whole Wheat Garlic Pepper Tortilla Chips

Chips and dip.

We go way back. The fatty, creamy, not even remotely healthy dips and the greasy, fatty chips have followed me throughout the years to provide comfort to me. Like a couple of friends who are always there during the good times and continue to remain diligently by your side during the bad times.

These friends have been there for me for weddings, for funerals, after a bad fight, after the birth of my children, during a good book and even after the sad Hallmark commercial on television. They have been at my side through it all and I don't intend on losing them now.

Despite my weight loss and my determination to lose more, I refuse to part with these friends who have seen it all, please don't make me lose them now, just when I need them the most!

What's that? A low calorie, actually HEALTHY dip that is still cheesy, warm and oh-so-deliciously oooey gooey? Plus it's packed with protein and vegetables? And I get to continue my relationship with chips even though the appearance has changed from a fatty, greasy crisp to a lowfat, salty, baked, whole wheat crunch?

Thank you, chips and dip, for continuing to help me through my life and I look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with you for many years.

Spinach, Artichoke & Cheese Dip

1 1/2 cups cheese, mexican blend or colby jack
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cup medium salsa
1 (9oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Mix all 4 ingredients on stovetop until oooey gooey, for about 10 minutes.

Total calorie 880
3 servings = 294 per serving
1 serving spinach dip + 2 homemade tortillas = 494 calorie dinner


Homemade Whole Wheat Garlic Pepper Tortilla Chips

2 whole wheat 100 calorie tortillas
Cooking spray
Garlic pepper


Cut tortilla's into wedges with pizza cutter or kitchen scissors. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place wedges on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and garlic pepper as desired. I like mine really salty. Cook in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes until desired crispness. Check earlier as the go from almost done to over done very quickly.

I've also made these chips with ranch powder, onion powder, or garlic powder. My favorite are with the garlic pepper but you could try any spice. Make them a mexican chip with a little bit of cumin.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken Chow Mein

There is nothing worse when dieting to have to endure the tiny portions. This chow mein recipe is super simple and just delicious. It is packed with chicken and vegetables with a sprinkle of chow mein noodles. I used to put a huge amount of crunchy noodles on the plate and then top them with the chow mein but the noodles have the most calories and you really do only need a little bit of crunch. I've found that just a couple of tablespoons is really plenty. I don't miss them at all. We make this often as it is one of our favorites and it's made in the crockpot which makes it super simple. This makes a lot so there are plenty of leftovers, which I love. This is wonderful reheated for lunches during the week. The photo shows a 1 cup portion but you can eat 2 portions for well under 450 calories. Yea!

Chicken Chow Mein

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup water
3 small chicken boullion cubes (broth would work too, this is just how I like it)
3 large onions or 5 medium onions, chopped (30 oz)
1 1/2 bunches celery, chopped (22 oz)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 cans (14.5 oz) bean sprouts, drained
1 can (8 oz) bamboo shoots, drained
2 cans (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained
5 tbsp. molasses
2 red peppers, chopped


Place chicken, water, boullion, onion and celery in crock pot and cover on low for about 8 hours or high for about 5 - 6 hours. If cook it on low, pot it on high for the last hour of cooking.

Take chicken out and shred. Combine the cornstarch and soy sauce and whisk it into liquid. Add the chicken, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, red pepper and molasses, stir well, and let it cook on high for another hour or so. The sauce should be slightly thickened, add more soy sauce/cornstarch mixture if you want it thicker however cornstarch is pretty high in calories so plan accordingly.

Serve with chow mein noodles

Total calories = 2555

14 cups = 182 calories per cup

2 tbsp crunchy noodles = 33 calories

2 cups chow mein + 1/4 cup crunch noodles = 430 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Garlic Chicken with Sweet Roasted Pepper Sauce and Honey Cinnamon Glazed Carrots

I'm all about healthy recipes so here is a low calorie, fairly simple meal that will leave you full and satisfied for about 500 calories.

The chicken is from Recipezaar and the sauce would be fantastic over rice. I like to save on carbs so, no rice for me.

The carrots have a simple but delicious glaze that you just throw in the crockpot. This is from A Year of Slowcooking and I'm a huge fan of the slowcooker and often use it several times a week. I did sub a few things as I often do to keep the calories as low as possible while keeping all of the taste!

Garlic Chicken with Sweet Roasted Pepper Sauce

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. vegetable oil or cooking spray
1 medium onion, diced
8 cloves of garlic, diced
1 jar roasted red peppers (12 oz), drained and chopped
2 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 chopped fresh basil

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet, cook chicken until golden brown. Transfer to plate.

2. Add onion to pan and cook about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add peppers, splenda, broth and browned chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly more thickened. Turn off heat, add basil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken.

3 servings = 362 calories per serving

1 serving chicken + 1 serving of carrots = 496 calorie dinner

CrockPot Honey and Cinnamon Glazed Carrots

1 lb. baby carrots
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper

Pour orange juice in crock pot. Put carrots on the orange juice. Pour honey and sprinkle spices on top of the carrots. Cook on low for about 6 hours. They still had a bit of a bite to them which I like, if you like them more mushy, cook longer.

3 servings = 134 calories per serving

1 serving chicken + 1 serving of carrots = 496 calorie dinner