Saturday, January 30, 2010

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

It was cold yesterday. Really cold. This warmed me up nicely. I gotta say, I'm not a huge fan of processed cheese. However, it does make a good broccoli and cheese soup. It melts well and is nice and creamy. It probably would be more flavorful not using light cheese and low fat milk but it works for me. I enjoy it. I don't know if the whole wheat flour tastes any different in this that regular flour but it's all I had on hand today. I don't puree mine as I like it quite chunky, I do chop the broccoli pretty small though so some of it just sorta dissolves in the soup.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 lb. broccoli florets, chopped fairly small
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups milk, 1%
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. velveeta, 2%
Pinch of allspice

In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, add onion and garlic, saute for 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli, bring broccoli to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes. Combine flour and milk, stir until blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli, cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in pepper, allspice and cheese, stirring until cheese melts. If you like your soup more pureed, you can remove some and puree it, I just cut the broccoli chunks fairly small and it's fine the way it is.

Total calories = 965 calories
6 cups = 161 calories per cup

1 cup Broccoil and Cheese Soup + 1/2 serving leftover tortilla casserole = 367 calories dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

We're out of everything in the house. This was not what I planned for dinner but grocery shopping just didn't get done this week so I had to make due. This was loosely based on a recipe I had but just subbed ingredients that I had on hand. I didn't have any green or red peppers so I used a jalapeno. Same thing, right? Maybe not but it worked. It was delicious. I kept the green pepper in the recipe below because I would totally add it when I make this again. I almost always have some kind of pepper in the house. I also didn't have fresh tomato so the can of diced tomato worked fine as well. I added the beans at the end too because it just looked like it needed beans. This was seriously good though. A lot of basic ingredients came together to make a not so pretty but hearty and filling meal.

The chicken I had in the frig already shredded and cooked. When chickens are on sale, I often will make several and bag them up so they are ready to go. Cooked shredded chicken I package in 10 oz. or 2 cup portions, it seems to work good for our family. Very handy on an occasion like this where I needed something quick without a lot of planning.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup, healthy request
1 can green chiles, 4 oz.
1 container (8 oz) light sour cream
1/2 cup milk, 1 %
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. adobo seasoning
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (10 oz)
6 tortillas, 8 in. 100 calories, torn into bite size pieces
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
Cilanto for garnish

Heat oven to 350, spray 13 x 9 in glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix soup, chilies, sour cream, milk, chili powder and cumin until blended. Stir in chicken, tortillas, onion and pepper. Stir in tomatoe and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish. Cover with foil, bake 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, bake uncovered 5 - 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and it is all bubbly. Garnish with cilantro.

Total calories = 2475
6 huge servings = 412 calories per serving

1 serving Chicken Tortilla Casserole +steamed broccoli = 442 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Ok, this was fun to make and fun to eat. I had never made or eaten a Monte Cristo sandwich before. From what I understand, it is a ham and cheese sandwich, that is battered and deep fried. Wow, that's my kind of sandwich. But basically anything deep fried has to be good, right?

This is quite the healthified version, I don't know where I saw the original recipe but I did make changes to it. I didn't need as much of the milk mixture as it called for nor did I choose to dip the entire sandwich in the milk mixture. I was afraid that the bread would just get super soggy that way so I chose to spread or spoon the milk mixture on which seemed to work fine. Also, while I thought it amusing to put raspberry jam on a ham sandwich, I opted for a teaspoon rather than the tablespoon the recipe called for. That seemed plenty. This was good though, I enjoyed it.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

4 tsp. honey mustard
8 slices of bread, I used Wonder Whole Wheat 55 calorie bread
4 (1 oz) slices swiss cheese
12 (1 oz) slices of ham
1/4 cup milk, 1 %
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tsp. powdered sugar
4 tsp. seedless raspberry jam

Spread 1 tsp. mustard over each bread slice. Place 1 cheese slices and 3 pieces of ham on each bread slice. Cover with bread slices, mustard side down. Combine milk and egg whites in a dish, using a spoon, spread milk mixture on one side of sandwich and place in pan. Cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon more of the milk mixture on the other side of the sandwich and flip and cook for about 3 more minutes. Spread with 1 tsp. raspberry jam and 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar.

Total calories = 1409 calories
4 sandwiches = 353 calories per sandwich

1 Monte Cristo sandwich + lettuce w/ zesty fat free Italian = 403 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crustless Turkey Pot Pie with Quinoa

Ok, so this really isn't a pot pie. But it has the filling that is similar to a pot pie and with a pot pie, the crust has SO many calories. This recipe was given to me from a friend and titled, Turkey Ala King. As I was making it, I added and changed several things to liven it up a bit and decided that it would make a fantastic pot pie filling. But who actually needs the pie?! The quinoa on the side was perfect with this. The husband poured his over a baked potato. I made mine with turkey as I still had a bag in the freezer but this could just as easily be made with chicken.

Crustless Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Salt and pepper
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 cups milk, 1 %
1 cup hot water
2 cups chopped turkey or chicken
2 cups of small frozen mixed veggies (mine were carrots, peas, green beans, corn and lima beans)

Saute onions, jalapeno and green pepper in butter for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 -2 more minutes. Blend in flour, cook for 1 minute. Add seasoning, allspice, salt and pepper and bouillion cubes. Add water and milk slowly and stir to combine. Add turkey and mixed veggies. Continue to cook for 10 - 15 minutes until hot and thickened. I liked mine thick, if it is too thick, just add a bit more water. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes or quinoa.

Total calories = 1455 calories
6 cups = 243 calories per cup

1 cup pot pie filling + 3/4 cup cooked quinoa = 434 calorie dinner
Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chili Con Carne

I have many different chili recipes that I made. I have a couple of vegetarian ones, a couple with meat but this is the first one that I've tried with a chuck roast. I make chili many different ways but one thing they all have in common is the beans. I love chili with beans.

I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes and knew I had a chuck roast in the freezer just waiting to be brought to daylight. I also had JUST a teaspoon left of chipotle chili powder left so it was perfect.  I changed a bit but basically stuck to her recipe.  I usually like more beans in my chili but held back so the meat could shine in this one. I had to add SOME beans though, come on! 

 Except for the bacon fat. I try so hard to de-fat my recipes and make them healthier and lower calorie but she wanted me to add not only bacon but 2 tbsp. of bacon fat (gasp!) to the pan! I didn't know if I could do it. I deliberated. It would have been fine without it of course but bacon and bacon fat adds so much flavor, this I can't deny. In the end (sigh), I went with the bacon fat. I did it. The chili did taste good. The flavor was spot on perfect, it was spicy but not so much that it burned your taste buds or made you running for the water cooler.

 It was more time consuming than some of my chili's but certainly delicious and very flavorful.

The corn muffin was from They are offering free corn muffins with purchase. So I bought a ton of vita tops a few weeks ago and got these free corn muffins. They are excellent, very sweet. If you haven't tried them, I totally recommend them. They are super filling, incredibly tasty, healthy and only 100 calories! The chocolate ones are spectacular and even the multibran ones are fantastic. And I'm not even getting paid to advertise for them, I actually like them that much. :-)

Note: As with many chili recipes, this rocks even more the next day. Really, this is awesome chili.

Chili Con Carne
Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground coriander seeds
3 tbsp. water
4 strips of bacon, bacon fat reserved
2 1/2 lb. chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and minced
1 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 14 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in a couple of tbsp. water

In a small bowl, mix the first 6 spices. Mix in 3 tbsp. water so that spices form a light paste. Set aside. Cook the bacon until crisp. Pour bacon fat in a separate container, reserve. When bacon cools, crumble it into smaller pieces. Add back 1 tbsp. bacon fat. Working in 2 batches so that you don't crowd the beef, brown the beef cubes on all sides, lightly salting as you cook the beef. Place beef in slow cooker when it is done. Do this in 2 batches so you can get the beef nice and browned.

Add another tbsp. bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno, cook about 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes. Add onion chili spice mixture to the beef in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the bacon, tomatoes, beans, water, lime juice and sugar. Heat chili on high until it starts to bubble and then switch to low. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or until ready to serve.

Mix the cornstarch with a little water to dissolve an add to the chili to thicken it. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. You may want to add a bit more sugar depending on taste. You can add more chili powder to add more heat if desired too. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips.

Total calories = 3305
8 big cups = 413 calories per cup

1 cup chili + 1 corn muffin = 513 calorie dinner.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes

This is so not blueberry season yet somehow the plump juicy super expensive blueberries at Costco just called to me. So I bought them. Much to the delight of my children who love fresh blueberries. So when pancakes were requested, the unanimous thoughts amongst the kids were "Blueberry pancakes, mom!". Haha, actually, they totally wanted chocolate chip pancakes however, we can make chocolate chip pancakes anytime. So blueberry was the runner up. Mine were a bit thick as I didn't squish the batter down enough but it didn't seem to matter to the kids who ate them up quickly along with some leftover ham and an egg/egg white mixture.

Blueberry Pancakes

1/2 cup flour (2.25 oz)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (2.38 oz)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup vanilla fat free yogurt
2 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup egg beaters or 2 eggs

Combine flours and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine yogurt and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl, add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup on preheated pan on medium heat with cooking spray. Top each pancake with blueberries. Makes about 8 pancakes. Batter is thick and will need to be spread with spatula.

Total calories = 796
8 pancakes = 100 calories per pancake

2 Blueberry Pancakes + 2 tbsp. light syrup + blueberries + 2 oz. ham + eggs = 479 calorie dinner.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

I do like pretty food and I think this is pretty food. Yes, in the end you end up just mashing it all together but when you first pull it out of the oven, they all look so pretty. I also like how these don't have rice in them. If you'd like to make some spanish rice to put in the pan around the peppers, go ahead.

I halved the recipe tonight since I was only cooking for 2 of us. Not that it has stopped me before to make a whole big recipe. I LOVE the leftovers for lunch. I actually made a full batch of the meat mixture and froze the other half for taco salads or nachos.

I got this recipe from a friend quite awhile back and have made several changes to healthify it. I cut the cheese out, I think that her recipe called to put 1/2 cheese slice in the bottom of the pepper before adding the filling. And then a couple of tablespoons on top. I prefer to add sour cream to mine so I don't need the extra cheese. The husband puts cheese on his though. You also can add some cayenne to make it spicier or some cumin. I'm just not a cumin fan but it is popular in mexican type dishes. I'm rambling, it's late, these were good. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's lunch already. :-)

Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 cup salsa
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained (Rotel)
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. adobo seasoning
Small handful of cilantro, chopped (I only use cilantro if I happen to have it)
Optional: 3/4 cup cheese, 1 tbsp. per pepper
12 large red bell peppers (or any colors)

Brown onions & ground turkey until done. Add garlic, salsa, black beans, adobo seasoning and tomatoes, simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cilantro. In a large pot, fill with water and bring to boil. Cut off the tops of the peppers and scoop out seeds. Place in boiling water for about 10 minutes. In an 9 x 13 baking dish (8 x 8 if you're only making 6 peppers), place peppers top side up. Add meat filling to peppers. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes. The last 5 minutes, top with cheese if you are using cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Total calories = 2300
192 calories per stuffed pepper
Add about 30 calories per pepper for every tablespoon of cheese added.

1 stuffed pepper + 2 tbsp. light sour cream + 1 oz. tortilla chips = 382 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken

I looked everywhere for hot chile paste. I have no idea what it is. I haven't found it at my local grocery stores so when I decided to make this recipe that called for hot chile paste, I just subbed hot red pepper spread. It's super spicy by itself but delicious in sauces. It worked. This was awesome. I'll for sure make it again. I've made several versions of Kung pao chicken recipes but this is my favorite. I also cut WAY down on the peanuts. Kung pao chicken is known for having a lot of peanuts in it. This recipe called for 4 oz. Well, 4 oz. of peanuts was more calories than the chicken so I decided just to put in a few. Again, it worked and it seemed fine. You are welcome to add more peanuts if you'd like. My husband ate this over rice and as usual, I chose to put it over broccoli. While it had a wonderful flavor, it wasn't overly saucy so if you want a lot of sauce, go ahead and double the sauce. It was fine for me, I enjoyed it. The egg roll was just from Asian Sensations. I love egg rolls.

Kung Pao Chicken

1 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. white wine, divided
2 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
1 tbsp. sesame oil, divided
2 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. hot red pepper spread (or hot chile paste)
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
4 green onions
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 can water chestnuts
3 tbsp chopped peanuts

To make marinade: Combine 1 tbsp. wine, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp. oil and 1 tbsp cornstarch water mixture and mix together. Place chicken pieces in plastic bag and add marinade for about 30 minutes.

To make sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp. wine, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. oil, t tbsp. cornstarch/water mixture, chile paste, vinegar and sugar. Mix together and add green onions, garlic, water chestnuts and peanuts. In medium skillet, heat sauce slowly until aromatic. Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade and saute in large skillet until meat is done. When sauce is done, add sauteed chicken to it and let simmer together until sauce thickens. Serve over rice or broccoli.

Total calories = 1015
3 servings = 338 calories

Kung Pao chicken + broccoli + veggie egg roll = 508 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chipotle Bean Burritos

I'm putting this recipe up on the top of my favorites. This is SO delicious and SO quick and easy. There aren't that many ingredients and it comes together super fast. I opted for tomatoes, green onions, avocado and sour cream on my burrito. It was perfect. One burrito is quite filling. I had the second one about an hour after my first, just because they were so nummy! The flavor of the chipotle chile powder is wonderful, it was more flavorful than spicy, just the right amount of spice for me.

Chipotle Bean Burritos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup water
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp. salsa
2 tbsp. cilantro (optional)
7 - 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas, toasted

Optional toppings: cheese, tomato, lettuce, green onions, avocado, sour cream

Heat pan with cooking spray and saute garlic for 1 minute. Stir in chile powder and salt, cook for 30 seconds while gradually stirring in 1/3 cup water and beans, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, remove from heat, stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with fork or back of spoon. Toast tortillas, scoop about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of tortilla. Top with desired toppings.

Total calories without toppings = 1495
7 burritos without toppings = 214 per burrito

2 Chipotle Bean Burritos with toppings = 508 calorie dinner
Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This was an experiment for me. I am not a Brussels sprout fan. Though it had been many, many years since I last had one. I read a post from Elise from Simply Recipes that her dad hates Brussels sprouts but he liked these roasted ones. So I thought, if he can try them and like them, so can I. They were fairly inexpensive, healthy and very low calorie so I thought I'd give them a whirl. They weren't bad. Still not my favorite vegetable but not bad. She says that salting is key and I would agree. I used a lot of salt on these, though I love salt anyways. So if you're a Brussels sprout fan, go ahead and try these. I pretty much used her exact recipe but I just used cooking spray instead of olive oil. I'm sure the olive oil would have tasted better but I just couldn't rationalize that many calories.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, rinsed and end trimmed
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil (I just shot them with cooking spray about 4 or 5 times)
Salt and plenty of it

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Brussels sprouts in a cast iron frying pan (or a roasting pan, but a cast iron frying pan will work great for this recipe). Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle Brussels sprouts with lemon juice. Toss with oil so that the sprouts are well coated. Sprinkle generously with salt (at least a half teaspoon) and a few turns of black pepper.
Put Brussels sprouts in oven on top rack, cook for 20 minutes, then stir so that the sprouts get coated with the oil in the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with Parmesan (if using) and cook for another 5 minutes.
The sprouts should be nicely browned, some of the outside leaves crunchy, the interior should be cooked through.
Add more salt to taste. (Salting sufficiently is the key to success with this recipe.)

I just made a small amount of these for myself and I ate them with this.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Stuffing Gravy

This is an old favorite. I love cooking in the crockpot because dinner can be practically "done" by 10 am. Make some quick sides at the end of the day and it's done. This also doesn't have many ingredients making it simpler. What I don't like about this meal, while the crock pot cooking is simple, it seems to require more prep and a lot of dishes. You have to brown the pork chops, make stuffing (instant so it's not THAT hard) and mix soups together. The end result is some darned good pork chops with a delicious gravy though. That makes it worth it and must be while I keep making this recipe over and over.
The calories are for what the recipe calls for. However, we rarely use all the gravy, it makes a lot. I am positive that I didn't use 1/6th of the gravy on my small portion of potatoes and pork chop. I did put a bit extra on my pork as it is delicious. So I quite likely consumed less calories than I think. That's okay, I'll just have an extra bite of the kids' ice cream tonight.

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

4 - 6 pork chops (about 2 lbs.)
1 box pork Stove Top stuffing
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup, 98% fat free
1 onion, sliced in rings

Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops. Brown pork chops in hot skillet, no need to cook through, just get a nice sear on them. Prepare stuffing as directed on the box (I leave out the butter or go really low on it). Mix the 2 cans of soup together. Pour some of the soup mixture in the bottom of the crock pot. Place a few spoonfuls of stuffing in the crock, then place 2 pork chops on top of the stuffing. Add some onions and pour more of the soup mixture over the pork chops. Continue layering until all ingredients are used. Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours until pork chops are cooked through. Serve the "stuffing gravy" over mashed potatoes.

Total calories = 2154 calories
6 servings = 359 calories per serving with gravy

1 pork chop + 1/2 cup mashed potatoes with stuffing gravy + roasted Brussels sprouts = 469 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lemon Quinoa with Broccoli

I love everything about this quinoa dish. Love the lemony taste. Love the sunflower seeds. Love how filling it was. Did I say that I loved this? I ate more than I had planned to, I couldn't stop. At least I can say that with a nice healthy meal like this rather than a bag of doritos, right?

Lemon Quinoa with Broccoli

1/2 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine (or just chicken broth)
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/4 c. sunflower seeds

Cook onion and garlic for a couple of minutes in a pot with cooking spray.  Add rinsed quinoa, chicken broth and white wine.  Cook on low for about 20 minutes, covered until quinoa is done. Add lemon juice and broccoli florets and cook for a couple of minutes until broccoli is kinda soft. Turn off heat and stir in sunflower seeds.

Total calories = 584
4 servings = 146 calories

2 servings Quinoa with Broccoli + 6 oz, No Name steak + 1 tbsp. Heinz 57 = 512 calorie dinner
Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cheesy Butternut Squash Bake

This just wasn't a pretty dinner. However, we can't always judge things by their appearance. Disfigured and gloppy as it was, it was quite delicious.

 I originally got this squash recipe from the Hungry Girl website and I believe she uses Laughing Cow Swiss cheese which I have yet to try so I just used the leftover mozzarella cheese we had from making pizza's last weekend. It was very good.  I pretty much love anything with butternut squash!

 I would recommend cutting the onions smaller or cooking them with the squash a bit because they weren't quite cooked enough and it was quite onion-y tasting. We like onion so we were okay with that.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Bake

1 lbs. butternut squash, cubed (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup egg beaters or 2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

Place squash in a medium pan with 1/4 cup water and steam until soft, about 15 - 20 minutes. Drain any excess water. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash together. Transfer squash to a small casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes until edges begin to brown.

Total calories = 405
4 servings = 101 calories per serving

Pulled pork sandwich + 2 servings Squash Bake = 502 calories

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I love breakfast. I don't have time in the morning to make meals like this so I enjoy having breakfast for dinner. We bought some low fat cinnamon honey butter and I thought it would be perfect with these pancakes. It was perfect. I only needed a little bit but it really make the pancakes rock. It seems like a lot of carrot when you are mixing it in but it all comes out okay after you cook them. They are pretty moist with all the carrot so press the batter down pretty thin in the pan or they will be wet in the middle. You could also make some honey butter with about 3 tbsp. of butter and 2 tbsp of honey. The eggs were 1 whole egg with 2 egg whites. This definitely was a nice treat for dinner.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

5.6 oz. flour, about 1 1/4 cups
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of cloves

2 tbsp. brown sugar 
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup egg beaters or 2 eggs
2 cups finely grated carrot, about 1 lb.
Cooking spray

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with whisk. Combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Fold in the carrots. Heat pan over medium heat, coat with cooking spray, spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto pan, spreading out thinner with a spatula. Cook for about 3 -4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked. Turn pancakes over, cook a few minutes or until bottoms are browned. Serve with cinnamon honey butter.

Total calories = 1338
12 pancakes = 112 per pancake

2 Carrot Cake Pancakes + 2 tsp. cinnamon honey butter + eggs + 2 oz. ham + kiwi = 519 calorie dinner.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Chicken

This was another new recipe for me. It was interesting. Interesting good, I'll make it again. I think I got this from The Cooking Light cookbook that a friend gave me. It's a fantastic way to get some extra veggies in for the day. I found it surprising that the cauliflower disappeared completely. Like, if you hate caulflower, you would never even know it was in here. And I even added twice as much as the original recipe called for! I also added way more green beans that it called for, I put in what it told me and then deemed that it needed to be more green and put some more in. I did put all my changes in the recipe below so it is the way I made it. Then I wasn't sure if it was going to be saucy or not so I steamed some broccoli to go along with it. There wasn't a ton of extra sauce but I did mix the broccoli in with the cheesy sauce. I also sprinkled garlic powder over the top. I like garlic. :-) This was also a lot of food. I'm completely stuffed.

Cheesy Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
3 cups cauliflower florets
4 cloves of garlic, or 2 big tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups frozen cut green beans
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped roma tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken into small pieces. In crock pot, combine chicken, cauliflower, garlic, broth, tapioca and salt. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours. Turn to high heat, add green beans to cooker. Cook for 30 minutes more. Turn cooker to warm, stir in cream cheese and mozzarella cheese until melted. Add tomatoes.

Total calories = 1480
4 servings = 370 per serving

1 serving cheesy garlic chicken + 1 cup broccoli + 1/2 cup blackberries = 455 calorie dinner


Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Smokey Caramelized Balsamic Chicken

If you don't have any liquid smoke in your house, go buy some. Now. This chicken is phenomenal. Very easy recipe and excellent flavor. I've had the same bottle of liquid smoke in my house for years, this is practically the only thing I use it for.  

I often buy chicken on sale in bulk and portion it out and freeze. I bought some fresh chicken breasts and portioned out several 6 oz. portions and chopped the rest into bite size pieces for stir fry and stuff like that. I just put them into baggies, label them and put them in the freezer for future meals. It makes life SO much easier!

We ate this with awesome watermelon and orange squash and it was a great meal! 

Smoky Caramelized Balsamic Chicken
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. liquid smoke, divided
1 medium onion, thinly diced
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic
3 - 6 oz. boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper

In a large pan, melt butter with 1 tsp. of the liquid smoke. Toss onions in and saute for a minutes or so. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown for about 10 minutes, turning once. Remove to a plate, add garlic and one cup water to the pan, boil for about 1 minute scraping up the browned bits. Return chicken to pan, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 - 30 minutes. Move chicken to one side of pan (or briefly remove), stir brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp. liquid smoke. Boil uncovered until slightly thickened. Move the chicken around in the delicious liquid to slightly caramelize on the chicken. Serve with flavored onions over the chicken.

Total calories = 1064
3 servings = 355 calories per chicken breast

1 Smokey Balsamic Chicken breast + orange squash + 1/2 cup watermelon = 483 calorie dinner.

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

This is pure comfort food. It just makes me feel good. I have a couple of different pot pie recipes but this one is classic. I do need to get a good crustless or topless pot pie recipe because it's the crust that is SOOOOOOO many calories in this! I put in lots and lots of veggies in this too so it's super thick which is how I love it. I usually use mixed vegetables with green beans, carrots, corn and peas but I didn't have that so I used a cup of peas, a cup of corn and 2 cups of green beans. I did miss the orange from the carrots though. This is the kind of recipe that I don't usually measure things, I just sorta throw it all in the pan and see how it comes out. I did measure this time for you so I could get an accurate calorie count though. Thoughtful, huh. :-)

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

1 box (15 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1/2 cup milk, 1%
2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey (9 oz)
3 - 4 cups of mixed frozen vegetables

Put one pie crust on bottom of glass pie pan. Heat butter in large skillet, add onion, cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Stir in broth and milk, cooking until bubbly and thickened. Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables. Spoon chicken mixture into the crust lined pan, top with the other crust, seal edges. Cut slits in several places to vent. Cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent burning. Bake at 425 for 30 - 40 minutes or until crust is brown. Take foil off the edges the last 15 minutes of cooking. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes before serving, if it cools off a bit, it's easier to slice and keep it together.

Total calories = 2926
6 huge servings = 487 calories per serving

1 serving of Chicken Pot Pie = 487 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

I've used several pulled pork recipes but I got this one from Joanne at Eats Well with Others. The spices were a delicious combination though I did go heavy on some of them as we like our food well spiced and my meat was larger than hers. So easy to come home to a fantastic slow cooker meal!

 It's not the prettiest of pictures but it was delicious and I can't wait to have another sandwich for lunch! Or maybe on a salad? Or on a baked potato?  Hmmm...

Crockpot pulled pork

2 lb. pork tenderloin
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix spices all together and rub on tenderloin, let marinate overnight. Place meat in the crockpot with the water, onion and hot sauce and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. Shred with fork. Stir, add barbeque sauce and let cook for another 1/2 hour or so to mix flavors.

I estimated the pork at about 200 calories for 3 oz.
So one sandwich with an Arnold Selects Sandwich Thin is about 300 calories

Pulled pork sandwich + 2 servings Squash Bake = 502 calories

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Butternut Squash & Apple Bake

Here is an amazing side dish that I make over and over. I have cut the butter and sugar quite a bit and it's still amazing. This tasted fantastic! It was sweet and buttery and did I mention sweet? Yum!! The original recipe called for 1/2 tsp. mace which I didn't have so I just used cinnamon and allspice. Worked great for me!

Butternut Squash & Apple Bake

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs), peeled and cut into 3/4 in. slices
2 medium apples, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. molasses
1 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. butter melted (or Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I just put a few sprinkles)
Pinch of allspice

Arrange squash in a 2 qt. baking dish. Top with apple wedges. Combine the remaining ingredients, spoon over apples. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 50 - 60 minutes or until tender.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

These were like dessert. Seriously. The recipe called for 1 tbsp. of brown sugar which I subbed for the Splenda Brown sugar. I forgot that you only need half as much of the Splenda brown sugar but I added the whole tablespoon and these were SWEET!!! And good! I totally could have eaten the whole batch of these. I did however limit myself to my third. They didn't crisp up like regular fries but who cares, they were delicious anyways.

We also had a Tomato Basil flavored pork loin that I found buried in the freezer. I love those flavored pork loins, they are super simple to throw in the oven and they are very low calorie.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips (I had 1 lb)
Cooking spray
1 tbsp. brown sugar 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Salt and pepper

Cut sweet potato into thin strips, I cut them about the size of shoestring french fries. Place all the sweet potato strips into a bowl and add a few shots of cooking spray, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Toss well. Lay the strips in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 25 - 35 minutes, turning once after about 15 minutes. Baking time will depend on how thick the strips are and how crispy you want them.

Total calories = 450
3 servings = 150 calories per serving

Tomato basil pork loin + sweet potato fries + Italian Zucchini = 472 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Italian Zucchini with Tomatoes

I love meals that you can just keep picking and eating and know that it's still healthy and your not taking in tons of extra calories! I kept eating this tonight because it was so good!

This is one of the most simplist side dishes to make. I use the garlic from the jar, I just threw in a heaping tablespoon of it. Chop the zucchini, toss in the tomatoes and spices and your done.

I've made this as a zucchini parmesan with cheese before and I don't find the calories of the parmesan worth it. It doesn't make it THAT much better with cheese and you more than double the calories with just 2 tablespoons of cheese. So I prefer it just the way it is. Simple, healthy and low calorie. Can't get any better than that.

Italian Zucchini with Tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic
4 medium zucchini, cut into slices (about 1 or 1 1/4 lbs.)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large skillet, saute garlic in cooking spray. Add zucchini, cook and stir for 4 - 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Stir in tomatoes and spices. Simmer, uncovered for 9 - 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and is heated through.

Total calories = 170
3 servings = 57 calories per serving

Tomato basil pork loin + Italian zucchini + sweet potato fries = 472 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicken Pasta & Veggie Salad

So I'm running with the fact that I have white wine and parsley in the frig. Those are items I don't usually keep on hand so I seem to be making everything that I can with those items. If you don't have either of those items, go ahead and still make this salad. While the sauce is very good, I don't think the wine makes or breaks this recipe at all. All the flavors combined did create a delicious salad that was deceptively filling. I didn't think I was eating a ton of food but boy was I full after 2 cups of this. I ate a cup for lunch the next day and same thing, totally full. Nice. The recipe called for plain yogurt but all I had was vanilla so I went with it and liked the flavor.

Chicken Pasta & Veggie Salad

½ cup water
¼ cup white wine
1 lb. skinless chicken breast halves
2 large garlic clove, sliced
1 cup plain or vanilla low fat yogurt
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. each garlic powder and black pepper
4 cups cooked Barilla Plus penne pasta (about 1/4 of a 14.5 oz. box)
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped red pepper
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped carrot
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken pieces from broth, cool and coarsely chop. Bring broth to a boil, cook until reduced to about ¼ cup. Cool. Combine reduced broth, yogurt, mayonnaise and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, pasta, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill thoroughly.
Total calories = 1290
7 cups = 184 calories per cup
2 cups Chicken Pasta Salad = 368 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lemon Garlic Hummus

I know the above picture looks like a vegetable appetizer platter but I assure you, this was my dinner. I was going to have some soup along with this but this totally filled me up. I was just cooking for myself this evening so this seemed the perfect dinner. I love hummus but never buy it because it always has a ton of oil which of course is delicious but so not healthy. I just use a tablespoon of sesame oil, that gives it the sesame taste plus adds a bit of oil. I love garlic so I go pretty heavy on the garlic. Probably not a good date night appetizer.

I like to make this dip with homemade tortilla chips but I have a ton of veggies in the frig that need to be used so I just stuck with the vegetables. I measured out 3 oz. of each vegetable and that's what I got. So 9 oz. of veggies came to less than 100 calories, that's a lot of food and not a lot of calories. I like that. Friends of mine have mentioned that they get tummy troubles from eating a lot of veggies but I've never had that problem, thank goodness!

Lemon Garlic Hummus

1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In food processor, combine everything until smooth. Serve with homemade tortilla chips or veggies.

Total calories = 535
2 servings = 268 calories per serving
9 oz. veggies = 100 calories

1 serving of hummus + veggies = 368 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Broccoli with Ginger-Orange Butter

This is my favorite way to eat broccoli. It's so simple and super delicious. I buy 3 lb. bags of broccoli florets at Costco so we eat broccoli a lot around here. It just seems to go with everything! Of course, peanut butter chocolate brownie bites go well with everything too.

Broccoli with Ginger-Orange Butter
3/4 lb fresh broccoli florets
1 tbsp. orange marmalade, low sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

Steam broccoli in pan with about 1/3 cup water. Simmer for about 5 - 8 minutes until crisp tender. In a small bowl, combine marmalade, butter, vinegar and ginger and microwave for about 30 seconds until butter is melted. Drain broccoli if needed and drizzle with butter mixture.

Total calories = 190
3 servings = 64 calories per serving

2 chicken breasts + 1/2 cup au gratin potatoes + 1/3 orange broccoli = 504 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.