Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blueberry Zucchini Mini Loaves

I know, I know. It's not blueberry season in Minnesota. But I just wanted something sweet and tasty and they sounded so good!!!

The blueberries were a bit tart but I think that worked good in this. Bread? Cake? Muffins? That seems to be a debate around here.

I think I was going for more bread but this is sweet so it really is like cake. So clearly with all the sugar I really didn't want bread, did I? I think because the cake part was so sweet, the tart blueberries contrasted well.

This recipe is the combination of a couple of recipes I've found so it's not really from one source. I did cut the oil and replaced egg with egg beaters and added some applesauce. Those results turned out wonderful I think.

I wanted to replace some of the sugar with splenda but I wanted to give some to a friend who doesn't eat splenda so we went for all sugar. Plus I'm not too good yet at knowing how much to replace, I haven't had good results with subbing ALL sugar with splenda. I think if I were to make this again (and I will when blueberries really are in season), I would put in 3/4 - 1 cup of splenda and the rest regular sugar. That would be a bit less than half.

I also would have liked to switch out for some whole wheat flour but I didn't have any. It was on the grocery list but it somehow got forgotten so we went with all regular all purpose flour. I didn't have as much zucchini as I would have liked either. I was looking to put more like 2 cups in there but ended up with only 1 1/2 cups.

Despite all of my thoughts for changing the recipe. It doesn't NEED to be changed at all. These were serious good eats just the way they were. My mind just can't help but try to healthify and try to make it lower calorie if possible. But then I hate to do too much or you sacrifice taste.

These really were good, no sacrificing taste here. I hope everyone whom I gave one, thinks so too! I hated to give them away but I really would have eaten too many otherwise.

Blueberry Zucchini Mini Loaves

3/4 cup Egg Beaters
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries, or 2 cups

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease mini loaf pans.

Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg beaters, oil, vanilla, applesauce and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Mix in the flour mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini loaf pan. I filled my loaves up about 3/4 the way and got 8 mini loaves.

Bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Total calories = 4408 calories
8 mini loaves = 551 calories per mini loaf

1/3 of a mini loaf = 184 calorie breakfast or snack

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shredded Beef, Bean and Corn Fajitas

So I like to get beef roasts on sale. Of course. I get everything on sale. Usually I get about a 3 1/2 lb. beef roast and I have a Shredded Beef Master Recipe that I use to prepare 2 meals. It's a nice way to get 2 meals out of one fairly inexpensive roast. Actually, it's way more than 2 meals because they usually yield many leftovers for lunches during the week.

So tonight I took the half of the shredded beef and used it for fajitas. Super delicious. The other half will be used for BBQ Beef and Bean Sandwiches.

This is a pretty versatile dish. Add what you like. I often change the spices to whatever I feel like at the time. Today I had some chipotles in adobo sauce in the frig so a couple of teaspoons of the adobo sauce went in. Sometimes, it's chipotle powder. Hey, it's fajitas. You can do whatever you want.

Shredded Beef, Bean and Corn Fajitas

1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. adobo seasoning
2 tsp. adobo sauce (from can of chipotles in adobo sauce)

Stove top method: Cook onion and garlic until tender. Stir in shredded beef, undrained tomatoes, corn, beans and spices. Bring to boiling, then simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes.

Crockpot method: Dump everything in the crockpot for a few hours until hot. This is my prefered method, can you tell? :-)

Serve on toasted tortillas with desired toppings.

I didn't calculate the exact calories but based on previous calculations, 1 tortilla with meat, 1 tbsp. sour cream, tomatoes, onions and lettuce is ABOUT 300 calories. Maybe a bit less. I'm good with estimating though.

Shredded Beef Master Recipe

I found this recipe in a magazine several years ago and I have made it many, many times. It's so easy and versatile. Oh, and delicious. Wait for a beef roast to go on sale, crock pot and shred it and use the meat for 2 separate meals. I failed to take a picture of just the meat but here is what I make with my shredded beef.

Shredded Beef, Bean and Corn Fajitas. These can be made many different ways, with different spices, spicy, mild, whatever works for you.

...and BBQ Beef and Bean Sandwiches. Not so pretty but super simple and very tasty. So nice to have the option of either of these meals when you don't feel like cooking.

Shredded Beef Master Recipe

3 1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
2 large onions, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic
1 can beef broth
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Put roast and everything else in crockpot. Cover and cook on low overnight or for like 10 hours on low. Remove beef and shred. Add onion back to beef and enough juice to moisten. Divide into 2 containers for 2 meals.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

I am a salty, crunchy snack fan. Big time.

I also SOOOOOO overdo it when eating chips. Big time.

These babies are awesome, I can totally overdo it and not feel guilty at all!!

They are a snap to make and so healthy to munch on. Very filling also!

I've made these several times and have been experimenting with spices. This time I broke my can into thirds and used 3 different seasonings. Today I used:

Curry Powder : 1/4 tsp. on 1/3 can of beans. I also put about 1/4 tsp. salt.

Chipotle Chile Powder: 1/4 tsp. on 1/3 can of beans. I also put about 1/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground garlic pepper: About 1/4 tsp. on 1/3 of beans, maybe more. I didn't add salt as it already had salt in it.

They all turned out good. The chipotle chile powder ones were quite spicy so you might want to tone that down a bit.

I've used garlic powder, ranch powder and some other spices too but I like this combination of spices. They mixed together quite well and were a tasty snack.

Okay, who am I kidding, I ate these as a meal while watching The Biggest Loser. Seriously. I ate about 1/2 of them while the rest of the family ate spaghetti. I also had a huge salad.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. spice of choice. Today I used curry, chipotle chile and garlic pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put on a dry dishtowel and pat dry. They will crisp best if you pat them dry very well.

Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, salt and spice. Toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 - 45 minutes, checking them often in the last 10 minutes or so.

Total calories = 520 calories
3 servings = 173 calories
2 servings = 260 calories

1/2 batch Spicy Roasted Chickpeas + big salad = 410 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quinoa Meatloaf Muffins

These are amazing on several different levels.

First, the fact that the husband ate these. He has not eaten anything I've made with quinoa. His motto "if I can't pronounce it and my mom didn't feed it to me, I'm not eating it." Well, he ate it and he's still breathing this morning.

Another amazing thing is that these have raisins and nobody noticed! At all! Really if I told the family that there was quinoa AND raisins, they totally would have ordered pizza on me. Not to mention the grated carrot but they are used to me throwing grated veggies in food. Now, don't get me wrong, just because they didn't notice the raisins, didn't mean they didn't do anything to the meat. I could totally tell they were there and they gave the meatloaf a sweet, slightly chewy consistency. While that may not sound appetizing, let me assure you, they were great and I wouldn't leave them out again.

The only thing I would have done different would be to add all ground turkey instead of the half and half. I don't know what I was thinking. I think the ground chuck just made them slightly more greasy than they could have been and just not as healthy. I could have shaved off nearly 40 calories per muffin if I had used all ground turkey. Then I wouldn't have felt so guilty for eating all those french fries along with them instead of the salad I had planned to eat. Oh well.I usually smear my meatloaf in ketchup and/or BBQ sauce. I enjoyed the barbecue sauce from the meatballs last week so much that I made it for these.

I didn't put it on the muffins before cooking as there is a lot of meat and I think it would have just dripped off and made a huge mess. So, I just cooked it in a small pan before they were done and then added it on top . Perfect.
Barbeque Sauce
Adapted from Pioneer Womans meatballs

1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. splenda
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
heaping 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
dash or 2 of tabasco

Combine everything and cook for about 5 - 10 minutes on a low simmer until onions are slightly softened. Spread on meatloaf muffins as desired.

Quinoa Meatloaf Muffins

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. lean ground beef (I'll use all ground turkey next time)
1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup carrot, grated
1 onion, minced
1/3 cup egg beaters
dash of milk
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450. Combine meats, raisins, quinoa, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, oregano and worcestershire sauce together. Add the egg substitute and a splash of milk making sure everything holds together. Divide into 12 muffins in muffin pan, do not grease the pan. Each muffin will have a rounded top and be heaping full. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until done.

Total calories = 2697 calories
12 servings = 225 calories per muffin

2 Quinoa Meatloaf Muffins + BBQ sauce + french fries = 636 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Turkey Noodle Soup

My kids love soup. Well, two of them do. Especially chicken noodle. It's classic. So whenever I make a chicken or turkey, I always use the remains for soup.

Mine aren't big broth fans so I made mine pretty thick, feel free to add more water and bouillion to taste.

I leave mine in the slow cooker overnight and the next morning I go fishing for all the bones. Then I am left with a delicious broth with nice chunks of turkey or chicken.

I add the veggies and spices and let it sit for the remainder of the day. I make mine pretty simple with just carrots, celery and onion but you could certainly add spinach, potatoes, broccoli or whatever other veggies you want.

Then add the noodles a bit before dinner and you're good to go.

Turkey Noodle Soup

1 leftover cooked turkey carcass
6 cups water
1 tbsp. chicken bouillion
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 cups dry noodles, I used rotini

Put turkey remains in crock pot with water and cook on low overnight. The next morning, turn off crockpot and cool until it's easier to handle. Pull out as many turkey bones as possible using either a sifter or your fingers. Save juice and turkey for soup. Add chicken bouilion, carrots, onion, celery and poultry seasoning and cook for the rest of the day on low heat. About 6 - 8 hours. About 1/2 - 1 hour before serving, add 2 cups noodles to crock pot and serve.

I don't know how many calories are in this but it is quite healthy and makes a fantastic meal.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Garlic Ranch Bacon Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

It really always comes back to comfort food, doesn't it?

I like this recipe as it comes together pretty quickly. It uses canned soups which certainly can be helpful when short on time.

This is my take on Jenny's recipe, you must check out her recipes, she takes the most amazing pictures.

I do increase the ranch from the original recipe. I love ranch and I think it adds an awesome flavor. However, my husband says that it is a bit too salty. Ranch is salty. I happen to love salt so this isn't an issue with me. So keep in mind before adding extra salt besides the ranch if you are sensitive to salt.

I can only find the 8 count biscuit doughs but 6 fit perfect on here. You certainly could cram more on if you'd. I just bake up the extra 2 biscuits and my son will eat them. He won't eat the pot pie but will devour the biscuits in no time. Go figure.

Garlic Ranch Bacon Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Picky Palate

2 lbs. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 packets of dry ranch dressing mix (or 5 - 6 tbsp. ranch powder)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 - 10 oz. cans cream of chicken soup, Healthy Request
1 - 10 oz. can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup milk, 1%
2 - 16 oz. bags frozen veggies, I use carrots, peas, corn and green beans
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 lb. crumbled turkey bacon pieces, already cooked
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
6 canned homestyle biscuits (I used Pillsbury)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Place shredded cooked chicken in large bowl. Sprinkle in 3 tbsp. (or 1 packet) of ranch dressing, salt and pepper. Toss to combine seasonings.

In a large pan, saute onion for about 5 minutes until soft. Place soups and milk in pan and whisk until combined. Stir in mixed veggies and then shredded chicken. Transfer to a 9 x 13 in. baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle bacon on top.

Open biscuits and cut each biscuit into 10 little triangle pieces. Place little pieces of biscuit over the top of chicken mixture until it's all covered. Sprinkle biscuit dough with another packet of ranch or about 2 tbsp. of ranch. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes or until biscuits are cooked and nice and browned.

Total calories = 4228 calories
8 huge servings = 529 calories per serving

1 serving Ranch Bacon Pot Pie = 529 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Irish Apple Mash

I had to make something Irish. Well, I didn't necessarily have to but I wanted to. Joanne picked Irish food for this months Regional Recipe challenge. It certainly seemed fitting.

I thought about doing corned beef and cabbage, though I'm not a huge fan. My dad loves it and I still might tackle it later in the month. There are plenty of Irish desserts that looked heavenly. Irish stew and soda bread are obviously great but I've seen plenty of that on the blogging world. Though the excuse to buy some Guinness Beef certainly is enticing!

Then I saw apple mash. The first thing I thought of was from the movie Cheaper By Dozen when they were whacking apples with a baseball bat. That sounds like fun. I think they called it apple schmear. Same thing.

Well, I controlled myself and decided not to whack the apples with a baseball bat but it was super simple and quite a tasty side dish. In fact, I would rather have these than plain, old mashed potatoes any day. I didn't mash mine super fine, I like chunks in my mashed potatoes and especially with the apple, the chunks were quite welcome.

What I liked about these was that they looked just like regular mashed potatoes but then came the surprise taste of the tart apple and it really was enjoyable. That being said, I think when I make these again, I won't peel the potatoes or the apples. They won't look as pretty or deceptively plain but I don't like peeling off the main nutrition off the food so I'm all for leaving it on there.

Irish Apple Mash

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb. apples, peeled, cored and cubed (fairly tart if possible)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter or earth balance

Boil potatoes until softened. Drain and put into a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook apples in a small saucepan with a splash of water and splenda. Cook until soft, drain if necessary and add to the potatoes. Mash potatoes and apples together with butter and serve. Don't worry about getting the potatoes and apples too smooth, chunks are nice. :-)

Total calories = 1017 calories
6 servings = 170 calories per serving

3 Spicy Black Bean Cakes + 1 serving Apple Mash = 461 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Lime Cilantro Sour Cream

Beans just seem to be a quick fix dinner around here. We always have canned beans in every variety so they are always on hand and they don't need to be thawed out. Quick and convenient. So I often turn to them when I need a quick dinner.

These babies are awesome. The come together fairly quick and are healthy and filling.

I used Epazote in these this time. I don't usually cook with exotic ingredients, I like to keep it "real". I've seen this spice in several recipes lately and Kalyn wrote about it recently. So when my friend was doing a Penzey's run, I asked her to pick some up for me. I knew it was supposed to be good in beans and I eat a lot of beans so I figured it was worth a try.

Here is what my bottle says:

Epazote is very popular for Mexican and South American cooking, where it is used in all types of bean dishes, from chili to black bean salad. Use 2 - 3 tsp. per 2 quarts of chili, parboil with beans for soups or salads, about 1 tbsp. per pot. This is "user friendly" epazote, very fresh and chopped into small standard herb sized bits, unlike the large hunks sold at the Mexican grocers. Try in split pea or navy bean soup with ham, about 1 tbsp. per pot.

I have also heard that it is "user friendly" in other ways. It is supposed to naturally alleviate unwanted pressure that is often attributed to beans. *cough, cough* Know what I mean? I don't really have any issues there but have heard of many who do.

All that being said, I think that the epazote is good, but it didn't rock my world or anything. I think I'd just as soon use adobo seasoning. I haven't used it much so I'll keep trying it and maybe it will grow on me some more. Certainly this recipe isn't dependant on that spice, in fact, I've made these cakes several times and this is the first time I've used the epazote.

Another suggestion, these are better freshly made. I usually get about 12 patties per batch. If you aren't planning to eat all 12 at once, I would keep the bean mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use. I've made these and then reheated the next day and they just get a bit soggy and aren't as good.

Today we had a side dish to go along with these but often I'll make these and we'll just eat these for dinner. The lime sour cream is fantastic and puts them over the top!

Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Lime Cilantro Sour Cream

Lime Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream, light
2 tsp. lime juice
1 small jalapeno, minced
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Bean Cakes:
1 onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno peppers, diced
1/2 red pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. Epazote (or cumin or adobo spice or whatever)
1 cup sweet potato, grated (packed in the cup, don't skimp)
1 egg
2 pieces of 40 calorie bread, toasted and crumbled
Green onion for garnish

Mix ingredients for sour cream, cover and refrigerate.

Cook onions and red peppers until softened, stir in jalapenos, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in black beans and mash with a fork or a potato masher. Season with salt, pepper and epazote (if using). Mix in sweet potatoes, egg and bread crumbs. Use slightly heaping 1/4 cup and divide into 12 patties. Cook on stovetop with cooking spray, about 6 - 10 minutes per side, until desired crispness. Cooking time will depend on how hot the pan is. Serve with Lime Cilantro Sour Cream.

Total calories = 1155 calories with sour cream
12 servings = 97 calories per patty with sour cream

3 Spicy Black Bean Cakes + 1 serving Apple Mash = 461 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Barbeque Turkey Meatballs

You know when you have a friend who is having a rough time and needs a friend. There is nothing that says "I'm there for you!" better than to bring them some comfort food. -- Bring them these meatballs. Someone you know passes away, you want to bring the family a meal to help comfort them. -- Bring them these meatballs. You have a pot luck at work and need a tasty, quick thing to bring. -- Bring these meatballs.

Are you seeing where I'm going with this??

Seriously. These little babies say it all. They are fairly simple, filling, healthy, oh and did I mention that they are absolutely delicious?? Ya, all that and more.
The only thing I was skeptical about was the milk. It seemed to be a lot of milk to put in meatballs and they were quite soft. But I thought, Pioneer Woman couldn't be wrong?! So I went with it and me of little faith, they turned out just fine. They browned up nicely in the pan.

And came out absolutely scrumptious after baking with the barbecue sauce on them.

I will not doubt again. :-)

BBQ Turkey Meatballs
Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks

For Meatballs:
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
3/4 cup instant oats
1 cup milk, 1%
3 tbsp. onion, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup flour
Cooking spray

For BBQ Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. onion, finely minced
Dash or two of Tabasco

Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium small balls about the same size and place on a cookie sheet. The mixture will be wetter than expected, this is okay, it will turn out fine. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients while meatbals are in the freezer. Remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in flour. Brown meatballs in skillet with cooking spray until just brown. Don't worry about cooking them, we're just getting a nice sear on the outside. Place into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour sauce over meatballs and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Total calories = 2115 calories
22 meatballs = 96 calories per meatball (this will vary due to the size of your meatballs)

Mac and cheese + 4 meatballs + green beans = 922 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese

Comfort food. Ultimate. Comfort food. *sigh* Just seeing the pictures of this meal brings be back. It was extraordinary.

Yes, we're talking just regular old mac and cheese and bbq meatballs. But, really, we're NOT talking regular at all. These are Pioneer Womans mac and cheese and bbq meatballs. Some how that just brings it to a whole new level.

This is not diet friendly. Especially when you eat so much your mouth is saying how full you are, but your tongue is licking the plate. Was that ME that just said that?

However, I did cut the calories from hers a bit. Though I'm quite sure that hers was even more delicious. I used 1% milk rather than whole. Plus, I used light butter. I wasn't about to scrimp on the cheese because, well after all, this IS macaroni and cheese! I did use all cheddar but would love to try a combination of cheese next time. Oh, and there will be a next time, baby, seriously.

You also certainly could make this a lower calorie meal by just watching your portions. Even though these were a knock out together, it would be a better choice by just eating a serving of mac and cheese with a salad or a vegetable. I hadn't calculated the calories until after I was licking the plate so I was blissfully unaware but that isn't always a good idea.
She has mouth watering photos and a play by play of the whole preparing of the meal here. I'll share the scrumptious bbq meatball recipe here tomorrow.

Mac & Cheese

1 lb. dried macaroni (about 4 cups)
1/4 cups butter
1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 cups milk, 1%
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 whole egg, beaten
1 lb. cheese, grated (I used all cheddar but use whatever combination you'd like)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain. I have a habit of overcooking pasta so you might want to listen to her and cook it until only firm, mine was slightly over done. Again.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in all but 1/2 cup or so of cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! Do not undersalt, it needs salt. I'm a salt fan so I added more salt.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Total calories = 4144
8 servings = 518 calories per serving

Mac and cheese + 4 meatballs + green beans = 922 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cinnamon & Lime Chicken Fajitas

When I first found this recipe, I thought it sounded fantastic!!

Then I began to doubt myself.

I don't know why. For some reason, as I was cooking it, I started thinking. "A cinnamon fajita? What am I thinking?!" Well, by then the meal was almost done and there was no going back.

Thank goodness because these were awesome! Everyone in the house loved them and were immediately requested again.

Yea!! I love when that happens.

My only slight complaint is that I don't think the p0tatoes really put them over the top or anything. Nothing wrong with potatoes, they are just a bit bland in my opinion. I think that sweet potatoes would be a better choice, I think they would add more flavor and go well with the cinnamon.

Seriously, these were good. The sour cream and cinnamon together were wonderful.

I put cheese as an optional topping but really, these don't need cheese. At all. Which keeps them nice and low cal and healthy. Just the way I like them!

Cinnamon & Lime Chicken Fajitas
Adapted from Allrecipes

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large baking potatoes, cubed, about 1 1/4 lbs.
1 large onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp. chopped jalapeno
1 lime, juiced, about 1 1/2 tbsp.
10 Whole wheat tortillas

Optional toppings: lettuce, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, green onion

Place potatoes in a shallow baking dish, spray with cooking spray and season with salt. Bake about 40 minutes at 400 until tender and somewhat crispy. Meanwhile, season chicken with cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Arrange in a separate baking dish and bake 30 minutes until cooked, cool and cut into strips or shred. Or do what I did and cut them really thin and brown them on the stovetop with the cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Heat cooking spray in pan and saute the onion and garlic until tender. Mix in chicken, jalapeno and lime juice. Cook until heated through. Serve the chicken and potatoes in warmed tortillas with desired optional toppings. Makes 10 fajitas.

Total calories = 2260
10 servings = 226 calories per fajita

2 Cinnamon & Lime Chicken Fajitas + tomatoes & sour cream = 502 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cheesy Cornbread Muffins

I love corn muffins. So much that I can't make them too often. Seriously, they can be a dangerous thing around here.

I got this lower calorie cornbread muffin recipe from Hungry Girl, she really makes some amazing recipes. She dropped the calories even further by using fat free sour cream and reduced fat cheddar cheese but I didn't have those on hand so we went with the light sour cream and regular cheddar cheese. It only upped the calories per muffin by 12 calories a piece. I can live with that.

I would have loved to add more onion and some hot sauce to flavor them up a bit more but my kids wouldn't have gone for that. They were appalled by what little green there was from the green onion as it was. I dared not add anything else to them or I would have been left to eat alone the 12 muffins. Oh and I could have. Really, really.

I made a fantastic chili to go along with these bad boys and we were all licking the dishes clean on this meal.

Cheesy Cornbread Muffins
Adapted from Hungry Girl

1 cup canned cream style corn
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute (egg beaters)
1/2 cup sour cream, light
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions (I added less because of the kids)
2 tbsp. splenda or sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp. hot sauce (I would have gladly put this in but for my weenie kids who wouldn't want zippy corn muffins)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, cornmeal, splenda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together all other ingredients, then add contents of the small bowl into the large one, and stir until well mixed. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray, evenly distribute muffin batter among the cups. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the muffins are firm and a light golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

Total calories = 1165 calories
12 muffins = 97 calories per muffin

1 1/2 servings chili + 1 cheesy cornbread muffin = 456 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vegetarian Meaty Chili

The Case of the Incredible Glowing Corn Muffin!!

My kids read a lot of mystery books. It's a mystery to me why the picture of the corn muffin above appears to be glowing. Trust not my photography skills.

This is pretty much your run of the mill chili but one that my vegetarian friends can enjoy as well.

I like my chili pretty thick so feel free to add tomato sauce or broth to thin it, if that floats your boat. My motto is: The More Veggies, the Better! Nice and chunky! Then crush up the corn bread to soak up whatever juice is left to make it even MORE thick. It's my chili and I'll make it how I want. :-)

I also forgot to count how many cups were in a serving of this chili, it was so tasty, we just dug right in without giving a thought to the stats. I estimate there to be at least 10 cups, probably more as this lasted throughout the weekend for many snacks and lunches.

Vegetarian Meaty Chili

Cooking spray
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery
1 green or red pepper, chopped (I had red)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 cans (4 oz) chopped chile peppers
2 (12 oz) pkg vegetarian burger crumbles
5 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp. black pepper

Cook onion in pan with cooking spray. Cook for about 4 -5 minutes, then mix in celery, peppers, and garlic. Cook for about 4 - 5 minutes until tender. Put burger crumbles in large crock pot. Add onion mixture. Add tomatoes, drained beans and spices and mix thoroughly. Cook on low for about 5 - 6 hours or until ready to eat.

Total calories = 2392
10 servings = 239 calories

1 1/2 servings chili + 1 cheesy cornbread muffins = 456 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quinoa & Black Bean Cold Salad

I love the flavors of this salad. It's no secret that I adore red wine vinegar. That paired with the lime, the cilantro, the onions, and finally the texture of the quinoa, just gives this that "what is that flavor" feeling on your tongue. You can't help but continuing to go back for more and more. It's really that good.

It definitely has that south of the border appeal and would be great for a fiesta or any Mexican themed meal.

This salad made a lot. So naturally I shared it. Everyone I gave it to came back with glowing results. Even a 4 year old loved this! It truly was a fantastically tasty dish that needs to be made again and again.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
1 ¼ cup quinoa
1 can (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 can of corn
1 red pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ cup cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse quinoa under cold water thoroughly. Put quinoa in a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff quinoa and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. In a small bowl, toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper. Add beans, corn, red pepper, green onions, garlic, cayenne and cilantro to the quinoa. Toss well. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, cumin, splenda and oil. Drizzle over salad and toss well with salt and pepper.

Total calories = 1770
12 - 1/2 cup servings = 148 calories per serving

1 taco burger with sandwich thin + 1/2 cup Quinoa Black Bean Salad = 451 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Turkey Taco Burgers

I have several friends who are making their way south of the border lately.
Cancun, Mazatlan, you know the places. The typical spring-break-get-away-from-this-nasty-wintery-weather type places.
I am not going to any of these places.
The closest I will be getting to south of the border is this scrumptious, delicious taco burger. Yeah, I know, that's not really close at all but the burger IS quite tasty and hey, a girl can dream, can't she?
I ate this with a fantastic quinoa salad that I totally recommend!
Turkey Taco Burgers

 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey, lean
1/4 cup salsa
Taco seasoning:
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp.ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Combine ground turkey with salsa. In a small bowl, combine spices and then add to turkey mixture. Mix thoroughly and form into 6 patties. Cook in pan on both sides until done. Serve on Arnold select sandwich thins.
Sour cream and salsa topping:
2 tbsp. sour cream, light
2 tbsp. salsa
Mix together for topping or dipping sauce. 2 servings.
Total calories for burgers = 1070
6 patties = 178 calories per patty
1 Taco Burger + 1 Arnold 100 calorie sandwich thin + salsa/sour cream topping + quinoa salad = 451 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mango Chicken Stir Fry with Quinoa

Mango is a summer fruit. Clearly I'm in denial that summer is still a looooooong way off! I picked up a bag of frozen mango on a whim and put it in this dish. It was good.

But I should have waited until summer.

Fresh mango really is so much better in this. I also jacked up the spice from the original recipe since mango is so deliciously sweet. I used 2 red chile peppers and added the crushed red pepper at the end because it needed more spice. Very nice flavor though with the spices.
I ate this with quinoa and broccoli. It was a fantastic meal.

Mango Chicken Stir Fry
Adapted from WeHeartFood

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 large mangos, diced into cubes (I used a bag of frozen mango)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 - 2 red chiles, finely chopped
2 tsp. red pepper paste or spread
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish

Heat cooking spray in pan and saute the chopped chilies, red pepper paste and onions until lightly browned. Add chicken, peppers and spices and stir fry until chicken is cooked through. Stir in chicken stock and mango and simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt, garnish with cilantro. Serve with quinoa.

Total calories = 1135
4 servings = 284 calories per serving

1 serving Mango Chicken + 1/2 cup quinoa + 1 cup broccoli = 469 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken/Turkey & Broccoli Pie


My kids got excited when they saw me bring out the pie plate. Their mouths started watering, wondering what kind of pie Mommy was going to make.

Chocolate? Apple? Banana Cream? They wondered.


Their faces fell. It wasn't really pie they said. They ate chicken nuggets.

It was, however, delicious. And simple. 2 qualities that go well on a weeknight dinner. I used the last of the leftover turkey and it was plenty for the 3 of us.

So no, it wasn't the sweet, sugary pie the kids wanted but I was satisfied. Who am I kidding, I would have loved to eat banana cream pie for dinner too.

Chicken/Turkey & Broccoli Pie
1 ½ cups broccoli florets
½ cup red pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded cooked chicken or turkey (I used 4.5 oz turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
¼ tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Couple of dashes of hot sauce
1/3 cup egg beaters

Heat oven to 400. Spray 9 in. glass pie plate with cooking spray. Layer broccoli, ½ cup of the cheese, the chicken and onion in pie plate. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, salt, pepper and eggs with wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake 3-4 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted.

Total calories = 1105 calories
3 servings = 368 calories per serving

Chicken & Broccoli Pie + small salad = 418 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from, some numbers are rounded and approximate.

The Carrot Marshmallow Project

Be careful what you ask for.

Joanne asked for unique carrot creations. She dared imply that the 5, wait, no 10 lb. gigantic bulk bag of carrots in my frig would grow mold. *gasp* How on earth did she know!?

I wouldn't exactly call this a recipe, unless you call it a recipe for fun or a recipe with extreme imagination. This recipe calls for carrot sticks, pretzels, mini marshmallows and 5 children with extreme imaginations. We did this while the 3 babies napped. I feared carrot sticks up noses or marshmallows stuck in ears if the younger ones were awake.

We've done the marshmallow project with pretzels many times. Today, because of Joanne, I included the carrot, less they grow mold and go to waste.

Jacob's raging bonfire.

Danielle's alien spaceship.

Mattea's fluffy heart, flower blanket.

John's campfire.

Jory's volcano with acid lava rocks.

I so loved hearing all of their descriptions of their projects. In the end, they were eaten. The marshmallows first of course.