Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicken Souvlaki Gyro Style

I have never made tzatziki sauce but I love eating it. I was trying to make something Greek but I'm not too into lamb so I went for something fairly simple but still Greek enough for me!

I used boneless breast tenders and then grilled them after they marinated for awhile. The chicken turned out well and was delicious! 

We're not big feta or olive fans so we kept the toppings pretty simple. The sauce was amazing! I'd never made it before. I did go easy on the dill, I just shook a sprinkle or 2 in and tasted and it was fine. 

My brother, who is doesn't overly like cucumbers, said he LOVED the sauce.  We couldn't get enough of these.  I used 100 - calorie whole wheat pita halves.  My brother found them annoying and just put his on a tortilla.  Not very Greek but it did seem to work better.  I told you, we put everything on a tortilla! 

Chicken Souvlaki Gyro Style
 Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Souvlaki Marinade:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 lbs. boneless chicken breast strips

Tzatziki Sauce:
1/2 cup seeded, shredded cucumber
1 tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed dill (more if you like)
1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning (I used oregano, thyme, basil, onion and garlic seasonings)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pita rounds
Romaine lettuce
Red onion, thinly sliced
Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese

In a small bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and pepper.  Place chicken in a large resealable plastic baggie and pour marinade over it and refrigerate for several hours.

Toss the shredded cucumber with the tsp. of salt and allow to sit at least 5 minutes.  In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.  Season with garlic and spices. Squeeze the cucumber to remove any excess water over a strainer.  Stir into the sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Remove chicken from marinade and grill until chicken is done.  Discard marinade. Cut cooked chicken into thin strips.  Place pita rounds on grill and cook for 2 minutes until warm. 

Set pita rounds, chicken and toppings out and assemble Gyros as desired. 

Total calories = 1400 calories (estimate for marinated chicken, sauce and lettuce, tomato, onion toppings)
10 servings = 140 calories

2 Chicken Souvlaki Gyros with 100 calorie pita bread = 480 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Luau Party Recipes and How to Make Pinatas!

So this was Luau weekend!!  We ended up with 59 people including us.  32 of those were kids.  More kids than adults, not good odds.

Check out those cupcakes above! I made about 100 mini cupcakes.  1/2 of them were white cake, separated into bowls with different colored food coloring to make them different colors. I put 2 - 3 colors in each cupcake.  Then the other half were just chocolate. 

I had 5 kid helpers along with my 3 and they all got to decorate the cupcakes.  They did the same thing with the frosting, they separated them and colored them to make colored frosting. That, some decorating icing and lots of sprinkles = some unique looking cupcakes!  They all disappeared though!

As a food blogger, my goal was to take some attractive pictures but for the most part, I completely forgot.  I did make some new things that I wanted to share with you. Most were NOT healthy so they don't exactly belong on this blog but think we can agree that this blog isn't about ONLY healthy items now is it. 

So above, is a BLT salad that I found from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  This was good, it was essentially pasta (I used rotini), ranch dressing, bacon, lettuce and tomato. How easy is that?  I used light ranch and added some green onion to it. It was fantastic. Everyone loved it. I would have liked more veggies and less pasta but it was good. I would totally make it again.

We had the typical burgers and hot dogs.  I bought pre-made sirloin burgers from Costco and that was TOTALLY the way to go. In the past, I have made my own patties and this was much simpler.  I had my roaster pan with 3 individual trays inside, one for hamburgers, one for hot dogs and one for sweet and sour meatballs. 

Yes, I finally decided on a sweet and sour sauce for meatballs after a lot of taste testing!  We decided to go with this sweet and sour sauce but I added more sugar, a bit more soy sauce and more of the pineapple concentrate and didn't use the MSG.  I didn't make my meatballs, I used 2 bags of the Simiks meatballs and then I added a couple cups of pineapple chunks.  They all went, they were a total hit.  I doubled the sauce and there was plenty. Of course, I didn't get a picture of these wonderful, fantastic meatballs. You'll just have to take my word.

We had chips, potato salad and chicken salad as well.  The potato salad went well but the chicken salad, not so much. It think we had enough meat.  

Plus watermelon, pineapple veggies and a mixed fruit bowl. The fruit was super popular. The mixed fruit bowl of strawberries, grapes and blueberries completely disappeared. 

Then we had desserts.

Lots of desserts.

First up is my trifle. I love this and could eat it daily for the rest of my life.  I HAVE parties so I can make this.  It is pretty and super tasty.  I wish I had a picture of it before it was half eaten but it was so crazy around here that I just didn't think of it. 

I take a regular round store bought angel food cake. Cut it into cubes.  Turn the top of the plastic lid of the angel food cake upside down and assemble the trifle inside of the lid.  That way you can see how pretty it is from the outside. 

Mix 2 cans crushed pineapple, undrained, 2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding and a small container of cool whip together. 

Start with a layer of cake cubes on the bottom. Then a layer of pudding mix. Then a layer of blueberries and cut strawberries. Keep layering until you've used it all. Decorate the sides and top with the prettier cut strawberries. I usually add raspberries to the top too. 

Next we have a really gross picture of a delicious no bake cookie, Choc-oat-nut Cookies from Crazy Daisy

I should have taken a picture when I had them nice and neat on a baking tray.  Once I put them on the cute fish tray, they started to look like a giant chocolate blob.  Go to her blog, much better pictures.

These were incredibly easy and SOOOOO good!  The only problem was, they didn't hold up in the heat.  At all.  It was like 90 and humid and they just turned to goo. I kept rotating the desserts and putting some back in the freezer but as soon as you took them out, they got really soft.  So, I totally recommend these but they aren't the best picnic or outside cookies. Save these for the inside parties and chill until just ready to serve.  You'll love them! 

I had to snap this picture quick as I forgot to take pictures of them before they were all eaten.  First I made regular rice crispy treats with a 1/2 bag of butterscotch melted in them. Then I drizzled chocolate over the top.  These disappeared quickly. 

Then I tried a new recipe that I have been drooling over for a long time.  They are Chocolate Caramel Cracker Bars. Otherwise known as Twix Bars.  I have this recipe printed from the pillsbury website but you may need to have an account to get it. Annoying.  If you can't get it and want it, let me know.

Oh, and just so you know. You DO want this recipe because these ROCK!  Seriously, I ate WAYYYYYY too many of them. My scale was not happy.

Now, I know one of my blogging friends JUST posted this recipe for the Twix bars within the last month or so but I can't remember who it was and I tried to find it but wasn't able to. So, let me know if this is on your blog and I'll link up to you. I saw it on a blog, didn't bookmark it and then Pillsbury sent me the same recipe like that same week and I decided to make it. I would much rather give bragging rights to one of my bloggy friends than Pillsbury. No offense.  


Enough about food.  My kids and helpers had a blast decorating the deck, backyard and the garage with luau decorations. 

We also had a on of lei's and flowers for the girls hair. Everyone loved dressing up and getting creative with the leis. 

Then we had a contest for Guess How Many? Skittles and M&M's.  Everyone put their name and their guesses and whoever came the closest, won the candy.  A dad won the skittles and he was 12 away and the girl who won the M&M's was only 3 away!  There were 888 skittles and 654 M&M's.  Personally counted by me while I watched Star Trek Insurrection. Useless information that I just felt like sharing.

I love seeing the varied guesses. Especially from the little ones who would guess 8000 or 40 or something off the wall like that.

Then we had the big bouncy house in the backyard.  This is pretty much the main attraction.  The kids bounced until they were red in the face and sweaty beyond belief.  It was 90 and humid so it didn't take long.  I should have had a table with anti-perspirant for people to freshen up because boy was it HOT!

My daughter also had her paint and swirl out but I didn't get a picture.  The kids had fun making little swirls of painted pictures. 

Next came the goody bags. I buy the large totes from Oriental Trading along with a ton of novelty junk for the kids to enjoy.  They often have coupons and good deals so I order a lot from them.  I get a lot of off season crafts from there too, you can get some great deals!  They aren't paying me to say good things about them, I just like them and recommend them.

Pinatas.  Every year, we buy pinatas and I am always disappointed with them. Either too cheesy, too breakable, too small or too ugly. And ALWAYS too expensive!  Last year we had 3 of them because we always have a TON of kids and even the big ones really want to whack the pinata. 

So this year we MADE pinatas.  I am not, repeat NOT, a crafty person. At all.  I debated and procrastinated for a long time about making these and then finally just decided to do it.  This is where I learned how to make a pinata. I watched this video like 3 times. It really proved to be easy. Messy, but easy. We also made 6 of them. Yes, 6.  I figured if we were going to trash the kitchen for the weekend, we'd do a lot. I had NO idea what kind of strength these would have or how they would turn out.

Above is Beth's Sun.  They all started out round like a balloon but she used cereal boxes to make the star shapes and tissue paper to decorate. So much better than I would have done.

Above is Danielle's yellow star and Jory's volcano with the red lava pouring out. 

We did 4 layers of newspaper on these.  They held up pretty well. Next year, for my last layer, I will use white computer paper. When the kids were decorating, they had to use darker colors or several layers so they wouldn't see the newspaper.

Above is Emily's Ninja.  Again, this was awesome. I so could not have come up with that!  It was even cuter in person! 

One recommendation I have if you are going to make your own pinatas, reinforce the top. You know where you have to poke holes to put a string to attach to the rope?  That part tends to break first when they whack at it and then your pinata is on the ground. So next year we are going to put WAY more layers on the very top so that part is super strong. 

Above is Kaleb's TV.  He is younger and didn't get to decorate one of the round "real" pinatas.  He felt left out so he found this rice crispy bar box, it was pretty sturdy cardboard and he made this awesome TV.  This is actually my favorite because he did it very fast and for a little guy was very creative!!  It held up really well too!

And what would a Luau be without a Darth Vader pinata right??  Above is Maylinn's Darth Vader pinata.  We saved this one for the next day so just the sleepover kids got to whack Vader.  It's hard to tell from my stinky picture but she did an AWESOME job on this and it looked JUST like Darth Vader. When she first started, I was afraid she would be disappointed as it is hard to make a character look right but she did a fantastic job.  It seriously rocked! 

Towards the end of the evening, after most of the guests had gone, we did some fireworks. The kids were impressed.

6 of the kids ended up spending the night so with my 3, I had 9 kids in the house which resulted in the watching of Camp Rock and then mass amounts of giggling until about 1 am.

It was a good weekend. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Cherry, Strawberry and Kiwi Reduction

I saw this recipe several weeks ago from Patricia from Butter Yum. I fell instantly in love. She used Black Cherry and Raspberry in her sauce. 
I love trying new glazes and sauces for things like pork or chicken. I had a pork loin in my freezer just waiting for this.

One thing I liked about this was that it didn't require me to marinate the meat.  I did sear the pork loin before chucking it in the oven but that was simple enough. 

The glaze was simple enough to make.  I found this big jar of preserves at Costco. My friend recommended it and I couldn't wait to try it.  It was perfect with the pork loin. 

This was a chunky jam with cherries in it so the sauce was chunky which I like. If you used more of a spread, the sauce wouldn't be chunky.  If it wasn't for the chunks, I seriously could have drank this with a straw. It was fantastic!

Any flavor combination would work.  But if you go to Costco and see this jam.  Buy it, I totally recommend it. 

Pork with Cherry, Strawberry and Kiwi Reduction
Adapted from Butter Yum

1 pork tenderloin, about 1.25 - 1.5 lbs.
Salt and pepper

1/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1 - 2 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup fruit preserves (use whatever you'd like)
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sugar

Trim any fat from the pork.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat a pan until super hot and sear all sides until it is nice and brown.  Transfer roast into oven and cook per directions on the package. Mine cooked for about 40 minutes until the inside is 160 degrees.  Remove the pan from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes. 

To make the sauce, use the same pan that you seared the pork and deglaze the pan by adding the vinegar and chicken stock, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the minced garlic and preserves. Whisk to combine, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce by about half.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Slice the pork and serve with sauce. 

Total calories = 1628 calories for pork and sauce
4 servings = 407 calories per serving

Pork with Jam Sauce + Broccoli with Caramelized Onions = 521 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Barbecue Baked Beans

I'd planned burgers and beans for dinner. It ended up just being the beans. We ate the burgers for lunch the next day.  I LOVE baked beans and these had the meat right in the so I didn't feel the need for a burger.  And Hubs was working.  He would have liked a burger with the beans. 

There are probably 11,100 different ways to make baked beans and I have several recipes that I want to try. I was in the mood for the slow cooker today so I chose this one. It was delicious with the smokey flavor of the liquid smoke and bacon.  I enjoyed the next day as well. 

Slow Cooker Barbeque Beans
Adapted from Allrecipes

1 lb. ground turkey
6 slices of raw bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans of baked beans
1 can red kidney beans with liquid
1 can of white beans, partially drained
1 cup ketchup
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. salt
Several dashes of hot sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Cook ground turkey until done. Dump into the crock pot. Cook bacon until crispy, throw onions in with the bacon for about 3 - 4 minutes to get them started.  Throw the bacon and onion into the crockpot.  Mix all the rest of the ingredients together with the meat mixture.  Stir and cook for about 5 - 7 hours or until ready to serve. 

Total calories = 2978 calories
8 slightly heaping cups = 372 calories per cup

1 1/2 cups of Barbecue Baked Beans = 558 calorie dinner

 Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Butterscotch Amish Friendship Bread

So the whole point of Amish Friendship bread is to make a bread, keep a starter for yourself and then share a couple with friends so they can make bread and pass the stinky smell stuff love onto someone else. 

I ran out of friends.  At least friends who were willing to take Fred and give him a good home.  Funny how I haven't run out of friends willing to take a loaf of finished bread though. Hmmmm...

Seriously, it got to a point when people would see me coming with a bag of goo, they would run screaming through the hallways. People avoided my calls, changed their phone numbers, sent their kids to different daycares...

Well, maybe it didn't get that bad but in any case, no one else wanted the stuff. 

So I have created selfish bread. I cut the ingredients down, feed him less and thus at the end of the 10 day cycle, I have enough to keep one for myself and enough to make my bread.  The proportions are the same, just less.  He's happy but I no longer have extra starter to give away unsuspecting suckers friends.

This bread was good. Really good. I ate slightly more of it than I did the others. My 11 year old ate literally half of an 8 x 8 pan which I am secretly rather happy he did as to keep it from me.  He's skinny, he can take it. I gave a pan to my friend and she and her kids agreed that this was the best one yet. 

I was going to go just butterscotch but at the last minute decided to throw some chocolate mini's over the top, I figured it would look prettier.  And, dude, it's chocolate. One doesn't need an excuse to add chocolate to anything. 

Any suggestions for next weeks bread? 

Check out my other Amish Bread creations:

Week 1: Cinnamon
Week 2: Almond Joy
Week 3: White Chocolate Almond Craisin
Week 4: Pistachio Pineapple Coconut

Butterscotch Amish Friendship Bread

About 1 cup of starter
3  eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 small boxes of butterscotch pudding
1 cup butterscotch chips

Topping = 1 cup butterscotch chips and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Spray 2 loaf pans or 8 x 8 pans with cooking spray. I find they cook better in the 8 x 8 pans.  Sprinkle the insides of pan with sugar.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into pans.  Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the bread mixture. Bake at 325 for about 1 hour.  Enjoy!

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Barbecue Pork & Pineapple Quesadilla

I had less than a pound of pork and a pineapple. 

Hmmm... What to do?

Make quesadillas of course!!

I LOVE grilled pineapple.  It tastes sweet and scrumptious and tastes like dessert. 

So we grilled the pineapple and added some to the quesadillas.

I based this recipe on a grilled chicken and pineapple quesadilla from Pioneer Woman.  I chose not to grill the pork. So I just cut it into strips, slice and onion and pan fried them. Then I added the BBQ sauce and jalapeno. It seemed simpler this way and it worked well.

These were amazingly delicious!  I'm so glad I was able to stretch less than a pound of meat to make 4 servings!  I often like to dip my quesadilla's in sour cream but these were so tasty and the flavors mixed so well that I didn't need anything else.  They were perfect!

Barbeque Pork & Pineapple Quesadillas
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

8 whole wheat 100 calorie tortillas, toasted
1/2 pineapple, grilled
1 lbs. pork, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
1 jalapeno
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)

Season pork with salt, pepper and cajun seasoning. Cook sliced pork and sliced onion until pork is done and onion is soft.  Add jalapeno and barbeque sauce and cook for 2 -3 minutes until heated through.  Put pork/onion mixture on toasted tortilla. Slice pineapple and add on top of pork.  Sprinkle with cilantro, top with another quesadilla, cut into 6wedges. OR, put everything one half of tortilla and fold over and cut into 3 wedges.  I prefer this, it stays neater.

Total calories = 1703 calories
4 servings = 426 calories per serving

6 wedges of Barbecue Pork & Pineapple Quesadilla & 2 grilled pineapple rings= 476 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Barbeque Meatloaf

I think I've mentioned before that people tend to cringe when they hear meatloaf.

Not me, I love it.  I've made plenty of meatloafs that are super delicious and this one did not fail. 

The only thing I would have done different is to NOT use the meatloaf pan and just put it in a loaf form on a baking pan lined with foil. Then the outside would get crispier and glazed.  I tend to just think that meatloaf pans are FOR meatloaf. Well, I need to get over that!

Look at all of those oozing caramelized barbecue onions!  I would totally have put twice as many on but then, I tend to be a freak over onions. 

The daughter was the only one who scraped the onions off and I was right there to scoop up what she didn't want.  More for me!

I had to seriously use some strong will power to stop at only one serving of this.  It helped that the husband and brother both ate 2 servings which only left me one serving. 

I admit, I totally scraped the pan before I washed it.  Embarrassing, but reality. This was gooooooood!

BBQ Meatloaf
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey, 93%
1 egg
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, (I used Italian flavored)
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cup barbeque sauce, divided (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. italian seasoning
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder 
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper (I use a grinder, I don't know how much actually gets in there)

Onion topping:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. oil
1/4 cup barbeque sauce

Preheat oven to 425.  In a large bowl, combine all the meatloaf ingredients except 1/3 of the bbq sauce.  Spray a meatloaf pan with cooking spray. Dump the meatloaf in the pan.  Brush 1/3 cup of bbq sauce over the top. Bake at 425 for about an hour or until done. If there is any grease in the pan when it's done, carefully pour it into a can to get rid of. 

While meatloaf is cooking, prepare your onion topping.  In a pan, toss the onions and oil and cook on low heat for about 15 - 25 minutes until tender and caramelized.  Add the bbq sauce and heat through.  Top the meatloaf with the onions and serve. 

Total calories = 1896 calories
6 servings = 316 per serving

BBQ Meatloaf + Oven Baked Fries + Sour Cream = 517 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Butterscotch Blondies

I blame Reeni and her fantastic photography for me making these bars. Maybe it's just that I haven't made any sort of brownies or bars in a long time. I've made some sweet breads and stuff but this was the first actual dessert made in quite awhile.

My husband thinks that blondies are the best so he helped devour these in record time!  Guess I'll have to start making desserts more often. 

Butterscotch Blondies
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter 
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13 x 9 baking pan. In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly. When slightly cooled, stir in the eggs one at a time, stir in vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chip pieces. Sprinkle with nuts if desired. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly and cut bars while warm.

Total calories = 4315 calories
16 bars = 270 calories per bar

It's no fun to actually show the calories on bars like these.  Luckily we had friends over so they weren't able to sit here and tempt me for long.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Dip

So it's nearing dinner, it's just me and the kids for dinner tonight.  My son asks me for apple with peanut butter.  Hey!  I have a better idea!  I pull out a recipe that I've been waiting to try for peanut butter dip. 

It was super easy to put together. My kids loved it.  It totally rocked. Seriously.  It's peanut butter, how could it not be awesome!

My kids all ate a respectable portion but their mother hoarked down 1/2 of it.  So this was dinner for me.  I figure it is protein and fruit so it wasn't THAT bad of a dinner.  It wasn't what was planned but I still did good with my calories for the day.  It also kept me full so it was all okay.

(Yes, I feel like I am rationalizing to you why I ate apple, celery and peanut butter dip for dinner).  It was good, so there. :-)

Peanut Butter Dip
Adapted from Food Junkie From Texas

1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used lite n fit)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. honey

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with apples, veggies or pretzels.  or just a spoon.

Total calories = 1095
6 servings = 183 calories

1 fuji apple and peanut butter dip = 283 calorie snack
1 fuji apple + celery + 3 servings of peanut butter dip = 659 calorie dinner

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beef and Bean Chimichangas

Isn't that a pretty picture? I like pretty food.  These were fun to make and delicious to eat.  I love, love, love mexican food and luckily for me, most in my house agree.  We had a bunch of these leftover and they were awesome for lunches for several days.  They refrigerate well.

I added a can of black beans.  Because I often add a can of beans to things.  (good thing I don't make a lot of cheesecakes, huh?) 

I also skipped the cheese. I've found that if you make the meat sauce flavorful enough, you just don't need the cheese.  Unless you put a TON on and make it really cheesy but then you are doubling the calories and it's just not worth it. To me.  So there.  Feel free to add cheese.  I won't judge you.  :-)

Beef and Bean Chimichangas
Adapted from Between the Lines

1 lbs. ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups corn
1 - 16 oz. jar taco sauce (about 2 cups), I used mild
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can refried beans (I used a little less than a can)
10 - 100 calories whole wheat tortillas
1 tbsp. butter, melted
shredded lettuce
1 tomato, diced
Sour cream

Brown the ground turkey in a pan. Drain grease if needed, add onion, pepper and corn. Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir in the taco sauce, beans and seasonings. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat.

To assemble chimichangas: Spread about 2 tbsp of refried beans onto each of the tortillas. Spoon a slightly heaping 1/2 cup of the beef mixture down the center. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam side down onto a baking sheet. Brush tortillas with melted butter. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes in oven at 350 until golden brown. Serve with lettuce, tomato & sour cream.

Total calories = 2997 calories
10 servings = 300 calories per chimichanga without tomato, lettuce and sour cream

1 chimichanga with lettuce, tomato and light sour cream = 350 calorie dinner

I thought about having another half of one of these but one was quite filling and did the trick!  Go ahead and make rice to go along with these chimichangas.

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sweet and Sour Meatballs - Taste Testing

Meatballs!  Meatballs!  Meatballs!

We had a sweet and sour taste testing!  I made my favorite meatballs and several different sweet and sour sauces. 

I kept seeing the grape jelly/chili sauce recipe.  It didn't appeal to me but I just had to try it.  I first couldn't find the chili sauce. So I used sweet chili sauce (the one with the chili flakes in it), which is used for an Asian sauce.  It was really spicy as the sweet chili sauce is quite zippy.  It was good but I could really taste the grape jelly.  Maybe it was just because I made them because everyone else couldn't specifically taste the grape jelly. 

We all liked the sauce but it wasn't the sweet and sour sauce I was looking for.  I made this version last week so there are no pictures of it. 

Then I found the Heinz Chili Sauce that all these recipes call for.  So I made the grape jelly and chili sauce version.  I used about 1 part jelly to 1 part chili sauce.

We liked this but I could still taste the grape jelly, not as much though.  I think I might have liked this more if there was more sauce.  I covered the meatballs in the sauce and then finished them up in the oven so the sauce cooked on the meatballs so it wasn't overly saucy.

Then there was the version with cranberry sauce and Heinz Chili Sauce.  This I liked better but someone else said it tasted ketchup-y.  It must have been the chili sauce they tasted.  Again, I used about 1 part cranberry sauce and 1 part Chili sauce.  This too, I think would have been even better if it was more saucy.  I liked this one more than the grape jelly one. BUT, to me, it's wasn't the sweet and sour sauce I wanted. 
Then came Uncle Bill's Sweet and Sour Sauce.  This originally caught my eye because of my kids having an Uncle Bill.  This isn't actually my brothers recipe though.  I pretty much followed the recipe as stated but I wasn't about to add MSG to it and I didn't feel the need to add red food coloring. 

This was good. Really good, it could be a little sweeter though, I like things sweet. 

So now I'm torn between Uncle Bill's Sweet and Sour sauce and the one that I made several weeks ago.  I have a luau coming up and I really want to make sweet and sour meatballs.  I didn't add any pineapple or peppers to my most recent batches of sweet and sour meatballs but which ever I decide to make, I will dress up nicely and make them look pretty. 

Moral of the story. I obviously love sweet and sour meatballs and have eaten WAYYYYYYY too many in the past few weeks.  I'll let you know what I decided when I write about the Luau party.