Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tapas meatballs with orange glaze

This is a recipe from taste of home magazine. I had to change out ketchup for tomato sauce because I was out of ketchup and no one told me. I also didn't have the type of feta that you can cut into blocks, but I actually think that was probably easier. This is how I made them. I really liked them. Although tapas are an appetizer, we had this and another appetizer for dinner this day. B -5 star, T - 3, me-4

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 oz fetta cheese (cut into 16 cubes if you have that kind)


  • 1 jar (12 oz.) orange marmalade
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (I actually used 1/2 because the pepper I had was huge for a jalapeno.)


In a large bowl, combine first 9 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Divide into 16 portions; flatten. Top each with a cheese cube (or divide teh feta evenly amoung the discs.) Form beef mixture around cheese into meatballs. Place on a greased rack on a cookie sheet. Bake uncovered at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink. (mine were done in 20.)

In a small saucepan, heat the marmalade, orage juice, half of the green onions, and the jalapeno.

Place the meatballs in a serving dish; pour glaze over the top and gently stir to coat. Garnish with remaining green onions.

Creamy Pesto Penne with vegetable ribbons

This recipe is from Taste of Home simple and delicious magazine. It was for 4 and I wanted to make it for 6 so I changed up the ingredients - either adding 1 1/2 times the ingredients or 1 1/3. It turned out ok, but not a favorite of the kids. Brandon and I liked it, and Duncan ate it great. Brandon even gave it a 4 and said it was one of the best squash meals he ever had because he couldn't really taste the squash.

  • 3 cups penne pasta
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled and cooked (I may have used 2 cups)
  • 6 carrots
  • 3 yellow summer squash
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I didn't up this and Brandon thought it still needed salt. I thought it was fine.)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (I didn't toast them, and I could have chopped more, but I knew that Tavio wouldn't have any.)


  1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions. Cook edamame according to package directions. (I got a steam bag) Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, cut carrots and squash into very thin lengthwise strips.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Add veggies and garlic; saute 2-3 minutes longer or until crips-tender. Stir in cream, pesto and salt. Bring to a gentle boil; cooke for 2-4 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened and veggies are tender. Add pasta and edamame; toss with veggies. Top with walnuts.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Central American Grilled Sirloin with rice and black bean pilaf

Yet another recipe from My healthy Latin cooking book. This is the least changed of the recipes I've made. I just upped the ingredients proportionally except the onions. He had 1 full onion per steak. We didn't even use 1 of the 2 I grilled with 5 steaks. However, the onions were absolutely delicious grilled and DH said to keep them so he could use them in quesadillas. The rice and black bean pilaf is also from that recipe book, but I changed that up more. He used dry black beans which I really wanted to do, but unfortunately the week's been crazy and I didn't plan ahead with enough time to use dry black beans so I used canned.

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 sirloin steak (4 ounces each and 1/2 inch thick), trimmed of all visible fat
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced into 1/2" slices
Preheat grill
In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. Rub over steaks and let stand for 5 minutes.
Coat onions with nonstick spray. Grill steaks in the center of the grill with onions to the side for 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare or until a meat thermometer reaches 160 for medium.
Rice and black bean pilaf
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (I totally forgot this oops)
  • salt and pepper
Drain beans - reserving liquid - add water to have 2 1/2 cups liquid.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. add onions, garlic, bell peppers, cumin, oregano and bay leaf. Cook for 4 minutes or until or until rice is coated with oil. Stir in beans and liquid. Season with salt and pepper (I used way too little salt because I just shook some out of my shaker. This probably needs a full teaspoon of salt to have any flavor. Maybe only 1/2 a teaspoon, but definitely more than a dash.) Bring to a boil over high heat. REduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Orange Marinated chicken with smoky tomato salsa

This is another recipe from Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin cooking book. I changed it a bit -increasing it from 4 to 6 chicken breasts and increasing ingredients, but not necessarily in the exact same proportions. I also changed the salsa from chipoltes to jalapenos because the canned chipotles I've used lately have all been too spicy for the family. A Chipotle is a jalapeno anyway, so I used a jalapeno and roasted it on the grill with the other veggies. I really liked the way the salsa turned out. It was a bit sweet. Not too spicy. I may have even liked a bit more spice to the salsa and little less cilantro, but it was the best salsa we have made of the 3 I've done in the last month or so.

Chicken and marinade ingredients
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 clove garlic, minced

Salsa Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (I porbably used about 1/3 cup and it was a bit too much for me.)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • dash chipotle pepper seasoning (I used this very sparingly and would probably add more next time.)



Season chicken with salt and pepper. Arrange in a 9X13 pan. In a small bowl, combine the oj, lime juice and garlic. Whisk to mix. Pour over chicken. Cover and marinate for 60 minutes.


While the chicken marinating, preheat the grill. Place tomatoes, jalapeno, onions and garlic (skewer the garlic, and my onions ended up skewered by the end) on the grill to roast, turning occasionally until starting to char. Remove from grill and allow to cool until you can handle them.

While they are cooling, put the chicken on the grill to cook. Cook until 160. Recipe book said 3 minutes on each side, but it took longer than that on my grill.

Go back to the salsa and remove any charred skin you don't want in the salsa (a little gives it the nice smokey flavor, so don't worry about removing all of them.) Combine grilled veggies and the rest of the salsa ingredients in a food processor. Puree until the desired smoothness. (I seeded and deveined my jalapeno so it wouldn't be too spicy.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Warm some tortillas on the grill

To serve, spoon salsa in a pool on the plate and place grilled chicken breast in the center of each. Serve with tortillas.

Pupusas and Central American Slaw

I'm so far behind in my blogging. This has been a crazy week. In going back through and seeing what I need to type in, all of the recipes come from Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking book. I've owned this book for a while and made some recipes from it, but in my menu planning a couple of weeks ago I went through a lot of this book and picked quite a few recipes to try. The first I tried were pupusas. I know about pupusas because they are one of my favorite dishes at my favorite restaraunt Cafe Red Onion. I have made this recipe before, and probably had the same issues as this time, but having not written them down, I had similar troubles this time (happy day that I now have a blog for writing things.) I also altered the amount of filling, so I altered the amount of spices. Like always, I write on my blog what I did. If you want the original recipe it is in the book on page 206. I served this with Central American Slaw found on page 116 of the book. I did make some changes there as well, but not as many as I did to the pupusas themselves. I also have notes on the pupusa dough.
Be warned - these are time consuming to roll. I always look at them and think - oh, 6-8 minutes for the beans, cook for 2 minutes a side, done in 30 minutes - not so. Plan at least 1 hour.
I decided to post 2 pictures. One of the meal on the plate, then one of a pupusa cut in half to show how it looks inside.

Masa Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups masa harina (this is corn tortilla flour. I used 1 cups regular corn tortilla masa and 1/2 cup harina Pan which is Venezuelan arepa flour.)
  • 2 -2 1/2 cups hot water (original recipe calls for much less, but it is too dry that way. All packages I have seen of this flour call for about a 1 to 1 ratio. I'd follow those directions. Especially if it is the arepa flour - tortilla flour may need a bit less.

Filling Ingredient

  • 1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and trained
  • 2-3 Tablespoons minced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 cups Central American slaw
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 16 teaspoons shredded cheddar or mexican cheese


Masa: Combine the masa harina and water. (I mix it with my hands because it is easier and you can feel when the dough is smooth.) Cover the dough and let rest for 20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling by combining the beans, onions, garlic, cumin and stock in a medium notstick skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmber for 6-8 minutes or until most of the stock has been absorbed (recipe says all, but I found that as the beans sat, they got too dry, so next time I would simmer until most of the liquid was absorbed.) Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Mash the beans with the back of a spoon and let cool slightly.

To assemble. Divide the dough into 16 portions. With wet hands, roll 1 portion into a ball. (Cover the rest so they don't dry out too much.) Using your thumb, make a dip in the center of the ball. Gradually enlarge the dip to make a bowl like shape. The walls of the bowl should be about 1/4 " thick. Place 1 Tablespoon of the bean mixture and 1 teaspoon of chees in the center of the masa bowl. Bring the edges of the bowl over the top of the filling to enclose it. Pinch edges together. Pat the ball into a disk remoistening hands if necessary. Repeat with remaining dough portions. (The book says they should be 4 ", but I used more beans and added cheese and mine were still closer to 3 1/2 inches than 4.

Cook in a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush both sides of each pupusa with oil. (I brushed my griddle with oil, 8 pupusas on, then brushed the side that was up with oil.) Cook for 2 minutes per side or until just beginning to brown. (It was longer than 2 minutes for me.)

Serve with slaw and Salsa.

Central American Slaw

I made this slaw easier by just using cole slaw mix. Original recipe had more carrots than the mix would, but I was all about easy when making pupusas because they take a lot of time.


  • 6 cups cole slaw mix
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and diced (moreand not seeded if you like spicy.)
  • 4 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. (I mixed vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt, then toss it with the cole slaw mix and jalapeno.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

menu March 24

Had a few requests this week - hot dogs, 3 bean chili - super easy meals for me. Plus I have big boys on campouts this weekend, and never made Tuna Tetrazzini last week because we did Chick-fil-a for a cancer fund raiser. OK by me. I decided I didn't want chutney glazed meatloaf and 2 of my planned meals could work as 1. I had planned 7 weeks of dinners while riding in the car last week. I need to post them. The page has gotten ripped out of the spiral notebook and I'm already having to look for it, but I've been having computer issues making things difficult.

B-cereal, milk, grapefruit
L- cream cheese walnut and lettuce wrap
d- hot dogs, green beans, cantelope
s-hummus and red peppers

Friday -
B- waffle, blueberries (or raspberries) peanut butter, yogurt
L-cottage cheese and pineapple, wheat crackers and peanut butter, carrots and hummus
d-Creamy pesto penne (S&D p. 12)
s- celery with almond butter

b-egg burrito, grapes
l-nachos with bell peppers, beans, and cheese, pineapple
d-Grilled sirloin (LC p. 264) Rice and black beans pilaf (LC p. 156) salsa, fruit
s-cucumber and hummus

b- peanut butter on toast, apple, milk
l- vegetarian chili, corn, cheese, grapes
d- veggie medely and tuscan chicken (S&D p. 22) jello with fruit
s -yogurt and baby carrots

b-cream cheese and raisin pita
l-spinach omlet with toast, pear
d- bean tortilla (LC 208-209) Tapas Meatballs (TOH p. 56) red peppers, salsa
s -ants on a log

b-oatmeal with raisins, milk
l-egg salad pita, summer squash, milk, grapes
d- Dominican Turkey
s - black bean dip and carrots

b-bagel, grapefruit, milk
l-bran muffin, salad with white beans, fruit
d- 3 bean chili, corn bread, corn
s- almonds and carrots

Sunday, March 21, 2010

broccoli cauliflower salad with bacon

This one weighs in at 161 calories per 1/6th using light mayo and splenda - actually the way I ended up making it, it was 140 for 1/8 (which was a lot.) Also from the simple and delicious magazine, I did change this one up a bit. Original recipe was pepperoni and a lot more of it. I lowered the amout of meat since it was pared with a plenty meaty chili and used light mayo and splenda. Then I accidentaly 1.66 Tablespoons extra mayo, and it was way too much mayo. I added 3 more cups broccoli and another half cup cauliflower -nearly doubling the veggies.

I have to laugh at the family - the baby wouldn't touch either part of the meal, big boys hated the salad, chili was ok, Benjamin wanted more salad and didn't want the chili - go figure. Brandon and I both liked both 4 stars worth. Brandon wants to try this salad with pepperoni.


  • 3 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped (I used 5 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflowerets, chopped (I used 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise (I accidentally used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup splenda
  • 4 teaspoon cider vinegar
  1. In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients whisking until smooth. Pour over salad; toss to coat.

chili mac

Thought for sure this would be higher in calories, but I guess using turkey chili helped it out a lot. It is also from simple and delicious magazine. NO real changes except using turkey chili and lean ground beef.

  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 15 oz. cans chili with beans
  • 1 11 oz. can corn, drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef (or just toss in pre cooked like I did), green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no lnger pink; Drain. Stir in chili and corn. Drain macaroni; add to the skillet and heat through. Sprinkle with cheese.

peanut butter pie

Desserts have way too many calories. Even trying to tone this down, it still has 350 calories per 1/10th of the pie. This and all of the recipes for dinner tonight are from the taste of home simple and delicious magazine. This one I totallk changed. I cut out the sugar, replacing it with splenda, but then I added some mini chocolate chips.

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 4 oz. neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup splenda
  • 1 8 oz. carton frozen whipped topping (I used light)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  1. In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese (neufchatel) and splenda until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and mini chocolate chips. (Reserving 1-2 Tablespoons chips to sprinkle on top of the pie.) Pour batter into prepared crust. Sprinkle with reserved chips. Chill until serving.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

strawberry cobbler

I had some strawberries and wanted to make a dessert with them. I looked around at sparkpeople, but it kept locking up on me so I headed to allrecipes and found this recipe. I changed it o make it healthier- cut butter and sugar. I still used a mix of splenda and sugar, but you could probably use all splenda. It was super simple to make.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup splenda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups skim milk
  • 1 lb strawberries (cut into 1/4s if large)
  1. Heat oven to 350. Put buter in an 8 inch square dish and put in oven until melted.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Rinse and hull strawberries, slicing if necessary.
  3. Remove melted butter from oven. Pour batter over butter. Sprinkle strawberries on top of that.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until batter browns and fruit bubbles.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken and pita salad

I found this recipe in my new taste of home simple and delicious magazine. I modified it a good deal because I didn't need to cook up chicken - I just used pre-cooked. I also cut the oil down in the dressing recipe and traded out the honey. Then I added some flavor to my pitas when I toasted them, and upped the carrots.... It turned out really well.

  • 2 pitas chopped (I used home made)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning (I didn't measure)
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 package pre-cooked chicken (about 1 lb)
  • 1 package (6 oz.) baby spinach
  • 1 package matchstick carrots
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • dash pepper
  1. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle garlic and herb seasoning on melted butter. Add pita pieces and toss to coat. Place pita pieces on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted stirring half way through cooking time.
  2. Meanwhile, cook edamame according to package directions. Defrost chicken.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cheese, edamame, and chicken. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Divide amoung plates. Top with pita pieces.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Menu March 18

I'm so bad at actually following my menu that I'm in here editing it.
Thursday - out of town

Friday -
B -Oatmeal with raisins
L - Asian chicken salad, tomatoes, wheat crackers, cottage cheese, fruit coctail
D -Chicken and pita salad TOH s&d p. 11
S -almond butter and celery

B- grapefruit, toast with cream cheese,/grapefruit, bagel w/ cream cheese
L - Bran muffin, vanilla pudding and strawberry, salad and white beans/ Tuna pita melt, grapes, vanilla pudding
D - Orange Tilapia HC 97 (left from last week) zucchini, carrots in recipe - saffron rice, strawberry cobbler
S - cucumber and hummus

B- cheerios and berries, milk (make berry milk shake-ha, too cold for that today) applesauce muffin, almonds, yogurt, raisins
L- pepper and hummus pita, chocolate frozen yogurt and strawberries, almonds/ nachos w/pinto beans, red pepper, salsa, and cheese, pineapple
D- Chili mac and bacon broccoli salad TOH S&D p. 21 Peanut butter pie
S -almonds and carrots

B-cottage cheese and egg wrap
L-cashew butter 1/2 sandwich, celery and cream cheese, grapes
d- pupusas LC p. 206 central american slaw - p. 116
s- chicken salad

B-applesauce oatmeal muffin, yogurt with raisins and almonds (swap with Sunday)
/L - peanut butter and crackers, cottage cheese and pineapple, carrots and hummus
D- tuna tetrazzini with corn and peas FDF p. 68
S - almonds and roasted beets

b-cheese wrap with cantelope
l- vegetarian chili, corn, grapes
d -Orange marinated grilled chicken with smoky tomato salsa LC p. 246
s-lemon pepper black beans and corn

Sunday, March 14, 2010

apricot-ricotta stuffed celery

Yet another taste of home healthy cooking magazine recipe - can you tell that is the one I'm using this week. This was a nice alternative to almond butter on celery, or ants on a log (peanut butter on celery with raisins.) Mad a nice snack. I was afraid I wouldn't like it becasue sometimes I don't like the texture of ricotta, but it was great.

  • 3 dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 celery ribs (I actually used 6 - the recipe said to have them cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces, but I just filled them whole and cut them in thirds.)
Place apricots in a food processor. Cover and process until finely chopped. Add the ricotta, brown sugar, orange peel and salt; cover and process until blended. Stuff or pipe into celery.

country fried steak

Apparently something the healthy cooking magazine by taste of home does is makeover recipes. This is what we tried for dinner tonight. It was good.  I served it with slow cooked mac and cheese and mixed veggies.

  • 1 lb beef top round steak (I actually used a sirloin steak trimmed of fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup 2 % milk
  1. Cut steak into 4 serving-size pieces; pound to 1/4 inch thickness. Combine the salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and onion powder; sprinkle over steaks.
  2. Place buttermilk in shallow bowl or plate. Place flour in another shallow bowl or plate. Dip steaks in buttermilk, then flour.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook steaks in oil for 3-4 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink. (I actually found that they were ready to turn over when the tops started to get bloody. I also just checked the temp. to know when they were done.)
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in 1 1/2 Tbs flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in remaining garlic powder and pepper. Serve with steak.

peanut butter cup cheesecake

This is a made-over recipe of peanut putter cup cheesecake that I tried. I actually even cut the sugar a little more. It tasted fine, but I wasn't impressed with the texture. I think I'd trade out reduced fat sour cream for fat free, and use another reduced fat cream cheese, or just up the fat content.

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (I used splenda, but would probably use sugar next time.)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) fat free cream cheese
  • 1 package (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz) reduced fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup splenda)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups hot fudge ice cream topping, divided
  • 6 peanut butter cups, cut into small wedges
  1. 1. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch sping form pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter on high for 30 seconds or until softened. Spread over crust to within 1 inch of edges.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour 1 cup into a bowl; set aside. Pour remaining filling over peanut butter layer.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 1/4 cup fudge topping on high for 30 seconds or until thin; fold into reserved cream cheese mixture. Carefully pour over filling; cut through with a knif to swirl.
  5. Cook 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer
  6. Microwave remaining fudge topping on high for 30 seconds or until warmed; spread over cheesecake. Garnish with peanut butter cups. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

slow cooked mac 'n' cheese

I saw this recipe in my taste of home slow cooker book a while ago. I actually bought the stuff to make it 2 weeks ago but then forgot where I'd seen the recipe. I found my notes and found the recipe page so I decided to try it today. I changed the instructions a bit.  I'm adding salt and pepper to the recipe today.  I also made this on the stovetop today and it took 30-40 minutes rather than 2 1/2 -3 hours.  I did stir it more regularly though.

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 can reduced-fat evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup egg substitute (didn't have any - I used 2 egg whites which measured 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded dharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper (I added 1/2 at the beginning and another 1/4 later.  Could probably go with 1 teaspoon.)
  • Pinch salt
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. While macaroni is cooking: Reserve 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the macaroni.
2. Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Cover and cook on low for 2 3/4 hours to 3 hours or until center is set, stirring once. Sprinkle with remaining sharp cheddar cheese.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maple chex mix

I found this recipe in the newest taste of home healthy cooking magazine. I loved that it was easy - had to cook 45 minutes, but assembly was super simple. I added craisins because it seemed like it needed them to me. Turned out great!

  • 2 cups Rice Chex
  • 2 cups corn chex
  • 2 cups honey-nut cheerios
  • 1 cup miniature pretzels
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (I used reduced calorie)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cereals, pretzels, and pecans.
  2. In a microwave-safe dish, combine maple syrup and butter. Cover and microwave on high for 45 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal and toss to coat. (I stirred.)
  3. Transfer to a cookie sheet coated with baking spray (I also covered mine with foil to make clean-up simple.) Bake at 250 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove and add dried cranberries.  Cool. Store in airtight container.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cocoa crusted pork loin

This recipe came from Chef meg sparkpeople.com. The original had coffee in it, but I took that out. I had to cook mine a lot longer, but I made 2 tenderloins each about 1 pound and a half rather than 1 1 pounder, but it took 2-3 times longer than the original recipe. I also cooked mine unitl 160 -original recipe said 150. That was still plenty tender and juicy, and even appeared pink, but turned brown quickly. I also didn't have a cast iron skillet, so I seared it in my regular pan and transfered it to a 9X13 pan. The mole sauce was too spicy for me. I would have prefered it without the sauce.  Brandon liked the sauce more than I did.

Pork Loin
  • 1 T cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/2 t cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 lb. (16 oz) pork tenderloin, trimmed of surface fat
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the spices in a small mixing bowl. Trim fat from pork tenderloin and remove the thin silver tendon that may be running down the center of the loin. Rub the tenderloin with the canola oil. Dust the loin with all of the spice mixture. Heat a cast iron or heavy bottom pan to high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tenderloin in the pan and sear on all sides. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven. (Remember the handle will be hot!) Place the meat on a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Mole sauce
  • 3 onion, white, quartered
  • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bananna peppers
  • 3 ancho chilies, dried
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t coca powder, unsweetend
  • 16 oz chicken stock, reduced sodium
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested (ooh, I totally forgot this. I will add this tomorrow to use as salsa.)
Raise oven rack to highest position and preheat oven to broil. Toss all vegetables except for the ancho chilies into a cast iron skillet or sheet pan. Place under broiler and cook until all vegetables are bubbly and some blackening begins on the tomatoes. Vegetables should be stirred once while in oven. Once vegetables are roasted allow to cool for 5 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, place chilies in a mixing bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to steep for 10 mintues. Once vegetables have cooled place vegetables in a food processor or blender along with chilies which have been de-stemed. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a saucepan. Add spices and stock. Cook an additional 25 mintues. Finish with a squeeze of lime to taste.

coconut-pecan sweet potatoes

This recipe came from a taste of home slow cooker book. I made it as our veggie the other day with the pasta beef satay, then decided to do sir fry veggies instead, but this was sweet like a sweet potato pie. Brandon gave these a 5, but I took them to a 4.

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted (oops, I didn't toast them.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows.
  1. Place sweet potatoes in a 3 quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Combine the brown sugar, coconut, pecans, vanilla, salt and cinnamon; sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Drizzle with butterl
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until potatoes are tender, sprinkling with marshmallows during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Pasta Beef Satay and stir fry veggies

I got this recipe from my Saving Dinner book. Cut the cayenne pepper and it was still plenty spicy. The baby ate it just fine, but my anti-spicy children complained about the noodles. I can't imagine what it would be like with double the cayenne pepper. I also added the stir fry veggies.

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless top sirloin, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 5 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce, divided
  • 12 onces thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bag stirfry veggies
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine beef and 2 Tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce and toss to coat; set aside.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine remaining teriyaki sauce, peanut butter, 1 tablespoon water, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Toss with pasta when cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef and stir-fry until outside surface is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Add to pasta; toss lightly.
  4. Melt butter in a wok. Add veggies; drizzle with 1 Tablespoon teriaki. Stir fry until veggies until crisp tender. Serve with pasta.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

menu March 10

That worked well planning out my breakfast and lunch - doing the same again this week.

Thursday -
B - applesauce oatmeal muffin, yogurt, fruit
L-Milk - left over meat or beans, pear, broccoli, roll
Dinner Beef Satay and sweet potatoes (on last week's menu)
Snack - hummus with cucumber

B - cottage cheese and egg breakfast wrap, grapefruit
L - Turkey breast, cheesy mashed potatoes, cantaloupe
D -Cocoa Crusted pork tenderloin with mole sauce (sparkpeople)
S - Almonds and carrots

B- pancake, strawberry, yogurt
L -Cheddar, broccoli and bacon topped baked potato
D- Orange tilapia in parchment HC p. 47 (zucchini, carrots) wild rice (find a recipe)
S -apricot-ricotta stuffed celery HC p. 40
Dessert - peanut butter cheesecake HC-p. 27

B-Cream cheese and raisin pita
L-Hummus pepper wrap, apple and peanut butter, milk
D -makeover Country fried steak HC p. 21, Mashed potatoes, baby Carrots and broccoli
S-lemon pepper black beans and corn

B-oatmeal with pears and hazelnuts
L-Asian chicken salad, cottage cheese, tomatoes, fruit salad, wheat crackers
D-Black and White checkered chili SD 141, Corn bread, (HC p. 63) salad
S- Roasted beets, almonds

B-Peanut butter toast, oj, yogurt
L- Turkey and cheese pita, carrots with dip
D-Simple sesame chicken HC p. 51 Two tomato pasta TOH website
S-bean dip salsa and carrots

Other things to make - maple-glazed chex mix - p. 19 Healthy cooking 2-3/10
Dulce de leche rice pudding - HC p. 34

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mexican Rice and Beans

This recipe was from Food Nanny - like a lot of her recipes it needed a bit of help in the flavor arena. It turned out ok with some spice added in. (3 star) I also changed up directions since I had forgotten to soak my beans overnight. I did a quick soak method I found in my Joy of Cooking book, and also partially covered my beans like I read in Joy of Cooking to speed up the cooking time. They did turn out nice and tender and I'm always trying to learn how to make my own beans from dry beans. This was a great attempt. I kept them on the stove over a low heat uncovered waiting for the rice to cook and stirred them every few minutes and a few mashed making them a cross between a plain bean and a refried bean. That too was nice. They were great in a burrito with sour cream and the rice.
I liked the rice with this meal. (4 star) I would 1 1/2 or 2 times it next time. Maybe cut the salt down a bit. This is how I made the meal. I made the rice, beans, and tortillas (from harina pan which is really for arepas, but it worked out ok - I want to buy maseca next time though.) We ate them as burritos with sour cream and salsa (but only for the first one. Next time I'd skip the salsa and cut up some tomatoes and lettuce to add some veggies to this meal.

  • 1 lb gab pinto beans
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion (1 slick 1/8-1/4 inch thick diced)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 corn or taco size flour tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh Salsa
1. Rinse and sort beans removing any bad beans or rocks. Put in a pot and cover by 2 inches with boiling water. Cover to soak for 1 hour. Drain.
2. Return to pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add the 1/4 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer partially covered until beans are tender. 1-2 hours. Check water periodically to make sure the beans are always covered. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin.

1. Saute 2 tablespoons onion in oil in a small frying pan (or saucepan if not using a rice cooker.) Add rice stir to coat. Transfer to rice cooker with 1/2 teaspoon salt, corn, cilantro, tomato sauce and water. Cook in rice cooker (or simmer 15-20 minutes.)

We ate this like a bean burrito with sour cream and salsa. I wasn't a fan of the salsa - thought it was too spicy, but Brandon liked it. I had tried it because it had you roast the veggies first, so I thought it would be good, but it was just plain spicy.


So today's lunch per Sparkpeople was a whole wheat pita with hummus and red peppers, so I made pitas, and I made hummus. Both turned out really well (other than the garlic breath from the hummus.) Here is how I made the hummus - I did get the idea to used sour cream from a sparkpeople recipe, but I subbed out the sesame oil and upped the garlic from the recipe I saw there.

Ha, I just came back to get this recipe to make some hummus and realized I didn't put the main ingredient of chick peas.  Oops.  Wouldn't be much of anything without that.  Problem solved. 

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon fat free sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can chick peas rinsed and drained

Combine ingredients and mix with stick blender (or regular blender or food processor...) Blend until smooth.  Enjoy with veggies, pita chips ....

Wheat pita

Update 9/30/2011 - I made these today and they wouldn't balloon.  Sadly I made a double batch.  I tried a few things and finally decided that somehow my dough was too sticky.  I had thought it looked moist but figured it wouldn't matter, but would make a nice soft bread.  Wrong.  However, once I started rolling them on a heavily floured surface they seemed to poof better.  Only had 2 duds in the last 1/2 of the batch.  The first half of the batch are all now just flatbread.  So, note for next time - this should be a nice, not too sticky/moist bread dough.
I made up my own pita recipe today. I had made some from online before, and I had made 2 different pitas from my King Arthur book before, but I had only minimal success with getting them to balloon, and they were all mixes of wheat and white flour and I wanted 100% wheat. I read in my Peter Reinhart book how to cook them and get them to balloon, but I wanted pitas today, and all of his recipes require a biga and soaker that rest overnight. So, I combined lots of what I read and made up my own recipe. I added a bit extra yeast to get them to rise a bit quicker..... Here is what I did

  • 3 cups wheat flour (14.5 ounces for me)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1. Combine all ingredients in mixer. Mix with dough hook until smooth. (about 6 minutes) Let rest 5 min while preparing an bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Mix 1 more minute. Turn into bowl. Cover and let rise until 1 1/2 to 2 times original size. (about 45 min.)
2. Put pizza stone on upper rack about 1/3 way down the oven. Heat oven as hot as it will go. (550 for my oven) Turn dough onto floured surface. Divide into 8 balls (about 90 grams each) Cover and let rise again until 1 1/2 times in volume. (about 30 minutes)
3. Roll dough into 3-4 inch disk. Let rest while getting pizza peel ready. Starting with the 1st disk you rolled last time, roll each disk out to about 5-6 inches. Transfer to peel and slide on to pizza stone in oven (preferably 1 at a time but no more than 2.) Bake about 2 minutes - set timer for 1 minute. Watch them, they will start to bubble, then puff into a complete balloon. When they are a full balloon, wait 20 seconds and take them out. Repeat for the rest of the pitas.

Greek Pitas including pita recipe

Wow, I thought I had this recipe on my blog, but it wasn't there. I had posted it on my sister's blog before I started this one. I didn't just make them, so I don't have a picture right now, but I wanted to make the pitas for lunch (hope I still have time.) Ha, and after all that, I'm going to use another pita recipe with more wheat in it.

Greek pitas - these were super yummy, and simple


Pitas (recipe follows if you are brave enough to make your own, but that is what made the recipe)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken we grill up a ton, chop it and freeze it so it is always handy)
1 small container plain yogurt (6 or 8 oz)
2 tsp mint leaves
2 sliced tomatoes
1 sliced cucumber

Mix the mint leaves into the yogurt. Set aside.
Open pitas, spread hummus on one side. Fill with chicken, a couple slices of tomato and cucumber. Top with the yogurt sauce. Yum
I didn't have cucumbers (the ones I had bought were horribly bitter) so we just used lettuce. It was just as tasty. Somewhere in there I was supposed to add some greek seasoning, but I forgot. I'm sure they would be even better if I had mixed that with the chicken.

We couldn't find pitas at the store, so I searched at Sparkpeople.com (actually a weight loss sight, but they have lots of tasty recipes that are rated, and sometimes even healthy) Anyway, I found the following recipe for pitas - YUM! Never buying pitas again. I found the dough to be super sticky and had to roll them in lots of flour. I also will probably try baking them on my pizza stone next time rather than using all of the little pieces of aluminum foil.


    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1.5 cup white flour
    1.5 tsp salt
    1Tbsp white sugar
    2 tsp dry active yeast
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 cup water warmed to 105-110 F


Preheat oven to 500 F
1. Blend 1 cup of the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients
2. Add water, then olive oil and mix thoroughly
3. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time kneading by hand by the end until all flour is worked through (about 5 mins kneading)
4. Divide dough into 8 equal parts and shape like a bun
5. Cover dough with a tea towel and let "rest" for approx 20-30 min depending on how warm your room is. (Warmer rooms need less time)
6. Roll each pita to 3/16" thick and place on individual squares of tin foil
7. Place 4 at a time right on the oven rack and bake for 5-7 minutes
8. When removing from the oven, stack them directly together immediately while hot so they stay soft, and cool stacked and wrapped in foil.
Note: Some may not puff, but YUM... eat them while hot or use them as crusts for quick mini pizzas or brush with olive oil and garlic and re-bake to make pita chips

Sunday, March 7, 2010

garlic fries

I got the idea for this recipe from sparkpeople.com. I changed it up a bit. Original recipe used less potatoes and spices, and used cooking spray rather than oil, but I actually needed a bit more fat in my diet today so I used oil. They should work with cooking spray though.
These ended up way too spicy for us. I think I would cut the Mrs. Dash in half if I make it again. Maybe even cut it down to 1 teaspoon. I was hoping for a garlic fry not so much a spicy fry. Brandon however thought they were a 5 star.

  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 teaspoons oregano
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons Mrs. Dash
  • 2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  1. Cut potatoes in wedges or strips. Place oil in and potatoes in a bowl. Toss to coat.
  2. Mix spices in a zip top bag. Add potatoes, toss to coat.
  3. Bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes stirring in the middle of cooking time.

All day roast

This idea came from my new Sandi Richard book, but I did my own thing with the spices. So the original recipe calls for garlic and herb seasoning, garlic powder and pepper. Isn't garlic and herb seasoning garlic and pepper and some other seasonings? Am I missing something? It is like the other day the recipe called for low sodium soy sauce and then had you add salt. Huh? Why not just use regular soy sauce if you're going to add salt back in? OK, enough of my silly questions. This is the simplest recipe the way I made it.
This was very tasty, but I overcooked it waiting on the fries I was making and it got a bit dry. Still nice and tender, still nice flavor, but just in the oven too long.

  • 3 pound sirloin roast
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and herb seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash)
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Trim fat from meat. Place in a roasting pan (I used a 9X13 - I don't have a "roasting pan.") Cook for 15 minute. At the end of 15 minutes, reduce heat to 180 and leave uncovered for 8 hours.

Japanese Grilled Chicken

This was part of the menu from the Sandi Richard's book. She put this with some plain rice, and stir-fried veggies. I added some teryiaki sauce to my rice so it wouldn't be plain. The chicken was really good and simple. I didn't do the marinade overnight, just from the early afternoon. It probably would have been even better if I had put it in the marinade earlier. Here's the abbreviated version of just the chicken the way I made it.

Marinade Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice

Mix all ingredients in a 9X13 pan with a fork. Add 1 3/4 to 2 pounds of chicken thighs turning to coat. Cover and put in the fridge overnight. Cook on the grill the next day. Yum.

Creamy noodle bake with spinach salad

This recipe is from family dinner fix. It was just another casserole for me flavor wise. I'm not writing out the full recipe. It is on page 56. I did want to write myself a note that if making this again, I would use a smaller dish - either 2 quart casserole or 8X8. It was hard to spread everything in a 9X13, but the recipe called for a lasagna or large cake pan so I thought 9X13. The only good thing about the larger pan was that the cheese didn't cover as well so the noodles crisped a bit on top. That was nice. This was paired with a spinach salad with sliced red onion, cashews, and feta.

lemon-lime bars

I remade the lemon bars that I made just a few posts ago. This time I cut the crust ingredients in half. I also ran out of lemons so I had to use some limes. I loved these - so did Tavio.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (in this case I used the juice and zest of 3 lemons and 2 limes)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix 1 cup of flour and confectioner's sugar together. Cut in the butter or margarine. Mix well until the dough resembles pie dough consistency. Press the dough into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Beat together eggs, sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, lemon juice and lemon rind for at least 1 minute. Pour the mixture over the baked crust.
  5. Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the lemon topping has set. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar when cooled.


I made these bagels the other morning - my first attempt at bagels. I used a recipe from my Peter Reinhart cookbook for whole grain bagels. I used about 5 oz. of oats and 3 oz of barley. I didn't like the way they turned out at all. The picture was pretty so I posted it, but they were tough, and I didn't like the flavor so I'm not even going to bother writing the recipe down.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

healthier fried rice, Salmon

Today we had a meal from my Sandi Richards book, but it had plain white rice yet again, so I looked for an alternative and found this fried brown rice recipe on Sparkpeople. I followed the recipe except for the addition of some Mrs. Dash garlic herb seasoning when I made the eggs. I've added that here because I liked the addition of a bit more flavor since it was lighter on the soy sauce and the fat. It was good for healthy food. Regular fried rice is better, but this was way better than plain rice.

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables (or 2 cups fresh vegetables, chopped)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a dash of Mrs. Dash garlic herb seasoning.
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce

1. In a large pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft. And rice. Cook and stir a couple minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add vegetables to rice mixture. Cook 2 minutes for frozen vegetables and 5-7 minutes for fresh vegetables.

3. Spread the mixture out to the sides of the pan, leaving space in the middle for the eggs.

4. Add the eggs, and scramble until cooked firm.

5. Mix the eggs with the rice and vegetables, then sprinkle with soy sauce and stir through.

The salmon in this recipe was just spinkled with Mrs. Dash and pan fried. There was a cranberry sauce that was 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail with 2 teaspoons lime juice boiled to reduce to 1 cup. I think it should have thickened but I used a 100% juice cranberry mix because that it what I buy and it stayed thin. It soaked into the rice and made that delicious though.

Friday, March 5, 2010

black bean and pumpkin chili

I actually made this the other day when I went to Ft. Worth to run the marathon. I left it in the crock pot for the kids and Grandpa, but they didn't leave any left overs so I didn't get to try it. We have a ward chili cookoff tonight, so I'm trying it again. The boys said it was good. We'll see. - It was good. One of the better chilis I ate- didn't win any prizes, so I don't know where the tasty chili was, but it wasn't in the ones I put on the boys plates to try. This was good. Not too spicy, with a nice flavor, but part of the flavor was due to the bbq chicken. I have made this twice now and never managed to take a picture, so no picture.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves carlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) diced, cooked chicken (I just used my pre-cooked -original recipe was turkey)
  • 1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large skillet, saute onion, yellow pepper and galic in oil until tender. Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker; stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Menu March 4

Here is this week's menu. It is like last week's to help me plan for snacks, lunch and breakfast so I eat a balanced diet.

Oatmeal with raisins and almonds
beans and salsa with carrots
Japanese grilled Chicken, Rice and stir-fry

Bagel, cream cheese, strawberries, milk
ham sandwich
make pitas --- snack - celery with peanut butter
chili, corn bread (ward activity)

waffle with peanut butter, oj, yogurt
egg salad pita, carrots, grapes stake picnic
cucumber with hummus
Salmon with cranberry-lime sauce, brown rice and broccoli

cereal, almonds, grapefruit, milk
Nachos with cheese, peppers and beans, pineapple
Yogurt, baby carrots
all day roast with fries and peas

eggs with cheese, toast, oj
hummus and pepper pita, chocolate frozen yogurt, strawberries, almonds
celery with almond butter
Mexican Beans and Rice Food Nanny p 122 Fresh salsa p 125<

bagel with cream cheese, grapefruit, milk
Turkey and cheddar pita with spinach, apple
black bean and salsa with carrots
Pasta Beef Satay SD 140 Sweet potatoes p. 63 toh salad

cheese wrap, orange
spinach and cheese omlet, toast, pear
Hawaiian Haystacks

Whew, just saved myself a ton of time during the week. I can't believe how much time I can spend contemplating what to eat. So much easier if I have it all planned out, and not that includes my breakfast, lunch, and snacks - at least until I get used to eating correctly again.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

chick pea stew

This was my lunch as per sparkpeople's nutrition tracker. It was very lacking in anything for flavor so I spiced it up a little bit. I doubled it, added onion, bell pepper, Mrs. Dash garlic blend and chipotle seasoning. It still wasn't my favorite.

  • 1 potato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons diced onions
  • 2 Tablespoons diced green pepper
  • seasonings of choice - I used Mrs. Dash garlic blend and a bit of chipotle powder.
  • 2 roma tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup chick peas
  • Reduced fat colby jack cheese
Saute potato, onions, green pepper and spices in oil until browned. Add pureed tomatoes and simmer until potatoes are soft. Stir in chick peas and heat through. I stirred in 1 ounce of cheese and topped it with another 1/2 ounce to add a bit more flavor.

healthy kettle corn

I saw this suggestion somewhere - I think on sparkpeople. I tried it last night and it was easy and yummy. I'm going to try this with other flavors.

Air pop some popcorn, spray it with butter flavor spray, sprinkle with splenda and salt.

I've also read somewhere lately that you can make your own microwave popcorn by putting popcorn in a paper bag, folding the top down and putting it in the microwave just like a microwave popcorn bag. I haven't tried this because I have an air popper, but thought it was an interesting idea.

Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken with Hollandaise and Greek Salad

This is the last recipe from my week 1 of The Family Dinner Fix Book. Definitely a book I recommend if all the recipes are as good as this first week. I have loved that they have been healthy (or healthier) and have included veggies. I have also liked that she does her own salad dressings a lot of the time (as in this recipe.) Definitely a good find. If the rest of the book turns out to have recipes as good as the first part, I'll probably look into getting another one of her books.
This was the most time consuming of the meals I made from this book, and semi vague about the time needed to cook the chicken, but it did turn out to take about as long as it took to assemble the salad. (I had Brandon helping me though, so it may take longer to make the salad than to cook the chicken if making it alone.)

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 lbs) I used closer t0 2 lbs
  • 1 tsp prepared garlic per breast (from a jar) -wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a creamy stuff, but I couldn't find that so I just used 1/2 tsp minced garlic per piece.
  • 2-3 asparagus spears per chicken breast
  • toothpick
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white whine
  • 1 can chicken broth (10 oz)
Salad Ingredients
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbles
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (I only used 1)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
Healthier Hollandaise
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (I was out and didn't know it so I used prepared mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional -I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup 1 % milk
  1. I actually cut my larger chicken breasts in half and pounded them a bit if they were really thick though it wasn't part of the original instructions. Smear garlic on rough side of each chicken breast. Lay asparagus on top. Roll the breast around the asparagus. Secure with a toothpick. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan at medium high heat. Brown rolled chicken on all sides, then add wine and chicken broth to pan. Simmer at medium-high heat, uncovered turning once, until liquid has almost evaporated. Cover and remove from heat. (I actually covered mine because they weren't ready (at least 160 - although the recipe says 180) when all of the liquid was almost simmered out. I simmered covered for a few more minutes until they were done.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, Cut the tomatoes and cumbers into chunks. Place in a large serving bowl. Sliver onion and crumble feta, add to bowl. Add olives if desired. Sprinkle spices all over, then drizzle with olive oil,k lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Toss and let stand in fridge. Clean and chop lettuce. I actually combined the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisked them together, then combined all of the salad ingredients, added the dressing and tossed.
  3. Beat egg yolks with a whisk in a small saucepan. (no heat yet) Add lemon juice, dry mustard and Tabasco to yolks. Whisk together to combine. Melt butter in microwave. Very slowly drizzle the butter into egg yolks while whisking, then place on medium-low heat. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Heat through while whisking. Remove from heat.


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