Friday, September 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Previously, I mentioned that Hubby and I have been camping every weekend in September…if I didn’t, guess what??  Hubby and I have been camping every weekend in September!  And I love me some camping food, but honestly, I have had to be careful because 4 weekends in a row eating “vacation” food will NOT cut it in my new healthy lifestyle.  I decided that just because it’s the weekend, and we are away from home, does not mean that we are going to go nuts and eat all that junk.
But, Mama still needs some yummy delicousness…so I decided to make beef stroganoff…it’s honestly one of my favorite things to eat.  I love the sauce, the meat, the mushrooms and onions, the creamy goodness and the noodles!  Let’s not forget about the noodles…
And who doesn’t love a slow cooker meal?  Throw it in, smell the yummy food cooking all day, anticipate said yumminess for hours and hours, and then bam!  Dinner is served!  Or walk in from a hard day’s work and there you are…
So, we had lots of fun things to do last weekend at the campground and I decided to bring along the crock pot and not have to worry about dinner.  Did I mention we are not camping in a tent?  Yah, I'm not THAT kind of camper.  I need my amenities, if you know what I'm sayin'.  Anyway, we have a kitchen in the motorhome but I still roughed it a little and made do with what I had, including mixing the sauce in a red Solo cup and voila!  Dinner…and it was good.  Very good.
1 lb stew beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 package (8oz) sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 T Dijon mustard
1 ½ cups fat free, low sodium beef broth
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
8oz low fat sour cream
4 ounces no yolk egg noodles (I like Ronzoni Smart Taste)

1.    Add the beef, onion, mushrooms and garlic to the slow cooker.
2.    Sprinkle with salt and pepper
3.    In a separate bowl (or red Solo cup, hehe) mix the flour, mustard, and beef broth together (this seriously looks like the color of my morning coffee...or as some would say, my milk with coffee in it...)

4.    Pour over the beef mixture and stir everything together.

5.    Set temp to high for one hour, then reduce to low for 4-5 hours.  Or just set on low from the start – your choice!

6.    After allotted time, turn the slow cooker off, remove the lid and then add the sour cream and stir well.
7.    Follow box instructions for the pasta and serve the stroganoff on top – YUM!

Serves 4 – ½ cup noodles, 1 cup sauce
Calories 406 / Carbs 37g / Fat 13g / Protein 33g / Fiber 4g / Sodium 436mg

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Asian Pork and Noodles

This was one of those recipes where I was hungry, I didn’t have a recipe, and I ended up throwing a bunch of stuff together and voila!  It turned out deliciously!  I love it when that happens.
Allowing for marinating time (about 2 hours), this really actually comes together super quickly.  And it’s very filling!  If you like spicy and sweet, this is wonderful.
If you’re not in the mood for pork, you can sub chicken or beef perfectly.
1 lb boneless pork loin, sliced into strips
1 T Teriyaki Sauce
1 T Sesame Oil
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Siracha hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
5 oz stir fry rice noodles, like Thai Kitchen
2 cups fat free vegetable broth
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1 ½ cups shredded carrot
2 cups fresh snow peas, cut in half
3 tsp Siracha hot sauce
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 cups fresh red pepper, sliced
Nonstick cooking spray or Misto

1)    In a medium sized bowl or gallon plastic zip bag, combine the marinade ingredients and marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

2)    After marinating, remove the pork and discard the marinade.

3)    Spray a large frying pan or wok with nonstick spray or Misto, coating the pan.  Over high heat, wait for the pan to be good and hot and then add the pork and garlic.  Sauté, continuously stirring, the pork until no longer pink, about 7 minutes.  Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.

4)    Add the vegetable broth and soy sauce to the pan and heat to simmering.  Add the noodles and stir.  Bring back to simmer and continue for about 4 minutes.  The noodles will begin to soak up the broth, yummmm!

5)    Add the carrots, red pepper and snow peas and stir.  Let simmer for about 2 minutes, add the pork back in and heat through.

Serve!  I like to put more Siracha on top and apple cider vinegar (it’s the Asian in me!)

Please note the information below accounts for the marinade, which gets poured off so it’s actually less.
Serves 4; approximately 1 cup each
Calories 393 / Carbs 43g / Fat 14g / Protein 28g / Fiber 3g / Sodium 1,175mg

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pumpkin Butter

Recently, my friend posted this on Facebook and it made me laugh:
It’s so true, isn’t it??
I absolutely heart pumpkin…just the smell of it makes me happy!  Every year I look forward to pumpkin pie, pumpkin dip, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread…you get the picture.  So I was sauntering around on the web looking for inspiration and I stumbled across a few pumpkin butter recipes.  I’ve never made pumpkin butter so I, of course, had to try it!  And lo and behold, I actually had all of the ingredients in my pantry…don’t you just love when that happens?  And yes, as a matter of fact, I DO always have pumpkin puree in my pantry…don’t you?  Why not?  Seriously, get some.  You can use it in EVERYTHING!  And, it so extremely good for us.
Pumpkin is extremely low in calories (woooo!) and does not contain any fat or cholesterol.  It is LOADED with Vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant that our bodies require to maintain healthy skin and...ahem...mucus membranes…let’s hear it for our mucus membranes!  Vitamin A is also important for vision, and can help protect us against certain cancers.  Pumpkin also contains folate, thiamin, B-6, potassium and calcium.  Oh, and did I mention the euphoria that bouquet de pumpkin can create??  Seriously, my eyes close just from the smell…
Soo, Happy Pumpkin Season and I hope you get to try this SUPER EASY and SUPER QUICK recipe for Pumpkin Butter – Nom!
1 – 29 oz can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling – patooey on pumpkin pie filling!)
¾ cup apple cider
1 cup (not packed) light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon (I threw a cinnamon stick in there, too)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp ground ginger

1)    Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium saucepan. 

2)    Bring to a boil over med/high heat.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.

3)    Remove from heat and let cool.
Umm…that’s it.
Try not to burn your tongue when you taste this…you won’t be able to resist it, but at least blow on it first.
This made about 2 medium-sized (pint??) mason jars of pumpkin butter.  You can consume it right away, or put the hot pumpkin butter in a mason jar, cover with lid and screw top and as it cools, it will seal and last in your fridge for a few weeks.  Once opened, it’s good for about a week…if it even lasts that long before being eaten!  Don’t leave it on your pantry shelf, though…click here to see why.
I put a few tablespoons in my iced coffee yesterday – and, ohhh my!  You must try it!
This makes almost 4 cups and serving size is approximately 2 T
Calories 60 / Carbs 14g  / Fat 0g / Protein 0g / Fiber 1g / Sodium 1mg

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pomodoro Sauce

I’m getting to the end of my tomato harvest but it seems like my plants have rallied here at the end – I had at least 25 tomatoes ripen at one time.  This is a first for me; in the past my tomatoes would ripen one to two at a time and last year I was canning every 3 days just to savor and use each tomato.  It was such a waste of electricity and gas!  I’d spend 3 hours in the kitchen to make one little jar of sauce, boo!  This year, I’m doing less canning and of course, I hit the motherload as far as my harvest is concerned.  Oh well…honestly, I don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen like I did last year!
Anyway, with all of these tomatoes and no time to can, what was I going to do?  I chatted with my bestie, Shanny K. Moore, and she told me that she had been making pomodoro sauce with her tomatoes and I wanted to give it a try.  All I can say is:  Wow, this was seriously the easiest tomato sauce I’ve ever made -  ever! 
Just a few ingredients and about 30 minutes is all you need.  And if you aren’t using your own tomatoes, it’s even quicker!  You know I love quick and easy meals!
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 large can of diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced onion
6 T chopped fresh herbs like basil, oregano and parsley; or 2 T of dried
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Salt, Pepper and Sugar, to taste

If you are using your own tomatoes, be sure to peel the skin using the water bath method.

Look at these beauties!

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and onion.  Sauté until onion begins to soften – about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, vinegar, herbs, salt & pepper and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to soften up.  Stir and taste occasionally.  Add a pinch of sugar if needed.

Serve over your favorite pasta!  So quick, so easy, SOOOO good!
Calories 109 / Carbs 11g / Fat 8g / Protein 1g / Fiber 2g / Sodium 5

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


I have been reading and seeing this concept on all of the healthy eating sites I visit and I honestly had been hesitant to try it because some of the other cauliflower recipes I’ve tried haven’t really been monumental.  I love, love, love my cauliflower fries, but cauliflower mashed potatoes?  Not so much.  But a friend here at work raved about this pizza crust so I decided that I’d give it a try…I could kick myself for waiting so long.
Honestly, this is one of those things that I’m going to try to slip under Hubby’s nose…he’s not a big veggie eater, but he’ll usually try something if I tell him I think he’d like it.  I’m not even going to tell him, because just the word “cauliflower” will turn him off.  But I truly think he’ll actually like this.
Okay, so this could be a deceiving recipe if you think just because there’s cauliflower in it that it’s low calorie.  It’s definitely low carb, but unless you use fat free cheese, you’re going to get a lot of calories in just the crust alone.  That’s not even including the toppings (you’ll probably add more cheese on top, right???)…
Which brings me to another point…the OTHER thing I’ve never been a fan of is fat free cheese…uhh, what’s the point?  But after I figured out how many calories even 2% cheese adds, I broke down and decided that since the crust will be pretty flavorful, and the cheese is not the star of the show, I’d try it.  Yet again…completely sold on it now.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be sprinkling it on much of anything, but for this or similar uses, I’m totally using it.  By doing this, it saved me 100 calories …that’s 100 calories I could use on TOP of the pizza!
Alright, let’s get to it!

1 cup shredded cauliflower (it’s also called “riced”, which means you need to get it down to rice-sized bits using a shredder or food processor)
1 cup FAT FREE shredded mozzarella
¼ cup egg substitute or 1 egg (the nutrition info below is for egg substitute)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp crushed garlic or one garlic clove
½ tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Non-stick or olive oil spray
Toppings of your choice (Note:  if you are using toppings that need to be cooked (raw meats, etc.), you will want to cook them before putting them on your pizza.  You are only "finishing" the pizza under the broiler once the toppings are on.)
The above will serve two, but I know some people who can eat a whole one of these.  It’s supposed to make one 9” pizza.  I tripled the recipe because we were cooking for others, so honestly, unless you are making it for just one person and you are a pizza eater, you’ll want to make two.  You can always eat leftovers (I did and it's just as good the next day!).  NOTE:  One cauliflower head will make 3-4 cups…

1.   Preheat your oven to 450.
2.   Place shredded cauliflower in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (longer if you are increasing the recipe).  Press and drain any fluids that arise from the microwaving. 

3.   Let cool for about 5 minutes.

4.   Spray your pizza pan or baking sheet with non-stick spray.

5.   After the cauliflower cools a bit, add the rest of the ingredients and mix until all is incorporated.

6.   Place on the pan/sheet and spread into the pizza crust shape you are looking for:  round, square, rectangular, you get the picture.  You can brush or spray the top of the crust with olive oil to aid in browning.

7.   Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown…you want it to begin to “crisp” up.

8.   Remove from the oven and set the oven to broil.

9.   Place all of your toppings onto the crust and then return to the oven to broil for about 5-7 minutes or until the toppings begin to brown/melt.

10.Remove and cool for about 5 minutes.
Cut, serve and enjoy!  And enjoy you will, I promise!

Note:  this is for the crust alone and does not include the toppings; and I assumed two people per crust.
Calories 161 / Carbs 8g / Fat 5g / Protein 22g / Fiber 2g / Sodium 640mg
Let me know what you think!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Layered Greek Dip

I loved how quickly this dip came together; perfect for last minute get-togethers or if you are like me, you just can’t wait to have it…

Mediterranean, and specifically Greek food is one of my all-time faves…can you go wrong with lemon, oregano and feta?  Throw some hummus and pita chips in there and you might as well just leave me alone…seriously, go away.

If you can find it in your heart to share this deliciousness, I think your guests will love it.  Or, again like me, if you have a Hubby that doesn’t like Greek (I know, he’s crazy, but I get more, heh heh), you get it all!  You can feel good about it, too because although it seems like it’s sinful, it’s not – woot! 

Plus, it's pretty!

·         8oz hummus (flavored or plain, your preference)
·         6oz plain fat free Greek yogurt
·         1 ½ tsp lemon juice
·         1 T fresh parsley, chopped
·         1 tsp dried oregano
·         ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
·         1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
·         1/3 cup chopped cucumber (the mini English cucumbers work great, about 1 1/2 )
·         ½ cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
·         ½ cup red pepper, chopped

In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon, parsley, oregano and ground pepper.  Set aside.

Spread the hummus onto a small, shallow platter.  (You can also double the recipe and serve in a pie plate!)

Top the hummus with the yogurt mix by spreading it evenly over the top.

Top with the feta, olives, peppers and cucumbers.

Serve with pita chips and/or strips of veggies!

Serves approximately 6

Calories 120 / Carbs 9g / Fat 7g / Protein 8g / Fiber 2g / Sodium 410mg

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baked Zucchini Fries

I love this time of year!!  It's almost Fall and now, it’s officially FOOTBALL SEASON!!! 

I never used to be a football fan, but when we moved to San Diego, my loving Hubby thought I’d really enjoy going to Charger games so we became season ticket holders.  And, as is usually the case:  Hubby knows me pretty darn well AND he is annoyingly right about 99.9487274% of the time (ß I hate that part.)  So here’s what happened, not only did I fall in love with the San Diego Chargers, I actually fell in love with football, itself…I even like other teams and I know who their key players are, too.  I know which teams play for the AFC and the NFC…I get a little bit excited about the Draft (they lose me after the 3rd round)…I know how to recognize a hold, and when to yell appropriately at the refs and their bad calls…There are still some things I need to learn, though.  Like, I’m still trying to figure out the difference between a running back and a receiver…

So of course, along with football season comes football fooooood.  This is the beginning of my first HEALTHY football season.  And, I’m going to try to dedicate lots of time to coming up with healthier versions of some of our favorite football snacks.  As always, I promise only to post the ones that make the cut.

This is such a simple recipe and you’ve probably even made these.  They are perfect for a big get together because of their fingerfood-ness (yes, it’s a word) and they are so yummy, they really make you feel like you are eating something forbidden, only you aren’t!  I love that feeling…

·         ½ cup of egg whites or egg substitute
·         2 large zucchini, sliced into “sticks”
·         1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs or Italian seasoned bread crumbs
·         ½ cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or just good ol’ shredded parmesan cheese
·         Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
·         Nonstick cooking spray or Misto
·         Tomato sauce, ranch dipping sauce, or another dip of your choice!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or Misto.

Using two separate bowls, place the eggs in one and the bread crumbs mixed with cheese in the other.

Working with just a few (about 4-5) at a time, dip the zucchini sticks into the egg, letting it drain off a bit, then into the breadcrumbs…be sure to get them good and coated!

Place them onto the baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  When all of the zucchini have been breaded, place them into the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Using a spatula, flip the zucchini over and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Remove from oven to a serving dish and serve with dipping sauce!

Serves approximately 8-10 (about 4 fries each)

(Keep in mind, the calories may be less if you don’t use all of your breading/cheese mixture; and be sure to count your dipping sauce)

Calories 131 / Carbs 16g / Fat 6g / Protein 6g / Fiber 1g / Sodium 459mg

I hope you get a chance to try these!  Enjoy, and Happy Football Season - GOOOOO BOLTS!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Breakfast Cookie with Currants

So recently, I was perusing the web, including Pinterest, for other breakfast ideas and was hoping to find something as a break from my norm…my beloved breakfast sandwich. 

See below for my breakfast sandwich recipe (which I eat at least 4 out of 5 days, if not more)

I came across this great blog called Watching What I Eat and that’s where I found this yummy little breakfast cookie recipe.  I’ve adapted it with my own few changes, not too many, but I have to say, it was super good!  They are big and filling and do not have any added sugar or flour.  I’m going to experiment soon and try making it with mango, coconut and almonds.

This recipe makes 12 large cookies and comes together super quickly.  You probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry (I might be stretching it with the currants, but I bet you have raisins, right??)  A quick bake in the oven and you have breakfast for the week.  Freeze them, too!

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats (you can also use old fashioned if you have it)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup currants (or any other dried fruit:  raisins, cranberries…even chocolate chips would work!)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or any other kind of nut…you can also omit if you want)
¼ cup ground flaxseed meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix applesauce, vanilla and cinnamon together.

Add the rest of the ingredients mixing well.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Drop by large spoonful’s onto parchment paper or non-stick cookie sheet, flattening them out a bit.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes.  Allow to completely cool and then store in an airtight container.  I threw mine into a freezer bag and then into the fridge.  I don’t expect them to last the week!

Serves 12
Calories 105 / Carbs 18g / Fat 3g / Protein 3g / Fiber 3g / Sodium 2mg

Jenn’s Breakfast Sandwich:

Serves 1 – 186 calories

Fiber One English Muffin
¼ cup Egg Substitute
2 T chopped red/yellow/green pepper (whatever you have on hand)
¼ cup frozen spinach
1 Laughing Cow cheese wedge (WW now has a cheese wedge which is yummy, too)
Nonstick Cooking Spray

Note:  I chop up the peppers when I have extra in a recipe and just throw them into a freezer bag.

Throw your English muffin into the toaster.

Meanwhile, spray the bottom of a microwaveable bowl and pour the egg substitute in.  Add the spinach and peppers, cover the bowl with a paper towel and pop it into the microwave for 1 ½ minutes on high.

Spread the cheese wedge onto one side of the toasted English muffin and top the other half you’re your egg and veggie “omelet”.