Monday, January 30, 2012


This is a great healthy recipe that can be made in the slow cooker and can be served on whole wheat pasta.  We served it on spaghetti squash for added extra healthiness.
  • 12 oz chicken breast
  • 1 cup chopped mixed colored peppers
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 14 oz can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
 Cut the chicken breast into small bite size cubes.  Preheat a medium skillet on medium heat with a tbsp of olive oil.  Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Brown 2 minutes on each side.  Put into the slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except squash) and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  To cook the squash, poke a few holes in the squash with a sharp knife, put it on a paper towel in the microwave and cook for 6-10 minutes depending on the size.  Cut in half, clean out seeds and scrape out with a fork to make strands.  Serves 6

    Thursday, January 26, 2012


         This recipe goes together quick and is a good warm you up meal on a chilly day.
    • 14.5 oz can tex mex tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup diced onions
    • 1 medium green pepper, small dice
    • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
    • Garnishes like tortilla chips, sour cream, black olives and sharp cheddar
    • 3/4 cups water

         Combine the first four ingredients in the slow cooker.  Brown the ground turkey until no longer pink. add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water.  Simmer for 5 minutes on medium.  Add to slow cooker.  Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.  Serve with garnishes   Serves 6


    Tuesday, January 24, 2012


         Alfredo is one of those comforting things that makes me feel good just by thinking about it!  Laden with rich creamy sauce over pasta...what could be better!   The guilt of eating such a sinfully delicious dish over rides my excitement enough that it pushed me to come up with a healthier version of the sauce, with still alot of flavor.  We enjoy this with whole wheat pasta, chicken or shrimp and broccoli.

    • 1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
    • 2 tbsp corn starch
    • 2 tbsp skim milk
    • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tsp pepper

         In a small sauce pan heat the chicken broth on medium.  In the blender puree the cottage cheese with the buttermilk.  Pour mixture into a small bowl and temper with a tbsp of broth at a time whisking vigorously after each addition, until you have added 4 tbsp.  Turn broth to medium low and slowly drizzle in the cheese mixture into the broth whisking vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes to keep it from curdling.  Turn heat to low , Mix milk and cornstarch together until smooth, slowly add to cheese/broth mixture and whisk until it starts to thicken, adding only what you need.  Turn off heat and whisk in Parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Serve with your favorite ingredients.  Serves 4

    Friday, January 20, 2012


         This is one of our healthier grill recipes that we use, to still be able to have a great burger in the summer.  We stuff burgers with quite a few things but this has been the best recipe by far.
    •  1# lean ground beef
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 4 wedges laughing cow low fat cheese, any flavor
         Combine the first 6 ingredients and mix well.  Make 4 equal portions and roll into a ball.  Make an indentation into the ball of beef and fill with the wedge of cheese and seal hole.  Flatten slightly.  Grill(or fry) 5 to 7 minutes on each side.  do not press on burger.  4 servings

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012


          We love peppers and are always looking for a way to utilize them more, I haven't meet a pepper I didn't like!  I came up with this version that taste like a stuffed pepper but without all the work!

    • 1# Jennie o ground turkey
    • 3 medium green peppers
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 28 oz can Italian stewed tomatoes
    • 1 small can tomato sauce
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
         Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean the green peppers and cut into large chunks.  Lay the pepper chunks in a greased 8x8 baking dish.  Brown the ground turkey until no longer pink, salt and pepper to taste.  In a medium bowl mix the beef broth, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Add to the ground turkey and heat until hot.  Sprinkle the rice over the peppers and pour the meat mixture over top.  Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.  Check for doneness and bake longer if needed.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012


         We try to be very frugal in my family.  With the high price of food we squeeze everything out of a vegetable that we can get, either eating it or composting it to make valuable black gold to grow more tasty vegetables.  Potatoes peelings in a gratin are just one of the ways we have come up with to consume in whole, this versatile vegetable. My husband was sceptical at first about trying this dish but LOVED IT! I used full fat sharp cheddar for high flavor with less cheese.
    Soak the potatoes overnight.  Scrub potatoes and remove all bad spots and blemishes.  Peel the potatoes and rinse the peels one more time in a colander.  Let stand 10 minutes to strain.  Save potatoes for another use.
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 8x8 casserole dish and pour the potato peelings on the bottom.

    Melt the cream cheese for 20 seconds in the microwave to soften.  Measure out the 1 cup of milk in a bowl and whisk in the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Pour into a small kettle and turn heat to medium.  Whisk the cream cheese into the milk mixture and whisk continuously until cream cheese is all incorporated.  Heat mixture to a slight simmer whisking occasionally.

    Sprinkle diced onions on top of the potato peelings followed by the cubed turkey and sharp cheddar cheese.  Pour milk sauce over the top evenly.  Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
    Serves 2-3



    Thursday, January 12, 2012


         We love Caesar salad, but scanning the list of ingredients we knew that it wasn't going to be a healthy dish to eat at this time.  I came up with a casserole that left us just as fulfilled but without the fat and calories
    Pour the oil into a medium saute pan and heat on medium.  Dice the bacon and add to the pan with the diced onion.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Add the diced tomatoes and the Caesar Italian dressing, take off heat.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  grease a 8x8 pan and add the cooked rotini pasta. Stir the bacon, chicken mixture into the pasta.  Mix the parmesan cheese and crushed croutons together and sprinkle evenly over the top.  Bake 25 minutes .  Serve over chopped lettuce. Serves 6

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012


         This isnt a recipe but it is worth mentioning.  Breakfast is one of those meals that make or break my healthy eating plan.  After an hour of zumba I sometimes want more then just a bowl of cereal to start my day.  I could pretty much eat anything by then!  There are some healthy products out there, might cost a bit more to buy, but worth it.  How bout a breakfast sandwich?

         Thomas  has a great thin bagel that is only 110 calories.  We use the everything bagel to get as much flavor as we can.  How about the southwestern style eggbeaters?  At 20 calories for 3 tblsps you could add a few more tblsps if you wanted, and the flavor is devine.  Add a few strips of  jennie o turkey bacon at 20 calories a piece and you just made a delicious fufilling and healthy alternative to breakfast.  At between 200 and 250 calories per sandwich it cant be beat!
    southwestern style eggbeaters

    thomas bagel thins

    turkey bacon

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012


         Talapia is one of those light flaky white fish that you can't help but like.  My picky husband , who insists he doesn't like fish gobbled up this meal and had to admit, maybe, just maybe he liked fish a little.  The fish is tasty by itself but having the caper sauce with it really adds to it!  We also served this with brown rice.

         Take 4 large talapia fillets and lay them in a greased roomy baking dish so fish isn't touching.  Season each with creole seasoning and a squirt of lemon juice. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then check for doneness.  Serve fish with caper sauce.
          Lemon caper cream sauce
      • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil                                                    
      • 1/2 tblsp butter
      • 1 tblsp lemon juice
      • 1/4 cup white wine
      • 1/2 cup water
      • 1/4 cup minced onion
      • 2 cloves garlic minced
      • 2 tblsp lowfat sour cream
      • 2 tblsp capers
      Melt the 2 tblsp oil and the butter together in a small saute pan.  Saute the onions and garlic for two minutes. add wine, lemon juice and water and simmer on medium until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and whisk in the sour cream.  Stir in the capers.

        Sunday, January 8, 2012


             I bet a lot of people didn't know you can make many good desserts with vegetables, beans being one of them. This is no fancy dessert but a good palette pleaser when you want that little something!
        • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
        • 1/2 cup egg beaters
        • 3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
        • 4 tblsp cocoa power
        • 1 tsp vanilla
        • 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • pinch of salt
        • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, to sprinkle on top

             Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour beans into a food processor and process until smooth, scraping the bowl down a few times.   Add the rest of ingredients and blend until evenly mixed.  Pour into a 8x8 greased pan and bake for 1/2 hour.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.  Cool before cutting and enjoy!

        Friday, January 6, 2012


        A healthy version of a tomato based sauce that can be used in place of store bought sauce.  This recipe makes a large batch and it can be frozen in small batches for future use. 
        • 1 medium onion diced
        • 1 medium green pepper diced
        • 5 large or 9 small garlic cloves
        • 4 15 oz cans of diced Italian tomatoes
        • 2 tomato cans of water
        Add all the ingredients into a large sauce pan and simmer on medium until veggies are soft.  Cool slightly and process in a food processor, in small batches, until smooth. 


        Thursday, January 5, 2012


        We love Italian! Lasagna, stuffed shells, spaghetti and meatballs, I paired down this recipe, which is also meatless and used the versatile bean to replace the meat for a hearty, healthy, comforting meal.  This recipe only feeds two but can be easily doubled or tripled.

          8 large pasta shells 

              Cook the pasta in boiling water for 11 minutes, drain and set aside.
        • 1/4 of a medium onion diced
        • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
        • 3 small cloves garlic
        • 1 15oz can Italian tomatoes
        • 1/2 tomato can of water
        Mix all ingredients together in a saute pan and cook on medium heat until the vegetables are soft about 15 minutes.  Let cool and pour into the food processor.  Process until smooth.

        • 3/4 cup kidney beans
        • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
        • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
        • 1/4 tsp salt
        • 1/8 tsp black pepper 
        Put all filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until beans are mashed and filling is well mixed.  Lightly spray a small baking pan.  Divide the filling into the 8 shells and put into the baking pan.  Spoon the sauce over the stuffed shells until all used.   Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees  for 35 minutes.
        * Can top with low fat mozzarella and put in the oven for 5 more minutes uncovered.

        Tuesday, January 3, 2012


        You don't have to go to New Orleans to get a tasty bowl of  Jambalaya.  I came up with this healthy version that you can make at home and right in the crock pot.
        • 2 medium chicken breasts
        • 3/4 cups large dice onions
        • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
        • 4 oz can of green chili's
        • 1 15 oz can diced Italian tomatoes
        • 2 cups chicken broth(low sodium-fat free)
        • 8 oz( 1/2 ring ) smoked lowfat turkey sausage
        • 1/2 tsp creole seasoning
        • 1/2# raw shrimp(peeled and deveined)
        • 1 cup( 2 stalks )celery, diced
        • salt and pepper to taste
        • 2 cups cooked brown rice
        • 2 tblsp olive oil-divided
        Saute on medium,  the diced onions, peppers and celery in 1 tblsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes. Pour into crock pot.

        Cut the chicken into small cubes and saute on medium high in the last 1 tblsp olive oil.  Season with the creole seasoning and cook until no longer pink.  Cut up turkey sausage into a large dice and add to the chicken.  Add the can of green chili's and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan and scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Pour into crock pot. Add the 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and the Italian tomatoes and mix well. 

        Cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce heat to low and cook 4 hours longer.  Cut the shrimp in half and add  the last 10 minutes of cooking time.  Serve over cooked brown rice.
        Serves 4-6

        Monday, January 2, 2012


        This recipe was developed to use up some of those late summer peppers we had left in the garden. It can be made with lean ground turkey, as this recipe is or with pinto beans for a meatless version.  Both are delicious!  This recipe feeds two people but can be doubled for four.
        • 2 medium green peppers
        • 1 cup cooked brown rice ( can use minute rice, but I use long grain )
        • 6 to 8 oz Jennie o lean ground turkey breast or 1 cup pinto beans for meatless
        • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
        • 1/4 tsp salt
        • 1/8 tsp pepper
        • 1/8 tsp cumin
        •  dash of cayenne pepper
        • 1 cup diced Italian tomatoes
        Prepare the peppers by washing, then cut core out.  Cut around the opening to open the stuffing hole.
        Brown the ground turkey on medium heat.  Season with the salt, pepper, cumin, and dash of cayenne pepper.
        In a medium bowl, mix the ground turkey, corn, brown rice and tomatoes. stuff the mixture into the pepper and mound on top.  Put in a small baking dish and add 1 cup of water to bottom of pan.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  (Check for doneness by sticking with a fork)

        Sunday, January 1, 2012


             I created this recipe as a way to use up those extra garden veggies in the summer and fall.  My family loves this almost meatless healthy dish.

             Cut up what ever vegetables you have on hand to equal 4 cups.  I used carrots, onions, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant and colored peppers. Put veggie chunks on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 until veggies are soft, stir a few times while roasting.  Set aside
             In a large skillet add 1 Tblsp olive oil.  Add 3 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes and 2 tsps Italian seasoning.  Add 1-15oz can of diced tomatoes with sweet onions and basil and 1/2 can of water.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Thicken slightly with 1/2 Tblsp cornstarch mixed with 1/8 cup water.
        Add the roasted veggies into the sauce and simmer 5 more minutes.  Serve over penne or rotini pasta and top with a sprinkle of bacon bits and grated Parmesan cheese

        * Instead of Italian seasoning I have used Gourmet Gardens Mediterranean seasonings which adds a really good flavor