Saturday, December 31, 2011

Well what is a family anyway? They're just a group of people who make you feel less alone and really loved

This quote is from the series finale of Mary Tyler Moore. This quote holds so much in it, that I know that the first time I heard it, I did not understand it. In my journey in life, I have encountered so many people telling me, that I can't, or that I'm not good enough. Some of these people were those who I considered good friends. Now that I'm on my own, living away from my family, I have become closer to my family as well as those friends who I know are on my side and will support me being me. I am really seeing now how friends can be family and how some family can become close friends. We need to surround ourselves with people who will love us and support us. That to me is the definition of a family and that is what I strive to look for in my friends. We deserve people who help us become the best that we can and we owe it to them to do the same.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pasta with Tomatos and Feta Cheese-Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Here is a recipe for Pasta with Tomatos and Feta Cheese. This recipe would be delicious served hot or cold and makes a great side dish and main dish depending on your meal. Another fabulous recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, here, for you to check out.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I let my haters be my motivators

I heard this quote in the trailer for "The Sitter"...I wish I had heard this sooner in life, but funny enough, I heard it a perfect time. I won't go in to what's been going on, but I know that this quote will be huge for me at work in the next few weeks, maybe months. Really though, it's always useful. There will always be people who dislike you for reasons that you may not be able to understand. It's hard not to dwell on this because it's in our nature to want to be liked, no matter how much we say that we don't care what others think about us. We need to use this to motivate ourselves; work harder on whatever it is that you are trying to do. This way, even though we may be upset about the negativity, we have created more positivity for ourselves by working hard and getting closer to success. We need to do things that make us happy and we need to do things for ourselves. Sometimes, this includes using someone else's negativity to make our positivity.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tostadas from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Here is another super easy and delicious recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures...Instead of taco night, how about making tostadas for the family? Check out Lynn's tostada recipe here and enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes-Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Here's another great recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures....Sometimes it's a lot easier to throw a meal in a crock pot and slow cook it over night or all day. It'll be ready by the time you get home from work, and it makes enough for your whole family, or if you're single like me, enough food for the week! Check out her recipe for Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jump for Choy! Fish Pack

Have you ever tried making a foil pack meal? It's a really neat way to cook your whole meal at once while getting a lot of flavor without adding calories. Here is Hungry Girl's fish pack recipe!

Jump for Choy! Fish Pack

PER SERVING (1/2 of recipe): 232 calories, 2g fat, 908mg sodium, 19g carbs, 3g fiber, 13g sugars, 35g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

Words cannot express how amazing this citrus-teriyaki, Asian-style meal is. Try it and see...

16 oz. (about 4 heads) baby bok choy, ends removed, separated into leaves
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
12 oz. raw cod (two 6-oz. fillets or four 3-oz. fillets)
1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper, or more to taste
2 tbsp. thick teriyaki marinade or sauce
2 tbsp. low-sugar or sugar-free orange marmalade

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay an extra-large piece of heavy-duty foil on an extra-large baking sheet, and spray with nonstick spray.

Lay bok choy leaves in the center of the foil, and evenly top with zucchini. Lay cod fillets in a single layer over the veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine teriyaki marinade or sauce with orange marmalade. Mix thoroughly. Evenly spoon mixture over the cod and veggies.

Place another extra-large piece of foil evenly over the baking sheet. Fold together and seal all four edges of the two foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cod is fully cooked and veggies are tender.

Allow packet to cool for a few minutes, and then cut to release steam before opening it entirely. (Careful -- steam will be hot.)

Serve cod and veggies with extra sauce from the foil pack. If you like, season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Eat up!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Taco Salad with Creamy Green Dressing

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures posted a great twist for your family's taco night...check out her recipe for Taco Salad with Creamy Green Dressing here

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Live for yourself, Love those around you but realize they’ve got their own agendas

~Alex Gaskarth [All Time Low]

If there is one thing that we all need to remember in life, it's this. We need to live for ourselves and please ourselves. Yes, it feels great to know that we made someone else proud of us, but we deserve to feel pride in ourselves too. Do things that make you happy and find your own path to success. Your sense of success, happiness, and pride is probably different than your parents', best friend's, or sibling's idea of those ideas. There's no shame in that! The only shame is doing things and working towards things that aren't really what you are passionate about and what you want to do. Those who care about you and love you the most will be proud of you no matter what you do as long as you are happy and proud of yourself.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cauliflower & Red Lentil Curry

I absolutely love curries...the vegetarian options are a great way to add in more fiber to a more protein packed meal; it also gives the dish a new sense of spice and savoriness. Check out this recipe for Cauliflower and Red Lentil Curry from Eating Well.

Cauliflower & Red Lentil Curry

Red lentils turn yellow when cooked. Serve over rice.

4 servings

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder, preferably Madras
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, or one 14-oz. can tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 cups cauliflower florets
1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine lentils, onions, curry powder, salt, turmeric and water in a large saucepan over low heat; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Add tomatoes, cauliflower and jalapeno peppers and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook for about 10 seconds. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in cayenne and immediately add the oil-spice mixture to the cauliflower mixture. Stir in lemon juice, cilantro and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and cayenne.

Per serving: 184 calories; 5 g fat ( 0 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 8 g fiber; 335 mg sodium; 812 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Saturday, November 19, 2011

HG's 2-Cheese Sausage 'n Portabella Skillet

I really love this because not only is is completely lightened up, Hungry Girl also has revamped the recipe to use meatless or turkey patties..yum!

HG's 2-Cheese Sausage 'n Portabella Skillet

Serving Size: 1 skillet (entire recipe)
Calories: 323
Fat: 6g
Sodium: 918mg
Carbs: 28g
Fiber: 3.5g
Sugars: 6.5g
Protein: 33g

PointsPlus® value 7*

A restaurant with both "steak" and "shake" in its name probably isn't going to be your number-one destination for a light breakfast. But boy do those morning skillet meals sound good! Luckily, we're bringing the flavor of this Steak 'n Shake dish to you and leaving the extra fat and calories by the fryolator...

1 frozen meatless or turkey sausage patty with about 80 calories (like the kind by Morningstar Farms or Jimmy Dean)
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 large portabella mushroom, roughly chopped
2/3 cup frozen shredded hash browns
2/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
Optional: salt, black pepper, chopped scallions

Prepare sausage patty on the stove in a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray or on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave. (Refer to package instructions for exact temperature and cook time.) Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside. 

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add onion and, stirring often, cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium low. Add chopped mushroom and hash browns to the skillet with the onion. Stirring occasionally, cook until mushroom pieces have softened and hash browns are hot, 5 - 6 minutes.

Raise heat to medium. Add cooked sausage pieces to the skillet with the veggie-hash mixture. Add egg substitute, garlic, and cheese wedge, breaking cheese wedge into pieces as you add it. Scramble until egg substitute is just cooked, about 3 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Microwave for 30 seconds, until cheese has just melted. If you like, season to taste with salt and pepper and top with scallions. Dig in!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cowboy Spaghetti

I am a huge spaghetti fan! My problem is that I'm also a carboholic, so when I'm going for spaghetti, I usually just cook plain pasta with sauce or olive oil and garlic..easy, simple, and easy to OD on. Check out this recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures for Cowboy Spaghetti; it's kind of like a spaghetti bake that could pass as the meaty and cheesy main course. Because it's so filling, it is not as easy to OD on carbs as eating plain pasta and sauce is. Check out the recipe here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blueberry Granola Breakfast Bake

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits; I love them because they are super versatile and great to add to recipes or just snack on on their own. Lynn from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures has shared some great blueberry recipes. Here is one for a Blueberry Breakfast Bake that would be an awesome breakfast or snack. Check it out here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chipotle Pepper Salad Dressing

If you're looking for a new homemade salad dressing to make, check out the Chipotle Pepper Salad Dressing from Lynne's Kitchen Adventures. I'm pretty much an olive oil and vinegar girl when it comes to salad dressings (thanks to living in Florence for a semester, salad dressings kind of fell off of my menu)... BUT when I do want a good dressing, I look for interesting, homemade ones like this one to add flavor and kick without a bunch of calories.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Cupcakes are a huge weakness of mine...and I can tell you confidently that at least once a month, designer or homemade cupcakes are brought to work for everyone. I have the hardest time saying no, and more often than not, I have one anyway. Cupcakes are deliciously amazing, but extremely decadent and full of calories. Here is a designer flavored cupcake recipe from Hungry Girl which also combines the cute trend of mini cupcakes to give us a delicious and guilt free desert option.

Boston Cream Cupcakes

PER SERVING (1 cupcake): 114 calories, 2.5g fat, 193mg sodium, 21.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 12g sugars, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

There's something awesome about injecting cupcakes with pudding... and something MORE awesome about eating 'em!

Half of an 18.25-oz. box (about 1 3/4 cups) moist-style yellow cake mix
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
3 tbsp. chocolate frosting, room temperature
2 tbsp. light chocolate syrup
One 60-calorie sugar-free or no-sugar-added vanilla pudding snack (like the kind by Jell-O)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg substitute, and 1/2 cup water. Whisk thoroughly. Evenly distribute mixture among the cups of the muffin pan.

Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 - 22 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to completely cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine chocolate frosting with chocolate syrup and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

Once cupcakes have cooled, use a knife or narrow spoon handle to create a small centered hole through the top of each cupcake, stopping about midway through the cupcakes. Set aside.

Open pudding cup and stir in vanilla extract and sweetener. Place pudding in one of the bottom corners of a sealable plastic bag. Remove air and seal. Snip off a small part of that corner with scissors.

Gently squeeze the bag and evenly pipe pudding through the hole in the bag's corner and into the holes in the cupcakes.

Evenly spread frosting-syrup mixture over the cupcakes. (Don't worry if some of the pudding filling gets mixed in!)

Serve and enjoy! (Refrigerate leftovers, if you've got 'em.)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

I found this recipe for Baked Blueberry Oatmeal from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures and I am dying to try it. It's the perfect fall and winter breakfast or snack. Check it out here

Sunday, November 6, 2011

HG's Totally Nuts Creamy Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken salad can really tip the scale on calories with all the mayonnaise and an mixing of dark and white meat. Here is Hungry Girl's version of the standard chicken salad sandwich...try it out, you might be amazed!

HG's Totally Nuts Creamy Chicken Salad Sandwich

Serving Size: 1 sandwich (half of recipe)
Calories: 254
Fat: 7g
Sodium: 923mg
Carbs: 34g
Fiber: 6.5g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 20g

PointsPlus® value 7*

HG Alternative! Not much of a sandwich lover? No worries! A serving of the chicken salad itself (half the total amount; about 3/4 cup) has 166 calories, 6g fat, 733mg sodium, 15g carbs, 1g fiber, 9g sugars, and 15g protein (PointsPlus® value 4*). Who loves you?

Creamy scoopable salads are SO GOOD, especially when they're packed with fruit. Add in delicious pecans, and they're even better. Put some in a sandwich? HOLY COW, you've got a handheld masterpiece. Just make sure you eat our version and not the one from Arby's. This recipe serves two, so call a friend or save some for another day!

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. cooked and chopped skinless lean chicken breast
1/4 cup halved red seedless grapes
1/4 cup chopped apple
2 tbsp. chopped celery
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped pecans
4 slices light bread, honey-wheat flavor if available
2 large lettuce leaves

Place mayo, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Add chicken and stir to coat. Add grapes, apple, celery, and pecans; stir well and set aside.

To make each sandwich, lightly toast bread slices (if you like). Lay out 1 bread slice and top with a lettuce leaf. Evenly place half of the chicken salad (about 3/4 cup) over the lettuce. Top with the other bread slice.

Repeat with remaining bread, lettuce, and chicken salad to make the second sandwich. (Or cover and refrigerate the remaining chicken salad, and assemble that sandwich another day.)



Friday, November 4, 2011

Crispy Pecan Pie Bites

I'm thinking about making this dessert for my family's huge Thanksgiving get together...I'm all for pecan pie, but these are just so cute that I kind of want to try them out.

Crispy Pecan Pie Bites

PER SERVING (1/5th of recipe, 3 pieces): 106 calories, 6g fat, 87mg sodium, 12g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

We're starting with dessert. It's been a long week -- you deserve it. Bite, crunch, smile, repeat...

One 15-piece box frozen Athens Mini Fillo Shells
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
3 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel and Brown), room temperature
1 drop vanilla extract
Dash salt
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans, divided
Optional topping: Fat Free Reddi-wip

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, and arrange shells on the baking sheet. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine egg substitute, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix well.

Stir in 2 tbsp. chopped pecans. Evenly distribute the mixture among the fillo shells.

Evenly top shells with remaining 2 tbsp. chopped pecans, a little less than 1/2 tsp. per shell.

Bake in the oven until edges are crisp, 15 - 18 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. If you like, top each piece with a squirt of Fat Free Reddi-wip. Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Devil-icious Egg White Salad

I know that barbecue and picnic season has already come to a close, but here's a recipe for egg salad that you might want to pull out when that season comes back again. Hungry Girl has made a huge dent in lightening up egg salad, and the way she does it, your guests and family would never know unless you told them.

Devil-icious Egg White Salad

PER SERVING (1/6th of recipe, about 1 cup): 129 calories, 2.5g fat, 850mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 10.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

4 cups finely chopped cauliflower (about 1 head cauliflower)
1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika, or more for garnish
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
12 hard-boiled egg whites, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup sweet relish

Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl with 1/3 cup water. Cover and microwave until soft, 6 - 8 minutes. Once the bowl is cool enough to handle, drain any excess water.

Transfer half of the cauliflower to a blender or food processor. (Set aside the bowl of remaining cauliflower.) To the blender, add mayo, cheese wedges, mustard, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Puree or pulse until blended. (Don't worry if it isn't completely smooth.) Set aside.

To the bowl of non-pureed cauliflower, add all remaining ingredients. Gently stir. Add puree from the blender and lightly stir to coat.

Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Serve it up and, if you like, garnish with additional paprika. Enjoy!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Pike Place Market Salad

How about trying a new salad tonight? It's a little fancy, but it's easy enough and it could be fun to bring new flavors to start your meal with. Here's a recipe from and Cooking Light for Pike Place Market Salad.

Pike Place Market Salad

The salad calls for herb salad mix, which can be found prebagged in the supermarket, or use any combination of lettuces and herbs. Any fresh cherry or berry (blackberries, blueberries, etc.) will do nicely. The dressing and caramelized walnuts can be made a day ahead (store the nuts in an airtight container and the dressing in the refrigerator).

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups salad, 1/2 cup berries, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 2 1/4 teaspoons walnut)

Nutritional Information

Calories: 165
Calories from fat: 37%
Fat: 6.7g
( Sat. 1.8g, Mono 0.7g, Poly 3g)
Protein: 5.2g
Carbohydrates: 24.6g
Fiber: 4.5g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Iron: 1.9mg
Sodium: 199mg
Calcium: 116mg


1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
Cooking spray

1/2 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Remaining ingredients:
8 cups herb salad mix
2 cups berries and/or pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) blue cheese, crumbled


To prepare nuts, place sugar in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 90 seconds or until sugar dissolves, stirring as needed so sugar dissolves evenly and doesn't burn. Reduce heat; stir in walnuts. Cook over low heat 30 seconds or until golden. Spread mixture onto foil coated with cooking spray. Cool completely; break into small pieces.

To prepare dressing, place cider in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 5 minutes). Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl; add to pan. Bring cider mixture to a boil, stirring constantly; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in shallots, vinegar, salt, and pepper; let cool.

To prepare salad, place salad mix in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Divide evenly among 4 plates; top with berries, cheese, and walnuts. Serve immediately.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cajun Cool Cheeseburgers

If your'e looking for a fun and different burger to make and like spice and cheese, check out this Cajun Cheeseburger recipe from

Cajun Cool Cheeseburgers

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information
Calories: 463
Calories from fat: 33%
Fat: 17g
( Sat. 7g, Mono 5.6g, Poly 2.6g)
Protein: 33.1g
Carbohydrates: 43.1g
Fiber: 2.1g
Cholesterol: 82mg
Iron: 5.2mg
Sodium: 956mg
Calcium: 194mg


3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3/4 pound ground round
1/4 pound ground turkey breast
Cooking spray
4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
3/4 cup green onion tops, cut into 2-inch julienne strips


Prepare grill.

Combine cheeses; set aside.

Combine breadcrumbs and next 5 ingredients (breadcrumbs through turkey). Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle burgers evenly with cheese mixture. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until burgers are done and cheese melts. Place buns, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 1 minute or until toasted. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each serving with 1/4 cup lettuce, 3 tablespoons onions, and top half of bun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mr. Stripey Tomato, Arugula, and Pancetta Sandwiches

If you like BLT sandwiches, check out this recipe for a slight update on the BLT from Cooking Light.

These sandwiches are a new interpretation of the classic BLT. Pancetta is Italian cured bacon; substitute domestic cured bacon, if necessary. You can prepare the mayonnaise mixture and cook the pancetta up to one day ahead.


2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh sage
2 ounces pancetta, cut into 8 thin slices
Cooking spray
8 (1-ounce) slices rustic sourdough bread, toasted
4 medium Mr. Stripey tomatoes, each cut into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices
1 cup arugula


1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well.
2. Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange pancetta in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
3. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over bread slices. Top each of 4 bread slices with 2 pancetta slices, 4 tomato slices, and 1/4 cup arugula. Top sandwiches with remaining 4 bread slices.

Jeanne Thiel Kelley, Cooking Light

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chai Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the best breakfasts to eat. It's got plenty of fiber to keep you full and energized, and you can make it sweet or savory depending on how you like it. From, here is a recipe for Chai Oatmeal that would be delicious for a fall breakfast.

Chai Oatmeal

"Rolled oats simmered in sweet, spice-infused milk make an exquisite breakfast cereal,"Katzen notes. Oat bran not only boosts the fiber, it also makes the oatmeal creamy and thick.

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Nutritional Information
Calories: 248
Fat: 6g
( Sat. 3g, Mono 2g, Poly 1g)
Protein: 12g
Fiber: 5g
Cholesterol: 14mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 387mg


1 1/2 cups 2% or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons honey, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
3/4 cup regular (not quick-cooking) oats
2 tablespoons oat bran, optional


Combine the milk, salt, and spices in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly; add the honey, vanilla (if desired), oats, and bran (if desired), and stir until combined. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the oatmeal is thick and creamy. Serve hot with additional honey to taste.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

HG's Big Beef 'n Bacon Meatloaf

Here's a really interesting spin on meatloaf from Hungry Girl. In this one, you can use bacon or turkey bacon to make an updated and delicious meatloaf dish. I'll probably make mine with turkey bacon when I get around to it.

6 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 lbs. raw extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. hickory-flavored BBQ sauce, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Remove bacon and, once cool enough to handle, chop or crumble. Set aside.

If needed, clean and dry skillet. Re-spray skillet and return to medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Stirring occasionally, cook until completely softened, 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from heat and, once cool enough to handle, blot away any excess moisture with paper towels. Transfer veggies to a large bowl. Add about three-fourths of the bacon, and set the rest aside for topping. To the bowl, add beef, tomatoes, 2 tbsp. BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer mixture to the loaf pan; if needed, smooth out the surface with the back of a spatula or spoon. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine ketchup with remaining tablespoon of BBQ sauce and mix well. Evenly top meatloaf with the BBQ-ketchup mixture and sprinkle with remaining bacon.

Bake in the oven until meatloaf is fully cooked, about 50 minutes.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!


Serving Size: 1 slice (1/5th of recipe)
Calories: 224
Fat: 8g
Sodium: 707mg
Carbs: 10g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 26g

PointsPlus® value 5*

Friday, October 21, 2011

HG's Happy Monkey Banana Pudding Shake

Milkshakes are delicious, but for me, they're too heavy and I end up with an awful stomach ache...Hungry Girl's redone milkshake is just as thick but not as heavy. Obviously still delicious as always!

HG's Happy Monkey Banana Pudding Shake

1/2 cup light vanilla soymilk
1 tbsp. Jell-O Sugar Free Fat Free Vanilla Instant pudding mix
1 tsp. fat-free nondairy powdered creamer (like the kind by Coffee-mate), dissolved in 1 tbsp. warm water
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/4 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream
Half a medium banana, sliced into coins, frozen
1 cup crushed ice or 5 - 8 ice cubes
2 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers
2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip
1 maraschino cherry

In a tall glass, combine soymilk, pudding mix, creamer mixture, and sweetener. Stir until mostly dissolved. Transfer contents of the glass to a blender.

Add ice cream, frozen banana coins, and ice to the blender. Blend at high speed until thoroughly mixed. If needed, remove blender from the base, stir mixture, and blend again.

Pour into the tall glass. Break wafers into pieces and stir into the shake. Top with Reddi-wip and a cherry, and enjoy!


Serving Size: entire recipe (1 shake)
Calories: 211
Fat: 2g
Sodium: 371mg
Carbs: 45g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 20g
Protein: 5.5g

PointsPlus® value 6*

HG Alternative! If you like, leave out the wafer cookies. Still awesome (and under 200 calories)!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crispy White Pizza

I am a huuuge fan of making my own pizzas...My friend and I spent some hilarious weekends together, trying to figure out how to make the perfect healthy homemade pizza (well there were other goals, but pizza making always resulted in something funny). Here's Hungry Girl's take on the healthy homemade pizza.

Crispy White Pizza

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 200 calories, 3.25g fat, 930mg sodium, 33g carbs, 7g fiber, 7g sugars, 17g protein -- PointsPlus® value 5*

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

1 large low-fat, high-fiber, burrito-size tortilla with about 100 calories (like this kind by La Tortilla Factory)

1/3 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 tbsp. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Dash black pepper

4 thin slices plum tomato
4 fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put tortilla on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven until slightly crispy, 3 - 5 minutes per side. Leave oven on.

In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese with mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add onion and, stirring occasionally, cook until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Immediately stir onion into cheese mixture. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Spread cheese-onion mixture evenly on top of the tortilla. Top with tomato slices and basil leaves. If you like, sprinkle with a dash of salt.

Return pizza to the oven and bake until hot, about 5 minutes. Slice and enjoy. Pizza for one!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Big Blue Buffalo Jala' Poppers

So I have to admit, I've never been a fan of Jalapeno Popper because of the cream cheese, but when I came across this Hungry Girl recipe and saw her way of making them, I decided to give them another try.

Big Blue Buffalo Jala' Poppers
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, 3 poppers): 106 calories, 3.5g fat, 639mg sodium, 14g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 6.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

Double your cheesiness, double your spiciness, double your fun, and double your YUM!

4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce, divided
3 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
6 fresh whole jalapeño peppers
1/2 cup Fiber One Original bran cereal
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine cheese wedges with 1 tbsp. hot sauce and mix well. Add blue cheese, stir, and set aside.

Halve the peppers lengthwise, and remove seeds, stems, etc. Wash halves and dry them very well. Evenly spoon and spread cheese mixture into the pepper halves and set aside.

Place cereal and spices in a blender or food processor. Grind to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Transfer crumbs to a plate and set aside.

Pour egg substitute into a shallow bowl. Add remaining 1 tbsp. hot sauce and mix well. One at a time, gently cover pepper halves with egg mixture, shake to remove excess, and then coat entirely with crumb mixture. Repeat with remaining pepper halves, evenly placing them on the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven until coating is crispy and pepper halves have softened, 25 - 30 minutes.



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Freakishly Good Frozen Hot Chocolate

Here is a great Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe from Hungry Girl. I'm not sure about yall, but here in Dallas, it will still be pretty warm going into November, so hot Hot Chocolate can be a little too much at times. This recipes is fun and puts a great spin on Hot Chocolate anyway and is great to know how to make.

Freakishly Good Frozen Hot Chocolate
PER SERVING (entire recipe): 58 calories, 0.5g fat, 184mg sodium, 10g carbs, 1g fiber, 5g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

One 25-calorie packet diet hot cocoa mix (like Swiss Miss Diet or Nestlé Fat Free)
2 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/4 cup light vanilla soymilk
1 tbsp. sugar-free calorie-free vanilla-flavored syrup (like the kind by Torani)
1 tsp. sugar-free chocolate syrup (like the kind by Hershey's)
1 cup crushed ice or 5 to 8 ice cubes
2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip

Place hot cocoa mix and sweetener in a tall mug or glass. Add 1/4 cup hot water and stir to dissolve.

Add soymilk, vanilla-flavored syrup, and chocolate syrup. Mix well. Place in the fridge or freezer for several minutes, until completely chilled. Pour mixture into a blender and add ice. Blend at high speed until uniform. Pour into the tall mug or glass. Finish off with whipped topping. Drink up!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Healthier Cheese Melt

From Glamour's Vitamin G blog, here is a great way to lighten up your cheese melts, or really any sandwich...check it out here...they post tons of delicious and healthy recipes and snack awesome!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saucy BBQ Seafood Skewers with Not-So-Secret BBQ Sauce

Another awesome recipe from Hungry Girl-seriously, I love Lisa's creative ways of keep recipes, healthy, filling, and delicious.

Saucy BBQ Seafood Skewers with Not-So-Secret BBQ Sauce

PER SERVING (2 skewers with sauce): 299 calories, 7g fat, 616mg sodium, 19g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 12g sugars, 40g protein -- PointsPlus® value 7*

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

6 oz. large raw sea scallops
4 oz. large raw shrimp, tails removed, deveined, peeled
4 oz. raw salmon fillet
1 medium-small zucchini (or half of a large zucchini)
8 - 10 cherry tomatoes

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Cut scallops into halves or quarters, so that they are just slightly larger than the shrimp. Cut salmon and zucchini into chunks approximately the same size as the scallops.

Place all seafood and veggies onto 4 skewers, alternating their order.

Bring a grill or grill pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add skewers and cook until seafood begins to turn opaque on top, about 5 minutes.

Flip skewers and cook until all seafood is cooked through, 4 - 5 minutes. Drizzle or brush sauce over skewers immediately after removing them from heat, or serve sauce on the side!


HG Heads-Up! Before assembling, soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

I've been taking a bootcamp lately, and my awesome instructor has sent me some great informative links and recipes to help understand and help facilitate our weight loss.

Here is some information about simple and complex carbohydrates that might help you better understand which they are and which we should eat more of.

For the whole article, check it out at How To Think

Here are some key parts that I found useful:

Carbohydrates are necessary to your health, because every cell in your body uses them for energy. In fact, your brain can only use carbohydrates for energy.

Complex carbohydrates are high-fiber foods, which improve your digestion. They help stabilize the blood sugar, keep your energy at an even level, and help you feel satisfied longer after your meal.

In contrast, sugar and other simple carbohydrates can alter your mood, lead to cravings and compulsive eating, cause wide swings in your blood-sugar levels, and cause weight gain in most people. In addition, a high consumption of sugar can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you finally decide to improve your diet and forgo the sweets.

Some examples of healthy foods containing complex carbohydrates:

  • Spinach Whole Barley Grapefruit
  • Turnip Greens Buckwheat Apples
  • Lettuce Buckwheat bread Prunes
  • Water Cress Oat bran bread Apricots, Dried
  • Zucchini Oatmeal Pears
  • Asparagus Oat bran cereal Plums
  • Artichokes Museli Strawberries
  • Okra Wild rice Oranges
  • Cabbage Brown rice Yams
  • Celery Multi-grain bread Carrots
  • Cucumbers Pinto beans Potatoes
  • Dill Pickles Yogurt, low fat Soybeans
  • Radishes Skim milk Lentils
  • Broccoli Navy beans Garbanzo beans
  • Brussels Sprouts Cauliflower Kidney beans
  • Eggplant Soy milk Lentils
  • Onions Whole meal spelt bread Split peas

Simple carbohydrates are more refined, are usually found in foods with fewer nutrients, and tend to be less satisfying and more fattening.

  • Table sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Candy
  • Cake
  • Bread made with white flour
  • Pasta made with white flour
  • Soda pop, such as Coke®, Pepsi®, Mountain Dew®, etc.
  • Candy
  • All baked goods made with white flour
Most packaged cereals

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Teriyaki Salmon-Mango Wrap

Hungry Girl is my's a recipe for a yummy Teriyaki Salmon Wrap...this is great for a quick dinner, or even a lunch on the go from last night's leftovers

Teriyaki Salmon-Mango Wrap

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 256 calories, 6g fat, 819mg sodium, 40g carbs, 16g fiber, 16g sugars, 24.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 7*

Fruit, veggies, and fish rolled up into a handheld meal? What more could you want?!

One 2.6-oz. pouch boneless skinless pink salmon, roughly flaked (about 1/3 cup)
1 tsp. thick teriyaki sauce/marinade
1 La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb High Fiber Large Tortilla
1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup mango cut into thin strips
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup jicama cut into thin strips

In a small bowl, combine salmon with teriyaki sauce and mix well. Set aside.

Place tortilla on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 10 seconds, or until just warm.

Evenly place lettuce over the bottom half of the tortilla. Evenly top lettuce with salmon mixture, mango, onion, and jicama.

Carefully and tightly roll up tortilla over the filling from bottom to top. Secure with toothpicks, if needed.

Slice in half and enjoy! (Don't eat the toothpicks.)


HG Alternative! If you can't get your hands on the 80-calorie La Tortilla Factory tortilla called for in the recipe, just seek out the lowest-calorie medium-large flour tortilla you can find and adjust the calorie count accordingly. No problem!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

I think this collection of recipes from Eating Well is my most favorite. Low calorie Pasta recipes! What could be better? Foodwise, I'm honestly not sure. Here's a basic recipe for Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you’re serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

8 servings, 1 cup pasta & generous 3/4 cup sauce each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.
Serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with cheese.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Per serving: 384 calories; 9 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 48 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 10 g fiber; 416 mg sodium; 655 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (49% daily value), Zinc (34% dv), Iron (26% dv), Vitamin C (23% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coal Fired Pico De Gallo

I found this recipe from one of Martha Stewart's collections. I love Pico De Gallo, it's spicy flavor is perfectly balanced with a great chicken or beef fajita and the crunch of tortilla chips.

[Chris Lilly]
Everything is better on the charcoal grill. The added smoky flavor plus the hint of lime juice and cilantro takes this sweet and spicy salsa to a new level. I like to let the Pico de gallo sit for 30 minutes so the flavors meld together, but it rarely lasts that long in my backyard.

Makes 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


1 medium white onion
2 jalapeño peppers
1 banana pepper
6 plum tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lime, juiced

1. build a charcoal fire for direct grilling with kingsford® charcoal. While the grill is heating cut the onion into round slices, each 1/2-inch thick. cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and veins. Place the prepared vegetables and whole tomatoes directly over the hot coals (approximately 500 degrees) and cook for 5 minutes, turning once or until they char and start to soften.

2. remove the vegetables from the grill and dice. combine the diced vegetables, cilantro, garlic, salt, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. let the Pico De gallo sit for 30 minutes so the flavors will meld together. serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hungry Girl's Dreamsicle Shiver

Lisa Lillien and Hungry Girl are pretty much my food rock star idols. If you haven't checked out Hungry Girl, you really really need to, like..yesterday. Anyway, here is a sweet, creamy, and delicious recipe for Hungry Girl's Dreamsicle Shiver.

HG's Dreamsicle Shiver

Feelin' Shakie!
Knock, knock! Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you craving a creamy new concoction that combines orange and vanilla? This new sipper is AMAZING! Grab a straw, people.

2 tsp. fat-free nondairy powdered creamer (like the kind by Coffee-mate)
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1 cup Trop50 No Pulp orange juice beverage
1/2 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 cups crushed ice or 8 - 12 ice cubes

In a tall glass, combine powdered creamer and sweetener with 2 tbsp. very hot water; stir to dissolve. Add Trop50 and mix well.

Transfer contents of the glass to a blender. Add all remaining ingredients and blend at high speed until thoroughly mixed. If needed, remove blender from the base, stir mixture, and blend again.

Pour into the glass, stick a straw in it, and slurp away!


Serving Size: entire recipe (about 16 oz.)
Calories: 164
Fat: <0.5g
Sodium: 65mg
Carbs: 38g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 20g
Protein: 3g

PointsPlus® value 4*

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chicken and White Bean Salad

Sometimes, it's great to have a big, fresh salad for lunch instead of that normal sandwich, bag of chips, elementary school lunch. I know it's easy to make those lunches (i'm guilty of it too) but I have recently started adding a salad to my lunch to switch it up and I have felt a little more refreshed and have had a different kind of energy to round out the rest of my work day. Sometimes, I'll make a salad for dinner and use the left overs for various lunches and dinners through out the rest of the week. From Eating Well, here's a collection of lunch salad recipes.

Chicken & White Bean Salad

Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


1 medium clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (see Tip)
2 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 2 small)
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced ricotta salata, halloumi (see Shopping Tip, above) or feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped, well-drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus whole basil leaves for garnish
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
2 cups torn escarole or romaine lettuce
2 cups torn radicchio leaves

To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a chef’s knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add 6 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
To prepare salad: Combine beans, chicken, zucchini (and/or summer squash), celery, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) in a large bowl until well blended. Add chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired.
Toss the remaining vinaigrette with escarole (or romaine) and radicchio in a medium bowl. Serve the salad on the greens, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 (omitting basil), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir in chopped basil just before serving.
Tip: To poach chicken breasts, place about 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.
Ricotta salata and halloumi are both firm, salted cheeses that can be found at large supermarkets and cheese shops.

Per serving: 428 calories; 23 g fat ( 5 g sat , 15 g mono ); 79 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 34 g protein;
8 g fiber; 667 mg sodium; 648 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (47% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv), Folate (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 3 fat

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

From Eating Well, here is another Asian style chicken noodle salad for us to try; a little different than the Vietnamese version but still delicious and easy to make.

Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad

This delicious Chinese-inspired salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an addictive orange, sesame, ginger and soy combination—you may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.

4 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 3-ounce package low-fat ramen-noodle soup mix , (see Note)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
3 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
5 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
3 scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Crumble ramen noodles onto a large rimmed baking sheet (discard seasoning packet). Add almonds, sesame seeds and canola oil; toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Stir, then bake until the noodles are golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place chicken in a medium skillet or saucepan with water to cover. Add ginger and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board to cool. Using forks, shred into bite-size pieces. (Discard the poaching liquid.)
Meanwhile, combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Whisk or shake until the sugar has dissolved.
Just before serving, combine the shredded chicken, cabbage, carrot and scallions in a large bowl. Add the toasted noodle mixture and the dressing; mix well.

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the vegetables, toasted noodle mixture, chicken and dressing in separate containers for up to 1 day. Toss together just before serving.

Tip: Ramen noodles, usually packaged with a seasoning mix to make instant soup, are a convenient—and seemingly healthful—product. But what you may not realize is that the noodles have been deep-fried. A serving of the soup contains 8 grams of fat. Look for baked ramen, with only 1 gram of fat per serving. Be sure to check the label so you know what you're buying.

Per serving: 399 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 5 g mono ); 96 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 41 g protein; 4 g fiber; 558 mg sodium; 581 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (50% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Folate (26% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vietnamese Chicken and Noodle Salad

An Asian inspired chicken and noodle salad will add some zip to your day and shake up your normal meal routine. I like to make these salads and portion them out for various meals throughout the week. Here is a recipe for Vietnamese Chicken and Noodle Salad from Eating Well.

Vietnamese Chicken & Noodle Salad

4 servings, 2 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
4 ounces wide rice noodles
1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce, (see Ingredient Note)
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
3 cups shredded napa cabbage
1 English cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup slivered fresh basil
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in rice noodles and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Whisk vinegar, fish sauce and sugar to taste in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken, noodles, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, basil and peanuts; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare salad up to 8 hours in advance. Toss with peanuts just before serving.
Ingredient Note: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian sauce made from salted, fermented fish. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets

Per serving: 402 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 5 g mono ); 63 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 5 g fiber; 667 mg sodium; 454 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (100% daily value), Vitamin K (60% dv), Vitamin C (40% dv), Selenium (37% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pasta & Chickpea Soup

Here's another Italian style soup recipe from Eating Well. This is packed with carbs and protein and would be great for a meal style soup. Freezing leftovers is great if you're cooking for one or if yo've made enough to last for another meal or two.

This thick soup is full of chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh rosemary and pasta. Convenient pantry items makes it the perfect solution for harried weeknights.

Pasta & Chickpea Soup (Pasta e ceci)

: January/February 1994

6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, or 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried
2 15-ounce cans reduced-sodium beef broth
2 cups water
2 19-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, divided
6 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni, or cavatappi
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large pot over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and rosemary; simmer for 5 minutes, crushing tomatoes with a fork or potato masher. Pour in broth and water; bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, mash 1 cup chickpeas in a small bowl with a fork or potato masher. Stir the mashed chickpeas, pasta and pepper into the tomato-broth mixture. Simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Stir in the remaining whole chickpeas and heat through. If using fresh rosemary, remove the sprig. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Per serving: 319 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 2 g mono ); 5 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 15 g protein; 10 g fiber; 394 mg sodium; 412 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (26% daily value), Iron (18% dv), Magnesium (20% dv), Selenium (35% dv), Zinc (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 1 lean meat

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Peanut Ginger Noodles

Here is a recipe for a tasty, Asian inspire noodle dish. There are different ways you can add protein to make this dish more than just a carb load. From Eating Well, here's a recipe for Peanut-Ginger Noodles

Peanut-Ginger Noodles

Whole-wheat pasta adds nutty flavor plus extra nutrients and fiber to our version of peanut noodles. If you like, add diced baked tofu to boost the protein and add calcium.

6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, (see Ingredient Note), or to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 12-ounce bag fresh vegetable medley, such as carrots, broccoli, snow peas (see Shopping Tip)

Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until not quite tender, about 1 minute less than specified in the package directions. Add vegetables and cook until the pasta and vegetables are just tender, 1 minute more. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse the pasta and vegetables with cool water to refresh. Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the peanut sauce; add the pasta and vegetables; toss well to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, stir in 2 tablespoons warm water per portion; serve cold or reheat in microwave.
Ingredient note: Chile-garlic sauce (or chili-garlic sauce, or paste) is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar and is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
Shopping tip: If you can't find a bagged vegetable medley for this easy noodle bowl, choose 12 ounces of cut vegetables from your market's salad bar and create your own mix.

Per serving: 280 calories; 11 g fat ( 1 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 7 g fiber; 321 mg sodium; 95 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (23% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable

Monday, August 8, 2011

Italian Egg Drop Soup

I really love soup, and I love making soup from scratch-less sodium, preservatives, and fatty broth. Here's a recipe for Italian Egg Drop Soup from Eating Well.

Italian Egg-Drop Soup

: March/April 2010

Italian egg-drop soup, Stracciatella, is traditionally a light soup made with just chicken broth, eggs and herbs. We added pasta, chickpeas and arugula to turn it into a meal. Serve with: Garlic bread and Caesar salad.

6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat medium pasta shells or other small pasta (4 ounces)
1 7-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 bunch scallions, sliced, whites and greens divided
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups chopped arugula, any tough stems removed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, water, pasta, chickpeas, scallion whites and nutmeg in a Dutch oven; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and boil for half as long as directed by the pasta package, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in arugula and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. While stirring the soup constantly, slowly add eggs; cook for 2 minutes. (The cooked egg will look like feathery strands.) Season with pepper and stir in the scallion greens and lemon juice. Ladle into 6 bowls and top with Parmesan.

Per serving: 196 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 2 g mono ); 145 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 3 g fiber; 740 mg sodium; 461 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (15% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beef and Bean Chili Verde

I have a serious love for chili and I love trying different ones. Here is a recipe from Eating Well for Beef and Bean Chili Verde

Beef & Bean Chile Verde

: January/February 2008

Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add your favorite hot sauce.

4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 16-ounce jar green salsa, green enchilada sauce or taco sauce
1/4 cup water
1 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed

Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat just before serving.

Per serving: 307 calories; 8 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 64 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 6 g fiber; 516 mg sodium; 641 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (100% daily value), Vitamin A & Zinc (40% dv), Folate (20% dv), Potassium (18% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Monday, August 1, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Chowder

Not going to lie, I was so sad when I found out that Chili's did not offer their broccoli cheese soup anymore. It was (is) one of my favorite soups, and I really wanted it that night. Thank goodness for easy and healthy recipes for a similar soup; check this one out from Eating Well.

Broccoli-Cheese Chowder

: Winter 2004, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

This satisfying remake of broccoli chowder benefits from the creamy texture of cooked potatoes and smooth, tangy reduced-fat sour cream instead of getting its richness from as much as a cup each of cream and cheese. Not only is the flavor vibrant, but a single serving gives you over half of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.

6 servings, 1 cup each

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces broccoli crowns, (see Ingredient Note), cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan.
Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Ingredient note: Most supermarkets sell broccoli crowns, which are the tops of the bunches, with the stalks cut off. Although crowns are more expensive than entire bunches, they are convenient and there is considerably less waste.

Per serving: 205 calories; 9 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 4 g fiber; 508 mg sodium; 436 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (61% daily value), Vitamin A (64% dv), Calcium (34% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat

Friday, July 29, 2011

Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Eating vegetables can get boring when you're just steaming or roasting them. To break away from the plain vegetable cycle, check out this recipe from Eating Well.

Roasting isn't usually the first cooking method you think of for cauliflower but the results are quite delicious. The florets are cut into thick slices and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. Wherever the flat surfaces come into contact with the hot roasting pan, a deep browning occurs that results in a sweet, nutty flavor.

4 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets, (about 1 large head; see Tip)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Tip: To prepare florets from a whole head of cauliflower, remove outer leaves. Slice off the thick stem. With the head upside down and holding a knife at a 45° angle, slice into the smaller stems with a circular motion—removing a “plug” from the center of the head. Break or cut florets into the desired size.

Per serving: 149 calories; 10 g fat ( 3 g sat , 6 g mono ); 7 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 364 mg sodium; 490 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (120% daily value), Folate (22% dv), Fiber (16% dv), Calcium (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

I absolutely love gnocchi, the way that it's prepared in restaurants is to die for. Check out this recipe from Eating Well for gnocchi with chard and white bean.

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

: January/February 2009

In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.

6 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi, (see Tip)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 cups chopped chard leaves, (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Tip: Look for shelf-stable gnocchi near other pasta in the Italian section of most supermarkets.

Per serving: 325 calories; 7 g fat ( 2 g sat , 3 g mono ); 8 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 6 g fiber; 616 mg sodium; 360 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (50% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv), Calcium & Iron (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hearty Pancakes

You have to love that I am sitting here, sharing heart healthy recipes while I watch Man vs. Food Nation. Anyway! Another collection of recipes from of dishes that are low in saturated fats, so try some of these and keep the bad fats away.

Hearty Pancakes

Pancakes are a morning staple, but they aren’t all that healthy if made with milk and eggs and slathered with butter and syrup.

This recipe uses applesauce to cut down on fat content and add some fiber as well. What’s more, walnuts give a slight crunch and "good" monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 pancakes and 2 teaspoons maple syrup)

Saturated fat: 1 g

Substituting applesauce for the buttermilk, shortening, or oil found in traditional pancake recipes adds fiber and cuts fat. The additional fiber, plus protein and good fats in walnuts, will help keep you full longer


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup uncooked farina (such as Cream of Wheat)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • Preparation
  • Lightly spoon the flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, farina, and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine milk, applesauce, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring until well blended. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Let batter stand 5 minutes.
  • Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto pan; sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons raisins and 2 teaspoons walnuts. Cook 1 minute or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over, and cook 1 minute or until bottoms are lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining batter, raisins, and walnuts. Serve with syrup.
Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004
Nutrition Facts:
CALORIES 347 (23% from fat)
FAT 9g (sat 1g, mono 1.3g, poly 5.1g)
FIBER 4.3g
IRON 4.8mg
SODIUM 537mg