Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Carmelized Potatoes & Onions

This went along perfectly with the hamburger macaroni although, it was even better on the second day.  This recipe isnt quick but, it was easy.  It's why I love crockpot food.

Recipe from BHG Test Kitchen
Yields 8 servings
131 calories per serving

2 lg onions, thinly sliced
1.5 lbs small potatoes, halved
2 tbsp margarine, melted
1/2 c reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a crockpot, combine potatoes & onions.

In a small bowl combine melted margarine, broth, brown sugar, salt, & pepper.
Pour mixture over onions & potatoes.

Cover & cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or on high for 3 - 3.5 hours.

Hamburger Macaroni

I made this for Sunday dinner this week & it hit the spot, especially with the arctic blast we got this week.  It's been SO cold and there's nothing like warm food to make it better.

Recipe from LaLoosh.
Yields 6 servings
269 calories per serving

1 lb lean ground beef
2 c whole wheat elbow macaroni
1.5 c beef broth
5 oz white mushrooms
2 lg tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 lg carrots, cut into chunks
1 lg onion, cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 c water
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

In a food processor, process garlic until mince, then add carrots & mushrooms and process until finely chopped.
Turn it off, add onions & tomato, & pulse until chopped.

Cook beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 3 - 5 minutes.
Stir in chopped veggies, paprika, thyme, salt, & pepper and cook, stirring often, 5 - 7 minutes.

Stir in water, 1 1/4 c  broth & noodles & bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to medium & cook, stirring until pasta is tender, 8 - 10 minutes.

Whisk in the flour with remaining 1/4 c broth into hamburger mixture.
Stir in sour cream & stir for 2 more minutes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gingerbread Sour Cream Muffins

Im a firm believer in gingerbread all year round (and pumpkin spice!).  I like to have muffins around the house be it a light snack or something quick to eat in the mornings.  My roommate loved these.  In fact, she asked me to keep this recipe readily available so that we can make them regularly.  :]

Recipe is from Midwest Living.
Yields 12 muffins
211 calories each.

2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c margarine
1/3 c skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 oz sour cream
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c mild flavor molasses

Grease bottoms of a muffin tin & set aside.
Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, & salt.
Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In another medium bowl, stir together milk, egg, sour cream, brown sugar, & molasses.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture & stir until just moistened.
(Batter should be a little lumpy)

Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each to almost full.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beef Fajitas

I dont know if you have noticed but, I love Mexican / Tex Mex food.  It's probably my favorite kind of food next to Italian.  The other awesome thing about this is that it's perfect for a fast weeknight dinner.  My roommate and I went to the gym tonight & then I came home and made dinner.  It took 30 minutes tops.

Recipe from Family Circle
Yields 8 fajitas
210 calories a fajita

1 lb flank steak
3 tsp fajita seasoning
1 tbsp canola oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded & thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded & thinly sliced
1 lg onion, thinly sliced
8 fajita - sized tortillas

Cut steak across the grain into strips & toss with seasoning.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add peppers & onions & cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add steak & cook for 5 more minutes.

Spoon into tortillas & serve.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spaghetti with Cottage Cheese Pesto

I had this for lunch today but, I think next time I make it, Ill be using fresh spinach.  The frozen spinach was too bunchy, if that even makes sense to anyone else.  Regardless, this was super tasty.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
Yields 4 servings
153 calories per serving

10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed & well-drained
1/2 c hot water
1/3 c low-fat cottage cheese
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz whole wheat spaghetti, cooked & drained

For pesto, in a food processor, combine spinach, water, cottage cheese, basil, parmesan cheese, oil, & garlic.
Cover & process until smooth.

Spoon pesto over pasta.
Toss to mix well.

Chicken with Asparagus & Pistachios

When I moved to my new place, I was excited to learn that we had a wok.  So, of course, I immediately found something that required a wok.  Not to mention, this contributes further to my current asparagus love affair.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 4 servings
208 calories per serving

1 tbsp sesame oil
1.5 lbs fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1 in pieces
1 lb chicken, cut into 1 into bite-sized pieces
4 scallions, trimmed & cut into 1 in pieces
2 tbsp ginger
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
1/4 c shelled salted pistachios

Heat oil in a wok over high heat.
Add asparagus; cook stirring for 2 minutes.
Add chicken, cook, stirring for 4 minutes.
Stir in scallions, ginger, & chile-garlic sauce; cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Stir in pistachios.

Saucy Green Beans & Potatoes

Okay, I cant lie.  The first thing that made me look at this recipe was the word 'saucy'.  It made me giggle a little bit.  I served this alongside of the peppers I made last night & it was perfectly suited.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
Yields 12 servings
95 calories per serving

2 lbs baby potatoes
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed & halved crosswise
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
3/4 c water
1/4 c dijon mustard

In a crockpot combine potatoes & green beans.
In a medium bowl stir together soup, water, & mustard.
Pour over veggies in crockpot & stir gently to combine.

Cover & cook on low heat for 6 - 8 hours or high heat for 3 - 4 hours.
Stir gently before serving.

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale & Rice

I love bell peppers & have never made stuffed peppers of any variety.  One of my roommates always raves about her own (which Ive still yet to taste -- hi Jo!) so, I figured Id put mine up against hers just for fun.  These were a pretty big hit with both of my roommates & I found them delicious and filling.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 6 servings
171 calories per serving


3 medium red bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt 
Pepper, to taste

8 oz kale
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c brown rice, cooked
1/2 c parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste


To prepare peppers:
Preheat oven to 400.
Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving them attached.
Remove the seeds & lightly brush peppers with oil.
Sprinkle the insides with salt & pepper & place (cut side down) in a 9x13 baking dish.
Bake 15 minutes, let cool slightly, & turn cut side up.

To prepare filling:
Bring 2 c salted water to a boil in a large wide pan.
Stir in kale, cover & cook for 10 - 12 minutes.
Drain, rinse under cold water, & squeeze dry.
Finely chop.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion & chopped bell pepper; cook, stirring often until onion is golden, 6 - 8 minutes.
Add garlic & cook, stirring, for 30 seconds & stir in kale.
Remove from heat & let cool slightly.
Stir in rice, parmesan, & lemon juice.
Season with salt & pepper.
Divide the filling among the pepper halves.

Add 2 tbsp of water to the baking dish.
Cover with foil & bake for 20 minutes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Double Cheese Potatoes with Ham

Anytime I can eat something healthy involving potatoes & cheese, Im sold.  This was great to make as a weeknight dinner.  It didnt take very long and it sure was tasty!

Recipe from Better Homes Test Kitchen
Yields 4 servings
219 calories per serving

4 baking potatoes
4 wedges Laughing Cow garlic & herb
1/2 c scallions, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c ham, diced
1/3 c reduced fat cheddar cheese

Poke holes in potatoes with a fork & in the microwave for 10 - 12 minutes on high.
When cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half lengthwise & scoop out the pulp into a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 450.
Place shells on a baking sheet & set aside.

Add Laughing Cow wedges, olive oil, scallions, salt, & pepper in with potato pulp.
Slowly pour in milk & mash with a potato masher.
Spoon mixture evenly among shells.
Top with ham & cheese.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spiced Asparagus

Another thing I love right now is asparagus.  It doesnt take very long to prepare & it's always delicious, any time of the year.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 4 servings
62 calories per serving

1 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1 in pieces
1 tbsp water
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add aspargus & water.
Cook, stirring often, for 4 -5 minutes.
Add paprika, garlic powder, & salt.
Cook for another minute, remove from heat, & add vinegar.
Stir to coat.

Chicken and Rice casserole

For whatever reason, I wanted tex-mex food this entire weekend.  This was perfect for my craving.  It's a little higher in calories that I normally prefer but, it was too good to pass up.  I really enjoyed this.  It was filling and so delicious.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
Yields 12 servings
294 calories per serving

1 c onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pkg chicken-flavored rice-vermicelli mix
1 c brown rice
28 oz chicken broth
2.5 c water
4 c chicken, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4 oz diced green chilies, drained
2 tsp basil
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large saucepan, cook onion in olive oil until tender.
Stir in rice-vermicelli mix (including seasoning package) and brown rice.
Cook & stir for 2 minutes.
Stir in broth & water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, & simmer for 20 minutes.

Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
Stir in chicken, tomato, chilies, basil, chili powder, cumin, & pepper.
Transfer to casserole dish & cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes.
Uncover, top with cheese, & bake for 5 more minutes.

Black Eyed Peas & Ham

I really love beans & ham this time of year because it keeps you warm.  Not to mention, it's so filling and perfect for lunch.

Recipe from Diabetic Weekly
Yields 6 servings
164 calories per serving

8 oz dried black-eyed peas
4 c water
2 c water
2 oz ham, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
14.5 oz diced tomatoes, undrained

Rinse black-eyed peas with cold water.
In a large saucepan, combine peas & 4 c of water.
Bring to a boil & reduce heat.
Simmer for 2 minutes & remove from heat.
Cover & let stand for an hour.

Drain & rinse peas; drain again.
Return peas to saucepan.
Stir in 2 c water, ham, onion, & salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer for an hour.

Stir in tomatoes.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, & simmer (uncovered) for 5 minutes.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Knife & Fork Breakfast Burrito

I intended to make this for breakfast this morning for my roommates and I but, I got distracted cleaning and organizing our kitchen.  Anyway, I ended up making this for us all for dinner tonight & it turned out great.  It seems a little complicated but, you just really have to be patient.

Recipe from Better Homes Test Kitchen
Yields 4 servings
179 calories per serving

1 c canned black beans, rinsed & drained
1/3 c bottled chunky salsa
4 eggs
2 tbsp skim milk
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
Cooking spray
1 medium tomato, sliced thin
1/2 c shredded monteray jack cheese
1/4 c sour cream
Additional salsa for a topper

In a small saucepan mash the beans slightly.
Stir in 1/3 c salsa.
Heat through over low heat.
Cover & keep warm.

In a medium bowl beat eggs with a whisk.
Whisk in milk, pepper, & salt.

Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray.
Preheat pan over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles.

For each egg tortilla, pour 1/4 of the egg mixture into the pan.
Life & tilt pan to spread egg mixture over the bottom & return to heat.
Cook for about a minute & a half until slightly browned on bottom (dont turn).
Loosen edges of egg tortilla with a spatula & carefully slide onto a serving plate, browned side down.

On one half of the tortilla, spread 1/4 of the bean mixture; top with tomato & cheese.
Fold in half & top with sour cream & salsa.
Repeat for other 3 tortillas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Once again, a recipe with creamy sauce & not many calories?  Im all about it!  I started off my New Years Day with an excellent workout.  I figured it would be best to back that up with a healthy & tasty lunch.  I had a small serving of pretzel sticks right along with this & it was the perfect combination.

Happy 2013, guys!

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
Yields 4 servings
234 calories per serving

4 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1.5 c sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
Cooking spray
3 oz low fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 c skim milk

Cook pasta according to package.
Drain & place in a bowl.

Meanwhile, coat a medium saucepan with cooking spray.
Cook the mushrooms & onion until tender.
Stir in cream cheese, salt, & pepper.
Cook over low heat until cheese is melted, stirring every so often.
Gradually stir in milk & heat through.

Pour sauce over pasta; toss to coat.