Friday, November 4, 2011

Annie's Chocolate Chipper Granola Bars



As a kid, my mom always had granola bars in the house. At the age of 22 I am absolutely sick and tired of granola bars. I feel like they all taste the same. Well that all changed the other day when I tried Annie's brand Chocolate Chipper granola bars. They were absolutely unlike anything I've ever tried before. A little on the pricey side, but that is to be expected with any USDA certified organic product. They're a little hard to find in some grocery stores - I was able to find this product in the grocery section of my local Target. You get what you pay for. Definitely two thumbs up!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup



It's that time of year again, the leaves are falling off the trees and it's getting cold out. On a more un-traditional note, we have already gotten about 10 inches of snow... and it's November 1st! Nonetheless, I'm not trying to rush fall along, as it is one of my favorite seasons! There's absolutely nothing better on a cold night than a warm cup of butternut squash soup... especially when its homemade AND healthy! This is my version of butternut squash soup.

Ingredients:


- 1 Macintosh apple
- 1 White onion
- 1 Butternut squash
- 1 Clove of garlic
-3 Bullion cubes (I used chicken flavor, but if you're a vegetarian, use the vegetable kind)
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
-***Optional (this is not calculated into the nutrition facts): 1/2 cup of sour cream

Directions:

Fill a large cooking pan with the 3 bullion cubes and suggested water amount. Place on high. Chop up the garlic clove into small bits and place into the pot. Take the butternut squash and peel the skin off with a potato peeler. Cut the squash in half and take the seeds out with a spoon. Chop the squash up into small cubes and place into the pot. Peel the apple and chop into small cubes and place into the pot. Chop up the onion (be sure to take off the skin) and place into the pot. Let this come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let these ingredients cook until the squash is mushy and the onions are transparent (about 15-20 minutes.) Sprinkle the top with only a teeny bit of nutmeg- too much nutmeg would taste gross! Then sprinkle on top the ground cinnamon (use your discretion with how much to add.) Let the mixture cool for about an hour. Once it is room temperature, place in a blender and puree. When it has reached your preferred consistency, it is ready to serve! If you are choosing to add the sour cream, this is when you do it. Be sure to mix it in well.

Nutrition Facts for 1 Serving (This recipe should make 6 servings at 1 cup each)

Calories - 81
Carbs - 20
Fat - 0
Protein - 1
Sodium - 387
Fiber - 3

Monday, October 24, 2011

All Natural Applesauce



So I went apple-picking this week which is a plus if you live in New England. Born and raised in the hometown of Johnny Appleseed, it's kind of a big deal around here. So I went apple picking and filled a whole peck full....


Once I got home, I thought to myself "what the heck am I going to do with 14 apples?" I've been eating 2 apples a day now and I still have a ton left over! I decided to think up a recipe for homemade apple sauce. Nothing is better than eating warm homemade apple sauce on a cold fall day! I began my recipe search online and realized that most of the recipes called for a cup or more of sugar. Not my idea of a healthy snack. So I created my own little take, using only all natural ingredients. If you live in New England, or somewhere where you can pick your own apples, I highly suggest it!

Ingredients:

- 4-5 large apples (I used fresh picked Cortland)
- 2 tablespoons of a natural sweetener (I used ideal - similar to truvia)
- Ground cinnamon -  about a tablespoon or so

Directions:

Peel all of the apples and chop them up into small cubes. Combine in a baking pot and place on medium. Add a little bit of water. Continue to stir until they are mushy (20-30 minutes). Slowly, add in the cinnamon and natural  sweetener. Continue to stir until it bubbles and looks like this...


From there, turn off the stove top. You can serve this as a side as is to any dinner (preferably a country style dinner) if you would prefer. Place the mixture into a mixing bowl. Using a hand held blender, mix together until it is to your preference of consistency. Serve warm, it tastes better that way!

Nutrition Information for 1 serving (one cup) - this recipe should make around 4 servings

Calories - 85
Carbs - 23
Fat - 0
Protein - 0
Sodium - 1
Fiber - 6

Don't forget to subscribe to my blog for more weekly healthy recipes! Up Next - Butternut Squash Soup!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mexican Meat Bake



So never in my life have I liked meatloaf. Sorry Mom and Dad but whenever I've ever had meatloaf at home it has always been so plain and dry and tasted like it sounded... meatloaf. Even the word I don't like. So i'm recalling it "meat bake." Ehh, not much better but the word bake seems to fit better. I went over a friends house last night and he made meatloaf for dinner. To be honest I was a little skeptical. To my surprise it was actually really good. It had flavor and taste. Not what I was used to. I asked what his secret was and he said Goya Adobo seasoning. He made his with carrots and peas but I mixed mine up a little bit. It is a very versatile meal since you can use ultimately any vegetable.

Ingredients:

- 1.5 pounds of ground meat (you can try this with ground trukey too)
- 10 reduced fat ritz crackers
- 2 teaspoons of goya adobo seasoning
- 1/2 green pepper chopped and par cooked
- 1/2 onion chopped and par cooked
- 2 table spoons of bbq sauce (I used sweet baby Ray's)
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop up the onion and pepper and lightly stir fry to begin the cooking process. Once they are partially cooked, combine in a bowl with the ground beef, BBQ sauce and adobo seasoning. Take the crackers and crush them up finely. Sprinkle on top of mixture. Mix well with your hands. Take your meatloaf casserole dish and spray well with PAM. Combine mixture in dish and place it in the oven. Let it cook for about an hour or until cooked through. Serve!

Nutrition for 1 serving of meat bake (this recipe should make 6 servings)

Calories - 291
Carbs - 25
Fat - 9
Protein - 24
Sodium - 833
Fiber - 1

Don't forget to subscribe to my blog for more weekly healthy recipes! Up next: Suck on what to do with all of your apples from apple picking and don't want to waste your calories? How about some all natural homemade warm apple sauce? Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hungry Girl Mexican Chicken



I made this with a friend of mine based off of a Hungry Girl recipe. It was absolutely amazing and filled my craving for cheesy mexican food. Not only was it simple, but really cheap to make and didn't take much time out of my busy night - leaving plenty of time for girls night!

Ingredients:

- 4 pieces of chicken (1 per serving, alter this based on how many servings you are making)
- 1 can of fat free re-fried beans
- 4 wedges of laughing cow cheese (I used the queso kind)
- 1/4-1/2 package of taco seasoning
- about 5 natural corn chips
- Fat free shredded cheese for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix beans and laughing cow cheese, melt if you need to. In a plastic ziplock bag, place tortilla chips and taco seasoning. Hit the bag with your hand in order to crush the chips into little pieces and mix around with the taco seasoning. Pound out the chicken breasts until they are thin. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Stuff the chicken with the rice and cheese mixture and fold in half. Spray a cookie sheet with pam and place the stuffed chicken on the sheet. Once the oven is ready, place the cookie sheet with the chicken in it. Let the chicken cook for about 15 minutes. When the chicken is almost done, sprinkle the top with the crushed chips and taco seasoning. Sprinkle the fat free cheese on top. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. I served mine with Spanish near east rice pilaf. For less sodium and calories, try steamed veggies.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 stuffed chicken)

Calories - 329
Carbs - 21
Fat - 7
Protein - 45
Sodium - 896
Fiber - 6

For more Healthy Mexican Meals , check out the Mexican link on the left hand panel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

100 Calorie Filling Vita Top Chocolate Muffins!


A little on the pricey side, but so worth it! I went grocery shopping late last night and couldn't resist grabbing a pack of Vita Tops Deep Chocolate muffins. They taste amazing, and are good for you too! They're packed with vitamins - hence the name. I don't even understand how they pack it with  fiber, only add 1.5 grams of fat, and manage to make it still taste so good! I usually eat one of these for breakfast, along with some fruit, which still leaves me under 200 calories for breakfast. Hello big dinner! They also offer tons of flavors, but I've only seen a few in stores. I'm still on the hunt to find more flavors since they all sound amazing!

Nutrition Facts for 1 Deep Chocolate Vita Top Muffin:
Calories - 100
Fat - 1.5
Sodium - 140
Carbs - 26
Fiber - 9
Protein - 4

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Archer Farms Sesame Teriyaki Lunch Bowl


So I decided to make a "suggestions" tab for foods that you don't have to make, an easy quick and go type of thing. I've been so overwhelmed with working 50 hours a week and summer classes, that's lets be honest, I don't have the time to cook as much as I did before. So I just tried this Sesame Teriyaki lunch bowl that I bought at Target (Archer Farms) and it was way better than I expected. It only has 250 calories and 2 grams of fat. Score! It only cost around $2 if I remember correctly. It was really tasty and really filling. I wouldn't recommended eating them every day since they're high in sodium (900 mg) but they're good every now and then. They had a ton of other flavors so I'm excited to try them out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Open Faced Omelet



So I'm sick of having the same boring egg white omelet every morning. Since I love cheese, I usually end up not eating the top half since the cheese melted to the bottom part. So I decided to make an open faced one so I would it it all, and to my surprise I did! 

Ingredients:

-1/4 of liquid egg whites (I used egg scramblers)
- 1 slice of deli cheese (I used land o lakes white american)
- Mushrooms and onions

Directions:

Chop up the mushrooms and onions. In a small sized frying pan, begin to stir fry the vegetables. Once the vegetables are done cooking, set them aside and spray the pan with PAM. Pour in 1/4 cup of the eggs. Let it cook until the top has only a little liquid on it. Flip it like a pancake. Place the cheese on the egg, followed by the vegetables. I served mine with ketchup yummm!

Nutrition Facts for 1 Open Faced Omelet
Calories - 160
Carbs - 17
Fat - 7
Protein - 9
Sodium - 365
Fiber - 1

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie



Here comes another dessert! Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie...yum! I found this recipe on the calorie logging website I belong to (myfitnesspal) from the user polar5554. The picture is what sold it for me. Feel free to mix up the ingredients to create new flavors!

Ingredients:

- 2 tbsp of light butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
- Dry envelope of Jell-o Chocolate pudding mix
- 2 cups of fat free cool whip
- 7 tbsp of natural reduced fat peanut butter (I used smuckers)
- 7 reduced fat graham crackers
- 1 cup of skim or fat free milk (I used silk soy low fat vanilla milk)
- 12 cupcake liners

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Crush up the graham crackers. Melt the butter. Mix the butter and graham crackers. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners. Fill the bottoms of the cupcake liners with the filling. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and milk. Beat on low for about a minute. Once it has a smooth consistency, add the pudding mix. Beat on low again for another minute. Fold in the fat free cool whip. Spoon in the mixture to the cupcake liners.
Once all of the cupcake liners are filled with the mixture, place in the freezer for about 3 hours and serve! Be sure to top with fat free cool whip as an icing.

Nutrition facts for one pie:

Calories - 152
Carbs - 22
Fat - 5
Protein - 3
Sodium - 212
Fiber - 1

Monday, May 16, 2011

240 Calorie Veggie Lasagna



So who doesn't love Italian food? I absolutely love it! The only issue yet again is the high fat and calories! Olive Garden's lasagna has 850 calories and 47 grams of fat. Shame on you Olive Garden! By taking out the hamburg and replacing it with filling vegetables, switching out white noodles for whole wheat, and using a lower fat cheese, I was able to get the nutrition facts for my veggie lasagna down to 243 calories and 4 grams of fat for one huge serving. I made this lasagna 1/2 with hamburg and real cheese for my parents and the other half for me with low fat cheese and no hamburg which is why the pictures may look  half and half.

Ingredients:

- 1 jar of marinara sauce (I used Bertolli Olive Oil and Garlic)
- 1 Zuchinni sliced thin
- 1 large white onion diced
- 1 cup of mushrooms diced
- 1 medium sized egg
- 1/2 cup of fat free shredded mozzarella cheese (I used kraft)
- 2 cups of fat free cottage cheese
- 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning
- 4 oz of whole wheat lasagna noodles. (You will need 6 for this recipe, I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Wheat Lasagna Noodles)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice up the onion and mushrooms and cook in a frying pan. Slice the zuchinni with a potato peeler lengthwise like this...


In a mixing bowl, combine the sauce, cottage cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning. Mix well. In a casserole dish, spray it with PAM. Lay down around a cup of the mixture, top it off with the onion and mushroom mixture, and lay the zuchinni slices on top. Lay 3 lasagna noodles on top and repeat for one more layer.

 Once you finish the second layer, top it off with the remaining sauce mixture and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Place in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked. Allow it to cool and settle  for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts for 1 slice of Veggie Lasagna (This recipe makes 6 slices)

Calories - 240
Carbs - 37
Fat - 4
Protein - 18
Sodium - 873
Fiber - 6

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cheesy Sweet Potato Pancake Crisps



I found a recipe similar to this one online and i had to modify it (to be healthy of course) This recipe works great as an appetizer, breakfast, side, or snack - it's that great!

Ingredients:

- 1 sweet potato
- 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites
- 1/2 cup of shredded romano cheese
- pinch of salt and pepper
- pinch of garlic salt
- a few shakes of mccormick perfect pinch parmesan herb seasoning (you don't have to use this but it tastes so good!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take a sweet potato and peel it. Begin to grate the sweet potato using a cheese grater. Once it is all grated (it may take a while since the potato will be hard), mix it with all of the ingredients and mix. It should look something like....


Take a table spoon and shape the mixture into little balls and flatten them out (roll it like you would with cookie dough.) Take a paper towel and squeeze some of the juices out. Place on a PAM sprayed cookie sheet, and repeat for the rest of the mixture. It should make about 12 per batch. It should look like this...


Spray the tops of the pancakes with PAM. Bake for around 20 minutes, being sure to flip them to evenly brown. They're done when they're crispy. I served mine with fat free ranch... yum!  Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts for 1 pancake (this recipe should make 12 servings)

Calories - 28
Carbs - 2
Fat - 1
Protein - 2
Sodium - 88
Fiber - 0

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Southwestern Salsa



I think it's time for some salsa to go with that under 100 calorie margarita! This is a really easy recipe since all you need to do is chop and mix.

Ingredients:

- 1 onion
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup of canned corn (Rinsed)
- 1/2 cup of black beans (Rinsed)
- 1 lime
- Splash of vinegar

Directions:

Chop up the onion, pepper, garlic, and tomatoes to your desired size (if you want chunky salsa, cut them  large) Combine the onion, pepper, garlic, and tomatoes with the rinsed corn and beans. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juices into the mixture. Splash the mixture with vinegar. Take a potato masher and lightly press down on the mixture causing some of the juices to come out. How easy was that?!

Nutrition Facts for 1/4 cup - this recipe should make around 8 servings.

Calories - 23
Carbs - 4
Fat - 0
Protein - 1
Sodium - 42
Fiber - 1

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Under 100 Calorie Margarita!



Inspired by the holiday, I thought it would be nice to put up a recipe for some low calorie goodness! What better than to celebrate with a margarita? Not only does this taste delicious, but it's also full of vitamins (25% of your daily needed vitamin c) and it's made with real fruit! What's the secret you ask? Edy's no sugar added fruit bars. The  best part is each box comes with 3 flavors - lime, strawberry, and wildberry. 3 perfect flavors for margaritas!


Ingredients:

- 1-2 Edy's no sugar added fruit bars (I used wild berry - use 2 if you want a lot of flavor. Nutrition is for margarita with 1 bar.)
- 1 oz of your desired tequila
- 6 ice cubes
- lime wedge for garnish
- salt or sweetener for the rim

Directions:

In a blender, combine the fruit bar(s), tequila, and ice cubes. Blend until it is to your desired consistency. I added a few drops of water to help it blend easier. Take your margarita glass and wet the rim. On a plate lay out either salt or sweetener (I used truvia.) Roll the rim around the sweetener so that it sticks to the edges. Pour the margarita into the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Enjoy the holiday!

Nutrition facts for 1 margarita

Calories - 94
Carbs - 6
Fat  - 0
Protein - 0
Sodium - 0
Fiber - 1

Another good substitute for a margarita is the Skinny Girl brand margarita. They sell it at most liquor stores and at some restaurants. It's a good substitute if you're going out and don't want to waste your calories on liquor. They come pre-made so it's a good drink for those of you that don't have the time. At 130 calories per glass, not bad!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

160 calorie BLT!

My BLT - 160 Calories & 5 grams of fat
 Sonic's BLT - 500 calories and 29 grams of fat

I just love BLT's! The thing I hate about them is that they're usually high in fat because of the bacon and mayonnaise. Sonic's BLT has 500 calories and 29 grams of fat! To be honest, BLT's aren't even that filling, I sometimes even have them as a snack, so there's no reason why they should be so high in calories and fat! This sandwich is one of my favorite modifications because it tastes so much like the real thing!

Ingredients:

- 2 slices of Pepperidge Farm Light Oatmeal bread
- 1/2 tomato sliced
- Enough lettuce for one sandwich
- 2 slices of turkey bacon (I use butterball turkey bacon because it's the lowest in fat and calories)
- 1/2 tbsp of light mayonnaise (I used Cain's brand for this)

Directions:

Cook the turkey bacon as instructed on the package (it only took mine about 1 minute.) Toast the bread. Once the bread is toasted, apply the mayonnaise evenly. Add the bacon, lettuce and tomato. Easy and delicious!

Nutrition for 1 sandwich:

Calories - 160
Carbs - 23
Fat - 5
Protein - 8
Sodium - 417
Fiber - 3

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken



This is a great recipe for a Mexican night in. When you eat it, you might wish you’re on a beach with an ice cold beer, and ya know what? Go ahead and drink the beer, because this dish is super filling but also low calorie, so you can splurge a little after a long day with an ice cold beer!

Ingredients:

-  1 lb of chicken breasts
- 1 cup of salsa
- ½ package of reduced sodium taco seasoning
- 1 can of reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup fat free sour cream
-1 cup of black beans rinsed
- 1 cup of canned of corn rinsed
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ green pepper chopped

Directions:

Add the raw chicken to the slow cooker and place it on low. Sprinkle the chicken with the taco seasoning. Pour in salsa, soup, sour cream, onions, peppers, and rinsed beans and corn. Mix all of the ingredients together and cover. Cook in the crockpot on low for about 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked. You can serve this over Spanish rice or eat it as a burrito in a whole wheat wrap topped with low fat cheese. I just eat it plain, since it’s so darn good!

Nutrition facts for 1 serving (1 cup) - This recipe makes around 5-6 cups

Calories - 210
Carbs - 30
Fat - 4
Protein - 22
Sodium - 976
Fiber - 4

Add one ice cold Bud Select 55 Beer to top it off with – only 55 calories and 2 carbs! That’s only 265 calories total for the beer and 1 serving! Heck, throw in a second beer for a total of 320 calories!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Honey BBQ Chicken, Coleslaw, and Sweet Potato Fries.



It is a beautiful day today! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the grass is green. Hello Spring! I was thinking, what better way to rush along the season than to fire up the grill! Normally, right now I would be craving Applebee's honey barbecue boneless wings, french fries, and a side of coleslaw. I did my homework and this meal has 1813 calories and 90 grams of fat! (And you wonder why they make this meal half off after 9 PM!) This doesn't even include the blue cheese dressing that I use to dunk my chicken in. Since this meal isn't even an option for me, I decided to make it healthy with substitutions. I usually prep everything before dinner, so that when it comes time to cook it, it will only take around 20 minutes.

Coleslaw

Ingredients:

- 1 bag of coleslaw mix (located next to the bagged lettuce in your grocery store)
- 1 tbsp of real mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp of light mayonnaise
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tbsp of sweetener (I used truvia)

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. That's it! I usually let this sit in the refrigerator for around 2 hours to let the flavors blend.

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving (1/2 cup) - This will make around 8 servings
Calories- 31
Carbs- 0
Fat - 2
Protein - 0
Sodium - 25
Fiber - 0
Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients: 

- (2) 3-4 inch sweet potatoes
-EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- garlic powder
-Pam

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Slice the potatoes to be in the shape of french fries. Be sure to evenly cut them in width. Once they are all sliced, place them in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with EVOO (very little because the more you put, the more fat you add) , salt and pepper, and garlic powder. I usually use a lot of garlic powder to give it loads of flavor. Mix well. (This is the step that I usually stop at for prepping) From here, take 2 cookie sheets and spray them with PAM. Evenly lay out the potatoes, being sure that they do not overlap. Spray the tops with PAM. Place them in the oven for around 20 minutes. Be sure to flip them to evenly brown each side. Sometimes I place the oven on the broiler option for the last two minutes to make them extra crispy. Serve! (I like to dip them in ketchup like real french fries!)

Nutrition Facts For about 1/3  of a batch
Calories - 103
Carbs - 24
Fat- 2
Protein - 2
Sodium -  280
Fiber - 4



Honey BBQ Chicken


Ingredients: 

- 1 lb of chicken breasts
- 1 container of Sweet Baby Ray's honey BBQ sauce

Directions:

Throughly rinse the chicken. Place in a bowl. Pour the Honey BBQ sauce over the chicken and mix. Let the chicken marinade for at least 3 hours. (I let mine sit for about 24 hours, because the longer you let it marinade, the better it tastes!) Place the grill on high and let it warm up for about 5 minutes. Lower the grill to medium heat and place the chicken on the grill. Cook each side for about 3 minutes, or until there is no more pink in the middle.

Nutrition Facts for 4 oz chicken with marinade
Calories- 170
Carbs- 17
Fat - 1
Protein - 22
Sodium - 410
Fiber - 0

Total Nutrition for 1 meal (1/2 cup coleslaw, 1/3 batch of Sweet Potato Fries, and 4 oz of chicken)
Calories - 304
Carbs -  41
Fat - 5
Protein - 24
Sodium 715
Fiber - 4

And that's how you save 1509 calories and 87 grams of fat :0) Feel free to have seconds!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers



I’m in the mood for a meat free dish tonight, so what’s better than stuffed peppers? They’re full of fiber and protein which will make you fuller longer, and this recipe has no fat! I wouldn’t exactly call this a recipe, since I just threw together things that I like, so you can modify it with virtually anything.

Ingredients:

- 5 large green peppers
- 1 package of Zataran’s Black Beans and Rice
- 1 cup of broccoli
- I onion
- 1 cup of mushrooms
-3/4 cup fat free shredded cheese (I used kraft fat free cheddar)
-Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 cup of fat free refried beans

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the black beans and rice as instructed on the package and set aside. Dice up the broccoli, onion, and mushrooms and stir fry them until the onions are transparent. Mix the black beans and rice, cooked vegetables, cheese, and refried beans in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Take the peppers and cut off the tops and take out all of the seeds. Fill a large pot with water and place on high, adding the peppers to it. Boil the peppers for about 5 minutes to soften them. Take the boiled peppers and place them on a pam sprayed cookie sheet. Fill them with the filling. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, and serve!

Nutrition  facts for 1 stuffed pepper (This recipe makes 5 peppers total.)

Calories – 238
Carbs – 46
Fat – 0
Protein – 15
Sodium – 1165
Fiber - 9


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Turkey Sausage and Veggie Quiche To Go!



This is a great quick recipe if you never have enough time in the morning. The best part about it is that you can make a big batch and have them for the whole week. You can also be creative and add different vegetables/meat/cheese. There are endless possibilities! Oh and did I mention, perfect for a grab and go breakfast! I just had this for dinner, and I can't get over how filling they were! I only had 2 and was stuffed!

Ingredients:

- 3 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 3 links of Jimmy Dean turkey sausage
- Desired veggies –( I am using onions, mushrooms, and broccoli)
-1/4 cup of skim milk
-1/2 cup of fat free shredded cheese (I use kraft fat free cheddar)
- 7 cupcake liners

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop up and stir fry desired veggies until cooked well. Wisk egg whites and egg together with milk. Once the eggs are wisked, add the vegetables. Chop up the turkey sausage in small pieces and combine to the egg mixture, along with 1/2 of the cheese (1/4 cup) and mix.  Pour the mixture into the cupcake liners and place in a cupcake tray and place in the oven. About 25 minutes in, sprinkle the mini quiches with the remaining fat free cheese and place back in the oven to allow the cheese to melt. Once the cheese is melted, they are done!

Nutrition Facts for 1 Quiche (This recipe should make 7 quiches)

Calories-  61
Carbs- 6
Fat- 2
Protien-26
Sodium-347
Fiber- 0

Getting ready for summer barbeque's! Fruit Presentation


So I woke up this morning and realized I had 2 perfectly ripe pineapples, and began to think of summer, pina colada's and family barbeque's. Since I am going for the healthy approach, I decided not to make a pina colada (they're very high in fat because of the coconut, and I have class in 2 hours, so going drunk would not be a good idea) so I instead decided to simply just cut up the pineapple and place it back in the pineapple remains. I figured this way, instead of just plain fruit in a tupperware container, it would look more appetizing. I would also love to add more fruit to it, but I'm working with what I have. I know it's not a recipe, but I thought it looked cute and wanted to share!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poppy Seed Chicken Bake



This recipe i have from my grandmother who passed 2 years ago. I miss her more and more as time goes on. I especially wish she was still here to teach me how to cook, since she was the queen of comfort food. I haven't had this meal in about 2 years, and I came across it and had to make it as my next meal. I was able to modify all of the ingredients to fit my low cal / low fat diet. Feel free to add brown rice and veggies to it to add some fiber.

Ingredients:
- 1 lb of chicken breast
- 1 can of low fat cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup of fat free / low fat sour cream
- 15 reduced fat ritz crackers
- 1 tbsp of poppy seeds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the chicken as desired (I cooked the chicken in the George Foreman grill.) Once it is cooked, lay flat so it will cool down. Take the 15 ritz crackers and place them in a mini ziplock bag. Pound them with something heavy to crush them up into little bits. Place the ritz bits in a large mixing bowl and add the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and poppy seeds and mix well. Take the chicken and cut it up into cubes and put them into the large mixing bowl and continue to mix. Take a baking casserole dish (I used a 13x9 dish) and spray it with pam. Fill the casserole dish with the mixture and make sure it is evenly distributed. Place in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes, or until it is bubbly.

Nutrition information for 1/5 of the meal. (It makes around 5 servings)

Calories- 274
Carbs - 16
Fat - 36
Protein - 36
Sodium- 966
Fiber - 0

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes



I found a similar recipe to this one on a website called spark recipes and was curious and had to try it. The best part about it is that there are endless combinations, and to be honest, I want to try all of them! I was originally going to make Strawberry Banana Cupcakes with a slice of banana and strawberry on top, but since I live in a household with chocolate lovers, the Chocolate Covered Strawberry ones won. One thing that I did read is if you are going to use a darker cake mix such as chocolate, to use diet cola instead of the diet sierra mist. Since we are using a cool whip mixture for the frosting, you need to keep the cupcakes in the refrigerator at all times, unless you will be icing the cupcakes as you eat them. In that case, just keep the frosting in the refrigerator. These things are so darn cute, that I had to put up 2 pictures! Stay tuned, tomorrow I will be posting a poppyseed chicken casserole family recipe!



Ingredients:

- 1 box of Pilsbury Moist Supreme cake mix (as I said, you can use any flavor topped with any flavor icing.)
- 1 12oz can of diet sierra mist soda
- 1 8 oz tub of fat free cool whip
- 1 box of Jell-o fat free/sugar free pudding mix powder (I used the chocolate kind.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the diet soda and cake mix. Mix for about 2 minutes, or until it is smooth. This will be your cupcake mix. Once it is well blended, spoon the mix into cupcake liners and only fill about 2/3. Place in the oven for about 18-22 minutes. It only took 18 minutes in my oven, since my oven heats quickly. For the icing, take the tub of cool whip and place into a mixing bowl. Add the powdered Jello-o mix into the cool whip. Mix for about 3 minutes until the frosting is smooth (make sure that it is not clumpy). Place the frosting in the refrigerator for about an hour. Once the cupcakes are done, let them cool for about an hour. Like I said before, since we are using a cool whip mixture for the frosting, you need to keep the cupcakes in the refrigerator at all times, unless you will be icing the cupcakes as you eat them. In that case, just keep the frosting in the refrigerator. I topped mine with halved strawberries. I also suggest that if you are going to top with any sort of fruit, to wait until the last possible minute to put the fruit on, since the enzymes in the fruit may break down the frosting. Enjoy, and be creative!

Nutrition Facts for 1 cupcake (The recipe makes about 24 cupcakes, so be sure to share!)

Calories- 138
Carbs- 21
Fat- 2
Protein- 1
Sodium- 165
Fiber - 1

Frozen Peanut Butter Cups



Are you getting sick off all of these meals with no dessert to top them off with? Well I've got one that's around 100 calories and tastes delicious! The best part is that depending on how long you freeze them for, depends on which kind of dessert you are in the mood for. If you put them in the freezer for an hour and a half, it comes out as a peanut butter mousse that you can eat with a spoon. If you freeze it for 3 hours, it comes out as a frozen peanut butter cup ice cream. Either way, it will be sure to please your sweet tooth! The best part is that it only takes about 1 minute to make!

Ingredients:

- 1 8oz tub of fat free cool whip
- 2-3 table spoons of reduced fat natural peanut butter
- Light chocolate syrup
- 6 cupcake foil wrappers

Directions:

- Spoon in 2-3 tbsp of peanut butter into the tub of cool whip. Microwave the whole thing for about 30 seconds. Stir well until it is all the same consistency. Once it is consistent, spoon into the 6 cupcake foils until they all have the same amount. Top them off with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. You can cover the whole thing if you want.  If you put them in the freezer for an hour and a half, it comes out as a peanut butter mousse that you can eat with a spoon. If you freeze it for 3 hours, it comes out as a frozen peanut butter cup ice cream. Easy huh?

Nutrition Fact for 1 Frozen PB cup:

Calories- 114
Carbs- 18
Fat-3
Protein- 2
Sodium-44
Fiber - 1

Chinese Style Pot Stickers and Vegetable Lo Mein



Whenever I go out to eat at a chain restaurant, I always look at the nutrition facts before I go. They usually scare me away because of the high calories or high fat. T.G.I. Friday's is a somewhat new chain restaurant in my hometown, and I somehow always end up there. The only thing I get there is the Asian Zen pot stickers at 500 calories and 10 grams of fat per order, which isn't too bad seeing as I make it my meal. The only issue I have is that at around $10 with tip every time I go there is a little steep for an appetizer, I mean come on, I'm a broke college student! Top the night off with a few coors lights and we're already at around $20. So I began researching how to make lower calorie pot stickers that were affordable. I was able to put T.G.I Fridays to shame by cutting their calories and fat in half, along with making 5 batches for the same price as one order there. Another great thing about this recipe is that it actually calls for you to freeze them before eating, so it's a quick meal from the freezer to boiling water. Dinner in about 5 minutes, once you've done all of the prep work. The main recipe I'm focusing on here is the Pot stickers, since the Lo Mein is so easy - Whole wheat pasta, sliced scallions, cooked diced carrots and onions, throw it all together with some sesame seeds, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce and there ya go!

Ingredients:

- 1 pack of wonton wrappers (I buy the nasoya brand which is located in the tofu section of the grocery store.)
- 8 oz of ground turkey
- 1 cup of small diced carrots
- 1 cup of small diced onion
- 1 cup of small diced celery
- 1 tbsp of light sodium reduced soy sauce for recipe and additional if you want to use it as a dipping sauce.

Directions: 

For filling- heat up the ground turkey in one frying pan and cook until there is no pink left. Add the tbsp of soy sauce and set aside. In another frying pan, heat up the diced carrots, onion, and celery until the onions are transparent looking, or until the veggies are fully cooked. Once those are done, combine it with the ground turkey mixture. Mix all of the ingredients well, and you have your filling! Now to make the pot stickers. Take one wonton wrapper and lay on a flat surface. Spoon in about 1/2 tbsp of the mixture into the center of the wonton. Wet the edges of the wonton wrapper with water by using your finger tip. Seal the edges together in an accordion fashion for design. If this part is too tricky, just crease them in half. They'll taste the same, just won't have the design look to them. Repeat for all 40 wontons. Once you are done, place them on a cookie sheet with wax paper sprayed lightly with pam. Place entire cookie sheet in the freezer. Wait about an hour or until they are completely frozen. Take out only what you want to eat since the rest need to stay in the freezer until boiled. Take a large cooking pot and put a steamer inside (like you're boiling broccoli.) Fill up with water just under the edge of the steamer. Make sure to spray the metal part of the steamer with pam. Place on high and wait until the water is boiling. Once the water is boiling, place your desired amount of pot stickers in the steamer and cover with a lid. It only takes around 3 minutes or so for them to fully cook. You will know when they are done when the wontons look clear and the centers are mushy. Thats all! I usually also use soy sauce as a dipping sauce for them.

Nutrition facts for 4 pot stickers (This recipe should make around 40)

Calories- 132
Carbs- 18
Fat - 2
Protein- 9
Sodium-  335 (without dipping soy sauce)
Fiber- 2

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken and "No-Crab - Rangoons"


Looks good right??? It tastes even better!
When people think of a traditional Chinese food meal, the first thing that may come to mind is high fat, MSG, tons of calories, deep fried goodness, etc. Chinese food is by far my favorite type of junk food, the only problem is that when ever I eat it, I somehow wake up the next morning 3 pounds heaver. In my case, I want to lose weight, but there's no way that I am willing to give up my favorite food. So I moved to the next possibility :  making Chinese food healthy. A traditional meal of sweet and sour chicken paired with crab rangoons is well over 1,000 calories and 40 grams of fat. I don't know about you, but if I ate that, I wouldn't have enough calories to eat for the rest of my day! I'm going to break down the two recipes in-case you want to make them separately. In this picture, I heated up some brown  rice to pair it with, I hope I don't need to give you instructions for the 90 second uncle ben's brown rice!


Sweet and Sour Chicken


Ingredients:

- 1 lb of raw chicken cut up to desired size
- 12 oz sweet and sour sauce
- 14 oz of fat free chicken broth
- 1 onion diced up
- 1 yellow pepper diced up
- 1/2 cup of shelled frozen edamane (soy beans)
- 2 table spoons on brown sugar
- 8 oz can of pineapple chunks

Directions:

Combine everything in the crockpot and place on high for about 2-3 hours, or until the chicken and vegetables look cooked through. That's it!


Nutrition Information for 1 serving (1 cup) - This recipe should make 8 servings


Calories- 164 
Carbs- 24 
Fat- 1
Protein - 14
Sodium - 532
Fiber - 2


No-Crab Rangoons - (I got this recipe from hungry girl except I took out the crab because imitation crab just creeps me out for some reason... but feel free to use it if you're daring enough!)

Ingredients:


- 1/4 cup of fat free cream cheese
- 2 wedges of laughing cow cheese (I used the French Onion kind)
- 1 garlic clove diced small
- Pinch of garlic powder and onion powder
- Scallions sliced
- 1 tsp of low sodium soy sauce 
- 16 nasoya wonton wrappers per batch (you can find them in the tofu section of the grocery store)


 Directions:


Combine all of the ingredients except the wontons in a bowl and let it sit out until soft (about an hour). Mix well. Preheat oven to 375. Lay out a wonton wrapper and fill it with 1/2 tbsp of the mix. Wet the edges and seal them together to make a triangle. Continue for the rest of the wrappers. Spray a cookie sheet with pam and lay down the wontons. Spray the tops with pam so they can get crispy. Place in the oven for about 12 minutes or until crispy. Be sure to flip them 1/2 way through so they can evenly get crispy. Enjoy


Nutrition facts for 4 Rangoons:
Calories- 152
Carbs-20
Fat-1
Protein- 11
Sodium - 659
Fiber - 1



Southwestern Crockpot Chili



Do you love Chili, but think it takes to long to make? Well I have a great fast recipe that will save you time and money, all while pleasing your appetite.

Ingredients:
- 1 onion diced
- 1 lb of ground hamburg or ground turkey
- 1 can of white kidney beans
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of whole corn
- 4 cups of crushed tomatoes
-1/2 of a packet of chili seasoning

Directions:

Stir fry the ground beef and chopped onions in a frying pan on medium. While that is cooking, turn the crockpot on high and place in 4 cups of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 of a packet of chili seasoning, both cans of beans and the can of  corn(be sure to rinse them first.) Once the ground beef and onion mixture is cooked through, combine to the crockpot. Cook on high for about 2-3 hours (if your crockpot cooks quickly, place it on low. If it is bubbling, it is on too high.) That's it!

Nutrition Information for 1 cup. (There should be around 8 servings per batch.)

Calories - 269
Carbs - 33
Fat - 5
Protein - 19
Sodium - 679
Fiber - 10

Tortellini and Turkey Sausage Soup



Is it just me or could you too eat a whole container of Tortellini in one sitting? Tortellini is one of my favorite types of pasta, probably because it's filled with cheese. I was able to create a soup that would help cut my intake of pasta while adding spinach, onions, and turkey sausage to make it a more filling meal. From experience, I would say this meal is best if you eat it right away. It is still good if you have it as a left over, but it begins to lose it's flavors as the days go on.

Ingredients:

-Fresh Spinach (1/2 of package, but you can add more if you like a lot of spinach)
-4 cups of crushed tomatoes (I use tuttorosso crushed tomatoes with basil.)
-4 cups of light and fat free chicken broth
-9 Jimmy dean turkey sausage links sliced
-1 onion diced
-2.5 cups of whole wheat tortellini
-1/2 cup of reduced fat Parmesan cheese
-A pinch of salt and pepper
- A sprinkle of Italian seasoning

Directions:

In a large saucepan, combine crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper and place it on medium, being sure to stir often. In a frying pan, fry up the onions. Once the onions are done cooking and are transparent, add in the sliced sausage for less than a minute (just enough time for it to brown.) Combine the sausage and onions into the large pot with crushed tomatoes, etc. Take two medium sized pots. In one, fill half way with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the tortellini and cook until they are puffy and float to the top. Strain and combine in large pot with crushed tomatoes, etc. In the other pot, place a boiling strainer in and fill with water just below the strainer. Fill with spinach and place on high. Once the spinach is cooked, strain and place in the large pot. Let all of the flavors blend in the large pot for about 20 minutes, then serve!

Nutrition facts per 1 cup serving size. (This recipe should make about 10 servings.)

Calories - 156
Carbs - 21
Fat - 4
Protein - 8
Sodium - 621
Fiber - 4

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Asparagus (All under 315 calories!)



Are you sick of eating the same plain stuff for dinner? Plain chicken, a vegetable, and a starch? Well, I decided to put a little twist on the every day balanced meal. Chicken Cordon Bleu, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Asparagus... how yummy does that sound? I'm going to break it down by item, incase you want to make them at different times.

Chicken Cordon Bleu


Ingredients:

-4 pieces of 4 oz. chicken breasts pounded out (about 1/4 inch in thickness)
- 4 wedges of the laughing cow cheese (you can use any flavor you want to, I used the garlic and herb one for this)
-8 slices of low sodium ham deli meat
- low fat or fat free cream of mushroom soup (If desired)
(This recipe makes enough for a family of 4. If you are cooking for 2 people, divide the recipe in two.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay out the pounded chicken on a flat surface and spread 1 wedge of laughing cow cheese evenly over it. Then take 2 slices of deli ham and lay on top of the laughing cow cheese. Begin to roll the chicken breast tightly. If the chicken does not stay, place toothpicks in it to keep it up. Repeat these steps for the rest of the 3 pieces of chicken. Top the chicken with a spoonful of the cream of mushroom soup. Place the chicken on a baking tray sprayed with pam. Place in oven for roughly 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Stuffed Mushrooms


Ingredients:

- 1 3oz container of full mushrooms not sliced
- 1/2 of an onion diced
- 1 garlic clove diced small
- 2 tbsp of light butter (I use smart balance light)
- 1/4 cup of original bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup of fat free mozzarella cheese (I used the Kraft fat free cheese)
- A small drop of EVOO to stir fry onion and garlic
-Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small frying pan, combine the onion, garlic, and olive oil. Fry until the onions are transparent and place in a mixing bowl. Take the butter and melt in the microwave. Pour the melted butter into the mixing bowl with onions and garlic. Also add the bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well. Take the mushrooms and pull out the stems. Spoon mixture into the mushrooms (enough so that it sits about 1/4 inch above the base of the mushroom.) Place the filled mushrooms on a sprayed baking sheet and place in the oven for roughly 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms look crispy.

Asparagus


Ingredients:

-1 Stalk of asparagus
- A few drops of EVOO


Directions:

Cut asparagus about 1/2 way to cut off the stems. Place the asparagus and the EVOO in a frying pan and place on medium-high. Cook until the asparagus is crispy on the edges.

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving (1 piece of chicken, 3 stuffed mushrooms, and 12 spears of asparagus)

Calories - 315
Carbs- 15
Fat - 10
Protein - 40
Sodium - 600
Fiber - 6

Baked Potato and Chicken Soup for a rainy cold day!



On this cold rainy night, I've been craving a nice big bowl of some creamy soup, but there's a catch : I'm on a diet. Or shall we say a "lifestyle change?" To be quite honest, I was craving a bowl of Panera Breads baked potato soup, but at 350 calories and 21 grams of fat for just one bowl (not including the bread), I would have to be crazy! Not to mention, it's not even that filling, which means I would end up splurging for a big brownie or baked good of some sort. So I decided to be good and headed to the grocery store to buy low calorie ingredients (we're not going to mention that I'm a 22 year old single female and spent my Saturday night cooking and watching lifetime movie network.) Now you might be thinking "How can you make a soup creamy and still taste good?" Just take my word for it and you will not be disappointed. Did I also mention that this recipe is a crockpot recipe which means practically no work? So here goes...

Ingredients:


- 8-16 oz of chicken uncooked and diced (you can use either chicken breast meat or thigh. Thigh will give it more flavor)
-4 Potatoes (I used Idaho)
-1 medium sized onion diced
- 2-3 carrots sliced thin
- 2 stalks of celery diced small
- 3 chicken bullion cubes
- 1 can of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
- 4 cups of water
- 1 8oz block of fat free cream cheese
- 1/4 cup of low fat or fat free sour cream
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of salt
-1/2 tsp of pepper
- A sprinkle of fat free shredded cheese if desired for topping (I used Kraft fat free cheddar)
Directions: 


Take all of the ingredients and place them in the crockpot and put it on high for about 5 hours, stirring in-between. Once you portion out, you can top with fat free shredded cheese. That's about it! Easy right? This recipe makes about 10 servings per batch at 1 cup per serving.

Nutrition Facts: (Per 1 serving or 1 cup)

Calories - 139
Carbs - 17
Fat - 5
Protein - 7
Sodium - 600
Fiber - 1