Sunday, April 24, 2011


No posts the rest of the week.  I'll be away from computers and in the middle of the BIG APPLE.

I'll have some photos and food stories when I return! 

ENJOY LIFE.  You only get one.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Yay! Patrick came home from college tonight.  Fortunately for him he let me know he would be here for supper earlier in the week.  I decided boneless chicken breasts would be good for dinner.  I just wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Should I grill it?  How about a good stir-fry?  Fajita’s?  These just weren’t what I wanted to create.

The day was a busy on, many errands to run and items to prepare for our trip to New York City.  (We embark tomorrow! Woo hoo!!)  I still had to get my workout in, and while putting my hour in on the elliptical I had an epiphany with the chicken.  I’d STUFF them!   Hhmm…  Stuffed breasts…  Am I a cook, a plastic surgeon, or back in middle school???  

Still trying to clean out the fridge before departing, I would stuff the boneless beauties with fat-free Feta, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers.  I know what you’re thinking, “those must be some might voluptuous breasts!”.   They’re normal size, so we must accommodate with the food processor.

Once the mixture is ready, prepare the breasts by cutting them down the side with a very sharp knife.   Now, this is where the term “stuffed” breasts comes from, stuff the mixture into the breasts.  Place the stuffed breasts into a baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for  30 minutes or until cooked to the appropriate temperature.  (I always use a meat thermometer!)

I served these breasts with Jasmine rice with a cream of chicken gravy,  garden peas, and fresh sautéed zucchini.  Patrick was impressed as was my lovely bride.  It was a good meal and good to have Patrick home even if just for a short visit.  I wonder what I’ll fix for Matthew when he comes home for the summer on May 4th?  I have time to figure out a good one!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Turkey Burger with Halloumi cheese

Today was a wonderful day of relaxing, surfing the net, watching movies with Natalie, and listening to the rain.  Natalie and I ran a few errands then went to the Fitness Center for cardio and strength training – for me, not Nattie. 
On the way home we dropped by Harris Teeter to pick up some fresh ground turkey burgers for supper.  These patties are already patted out using lean ground turkey.
The bride prepared corn on the cob for our side, and I fired up the grill. 
I then sliced up the tomatoes, onions, and halloumi cheese, then went out to put the burgers and halloumi on the grill.  Of course, the thermometer was not where it was supposed to be, so I checked the gas.  You got it – empty!  Fortunately, I have a spare tank and had it hooked up and running in moments.  Then put the cheese and burgers on the grill.
Halloumi cheese is from Cypress in the Mediterranean.  It has a high melting point which allows it to be grilled.  It is very good.
The turkey burgers I buy are not very thick, therefore they cook fast – which is what was needed for tonight.  Once everything was ready, I took it all inside for the assembly!

Savannah Omelet

One long weekend many moons ago….
My bride and I ventured a few hours south for a relaxing getaway to Savannah, Georgia.  Savannah is the one of, if not the first, city to be laid out and planned with streets in a grid.  Savannah is an old, historic city with many sites for a history buff (me).  The city’s River-Walk district has boutiques and stores for a shop-a-holic (my bride).   It also has some wonderful eateries for both of our tastes!

We stayed in the historic district of downtown Savannah, and each morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  As is our custom, we asked the wait staff what was their  signature  dish.  Their unanimous response was the Savannah omelet.  This became my favorite all time omelet.
This morning, Good Friday, is the beginning of SPRING BREAK for Natalie and I.  To celebrate a Savannah omelet was to be made – for me!
These days many of my favorites have been “slimmed down” to benefit my health and this dish has been as well.  Eggs are wonderful, but they do have quite a bit of cholesterol that I don’t need.  So to cut it back, I use 1 whole egg and two egg whites.  This takes the cholesterol from 655mg’s to 213mg’s for the eggs.

Savannah Omelet
1 whole fresh egg
2 egg whites, fresh
3oz shrimp (appx 5 medium)
¼ cup red onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
½ Roma tomato, seeded and diced (topping)
1 green onion, sliced (topping) * - I didn’t have any this morning L
S & P to taste

Sautee onions and mushrooms in a small pan sprayed with non-stick spray and set to the side.
Lightly whip the egg and egg whites. ( I sometimes add a teaspoon of water, but not today)
Coat a medium frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium low heat.  When pan is hot add egg mixture.
Lift edges and turn to allow all liquid to gain contact with pan to cook. As the egg firms, add the onions, mushrooms, shrimp and cheese through the middle section of the eggs.

After a few moments, fold one side of the omelet over the shrimp and cheese.  Then flip over from the bottom of the shrimp and cheese to finish the fold.  Let sit a minute, then flip entire omelet one turn and wait a minute.

Plate omelet and top with chopped tomatoes and sliced green onion.

 This heart healthy breakfast comes in at 300 calories, 10 carbs, and 12g fat.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sausage Heroes

After feasting for the birthday bash yesterday, it was back to the lighter side tonight.  The old adage, “If it tastes good spit it out- it’s bad for you”, isn’t always true. 

Tonight’s fare consisted of great taste, lots of color, and various textures.  This is what is needed for a satisfying meal.  We had Sausage Heroes for dinner with a garden salad on the side.

Chicken sausage, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and a loaf of whole wheat French bread cut into thirds is all it takes to make this sandwich.  I topped it off with French’s Horseradish mustard.  Yum!

Buster waits for anything to come his way!

This meal comes in at 600 calories including salad and dressing.


Shrimp Wrap

Nice thing about extra shrimp are the many uses. 

For lunch I took 3oz of boiled shrimp, chopped romaine lettuce, green onions, red onions and baby carrots. 
I put these in a fat free flour tortilla with some low fat mayo and my special “hot” cocktail sauce and wrapped it up.

A great tasting lunch for just 300 calories.  Tomorrow I'll show you how to use extra shrimp for breakfast!

Boiled Shrimp for my Birthday Bash!

Sorry, no blog report last night.  I had my birthday party – I’m 21 and 324 months!  J

For my birthday dinner – and yes, of course I cooked it – I had “Man-food”. 
 You know, that simple, eat till your full and ready for a nap food.
One of my favorite Man-food's is – boiled shrimp! 

My favorite seasoning is Zatarain’s Crab Boil.  It seasons these little devils perfectly.  Add the seasoning packet to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add the shrimp and wait three minutes or so until the shrimp are pink.  Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.  (Hard huh?)

The secret is in the sauce!  Cocktail sauce alone will please the basic caveman in us, but the really primitive of us wants more!  I mix two large teaspoons of HOT horseradish into my cocktail sauce.  It will bring sweat to the forehead.  Woo hoo!!
My bride, who thinks candy Hot Tamales will incinerate the box, LOVES this concoction.  The horseradish burn is unlike a hot pepper burn.  The difference is that the horseradish heat lends to sweetness and will be gone before you can get your hand around a beverage you think you need to quench the heat.  GONE.  No more burn! Try that with a hot pepper.

So, what side dish goes with four pounds of boiled shrimp?  Well here in South Carolina it can only be stewed tomatoes and rice.  We also added a side salad for roughage.  
Stewed tomatoes are easy.  A can of diced tomatoes, a Tbsp of distilled white vinegar, a tsp of Spenda, and S & P to taste, then let simmer for 30 minutes or so while you cook the rice.

My birthday cake was Angel food cake topped with fresh picked strawberries from a local farm.  The strawberries are blended with Splenda and allowed to set for a few hours. (Overnight is best)  Then served up and topped with Light Whipped topping!

It was a happy day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Missouri Dish from Mom's kitchen

There are certain foods that when you see them, smell them, taste them, or even talk about them they will transport you through time to a special place.  Tonight’s supper was one of them.  This meal transported me back in time to my mother’s dinner table.
I can picture her in the kitchen.  There she is talking on the phone while she prepares the family meal.  You remember the kitchen phone.  It had a cord about 9 feet long and was twisted and kinked from where you always had to reach the extra 10th foot.  Yes, it was MOUNTED to the wall with a CORD attached to it, for all you young whippersnappers!!
She was always on the phone to her sisters, or her friends Mildred and Carolyn.  I can hear her now, “Mmm.  Uh huh…  Yep…. Mmm hmm…  Uh huh…”  She was as good a  listener as she was a talker!  She was a chief multi-tasker long before the phrase was coined.
This casserole was one of her favorites, therefore it was made often!  She called it “Missouri Dish”.  I’m not sure of the entire story of how she came about the recipe, but I do know it was when dad was stationed there during the early years of their many years together.
My brother and I both learned how to make Missouri Dish from our mother – in her kitchen, with her corning ware casserole dishes.  Tonight, I will use that same casserole dish to make her favorite casserole. 
The only exception to her recipe and mine tonight is that I will be using lean ground turkey.  I don’t think she’ll mind.  J

 1½ lbs of potatoes sliced
1.3 lbs 93% fat free ground turkey
2 medium onions (peeled and sliced thin)
1 egg white
2 Tbsp ketchup
½ cup of oats
1 14.5oz can of tomato sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, ketchup, egg whites, oats, pepper and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly with hands – the way mom did.
*-(veggies such as grated carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, or such could be blended here)

Coat a large corning ware dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Layer potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish.  Next add the onions in the same manner.
Cook these in microwave for about 4 minutes to soften.  (I’m sure mom would have instead of parboiling!!)

Add about 3-4 Tbsp of tomato sauce on top of onion layers.
Finally, take the turkey mixture and pat into a large patty shape to place on top of the onions.
Punch, pat, push the meat to cover the entire casserole as evenly as possible.
Cover with remaining tomato sauce.
Bake covered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover after 40 minutes and cook for 20 minutes more. (Always verify meat doneness with a meat thermometer.)

I like to cover it with a little ketchup.  It reminds me of home....
Try it and make a memory for your family.

Serving Size: Makes 5 equal servings
Nutritional Info:
Calories: 335.6, Total Fat: 8.6 g, Cholesterol: 80.0 mg, Sodium: 612.3 mg, Total Carbs: 42.9 g, Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g, Protein: 28.5 g

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken Sausage Stir-Fry

I love a good stir fry, and it all starts with the onions!!  I believe a man would chew his right arm off to get to a pot of simmering onions on the stove after a single day.

Tonight, I’m still cleaning out the fridge and pantry since we leave for NYC on Easter Sunday.  The boys will not cook, so it will go to waste if I don’t clean it out this week!

I sliced three onions and two sweet peppers (one red, one green).  I also took the four remaining Member’s Mark chicken sausages (Mozzarella & Roasted Garlic) and sliced them into rounds. 

Start by slow cooking the onions over medium heat with a little olive oil, then reduce the heat to simmer.  Stirring every 5 minutes or so until nice and caramelized.  Then, add the peppers, and sausage.  I also added about a cup of remaining snow peas, and half a cup of mushrooms. (Who knew cleaning could taste so good?)

A little more olive oil is added to keep the mix moist, but not soaked.  Salt and pepper to taste and stir every so often.

I prepared a tossed salad with romaine hearts, carrot pieces, red onions, tomato, green onion, croutons, pep porcini, and my favorite salad dressing – Kraft Light Catalina. 

All served up this meal is less than 500 calories!