Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Steak and Egg Burrito

Wednesday nights I am usually on my own for dinner.  The ladies eat at church, and I go to the gym and then home to enjoy some quiet time and make my own meal.
Tonight as I left the gym I ran by the grocery store and picked up a top round small cut steak for $1.09.  It was less than half a pound and perfect for two great breakfast wraps- one tonight and one for breakfast in the morning!

1/3 cup of chopped sweet pepper
½ cup chopped mushrooms

½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large egg

2oz. top round steak, cut into small cubes 
¼ cup 100% egg whites

½ cup of salsa
1 serving of tortilla chips

1 light flat bread wrap
2 Tbsp. shredded cheese (reduced fat)    

1 tsp. olive oil

1 small Roma tomato, chopped and divided

What to do –
Crack egg and scramble with the egg whites.
Over medium heat, add oil to a small skillet, and add beef.

After a minute or two, add peppers, mushrooms, red pepper flakes stirring regularly.  As the veggies soften a little add the egg mixture to the skillet and allow to set for a couple of minutes.

Once the edges have set, stir the mix to blend through.  Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, put cheese on the flat bread and heat for :20 seconds in the microwave.

Add the skillet mixture to the flat bread, and add half the sliced tomato.  Put the salsa into the skillet and set on the still warm eye on the stove. 

Roll up the flat bread.  Stir salsa and pour warm salsa over the “burrito”.  Top with tomatoes and serve with tortilla chips.  Advice: A fork and knife will be necessary to consume all this goodness.

The entire meal is around 400 calories including the chips.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken (Southern Style)

This is an easy recipe for the slow cooker, but even more important than easy – it’s economical.  Leg quarters can be an inexpensive meat if you watch the sales papers.  I got five leg quarters for under four dollars, and sweet potatoes are cheap too.   Although it wasn’t a ‘gourmet’ meal, it was satisfying with good flavor.  Most importantly, it was Natalie approved as she devoured all but a sweet potato or two.  Oh and as a special bonus, when you come home from that hard day of work – the house smells WONDERFUL.

3 cups peeled and sliced sweet potatoes (about 2 medium to large sweet potatoes)
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup barbecue sauce (any)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 to 6 chicken leg quarters, skin removed

What to do-
First prepare the crock pot with a liner! These make clean-up a breeze.
In the slow cooker, combine sweet potatoes, pineapple with juice, chicken broth, chopped onion, and ground ginger; stir to blend well.
In small bowl, combine barbecue sauce, honey, and  mustard; stir to blend well. Coat chicken generously on all sides barbecue sauce mixture.
Arrange coated chicken in single layer over sweet potato and pineapple mixture, overlapping if necessary. Spoon any remaining barbecue sauce mixture over chicken.

Cover; cook on low setting for 6 to7 hours.  Serve with a green vegetable or salad.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Low-Cal Lemon Pudding Cupcakes

Sometimes you just have to satisfy that dessert craving, right?  What better way than to have a moist lemon cupcake for only 80 calories?  Yes, I said 80 calories.  This isn’t as simple as pouring a can of pineapple into a cake mix and baking.  It has a couple more ingredients, but still very kid friendly in working with them in the kitchen.


1 box sugar-free yellow cake mix
1 package Lemon Pudding mix

2 egg yolks
2 ¼ cups water, divided

½ cup Splenda
What to do-

In a large bowl add the contents of the cake mix – nothing else.

In a medium sauce pan add ¼ cup of water, egg yolks, Splenda and pudding.  Mix well over medium-high heat.  Continue adding the remaining 2 cups of water a little at a time, stirring constantly.  Once it begins to boil remove from heat.

Add the pudding mix into the bowl with the cake mix – stir to blend completely.

Prepare muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. (Makes 24) Fill each tin half full with batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-25 minutes.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Crock-pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Oh the weather outside is frightful….
Yes winter’s in South Carolina can be called many things, but harsh is never one of them.  That said, it DOES get cold round these parts in contrast to the summer months.  Many of you are used to sub-zero temperatures in the winter, but how many of you are used to 98% humidity on a day that exceeds the 95 degree mark?  So.. it is a blustery 30 degrees with slight freezing rain today.  Great day to make a pot of homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner in the crock-pot!

1 whole chicken, boiled, deboned and shredded

8 cups of chicken broth from boiled chicken
1 lb. bag of baby carrots, cut into thirds

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large sweet onion, chopped
5 stalks of celery, chopped

2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste
1 bag of whole wheat egg noodles

What to do-
Boil your chicken, debone and shred.

Sauté onions, and celery in olive oil.
Meanwhile, spray your crock pot with cooking spray or inset liner

Add chicken to the bottom, followed by baby carrots and chicken broth.
Add sautéed vegetables, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and basil.

Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Cook noodles in a separate pot using the directions on the bag/box.

When finished boiling, drain and add to the crock pot stirring in completely.

Allow to sit for a few minutes, then serve with a crusty roll or french bread.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Ever since visiting Nawlin’s, La. with my bride and son I have thoroughly enjoyed making some Cajun cooking.  The Red Beans and Rice that we were served at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary were some of the best I have ever tasted. 

This recipe doesn’t compare to being in the Big Easy woofin’ down some good Cajun grub, but it does make a great substitute.  With a few adjustments it became a much healthier rendition of the ol’ favorite as well.  The best part of this meal is that it is easily prepared and ready when you get home from work.

1 pound dried red beans
7 cups water
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans chicken broth
3 links of chicken sausage (or Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage)
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning (I use Zatarain’s)
3 green onions sliced (for topping)

What to do-
First pour your dry beans into a colander and pick out broken pieces and any stones that may get in during the packing process.

Then rinse the beans well.
Put the beans in the crock pot and cover with the seven cups of water and two cans of broth.

In a skillet, sauté the chopped vegetables, garlic and sausage for a few minutes until softened. Salt and pepper to taste (About 5 minutes over medium high heat)

Pour the skillet mixture into the crock pot; stir well, and add creole seasoning.

Set crock pot to cook on high for 7 hours.

Serve over hot cooked brown rice and top with fresh green onions.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Meatless Monday: Quinoa Fiesta!

It’s time to try and get back to my healthy habits that I have been away from.  I’d like to blame the holidays and my son’s wedding and all the stress that goes with those, but the fact of the matter is – I just didn’t take care of ME.  Time to get back to the basics: Eat right and move often.
Tonight was a mixture of veggies that were in the fridge and pantry.  The only thing I had to pick up at the store was my optional item of cilantro. 

For those that have not tried quinoa (keen-wah), well you’re missing out.  This stuff has been around awhile as the ancient Mayans (you know the guys that ran out of room on their calendar and scared half the people on this ball called earth) used it.  Their army marched for days on the stuff.  I guess it will last me until breakfast!

1 cup quinoa
1 2/3 cup of water
1 cube chicken bouillon  
1 small onion, chopped

7-10 baby carrots, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

4oz. mushrooms, sliced

2 green onions

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
What to do-
In a small pot add water and bouillon.  Heat on high and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add the quinoa, cover pot and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.

While quinoa cooks, sauté all the other ingredients EXCEPT the tomatoes and cilantro over medium low heat in a large skillet.
 When the quinoa is finished, add it to the skillet along with the diced tomatoes and cilantro.  Mix well and serve with a side vegetable.  We had roasted broccoli.


PS- I wasn’t so sure how my 8 year old Natalie would like take to this colorful meal.  My worries were not only put to rest after she ate one and a half servings, but after her shower asked if we had any more of that “stuff” left over. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Open Face BreakFAST

Breakfast is my pace car in this race called life in regards to my daily eating habits.  If I start the day with the right combination of proteins and carbs I can usually keep on the track all day.  If I start off bad… it usually ends the day in a pile up on the freeway!

The mornings in my house are usually a blur. ( I could start my own Reality TV Show with the cat fights that take place between mother and daughter in the mornings) So between playing referee, Peacemaker and getting ready for school/work I make breakfast.  (Oh and don’t forget a few minutes for Facebook in there with COFFEE too.)  Time is often wasted (especially the Facebook part, but hey…) but I can make a healthy breakfast quicker than I can get in and out of a fast food drive-thru line during the morning rush and it won’t be unhealthy! (Or make a mess in the car!)

I vary my breakfasts but usually not every day.  I may eat this for a few days, then that for a few days.

Here is what I ate this morning-

1 slice whole wheat toast    (55 calories)
1 slice FatFree Cheese        (25 calories)
½ a Roma tomato, slice       (  8 calories)
1 large egg                           (70 calories)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes        (  0 calories)

       Total -                             158 calories

Toast the bread with the cheese on top in the toaster oven.   Cook the egg in a small skillet with red pepper flakes.  Put it all together and top with sliced tomatoes.

Enjoy and have a great day!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

This wonderful tasting dish cooks while you work!  It's a simple dish that is very versatile for many different meals.  Once this is cooked there are so many variables to making different meals. 

You could add some black beans and corn with a Tbsp. of cumin to make a Southwestern stew.

You could use it as a pulled BBQ-chicken sandwich meal.  I took the last bit of chicken and mixed with some leftover wild rice to school for lunch one day - YUM! So many ways to use this meat.

Ingredients -

5-6 boneless chicken breasts

16oz. jar of your favorite salsa  (My favorite brand is CHEAP- I use Harris Teeter or Southern Home brand and always stock up when it's on sale.)

What to do-

Prepare chicken by trimming away excess fat and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  *- I use the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners, but you can spray the interior of the cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Top the chicken with the salsa.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

When the cooking is complete use two forks to 'shred' the chicken and stir the mixture.

(Editor's note- 1/16/14: Add some black beans (rinsed and drained) to the salsa.)

You can now stuff burritos, or spread over a bed of tortilla chips and top with cheese and other toppings for some serious healthy nachos.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two Ingredient Pineapple Cake

This wonderful tasting light dessert came to me from Pinterest.   I originally pinned it because it seemed an easy cake if some unexpected guests arrived, but after reviewing the calories involved it’s a very light treat as well.  When divided into 12 equal portions each piece runs about 154 calories!  Oh, and the pieces are nice size too! 


1 – 20oz. can crushed pineapple 

1 – Box of Angel Food cake

Once you get this extensive ingredient list together, this is what you need to do –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Empty the contents of the box into a large mixing bowl. 
Add the crushed pineapple.

Mix completely.  (The mixture will ‘foam up’ and rise a bit once it is combined.)

Pour mixture into a 9x13 greased baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

 ** Side note- A really good topping for this cake:
1 box of fat free-sugar free Pistachio Jello
1 container of Cool Whip light
1 sm. can pineapple tidbits (drain some of the juice but not all)

Mix all of the above together and refrigerate for an hour.