Friday, October 15, 2010

Curtis Stone 100 Calorie Cupcakes

Don't those cupcakes look yummy. Last week on the Biggest Loser Curtis Stone showed the contestants how to make 100 calories cupcakes and everyone raved about them so I decided to give them a try.

Here is the link to the recipe I used. The only thing I did different was add about 1 tablespoon of honey to the frosting. I was serving the cupcakes to kids and I was not sure how the cream cheese frosting would go over.

For something low-cal I guess they were okay but I was expecting more of a cupcake. Maybe if I had left the frosting off they would have been better. I say this because they are similar to an angle food cake. Even though I did not love them everyone else sure did and the kids devoured them.

Would I make them again - I don't think so or if I did I would do something else for the frosting.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Super Easy Homemade Applesauce

Here is a super easy homemade applesauce receipe. Perfect for fall.

1 - Peel the apples and slice them up.
2 - Place the apples in a crock pot.
3 - Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples - as much or as little as you want - or none at all.
4 - Put the lid on the crock pot and turn it on low.
5 - Let them cook for the next 6 to 8 hours. Stir them every hour or so.
6 - The apples are ready when you can mash them with a fork.

At this point I like to leave them whole but you can mash them up. My family loves to enjoy these apples warm over vanilla ice cream.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yummy Yummy Veggie and Bean Soup

Today I took a bunch of "stuff" we had in the house and made a yummy, veggie and bean soup. The best thing about the soup was that I did not buy anything for it. Here is a list of everything I put in the crockpot.

Chicken stock
white beans - already cooked and sitting in a bag in the freezer
black beans - already cooked and sitting in a bag in the freezer
sweet potatoes
brown rice
bulgar wheat

I put everything in a crock pot and covered it with water. Then I added the seasoning. Chicken bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, minced onions, thyme and rosemary. I cooked this on high for about 7 hours and here are a couple of pictures of Lily enjoying a snack before dinner. We are going to enjoy this for lunch a few days this week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Healthy Chili Recipe

Here is a super healthy chili recipe.

Celery - 2 cups chopped
One onion chopped
as much garlic as you want - chopped
1 package of extra lean ground turkey (when you are cooking the turkey you might need to add one TBS of olive oil)
saute everything together

Add 1 can of tomato sauce, 1/2 can of water and 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (I crush these by hand as I add them in) (If you want to make a bigger batch and 2 cans of the sauce, 1 can or so of water and 2 cans of the whole peeled tomatoes)
3 cans of red kidney beans - no salt added

Let all of the cook for a bit and then add the season. Start with 1 tsp of each
chili powder
cayanne pepper (1/2 tsp) - depends on how hot you want it
italian seasoning (I use this in lots of stuff)
garlic powder
onion power
salt and pepper

Mix everything up and let it sit for a bit (15 minutes or so)

Taste it because you will need to add more of the seasoning above.

Serve up when it tastes great.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Two Grain Salad with White Beans, Tomatoes and Parmesan

In my Fitness Magazine I came across a recipe called Three Grain Salad With White Beans, Tomatoes and Parmesan. Since it had lots of fiber I decided to give it a try.

I did modify the recipe because I could not find bulgur and I would prefer balsamic vinegar over red white vinegar.

Here is my version:

1/2 cup hulled barley
salt to taste
1/2 cup bulgur
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 cup white cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tomatoes
fresh basil
3 tbs olive oil
pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste (I shredded just a bit over each portion)

I served this over 1 cup of spinach.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; boil for 50 to 55 minutes, until barley is just tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, bring 6 tablespoons of water to a boil in a small saucepan; add the bulgur. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let sit for 25 minutes, until the water is absorbed.

In a large bowl, toss together the vinegar, onion, garlic and remaining salt.

Add the grains to the vinegar mixture while still warm; toss well. Remove the garlic and stir in the beans, tomatoes, basil and olive oil; season with black pepper to taste. Fold in the Parmesan and serve.

Serving size - 1.5 cups
4 servings

For my recipe here is the nutritional break down:

Total Calories - 260 calories, 12 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 7.5 grams of fiber, 7.5 protein

I was getting lazy and tired while cooking this and forget or skipped the onion and garlic and that might have made a difference because my version needed some more flavor big time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Healthy Way

My husband and I both work full times jobs. Therefore our two girls, ages 2 and 4 1/2 are both in daycare 5 days a week. I struggle to put together healthy lunches that they will both enjoy. Both girls loves peanut butter and jelly. Here is a much healthier take on this old classic.

Let's first start with the bread. A typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich is put on white bread. Let's use the nutrition info for Wonder White Bread. If you use white bread you automatically start off with 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbs, 1 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein. Also don't forget that sugar is the second or third ingredient. I would love to give you the full ingredient list of Wonder White Bread but it is not on their website.

Now let's take a look at a much healthier option. Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread.

In two slices Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread has 180 calories, 1 gram of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein. You need on average 30 grams of fiber and 30 grams of protein on a daily basis. Protein and fiber help you feel fuller longer. Also in this particular brand of brand honey is the first type of sugar and it is fourth on the list.

Now, let's talk about the peanut butter. To me peanut butter should only have peanuts in it. Let's first look at Jiff, the "brand moms love" right. Not this mom. In 1 tbs Jiff has 90 calories,
7 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. For the ingredient list first is "made from peanut butter" which is made from roasted peanuts and sugar, then comes, molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, some stuff I do not know how to say and finally more sugar. Why do you need so much sugar?

Ok, now let's look at a much healthier option. Adams Natural Peanut Butter. In 1 tbs there is 100 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 carbs, 1 gram of fiber, ZERO sugar, and 3.5 grams of protein.
1tbs. The ingredient list - peanuts. That is it folks, peanuts.

In regard to Jelly. They are all about the same, fruit and sugar.

Here is the nutritional info for a typical PB&J:
Calories: 280
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 46g
Sugar: 20g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 7g

The healthier version:
Calories: 330
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 46g
Sugar: - 17g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 13.5g

As you can see the typical PB&J has less calories, less fiber, less protein and more sugar than the healthier version. The healthier version does have more calories but this sandwich will keep you feeling full much longer than the original version.

The healthy stuff does take awhile to get use to but you will get use to it. Start by switching to wheat bread, then after a few weeks switch to the hearty kinds. My kids only get white bread on a rare occasion or at a friends house and this is also what I serve my kids friends when they are over. So far, no one has said no they won't eat it. The may not love it but they will eat in. In regards to the peanut butter, try the salted kind before you go straight to peanuts only.

To turn this peanut butter and jelly sandwich into a meal for your kids lunch, or your lunch add some yogurt, carrots and some fruit and you are all set.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roast Chicken Recipe

I love cooking a chicken. It is super easy and it tastes and if you have been working hard all day when the oven did most of the work! Another thing I love about this is the price. The chicken is only $3 to $4 then you add veggies and rice. You also get many meals out of one bird (unless you have a big family).

1 Chicken
3 big ones or a one to two handfuls of the baby carrots
1 onion (chopped into large pieces)
1 small lemon (chopped into 8 slices or so)
5 cloves of garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Rosemary and Thyme (fresh works best but you can use the stuff from the spice aisle as well.

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Wash the chicken and remove the "guts" (heart, liver, etc...). Dry the chicken off. In a large pan place the washed celery, carrots and chopped onions on the bottom of the pan.

Put a little bit of water in the bottom on the pan (about 1/2 inch deep). Place the chicken in the pre-heated oven for about 2 hours. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach around 180.

Remember to baste the chicken every 15 to 30 minutes.
When you take the chicken out make sure to remove the garlic and lemons from inside the bird.

Gravy:Strain off all of the extra veggies pieces, fat, spices, etc... Place the remanding liquid into a sauce pan and add about 1 to 2 TBS of flour. Whisk this constantly until the mixture thickens and now you have a wonderful, yummy gravy. Serve brown rice or mashed potatoes along with your favorite veggie and now you have a wonderful meal.