Tag Archives: cooking

Cooking Corner: Easy Casserole Recipe

1 Mar

I attempted a recipe I found on food.com this week that was via Weight Watchers. I jazzed it up a bit as the recipe seemed bland at first glance. Overall it was pretty good and only 153 calories per half cup serving.

Weight Watchers Chicken Cheese Casserole
Follow recipe but add garlic, onion powder and black pepper. Also sautée mushrooms and onions to mix in. If you like spicy, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

A decent low calorie meal that makes good leftovers. It’s easy for a week night meal too when you don’t have a lot of time.

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Healthy Recipe: Cheeseburger Pie

25 Oct

I downloaded the SparkPeople app for my iPad to get some new, healthy recipe ideas this past weekend. Last night was a first attempt at their low cal cheeseburger pie. I made some modifications to it, but overall I think it was a decent dish and definitely good on the calorie count.

Spark People: Healthy Cheeseburger Pie

I used 93% lean ground beef instead of ground turkey, because I think ground turkey is gross. I also used 1% cottage cheese instead of non-fat, because again I think non-fat things are disgusting. I added garlic powder, onion powder and 2 TBS of ketchup for flavoring. I think it definitely made a difference for the better. Next time, I might even through in a tablespoon or two of mustard for more a cheeseburger feel.

Overall, it was a good and easy recipe for a quick weeknight meal. The best part is that it’s only 163 calories a serving (mine was probably closer to 200 since I used beef and 1% cottage cheese, but either way not bad).

Recipe: Low Cal Chicken Fajitas

12 Jul

A plate of 3 chicken fajitas with flour tortillas, sour cream, cheese and fried peppers at On the Border is about 930 calories. Yesterday I made a healthy version that didn’t sacrifice on flavor but saved hundreds of calories.

5 oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Strips (About 4 strips = 170 calories)
Weber Grill Kickin’ Chicken Seasoning
Garlic Powder
Season the chicken strips with the garlic powder and Weber seasoning and put on the grill for a few minutes until the juices run clear.

Use butter flavored cooking spray to sautee red, orange and green peppers in a skillet. By using the cooking spray, you don’t use any fat or calories in your cooking, but still get the same taste as if you used oil.

Serve With:
2 La Casita Flour Tortillas (90 calories each)
1 TBS Greek Yogurt (instead of sour cream, only 25 calories)
1/3 Cup of Kraft 2% Shredded Cheddar Cheese is 80 calories. I use half of the serving for a total of 40 calories

Total Calories for 2 Fajitas: 415 calories
Total Calories SAVED: 515

Great Recipe

9 Feb

I made an awesome recipe last night and wanted to share it with you. I also made it healthier and didn’t have to sacrifice taste.

Check out this Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It tastes fabulous. Instead of using heavy cream, however, I used Greek yogurt. It cut the calories and fat content dramatically, but still had a delicious flavor. Check it out!

Cream of Tomato Soup Recipe

Simple Substitutions

9 Jan

As everyone kicks off their New Years resolutions with a healthy diet and exercise plan, many fail within the first few weeks as they tend to go too extreme with their new plans.

Overnight they go from eating 3500 calories a day and no exercise to 1200 calories and 5 days a week at the gym. No one can keep up with that type of drastic change when it happens so quickly. Besides, then it turns into a diet, not a lifestyle change. A diet has a definite end point, changing your lifestyle is permanent.

Trainer Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser once said if you want to lose weight, make 5 small changes. It’s true, a big change starts with small steps. So, instead of making very drastic, overnight changes to your life, do some small, simple substitutions instead.

One thing I’ve learned very, very recently is that Greek yogurt makes a fantastic substitute for sour cream and heavy cream when used in cooking sauces. I had a recipe from Rocco Di Spirito for Penne With Vodka Cream Sauce that contained neither vodka nor cream. Instead he substituted those ingredients with Greek yogurt. It tasted fabulous—not like some of that cardboard fat free stuff out there and it was only 316 calories per serving instead of 655.

After having success with that recipe, I decided to try it on my own. The other night, I got home from work late and needed something quick and easy to make. I love hamburger stroganoff, and it’s super easy. Unfortunately it’s fairly bad for you because it takes an entire container of sour cream. So I used 93% lean ground beef (120 calories for 3 oz), 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup and 1 container of Greek yogurt instead. I seasoned with onion and garlic, and I honestly could not tell the difference from the old recipe. I saved hundreds of calories with this simple substitution, but didn’t sacrifice flavor.

Lots of baking recipes call for apple sauce instead of the same amount of butter or eggs. You can’t tell the difference, but it tastes great. Try using whole wheat bread or pasta instead of white. Saves a few calories.

Changing your life to be healthier doesn’t mean having to give up your favorite foods or eating fat free cardboard the rest of your life. Small changes and substitutions are the key.

If you have any healthy substitutions you’d like to share, please comment. I’m always interested in how to make recipes healthier, but not taste like they’re healthy. 🙂

Are you a happy eater?

29 Oct

According to SELF magazine, I am a happy eater. 🙂 I wasn’t always . It took me a long time to not feel guilty about the food I eat. Granted there are still days where I feel a little guilty or sometimes eat “bad food” because I’ve had a crappy day. But I’ve come a long way, and I can now say I have a pretty good relationship with food.

I love food. I love to cook, I love to eat out. It tastes fabulous. I’ve finally learned the whole portion control/moderation thing. And I give myself splurges where maybe my portions aren’t exactly healthy, but it’s only once a week or so.

Enjoy food and embrace it. It doesn’t matter what you do on a once a week splurge, it matters what you do everyday. So if you decide to have a slice of pizza, go for it. Just don’t eat 3 or 4 slices every day. 🙂

Here’s the article from SELF: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/2010/10/secrets-of-happy-eaters