Tag Archives: Recipe

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: Crispy Ranch Chicken

14 Feb

I love fried chicken. Seriously, one of the best foods ever. But, it’s definitely not the best thing for you and it’s a pain in the butt to make. I’ve always been skeptical of baked chicken recipes that promise fried chicken crunch. I’ve tried a few, and they always ended up mushy and definitely crunch-less.

However, I found a recipe on SparkRecipes.com yesterday that definitely has crunch! It uses Rice Krispies for the coating and you bake it on a cookie sheet. It’s an extremely simple recipe that is delicious, has a serious crunch factor and is only 245 calories a serving. I served it with a little bit of pasta and some corn for a tasty and easy dinner.

Spark Recipes: Crispy Ranch Chicken

Paula Deen’s Not So Shocking News

17 Jan

It was finally revealed yesterday by Paula Deen that she has Type II Diabetes. The Southern chef who is most known for using multiple sticks of butter in every recipe has kept quiet about the disease despite persistent rumors for years. It’s not really surprising that she does have diabetes given her extremely high fat, high calorie recipes and that she’s overweight. However, I find it irresponsible that she’s hidden for so long and continues to cook in the same manner.

According to People Magazine, Paula said she doesn’t want diabetes to stop her from enjoying the foods she loves. While I fully understand that and believe one can be healthy following the “everything in moderation” rule, I’m not so sure it applies to her situation as much. To me, it sounded more like she was in denial. Granted, towards the end of the article, she did say she was going to lighten up a few of her favorite recipes, but overall I got the feeling she doesn’t plan to change much.

If she weren’t in the public eye, I suppose that’s her decision then. She knows the risks of continuing her high fat cooking lifestyle with diabetes and it’s her choice to live that way. But, I think as a celebrity, she has a responsibility to the public. By adopting such a laissez-faire attitude, I think it shows that she doesn’t think diabetes is all that serious. In reality, it is very serious and when it’s not in control with medication and lifestyle changes, it can cause extremely serious health problems as well as early death.

Obviously she can’t give up her favorite Southern favorites for the rest of her life. I fully get that, but she should give them up the majority of the time in order to stay healthy and encourage her fans with the same health issues. Splurge on holidays with decadent macaroni and cheese, but during the rest of the year, Paula should focus on making all of her recipes healthy. If she’s as good of a chef as she is perceived, it shouldn’t be hard for her to convert her recipes to healthier options.

The obesity rate in this country is skyrocketing and so are diabetes diagnoses. As a public figure, she can do so much to educate people about the disease and help those struggling with proper diet and nutrition cook healthy, but tasty meals. Right now, I’m really disappointed with the way it is being handled. I hope to see changes from her in the future that will not only benefit her own health, but the health of the public.

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).

What’s In YOUR Cart?

15 Aug

Today, I went grocery shopping after work. It’s funny, but in the last few months I’ve begun to really look at what is inside someone’s grocery cart. I constantly hear from people that they don’t understand why they’re overweight, but it never occurs to them to change what is being purchased at the grocery store. I don’t say this to sound sanctimonious now that I’ve figured out how to eat healthy, I say it because I think the ignorance is genuine. People don’t realize what is in food both in terms of fat and calories, but also preservatives, sugar and sodium.

Many foods advertised as low fat/low cal are often compensated by being sky high in sugar and sodium. If you buy anything within the interior aisles of the supermarket, chances are your food is loaded with preservatives and other unpleasant chemicals, fillers and calories.

When you go grocery shopping, really try to stick to the perimeter of the store. This is typically where fresh produce, meats and the bakery are located. Once you start venturing down the aisles, you will encounter foods that come in a box, can or frozen section which usually means chemicals, preservatives, extra fat/calories/sodium. Go grocery shopping with a clear list and a clear head. Don’t shop while you’re on the phone or otherwise distracted. This can cause you not to read labels and buy impulsively. Take the time to read labels—look not only for nutritional information but find out if the meat or produce is organic or where it’s from.

Shopping healthy is, unfortunately, fairly expensive. My grocery bill for me this week was nearly $65. The majority of the food I bought today will only last me one week, though some of it can be frozen and saved for a later date (i.e. chicken breast strips were buy one, get one free, so one went into the freezer). That’s a lot of money for a single person. Try to watch the mail for grocery store inserts to see who is having sales on lean meats and produce. This will help in your overall bill reduction.

For example today, I didn’t have time to stop at Sunflower Market, which is where I typically buy most of my produce and all of my meat. It’s usually all organic but incredibly cheap (a 6-pack of chicken drumsticks is as low as $1.50). So I had to hit the main supermarket for everything. Their organic chicken was $8 a package, which is crazy expensive. Non-organic chicken was $4.50 for a package, but this week with my shopper’s card, I could get two packages of the organic chicken for $8 since it was BOGO. Watch for these kind of deals and stock up.

Try shopping the perimeter for one week. Make all of your meals fresh at home. If you are working or busy with a family, make large quantities and freeze it for the week so you have more time. Although I still seriously heart my ice cream, I can guarantee you will feel so much better cooking with only fresh ingredients. So put the Hamburger Helper back on the shelf and give this challenge a try.

Share your grocery cart contents!

What I Bought at the Grocery Store Today
Blueberries, Strawberries, Plums, Cherries, Watermelon, Red/Green/Orange Peppers, Corn on the Cob, Sliced roast beef from deli, 93% lean ground beef, organic chicken breast strips, whole grain white Wonder bread (I can’t get on the whole wheat band wagon, just can’t do it!!!), fettucini noodles, egg noodles, 1 healthy request cream of mushroom soup, 2 quarts of Greek yogurt, low-fat string cheese, parmesan cheese, reduced fat cream cheese (for a recipe).

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