Turkey Crack Slaw, Weight Watcher Friendly

I recently went to my Weight Watcher meeting, and everyone was talking Crack Slaw. Yes! CRACK as in, I  CAN”T STOP EATING I!  And its delicious. The varieties made with ground turkey,  ground turkey breast, ground chicken or ground chicken breast are the lowest in calories. 4 servings per recipe.

Image result for turkey crack slaw

There is also no wrong way to make it, 1 lb of ground meat, Turkey, Beef, Chicken, Pork , Lamb, even Buffalo(Bison). 1 lb. of angel hair slaw or any other slaw including broccoli slaw. Spices, Ginger,  Vinegar, onion and Garlic. Cook in a Wok, a  saute pan or a crock pot. Also, the crack slaw once prepared can be used to make Asian egg rolls, use the Pad Thai Crack Slaw recipe listed second.

Basic low Calorie Turkey Crack Slaw

  • 1 lb of ground turkey breast
  • one medium onion diced fine
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bag of fine Angel hair coleslaw, standard coleslaw is acceptable
  • 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth or water as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • optional spices are hot pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder
  • Cooking spray, or 2 tsps of your favorite healthy oil

Pre-spray your wok or saute pan or heat oil of your choice. Use a medium heat setting as you saute,  not burn your next ingredients the diced onion and garlic, cook until softened, and ginger, saute about 1 minute

Add Ground turkey, brown and chop fine as sauteing. Once browned,  add the bag of slaw, spices and vinegar. Stir meat and coleslaw until the slaw is well wilted. You may add broth a small amount at a time to keep the contents of the pan not to burn.  If you add too much broth it will cook off. Serve while hot

***** sub any ground meat

Pad Thai Taste Crack Slaw extra low calorie

  • 1 lb of ground Chicken Breast
  • one large onion diced fine
  • 2 scallions, shopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2  bags of fine Angel hair coleslaw, standard coleslaw is acceptable
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots optional
  • 1 Tbs of grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp of Asian 5 spice powder
  • 2 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy or teriyaki sauce, **Gluten free are availble
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • optional spices are hot pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder or Sirracha,
  • Chopped cilantro as a garnish optional
  • Cooking spray, or 2 tsps of your favorite healthy oil

Pre-spray your wok or saute pan or heat oil of your choice. Use a medium heat setting as you saute,  not burn your next ingredients the diced onion and garlic, cook until softened, and ginger, saute about 1 minute

Add Ground turkey, brown and chop fine as sauteing. Once browned,  add the bag of slaw, 5 Asian five spice powder and vinegar. Stir meat and coleslaw until the slaw is well wilted. You may add broth a small amount at a time to keep the contents of the pan not to burn.  If you add too much broth it will cook off. Finish by stirring in soy or Teriyaki and serve.

****For not so low call make with ground pork.

Either dish may be cooked in a crock pot, Saute meat, add to crock pot, add all ingredients  plus 1 cup of additional broth. Cook on low. 3 hours

 

 

 

Quickest Best Antipasto EVER! and Easy

Antipasto, Antipasti (plural), translated as “before the meal”.  In Italian cooking it means an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, sliced sausage, peppers, artichoke hearts and various meats.  Many Americans also believed it was the course served before pasta.The most hearty and daring of guests may enjoy Peprocini, anchovies and roasted garlic cloves in their antipasto. For Allergies or dietary preference*****omit meats for vegetarian. *****check all ingredients for wheat/gluten free. A low calorie option, omit meats and add ingredients that are oil free, and fat free. Most items can be purchased water packed.antipasto2

Holidays tend to be complex.  Delicious Appetizers are a treat to give and to serve. Quick appetizers that relieve the load might even taste better. I have received more compliments on this easy recipe than any other.

Quick, Easy, One dish Antipasto, Great for traveling, 5-10 minutes prep time.

Ingredients to mix together in nonmetallic dish. You can assemble in minutes for a quick pull together take along or marinate a day ahead for melding of all the flavors. Preserve cheese if making ahead do not add until just before serving.

  • 1 large jar, 28 ounces of roasted peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 can or container of olives; Black, Kalamata, green or mixed, pitted  may be prefered
  • 1 Jar marinated mushrooms
  • 1 can of Artichoke hearts cut to bite-size or two jars of marinated
  • Have the supermarket deli cut  a half pound each of provolone and Genoa salami,  into 1/2 inch slices , cube at home into 1/2″
  • 1 dozen cherry tomatoes halved, or 6 shredded and minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano or basil, or both.
  • dress with premium olive oil. Omit to cut calories

There is no wrong ingredient, add these optional favorites to your audience’s taste, or serve as sides.

  • pepperocini
  • pepperoni
  • mortadella cubes
  • Italian Capicola, shredded or cubed.Various cheeses, Blue, Feta, shredded or flaked Parmesan
  • 1 Cup of your favorite pasta cooked and chilled before adding, penne, rottini, farfalle bows or Orecchietti, **** gluten free options are available
  • anchovies
  • red raw onion
  • roasted garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • shredded prosciutto di parma, sliced and shredded thin
  • hot pepper flakes
  • roasted Asparagus, Zucchini or Eggplant
  • Capers for a salty bite

Serve with Crusty breads, or varried  lettuces to make quick salads

  • a crusty loaf of bread

 

 

Grilled Balsamic Sundried Tomato Pesto Chicken

This entire dish is less than 350 calories. Waist line friendly, taste bud joy!

Flecks of basil and sundried tomato cling to the chicken after grilling. The Balsamic vinegar sweetens as it grills. We served it with 3/4-1 cup of Steamfresh Brown & Wild Rice. Undressed heirloom tomatoes on the side, balanced out the meal.

Ingredients for dinner for Four

  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast, Purdue breast slices are best
  • Prepared pesto or  make fresh pesto
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, preferably not packed in oil which increase calories
  • 4 tablespoons sundried tomato

To prepare chicken other than thin slices, butterfly open to flatten, or pound to 1/8 thickness between 2 pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. The back of a large metal spoon works great. If you substitute other bone in chicken, take into account the longer cooking time.Remember chicken should never be served until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees as recommended by the USDA.

The day before or at least one hour before grilling, use one tablespoon of pesto per breast. Due to salmonella concerns do not handle raw chicken unless you wash your hands prior to handling other ingredients. I use a rubber spatula to spread pesto on both sides.If using prepared pesto, mince sundried tomatoes fine, add to pesto and mix. Sundried preserved in oil adds 100s of calories to your dish. Dry-packed sundried tomatoes are  generally stocked in the produce department. Cover and chill one hour or overnight.

While grill is heating, drizzle 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar per breast. All balsamics are not  equal, an aged Balsamic has a sweeter taste. Investing in a good premium bottle is well worth it. You may find a premium balsamic can replace dressings on salads.

Grill and serve. Grilling times vary per BBQs.

The leftover chicken is great served in sandwiches and salads.

 

Grilled Watermelon with Feta & Balsamic Drizzle

This seems like it would be unappetizing, But it is incredible delicious and light. For lower calories, skip the olive oil and go for fat free feta.

Watermelon  cut 1″ thick

  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil or Pam spray
  • A pinch of Salt optional
  •  fresh  greens
  • Feta or goat cheese crumbled,Fatfree Feta for low calorie option
  • Pepper to taste

Pam Spray or lightly oil watermelon before Grilling. Grill on hot grill pan or BBQ for 1-2 minutes until grill marks appear. Place on bed of greens, sprinkle with  cheese, and drizzle your favorite aged balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.

 

Glitter’s Miracle Rice with Brussels Sprouts, Brown Rice and other Goodies

From my friend Anna O’Brien the super weight-loss blogger http://www.glitterandlazers.com


Via Glitterandlazers.com

Glitter’s Miracle Rice

  • 1 C Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • 1 C Lima Beans
  • 1.5 C Chopped Mushroom
  • One Half of a Large Spanish Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Brummel and Brown
  • .5 Tsp Cumin
  • A Pinch of Garlic Powder
  • One Cube Chicken Stock
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts

Chop mushroom and onion into medium size pieces (there is likely a fancy cooking term for this. Sadly,  I am unbearably unfancy)

Cook whole Grain according to the directions on the package With Broth, substitute chicken Bouillon for Veggie for a Vegetarian option. Add Lima beans, mushroom, onion, Brummel & Brown and seasonings into the rice once it reaches it’s initial simmer.

Halve Brussels sprouts and then cut them into thick slivers. Using a hot skillet and the wonders of Pam, saute the sprouts until they are light brown, set aside.

When the rice mixture is completed cooking, fold in the Brussels sprouts. The resulting yield is 4 servings at 297 calories a pop. Put on your crown and enjoy this rice like the Carb Queen you are.

Summer Harvest Time For Winter Squash

It’s that time of year again, Winter squashes are making their way to Farmer’s Markets, Farm Stands and supermarkets. Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, and Delicata. Great baked, boiled or Microwaved. When the weather gets chilly theirs nothing like a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Summer Harvest Time For Winter Squash

Farmers Market Cornucopia

  • Best way to peel a smooth winter Squash.  prick with a fork on all sides, microwave for 2-3 minutes, remove, easier to peel easier to cut. From here you can
  • cut in half diagonally, and roast whole for 45-50 minutes @350 degrees , skin side down, or up, make sure you  use non stick spray either way
  • cube and roast @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes,  serve mashed or as savory soup see recipe
  • cut in large chunks, boil for 25 minutes, or until fork tender, drain, and mash, use your favorite herbs, and a hint of brown sugar optional if low calorie is not mandatory

Ribbed Small squashes like acorn and delicata, pierce  with fork,  microwave 2 minutes, cut in half and seed

  • microwave 12 minutes on high for 2 halves, face down, remove from microwave, serve 1/2 per person,  for  a  nice presentation,  fork fluff, add a topper of caramelized onions and apples, a  center filled with rice,  the  ideas are endless
  • Roast in oven the same way as above for 45 minutes at 375 to prepare for whole, cut off the stem and 1″ of squash to use as a lid, scoop out seeds. If you are baking a small whole squash per person, cut a little flat spot on the bottom, Serve as a whole baked,  maybe with a surprise under the top, such as rice,  cooked apples, caramelized onions
  • cut in 1″ wedges and oven roast like oven fries. Use cooking spray on top and bottom to brown to save calories or drizzle olive oil  to crisp, 25  minutes at 375.

Large Squashes, like pumpkin and spaghetti

  • A jumbo winter, like Hubbard or pumpkin,  prepare as other squashes above, roasting whole will be an hour or more, due to size. Cutting in half and seeding speeds cooking time. Squash is done when fork is able to penetrate easily
  • Spaghetti squash is an adventure, to microwave whole, pierce deeply all over microwave on high for 20 minutes, steam should be apparent, pierce  to see if tender,  cook another 4 minutes if necessary, let sit  for 10 minutes before cutting. Cut in half, remove seeds,  pull strands into a serving bowl, for a low cal pasta meal, serve  as a pasta replacement or a 50/50 swap. 1/2 seeded squash can be treated the same way,  for oven roasting cook 1 hour at 350. To with Parmesan for a quick side dish

pleas submit your favorite recipe, for Steffie to add!

Spaghetti Squash Guilt Free Pasta Alternative

I just heard a big thunk, I guess I didn’t poke a big enough knife holes in the Spaghetti squash. The microwave will need another cleaning tonight. Puncture a spaghetti squash deeply with a fork or knife. Microwave a very large squash for 20 minutes. Steam should be coming out of the holes at the end of this time. If not, microwave for another 4 to 5 minutes. Let squash sit in the microwave for 10 minutes after cooking. I did an extra small for 8 minutes. Pull threads into a bowl, and dispose of seeds, toss with your favorite sauce or butter 42 calories per cup. You can purchase at farmer’s markets for a pretty low price. Yummy Yummy. For  more quick ideas follow us on facebook!

Mcdonald’s Under 400 Calorie Menu

This is the new menu that will appear at Drive ups and Counters at McDonald’s

restaurants. The long and the short, they say that 80% of their selections are UNDER 400.

I know its hard to believe! The one thing missing is the FAT,  If something is 200 calories and mostly from fat,  that will not impact your body the same way as 200 fatfree calories will. Many thanks to Hungry Girl for posting on her website.

Buyer beware. For more Cook Me This, Follow us on facebook.

 

Fresh Corn on the Cob vs Canned-The Cost Myth

Decobbing and freezing is the way to go.  Buy the Fresh Corn on sale throughout the summer. 2012 is the year of the cornfield drought in the Midwest. Currently  the media is saying it will drive up prices on not only corn but other products derived from corn.

All summer long through October’s final harvest, corn on the cob ranges in price as low as 10 cents an ear to $5.99 for a dozen for Farmer’s Market native. Corn is made into Ethanol for fuel, Corn Syrup, Corn Meal, Popcorn, you get the idea.

Will the price of frozen and canned corn go UP?  Definitely! Even if we had a bumper crop, the production costs to harvest, frozen and canned most likely will never drop. Decobbing is the Frugal, healthy way to go.  Buy the Corn on sale throughout the summer. Here’s the reason why? A can of Niblets, drained says it has 3.5 servings, 1/2 cup each or One & 3/4 cups total.  A bag of Steamable vegetables says it contains four  servings of 2/3 cup. The math is hard but its Two and 2/3 cup.
Four medium ears of fresh corn yields just about 2 1/2 cups when taken off the cob.
When corn is  $6 a dozen or below it’s the ultimate bargain. Cheapskate mathematics; 12 ears=7.5 cups or the equivalent to 4 1/4 cans or 2.8 bags of Steamable frozen.  The corn on the cob is the Better choice, its fresher, tastier and Cheaper than prepackaged supermarket items.. It wasn’t so long ago frozen corn was 99 cents and cans were 3/$1.  Last I checked it was $2.19 for frozen bags and up to $1.59 for a can of Delmonte. If you don’t catch it on a weekly sales ad in can really be expensive. Frozen veggies still pop-up on sale from 99 cents and cans often are 2/$1 for store brand. When the pricing is low DO stock-up. .

BUT! Kids love to peel corn!!! Its portable food. Why not have summertime all year round at the table? The USDA  says the average ear of corn is 80 calories 17 carbs 1 gram of fat and 3 grams of protein.

You can freeze ears whole, cob chunks, or de-cob and bag the kernels.  To strip corn off the cob, first peel and rub off the corn silk, use a sharp knife or decobbing tool. Hold the cob upright with the tip in the air, and slice downward. Prepare a large pot of boiling water for blanching and a bowl of ice water for chilling after blanch. It’s suggested that sweet corn should not be salted while preparing. To blanch, plunge the corn in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, remove corn and immediately place in an ice water bath. Blanch and chill times should be equal. Drain and seal in Ziploc type or a vacuum bag. Portion by your family meal size. Eliminate as much air out of the bags as possible for freezing. To reheat, boil or steam for 5 minutes, or microwave for 4 minutes. The blanching process has already partially precooked your corn. You won’t be just saving money; you will be enjoying the freshest taste and nutrition. If you’re lazy like me, toss peeled corn or kernels in bags without blanching and freeze, it’s still going to taste better than canned.

If you cannot take advantage of freezing from fresh, take advantage of sales on frozen and canned, stock up then. It applies to all veggies not just corn. Also be generous, don’t forget to donate to the local food bank, when the prices are low.

The choice is clear, when the seasonal veggies are abundant, buy fresh and freeze, when the stock-up sales at the grocers pop-up, take advantage.

 

What to do with Squash Blossoms?

All those huge beautiful male squash blossoms go to waste on the plant. Only the female blossoms that already have a squash started on the base will develop into a squash.  Summer or Winter,  both are tasty treats if you think outside of the box.

Pick them either at night before they open or first thing in the morning. Picking them at night prevents  surprise guests from your snack, like bees, spiders and other crawlies.

You can store unopened blossoms for several days if stored gently,  I wrap in paper towel in a sandwich bag or plastic container.

My favorite recipes includes

  • Goat cheese, sundried tomatoes & basil
  • Feta, mint & pine nuts or olives
  • Low fat spreadable herb cheese
  • Ricotta, Parmesan, basil and sundried tomato

Pre-mix the cheese with minced additives

Closed Squash blossoms can be gently blown open to fill, check for critters, some prefer to snip the stamen before filling

Fill each blossom with a tablespoon of cheese, and close by running fingers up from the base of flower. you may fix ahead and cook  later in the day

Preheat oven to 325, make a wash of egg or egg substitute , gently coat with  your favorite breadcrumbs, we use gluten free. Spray a baking dish with Pam, bake 15-20 minutes.

Serve on a bed of field greens as an appetizer, or  as the main ingredient of a salad

You can pan fry or deep fry. When calorie counting baking is best.

 

 

 

Tabouli Style Quinoa Cold Salad

Love love love. Quinoa replaces couscous from the traditional recipe. Wheat allergies  can restrict  many from enjoying this delicious cold salad which is usually  made with wheat berries and/or couscous. Those requiring  a Gluten-free lifestyle can enjoy and be satisfied. Quinoa is easy to cook and versatile, it adapts to flavors readily. Quinoa  is great served hot or cold and packs a protein punch. Quinoa is an ancient grain, that is being rediscovered by chefs and home-cooks looking for healthier options.

Like any good salad there is no wrong way to make this dish, its all about your favorite flavors. Experimentation is allowed in cooking. Steffie makes it a little different every time. We often add  tuna to leftover quinoa salad, for a quick heartier lunch.

What you need

  • 1 Cup of uncooked Quinoa, available with rice, ethnic food sections, and specialty food aisles
  • 1 Cup of your favorite stock or bullion cube, chicken or vegetable work best
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or Real lemon concentrate
  • 1/4 cup of minced mint
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, use enough to desired consistency
  • 1 cup of peeled, seeded, 1/4″ diced cucumber
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional add ins: Olives, capers, minced sun-dried tomatoes, Feta cheese, shallots,  or garlic.
  • Substitutions  or additional herbs to add to the mint are parsley for a milder flavor, or oregano for a Mediterranean flair. Basil in combo with sun-dried tomatoes and grated parm can make it Italian!

Prepare Quinoa as directed on package with broth, lemon and water

Fluff with fork when done, thoroughly chill.

Add remaining ingredients to chilled quinoa. Using olive oil serves two purposes, it dresses the salad in combo with the acid of the lemon, and also keeps the salad from caking.

Salt to taste, occasionally sun-dried tomatoes may be salty when not packed in oil. Capers and Kalamata olives also are naturally salty. If sun-dried tomatoes are oil packed, reduce the amount of olive oil

Chill and enjoy, the taste improves daily. Makes 4 or more servings

Nutrition Data, 1 cup cooked quinoa: 155 cal, 30g carb, 3g fat, 5.5g protein, 3g fiber, estimated glycemic load 18

 

 

Chicken Piccata Meatballs-Gluten Free

I love Chicken Piccata,  Lemony, Salty with Capers, Yummy. With a side of pasta even better. This recipe is Wheat Free, served with my favorite Orecchiette gluten free pasta.

Packed with a double hit of Protein packed Quinoa. You don’t need to be Gluten free to  enjoy this. Quinoa is the binder instead of Breadcrumbs. You can sub breadcrumbs, gluten free or not. You favorite pasta will do too. Serves 4-8 depending upon portion control. Meatballs can be served as an appetizer.

  • 1 lb of ground Chicken, Turkey or Ground Turkey Breast can be substituted
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked with lemon and  broth
  • 4 Bullion cubes made with 4 cup water or 4 cups broth divided for Quinoa prep and sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, or Real lemon
  • 1/2 cup capers or chopped salty olives(kalamata type), divided
  • 1 shallot ir 2 cloves garlic
  • 1  fresh green or colored pepper, diced fine
  • 1 tsp Oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg well beaten optional, or 1/4 Eggbeaters
  • 2 tablespoons Corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil optional
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta prepared at serving time
  • Favorite grated cheese

Spray non-stick pan. Saute shallot, peppers with 1/4 cup of broth until tender. Set aside and cool. Remove veggies which will be mixed into the meat, retain liquid in the saute pan for the sauce.

Prepare 1 Cup quinoa, with 1 3/4 cup Broth, and 1/4 cup lemon, allow to cool. It can be used as you would couscous.  Makes 3 cups.  You can serve it with the meatballs, or save the other 2 cups at another time.

In mixing bowl,  break apart Chicken, add half the capers, cooled veggies and ONE cup of cooled quinoa. Add optional well beaten egg or 1/4 cup eggbeaters. Get down and dirty, mix thoroughly with your hands. Preheat oven to 350 degees. Spray a cookie sheet with gluten free spray. Form walnut sized  meatballs, and place on cookie sheet without touching.

Bake for 25 minutes, 1/2 way thru carefully turn with tongs.

While the meatballs are baking,  add 2 tablespoons of broth or butter into the saute pan on low that the peppers and shallot were cooked in. Sift the cornstarch in slowly while whisking on low heat. As mixture thickens, continually add broth to the desired consistency.

Finally add meatballs and remaining capers and simmer for an additional 20 minutes (very low). Some prefer this sauce to be a thinner broth for a more rustic style. Steffie prefers a clingy thicker sauce, that sticks to your pasta.

Prepare pasta, and serve, sprinkle with your favorite cheese.

Meatballs can be served as an appetizer,  put into soups, or even a meatball grinder.

Weight Watcher and Gluten-free friendly

 

 

Low Calorie-Meat Chili -Super Bowl Perfect

This is made for my gluten free, nitrate free, nearly vegetarian  best guy!!! It’s on the stove right now. Ground Turkey, Chicken or Buffalo can be used to maintain the lo-cal theme.

Ingredients for six servings

  • 1lb ground meat
  • 1 large pepper or 3/4 cup mixed peppers including hot pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1 clove  garlic or more to preferred taste, finely minced
  • 1 carrot chopped fine
  • 1 can  favorite beans, black, pinto, red kidney, you get the idea
  • 1 small can or 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock. 2 cubes bouillon and 2 cups water as a substitute
  • 1 cup kitchen ready crushed tomatoes or 1 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes
  • Chili, taco or fajita spice (watch for wheat ingredients if  need is glutenfree, or homemade spice mix
  • salt, pepper to taste

Saute in a non stick pan, onions, carrots and pepper until onions start to caramelize,   add ground meat. Chop into small bits as you saute,  thoroughly cook and brown, add clove garlic finely chopped, add a few tablespoons at a time of broth if mixture is too dry. Add spice mixture to taste.

Remove from heat.Allow to cool, enough to add to a food processor. I use my Magic Bullet Grinder for processing and do in small batches, add tomatoes and blend, to a rough smoothness. My last batch I did extra smooth.

Place mixture in a crockpot or  2 qt sauce pan, add your favorite beans. Add broth to desired thickness, simmer on low for 1 hour, or crockpot on low for two hours or more. Add more broth if  mixture becomes to thick. the broth will cook off and also be absorbed while cooking.

Serve as entree with rice, as tacos or in rolls. Gluten free eating?  Try Udi’s new line of hotdog and hamburger rolls, they are  the best find! How about Gluten-free Corn bread.

Weight Watcher points is 5 for Ground Chicken. 6 for Buffalo, the lowest is Ground 99% Turkey Breast a 4 points. Regular Ground Turkey  93% is 5 points.  If you are a beef lover and can’t go without it ranges from 4-8 depending on leanness of the meat. Weight Watcher recipe is 8 points posted on twitter  1/29

 

Shepards Pie

When I was a kid, Shepard’s pie was a basic, burger and mash concoction with a can of corn. I loved it, comfort food. Gram or mom would mash the potatoes, add them to the top of the cooked  crumbled burger, smooth out the potatoes and score lines on the top, sprinkle with paprika and bake.  Plain simple and Homey.

Basic Shepard’s pie. , I bake in a  Shallow baking dish, or pie plate

  • 1lb  ground meat
  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • 1 lb of cooked vegetables, corn, peas, mixed etc
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 2lbs potatoes, cut into cubes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 cup milk, preferably low fat or skim
  • 2 tablespoons butter for mashed, optional

Initial cooking and assembly should take less than a half hour, Baking will be another 25 minutes

  • Brown meat  and diced onion in nonstick pan, crumble fine, Meat should brown without becoming crisp and over cooked. Remove extra fat before moving to baking dish
  • Cube, boil to fork tender and mash potatoes, for a rustic look leave skins on, add salt, pepper, milk and optional butter while mashing
  • vegetables should be precooked if frozen or fresh, canned can be used as is
  • preheat oven to 325 degrees, layer vegetables first, well drained,  ground meat, and then mashed, The potatoes are your crust. Spread potatoes smoothly until they cover meat uniformly. With tines of fork, run lines across the top to decorate. You can make a smiley face for the kids. If  using butter in the mash the top lines will brown on their own,  you can add a spray of cooking spray on top for the same effect, to cut calories and omit butter.
  • bake for 25 minutes, a few extra for a browner top
  • Serve with a side salad for a balanced meal, serves 6-8

Tips to cut the calories & make gourmet

  • Use Ground Turkey Breast, Turkey, Chicken or Buffalo
  • To add Flavor, Saute ground meat with savory herbs, Sage, Tarragon, Rosemary or Oregano
  • Add garlic, Mushrooms,  pearl onions, Spinach or other vegetables to meat during the browning
  • Top with any combination of Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash or mashed Cauliflower in substitution of potatoes.
  • This is a Gluten free recipe, Made with Ground Turkey Breast, Mashed potatoes with skim milk and mixed vegetables is is Weight Watcher Friendly at 4.5 points for 8 servings, 6.1 points for 6 servings, If you’re real hungry  9 points for 4 servings. No guilt.
  • Recipe made with Beef, Butter, Whole milk, would be 8-15 points depending on serving size.

 

Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets-adapted-lower calories

Betty Crocker has started developing a line of Gluten Free products,  The GF Chocolate chip cookies are one of the best.  but it’s still second best to my Steffie’s Version of  Bob’s Redmill Recipe made with their pancake mix, delicious, closest thing to Entenman’s.

This is a terrific recipe made with Corn Chex.Their recipe says 25 servings , they mean 25 nuggets@ 25 calories each. This is also great for a salad meal topper! This recipe should serve 4 or more. Rule of thumb 3-4 ounces of raw chicken is an adult serving. This recipe omits 300 calories of butter and 120 calories  from 1 cup of Chex® cereal . The addition of the yogurt is under 70 calories, but they are nonfat dairy,  protein loaded calories. Any WeightWatcher would love!

Steffie has adapted to reduce the calories and spice it up!

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, breasts or tenders, cut into 1×1-inch chunks
  • 2 Cups of Rice or Chex Corn Cereal® cereal
  • 1/2 single size container of Chobani Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese, optional,
  • 2 tsp of chili, cumin or paprika powders and other savory/spicy herbs of preference divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder optional
  • pinch of salt and pepper each

In a nonmetallic bowl combine Chobani or other plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon of spice, salt and pepper.  Add cubes of chicken to marinate, coat well. Refrigerate at least one hour. You may marinate up to 24 hours, to enhance flavor and tenderize.  The active ingredients in the yogurt will tenderize the chicken.

Pulse or crush  the Chex® cereal, add grated cheese (optional) and the other teaspoon of spice or herbs. Mix well, store until Chicken has finished marinating.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pre-spray a shallow baking pan or cooking sheet with Nonstick Gluten free spray.

Place Chex® cereal crumb mixture on a plate, Dredge each marinated chunk in mixture, place on cooking tray.

Bake for approx  25 minutes, turn half way thru cooking time. I felt the 400 degree temp  for 17 minutes was a little too high & short in the Betty Crocker Recipe. Chicken should not be pink when cut. Ovens vary in correct readings, I would test at least one for doneness.

If you don’t like yogurt, you can sub two well fork beaten eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute and go right to the cooking process. Chicken Breasts  halves or thighs can be done the same way for a heartier meal, increase the time to 35 minutes. The herb combinations are endless, add oregano for Italian, mint for Mediterranean, Rosemary for savory……

You can also create a dipping/ranch like sauce from another Chobani, with the same herbs and add dehydrated onion or vegetable flakes combined the day before. Even the  Hungry Girl‘ would approve!

Gluten Free book Giveaway

Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Contest for her VIP GiveAway, this article is pasted from Cheap.com

Facebook entry for getting a chance for her VIP Giveaway
If you don’t win it you can buy it, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. The Cheap household is nearly 100% gluten free, this will be a great addition to avoid the Monotony of  limited commercial options. Free recipes with Gluten free options are available @ Cookmethis.com

This is the last week to enter to win an autographed copy of Elisabeth’s new gluten-free cookbook “Deliciously G-Free”. Visit the “Deliciously G-Free Giveaway” tab on our Facebook page to enter . Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook and be entered to win a free box of NoGii No Gluten High Protein Bars!

Free is cheap!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad has endless possibilities

Serve on a Salad or Greens. How about a Sandwich of  Flat Bread,  Flour Tortilla or a Roll. As an appetizer on a cracker.

The Basic mix

  • 2 cups Boneless Chicken, simmered and chilled, or leftovers from a store bought Roasted Chicken, White or dark meat based on preference
  • 1/2 cup of  mayonnaise. Lowfat, reduced fat or fat free are best for the waistline
  • 1/4 cup chopped, celery strings removed
  • Optional, 1/2 cup fresh grape halves or dried fruit such as Dried Cranberries, Golden Raisins, Raisins, plums, cherries etc.
  • Optional, unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds or pignoli (pine) finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste,  fresh or dried herbs to taste, such as Sage, or Tarragon

To assemble

  • Roasted chicken should have all skin and bone remove and chilled before mixing. Home cooked chicken should also be cold before adding mayonnaise. If chicken is simmered in broth do not add salt to salad.

In a nonmetallic bowl mix well

  • Chicken -can be coarsely chopped for a rustic look, diced to 1/4 inch or ground for a smooth spreadable texture.
  • celery, and options of grape halves,dried fruit, nuts
  • Mayonnaise, add less for drier, more for wetter,  conventional ratio is 4:1
  • Salt, pepper and add herbs
  • Refrigerate,  the longer it is chilled the better the flavors are incorporated
  • makes 10 1/2 cup servings

Makes enough for ten sandwiches or salad toppers, used as a cracker spread makes approx. 40 or more.

Sage  mixed with Cranberry gives it a thanksgiving flair. Tarragon has a very savory earthy effect, and is luscious.  The combination of bread  or greens can make it basic or elegant.

Savory Squash Soup

There are many twists on a squash soup, Herbs, Broth and  the natural sweetness of a winter squash is what gives it the Savory Umami goodness. Umami is word  coined by the Japanese for the flavor that is both savory and has hints of other sensations, a mix of tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Herbiness gives those sensations an oomph!

The staple in a Sqaush soup is generally Butternut squash, But any big meaty Winter Squash can be used including pumpkin. Canned pumpkin can be used as a substitution, if Squash isn’t readily availble. Frozen Butternut squash can be used.

Squash Soup

  • 1 large squash, peeled seeded and cubes into 1 inch pieces- 4-6 cups (large can of pumpkin as a substitute)
  • 1 Box Broth-Vegetable or Chicken, or 4 bullion cubes with 32 oz water
  • 2 Shallots or onion, diced
  • 1 large rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, optional, diced small
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1 tbs, Rosemary/Thyme, and other savory herbs to taste
  • **** cloves garlic optional
  • equipment  needed: Large bowl, Shallow roasting pan,  blender or food processor, saute pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To easy peel squash, make several pircings with a knife or fork,microwave squash for 2 minutes on high. Let set for several minutes, peeling should be much easier

Cube squash into 1″ pieces, uniformity is not important, Toss Squash pieces with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil to coat,  sprinkle  very sparingly with salt and pepper. You can always add salt later,   broth will also add salt. You can never ‘un-salt’ once its done.

Place a single layer of squash on the baking sheet, sprinkle with Dried Spices of choice, If fresh is avaible   use 3 stems of rosemary, 1 tsp of minced thyme. ***  Whole cloves of Fresh garlic can also be roasted with the squash as an option.

Bake squash until fork tender and edges are browned an caramelized, about 30 minutes, The caramelization will sweeten and add to the savoriness.

While the squash is roasting, Saute on low-medium heat, your mirapoix , of chopped celery, shallots, and carrot(optional) in the tsp of olive oil. You may omit the olive oil, and use a cooking spray. Do not allow the veggies to burn,  you may add broth  to the saute pan and cover to soften, it also de-glazes the pan.Once softened allow to cool before blending.

Remove the squash from the oven, and allow to cool before blending, remove the woody stems of rosemary.

In batches, blend the sauteed  vegetables and a cup of cubes at a time with a half cup of broth, add additional  broth if mixture is too thick. After blending pour each batch into a soup pot for further simmering. You will have extra broth leftover, you may need to add to the simmering soup if it is too thick. If  you have  made the soup to thin, you can simmer it longer, it will thicken.

Warm the soup on simmer, the longer it simmers the better it tastes. This is the time to add salt, pepper and additional herbs to taste. Steffie’s rule is, ‘Let the person eating do the salting’!

For a richer soup, add cream to finish and a tablespoon of butter.

Other options, you can add, raw or cooked vegetables, cooked meats, or potatoes to add texture and variety. The possibilities are endless. You can also add other root vegetables to the squash such as Carrot, Fennel Bulb, Parsnips, Celery root, the variations are endless.

You can freeze the finished soup.

Gobble Gobble! Turkey’s not just for Thanksgiving

Turkey breasts and parts are on sale all year round these days, A Sunday Dinner of a turkey breast is not uncommon. Let’s add some yummy recipes for leftover’s. The longer you simmer the better it tastes. Add your favorite spices and vegetables for your own twist.

Go To cheap.com’s page on Turkey leftovers for more recipes.

Turkey soup:

  • 8 cups Turkey or Chicken Broth, substitute 8 cups Water w/chicken bouillon if you’re really cheap. Or cheaper yet make your own broth.
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  •  4  stalks celery chopped
  • 4 carrots diced    *** substitute with 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • Simmer till tender.
  • Add 2 cups diced cooked turkey, bring back to simmer
  • Add 1 cup orzo or small pastina. (Cooked al dente)
    Turn off heat let sit for 1/2 or 1 Hour
  • Heat and Eat, Freeze or Share
  • Makes approx 12 cups

***To make Gluten free add Quinoa or Alternate Gluten Free Pasta