Jun 30, 2012

I have been trying to find alternatives to using bread for lunches and snacks. My go to has been to substitute rice cakes in place of bread. 2 rice cakes are 80 calories verses 120 calories for two slices of bread. I love rice cakes so that isn’t a big compromise for me. I also love ham and cheese sandwiches. 

Cheese can be killer in the calorie department so that’s rarely on my menu. In place of sliced cheese I have been using Laughing Cow cheese. My new favorite is the light Laughing Cow Swiss it’s not only low in calories but it’s delicious, generous and super creamy. This isn’t just a lunch go to for me, but it makes an excellent satisfying snack.

  • 2 lightly salted rice cakes
  • 2 slices of ham per cake (I use Land O’ Frost Brown Sugar Ham)
  • 1 Laughing Cow Swiss
  1. Spread half of the cheese on each rice cake, then top with ham. It’s great to even stick it in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Yummy!
Number of Servings: 2 cakes
    Nutritional Information:
    • 88 calories per serving
    • 10 carbs 
    • 2 grams of fat 
    • 6 protein
    • 2 sugar
    *Nutritional information found on www.myfitnesspal.com this information will vary based on the products you use.*

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    Jun 29, 2012

    The folks at Avocados From Mexico have just launched a new recipes section on their site "Recipes From Avocado Lovers" to give foodies who love avocados, the opportunity to upload their favorite avocado recipes, download ring tones, wallpapers and other fun items to show their avocado love and discover other fan favorite avocado recipes.

    Do you love avocados? Then you will love the new Avocados From Mexico recipe website "Recipes From Avocado Lovers", where you can submit your favorite avocado recipes and share you avocado love with other foodies like you.

    I love avocados and I am always looking for new recipes that include avocadoes to incorporate into our weekly menu. I love my avocadoes turned into guacamole. Guacamole is tops on my list of favorite snacks. I would choose guacamole over ice cream that’s how much I love it. Avocados from Mexico’s Website “ Recipes from Avocado Lovers” is a great source of avocado recipes. You can find just about any use for Avocados  on this site. Not only are Avocados  delicious they are very good for you! 

    • 2 avocados from mexico
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
    1. Halve avocados; remove fruit by running spoon next to skin; discard seed or save for other uses.
    2. Place avocado in bowl and mash with fork; immediately mix in lime juice, incorporating well.
    3. Mix in remaining ingredients; serve immediately.

    *As required by the Federal Trade Commission: This sponsorship is brought to you by Avocados From Mexico who we have partnered with for this promotion.” *

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    Jun 27, 2012

    St. Louis Cathedral 
    Every summer my husband and I take a quick weekend trip to New Orleans. Our first date seven years ago was in New Orleans. It’s always been a very special city to us. This year’s trip was no exception we had a blast. We ate too much, drank too much, and had way too much fun! Here are some pictures from our trip.

    I love the carriages, but this one in particular caught my eye. I suppose the purple just stood out so much against the scenery that I had to have a picture. I have never taken a ride, because I think they are overpriced for a 30 minute ride, but the carriage sure was a pretty color. Although it’s purple my Dad would have called it church point blue so it made me laugh thinking of him. 

    The buildings in New Orleans are beautiful.  I can just sit for hours in Jackson Square taking in the scenery, staring at the buildings, listening to the music played by the musicians in the square, and smelling all of the amazing food around me.  If you have never been you are missing out on a different way of life and 24/7 fun.

    These pictures were taken at the Voodoo Museum. Although this place was very small and a bit seedy I highly recommend visiting it. You can learn a lot about the culture that has made the Big Easy what it is today and it’s spooky and awesome at the same time. 

    Shrine to the Saints

    Shrine to a Voodoo Priestess

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    Jun 26, 2012

    This recipe is excellent! I enjoyed it so much! Not only is the 239 calories per cup but its very filling. It tends to be very spicy, but an easy fix for that is to use mild Rotel instead of the hot or original. We ended up having it two different nights and two different ways. One night we ate it as a casserole, another night on flour tortillas with cheese and tomatoes, and I would like to use it a three time by rolling it in corn tortillas topping it was an enchilada sauce and cheese. I know that’s going to be excellent! It’s a very versatile recipe that goes a long way.  

    The original recipe is made a lot different than the way I made it, but I must stress that if you make it like the original recipe is made use instant rice or the rice doesn’t cook all the way through. That was a complaint that a lot of people had. By using the instant rice you won’t have that problem. Below is my version of the recipe using left over rotisserie chicken.

    • 1 can fat free cream mushroom soup
    • 1 can fat free cream chicken soup
    • 1 can water
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies
    • 1 1/2 cups brown instant rice (uncooked)
    • 12 ounces of deboned rotisserie chicken
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1 tbsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. Oregano
    • 1 tsp. Cumin
    • 1 tsp. Paprika
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Spray with cooking spray a 13x9 in glass casserole dish
    3. In a medium size bowl whisk together soups, water and spices, Rotel, black beans chicken and rice then pour into the baking dish
    4. Cover with foil; bake 350 degrees 1 hour and 40 min.
    5. Remove foil, Sprinkled the top with cheese
    Original Recipe Source

    Number of Servings: 8
    Nutritional Information:
    • 239 calories per serving
    • 31 carbs 
    • 7 grams of fat 
    • 17 protein
    • 2 sugar
    *Nutritional information found on www.myfitnesspal.com this information will vary based on the products you use.*

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    Jun 23, 2012

    I am trying to teach not only myself but my family to eat lower calorie foods and also teach them that just because something is lower calorie doesn’t mean it isn’t good. You can still have a fun a delicious dessert without sacrificing your entire day and workout. We have all been craving something sweet and yummy but my husband and I don’t want to kill our entire diet by eating it. 

    By putting our heads together we have come up with a yummy ice cream shop fake out that’s only 163 calories each. Not only is it delicious, but it’s fun, and cute and a lot less calories than chocolate ice cream with cherries and whipped topping. It’s budget friendly and family friendly. I haven’t seen a kid yet that doesn’t devour it. Our family loves this dessert I hope your family will too!

    • 1 Ice Cream Cup or cone
    • 1 Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Cup           
    • 3 tbsp.  Fat Free Cool-Whip (Frozen)
    • 1/3 cup Sugar Free Cherry Pie Filling
    • ½ tsp. Rainbow Sprinkles
    1. Crumb one ice cream cone or cup on a plate
    2. Top cone with cold sugar free chocolate pudding
    3. Top pudding with cold sugar free cherry pie filling
    4. Top pie filling with frozen whip topping
    5. Top whip topping with sprinkles.
    6. Enjoy your fake out!
    Nutritional Information:
    • Calories 163
    • Carbs 34
    • Fat 3
    • Protein 0
    • Sugar 9
    * Nutritional Information found on www.myfitnesspal.com*

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    Jun 13, 2012

    Not So Wordless... But It Says So Much...

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    Jun 9, 2012

    This recipe was very good. I was actually very surprised how moist and tender the  mini meatloaves turned out. Mine actually came out of the oven looking like big meatballs but they were good just the same. The original recipe calls for ground chicken, but I actually used ground beef because I didn’t have ground chicken. These are very easy and would be a great meal to freeze for later.

    • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup panko
    • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion (from about 1/2 medium onion)
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, medium dice
    • 3 cups Basic Tomato Sauce or marinara sauce

    1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a 12-well muffin pan on the baking sheet and coat the wells and the top of the pan with cooking spray (alternatively you can use olive oil to coat the pan); set aside.
    2. Using your fingers, combine 1/3 cup of the panko, 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, and the measured olive oil in a small bowl until evenly moistened; set aside.
    3. Place the egg in a large bowl and beat it with a fork to break it up. Add the remaining 1/2 cup panko and 1/2 cup Parmesan, the chicken, onion, basil, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper. Using clean hands, mix everything until combined (don’t squeeze or overwork the mixture).
    4. Divide the mixture among the wells of the muffin pan. Evenly divide the mozzarella pieces among the wells, nestling them into the center of the chicken mixture and making sure to enclose them. Smooth out the tops of the “muffins.”
    5. Sprinkle the reserved panko-Parmesan mixture evenly over the tops of the meatloaf muffins and gently press to adhere.
    6. Place the baking sheet with the muffin pan on it in the oven and bake until the meatloaf muffins are cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the tomato or marinara sauce and keep it warm.
    7. When the meatloaf muffins are done cooking, set the oven to broil and broil until the panko topping is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen and remove the meatloaf muffins. Serve immediately with the tomato or marinara sauce.
    Original Recipe Source

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    Jun 7, 2012

    The original name for this recipe is Tamale pies, but I think that name is misleading. Although when you get a bite of the pie crust it taste just like a tamale the crust-less areas like the middle taste nothing like a tamale, although it’s very good.

    This is a fun recipe and it gives you an easy way to control your calorie intake. If you only put two on your plate you can get an idea of what you are eating verses if it was something scoop able with not measurement.

    We all loved this recipe not only is it fun and a great finger food it’s taste great. If you are going to make this during the week I highly recommend making the meat up ahead of time. This recipe is a bit time consuming or maybe I was being inefficient. I just found that it too a lot of time and to be honest more than I wanted to spend in the kitchen.

    Would I make this recipe again? Absolutely! It’s excellent! I would just make the meat up ahead of time. Another time saver could be using leftover taco meat!

    For the crust:
    • 1 1/2 cups masa harina
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    For the filling:
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I left this out)
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice (about 1 cup)
    • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
    For the crust:
    1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
    2. Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with your hands until combined (the dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand).
    3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
    For the filling:
    1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and break the meat into small pieces with a spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and set aside.
    2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 4 minutes.
    3. Add the vinegar and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle in the paprika, oregano, cumin, and cayenne and stir until incorporated. Cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
    4. Return the beef to the pan, add the tomatoes, broth, and measured salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture simmers, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 7 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed; set aside.
    To assemble:
    1. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl of masa. Divide the masa evenly among the wells of a 12-well muffin pan (about 1 rounded tablespoon per well).
    2. Evenly divide the filling among the masa-lined wells.
    3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle the shredded cheese over the filling. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling, about 10 minutes more.
    4. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen and remove the pies. 
    Original Recipe

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    Jun 1, 2012

    I LOVED this recipe! It’s easy, quick and oh so simple! I love Philly Cheese steak sandwiches! The problem with making them is if you are going to use a good piece of meat to make them up it can cost you a small bundle, also taking the time to cut the meat thin enough can be very time consuming! I don’t want to have to deal with either one of those problems so I knew there had to be a compromise!  

    A lot of people use Steak-ums, but I saw the price on a box of those in the grocery store the other day and was utterly shocked. How it is that extra thin crappy meat can cost so much? I ended up buying a nice roast for cheaper and I got more for my money.

    So anyway how do you come up with a Philly Joe? Well, a Philly Joe is the combination of a Philly cheese steak sandwich and a sloppy Joe = Philly Joe!  They are excellent and make a great week night meal. You can even make the meat ahead of time and freeze it!

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 large onion sliced
    • 1 large green bell pepper sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 8 oz. can of mushroom pieces drained
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 pack Lipton dry onion soup (if you can find it Beefy mushroom its even better)
    • 8 slices of smoked provolone
    • Salt and pepper
    • 8 rolls or burger buns
    1. In a skillet brown ground beef and drain well of excess grease
    2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic cook until vegetables are tender
    3. Add dry soup, and mushroom and water , then cook another 10-15 minutes on medium giving the soup time to season the meat well and cook until the excess liquid cooks down.
    4. Add salt and pepper as desired
    5. Place a large spoon full on a bun and top with provolone

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