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Showing posts from January, 2011

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

This is going to be a short one tonight. I've been fighting a cold all weekend and really need to go to bed. If time allows later in the week and if I'm feeling better, I will  try to get the details (including nutrition info) added. I do have some good stuff on the menu, so check it out. Enjoy and have a great week!

Sunday - Skinny Chicken Cordon Bleu, Oven Roasted Asparagus, Applesauce, Salad, Crescent Roll, Milk
Monday - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Salad, Peaches
Tuesday - Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Cowboy Beans, Salad, Applesauce
Wednesday - Sausage Potato Soup, Salad, Peaches
Thursday - Bourbon Chicken, Rice, Salad, Broccoli, Oranges
Friday - Hamburgers, Oven Fries, Green Beans, Salad, Apples
Saturday - Leftovers

For more menu ideas, visit

Crock Pot Cowboy Beans

These beans are much lower in sodium than canned beans. And, anything with "cowboy" in the name has to be good! :)

3 cups dried pinto beans, washed (1 20 oz package)
4 slices raw center cut bacon, chopped
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups Imagine Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles


Place beans in slow cooker and cover with chicken broth. Add bacon, onion, garlic and chicken broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, or until beans are fork tender. In the bowl of a blender, process tomatoes and chiles with juices. Add to beans.

Makes 16 1/2 cup servings

Skinny Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is my version of a classic recipe. My version is pretty light. It only has 180 calories and 5 grams of fat. The good thing is that it is just as tasty as the full fat, high calorie versions!

4 4oz chicken breasts
4 slices Hormel Natural Choice Honey Deli Ham
2 slices Sargento 2% Milk Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pound chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thickness. Place a slice of ham and half a slice of cheese on each breast. Roll breast into pinwheel, tuck in ends, and secure with toothpick.

Place milk and breadcrumbs into separate bowls. Roll chicken in milk, and then roll in breadcrumbs to coat. Place on baking sheet sprayed with no-stick spray.

Bake at 400 degrees about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Number of Servings: 4

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

It is definitely still winter in southwest Missouri, and Mother Nature definitely decided to prove that this past week. We got 5 inches of snow on Thursday, which is a lot for our area. The temperatures dropped down to single digits, and it didn't melt very quickly, so Corey and I ended up with two bonus days to our weekend. I know I will hate making them up in the spring, but it really is hard not to root for the snow day. I just think it's something we are programmed with when we are little and it sticks with us forever. :)

I used some of my bonus time to try out a couple of new recipes. I made some fabulous banana oat muffins that are low in fat but great on taste. Be sure to try them - they make a great breakfast paired with some Greek yogurt and fruit.

I also had a hankering (I told you I'm from southwest MO - that's hillbilly speak for craving) for something sweet, so I made a delicious cheesecake mousse. I topped mine with some blackberries, and it was simply di…

Banana Oat Muffins

These low fat, lower calorie muffins taste incredible right out of the oven. I freeze them and then take one out as needed. Just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds for that fresh-from-the-oven taste. I pair a muffin with some fruit-flavored Greek yogurt for a healthy, filling breakfast.

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 large bananas, very ripe
1 T canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 large egg whites, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

In another bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oil and the whole egg to the mashed bananas. Mix well. Add the banana mixture to the oat mixture. Stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold the …

Italian Sausage Lentil Soup

Don't let the photo fool you (it's hard to make lentils attractive). This is a nice, hearty soup with a little kick from the Italian sausage. It's high in fiber and great on taste. Using turkey Italian sausage keeps the calories and fat under control for this delicious soup.


20 oz. Honeysuckle White Turkey Italian Sausage (5 links), casings removed
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup lentils
6 cups Imagine Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage

Remove sausage from casings and brown in no-stick pan. Once it is cooked, add sausage to large stock pot.

In the same frying pan, brown onions until softened. Add to stock pot. Add chicken broth, lentils, and seasonings to stock pot. Simmer on low, about 45 minutes, until lentils are softened but still hold their shape. Cook for 45 minutes more until lentils start to break apart.

Makes 8 one cup servings

Cheesecake Mousse

This is a wonderful, light dessert that is fantastic topped with fresh berries or chocolate chips. (Nutrition information does not include any toppings.)

1 8-ounce package fat free cream cheese, softened
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8-ounce container nondairy whipped topping


In a large bowl, whip cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract with electric mixer until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Pour filling into individual serving dishes and chill at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. Add toppings of your choice. (Toppings not included in nutritional information)

Makes 8 servings, about 3/4 cup each

Diner Burger with Fries and Gravy

Sometimes I simply crave diner food. You know what I'm talking about - greasy, gravy-covered stuff that tastes amazing. Well, this recipe satisfies my craving without giving me all of the grease and sodium that I don't need. Enjoy!

4 yukon gold potatoes, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb lean ground beef (93/7)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Wondra flour for gravies (you can use all purpose flour if you don't have Wondra)
1 14.25 oz can Health Valley Fat Free Beef Broth No Salt Added

To make the fries, heat oven to 450°. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray it with cooking spray. Combine all dry ingredients and combine with potatoes in large ziplock bag, tossing to coat…

Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese

Quinoa is a great great to use in place of rice in side dishes. It is full of protein and fiber, and it tastes great.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups Imagine low sodium organic chicken broth
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan topping
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally. Do not brown the garlic. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes; the mixture will be brothy and the quinoa almost done. Stir in the spinach and mushrooms and simmer for 2 minutes longer, or until the quinoa turns transparent. Add the cheese. Season with the salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Makes 6 (ab…

Baked Tilapia with Horseradish Sauce

This is a fast, easy dish that is light on calories and sodium, but not on taste!


4 tilapia fillets (3 oz each)
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray (I use olive oil in a mister). Season fish filets with pepper and paprika. Bake in prepared dish for 12-14 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.

While fish is baking, mix sour cream, dill and the horseradish in a small bowl until smooth.

Serve sauce with the fish.

Makes 4 servings.

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

I have completed three weeks of my healthier eating journey and I am now down a total of 6 pounds. The nice thing is that besides the numbers on the scale, I can notice a difference in the way I look and feel. For me, the weight will continue to come off slowly, in tenths of pounds per week, but it's so nice to know that eating the correct portion sizes of my meals is really doing the trick. :)

Our family had a very nice weekend together. Corey had math contest on Saturday and did very well. He placed 1st in the target round, 2nd in the sprint round, and received the 2nd place team trophy as a team of one! He also qualified to go to state. I am definitely a proud mom. :)

I've got a couple of new items on the menu this week, so I will post pictures once I make them. Next Saturday Corey has a band performance, so we will have to eat out. I've already planned ahead to make sure I can stay within my calorie range for the day. I highly suggest this to those of you who are watch…

Simple Tuna and Egg Salad

This is another recipe that you really don't need a "recipe" for, but it's nice to have it in the list.

5 oz. can tuna in water
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup Miracle Whip Light


Drain tuna and dump into small mixing bowl. Add in chopped hard boiled eggs and Miracle Whip. Stir together and serve on sandwich bread.

Number of Servings: 3

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Top this with a biscuit to really get that pot pie feeling. :) (biscuit not included in nutrition info)

1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cups fat free milk
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 medium chopped onion
8 oz sliced crimini (baby portabella) mushrooms
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
12 oz frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed small
16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced small


Create a slurry by combining 1/2 cup cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Combine chicken stock and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, thyme, pepper, and frozen vegetables and return to a boil. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, and slowly whisk in slurry. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thicke…

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Sauce

Adding a tasty sauce to grilled meat is a great way to "fancy up" a dish. I chose to grill my pork chops instead of cooking them under the broiler as the recipe indicates.


4 4 oz. lean boneless pork chops
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2/3 cup fat-free milk
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon white wine


Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with pepper. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. (You could also cook these on the grill.)

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese and wine; heat through. Serve sauce with chops. Yield: 4 servings.

Number of Servings: 4

Adapted from Taste of Home

Grilled Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Breasts

Sometimes it only takes a simple marinade to make a fabulous meal. I know you don't really need a recipe to make these, but it reminds me that it's something I like to cook.


3 four oz. boneless skinlesss chicken breasts
3 T Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing


Marinate chicken breasts in dressing for at least 30 minutes.
Grill on medium high heat, about 5 minutes per side until chicken is done and juices run clear.

Number of Servings: 3

Blue Cheese-Topped Steaks with Marsala Wine Sauce

These were tasty steaks, but I was frustrated by the cooking method. I think next time I will try cooking them on the grill first, then adding the topping and heating it in the oven for a few minutes at the end. The marsala wine sauce was a great topping.

1 1/2 tablespoons reduced fat crumbled blue cheese
3 teaspoons dry bread crumbs
3 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
3 teaspoons minced chives
Dash pepper
3 beef tenderloin or eye of round steaks (4 ounces each)
1 teaspoons butter
3/4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Marsala wine (can also use Madeira or Vermouth)

In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, chives and pepper. Press onto one side of each steak.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook steaks over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until meat reaches de…

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

Another week of healthy eating can go on the books this week. :) I started tracking my food on SparkPeople on December 22 and I'm down 5 pounds from that time! That's a great feeling. What I love is that I have realized that I don't have to "diet" and eat boring foods. I'm eating the same healthy meals I've always cooked, but I'm controlling the portion sizes. I'm even able to eat sweets, as long as I budget for them in my calorie count for the day. Life is good when you know you can still eat pizza and chocolate cake. :)

I got good feedback on including the nutrition values of my recipes. I'm glad that others are finding them useful. I will go ahead this week and post my breakfasts and lunches again. Let me know if that is useful to you as well.

Here's this week's menu. For more menu ideas go to Enjoy and have a great week!

Sunday -Creamy Ranch Pork Chops (193 cal), Ranch Quinoa (182 cal), Spinach, Salad

Monday -Taco Corn…

Sausage Pizza

For Crust:
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degress F)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil
2 1/2 cups flour

8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce
2 oz reduced fat 2 % milk cheddar cheese, shredded
2 oz low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
16 oz. Honeysuckle White Turkey Breakfast Sausage, cooked and drained
Garlic powder, basil, and oregano

To make crust:
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix. Dump onto a floured surface. Knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so). Roll out and press down onto a greased pizza pan.

Spread sauce on pizza crust and sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, and oregano. Top with sausage and the cheeses. Bake at 450 degrees F for around 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

Number of Servings: 12

Ranch Quinoa

I had never had quinoa before tonight, but I kept it mentioned all over the place in food blogs and on running websites. So, I figured I would give it a try. Our family loved it! This was a nice side to use in place of rice. I actually cooked it in my rice cooker instead of on the stove, and it worked great.

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 package Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

Place 1 cup quinoa, dressing mix and 2 cups water in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (10-15 minutes). When done, the grain appears soft and translucent, and the germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.