Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Butterscotch Apple Mousse {Sugar Free!}

(Update on Hubby: My Sweetie is recovering remarkably well after his recent 4-wheeling accident on Sat., January 21st. It has been incredible to witness the transformation in his healing every single day since Day #2.  Thanks so much for your prayers as he continues to heal. It's quite amazing to think of how a 64-yr old diabetic can heal so quickly, but God continues to bless and answer prayers.  He is off his coumadin (blood thinner) for the month because of a small bleed in the brain. Thank you all so much for caring and praying.)

***********************

This recipe is similar to my Caramel Apple Salad, but THIS ONE HAS CHOCOLATE!!!

My good friend, Angie at A'lil Country Sugar, posted this before Thanksgiving.  She was thoughtfully thinking of 'our' figures!
*wink*

Did you know you can purchase sugar-free Reese's peanut butter cups?

WOWZERS!

And they're a yummy sugar free! It makes a delightful addition to this simple dish, and makes you feel pampered and spoiled to be enjoying chocolate.

This is a great combo of flavors.  Do hope you'll try it soon.
And only FIVE ingredients!  How can you beat it?


BUTTERSCOTCH APPLE MOUSSE

1 1/2 c. fat free milk (I used 1%)
1 pkg. (4-serv) sugar free butterscotch pudding
1 large apple, peeled and chopped (honey crisp or gala)
1 1/2 c. fat free cool whip
1 pkg. sugar free Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
Mix milk and pudding in a mixing bowl for 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl and mix in chopped apple. Fold in whipped cream and top with chopped peanut butter cups.

Chill and then serve.

Linked to Fit & Fabulous Friday

Friday, January 27, 2012

Salmon Rice Patties

This special recipe came from our daughter-in-love, Kym.  She grew up eating salmon patties...made with rice...instead of the usual cracker crumbs many of us enjoyed.

(This is another yummy recipe found in my cookbook.)

We all know eating fish is good for us, and a great way to get those Omega - 3's.

It's simple and delicious.  It mixes/fries up for a quick meal anytime.

Kym now uses the 'envelopes' of salmon, like tuna, that has all the skin and bone removed.

We lived in Alaska for 8 years and enjoyed lots and lots of salmon. Hubby and his fishing buddy canned much of it too and we often enjoyed salmon patties or salmon salad.

Nothing ever quite compares to fresh!

But this is still a very tasty and nutritious meal.

Please give it a try and let me know what you think.


SALMON - RICE PATTIES 

1 - 16 ozs. can salmon, drained, flaked, skin and bones removed
3 c. rice, cooked (or less?)
2 eggs

OR....

1 - 5 ozs. envelope salmon (already cleaned)
1 - 2 c. rice, cooked
1 egg

Mix ingredients together. Preheat skillet and melt a little butter in it or simply spray with Pam. Make patties and fry until browned and heated through.

Add another egg (or an egg white) if you need more 'glue' to hold it together.

Linked to 
Gooseberry Patch Recipe Roundup
Food on Friday
Weekend Potluck  




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Magic Crust Custard Pie

This dessert is so easy and so good! 

I saw it in the right hand column at Facebook...and I see a picture of this pie often.  I found it at Just a Pinch Recipe Club Online, where you can find many delicious recipes.

I received a Blue Ribbon for my Waffle Iron Cookies recipe there last summer...

AND.....while I'm on vacation in late February, I plan to have a few guest posts.  One of those will be from my good friend Angie at
A'lil Country Sugar, who will be sharing one of the THREE Blue Ribbon recipes she's been awarded at JaP.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SOME CHOCOLATE WONDERFULNESS!  (I'm not going to tell you which recipe she'll be sharing..you'll just have to come back!=)

Anyway - on to the recipe.  Throw all the ingredients into a blender - press the button for 30 seconds - pour into a prepared pie plate and WA-LA!  You get a delicious dessert with barely any work at all. 

(Yes, of course, you DO have to bake it, but that's pain free) 


I made this using splenda, but if you prefer, you can use sugar. 

And how can you possibly go wrong putting TWO teaspoons of vanilla extract in anything???????

I shared the link to this recipe on my personal Facebook page before Thanksgiving and one of my friends (thank you Mary Lou for sharing!) told me her family really enjoyed it too. 

I substituted with some healthier options and it was just wonderful.
Next time I will sprinkle more nutmeg over the top before baking.

(Just in case you're not use to baking with Splenda, it doesn't brown like sugar does)


MAGIC CRUST CUSTARD PIE  
* - initial ingredients
*1/4 c. margarine, softened
(I used Smart Balance spread)
*4 eggs
(I used 2 eggs + 4 egg whites)
*3/4 c. white sugar
(I substituted with Splenda)
*a pinch of salt
*2 C. milk, 2%
(I used 1%)
*2 tsp. vanilla extract
*1/2 c. all purpose flour
(I used white whole wheat)

Put all the ingredients into a blender.  Cover; blend for 30 seconds. Pour into buttered 9" pie plate.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The flour will settle to make its own crust.

Therein...the name MAGIC CRUST CUSTARD PIE!

(I baked mine about 35 minutes - Splenda bakes faster).

Linked to Weekend Potluck
Fit & Fabulous Friday

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Brats


(Just in case you haven't read yet, my precious husband was in a 4-wheeling accident on Sat. He has a 3" gash - all the way through, on his cheek - and because he takes coumadin, he wouldn't stop bleeding.  He was life flighted to the Univ. of Toledo Med. Ctr. - his lip/face swelled gigantically & it took 3 days to stop the bleeding.  He has a fractured top rib & numerous bruises, but we have soooooo much to be thankful for. Thank you for your prayers for him, and for our precious grandkids, Caden & Chloe, who were with him. Thank the good Lord, neither of them were injured, but 10-year-old Chloe, has been traumatized and we covet your prayers for her too.  Any kid would be, to see that much blood. Ron has a very strong spirit and is WOWing the drs. and nurses. We hope to be home by Friday. We have so much to be thankful for and are praising our Lord for His Hand of mercy on Ron's life, and for His Amazing Grace that gets us through times like these.)

This would make a great dish to serve your hungry Super Bowl fans!

It's an 'easy peasy' appetizer recipe that I saw at
The Country Cook. Brandie shares many wonderful dishes and is a very popular blogger in my corner of the blogging world.

I had a few leftover li'l smokes in the fridge and also some turkey bacon. Our son was coming over for a little while so I decided to fix what I had and the family loved it!

I even used Splenda brown sugar and it was sooo yummy.

I love simple, 4-ingredient recipes like this one!

I had to laugh when I decided to get a picture - most of them had already flown off the plate!! Our grandkids were enjoying them right away too.

So the only thing I'd change next time, is that I'll have to make MORE.

Try 'em, you'll like 'em.


BACON WRAPPED BRATS

1 pkg. (14 ozs) fully cooked, smoked bratwurst
6 slices bacon
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard

Preheat oven to 425. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. (I used nonstick foil - either one helps much with cleanup)

In small bowl, combine brown sugar with dry mustard.

Cut up each brat into 3 pieces.

Cut each bacon slice into 3 pieces.

Wrap each brat slice with piece of bacon. You don't really need to use a toothpick to hold it together, they stick together rather nicely.

Cover each bacon wrapped brat with the brown sugar mixture.  Then place on baking sheet and continue with the rest of your ingredients.

Bake brats for 25 - 30 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.
(if using turkey bacon, I believe it bakes faster)

If you'd like to reduce the grease before serving, place on some
paper towels to absorb grease.  (Don't leave them for long or they will stick)

To serve, just insert toothpicks and serve alongside favorite mustard - yellow, spicy brown, honey mustard, etc.

Works well with the Li'l Smokies.

Recipe makes 24.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crockpot Cheesecake

This is another wonderful dessert recipe you bake in the crockpot!

I just HAD to give it a try when I saw the recipe at

I am always intrigued by the things you can actually do in a crockpot!

This is so easy and delicious...as well as versatile. I added peanut butter, but you could add fruit or swirl chocolate in it!

Another option would be to make an Oreo cheesecake. Use cookies instead of crackers for the crust - reduce the sugar in the filling - and add more chopped cookies to the batter???


The 'tip' I always share when it comes to 'baking' desserts in the crockpot....Before placing the cover on to bake, place a couple of paper towels just under the lid.  It will catch the moisture
from the lid so your dessert doesn't end up with a soggy top.

I also substituted Splenda for the sugar and used 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese. Splenda bakes faster so our cheesecake was done  on the quicker end of timing.  Do NOT use fat free cream cheese because it contains water and you'll have a runny dessert.


CROCKPOT CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tb. brown sugar
3 Tb. melted butter

Filling:
2 - 8 ozs. pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
(or microwave for 20 seconds)
3/4 c. white sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
(can place in warm water for a few minutes)
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. good vanilla
1 Tb. flour
(I added about 1/2 c. peanut butter also)

First, find a baking dish that will fit into your crockpot.  I used a smaller sized Corning Ware dish - 1.5 quart. It fit nicely in my 6-qt. crockpot. You're going to make a water bath.

In a plastic zipper bag, crush the graham crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin.  Mix with brown sugar and melted butter. Blend until wet and crumby. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the dish.
(I can't recall for sure, but do think I spritzed it with a little cooking spray).

In a large bowl, place cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream, vanilla and flour. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Pour mixture over the crust.

Pour 1/2 - 1 c. of water in bottom of the crockpot.  Lower the dish inside, being careful not to slosh water into your cheesecake.

Place paper towels over the top of the crockpot; cover and cook on high for 2 - 3 hours.  Check about halfway through cooking time to see how it's doing. (some crockpots are faster you know).

The cheesecake is done when the edges are no longer shiny and have set. (If you touch it lightly, nothing should stick to your
finger). Allow to sit in crockpot to cool for an hours before removing. Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before cutting and serving.



Easy Peasy Cake Batter Dip

I couldn't wait to share this one with you, so you get a Bonus #2 recipe today!

I was treated to this lovely dish by a non-blogging friend this week.  She had found it at Pinterest, so I was shocked I had not seen it before now.

THREE simple ingredients and you've got a fun and yummy snack!


Cake mix (any flavor you choose)...Yogurt (any flavor you choose)...and a little bit of Cool Whip!  Seriously!!

And you can easily double, triple or quadruple this recipe.

It is sooo delicious and refreshing.,,,,AND QUICK to make! 

My friend was amazed at how well this kept in the fridge too.
She had used cherry chip cake mix with cherry yogurt.  It was pink and so pretty! One of her friends had tried it using a chocolate cake mix and vanilla yogurt and was very pleased.

I sure do love versatilty!  You could make this different every time if you wanted to.

The recipe I was given was for a large batch, and when I went online to look for the recipe, it was for a small batch, so I'm sharing both with you. 

So if you just want a taste, you can do it...or if you want to feed a crowd, you can do that too!

Give it a try - everyone who tastes it will love it!


CAKE BATTER DIP
(Large Batch)

1 (18 ozs) box cake mix
(I used cherry chip)
1-1/2 c. yogurt
(I used vanilla)
2 c. Cool Whip
(I used fat free)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until blended.  Cover & refrigerate! Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafers.

THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!

(Small Batch)
3 - 2 - 1 Funfetti Cake Batter Dip from
little bitty bakes

3 tbsp. Funfetti cake mix
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. cool whip (or whipped cream)


Whisk cake mix and yogurt until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with pretzels or animal crackers.

Linked to Weekend Potluck
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Mix it up Monday
Ingredient Spotlight - Yogurt

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hearty Vegetable Burger Soup

This is a great & delicious warm-you-up soup!

I made it the same day I saw it posted at 4 Little Fergusons.

Tonya sure knows how to 'suck me in' with her recipes.  I try a number of them and am always pleased, so if she says it's good,
I'm on it!

I had some leftover lean ground beef already in the fridge, and hubby and I had just been talking how we wanted to eat less meat, more veggies - and that soup would be a good option.

And there it was!  A simple soup with several options to make it our own.  I love adding mixed veggies to my soups, but I used some green beans that my hubby had taken time to process and freeze  during a busy day this past summer.

I LOOOOOOVE tomato soup and I already had some leftover in the fridge, and some chopped celery also. More reasons why I decided to make it...I got to use up some on-hand ingredients.


I added a couple of small potatoes and a little bit of corn.  Add carrots or any favorite veggies.  It's all gonna be good -
and good for you.

I did cut this recipe in half since there are only two of us, but if you need more, the recipe is perfect for a larger family.

I'm sure you'll love it too - it is VERY delicious.

I hope you enjoy it soon. Serve it with a salad, rolls or a sandwich and you're ready to chow down.


HEARTY VEGETABLE BURGER SOUP

1 stick butter
(or Smart Balance)
1 c. flour
(I used a little less of white wheat)
1 qt. water, or more as it cooks
2# extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 potatoes, cubed
2 cans tomato soup
1 tsp. pepper
1 cup celery, chopped
2 c. frozen mixed veggies, or 1 c. corn & 1 c. green beans
1 cube beef bouillon
(I had reduced sodium on hand)

In a saucepan, melt butter; add flour and stir to a smooth paste.  Add water, and heat until blended.

In a soup pot, brown the burger and drain. Add the flour mixture and remaining ingredients.  Simmer on low 2 - 4 hours.

I'm sure this would work nicely in a crockpot also!

YUM! SLURP! YUM!

Linked to Ingredient Spotlight

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sugar Free Caramel Apple Salad {A Favorite!}

I'm excited to share one of my favorite dishes (from my archives) with you today!

Simple...easy...delicious...and healthy! How can ya beat it? 
This is another Weight Watchers recipe - I believe you can count
1/2 c. salad = 2 points. (Prior Points Plus)

Hurrah!
It doesn't take many ingredients and I always have these things on hand...so I'm ready when the 'hankerin' hits! 
Chopping the apples is the hardest part...and you don't even have to get the mixer out!

MMMMMMMMM!
There have been times when I've made this, taken a taste, put the dish in the fridge, get it back out, take another taste, put it back, get it out...you get the picture! It's tough to stop eating it!

You might want to make this while your family is gone - that way they'll never have to know you made it. *-*

CARAMEL APPLE SALAD
1 (20 ozs) can crushed pineapple, slightly drained
1 (4-serving size) box sugar free butterscotch pudding mix
1 (8 ozs) tub frozen fat free whipped topping, thawed
4 unpeeled apples, diced
1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Place pineapple in medium bowl. Stir in dry pudding mix and blend well. Add whipped topping, and stir in apples and nuts.
(I prefer to add nuts on top as they tend to soften)
It's best when eaten the same day it's made.

Linked to Totally Tasty Tuesday
Fit & Fabulous Friday
Weekend Potluck
       Ingredient Spotlight - Whipped Topping
          Ingredient Spotlight - Apples
  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weight Watchers [Very Low Point] Spinach Dip

I can eat this wonderful concotion by the spoonsful.

It's delicious AND nutritious....and I love the added crunch of the water chestnuts.


It was almost as if someone knew what I had on hand....??

I had half a bag of spinach in the freezer that needed to be eaten...an envelope of Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix that had been there a while, a tub of opened sour cream also and an older can of water chestnuts that I'd purchased for something else and then didn't use! 

So I was very happy that I came across this simple recipe as I was scouring through my WW info and recipes. I'm not wild about fresh veggies, but can really enjoy them if I have a delicious dip like this to help get them in me.

Do hope you'll give this a try.  It's really very tasty.

Unless you have a big number of mouths to eat this up within a couple of days, I would suggest just making half a batch, as it really does make a lot, but doesn't hold for very long.

{Just measure the dry soup out and then use half.}


WEIGHT WATCHERS SPINACH DIP

1 envelope Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
1-1/2 c. fat free plain yogurt
1 c. fat free sour cream
10 ozs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
chopped green onions, optional
1 small can water chestnuts, chopped, optional

Mix everything together and let chill for about an hour or two before serving.

WW Points (Prior Points Plus)
5 servings - 1 point each

Linked to Foodie Friday
Fit & Fabulous Friday

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cream of Asparagus Soup {Healthy Options}


Since I've been working at getting myself in 'gear' for healthier eating, I've been cleaning out, sorting through, pitching, and organizing my many many recipes.  I've had them in bags in drawers, under the bed, etc. as the little cupboard in the bottom of my hutch is already full of books and recipes!

{And that's only one of 3 cupboards that has cookbooks/recipes}.

I'm so thankful I tried this delicious recipe.  It caught my eye because I had just reviewed the items in our freezer the day before, and thought about using some of our fresh frozen asparagus for soup. AND...I had a little chunk of Monterey Jack that needed to be eaten!

This was very tasty - hubby commented how much he enjoyed it too.  It's a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!

If you'd like a little more 'body' to your soup, add some rice. MM!


CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP

2 pkgs. (12 ozs each) frozen cut asparagus
1/4 c. butter
(I used Smart Balance Buttery Sticks)
2 Tb. all purpose flour
(I used 3 TB. white whole wheat)
4 c. 2% (or skim) milk
1 c. (4 ozs) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
(I cut back a little and it was still wonderful)
4 - 5 drops hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. salt
3/4 - 1 tsp. pepper

Prepare asparagus according to pkg. directions; drain, cut into pieces and set aside.  In large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth, gradually add milk (best to use a whisk). Bring to a boil, cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened.  Cool slightly.

Pour half the milk mixture into a blender; add half of asparagus. Cover and process until blended. Strain and discard pulp. (I did not do this as it was smooth & not stringy). Return soup to the saucepan.  Repeat with remaining milk mixture and asparagus. Stir in cheese, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper; heat through (do not boil).

Yield: 4 - 5 servings

Serve with a sandwich and you'll find it makes for a delicious and filling meal.

Linked to Fit & Fabulous Friday

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins with Carrot Puree

I am wild! about muffins. They are a healthier alternative to all the sweets that I love.

I'm all for 'grab n go' goodies!

Add oatmeal to them and I am SO happy!

I found this recipe in "The Muffin Cookbook...Muffins for All Occasions".

It's just a small soft cover book with only 90 pages, but
it's something I keep handy on my cookbook shelf. I've used it for years.

These muffins were very yummy...and healthy too.

I made them for hubby to take on an overnight fishing trip a while back and he and his brother really enjoyed them.

These have pineapple in them which adds moistness and a flavor boost.

The recipe also calls for Sour Cream!  YUUUMMM!

I had some baby food jars of carrots that I'd purchased on sale a while back, and kept forgetting about them.

I decided to add that small jar of puree to these muffins, for added flavor and nutrition, and was very pleased with the results.


Of course, they are orange, but that for me, that makes them more taste-tempting!

The original recipe doesn't call for the puree, so if you choose to make them without, you don't need to make any changes.

I didn't when adding the extra flavor.

This is a great way to sneak more veggies into your family's diet.


OATMEAL RAISIN MUFFINS

1 (8 ozs) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 c. dairy sour cream
1 egg
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c. carrot puree, optional
(try using butternut squash or pumpkin?)
1-1/2 c. all purpose or white wheat flour
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. sugar
(I used 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. Splenda)
1 Tb. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, combine pineapple, sour cream, egg, butter and carrot puree until blended.  In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; make well in center. Pour in pineapple mixture.  Stir until just mixed.  Spoon into greased 2-1/2-inch muffin cups. Bake 30-35 minutes until lightly browned and wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Serve warm.

(Splenda bakes faster and mine baked for about 23 minutes).

Yield: 12 muffins

Friday, January 6, 2012

Simple Crockpot Brownies

(This recipe isn't necessarily a 'healthy' one (though we all KNOW that dark chocolate is good for you!)  but it's been in my file for months, so I decided to share it now...just cause sometimes you gotta live a little!=)

AAAHHHH - Chocolate!


Divine! Heavenly! IT-DOESN'T-GET-ANY-BETTER-THAN-THIS kind of Wonderfulness!

Are you looking for an easy dessert for a busy day?
Then look no more...this one is easy AND delicious!

I love this quote from Linda Grayson from "The Pickwick Papers"..

"There's nothing better than a good friend except a good friend with chocolate.

'Tis True....
 
This is a delicious and 'fun' dessert made in the crockpot. I was so tickled to find it at smashed peas and carrots.

I love that you mix it in the microwave, then bake it in the crockpot!

HOW MUCH EASIER DOES IT GET????

It's probably a very good thing that my husband is diabetic, otherwise my love for ooey gooey chocolate-y desserts would get the best of both of us.

I don't get to make those rich desserts very often - unless I'm planning to take it somewhere.

But this dessert really 'hit the spot' and wasn't too rich. 

Honestly, this is seriously delicious!

This is an easy recipe and very delicious. We topped ours off with some (light) ice cream and we were ready to rock 'n' roll...

I used Splenda for half the sugar amount called for, just to cut back some on the sugar. Splenda bakes faster, so it is done before the time called for in this recipe.


(I'll make my own changes in recipe below)
but please be sure to read through to the end.


Give it a try and your family will love you for it!

HMMMMM - are you thinking
WARM BROWNIES for dessert tonight?

I say..GO FOR IT!! Your family will think you're the greatest!!
(even if they already do!=)
CROCKPOT BROWNIES
8 ozs. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
(I used extra dark chocolate chips)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 c. sugar
(I used 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. Splenda)
3 lg. eggs
(I used 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites)
1 c. walnuts, chopped, optional
1 c. chocolate chips
1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Coat the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper (or waxed paper) and coat the top of the paper with cooking spray. Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave in microwave-safe bowl, stirring after 30 second intervals, until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar and mix well. Add eggs; blend til smooth. Set aside.

Stir in nuts and chocolate chips and mix well. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour into crockpot and smooth top. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
Uncover and cook for 30 minutes. Insert a knife edge around brownies to loosen and place the crock (if you have one) on a cooling rack to cool for 20 - 30 minutes. Turn out brownies and re-invert on cooling rack to continue cooling.

(Because Splenda bakes faster, I suggest baking it 2 hours & 10 minutes for the first round....then for 10 minutes more after uncovering.)

** TIP: When making dessert in my crockpot, I always lay paper towels over the top of the crock before placing the lid on. It catches the moisture that would otherwise fall into the crockpot and make your dessert top wet.

I also loved the easy cleanup...it came out of the crockpot so easily and hardly made a mess at all.  




WA-LA!  YOU'RE VERY WELCOME!

Linked to Foodie Friday
Mix it up Monday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Death by Chocolate Blog Hop
Recipe of the Week
Weekend Potluck
Ingredient Spotlight - Baking Cocoa

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Skinny Chicken Parmesan

Oh what a simple and delicious meal this makes!

And for the most part, it's a healthy recipe too. It uses some butter -  you could substitute with egg whites if you want - but I prefer using Smart Balance buttery sticks.  It adds such great flavor.
And we honestly can't tell a difference.


I found this tasty entree at The Girl Who Ate Everything.  She has a very lovely set up at her blog and tons of followers.  NICE!

We all need something easy & quick to fix sometimes, and this one'll be that for you.

Serve it over whole wheat spaghetti if you'd like.


SKINNY CHICKEN PARMESAN

4 chicken breasts, sliced in half
3/4 c. Italian breadcrumbs
(I used panko and added Italian seasoning)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or more to taste)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
2 Tb. butter, melted
(Or Smart Balance Buttery Sticks)
3/4 c. mozzarella cheese
1 cup marinara
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. In bowl, mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Melt butter in separate bowl.

Brush chicken with butter and dip into breadcrumbs.  Place on prepared baking sheet and lightly spray chicken with cooking spray.

Bake 20 minutes, then top with marinara and cheese. Bake 5 minutes more.

Serve with a salad or veggie with breadsticks and you are set to enjoy a very tasty meal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Overnight Baked Oatmeal & Here's to a Healthy New Year!

WELCOME


First of all, I want to thank all of you for your support this past year, as my blog grew by leaps and bounds.  I wouldn't have this spot in Blogland without your interest and encouragement.  It means so much. Please know I don't ever take you for granted.  Each of you are special to me!
THANK YOU KINDLY!!

I don't know about you, but I certainly overindulged over the holidays, and am very ready to work toward eating healthier in the new year.

I have many yummy low fat/low/no sugar dishes to share with you, but not everything will fit those categories.  Sometimes we eat healthy, other times we'll indulge in something not-so-healthy.

I once heard a cookbook author speak - Dawn Hall.  She has a number of lowfat/extremely low fat/low sugar cookbooks. I tend to agree with her thinking that if you eat healthy 80% of the time, you can splurge a little the other 20%. 

 I know when I've done Weight Watchers in the past, the weeks I would have a little splurge day, seemingly, were somehow the weeks I lost more?  Didn't make sense to me, but I think my body agrees with that plan.  

I'm all for the thinking that we shouldn't always be on a 'diet'....but to live a healthy lifestyle all year long.  I was proud of myself for getting outside the first day of this new year and walking for over 30 minutes - even though it was a cold 37 and very windy.  I was determined and it felt really good. I walked with an in-home video inside yesterday and it was great to be moving....

And I do believe that our goal should be to be healthy, happy people. Overall well being and good health is a lot more than just the physcial...it includes the emotional, mental and spiritual health also.

(Please be patient...there really is a recipe at the end of this post!=)

For the most part, I do use Splenda, but am working at using more natural sweeteners. I just purchased some liquid stevia. It's all a learning process. I would love for you to share suggestions with me.

Honestly, I think there can be controversy over just about anything we put in our mouths....I'm thinking things like coconut oil or even agave nectar. I've read pros and cons....we all have to decide what's best for us, so I hope you'll stick with me as I learn as I go...and maybe you can help me too.

So jump on board and hang on tight....I'd love to inspire you to stay busy cooking healthy in your kitchen in the new year!  I will be pulling out some great 'healthier options' recipes from my archives (when I didn't have many followers) or ones that are just worth sharing one more time!

My husband is a diabetic, 100% disabled, with many health issues, and sometimes it's tough to figure out just what he can/should eat, but overall, we definitely try to stick with low/no sugar.  I'm finding some amazing recipes on the net and am always happy to share my finds.

{OK - I'll get off my soap box now=} 
I promise to not always be so chatty!!

The first recipe I'm sharing this year is an oatmeal dish...because {SSHHH} I am having a love affair with oatmeal. (Trust me...My husband knows about it) I like to flavor up oatmeal in many different ways. 

There will be more oatmeal recipes to follow in the days ahead. Yummy soup recipes too...and more!


We love love love oatmeal at our house!

We enjoy it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner mealtimes! It's a favorite dish to enjoy on Sunday evenings after church, especially in the wintertime.

It's a really great warmup!

Whenever we visit the Golden Arches, oatmeal is one of my favorite things to enjoy there.  MMMM!

This is a healthy dish as well. 

We prefer a 7-grain oatmeal we get from a local bulk food store. It gives the oatmeal some texture and added nutrition, but feel free to use whatever you have.

Oh how I enjoyed the almonds on top of this dish. It was so tasty and added the PERFECT crunch.


You can add apple chunks, pumpkin, any spices or nuts you prefer,
and it's oh so delicious!

I added craisins instead of the blueberries and cherries called for, though I would love to try that combo sometime too.

You can use all egg whites to replace the eggs (using 2 whites per egg called for in recipe) OR...did you know you can replace eggs with a mixture of flax seed meal and water?

It's true!  Mix 1 TB. flax seed meal in small bowl with 3 TB. water to substitute for one egg.  It adds nutritients and a slightly nutty flavor.  Use this mixture to replace each egg up to half the eggs called for in the baked recipe.

Any recipe that you can make ahead is a winner in my book!
This recipe gets mixed up the night before and you bake it in the morning.

This is a great choice if you are having company for breakfast or brunch, or just have a busy morning and want to serve something warm and healthy to begin the day.

Any way you look at it...this recipe is a  great option for any meal.

I will be sharing another similar recipe later this month. Same overnight idea, only 24 hrs. instead...and it's more like an oatmeal cake...with coconut on top.  No white sugar OR white flour! 


OVERNIGHT BAKED OATMEAL 

2 eggs, lightly beaten
(I used one egg and the flax seed meal substitute)
3 c. 2% (or skim) milk
2 c. old-fashioned oats
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
(I used 1/4 c. brown sugar & 1/4 c. Brown Sugar Splenda)
1/4 c. canola oil
(I used applesauce)
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. sliced almonds

In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oats, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in dried cranberries.  Pour into a greased 8" square baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Uncover and stir; sprinkle with almonds.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 - 50 minutes
(Please remember that Splenda bakes faster) or until a thermometer reaches 160. Serve warm...with milk if preferred.

Yield: 9 servings