Posted in Diet, Food, Recipes

RECIPE: Low-calorie Shepherd’s Pie

The finished product... good enough to eat!
The finished product… good enough to eat!

Shepherd’s Pie has always been a comfort food of mine. After all, meat, corn and potatoes… what’s not to love? Not to mention all the salt and gobs of butter.Untitled-1

While dieting in the past I would never even think of letting myself eating Shepherd’s Pie. With my new lifestyle change (I’m not calling it a diet) I have been giving my favorite recipes — especially the comfort food — low-calorie makeovers with better nutritional values.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms
  • Mashed Cauliflower
  • Cream Corn
  • 10 ounce package of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Dried chives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare Mashed Cauliflower and Cream Corn
  3. Brown ground chicken in a skillet with garlic
  4. Drain fat
  5. Stir in Italian seasoning and  sliced mushrooms and cook until soft.
  6. Put chicken and mushrooms in the bottom of a 9×13 pan
  7. Spread creamed corn over chicken and mushrooms
  8. Layer spinach over corn
  9. Put Mashed Cauliflower over the corn
  10. Sprinkle cheese  and dried chives over the top
  11. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
  12. Enjoy!

I know it is a little odd to put spinach on Shepherd’s Pie, but I think it needed a little green, and it adds some extra nutrients. Plus, spinach is delicious.

Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.

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Posted in Food, Recipes

RECIPE: Mashed Cauliflower

While I am not doing a no-carb, or even a low-carb diet, I try to limit them whenever I can. I love, love, love mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, once you doctor them up, there are a ton of carbs and even more calories. I found a recipe for mashed cauliflower and — like always — made it my own.

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cut cauliflower into chunks
  • Cook cauliflower until soft
  • Put cauliflower in food processor with milk and garlic and blend until smooth. You will probably have to scrape the sides clean at several times during the process.
  • Microwave until warm and serve with your favorite mashed potato toppings

You can add more milk if you like your mashed potatoes runnier and less milk if you like them less runny.

A 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes is about 150 calories. A 1/2 cup of mashed cauliflower is about 30 calories. You pick! Plus, As you can see by the Nutritional Analysis, the cauliflower is SUPER good for you.

Could this be any healthier?
Could this be any healthier?
Nutrition information is for the whole recipe.
Nutrition information is for the whole recipe.
Posted in Diet, Health, Recipes

RECIPE: Cream Corn

I was craving Shepard’s Pie tonight. Full recipe for that coming later). I avoid eating anything canned — there’s just too many preservatives and salt, so I had to come up with my own recipe for cream corn. It was super easy and tastes really good — not the same as the canned stuff, but good nonetheless.

This recipe has about half the calories than the canned version and is much, much lower than sodium.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (more if you like the corn runnier)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook corn
  2. Put cooked corn, milk and salt into a food processor
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Enjoy!

corn

Nutrition information is for the entire recipe.
Nutrition information is for the entire recipe.

 

Posted in Diet, Food, Health, Recipes, weight loss

RECIPE: Reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne

Delicious, reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne.
Delicious, reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne.

Holy deliciousness Batman!

I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest for a lower calorie lasagne using strips of lasagne instead of pasta. I like lasagne. I like zucchini. Clearly, I had to try this. I find it difficult — it not impossible — to follow a recipe to the letter. Instead, I use them as a guides, throwing in my own ingredients and substitutions along the way. Here is how I made my delicious dinner:

Reduced-guild lasagne

Brown turkey and garlic in a skillet.
Brown turkey and garlic in a skillet.
Boil strips of zucchini/summer squash.
Boil strips of zucchini/summer squash.
Add tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Add tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Place zucchini on the bottom of a 13x9" pan.
Place zucchini on the bottom of a 13×9″ pan.

Ingredients

  • 5 zucchini or summer squash (I used a combination of both)
  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 15 ounces of low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 pint fresh mushrooms
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Start by grounding the turkey in a skillet with Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of garlic stirring occasionally
  3. Slice the zucchini in thin slices to be used as the “noodles”
  4. Boil sliced zucchini for about 3-5 minutes
  5. Drain the fat out of the turkey
  6. stir in tomato sauce
  7. Stir in mushrooms
  8. Line bottom of a 13×9 pan with the sliced zucchini
  9. Add the turkey/mushroom/sauce mixture for the next layer
  10. The next layer should be ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  11. Place another layer of zucchini followed by another layer of the sauce mixture
  12. Top off with remaining mozzarella cheese
  13. Sprinkle Cayenne pepper on the top before placing in the oven
  14. Bake for 20 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

The Cayenne pepper is optional. I cook with it a lot because I’ve heard it can help boost your metabolism. I’m not sure if that’s true, but either way I’m OK with it because it tastes good and is calorie-free.

I really, really enjoyed this recipe. It is really filling and serves a lot of people. I served mine with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

The finished product: Serves eight at 253 calories a piece.
The finished product: Serves eight at 253 calories a piece.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Posted in Diet, Food, Health, Recipes, weight loss

RECIPE: Kick-ass low-cal soup

Delicious low-calorie soup.
Delicious low-calorie soup.

“Don’t you dare call that my soup Lynn Marie.”

That’s what my aunt said to me when I told her I tried to make her soup recipe — with a few modifications.

She sent me the recipe yesterday, explaining it was delicious and, even better, very low calorie. I’m willing to they anything that fits that description.

Here is her recipe:

Freedom soup

  • 1/2 large red onion sliced and halved
  • 2 cups cubed turnip or rutabaga
  • 2 cups sliced carrot (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups cut green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 head med. cabbage cut in med. shreds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 6-8 cups fat free beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cubed zucchini

Directions

  1. In large pot- spray bottom with nonstick spray.
  2. Saute first 4 ingredients for 10 min.or until turnips are el dente. (use some of the broth if necessary to keep from sticking).
  3. While sauteing, prepare next 4 ingredients and combine in bowl.
  4. When turnips are ready, add broth, cabbage mixture, oregano, basil,salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil over med heat.
  6. Simmer 10 min.
  7. Add Zucchini and simmer another 10 min.

And here’s what it turned in to…
 

Kick-ass low-cal Soup

  • 1 large sweet onion

    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.
    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.
  • 5 large carrots
  • 2 pints of mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 8 ounce can of sauerkraut
  • 1 summer squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups fat-free beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic
  2. Add mushrooms (quartered)

    Looking yummy!
    Looking yummy!
  3. Saute for 5 minutes
  4. Add squash, zucchini, carrots, 1 cup of broth
  5. Saute for 5 more minutes stirring occasionally
  6. Add remainder of broth, the rest of the ingredients and two cups of water
  7. stir, cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes
  8. Enjoy!

I’ll have to compare it to the original recipe next time I go home, but I was repay happy with how it turned out. It is super-healthy and filling. The only down side is that it is pretty high in sodium (thanks to the sauerkraut and tomato sauce).

This makes a LOT of soup. I’m guessing about 12 1-cup servings. (The nutrition label is for 10 servings). I had some last night and will have some for dinner tonight. The rest I am going to put in single-serving bags and freeze for quick meals when I’m in a hurry.

Screen shot 2013-03-23 at 8.50.15 PM

 

Posted in Diet, Food, Health, Recipes, Uncategorized

Peach curry pork chops

Curry Peach Pork Chops with spinach and green beans.
Curry Peach Pork Chops with spinach and green beans.

My taste buds are getting tired of the same old fish and vegetables every day (sometimes twice a day) so I have been experimenting with different recipes that are still on my diet. The ones I think turned out well I will share with you.

My lease is up at my house so I am trying to eat at least everything in my freezer so I don’t have to worry about moving it to my new place. I am starting to get to the stuff that isn’t my favorite, so I have to get creative to make it tasty. That’s how I came up with peach curry pork chops. I’m not a huge fan of porkchops and I have never cooked with curry before, so this had the potential to go horribly, horribly wrong.

Brown pork chops on both sides.
Brown pork chops on both sides.

Luckily, it didn’t.

Here ya go…

Peach Curry Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 2 pork chops
  • 2 fresh peaches
  • Curry
  • Ground Ginger
  • Coconut milk
  • Oil

Directions

Put peaches, curry and ginger in a food processor. Add coconut milk.
Put peaches, curry and ginger in a food processor. Add coconut milk.
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When oil is heated, place pork chops skillet. Brown both sides.
  3. Peel two peaches, remove pits and place in a food processor.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of curry, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 cup of light coconut milk to the peaches.
  5. Puree mixture.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and pour over pork chops.
  7. Sauce will thicken as it cooks.
  8. Cook for an additional 8 minutes or until done.
  9. Enjoy!

Serving size is one pork chop and half the sauce.

Peach curry pork chops. Serving size, 1 pork chop.
Peach curry pork chops. Serving size, 1 pork chop.
Posted in Diet, Food, Health, Recipes, Uncategorized, weight loss

Healthy (yummy) cauliflower pizza

Healthy pizza
Healthy pizza

I was craving pizza all day today, and even though it is my “cheat day” I didn’t want to blow all the work I have done this week by ordering a pizza, so I decided to make one. I remembered seeing a recipe on a blog or Pinterest for pizza with a cauliflower crust and decided to give it a shot.

A quick google search brought me to several recipes. I picked one that looked pretty good, modified it a bit, and it turned out great! It has a different consistency than I am used to, but I really enjoyed it. Sorry pizza fans, you can’t pick this up by the slice and eat it, you are going to have to use a fork and plate. It’s worth it though!

This recipe serves three people.

DSC_8140a

Healthy (yummy) pizza

Crust ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower riced
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

 

 

Directions for crustDSC_8144a

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Take riced cauliflower and microwave for four minutes, uncovered.
  3. Combine cauliflower, garlic, onion salt, egg, and Italian seasoning. Mix thoroughly.
  4. On a greased cookie sheet, form mixture into a circle to form the pizza crust.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Here is what I put on my pizza, but everyone has their own tastes, so get creative!

DSC_8145a

Ingredients for pizza

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 artichoke hearts
  • 13 slices of turkey pepperoni
  • 8 mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons light ranch dressing

 

 

Direction for pizza

  1. After the crust is done baking, remove from oven, turn on broiler.
  2. Spread ranch dressing over crust.
  3. add 1/2 cup of cheese over the dressing.
  4. Add artichoke hearts, pepperoni and mushrooms.
  5. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
  6. Broil for 3-5 minutes (long enough for cheese to melt.
  7. Cut into slices and enjoy! (serves three)

This recipe gets an A from CalorieCount.com

This is the nutrition information I came up with for each serving of the CRUST ONLY if you want to try different toppings.
This is the nutrition information I came up with for each serving of the CRUST ONLY if you want to try different toppings.
This is the nutrition information for one serving (1/3 of the pizza) for the toppings I used.
This is the nutrition information for one serving (1/3 of the pizza) for the toppings I used.