Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu: August 29-September 4

It's going to be another busy week here and I have a TON (well, not literally a ton) of leftover grilled chicken and pork loin left over from Amelia's birthday party (pictures of her an the cake are pictured below). Most of the menu will have to do with using up the chicken and pork and veggies from my garden.
  • Sunday - We ate out with some friends for Sunday dinner - Red Robin, YUM!
  • Monday - Chicken and Roasted Veggie Casserole - cherry tomotoes, onions, peppers, and summer squash/zucchini roasted in olive oil, garlic, and herbs then combined with the grilled chicken and topped with feta.
  • Tuesday Veggie Pizza (and maybe BBQ chicken pizza if we end up having company)
  • Wednesday - We will most likely be eating at my MIL & FIL's house or doing leftovers.
  • Thursday - Grilled Chicken Salad - served with all the fixin's (mushrooms, olives, feta, onions, tomatoes, boiled eggs, etc.)
  • Friday - Chicken BLT Wraps - I use turkey bacon to help lower the calorie/fat content.
  • Saturday - We are having a "Date Night" on Saturday and attending a friend's wedding without the munchkins :o)
Here is are a couple of pictures of the cake that my mom and I decorated for Miss Meli's 1st birthday.

Amelia's "Smash" cake - the Ladybug



Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu: August 22-28

This week is going to be pretty busy, which sometimes lends itself to quick meals that aren't always healthy or even dining out. :o( I am still going to try to keep up with the healthy cooking so here's the menu for the week.
  • Chicken BLT wraps - I used a simple salt, pepper and McCormmick's Grill Mates Garlic Herb seasoning on the chicken. I substituted turkey bacon for regular bacon and then seasoned it with black pepper before baking it. 
  • Monday we had a calendar planning meeting at church and dinner was provided.
  • For lack of a better name - Garden Veggie Stew over Rice - I will be making a stew/casserole of sorts using zucchini, summer squash, peppers, onions, tomatoes, beef stock, seasoning, and ground turkey. Then I will serve it over rice.
  • Wednesday we'll be having dinner at MIL & FIL's house as usual. I always look forward to this. :o)
  • Eggplant Parmesan with a twist - I love eggplant Parmesan and the eggplant in my garden is ready to be picked, but it is higher in calorie. So I'm going to attempt to bake the eggplant vs. frying it, and I'm going to try replacing some to all of the Parmesan with feta.
  • Still working on Friday's meal...
  • We are having a birthday party for little Meli later on Saturday and these are my options (I won't use all of them, but it's nice to have stuff on hand no matter what I decide to do):
    • Grilled chicken and pork loin (both are pretty low in calorie but big on flavor)
    • Fruit Salad
    • Pasta Salad (spiral pasta, black olives, peppers, onions, tomatoes, Italian dressing and feta)
    • Relish Tray or Cucumber Salad (I will post the recipe soon)
    • Mac'n'Cheese or Baked Zucchini
    • Crackers, cheese, and tomato relish
    • Cake (I may use different fondant and buttercream recipes this time) and Ice Cream

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jalapeño Cheddar Bread / Rolls

A little bit of heat, a soft and fluffy texture, along with the rich undertones created by the sharp cheddar and you'll have trouble eating only 1 or 2 or ... They're truly hard to resist!

  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 medium-large fresh jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Add ingredients to your bread maker (or KitchenAid mixer with bread hook attachment) in following order:
    o  Water, yeast, and sugar - let rest 5-10 minutes
    o  Add jalapenos, flour, cheese, and salt.
  2. Set your machine bread machine on the dough setting and let it go through the first kneading, rising, kneading cycle (between 30-40 minutes, I think). Or if using the bread hook, let the mixer "knead" the dough until smooth and somewhat sticky. Remove bowl from mixer and let rise for 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove dough and knead. Then form into either a loaf or 16 round balls (for dinner rolls). Place in a greased loaf pan or 2 greased 9" round cake pans (for rolls). Let bread rise for 30 minutes or rolls for 10 minutes. Place in the oven and then turn it (set at 350 degrees). It helps the dough rise faster by having it in the oven during the preheating. Once the oven is preheated, bake for 15-20 minutes for rolls and 45-50 minutes for bread (I'm guessing on the bake time for the bread as I made only the rolls) or until the tops are golden brown. 
  4. Remove from the oven and brush lightly with butter. 

Stuffed Pepper Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 packet salsa mix (or make your own with finely diced jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and onion)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large stock pot brown and season ground meat with salt and pepper. 
  2. Drain fat and add all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 30.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu: August 15-21

I am really undecided as to what I should make for meals this week. I will post more meals as I think of them.
  • Hormel Mesquite Pork Loin Fillet, grilled veggies (summer squash, onions, red peppers, salt, pepper, and McCormick garlic and herb seasoning), corn on the cob, and garlic dinner rolls.
  • Stuffed Pepper Soup and Jalapeño Rolls
  • Hoping to get to the store (I have a sick munchkin) so I can make Grilled Chicken Wraps and a Side Salad or Veggie Tray.
  • ...

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Tonight I really wanted to make a dessert as it's been awhile. I tried to make it as low calorie/fat as I could. Here's my recipe, which came out to 246 calories per serving.
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw prior to making)
  • 2 peaches, cut into slices
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine blueberries, peaches, honey, cinnamon, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Divide between 4-7 oz ramekins.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, and flour. Cut in butter and sprinkle over fruit mixture.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cornell BBQ Sauce (for poultry)

A friend passed along this recipe to me after reading that I was unsure of what meat to make for a meal on this week's menu. I am looking forward to trying it.

"This is the only BBQ chicken we ever had in our house when I was growing up and I'm continuing the tradition now! I like it best on boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but it's very good on anything. You can marinade the meat as little as a couple hours or as long as a couple days! The longer the better! It's a Central NY specialty!"

1/2 Cup oil
1 Cup vinegar
2 Tblsp. salt
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 egg

Whisk all together and pour over chicken. This single recipe doesn't make much, so you may want to double or even triple it depending on how much meat you have. Throw it on the grill and call me over for dinner!

Healthy Beef Pot Roast

As you all know, I've been trying to cook healthier meals with both myself and the hubby trying to get in shape. Here is a recipe that I found at I decided to post it here on the blog so that I could list any changes that I made.

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast, boneless
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 McCormick's Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
  1. Simmer onion until tender in 2 tablespoons water in heavy, deep skillet.
  2. Add roast to skillet; brown on sides.
  3. Combine beef bouillon cube with 2 cups hot water; stir until dissolved.
  4. Combine orange juice, allspice, pepper, seasoning and beef broth. Pour over meat. Cover and simmer, about 2 hours.
Now for the cooking changes:
  1. Toss onion in a 3-qt. crock pot. Add roast.
  2. Combine beef bouillon cube with 2 cups hot water; stir until dissolved.
  3. Combine orange juice, allspice, pepper, seasoning and beef broth. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours.
Per 3 oz Serving: 265 Calories

* If you do not have allspice at home, don't fret! Here is a recipe to make your own: Combine 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground gloves for each teaspoon of allspice needed.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Menu: August 8-14

I'm getting a little behind again on posting my menu, but it was definitely a busy weekend.
  1. Ham, turkey, and reduced-sodium provolone subs along with baby carrot sticks and unsweetened applesauce.
  2. We thoroughly enjoyed the Veggie pizza last week so I'll be making it again this week.
  3. Pot Roast, zucchini gratin, and red potatoes
  4. Chicken Cacciatore, green beans, and smashed potatoes
  5. BBQ chicken or Hormel Mesquite pork loin fillet (130 calories per 4 oz serving), smoky BBQ beans, corn on the cob and jalapeño bread

Zucchini Gratin

I have been looking for some new side dishes using zucchini and came across this dish on As always, you can substitute summer squash for the zucchini.

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 5-6 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the milk and the cornstarch in a small pot and stir until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add the garlic and thyme and heat over medium heat until mixture has thickened but before it starts to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Slice the zucchini into thin rounds.
  3. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and layer the zucchini, sprinkled with salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Drizzle a portion of the milk mixture over the zucchini before adding the next layer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Sprinkle the top with the remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Spray a thin layer of cooking spray on top and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until the top has turned golden brown.
Serves: 6

Nutrition Content (per serving): 114 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g protein, 180 mg sodium

Friday, August 6, 2010

Veggie Pizza

Last night I made veggie pizza for supper and as the hubby put it, "Beka, this is the best pizza you've ever made."  I thought it was delicious and so did the kids, who asked for seconds and thirds! This recipe makes 2 - 14" thin crust pizzas. At just 147 calories per slice, it's great for those of us who are watching our waistlines.
  • homemade pizza dough or you can buy a 1 lb. pizza dough from Festival Foods' deli (it only makes 1 pizza)
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium summer squash or zucchini slice into 1/8"-1/4" thick medallions
  • 1 small green pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cups wide-shredded Parmesan (I bought a wedge and then used the largest grater I had)
  • 8 oz. garlic and herb feta cheese (I recently read that feta has 30% less calories/fat than cheddar)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Roll out dough into 2 - 14" thin crust pizza rounds and place on greased pizza pans. 
  3. In a food processor, combine herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse till herbs and garlic are finely chopped. Spread 1/2 of the sauce on each pizza.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 the mozzarella on each pizza, then top with the summer squash/zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with Parmesan and feta.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Yield: 12 slices/squares per pizza (24 slices total)

If you only want to make 1 pizza, you take the remaining summer squash/zucchini, peppers, onions, and mushrooms and throw them in a large frying pan with a little olive oil, butter (no more than 1 Tablespoon), garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring often. Top with 3 slices of cheese (reduced fat provolone or american), cheese is optional. It makes a refreshing side dish to almost any meal.

Yield: 12 slices/squares per pizza (24 slices total)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Menu: August 1-7

Sorry that there isn't really going to be much of a menu for this week. We are celebrating my FIL's 60th birthday this week by spending Monday and Tuesday all together. There won't be much cooking going on as we are staying in a hotel. I will probably be bringing some homemade snacks for the trip though.
  • Veggie Pizza
  • Macaroni 'n' Cheese - I do use skim milk and reduced fat cheese to help cut down on the calories.
  • Spaghetti, summer squash, and French bread
  • We'll just be filling in with leftovers the rest of the week.
Snacks and Things (I may only make one of two but am listing a few more options for your benefit)