Monday, January 31, 2011


Who doesn't love chicken in tomatoes.....YUM! I add some garlic, shallots and capers to add a little sweet/tangy addition to the tomatoes. Again, this recipe is best with chicken cutlets which are thin sliced boneless breasts. If you cannot find cutlets, buy boneless breasts and slice them in half lengthwise and pound to about 1/2 inch thick. Olives would be a nice addition but carry a few calories!!!


4 chicken cutlets
3 tbl olive oil
5 garlic cloves minced
2 shallots minced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup capers drained and rinsed
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
fresh basil chopped for garnish

In a saute pan heat 2 tbl olive oil in a pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the pan. Cook on each side about 3 minutes and transfer to a plate to keep warm. To the same saute pan, add remaining oil. Cook garlic and shallots to the pan. Saute for about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth and capers. Cook about 5 minutes and serve over chicken and garnish with basil leaves.
Serve with steamed vegetables or a nice dinner salad. The chicken portion has about 300 calories per serving!!!

It's about Quick Chicken!


If you like the saltiness of soy sauce and the sweetness of apricot preserve...this is the one for you. I buy chicken cutlets which are just boneless chicken breasts sliced in half length wise. If you can't find cutlets, just slice the boneless breasts and place plastic wrap on top of each piece and pound them thin to about 1/2 inch thick. They cook VERY fast so keep your eye on them.
4 skinless chicken cutlets
3 tbl olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1 shallot minced
1 lb broccoli florets small pieces
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tbl apricot preserve
1-1/2 tbl low sodium soy sauce
2 tbl fresh lime juice
1 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
Italian parsley for garnish
In a large sauce pan, heat water to boil and add broccoli with a tsp salt. Blanch for about 5 minutes, drain and place on platter and keep warm. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbl olive oil in a saute pan and add chicken. Saute about 3 minutes a side and transfer to the broccoli platter and keep warm. To the same saute pan add remaining tbl olive oil, garlic, red pepper flake and shallot. Quickly saute about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, apricot preserve and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Cook one minute. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Spoon sauce over chicken and broccoli and garnish with parsley.
Only about 400 calories in the Whole dish!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Well Steeler and Packer least you are still ready for some football. Here is a tart, frothy and wonderfully refreshing beverage for your upcoming BIG DAY!

6 (12 oz) lighter beers like Budweiser or Corona
1 (12 oz) can frozen limeade concentrate
Half of a lime

Combine frozen limeade in a big pitcher with the beer. Allow the foam to settle and squeeze in the lime. Serve in chilled glasses or over ice.

Great with your favorite Super Bowl snacks!


Yes it is winter! Yes it seems to be snowing everywhere! And, Yes your kids are out on a snow day AGAIN! This is a great one-dish meal that is as delicious as it is CHEAP! Chicken thighs are super affordable and when you braise them they stay juicy and have much better flavor than their white meat friends. Frankly add whatever you've got in the pantry/frig to this all works. If you don't like chipollini onions you can add frozen pearls or shallots or leeks. This serves about 6 adults.
3 lbs chicken thighs (trim the fat)
5 carrots cut to 1 inch thick
6 garlic cloves diced
1 pkg chipollini onions, wrappers removed
3 lbs small red potatoes halved
4 tbl olive oil
2 tbl flour
1 cup cider vinegar
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tbl tomato paste
4 tbl unsalted butter
2 tbl flat leaf parsley chopped
1 tbl fresh thyme chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place thighs skin side down in the pot and cook over medium high heat until the thighs are golden brown on both sides. Transfer them to a plate.
Spoon off all but about 2 tbl of oil from the pot and add carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes. Cook over low heat until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir for a minute. Add vinegar and tomato paste. Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot and stir until everything is incorporated. Bring sauce to a boil and cook until sauce thickens. Add the broth, and thyme and season with salt and pepper and return chicken to the pan skin side up. Transfer to the oven and cook for an hour.
Preheat your low setting on your broiler and transfer the chicken and potatoes to a baking sheet. Broil until they are crisp on the outside. While you broil, also simmer the sauce on the stove top until it reduces a bit, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter. Add the parsley, chicken and potatoes back to the pot and serve. The house will smell magnificent.
Perfect with a nice chardonnay!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Garlic and Bread??!!!! What is not to love. I make extra of these and sprinkle them on everything! To make the breadcrumbs cut a good loaf of French or Italian bread into chunks and then toss in the food processor until they are fully ground.
This is another quick and easy pasta dish. I often add a seasonal vegetable to this which I add right before the shrimp so they cook through since the shrimp only takes a few minutes.
1-1/2 lbs peeled, cleaned shrimp
9 cloves of garlic minced
1 shallot finely diced
1/2 cup Italian parsley chopped
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
10 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup capers drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh grated lemon zest
1 (12 oz) box of linguine
parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Heat 4 tbl olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and half the garlic. Saute until they are crisp, about 10 minutes and reserve in a bowl. In the same saute pan heat 6 tbl olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and remaining garlic to the pan and any vegetable you may choose. Saute for about 2-3 minutes depending on the vegetable. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Saute for about 3 minutes until they become opaque. Stir in the half the parsley, capers and lemon zest.
Cook pasta according to package instructions and add it to the shrimp along with 1/2 cup of the pasta liquid. Mix in 1 cup of the garlic breadcrumbs, adding more pasta water if you think it is too dry. Mix in remaining breadcrumbs and top with remaining parsley.
You Will Love This!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


5 carbs...5 carbs....

I hear you Bernie....just substitute the peppers for other vegetables like, green beans, asparagus, catch my drift. It won't change the carb number. This is also low in calories (215 per serving) and offers some iron, and calcium....go for it!!!

1 lb pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch medallions
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 yellow pepper cut into strips
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 shallot minced
3 garlic cloves minced
4 anchovy fillets mashed (or 3 tbl minced olives)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbl olive oil

Heat oil in a saute pan. Lightly season the pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan and saute for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat and flip pork. Add shallot, garlic, 1 tsp rosemary, thyme, anchovy and peppers to the pan and cook until peppers are soft...about 8-10 minutes. Add vinegar and toss. Serve with remaining rosemary sprinkled on top. Great with roasted red potatoes, mashed potatoes...or a nice salad to keep the carbs down.



So NO I did not blog yesterday...I had every intention....but I boarded a plane to head was, as my husband and I determined later, the second scariest flight of my life....yes I cried...
I was a bit spent, so blogging was out of the question...we went to a sweet Miami restaurant and had conch fritters and lots and lots of wine....
While for most of us, conch is unavailable...just substitute scallops, shrimp, clams or a mild fish like snapper.
2 lbs seafood of your choice coarsely chopped
1/2 each of green, red and yellow pepper finely chopped
2 shallots finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1 tbl fresh Italian parsley
1 tbl dry thyme
1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
canola oil
Mix flour and salt and dredge fish in it. Add the veggie mixture to the flour and fish. Add enough water to create balls with a consistency thick enough to fry. You can adjust with more flour or water. Fry the fritters in canola oil until golden brown. Make a dipping sauce of equal parts mayonnaise and ketchup. To that add to taste chipotle, horseradish and/or bbq sauce.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Roasting the garlic first helps add a smoky flavor to the broth. To roast garlic, cut the top 1/4 inch off the garlic. Cover with olive oil and place in foil. Bake at 425 degrees for an hour. Cool and squeeze garlic into a bowl and mash.

Always discard any clams that remain open even when you try to close them. Make sure you have some nice bread to "sop" up the "brothy" goodness.

You can certainly add some smoky andouille sausage to this or evn some bacon or pancetta.

4 lbs clams scrubbed
1 (14oz) can diced San Marzano tomatoes
3 tbl roasted garlic puree
2 tbl cornmeal
4 tbl olive oil
3 shallots minced
1 cup white wine
1 tbl fresh chopped Italian parsley
1 tbl fresh chopped chives
1/4 tsp red pepper flake (more if you want more spice)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

First place clams in a bowl of cold water and sprinkle the cornmeal over the water. Let them sit in the water for a half hour then drain and rinse clams. Heat oil in a saute pan. Add shallots and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, garlic, parsley, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Heat to a simmer and add red pepper flake.
Add the clams and cover tightly. Steam until all the clams open. Serve in a nice big soup bowl with lots of broth. A must is nice crusty Italian bread!

So good on a cold night!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Thanks to Lezlie for the picture!!!!
Okay so I am glued to SportsCenter until the 2pm kick off...but we were hungry. So we looked in the refrigerator and here's what we took out...
english muffins
cream cheese
Cook the bacon and keep warm in the oven. Toast the english muffin and spread both halves with lots and lots of cream cheese. Top one half with bacon. Make an over-medium egg, place the egg on the bacon. Use the second half of the muffin to "sop-up" the yolk .....

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Need I say More!!!! Go Bears!!!
While we all wait until 2pm CST, let's make SOME CHILI!!! Add more or less spice as you like.
1 lb ground sirloin
2 onions diced
1 green pepper diced
1 jalapeno chopped and seeded
1 (16 oz) diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tbl ground cumin
2 tbl chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flake
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup water
1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, guacamole
In a soup pot brown beef and saute onions and peppers. When beef is cooked through drain and return all to pot. Add remaining ingredients and cook on a low simmer for 1-2 hours. Serve with garnishes.
So Easy!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Impress your friends this year on the "most important game in each teams history" by pairing this fabulous cocktail with your favorite snacks.

As you know, simple syrup is a mix of sugar and water, boiled to dissolve the sugar then cooled.

1 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
1/2 oz 1800 Tequila
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz simple syrup

Pour all in a blender....blend a few seconds, pour into a margarita glass lined with salt (optional) and garnished with a lime wedge....

Can't Wait!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


You won't believe this but just 1.3g carbs...yes...1.3g of carbs!!!!!
You can use any firm white fish like grouper and even salmon. The sauce adds so much citrus flavor and all the fresh herbs make it delicious. Just add all kinds of free carb veggies on the side and you will have a great meal. This serves 4


4 (6 oz) halibut fillets
4 tbl olive oil
1 tbl chopped seeded jalapeno (optional) or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1 tbl lemon zest
2 tbl lemon juice
3 tbl chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp salt
3 lemon sections minced
7 cups water
1 shallot chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 sprigs Italian parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns

Combine, olive oil, jalapeno or red pepper flake, lemon zest and juice, chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp salt and lemon sections in a bowl. In a saute pan combine water, tsp salt and peppercorns, shallot, garlic, sprigs of parsley and thyme. Add the fish to the pan and cook at a low simmer for about 10 minutes until done. Remove fish and drain on paper towel. Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Start to finish 20 minutes and 1.3g carbs!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


While I am not in favor of a super low or no carb diet for the long term, it is okay for a jump start. The foods that are associated with low/no carb are usually high in cholesterol and sodium. These things will eventually lead to high blood pressure and a rise in cholesterol. So make sure you are a good candidate for this kind of diet.

Having said that, it can help a diet get started. however when you reintroduce carbs like pasta, rice and bread you have to careful not to let yourself get right back to where you were before you started.

The secret to a low carb diet is adding FLAVOR! Most people think you boil a chicken breast and steam a bunch of vegetables and just try to get through the meal. No need for that. Herbs, fresh lemon or lime juice, low sodium chicken stock are all no or super low in carbs...use them. Here is a great recipe which you can add salad or some sauteed vegetables. It has 2.3 g of carbohydrate for the chicken dish alone. That is LOW! This serves 4

4 (4 oz) chicken cutlets
2 oz very thin sliced prosciutto (8 strips)
2 cloves garlic minced
12 fresh sage leaves
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
5 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice

Sprinkle chicken with pepper (you can add a pinch of salt if you like). Place three sage leaves on each cutlet. Wrap 2 prosciutto slices around each cutlet over the sage leaves. Heat a saute pan with 1-1/2 tbl olive oil. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until done. Remove chicken from pan keep warm. In a bowl combine, broth, lemon juice, garlic and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk until cornstarch is incorporated. Add cornstarch mixture and remaining olive oil to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute to a boil until slightly thickened whisking constantly. Spoon sauce over chicken.

FLAVOR and 2.3 g of carbs!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have been finding out from a few fans that they are on low or NO carbs and would like some recipes. So I will blog this last simple pasta dish and move Wednesday and Thursday to no carb days. Of course Friday is still COCKTAIL FRIDAY!
For now lets talk simple pasta. This takes 20 minutes total to make and the flavors are delicious. May sound like a lot of onion, but when you caramelize them, which I LOVE, they reduce in size dramatically. You could certainly add chopped chicken to this as well or other vegetables.

3 cups chopped Vidalia onion (or nice sweet onion)
8-10oz chopped snap peas, trimmed of string
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, some leaves for garnish
4 tbl olive oil
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 pkg small shell pasta (orecchiette)

Heat oil in a large saute pan on med-high heat and add onions. Saute for about 5 minutes at this temperature then reduce the heat to medium and saute for about 15-20 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. Add the peas and cook about 3 minutes and remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain but reserve a cup of pasta water.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid to the onion mixture. Stir over medium heat for a minute and add ricotta, basil and lemon zest. Add more pasta water if needed. Serve with shredded mozzarella on top and parmesan cheese if you like.

Simply Delicious!

Monday, January 17, 2011


The great thing about this simple manicotti is that so much can be made ahead of time. The sausage cheese stuffing mixture can be made a day ahead, and you can cook and stuff the manicotti about 2 hours, so when guests arrive all you have to do is bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Choose your sausage from mild or sweet to fennel spiced to hot depending on your taste.


1 lb Italian sausage (I use sweet and add spice later)
1/2 cup chopped shallot
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 (28 oz) San Marzano whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 (15 oz) whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup fresh provolone cheese diced into cubes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1-1/2 cups fresh parmesan cheese
olive oil
crushed red pepper (optional)
1 lb manicotti

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Slit the sausage to release fat while cooking and place in a pan with a tbl olive oil, shallot and garlic. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Turn sausage and cook another 5 minutes. (turn heat down if onion and garlic start to brown). Add the wine and cook uncovered until it reduces and shallots begin to brown. Remove from heat.

Puree the tomatoes in a food processor and strain seeds if you want...I leave them in. If you are adding red pepper add it here. Pour tomatoes into pan with sausage and simmer over low heat until the tomatoes reduce to about 2 cups....This should take about 1 hour to 1-1/4 hour. Add basil and simmer for 5 minutes. Take sausage out of the pan and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl with the provolone, 2 tbl parmesan and a pinch of pepper. Cut sausages into cubes and add to the cheese mixture.

Cook manicotti 3/4 of the way or about 7 minutes. Drain and cool on a lined baking sheet. Stuff with the sausage and cheese mixture. In an olive oil greased 13 x 9 pan, add a layer of sauce and line stuffed manicotti in a single layer. Spoon remaining sauce over the top of manicotti. Add about 3/4 cup parmesan on top of sauce and bake until sauce bubbles about 20 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes.


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Da Bears! Da Bears!

Try this delicious cocktail for your tailgate party today.

1/2 cup sugar
4 oz lemon juice
6 oz orange juice
4 oz grenadine
1 bottle Jack Daniel's whisky
1 liter club soda

Mix all together in a pitcher and pour over ice. You can add a mint leaf or two for garnish....


Saturday, January 15, 2011


We are only hours away and you have plenty of time to make these delicious kabobs. You can certainly add any other vegetables or fruit you would like to these. I use Italian sausage because I love the spice, but pork sausage is great too.
1 lb Italian cooked sausage cut into 16 pieces
16 large raw shrimp cleaned and deveined
1 sweet pepper (any color, red, orange yellow) cut into 16 pieces
2 shallots cut into 16 slices
1 zucchini in 16 pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tbl sherry vinegar
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
1 tsp cumin
pinch red pepper flake
16 sage leaves
Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika and cumin in a bowl. Add sausage and shrimp and marinade at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Drain and reserve marinade. Skewer shallot, shrimp, sage, sausage, pepper and zucchini on skewer...repeat. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill on medium- high basting frequently with reserved marinade. Cook time about 6-8 minutes until shrimp cooked through. Serve alone as an appetizer or with a side of rice for dinner.
It's The Playoffs!

Friday, January 14, 2011


So who will it be...Baltimore....Pittsburgh......Green Bay...Atlanta.....holding my breath.....only til the cocktail is ready silly!!!!!
2-3 bags orange spice tea
Good cranberry infused vodka
splash of orange juice
splash of cranberry
splash of lemon-lime soda
1 tsp sugar (more as garnish)
orange slices
Cinnamon stick for garnish (optional)
The night before...steep the tea in a quart of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and sweeten the tea with tsp of sugar. Refrigerate overnight. Game day--- Rim a glass with sugar and fill with ice. Pour in 2 oz of vodka leaving room for the splashes of orange juice, cranberry juice and lemon lime soda. Garnish with orange slice. Try this with your tailgate friends!
Playoff Weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Nothing says "slow cooker" and "save-my-pocketbook" like pulled pork. There are so many great variations to the recipes. I like this one because of all the soft drinks out there, I love root beer and you can taste it in this sauce. You can make this recipe and chill it overnight or even freeze it in ziploc containers for up to a month. Then just thaw the night before, put in a sauce pan and reheat. If the sauce is too thick just add a little water.
This does call for browning the pork first in a pan, so for you busy people this may be a weekend dish....still super easy but one added step.
2-1/2 to 3 lb pork roast
2 onions chopped
2 tbl minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups root beer
1 cup chili sauce
2 tbl vegetable oil
hot sauce (optional)
rolls, sandwich garnishes
You should trim the fat off the roast if there is a lot. Cut the meat to fit into your cooker. Salt and pepper the roast and brown it in a skillet in the oil. Drain the fat. Place meat in the cooker and add onion, 1 cup of the root beer, thyme, cumin and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.
In a sauce pan combine remaining root beer and chili sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce and boil slowly for about 30 minutes until it reduces. If you want a little hot sauce add it here.
When pork is done remove it and discard the cooking liquid. When it is cool, take two forks and pull apart the pork to shredded pieces. Then make your sandwiches. Top rolls with your garnishes, pork and finally that great root beer based sauce. Sounds like a football game day meal.
Happy Playoffs!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Nothing like a bowl of soup that eats like a meal for all you "New Englanders" covered in SNOW today! So throw this in the pot and cover yourself with a blanket, watch a movie all while dinner is cooking.
You can use rotisserie chicken or other previously cooked chicken you may have. Before the chicken gets to the slow cooker it has to be cooked.
2-1/2 cups cooked chicken
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
2 medium carrots chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 can reduced fat and sodium cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 (6 oz) pkg long grain and wild rice mix
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
5 cups water
In a slow cooker, combine the cooked chicken, mushrooms, carrots, celery cream of chicken soup, packet of rice with seasoning mix. Gradually stir in the chicken broth and water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. You can garnish with the leaves from the celery stalks. Serve with nice crusty bread.
Stay Warm In New England Today!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Another great slow cooker dish. Short ribs taste best when slow cooked in a bunch of great vegetables, wine, YES WINE, and herbs. You can serve any variety of sides to this from polenta to pasta to potatoes. I like potatoes.

So I quarter some nice red potatoes, sprinkle with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and put in a baking pan and bake at 350 for the last hour the ribs are cooking.


2-1/2 to 3 lbs boneless beef short ribs
2 onions coarsely chopped
2 carrots coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks coarsely chopped
1 small fennel bulb cored and coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, San Marzano preferably
1 cup dry red wine
2 tbl tomato paste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried rosemary crushed
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tbl quick cook tapioca (crushed)*

Trim fat from meat. In your slow cooker combine onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Place meat on top. In. a bowl, combine tomatoes with juice, wine, tapioca*, tomato paste, garlic, salt rosemary and pepper. Pour over meat and vegetables. Cover and cook at low for 9-10 hours or high for 4-1/2 to 5 hours. Serve with a side of nice roasted potatoes.

*Quick cook tapioca can usually be found in the baking section of the grocery isle. It is a thickening agent. If you can't find it, after the meat and vegetables are cooked, remove and add a tbl of cornstarch mixed with a tbl of water to the gravy if you find it is not thick enough. Stir for a few minutes and turn off heat.

Snow days mean slow cook days!

Monday, January 10, 2011


This is a week with recipes for busy, busy people to just combine ingredients in your slow cooker and come home from work with DINNER DONE!!! These recipes work especially well in winter, because most of the recipes are just great warm comfort foods.
Always be careful handling chili peppers, they are so spicy. Either wear gloves when chopping them or wash your hands right away. Trust me I have made the mistake to wipe my eye first....not pretty!
1 lb sausage, casing removed
1 lb red potatoes chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green and red pepper chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp pepper
28 oz reduced sodium chicken broth
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese for garnish
Canned shoestring potatoes for garnish
In a saute pan, cook sausage until brown and drain fat. In your slow cooker, combine sausage, potatoes, onion, peppers, cumin, oregano, garlic and pepper. Stir in chicken broth. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
While hot, top individual servings with cheese and shoestring potatoes. If you want to make fresh potatoes for topping, cut potatoes into matchstick size and cook in canola oil until brown. Remove and salt while they are still hot. Serve with a nice crusty bread.
It's What's for Dinner!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


One half cup serving is only 177 calories!!!!! YUMMY! The fresh citrus adds such great flavor this is so light and refreshing. Perfect end to a nice low calorie day!

1/2 tsp grated tangerine rind
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup fresh tangerine juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbl fresh lemon juice
3 tbl sugar
3 tbl cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Combine sugar, tangerine rind and orange rind in a sauce pan and crush with a wooden spoon. Stir in tangerine juice, orange juice, cornstarch and salt and stir well. Bring to a boil stirring constantly for 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and lemon juice. Pour pudding in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Place cream in a bowl and whip with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold half the cream into the pudding and spoon 1/2 cup of pudding in a serving bowl and top with whipped cream. Sprinkles are optional.


Saturday, January 8, 2011


YES! only 175 calories per serving and 3 grams of good fiber and still plenty of cheesy goodness!!!!!


1-1/2 lbs ground turkey

1 jalapeno seeded and chopped

1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning mix

2 (8 oz) pkgs reduced fat cream cheese

2 (16 oz) cans fat free refried beans

2 tbl lemon juice

3 avocados mashed

1/2 cup fat free sour cream

1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise

8 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped scallion

2 cups shredded fresh spinach

3 medium tomatoes chopped
baked tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a saute pan, cook turkey and jalapeno with half the seasoning mix until turkey is no longer pink. Remove and set aside.
Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Top with refried beans. Stir the lemon juice into the mashed avocado and spread on top of the beans. In a bowl mix the remaining taco seasoning with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Spread this on top of the avocado. Top with the ground turkey mixture and cheese.
Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove and top with scallion, spinach and tomato. Serve with chips.

Friday, January 7, 2011


This beer punch will make all your tailgaters CHEER!

6 (12 oz) cans of beer
1 pint Canadian Whisky
1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade
2 liters lemon lime soda (add slowly and taste, you may not need or want all of this)

Mix together in a gallon container and serve over ice! Great with chips, salsa and guacamole

Playoff Time!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


A perfect one-pan meal. If you can find really thick pork chops they are the best and will stay nice and juicy. They should be about 1-1/2 inches thick. The recipe calls for very few ingredients, which we should all have. It is very light and I just serve with a nice salad in a vinaigrette, so it is perfect for a lighter meal.
4 bone-in center cut chops (1-1/2 inches thick)
1 large red onion sliced thin
3 tbl olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbl fresh thyme
Fresh ground pepper
In a large saute pan heat 1 tbl olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir frequently until caramelized about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan add 2 tbl olive oil. Pat chops dry and season with a tbl salt and 2 tsp pepper. Cook the chops 3-5 minutes on one side until brown then flip and cook for 2-4 minutes until done. (You can make a small cut near the bone and look inside..light pink is done..if it is redder cook more). If all the chops do not fit in your pan, cook two at a time and add a bit more olive oil for second batch. Transfer to a plate and keep warm,
Put the same pan back on the stove and add balsamic vinegar and onions. Simmer scraping the pork chop bits off the bottom of the pan about 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Serve the balsamic-onion mixture over the chops.
Sweet and Juicy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


In the Chicago Tribune today in the "Good Eating" section, there was an article about "ways to eat better in 2011".
Some suggestions are; try to eat one vegetarian meal one day each week. Try proteins that are from plants rather than animals like lentils, beans or tofu. Use more whole grains like whole grain brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat pasta. Of course adding more fruits and vegetables, especially raw. Finally, eliminate hydrogenated fats and margarine and use olive or canola oil..READ LABELS!!!!
Here is a recipe that incorporates many of these ideas.
1 cup uncooked whole grain brown rice
1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
6 medium chopped cloves of garlic
1 medium jalapeno, cored and finely chopped. If you like spicy, leave ribs in with seeds
1 (15 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley (or cilantro if you like)
2 tbl olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Cook rice according to package instructions. While the rice cooks, drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice into a measuring cup. Add water if necessary to reach 1 cup total liquid.
In a saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno until garlic browns, about 1 minute. Add the beans, cumin, chili powder and 2 tsp salt. Stir to incorporate for about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato juice and bring to a boil. Cook at a low boil until the beans absorb most of the liquid, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, parsley and rice. Stir until rice is warm and serve immediately. You can add other vegetables if you like to make it even healthier!
Hearty Meal!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


This is a very balanced meal that has great flavor with the olives and balsamic vinegar. Limit the potatoes if you want. You can really use any firm fish for this recipe.
4 (5 oz) salmon fillets
4 small red potatoes sliced to 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup kalamata olives
3 tbl chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tbl olive oil
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
lemon wedges for garnish
In a medium saucepan, boil potatoes in enough water to cover them by an inch. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Pat the fish dry and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Heat 1-1/2 tbl oil in a saute pan. When oil is hot add the fillets skin side down. Cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes. Turn once and cook until done about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the fish to a warm plate and cover with foil.
In the same pan add the remaining oil and heat. Add potatoes and rosemary and cook until potatoes are tender and crisping. Add the olives, parsley, balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the potato mixture around the fish and garnish with lemon.
Fast and healthy!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Yes shrimp is low in calories...about 6 per shrimp ......not so good in a iodine and cholesterol...but in moderation....the slaw.... the slaw in this recipe...did I say the sooo good.....


2 lbs jumbo shrimp (at least around 26 count) cleaned deveined
1-1/2 lb Napa cabbage sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 large red pepper sliced thin
2 shallots sliced thin
1/3 cup chopped lightly or unsalted peanuts
3 tbl rice vinegar
4 tsp sugar
4 tsp fish sauce
2 tbl sesame oil

Combine vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, 1/8 tsp salt over low heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, peppers, and shallots. Pour vinegar mix over the vegetable mix and add peanuts and toss well. Let sit stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.

In a saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat and add shrimp with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the cooked shrimp to the slaw and serve. The Asian flavor is very tasty. It is filling without adding calories.......

Good Luck...I need a diet!!!!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Holidays over - Resolution diet in! Good Luck to All!
I really like the tight leaves of Belgian endive but if you prefer the lighter greens from heads of romaine lettuce, they are great too. You can also substitute chicken breasts for the turkey. Helpful diet hint: Rotisserie chicken or turkey breasts pack a lot of calories as they are constantly basted with butter and oil. So buy boneless breasts and fry in a pan with cooking spray.
2 cups diced turkey
1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts
1/3 cups non-salted toasted almonds
1 Fuji or Honeycrisp apple (sweet apple) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
1 Belgian endive leaves separated and cleaned
In a large bowl toss all ingredients except lettuce and blue cheese and sprinkle blue cheese on top. Reserve the lettuce leaves.
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 tbl tarragon vinegar
6 tbl extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together all ingredients and taste to adjust seasoning. Pour over turkey mixture and toss well. Serve with lettuce leaves on the side. Fill the leaves with the salad and dive in!!!!
For a less calorie salad, limit the blue cheese and oil.
Get a good start!